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Fox News "Hannity" - Transcript: Interview with Vice President Mike Pence


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HANNITY: Just sat down with Vice President Mike Pence in New York to discuss all the controversy over the so-called whistle-blower. They didn't hear it first hand and that complaint. We talked a lot about it. Other issues were focused it on this part of the interview tonight. Well, a part II tomorrow and also about President Trump's call with Ukrainian President. Here's what he had to say.

First of all, this Ukraine thing, the media just like this - it's like mana from heaven. Oh, we didn't have a reason of impeachment I think we do now. We are now discovering the whistle-blower it was not first-hand knowledge. Even the media is now reporting in some places that there was no quid pro quo. What can you tell us?

MICHEAL PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: Well, here we go again. The assume the worst media. Takes one report, runs with it. Democrats on Capitol Hill immediately start to denounce the President before anybody has the facts. But the President has been very clear on this. He made a congratulatory call to President Zelinski after his election and which was a landslide election build largely on the message of an anti-corruption campaign.

The President spoke to him about our concern, investing hundreds and millions of American taxpayer dollars and seeing him move a reform agenda. President Trump made it clear that we've got to see reforms. We've got to see honesty in government. His congratulatory call was all about that. He mentioned Vice President Biden and his son in the context of us wanting to see honest government. That's exactly what the American taxpayer would expect.

HANNITY: Here you have and may be you could put some context you are the Vice President. But Former Vice President Biden, bragging on tape you're not getting a billion dollars. I will get a six hours, and I'm leaving in six hours, you either fire the prosecutor. Why would Vice President want to fire a prosecutor? And son of a B, they fired him bragging almost why would a Vice President of the United States of America want an Ukrainian prosecutor fired? What conceivable reason would that be?

PENCE: Yes, it's really remarkable. Everything that the media wants to assume of how the President's phone call in July. That Vice President Biden admitted to, on camera, in January 2018, he said that when he was Vice President of the United States, he had a quid pro quo. He said to the Ukrainian officials you will not get over a billion dollar in American aide unless you fire a prosecutor who just happened to be investigating a company that Vice President Biden's son was on the very board off.

HANNITY: And making a lot of money.

PENCE: Making a lot of money.

HANNITY: Apparently with no background in oil, gas or energy.

PENCE: The American people have a right to know. But to have a Vice President threatening USA, that's a quid pro quo. As the President has said in his conversation that everyone is very interested in now, his conversation with President Zelinski that he spoke about congratulations he spoke about our support for the Ukraine. He spoke about our concern about corruption. But there was no quid pro quo. If people want to see a quid pro quo, they just need to watch the tape of Vice President Biden explaining that he was going to withhold, again over a billion dollars--

HANNITY: Sound like to me, I would say blackmail. Am I wrong on that?

PENCE: Sean, I got to tell you, this is a country that was overrun by Russia. It's a country that is still at war. Russia takes the crime here in the John Bosco province, they still have, we believe, Russian elements there that are forming in violence and are trying to literally tear Ukraine apart.

For Vice President Biden, who was part of that administration and refused to give military aid to Ukraine, to threaten what remained of that aid unless they responded to his demands about firing a prosecutor, who among other things was investigating the company his son served on the board of, look, the American people just deserve to know the facts.

What they can be confident of is that throughout this process that all of our administration context, the President's conversation all of my discussions with President Zelinski, were all based upon proper considerations of how we support Ukraine? How we support their efforts to end an era of corruption in their government and advance the interest of their sovereignty?

The American people have a right to know what happened. They have a right to know what happened in 2016 and they have a right to know what the circumstances were around having a sitting Vice President threaten to withhold American aid? Look, again, the ironic thing is that everything that our critics in the media are leveling at this President from this phone call.

Everything the Democrats on Capitol Hill are running off and describing. Vice President Joe Biden bragged about, which that was a quid pro quo with holding American aid in exchange for a specific action.

HANNITY: Wouldn't help the President would you recommend releasing the transcript?

PENCE: That would be a decision for the President to make. But remember, Sean that would be an unprecedented act. It's so important that the President of the United States can have conversations with leaders around the world that are candid, that are open. For leaders to be concerned in the future that a conversation that the President might make its way into the public, would undermine the ability of the President to have those discussions in the future.

So I know the President would like to do it. I know he's looking at all the circumstances around him. But the American people can be confident in this congratulatory call that the President spoke about issues that are of interest to American taxpayers notably corruption but there was no quid pro quo.

HANNITY: Was no quid pro quo. All right, now tomorrow, we're focusing in on this very specific issue tonight. We had a wide range of topics. We talked about the radical 2020 Democrats, The New Green Deal, the escalating situation. How we deal with Iran? And I asked him the one thing that maybe people don't know about President Trump that he could tell us as Vice President. As we continue.


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