Trump endorses Paul Ryan, John McCain and Kelly Ayotte

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," August 5, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MIKE HUCKABEE, GUEST HOST:  And welcome to this special edition of "Hannity."  This is a "Fox News Alert."  Donald Trump officially endorsed Speaker Paul Ryan at a rally in Wisconsin just a short while ago.  He also endorsed Senator John McCain and Senator Kelly Ayotte.

Hello.  I'm Mike Huckabee, in tonight for Sean.

And here's what Trump said earlier while campaigning in the Badger State with his running mate, Indiana governor Mike Pence.


DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE:  In our shared mission to make America great again, I support and endorse our speaker of the House, Paul Ryan!


TRUMP:  And while I'm at it, I hold in the highest esteem Senator John McCain for his service to our country in uniform and in public office, and I fully support and endorse his reelection.  I also fully support and endorse Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire.


HUCKABEE:  All right, joining us right now with reaction is Washington Times columnist Charles Hurt, former Clinton pollster and Fox News contributor Doug Schoen and Trump campaign pollster and adviser Kellyanne Conway.  Welcome to all three of you.


HUCKABEE:  OK, so the big announcement tonight, he's now in with Ryan, with McCain, with Ayotte.  And Doug, I think he actually endorsed you, but we just didn't have time to play the tape.


SCHOEN:  I would welcome it.  And you know, Donald Trump did what he had to do, Governor, at a time when his poll numbers are sinking.  He is behind by 4 points in Georgia, behind in three other swing states substantially.  The national polls have been sinking.  He made the right decision.

The question is why this took so long and how many more flip-flops there will be.

HUCKABEE:  All right, Kelly, you know, last week, my inbox was getting filled up every day with people saying, What's Trump doing?  Why is he not on the attack to Hillary?  He's off on these other tangents.  And tonight, after that speech, as people were watching, those same people were blowing out my inbox saying, This is the Donald Trump we want to see.  And they're all happy.

So was this a turning point for the Trump campaign moving forward?

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN POLLSTER:  Yes, Governor, I believe it was.  I actually think you'll look back at today as a really great day for Trump/Pence and a terrible day for Hillary Clinton, who now is lying about lying.  She still can't get the story right.

And I think when you look at -- go beyond the endorsements tonight and you listen to both what Mr. Trump and Governor Pence had to say on this, they're taking the case right to Hillary, if not Obama's eight years in office, Donald Trump out there tonight questioning her temperament, her fitness for office, her qualifications.

Last I checked, integrity is a qualification for president of the United States, and I think people who are on the ledge this week are now going to get off the ledge.

And this is a man who is doing what he needs to do to win now, which is get back in that fighting form and have tunnel vision.  There's a boogey-woman out there.  It's very clear who to attack every single day, and I don't think she's going to -- it's not going to wear well on her.

Hillary benefited this week, Governor, from scarcity, from not being part of the conversation.  That's when she does best.  But she doesn't wear well.  The minute she got back on the stump today, she started lying about lying.

HUCKABEE:  Well, I think that's, you know, kind of what that whole thing was about.  But what we saw tonight was Donald Trump, you know, taking the high road when it comes to his own party, but he didn't stop being Donald Trump.

And Charles, you know, when I listened to this speech, you know, he went right after Hillary, went on the attack.  I mean, nobody expects him to be anybody other than Donald Trump, do they?

CHARLES HURT, FOX CONTRIBUTOR:  No.  And of course, he was very charming in the way he talked about how he was going to have to stay on message tonight, and he was reading portions of his speech, and all that was great.

But you know, one of the things that I think that has largely been missed by the media this week is when he started taking on water at the beginning of the week, it had nothing to do with Paul Ryan.  The only people who were upset about what he said about Paul Ryan -- which, by the way, was hilarious -- the only people who were upset about that was Paul Ryan and a bunch of, you know, politicos inside the Beltway.  Nobody cares about that.

What Donald Trump was in trouble for at the beginning of the week was that unnecessary, ridiculous spat with the Khan family.  And what I think we have seen is, once again, we've seen another media Houdini act by Trump, where he throws out the thing with Paul Ryan at the very zenith of the Khan controversy, and it completely changes the subject from the Khan controversy to this new non-controversy that nobody cares about, and it all winds up with a wonderful speech tonight in which he exhibited party unity.

Nobody cares about that, really, but we're not talking about the Khan thing now.  We're talking about, you know, Trump's support for John McCain, Kelly Ayotte and Paul Ryan.

And by the way, he also got in all of his shots on, you know, the "queen of corruption" and stuff like that.  So I think, going forward, if he does remain laser-focused, as he should, you know, this is -- today was a victory for him.

CONWAY:  And on Monday, he's going to be unveiling a great economic plan, Governor.  I'm sure you're -- everyone's aware of that, the Detroit Economic Club.  It's really a great plan.  It will help the middle class, who are struggling.

I think that's an important segue here, too, also, because I think the inside baseball of the past week has also distracted us from talking about what the voters want to talk about, which is issues.  People in this country are struggling and people are nervous and they feel unsafe and not prosperous.

And I think the specific plans -- I was with Governor Pence yesterday in North Carolina and Virginia.  He's out on the stump talking about substance, taking the case right to Hillary Clinton for the failures of "Obama care," Governor, which he also reminded us was really just a prologue to "Hillary care" that she tried to -- so you've got 16 of the 23 co-ops already failing.  You've got millions of uninsured Americans who weren't supposed to be in this place.  You've got to now pivot to the substance, as well, because there Hillary simply cannot compete.

HUCKABEE:  And Kelly, I'm pretty sure that we're not going to hear Donald Trump go to Detroit on Monday and propose another $1.5 trillion in taxes over the next 10 years.


HUCKABEE:  And Charlie, I want to go to you because...


HUCKABEE:  ... just respond to you.  You made a point I think is very important, and that is that this whole thing about Paul Ryan -- I think Donald Trump was just tweaking his nose a little bit because he used the exact same language on Paul Ryan that Paul Ryan had used on him about, I want to get there, but I'm just not there yet.  I thought the whole thing was more funny.


HUCKABEE:  Now, I think some of the other things this week, you know, weren't the best of all.  But he turned the corner.

HURT:  Sure.

HUCKABEE:  I want to listen to a little bit of the speech...

HURT:  But that's the difference between you and the media.  You have a sense of humor, and nobody in the media has a sense of humor!


SCHOEN:  I got a sense of humor, too, but if Donald Trump...

HUCKABEE:  ... no sense of humor when it comes to Republicans.

SCHOEN:  ... 70 percent of the Republican votes, he's in a crisis in his campaign, which is what's happening.

CONWAY:  Oh, he'll be back.  He's like a yo-yo dieter with Republicans, Doug.  He goes up, he goes down.  They're not going for Hillary Clinton. He'll be back.


SCHOEN:  Well, you know...

HUCKABEE:  All right...

SCHOEN:  So far, the polls are just going one way, Kellyanne, down.

CONWAY:  We'll talk next week.

HUCKABEE:  Let's listen to this.  This is a little clip from the speech tonight in Green Bay.  He clearly is indicating that he's not going to be so sweet and loving and syrupy when it comes to Hillary Clinton.  Let's listen and then get some reaction.


TRUMP:  In one way, she's a monster, OK?  Look at what happened.  Look at her history.  In another way, she's a weak person.  She's actually not strong enough to be president.

She's going to be the tough one, see?  She's going to be the tough one.  She's going to play with nuclear weapons.  You know, they have all nukes, nice nukes.  She's going to be the tough one.

Now, here's the problem with Hillary -- Hillary "Rotten" Clinton.


TRUMP:  Here's the problem.  Here's -- that's why she changed her -- that's why she doesn't want to use the name anymore because everybody was saying that!


HUCKABEE:  The debates are going to be absolutely fantastic.  I think we can get rid of the national debt by making it pay-per-view and letting people across the country just buy in to be able to watch it.

All right, let me start with you, Doug. Hillary Clinton's going to be the target.  If he stays on Hillary and doesn't go out and beat up the fans in the arena, do you think Donald Trump is going to end up getting his mojo back?

SCHOEN:  Well, he certainly can.  I agree with that.  But the one thing, again, we haven't talked about is the Clintons are going to have $2 billion to bring to bear.

And Kellyanne, maybe I'm wrong, but so far, there really haven't been any appreciable media buys by Donald Trump or his super-PAC, I think getting outspent four, five, six to one.  And if that happens, given the lead that the secretary of state has in the swing states, yes, he can get his mojo back, but without unanimous Republican support, given the weakness with minorities, it's going to be a tough but not impossible race for Donald Trump.

CONWAY:  But I have to push back on that a little bit, Doug, because, first of all, we released an ad tonight and it's terrific.  I would commend everybody just to go to our Web site,, or pick up the ad.

And it takes the case to Hillary Clinton, Governor, to your point.  It goes back and it shows the montage of everybody calling her reckless and crooked and putting her personal interests before our national security interests, a fact that will not change between now and November, and a fact that we really can't emphasize enough.

Secondly, Doug, I will have to say that this is a very unconventional candidate and a very unconventional way of campaigning.  Yet with Hillary, everything's out in the open.  We know she's going to...

HUCKABEE:  Kellyanne, I've got to interrupt.  We are in a hard break here. I want to thank all of you...

SCHOEN:  Thank you.

HUCKABEE:  ... Charlie, Doug...

HURT:  Thank you, Governor.

HUCKABEE:  ... and also Kellyanne.  and we're all looking forward to that speech on Monday.  It ought to be a barn-burner, stemwinder.

All right, coming up next right here on "Hannity"...


HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE:  And it was therefore reasonable to conclude that anyone, including myself, would have not suspected that they were classified.


HUCKABEE:  All right, Hillary Clinton continues to make excuses about her private e-mail server.  Our panel is going to weigh in next.

Plus, retired lieutenant general Mike Flynn and Dr. Sebastian Gorka will be joining us later tonight.

That and more as this special edition of "Hannity" continues.


HUCKABEE:  And welcome back to this special edition of "Hannity: Road to the White House."  All right, it's been 246 days since Hillary Clinton gave a formal press conference.  But today, she did answer, well, a few questions while addressing the National Association of Black and Hispanic Journalists conference.  Clinton was asked about her private e-mail server scandal, and once again continued to make excuses.  Watch this.


CLINTON:  Director Comey said that only 3 out of 30,000 had anything resembling classified markers.  The 3 e-mails out of the 30,000 did not have the appropriate markings, and it was therefore reasonable to conclude that anyone, including myself, would have not suspected that they were classified.

So what we have here is pretty much what I have been saying throughout this whole year, and that is that I never sent or received anything that was marked classified.

What I told the FBI, which he said was truthful, is consistent with what I have said publicly.  So I may have short-circuited, and for that, I, you know, will try to clarify because I think, you know, Chris Wallace and I were probably talking past each other.


HUCKABEE:  Yes, I'm sure that's what it was.  All right, plus, while Clinton was answering questions, the people in the room, which consisted mostly of journalists, were loudly applauding her answers.  Watch this.


CLINTON:  President Obama does not get the credit he deserves for leading us out of the great recession.


CLINTON:  And I served as secretary of state.  And when I left, I had a 66 percent approval rating.  So ask yourselves...


CLINTON:  Donna Brazile is here.  She's our acting chair of the DNC.


CLINTON:  Together, I think we can create the kind of future that every one of our kids and grandkids deserves.  Thank you all very much.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Secretary Clinton, we are out of time.  We want to thank you very much.  Everyone, please give a big round of applause to Secretary Clinton for coming.


HUCKABEE:  So what's the big deal?  I mean, it's like those old press conferences back in Arkansas when I was governor.  They always were cheering.  It was Bronx cheering, but it was cheering nonetheless.

All right, joining me now, pollster Lee Carter and Fox News contributors Pete Hegseth and Eboni Williams.  Eboni, let me start with you.  Hillary Clinton once again tries to explain this e-mail thing.  Has she ever made any sense, from your perspective?

EBONI WILLIAMS, FOX CONTRIBUTOR:  It's actually remarkable, and I say this as an attorney.  What we saw from Secretary Clinton there was about as cherry-picking and a horrible representation of lawyering, is kind of what traditional people think (INAUDIBLE) lawyering as I've seen.

So this is easy.  This is simple.  Trey Gowdy said to Director Comey, Did you send or receive any classified e-mails?  Was that truthful?  Director Comey said, No, that was not truthful.

That is the end of the analysis, Governor.  So I'm really not sure why Hillary is consistently sticking to a different story than what the FBI director is saying.

HUCKABEE:  Pete, journalists are applauding, and they think this is just wonderful.  I mean, maybe they're applauding because it's the first time she's shown up for a press conference in 246 days.

PETE HEGSETH, FOX CONTRIBUTOR:  Well, of course, it wasn't a press conference.  We were talking about that earlier.  It was a conference she was speaking at where she happened to take a few questions (INAUDIBLE) happily obfuscate as a press conference, which of course, it wasn't.

We're looking at, of course, the next generation of left-wing journalists that will pretend to be independent, will take stances that they think look down the middle, but are of course, bias.  We saw an entire week, Governor, where bias was overwhelming against Donald Trump on -- on stories, and they ignored big ones, like where she lied to Chris Wallace, and again here today, about her character and fitness to be commander-in-chief.

WILLIAMS:  (INAUDIBLE) jump in (INAUDIBLE) why I say respectfully, I'm a member of that organization, and I have to push back a little bit, Pete.  I don't think it's a left-leaning organization...


HEGSETH:  Did you hear the applause for the DNC chairwoman?


WILLIAMS:  She's not a journalist.  Donna Brazile is not.  And also, those are a lot of students, as well, in that organization.  I've been to those conferences.  But go ahead.

HEGSETH:  But yes, it looked a little one-sided.

HUCKABEE:  All right, Lee, I want you to react to something Ron Fournier said earlier this week about the Clinton campaign not even caring about trust.  Here's Ron.


RON FOURNIER, THE ATLANTIC:  I literally had senior officials on the record -- or not on the record, on background a year ago saying -- or more than a year ago saying that trust doesn't matter, that Bill Clinton won, even though he was trusted less than the two people he ran against.  What they don't realize is the world has changed, and we know see that trust does matter.  It's really destroyed her credibility.

Now, she could still win even by continuing this -- this parsing and this lying, but then she's going to be leading a country where two thirds of the people don't trust her.


HUCKABEE:  All right, Lee, you dial-test this stuff all the time.  Do people give a hang about trust?

LEE CARTER, MASLANSKY & PARTNERS:  Absolutely.  Trust is the currency of the day.  It used to be power.  It used to be money.  It used to be all kinds of things.  Trust is what matters right now.  Authenticity is what matters right now.

People want to be able to feel touched, be tangible with the people that they're voting for, that they give their money to and businesses.  It's a totally different day.

We don't like advertising that's produced.  We like things that you discover for yourself.  Trust matters more today than it ever has in our institutions.

And it's at an all-time low with politicians.  Hillary, on top of having the behavior issues, is a career politician, in many ways.  She is a legacy.  She is an establishment family.  And as a result, people are just going to start by not trusting her, and in her behaviors, one after the other, is causing a complete dearth of trust in her.  And her trust numbers are horrible!

HUCKABEE:  I mean, she's just south of 70 percent of the American people who say, We don't trust you.  Would people ever vote for somebody to be president that they can't trust at that level?

HEGSETH:  Lack of trust speaks to the rise of Donald Trump.  He may be a rich billionaire, but he's a blue-collar billionaire in saying, Hey, the elites up there that make the rules, the ruling class, they're telling you things you know are not true, whether it's your job performance and your wages are getting better.  He told the VA that things were getting better. Vets know that's not getting better.

There's a massive disconnect between the rhetoric in Washington and the reality on the ground.  The extent to which Donald Trump can continue to expose that, he will drive a wedge into the loyalty problem that Hillary has.

WILLIAMS:  Nobody trusts Hillary Clinton.  Like you said, Governor, it's almost 70 percent.  My question, though, is how is she still in some states double-digit leading Donald Trump?  So to your point, I agree people should care about trust, absolutely, Lee.  I'm concerned that despite the lack of trust, people still seem to be somehow willing to vote for Hillary anyway.

HUCKABEE:  Lee, 15 seconds.  How is it that she's leading in states when people don't trust her?

CARTER:  She's leading in states right now because Donald Trump has had a really bad two weeks.  Two weeks ago, we were looking at a place where 55 percent likelihood with Nate Silver that Donald Trump was going to be the next president of the United States.  He was winning Pennsylvania.  He was winning some of the key swing states.

The last two weeks have not -- I'm not going to say have not been kind to him.  He has not been kind to the last two weeks.  And in many ways, he has to change the page, turn the page, forget this all happened, get back on message and start moving forward.

HUCKABEE:  Yes or no to all of you real quickly.  Is this a recoverable situation for Donald Trump?  Eboni, yes or no.

WILLIAMS:  Yes.  It's early.



CARTER:  Absolutely, 100 percent.

HUCKABEE:  There you go, three for three.

All right, coming up next on this special edition of "Hannity"...


PASTOR SAYEED ABEDINI, FORMER HOSTAGE:  I asked him why you don't let us go because the plane was there.  Pilot was there.  Everyone was ready that we leave the country.  They said, We are waiting for another plane, and until that plane doesn't come, we never let you go.


HUCKABEE:  One of the four Americans held by Iran reveals what he was told the day that he was set free.  Did the Obama administration pay ransom to Tehran?  Retired lieutenant general Mike Flynn weighs in next.

Plus, President Obama spoke about his ISIS strategy yesterday at the Pentagon.  Dr. Sebastian Gorka is going to weigh in on that and much more as "Hannity" continues.


HUCKABEE:  And welcome back to "Hannity." Earlier this week, President Obama once again found himself in the middle of a controversy, this time after The Wall Street Journal reported that the Obama administration secretly shipped $400 million to Iran during this very same time that American hostages were being freed by Tehran.

Yesterday, President Obama said there was an easy explanation for this whole situation!  So take a look.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  This wasn't some nefarious deal.  Iran had pressed a claim before an international tribunal about them recovering money of theirs that we had frozen.

The reason that we had to give them cash is precisely because we are so strict in maintaining sanctions, and we do not have a banking relationship with Iran, that we couldn't send them a check and we could not wire the money.


HUCKABEE:  Oh, just put it on a credit card.  Well, look, while President Obama is officially saying that the timing of the cash payment was just mere coincidence, one of the freed hostages is painting a much difference picture.  Listen to this.


PASTOR SAYEED ABEDINI, FORMER HOSTAGE:  They told us, You're going to be there for 20 minutes, but it took, like, hours and hours.  We slept at the airport.  And When I asked them, Why you don't let us go because the plane was there.  Pilot was there.  Everyone was ready that we leave the country. They said, We are waiting for another plane, and until that plane doesn't come, we never let you go.


HUCKABEE:  All right, so how will this scandal affect the race for the White House?  Joining me now for reaction is the author of "The Field of Fight," retired lieutenant general Michael Flynn.

General, delighted to have you here.  Let's get right to the meat of the nut.  Was this a ransom payment?

LT. GEN. MICHAEL FLYNN, U.S. ARMY (RET.):  It certainly appears that way, Governor.  And I'll tell you, you know, what this really comes down to is just the incredibly poor judgment on behalf of this administration with everything surrounding the Iranian nuclear deal, a deal that -- you know, anybody that's -- you know, that can see straight knows that this was a really bad deal.

So it's poor judgment.  It's lousy decision-making.  And it also shows a level of incompetence inside of the national security structure around the president about just making these kinds of decisions.  I mean, you know, the perceptional (ph) reality, when you look at this whole thing, it just really -- it stinks.  It smells bad.  It looks bad.

HUCKABEE:  Well, especially the fact that there's an unmarked airplane that flies in, $400 million with that money in Swiss francs because it had been laundered so they didn't bring in U.S. dollars.  I mean, in all your years in the military, did you ever see an operation in which we flew in laundered money -- and I'm using that term expressly, on purpose -- but we flew in that kind of money to a foreign government with whom we did not have a very good relationship?

FLYNN:  Yes, the leading -- Iran is the leading and was at that time, I believe, was still the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world, so -- and according to our own government.

So first of all, you know, when we talk about this $400 million -- I mean the deal that we cut with them, Governor, as you know and your listeners know, was going to give them $150 billion and the pathway to a nuclear weapon.  Why was it that we had to give them this $400 million?  I mean, I don't get it.  We should have demanded to get those American citizens back for nothing, I mean, based on what we were giving them in this lousy deal.

So I mean, the fact we gave them an additional $400 million, however the president was trying to explain it away, it just is so bad to me.  And it's just another level -- another one of these scandals that, frankly -- I'm tired of them, and I know that the American public are tired of them based on the kinds of things that I'm getting from people.  It's just -- it's just sickening!

HUCKABEE:  General, Iran is known -- I mean, they've given money to Hamas. They've given it to Hezbollah.  They've killed Americans.  They've kidnapped Americans.  Do you have any confidence that this money will never find its way into the hands of terrorists like those of Hamas and Hezbollah?

FLYNN:  Yes, none at all.  I mean, you know, that's a great -- that's a great question.  And you know, whose pockets does this money go into?  It's not going back into -- you know, to beef up the education system in Iran or their infrastructure.

This is going to go into some -- you know, into somebody's pocket, probably the -- probably the IRGC Quds Force, who runs their terror -- their global terror operations around the world.

So I mean, this is bad.  This is really bad.  And this -- we're not talking about, you know, some small amount of money.  This is $400 million, and it's going to go into somebody's pocket that's going to continue to basically do evil things against our country.

HUCKABEE:  It would have provided a lot of free college scholarships and a host of other things.  I think one of the concerns that many of us have -- this whole Iranian deal ultimately means that they will likely develop, and quite frankly deploy, a nuclear weapon.  I mean, isn't that the reality that we're dealing with...

FLYNN:  Yes.

HUCKABEE:  ... with the Iranians?

FLYNN:  Yes, (INAUDIBLE) the Iranians have been lying about this for a long time.  And so you know, for us to -- trust to have any sense of trust -- but what the Iranian nuclear deal did was it gave Iran a pathway to a nuclear bomb.

I mean, you know, it just -- it's unfathomable to me that we would have cut a deal like this with all of the disaster that's unfolding, unraveling in the Middle East, with all of the problems with the rise of radical Islam not only in the Middle East but in Africa, the problems we're having in Europe, and we're going to give Iran, who is one of the sponsors of this rise -- we're going to give them the potential to have a nuclear weapon plus $150 billion?

You know, I mean, it just doesn't make any sense to me.  And that's why I've been -- I've been against it from the beginning.

HUCKABEE:  Well, I appreciate your being here.  Actually, it seems to make more sense to give a bottle of liquor and car keys to a Porsche to a 16-year-old boy than it would be to give $400 million to the Iranians.

General Flynn, delighted to have you here.  Thank you very much for joining us tonight.

FLYNN:  Thanks, Governor.

HUCKABEE:  All right, coming up next on "Hannity"...


OBAMA:  I do want to step back and note the broader progress that has been made in this campaign so far.  Two years ago, ISIL was racing across Iraq to the outskirts of Baghdad itself, and to many observers, ISIL looked invincible.


HUCKABEE:  President Obama spoke at the Pentagon yesterday about his ISIS strategy.  Dr. Sebastian Gorka is here next.  He'll explain why the administration needs to change the course.

And then later...


SEAN HANNITY, HOST:  I think Trump should line up speeches all around the country on specific topics so that people can hear exactly what he stands for and the solutions he's offering.


HUCKABEE:  Earlier this week, Sean offered a little advice to the Trump campaign.  We're going to tell you what it was, and then we'll get reaction from our panel.

That and more as this special edition of "Hannity: Road to the White House," continues.


PATRICIA STARK, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Live from America's news headquarters, I'm Patricia Stark.

Some good news for your 401(k), Stocks having their best day in nearly a month.  The Labor Department's July hiring report igniting today's rally. That report showed far bigger gains than expected and led the charge for the S&P and NASDAQ, both of which set record highs.  The Dow Jones still sits below its all-time high set last month, but did finish the week on a high note, closing up 191 points today.

And a Pentagon official tells Fox News that nearly half of the detainees remaining at Guantanamo Bay are slated for transfer.  Of the 76 detainees, 34 of them will be moved to other countries and some of them won't be going back to prison.  Critics fear they could return to terrorism, but President Obama has said that those transfers so far are, quote, "low-level individuals."

I'm Patricia Stark.  And now back to "Hannity."

HUCKABEE:  And welcome back to this special edition of "Hannity: Road to the White House."  Yesterday president Obama held a press conference to discuss the progress that America has made in the fight against ISIS, and his remarks were filled with mixed messages.  Watch this one.


OBAMA:  ISIL still has the ability to direct and inspire attacks.

I do want to step back and note the broader progress that has been made in this campaign so far.  Two years ago ISIL was racing across Iraq to the outskirts of Baghdad itself, and to many observers, ISIL looked invincible. ISIL has not had a major successful operation in either Syria or Iraq in a whole year.


HUCKABEE:  Joining us with the reaction is the author of "Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War," the distinguished chair of military theory at Marine Corps University, Dr. Sebastian Gorka.

All right, Dr. Gorka, the president is kind of all over the board on this.  He tells us that this is an ISIS that's getting defeated, but we still have a threat.  So which is it?

DR. SEBASTIAN GORKA, AUTHOR, "DEFEATING JIHAD":  That is the question, governor.  You just have to listen to the professionals.  Let's take politics out of the equation.  Let's take spin out of the equation.  We have the most senior intelligence officer in federal government, that's DNI Clapper, the director of national intelligence, who in his last unclassified testimony on the Hill just a matter of maybe three weeks ago, said the following.  He said that the capacity of the Islamic State of ISIS to execute global attacks has not been diminished at all by our actions in theater.  That's number one.  So their capacity to do terrorism in San Bernardino, in Orlando, in France has not changed.

And on top of that, the one sentence that the media really missed, because it came later on in his testimony, is the following.  He said, "In my 30-plus career as an intelligence professional, I have never seen the world as unstable as it is today."  That's after seven-and-a-half years of Obama and Clinton foreign policy, governor.  So let's leave it the professionals. The most senior intelligence officer said the world is on fire.

HUCKABEE:  You know, if it's on fire, then how come we haven't called the fire department?  I mean, it just seems like that this is an ongoing struggle.  We've called it a jayvee team.  We said we've contained it.  Clearly it was more than a jayvee team and we haven't contained it.  How does the president and this administration get away with diminishing the description and the threat that ISIS poses to the world?

GORKA:  Because it's not about reality.  It's not about protecting America.  It's about spin.  It's about legacy.  Think about the fact that last year, we had 60 central command analysts, the people who are looking at ISIS, at Syria, at Iraq, publicly complain and protest that their analysis reports on ISIS were being either doctored, changed, or thrown away when they didn't comport with the White House narrative that we're winning.

If it didn't meet the preconceived political message, it was distorted, or it was lost.  We didn't even have that, governor, during Vietnam.  We never had 60 intel analysts say, reality doesn't matter, and the White House simply wants to spin.  It's outrageous.

HUCKABEE:  Dr. Gorka, one of the questions that I've never heard answered.  ISIS communicates largely through social media platforms, Twitter, Facebook.  How in the world is it that they have access?  Why hasn't there been a definite effort to shut them out of these social media platforms so that they can't communicate?

GORKA:  Well, there's a couple of reasons for that.  The first one is a technical one.  The Internet was invented by the defense research hub for the DOD, and it was invented deliberately to have built in redundancy, so you can shut down one server, shut down IPA address provider, and it will rejuvenate and another place will take over.  So the technology is really on the side of the terrorists.

Secondly, what is Internet provision about?  It's about the bottom line.  It's about making a buck.  It's about the service provider having the shares report positively in the next quarterly stock meeting.  Look what happened after San Bernardino.  Apple doesn't want to allow the FBI to open the county government's iPhone that was issued to Mr. Malik -- yes, to Farook.  So why is that?  Because they're scared about whether they're going to make profit on the next iPhone 7.  This is the challenge.  We really have a lack of cooperation between the national security establishment, the private sector, and the nature of the Internet itself.

HUCKABEE:  Well, it's a fascinating thing.  It just seems like there ought to be a way to shut down their ability to recruit, to train, to teach, and to actually push the button and the trigger to get these guys to do what they're doing.  Dr. Gorka, always great to talk to you.  Thank you very much for being here tonight.

GORKA:  Thank you, governor.

HUCKABEE:  And coming up right here on "Hannity."


HANNITY:  I think Trump should line up speeches all around the country on specific topics so that people can hear exactly what he stands for and the solutions he's offering.


HUCKABEE:  Well, earlier this week Sean gave a little advice to the Trump campaign.  We're going to play you the highlights of what he said and then get reaction with our panel.  That and more, so stay with us.


HUCKABEE:  Welcome back to this special edition of "Hannity: Road to the White House."  Earlier this week, Sean offered a little advice to the Trump campaign.  This is on what they need to do in order to defeat Hillary Clinton in November.  Let's take a look at what he said.


HANNITY:  For starters, there can be no more unforced errors.  Now, Hillary Clinton is going to try and convince voters, the American people, that Donald Trump doesn't have the temperament to be president, or that he's too impulsive.  So why is this going to be her strategy?  It's all she has. She can't run on her record.  She can't win on substantive issues, and she certainly can't win on issues based on honesty and integrity and truthfulness.

The only people Donald Trump should ever talk about -- two people, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, because their records are a disaster.  I think people want Trump to talk about how he's going to create jobs, revitalize this broken economy, and of course first and foremost, protect the homeland.

I think Trump should line up speeches all around the country on specific topics so that people can hear exactly what he stands for and the solutions he's offering.  And if I was in charge of Trump's campaign, well, I'd have him travel all over the country, roll up his sleeves, and show you the American people how he will deal with, for example, the immigration crisis, the refugee crisis, and much more.

And I'd have him put together a team of rivals.  And I'd also put together Trump's promises to America to make America great again.  In other words, 10 detailed promises that he will fulfill if you elect him president.  For example, the promise to appoint originalists to the Supreme Court that also respect the constitution, separation of powers, coequal branches of government, how he will protect the homeland, that he will acknowledge that radical Islam is a real, clear and present danger to this country.  How we need to secure the borders.  Open borders make us less secure.

And also we have 95 million Americans out of the labor force.  People come in here illegally, they're fighting for those jobs that Americans right now need.  That also drives down wages.

I also want him to talk about the refugee program, how it has to be safe, that we can't gamble with you, the lives of you, the American people.  How he's going to fix America's broken economy and get people back to work, and certainly add some type of discipline, fiscal discipline in Washington.

The need for energy independence -- he can compare and contrast his plan on energy, which is to expand coal mining, expand nuclear technology, drilling and fracking, versus Hillary.  She wants to put coal miners out of work, coal mining businesses out of business.

And that also brings us to the issue of education.  First and foremost, we pay more per student per capita than any other country, but yet we have the worst results.  Send education back to small towns and cities and let the people decide how to best educate their own kids.

Also Donald Trump should explain what it means to have a better trade deal.  And Donald Trump should explain that we have a promise made to America's vets, and he's going to fix our broken VA system.

In other words, he's going to put America first in all decisions.  So my advice, Trump and his campaign, they need to be more than prepared.  This election is way too important.  We cannot afford a third term of Barack Obama and his failed policies.


HUCKABEE:  Amen, brother.  All right, joining us now with reaction, American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp, Fox News contributor Mercedes Schlapp, and the author of "Saving America," Mark Aesch.  All right, Mark, let me start with you, because you've come up with an idea that you say would make this a game changer in the debate or even right now if Trump would do it.  Tell me what that is.

MARK AESCH, AUTHOR, "SAVING AMERICA":  I would take what Sean was sharing with us and actually go a step further, governor.  So we have had for decades these politicians telling us what it is they're going to do.  I would love to see Donald Trump tell us what he intends to deliver.  For the next 30 days I would have him say if elected president, in my first term, I'm going to reduce the deficit by 50 percent.  I'm going to create 7 million jobs in my first term.  I will grow the economy by 2.5 percent.  And at the first debate, turn to Hillary Clinton and say "Secretary Clinton, I've made clear what I will do if I'm elected president of the United States, and if I don't deliver this on behalf of the American people, I will not seek reelection.  Madam Secretary, I challenge you to do the same."

HUCKABEE:  That would be pretty dramatic.  Matt, if he were to do that at the debate, what kind of reaction would you expect out of Hillary Clinton on the stage?

MATT SCHLAPP, CHAIRMAN, AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE UNION:  You know, governor, as you know as an Arkansan, she's great at being spontaneous.


SCHLAPP:  She'd have such an honest, heartfelt reaction to the whole thing. She'd first immediately look for John Podesta in the audience to see what she should say and get the hand signals.

No, the only think I would say is I love the idea of flushing out what we believe.  We did it in 1994 with the contract with America.  We had our ten promises that we would deliver on.  But I actually think this is much simpler.  This election is very clear when the American voter already has decided they don't believe Hillary Clinton is either honest or trust worthy.  And they don't want to vote for her.

And they're looking to Donald Trump who they know less well in a political context, and they just want to know he's a reasonable alternative.  Every poll shows the number one issue is the economy.  Second issue is our national security and killing terrorists and stopping these Islamic fundamentalist terrorists, and the fact that Washington is broken.  And if Donald Trump keeps reminding people Hillary is the worst person in the world to take on those challenges I think he will win.  I love the idea of flushing it out more, but let's start with that basic premise.

HUCKABEE:  Mercedes, how important is it to be that specific?  Because politicians always make these big promises and people don't really believe they're going to do it.  So why should he, and if he should, what kind of promise do you recommend he makes?

MERCEDES SCHLAPP, WASHINGTON TIMES:  Let me tell you, I think the election is almost based more on personality and character and temperament than it is necessarily on policy initiatives.  We have already seen in terms of an Obama policy or a Hillary Clinton policy, it's much of the same.  There is really no change.  It's a stale agenda that's she's pushing forward.

So I do think we want to see from Donald Trump a bit more of the policy flushed out.  At the same time, I think it's very important for Donald Trump to even go more basic than this.  It's about message discipline. Clear and simple in terms of ensuring if he is talking about the economy and if he is talking about national security that that is his focus from now to November.  The problem is that all these different sideshows, and you're seeing this very clear, governor.  You Google Trump and you will not find one positive story come up.  These news cycles that are lasting for four, five days, it just hurts the campaign.  It hurts the ability for Donald Trump to be able to deliver his message effectively to the American voter.  And I think that has been incredibly unfortunate for Trump.

And I think he can turn it around.  He can become that comeback kid.  That could be the story.  If he's able to just stick to his economic, national security message, put some details to it, and ensure that he can say I can really create change in America.

HUCKABEE:  That is great advice from Mark, Matt, Mercedes and Mike.  We've got all the M's right here with us and good advice for Donald Trump.  Focus on Hillary, make it about her, not about anybody else, and I think we all agree on that.

All right, coming up, more of this special edition of "Hannity" right after the break.  So you better stay with us.


HUCKABEE:  And welcome back to "Hannity." Before we go, here's a quick programming note.  Be sure to tune in tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. for a special edition of "Fox News Reporting: Zika," hosted by Trace Gallagher. Again, that's tomorrow night at 8:00 eastern.

Unfortunately that's all the time that we have got left for this evening.  Sean is back on Monday.  This is Mike Huckabee.  I hope you have a great weekend.


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