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Hannity

Trump explains how he became a conservative, answers voters' questions in Las Vegas

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity" February 22, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And welcome to "Hannity," and we're coming to you from Caesar's Palace in beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada, where tonight for the hour, we'll be joined by 2016 Republican presidential front-runner, Donald Trump.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: Now, we have a huge audience made up of hundreds of people from local Republican political organizations and groups, friends and frequent guests on this program, trump supporters and volunteers provided, by the way, to us by his campaign and others who heard about the event on my radio show.

Members of the audience, by the way will be allowed to ask Mr. Trump some questions. That's coming up later in the program.

But first, we have a lot to get to, so let's give a warm Vegas welcome to 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

AUDIENCE: Trump! Trump! Trump! Trump!

HANNITY: Good to see you. Grab a seat.

DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Great guy. You are -- you are a great guy.

HANNITY: This is a very enthusiastic crowd.

TRUMP: Boy, this is some crowd!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: Right? It's good to see you. Congratulations.

TRUMP: Thank you.

HANNITY: Everyone want to congratulate him on his big South Carolina win?  Congratulations.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: Thank you very much. Good feeling. Good feeling.

HANNITY: You know, I've been now on the radio for almost 30 years. It's my 20th year on the Fox News Channel. Been through a lot of presidential elections. South Carolina's always harsh. We call it a blood spot. With that said, do you think at the end of this process, all -- when all is said and done, you become the nominee, are you going to be getting along with Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz?

TRUMP: I think so. You know, you have to be yourself. And not nice things have taken place over the last little while. South Carolina was rough. I was having commercials made about myself. That wasn't me. I don't mind bad commercials, but at least, you know, let it be -- I have one being made right now in Las Vegas and it's on, right? You see it? Having to do with federal land. What do I have to do with federal land?

And a Cruz commercial, and he's made this thing and it's, like -- you know, where do they come up with these ideas? Although he just fired his guy, so maybe that'll be the end of it.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: They've got to be -- they've got to be truthful. It's a little bit hard. You know, I'm not a politician, and it's a little bit hard for me to say that I can totally forgive all of the lies and misrepresentations made.  Now, I know that's not very nice and people would say, Oh, you have to forgive and you forget. Great real estate guy over there, by the way.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: Yes.

TRUMP: My son loves him. My son -- right?

HANNITY: Bob Massey (ph), by the way.

TRUMP: Bob (ph) is great. Bob (ph) is great.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: You see who's sitting next to him, the number one show on the Strip. That's Carrie Fader (ph).

TRUMP: Yes. Very good. Good group over here.

HANNITY: Can I ...

TRUMP: So the answer's yes, but it'll take a little time, right?

HANNITY: And healing...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Yes.

HANNITY: It -- do you ever think now that this is going to happen? If we look at the polls for super-Tuesday -- now, you have a big lead here ...

TRUMP: Right.

HANNITY: ... in Nevada.

TRUMP: Got to keep it honest. We got to keep it honest.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: Nevada. It's all right ...

TRUMP: Nevada.

HANNITY: It's Nevada, Nevada ...

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: You have a big lead here.

TRUMP: You have a hard time with that word.

HANNITY: Yes, I do.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: You're winning in 10 of 14 of the -- of the super-Tuesday SEC primary states. You feel confident going in?

TRUMP: I do. I feel great. I feel -- I mean, so many of the polls -- and the polls were so good. If you look at -- I mean, no matter where you look. New Hampshire, we had a great poll and we actually outperformed, as you would call it -- outperformed the poll. No matter where we're going, we seem to be outperforming. I mean, we're very happy about it.

I think we're going to do well here, but we have to keep it honest. I'm going to have Bob and his group and go, and you know, stay at the various polling booths because that way, I know it's going to be honest.

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: They do have a reputation.

TRUMP: I mean, it is Las Vegas, folks, right? I mean, it's a wonderful place. I love Las Vegas, but it is Las Vegas. The poll lead is tremendous, but again, it's a caucus. I've never been a big fan of caucus because you go in and you sit around and you talk. And you know, I like to have people go in, vote and leave, right?

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: (INAUDIBLE)

TRUMP: No matters what happens when they talk.

HANNITY: Yes.

TRUMP: So I hope it works out well, but I think we're going to do quite well.

HANNITY: You know, one of the things -- I think the question I get asked most often about you -- and I've had the opportunity to interview on -- interview you on radio and TV a lot -- is you call yourself a common sense conservative.

TRUMP: Right.

HANNITY: How did you evolve -- everyone knows that you did have liberal positions in the past.

TRUMP: Right. Right.

HANNITY: How did you become a conservative? What -- what changed?

TRUMP: So I think I've always been very conservative financially, although I must tell you, if you look at my company right now -- very little debt and a tremendous cash flow. You know, I filed my papers, and everyone's like -- like, they -- it's a great company.

HANNITY: It's not -- it's not a bad bottom line.

TRUMP: No, it's a great bottom line. It's a great company. It's a great -- some of the greatest real estate assets in the world. And I say that because, frankly, I talk about it because that's what people need -- we owe $19 trillion in debt. You need somebody with a certain mentality.

But I would say that I've evolved, and you and I talk about it a lot, with Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan was a liberal -- pretty liberal Democrat and he evolved into a fairly -- he wasn't the most conservative person, but he evolved into a Republican and was fairly conservative.

I will say this. I think that I have very much evolved, but if you look at my real conservative credentials -- and I don't think the word's that important. You know, they say, He is not a true conservative. I know Jeb and others were saying, He is not a true conservative...

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: ... because -- you know, and that's when I came up. And about two weeks ago, I said I'm a common sense conservative. But if you really look at my record, I'm as conservative as you can be on the military. I'm as conservative as you can be on taking care of our vets. We're going to take care of our vets. Our vets have been treated horribly.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: I'm -- I'm as conservative as you can be on Common Core. We're going to get rid of it. We're going to have local education.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: You can't be any more conservative. I mean, whatever (INAUDIBLE) you cannot get more conservative than me on the medical and the health care because we're going to get rid of "Obama care" and we're going to have great health care. Great health care.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And you know what Sean likes, right? You know, you like health care savings ...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: I like health care savings.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Yes. He does. He -- and by the way, it's good, but we also have to get rid of the lines and a whole ...

HANNITY: Yes. I know.

TRUMP: ... because you have to have competitive bidding.

HANNITY: Well, that is what health care savings accounts are about.

TRUMP: Right. It really is, yes, and health care savings accounts are great. And it's much better, and you'll have your doctor, you'll have your plan. You know, president Obama lied so much in order to get "Obama care" passed. Twenty-eight times. You said 24. I actually heard 28. But he said you'd have your own doctor, you'd have your own plan. All these different things. And frankly, once ...

HANNITY: And save $2,500 a year.

TRUMP: And you're going to save a lot. And the ones that are really getting stung were the Democrats that just barely were able to raise their hand. They won by almost nothing, and this monster was approved.

And in 2017, it will be out.  It's dead because -- not because of anything I would even do. Of course, I'm going to terminate it immediately. As soon as I get in, I'm going to work on terminating it.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: But it is going to die of its own weight because, as you know, all of the people that they weren't counting on are going in. And the people they were counting on aren't going on -- in. So it's going to die in 2017.

HANNITY: Well ...

TRUMP: Unless the Republicans ...

HANNITY: Go ahead.

TRUMP: ... give it more life, which is what they do constantly. I don't know -- I don't get it.

HANNITY: No. I think the Republicans have surrendered way too -- way too much.

TRUMP: How about the last budget? How about the last budget?

HANNITY: That was a surrender. Executive amnesty was a surrender ...

TRUMP: Yes.

HANNITY: ... and "Obama care," not repealing or replacing it. And this is the question. I guess people want to know, what specifically do you replace "Obama care" with? You mentioned a few things.

TRUMP: Well, one of the things that we have to do, and it was almost done last time in all fairness to Obama, but ultimately, the insurance companies got to him because I'm self-funding my campaign. So when the insurance companies come to me, I couldn't care less. And I think it's a big deal.

But I will spend a tremendous amount of money, and I don't think I'm getting as much credit as I should get for that one, to be honest. I am turning down millions and millions and millions of dollars.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: So I think it's a big deal. I don't think I'm getting the credit that it deserves, to be honest with you.

HANNITY: You're also spending less per vote...

TRUMP: Yes. I ...

HANNITY: ... than the other candidates ...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: I'm a business person and I'm spending less.

HANNITY: You talk ...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: How much would it cost to take a one-hour commercial on FOX?

HANNITY: A lot. I'm very expensive.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: This cost me nothing, right.

HANNITY: I read "The Art of the Deal," so I know.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: Let me ask this. What about your -- some of your critics and even some of your supporters -- oh, Donald Trump says something controversial. He sends out a tweet that was controversial. You sent one out this weekend, and I thought it was one of the funniest things I ever read. You were making a point about the president not going to Justice Scalia's ...

TRUMP: Right. Which he should have.

HANNITY: Which he should have. Scalia's funereal.

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: And then you made a comment and the -- it seems we've become humorless, but you're shattering that ceiling of political correctness. Is that by design?

TRUMP: Maybe a little bit, but I mean, basically, I made a comment that he might have gone if the funeral was held in a mosque.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: Now, it was done -- it was done very...

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: It was done from a -- and it was done for fun. But -- and it was a question mark, of course. I'd only put a question mark because I've never make it as a statement.

HANNITY: Yes.

TRUMP: But ...

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: And it did get a lot of ...

HANNITY: Yes.

TRUMP: A lot of people thought it was very funny. It was meant to be cute. But the truth is, he should have been at that funeral. That's a funeral that he should have been at. I mean, here we are, where he's trying to push somebody. And I don't blame him for that. He should try, but the Republicans absolutely shouldn't let it happen.

HANNITY: Hold the line.

TRUMP: And I'll tell you what I don't like. I mean, the first day, they said, Absolutely not. Absolutely not. And here we go again because the second day they say, Well, there is a minor chance that we could work -- and all of a sudden -- and now I see it coming.

HANNITY: I predicted that was coming.

TRUMP: Obama is a terrible negotiator with everything except when it comes to negotiating with the Republicans. He gets everything he wants. It's true.

HANNITY: It's a good point.

TRUMP: Look at the Iran deal. I mean, the Iran deal is one of the worst deals I've ever seen in my life negotiated, $150 billion -- we get nothing.  We get nothing out of that deal.

HANNITY: How do you prevent the Iranians from getting a nuclear weapon?  Knowing that they already have the $150 billion, they're spinning their centrifuges. They have a deal that they get 24 days' notice. You become president. You suspect that they're trying to build nuclear weapons, they're hiding it from world. What action do you take?

TRUMP: Well, for one thing, you have to do -- you have to rely on Israel a little bit because they know more what's going on over there than we do.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And you know, I have so many friends. They're Jewish friends, and they've supported Obama. They are so disgusted. They can't understand what happened -- what went wrong. I think that President Obama has been the worst thing that's ever happened, Sean, to Israel. The worst thing. I don't understand it.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: But let me follow-up with this ...

TRUMP: And Netanyahu, a good guy -- I mean, he was -- I have never seen -- he was so stressed. He couldn't -- he couldn't make his point. And even the fact -- look, having nuclear deals is a good thing, not a bad thing, but you want to make good nuclear deals, not horrible deals. And you don't want to pay $150 billion, et cetera, et cetera.

HANNITY: To the number one state sponsor of terror.

TRUMP: And by the way -- right. And before you start negotiating, you get your prisoners back. You don't get them back later. And you get them back. You get them back so easy. You say, You have to come back. They're going to say no. You leave. You walk. They never walked.

They were being ridiculed by everybody, Sean. They never walked. I mean, they never once got up and left the table. It was such a sad deal. But if they would have walked after they said no, they would have walked. It would have been fine. They would have come back. You would have -- you would have ratcheted up the sanctions and you would have come back. They would have given you the prisoners.

And then you're talking. Then they should have said, by the way, OK, now we have our prisoners back, we're not giving you the $150 billion.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: A lot was made over the issue when you said that you would be neutral in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But you do see that Israel is the victim in this.

TRUMP: Yes. I'm a great friend of Israel. I was the grand marshal of the Israeli Day parade.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: I was the grand marshal of the Israeli day parade. I have so many friends -- in fact, one of them -- one of my great friends -- where's Jared, my son-in-law? Where is he? My son-in-law is Jewish.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And he's fantastic, a very successful guy in New York real estate...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Expecting a baby any day now.

TRUMP: And they're going have -- Ivanka's going to have a baby over the next week or so and ...

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: So there's nobody closer. And Bibi Netanyahu asked me to do a commercial for him for his campaign. I did a commercial for him.

But I think what you want to do is -- the ultimate deal would be making a deal between Israel and the Palestinians, if we could do that, if that's possible, OK? I have been told by people, very high-level people, it's impossible because the hatred -- especially on the one side. I won't even say which side.

HANNITY: On the Palestinian's side.

TRUMP: Is so intense, it's so incredible. And from the time they're 2 years old, they're told to hate, to hate, to hate. It's got to be taken away. And they -- I've heard stories that are just unbelievable. It's got to be taken away.

But here's the thing. I've been told -- and I use that as an example.  When a deal is tough I say it's nothing compared to this.

This is the toughest of all deals. I'm not saying the best, the this -- but this is the toughest deal to make, OK? If they can't make the deal, like the Iran deal, that's, like, a simple deal. That should have taken a week or less. It took years and years and years.

This is a deal that's tough. I've had people that are very smart and great negotiators involved in negotiations on that deal. They have not been able to do it. I would like ...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Yes.

HANNITY: If Israel is under attack and you're the president, you would come to their defense.

TRUMP: A hundred percent I'd come to their defense.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: A hundred percent, a hundred percent. Now, you know that under the Iran deal -- they say -- I haven't seen this. Nobody's even really seen it. Nobody really has read really -- but under the Iran deal, if Israel ends up attacking Iran because they're -- you know, they see they're actually doing the nuclear, or if it's the other way around, we have to fight with Iran. By the way, that's not happening, folks. I don't care.  Deals are meant to be broken in some cases, all right? I will rip that ...

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: But I will -- you know, under the deal, we're supposed to come to their defense, which is hard to believe. Now, I've only heard that, but people have read ...

HANNITY: You want to see ...

TRUMP: No, no. People have read ...

HANNITY: Yes.

TRUMP: ... a piece of it, and according to the way it reads, we're supposed to come to their defense. Do not worry, Israel. We'll be there.

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: Can I get you to clarify one thing that became an issue this week? You do -- do you or do you not support mandates? In order words, mandating that the American people ...

TRUMP: No, I don't support them, but I want to take people with health care.

HANNITY: OK ...

TRUMP: Look -- on health care. People are not going to die of -- I make many speeches to tremendous crowds of people. We have -- tonight, I'm going to have 12,000 people after this. And I tell ...

HANNITY: There's not enough room for 12,000 here, but there were about 12,000 outside.

TRUMP: I talk about -- I talk about health care a lot, and I know a lot about health care because I've had tens of thousands of people over the years working for me. I know a lot about health care.

It's a very important thing, and I feel very proud that I've been able to give so much education to people and healthy -- you know, the people that have worked for me.

I've -- and they don't have to worry about "Obama care," my people. I treat them really good with health care. It's a very important thing.

But I'll tell you, when I'm president, I am not going to let people die in the middle of the street because they have no money. Can't do it. And when I speak (INAUDIBLE)

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: So immediately, these you know, conservatives, the one that wrote the 27 people wrote about Donald Trump not being conservative enough -- because honestly, I'm more conservative than most of those people in most ways. But -- and I say -- and I say it in front of big crowds of 10,000, 15,000 people. I get standing ovations, largely Republicans, I guess, but we're going to have a lot of Democrats and a lot of independents going over. And we have a lot of them in our audiences.

I say we cannot let people -- we can't let people die in the middle of Fifth Avenue, in the middle of different streets all over the country, all over this country. They have no money. And you know, I get standing ovations when I say it. And yet that doesn't sound like a very Republican thing. And I have these stupid ...

HANNITY: Oh, I think that's a false narrative...

TRUMP: Can I tell you what?

HANNITY: ... about conservatives, though. Yes.

TRUMP: I have these -- well, but I have these very stupid, highly conservative people ...

HANNITY: Yes.

TRUMP: ... saying, Oh, it's a mandate. That's a mandate. That's a mandate. Look, it's very simple. And they can call it whatever they want.  I really don't care. They can call it mandate, they can call it -- you know, because I do things a little bit differently. It's not a mandate.

What it is, is we can't have people dying in the streets, Sean. We can't have our people dying because they don't have money. These people are successful people. A lot of them are very successful people. I know some of them are -- some are -- look at Mr. Phil Ruffin (ph), one of the most successful people in the country.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: But -- and I tell you he was telling me he opened a clinic in Las Vegas, where he takes care of people, spends millions of dollars a year just to take -- Phil Ruffin (ph). I mean, he's one of the most successful people in Las Vegas -- in the country. And I didn't even know he was doing this. He doesn't talk about it. He just does -- he's one of these guys, does it.

But he opened a clinic, spends millions of dollars a year, takes care of people. That's -- those are the kind of people that are fantastic, and you won't read stories about that ...

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: Yes.

TRUMP: I mean, the point -- just to finish up, we want to have great health care. We're going to have much less expensive and it's going to be much better, et cetera. And you're only going to take what you need. You know, part of the problem with "Obama care," you're taking things that you don't need that you could never use. But we're going to have people -- there's going to be a certain segment of our society that doesn't have anything.

HANNITY: All of...

TRUMP: And we're going to -- we're going to have to take care of them, and we're going to -- maybe through Medicare. We're going to send them to hospitals and to -- we're going to take care of them. And every time I say it -- I don't think I've ever had somebody say, We don't want to do that.  But it has to be explained, and some people call that a mandate. It's not a mandate.

HANNITY: How do we balance a budget? We've got $20 trillion in debt, $120 trillion in unfunded liabilities, 95 million Americans out of the labor force, 50 million in poverty, 46 million on food stamps, huge numbers. How do we help all of these people? How do we build up our military, which has been decimated under this ...

TRUMP: Right. Right.

HANNITY: ... president?

TRUMP: All things that I'm going to be doing.

HANNITY: How do we repeal and replace "Obama care" and still balance the budget so we don't rob our kids blind?

TRUMP: Well, "Obama care" is going to kill our budget because "Obama care" ...

HANNITY: Already is.

TRUMP: ObamaCare -- yes, but the numbers in '16 and '17 and '18 are ...

HANNITY: Yes.

TRUMP: ... astronomical. ObamaCare is going to be one of the biggest problems we have with the budget. Anything you do in terms of saving is going to be gobbled up. The numbers are astronomical.

Here's the -- if they were astronomical and it was fantastic, that's one thing. I know a lot of people are giving up the "Obama care." They're out. They can't afford it.

HANNITY: Could you do all that and balance a budget?

TRUMP: Yes, you can.

HANNITY: And how quickly? And how?

TRUMP: Well, you know, you say something, and you've been saying it for years and it sounds simplistic. It's actually not that simplistic. You've been talking about the penny plan, where you take a penny off for four or five years, et cetera, and I think actually you could do better than that.

HANNITY: One penny out of every dollar ...

TRUMP: I actually think you can do better than that.

HANNITY: Yes.

TRUMP: If you have the right people, like, in the agencies and the various people that do the balancing and added (ph) budget, et cetera, et cetera, you can cut the numbers by two pennies and three pennies and balance a budget quickly and have a stronger and better country.

You know, when I build a building, I spend less money to build it than the guy across the street. The building's a better building, and it cost me less.

Look at the campaign. I've spent less money on my campaign than anybody else. Now, don't forget they're spending other people's money. They're spending pharmaceutical company money. And then you wonder why we don't bid out pharmaceuticals. You know, if we bid out pharmaceuticals in this - - we don't bid out pharmaceuticals. We don't bid out drugs.

HANNITY: We don't bid out anything.

TRUMP: We're the largest purchaser of drugs in the world, we don't bid it out. A friend of mine who's a doctor came to me. He said, We don't bid it out. And I said, No way, no way. And then -- then he didn't understand why. As soon as I figured out that we actually didn't, I said, Well, why is because all of these that I'm running against, plus another group of about 400 people ...

HANNITY: Yes.

TRUMP: ... they take money. They take so much money. If we bid out the - - the purchase of drugs, this country would save hundreds of billions of dollars a year, and we don't do it.

HANNITY: Last question on the economy. You said that you would lower taxes.

TRUMP: Right.

HANNITY: Fewer -- there were a lot more people that wouldn't pay any tax.

TRUMP: Right.

HANNITY: You would repatriate the money and give a low tax to incentive the trillions that are overseas.

TRUMP: It could be $5 trillion...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: You say a million-plus jobs could be created through energy independence_

TRUMP: At least. At least.

HANNITY: These are all things you've said.

TRUMP: Sure. I've been saying it.

HANNITY: How...

TRUMP: For years, I've been saying it ...

HANNITY: I think a lot of people want this question, and maybe this goes to the heart of your popularity. How fast can Donald Trump, the businessman, get the taxes lower, the repatriated money back, energy independence and the balanced budget that I think everybody here wants?

TRUMP: OK. So we are a country that -- and a lot of people don't know this. We pay the highest taxes anywhere in the world. Our middle class has been decimated. In a certain way, the middle class has been treated the worst, worse than anything. Our middle class taxes are going way down.  The system's going to be much simpler. You know, we're not going to use H&R Block asking for a lot of money to do your tax return because nobody can ...

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: Seriously. That's one company that's not going to do good business, OK, H&R Block.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: No. It's going to be simplified. We're going to simplify it.

HANNITY: OK.

TRUMP: We're cutting taxes for the middle class. We're cutting taxes for business. We have -- Pzifer just announced they're leaving the United States. It's a great company, Pzifer. So many companies ...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Carrier.

TRUMP: ... are leaving the United States. Carrier's a disgraceful situation. They announced they're laying off 1,400 people. They're going to Mexico. They're going to build a plant. And there's only one way you're going to stop that. It was on television, all over the place because somebody was using one of their famous cell phone cameras. It was all over the place on television.

The only -- and you look at those 1,400 people. They were devastated.  They were there for years and years, and they were devastated. Guy said, No, I'm sorry. We're folding up and we're going to go to Mexico and make Carrier air conditioners. I said there's only one way of solving that problem.

Now, the conservatives would say, Oh, he's not a free trader. I'm a great free trader, but it has to be smart trade and fair trade. You say to them, Enjoy your stay in Mexico, but every air conditioner you make that comes into this country, you're going to pay a 35 percent tax. And you know what's going to happen? They're not moving!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: Yes.

TRUMP: And honestly, the politicians, they want to do legislation because they know it's a problem. We're losing a lot of our companies. They're leaving. They're leaving. They're leaving for a number of reasons. Taxes are too high. Certain conditions they don't like, OK?

And they -- they're also leaving because they have a lot of money outside of the country. They can't get the money. They're leaving to get money.  In order words, they're leaving actually because they can't bring money into this country.

HANNITY: You actually told me back stage something that you want to try and save Carrier from shutting down that plant and losing those jobs. And you want to do -- you -- you expressed ...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: I think ...

HANNITY: ... the thought of those losing their jobs ...

TRUMP: Well, I think what I'm going to do is I'm going to write them a letter, saying if I win -- if I win, I'm going to make sure that you're going to pay a big tax when you sell air conditioners in the United States.  I don't care if they move from a location. I don't even care if they move from the city, wherever they may be, et cetera. They're going to stay in the United States. If they want to move to New Hampshire who -- which treated me very well also, by the way -- New Hampshire.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: They started the ball rolling, right?

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: They started the ball. I mean, South Carolina and New Hampshire -- it was -- it's been so amazing. I meet the people. One thing that has happened during this run. I get so many people. I've learned how great the people of this country are. We have great people, and so when I say ...

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: We really have amazing people. So when I say -- and I've always said make America -- we're going to make America great again, I add now, Better than ever before. I think we have the potential to make it better than ever before. And what I want to see is I want to see Apple Computer making their Apples and their iPhones and all of the things that they make in this country instead of in China.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: Stay right there. When we come back, we'll have more with 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. And in a few minutes, some of the members of this audience -- they'll get a chance to ask Mr. Trump a couple of questions as we continue from beautiful Caesar's Hotel, Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas straight ahead.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity," and we're back at Caesar's Palace in beautiful Las Vegas, and we continue with 2016 Republican Presidential front-runner Donald Trump, who's our guest for the hour.

I know these are labels, but is there anything that you would describe yourself as liberal on?

TRUMP: Well, look, I don't love the term, and I've been called liberal on certain things. I don't really love it. You know, honestly, I can't think of anything. I'm a pretty conservative person.

HANNITY: You're pro-life, you're pro-2nd Amendment ...

TRUMP: Yes. Pro-life -- 100 percent pro-life. I mean, I have things (ph) coming because I didn't -- I didn't used to be.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: You know, many years ago, I'd be asked the question, and as a developer and a real estate person and as a business person, I was, like, never asked a question about pro-life. And they should leave that whole statement because I said, you know, I really don't like it. They don't show that. But I'm pro-life. (INAUDIBLE) when I said this, I guess I said pro-choice. And that was years ago, many years ago.

But I said, Oh, I don't like it. But I was never asked that question ever, and this was the first time I was asked it on a very good television with a very talented guy -- very good guy. But he asked me the question.  I said, I've never been asked that question before. But if you see the way I asked -- you know, the way I answered that question, you'd understand.

But I've seen things happen over the years, and it made me very strongly pro-life. And I think, you know, I've told you the story where a friend of mine -- two people that I know very well. They were going to have a child and one of them did not want the child under any circumstances. And they fought and fought, actually almost lost their marriage. They had the child, and the child is a superstar, turned out to be a total superstar.

HANNITY: And that changed your mind.

TRUMP: It changed my mind. And there have been other things. But it changed my mind. I mean, this is ...

HANNITY: And you're pro-traditional marriage.

TRUMP: Yes, I am.

(APPLAUSE).

HANNITY: I know a lot's been made over -- you said good things about Planned Parenthood, but people -- I guess they missed the interviews you've done with me. You said...

TRUMP: No, they didn't -- no, you know what happened? They don't want to put it down. Look...

HANNITY: Because you said...

TRUMP: We have to be...

HANNITY: ... you would not fund Planned Parenthood.

TRUMP: We have to be realistic. I know people having to do with Planned Parenthood. I know women that are -- you know, that are -- that use Planned Parenthood. They do certain things properly, cervical cancer, lots of different things. But I would not -- I would defund it if they're not - - if they're going to do the abortions. And I said that to people.

HANNITY: If they continue abortions...

TRUMP: Yes, but they serve a -- you know, they serve millions of women...

HANNITY: Sure.

TRUMP: ... who need service. You know, they talked about women's health care issues, and I said I'm going to help women. They have -- they have -- they're set up to help millions of women, but I would defund if they do abortions.

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: Let's talk about, if you get the nomination. A big part of being a president -- I've been to Trump Towers many times. I see how your operation works.

TRUMP: Right.

HANNITY: I wonder in my mind how that would translate if you become the president. Who are people, of the top of your head, that you would want to surround yourself with on important issues like national security, homeland security, the economy?

TRUMP: Yes. OK, so first of all, we have so many different elements. We have trade. I'll be so good on trade. You know, when I first announced on June 16th, I came down the escalator with Melania, and it was really a nice thing. But it takes guts to run for president. It takes a lot of courage to do this.

HANNITY: I think you described it pretty well the other night. It's brutal, it's hard, it's...

TRUMP: Oh, it's brutal. Then everybody lies. I've seen liars like this, but people...

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: ... these politicians, no, they're incredible. I'm telling you, just today I saw an ad about myself in federal (ph) lens (ph), and I say, What do I have to do with Federal Lens (ph), and it makes me, like, the worst person in the world.

The Ted Cruz scam ad again -- you know, this guy's the worst. He's one of the great liars of all time. I know you like him, but he's a serious liar.

But -- but...

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: I'm allowed to say that. Well, Rubio said the same thing. See, Rubio gave me cover because during the debate, he looked over, he says, You're a liar. I said, Great, now I can say it too...

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: ... because you never see politicians doing that. I've never seen that before, and I've dealt with a lot of politicians. But just -- I want things -- I want the greatest people. So important. Carl Icahn has endorsed me. He's a great businessman. Phil Ruffin (ph) has endorsed me, great, great businessman.

When you put people like this, like I'll say to Carl, Carl I want you to watch over trade with China. We're going to lose $500 billion in dealing with China. And then if I say I'll tax them because they're not treating - -- you know what they do is manipulation of the currency. They devalue their currency. They make it impossible for our companies to compete. And then when I say it's not going to happen anymore. I'll get these conservative guys. You know, I don't even know if they're conservative, but they write different magazines that don't sell. They're all dying.  Every one of them has died.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: But I'll tell the store that Trump is not a conservative because he doesn't believe in free trade. I do believe in free trade, but China can't make $505 billion on us this year. We don't have any money --

HANNITY: So you're free, fair trade?

TRUMP: Fair trade --

HANNITY: And you'll negotiate and fight for fair trade?

TRUMP: No -- I would say this. Fair trade, smart trade, I even like to say brilliant trade. I want brilliant trade. We need brilliant trade right now because we're so far behind the eight ball. We've been losing so much money for so long. When I say the wall -- OK, everybody loves the wall. Even these crazy candidates, I mean I have people that come up to me -- the other day I was listening to one of the candidates and he said, "We will build a wall." My wife said where does that come from? We played it back.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: But now they're saying "We will build a wall." Now everybody likes the idea of the wall. We will build a wall. But people -- then they come to me, the candidates, just a couple of them, they say "You're not going to get Mexico to pay for the wall." I said, of course I will, it's easy. We lose $58 billion dollars a year in trade deficits with Mexico. In addition we give them subsidies, and that's not including all the drugs that are pouring across the border, all right?

HANNITY: I've been there 12 times --

TRUMP: All right? You understand what I'm trying to say.

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: All right, let me ask this. Side question. Are you all good with the Pope now? Is that over?

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: I'll tell you, you know, I was raised -- because they're ready to go to vote, right?

HANNITY: Yes.

TRUMP: In South Carolina, we're all ready and everybody's enthusiastic, and I'm, it's like, you know, like 15 hours before the polls open. And I'm driving, I'm getting ready to make a speech, and Cory and Hope come to see me and they say we have a problem. What? The Pope. I said what? The Pope. I've never heard of this problem. I was -- in one way I was honored. I said just tell me, did he say good or bad?

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: And they said he said bad. I said the Pope said bad? That's the end of that election.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: This is bad news. So anyways, it turned out that, you know, Mexico -- and by the way, I have a lot of respect for Mexico. I respect their leaders. Their leaders are much smarter and sharper than us --

HANNITY: But you're good now? But you're going to build this wall and that's -- how quickly will that wall be built?

TRUMP: What happened, though, the leaders of Mexico said Trump is not allowing people over the border. They don't talk about the crime. They don't talk about all of the economic problems. We have tremendous crime.  The crime turned out to be far greater than even I said at my opening remarks. So we're going to have borders. Bottom line, we're going to have the wall, but we're going to have borders. We're going to have very strong borders. And people are going to come into the country, Sean, but they're going to come in legally. They're going to go through a process and they're going to come in legally, otherwise we don't have a country.

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: You said you believe at this point in the race that it is going to be Hilary Clinton. If you're the nominee do you view her as a formidable opponent? Somebody that's tough?

TRUMP: I would love to run against her. And I --

HANNITY: Why?

TRUMP: She's so badly flawed. First of all, she shouldn't be allowed -- she is.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: She shouldn't be allowed -- I also love to run against a socialist/communist, OK? That was --

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY:  That would help.

TRUMP: I don't think our country is ready for communism. I really, I sort of like that. You know, when you say 97 per cent tax in order to take of these things -- and by the way, then you wouldn't have enough either. So - -

HANNITY: Nobody will have anything at that point, but OK.

TRUMP: We're not ready for it.

So yes, I've done very well in the polls. You've seen the recent Fox poll.  A poll just came out where I was ahead of hear by a pretty good margin.  And I haven't started on her.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: "USA Today," I mean I haven't, I haven't. So far --

HANNITY: Are you planning soon?

TRUMP: No, honestly no. I'm focusing on -- I still have, you know, we have five left total. And I started off with 17. I was attacked viciously by many people, and those people all went fling. They went down. I mean if you look at it, I mean, I was attacked by people. I'm saying what happened? What did I do? And then I of course attack back and, you know, a lot of people went down. Every single person so far -- I'm very proud of this record. Wouldn't this be good to have for the United Sates? Every person that's attacked me has gone down.

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: We've got to take a break. We'll come back as we continue at Caesars Palace in Beautiful Vegas. More with Donald Trump, and our audience will have some questions when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: And welcome back to beautiful Caesars Palace in Las Vegas as we continue with 2016 Presidential frontrunner, Donald Trump. You're ready for some audience questions?

TRUMP: I'd love it.

HANNITY: All right. This is Corrine (ph). Hi Corrine, how are you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, good, how are you?

HANNITY: Thank you for being here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, awesome. Hello Mr. Trump.

TRUMP: Hi.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question to you is this. Being a millennial, how can you better inspire my generation of young voters and gain our support?

TRUMP: Say it again, the last part?

QUESTION: I said how can you better inspire my generation of young voters and gain our support?

TRUMP: Well, I think we're gaining a lot of support. We have a lot of very, very young people. The audience is, the voters -- in fact one of the things that came out with both New Hampshire. I mean no matter where we go it seems that we have a very young audience. They want to see strength, they want to see security. They want to have a job when they get out of college. And one of the questions I get is the financing of college. You know they're borrowed up to their neck and they come out and they don't have a job, which is a big problem. I thought that would be your question actually.

But the truth is, they want to see security for themselves and they want jobs when they get out of college or wherever they're coming from, including high school frankly, because there's some people that go to high school and they're fine, and they want to get a job, they can't get a job, because the job numbers are phony numbers. They were put there to make politicians look good, in particular presidents look good, because we probably have, we probably have 25 per cent unemployment. And if we didn't you wouldn't have crowds like this coming. You wouldn't have 10,000 or 12,000 people every time I speak. We have a tremendous jobs problem.  We're losing our jobs to other countries.

And what we're going to do is we're going to give you great security, great safety. We're going to do the whole thing with everything you want, but we're also going to create jobs for this country. And one of the things that I think I'll be best at, I'll be the greatest jobs producing president that God every created. I will.

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: Thank you very much. All right, we have Brenda? Come on Brenda, start -- you can -- I saw you wanted to ask a question. How are you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good, how are you?

HANNITY: Thank you for coming.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi Mr. Trump. It's so good to see you here in Las Vegas.

TRUMP: Thank you, nice to see you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Considering the lawlessness and corruption in our country today, and we all know that the notion of equal justice under the law is something that does not apply to people in government. So I'd like to know in a Donald Trump administration if we can count on your to appoint an Attorney General that will in fact obey the law and administer it.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: Good question. The answer is yes. You have somebody that's going to be fair, fair but tough, and smart. And they will be -- people have to obey the laws. If you don't obey the laws we really don't have a country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.

TRUMP: So it's a great question, the answer is yes. Thank you.

HANNITY: Thank you very much Brenda.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you for being so nice.

HANNITY: Can I do a follow-up on that? We obviously have the Supreme Court opening and you have told me in three separate interviews that you'd look for justices like Scalia and Clarence Thomas?

TRUMP: Right, that's right.

HANNITY: The constitution is the foundation of our rule of law. You read the constitution. What does it mean to you?

TRUMP: Well, the constitution is sort of everything. If you look at it and you look at what's going on, and the problem is our constitution is being badly denigrated by what's happening, as an example with Hilary Clinton, because you have other people that have done very little by comparison to what she's done with the e-mails and all of the security measures that are in place, and everything that's taken place, and she's just sailing along and running for president and --

HANNITY: Do you think she gets away with it?

TRUMP: I think so. I think she's going to get away with it if -- well, you know, look, there's a long-term statute of limitations. It depends, if a Republican gets in, you know, there's a long-term statute of limitations --

HANNITY: Well, that raises the next question. Would you appoint an attorney general --

TRUMP: I would certainly look into it. I think it's a disgrace. I think it's so bad. General Petraeus was destroyed, his life was destroyed. You have many, many other people, not just a few, you have many people that did far less than what she did --

HANNITY: But if they found laws are broken and you're attorney general, you would want them to prosecute her?

TRUMP: I think you have to do that, you have to do that.

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: All right, we have I believe is a Lauren (ph) --

TRUMP: So Sean --

HANNITY: Yes, what?

TRUMP: If you think of it, she's running a very important race, because, you know, think of it. Now I think she's being protected. I think that there's no question -- I've spoken to lawyers that are great lawyers on this subject. She's being protected. It's so unfair to this country what they're doing with Hilary Clinton.

That being said, she is being protected, she will probably be their nominee. I think Bernie's not going to have a chance. He's going to get run over. He's going to be -- they're just running over him now. You see that happening now already. In fact when I left today I was watching Fox, and he just seems to be --

HANNITY: Thank you by the way.

TRUMP: --- on a big downward, he's on a very big downward spiral.

HANNITY: It's very interesting as you watch her campaign and you watch the people around her and one has to wonder if 60 percent of the people of this country think she's dishonest and not trustworthy, how do you get elected with that?

TRUMP: Well, look, I think the government has to do something. I just don't see how they can get it -- and I will say if I'm the nominee this will not be a subject that's going to die very easily. I'll be talking about why nothing is happening.

HANNITY: You won't back down off issues, like, for example, when she tried to go after you about, quote, being sexist, you went right back at her?

TRUMP: I did. And they had a very bad weekend, I can tell you that.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: We got to take a break, we'll have more questions for Donald Trump as we continue from Caesars Palace in beautiful Las Vegas. It's "Hannity," on the road, on the strip.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: And welcome back to "Hannity" as we continue from Caesars Palace in beautiful Las Vegas. We continue with 2016 Presidential front runner, Donald Trump. Before we get to our next question, we were talking during the break about Hilary Clinton and if a Republican wins, if you win you'll have an attorney general. The statute of limitations will not have past --

TRUMP: Six years actually. Well look, you have no choice. I mean we have to solve all sorts of problems, and fairness is you have to look into that.  Now, maybe she can prove her innocence, but it just seems to me I think the public knows everything that they're going to know. You know, the emails have come out. And it's -- she seems to be guilty. But you know what, I wouldn't even say that. But certainly it has to be looked at if a Republican wins, if I'm winning. Certainly you will look at that as being fair to everyone else.

It's so unfair to the people that have been prosecuted over the years for doing much less than she did. So she's being protected. But if I win, certainly it's something we'll want.

HANNITY: So you think she's running for her own survival.

TRUMP: I think she's running a very important race, the most important race of her life, before, now not just because it's president. I mean, she's running a very important race for herself.

HANNITY: I'll bet you that Barack Obama would pardon her before he leaves.  Let's get back to our --

(BOOS)

HANNITY: I didn't say I would pardon her -- no, come on.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: I agree with Mr. Trump on this.

All right, Lauren (ph), it's Lauren?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lauren (ph), yes.

HANNITY: And how are you? Welcome.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm very well, thank you.

HANNITY: Thank you. Thanks for coming. What's your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh boy, the land question. So what is your stance on states regarding their ownership and governing their own land?

TRUMP: Well, you know, that's, again, that's a commercial -- and I know it's a very important question out here. I will say this. You do have to obey the law. I've watched what went in a certain section and we've all been watching that over the last probably three months. And, you know, there has to be -- we have a country, and you have to obey the law. That would be where it starts. I have to say that.

And I know I would look very much into the laws, because there's such hatred about that subject. The level of -- and probably you might be on the -- you know, a certain side of that. Sean, there is such hatred having to do with the federal control of land. So I would look at it very strongly.

HANNITY: Well, what would you like the next president to do regarding this?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look into it as best he can. I'm not -- I don't know everything about it. I just see what's going on.

TRUMP: But what side are you on? What side are you on? Do you have an opinion?

HANNITY: Would you like the states to have more control?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, absolutely.

HANNITY: Is that the answer?

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely. States have more -- states definitely have more control. And I know what's going on with the horses. I've lived here my whole life. I have three horses. I mean, it's -- yes, states, definitely.

HANNITY: I live in New York City. I have no horses.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: No, I actually live outside the city. All right, thank you so much, Lauren (ph).

QUESTION: Thank you so much.

HANNITY: Bethany (ph)? Where's Bethany (ph)? Hi, Bethany (ph). Come on, you want to ask a question too? Hi.

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. Thank you for taking my question.

TRUMP: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So coming out of college I have close to $30,000 --

TRUMP: I know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- in student loan debt. And I know you said you plan to get rid Common Core education. But beyond that, what are your plans to make college more affordable?

TRUMP: We've got to do something with the cost of colleges. Now, what's happening is you're a conduit for government to give money to you to give to the college, and the colleges, their costs are going up by a factor that's faster than anything else practically is going up. People are making phenomenal salaries at the top. You know, our professors are teachers, we have to take care of them. It's very important. I mean, to me it's so important. But you look at how the costs have escalated for colleges. And all they're doing is the students essentially are giving them the money and yet you're borrowing too much money. I'm going to look into that very strongly and we have to do something to help the students.  Sean, I get this question more than any other question I get.

HANNITY: It's so high.

TRUMP: These students are absolutely -- they have it up to their neck.  They're not able to function. And then in many cases, on top of everything else, they can't get a job.

HANNITY: And you need a degree to gets doors opened.

TRUMP: We're going to do something. OK?

HANNITY: OK. All right, we've got to take a break. Our final moments with Donald Trump as we continue from Caesars Palace in beautiful Las Vegas with "Hannity" on the Strip.

(APPLAUSE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." Unfortunately that is all the time we have left this evening. I want to thank everybody for coming here in beautiful Caesar's Palace on the strip in Las Vegas.

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: Mr. Trump, thank you. Good luck on the caucuses tomorrow. We really appreciate it. We'll be back our regular time, 10:00 eastern, live from the strip. Thanks for being with us. Have a great night.  

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