‘Hannity’ on Biden’s messaging on Ukraine war – Fox News

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This is a rush transcript of “Hannity” on March 29, 2022. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: And welcome to HANNITY.

Tonight, again, we begin with a FOX News alert. First, a new poll shows, surprisingly, shockingly, even two-thirds of Americans want actor Will Smith arrested after he slapped Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife. Now, this as new video has just emerged showing Smith making fun of a bald person shaved head several years ago. We’ll get to that in a moment.

But yet, we begin tonight with another day of the Biden administration’s attempt to clean up Joe’s disastrous trip abroad and it’s not going well.

Our current president is a walking, talking liability to the country, the world and its seriousness in these times are extraordinarily dangerous. In case you’re keeping track, while he was in Europe, Joe wrongly suggested that our U.S. soldiers would soon be on the ground in Ukraine. He forgot the name of his own secretary of defense yet again and referred to him as the secretary of state. He spent several hours choking, if you recall on a spicy pizza — a piece of pizza. He falsely claimed that U.S. soldiers were training Ukrainian forces in Poland. He said that Putin cannot remain in power which his handlers had to clean up and say this is not the position of his administration, and then guess what? He pretty much said the same thing yesterday.

Now, in a monumental effort to right their ship — well, Biden staffers, they think they’re clever. They’re now providing the president of the United States with his daily cheat sheets featuring one sentence answers to the most simple, the most basic questions in massive font about Joe’s own policies.

And yesterday, Joe did his very best to read — see that little cue card there — to read from the sheets. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to make it clear. I wasn’t then nor am I now articulating the policy change. I was expressing the moral outrage that I feel and I make no apologies.

REPORTER: You do feel that Vladimir Putin should be remained from — removed from power? Is that what you’re saying?

BIDEN: No, what I was — I was expressing, just what I said, I was expressing the moral outrage I felt towards this man. I wasn’t articulating a policy change.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Good job, Joe. He read it all by himself. He did — he did good.

Now, ask yourself what kind of president needs a note card to answer a basic and predictable question like this. The truth is, and I’ll say it, I was right before the election, Joe Biden is not well. He is not competent. He is so cognitively weak that his own staffers won’t let him or trying to stop him from going off script, which frankly I agree with. It is a necessary protection in these perilous times.

Almost everything he says is poorly read from a teleprompter or now these new note cards. Almost all the questions that he’s taken by the media mob are pre-selected by White House staffers, and still despite all of this assistance, Joe is struggling worse than ever. Well, the past couple of weeks have been really, really bad. Just a quick reminder.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: A woman who just died, the secretary of state, used to have an expression. She said we are the essential nation. The reason why I want the general — when the secretary of state asked me if I sent another 12,00 troops along — to the United States, I said, yeah, from the United States.

The first lady’s husband contracting COVID, but look at this room and what you see. Pardon me.

That’s right. She’s fine. It’s me. That’s not together. The second lady — the first gentleman.

From mom to get her kid on the Internet to be able to do their homework has to pull in the McDonald’s parking lot? I mean, for real. That’s what’s happening. This law is going to put an end to all that, going to put people in a much different position to be able to determine their own — their own judgments about when to sell their cattle.

And a pound of Ukrainian people — the proud, proud people, pound for pound ready to fight with every inch of energy they have.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Come on, come on, man. Are you a junkie? Or we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men and women, he said, are created equal endowed by the oh — the thing, oh you know the thing. God, the creator of everything.

Now, sadly, at this point, it’s not even shocking. I have been warning you about Joe’s obvious cognitive decline, since he came on the scene to run for election. And what we’re seeing is not new except it appears to be getting progressively and dramatically worse, you decide.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: When the political coverage — that look on some of the political players and some of the — let me ask you a rhetorical question. No —

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: This isn’t funny. According to a brand new poll, John McLaughlin, nearly 60 percent of Americans want both Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi to undergo cognitive testing. By the way, Kamala Harris, well, she’s got her own train wrecks to deal with.

Now, how many times has President Trump been on this program, either on a satellite in person or on the phone, how long how many times has he talked for 40, 45 uninterrupted minutes, he’s always very well-informed on any topic I bring up, fully completely engaged, up to date, energetic, articulate and smart as hell. I’ll take the smart, articulate guy that is tough, that the world fears with the mean tweets, I’ll take him back any day.

So would most Americans by the way. Look at this new poll, Harvard-Harris poll, Trump is trouncing Biden and Harris handily if the election were held today. Meanwhile, one recent NBC poll shows a whopping 71 percent of Americans, they are not confident about Joe Biden’s ability to manage this crisis in Ukraine. The same poll found that Biden’s approval ratings are now at an all-time low, with Americans worried about record high inflation, a 40-year high, record high gas prices, you’ve never paid more and the instability abroad.

But high in their ivory tower, Biden’s protectors for example over at MSDNC, well, they just can’t seem to grasp why Joe’s poll numbers are so low. Why is this happening? Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Charlie, I want you to explain that to us. I just ran down some significant, hard evidence positives that we’re experiencing and Biden can tout. Why isn’t he reaping the benefits in the polls? These are big wins.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, because we are a politically divided country and this is the united states of anxiety.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: And not to be outdone, so-called journalists on fake news CNN, Don Lemon, he had this to say about Joe’s disaster of a trip to Europe. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: The president is saying exactly what most of the world feels about Vladimir Putin. Now, he did not in that speech say that Vladimir Putin should be removed or we’re going to take him out of power. He said this man should not remain in power. Quite honestly, I think this is a media manufactured story, and the media it’s in the media’s interpretation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Oh, a media manufactured crisis. Oh, okay, according to fake news CNN, no wonder nobody watches that network.

Now, meanwhile, washed up NBC anchor Tom Brokaw believes, guess what, FOX News is to blame for Putin’s hostile invasion of Ukraine. The dog bites, the bee stings, you’re feeling sad, blame Trump. If there’s an invasion by Putin, blame Trump. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM BROKAW, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: From the beginning, Putin has been a warmonger with sour grapes. He obviously thought he could run over Ukraine while President Biden was under constant act by FOX News and ever more poisonous right-wing political organizations.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Tommy, why didn’t he do it when Trump was president? And also, I have a question for you, Tom. Are you proud about all of the lies, all of the conspiracy theories peddled by your NBC News about that phony Trump Russia collusion that never happened because your silence was deafening?

And at the end of the day, the media mob, you could try and protect Joe Biden and pass the blame, but we, the American people, we’re not dumb. We’re not stupid. We don’t need giant note cards to perform basic and simple tasks. We don’t spend long weekends in Delaware recovering from the exhausting work week of one public event, less than one a day.

We don’t need help remembering names, dates on a daily basis. That is Joe Biden. That is your president. He is clearly and sadly not up to the job.

Here with reaction, the host of “Unfiltered Dan Bongino,” along with the co-host of “The Five,” our friend Geraldo Rivera.

Normally, I would start with you, Geraldo, because I know whatever you’re going to say here is really going to piss off, Dan, and it’s going to be great TV. But I’m not — I’m going to be counter-intuitive tonight I’m going to start with Dan and let Dan make his case first — Dan.

DAN BONGINO, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: All right. Well, listen, this is a real problem. I — you know, I — the 25th Amendment stuff that was uh you know laughingly hysterically invoked in the Trump year, you may not like Trump but he was certainly all there.

Sean, we have to seriously start to think about this stuff. The man seriously is in cognitive decline. It’s evident by just watching and observing him. Now, the problem we have with this is it’s causing a genuine national security crisis.

Everybody out there it’s been widely reported, Vladimir Putin is horrified of being deposed. It’s been rumored that he watches the video of Gaddafi and his pretty horrific death all the time, and he’s afraid that could happen to him. It’s also well known, Sean, that he has an aversion, Putin that is, to communicating via modern technology — cell phones, emails, et cetera. Apparently, he has an aversion to computers and even looking up Internet stories.

So what I’m trying to get at is you can’t just assume that Putin has a full portfolio of information and is fully aware that when Joe Biden said, you know, we got to get this guy — you know, he can’t remain in power, that Putin’s not interpreting that to mean the United States is supporting a coup.

I mean, Dana Perino had said I think on “THE FIVE” that he still thinks that the U.S. government had Dan Rather fired. I mean, really. This — the Joe Biden’s gaffes, I’m not kidding. I — listen, I’m a Republican, I’m not pretending to be some non-partisan journalist, but I say this with a pure heart, this guy is causing a genuine national security crisis in the United States by not being all there.

HANNITY: All right. One last question, we’ll bring in Geraldo.

You and I have shared notes and on the air, Dan, and off the air and both of us have sources that have been around Joe Biden. You have the same intel I have, that it’s even worse than what we’re seeing publicly. That’s what I’ve been told by people that have been around him. What have you heard from your — the people you know that have been around?

BONGINO: You know, and it’s not the sources you would — you would put. I mean, I don’t want to say too much, but it’s — you know what I’m talking about. It’s not the people you think it is, but yes, I’ve heard this from – – not just one, but multiple people, that the situation cognitively with Biden. You are 100 percent correct is far worse than even you and I are letting on here, which is really, really bad news and creates a very unsafe situation for the United States. You’re 100 percent correct.

Now, Geraldo, you’re different. I can play you tape and I played it on the show of Joe Biden in 2007, 2008, 2012, 2016. The guy I see today is not the guy that even left office in 20 — early 2017.

Do you not see it and do you not sense that this is a real clear, present danger for national security for us and also for the world?

GERALDO RIVERA, CO-HOST, “THE FIVE”: He’s only eight months older than I am dear friend, Sean, and —

HANNITY: The difference is night and day.

RIVERA: I’m a young 78.

HANNITY: Yes.

RIVERA: The difference that —

HANNITY: You could do a selfie and say it’s the new 30 if you want.

RIVERA: Right. Remember what he said, quote, for God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power. That’s one of the most powerful ad-libs given in recent memory. For God’s sake, this man this beast —

HANNITY: And he walked it back —

RIVERA: — this savage —

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: He walked right back. He took it back. They took it back.

RIVERA: Because that’s my next point, because it’s not U.S. policy to remove Putin from power. That is the president, when he speaks the assumption is that he speaks U.S. policy. He deviated from U.S. policy.

I’m not defending the ad lib. I’m merely saying that any one of us — I was a long-time war correspondent. When you see these little babies who are killed, maternity wards bombed, you know, thousands and thousands of people, they raped and robbed and murdered, a country half occupied, you can be forgiven for saying for God’s sake this man cannot remain in power, if you’re not the president of the United States.

HANNITY: Wait a minute. Let me give you — let me give you two examples.

RIVERA: He is the president of the United States. He must only articulate (INAUDIBLE) policy, that’s my point.

HANNITY: All of Ronald Reagan’s advisors took out the line, Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall, and Reagan, he took charge and he put it in there because that’s what — that’s what a leader does. Joe says, I can’t take questions because if I do my staff is going to get really, really mad at me and everything, and I’m like does he really project strength to you because that’s not strength to me, Geraldo? And I will say this about you, you are sharp as you were 26 years ago when I first met you, on your day time when you beat me up.

RIVERA: At least as sharp as I was 26 weeks ago. That’s right, never forget that.

The thing about Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump, they both used cue cards. You know, they were — they were stories at the time. Our old friend Sam Donaldson exposed Reagan’s use of cue cards. Donald Trump famously after I was with him in Mar-a-Lago following that awful school shooting —

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Geraldo, do you not acknowledge any decline? Seriously, do you acknowledge any cognitive decline?

RIVERA: But he used cue cards when he talk to the families.

HANNITY: Do you acknowledge any cognitive decline?

RIVERA: I — I don’t know about that. My mustache still points up, so I’m — I’m doing — I’m doing fine.

HANNITY: All right. Let me tell you —

RIVERA: But I want everyone to understand that what the enormity of what Putin has done makes understandable the very human reaction of the president of the United States.

HANNITY: Geraldo, I’m not talking about that.

RIVERA: The problem is that Putin now hears it and he says, fight or die.

HANNITY: It’s cumulative. Last word, Dan Bongino?

BONGINO: Geraldo, I don’t disagree with your premise here that — yes, he was right to be angry at this global atrocity going on right now, rippling around, you’re not wrong.

RIVERA: Right.

BONGINO: But he’s the president of the United States. He can’t afford to have these, you know, what we call human emotions slip-ups when the potential is a miscalculation and an escalation into a global thermonuclear war. I mean, it — you know —

(CROSSTALK)

RIVERA: What — is it better to have a cue card?

BONGINO: Wait, wait, one second.

RIVERA: Is it better to have a cue card?

BONGINO: Yeah, okay, listen, I don’t have a problem with the cue card, Geraldo, but when your cue card says, hey, tell everybody you’re outraged, Geraldo, if I start making fun of your kids, you don’t need a cue card to say hey, Dan, I’m really pissed off, shut your mouth, okay? I mean, you’re morally outraged. You don’t need a freaking cue card to tell you my brother. Just say you’re outraged.

I mean, I don’t mind cue cards. I have some here for my show.

HANNITY: I got to run, but —

BONGINO: But cue outrage? I mean, come on, man. Give me a break.

HANNITY: Geraldo, let me tell you something, if Joe Biden had your cognitive strength which is the same as 28 years ago when I first met you, we’d be fine cog — Joe would be fine cognitively. He’s not.

Thank you both.

All right. Good news tonight, we’re just seven months away from the midterm elections. According to multiple polls, Republicans are now poised to take back the House, hopefully, the Senate also which will be a little harder. But as I’ve said many times, I take nothing for granted when it comes to elections. The only way to send a message to Biden and Pelosi and Schumer and Kamala Harris and the religious climate alarmist cult and the new green deal socialist Democrats is to vote.

Everyone in America, you will all play a key role, it’s all hands on deck. We’re all spokes in a wheel on election day. And by the way, take a look. That’s why it’s so troubling to Nancy Pelosi.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): We have every intention of winning. It is absolutely essential for our democracy that we win. I fear for our democracy. And the Republicans who are ever to get the gavel, we can’t let that happen. Democracy is on the ballot in November.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: The republic hangs in the balance and I don’t think Nancy’s so worried about democracy as she is about her own job.

Here with more, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Okay, I can’t name a single thing Joe Biden has done that I could say, you know what, I agree with that. He’s helped the American people. Can you?

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): No, all he’s ever done is make every crisis even worse. And what’s worse, Sean, is look at the budget that he just produced.

You know, they say the budget is about their values. Never once in this president’s budget does he mention the inflation crisis, the border crisis, the debt crisis, nor does he mention parents.

But you know, he mentions the climate crisis 33 times. He mentions tax, fee, penalties 120 times. It just shows really where their values are and how unserious they are.

But what’s worse about this budget, where he’s talking about gasoline price, so high, he taxes $45 billion in tax for anybody doing energy production. So what does that mean? America gets punished, your gasoline prices go higher, and our enemies around the world that produce oil and gas are going to make taxpayers money pay for that.

HANNITY: The one thing that is very consistent that I hear from listeners on my radio show and it’s from all over the country, and I’m on 675 stations, I get — I get a wide variety of people from all over the country, and they’re all saying the same thing. They want Republicans to fight.

I want you to assure them that, if they elect the Republicans and you became speaker, how hard are you guys going to fight and how committed will you be to promises you make? That’s what I hear from everybody.

MCCARTHY: Well, we’re more than 100 percent, Sean.

What we just came off of and Newt Gingrich was there. We just did our retreat in Florida, building our commitment to America, where the parents have a bill of rights, where the border will be secure, where America will be energy independent not just energy independent but dominant. We will curve the inflation that the Democrats have brought forward, balance our budget to be able to move forward.

Not only is it just a commitment, hold our feet to the fire. We’re making this pledge to every single person across America. We believe that you should know what we will do if you entrust us with the majority.

And we’re looking at things even differently. We’ve spent time at MIT for the last couple days. Why? Because we’re looking how we can make sure America is Americans next century, that we can compete with China as well.

Our focus is on American jobs, American security, and American prosperity.

HANNITY: Will Americans be able to stop this record high budget proposal that would even tax unrealized gains? In other words, money you don’t even have, money didn’t even make, just estimates what we think they’ll make? Will Republicans stop this — the biggest budget in the history of this country, with the biggest deficit in the history of the country?

MCCARTHY: Yes, we can stop it but we also need your help. I need everybody — you just watched Nancy Pelosi sit there and cry that if Republicans take the majority, that democracy will end. All she cares about is power. The Democrats’ very first bill was to change election law so they stayed in power.

I need everyone who listens to you, who watch you, to go to FirePelosi.com, join with us so we can turn America in the direction that you all crave, that we have secure borders, energy independent, that we will curve this inflation, that we will build more jobs and parents will have a say in their kids education.

HANNITY: Donald Trump showed the Republican Party how to fight. I hope every Republican on the ballot is willing to fight, and for the principles Make America Great Again, America First, Reagan conservatism, it works. We were a lot better off.

Kevin McCarthy, thank you.

All right. AOC joining the radical calls for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to resign because of texts of his wife. Excuse me? We’ll explain.

And also, did the White House intentionally hide information on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s record? Apparently, they did. Senator Hawley weighs in, straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: Now, you have a course of Democrats tonight, they are attacking Justice Clarence Thomas over his wife’s texts and messages about the 2020 election, in November right after the election. They are calling for him to resign from the court or recuse himself.

For example, Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez calling for Justice Thomas to quit the court or be impeached. Okay, let’s just stop for one second. If this is the new standard, if you want to hold Justice Thomas accountable for something that someone in his family did, will that apply to Joe and Hunter? I think it has to apply. Or is it the usual one rule for Democrats and another rule for everybody else?

Also, ask yourself, why have Democrats been so silent on Biden’s own Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson and her troubling record of lenient sentences for child porn offenses? Get this, according to Senate Republican staffers, the White House left out very key details about a life sentence for child porn offender and confirmation hearing materials provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Now, the White House says the case was unintentionally left out. I don’t buy it. Senate Republicans, they’re not buying it.

Here to explain more, Republican senator from Missouri, Josh Hawley.

Senator, I’m not buying it. Explain the case so our audience understands.

SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO): Well, what we have here is yet another child porn case, Sean, and every time Judge Jackson had any discretion on the court, she gave these child porn offenders less than the federal sentencing guidelines recommended, less than the prosecutors recommended, and a lot of times she even went lower than the probation office which is usually a pretty liberal recommendation, lower than they recommended.

And every time we find out more about it, we find out that she’s been soft on criminals, that she’s been soft on child porn offenders. Of course, the White House is leaving out information and is trying to mislead and is trying to dissemble because it’s just a fact that this is a woke judge who has been soft on crime, and that’s not the kind of person we need on the bench.

HANNITY: When you look at the votes as they’re lining up, do you see any Republicans supporting her? Looks like Mitt Romney will. Do you see any Democrats opposing her?

HAWLEY: Well, I sure hope that the Republicans will stand together and say that this kind of activist judge is not who we need on the U.S. Supreme Court. I mean, this is someone who again has a now established record. I mean, it’s just beyond argument at this point, it’s an established record of being soft on criminals, particularly child sex offenders, but really criminals of all stripes.

So I hope Republicans will stand together and I hope the voters will get the chance to weigh in on this, Sean, when they can say in November, this is the kind of judge who Joe Biden wanted on the U.S. Supreme Court, another soft on crime judge.

HANNITY: All right. So let’s look at Biden’s budget, the largest tax hike by far in the history of the country. Joe Biden and the socialist Democrats, they would like to tax what are called unrealized gains.

In other words, if you own stock — and let’s say, April 15 comes around, and you’re going to file your taxes, and the stock is worth say, $40, right? Okay, but you’re not selling the stock. So it’s not a gain until you sell the stock.

Now, let’s say by the time you sell it, it’s only worth 20 bucks, I don’t like the stock market for that reason. To me, there’s a lot of gambling involved in that.

Is this going to pass, the largest tax hike in history and it doesn’t even include the monies that we need for Ukraine and the military?

HAWLEY: Yeah, and it also includes taxes, Sean, on energy producers in the United States. I mean, this is unbelievable to me.

Joe Biden won’t let us produce energy in the United States. He green lights Putin’s pipeline. He shuts down American pipelines, and now, his answer to this is to tax American energy and all the other taxes you’re talking about on top of it?

And this is a guy who just doesn’t know what’s going on. He has no idea what is actually happening here. His policies are 180 degrees wrong.

And I’m just willing to bet, Sean, that when the American people finally get a chance to weigh in in November, they’re going to say turn the exact opposite direction.

HANNITY: Yeah, let me go to the case of Clarence Thomas. Okay, so Clarence Thomas’s wife has opinions. Is she not free to express them?

I think it would be natural for people that are dating, people that are married, that there probably are a number of issues people disagree on, a number of issues they agree on.

If that’s the case, if that’s the standard now Democrats want to set, wouldn’t that apply to Joe Biden and Hunter Biden and the laptop, and wouldn’t Joe equally have to be impeached himself or recused as they’re trying to do to Clarence Thomas?

HAWLEY: Yeah, I look forward to all of the calls for Joe Biden’s resignation from all of these Democrats on exactly the same logic that you just outlined, Sean. So, you know, if Hunter Biden ends up getting indicted, as looks increasingly likely, then I guess the president needs to resign for that.

I mean, here’s the bottom line: This is ridiculous, these attacks on Justice Thomas. And the idea that Ginni Thomas, his wife, is supposed to sign off on her texts and on her work with her husband, as if he’s in charge of her in some way, isn’t that misogyny? Isn’t that exactly what the Democrats are always saying that they’re against?

But the truth is, is that they will take any avenue they can to try and smear Justice Thomas, and Republicans have got to stand up against it and say, we’re not going to let you smear and rig the Supreme Court, which is what they’re trying to do.

HANNITY: Ginni Thomas was giving political opinions. Hunter Biden was making billions with all these countries, China, Kazakhstan, he got a nice new car out of the deal, this company did. Oh, the first lady of Moscow, former first lady, three and a half billion. Burisma, no experience oil, energy or Ukraine — yeah, he made millions there, too. Ginni Thomas gave an opinion, and if you don’t like it, too bad.

Senator, thank you for being with us.

All right. Straight ahead tonight, we’ll bring you the latest details on the Will Smith incident. A lot of huge developments tonight, two shocking polls taken after the slap heard around the world. Guess what? A lot of people want Smith to go to jail.

Miranda Devine, Pam Bondi, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: All right. Still lots of chatter all across Hollywood tonight over Will Smith’s Oscar slapped, a slap heard around the world against Chris Rock as the Academy has now set up a formal review of the incident where the full board of governors will determine the severity of any consequences.

Now, Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, raised eyebrows with this cryptic post, quote: This is a season for healing and I’m here for it. Okay.

Now, last night, Smith did apologize, but I want you to think about this question tonight. A lot of these celebrities they all come out, I’m sorry, I apologize. Do you think most of these apologies are real? Are most celebrity apologies real?

Now, first, you got to know this. He did not write all this himself as my best guess. You have a room full of woke millionaires, by the way, just to start with, we shouldn’t even care but we do. Now, what do you think went on behind the scenes before that statement went up and what goes into crafting a high-profile apology?

Now, publicists usually, I would assume, they were here, can’t say for sure, but usually are heavily involved. There’s probably several rounds of edits, oh, no, you got to say it this way, you got to say it that way, no, take this word out, put this word in. No, look, comma here, period there, et cetera, et cetera.

And understand, this is all an effort for what, in most cases? is it that they’re really sincere and apologetic or is it to keep their career intact and be able to make more movies and more money? I’ll let you decide now.

Even though I know what goes on behind the scenes in most cases, I do like to give people the benefit of the doubt when it comes to apologies. And look at your screen, you may remember Will Smith actually slapped another guy about years ago while in Moscow for the “Men in Black III” premiere. Now, the reporter who turned out to be a prankster apparently tried to kiss him on the red carpet, this is back in 2012, nice little slap there. Did he ever apologize for that slap?

And in a resurface clip from 1991, guess what? Smith had this to say about a bald man. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ARSENIO HALL, HOST: I tell you, we got day commercial if you’d like to say one more thing about my mom, I’ll give you the opportunity because I’m the host and you’re my guest.

WILL SMITH, ACTOR: Okay, at least my mom was in super cuts, right? His mom’s so bald, she go to sleep at night her head be slipping off the pillow.

HALL: Will Smith, we’ll be right back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Did he say his mom is so bald? Anyway.

Now, Americans are chiming in. Look at this, new poll finds that two-thirds of you the American people believe that Smith should actually be arrested for slapping Chris Rock.

Here with reaction, FOX News contributor Miranda Devine, along with Florida — former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

All right. Pam, I’m a little old school. I go back to a time when we played sports, we drop our hockey gloves, we stopped playing basketball, football, we’d have a fight and we go back playing again. That was kind of an average day for me.

So, you know, but if you talked about somebody’s mother, sister, girlfriend, you know, family member, you might open yourself up where I grew up to, you know, getting involved in a little conflict like that. Your thoughts?

PAM BONDI, FORMER FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, Sean, this was in front of millions of people on live TV and Chris Rock is a comedian and he says stupid things. That’s what comedians say.

Will Smith got up there and punched him, unprovoked, unprovoked, and he committed a battery. Now having said that, Chris Rock didn’t want to prosecute. It’s not what you do, it’s what you do next.

When Will Smith got up there on live TV, Sean, and apologized, he never apologized to Chris Rock. He apologized to the Academy and the guests.

So that’s what he felt —

HANNITY: And the written apology, I thought he did apologize —

BONDI: In the written apology later, he did, that was much later when the publicist and everyone else I’m sure got involved. But right afterwards, he did not apologize to Chris Rock.

But having said that, in California, they don’t prosecute misdemeanors anyway.

HANNITY: All right. Miranda, I don’t really care that much about celebrities. I’m not the biggest — you know, I’ll read page six because I love your paper “The New York Post”. “Daily Mail’s” a great paper, has a lot of good gossip in there.

But here’s my point, everything I’ve read is they apparently have an open marriage. I don’t know for sure whatever these Hollywood people do, I can care less. That’s my honest opinion.

However it would seem odd assuming that’s true if it is true, that he’d be okay with another guy sleeping with his wife, but not a comic telling a joke about his wife. Does that seem odd to you?

MIRANDA DEVINE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, look, Sean, I mean, I think the sort of myth of an open marriage being somehow and not causing emotional distress is seen if that is the case because obviously, Will Smith is not secure in his wife’s love. And I think you know that poll or a couple of polls that have been taken today show that most of the public, you know, a small minority, especially women, are actually on Will Smith’s side rather than Chris Rock’s side, and whether that’s a function of Will Smith’s greater publicity,

I don’t know. But I think really what it reflects is this sort of desire for a lost stage of chivalry and this sort of primal sort of appeal of a man going into battle to defend his woman. And I think that, you know, women sort of crave that and even though it was done in a really repulsive way and it was an embarrassment to the Oscars — I mean, you know, the Oscars used to be the pinnacle of glamour and celebration of the great arts of cinema in Hollywood, and it’s just degenerated into now something that’s like a modern day Jerry Springer.

So that’s very sad and I think it’s sad for our debased culture, but it’s just a symptom of it.

HANNITY: Look, second lowest rated Oscars in history, I would argue Hollywood — it will never be what it once was, in Hollywood, for all intent purposes is dead, especially with all the new contact — content streaming options people have.

Pam, same question that I asked Miranda. Is it odd to you that if that — I assume those stories are true, people say it’s true, I don’t know for sure — but if it is true, does that seem strange to you? Because that strikes me as a very strange, moral compass if you will.

BONDI: Sean, it does because, one of the comedians, a lot of people missed this, one of the female comedians earlier made a joke about that when she was having all the single men come up on stage. And then she said, oh, Will Smith, you come up, too. Oh, no, you’re married, but your wife doesn’t care.

So she made a joke about it and he was fine with that joke. Yet then he goes after Chris Rock. So I don’t know what was going on there.

But the bottom line is, you know, in California, they don’t prosecute crimes anyway. Think about all the times we’ve talked about the D.A. out there not prosecuting crimes. So I think Chris Rock did the right thing by saying he doesn’t want to prosecute, let this go away.

HANNITY: I think he handled it — in fairness to him — I think he handled it as perfectly as anybody could.

BONDI: Me too.

HANNITY: Some people don’t think it’s real, I think it’s very real and he recovered, he was a pro. My response would have been a little different, but we’ll discuss that another night.

Pam, Miranda, thank you.

BONDI: You would have won the fight, too.

HANNITY: I hope so, yes. I train every day. Anyway, thank you both.

Coming up, wait until you see what Whoopi Goldberg, our friend, had to say about Will Smith and why she thinks it was right to call — the right call not to remove Smith from the show. Joe Concha, Leo 2.0 Terrell, they react next, straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: Now, of course, the media mob can’t help try and make this Will Smith’s story about something more than a slap as Whoopi Goldberg said on “The View,” it was the right decision not to escort Smith out of the award show because of his race. I’m not sure why this came up. But take a look, you decide.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WHOOPI GOLDBERG, TV HOST: The reason people got up and went over to him because is because I think a lot of people thought, oh, my God, is he having a break? Is — do we need to get him out, what do we need to do, you know? And the reason they didn’t go and take them out is because that would have been another 15, 20-minute explanation of why we’re taking the black man out five seconds before they’re about to decide whether he’s won an Oscar or not?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: All right. Let’s be clear, Will Smith was wrong. There are many other ways he should have, could have handled this. But at the same time, when you go after someone’s family, I’ve I’m all for comics having free rein to say whatever they want, the gloves came off, as I said earlier, where I grew up, we kind of fought almost every day and talking chef as in Adam Schiff about someone’s family, that could start a fight.

And I’m sure the woke crowd would call all of this toxic masculinity whatever that means anyway. But that’s honestly how I grew up.

It’s easy to see, he was caught up in the passion at the moment, felt the urge to defend his wife was clearly obviously annoyed. He himself laughed at first.

Anyway, here with reaction, FOX News contributors Joe Concha — he should have his own media show. You need your own media show here on FOX. Anyway, and, Leo 2.0 Terrell, you need you need to fill in for me because you keep saying no when I asked you to fill in.

All right. Joe, start with you.

Second lowest rated Oscars anyway, Hollywood to me is dead. They want to beat themselves up, that’s their problem. I don’t really care that much. To me, it was kind of entertaining.

JOE CONCHA, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, look, you mentioned the ratings, right? And second lowest rated, but you got to put in perspective in terms of what this really means?

Ten years ago, Sean, 40 million people tuned in to the Oscars, 15 million this year. “A King Speech” won that year, good but not the buzziest movie in the world. Twenty-five years ago, 57 million people tuned in. So you’re talking about 45 million people less watching this year.

And the reason why is because this thing has become insufferable. I mean, if I want to see the host attack Ron DeSantis, I’ll tune to CNN, no problem. We’ve gone from Billy Crystal to Amy Schumer as far as a host, and the aura the glamour you mentioned before of Hollywood is no longer around at this point.

But, look, we even saw this week because now, you know, we’ve gone to ludicrous speed completely. That Donald Trump is being blamed for Will Smith’s actions by Howard Stern, by the guy who started the Lincoln Project, Steve Schmidt, by a CNN analyst named Asha Rangappa, a former FBI agent, they’re saying Trump made him do it. That’s where we’re at this point.

But, look, here’s the bottom line, let’s say an actor like James Woods, right, a Trump supporter had done what Will Smith did, I am certain he would have been removed from that event immediately. But Smith did what he did and then he was allowed to sit back down and stay for the remainder of the show, even after they went to commercial, they had time to figure this out what the right course of action is and people who produce live events had zero idea what to do. And I wonder now what does the precedent is — what kind of what kind of precedent is being set now, Sean.

HANNITY: Let me ask you, Leo, as an attorney, if I was involved in this incident, what do you think would happen?

LEO TERRELL, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Oh, I’ll tell you right now, I want to be very clear, because Whoopi Goldberg needs to be put back in the timeout box. If Sean Hannity or Joe Concha or —

HANNITY: We don’t have a problem with Whoopi. Go ahead.

TERRELL: Oh, listen, why did she play the race card? Why does she got to bring up race?

You asked me the question, if you would have done what Will Smith did, you would have gone to jail. Joe would have gone to jail. And if I would have done it, Whoopi would not have thrown me a lifeline or my color would have had no effect. I would have gone to jail.

The reason is quite simple, Will Smith is part of the Hollywood elite, Sean, so he gets a pass. They like him, he makes money for them, and so that’s why she threw him a lifeline and then she —

HANNITY: Let me ask you this.

TERRELL: Race is not an issue in this case.

HANNITY: I really like Chris Rock. Chris Rock is one of my favorite comedians. Dave Chappelle is one of my favorites. Larry the Cable Guy, you know, the one — I have a lot of favorites. I love comedians. I love comedians that are free to say anything, and I think they have the right to do it.

Now, he took the shot and again there was a as Pam Bondi pointed out earlier in the show, somebody made a joke about this — the — this rumor or truth about an open marriage, and that didn’t bother him? I don’t get that part.

TERRELL: No, because I’ll tell you right now, it’s because of the fact that when Will Smith looked at Jada and she was upset, he decided to play the protective husband. It was fake. It was not real. Chris Rock is the victim, a black man, and Whoopi Goldberg throws a lifeline to Will Smith. Figure that out.

HANNITY: I — what are you — Joe, I like your reaction to that?

CONCHA: Oh, sure, well, Chris Rock — and I think we’re all in agreement that he handled this as well as you could, right, that he did he didn’t go back at him and now, he’s benefited seriously from this, Sean. The tickets for his comedy show before this we’re going for 50 bucks, okay, before this incident happened. Now, they’re going for $350, right?

So, Chris Rock still hasn’t responded however to Will Smith apologizing. Remember, he apologized twice, once without saying anything to Chris Rock, once on Instagram. I would think that Will Smith, if he wants to show that he’s a real man, pick up the phone or go visit Chris Rock and apologize personally and maybe that’s why we haven’t heard from Chris Rock at this point.

But that’s very curious, that the guy who got hit, the guy who likes to talk a lot as a comedian and mostly everybody does love as a comedian hasn’t said anything yet. I wonder why that is.

HANNITY: I’m admitting that —

TERRELL: Sean, I would have gone to jail.

HANNITY: Yeah, you’re a conservative too.

Look, I used to love the Broad Street Bullies, Dave Schultz, Bobby Clarke, you know, fighting like Bobby Nystrom and Clark Gillies of the Islanders. It was the greatest time in hockey. They dropped the gloves —

CONCHA: Wasn’t that the `70s?

HANNITY: And then they started playing again. Thanks, guys. More HANNITY next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: You know, when you poll people about negative ads, they always say, oh, no, I don’t like negative ads. When you poll people about fighting in hockey, oh, no, we can’t have fighting in sports. But negative ads work and whether or not people will admit it, they usually like fighting. Anyway, that’s my take.

Unfortunately, that’s all the time we have left. Thank you for being with us. Please set your DVR, never miss an episode.

In the meantime, let not your heart be troubled. Laura Ingram’s next. Have a great night.

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