Donald Trump on the press: 'They cover me so inaccurately'

On 'Hannity,' the presumptive Republican nominee opens up about his relationship with the press; slams the possibility of an independent candidate entering the 2016 race


This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 31, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And welcome to "Hannity." And tonight, Donald Trump is fighting back against liberal media attacks about how much money that he has raised and donated to veterans' charity groups. Now, Trump held a press conference earlier today at Trump Tower. Let's take a look.


DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I raised close to $6 million. It'll probably be over that amount when it's all said and done, but as of this moment, it's $5.6 million.

And on behalf of the vets, the press should be ashamed of themselves. They are calling me and they are furious because I sent people checks of a lot of money -- and I'm going to give you the names right now, which is what you want. And instead of being like, Thank you very much, Mr. Trump, or, Trump did a good job, everyone's saying, Who got it, who got it, who got it? And you make me look very bad.

Find out how much Hillary Clinton's given to the veterans. Nothing. And then I see a few guys standing out there. They don't even know what they're there for. They have no idea. They're there because Hillary Clinton's campaign sent them.


HANNITY: Now, as you can imagine, the liberal press -- they weren't too happy about being called out by Donald Trump. Watch this.


QUESTION: Is this what it's going to be like covering you if you're president?

TRUMP: Yes, it is.

QUESTION: We're going to have this kind of conversation in the press room?

TRUMP: OK, yes, it is going to be like this, David. If the press writes false stories like they did with this -- because, you know, half of you amazed that I raised all of this money. If the press writes false stories like they did where I wanted to keep a low profile -- I didn't want the credit for raising all this money for the vets. I wasn't looking for the credit. And by the way, more money is coming in. I wasn't looking for the credit. But I had no choice but to do this because the press was saying I didn't raise any money for them.


HANNITY: Here now with reaction, the 2016 Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump. It's not really presumptive. You hit 1,237, so you will be the nominee.

I want to go into this, though, because this is not just this story. You said the press should be ashamed of themselves, and yes, if they act like this, it's going to be this way. Explain what you mean.

TRUMP: Well, they cover me so inaccurately. This was a good example because I raised $5.6 million for the vets. And it was a horrible experience with the press. I mean, they were questioning it. Did he really raise the money? Where is the money?

And by the way, of the $5.6 million, I took zero in terms of administrative costs. Some of these people, they raise a million dollars and they take $950,000 for administration. I took zero, not one penny.

So I raised $5.6 million. More money is even coming in. And instead of, like, being, you know, treated at least reasonably, it's a whole big deal going on. And they're always saying, Who's getting the money? Where's the money going?

So today I had a press conference. I gave all the groups -- they're great groups. They were so nice and they wrote me letters and they called. They couldn't even believe that they got it.

So I raised $5.6 million, and I had bad publicity. I mean, can you believe it? I raised $5.6 million for the vets. It's all given out now. And instead of sort of being thanked -- I don't have to be thanked, but instead of being thanked or being at least treated nicely by the press, I got the worst publicity.

HANNITY: I watched this, and I'm thinking, what do they think you need the money? Do they think you're going to steal it? You were going through a process, though, of vetting these groups, which, by the way, is the responsible thing to do, right?

TRUMP: You have to because you don't know who the groups are. Number one, you have to vet. Now, most of the money was given out, or a lot of it was given out very early, almost immediately, because the groups had been vetted or I knew the groups or something.

But you know, I gave to many, many different groups, and you know, it's a lot, $25,000, $100,000, $200,000. One group I gave $1.1 million to. And they're great people and great groups, but you have to vet them. You have to check them out to see, you know, do they exist, do they have all of the information they need. And it takes a little time.

And the publicity I got -- honestly, what it does, Sean, is people in my position would say, Why should we do this anymore? If we're going to raise money, you know, many millions of dollars for a good group, I mean, great groups, and then we're criticized, it's easier not do it.

If I wouldn't have done it -- I was under no obligation to do it. That was during a speech, I said, Let's raise some money for the vets. If I didn't say that, nobody would have complained. Instead, I got nothing but bad publicity.

HANNITY: Let me...

TRUMP: So I felt the best way to handle it would be to hold a news conference and to show everybody where the money went. And I did that.  And all of these groups were amazing, and they all got the money, and everybody now...


HANNITY: This is not an isolated incident. I mean, you went through...

TRUMP: No. No.

HANNITY: ... The New York Times front page story, printed almost 20 pages about all these women you had supposedly mistreated. It turns out in every case, it was debunked by the women themselves, and even the one woman that stood by your side...

TRUMP: They went public. Sean, they went public.

HANNITY: They went public on their own. I know Carrie Prejean -- I called her. She came out on her own. That was one example. But look at -- for example, did you see the Katie Couric piece on the gun issue, where they selectively edit in a pause that didn't exist in the interview? We really -- I said in 2008, journalism's dead.

You're confronting this bias, institutional bias, and they don't seem to like it. You think this is the whole campaign?

TRUMP: Well, the Katie Couric piece is not that unusual. I'll be honest, I've given interviews and I said, Wait a minute, they're not covering me that way. The best thing you can do is put down a tape recorder next to you because they make things up.

I mean, the press is really dishonest, OK? And I don't mean everybody, but a big portion of them, especially the political press -- they're the most dishonest people. They're bad people.

HANNITY: Yes. All right, let me go to where the election is right now.  You got a number of polls. You're up -- for example, in the ABC/Washington Post poll, you're up by a couple points. A couple have you tied. It's going back and forth a little bit.

The most interesting poll, though, I saw today was the state of New Jersey, where it's 38-34, within the margin of error. Can you win New Jersey?

TRUMP: I think so. I mean, I love New Jersey. I am New Jersey. Like a second home. I have property there. I have a lot of employees there.  It's -- you know, I love New Jersey. And frankly, I think we're going do well.

Everyone was shocked to see it. I guess it's 3 or 4 points behind, and I wasn't shocked to see it. And I think when they find out about Hillary, how bad she is, how corrupt she is, when they find out what she's been doing, and more importantly, maybe, that I'm going to bring jobs back because New Jersey needs jobs.

I mean, the manufacturing in New Jersey is being wiped out. Businesses in New Jersey are being wiped out, Sean. And I'm going to bring jobs back from Mexico and China and all these places.

I mean, I just heard that the PGA tour is taking their tournament out of Miami and moving it to Mexico, as an example.

HANNITY: Good grief.

TRUMP: They're taking it -- it's at Doral. It's at -- they use one of my places. They're moving their tournament. It's the Cadillac World Golf Championship. And Cadillac's been a great sponsor, but they're moving it to Mexico. They're moving it to Mexico City, which, by the way, I hope they have kidnapping insurance. But they're moving it to Mexico City.

And I'm saying, you know, What's going on here? It is so sad when you look the at what's going on with our country.

HANNITY: And you talk a lot on the campaign trail -- Carrier, for example, is another one. They want to take their jobs away, build manufacturing centers in Mexico, bring their air conditioners back here and -- you know, after they took away all these American jobs.

Let me ask you this. There was a lot written about -- it went on for a couple days that you might debate Bernie Sanders. What happened?

TRUMP: Well, very simple. Number one, he's number two. And I'm hearing more and more that he can't win. And number one, I wanted to do it for a lot of money, and I would have done it for, in this case, women's health issues. And the networks weren't going to put up the money, and it wouldn't have been worthwhile to do it.

And frankly, I'd like to debate him. I would love it, but they were supposed to put up money and they weren't coming through. And I'm not going to do it for nothing. Why should i? And he's number two.

You know, I won the nomination, and Bernie is number two. So why would I debate him? But if the money was put up, I would have done it, but they weren't going to put up the kind of money that we wanted.

HANNITY: You know, one of the things that's emerging -- Bill Kristol, for example, is saying he's going to put up another candidate. You have a Libertarian ticket that has just been announced, all of which seems to be people willingly sabotaging an outsider who got more votes in the history of the Republican Party in terms of a primary.

What is your answer to that? Because to me, my answer is it seems like they only want to help Hillary Clinton get elected. That means Hillary will make the Supreme Court choices.

TRUMP: Yes. Well, Bill Kristol -- he's a sad case. His magazine is failing. It's going to be out of business soon. And to be honest with you, I watched the guy on television for years now, and he's been saying Donald Trump won't run, and if he runs, he's just going to have fun and he's going to get out, and you know all of this stuff. And I'm saying to myself, Who is this guy?

So he's been losing every -- he won't win New Hampshire or he won't win various states, and he's been saying this for now -- and he looks very bad.  He's been wrong for two years. He hasn't had one thing right. And he's a big war hawk. You know, he wanted to go into Iraq, and you know, start everything and he was always in favor of the war in Iraq and, Let's go and do this and that, you see what that got us.

So he's a guy who's a -- I don't think he's a very smart guy, failing magazine. And now I read about he wants to put up an indy, which will mean -- by the way, if that happened, what would mean is you wouldn't have your Supreme Court judges picked. You wouldn't have the justices picked like I'm going to pick them. And we put a list and went out already...


HANNITY: You wouldn't have a wall built. You wouldn't have "Obama care" repealed...


TRUMP: You wouldn't have a lot of things. But I don't think he has anybody because now he's saying, Well, it'll come someday, it'll come, you know, in the future.

Well, if you read his tweet, his tweet was almost like it's imminent, like it's going to be announced this morning. And then all of a sudden, he announced, Well, maybe not so fast.

Who would do it? Look, it's a guaranteed loss. You can't even get on in Texas now because they missed their deadline. And now they're missing other deadlines. And all he's doing is, I guess, trying to get publicity for his failing magazine, I imagine.

HANNITY: Yes. What is your -- look, I know you've been having these discussions with Paul Ryan. What is the status of those? And what is your reaction with the exception of Bob Dole, former presidential candidates and others, saying they're not coming to the convention? That seems to me...

TRUMP: Well, Bob Dole...


TRUMP: Right. Bob Dole endorsed me, and it was very nice and that was very nice, and he called me last week. So that was great.

I mean, I don't need their endorsements. I don't think it matters whether or not I get, you know, potential presidential endorsements or -- look, the world is a mess. This country is a mess. And I'm not looking for their endorsements.

I just want the people's endorsement, and I'm getting that because, as you said, the biggest group of people ever -- I mean, we have so many millions of people. And you're not just talking about by a little bit. I have millions more than -- and you look at Dwight D. Eisenhower, you look at Ronald Reagan, millions more than they had.

So it's been a great thing, actually. But nobody has to endorse me. What I want is the endorsement of the people. That's the only thing that matters to me, Sean.

HANNITY: All right, we'll take a break. We'll come back. We'll talk more with Donald Trump right after this.

And also coming up, Laura Ingraham, Herman Cain -- they'll weigh in on what Bill Kristol is saying about a third party candidate entering the race.

Plus, it's the story everybody is talking about. A gorilla was killed over the weekend at the Cincinnati Zoo after a 4-year-old boy fell into the animal's enclosure. Did zookeepers make the right decision? We'll show you that. We'll debate it and more tonight right here on "Hannity."



HANNITY: And welcome back to "Hannity" as we continue now with 2016 presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Now, this whole issue with you debating Bernie Sanders was interesting because Hillary is now in a dead heat with Bernie in the all-important state of California. She may not win California.

For all the talk about chaos and the lack of unity in the Republican Party, there seems like there's no unity in the Democratic Party. And Bernie -- she cannot put Bernie away! What is your take on that? Because you've openly been defending Bernie Sanders.

TRUMP: Well, I have to say that, frankly, the Republicans -- and it's a big story -- have been really coming together over the last two weeks.  It's been amazing. You mentioned Bob Dole, but so many others have come on board, congressmen, senators. It's really -- it's really been a big story.  So we're really coming together, and a lot faster than even you would have thought. So that's been good.

As far as the Hillary situation, it's rigged. She has these superdelegates. It's a total rigged deal. And so Bernie can't win. So we'll see what they do with him. But it's a rigged system.

And frankly, the Republicans had somewhat of a rigged system. If I didn't win in massive landslides, there was no way an outsider could have gotten the nomination. I mean, we won by tremendous percentages and margins. Or there's no way -- because it's a rigged system. And the Democrats are -- that thing is so rigged, it is...

HANNITY: Incredible.

TRUMP: ... corrupt.

HANNITY: I mean, honestly, I mean, you take away those superdelegates, Bernie Sanders would have had a shot to win a long time ago but it creates a perception...


HANNITY: ... that in many ways (INAUDIBLE)

TRUMP: Well, not only that, she's lost so much lately. I mean, every -- it seems every night you turn on television, and every time there's a vote, she's losing, losing, losing.


TRUMP: So I guess she won a few up front, but she is losing so badly. It looks so bad. Now, let's see what happens in California, but she is not doing well.

HANNITY: I've asked you in the past about a team of rivals, you know, whether you might announce, like, your secretary of state, your secretary of homeland security, maybe defense secretary, positions like that. And also obviously, people are waiting for your decision as it relates to who your vice presidential nominee will be.

Where are you in the process, both in terms of a team of rivals and selecting a VP?

TRUMP: Well, I'm in the process, and I have some people that I think are going to be fantastic for certain positions. And in my own mind, I already have them. I can't tell you who they are yet. It's just too soon. But I want to save a little bit of suspense for the convention.

But I have some people that I've already in my own mind arrived, and I think they're going to be fantastic. And with the vice president, as you know, probably, if you think about it, there are 10 and maybe you boil that down to 5, but some people that are really, really good. And we'll see what happens.

HANNITY: Any surprises?

TRUMP: Could be. Could be.


HANNITY: I am not the corrupt press. I am -- I'm actually the conservative here.

TRUMP: That's true, by the way. You happen to be right about that.

HANNITY: Yes, well, I'm an opinion show. And I don't hold back that I'll be voting for Donald Trump in November. All right, here's what I think is an important question.

TRUMP: Thank you.

HANNITY: I have asked you repeatedly over the course of this campaign about specific issues. You're going to build the wall. You're going to repeal "Obama care." You like health care savings accounts. You want to fix the VA. You want to build up our military. You want to balance the budget. You want to define radical Islam as our enemies. You want to get rid of Common Core, all of those things.

I have asked you in the past, does it work to put those ideas, those promises, those things you've said to me on paper, Trump's promises to America? Maybe put it in gold leaf, make it Trump style, maybe a little bit of marble like you have in the background.


HANNITY: Is that a good idea, considering the distrust level is so high?

TRUMP: Well, I did it a little bit with the judges. I announced 11 judges that I'd either pick or there'd be somebody very close. I'm probably going to add some to the list because some of them really are -- you know, it's come to my attention we have some out there that are fantastic. I got them largely from the Federalist Society and also from Heritage. And you know, they're great -- it's been very well received.

I mean, it's possible I will do something like that, Sean. I do think most people know my views, in all fairness, but it's possible I would do something like this.

HANNITY: Yes. Let me -- I think what's a really important question -- every time you go out, you're getting bigger crowds than any other presidential candidate. In one sense, it looks a little bit like Barack Obama in '08. There's a lot of enthusiasm. And then you've got something that I don't think Obama had a lot of is you have these protesters. We saw what happened in San Diego. You see the Mexican flags that show up at some of these rallies.

What is your reaction to all of those people? And do you think it's organized? And we know in the case of vets outside of Trump Tower it was organized. They were organized by the Clinton team. What is your reaction to those people protesting you?

TRUMP: And burning the American flag. And as far as the people outside -- you know, when I was giving away $5.6 million and announcing everybody that got it, all of these great veterans' groups, we had veterans, a very small group, because you can't get too many because the veterans like me and I like them -- I love them. But we had veterans' groups outside of -- a few people, actually -- outside of Trump Tower.

They were sent there by Hillary Clinton! They were Clinton -- in fact, they were on her masthead. They were sent there by Hillary Clinton. What a disgrace.

And when they were interviewed by the reporters, they didn't even know why they were there. So it shows you what a phony business politics is.

Look, the safest place you can be is a Trump rally because you see what happens. It's a love fest. There are very, very few people -- you know, you see it in the news, but there are very few people that go out and demonstrate, and when they to demonstrate, I mean, in all fairness, they're holding up flags of other countries and they're burning the American flag.  I don't think it does them much good.

HANNITY: You saw the inspector general report as it relates to the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal. She's got a lot of other issues that I think make her a weak candidate. To the extent that it's a battle between you and her in a general election, how hard do you think you have to push in terms of getting that story out if you think the media's corrupt and liberal and they've got an agenda?

TRUMP: Well, I think the report is a disaster. It really shows that she's corrupt, if you think of it. I mean, it's not just the report. It shows that she's corrupt. I think the report is a disaster. I don't know what's going to happen. You would have thought it would have happened by now.  The FBI is doing a big investigation. We'll see. But the report, I think, is a total disaster for her, and certainly it's going to be a big part of the campaign.

HANNITY: Yes. All right, Mr. Trump. Always good to have you. Thank you so much. Appreciate it.

TRUMP: Thank you.

HANNITY: And coming up tonight -- all right, we talked about it. Bill Kristol says, well, a third party candidate could soon be jumping into the race. Would this just hand the election to Hillary? And is he just bitter?

Plus Laura Ingraham, Herman Cain -- they'll weigh in on that and more.

Also later tonight...



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that the media staging a shot? Is that the media staging a shot? Is Telemundo staging a shot? Ah, probably.


HANNITY: Rebelpundit.com filmmakers allegedly catch a cameraman staging a shot at a Trump protest. We'll play that tape later.

And also tonight, a gorilla was killed at the Cincinnati Zoo this weekend after a 4-year-old boy fell into the animal's enclosure. Did the zoo make the right decision? We'll debate that and more tonight as "Hannity" continues.



TRUMP: Bill Kristol's a loser. His magazine is failing, as you know.  It's going to be down -- I don't think it even survives. He's getting some free publicity. But Bill Kristol -- I've been watching this for two years.  Trump isn't going to run. Then I go into a race. We're going to New Hampshire. Oh, he's not going to win New Hampshire. Win in a landslide.  I go -- every place I went, I was not going to win, but I win in a landslide. Do you think maybe he doesn't like me?


HANNITY: All right, that was Donald Trump earlier today slamming Bill Kristol for tweeting this over the weekend. Quote, "Just a heads-up over this holiday weekend. There will be an independent candidate, an impressive one with a strong team and a real chance."

Here with reaction, editor-in-chief of Lifezette.com, Fox News contributor, radio talk show host Laura Ingraham, and Fox News contributor, also a radio talk show host, Herman Cain.

Laura, I look at this, and I'm thinking, Oh, you want Hillary to make Supreme Court appointees. You don't want to repeal "Obama care." You don't want to end Common Core. You don't want to build a wall. Why?

Part of me doesn't want to pay attention to Bill Kristol. But why? Why are they doing this?

LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think they feel, perhaps, more ideologically pure. They believe they're holding the true banner of conservatism.

And all I'd say to Bill is, if conservatism means unchecked borders, unenforced borders, unending wars that, frankly, we either can't win or don't want to win, and massive support for globalization, then there's just no audience for that. So I don't really know what he's doing, whether he thinks it's -- I have no idea.

But for the purposes of 2016, those people are just helping Hillary. And if I were Trump, I'd focus all my fire on Hillary. I'd ignore, you know, the spitballs incoming from the likes of Kristol and I'd focus just on Hillary, the Clinton Foundation, her lack of record, et cetera, et cetera.  The never Trumpers have been defeated. They just don't know it yet, apparently.

HANNITY: Herman, do you think with the Libertarian ticket that's out there and maybe an independent ticket -- does it draw enough votes in a close election that it can alter the outcome?

HERMAN CAIN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I don't think so. The Libertarians have always been challenged in a presidential race. I don't think it's going to be any different this year because they have -- they have retreads at the top of the ticket.

Secondly, I agree with Laura totally. Bill Kristol is in ultimate conservative denial. He really should take a page out of Mitch McConnell's book and recognize that the Republican voters have spoken. Don't say that they're stupid by ignoring them.

And here's the other thing about Bill Kristol and his whole, you know, parade to try to defeat Trump. If he looks behind him, he might find there is no army. The surprise is going to be is him and a few other conservative voices that are still in denial, talking about, it's going to destroy the conservative movement. No, it is not. All you have to do is look at history. It's not going to destroy the conservative movement.

HANNITY: Let me play for both of you -- we saw what happened on Friday night out in San Diego, Donald Trump. Two filmmakers, friends of mine at Rebelpundit.com, actually were out there. And among other things, they saw Trump supporters getting eggs thrown at them, "F" the police, "F" Donald Trump when the police got called into this thing.

And they also saw a moment where it looked like Telemundo was staging something. Now, in light of all the media bias of The New York Times and Katie Couric, this is interesting to me. We've asked Telemundo to comment.  They haven't gotten back to us yet. But I want to air this for you and get your opinion on it. Let's roll it.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that the media staging a shot? Is that the media staging a shot? Is Telemundo staging a shot? Oh, probably. Yes, I mean, you're staging a shot at a protest. (INAUDIBLE) You're staging news.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you want me to do, man?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're staging the news.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not part of the protest (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are you directing them?



HANNITY: Hey, Laura, doesn't that show just how bad the media is, especially on top of Couric, which we'll get to in a minute, by, you know, Oh, move the flag this way, kneel down, do this, do that. It's hilarious!

INGRAHAM: Yes, you know, Sean, I was half expecting the Telemundo crowd to call for wardrobe. No, you don't look exactly authentic as a protester, makeup!


HANNITY: Wardrobe! Makeup!

INGRAHAM: I mean, they should bring their own crew with them so they outfit the protesters. Maybe they should actually help build better signs and signage because the signs are looking really tired.

Again, this feeds into the narrative that has obviously taken hold in the country, no trust in the American media and more excitement, I think, about Trump. When people see this chaos and the -- the collaboration between media forces and protesters, I think it makes Trump more appealing to a lot of folks because it all looks -- it all looks corrupt. It all looks like a total staged shot. It all looks choreographed.

And meanwhile, they say Trump's the reality candidate? I say Telemundo is acting at least like a reality television network rather than a news network. If it's a news network, you know, just air the truth about what's happening. You don't have to embellish it.

HANNITY: So Herman, you've got the Telemundo tape that I just aired. I'll invite Telemundo on if they want to talk about it. Then you have The New York Times story that was debunked by the very women that they mentioned.  But yet it also exposes the double standard because they don't want to Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones.

And then you've got this other instance. Here's Katie Couric, CBS news, NBC news. And let's first play the pause that they edited in to the interview in this gun group in Virginia. Watch this and then we'll play what really happened.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?


HANNITY: They edit in eight seconds. Here's what really happened. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you prevent felons or terrorists from walking into, say, a licensed gun dealer and purchasing a gun?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, one, if you're not in jail, you should still have your basic rights and you should be able to buy a gun.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So if you're a terrorist or a felon --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you're a felon and you've done time, you should have your rights.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fact is we do have statutes both at the federal and state level that prohibit classes of people from being in possession of firearms.


HANNITY: Edited in eight seconds of dead air. It is a -- why is she still working?

HERMAN CAIN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Because, because she wanted it to look like she stumped the people who support the Second Amendment. She didn't stump the people who support the Second Amendment. And that's one of the reasons why a lot of voters have said, enough is enough. They have awakened to the deception on the part of some people in the media. The Katie Couric situation is one. That other tape that you played where Telemundo was trying to stage a shot in front of a Trump rally because they want to spoon feed the Hispanics and the Mexican community that Trump is bad for them. I get calls every day on my radio show from Latinos, Hispanics, and Mexicans who say they are supporting Trump.


CAIN: The gig is up. They know what's going on.

And lastly, Telemundo needs to get the memo. This is the United States of America. Show some American flags sometimes, not flags that represent hatred and represent divisiveness that they're trying to do. It should be about assimilation and not isolation, and they want a certain group of people to be isolated in this country.

HANNITY: I said journalism was dead in 2008. It's dead. All right, we'll take a break. We'll come back. More with Laura Ingraham, Herman Cain right after the break.

And also later tonight, a gorilla was shot and killed over the holiday weekend at the Cincinnati Zoo after a four-year-old boy fell into the animal's enclosure. The debate is growing as to whether or not the zookeepers made the right call. We'll explain. We'll show you the video straight ahead.


HANNITY: Welcome back to HANNITY as we continue with Laura Ingraham and Herman Cain. Laura, let me go to you. I want to put on the screen, we got a new Associated Press/ORC poll that shows a major lack of confidence in the Republican Party. We saw this in all the exit polls, but confidence in the party, a great deal, eight percent, only some, 40 percent, hardly any, 51 percent.

I just had Donald Trump on. I wanted John Boehner gone years before he left. While speaker he added nearly $5 trillion to the debt. With this lack of confidence and trust, is it a good idea, which is what I was asking Trump, to put his promises on paper like a contract? Maybe gold leaf because it's Trump. You think that's a good idea?

INGRAHAM: I think it is a good idea, Sean. It gives people a sense of clarity as to where he's going. And I think people have such distrust for politicians that if he doesn't have a clear blueprint going in beyond the few things that he's discussed, the wall and so forth, that I think it's going it be harder for him.

It's also a good way for him to bring the Republican establishment, you know, to the mat so to speak on these issues. And given how unpopular the GOP establishment is, isn't it better for Trump to say, look, I know a lot of you can't like Republicans out there. Maybe you're independents, maybe even some Democrats. This is how I'm going to be different from the way they've done business in the last, really, I think you could say seven years.


INGRAHAM: I'm going to do this, this and this. They don't like this, but I'm going to bring them along. I think it actually would help him a lot with undecided voters and independents, and it would also push folks like Paul Ryan and maybe to some extent Mitch McConnell to the table.

HANNITY: Exactly. Build the wall, fix the V.A., build up our military, balance our budget, eliminate Obamacare, health savings accounts --

INGRAHAM: Ditch the TPP, the Transpacific Partnership. Ditch that completely.

HANNITY: Ditch all that. You know, bring American jobs back. Better trade deals. Put it on paper. Everybody knows what to expect. If he doesn't follow through, he doesn't get reelected.

INGRAHAM: Great idea.

HANNITY: What do you think, Herman Cain?

CAIN: I like the idea, but an additional reason to the ones that Laura delineated, and that is it will help to thwart some of the attempts on the part of the liberal media to only spoon feed the people what they want them to hear. If it's in writing in the form of a contract, it's much more difficult for them to continue to say things like, where are the specifics?  He's got plenty of specifics. But people don't have time. A lot of liberals, they're not going to go to his website.

So I think it's a good idea from the standpoint that it puts a stake in the ground and it makes it more difficult for liberals to say what he's not going to do.

HANNITY: All right, so next question that I asked him, Laura, is what about announcing -- I stated publicly, I think Newt Gingrich was transformative as a speaker. I think he'd be the best vice president. I don't think Kasich wants it. I don't think Rubio obviously wants it. I would look, OK, let's pick Newt, but also name a team of rivals. Maybe Rudy for AG, or Chris Christie for AG, Rudy for Department of Homeland Security. Bobby Kindal, Pam Bondi, I'm thinking of other names, Ben Carson, Herman Cain, you know, a list of people to show how serious -- a general for department of defense -- how serious he would be about governing. Would that help?

INGRAHAM: Yes, I think that's a good idea. And I would add this, though, Sean, to that. As powerful as that is, and I think it's a great idea, he's going to have to win this on his own in many respects. The people who have doubts about Trump are going to want to see him go beyond just the repartee with the media. We had the big dustup with the ABC reporter. People know he can do that, and he does that pretty brutally. They get that. But what they want to see from him is a sober, practical, very realistic approach to rebuilding our economy. I think this is going to be decided as a debate on globalization and his plan to bring jobs back to the United States, and obviously sealing the border, keeping us safe. That's where this is going to be decided.

HANNITY: Agreed.

INGRAHAM: He's going to have to win this on his own as a national campaign, Sean, not just focused on Ohio and Florida.

HANNITY: If he shows serious people that have been successful, and I'm serious about Herman Cain. I put him on any lists to do any job in government. And Laura, I'd hire you but you make too much money.

INGRAHAM: Thank you.

HANNITY: You can't afford the pay cut.

INGRAHAM: I'm not you, Sean.

HANNITY: OK, whatever. But I'd seriously consider you guys as people, or Pam Bondi who I think has done a great job as attorney general in Florida or maybe even Rick Scott, people that will prove how serious he is about hiring the best people. Good idea? Herman?

CAIN: I think Donald Trump got a lot of mileage out of putting out a list of 11 people that he would consider for Supreme Court justice. I think he got a lot of mileage out of it. Look, Mr. super conservative, himself, Rick Santorum, even endorsed Trump. He looked past all of the noise.


CAIN: So if Trump, he doesn't have to specify exactly what position all of these people would take if he were to say similar to what he did with the Supreme Court list, these are the kind of people that I am going to add --

HANNITY: That's a great idea.

CAIN: -- to participate in my administration.

HANNITY: Who would you like for VP?

CAIN: I love Newt Gingrich for VP.

HANNITY: What do you think, Laura?

CAIN: He's my number one pick.

HANNITY: It's my one, two and three people. I thought deeply about this.  Especially with Kasich and Rubio out of the mix, he's one, two, and three for me. Laura?

INGRAHAM: Yes, I don't know. I mean, I think you need to pick someone as vice president who is absolutely loyal to your agenda, and his agenda is nixing the trade deals, immigration. I think Gingrich is pretty good on those issues, but I think there might be some -- might be some tension there. I'm also worried that something happens to Trump, obviously Gingrich could step in. But if it's eight years from now, Gingrich might be a little older to take over as president.

HANNITY: You have to think eight years from now? Can we get through November?

INGRAHAM: I do. No, no, Sean, I want to destroy the establishment for the next, like, 25 years. It's long-term planning.

HANNITY: Now you're making a good case. All right, guys, thank you both.

And coming up, did zookeepers at the Cincinnati Zoo, did they do the right thing when they shot and killed a gorilla after a four-year-old fell into its enclosure over the holiday weekend? It is a fierce debate coming up next.


HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." A gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo was killed after a four-year-old boy fell into the animal's enclosure. Part of this horrific scene was caught on tape. Watch this.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Be calm. Be calm. Be calm.


HANNITY: Some are calling for the parents of the four-year-old boy to be charged. According to the A.P. police are now investigating the circumstances of how the toddler was able to enter the gorilla's enclosure.

Joining us with reaction, wildlife advocate and expert Dan Stockdale, and Columbus Zoo President and CEO Tom Stalf is with us. Tom, let me start with you. I love animals. I have dogs. I understand people are heartbroken. But you see that 450 pound gorilla dragging this kid around like a rag doll. And let's look at it from the other side. If in fact the zoo did not kill him, or try to tranquilize him and it backfired and angered the gorilla and the kid was killed, people would be outraged that the kid wasn't saved. It's a no-win situation for the zoo. And I think they made the right call under difficult circumstances.

TOM STALF, COLUMBUS ZOO PRESIDENT AND CEO: Absolutely. When you watch the video, you see how agitated the silverback gorilla is acting. You can also see how he is throwing the child around. What are your options? One option, people would ask is why won't we sedate the gorilla? Well, it's not the movies. When you sedate an animal, it could take up to 20 minutes.  And if the animal is extremely agitated, the sedation might not even take effect. If the sedative would have been used as a dart from a rifle, that would have agitated the gorilla even more.

Unfortunately, it was the right decision. And the Cincinnati Zoo, they acted quickly with their response team to evaluate the situation, and, unfortunately, they had to make that call. That call is something that they have been performing in exercises and drills, just like the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. We prepare for this day. We hope that day never happens.

HANNITY: Dan, if it was my child, I'd want the zoo to do exactly what they did in that particular case. Your reaction, and I guess the question, how is this kid able to go through barriers and have this accident falling down? That is something that needs to be investigated.

DAN STOCKDALE, WILDLIFE ADVOCATE: Right. And I think any parent in this situation, obviously we want to make sure our children are safe. So you'd expect the zoo to take whatever measures are necessary to ensure the safety of our children. I think that is an understanding that anybody who is a parent has.

My concern on our end as a couple-fold. First off, we know the gorilla was agitated, and the zoo even admitted themselves that part of the agitation was coming from bystanders out there screaming, further agitating the gorilla.

HANNITY: But you can't blame the people that are there. They are shocked and it's a natural reaction.

STOCKDALE: I understand that. But as part of the response team, part of their training should be to remove the bystanders as quickly as possible.  Everyone knows --

HANNITY: But can't this 450 pound gorilla kill that child in a second?

STOCKDALE: In a split second, in a split second they could. Part of what I'm saying is lets remove the bystanders to decrease the agitation. We did have a situation several years, a couple decades ago, 1986, I believe where the gorilla actually protected the child. There are other things they can do in preparation.

HANNITY: Would you want to risk for your child? I think they have to make the decisions.

I have to go.

STOCKDALE: It's the best decision given what they have.

HANNITY: Sad situation. They made the right call unfortunately.

Coming up, on this issue, we need your help. A very important "Question of the Day" is straight ahead.


HANNITY: All right, time for our "Question of the Day." So do you think killing the gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo was the right decision? Just go to Facebook.com/SeanHannity, @SeanHannity on Twitter, let us know what you think.

Unfortunately that is all the time we have left for this evening. As always, thank you for being with us. We'll see you back here tomorrow night.

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