Donald Trump talks staying on top of polls, strategies for immigration, health care, economy

Presidential candidate fires back at critics on 'Hannity'


This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," August 11, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And welcome to "Hannity." The race for 2016 is in full swing, and despite taking criticism from almost every direction, Donald Trump has seen a remarkable rise in the polls, driving him to the top of the crowded GOP field.

Now, earlier, I had a chance to sit down with Donald Trump. Take a look.


HANNITY: Mr. Trump, great to see you again. How are you?


HANNITY: All right, let's start with the elephant in the room. The Fox issue is resolved? And how did that come about?

TRUMP: Well, I have a great relationship with Roger Ailes. And actually, I didn't understand what went wrong because I felt it wasn't really -- I was not treated fairly. And Roger called me the other day, and it's absolutely fine.

HANNITY: Let's go to the polls. Two new polls out today. One shows you up in Iowa. And other shows you up in New Hampshire by a pretty significant margin. You had a poll yesterday that showed you up in Iowa.  National polls, you went up in the NBC poll, all post-debate. What do you make of that? Why -- why...

TRUMP: Well, I think I won the debate. I mean, everybody tells me I won the debate. They did polls of the debate itself, and I was in the 60s and 70 percentages, and I think that I won the debate. I loved doing it, in a certain way.

I will say this for the last time. I don't think I was treated fairly, but these are minor details. And I really had a good time doing it. It was very interesting. I've never done a debate before like that.  My life has been a debate, but I've never done officially a debate.

And it was really great. I got to know the candidates, and I got to like some of them a lot. I think they're terrific people, and others probably not as much. But that's the way life goes.

HANNITY: You seem to be defying political gravity, if you will. A lot of people predicted after the immigration comment, Oh, that's the end of Donald Trump, or the McCain comment, or any of the controversies, and the opposite happens. The polls go up, they don't go down. How do you explain that?

TRUMP: Well, if you look at the immigration, it was illegal immigration, and that was my comment. And the media really covered me incorrectly. They talked about Mexican, they talked about -- I mean, they almost made things up.

But my real comment was illegal immigration, and that turned out to be a big factor. And then you had, sadly, the killing of Kate in San Francisco, which was horrendous, with somebody that came into the country not once but five times and...

HANNITY: Illegally.

TRUMP: Illegally. Totally illegally. And just last night and yesterday, you had a horrible killing where that same thing with the illegal, where a 66-year-old woman who was raped -- from the military, who was raped and beaten and tortured by this animal. And all of a sudden, you know, people are seeing these horrible crimes that are being committed by illegal...

HANNITY: Six hundred and forty-two thousand crimes...

TRUMP: Oh, it's terrible.

HANNITY: ... in Texas alone since 2008.

TRUMP: And that -- that whole issue, I don't think you'd even be discussing it right now if it wasn't for me. So people realized I was right.

And people that you would never think called me and apologized for what they said. So that worked out. I mean, unfortunately they haven't solved the problem, but in terms of myself, people said he called it right.

The McCain -- I equate that with the vets because John McCain and the establishment in Washington has treated the vets so badly. You know, two weeks ago on Wednesday, they had the longest wait in the history of the Veterans Administration. If you're waiting for a doctor, they waited for a longer period of time -- and I'm talking about days. You go to a doctor, you wait for 20 minutes, you're upset, right?


TRUMP: They're waiting days and days, sometimes six days, seven days.  In one case, they waited five days, and when he finally got to a doctor, he said, I'm sorry, I'm going on vacation now.

We can't let this happen to the vets. And I...

HANNITY: They deserve better.

HANNITY: ... equate John McCain with the vets because he's been, you know, one of the people in charge, and he's done a very poor job. And the last incident, we won't even discuss, but I think that I didn't say anything wrong.

HANNITY: Let me ask you -- you keep talking about leverage as it relates to the third party issue.


HANNITY: Let's assume you're treated fairly in the process, you didn't win the nomination. At that point, you would support the Republican candidate.

TRUMP: That's true. That's true. Now, I'd also like to see a candidate that I like and that I respect and that I agree with, OK? I'd never go to the other side.

HANNITY: Who are the people you respect?

TRUMP: Well, I don't want to go into that because I'm running against them, and frankly, the ones that I most respect, in certain cases, they have -- you know, they have a little bit of a chance. I don't think a great chance because their poll numbers aren't so great right now.

But I do respect numerous of the candidates, and actually, some I've gotten to know, and you know, I like them and I respect them.

TRUMP: Hillary said your comments about women were offensive. What's your reaction to that?

HANNITY: Well, I think I'll do more for women -- I cherish women -- I think I'll do more for women than Hillary can ever do. I think that I will take care -- you know, I thought Jeb Bush made a horrible mistake when he blew the whole situation on -- on women's health, you know, the women's health issue. A week ago, what he said was just unbelievable.  Essentially, he's saying, I'm not going to fund it.

And I think that will go down as Jeb Bush's 47 percent, the 47 percent to Romney, where it probably cost him the election when he said that. He didn't know he was saying it and it was a mistake and it was too bad. But that probably cost him the election.

I think Jeb's statement on women's health from a few days ago will go down as his 47 percent. I don't think you can recover from a statement -- then he goes back and he says he misspoke. Well, it was pretty late.

HANNITY: Let me ask you this. Hillary Clinton -- her husband had all these problems with women. She hasn't said a word. If it's you versus Hillary, is that fair game, that issue?

TRUMP: I guess it is. Look, he would have had a much different presidency if he didn't have Monica and all of these things that happened during his...

HANNITY: Well, there was more than Monica. There was Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones...


HANNITY: It was Juanita Broaddrick and...

TRUMP: So I guess it is. If anything, they probably won't be doing too much talking about it. But certainly, it's fair game. I guess anything's fair game, If what I said the other day is fair game, and I said nothing wrong. I didn't even conclude the sentence. And you know, they're just sort of -- I said you have to be a deviant to take what I said and put it into that.

HANNITY: So let me move to this, though. The Clinton Foundation, of which Hillary's a part -- they took money from countries like the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia -- women can't even drive. I can't find a comment where's she's been critical of Saudi Arabia. How -- she's going to say your comments are outrageous. What do you say back about her taking the money from a country that treats women horribly?

TRUMP: Well, look, I understand it. And you know what? If you can take the money from even countries that treat horribly -- in all fairness, I'm not defending anything. And she took money from me, too. I gave money also to the Clinton Foundation, and I did it because I'm a businessman and I want to have access. I need access.

Don't forget, Sean, until three months ago, I was a world class businessman. I built a great company, one of the -- some of the most iconic assets in the world, $10 billion of net worth, more than $10 billion of net worth, and frankly, I had a great time doing it.

And I wouldn't mind continuing, except I see the country going so badly. And the only reason I even mention that now is that's the kind of thinking, whether it's good or bad or whatever it is -- but that's the kind of thinking that the country needs.

We owe $19 trillion, going up rapidly. We have a country that's in collapse. We're going to have a problem like you've never seen. Once we get over that $21 trillion, $22 trillion mark, we're going to have a problem. And I'm really good at that stuff. And I know my competition, and they're not good at it. They don't -- they wouldn't have a clue.

HANNITY: But -- but do you think that the Clinton Foundation, when Hillary takes money from Saudi Arabia or these countries that treat women horribly, and then she's going to lecture you on comments you make about women? Is that hypocrisy?

TRUMP: I think it probably turned out to be maybe not the right thing. Now, if you took that money -- look, in all defense of her in this case -- if she took that money and used it really for the good -- but a lot of that money was used for private transportation.

HANNITY: Did they buy her silence? In other words, she hasn't been critical of them. She took the money for the foundation.

TRUMP: Well, you had not only that, how about the speeches, where you're getting...

HANNITY: You're getting...

TRUMP: ... millions and millions of dollars for speeches for companies, and some of these companies are not companies that really have the good of the United States at hand. So you can go outside of the foundation.

I mean, to me, I look at the speech money, certainly the foundation money. Now, the foundation money's interesting because a lot of that money was used on private jetfare. That's a lot of money. You know, I mean...

HANNITY: A lot of money per hour.

TRUMP: Yes. I mean, private jets cost a lot of money. But when you look at the speeches and you add that to the foundations -- and there's no question in my mind that certain of those things led to absolute approvals on other things because she was secretary of state. So that gets to be a very dangerous business.

And then now you add the e-mail scandal -- because to me the e-mail scandal is -- hey, General Petraeus, for doing a tiny fraction of what she did, his life is destroyed. He's been ruined.

HANNITY: They found four classified e-mails. She said there weren't any. And that's only out of 40, and there's 60,000 e-mails total. Do you think she committed a crime?

TRUMP: I think she committed a crime. The problem that she -- that let's say everybody has in terms of finding out, you have Democrats are all the prosecutors, and they don't want to prosecute her. Did she commit a crime? Yes. Will they prosecute it? Perhaps no.

HANNITY: You -- you were stunningly honest when you said, I give Hillary money. I know she'll take my call. Or Nancy Pelosi, I give her money, I'll (sic) take my call.

TRUMP: As a businessman.

HANNITY: So when the Saudis give her money and all these other countries gave money, were they buying access to her?

TRUMP: Absolutely. There's no question about it. They were buying access.

HANNITY: So our system's really corrupt.

TRUMP: It's a bad thing. And I say that all the time. I say, Hey, nobody knows the system better than I do because I was on the other side of the system at the highest level. And people would come up, senators, speakers -- I had people come up to my office, the biggest people in the world, and they'd say money -- now, let me -- let me put it differently.  And I've discussed this with you before.

I say absolutely. I'm a businessman. I'm a Republican, I'm a conservative, but I'm a businessman. Let's say I say, No, I'm not going to give you anything. Congratulations. You're doing a wonderful job. The answer is no. Now, two years later, I go up to see them in Washington and I need an approval for something. They're not going to give me the approval.

And let me tell you something. That's a corrupt system. That's a bad system. When that happens, that's a bad system. When Jeb Bush raises $114 million, which he has, when Hillary raises $60 million, which she has -- I know the people that gave them the money. These are not the nicest people in the world.

HANNITY: This system is at its root corrupt.

TRUMP: Well, Jeb Bush is totally controlled by the people that gave him that money. And the nice part about me, I don't want anybody's money.  I don't want any money.

HANNITY: You have $345 million in liquid assets. Are you prepared to spend that much money or more?

TRUMP: Sure. Well, you saw my income. My income's $400 million a year.

HANNITY: But are you prepared to spend it?

TRUMP: Sure, I would spend it, if I'm doing well.


TRUMP: If I was in a position, like, let's say Senator -- I mean, look, I don't want to use names because I don't want to embarrass anybody, but there are two guys...


TRUMP: You know what's interesting?

HANNITY: ... but that's a...

TRUMP: Lindsey Graham hit me harder than anybody. He's got zero.  Perry hit me harder than anybody. Those were the two. And Perry was at 4 or 5, and he went down to 2 and went down to nothing. And now I guess he's out of the campaign.

I don't want -- I think he's a nice guy, actually. I think he's just -- but what was interesting is the two people that hit me really hard -- I mean, Perry went to Washington to make a speech about me. It wasn't nice, OK? I mean, it wasn't a nice speech. And he went from 4 or 5 down to 2, and didn't even make the debate stage.

HANNITY: Didn't help him.

TRUMP: Lindsey Graham was at 2, and he went to nothing. So I'm really very honored by that.


HANNITY: And coming up, Donald Trump will explain how he will get Mexico to pay for the border wall if he is the next president of the United States. Plus, does he think Planned Parenthood should be defunded? His answer may surprise you. That's next.

Stay with us.


HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." So earlier today, I asked Donald Trump to get specific about some of his policy positions, and here's what he had to say.


HANNITY: Wall Street Journal says, Where's the platform? Where are the details? I want to give you an opportunity to go over some of the issues...

TRUMP: OK. Fine.

HANNITY: ... some of the things that you've discussed. Let's -- let's start with -- you talked about Mexico. How quickly could you build the wall? How do you make them pay for the wall, as you said?

TRUMP: So easy. Will a politician be able to do it? Absolutely not.  You know, it's funny, I watch some of the shows, including your show, and I watch these guys say, Oh, you can't get them to pay for it.

We give them tens of billions of dollars a year. They are ripping us left and right. Their leaders are so much smarter than our leaders, Sean.  They are ripping us left and right. The wall is peanuts. You know, it's interesting...

HANNITY: Is it a tariff?

TRUMP: ... in China -- listen to this. In China, the great China wall -- I mean, you want to talk about a wall, that's a serious wall, OK?  That wall, you don't climb over with a ladder. You don't even go under it, OK?

That wall is 13,000 miles. If you add up everything in the kitchen sink with what we're talking about on our border, it's less than 2,000 miles. And a lot of it, you don't have to do because you're covered with terrain and you're covered with areas that are already built.


TRUMP: So let's say you're talking about 1,000 miles versus 13,000.  And then they say you can't do it. It's peanuts. It's peanuts. And I will get Mexico, whether it's a tariff or whether they just give us the money.

Sean, they need us so badly. And I'll be friends with Mexico. I'm going to have a great relationship with Mexico. We have a bad relationship with Mexico, and they're an abuser. China's an abuser. By the way, every country's an abuser because we have very stupid people representing us.  They're incompetent.

HANNITY: So through a tariff? Whatever means necessary, you're going to say, If you want to do business with the U.S....

TRUMP: We're not paying for it. Of course.

HANNITY: You want to do business, you're going to help us with this.

TRUMP: Do you know how easy that is? They'll probably just give us the money.

But then I watch politicians get on -- because it's not their thing, Sean. I watch politicians come one, Can you imagine, Sean, he's saying Mexico's going to pay. They'll never pay.

And I'm saying, that's like 100 percent. That's not like 98 percent.  Sean, it's 100 percent they're going to pay. And if they don't pay, we'll charge them a little tariff. It'll be paid.

But we need the wall. We have to stop these killers from coming in.  When you look at all of the murders that are happening and all of the crime that's happening -- and I've been saying -- and I said it -- Mexico is sending -- they're very smart. Mexico is sending some rough people, some bad dudes. And you see some of those dudes...

HANNITY: Solves a lot of their social problems.

TRUMP: Not only the social problems...

HANNITY: By keeping the border open...

TRUMP: Do you know how...

HANNITY: ... ostensibly, they're saying go.

TRUMP: Do you know how expensive it is to house these people in a prison, where you have a killer, like the killer of Kate or the killer of the woman yesterday, who killed a 66-year-old woman and raped her and tortured her? Do you know how expensive it is to keep people like that?

HANNITY: They don't want to solve it. Let me ask you, again, go to specifics, details.

TRUMP: Go ahead.

HANNITY: ObamaCare -- what's your alternative?

TRUMP: OK, so you can do the savings account concept, which is a concept that a lot of people...

HANNITY: Health care savings accounts.

TRUMP: Health care savings accounts, which a lot of people are talking about and a lot of people like. Costs the country very little, costs the people very little, and they get the money when they don't need it.

I mean, it's an amazing system. And I actually think that if you're a Democrat, you can go with it. ObamaCare, by the way, is going to cost this country in '16. You know, '16's where it really kicks in -- $1.6 trillion dollars! We can't afford it! And here's the problem. It's no good. It's no good.

HANNITY: Premiums are up on average 40 percent this year.

TRUMP: Oh, it's up, and going up a lot more than that.


TRUMP: It's no good. How about the deductibles? The deductibles, unless you hit by a truck, you're never going to even be able to use it.


TRUMP: So "Obama care" is no good, doesn't work. One of the first things I'd do if I get elected, end "Obama care" and do something really good. Whether it's that -- one of the things we have to do is we have to get rid of these artificial state lines that were put in only for the insurance companies. They make a fortune.

HANNITY: In other words, portability, buying across state lines.

TRUMP: Portability, but really, when I want to bid in New York, I'd have a lot of people in New York. But I have a lot of states where I have people, right? I can't go to other states and bid. I can -- I get, like, one bid? I get one bid.

Now, the insurance companies do that because they'd rather have 100 percent of New York than be all over the country. Problem is, it's not free market. If you get rid of those artificial lines that wrap New York, New Jersey -- I want to bid my insurance from California. I want to have 100 bids come in. And I want to pick the best company, not even the lowest price, the best company, the best plan. Right now, I have, like...

HANNITY: Every American would have that choice.

TRUMP: Everybody would have that choice. But the insurance companies don't want that because they essentially have a monopoly.

HANNITY: Also, you get catastrophic insurance as part of that.

TRUMP: You get catastrophic. You get everything. You'd get a much better plan. You'd have a much cheaper insurance. And you know what?  Other than the one thing, you would want the country -- the only thing I'd want from the government, I want to make sure those companies are very solid and strong. So maybe they even get a little point or something, and they guarantee it because the one thing you don't want is a company goes bust, and you're sitting there and you paid all your life into this, you know, company. You don't want that to happen.

HANNITY: You'd protect people with preexisting conditions. You'd protect...

TRUMP: I would do that. I would do it. You -- you can get everything in "Obama care," but much more. Look, in "Obama care" for the most part, a lot of people -- they don't have their doctor. They don't have the plan they want.

HANNITY: And the price went up.

TRUMP: And they can't use it because the deductible is so high. Not that they want to use it, but they can't use it. Unless you get hit by a truck, you can't even use it. So it doesn't work.

So ObamaCare is a disaster. It's going to be ended. And it's going to cost the country so much. You talk about a deficit. What are we going to do when "Obama care" kicks in? Now, Obama will be playing golf, very intelligently, probably on one of my great courses, like Doral or something, and -- and he'll be playing golf, and we'll let him play. I'll say, It's great. You know, you have the president of the United States, I don't mind, let him play.

And he'll have a good time. But you know what? That's '16, he'll be playing golf, and somebody's going to be saddled with a huge problem.

HANNITY: Let me ask you, you talked about Planned Parenthood.  Another example, talk about a war on women. Look at the number of abortions they perform every year. Half a billion dollars taxpayer money goes to them. You said you would have shut down the government to defund them. You also talked about some of the good things that they do.

TRUMP: They do good things.

HANNITY: So the taxpayers...

TRUMP: (INAUDIBLE) having to do with the abortion.

HANNITY: Abortion. Should taxpayers give -- with the debt we have, $128 trillion in unfunded liabilities -- should we even give them a penny?

TRUMP: OK, so look, look. Let's say there's two Planned Parenthoods, in a way. You have it as an abortion clinic. Now, that's actually a fairly small part of what they do, but it's a brutal part, and I'm totally against it and I wouldn't do that. They also, however, service women.

And one of the things that I thought was so terrible when Jeb Bush the other day talked -- as we said, when he talked about women's health issues, he was so bad. I mean, it's, like, what is he doing?

We have to help women. A lot of women are helped. So we have to look at the positives also for Planned Parenthood. You know, even a guy like you -- you may be convinced it does some positive things. I would look at it very strongly. We have to help women. As far as the abortion stuff, absolutely...

HANNITY: But if they are doing abortions, then they can allocate their other resources to other things. The government -- why should the taxpayers pay for an organization that...


TRUMP: Maybe unless they stop with the abortions, we don't do the funding for the stuff that we want. There are many ways you can do that, Sean, because I'm totally against the abortion aspect of Planned Parenthood. But I've had many women -- I've had many Republican conservative women come up and say Planned Parenthood serves a good function, other than that one aspect.


HANNITY: And coming up, find out what Donald Trump says he has in common with Ronald Reagan. Plus, Trump gets specific about how he would turn around the economy and answers his conservative critics. That and more as "Hannity" continues.


HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." And here is more of my interview with the one and only Donald Trump from earlier today.


HANNITY: Let me go back to solutions and details.


HANNITY: Your critics say you haven't given any. You're giving them today.

TRUMP: Well, I'm giving a lot, I think.

HANNITY: Ninety-three million Americans now out of the labor force.

TRUMP: Right.

HANNITY: Fifty-seven million of those are women. Forty-six million Americans are on food stamps. Fifty million Americans are in poverty -- staggering numbers!

TRUMP: It's amazing.

HANNITY: When you -- when you think ...

TRUMP: And then you hear there's a 5.4 percent unemployment.


TRUMP: It's not 5.4.

HANNITY: ... that's a lie.

TRUMP: It's really -- if you add it up, it's probably 40 percent, if you really think about it.

HANNITY: It's high, and it's only Washington math that gives you that number.

TRUMP: Yes, it's phony math.

HANNITY: Here's my question. So when you think about your economic plan and you think of those statistics, what are the top three things that come to your mind, specifically, that you can do to help the 93 million, the 57 million Americans, the 50 million in poverty?

TRUMP: Sure. I love the question because this is my strength.


TRUMP: You know, a competitor of yours did a big poll. I won't say it was CNN, OK, because I...

HANNITY: You can say whatever you want.

TRUMP: But they did a big poll, OK? And the poll came out...

HANNITY: By the way, trying to put a -- to monitor what you're going to say -- it's a futile attempt. Go right ahead.

TRUMP: OK. I refuse to say it was CNN.


TRUMP: But they did this poll, and it was a very -- you know, very comprehensive poll. And they had me number one in leadership by far.

And the other thing I was really number one on was anything having to do with the economy, OK, jobs, et cetera, et cetera. I was so high up, I mean, the other people, there was, like, no number two, practically.

We have to bring our jobs back from China. From -- from -- as an example, we have to bring manufacturing back. You look at Japan with the boats that come in, pouring in with cars. You know what we send Japan? We send them beef. We send them wheat. We send them corn.

HANNITY: What about American cars?

TRUMP: OK? I want American cars. I want -- I don't mind -- if Japanese companies build here, that's fine. But you know what? I don't want to see boats pulling in to Los Angeles because I saw boats the other day that were the biggest boats I've ever seen, loaded up. You wouldn't even believe the thing could float, so many cars. And then you see these cars just boom, boom. They're not made here. How is that helping us?

I don't want cars made in Mexico. I love Mexico. I love the Mexican people. I have so many Mexicans working for me now, and by the way, buying apartments and doing everything else. I have a great relationship with Mexico. People are just starting to find out. And by the way, in Nevada, as you heard, they just did a poll, I was number one in the poll with Hispanics. I was number one with Hispanics.

Anyway, but that doesn't help us from the standpoint that their leaders are so much sharper, and I use the word cunning. They're more cunning than our leaders.

HANNITY: What is the tariff on an American car?

TRUMP: Well, we've -- they make cars in Mexico. They just send them across the border. How does it help us? I went to the Wharton School of Finance. Tell me, how does it help us? It doesn't help us at all.

HANNITY: Were you really number one in your class?

TRUMP: I was a good student. I was a very good student. People are shocked by that, but I was actually...

HANNITY: I'm not shocked.

Let me go back to other -- let me ask you one question before we get back to specifics. Some conservatives are suspect about your conservatism.  They say, All right, well, you once supported -- you gave money to Clinton.  You went to Clinton's wedding. Or he -- she came to your wedding. You once supported a single payer. You wanted a one-time tax on the wealthy.

To those that doubt your conservatism, explain the transition. How did you grow into a conservative?

TRUMP: OK. I mean, it's sort of easy to explain. Now, one of the things I always start with -- Ronald Reagan was a Democrat, and he was sort of liberal. And I knew him. I didn't know him then quite, but I knew him.  And I knew him well. He liked me, I liked him. He was, like, this great guy. And he was a Democrat with a liberal bent, and he became a great conservative, in my opinion.

HANNITY: Sure, one of the greatest presidents.

TRUMP: By the way some -- and a great president. And a great leader, a great -- he had something very special. But if you think of it, he was a little bit less conservative, actually, than people think.

HANNITY: When he was a governor, sure.

TRUMP: He had a great heart. And I have a great heart. That's why I'm talking about, you know, when we mentioned Planned Parenthood, there are some positives, et cetera, et cetera. We've got to take care of our women. We've got to take care of our people.

But if you look at some of the things I said at the time, that was many, many years ago, I wouldn't have minded taking a piece of my wealth and paying off the national debt.

OK, I'll be honest with you. Now we can't do it. It's so humongous.  It's -- at that time, we could have paid off the entire national debt and we could have started the game all even.

HANNITY: With a balanced budget amendment to support it.

TRUMP: Absolutely. And that's what I said. And I wouldn't have minded doing that, Sean.

But -- and I took some heat. People said, Oh, what a terrible thing.  That's not a very conservative thing to do. I think it's a very conservative thing. I want...

HANNITY: Would you still support it?

TRUMP:  I would take -- the problem is we owe so much now, I mean...

HANNITY: It's impossible.

TRUMP: It's more money than all the wealth...


HANNITY: Wouldn't it hurt the economy because they spend less on business?

TRUMP: You know, I think we've got to get rid of the -- we have a problem.

HANNITY: Yes, I want to get to that in a minute.

TRUMP: We have a problem, and the problem is the $19 trillion because I was saying $18 trillion, but now it's really $19 trillion.

HANNITY: It's going to be $20 trillion.

TRUMP: And very soon, the next time you interview me, it's going to be $21 trillion, $22 trillion, $24 trillion. It's out of control. And nobody's doing anything about it.

And honestly, with trade, with smart deals -- Carl Icahn is a friend of mine. He's a great businessman. I spoke to Carl. Carl would love -- I mean, you could call him. You should have him on your show sometime, a very, very smart guy, a brilliant guy.

He wants to help. He said, Donald, if you're involved, I want to help you. I said, Carl, you take China and Japan. " Guess what? If I put him in charge --

HANNITY: Did he say yes?

TRUMP: He said yes. He'll do whatever I want. He's a patriot. He loves the country. And he's -- you know what, he's made a lot of money, he's done a great job. He would love to do this. Me, too. I love what I'm doing outside of this. And actually, I'm enjoying this more than I thought, to be honest. It helps with all these polls coming in.

HANNITY: You'd like it --

TRUMP: I don't know if I'd like it if I was down to two percent. But -- but Carl Icahn is a great businessman. He would love to be able to help.


HANNITY: And coming up, tune in tomorrow night for part two of my interview with Donald Trump. We'll talk about foreign policy and much more. But first we'll get reaction to what you heard from the 2016 Republican presidential candidate. We'll check in with Stephen Hayes, Andrea Tantaros, and David Limbaugh, all coming up next straight ahead.  


HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." Now with reaction to our Donald Trump interview, form "The Weekly Standard" Stephen Hayes, author, attorney Dave Limbaugh, "Outnumbered" co-host, our friend Andrea Tantaros. Guys, good to see you-all.  Before we get to the specifics of the interview, let's throw out the poll numbers. These are all post-debate. We got in Iowa Trump five-point lead over Walker, 17 percent. Latest -- by the way, that's the second Iowa poll where he's leading. The latest New Hampshire poll, he's up in that race, another five-point lead, in this case over Bush. You have a 17-point margin in the Rasmussen poll, 23 percent in the NBC poll. I mean, every single poll, David Limbaugh, post-debate, he seems to defy conventional political wisdom and gravity. When everyone predicts he'll decline, he goes up.

DAVID LIMBAUGH: Yes, I think part of the reason for this, Sean, is that his supporters are not necessarily just supporters. They are people who disgusted with the status quo and disgusted that the ruling class is not evidencing that they are listening. And so I think he's got this strong pocket of support that's going to continue, and it will be more solid, made more solid the more he dismissed by the establishment.

So I don't know that his supporters are really for him as much ideologically as they appreciate that he's finally sounding a clarion call that we've been sorely missing in this country.

HANNITY: Steve, you have been a Trump critic. You've got to admit he defies this conventional political gravity. McCain, everybody predicted he would go down. The post-debate, people predicted he would go down. The immigration comments, people predicted he would go down. It doesn't happen. Why?

STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": I think David is partially right. I'm interested in the polls that we get from major news outlets who have done these polls within the days after the debate. It would be interesting to see if he stays as high as he's staying.

HANNITY: You've got NBC.        

HAYES: The NBC poll was an online. I don't trust it as much as I trust the other polls. But, look, he's doing well in the polls. Nobody disputes that. I think David touched on some of the reasons why, although I would disagree with David about the establishment versus Donald Trump.  You have many people who are not at all part of the establishment who have been skeptical of Donald Trump, including Thomas Sowell and Mike Needham at the Heritage Foundation, the Koch brothers. You have lots of people who have been Ted Cruz supporters or encouraged taking on the establishment in Washington who are also critical of Donald Trump.

HANNITY: Andrea, let me go to this. I wanted to go -- you want to respond, David? Go ahead.

LIMBAUGH: Yes, I don't think Steve and I disagree. I'm only talking about that set of people that are his supporters. A lot of conservatives don't support him because they doubt his conservatism. I am one of those.  I have defended his statements attacking the establishment and the status quo, but that doesn't mean I'm a supporter of Trump. So I don't think we disagree.

HANNITY: Andrea, I wanted to go deeper into the issues. "The Wall Street Journal" said where is the platform, where are the details? So he said how he would make Mexico pay for the wall. He said that part of the deal is 100 percent, talked about the tariff. He actually gave an alternative to Obamacare, healthcare savings accounts. I had not heard that before. He talked about a flat tax and the benefit of a flat versus tax. He talked specifically about boots on the ground and ISIS and a perimeter and taking the oil. You're getting more specifics. People are asking, he's giving.

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST "OUTNUMBERED": This is the most specific I think that we've seen was that interview. And look, I don't blame him. He could not get specific at the last debate. He only had about 90 seconds to respond.

The question, though, is can he stick to policy, and not just specifics, but can he stay on message and talk about the issues and be able to handle the tough questions? What jumped out about your interview in my estimation is you starting asking about personal issues with the Clintons.  And what did Donald Trump say? It's fair game. Everything is fair game.  OK. Then if everything is fair game he needs to have an answer and be prepared for everything to come and not just, Sean, questions about the border or Obamacare. He needs to be ready for everything and he needs to be able to not take the bait and get mired in personal attacks.

HANNITY: I think that's probably good advice for anybody. I mean, you can't start a Twitter war with every person that maybe you don't like here.

What did you think? Hillary said she's offensive, Stephen Hayes, and then she's got her own issues. Is anybody in the media going to ask her about her husband and the allegations, Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers, Monica, Juanita. I mean, the Clinton Foundation taking money from the Saudis, Kuwaitis, et cetera?

HAYES: Yes, or importantly about the e-mails. She took several questions about Donald Trump yesterday and nobody thought to ask her about the e-mails. Nobody pressed her on Planned Parenthood.

I guess I have a little different view about how specific Donald Trump got in his interview with you, or at least the section that we heard.  I mean, you asked him at one point to give you three specific steps that he would do to take to improve the economy. He said he was glad to get the question because that's his best subject, and then he said that he's going to bring jobs back from China and Japan, that he was troubled by the big boats in the ports of Los Angeles, that he loves the Mexicans. He wanted to remind you that in Nevada in a poll he's number one with Hispanics. He reiterated that he loves Mexico, and then he said that he went to war --

HANNITY: He might have --

HANNITY: There is no --

HANNITY: In fairness, he did for the first time mention health care savings accounts as an alternative to Obamacare. He did give specifics on ISIS. He did talk about a flat tax, fair tax, and not taking money out of Social Security, and specifically talked about getting people back to work when I mentioned the 93 million out of the labor force.

HANNITY: We didn't hear the ISIS section of the interview, so he may have gotten specific in the parts that we haven't yet heard. But I thought there was two things he got specific. One was health savings account, and the other was the tariff, which he sort of mentioned in passing and then said twice they're going to pay. I'm going to get them to pay. They will probably just give us the money.


HAYES: But I was struck by you pressing him on specifics and for specifics, and rather than actually proposed solutions or offer policies, he basically restated the issues and announced his goals or his pledges.

HANNITY: What did you think, David?

LIMBAUGH: I agree with that, but I think part of the reason for that is that Trump gets enamored with his own tangents and his own diversions, and so he forgot the question.

But I'm concerned that he's obsessed with tariffs. I happen to be a free trader, and he seems to think that's a panacea. I also think that there is a little bit of an overplay of his business credentials, because being a conservative and balancing a budget and having pro-growth policies and increasing employment are different things than just being a businessman. And I'm not convinced that he's grounded in the conservative ideology and conservative solutions, and I'm not convinced based on this interview, although he gave a few more specifics.

TANTAROS: And very quickly, he spends a lot of time talking about the pledge, whether or not he'll run as an independent candidate. I know people keep asking him about this, but he has to get off the pledge stuff.  This is deeply distrustworthy to the --

HANNITY: He gave a different answer on that today. I said if you are treated fairly and you don't win, you would support the candidate. So it seems that the business side --

TANTAROS: Sean, I don't think anybody really believes him.


TANTAROS: The more he's not talking --

HANNITY: Wait a minute, he said if treated fairly he would not run as third party.

TANTAROS: OK, what does he define as fair?

HANNITY: I think it will be pretty transparent. Look. I think, doesn't it remind you of the business side of him? And wouldn't that be good for a president to hold out leverage against Iran or China or Vladimir Putin and not lay all their cards on the table? It's kind of different in terms of the approach.

TANTAROS: I think it's very different. I was going to say --

HAYES: He's running for the Republican nomination.

TANTAROS: Yes, exactly.

HANNITY: Then, not Russia, but you know what, probably as an outsider he anticipates there's going to be a lot of people not being fair to him, and that's where the leverage would come in there.

TANTAROS: I think this is why people are distrustworthy, because they thing he will run as a third party candidate and that would assure a Hillary --

HANNITY: A Hillary victory, I would agree with that.

All right, we'll take a break. When we come back, I'll get your reaction to his answer about some conservatives that maybe don't trust him, like Stephen Hayes. Donald Trump still leading in the polls, and all Republicans, by the way, in the early poll. Hillary Clinton, by the way, is holding off her Democratic rivals barely in spite of the numerous scandals she has. Coming up next, what would a Trump-Clinton 2016 matchup look like, as we continue?             


JACKIE IBANEZ, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Live from America's news headquarters I'm Jackie Ibanez.         Hillary Clinton agreeing to hand over her computer server to the Justice Department. We're also learning that two of the e-mails on the account are considered top secret and included sensitive information from the intelligence community. Mrs. Clinton has been criticized for using a non-secure server to conduct business during her tenure as secretary of state. Earlier she maintained none of the e-mails were classified when they were transmitted.

Police are back on the streets in Ferguson, Missouri. More protesters continue to mark the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown's death. So far there has been a couple of scuffles. Some demonstrators can be heard questioning the police presence, saying, quote, "There is no riot here."  So far there are no reports of violence or news of any interest.

I'm Jackie Ibanez. Now back to "Hannity." For all your headlines, logon to FoxNews.com.

HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity" as we continue with Steve Hayes, David Limbaugh, Andrea Tantaros. David, let me ask you about the question that I asked that some conservatives, you brought this up a little bit in the last segment, they see that you donated to Democrats and to the Clintons and one time supported a single payer, and, you know, one-time tax on the wealthy, et cetera, and doubt his conservatism. He gave his answer, mentioned Ronald Reagan, mentioned Reagan's conversion. What did you think of his answer?

LIMBAUGH: I wasn't really impressed because I'm not convinced of his conservatism, his reliable conservatism. And I'll tell you something else that has me concerned. If you'll notice, Donald Trump, who I respect a lot, is very tough in standing up to his critics when they're strong critics. But when his friends go after him, such as on Planned Parenthood, it seems he backed off very quickly and I think he's taken a very bad position, substantive position, on being willing now to fund part of Planned Parenthood. The whole organization is corrupted, and that's going to ultimately erode some of his base I'm afraid. He needs to stand up to friendly advisors as well as critical.

HANNITY: It's was pretty clear in my interview if abortion is detached from it and abortion is not part of their services.

TANTAROS: I still think --

LIMBAUGH: Yes, I know. And that's fine. I think that is a position he can --

HANNITY: I'm just making clear. Go ahead, Andrea.

TANTAROS: I still think that was a mistake because in light of these videos it appears Planned Parenthood is a big business, a business involved in the illegal selling of fetal tissue and baby parts. And so for Donald Trump to get behind Planned Parenthood and say that we should be funding the good aspects, he can explain it all he wants. That's not going to resonate --

HANNITY: He also said he's shut down the government to not fund them.  So go ahead, David.

HAYES: That, I think is a problem. I think, David and I would take this point. If you look at what Donald Trump was saying just a few days ago, he wanted to shut down the government and cut Planned Parenthood across the board. Now he's saying no, no, abortion, I want to fund the good parts of Planned Parenthood. I think that was his exact phrase. And he used the Planned Parenthood talking points, saying that abortions, several hundred thousand a year, are a very small portion of what they actually do. So he's actually regurgitating Planned Parenthood and Democratic talking points to make his argument, so much so that there was an article in "The Daily Beast" that was headlined "Donald Trump is Planned Parenthood's favorite Republican," and included a statement of Planned Parenthood in effect praising Donald Trump for his reasonable position relative to the rest of the Republicans in the race.

TANTAROS: I agree with Stephen. And not only that but he supported a single payer. That did not go over well with the party at all.

HANNITY: He said he changed on that part. He explained his conversion to conservatism.        

TANTAROS: That's the point. He keeps changing his position.  Single payer, he came out, I think very emphatically in the debate for single payer. But we see him evolving on his positions not just from year to year, literally from day-to-day and form week to week. He's clarifying these things, but he's actually making it more confusing.

HANNITY: David, real quick, last question. With the rise of Ben Carson and Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, who is certainly a surging candidate, and even Carly Fiorina, is that a message to the Republican Party that they're unhappy with the establishment?

LIMBAUGH: Oh, completely. I mean, that is the whole Trump phenomenon is a result of that, or is evidence of that. That is what I wrote about in my column today and several columns ago. I think they better start listening. But they're such a policy difference between the establishment people and the base, the grassroots that they're not going to go down willingly on this in my view.

HANNITY: Guys, thank you for your analysis. Good to see you all.  Appreciate you being here.

And coming up, speaking of Donald Trump, we need your thoughts, your help. Our "Question of the Day" is next.        


HANNITY: Living on a prayer. All right, welcome back to "Hannity."  Time for tonight's "Question of the Day." So what did you think of tonight's interview with Donald Trump? Just go to Facebook.com/SeanHannity, @SeanHannity, let us know what you think.

Quick programming note. We hope you'll tune in tomorrow night, 10:00 eastern, part two of my exclusive interview with Donald Trump as we talk about foreign policy and much, much more, his plans on defeating ISIS if elected. For example, this.


   TRUMP: When you take the oil and when you stop the banking sources, you've got to do that, too. The problem is we have people in the administration that aren't smart enough to understand what is going on.  You have to stop the banking flow. But when you do that and when you take the oil that, that's the beginning of the end of ISIS. They don't have the money.


HANNITY: Remember, part two of my interview with Donald Trump tomorrow night, 10:00 eastern. But that is all the time we have left this evening. We hope you'll set your DVR so you never miss an episode, because when you're not here, we miss you.         

Thanks for being with us. We'll see you back here tomorrow night.  

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