Reince Priebus on Donald Trump signing the loyalty pledge

Presidential candidate rules out third-party run on 'Hannity'


This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," September 3, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

TUCKER CARLSON, GUEST HOST: Welcome to "Hannity." Donald Trump officially ruled out a third party run for president today.

I'm Tucker Carlson, in tonight for Sean.

Earlier today, the billionaire businessman signed the RNC loyalty pledge, meaning that if he doesn't win the Republican nomination, he claims he will not run an independent.

We've got some highlights from Mr. Trump's presidents conference today. Take a look.


DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The chairman just left, as you probably know. And he's been extremely fair. The RNC has been absolutely terrific over the last two-month period. And as you know, that's what I've wanted. I've wanted fairness. I don't have to be treated any differently than anybody else. I just wanted fairness from the Republican Party.

We're leading in every single poll. A new poll came out today, where we're over 30 percent. We've actually hit numbers as high as 35 and 40 percent. And frankly, I felt that the absolute best way to win and to beat the Democrats -- and very easily, I think, beat the Democrats, no matter who it may be, whether it's Hillary or anybody else -- and I think maybe Hillary's going to have a very hard time, frankly, with what's happening getting to the starting gate.

The best way for the Republicans to win is if I win the nomination and go directly against whoever they happen to put up. And for that reason, I have signed the pledge.


TRUMP: So I will be totally pledging my allegiance to the Republican Party and the conservative principles for which it stands, and we will go out and we will fight hard and we will win. We will win. And most importantly, we will make our country great again because that's what it's all about.


TRUMP: We have to make our country great again.

Well, I think the big thing, Dana, that's changed is -- and it's been obvious to all. Number one, after I announced, we went up like a rocket ship. Nobody thought I was going to run, and they said, Oh, he won't run and he won't put in his papers and he won't do all of this. I did that.

The papers, in terms of the company, turned out to be spectacular.  It's a great company. I built a great company. And all of the other papers have turned out to be very well received.

And I think the thing that changed is the fact that I went to number one place very quickly after I signed, and after I, in this building, notified everybody that I'd be running for president.

So I think the biggest thing is that I went early to number one, and the RNC has treated me with great respect.

One of the things I want to do, and I feel very strongly, it's a country based on borders and our country is based on laws. And when people come into the country illegally, we should not allow that.

And this is not from South America. This is not from Mexico. This is from all over the world. When people come illegally, we cannot allow that.

And I want people to come legally. I want very much to take care of our border because our southern border is a total mess. That's been proven. And interestingly, a couple of months ago, when I announced, I made some very strong statements about the crime and the problems that were happening. And I've been proven right.

And many of the people in this audience actually have apologized to me, which I very much appreciate. Of course, they haven't done it publicly, but these are minor details. One day, they will.

The fact is that we are a nation that wants and needs borders. We're a nation that wants and needs and is based on laws. And we will make sure that that takes place.

With that being said, I want people to come into our country legally.  I want to have a big, fat, beautiful open door. I want people of great talent to come in for Silicon Valley. I want engineers. I want physicists. I want people with great talent to come into the United States.

When people graduate from college, you can be number one in your class at Harvard or number one at Yale or the Wharton School of Finance or Princeton or Stanford, and immediately, if you're not a citizen of the United States, you get thrown out of the country.

We want those people to stay. We want people of great talent to be in the United States, to work here, and ultimately to become a citizen.

We have a lot of problems. We have to take care of our vets. We have to build up our military. Just the other day, General Odierno said that the Army is in the worst shape in its history in terms of preparedness.

Now, for them to be in bad shape, with the way we are and with the world hating us -- and you look at Hillary Clinton, and I've said she's the worst secretary of state in the history of this country.

Now, in all fairness, because of the agreement that's about to be finalized with Iran, John Kerry may very well take her place. I think that agreement is a disaster for this country, for Israel, for the Middle East.  It's going to lead to nuclear proliferation. The 24-day clause, everything about -- we don't even get our prisoners back!

You say, Who negotiates a thing like that? That won't happen, I can guarantee you, with a President Trump.

Jeb Bush is a very nice man. I'll be honest, I think he's a very nice person. I think he's a very low-energy person, and I don't think that's what the country needs.

I hear that he's going to spend a lot of money on negative ads on me.  And honestly, look, he's getting the money from special interests. He's getting the money from lobbyists and his donors. And they're making him do it because he's crashing in the polls.

So I don't know what's going to happen. If he spends $20 million or $25 million on negative ads, I don't know. I know that my life will continue. I just don't know. I mean, nobody's ever spent money on ads against me.

But he probably has to do that, although it would not be the way I'd have done -- you know, one of the things that I'm most honored about is that so far, everybody that's attacked me has gone down the tubes.

You have Lindsey Graham attacked me. He was at 3 percent. Now he's at zero. You have Perry attacked, now he's getting out of the race. He was at 4 or 5 percent, now he's getting out of the race. He was at zero.

Everybody -- Rand Paul attacked me. I see the last poll, the Monmouth poll just came out today, where I'm leading by double figures, and Rand Paul is down to less than 2 percent. And he attacked me. Now, Jeb Bush also just went down in the Monmouth poll very big.

So I don't know. I mean, they're going to spend -- he's going to spend lobbyists' money and special interests' money. Remember this. They have total control over Jeb and Hillary and everybody else that takes that money. Nobody knows the system better than me. They have total control.

You understand it very well because you've been covering it for a long time. Those people that are putting up those millions of dollars have total control over your candidate.

I will tell you this. Nobody's putting up millions of dollars for me.  I'm putting up my own money.

Kanye West? You know what? I'll never say bad about him. You know why? Because he loves Trump. He loves Trump. He goes around saying, Trump is my all-time hero. He says it to everybody. So Kanye West -- I love him.

Now, maybe in a few years, I'll have to run against him. I don't know. So I'll take that back. But you know what? He's been so nice to me. I sort of -- you people have sort of seen because I've been a counterpuncher. I only hit people when they hit me, only. And Kanye West has been so great. I would never say bad about him because he says such nice things about me.

My supporters are really supporting me because I'm very competent, because they know that I'm not going to let China rip us off. I'm not going to let Japan rip us off. Japan is devaluing their yen, very hard for Caterpillar and other companies to compete against Kamatsu (ph), their big tractor maker, and others. We're not going to let this happen anymore.

They do -- you talk about a trade imbalance. They have, in Japan, the biggest ships you've ever seen pouring cars into Los Angeles, pouring them in. I've never seen anything like it. We send them beef, and they don't even want it.

It's going to end, and they're going to like us! In this building, I have the largest bank in the world, right up in these elevators. It's a bank from China, by far the biggest bank in the world. I get along great with China. I get along great with Japan.

I get along great with Mexico. I love the people. I love the people of Mexico. I love the Hispanics. I have thousands of Hispanics right now working for me. Over the years, I have employed tens of thousands of Hispanics, many from Mexico. I have unbelievably great relationships. And in the package that we gave you, you'll see there's a poll, and I'm number one with Hispanics. You saw that, number one with Hispanics.

So look, for our country to be great, we have to be able to make great deals. We're going to be great to the vets. We're going to be terrific.  Our military's going to be unbelievable. All of these things -- we're going to get rid of "Obama care" and come up with something that's much better and much less expensive. We're going to get rid of it. We're going to repeal it. It's going to be out. It should have been out a long time, but should never have happened.

But we are going to take care of our country and we're going to bring back jobs and we're going to bring back wealth to the United States so we can afford to save Social Security, which I'll save without cuts, so that we can afford to do the kind of things that we have to do to make America great again.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much.


TRUMP: And here is your -- here is your pledge.



CARLSON: Donald Trump, ladies and gentlemen.

Here now with his reaction is Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus. Reince, great to see you tonight.


CARLSON: So I remember when Trump first announced, I was hearing from people at the RNC and other leading Republicans in Washington, This guy's a buffoon. He's a disaster. He's going to destroy the Republican Party.  What can we do about this?

He opened tonight by saying, I've been treated respectfully by the RNC. How did that detente come about?

PRIEBUS: Well, look, I mean, it's our job to treat all of these candidates respectfully and fairly, and if I wasn't doing that, then I wouldn't be worthy of being chairman of the Republican Party. So my job is to make sure that we've got a party that's ready for whoever the nominee is.

But at the same time, I've got to make sure that all of our candidates pledge their loyalty to the party and also pledge that they wouldn't seek a third party bid because what would we be preparing the party for?

So I'm happy that today happened. We've got complete unity with the 17 candidates now saying that, We pledge our loyalty to the party. And I think our activists and our donors and everyone in between need to know that. And that's why today was a good day for our party.

CARLSON: Well, it was definitely a good day for Donald Trump because he got the other candidates to agree to support him. He cannot be kept off the ballot...

PRIEBUS: It works...


PRIEBUS: It works -- it works every direction. I mean, obviously, you're right. It works every direction.

CARLSON: So do you believe it? I mean, we'll just do a quick thought experiment. Let's say three months from now, you know, middle of the primaries, Donald Trump starts to lose. And then he loses.

Do you really think he'll be able to decelerate? I mean, do you really believe that he wouldn't run third party?

PRIEBUS: Really, I mean, it really doesn't matter. I mean, what matters is today. And you know, sure. I mean, people -- you can -- you can rip up whatever agreement you want and say, I've changed my mind.

But I think that when someone puts their name on a piece of payment and says to the American people that, I give you my word, and when the other candidates raise their hand and say, I'm not going to run as an independent, I think that means something. I think it means something when you run for president.


PRIEBUS: And when Donald Trump was asked today, Is there anything that would change your mind, he said, There's nothing that would change my mind. This is what I'm doing.

So you're right, it's possible. But I'd rather be where I am today than in a place where you have candidates that wouldn't pledge. So I've got to do what I have to do to put the party in the best position to win next year.

CARLSON: Right. It's a good point. Very quickly, is there any message or anything to be learned by Republicans in Washington from the Trump candidacy?

PRIEBUS: Well, I think that there's a lot to be learned from a lot of these candidates that are out there talking about what we need to do to change and to lead in this country. Obviously, a lot of people are frustrated with Washington, frustrated with a system that doesn't seem to be looking out for the little guy. And I think you're seeing that across the country.

So yes, there's a lot to learn. I mean, you've got, obviously, a whole lot of frustration out there, and I think people are seeing it. I mean, you're seeing it, actually, on both sides of the aisle. And so I think both parties are learning a lot through this process.

CARLSON: Yes, I think that's true. I hope so. Reince Priebus, thanks a lot for coming on tonight.


CARLSON: We appreciate it. Congratulations (INAUDIBLE)

PRIEBUS: Thank you.

CARLSON: Coming up next, more on Donald Trump signing that RNC loyalty pledge. Plus, key Hillary Clinton aides called before congressional committees to testify about the private server, to tell the truth to the American people about what happened. But one of them is refusing. He's pleading the 5th. Ed Henry has a full report on that.

And then a Kentucky county clerk is sent to jail for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses. Senator Rand Paul is here later with reaction.

That and a whole lot more as "Hannity" continues.



CARLSON: Great music tonight! Welcome back to "Hannity." Donald Trump officially signed the RNC pledge not to run as a third party candidate. He joins a growing chorus of GOP hopefuls vowing to throw their support behind the eventual Republican nominee, whoever that may be. Take a look at how the other Republican candidates reacted to the RNC loyalty pledge earlier today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The chairman of the RNC, Reince Priebus, is now circulating a loyalty pledge among all the candidates. Mr. Trump told me yesterday he supports you over Hillary Clinton if you get the nomination.  Would you support him?

JEB BUSH, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, I would, of course. Of course I would. We need to be unified.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, R-N.J., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: (INAUDIBLE) should be a sore loser role, you know, (INAUDIBLE) if you run, you can't be a sore loser and then run as an independent if you don't win the nomination. So I have no problem with it. I obviously will sign the pledge. And I don't need Reince Priebus to come and meet with me before deciding whether to do this or not. So there you go. September 3rd, '15, I'm in. I signed.

CARLY FIORINA, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I certainly will sign it.  I've actually already signed something similar when we entered into data- sharing agreements with the RNC. And I think the point is that if you're going to run as a Republican in a Republican primary, then you're declaring that you are a Republican. It's not simply a run of convenience.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to work very hard for the Republican nominee to be me. But regardless, I'm going to support the Republican, and I think a third party race, particularly in this cycle, would be very damaging.


CARLSON: Well, joining me now to respond to all of this, two of our all-time favorite people, from The Washington Times, Charlie Hurt, and here in the studio, long-time on and off Donald Trump adviser, author and columnist Roger Stone. Welcome to you both.

First to you, Charlie. Is party loyalty what voters are really looking for this season, do you think?

CHARLES HURT, WASHINGTON TIMES: Oh, it's amazing. The fact that the party has put such emphasis on this, I think it reveals just how lost they are in terms of understanding what, you know, voters are really upset about, and that is the party being -- you know, the politicians doing stupid things and being disloyal to their principles and things like that.

So what they did here is they're trying entrap Trump, and he, of course, completely outfoxes them, completely calls their bluff on it, and then turns around and turns it into a big media win for him by holding a press conference on it, which none of the others managed to do!

So yet again, Donald Trump has managed to completely outsmart everybody!

CARLSON: So Roger, it's a good point. Roger, I mean, part of point of the Trump candidacy is he's not a loyal party guy. He's mad at the party, and so are a lot of his voters. What was the idea behind doing this?

ROGER STONE, FORMER TRUMP ADVISER: Look, this -- talk about the art of the deal. This was brilliant. Trump wanted to be sure that they didn't use the kind of tactics on him they used on Dr. Ron Paul three years ago.  He wanted equal access. He wanted a totally fair, open shot at the Republican nomination.

Tucker, The New York Times reported only a month ago that Rubio, Bush and Walker's campaigns were talking about boycotting the FOX debate if Trump had been involved. In 15 states, the Republican bosses can keep Trump off the ballot with the stroke of a pen.

So what he had to do here was to get fairness, to get an even -- a level playing field for himself. In return, what he got was the commitment of all the career politicians to support Trump if he is the nominee. And right now, he is the front-runner to become the nominee.

CARLSON: Very smart.

STONE: So it's win/win for Trump, and then a public relations coup by having a press conference that everybody cuts live to.

CARLSON: Amazing.

STONE: Brilliant.

CARLSON: So Charlie, in response to today's news, Trump signing the loyalty oath, the Jeb Bush for president campaign sent out a tweet, and it was a picture, handwritten, a note by Jeb Bush saying, basically, I voted Republican since 1972.

I think of Jeb Bush as a really -- as a good guy and a very smart political guy. It's hard to see him winning a single vote by doing that.  Who thought of that? What's the idea? Who's running that campaign?

HURT: I think -- I mean, I think that Jeb Bush -- I mean, the attack on Jeb Bush about being low-energy is absolutely devastating. And of course, at the beginning of the campaign, when his advisers were all sitting around talking about, what were his liabilities going to be in the campaign, nobody -- nobody thought, Well, maybe low energy. Maybe this is going to be a problem.

But this attack has been utterly devastating. And when he comes back with some -- you don't even know if that's really a hit or who it's a hit on! When Donald Trump hits you, the person knows it.

And when Jeb Bush comes back with something like this, it's kind of a low-energy response. And it -- I think it perfectly encapsulates all of Jeb's problems.

And you're right, you know? He's a decent guy and it's almost sad, but he has kind of become the personification of everything that is Washington, everything that is -- that are the Republicans, and voters are sort of projecting all of that on Jeb and -- and Donald is helping a whole lot.

CARLSON: I know. And it's odd. I mean, he's been in Florida for 20 years, but he is the embodiment somehow, in the public's mind anyway, of Washington.

What was the idea behind Trump's slam on Jeb for speaking Spanish?

STONE: I think the idea there is he's running in the Republican primary, and English is the official language of the United States.

CARLSON: It's not. English is not the official language of the United States. The Democrats have called that racist, that idea, and they've stopped it in Congress.

STONE: Most Republicans probably believe that it is...


STONE: ... and I still think it is the right position for the primary.

At the end of the day, Trump will either win Hispanic votes or not win them based on an economic vision. He's either going to offer Hispanics and all Americans prosperity, opportunity, jobs, a chance to recapture the American dream, or he's not.

I think that is a more powerful message than illegal immigration because most of the legal immigrants that I know, they're concerned about illegal immigration.

CARLSON: Of course they are! I want to put up on the screen, Charlie, Jeb Bush's response to Trump's criticism that he spoke Spanish.  This from "GMA." Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was your first thought when you heard him criticize you for speaking Spanish?

BUSH: I laughed. I mean, this is a joke. I was in a press gaggle, where people asked me a question in Spanish, and I answered it in Spanish.  I was in a classroom two days ago, La Progressiva (ph), high school where these young, beautiful kids all speak English, but they also speak Spanish.  And one of them asked me a question in Spanish and I answered it.


CARLSON: It was a joke. You think his campaign thinks it's a joke, or do they believe it hurt him?

HURT: Oh, it absolutely hurt him. And I think the reason it hurt him is not just what Roger just said, and I think he's exactly right about that, but also because it comes off -- when a politician does something like that and breaks out into Spanish, it come off as somehow pandering.  You know, he's doing it for a reason.

And Trump, if he -- if there's nothing in the world that he is able to zero in on, like -- with almost an animalistic intelligence, it's when a politician starts pandering or starts trying to be politically correct...


HURT: ... or someone in the media tries to be politically correct.  He just goes in for it and goes for the jugular and kills on it. And I think that that more than really anything is why that was so hurtful for Jeb.

CARLSON: No, it's right. Yes, I think you're -- he's got a high feral IQ, I would say. Charlie Hurt, Roger Stone...

STONE: Also, back story here. Jeb says nastier things...

CARLSON: Very quick.

STONE: ... in Spanish than he does in English, and Trump...

CARLSON: Well, that is a really interesting story...

STONE: Yes, Trump knows it.

CARLSON: ... we non-Spanish speakers can't get to. Another segment.  Thanks, Roger. Thanks, Charlie.

Coming up, another bad day for Hillary. A former aide who helped set up her e-mail server, the private one she's hiding (ph), announced he's not going to testify, he's going to plead the 5th after he was subpoenaed to come before Congress. Ed Henry joins us next to explain how the campaign is responding to this. How do you explain that away?

Plus, a big win for Tom Brady, for justice, for the American way of life. A federal judge nullified his four-game suspension over "deflate- gate." The NFL is appealing the decision. We'll tell you what it all means.

And later tonight, 2016 presidential candidate Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is here. We'll ask him about that Kentucky county clerk who was thrown in jail tonight because she refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

It's all breaking. Stay tuned.


CARLSON: Welcome back to "Hannity." The scandal swirling around Hillary Clinton and her server continues today. We just learned that the former Clinton aide who helped her set up her private e-mail server is pleading the 5th Amendment.

Standing by in Washington with the latest on this is Ed Henry -- Ed.

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Tucker, the stakes were just raised big time in Hillary Clinton's e-mail controversy. This former aide who set up her server has decided to plead the 5th to avoid subpoenas compelling him to testify to three different congressional committees, including that special House panel investigating Benghazi.

He's former aide Bryan Pagliano, who worked on Clinton's '80 campaign, then became an IT specialist at the State Department and helped set up the server at her New York home.

The Clinton camp insisted today they wanted Pagliano to talk, and cited the cooperation of other former aides like Cheryl Mills, the former Clinton chief of staff, who went behind closed doors to testify before the Benghazi panel.

Yet Republicans are wondering if this shows people around Clinton have something to hide, while Democrats on the Benghazi committee insist the former aide only took 5th to avoid what they called a political spectacle.


REP. TREY GOWDY, R-S.C.: And I know in the past why people have invoked their 5th Amendment privilege, but you'll have to ask him why he did it. And you're free to glean whatever inference you want from the fact that he did.

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS, D-MD.: Am I surprised that he has decided to take the 5th? No, I'm not surprised. Am I disappointed? Yes, because I would have loved to have heard what he had to say.


HENRY: Republicans note it's harder for Clinton allies to cry politics when there's also a nonpartisan FBI criminal (sic) investigation still looming. Clinton aides said today she's eager to testify in public to that Benghazi panel in late October, though that also means this story might have legs as we edge closer and closer to those early caucuses and primaries next year -- Tucker.

CARLSON: Ed Henry in Washington. Thanks a lot, Ed.

Well, joining me now is the editor and columnist with The Washington Times Monica Crowley, joined by former Clinton pollster Doug Schoen. Both are FOX news contributors. Welcome to you both. Thanks for coming in.



CARLSON: So Monica, it's kind of a big deal for the former aide of the leading Democratic presidential candidate to plead the 5th. He must have a lot to hide if he's doing this.

CROWLEY: Well, you know, Tucker, one of the key questions involving this entire scandal is what the State Department IT team knew and when they knew it. I had been told a couple of weeks ago that the State Department IT guys warned Mrs. Clinton before she became secretary of state not to go down this road of having a private server and private e-mail. They repeatedly warned her against doing it. She went ahead and did it anyway.

One of the fresh e-mails that we just got in the last dump shows that that State Department I.T. agency had no idea that she actually did go ahead and have that private server and e-mail. So the question is, how many others apart from Mr. Pagliano were aware that she in fact went ahead did this despite the State Department telling her not to? And my feeling is, based on what I'm hearing, is that Mr. Pagliano is actually the first of many of what you may see is a whole parade of State Department I.T. guys who warned her against doing this now being subpoenaed, called to testify and taking the fifth, which would be absolutely atrocious for her, which may in fact be the point.

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: Really almost without precedent.  Here's what shocked me maybe more than anything, Doug. You had Elijah Cummings, who is the ranking Democrat on that select committee in question.  He issued a statement praising Bryan Pagliano for not testifying. When was the last time you saw a member of Congress compliment someone for refusing to testify before his own committee?

DOUG SCHOEN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, Tucker, I have a disability I have to share. I am a trained lawyer. And if there was an FBI investigation going on and my client was called before a Congressional committee, I would tell him to take the Fifth Amendment. You learn the first day in law school that there is no inference of criminality. Indeed, we don't even know if there is a criminal investigation going on --


SCHOEN: But can I finish?


SCHOEN: And what Hillary Clinton did, Tucker, when she did it, was appropriate and allowed under the rules then in existence. Six months later those rules changed. So while Monica is certainly right --

CARLSON: We don't know that.

SCHOEN: -- to say that there were people who opposed it, what she did was allowed when she did it.

CARLSON: We don't know that, Doug, as you know, because we don't know the contents --

SCHOEN: I think we do.

CARLSON: -- of the vast majority of these e-mails because she has cloaked them from any supervising authority, much less the public.

Monica, how can Hillary Clinton get up on the stump and to the extent she does take questions from the press say, yes, it is totally valid that my former aide is refusing to testify before a Congressional committee? I have nothing to hide except we're hiding stuff. How does she answer that question?

CROWLEY: I'm not sure how she can square that circle, Tucker, which is one of the reasons why her poll numbers, particularly on honesty, integrity, and trustworthiness are falling through the floor here. Look, she admitted that she deleted personally over 30,000 e-mails and we're supposed the take her word for it that it was just 30,000. It could be 100,000. How do we know? So she comes out and says you have to trust me on this. I deleted e-mails that I deemed were personal, just about Chelsea's wedding and yoga. And then she is going to come out and try to defend a former aide who helped install that private server and say it's OK? I don't see how she is --

CARLSON: It's tough.

CROWLEY: I think this is the beginning of the end.

CARLSON: Doug, I mean, you're not just a lawyer, but you're a long time Democratic political consultant. You've worked --

SCHOEN: I'll plead guilty to that.

CARLSON: Right. So this is the kind of scandal that won't go away until we find out everything there is to know. Why isn't the Clinton camp taking your advice and the advice of everyone and just get it all out there. Let's just go right now, just tell us what you know and let's just end this thing. Why isn't she doing that?

SCHOEN: First, all the e-mails from what I can tell are being vetted by the State Department, at least the 30,000 that still exist. Whether the other 31,000 are recovered, that remains to be seen.

And when you say get it all out, I'm not sure what getting it all out is, and I'm not sure what it is she would say. I think she's made a judgment to go after the Republicans, to charge politicization, and to attack on women's issues, and use those as a means of deflecting attention.


CARLSON: Right, no, I get it. Maybe just find the e-mails. They are recoverable. Every tech person says that, and just turn them over. That would be nice.

I'm sorry, we are out of time. I have a feeling there will be more segments like this coming up. Thanks to you both very much.

Coming up next, 2016 presidential candidate Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky responds to Donald Trump's signing the RNC loyalty pledge today.  Plus, he'll weigh in on something that happened in his state just this afternoon. The Kentucky clerk who has been thrown in jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. He'll tell us what he thinks of that.

And then later, a federal judge nullifies Tom Brady's four game suspension over deflate-gate. Justice finally comes to America. The NFL appealing that decision. Jim Gray is here to sort it out for us. Stay tuned.


CARLSON: Welcome back to "Hannity." Earlier today a Kentucky clerk was thrown in jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.  Joining me now from Washington with a full report on this breaking story is Shannon Bream. Shannon?

SHANNON BREAM, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Tucker, late today Kim Davis refused a deal that would have allowed her to get out of jail, saying that she would neither issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples herself nor authorize her deputy clerks to issue them. In a hearing earlier today saying she would be guided only by her conscience and religious convictions, Davis wound up behind bars. Federal judge David Bunning told her, quote, "I myself have genuinely held religious beliefs," adding, "I took an oath, and oaths mean things."


ELIZABETH WYDRA, CONSTITUTIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY CENTER: And as part of her job as a public official, she is required to follow the law and grant those marriage licenses.


BREAM: Davis, an elected Democrat, cannot be fired. The Kentucky legislature would have to impeach her. Today, D.C. Democrats quickly backed Judge Bunning's decision.


JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The success of our democracy depends on the rule of law. And there is no public official that is above the rule of law.


BREAM: But Senator Ted Cruz asked this, "Where is the call for President Obama to resign for ignoring and defying our immigration laws, our welfare reform laws, and even his own Obamacare?" Adding, "When the president resigns, then we can talk about Kim Davis." Five deputy clerks have agreed to issue the marriage licenses. The only deputy clerk who refused, Kim Davis' son. Tucker?

CARLSON: Thanks a lot, Shannon.

   Joining me now with reaction is 2016 presidential candidate Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Senator, Paul, thanks for joining us tonight.


CARLSON: So as this county clerk was being led away to serve a jail sentence of indeterminate length, gay rights protesters outside chanted "Love wins." Did love win?

PAUL: You're not coming through that clearly, Tucker, but what I would say about the opinion is that I think it is ridiculous to incarcerate someone for their religious beliefs. I think we can have consenting adults and have contracts without having to force people to sign and put their imprimatur on the notion of a new definition of marriage. So I think it's kind of crazy the federal government has gotten involved. And I think marriage has always been a local issue and ought to still be a local issue.

CARLSON: Even though Supreme Court has ruled on this and legally this clerk has an obligation to issue these licenses. I think people acknowledge that. I acknowledge that. This is all a very new development in America. Couldn't we have found, somebody have found another way? Hire another clerk? Maybe fire this clerk. But jail? That does seem really over the top, no?

PAUL: I think the thing is that if you want to persuade people of the new definition of marriage, I think handcuffing them and putting them in jail and making a martyr of someone is probably not a good way to persuade people.

I also think that there are other ways around this. I don't know that the law is explicit that the clerks to have sign this. In fact in Alabama they have just gotten away from issuing marriage certificates, period, because they don't want to put the state imprimatur on something they disagree with. So really a lot of people have talked about this for years.  Why not just privatize marriage, have it in the churches, and people will go to a definition that they agree with but people won't be forced to acknowledge a definition that they don't agree with.

CARLSON: That might be a solution.

I want to go to the other news, today, the loyalty oath that Donald Trump signed to the Republican Party. What do you make of the idea of loyalty oaths in the first place? You're a freedom oriented kind of guy.  Are you for loyalty oaths?

PAUL: You join the party voluntarily, so no one is forcing to you join it. When I ran for the Senate, I was not the pick of the establishment. I beat the establishment candidate pretty well, about 60- 40, but I still needed the other 40 percent to vote for me. So I did promise to support the nominee, whether it was me or someone else. And there is a certain amount of the team pulling together and saying, you know what, even the least of our candidates is better than the Democrats.

There will be people I will be very unhappy with. I think Donald Trump is a disaster. I think he will hurt the country and will lose in a land slide. But I will still pledge to support the nominee because I think Hillary Clinton is the worst person on the planet to run the country. And I think e-mails have cemented the notion that she has bad judgment.

CARLSON: So even though you just described Donald Trump as, quote, "a disaster," if he became the nominee, you would be up on the stage with him, "Good morning, Louisville, here's Donald Trump!" I mean, you would campaign with him.

PAUL: Well, the thing is that there are relative degrees of enthusiasm when you support the nominee. And I won't be enthusiastic, but I will support the nominee and I will pledge to support the nominee. But I think in the meantime, the next six months, I'm going to try to convince people that Donald Trump is a fake conservative. He is not really conservative at all. He has been for single payer healthcare system. He has been for higher taxes. And really what bugs me the most is his business model has been using eminent domain to take private property from small property owners, gobble that up in order for him to make money. And I think that is something antithetical to the notion of freedom.

CARLSON: I agree with that part. Well, if he becomes the nominee, I look forward to your unenthusiastic endorsement.


CARLSON: Senator Paul, thanks for joining us tonight.

PAUL: Thanks, Tucker.

CARLSON: Coming up, the Patriot's star quarterback, American hero Tom Brady scored a huge victory today over his alleged role in deflate gate, the non-crime. A federal judge nullified his four-game suspension.  Sportscaster Jim Gray is here next with his analysis. The NFL announces it will appeal that ruling. Stay with us.  


CARLSON: Welcome back to "Hannity." Earlier today a federal judge issued a decision on the deflate-gate scandal that rocked the NFL and Patriots fans. And this time it has Tom Brady doing a victory dance. The judge nullified his four game suspension, saying the punishment went, quote, "too far." The NFL has already stated it will appeal the decision.  Everyone is talking about it, even the Republican front-runner. Watch this.


TRUMP: Tom Brady is a very good friend of mine. He's a great guy. For those of you who don't know him, he's a very honorable guy and an honest guy and a truly great athlete. He is really a very good friend of mine. And I just spoke to him a little while ago. He's so thrilled and so happy.         Tom Brady, I think what they've done is terrible. And he has been exonerated, as I understand it, because I just heard about it. But I'm very happy for Tom. As far as the commissioner's concerned, they're having a rough year. Let's face it.


   CARLSON: Yes, they're low energy. As for Tom Brady, winner.  Joining me for reaction, sportscaster and FOX News contributor Jim Gray.  Jim, thanks a lot for coming on.

JIM GRAY, SPORTSCASTER: Good to be here.

CARLSON: So when is the ticker tape parade and where is it, and will I see you there?

GRAY: The tickertape parade probably will be when they hang the banner up next week when Tom Brady will come on the field to have the opening game of the season. They will fly the banner, he will run out with his team, and the fans in New England and across the country who are for fairness and justice will all be celebrating as well.

   If you look at the opinion polls, Tucker, this has totally flipped.  From before they went to federal court, most of the public, in fact only 32 percent of the public believed that Tom Brady was right in telling the truth before. Now, before the decision yesterday, a new poll came out and he's up to 68 percent. So with this decision, the public opinion has totally flipped.

CARLSON: I believe that completely. I'm not a conspiracy nut, but it's starting to look a little bit like a setup. The other 31 owners miffed by the Patriots kind of remarkable success, pushed the commissioner to invoke a rule that had never been invoked before and punish the most valuable player in the NFL. Is there any truth to that, do you think?

GRAY: I don't want to indict the other 31 owners. I have no knowledge of any of them being directly involved. I would say that probably a couple of them pushed the commissioner, and he had their support. But I wouldn't say that's a large majority, or probably a very, very few.

   But let's just put it this way. It's a massive failure of judgment by the National Football League, by the lawyers, and Roger Goodell. It should never have come to this. It's all self-inflicted. They're the ones that sued in court in New York, and now to get this total rebuke and to have this decision handed down by Judge Berman, they've done everything wrong in this case.

CARLSON: So can Goodell keep his job and keep his almost unbelievably inflated paycheck? I mean, will things just go on as normal, or is something going to change?

GRAY: Well, it's not going to work just like that. I mean, no, I think Roger Goodell will go to work tomorrow and appeal the case. And Roger Goodell has made the National Football League a tremendous amount of money. But let's face it, he's been just awful with these cases. With Ray Rice and domestic violence, that's what led him to this circumstance. He's now been reversed on Rice. He's been reversed on Greg Hardy. He's been reversed on Adrian Peterson, Star caps, now with Tom Brady. He should stay out of federal court.

   This judge just went totally ballistic on the National Football League. He said that they are dispensing their own brand of industrial justice. That kind of says it all. And Roger Goodell needs to get out of this. The worst thing for the national football league will be for the federal authorities is to be looking into their business, because once that happens, that never goes well. So what's happened with these judges now four times in a row Roger Goodell's credibility has been called into question. He needs to figure out these things long before they get to court.

CARLSON: Yes. I think the rest of us should be walking on the road, talking to our lunch boxes, fired if we had a record like this. Thanks a lot for joining us, appreciate it.

GRAY: Tucker, good to be with you.

CARLSON: Coming up, more "Hannity" right after the break. Don't go away.


CARLSON: Welcome back to "Hannity." Before we go, a quick programming note. Be sure to tune in tomorrow night at 10:00 p.m. for a special edition of Fox News Reporting, "Planned Parenthood, The Hidden Harvest," anchored by our friend Shannon Bream. That's tomorrow at 10:00. Don't miss it.

Unfortunately, that's all the time we have left tonight. Thanks a lot for watching. Have a great night.

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