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Meet the Press - May 8, 2016

Meet the Press - May 8, 2016

CHUCK TODD:

This Sunday, the Republican party coming apart.

DONALD TRUMP:

It really looks like a massive victory.

CHUCK TODD:

Donald Trump wraps up the Republican nomination and effectively tells G.O.P. leaders, "It's my party and you can cry if you want to."

DONALD TRUMP:

Our thing, it's very simple, it's make America great again.

CHUCK TODD:

My interview with the Republican party's presumptive nominee, Donald Trump. Plus, it's a simple fact, divided parties lose elections. Republican voters embrace Trump, the Republican leadership says, "No way."

SPEAKER PAUL RYAN:

I'm just not ready to do that at this point.

CHUCK TODD:

Can Donald Trump become the first candidate in more than half a century to win an election without a united party behind him? Also, don't look now, but the general election has already begun.

DONALD TRUMP:

I can focus on Hillary. Crooked Hillary.

SEC. HILLARY CLINTON:

He doesn't think much of equal pay for women because, of course, he doesn't think much of women.

CHUCK TODD:

Even S.N.L. is looking towards November.

DANA CARVEY:

And now we've landed on the exciting presidential match-up between a godless, liberal Democrat and Hillary Clinton.

CHUCK TODD:

Joining me for insight and analysis this Sunday morning are Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer-Prize-winning columnist for The Washington Post, Andrea Mitchell of NBC News, Matt Bai, national political correspondent for Yahoo News, and Republican strategist and pollster, Kellyanne Conway. Welcome to Sunday. It's Meet the Press.

ANNOUNCER:

From NBC News in Washington, this is Meet the Press with Chuck Todd.

CHUCK TODD:

Good Sunday morning, happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there watching. This may well be this generation's defining moment in American politics, particularly for Republicans. The Republican party splitting apart as it turns its back on its new presumptive nominee: Donald Trump. What we're witnessing is nothing short of what you might call tissue rejection.

Conservatives who warn that Trump would ultimately prove he's not one of them, are having their own, "I told you so" moment. During the primaries, Trump said he was opposed to raising the minimum wage. Now he says he's open to raising it. During the primaries, Trump put out a plan lowering taxes on everybody, including the wealthy, now he says he's open to raising taxes for the wealthiest Americans.

And during the primaries, Trump insisted over and over again he would self-fund his campaign, and now he says he's building a world-class finance organization aimed at raising money for his campaign. That, and so much more, has led a long parade of prominent Republicans to say either they can't support Trump or they have to think it over.

We'll get to my interview with Donald Trump in just a moment, but one thing is clear. He begins his campaign as a the presumptive nominee of a party, whose leadership A) didn't want him, and B) is deeply reluctant to rally around him. In short, is the Republican party wigging out?

(BEGIN TAPE)

SPEAKER PAUL RYAN:

I'm not there right now. And I hope to though, and I want to. But I think what is required is that we unify this party.

CHUCK TODD:

Donald Trump is facing a rejection from Republican party leaders that is unprecedented in modern politics.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM:

I think Donald Trump's a kind of man. I'm not going to support somebody I don't believe is a reliable Republican conservative.

CHUCK TODD:

Nebraska senator Ben Sasse says, "A third-party candidate is the only solution." Quote, "This is America. If both choices stink, we reject them and go bigger." The only two living Republican presidents, both Bushes, are also no's, refusing to endorse Trump and skipping the Republican Convention after a campaign of insults to Jeb.

DONALD TRUMP:

He's low energy. Let's be sure.

CHUCK TODD:

The 2012 nominee, also a no, is being courted to run as an independent. So far, Mitt Romney is not interested. The 2008 nominee, with a primary in August, is a reluctant yes, but also staying away from Cleveland in July.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN:

If there is a Donald Trump at the top of the ticket, I have no doubt that this may be the race of my life.

CHUCK TODD:

Even the chair of the convention is sending a signal to donors and voters that it's okay to stay on the bench.

SPEAKER PAUL RYAN:

I think the bulk of the burden on unifying the party will have to come from our presumptive nominee.

DONALD TRUMP:

I didn't get Paul Ryan. I don't know what happened. I don't know. All of a sudden, he wants to be cute. But, you know, we'll see.

CHUCK TODD:

With a meeting planned in Washington next week, the chill could thaw. And some Trump skeptics are coming around, including Rick Perry, who said this just months ago:

GOV. RICK PERRY:

Donald Trump's candidacy is a cancer on conservatism.

CHUCK TODD:

But Trump begins the general election as a scarred candidate, trailing by 23 points among women, and leading by just three points among men.

SEC. HILLARY CLINTON:

He doesn't think much of equal pay for women because, of course, he doesn't think much of women, it turns out.

CHUCK TODD:

But for Trump, the attacks are going to be personal.

DONALD TRUMP:

And she was a total enabler. She would go after these women and destroy their lives. I mean, have you ever read what Hillary Clinton did to the women that Bill Clinton had affairs with? And they're going after me with women? Give me a break, folks.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

Yesterday I spoke with Mr. Trump. And I began by asking if he was surprised to have already wrapped up the Republican nomination.

(BEGIN TAPE)

DONALD TRUMP:

Well, I thought I'd do it. I didn't know I was going to do it this early. I assumed that Hillary would be watching me, as opposed to me watching Hillary. So that's good. And it's going to be an interesting things, because Bernie Sanders is not being treated fairly. Not being treated fairly. You know, it's a rigged system against him also. I'm no Bernie fan, I can tell you that. But it is a rigged system.

CHUCK TODD:

Do you believe the system is-- the Republican system was pretty rigged too, even though you're winning it?

DONALD TRUMP:

Yeah, totally rigged. It was totally rigged. And it was only that I was winning by so much. I was winning in landslides every week. And if I weren't, I wouldn't have been able to do it, because it was dictated by the bosses. But you know what, I'm happy with it. It's like a boxer. You have to go and you have to knock out the opponent.

We won so many landslide states, especially the last seven or eight, that you know, there was nothing much they could do about it. But it's not a good system--

CHUCK TODD:

You know, you complained about the system a lot. I'm curious, are you now more open to same-day voter registration, allowing independents to vote in any primary they want? Are you going to be somebody that's going to advocate for those positions now, to make it easier to vote, since your voters had a hard time?

DONALD TRUMP:

Well, you can't expand the party that way. And you know, we've done it both ways. I've always done better when independents could cross over, and frankly when Democrats could cross over. You know, in New York when we were doing the voting, they interviewed -- a lot of people interviewed the people at the voting booths, that you know, manned the voting booths. And they were saying that they've never seen anything like it--

CHUCK TODD:

Well, they banned same day-- you realize that in New York, had there been same day voter registration those people could have voted. So are you for that?

DONALD TRUMP:

Well, I'll tell you what. But they said that they've never seen so many Democrats wanting to vote for Trump. They were by the thousands. And I will say this. On Election Day, we're going to do very well in New York. But the people were saying to the press that they'd never seen anything like it. They've been there for 30 and 40 years doing this kind of stuff.

CHUCK TODD:

But you're not-- but I'm just curious--

DONALD TRUMP:

--where Democrats are going over.

CHUCK TODD:

--do you want to see the voting laws changed to make it easier to vote?

DONALD TRUMP:

I want to see voting laws so that people that are citizens can vote. Not so people that can walk off the street and can vote, or so that illegal immigrants can vote--

CHUCK TODD:

So you're not for same-day voter registration?

DONALD TRUMP:

No, no. I want to make the voting laws so that people that-- it doesn't make any difference how they do it. But I don't think people should sneak in through the cracks. You have to have -- And whether that's an ID or any way you want to do it. But you have to be a citizen to vote.

CHUCK TODD:

Well, of course. That is the law as it stands already. Let me ask--

DONALD TRUMP:

No, it's not. I mean, you have places where people just walk in and vote.

CHUCK TODD:

We don't have a lot of time. I want to move on here. Let me talk about the Paul Ryan situation. Frankly, you seem pretty annoyed by this. Are you?

DONALD TRUMP:

No. It's just the way it is. I don't think it hurts me at all. And I'd like to have his support, but if he doesn't want to support me that's fine. And we have to go about it. Look, I'm going to get millions and millions of votes more than the Republicans would have gotten.

If you look at the numbers, I think right now, or I will be this week or next week, in the history of the Republican Party, nobody has ever gotten so many votes as I have. I've beaten Eisenhower and Nixon and Reagan and everybody. And we have a tremendous group of people that's voting.

And remember, I have a lot of states left. And if you look at the percentages I'm winning, I mean, I got 62 percent in New York, and I got these massive numbers all over. And I have three candidates. I was having to beat three candidates. You know, nobody ever mentions that, that you get 62 percent, but it's not against just one person. It's against, in this case, three. And during the process--

CHUCK TODD:

And so your case to Paul Ryan is, "Hey, the voters have decided. Get on board."

DONALD TRUMP:

Well, I would say that's true. I mean, to be honest. I like Paul Ryan. I think he's a very good guy. He called me three weeks ago, and he was so supportive. It was amazing. And I never thought a thing like this. I got blindsided by this--

CHUCK TODD:

So you're stunned. You feel blindsided by him?

DONALD TRUMP:

No, I would say stunned is a little bit-- it's politics. I'm never stunned by anything that happens in politics. But, so I'm not -- yeah, I was blindsided a little bit, because he spoke to me three weeks ago, and it was a very nice call, a very encouraging call. I was doing well. He called me, I think, to congratulate me about New York, 'cause I won by massive numbers. I won everything. And then the next week, I won the five states in a row by all landslide numbers.

And he called me to congratulate me. Couldn't have been nicer. And again, I have a nice relationship with him. Don't know him well. Met him one time. But have a nice relationship with him. And then all of a sudden, he gets on and he does this number. So I'm not exactly sure what he has in mind. But that's okay--

CHUCK TODD:

If he can't endorse you, do you think he should be chair of the Convention?

DONALD TRUMP:

I don't want to mention now. I'll see after. I will give you a very solid answer, if that happens, about one minute after that happens. Okay? But there's no reason to give it right now. But I'll be very quick with the answer. Let's see what happens--

CHUCK TODD:

Well, it sounds like I know what the answer is, but you don't want to say it yet. You don't want to sound-- you're not here-- you don't want to issue threats.

DONALD TRUMP:

No, inappropriate. We'll see.

CHUCK TODD:

--you're not going to issue a public threat?

DONALD TRUMP:

I don't think that's going to happen. You know, the party's come together. I have tremendous numbers of endorsements. I'm never going to get Romney's endorsement. He choked. He blew the last election. I'm never going to get that. I'm never going to get Bush's election. You know, he thought I was too rough on him.

He doesn't say that he spent $10 million on negative ads. But Jeb Bush, I was tough on him, and he was trying to be tough on me, but he's not a very tough guy. But you know, I was very tough on him. But he spent $10 million or $12 million on negative ads on me. So why shouldn't I be? The fact is--

CHUCK TODD:

You know--

DONALD TRUMP:

--and by the way, Chuck. Very important. He signed a pledge. He pledged that he would support the nominee. And so did this lightweight, Lindsey Graham. He pledged that he would support the nominee. They ran. They lost--

CHUCK TODD:

You threatened to back away from that pledge a lot, for various reasons--

DONALD TRUMP:

No, no, no. I didn't back away. In fact, one of the reasons I didn't back away is that I happen to be, despite what a few people think, I happen to be a very honorable guy. I signed a pledge. And that's a binding pledge. You know, I heard, "It's not binding." Well, it is a binding pledge. I have the best lawyers in the world. They say it's an absolutely binding pledge. And I intended it to be binding.

CHUCK TODD:

Well, it was very binding for South Carolina. That was the only way to get on the ballot.

DONALD TRUMP:

Well, remember - Chuck, Chuck, remember this. Jeb Bush signed a pledge. A binding pledge. Lindsey Graham signed a binding pledge that they would endorse. That they would support and endorse. That's what it says. Now they're breaking. You know, that's a question of honor. They are not honorable people when they do that. Because they're going against the pledge--

CHUCK TODD:

Let me ask you about Mitt Romney. As you know, there's chatter that he's being recruited to run as an independent. I know you say you don't care that you have his support. But if you could have a sit-down with Mitt Romney, you know, he came to you as sort of a penitent man. You know, he came to you when he was wanting your endorsement. Have you thought about traveling to him and seeing if you can sort of calm the waters with him at all? And if you did, what would you say to him?

DONALD TRUMP:

Well, here's the story. I helped Mitt a lot. I raised a lot of money for him. I ruined the carpet in my apartments, I had so many people come. We actually had to have two fundraisers because there were so many people, for his wife, who is a fantastic woman, by the way.

I had these fundraisers in my apartment. They called me for help. And I did robocalls. I did speeches for him. I did everything during the primary season. During the election season, for some reason, they should have used me in Florida. He would have won Florida. But they had this, you know, campaign manager, Stewart whatever, who didn't like Donald Trump. He thought Donald Trump was too tough and too controversial, and don't use him. So they didn't use me, and that was okay. When it came down to the convention, I wasn't a part of the convention, and that was okay.

What happened is I was rough on Mitt because I didn't think they treated me properly. I helped him, really helped him. Gave him a lot of money. Helped him with robocalls. Every single robocall I made, he won that state. Every single speech I made, he won the state, in terms of the primaries.

When it came time to the general election, I waited for the call. I didn't care. Look, if they don't want to call me, that's okay. I'm a busy man. I have a lot of things to do. But if I would have been asked to help him in Florida, you saw what I did in Florida. I won in a landslide. I would have helped him. I certainly could have gotten him over the ledge.

CHUCK TODD:

Let me--

DONALD TRUMP:

Wait a minute.

CHUCK TODD:

Okay.

DONALD TRUMP:

So if Mitt Romney did that, I would be happy to talk to him. I think it's great. And I would be because I respect him

CHUCK TODD:

You want him to thank you first, for 2012, before you will reach out to him--

DONALD TRUMP:

I helped -- I helped Mitt Romney a lot.

CHUCK TODD:

And you feel like he was ungrateful--

DONALD TRUMP:

I did. I believe I won him, or helped him win, five states that he was going to lose in the primaries, okay--

CHUCK TODD:

Sounds like you think he was ungrateful. You think he's been ungrateful?

DONALD TRUMP:

He was. He was ungrateful. Which is okay. A lot of people are ungrateful. But he was ungrateful. He did not--They did not respond accordingly. And that's okay.

CHUCK TODD:

Alright.

DONALD TRUMP:

But let's see what happens. Let's see what happens--

CHUCK TODD:

Let me move on. Let me move on some issue things. There's a few things that some people think are contradictions, so I want to see if I can pin you down here. The issue of taxes. Your tax plan is one where the biggest beneficiaries are the 0.1 percent when it comes to raw dollars that will be saved among taxes.

But then in an interview earlier this week, you seemed to say, "You know what, my tax plan, it's not set in stone. And maybe I'll raise taxes. Maybe I'll actually raise taxes on the rich." So I guess, which is it? Are you willing to raise taxes on 0.1 percent or not--

DONALD TRUMP:

It's definitely-- no, no, no. Let me explain how the world works, okay? I think nobody knows more about taxes than I do, and income than I do. But I'll explain how it all works. I come up with the biggest tax cut by far of any candidate. Anybody. And I put it in. But that doesn't mean that's what we're going to get. We have to negotiate.

The thing I'm going to do is make sure the middle class gets good tax breaks. Because they have been absolutely shunned. The other thing, I'm going to fight very hard for business. For the wealthy, I think, frankly, it's going to go up. And you know what, it really should go up. Because the wealthy--

CHUCK TODD:

The wealthy need to pay more taxes? What do you define as wealthy, by the way--

DONALD TRUMP:

No. No, let me explain-- somebody like me. Let me explain something--somebody like me--let me explain something. I'm putting in a plan, Chuck. I have to negotiate now with senators and congressmen and lots of-- the fact that I put in a plan, it really is a floor. That's what it is. Whether we like it or not.

So I put in my plan. It's quite simple to see. It's a simplification. We lower the number of brackets. We lower the taxes on the middle class, on business. And we lower the taxes on everybody, very substantially. But I have no illusions. I don't think that's going to be the final plan. Because they are going to come to me, including the Democrats and everybody else, they're going to come to me. They're going to want to negotiate. But that's a floor. That's where we're starting.

CHUCK TODD:

So is that--

DONALD TRUMP:

Now, when it comes time to negotiate, I feel less concerned with the rich than I do with the middle class.

CHUCK TODD:

So it sounds like-- should we take that--

DONALD TRUMP:

And I feel very concerned at that.

CHUCK TODD:

--should we assume that most of your plans, then, we shouldn't take you at your word, as sort of that they're floors? What you just described? That, "You know what, it's my opening statement, but everything is negotiable--"

DONALD TRUMP:

It's not a word. Excuse me. Excuse me. It's called life, Chuck. It's not my word, of course. I put in a proposal. You know what they are? They're really proposals. People can say it's a tax plan. It's really a tax proposal. Because after I put it in, and I think you know the Senate and Congress--

CHUCK TODD:

Sure. Yeah.

DONALD TRUMP:

--you know as much as anybody, they start working with you, and they start fighting. And you know, let's see what happens. But I put in a proposal. Under my proposal, it's the biggest tax cut by far, of any candidate by far. But I'm not under the illusion that that's going to pass. They're going to come to me. They're going to want to raise it for the rich. Frankly, they're going to want to raise it for the rich more than anybody else.

But the middle class has to be protected. The rich is probably going to end up paying more. And business might have to pay a little bit more. But we're giving a massive business tax cut. Remember this, we're the highest taxed nation in the world. But this is a tax-- Chuck, this is a tax proposal--

CHUCK TODD:

Wait a minute. Let me stop you there. You just said, "Businesses might pay a little bit more." You just said, "Business might pay a little bit more, but we're going to get 'em a massive tax cut." You just said it within ten words.

DONALD TRUMP:

No, no. I didn't say it. Excuse me. I said they might have to pay a little bit more than my proposal, Chuck. I said they might have--

CHUCK TODD:

Oh, your proposal. Okay. I just wanted to get that clear.

DONALD TRUMP:

--yeah, than my proposal.

CHUCK TODD:

Fair enough.

DONALD TRUMP:

I'm not talking about more than they're paying now.

CHUCK TODD:

Got you.

DONALD TRUMP:

We're the highest taxed nation in the world. Our businesses pay more taxes than any businesses in the world. That's why companies are leaving. So they may have to pay a little bit more than my proposal, is what I mean. I assume you knew that. I assume you know that.

CHUCK TODD:

Got you. Okay. No, no, no, no. I just wanted to clear that up.

DONALD TRUMP:

Okay, good. Good, I'm glad you cleared it up--

CHUCK TODD:

Minimum wage. Minimum wage. At a debate, you know. You remember what you said. You thought you didn't want to touch it. Now you're open to it. What changed?

DONALD TRUMP:

Let me just tell you, I've been traveling the country for many months. Since June 16th. I'm all over. Today I'm in the state of Washington, where the arena right behind me, you probably hear, is packed with thousands and thousands of people. I'm doing that right after I finish you.

I have seen what's going on. And I don't know how people make it on $7.25 an hour. Now, with that being said, I would like to see an increase of some magnitude. But I'd rather leave it to the states. Let the states decide. Because don't forget, the states have to compete with each other. So you may have a governor --

CHUCK TODD:

Right. You want the fed-- but should the federal government set a floor, and then you let the states--

DONALD TRUMP:

No, I'd rather have the states go out and do what they have to do. And the states compete with each other, not only other countries, but they compete with each other, Chuck. So I like the idea of let the states decide. But I think people should get more. I think they're out there. They're working. It is a very low number. You know, with what's happened to the economy, with what's happened to the cost. I mean, it's just-- I don't know how you live on $7.25 an hour. But I would say let the states decide.

CHUCK TODD:

Another contradiction has been on your feelings toward Hillary Clinton. In 2012, as she was leaving Secretary of State, you praised her. You thought she did a good job. You even sort of said, "You know what, she's not pushing her agenda. She had to carry on somebody else's agenda." Before that, you didn't fault her on the Iraq War vote because you said, "You know what, she got bad intelligence like a lot of other people got." Now, you're saying--

DONALD TRUMP:

I didn't get bad intelligence. I didn't get bad intelligence.

CHUCK TODD:

--you say all-- I understand that. But you kind of forgave her on that early on. Now, you call her, "She's been crooked from the start." I guess this goes back to which Donald Trump do we believe on your feelings toward Hillary Clinton--

DONALD TRUMP:

So let me explain it.

CHUCK TODD:

--2012 or now?

DONALD TRUMP:

Okay. So recently, a magazine said, "Donald Trump's a world class businessman." And I am. I built an amazing company. Some of the greatest assets in the world. And just great stuff. All over the world, I go all over the world. I'm in Europe, I'm in Asia. I'm all over the world.

I'm not looking to get in fights with politicians. I'm not looking to get in fights with the Secretary of State, so when I do something in a country, wherever it may be, in Dubai where I'm doing big jobs, and other places, and China where I'm actually getting ready to sign big jobs through my company. Let me just tell you something. I want to get along with politicians.

So when somebody says, "What do you think of Hillary Clinton?" Number one, I'm not looking at it that closely, because I'm in business. But when somebody says, three, four, five years ago, "Let's look at Hillary Clinton. What do you think?" I say, "She's doing great." I say everybody's doing great. The fact is she has not done a good job. When I look at what happened with Libya. When I look at what happened with Benghazi. When you look at the migration. When you look at all of the things. But I'm not looking to criticize. You can look at many politicians that haven't done a good job. How are they doing? They're doing just fine. I'm not looking to get into wars with politicians, because I need politicians.

CHUCK TODD:

All right, last question. Why not release the tax returns that aren't involved in the audit?

DONALD TRUMP:

Because it's a link. I have very big tax returns. I'm sure you've seen the picture where the returns are literally from the floor to up to here. They're extremely complex. I get audited--

CHUCK TODD:

Do you think you can do it before the election, though?

DONALD TRUMP:

I hope so. I'd like to. I have no problem releasing the tax returns--

CHUCK TODD:

Do you pledge to do it before the election?

DONALD TRUMP:

Excuse me. Sure. If the auditors finish. I'll do it as fast as the auditors finish. Remember this, I've already given my financials. And my financials show I'm worth more than $10 billion by any stretch of the imagination. Has tremendous cash. Tremendous cash flow. You don't learn much from tax returns. But I would love to give the tax returns. But I can't do it until I'm finished with the audit.

CHUCK TODD:

Donald Trump, I've got to leave it there. The crowd, it's fired up. We already heard Mike Leach, Steve Emtman.

DONALD TRUMP:

It's fired up.

CHUCK TODD:

Big Washington State stars up there. Thank you for coming on, sir.

DONALD TRUMP:

That's right. They're great people. Thank you.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

Within minutes of finishing the interview with me, Donald Trump said something that is going to raise some eyebrows. This is what he said about women at that rally in Spokane, Washington.

DONALD TRUMP:

I mean, all of the men were petrified to speak to women anymore. We may raise our voice. You know what? The women get it better than we do, folks.

CHUCK TODD:

We'll discuss that after the break. And throughout the morning, we want to show you moments from commencement addresses around the country from some key political leaders. We'll start with President Obama at Howard University.

(BEGIN TAPE)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA:

Given the current state of our political rhetoric and debate let me say something that may be controversial. And that is this, America is a better place today than it was when I graduated from college.

(END TAPE)

* * *COMMERCIAL BREAK* * *

CHUCK TODD:

Welcome back. Our panel is here. Matt Bai, national political correspondent and columnist for Yahoo News, Republican strategist and pollster Kellyanne Conway, fresh off of Cruz super PAC world. Welcome, good to see you here.

KELLYANNE CONWAY:

Thank you.

CHUCK TODD:

Happy Mother's Day, by the way.

KELLYANNE CONWAY:

Thank you very much.

CHUCK TODD:

Andrea Mitchell, chief foreign affairs correspondent, and of course, Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer-Prize winner of The Washington Post. I teased everybody with that quote that Trump said at this rally, and let me play it again for anybody that forgot about it. Let's take a listen.

(BEGIN TAPE)

DONALD TRUMP:

I mean, all of the men we're petrified to speak to women anymore. We may raise our voice. You know what? The women get it better than we do, folks.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

Kellyanne, thoughts?

KELLYANNE CONWAY:

Well, that's his whole riff on political correctness. He's not talking about what I think the Hillary people will say he meant, which is pay equity and reproductive rights and healthcare access for women and their children. He's talking about political correctness.

I mean, this is a man who over the course of the year, as the frontrunner, the entire time, and now the presumptive nominee, Chuck, has been able to really cash in with voters on this "us versus them." And the "them" changes all the time. The "them" is the big system, the "them" is political correctness, the "them" is the people who take money for--

CHUCK TODD:

There's always a "them."

KELLYANNE CONWAY:

There's always a "them." And I think this is just part of that.

CHUCK TODD:

Andrea?

ANDREA MITCHELL:

Well, he's tapping into, as Kellyanne said, the anger. And talking about a rigged system, he's also embracing Bernie Sanders because he's trying to recruit the anti-Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders supporters, tap into all of that, they're all against us, the establishment, Hillary Clinton is the establishment. And he doesn't answer questions or he changes his positions at will. And he still manages to get away with it because he is talking above the level of people questioning him.

CHUCK TODD:

But Matt, I was just thinking, imagine if Mitt Romney had said that quote.

MATT BAI:

Yeah, yeah.

CHUCK TODD:

Four years ago.

MATT BAI:

But this is--

CHUCK TODD:

I mean, he got punished for what Todd Akin said four years ago.

KELLYANNE CONWAY:

But "binders of women" wasn't exactly the finest moment.

CHUCK TODD:

It wasn't, but this is something you would think would become--

MATT BAI:

"Binders of women" wasn't great. No, it's the same reason, the reason he can, you know, we call it a flip-flop, right, when somebody says one thing and does another. Politics, you can't get away with it. The voters don't like it, it's a sign of inauthenticity, right? Inconsistency. One thing we learned in this primary process, and I think we need to heed it very carefully going forward, he is not judged by the standards of a politician. He is judged by the standards of an entertainer.

And entertainers, by the way, reinvent themselves constantly. Read any gossip magazine, they're constantly changing who they are, what they say. The question that remains over this general election is in a general election, with a different broader electorate, is he judged as a politician, or is he judged the way you'd judge an entertainer? Because if it's the latter that's a different thing.

EUGENE ROBINSON:

I think that's totally right. I think that's what we saw throughout that interview. When you started asking him about his contradictions and about the issues, "What do you think about minimum wage?" "Well, yes and no," right? I mean, he needs to go either way. He's going to go both ways. The same on every issue that you tried to pin him down on.

And so I think it makes the general election campaign totally unpredictable, except in its unpredictability, except in the fact that Trump will run to the left of Clinton on some issues, to the right on other issues. And that might set--

CHUCK TODD:

But are conservatives going, "See, we told you he would do this." He's doing exactly what Ted Cruz said he was going to do.

KELLYANNE CONWAY:

Some are, Chuck. And they're welcome to their opinions. However, you can't leave on the field the ten-million-plus voters who supported this man in the primaries. It's a historically high figure. And I just have to push back a little bit. I don't think it's fair to say he's judged as an entertainer. What he's judged as is a non-politician. And we found out, the super PAC--

CHUCK TODD:

The hard way.

KELLYANNE CONWAY:

--that, politicians are held for account now for their positions. Non-politicians will be held sometime in the future for their positions. But look, I'm not sure that the election this fall will be a referendum on Donald Trump. It could be a referendum on Hillary Clinton. It's going to be easy for him to say, "Look, you've been in public life for 30 years, so if you want to improve the lot of women, where have you been?"

CHUCK TODD:

Let's go though to this Ryan riff a little bit. Donors, it was funny, is it donor generated or was it a message to donors, a message to incumbents who are afraid of running with Trump?

ANDREA MITCHELL:

I think what Paul Ryan is saying is that he has to protect the House majority. He has to protect, you know, incumbent Congress members who are concerned about the Donald Trump effect. So he's basically going to worry about the swing districts, which is his majority, and those in the safe districts can go with Trump or do whatever they have to do.Look, the fact that he changed his position on minimum wage and on his tax proposal in one interview with you, and has also said importantly, he said in the last 48 hours on CNBC that he would let the U.S. default. He would let the U.S. become Greece. When he is saying, "I'm not going to pay 100% on treasury bonds," he is saying something to Republican donors, to the business community, that is so shocking, that if it is widely--

MATT BAI:

Right, but does that hurt him politically?

ANDREA MITCHELL:

Well, it hurts him within--

MATT BAI:

Does it? I mean--

KELLYANNE CONWAY:

No.

MATT BAI:

No. I mean, look--

ANDREA MITCHELL:

I think it does.

MATT BAI:

If--

KELLYANNE CONWAY:

Not now.

ANDREA MITCHELL:

If it is properly explained.

EUGENE ROBINSON:

I think it hurts him some.

MATT BAI:

If I'm Donald Trump, and there are few people I'd less likely be, but if I were Donald Trump, I'd go right into the teeth of that. I think it'd be a terrible mistake to try and be the Republican standard bearer. He has to run against the entire system and this is an opening for him to do that.

EUGENE ROBINSON:

Right, but he walks a line when he says these outrageous things that are crazy, perhaps, that we think are crazy, but somehow he never goes too far for his base. There are things he could say that would go too far for his base.

CHUCK TODD:

Okay.

ANDREA MITCHELL:

What?

CHUCK TODD:

And you know what?

EUGENE ROBINSON:

We don't know yet.

CHUCK TODD:

We don't know what they are yet, do we?

EUGENE ROBINSON:

We don't know what they are yet.

CHUCK TODD:

We always think we did.

EUGENE ROBINSON:

I am confident that they're out there.

CHUCK TODD:

We're going to talk more about all the "we thinks" and "we thoughts" and what happens later. When we come back though, how long has it been since a candidate has been this far behind at the start of the general election campaign? That's where Trump is right now. So what are the chances that Trump can make up the difference? We'll show you what history says. And we continue hearing from commencement speakers from the weekend of the political ilk. Here's Mitt Romney.

(BEIN TAPE)

MITT ROMNEY:

We live in tumultuous times. Demagogues on the right and the left draw upon our darker angels, scapegoating immigrants and Muslims or bankers and businesspeople.

(END TAPE)

* * *COMMERCIAL BREAK.* * *

CHUCK TODD:

Welcome back, Data Download time. You probably know by now that Donald Trump is behind Hillary Clinton in the polls. But did you know that the last time a candidate was this far behind at this stage has actually been more than a generation ago? Let's dive in. In the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll conducted a few weeks ago, we had Donald Trump trailing Hillary Clinton nationally by 11 points, it's actually particularly an unprecedented number. Let me compare.

For instance, when Mitt Romney clinched the Republican nomination in April of 2012, he trailed President Obama at that point in time by six. He ended up losing by four. Senator John McCain started only two points behind Senator Obama in March, 2008, when he had become the presumptive nominee. Of course, McCain lost by seven.

John Kerry was behind incumbent George W. Bush at two points in March of '04, the month he became the presumptive nominee. By the way, the race essentially stayed in the same place. Kerry lost by three. In 2000, it was March when both Gore and Bush became presumptive nominees of their respective parties. That first match-up had Bush up 46-41.

Gore made up the ground on the popular vote, but he lost the electoral college and of course Bush won. You have to go all the way back to 1996 to find a presumptive nominee in worse shape than Trump is right now. And that was Bob Dole. He trailed Bill Clinton by 17 points at the start of the general election campaign in May of '96. But Dole did make up some ground, but he eventually lost in an electoral landslide by eight points.

So what does this all mean? Donald Trump of course was never an underdog in the G.O.P. primary. He led in nearly every poll after he entered the race. Many folks just simply thought we should ignore the polls, that the polls were wrong, that they were oversampling Trump voters. The polls were right, Trump won. But those same polls have all had Trump losing to Clinton and in many cases, losing them badly.

Can Trump make up the ground? History as we just showed you, says no. But then again, he's already defied history once. When we come back, an example of what Donald Trump is up against. A Republican senator who's not ready to endorse him. But he's also not ready to reject him outright either.

***COMMERCIAL BREAK***

CHUCK TODD:

Welcome back. As we said earlier, divided parties lose elections. It's a pretty simple proposition. Let me show you some history here. In '68, the Democrats were split. They had their establishment vice president, Hubert Humphrey. They had a peace-wing candidate led by Eugene McCarthy. That riff played out on the streets of Chicago and helped Richard Nixon take the White House.

'76, Gerald Ford was challenged on the right all the way to the convention by Ronald Reagan. A fight, arguably, some could say, to help put Jimmy Carter into the White House that fall. 1980, it was Carter's turn. A bitter challenge from the left by Senator Ted Kennedy certainly helped Reagan win 44 states and the presidency.

1992, George H. W. Bush was the president, he had a populist primary challenger in the very conservative Pat Buchanan, an insurgency arguably that helped make Bush a one-term president. Joining me now is a man who's emblematic of the current split in the Republican party. He's Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, who right now says he's not ready to support Donald Trump, but he also hasn't ruled it out either. Senator Flake, welcome back to the show, sir.

SENATOR JEFF FLAKE:

Hey, thanks for having me on.

CHUCK TODD:

So you have said he's got to earn your support, you're looking for him to change his tone, change some of it, particularly the issue on the temporary ban on Muslims seems to be among the things that you find most difficult to support because it doesn't pass constitutional muster. If he doesn't retract that, can you ever support him?

SENATOR JEFF FLAKE:

You know, I can't see that. He's got to soften his position there. I mean, a total and complete ban on Muslims, that is a religious test that is certainly against the constitution. And it is the last thing we should do if we want to win a war on terrorism. So it's constitutionally wrong and also strategically, it's just not a smart thing to do.

CHUCK TODD:

So what should the party do though? What do you want? Do you want to see Mitt Romney run? If Trump's not going to back away from these things, and you can't support him, what do you do? How do you help your friend John McCain win his reelection in Arizona?

SENATOR JEFF FLAKE:

You know, obviously Donald Trump was not my first choice or my 17th choice to put it mildly. However, he is the nominee, the presumptive nominee. I don't see a third-party challenger come along. I would rather, as Paul Ryan has said, rather Mr. Trump simply change some of his positions and modify what he has said.

Now, I think he's going to need to, we are well behind in the polls right now, and in order to win this election, if Republicans want to win, and we do, then we've got to change the approach because we're not going to win taking these positions.

CHUCK TODD:

You know, some Trump supporters would say modifying has been the problem with Republican nominees in the past. Modifying, not saying what you believe, not speaking truth to power, or however you want to characterize what Trump is doing. And they say, "Hey, the voters have spoken, Senator, you need to get on board with him. Why should he be obligated to get on board with where the Republican party is?"

SENATOR JEFF FLAKE:

Republican voters have spoken in a primary. We've found in the past that that's a big difference from voters speaking in a general election. We're now moving to a general election and it's a different ballgame completely. We've found in the past, and we've done an autopsy every time we come out of one of these elections that we, for example, need a better position on immigration. Simply saying we're going to deport 11 million people, that's not a position you can take in a general election. It's not a rational approach. So a general election is far different from a primary election.

CHUCK TODD:

Do you accept this idea though that if a significant chunk of party leadership, like yourself, Speaker Ryan, doesn't end up rallying around Trump, it probably is the death warrant for his candidacy in the fall. Are you comfortable with that?

SENATOR JEFF FLAKE:

I don't think that that's death warrant for his candidacy. I think supporting a religious test for people to come here, saying you're going to change libel laws to make it easier to sue those who you don't agree with, saying that we're going to default on the debt, taking positions like that are what is going to impede your campaign, not the fact that some Republican leaders disagree with you.

CHUCK TODD:

Is there anything from Trump's success that in these primaries that made you think, "You know what, maybe I ought to rethink my position on X"?

SENATOR JEFF FLAKE:

You know, like I said, it's one thing to win a primary. We all know that it's easier to win a primary taking certain positions, sometimes hard-core positions. But we always know that those positions may not work in a general either. So it's one thing to win a primary, it's a complete other ballgame to win a general election. We're out to win a general election as Republicans. We don't want another eight years or another four years of a Democrat in the White House. And so we've got to take a different position than we've taken in the primary.

CHUCK TODD:

You're one of the few Republicans that met with the president Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, you called him a "man of accomplishment," and somebody with a quote, "keen intellect." But you also believe that you want to wait for the election. You think the voters should have a say in this before dealing with the Supreme Court vacancy. Now that Donald Trump is the presumptive nominee, have you changed your mind on that pledge?

SENATOR JEFF FLAKE:

I think Republicans are more than justified in waiting. That is following both principle and precedent. But the principle is to have the most conservative, qualified jurists that we can have on the Supreme Court, not that the people ought to decide before the next election. I've never held that position.

If we come to a point, I've said all along, where we're going to lose the election, or we lose the election in November, then we ought to approve him quickly. Because I'm certain that he'll be more conservative than a Hillary Clinton nomination comes January.

CHUCK TODD:

All right. Jeff Flake, Republican senator from Arizona, I'm going to leave it there. Thanks for getting up early out there and coming on this morning. I appreciate it.

SENATOR JEFF FLAKE:

Glad to do it.

CHUCK TODD:

Alrighty. We'll be back in a moment, but first Dana Carvey's church lady made a comeback last night on S.N.L. Take a look.

(BEGIN TAPE)

DANA CARVEY:

Now we've landed on the exciting presidential match-up between a godless, liberal Democrat and Hillary Clinton.

(END TAPE)

***COMMERCIAL BREAK***

CHUCK TODD:

We are back. So, how does the Republican Party put this all back together? It's just interesting hearing from Jeff Flake, um, Kellyanne. Uh, I want to put up what Bill Bennett said. Bill Bennett, you know, you have Jeff Flake, Paul Ryan, they're in one place. Bill Bennett said this: "It's not the time to be out there demanding all of these things, trying to get Trump to suddenly become Reagan. Now is the time to surround him with good people and work with him at the convention."

You said something interesting during the break, you said this is generational in the conservative movement. Explain.

KELLYANNE CONWAY:

Some of it is, you know how John McCain was saying he'll vote for Donald Trump, I mean, he obviously has --

CHUCK TODD:

Bob Dole.

KELLYANNE CONWAY:

Bob Dole. Newt Gingrich. Bill Bennett, now. It is somewhat generation for them. They recognize that it's healthy for a party going through some growing pains to actually shed some of its skin. I also -- I also want to get back to Senator Flake's interview, because I thought it was astonishing for this reason: Donald Trump just won 48 percent of the vote in the Republican primary -- every single delegate in Flake's home state of Arizona, he got 250,000 voters, and you just can't ignore that. I mean his policies on immigration began in Jan Brewer's Arizona.

And so I think there's a zeitgeist out there that some of the establishment of a Republican party are still ignoring. And I would say, when I think of Senator Flake, I also, who I respect enormously, I think of this whole class of 2010 that is up for reelection in the Senate in 2016 this year. They rode the Tea Party wave. And now they've switched to decaf somehow. It's like your votes are so moderate, and if you look back--

MATT BAI:

They got into government.

KELLYANNE CONWAY:

They got into government. And you go back a year ago, and look at their approval ratings and their reelect numbers a year ago. They weren't doing so well. So laying it just at the feet of Donald Trump I think is naïve and inaccurate.

EUGENE ROBINSON:

But to your point about the generational divide, the idea that a bunch of senior figures are going to sit Donald Trump down in a room and coach him up, I mean, this is just insane. It's not going to happen, right? And more to that point, Trump knows it's not going to happen. Trump is behaving as if this is his party now. And that's what they're up against.

ANDREA MITCHELL:

And when Paul Ryan was saying, you know, "I want to hear a different tone," he does not want to hear what Donald Trump then went right out and did, which was to talk about Hillary Clinton, the philandering of Bill Clinton, how she was an enabler, he talked about murderers involved in Whitewater.

In that very next speech, he was going in every direction that Paul Ryan does not want to hear. He really wants to see whether Donald Trump can speak differently. And he's not going to speak differently. He can say one thing when he's on a teleprompter and another when he's out in front of a crowd, which is egging him on and reinforcing his basic instincts. And Newt Gingrich, you can put Gingrich on the ticket, which is part of what's going on also, you know, put a running mate on who can help work with Congress. That is not going to change Donald Trump.

KELLYANNE CONWAY:

But as a Republican strategist here, I just have to say, Paul Ryan, who I have great affection, admiration for, he was on the ticket last time. The Romney/Ryan ticket lost eight of the nine swing states, they lost his home state of Wisconsin by almost seven points--

ANDREA MITCHELL:

I don't think you can blame the running mate for what happened at the top of the ticket.

KELLYANNE CONWAY:

Well -- but it's fine, it's just that it's like, you had your chance last time. I mean, they got 5 percent of the African American vote in Wisconsin. They got beaten among Hispanics by two to one. Is Trump going to do worse than that?

MATT BAI:

Kellyanne makes a really, well, meaning to I think makes a really-- it was an interesting point here, which is about, you know, for years, for cycles and cycles and cycles, the Republican establishment has basically said to the base of the Republican party, "You lost--"

KELLYANNE CONWAY:

Fall in line.

MATT BAI:

"--swallow it, get in line."

KELLYANNE CONWAY:

And we have.

MATT BAI:

Now they're being asked to get in line, and suddenly it's, "But it's not your party."

CHUCK TODD:

Wait a minute -- you inherited it. And Trump rightfully said, "Inherited it? I won it."

EUGENE ROBINSON:

"I won it. I won it. I did not inherit the party, I won it." And he's right. He beat them. He beat them badly.

ANDREA MITCHELL:

Guys, look at where Hillary Clinton is going to be tomorrow. She's going to be in LoudounCounty, Virginia.

CHUCK TODD:

Actually, today I believe. I think they're campaigning, I think that starts today.

ANDREA MITCHELL:

No that is her tomorrow, Monday afternoon. Loudoun County, Virginia. That is where she is going to go for a Republican and swing voters for women, married women, older women, because she has not gotten the millennials, she knows she's got a big problem there. But that is where she is trying to fight a general election strategy.

CHUCK TODD:

Kelly, and I want to let you to have the last--

KELLYANNE CONWAY:

And the following day she's going to lose in West Virginia and Oregon.

CHUCK TODD:

Right. But I want you to have the last word here on women. You have spent a lot of time polling women for the Republican party, trying to help them with their problems with the gender gap. How does Donald Trump fix this gender gap issue?

KELLYANNE CONWAY:

He has to go on the issues. And so, because so far, I think if Hillary Clinton runs a strict ideological and identity-politics campaign, she could lose. And she also has a problem among men. I think part of what Donald Trump says on the stump is very machismo, because Hillary Clinton has the reverse gender gap. Men dislike her, don't trust her, and don't want her to be commander in chief--

CHUCK TODD:

Who's the majority of the country, though.

KELLYANNE CONWAY:

Of course they are. And he will, I think he has to fight her on the issues. Because the one thing that's not going to change between now and November is who is the outsider and who is the insider. And this does seem to be an outsider's election.

MATT BAI:

Boy, if he has to fight her on the issues, I don't know.

KELLYANNE CONWAY:

Well, where has she been for 30 years?

CHUCK TODD:

I'm going to do a quick 45-second pause and we'll pick this back up here. Endgame is coming up. But first, we're going to continue. Here's Bill Clinton speaking to a class of 2016 as well. Take a listen.

(BEGIN TAPE)

PRES. BILL CLINTON:

The last two years has seen an amazing explosion of economic, social, and political empowerment. They have also laid bare the power of persistent inequalities, political and social instability, and identity politics based on the simple proposition that our differences are all that matter.

(END TAPE)

ANNOUNCER:

Coming up, Meet the Press endgame, brought to you by Boeing, building the future one century at a time.

***COMMERCIAL BREAK***

CHUCK TODD:

End Game time and I always feel bad when we have a great conversation and then the 45-second break and I'm like I want to recreate that. Quickly Bill Clinton you had an interesting reaction you guys just now to his commencement Matt.

MATT BAI:

Well you can see that these years have been difficult for him, he is struggling with his legacy of the 90's. That he is so proud of which has gotten pilloried now by both parties. And I think that he is trying to to make the case, that that progress is real and that the rest of it isn't his fault. And I think that he's always haunted by that--

KELLYANNE CONWAY:

But also, Bill Clinton's Democratic party is gone. They've purged their pro-lifers, they're pro-Second Amendment, there are no boll weevil Democrats, no Blue Dog Democrats who are the fiscally conservative.

ANDREA MITCHELL:

Or the D.L.C. that he helped create.

KELLYANNE CONWAY:

It's disbanded.

ANDREA MITCHELL:

And his own wife has left him on that.

KELLYANNE CONWAY:

That's correct.

ANDREA MITCHELL:

She has now moved so far towards Bernie Sanders, and she can't move back again.

CHUCK TODD:

But i thought it was --fascinating, you know, we could have done 20 minutes on what he meant by that.

EUGENE ROBINSON:

Well yeah, yeah.

CHUCK TODD:

He seems a little fearful of the change.

EUGENE ROBINSON:

Well, he's fearful of the change, he doesn't like the fact that identity politics and microtargeting, and all of that--

ANDREA MITCHELL:

Or that he's being protested against--

EUGENE ROBINSON:

--that's not Bill Clinton. That's not his style.

CHUCK TODD:

All right, let's move to the media. Jim Rutenberg is the media writer at The New York Times, he wrote this: "Every election cycle brings questionable news coverage, but this season has been truly spectacular in its failings. It has been 'Dewey Defeats Truman' on a relentless, rolling basis. The mistakes piled up, the bad predictions, the overplaying of every slight development of the horse race to the point of whiplash, the lighthearted treatment of what turned out to be the most serious candidacy in the Republican field. The lessons learned did not."

I'm sort of amused by this coming from The New York Times. Eugene, not to pile on one newspaper, but if you were to compare, say, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, the two big behemoths, The Post took Trump more seriously--

EUGENE ROBINSON:

Uh, yeah,more seriously.

CHUCK TODD:

--quicker than The Times did.

EUGENE ROBINSON:

Right, right. The key to covering this campaign was to cover the campaign as it was, not as you thought it should be.

CHUCK TODD:

Or wished it was.

EUGENE ROBINSON:

Or wished it was, or whatever. And so observer bias crept into a lot of coverage and people took more seriously the data points that confirmed their view than the data points that refuted their view. And so while Donald Trump was winning, he was way ahead in the polls, and so people would write that well, 56 percent of Republicans voted for somebody other than Donald Trump. Well, yeah. But, 85 percent voted for somebody other than Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio or whatever, so.

ANDREA MITCHELL:

But i don't think--I don't think you can escape the fact that he got enormous amounts of free media and that it was all focused on live carrying of his rallies and reporting every tweet. And there was less policy discussion, less policy coverage, not just about Donald Trump but all of the candidates. It was more horserace, more poll driven, more social-media driven than in any previous campaign--

CHUCK TODD:

But by the way, the candidates was more poll driven. Don't forget the candidates--I know

ANDREA MITCHELL:

But that doesn't mean that you define it.

CHUCK TODD:

I understand that. But here was another thing I'm wondering, if you're Ted Cruz, or if you're any candidate in the future, message discipline is a negative.

KELLYANNE CONWAY:

It's actually a negative.

MATT BAI:

It has been for awhile.

KELLYANNE CONWAY:

That's right.

CHUCK TODD:

By the way, apparently because it's boring?

KELLYANNE CONWAY:

It's boring. And it's also, look, it's not just the coverage. I think there was, to Gene's point, conclusions in search of evidence--

EUGENE ROBINSON:

Yes, yes.

KELLYANNE CONWAY:

--the entire time this race was covered. And I think it's been very humbling for some folks. But it's also, I don't think Donald Trump could have run as effectively four or eight years ago. He's got this multilevel media platform now. If he's not tweeting, he's rallying. If he's not rallying, he's giving interviews to folks like you, Chuck. But I also want to say something else that's not been said. I think it's also, he's just much more fun to cover than Hillary Clinton. And that's going to matter this fall too.

ANDREA MITCHELL:

Well, he was much more excessive.

KELLYANNE CONWAY:

Correct.

MATT BAI:

I think there's a little bit of a false dichotomy here. I agree with Andrea and I've written a lot about the role that the media played, particularly in the early phase of this campaign. But it was a little bit about, I think Jim, who's a fantastic writer and a friend of mine, sets up a little bit of a false dichotomy by saying, you know, "He was treated too much as an entertainer and not taken seriously as a politician." I think the real mistake is the media not understanding that there is no line between politics and entertainment in this environment.

CHUCK TODD:

Well, what a segue.

MATT BAI:

And that's where we've ended up.

CHUCK TODD:

Because speaking of no line in politics and entertainment, here's S.N.L. last night.

(BEGIN TAPE)

DANA CARVEY:

Donnie, there are those who say you're not qualified, and that's not true. You know, I remember a Celebrity Apprentice episode where Gary Busey didn't sell enough pancakes. And you just said, "You're fired." And I thought right then and there, "Give this man the nuclear codes."

DARRELL HAMMOND (AS DONALD TRUMP):

A lot of people are saying that.

(END TAPE)

ANDREA MITCHELL:

I mean, it is the culture that has changed the political coverage as well.

MATT BAI:

And the technology.

ANDREA MITCHELL:

Yes. Exactly

CHUCK TODD:

Trump has seen it.

EUGENE ROBINSON:

Yeah.

CHUCK TODD:

Obama was the guy that saw it in '08. Trump saw it now.

ANDREA MITCHELL:

And the Clinton people think that Obama is going to be this political nuclear weapon to go out on a trail,

CHUCK TODD:

Could be.

ANDREA MITCHELL:

--and could be to rally his coalition behind her even though people in his coalition are still lukewarm about her. But boy, that's a line--

MATT BAI:

There's a history, there's a history--

CHUCK TODD:

You guys can keep talking, but I'm going to turn the cameras off. You guys have been terrific. That's all for today. Happy Mother's Day. CVS is still open if you've forgotten. So hurry up. If it's Sunday though, it's Meet the Press.

* * *END OF TRANSCRIPT* * *