Trump: Paul Ryan doing a good job of uniting GOP, Amazon CEO using Washington Post for political power

Candidate talks potential vice presidential nominees, clarifies his stances on the minimum wage, tax cuts and a Muslim ban on 'Hannity'


This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 12, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And welcome to "Hannity." And Donald Trump met with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Republican leaders earlier today in Washington about uniting the party. Mr. Trump will be here in just a moment and explain what went down. Also, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus -- he'll also join us with reaction.

But first, here's how Paul Ryan reacted to today's big sitdown.


REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WIS.,  SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I was very encouraged with what I heard from Donald Trump today. I do believe that we are now planting the seeds to get ourselves unified, to bridge the gaps and differences. And so from here, we're going to go deeper into the policy areas to see where that common ground is and how we can make sure that we're operating off these same core principles.

I think this is going in a positive direction, and I think this was a first very encouraging meeting. But again, in 45 minutes, you don't litigate all of the process and all the issues and the principles that we're talking about.


HANNITY: Here with reaction, 2016 presumptive -- well, he will be the Republican nominee, Donald Trump is with us. Mr. Trump, good to see you.


HANNITY: Your take on the meeting. What did you think?

TRUMP: I thought it was a great meeting. We had a -- we discussed a lot of things, a lot of very important things, and I thought it was really a very, very good meeting. I think Paul felt the same way, and everybody else did also.

HANNITY: Yes. You know, maybe it's just me. There's a part of me that thinks -- I understand that people saying you're the nominee, you have the job to unite the party. But doesn't he, as speaker of the House, also have that job?

TRUMP: Well, I think he does, and I think he's doing a good job. He's got not an easy job, and I don't mind going through a little bit of a slow process. It's a very big subject and we have a lot of things. And I think, for the most part, we agree on a lot of different items, and we're getting there. I feel very strongly about border security. I feel very strongly about trade. I feel very strongly about building up the military.  And you know, to a large extent, I think Paul is there also. So we'll get there I'm pretty sure.

HANNITY: Yes. But I've interviewed you a lot in this process. You say you want conservative justices to the Supreme Court. You said you'll even give us a pool of names before the election, right?

TRUMP: Right. I'm going to do that, yes.

HANNITY: Right. All right, so you're going to build a wall. That's conservative. Conservative justices obviously are. You've said to me repeatedly you want to get our budget back in balance, that you will repeal and replace "Obama care," right, likely with health care savings accounts.

TRUMP: Right. Absolutely. Absolutely.


TRUMP: Common Core -- we're going to get rid of Common Core, bring education locally. We're going to do that. We're going to protect our 2nd Amendment, so important, so, so important. And you know, the 2nd Amendment is big chipped away at. And as far as Hillary's concerned, she wants to abolish the 2nd Amendment. I really believe she wants to abolish the 2nd Amendment.

Here whole view on guns -- she's a disaster in so many different ways. So we're going to -- I think we really had a great meeting today and I think we agreed on a lot of things. And it'll be a little process, but it'll come along, I'm pretty sure.

HANNITY: And then you got -- you want to be energy-independent. You said you want to take care of vets...

TRUMP: Right.

HANNITY: ... want to build up the military. Maybe it's me and maybe I'm a little cynical here. What does he want to know, that -- why is this so hard for him to say, yes, I agree with him on all of those issues right there, and Hillary Clinton is on the other side? I don't understand why that's so hard.

TRUMP: Well, I think a big thing today was the judges, you know, the justices, the Supreme Court. And I think that they felt very good about it. I had this idea a couple of months ago because I was getting a little bit of pushback from some great people and some great friends of mine that are in Congress, and they were telling me that, you know, How can we feel a little bit better?

And I came up with this idea that I would come up with a list of really, really terrific acceptable judges, conservative, and I'll put that list forward, and that'll be a list from which I'll choose or at least a list -- at a minimum, a list from which I'll sort of use as a guide. And I'll tell you, that went a long way. People really liked that idea a lot.

HANNITY: You know, I think a lot of people do, and I've even heard people talk about maybe even naming some cabinet positions. I mean, you've got a team of people. You got Ben Carson working for you now. Chris Christie is working for you now. Would you maybe name some of those people, along with vice president, before the election?

TRUMP: I do think so. I think before the election, I'd name some, and I think they'd be really great. We have some great names. You just mentioned two much them, but we have some other great names. And they want to be involved. They would love to be involved.

And you know, I get a kick, all of these people that are saying they really don't want to be understood (ph), they don't want to be for the vice president position and -- but none of those people were asked. I mean, it's, like, one of those things. You know, they're all turning me down, but they were never asked. And I guess they turned me down because they know they're not going to be asked.

But I -- we have some incredible people for vice president that I think you'll be very impressed with, and I'll do that announcement probably during the convention in Cleveland.

HANNITY: Let's talk -- there was a report this week you've narrowed it down to five or six people. Is that true.

TRUMP: Yes, I would say that's true. That's true.

HANNITY: And you're going to give me an exclusive news-breaking hint right here. Anything you can tell us about that?

TRUMP: Well, I can tell you you'll like most of them. I'm not sure about all of them, but you'll like most of them. But I think the end result is you'll like the final pick, which is the only one that counts.

And you know, we're going to have some interesting days and nights ahead because it's really tough. I mean, it's a tough decision. You have some that are really, really strong in some areas. We want to get somebody that's really good in all areas. And I think we have a few that are really excellent and that people are going to like and really respect as people.

HANNITY: Let's talk -- some issues came up this week about -- in the last week-and-a-half, some ambiguity on issues of minimum wage, raising taxes, whether or not you were softening your stance about bringing refugees into the country. So let's clarify. Minimum wage.

TRUMP: OK, let me just tell you, the only thing I am talking about a little bit is I want -- I like the idea of the states looking at minimum wage because if they don't -- you know, New York is totally different than if you go to Alabama or Arkansas, so many places that I love. They voted for me. I love them all.

And -- but you're talking about a whole different, you know, cost of living. So what's good for New York is not necessarily good for someplace else. New York is very expensive to live in, and I could see having more in New York and less in other places. And yet your standard of living might be better in Alabama or, as I said, Arkansas and other places than it would be in New York, even though New York would have a higher minimum wage.

So I really like giving it to states to determine. Plus, they have to compete with each other among, you know, other things, but they have to compete with each other. So I like the concept of giving it to states.  And in some states, where it's more expensive, maybe they do have to lift the minimum wage, and in others, they don't have to do it. And those people live very well.

So that's the way it is. Now, they also have to compete with each other in business. So I really like the idea because it's so different -- you know, it's a big country -- it's so different and the cost of living is so different, I like letting the states set the minimum wage.

HANNITY: How about tax increases? I saw that you had said, well, maybe we'll raise taxes on the wealthy. You clarified it on Twitter.

TRUMP: I didn't clarify it, Sean. Look, these people on minimum wage, number one, I said about states, and I think it's very clear and I think it's very clear and I think it's a good idea, and I've been universally praised for that.

As far as taxes are concerned, all I said is I put -- you know, when I put in taxes, it's really a proposal. It's not a policy. It's not anything.  It's a proposal.

So you put in taxes because you're going to have to negotiate with Congress. You're going to have to negotiate with senators and you're going to have to negotiate with Congress people. And they're going to be -- and it's going to be a tough negotiation.

I'm going to possibly have to lift it, from my proposal, but that proposal, and even when lifted, will be a lot cheaper than it is right now. As you know, Larry Kudlow is in love with my plan, and Larry Kudlow's a fantastic guy and Larry Kudlow really -- he likes my plan the best.

But my plan is the biggest cut of anybody. I have the biggest tax cut of anyone. But remember, when I put in the proposal and proposed rates and everything else, it's going to be negotiated. You're not going to put in and everyone's going to say, Oh, that's wonderful. I'm going to leave it right there.

So I expect -- now, I will tell you we're taking care of big league of the middle class. We're taking care of business. Our business taxes are being reduced by a magnificent -- I mean, by a tremendous sum. And I will say perhaps from my low proposal, perhaps the wealthy will go a little bit up from that standpoint, but that's all I was saying. They're not going up.  So that's not a clarification. That's just all you have to do is read it.

And I'll tell you who covered it well. Yesterday The Wall Street Journal had a front page article, covered what I said so well because the Wall Street Journal writer really got it. He understood it. It was covered so perfect.

HANNITY: Oh, listen, you know, when you really think -- look at the latest numbers that have come out. This is the scary part. And I asked you a lot -- when we were on the road together, I'd ask you almost every interview.  I mean, you have one in five families that don't have is a single family member in the workforce. Look at young people today. Young men 18 to 34 - - this is staggering -- one in six are either incarcerated or don't have a job.

Now, if we don't turn that around, then our country is in decline and irreparably so, in many ways. That's going to be probably the biggest challenge you have, right?

TRUMP: Well, we're losing our businesses. We're losing our manufacturing.  You know, I won New York and I won Pennsylvania and Maryland. I won everything. I won every state. You look at Indiana, which was the most recent one, and then the other night, we just had a fantastic night also in Nebraska, in West Virginia.

You look at what's happened to West Virginia with the miners, where Hillary Clinton says she wants to put the miners and the mines out of business.  And I say just the opposite, we're going to put the miners back to work and we're going to open up the mines.

It is just insane what's going on. She's like a job-killing machine. She is horrible in terms of the economy, horrible. Don't forget it was her husband who signed NAFTA, which was probably the greatest in terms of a disaster, the greatest disaster we've ever had economically for jobs.

I went through New York and Pennsylvania and Maryland and Connecticut, all these states. It's -- they're, like, empty.

HANNITY: It's scary.

TRUMP: The jobs have been sucked out of us. They've moved to Mexico.  China's taken our business. We have to get our country back to work.  We're not -- we don't have any jobs! And I can do it. Believe me, that's what I do best.

HANNITY: Well, every exit poll shows jobs, the economy are people's top concern. Obviously, this president has accumulated more debt than every other president before him combined.

Let me ask you another issue. James Comey, our FBI director, our assistant FBI director, Obama's special envoy to defeat ISIS, General Allen, our director of national intelligence, James Clapper, our Homeland Security chairman, Mike McCaul, have all said ISIS will infiltrate the refugee population.

You took a strong stand. It was reported today that you said, Well, that's only a suggestion, a temporary ban. Explain.

TRUMP: No, I would not allow people to come in from Syria. They're not vetted properly. They're moving in by the thousands. You remember I told you thousands of people are going to pour in. I turned out to be right.  Everyone said I was wrong. I was right. Thousands of people are coming in from Syria.

We don't know who they are, and if you look at the migration, you have a lot of young strong men. You look at the women. Where are the women and children? You don't have many by comparison.

We cannot allow people to come in from Syria, and I would stop it and I would stop it immediately. We have tens of thousands of people coming into this country. We don't know who they are. There's no paperwork. There's no documentation.

Now, with that being said, build safe zones over in Syria, and I'll get the Gulf states to pay for it because our country has no money. We have to rebuild our infrastructure in this country. We have a disaster going on in our country, our roads, our highways, our bridges, our tunnels, our airports, our hospitals, our everything, our schools -- have a disaster going on.

So we're going to rebuild our country. We have to start. We've spent now almost $5 trillion in the Middle East. We can't do this anymore. We have to get back. Now, we have to -- we have to knock the hell out of ISIS.  That I have to say. But we have to get back to rebuilding our country.

HANNITY: We'll take a break. The Washington Post has an army of 20 people that want to look at every single aspect and phase of your life. Also, we'll talk about the polls against Hillary Clinton, the hypothetical -- well, what will be the matchup, as we continue with Donald Trump right after the break.

And also coming up tonight...


REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: We're all on the same page. It was positive. It was cooperative. It had a good spirit in the room.


HANNITY: That was RNC Chairman Reince Priebus talking about today's meeting in Washington with Donald Trump and Paul Ryan. He'll join us with his perspective. Also, Laura Ingraham, Ari Fleischer, and much more. What do Republicans need to do to beat Hillary Clinton in the fall?

And then later tonight, the patriarch of "Duck Dynasty," Phil Robertson -- he was a Ted Cruz supporter. He's now supporting Donald Trump. He'll explain straight ahead.



HANNITY: And welcome back to "Hannity" as we continue now with 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. You had the Quinnipiac poll. You're winning by 4 in Ohio. You're dead even in Pennsylvania and Florida. How do you interpret that poll?

TRUMP: Well, I think really good. We have to win Florida. I think I'll win Florida. You know, I won Florida against Marco by a massive, massive number. We had a 20 percent victory. Everybody said, Wow, that's incredible. That was -- that's a great state for me.

And Pennsylvania, we won massively, as you know, and I think we're going to that against Hillary easily. She wants to put the miners and steel out of business, essentially. She wants the miners out of business. I think we're going to win Pennsylvania.

And Ohio is a great state for me. Ohio is -- I actually did very well in Ohio. We had a great number in Ohio.

HANNITY: And you went up against a popular governor. Yes.

TRUMP: Yes, I did. I mean, I did a very good job. If I would have been there for two more days, you would have seen, but we did a very good -- we got a great number in Ohio.

HANNITY: You look at the -- I don't know if you've seen, years, ago, they came out with "The War Room," how the Clintons fought back in 1992 against George Herbert Walker Bush, very insightful. Gives you insight, by the way, into your friend, George Stephanopoulos.

I don't know if you've seen that, but we know about the Clinton machine.  We know they play dirty. We know they'll say and do anything to get elected. Between that and The Washington Post announcing that they have put 20 people to dig into every single phase of your life, are you prepared for what's coming? It's not if it's coming, but when it's coming.

TRUMP: Yes. It's interesting that you say that because every hour, we're getting calls from reporters from The Washington Post asking ridiculous questions. And I will tell you, this is owned as a toy by Jeff Bezos, who controls Amazon. Amazon is getting away with murder tax-wise. He's using The Washington Post for power so that the politicians in Washington don't tax Amazon like they should be taxed.

He's getting absolutely away. He's worried about me and he -- I think he said to somebody. It was in some article, where he thinks I would go after him for anti-trust because he's got a huge anti-trust problem because he's controlling so much. Amazon is controlling so much of what they're doing.

And what they've done is he bought this paper for practically nothing, and he's using that as a tool of political power against me and against other people.

And I'll tell you what. We can't let him get away with it. So he's got about 20, 25. I just heard they're taking these really bad stories. I mean, they're, you know, wrong. I don't even say bad. They're wrong. And in many cases, they have no proper information. And they're putting them together. They're slopping them together and they're going to do a book.  And the book is going to be all false stuff because the stories are so wrong. And the reporters, I mean, one after another -- so what they're doing is he's using that as a political instrument to try and stop anti- trust, which he thinks I believe he's anti-trust, in other words, what he's got is a monopoly. And he wants to make sure I don't get in.


TRUMP: So it's one of those things. But I'll tell you what. I'll tell you what. What he's doing is wrong, and the people are being -- the whole system is rigged. You see a case like that, the whole system is rigged, whether it's Hillary or...


HANNITY: ... good point.

TRUMP: ... Bezos.

HANNITY: Yes, well, you know...

TRUMP: No, no. He's using -- let's -- let's -- Sean, let me...


TRUMP: He's using The Washington Post, which is peanuts -- he's using that for political purposes to save Amazon in terms of taxes and in terms of anti-trust.

HANNITY: Wow. Let me ask about Hillary. You commented about her being an enabler. You talked about the abuse of women and -- you know, look, those women -- I've interviewed Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and a lot of other women. And you -- they tell their stories, but more importantly, they tell about how they were smeared and slandered and besmirched when they did tell their stories.

I haven't heard you talk a lot about the e-mail server investigation. I haven't heard you talk a lot about the Clinton Foundation. Hillary says she's for women. The foundation took a lot of money from the Saudis, and I've never heard her criticize the Saudis' treatment of women. Is that be they bought her silence?

TRUMP: Well, I talk about the e-mails all the time, I mean, and what can you say? Does it get any more corrupt or crooked than that? And it looks like she's being protected. Otherwise, how would they let her go down the line this far, and just before she gets this phony nomination -- you talk about a rig. I watch this guy, Bernie Sanders. I'm no fan of his, but I watch him win every night, and everybody says he can't win. He wins, he wins, he wins, he can't win because she has these superdelegates. So I'm talking about that all the time.

The Clinton Foundation obviously is looking to me like it's got some big problems. If you read the book and you see the movie that's coming out -- I mean, the movie that's coming out is brutal, from what I understand. So we'll have to look at that.

HANNITY: I actually know all about it, yes.

TRUMP: Yes, but I'm -- I'm talking about the e-mails all the time. Look, people have done, like, 2 percent of what she did, and they've paid -- they've destroyed their life over it. And what she's done with the e-mails is horrible. Now, I hear the man that set it up and set up the server has gone absolutely rogue. So let's see what happens. But I think she's got some big problems with that. I just don't know whether or not they'll prosecute.

HANNITY: Nearly half of Bernie Sanders West Virginia voters say they will vote for you instead of Hillary. Hillary has warned her donors -- literally, they sent out an e-mail the other night saying even if Bernie runs the table on the remaining states, the corrupt system of superdelegates gives it to Hillary. So she's doing very, very poorly here.

I'll give you an example. Back in 2008, when she ran in West Virginia, she had 240,000 votes. She got less than 85,000. What do you make of how she can't close out this nomination on her side?

TRUMP: She's not a closer here. She wasn't a closer last time. She's not a closer with the Chinese for trade deals. She's not going to be a closer with ISIS. She destroyed -- she really hurt us with Libya. That's Benghazi. Not only that, ISIS has the oil. now. They've gone and taken the oil. Libya was her baby, and that was a disaster. I mean, what she's done has been a disaster.

She's not a closer. You know, the bottom line, whether it's the election or whether it's the election against Obama, you know, in terms of the primaries, she's just not a closer. This is not a woman that would be -- that should be president.

We have so much work to do. I don't think she has the energy to be president. I don't think she can do it.


TRUMP: I don't think she can do it.

HANNITY: Last question...

TRUMP: You see it right now, she cannot close the deal.

HANNITY: If you look at exit polls in every state, same answer, Republicans feel betrayed by their own party. I think that's playing a big part in how this election has played out. I guess the question is -- there's been two moments I think where conservative policies have made America a better place. You talk about Ronald Reagan. I think that was one of the most recent examples. The other would be the "Contract with America."

These promises that you make about the wall, about judges, about "Obama care," balancing the budget, about schools and energy and vets and the military and all these things...

TRUMP: Right.

HANNITY: Would it be a good idea to put it on paper and say to your fellow Republicans, We're going to do these things, sign the paper, promise the American people. They're tired of being lied to. They're tired of being betrayed. And sign it and say, This is my promise if you elect me.

TRUMP: I mean, I'd have to problem doing it. I'm going to do it with the judges because I think it would make people feel better, especially people -- you know, certain people within the party that happen to be on the very conservative side.


TRUMP: I think it would make them feel better. That's why I'm doing it.  But I think everybody knows -- first of all, "Obama care" -- it's going to -- it's going to fall of its own weight. You know, in '17, it explodes.  It's dead, OK? It's dead. It is an absolute disaster. Unfortunately, let's say I'm president, I have to inherent this mess., But we, hopefully, will terminate it before it even explodes. But in '17, it's a disaster.

Well, I'm going to do all these things. I could certainly put it in paper, but we have to do these things. We need the wall. You know, the 16,500 border patrol agents just endorsed me, first time they've endorsed a presidential candidate.

And I went to them and I said, What about the wall? They said, Mr. Trump, we really need the wall.


TRUMP: We're going to stop the drugs. We're going to stop the problems, believe me, Sean.

HANNITY: All right. By the way, I hope when the five or six -- you said a couple I may not like -- don't pick that person. Pick the guy that I would like, if you don't mind, on your VP list.

TRUMP: (INAUDIBLE) you're going to like.


TRUMP: I think you're going to be very impressed.

HANNITY: All right.

TRUMP: No, no. I think you're going to be very impressed. We'll come up with the right final answer, believe me.

HANNITY: All right, thank you, Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee.  Thank you, sir. Appreciate it.

TRUMP: Thank you.

HANNITY: When we come back, RNC chairman Reince Priebus -- he's here with his take on Donald Trump's meeting today in Washington with Paul Ryan.  Plus Laura Ingraham, Ari Fleischer react to the need for Republicans to unite to defeat Hillary.

And then later tonight, "Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson -- well, he was a big supporter of Ted Cruz, but now he's jumping on the Trump train. That's straight ahead.


HANNITY: And welcome back to "Hannity." So the Republican Party took a big step forward, uniting around Donald Trump after the presumptive Republican nominee held a very high-profile meeting with GOP leaders in Washington. RNC chairman Reince Priebus -- well, he was in on today's talks. He joins us now for reaction. Sir, how are you?

REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: I'm doing great, Sean. How are you?

HANNITY: I'm good. What's going on?

PRIEBUS: Well, it was a good day I think on Capitol Hill. It was a good day for our party. I think it was a great day for Donald Trump. And I don't think either Donald Trump or Paul Ryan could have been more pleased with the meeting that they had today. So from my standpoint...

HANNITY: Then why didn't he endorse him?

PRIEBUS: ... it was a really good start. Well, because, look, they -- I think both parties agreed with the strategy and both parties agreed with how the thing should go today. They both wanted to talk. I think they might be either talking tomorrow or the next day, and they're going to be working together very closely over the next couple weeks.

And so it was all positive. I mean, I know it's interesting to poke at it, but really, I think they're both happy with the outcome.

HANNITY: Yes. It seems that -- this has gone on a long time. And I wrote you a note today, and you kind of wrote back I don't know what I'm talking about. You said it in a nice way, though. And that's fine.


HANNITY: This has been going on a year. Does Paul Ryan have questions about where he stands on judges, the wall, immigration, the economy, ISIS, energy independence? Did he have questions about that? What did they talk about?

PRIEBUS: Well, yes, I mean, look -- I mean, I can't get into -- well, I hate to spoil the fun, Sean, but I mean, me being -- I had to be a trusted person that I wouldn't come on TV and start spilling the beans on everything they talked about. But I can tell you that they agreed on -- on a vast majority of things.

And there was -- very cordial. There was a lot of chemistry in the room.  It was fun. It was -- it was no animosity whatsoever. And I think it was just -- it was a time to get to know each other.

You know, look, this was not a normal primary, and so we don't have a normal process that we're, you know, instantly 100 percent on the same page. But I think for the most part, you're -- you know, you got 90 percent there and these cards (ph) are going to fall. And it was a good day on Capitol Hill.

Everyone should feel good about today. That's the feeling that everyone involved today had. And if you watched Paul Ryan's presser afterwards, he said very some positive things...


HANNITY: When would you expect Paul Ryan to endorse Donald Trump?

PRIEBUS: I don't want to put a timeframe on it because it's not my place, Sean, but my sense personally is, you know, not that long. I know it doesn't -- that's not very helpful, but I'm just telling you it was very good and I don't -- I think this thing is moving in a very good direction quickly.

HANNITY: Did they talk about issues specifically, philosophy? What was it more about?

PRIEBUS: I think both -- it was about both of those things. It was about philosophy. It was about issues. There were specific issues discussed.  It wasn't just vague discussions about what do you think about the constitution? It wasn't like that. But it was specific things that both Paul Ryan and Donald Trump believe in in our country and how they relate to our party and the movement and how they can work together. And so without getting into all the details I can tell you it was substantive and not vague and not just all around the edges.

HANNITY: I can think of three differences knowing both of them -- trade, immigration, and touching entitlements.

PRIEBUS: Yes. Those are three issues that are important. Obviously both Paul and Donald Trump I think actually have a lot more in common than they have not in common. So I don't think the disagreements are as wide as some may perceive.

HANNITY: And did they talk about VP at all, or did they talk about cabinet members or potential cabinet members and VP?

PRIEBUS: I'm really sorry. I can't -- I just would -- everyone can understand --

HANNITY: You're supposed to come on and give me information that you didn't want to give me. Come on. Step up.

PRIEBUS: I wouldn't be an honest, trustworthy person in a meeting like that if I did that. I want to help you but I can't.

HANNITY: Can you give me any nugget -- bring us into the room. Was there a lot of laughter, joke telling?

PRIEBUS: We had good bagels and coffee and water. It was very cordial, and actually it was not just cordial. I would say it was warm, and there was a very good spirit between the two of them.

HANNITY: All right, Reince Priebus, that's about all I'm getting out of you tonight, I can tell. Thank you for being with us.


HANNITY: And coming up, does the Republican Party need to unite in order to defeat Hillary in November? Laura Ingraham, Ari Fleischer, they're coming up next.

Plus, the patriarch of "Duck Dynasty" Phil Robertson, he first endorsed Ted Cruz. Now he's jumping aboard the Trump train. He'll tell us why, straight ahead.   


HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." Donald Trump had high profile meetings with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Republican leaders earlier today in Washington. So will the party now start to come together and defeat Hillary Clinton in November?

Here with reaction, editor in chief of Lifezette.com, FOX News contributor, Laura Ingraham, former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer. Why am I a little annoyed at this whole thing, Laura? This has been going on a long time. I can state chapter and verse every single candidate's position.  Paul Ryan doesn't know where Donald Trump stands at this point?

LAURA INGRAHAM, EDITOR IN CHIEF, LIFEZETTE.COM: I think Ryan's point is that it's only been a little bit over a week and we have --

HANNITY: Over a year.

INGRAHAM: We have differences. You and I, Sean, let's face it, you and I are not known for our patience. I'm more impatient than you are, but we want it done yesterday. And maybe this is a little bit of a process. I'm really trying to look on the bright side here, and I think there's so much bright side. Just listening to Trump right now, doesn't he seem a lot more chill? He seems --

HANNITY: He does. I agree with that.

INGRAHAM: He's kind of in a zone. He's very confident. He knows what's coming. He knows they're digging up whatever they can supposedly find on him. He seems ready for that. And I think Ryan to some extent is trying to catch up. I think a lot of people were surprised when Ted Cruz dropped out in Indiana. People thought this was going to go --

HANNITY: So they thought had leverage. They were going to be able to negotiate between the convention and California.

INGRAHAM: And more time. I think they were -- I think there are legitimate concerns about Trump. I think they're worried that article one, he wouldn't feel bound by article one which limits the power of the executive. Congress is worried about having its power further eroded. But I would say to them, you didn't do much to stand up for your power when Obama was in office, so that would have been more of a concern. But I think it's going to be wrapped up in days, not weeks, and we want it done yesterday, but I think it's going to be OK ultimately.

HANNITY: I'm glad Laura admitted she's a little more impatient than me.  But I plead guilty. I'm on the impatient side.

Ari, I just feel there's a little bit of a dance going on that I don't like here, and I feel it's a little bit of a power play. I just went over it with Donald Trump where he stood on judges, where he stood on immigration, where he stood on balanced budgets, ObamaCare, energy, education, the vets, the military, and ISIS. What else does Paul Ryan want to know?

ARI FLEISCHER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Here's what you left off your list, Sean. There's a difference on free trade. There's a difference on reforming entitlements, particularly Social Security and Medicare, which Donald Trump says he believes we can leave alone, Israel, where Donald Trump said he was neutral, and of course Donald Trump's statement that George Bush was a liar about Iraq. You add all those up and it's the reason that many people have pause about Donald Trump.

For me, I've said as much as there are things with Donald Trump that I disagree with, and I do, I will vote for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton any day of the week because she is so unprincipled, reckless, and dishonest. So you've got to recognize Donald Trump does emerge as a relatively unpopular Republican. Typically candidates are more popular than Trump, and it makes people --


HANNITY: He's popular with the people, and he's just not people with the Washington establishment.

FLEISCHER: You can't discount the polls that show his disapproval ratings.

HANNITY: The Washington establishment is not popular with the people either.

FLEISCHER: I totally agree with that. This is going to be an outsider driven race, not an insider driven race. But when you have a 60-percent disapproval or a 65-percent disapproval, you have got a problem. He's lucky he's running against Hillary who has a 55-percent disapproval.

HANNITY: I think you bring up valid points. This is some anger. This is not beanbag. This is a blood sport. We saw it in the primaries, and I've got to bet, Laura, I think a lot of people that maybe supported other candidates that didn't like Trump attacking their guy are probably going to be really happy when he goes after Hillary unlike any other Republican probably would. He is going to fight hard.

INGRAHAM: I think they were outfoxed by Trump. They were outsmarted by Trump. And people are ticked off about it. That's a natural human reaction. I think there is some concern, Ari mentioned Trade, of course immigration. But Trump is closer to where the people are and closer to where those independent minded folks are on doing better deals. He's not anti-trade. I think that's going to be destroyed as an argument that he's anti-trade.

HANNITY: What did you think about his answer when I said naming other cabinet officials, he said he likes that idea, and he said he would be glad to put all the things that I just mentioned, the list I gave Ari, that he'd be glad to sign that as a pledge. I think that would be two good ideas to bring confidence back to those people that feel betrayed.

INGRAHAM: I think his instincts generally have been pretty good. They've been better than everybody else's instincts. And so whether it's announcing you're going to have a SWAT team go into every federal department to show immediately where the power can be rolled back to return power to the people and get off the backs of small business in this country, I think he's going to think in those kinds of ways.

And I would also just say in response to Ari, these new polls coming out, I guess we can discount those too. He's tied with Hillary right now, and this thing hasn't even started. So I think we see that he has moved the conversation toward a more populist Republican conservative agenda, which I think ultimately is going to be very popular and it's probably where the Republican Party should have always been.

HANNITY: Good analysis both of you. Good to see you both. Ari, thank you. Laura, as always, thank you.

Coming up, "Duck Dynasty's" Phil Robertson is here to weigh in on the 2016 race as HANNITY continues.


HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." So a few months ago "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson made a splash in the political world. He formally endorsed Senator Cruz. But now that Cruz is out of the race, Robertson is now backing Donald Trump. He's here to explain, the man himself, "Duck Dynasty" star, the patriarch, Phil Robertson. How are you, sir?

PHIL ROBERTSON, "DUCK DYNASTY" STAR: I'm doing good. Hey, Sean. Hey, Sean.

HANNITY: Yes, sir.

ROBERTSON: The temperature of the Wichita River is perfect.


HANNITY: There's a problem. I got to tell everybody the story now because nobody knows what you're talking about. So I'm at your place interviewing you and uncle Si and Willie is there and some other people, and you're like "Hannity, you want to get them ratings up, come on back I'm going to dunk in the water and baptize you." I said that's the same place alligators come out of. You want to dunk me in an alligator swap.

ROBERTSON: But the Lord will protect you son, Sean, the Lord will protect you.

HANNITY: I'll need his protection. I said, don't you have a swimming pool? I'll let you do it in a swimming pool.

ROBERTSON: Are you kidding? The swimming pool, it is the river, dude.

HANNITY: Dude, there are alligators in there. I saw them on your show come right out of that very spot.

ROBERTSON: There's a few, but that's OK. But cottonmouths actually are worse than the alligators.


HANNITY: All right, so you supported Cruz. Willie was Trump all the way.  Now you're totally on board with Donald Trump. Tell us how you feel about the election.

ROBERTSON: Well, now, Sean, I've been watching you and a lot of guys like you. You all are what I call political warriors. In my case, my view of it is a little differently than yours is. I'm more into the spiritual part. The issue in America, in my opinion, is much larger than presidents, prime ministers, kings. The issue before us, in my opinion, is a spiritual one. In other words, I don't think it's a political fix. Politicians can help.

Now, I went with Ted Cruz, strict constitutionalist, a Jesus man, like Antonin Scalia. Jesus man, religious man, strict constitutionalist. I played it close to the vest. I thought Scalia vetted his decisions through the Bible. Cruz would have done the same. But that is out, and they're gone. They're out of the race. My hope is that Donald Trump, I know he has a lot of common sense. My hope is --

HANNITY: Where does common sense come from? You're a pastor. Doesn't it come from God?

ROBERTSON: I hope so in his case. I really do. So I have hope.

HANNITY: We all do.  

ROBERTSON: I have hope. But you've got to remember something. All men, Sean, are like grass in all their glory, like the flowers in the field.  The grass withers, the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever. We have a spiritual problem in America, Sean. That is the crux of the problem.

HANNITY: The good book says all have sins and fallen short. And by the way, you actually have a new movie. It's called "Torchbearer." Does it deal with this?

ROBERTSON: That deals precisely with this. What's happened is as these empires rise, they remove God as their anchor. They let men determine what is right, what's wrong, what's good, what's evil, and how much your life is worth. The documentary looks at a historical account going all the way back thousands of years. And it's always the same. Once you remove God, then the carnage starts. All have you to do is look around.

The reason people are so frustrated in America, and they're trying anything. They said, well, let's just get a complete outsider, Donald Trump, a New York businessman. Let him run the government up here as president of the United States. The reason it's making these wild swings, people are looking around, Sean, depravity in my lifetime has become mainstream. Depravity is mainstream. The citizens of America are seeing that, and they don't know what to do about that. They're saying something is bad wrong.

Now, for the most part they look towards their politicians to solve it.  God does not come and go like presidents. He's always there. Our founding fathers from start to finish, Sean, they warned us, you'll lose your religion, then your morality goes, and there goes your freedom. From George Washington to John Adams, "It's when people forget God that tyrants forge their chains," John Adams said. Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence, our rights come from God. But it's a hard sell in these days.

HANNITY: I can talk to you all day. I'll come back, but you get a swimming pool, that's our deal. I don't even care if it's a little kiddie pool. I will even do a kiddie pool if you need it. But as we say goodbye to Phil Robertson, I will a part of this film, the trailer from his new movie. It's called "Torchbearer." Thank you, Mr. Robertson.


ROBERTSON: In the beginning, God. Beyond all time and outside of all space, there was God. But then, the evil one, the father of lies, tempted them. From this calamity down through the ages man shakes his fist at his creator and says "I decide what is right and wrong. God is dead. I'm my own God." With the fall, death entered into human history. Now all creation is subject to its bondage to decay.


HANNITY: Time for our "Question of the Day." Does Donald Trump need the GOP to unite in order to win in November? Maybe, maybe not, right? Go to Facebook.com/SeanHannity, @SeanHannity on Twitter, let us know what you think.

Before we go, quick programming note. Tomorrow night, we're going to do 10:00 eastern a special edition of "Hannity: Trump Versus the Left in America," and by "the left" that means Hillary and Bernie Sanders among others.

But that is all the time we have left this evening. That's tomorrow night.  We'll see you back here 10:00 Eastern. Have a great night.

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