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Authorities intensify search for debris from EgyptAir crash

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 19, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And this is a Fox News Alert. Welcome to "Hannity."

Tonight, at this hour, authorities are searching for answers after an EgyptAir plane crashed into the Mediterranean Sea. Sixty-six people were on board. The plane was traveling from Paris to Cairo. And according to reports, Russian and Egyptian officials think terrorism might be to blame.

Joining us now from the -- from London with the very latest is our own Kitty Logan -- Kitty.

KITTY LOGAN, FOX CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Sean, well, terrorism is one of many possible scenarios, but for authorities to establish exactly what went wrong with this aircraft, they first need to find it.

Now, Egypt has ordered search efforts to be intensified, particularly in the waters south of the Greek coast, where the plane may have crashed.  There were early reports of sightings of wreckage, but EgyptAir now says none has been found so far.

The aircraft was flying from Paris towards Cairo around 24 hours ago when it disappeared off the radar shortly after it crossed into Egyptian airspace from Greece.

There were, as you say, 66 passengers and crew on board. EgyptAir issued a statement tonight offering condolences to relatives of the missing, a sign, sadly, that they don't expect any survivors. So the wait goes on for anxious relatives whose loved ones never showed up at Cairo's airport.  This and other previous aviation incidents in Egypt have heightened fears about flying in and out of the country.

Now, the U.S. Navy has sent aircraft to support Greece in search and rescue efforts, but until the wreckage, and crucially the black boxes, are found, what happened to this plane may remain a mystery -- Sean.

HANNITY: All right, Kitty. Thank you.

Our own Lea Gabrielle is at the "Hannity" big board tonight with more on what happened right before EgyptAir flight 804 disappeared.

Lea, with your background and experience, I know you have a lot of insight here.

LEA GABRIELLE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Sean, you know authorities are still trying to locate EgyptAir flight 804. Earlier today, Egyptian officials did provide some information as to what happened before the plane disappeared.

So less than an hour prior to the aircraft's scheduled arrival in Cairo, Egypt, the Airbus A320 was cruising at an altitude of 38,000 feet. Now -- - now, that's when authorities say that it took a 90-degree left-hand turn before moving 360 degrees, essentially flipping to the right, and dropping more than 20,000 feet, eventually vanishing from radar at around 10,000 feet.

Well, the Egyptian military says it did not receive a distress call, and according to the Associated Press, an airport official indicated earlier that the pilot did not send one, which could mean that whatever caused the plane to plummet happened suddenly -- Sean.

HANNITY: Let me ask you this, though, Lea, based on your experience, because we keep looking and we keep hearing -- all right, so it veered left, if veered right, it went down 22,000 feet. This is viewed as -- the A320 is viewed as a -- the Airbus is a workhorse. It flies multiple flights a day. They never have any problems. It's on a superb maintenance program.

So I think terrorism -- first thing that comes to my mind.

GABRIELLE: Well, Sean, I think that's a great point because this is a region that is very dangerous right now. You know, you have lots going on in the Sinai peninsula. You have ISIS. You have the ISIS affiliate in Egypt. So it is a hotbed of terrorism in this region.

But let me just also present some other information. At this point, there have been no indication -- we have found no debris on the surface. Then when this first happened, I think a lot of people thought, OK, this disappeared at 37,000 feet off the radar. That would indicate the airplane essentially just blew up in flight.

But then we learned more information that we saw it turn one way, then the other. As a pilot, that looks like out-of-control flight, perhaps a spin, which would cause a very severe nose-dive towards the water.

Now it looks to me more like this aircraft may have been more in one piece because of the fact that we haven't seen a debris field. And the fact that we haven't found any indications of that aircraft so far. Still opens the door to terrorism. It opens the door to mechanical failure. It opens the door to a pilot that's suicidal. It opens the door to a lot of things.

But at this point, you know, they'll be looking for that aircraft. I think they're more likely to find it in more of one piece than some large explosive debris field.

HANNITY: Lea, you told me, in your experience, you actually saw a large plane crash in one piece, and it went straight to the bottom.

GABRIELLE: Well, you know, Sean, you're referring back to when I was flying F-18s for the Navy. And this was when I was on deployment in 2002 in the Adriatic Sea. Very sad story. We lost one of our pilots. He was doing practice bombing runs at night, going about a 45-degree dive towards the water, about 450 miles, 500 miles per hour. We actually knew exactly where his location was when he crashed. Another pilot was watching. But we never found the aircraft.

It was in a very nose-down dive, going very fast. And again if the aircraft is all in one piece, you're not going to see a lot of debris floating like you would if the aircraft actually explodes above the surface, Sean.

HANNITY: All right, Lea. By the way, she did fly F-18s. Amazing story.  Thanks for sharing that insight. We appreciate it.

Here now with reaction, former commercial pilot and aerospace journalist Kathleen Bangs is with us, one of Donald Trump's foreign policy advisers and FOX News Middle East analyst, Dr. Walid Phares is with us, and former National Security Council staffer Gillian Turner is here, as well.

Gillian, let me start with you. You heard what Lea had to say. Our first thought has to be terror. I'm thinking they had three air marshals on board, 22,000-foot plunge. That doesn't happen very often.

GILLIAN TURNER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: It really doesn't, especially the idea that a plane sort of spontaneously combusts mid-flight is virtually unheard of. The hesitancy, the reluctance here has to do with the families. You want to be careful to not preemptively call something an incident of terrorism and cause unnecessary trauma to the family members of the passengers who were on board.

But the reality is, once there's an inking that a terrorist activity might be in the works here, you want to call it as soon as possible because you want to, as a government, be able to bring every resource to bear in this investigation. Since the Egyptians announced earlier today that terrorism was kind of on the docket here with a potential...

HANNITY: Oh, has to be. Yes.

TURNER: ... we've seen a great rallying cry...

HANNITY: Planes don't disappear on their own.

TURNER: Exactly.

HANNITY: And they usually don't fall out of the sky, either.

Kathleen, let's talk about this particular plane, the Airbus. It's well known for its safety features, is it not? It's one of the safest planes in the air.

KATHLEEN BANGS, FMR. COMMERCIAL PILOT AND AEROSPACE JOURNALIST: Yes. I mean, the A320 has an admirable record. There's thousands of these flying.  As you mentioned, you know, earlier on this network all day today, it's a workhorse in the industry, comparable to a Boeing 737. So it has been involved in a lot of high-profile accidents in the last few years, but you have to balance that with that there's just many, many Airbus A320s out there.

I think what we really need to find out, Sean, is why has there been no satellite infrared heat signature. It was erroneously reported this morning that there was one, but now the U.S. government officials have taken that back.

If you recall with the Metrojet crash in Egypt last year, within three days, they had confirmation that satellites overhead did get a heat signature indicating that there was a bomb on board. But we've yet to be able to get any confirmation on that. In fact, U.S. satellites are saying so far they don't see any indication of a heat signature where this EgyptAir Airbus A320 went down in the Mediterranean.

HANNITY: Yea. All right. Let me -- let me ask Walid -- look, here's the problem. Radical Islamic terrorism seems to be at war with the rest of the world. We have incident after incident happening worldwide. So when somebody like myself thinks, OK, there's three air marshals on board, that means that they're armed. That means that people charged the cockpit, they probably would have been stopped.

So either something happened within the cockpit, either one of the pilots was a terrorist, or it had to be a bomb on that plane because otherwise, I would assume that the air marshals would get them. So I'm thinking of the possibilities here. Is it normal reaction to people to think terrorism?

WALID PHARES, FOX MIDEAST AND TERRORISM ANALYST: Absolutely. If we are at war, as you just mentioned, Sean, with the jihadists, so this is an event that we have to read it with that perspective, though we will have to wait for the black box to be discovered. Then we'll have the full truth.

Now we are 24 hours only after the incident, but yet you see a consensus between the Russians, the Egyptians and directly (ph) the French because they've ordered a security investigation in Paris. We see that investigation trending towards terrorism. And if this is the case, Egypt is under attack by the jihadists in the Sinai, across the country...

HANNITY: Oh, all over.

PHARES: ... from Libya -- all over.

HANNITY: Yes, I mean, we've watched all of this unfold when you saw General -- General el Sisi come into power, and of course, you had the head of the Muslim Brotherhood in power for a period of time, so there's inner turmoil, conflict, jihadi -- a jihadi element targeting Egypt.

Gillian, let me go back to you for a second. I did learn one thing today from a source of mine, that at Charles de Gaulle airport, they discovered after the Paris bombing there were 57 people that were on the terror watch list working at that airport. Some, as I understand it, were removed, but some still on the watch listed had access to those airplanes in Paris!

(CROSSTALK)

TURNER: It baffles the mind.

HANNITY: It does, right?

TURNER: I mean, it defies explanation. There is no possible explanation.  It's outrageous. And there's not really anything else to say about it.

When it comes to aviation security, though, what we're really seeing is that we have to be mindful of the fact that the terrorists are actually innovating faster than governments are able to come up with new prevention and screening measures. And that's a core problem here. New kinds of underwear bombs, new kinds of shoe bombs and ways to conceal them are being developed right now as we sit here and talk tonight, probably headquartered out of AQAP, which is Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, very active there...

HANNITY: Paris is not known for the same type of security measures we use here in the United States. You had people on a terror watch list, and they were still -- they still had access to airplanes. Very stupid.

Kathleen, let me go back to you. I want to talk about the 22,000-foot plunge that this airplane took. And your experience -- because I know you have to go through a lot of training and simulator training -- you go through instances where a plane is in a freefall, but it's not likely to ever happen. Even if all the engines went out, that would not be the normal pattern of an airplane descent, would it.

BANKS: No. But actually, Sean, this loss of control that you talk about, which we've lost more and more jets to over the last few years -- very high-profile accidents such as Air Asia, Air France, were all loss of control, meaning the pilots had a perfectly good airplane. They actually initiated their own demise.

So around the world, different aviation agencies have enforced the airlines, and some of the airlines have done it voluntarily, to start doing this training. But there's many carriers that haven't started. In fact, Air Asia, when they went back and looked at the pilot records, they found out that they had not engaged in any of this loss of control training.

So if something did happen up there, this might have been the first time that these pilots saw it.

HANNITY: (INAUDIBLE) from cruising altitude and drop 22,000 feet in that period of time in the way that -- in the manner in which they described.

Thank you all for being with us. Appreciate your time. Thank you so much.

And coming up -- authorities continue to investigate whether or not terrorism is, in fact, to blame for the disappearance of the Egyptair jetliner. Now, the flight originated from Paris, as I mentioned, and early this month, well, French officials -- they warned of ISIS attacks.  Catherine Herridge is on the story. She'll have a full report.

And then later tonight...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Are they going to interview Paula Jones? Are they going to interview Kathleen Willey? In one case, it's about exposure, and another case, it's about groping and fondling and touching against a women's will.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: And rape.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Donald Trump unloads on Bill Clinton's indiscretions. It happened right here on "Hannity" last night. Laura Ingraham tonight weighs in.

Plus, brand-new national head-to-head polls now show Donald Trump plus 5 against Hillary Clinton. That and more tonight on "Hannity."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: And this is a Fox News Alert. So as authorities try to piece together exactly what happened with EgyptAir flight 804, a French spy chief is saying tonight that ISIS is preparing to strike again in France.

FOX News chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge joins us now with the very latest -- Catherine.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CATHERINE HERRIDGE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: A transcript released earlier today shows that France's equivalent of the CIA director warned on May 10th that a string of terrorist attacks by ISIS using package bombs was possible, though his comments focused on stadiums and places where large crowds get together and did not specifically cite aviation.

"Clearly, France is most threatened, and we know that Daesh, the Islamic State, is planning new attacks," Patrick Calvar (ph) told the French government committee. It's in a position where it would try to hit as quickly as possible and as hard as possible.

Meantime, French prosecutors are now focused on airport workers at Charles de Gaulle who had access to flight 804 before it left Paris. That means investigators are exploring the same scenario that brought down a Russian Metrojet in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, last October, where an airport worker placed a bomb on board.

Speaking in Washington today, the Homeland Security chairman said the evidence is limited and preliminary, but also drew a possible connection.

REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL, R-TEXAS: The threat indicators are very likely that we're dealing once again with a Sharm el-Sheikh type of attack, an insider threat where a bomb could have placed on that aircraft either one using a timing device that would have started out of Cairo, or whether it was luggage put in the cargo hold.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HERRIDGE: This morning, the French parliament approved a two-month extension of the state of emergency that began after November's ISIS attack in Paris on a stadium, concert hall and restaurants. France's homeland security minister said the terrorist threat is high and the measure will cover the upcoming soccer championships -- Sean.

HANNITY: All right, Catherine Herridge, thank you.

Joining us now with more reaction is the religious director of the Islamic Center for Greater Toledo, Imam Talal Eid is with us. Also, former FBI agent Manny Gomez. And back with us, National Security Council staffer Gillian Turner.

Manny, we'll go you. We've seen this happen again and again. My first thought is terrorism. Your reaction.

MANNY GOMEZ, FMR. FBI SPECIAL AGENT: I agree with you. Planes just don't drop from the air without a distress signal. This could still be a mechanical malfunction. We have to find the plane, find out what happened, do a forensic investigation. However, just prima facie evidence indicates that this plane was attacked.

HANNITY: Especially with three air marshals on board, right?

GOMEZ: Absolutely.

HANNITY: Because if something happened, somebody approached the cockpit, they would have come up.

GOMEZ: Absolutely.

HANNITY: And there were not a lot of people on the plane, relatively speaking, 55 people, passengers.

GOMEZ: Right.

HANNITY: All right, Imam, let me go to what Donald Trump said. He went after Hillary Clinton for using -- for refusing to use the word "radical Islam." It's the number one threat the world faces. Here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Today, we had a terrible tragedy, and she came up and she said that Donald Trump talked about radical Islamic terrorism, which she doesn't want to use. She used a different term because she doesn't want to use that term. She refuses to use that term!

And I'm saying to myself what just happened about 12 hours ago, a plane got blown out of the sky! And if anything -- if anybody thinks it wasn't blown out of the sky, you're 100 percent wrong folks, OK? You're 100 percent wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Imam, tell us why people should not think this is radical Islamic terrorism. Shouldn't it be people's first thoughts, based on the history of the last 15, 20, 30 years in the world?

IMAM TALAL EID, ISLAMIC CENTER OF GREATER TOLEDO: Well, good evening, Sean, and thank you for having me on your show. Now, today, it's a very sad day. There is no doubt. And you can see the people whom we say that they are the victims of...

HANNITY: I appreciate that, but we don't have a lot of time. So my question is...

EID: OK.

HANNITY: ... isn't it the normal thought process, based on what has happened...

EID: No, it's not normal...

HANNITY: ... around the world...

(CROSSTALK)

EID: It is not because I tell you the people who died are Muslims and non- Muslims, OK? So...

HANNITY: You're right. Radical Islamists kill innocent Muslims, too.  You're right. But radical Islam is a threat to...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: ... is a threat to good people all around the world, regardless of their religious affiliation.

EID: So if you want to call it -- the problem with calling it radical Muslims or radical Islam -- the problem here...

HANNITY: Do you deny that...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Do you deny radical Islam exists? Do you deny that radical Islam is a threat?

EID: It's whether I deny or not deny...

HANNITY: I'm asking, do you acknowledge radical Islam is a threat?

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Sir, I'm asking.

EID: There are people who are using...

HANNITY: Do you acknowledge...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: ... that radical Islam is a threat to Christians and Muslims and Jews and innocent people worldwide?

EID: Yes, but there are -- those are...

(CROSSTALK)

EID: There are radical Christians. There are radical Jews.

HANNITY: Really?

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Give me an example of what radical Christians and what radical Jews have done recently in terms of terror attacks.

EID: Well, you can go to David Koresh and you can understand...

HANNITY: David Koresh? That's your answer?

(CROSSTALK)

EID: He was acting -- yes, you can go to...

HANNITY: David Koresh is your answer?

EID: ... Amir, who assassinated Itzhak Rabin...

HANNITY: Are you denying that radical Islam is a clear and present danger to human beings worldwide?

EID: Look, I don't want to sound -- yes, I don't want to sound that I'm justifying for those radical people, OK?

HANNITY: What's your reaction?

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: We got other people. What's your reaction?

EID: This term can be interpreted in differently...

GOMEZ: I think that's outrageous. Bringing up David Koresh as an example of Christian -- apparently, radicalization is ridiculous. Islamic radicalization is a fact. We're living through it. It's going to continue.

Europe is asleep at the wheel. They're not taking the necessary steps to address it and eradicate it themselves and help us do it, as well.

HANNITY: But Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and Janet Napolitano and all these other people -- man-caused disasters, overseas contingency operations, workplace violence -- that was the Fort Hood explanation for such a long period of time. Why is this there the mysterious reluctance, resistance to identify, Gillian, a simple truth?

TURNER: Here's the thing. It's very important from a counterterrorism perspective for us to name and label and define the enemy because they take great care to define us, whether it's calling us infidels, non-believers, what have you. Without identifying -- without identifying the adversary, there's no hope of building a strategy, of eventually implementing that strategy with any degree of success.

HANNITY: Infidel, jihad, holy war, non-believers -- we're talking about the Koran, aren't we? Is that all in the Koran? Is that in the Koran?

GOMEZ: Absolutely.

HANNITY: Is that in the Koran, Imam, infidels, holy war, jihad? Is that in the Koran?

EID: The incidence in the Koran? No, it is not...

HANNITY: No?

EID: ... in the Koran.

HANNITY: I read the Koran. That's not true!

(CROSSTALK)

EID: When you read the Koran, you need to understand...

HANNITY: I read it!

EID: ... the background. You need to be aware of the translation. There is no such "infidels" in the Koran. There is...

HANNITY: Take neither Christians...

EID: ... a term "disbelievers."

HANNITY: ... nor Jews as your friends? Where's that from?

(CROSSTALK)

EID: ... "disbelievers" is not "infidels."

HANNITY: Are the words, Take neither Christians nor Jews from your friends -- that's in the Koran, sir. Look it up! You're the imam. You should know...

(CROSSTALK)

EID: Yes, but there is something else in the Koran that -- you're dealing with the Christians and Jews in -- in...

HANNITY: Take neither Christians nor Jews for your friends.

EID: You don't harm them. You don't help them. This is...

HANNITY: You don't help them?

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: So Islam teaches people not to help Christians and Jews.

EID: Islam teaches...

HANNITY: Who are the infidels...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Who are the infidels that jihad is supposed to be waged against, sir?

EID: Well, this is your own interpretation. But when you go to the actual interpretation of the Koran...

HANNITY: Oh, I went to the actual interpretation.

EID: ... you're not going to find...

HANNITY: I talked to many scholars and experts.

EID: ... such thing as infidels or...

HANNITY: I've got to go.

EID: ... (INAUDIBLE) or hate non-Muslims...

HANNITY: Thank you for your time.

EID: And there are American Muslims...

HANNITY: When we come back, this is up next tonight on "Hannity"...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Are they going to interview Paula Jones? Are they going to interview Kathleen Willey? In one case, it's about exposure, and another case, it's about groping and fondling and touching against a women's will.

DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: And rape.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Donald Trump makes that explosive comment about Bill Clinton last night right here on this program. Laura Ingraham -- she'll weigh in next.

And also, brand-new national polls, Donald Trump plus 3, Donald Trump plus 5 over Hillary Clinton. Tucker Carlson and Eboni Williams -- they'll weigh in on that and more tonight on this busy news night here on "Hannity."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: I looked at The New York Times. Are they going to interview Juanita Broaddrick? Are they going to interview Paula Jones? Are they going to interview Kathleen Willey? In one case, it's about exposure, and another case, it's about groping and fondling and touching against a women's will.

TRUMP: And rape.

HANNITY: And rape.

TRUMP: Big settlements, massive settlements.

HANNITY: $850,000 to Paula Jones.

TRUMP: And lots of other things, and impeachment for lying.

HANNITY: Smearing, besmirchment of women.

TRUMP: And losing your law license. He lost his law license, OK?  Couldn't practice law. And you don't read about this on Clinton.

HANNITY: Let me ask you...

TRUMP: Now -- now The New York Times, and if you look at Stephanopoulos -- these are like the pipe organs for Hillary Clinton.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Well said. Donald Trump last night on this program talking about President Bill Clinton's history of sexual misconduct. Now, this comes just days after The New York Times released a now largely debunked, discredited hit piece regarding Donald Trump's treatment of women.

So will The Times write a 20-page piece expose about Bill Clinton's scandalous past? Now, we invited the two New York Times authors on the show tonight. They declined to appear on the program. Big shock.

Joining us, though, with reaction, the editor-in-chief of Lifezette.com, FOX News contributor Laura Ingraham. It's nearly 20 printed pages, totally debunked in a matter of 24 hours! The guy -- it turns out one of the writers tweeting anti-Trump material out regularly.

Why isn't he fired? And number two, is there any of the other 16 candidates on the Republican side that would have had the courage to do what Donald Trump did last night? I don't think so.

LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: No, Donald Trump has made himself available, Sean, for an interview with you. I watched the entire interview. He was forthcoming on every question you asked him, and I think that's what he has to do.

But I will say this. He has that ace in his back pocket, the way that Hillary treated all of Bill Clinton's victims. Every time they bring up the -- Oh, Donald Trump's anti-women -- well, I mean, he has that ace in his back pocket. But I really do believe in this election cycle, all those efforts to smear Trump have failed.

You saw all of the Republican candidates who got into the personal tangles with Trump -- they made fun of him for his hair, his intellect. They said he wasn't presidential. There were lot of personal attacks, and he dished it out, too. But all of those personal attacks failed, Sean, because more people in the end believe that he would do the things, the policies and enact the laws with the help of Congress that were actually going to make the lives of the average American better.

So I think he needs to stick to the substantive...

HANNITY: Agreed.

INGRAHAM: ... concerns of the country...

HANNITY: But he...

(CROSSTALK)

INGRAHAM: Absolutely. And I think he's done -- absolutely, an I think he's done that. But I do believe that, you know, he doesn't have to dwell on the personal attacks because the Clintons are going to try to avoid debating him on the substantive issues of the World Trade Organization, the failed dot.com -- dot bomb, the -- the -- the dot.com bubble that Bill Clinton left in George Bush's lap.

So the idea that the Clinton economy was great -- well, until it wasn't, until it completely exploded, and now we see what happened with China entering the WTO, all of those issues. So I think -- I think he's on pretty good footing there.

HANNITY: You know, I agree on both points, but I also agree -- yes, I agree substance first, but yesterday was a pretty substantive day. I mean, he released the names of the people he would like to appoint to the Supreme Court.

And then if you noticed last night, I went issue by issue -- balancing the budget, energy independence, eliminating Common Core, building up our military, fixing the broken VA, all of those issues -- How committed are you to these things? And he said yes.

But the big difference to me and what was missing with John McCain or Bob Dole or Governor Romney -- they get called racist and sexist and they want to kill Grandma, and they never fight back! They never punch back. Donald Trump will fight like other candidates have not fought. To me, it's refreshing.

INGRAHAM: Yes, it's refreshing, and I think the fearlessness that he has is very inspiring. When someone is timid or they're constantly apologizing -- Oh, I wish I said it this way, and -- the left loves that because they think, Oh, it shows that you have introspection and you're so reflective.

But what happens when Republicans do that is they get back on their heels.  And we saw that with Romney. We saw that with McCain. We see that repeatedly with the Republicans in Congress. And instead, make a forceful case for American renewal, the America movement, as I like to call it, keep hammering on the issues of terrible trade deals, open borders, all the things you've been exposing, Sean, and I've been trying to talk about on radio for years.

Keep hammering on those issues, and when they come at you personally, I think he's absolutely right, hit back...

HANNITY: Yes.

EID: ... and do not start, you know, getting back on your heels. That's a loser proposition.

HANNITY: I totally -- you know...

EID: ... and I think he's handled it pretty well so far.

HANNITY: And it's interesting because it works. Hillary Clinton was on CNN this morning -- I think there were a couple of relevant questions -- Do you think Paula Jones -- to Hillary. Do you think Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey are lying? Do you like the way these women were smeared and slandered and besmirched? Why didn't you speak out about it.? Why did you take money from Saudi Arabia and other countries that have horrible track records and not speak out against them?

But anyway, here is her response on CNN this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Do you ever feel compelled to defend your honor, the honor of your husband-...

HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No.

CUOMO: ... in (ph) statements that he's making that go to the core of the relationship?

CLINTON: No, not at all. I know that that's exactly what he is fishing for, and I'm not going to be responding.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: She cannot answer that question. It's impossible, but you know it drives her nuts.

LAURA INGRAHAM, EDITOR IN CHIEF, LIFEZETTE.COM: Again, her surrogates in the press will attack Trump. Trump's a liar, Trump's this, Trump's that.  But the moment that there's pushback from actual women or Trump himself, the other side goes silent, or they say, well, we didn't include all of her quotes. Next time we'll do a follow up report. But the damage they think is already done.

But I really believe that for most voters this is all white noise. I think most people believe either Hillary is going to make their life better or Trump with the way he approaches substantive policy.

HANNITY: I agree. That's all true. But I also believe that's this was a big week for Trump in this way. "The New York Times," they drew out every weapon in their arsenal, and they tried to take him out. And it backfired.  All these women that came to Trump's defense and debunked that article in less than 24 hours was amazing. And now it's Hillary and Bill are on defense. It was a pretty stunning week.

INGRAHAM: Yes it was. And it's textbook as to how you have to handle the media in this campaign. You don't want it to distract you from your overall message, but when they come at you, you have got to slice back, and you have to slice back at them really hard. And next time they're probably going to think twice before they at least try that tact. But they're going to be throwing more things at him.

HANNITY: The next thing is he's racist. They'll try that.

INGRAHAM: He's going to be anti-Latino, anti-this, anti-that. But I really believe in my heart of hearts, especially when you're looking at that FOX poll, Sean, people are wising up to this. And the Clinton way did not work. It did not work on trade. It didn't work on the economy. It looks old and sounds old.

HANNITY: In an unconventional, insurgent year, I don't think it works either. All right, Laura, you're the best. Thank you.

INGRAHAM: Thank you.

HANNITY: And coming up, Donald Trump leads Hillary Clinton now by five points in a brand new general election poll. How worried should she be?  Tucker Carlson, Eboni Williams, they'll react.

And then later, Donald Trump says that he'll be adding to his list of potential Supreme Court nominees that he would choose from if he's the next president. We'll have reaction straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: And welcome back to "Hannity." And tonight Hillary Clinton has a new reason to worry. A brand new Fox News poll shows that Donald Trump is beating her in a potential general election matchup, 45-42, and today a brand new Rasmussen Report poll shows an even bigger lead for Trump. He's beating Hillary by five points, 42-37. Here with reaction is Fox News contributors Tucker Carlson and Eboni Williams. Eboni, good to see you.  I've got to wonder, if I'm a Democrat and I'm looking at these numbers, I'm looking at Pennsylvania and I'm looking at Ohio and Florida, I'm thinking uh-oh, do we want to abandon ship?

EBONI WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, they're saying uh-oh, and that's why they're pushing Bernie Sanders to get out of this race because they are getting nervous. They are seeing those numbers, Sean. She is looking weaker and weaker. Trump is looking stronger and stronger. And she's got to build a new playbook. She has even said her old everything being a right wing conspiracy play book is not going to work against Donald Trump. So she needs time now, right.

HANNITY: They don't have a new play book. That's a good point. Tucker, we know the playbook. Republicans are racist, Republicans are sexist, gender war, Republicans hate women, they want to throw grandma over the cliff. Donald Trump punches back twice as hard or 10 times harder. It's not going to work against him. What do they do?

CARLSON: Because he's not running an identity politics campaign and they are. And so the person who is running is by definition the shallower campaign. They're now running on ideas. They're running on physical attributes.

I would say there are two things to note from this poll. It doesn't mean Trump is going to win in the fall. It means he could win in the fall. And it also means that almost every single person who has commented on this race for the last year has been not just wrong but spectacularly wrong.

HANNITY: By the way, Tucker, you have not been wrong. I have not been wrong.

CARLSON: I appreciate that.

HANNITY: And there's a few others of us that have not been so wrong. But you are dead right. A lot of people have been wrong for a year and a half and they're still commenting and making wrong predictions.

CARLSON: But you have to ask yourself, why are they so off? They're not just sort of wrong, not off by five points, but they say Trump could never ever win. Really? Look at these numbers. So it tells you that they don't understand the dynamics behind this campaign. It's not about Trump. It's about the people who are voting for Trump, and they don't understand why those people would vote for Trump.

WILLIAMS: I have an idea to Tucker's question. It's because so many that comment on this stuff, they are stuck in this beltway thinking, they are stuck in old guard conventional wisdom, and it just doesn't apply here.  Tucker also made a good point about Trump not representing identity politics. I even push it further. I think he doesn't represent partisan politics. And I know there are some on the right that cringe when I say that, but I think he transcends the classical conservative, Republican candidate.

HANNITY: I actually agree with you. I think he's solution-oriented. I spent too much time interviewing him, and I got criticized for the interviews, but when you actually listen, he's giving ideas to solve problems. And in this unconventional, insurgency year, think about this, and I'll throw this to Tucker. You've got him beating 16 very big name Republicans, and Hillary is battling a 74-year-old angry, bitter, curmudgeon socialist from Vermont. And she's having a hard time. She can't close it out. Doesn't that show a deep level of weakness?

CARLSON: That's part of what it tells you. It also tells you the candidates who address the economic concerns and fears of the middle class win, and the candidates who are off in some theoretical world lose.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: They have to believe you, but even if they believed Hillary, what are elite Democrats running on? They're running on transgender bathrooms and global warning. You can even agree with those things, but they don't speak to the actual concerns of actual people. Bernie Sanders who is obviously a socialist and a crazy person, he is running on the fact that the average person is really worried about not having enough money. He's running on wages, and that's a real issue.

HANNITY: I don't think Bill Clinton did the Democratic Party a lot of favors. He almost now has put a referendum out there on transgender bathrooms. And most Americans, actually if you are physically a man, they prefer you go to the men's room. If you're physically a women you go to the women's room. And the fact that he's made that issue so prominent and Hillary has had to comment on it, doesn't that hurt her?

WILLIAMS: I think to Tucker's point, it becomes a distraction, right, because ultimately whether you agree with it or you don't, that is not going to be a go to the polls type of motivator the way the pocket book concerns are going to be. And I also --

HANNITY: If this was a referendum item, what do you think the number would be nationally?

WILLIAMS: Seven. I really don't think it's that important.

HANNITY: In other words I think it's a 90/10 issue. What do you think, Tucker?

CARLSON: Yes, or 93/7. I completely agree. The point is they don't care what the average person thinks. And so you can agree or disagree, but it's inherently anti-democratic. And by the way, this is a democracy. And so candidates who openly don't care what voters think lose, and they should.

HANNITY: Last word, Eboni.

WILLIAMS: Last word. I think the biggest criticism I have of Hillary, and I think this is going to come back to haunt her, she's been in such power for almost 30 some years, and what has she done to really elevate and move the middle class in country forward? And that's a good question I think she has to answer.

HANNITY: I don't think she has an answer. I ask people on my radio show.  We play "Jeopardy" music. Tell me three things Hillary has accomplished that has improved the lives of the average American, and nobody can answer.  "Well, she -- she -- she," and that's the answer.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: All right, guys, good to see you.

WILLIAMS: Thank you.

HANNITY: And coming up, after getting positive reviews from conservatives, Donald Trump says he will be adding to the list of potential Supreme Court nominees that he would pick if in fact he wins the White House. Our panel will weigh in with reaction next as "Hannity" continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." Now, it has been one day since Donald Trump released a list of possible Supreme Court nominations, and many conservatives, they have already given his picks very positive reviews.  And Donald Trump indicated that his list may be growing. He tweeted out, quote, "My list of potential U.S. Supreme Court justices was very well received. During the next number of weeks I may be adding to the list."

Joining us now with analysis from the American Center for Law and Justice, Jay Sekulow, and member of the Federalist Society and chief counsel and policy director for the Judicial Crisis Network, Carrie Severino, and director of the Edwin Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at Heritage, John Malcolm. Good to see you. Jay, I've talk to a lot of people that know the people on this list. Not one person has anything but high praise for this list.

JAY SEKULOW, AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE: This is a great list of potential nominees to the Supreme Court. You have got justices that have served with Justice Scalia as law clerk, Justice Thomas, Chief Justice Rehnquist. They come with broad and serious credentials. They have published opinions. They've served on the court for a number of years.  You're not guessing where their judicial philosophy is emanating from.  They understand the role of a justice of the Supreme Court is not to make law.

So I think no matter what anybody thinks, the fact of the matter is the lasting legacy of a president is often the Supreme Court of the United States. And I think you're looking at the next -- we know we have a vacancy. There may be several others. This is the Supreme Court for a couple of generations. There's a lot the stake. These nominees are great across the board. Not one in there you would not be happy to have.

HANNITY: And Jay, you say that as somebody who has argued a number of times before the Supreme Court.

SEKULOW: Yes.

HANNITY: Carrie, my understanding is Donald Trump did a lot of research.  He checked in with the Heritage Foundation. He checked in with the Federalist Society. He ran the list of names by senators and other people.  This was a pretty expensive vetting process. Are you happy with it?

CARRIE SEVERINO, JUDICIAL CRISIS: Yes. I think all the research really shows. He has the right people and he took some great advice. I love that he includes people that are often overlooked, like state Supreme Court justices, giving us a really good view of what they would really be like on a Supreme Court, because they've been in a state Supreme Court. Now you have an even better sense of how they might perform in a U.S. Supreme Court, because, as we know, it's a lifetime appointment. You want to make sure you get it right, someone with a really solid judicial philosophy and who has the courage to stand up under pressure.

HANNITY: I would say this, if I can, John, Republicans often get it wrong, Republican presidents. In other words, we're told that a justice, like John Roberts, is going to be an originalist. He disappointed a lot of people, including myself, especially in the ObamaCare care ruling. So do you feel that this list would -- are you confident this list is no disappointments if in fact they got to the court?

JOHN MALCOLM, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION: You could have added Earl Warren, William Brennan, and John Paul Stevens to that list.

HANNITY: That's true, OK, good points.

MALCOLM: Look, five of the names on the list were also on my list, which the Heritage Foundation published. The remaining six judges all appear to be very eminently qualified, men and women have a proper view of the modest role that a judge plays. We're going to interpret the text of statutes in the constitution based on the actual words themselves and not use them as empty vessels to pour in their personal or political biases.

These are eminently qualified people. And a Carrie just pointed out, six of them are sitting circuit court judges. Five of them are sitting state Supreme Court justices. And I might add that one of the ones on the circuit court spent time on the Wisconsin Supreme Court as well. These are men, women who very well qualified with a broad breadth of experience.

HANNITY: Well said. Do you see problems, Jay, for any of the 11 going up against Democrats, knowing that they play politics, Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas, two names come to mind, with judicial picks?

SEKULOW: MaGillis Rodney (ph), remember what they did to him. And the fact of the matter is, look, I think you've got to keep control of the United States Senate. And that is going to be very important here because I think any one of these nominees, you're already seeing the left criticizing these individuals. Why? Because they know that they have a judicial philosophy that's more like Scalia, and that is what they don't want.

So I think we have to be prepared if Donald Trump is the president of the United States to defend these nominees aggressively. And that means you can't just win the presidency. You've got to maintain control of the Senate. It sure would be good to get 60 conservatives in that United States Senate to make sure you don't have a problem. Every one of these will be a fight worth taking.

HANNITY: Or you can follow Harry Reid, the new rules, and circumvent precedents, change them. Carrie, I think this is really important. As you look at this list of people, do you see any problems?

SEVERINO: You know, I don't. And I see the real strong contrast, for example, with what the president has put forward in Judge Garhand. He has a really bad record on the Second Amendment. On this list we've got people like Judge Sykes and Judge Hardiman folks that stood up for the Second Amendment. His judge tends to defer to the EPA and other unaccountable bureaucratic agencies every chance he gets. We've got people like Judge Kethledge who has stood up to the IRA and stands up to these agencies. So I think for all of the points where we see Judge Garland going with the liberal majority, we see people here who show what it is like to stand up for the constitution against the kind of things presidential Obama has been trying to do.

HANNITY: John, we'll give you the last word.

MALCOLM: Look, I think that some of the people could well face a confirmation fight. Bill Pryor certainly hard a very hard time getting on to the 11th circuit in the first place. But these are people worth fighting for. And you need to have a president who is prepared to stand by them to the bitter end and to get them across the goal line.

HANNITY: I have to believe this will go a long way to maybe some conservatives that had doubts about Donald Trump's commitment to conservatism, one of the most important jobs any president will have.  Thank you all for being with us. Appreciate it.

And coming up, we have more "Hannity" right after this break. Stay with us.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." Unfortunately that's all the time we have left this evening. Before we go, quick programming note. Be sure tune in tomorrow night, 10:00 eastern, a special edition of "Hannity." For the hours we're going to examine how Donald Trump can take on Hillary Clinton in the fall and the differences. Again, that's tomorrow night, 10:00 eastern. We hope you'll set your DVR so you never miss an episode.  We take attendance and we get very upset if you're not there. Anyway, see you back here tomorrow night.

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