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Hannity

What Donald Trump's entrance into the 2016 race means for the GOP

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 24, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And welcome to this special edition of "Hannity," "The Trump Card."

Now, Donald Trump has burst onto the 2016 GOP presidential scene with an unapologetic, no-nonsense approach. Potential voters -- they seem to be buying Mr. Trump's message as he's now leading in most of the early polls. However, many of the other Republican presidential candidates and the mainstream media -- they're not too happy with the style or the substance.

Here's a look at Donald Trump's meteoric rise in this presidential race.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, R-N.Y., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am officially running for president of the United States! And we are going to make our country great again!

NEIL CAVUTO: Right now, Donald Trump's doing well in the polls.

TRUMP: And the reason is they want somebody successful with that mindset to straighten out the country.

-- because people want to stop being pushed around like a bunch of patsies.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Mr. Trump has lapped the field in the Republican race.

TRUMP: They lose their enthusiasm. They lose their will. They lose a lot of things. Ain't going to happen with me.

I know how to make things better. I know how to make things work.
That's what I do.

FRANK LUNTZ: He says what he thinks. He's unedited. He's uncensored. They want someone who tells it like it is.

TRUMP: I only tell the truth, and frankly, Mexico is sending not their best and not their finest.

FRANK LUNTZ: He says what comes to his mind and he doesn't sound scripted. He doesn't sound rehearsed. And that 20 percent of America really likes that.

TRUMP: We will make America great again, better than ever before. We'll do it fast. We'll do it effectively. And you are going to love the job I do, that I can tell you! That I can tell you.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: And joining us now from The Weekly Standard, Stephen Hayes, and from the Trump Organization, executive vice president, special counsel to Donald Trump, Michael Cohen are with us. Guys, good to see you.

All right, let's start at the beginning. He was at the border earlier this week. The issue of illegal immigration is front and center now in this race, I would argue in large part because of Mr. Trump. Let's go to the original comments that created the first bit of controversy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us (sic). They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people. But I speak to border guards, and they tell us what we're getting.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Stephen, we know now in Texas alone -- and I learned this when I was down there with Governor Perry and I was on the border and I was briefed on border security -- 642,000 Texans have been victims of crime, including nearly 3,000 murders, thousands of sexual assaults by illegal immigrants against just Texans!

So my question is, isn't Trump right in that sense? He's right!

STEPHEN HAYES, WEEKLY STANDARD, FOX CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think if Donald Trump had said exactly what you just said, by marshaling facts and building an argument, he would be more right. I think he's right in the general sense to raise the issue of crime committed by illegal immigrants. I mean, we've seen some tragic events just in these past couple weeks.

I think he went too far when he generalized and suggested that they're rapists and that some of them might be good people. I don't think that's the case. I think it's not accurate. He's better off if he sticks to the facts like you did and makes an argument.

HANNITY: So maybe would you argue that it was inarticulate, perhaps -- if he would have said, I know a lot of people are coming here because they want jobs and a better life for them and their families. But we have a lot of drug dealers, a lot of rapists, a lot of criminals, a lot of murderers, a huge cost to our educational, criminal justice and -- and -- systems in this country.

If he would have said it that way -- health care system -- would that have made it better?

HAYES: Yes, surely it would have made it better. I mean, the way that he said it...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: ... the same thing. Isn't it?

MICHAEL COHEN, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: It's exactly the same thing, and Stephen knows it, as does everybody else. There's one word that's missing. Had he said the Mexican government instead of Mexico is sending -- when you refer to Mexico, you're not referring to the Mexican people.

And I want to say that to everybody that's out there and listening. He is not referring to the Mexican people. He's referring to Mexico, Sean and Steve. And what he's doing is he's saying They are unloading their unwanteds into the United States.

And as you've been talking about, Sean, for God knows how long, the number of people that are being hurt and killed and robbed and raped -- these numbers are astronomical! They're astronomical!

And you know what? Anybody that wants to go ahead and grab on one word -- Donald Trump did not have a prepared speech. He spoke from the heart. He speaks without a teleprompter. He just speaks from his heart. And it's one word, and that one word has caused a controversy that, as you know, between some of these spineless sponsors that run away simply because, Oh, I can't offend anybody, you know, this is our constituents -- instead of saying, That's not what Donald Trump said, and we're not going to allow you to distort Mr. Trump's words.

HANNITY: Steve, let me ask you the question about the campaign in general. I mean, he's resonating. He's getting the biggest crowds. He has the best poll numbers. You think this is detrimental to the process, the Republican Party? Where's your biggest criticism?

HAYES: Look, he's welcome to make whatever arguments he wants. I think, you know, to a large extent, what he's done thus far is not having taken this process very seriously. I mean, he gives speeches, he makes comments that are sometimes irresponsible. Sometimes, I think he's trying to make a joke. It doesn't work. Sometimes, I think he's just nasty.

If he wants to make an argument, by all means, he can be part of the process. I'd be interested in knowing from Michael, though, when he abandoned all of the liberal positions that he had taken over all of these years and became a conservative. A skeptic might suggest that he's a conservative of convenience because that's where he sees his opening now.

But as we've discussed before, he was a proponent of single-payer health care, which puts him to the left of Barack Obama. He was a proponent of raising taxes to confiscatory levels. He's praised Nancy Pelosi, praised Hillary Clinton, called himself a Democrat in 2004. When we were...

(CROSSTALK)

COHEN: Wow. Steve, I got to be honest with you...

(CROSSTALK)

HAYES: ... illegal immigration, he said in 2004...

COHEN: I got to be honest...

(CROSSTALK)

HAYES: ... he said that it was maniacal.

COHEN: You are one of the -- you are the part of the liberal media problem. Wow. Donald Trump changed his opinion from 35 years ago. Because you are exactly the same person 35 years ago that you are today. You're not allowed to change your positions. You know what? Barack Obama never made...

HAYES: Nobody said that.

(CROSSTALK)

HAYES: Michael, nobody said that. I said...

COHEN: ... exactly what you're saying...

(CROSSTALK)

HAYES: ... I would appreciate it if you'd tell us when and how...

COHEN: That's exactly what you're saying!

HAYES: ... he changed his position.

COHEN: That's exactly what you're saying!

HAYES: No, when and how did he change his position? Why did he change his positions on all of the -- it's not that he changed his position on one issue. Certainly, anybody's welcome to do that. He changed his...

COHEN: Except for Donald Trump...

(CROSSTALK)

COHEN: ... according to you and the liberal media! He's not allowed to change his position.

HAYES: Listen to what I'm saying...

(CROSSTALK)

COHEN: ... Pelosi, right, because he turned around and he identified himself...

HANNITY: All right, let me -- let me...

COHEN: ... in 2004 as a Democrat or he had Democratic values. Shame on you!

HANNITY: Let me -- let me ask you both a question that came up this week in two separate instances. One was on Dana Loesch's program, and the second was in an interview with The Hill, where Donald Trump was asked whether or not he might go third party. Here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) we remember the 1992 election. Ross Perot cost us that election.

TRUMP: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you go on record today saying that if you can't get the Republican nomination, you will not run as a third party candidate?

TRUMP: No. No. No. I won't go on record as saying that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: All right, he said that earlier, but the comment that he made to The Hill was if he's not treated well by the Republican National Committee. Are there any issues...

COHEN: Why should he even be asked this question? Donald Trump...

HANNITY: Every other candidate was asked the question in that -- in that...

COHEN: Donald Trump is the front-runner right now. He's not a politico. He doesn't purport to be a politico. He is, as I have said, an uber-billionaire...

HANNITY: I'll tell you why it's an important question, because if he ran third party, you might as well start saying President Clinton.

COHEN: Assuming, again, that Hillary Clinton...

HANNITY: Assuming she wins the nomination. Yes.

COHEN: That's right. All right, but you know what? At the -- why should they even ask him that question? Why not focus on the issue at hand, which is instead of killing each other, which is what they're doing to him -- look at Lindsey Graham. Jackass, right? And then you have...

HANNITY: That's a good point.

COHEN: ... silly Rick Perry calling, you know, and saying that he's a cancer. I mean, who's grandstanding here?

HANNITY: No, it -- let me -- let me go to the issues that we have. Steve, if you go back, it was John McCain that started the fight with Donald Trump and Lindsey Graham started the fight. And then this is how Donald Trump responded to Lindsey Graham, which I thought was kind of humorous myself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I watch this idiot Lindsey Graham on television today, and he calls me a jackass! He's a jackass. Didn't this guy call me, like, four years ago? Yes. He called me four years ago, three, four years ago,
Lindsey Graham. I didn't even know who he was.

He's,like, begging me to help him with "Fox and Friends." So I say,
OK, and I'll mention your name. He said, Could you mention my name? I said, Yes, I'll -- and he gave me his number.

And I found the card! I wrote the number down. I don't know if it's the right number. Let's try it, 202...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: You know, Steve, I'm trained in martial arts. I never will start a fight. But if somebody starts a fight with me, I'm going to finish the fight. These guys started with him.

HAYES: Sure.

HANNITY: I liked -- I liked how he handled Lindsey Graham. I thought that was funny.

HAYES: Well, it was certainly better than the way that he handled John McCain. I mean, look, I didn't think it was smart for John McCain to call the people who went to the Trump rally crazies. I can understand why people are as frustrated as they are with the federal government. I can understand why they're frustrated with some of the establishment in Washington, D.C.

I mean, I'm not going to litigate who does what. If you go to Donald Trump's Twitter feed, basically, it's a long stream of insults to people.

But I will say that I find it very interesting that Michael didn't answer your last question about a third party run. And I do think it's relevant if Donald Trump says he's not going to rule out a third party bid -- certainly well within his rights to do that. But I think Republican voters will be very interested to know that, given the prospect...

HANNITY: All right...

(CROSSTALK)

COHEN: First and foremost, Donald Trump doesn't owe you an answer to anything. And if Donald Trump ends up deciding that he's going to run as a third party, that's his decision to do. It's his constitutional right. And it's not your right within which to turn around and to ask him right now because he's the front-runner. But more important...

HAYES: You know what? I'm a reporter. I can ask him whatever question I want.

(CROSSTALK)

COHEN: It doesn't mean we have to answer it. But I'm going to say one thing to you, Sean. It's OK that they call these people crazies, but when Donald Trump turns -- remember who Donald Trump is. He's a New York real estate developer. This guy has been in the foxholes, all right, in real estate, which is the toughest real estate in the world, for years, and he's won.

HANNITY: I would say this...

COHEN: And the last guy you want to fight with is Donald Trump.

HAYES: Putting that aside, I would -- I support that he is treated fairly like every other candidate in this Republican race. And he said also this week that he's a conservative Republican. He deserves to be treated fairly...

COHEN: He's a Republican...

(CROSSTALK)

COHEN: ... him fairly, which they are not.

HANNITY: Well, I would be -- but if he didn't win and he decided to run third party, I would -- I'm just, like, he would be singlehandedly...

COHEN: Well, you know Donald Trump well enough that you would call him and you would explain to him your feelings.

HANNITY: I'd give him my position.

COHEN: You would definitely give him your position. But again, Donald Trump's nobody to play games with.

HANNITY: We're not there yet. I understand.

COHEN: He's no one to play games with. And all of these guys who have no -- who have no ratings whatsoever, they have no poll numbers...

HANNITY: Right.

COHEN: ... they're coming after him for grandstanding purposes.

HANNITY: All right, Michael, thank you. Stephen Hayes, always good to see you.

And coming up, Geraldo Rivera, Charles Gasparino -- they go head to head over Donald Trump's rhetoric and influence on the 2016 presidential race.

And then later, you hear from the man himself, highlights from my recent interview with Donald Trump. And Melissa Frances details Trump's wealth and how much is he really worth? $10 billion is a lot of money.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

HANNITY: Welcome back to this special edition of "Hannity," "The Trump Card." Now, Donald Trump has stirred up controversy with his comments about illegal immigrants and when we talked about Senator John McCain, his time as prisoner of war.

Now, I recently sat down with FOX News senior correspondent Geraldo Rivera and Charles Gasparino from the FOX Business Network to debate these and other issues. Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HANNITY: Joining us now from the FOX Business Network, Charles Gasparino, and the -- he only -- the only guy in TV that has one name, Geraldo.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: All right, so we have this situation with Trump. I like what Trump's saying. I agree with him on immigration. I agree with him about our vets. I love what he did to Lindsey Graham. I thought it was great.

GERALDO RIVERA, FOX CORRESPONDENT: You agree with him on McCain?

HANNITY: Can he sustain it?

RIVERA: You agree with him on McCain?

HANNITY: The only line that I didn't like, which I thought was wrong -- remember, you know, McCain started the fight. If you're going to start a fight, you're going to get hit back. Secondly, the only thing that I didn't like was the statement where he said, like guys who didn't get captured because there's an insinuation there.

RIVERA: But that's a big thing not to like. That's a big issue.

(CROSSTALK)

RIVERA: ... disrespectful of 500 living prisoners of war.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: You guys, you're both ganging up on me. Go ahead.

CHARLES GASPARINO, FOX BUSINESS: But factually incorrect.

HANNITY: About what?

GASPARINO: I mean, you know, he is a war hero. I mean...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: ... said it four times. Come on.

GASPARINO: Yes, he went back and...

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO: ... he went back and forth three times...

HANNITY: Trump is not going to bow down, Charlie, and say it!

GASPARINO: Trump was -- it was actually -- he was arguing in his head about whether he was a war hero. He's undeniably a war hero.

HANNITY: Agreed.

GASPARINO: And I think that's the problem...

HANNITY: Listen...

RIVERA: And should be revered.

HANNITY: He said that!

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO: And you know, I don't think there -- is there a rape epidemic at the border? I'm not saying...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: There's an epidemic, yes, of crime!

GASPARINO: There's crime. But is there a rape epidemic?

HANNITY: I would argue that when you listen...

GASPARINO: No...

HANNITY: Wait a minute! You listen to those parents that testified before Congress this week that lost their loved ones -- another sexual assault on a 14-year-old girl this week!

GASPARINO: I'm with you on the problem with the border. The problem with Donald is that he says things that aren't true sometimes.

HANNITY: Like what?

GASPARINO: Rapes -- he basically said that rapes are rampant on the border.

(CROSSTALK)

RIVERA: You cannot -- you cannot generalize about 11 million people as drug dealers and rapists...

HANNITY: He didn't say that!

RIVERA: ... when statistically, that's not the case.

HANNITY: He said some are good people.

RIVERA: You can't hang on every horrible anecdote...

(CROSSTALK)

RIVERA: You can't hang on every anecdote and make -- pretend that that's the general rule.

HANNITY: Geraldo, I have been to the border...

RIVERA: You can't campaign...

HANNITY: I have been to the border...

RIVERA: ... against a whole race of people!

HANNITY: ... a dozen times.

RIVERA: But I know, Sean, but that's not the issue.

HANNITY: It is the issue!

RIVERA: Trump hasn't been to the issue -- to the border a dozen times.

GASPARINO: Listen...

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO: Listen, you can't -- my view is you can't have open borders and a welfare state. I understand that. I get that. That's not what he said.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Remember when Rick Perry took on the issue of the border down in Texas. I went down there. This was the meeting that he was supposed to have with Obama. I sat through a briefing with officials. Since 2008, 645,000 crimes...

GASPARINO: And...

HANNITY: Wait a minute! Were committed against Texans by illegal immigrants! That is not a small, insignificant number!

GASPARINO: And what is Donald doing to Rick Perry right now, a guy -- you know, eviscerating...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: I agree!

GASPARINO: ... making fun of his glasses.

HANNITY: I think Rick Perry's a great...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Perry did a great job on the border. I disagree with Trump. But that's not the point here!

(CROSSTALK)

RIVERA: Sean, isn't the point that there is a way to make a point.
There is a way to take your issue...

HANNITY: Why does he have to do it your way? Why can't he...

(CROSSTALK)

RIVERA: ... learned a certain civility, certain manners. You can't be inaccurate. You can't paint with a broad brush and...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: I would advise him...

GASPARINO: ... Perry's stupid.

RIVERA: Listen, I love the guy, man!

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: He's a great guy. He did a great job.

GASPARINO: Donald Trump says he's stupid.

HANNITY: OK, I disagree with Donald Trump on that!

GASPARINO: Listen, I like Donald a lot. I love him as a businessman. The perseverance of this guy...

(CROSSTALK)

RIVERA: And he's got a great family.

GASPARINO: And he's a good -- and he's got good -- good family. I mean, this guy is a great businessman. But we have to judge him as journalists as you would judge anybody. And you got to give him...

HANNITY: I'm not a journalist, Charles. I'm a talk show host.

(LAUGHTER)

GASPARINO: Well, then be a fair talk show host!

(CROSSTALK)

RIVERA: He's also a loyal friend, and so am I.

GASPARINO: But give him -- give him...

RIVERA: And I tell my loyal friend you could accomplish the same result -- you could keep all of those anti-illegal immigration voters, you can keep all of the -- you know, the voters of the military, the -- keep them all, but you say things in a way...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: On his accuracy, what would you give him?

RIVERA: ... impolite.

HANNITY: A, B, C, D? I think -- I think he's been accurate -- I think he's been accurate on immigration. I agree with him. I think he's been accurate on the horrible treatment of veterans. I agree with him. I would say the one unforced error was the McCain issue. And I think it was a great contrast this week when he went after Lindsey Graham and gave out the phone number. That was funny, a better way to handle opposition!

GASPARINO: But he's absolutely inaccurate when he attacks -- when he
attacks the Texas governor, when he attacks Perry.

HANNITY: OK, I disagree with him about it. I told you that.

GASPARINO: He's not stupid. I mean, he's done -- did -- he brought the issue of immigration...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: ... all get together in a room and let them fight it out.

RIVERA: Let me ask you a different question...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Go ahead.

RIVERA: ... a different question.

(LAUGHTER)

RIVERA: You would prefer a Republican to win than a Democrat, I assume. You would prefer a Republican to win than Hillary Clinton.

HANNITY: I'll tell you what I'm looking for, and I -- this is not our first rodeo, Geraldo. And what I'm looking for is the most conservative candidate because conservatism works...

(CROSSTALK)

RIVERA: Isn't it fair to say that any one of the 16 is more conservative than Hillary Clinton?

HANNITY: Yes.

RIVERA: All right. So you want one of the 16 to prevail over senator or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Then don't you think that what Trump is doing is damaging, tarnishing the brand? Remember the Mitt Romney circular firing squad? And then when he emerged from it, he had, like, his arm was hanging off, his eyeball...

GASPARINO: Sean...

HANNITY: You want an answer...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: But here's my answer. I want...

GASPARINO: Why do you trust his conservatism? I mean, Trump wasn't a conservative six months ago!

HANNITY: Listen, I'm -- listen...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Every politician has changed their views 100 times.

GASPARINO: No, he's really flip-flopped on a lot of things.

HANNITY: But here's my answer to Geraldo's question because you asked a very pertinent question. I'm looking for the most conservative person because conservatism works, with an inspiring message -- he's inspiring -- that can ultimately win.

GASPARINO: Why do you trust him to be conservative?

HANNITY: Now, that said, the Quinnipiac poll -- he needs to pay attention to it because his net negatives are higher than any other candidate.

RIVERA: And mounting. And mounting, even as his popularity mounts.

HANNITY: He's got to deal with it!

GASPARINO: But Sean, why should conservatives Trump trust Donald as a conservative? Listen, I like the guy, but you know, giving money to Hillary and Bill -- I mean, he's been -- you go down...

HANNITY: You guys are making me a special pleader.

GASPARINO: I'm just telling you...

HANNITY: You're -- you keep saying, I like him, and then you trash
him!

GASPARINO: Well, no!

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO: ... journalistic thing. Hold him accountable for...

HANNITY: I am holding him accountable!

GASPARINO: He's not a conservative!

RIVERA: He's had some sever missteps in the last couple (INAUDIBLE)

GASPARINO: He's not a conservative.

HANNITY: Here's why I think he's good overall for the process, because Republicans in Washington, not Republican governors -- I think they've done a really good job. Republicans in Washington are weak and timid and they don't get the job done. They didn't defund "Obama care," which is their constitutional authority. They didn't stop executive amnesty. They promised they would. They didn't do it. They ended up funding it. And Donald Trump has tapped into this vein of distrust and frustration that...

GASPARINO: Here's -- here's...

HANNITY: ... I feel as a conservative!

GASPARINO: But here's the problem. When you don't -- and this is -- it's a real problem. When conservative and Republicans in Congress don't do those things, you open the door for demagoguery. And I'm not calling Donald a demagogue.

HANNITY: You are so!

GASPARINO: No, I'm not.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: You're playing games with words here.

GASPARINO: No. Stop it! No! Stop it!

HANNITY: Come on!

GASPARINO: I'm not saying he's a demagogue, but he is demagoguing certain issues right now, and that's a problem.

HANNITY: I disagree.

RIVERA: And one of them is immigration.

GASPARINO: Yes.

RIVERA: And...

HANNITY: There we go. You just had to light the fuse.

(LAUGHTER)

RIVERA: George W. Bush got 44 percent of the Hispanic vote! Mitt Romney got 27. What would Donald Trump get?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HANNITY: And coming up, you will hear directly from the man who's been making waves in the 2016 presidential race, highlights from my recent interview with Donald Trump.

And then later tonight...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I don't need anybody's money. I'm using my own money. I'm not using the lobbyists. I'm not using donors. I don't care. I'm really rich!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: All right, Donald Trump says he's really rich. But how much is Donald Trump really worth? And how will it impact his candidacy?

Plus, Trump is leading in the polls, but can he really win the Republican nomination when all is said and done? All of that and more as this special edition of "Hannity" continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: Welcome back to this special edition of "Hannity," "The Trump Card."

Now, Donald Trump has been on this program recently talking about a variety of the issues. Here are some of the highlights from his latest interview, where I started asking about the Iranian nuclear deal. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TRUMP: Well, the whole thing is a disgrace that a deal like this could be signed. We had so many advantages. They're going to become a very, very rich nation. You know, they're getting billions and billions of dollars. We have our inspecting teams. You know, unless you got anytime, anyplace -- I mean, that's what you want. You have to have anytime, anyplace, have to go in there and check. We have to give 28 and 24-day notices.

And you know, I just look at this deal, it's so ridiculous. And not to mention the fact, which to me is very important, all of the money that they're getting, Sean, but how about the four prisoners? Why aren't we getting our four prisoners out?

Kerry said he didn't want to complicate the negotiation by asking for four prisoners. These guys are babies. We have babies. And as you know, they're celebrating in the streets of Iran. They're going wild in the streets. They made a phenomenal deal. It's just incredible. This is amateur night. I've never seen anything like it.

HANNITY: What would a President Trump have done differently from the outset? And what would be the parameters of a Trump deal?

TRUMP: Well, as you know, I did read -- and oftentimes, everybody else is telling me, you know, it's the best book -- but I did write "The Art of the Deal." And they didn't write and they didn't read it. And I will tell you, it's -- it's to me amazing, Sean, because you look at the basics of what they've done and how they've done it.

I would have doubled and tripled up the sanctions very easily. I would have waited for them to call us. I would have said, We want the prisoners, by the way, before we even start. They would have given them up in about 10 minutes. And believe me, we would have had a deal that would have been much better.

But you know, what we're doing is just insane. And from what -- everything I read, at the end of the term, they're going to be able to very easily produce nuclear weapons, which is really the worst of all.

I'll tell you, this is a terrible deal for us. This is a potentially catastrophic deal for Israel. Israel has to be very nervous about what's going on with Iran right now.

HANNITY: Let me go back to the issue of immigration, which has, I would argue, catapulted you to the top. It's now -- every single candidate is discussing the issue at length and in detail as a result of your position.

This drug kingpin, El Chapo, has pretty much threatened you and told you to be quiet. What is your response back to him?

TRUMP: You know, what I'm bringing up is much more important than Donald Trump. My life -- you know, frankly, what I'm doing is so important for the country. I'm so -- first of all, I appreciate your question, the way you worded it, because the truth is, we wouldn't even be talking about illegal immigration if it weren't for me.

I talk about Mexico because I'm not talking about individual -- I'm talking about Mexico is forcing people in that they don't want, and they want us to take care of those people. They want us to put those people in prisons because they don't want -- if you remember, many years ago, Cuba, Fidel Castro emptied his jails and sent them to us.

Well, in a much more sophisticated way, that's what Mexico is doing also at the border so -- because they don't want the cost. The cost is tremendous.

Had I not brought immigration up and illegal immigration in particular, you wouldn't be talking about it right now. You wouldn't be asking me the question. And now all of the candidates are trying to jump on.

But here's the problem. They're weak and they don't understand what to do. And you have to build a wall and you have to have very, very strong people there, and you will be able to control it.

And I had an idea recently. When they send illegals into our country, we charge Mexico $100,000 for every illegal that crosses that border because it's trouble.

HANNITY: How -- in your consciousness, in your thought process, and when you were contemplating this run -- you see 93 million Americans out of the labor force, 50 million in poverty, 46 million on food stamps -- how important are those people to you because, you know, you're a billionaire...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: ... financial statement today. How important are those
Americans that are struggling and -- just to survive?

TRUMP: Very important to me. You look at the labor force, it's ridiculous. They look for a job. You know, the statistics are totally -- I don't know if they're done for some politician. I don't know when this started.

But you look for a job, you can't find one, you give up looking for a job, which people have given up. They're great people. They want to work. They want to make good money, and they can't find a job. They're essentially -- for statistical purposes, they're considered employed. So the number doesn't reflect -- you know, somebody actually last week said we have 40 percent unemployment. Our country is suffering. We're going down. We have people that are incompetent doing it. And if you have HillaryClinton or Jeb Bush, it's going to be more of the same. And we're
not going to have a country left anymore.

HANNITY: How bad do you think America in terms of its shape, you keep talking about making America great again. That means we're not great right now. How bad --

TRUMP: We're not great right now. We lost our number one seed to China. China now is the big economic engine. We lost our number one seed to China. And that was unthinkable. If you would have gone back six, seven, eight years ago, that was unthinkable. No, we're not.

We have infrastructure that's rotting. Sean, I travel all over the world. You go to places like anywhere, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, China, anyplace, you can name 30 places, you got to see the airports, you got to
see the magnificent roads. You have to see the bridges they have. We're falling apart. Our bridges are falling down. Our infrastructure is falling apart. Then you see hospitals where they spend $2 billion to build a hospital and they can't open it because it doesn't work. Believe me, I could turn this country around so fast. And people would love me for it. That's what they want. And that's why I'm leading in the polls, I think.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HANNITY: And coming up on this special edition of HANNITY.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I don't need anybody's money. I'm using my own money. I'm not using the lobbyists. I'm not using donors. I don't care. I'm really rich.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: All right, a special report on Donald Trump's wealth. How will it impact the 2016 race?

Then, can Trump turn his lead in the early polls into a Republican nomination for president? Can he win that race? Stay with us as the special edition of HANNITY continues.   

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: Welcome back to this special edition of "HANNITY, The Trump Card." He is a successful business mogul who says he doesn't need other people's money to run for president. But just how rich is Donald Trump? Melissa Francis from the FOX Business Network has much more. Melissa?

MELISSA FRANCIS, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: Sean, from the very beginning of his campaign for president, Donald Trump wanted America to know that he is extremely wealthy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I don't need anybody's money. It's nice. I don't need anybody's money. I'm using my own money. I'm not using the lobbyists. I'm not using donors. I don't care. I'm really rich.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FRANCIS: But the actual wealth of Donald Trump has been the subject of much speculation. According to "Forbes," the approximate net worth of Donald Trump is around $4 billion. But in June, Trump released a one page document estimating his wealth at $8.7 billion. However, according to his financial disclosure filed just days ago with the Federal Election Commission, Trump detailed a net worth of more than $10 billion, largely comprised of at least 59 different properties, including buildings and golf courses, many of which are listed as having a value of more than $50 million each.

In addition to his massive portfolio of properties, Trump has also engaged in multiple business ventures in and out of the world of real estate. While some of these endeavors have been highly profitable, four different Trump businesses have actually filed for bankruptcy.

Personally, however, Trump has never filed for bankruptcy, although according to a "Wall Street Journal" article, quote, "After a flirtation with personal bankruptcy in the early 90s, he shrewdly de-risked his portfolio by focusing on branding and licensing his name. This focus on branding included his now canceled contract with Macy's, his multiple season gig with NBC as host of "The Apprentice" of course, and importantly many buildings across America that actually bear Trump's name are not actually owned by Donald Trump but a product of his branding enterprise. Clever.

Whether or not Donald Trump is actually worth $10 billion, one thing is true, by every standard out there Donald Trump is a very wealthy man.

Sean, back to you.

HANNITY: All right, Melissa, thank you very much.

And some of Donald Trump's Republican rivals, they have been coming out strong against him. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C.: I don't care if he drops out. Stay in the race, just stop being a jackass. You don't have to run for president and be the world's biggest jackass.

GOV. SCOTT WALKER, R-WISC., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He needs to apologize and refrain from comments like that.

RICK PERRY, R-TEXAS, FORMER TEXAS GOVERNOR: More over the top, bombastic rhetoric from Donald Trump. I don't think he has the character or the temperament to hold the highest position in this country.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's not just absurd. It's offensive. It's ridiculous. And I do think it is a disqualifier as commander in chief.

JEB BUSH, R-FLA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Mr. Trump has every right to have every belief he has. If he's going to run, that's fine. But I don't want to be associated with the kind of vitriol that he's spewing out these days.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, R-N.J., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's inappropriate. The comments were inappropriate. Listen, Donald is a fried. I've known him for 13 years, and I like him personally. But his comments were inappropriate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Here with reaction from "The Washington Times," Charles Hurt, and Republican media strategist Rick Wilson. Charles, what do you think?

CHARLES HURT, "THE WASHINGTON TIMES": I think that the reaction that most people are having to Donald Trump, that is the voters, has been a
fantastic response. And I think that's why we're seeing him in the polls as -- doing as well as he's doing. And it's why he keeps getting all of the media attention, all of it earned by him, which is pretty smart for a novice politician.

The people who are having the biggest problem with him, as you pointed out, Sean, are the professional politicians and party leaders because they're seeing their party get sort of carted away by a guy. And they no longer have any control over any of this. And that scares the dickens out of them.

HANNITY: By the way, I love the only people that really ultimately have control are the people, and they'll decide. There's been plenty of time. Rick, you've been critical of Donald Trump. I'm listening to these guys criticize each other. That happens every election cycle. That's nothing new to me. That should be nothing new to you, right?

RICK WILSON, REPUBLICAN MEDIA STRATEGIST: No. Look, everyone in politics needs to know that it's a rough game and you play without pads. And Donald Trump so far, because he is a celebrity and because he has -- he's a past master of the media game has been able to basically make it a one way fight.

We're going to get into a position very soon where it's not just going to be Donald Trump lobs an insult at a candidate and the other candidate lobs back. All these candidates are now tuning up and preparing themselves to go after Donald Trump's record, to go after the things in his background, his details that everybody has to face. He doesn't get a free ride much longer because the campaign is going to get very real very soon.

HANNITY: That's the process.

WILSON: Yes. He needs to play in the process.

HANNITY: I agree. And that's all going to happen.

Let me go to Lindsey Graham and John McCain in particular. It was McCain that attacked Donald Trump and said his supporters were crazies. Lindsey Graham called him a jackass. And he fought back. And I've got to be honest. I look, Charles, I look at Graham and McCain as part of the problem. They didn't repeal or replace Obamacare. They didn't control the border. They do a lot of talking and they don't get a lot done.

HURT: And Rick is exactly right. We are going to get to the point where we're going to start talking about issues and it's going to be great.

But as what we have seen so far, anyway, is that Donald Trump is very good at debating. He's very good at fighting. And he's very good at speaking plainly in a way that a lot of voters, especially Republicans, but also independents, who are very frustrated with the system, frustrated with the professional politicians, he has a way of reaching those voters in a way that none of these professionals know how to do. And that's a tremendously positive thing for Republicans or for conservatives because we need a voice like that. And also, he's also talking about vitally importance issues like illegal immigration, the sanctuary cities, that we wouldn't be talking about without him.

HANNITY: Good point. Rick?

WILSON: Charles, the problem with that point is he's not debating now. He's yelling with a bullhorn. He's got the media following him around because he's sucking up all the oxygen in the room. He's not debating. He is just bellowing. Once he starts to have to actually outline procedures, policies, philosophies, and to actually answer for the fact that in his past, at least, he's suddenly a born again conservative. But he has been partial birth - pro-abortion, pro single payer healthcare, pro taxes, pro gun control. These are things he's going to have to answer for, and right now he has not.

HURT: I can't wait to hear his answers.

WILSON: I can't either.

HURT: It's a very good question. And he's going to have to answer
them.

HANNITY: As every candidate is.

WILSON: He sure is.

HANNITY: This is a long process. And we appreciate you both being with us.

Coming up, can Donald Trump at the end of the day, can he win the Republican nomination? And if he doesn't will he run third party? That's come up next, straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: Welcome back to the special edition of "HANNITY, The Trump Card." Now, Donald Trump has certainly injected a lot of energy into the 2016 race. So can he ultimately win that nomination? Here with reaction, FOX News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr., former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer. Interesting bit of news. So you go back to this time, 2007. Here is a quiz for both of you. Do you know who was winning the nomination with 33 percent -- 2007.

AIR FLEISCHER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: In the summer it
was Romney.

HANNITY: Wrong.

PETER JOHNSON JR., FOX NEWS LEGAL ANALYST: Don't know.

HANNITY: Rudy Giuliani.

FLEISCHER: You're right. You're right.

HANNITY: Guess who was number two, with 20 percent?

FLEISCHER: Tell me.

HANNITY: Fred Thompson. Interesting, right? It gives perspective.

FLEISCHER: It gives perspective.

HANNITY: I would argue that polls, they mean something, not everything right now. Can he win the race?

FLEISCHER: No. Here's why. I've gone back and looked at this. What you find going back to the days when Pat Buchanan beat George H. W. Bush in the New Hampshire primary, there's always been anti-establishment element inside the Republican Party. Usually it's 20, 25 percent of the party. Four years ago we saw that with Michelle Bachmann, with Herman Cain, with Governor Perry. There was a rotating crop of people who moved to the top, most of whom were antiestablishment. And then it settles out, because what happens is that the candidate fields starts to whittle and it starts to become a one-on-one or a one-on-two race, the antiestablishment candidate has a ceiling. Donald Trump has a ceiling. He has a vociferous following within that ceiling, but it's a relatively low ceiling.

HANNITY: As somebody that wants a revitalized Republican Party in Washington, words Reagan used in 74. He said it's not a third party we need, a revitalized second party. I want the infusion of energy. Are you then suggesting that that means it's inevitable, it's an establishment candidate that wins?

FLEISCHER: Well, that is what history shows. You'll have to go back and show me a time. Maybe Ronald Reagan.

HANNITY: Ronald Reagan was hated by the establishment.

FLEISCHER: That's what I'm saying. Ronald Regan might be the exception. But I think you can also make the case that as the governor of California he wasn't so much.

HANNITY: He nearly knocked out a sitting president in 76, Gerald Ford.

FLEISCHER: That is correct. But since 80 you can't find a time when that hasn't happened. And so that's the precedent.

HANNITY: What do you think, Peter?

JOHNSON: I think it's a new paradigm. I don't know if we can continue or not. He's either going to explode in success or flame out in abject failure. But he is doing something that we haven't seen in American politics in a long while, excites the electorate or a portion of the electorate, and also excite the media.
   
Now, the media in great part may want him to fail. But he focusing on all the things or a lot of the things that Americans are upset and concerned about in this country, including the political elites, including the inability to tell the truth on everything, all the time, as someone perceives it to be.
   
So he's channeling a lot of folks that are home, tonight, and saying, you know, if I was a billionaire, I'd love that opportunity he has, and to speak in an unfettered way, unafraid.
   
Now, we can disagree about whether he's telling the truth or he's not telling the truth, but I think it's a new paradigm that he's creating at this point.

HANNITY: My analysis of Donald Trump is that he's willing to fight. And I think Republicans in D.C., Peter, have been unwilling to fight on these issues, specific issues. Immigration, they haven't gotten the job done and built the wall. When you were in the Bush White House, we were promised 700 miles of fence. They haven't built it. They built 33 miles and quit. Same thing with vets. Our vets are treated horribly.

FLEISCHER: And that is why I think Trump has captured peoples' imagination, and in the process, by the way, he has hurt Ted Cruz the most because Ted wanted to be the voice of the antiestablishment candidate who would say the truth, and Trump has sucked up a lot of Ted's oxygen.

I think it's a wide-open field. We could have 16 candidates. Somebody is going to when Iowa with a plurality of about 20 percent. And then you go to New Hampshire and the field starts to whittle.

The problem for a Donald Trump and a Ted Cruz is once the field shrinks down and you're only dealing now with a few candidates, not 16, a slice of the party is not big enough. You have to be the coalition builder. Donald Trump doesn't have the ability to be a coalition builder.

HANNITY: So you're saying the math doesn't add up.

FLEISCHER: It's as simple as that.
   
HANNITY: But it did add up to Reagan.

JOHNSON: But the math hasn't worked out for anyone in this campaign. In terms of Mr. Bush, the perception was that everyone was going to fall out of the way. It didn't happen. Rand Paul was going to be the truth teller. Ted Cruz was going to be the truth teller. Chris Christie was going to be the truth teller. Unfettered, unimpeded. And so Trump has captured people's imagination, as you say, in a way that we haven't seen.

Now, some of it I absolutely thing is wrong and pernicious, and he's taken back a lot of it. And we don't need that in our politics. But there's a lot that we do. He's exposed the corruption of Republicans and Democrats. He's basically said, I was part of the problem. I bought and sold these people coming from the White House and down. And that's not
what we should have in this country.

HANNITY: He's also highlighted they failed. They failed to secure the border.

JOHNSON: Republicans and Democrats.
   
HANNITY: They have failed. Not one person has been held accountable to the V.A. scandal.

JOHNSON: Yes.

HANNITY: I mean institutionalized corruption.

JOHNSON: Let me make it clear. I know him. I represented him. I disagree with him on times. I've told him I disagree with him. But I think it's an exciting opportunity for a lot of Americans to have their voices heard when it's not being heard.

HANNITY: That's true. Good to see you both.

And coming up, more HANNITY right after this break.  
   
(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: And thank you for being with on this special edition of

HANNITY. But that is all the time we have left this evening. As always, thank you for being with us, and we hope you have a great night.

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