Sean Hannity knew that journalists would tune in to his Fox News show to watch Donald Trump Jr. on Tuesday, so he began by addressing them directly.
The Fix has annotated a transcript of his message to the media, using Genius. To view an annotation, click on the yellow, highlighted text.
HANNITY: And welcome to “Hannity,” and this is a “Fox News Alert.” Donald Trump Jr. is here tonight to set the record straight about his June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer. He will join us for an exclusive in-depth interview. That’s coming up in just a minute.
And by the way, for all the members of the destroy-Trump media that have to tune in to my show tonight, get out your pad and your pen. You may actually learn a thing or two. And we have a message for you, so maybe you want to take notes. Now, we’re going to lay out the real scandals that you are not covering that you should be covering. If you were actual journalists, you would be.
But first, let’s lay out the facts of this story. And that is tonight’s very important opening monologue.
All right, so earlier today, after the New York Times started reporting on the content of email exchanges prior to this meeting at Trump Tower, Donald Trump Jr. released what he says is the entire email chain. Now, contact was initiated by Rob Goldstone. He’s a music publicist who represents a Russian pop star who knows the Trump family from the 2013 Miss Universe pageant that took place in Moscow.
And on June 3, 2016, Goldstone emailed Donald Trump Jr. quote, “Good morning. Emin” — the Russian pop star — “just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting. The crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father, Aras, this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.
“This is obviously very high-level and sensitive information, but is part of Russia and its government support for Mr. Trump, helped along by Aras and Emin. So what do you think is the best way to handle this information? And would you be able to speak to Emin about it directly? I can also send this information to your father via Rhona, but it’s ultrasensitive so wanted to talk to you first. Best, Bob Goldstone.”
About 20 minutes later, Donald Trump Jr. replied, quote, “Thanks, Bob. I appreciate it. I am on the road at the moment, but perhaps I just speak to Emin first. Seems we have some time, and if it’s what you say, I love it, especially later in the summer. Could we do a call first thing next week when I am back? Best, Don.”
And in following emails, the two go back and forth about setting up that phone call. And then they eventually work out a time for a sit-down meeting with this Russian lawyer.
Now, Donald Trump Jr. also released a statement earlier today explaining that he was releasing the emails to be transparent. He also detailed why he took the meeting.
His statement reads, in part, quote: “The information they suggested they had about Hillary Clinton I thought was political opposition research. I first wanted to just have a phone call, but when that didn’t work out, they said the woman would be in New York and asked if I would meet. I decided to take the meeting.
“Well, the woman, as she has said publicly, was not a government official. As we have said, she had no information to provide and wanted to talk about adoption policy and the Magnitsky Act but to put this in context. Now, this occurred before the current Russian fever was in vogue. As Rob Goldstone said just today in the press, the entire meeting was the most inane nonsense I have ever heard. And I was actually agitated by it.”
In addition to all of that, the Russian lawyer at the center of this story spoke to NBC News where she denied working for the Russian government. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIER SIMMONS, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Have you ever worked for the Russian government? Do you have connections to the Russian government?
NATALIA VESELNITSKAYA, RUSSIAN ATTORNEY (through translator): No.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Now, NBC is also quoting the Russian lawyer as saying, quote, “I never had any damaging or sensitive information about Hillary Clinton. It was never my intention to have that.” And in a previous statement, Donald Trump Jr. said the same thing, that the lawyer never produced solid information about Hillary Clinton. In fact, he says she didn’t even really make sense when talking about Clinton.
And it’s worth noting, by the way, that President Trump’s legal team pointed out that they think the whole meeting could have been a setup that was made to look like potential Russia collusion. Now, the legal team also says that this Russian lawyer is connected to Fusion GPS, which is the opposition research firm that produced the discredited Christopher Steele dossier on Donald Trump.
And by the way, as the New York Post has reported, Fusion GPS has several ties to the Democrats, including Clinton allies and even Planned Parenthood.
So from looking at the facts as we have them, a friend of the Trumps offered to coordinate a meeting to share opposition research on Hillary Clinton, which Donald Trump Jr. agreed to. Nothing came of it because there was no information exchange. And it ended there.
Democrats, the mainstream media are right now hysterical over the story. By the way, we’re glad you’re all watching. But they have completely ignored an example of actual election interference, and I would argue probably because it involves a Democrat. So to be fair to you, the American people, tonight, and we want to be balanced, we need to point this out.
And the question you people in the media need to start asking yourselves is, why don’t you tell the American people every story? For example, back in January, the Politico — hardly members of the right-wing conspiracy, published this explosive report. Quote, “Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire.” Now, the report there lays out how a DNC operative and Ukrainian government officials tried to aid and assist Hillary Clinton and damage Donald Trump.
Now, this DNC operative, who according to Politico used to work at the Clinton White House, well, spearheaded this entire effort, including by meeting with Ukrainian officials at the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, D.C., to discuss ways to go after former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Now, this operative even told Politico the Ukraine diplomats were, quote, “helpful” in tracking leads.
And then there’s this bombshell. Quote, “She occasionally shared her findings with officials from the DNC and Clinton’s campaign.” And on top of all of that, the operative claims that she gave guidance and off-the-record information to, quote, “a lot of journalists who were writing about Paul Manafort and Donald Trump’s potential ties to Russia.”
Now that you, our audience, have evidence from both sides, you got to decide for yourself. We report, you decide. What’s worse? And I’ll pose this question to everybody in the media that’s forced to tune in tonight. Which is worse? Why haven’t you covered that story? And better yet, well, why didn’t news organizations extensively report on Ukrainian collusion? Now, Politico — they did all the heavy lifting for you. All you had to do was follow up.
Is it because many of the so-called top news organizations in this country exposed before the election as having colluded with the Clinton campaign? Remember WikiLeaks? And if you’re interested, really interested in election interference, why didn’t you care that a congressional investigation found in 2014 an Israeli political group used a $300,000 Obama State Department grant to create a political apparatus to try and defeat our ally, our friend, the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu?
Or how about the WikiLeaks email that shows a Clinton campaign ad talking about how a Chinese ambassador wanted to have a private off-the-record meeting?
So in other words, do you members of this corrupt media — do you even know about these stories? And by the way, since you are so interested in prosecuting people and accusing them of crimes, well, let’s talk about real crimes that have been committed that you in the media so often ignore.
Hillary Clinton — let’s see. We know she mishandled and destroyed top secret special access program classified government information. But what about a real Russian collusion conspiracy? That’s the Uranium One deal. Remember, as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton — she signed off on giving up to 20 percent of America’s uranium to Vladimir Putin and the Russians. And all those people in the deal? Well, they kicked back over $100 million to the Clinton Foundation. And by the way, Bill Clinton doubled his speaking fees in Moscow.
And let’s not forget the Clinton Foundation — they took millions of dollars from countries that have the most atrocious human rights records.
And how about a Senate report showing that the Trump administration has had to deal, since he took office, the president, with 125 deep state leaks in 126 days, which, by the way, are all likely felonies and happened at a rate which is seven times greater than the previous two administrations.
What about Lieutenant General Michael Flynn? You all followed the story. Have you been reporting on the fact that he was unmasked and that intel, raw intelligence, was leaked to the press? Well, that would be a crime.
Then there’s James Comey, a report from the Hill saying that four of Comey’s seven memos contained classified information and that the FBI considers the memos to be government property, meaning that Comey may have committed two felonies, broken the law, removing those files from the FBI.
Now, I’ll end it on this note to the mainstream media. You have zero credibility left. You have been caught time and time again spreading fake news stories. You’ll be critical of all my interviews, and you carry out your personal attacks against the president, against his family and anybody that dares to be associated with the president.
By the way, here’s just one minor small example. Liberal Joe, NBC — what has he called the president of the United States? A schmuck, a goon, a thug, mentally unhinged. And then the president fights back a little and you in the mainstream media — are you proud of how NBC News handles things, or CNN? My guess is you probably have defended all this.
Since, really, the media in America today — we have an information crisis, overpaid, lazy, rigid left-wing ideologues. But that’s for another night.
Tonight, we have Donald Trump Jr. We will ask him every single question I can think of on this topic.
Don Jr., good to see you. Welcome back.