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Meet the Press - October 9, 2016

Meet the Press - October 9, 2016

(BEGIN TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

This Sunday morning the Trump tape.

DONALD TRUMP:

And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. You can grab 'em by the BEEP.

CHUCK TODD:

Republicans are abandoning Trump, calling on him to step down. Can he survive this and what does survival even look like? I'll talk to one of Trump's dwindling number of supporters, Rudy Giuliani, and House Democratic Leader, Nancy Pelosi. Plus, Trump says he'll never get out of the race and goes on offense.

DONALD TRUMP:

Bill Clinton has actually abused women and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims.

CHUCK TODD:

But the question so many are asking, can the Republicans avoid catastrophe?

SEN. MIKE LEE:

Well, with all due respect, sir. You, sir, are the distraction. Your conduct, sir, is the distraction.

CHUCK TODD:

I'll talk to Senator Mike Lee of Utah. Finally, all of this will play out on tonight's second debate stage during this most surreal moment of the campaign. Joining me for insight and analysis are: Steve Schmidt, senior advisor to John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign. Ruth Marcus, columnist for The Washington Post. Sara Fagen, White House political director for President George W. Bush and Heather McGhee, president of the progressive think tank, Demos. Welcome to Sunday, it's Meet the Press.

ANNOUNCER:

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

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

Good Sunday morning, this one does feel different. There have been so many times we've said Trump can't survive this or can't survive that crisis. But the 2005 hot mic recording of Trump's conversation with Billy Bush of Access Hollywood may well prove to be the type of October survive-- surprise-- that even Donald Trump can't survive.

(BEGIN TAPE)

DONALD TRUMP:

I moved on her, actually. You know, she was down in Palm Beach. I moved on her and I failed, I'll admit it.

BILLY BUSH:

Whoa.

DONALD TRUMP:

I did try and BLEEP her, she was married.

BILLY BUSH:

That’s huge news there.

DONALD TRUMP:

No, no, Nancy, no, this was-- and I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture, I said, "I'll show you where they have some nice furniture." I took her out furniture-- I moved on her like a BLEEP but I couldn't get there and she was married. And all of a sudden, I see her, she's now got the big phony BLEEP and everything-- she's totally changed her look. I will use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful-- I'm just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. I don't know any other way. And when you're a star, they'll let you do it, you can do anything.

BILLY BUSH:

Whatever you want.

DONALD TRUMP:

Grab 'em by the BLEEP. Hello, how are you? Hi.

ARIANNE ZUCKER:

Mr. Trump, how are you?

DONALD TRUMP:

Nice seeing you, terrific.

ARIANNE ZUCKER:

Nice to meet you.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

That was the words of the Republican Presidential nominee, Donald Trump, ended up releasing what he said was an apology Friday night. And then, yesterday he Tweeted the following: "I will never drop out of the race, will never let my supporters down." Also, yesterday, Trump's wife, Melania, put out a statement, calling his words offensive. And then, she went on, "I hope people will accept his apology as I have and focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world." Let's understand something. Trump is already likely to lose. The question now is how much damage will this do to the Republican Party? Already a parade of Republicans has either condemned Trump's comments, withdrawn their support completely or called on him to step down as the nominee altogether. Some are worried about their own prospects this fall, others are simply disgusted with Trump's words. Even the makers of Tic Tac Candies, which Trump referenced in that tape, said they found his comments and behavior to be unacceptable.

(BEGIN TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

The 2005 conversation with Billy Bush, then host of Access Hollywood, has sent the Republican Party reeling. RNC Chair, Reince Priebus: "No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner ever." House Speaker Paul Ryan disinvited Trump to a Saturday event, calling the comments "sickening."

REP. PAUL RYAN:

There is a bit of an elephant in the room. And it is a troubling situation.

CHUCK TODD:

Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, called on Trump to, quote, "Apologize directly to women and girls everywhere." And Republicans in competitive elections rushed to condemn the comments, calling them offensive, inappropriate, outrageous, demeaning, disgraceful, indefensible and impossible to justify.

NEIL NEWHOUSE:

I think the Presidential race is effectively over. The idea that he can resurrect his campaign based on this townhall debate is--is, you know, is not going to happen.

CHUCK TODD:

Republicans in tough races were the first to withdrawal support and the dominoes kept on falling.

REP. JASON CHAFFETZ:

I can no longer endorse Donald Trump for President. Just can't do it.

SEN. MIKE LEE:

Step aside. Step down.

MITT ROMNEY:

I think it's degrading to our women, to our daughters, our granddaughters, to future generations.

NEIL NEWHOUSE:

What is means for Republican candidates across the board is now they are going to have to run their own individual campaigns without the traditional help from the top of the ticket.

CHUCK TODD:

Trump finally did apologize in a Facebook video late Friday night.

DONALD TRUMP:

I said it, I was wrong. And I apologize.

CHUCK TODD:

But Trump didn't stop with the apology and instead, called the revelation a distraction and attacked the Clintons.

DONALD TRUMP:

Bill Clinton has actually abused women and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims.

CHUCK TODD:

On Friday, Pence defended Trump.

MIKE PENCE:

Because invariably, they'll say, "This time we got him, right? This time, we found a--there's another Tweet that'd come out or something. This time, we got another thing, another issue that's come forward." And then, they turn on the television the next morning and Donald Trump is still standing stronger than ever before.

CHUCK TODD:

But by Saturday, Pence had released a statement saying, "I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend them." It's not clear Republican officials could dump Trump, even if they wanted to. Republicans are already voting. Many ballot certifications deadlines have passed and the ballots are already in voters’ hands. So far, Trump himself has said he isn't going anywhere.

DONALD TRUMP:

See you at the debate on Sunday.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

And joining me now is former New York City mayor and Donald Trump supporter Rudy Giuliani. Mr. Mayor, welcome back.

RUDY GIULIANI:

How are you, Chuck?

CHUCK TODD:

Back-to-back here, on Meet the Press--

RUDY GIULIANI:

Thank you. How are you, Chuck?

CHUCK TODD:

I'm okay. Let me start with this, definitively, is there any circumstance where Donald Trump would not come-- show up to tonight's debate in Saint Louis?

RUDY GIULIANI:

Oh, no, no, no. He's showing up. He's as prepared as, as he's ever been and he's all ready for the debate tonight. And he’s obviously, you know, feels very bad about what he said, he's apologized for it. He'd probably do it again. But what he'd like to do is move on to the issues that are facing the American people. They only have a few more days to kind of think about it.

CHUCK TODD:

Well, let me ask you this, though. Kellyanne Conway was supposed to come on this show defending Donald Trump. Reince Priebus, Chairman of the RNC, was supposed to go on a couple other shows. They all pulled out. Only you are out defending Donald Trump. Are you the only one in the campaign that was willing to publicly defend him?

RUDY GIULIANI:

\No, absolutely not. I was with Kellyanne all day yesterday, she could just as easily have been on as me. And the same thing is true with, with Chris.

CHUCK TODD:

Okay.

RUDY GIULIANI:

So I'm the one, I’m the one who was selected for the, for the show, but either one of the two of them would probably say pretty much the same thing I'm saying. I was with them all day yesterday.

CHUCK TODD:

Okay, as you know, in the last 24 hours, a slew of Republicans from--

RUDY GIULIANI:

I sure do.

CHUCK TODD:

--across the country have said-- Shelley Moore Capito, "He needs to reexamine his candidacy." Cory Gardner, "He needs to step aside, allow Mike Pence to be the nominee." John Thune, "Donald Trump should withdraw." Carly Fiorina, "I ask Donald Trump to step aside." Condoleezza Rice, "He should withdraw." Is there any chance that Donald Trump is going to listen to these Republican Party leaders that are begging him to withdraw?

RUDY GIULIANI:

I think he answered that yesterday by saying he's in the race and he's going to remain in the race. He was selected by more Republican voters than anyone has ever been selected in a Republican Primary. He owes them the duty to run. It is true that he said something and-- said a group of things during that interview that are reprehensible and terrible and awful and he feels terrible about it.

CHUCK TODD:

Yeah.

RUDY GIULIANI:

It was ten or 12 years ago. He wasn't at that time, you know, running for office, he wasn't thinking of office. He's gone through, I think, a very, very intensive process, as you know it is, in running for President. Over the last 14 months, he's been all over the country.

He understands the responsibility is on his shoulders now, which weren't there back then. Of all these people who believe in him, who believe that he can reduce taxes, make us stronger against Islamic terrorism, deal with this tremendous rising crime.

CHUCK TODD:

But let me--

RUDY GIULIANI:

Last year--

CHUCK TODD:

But Mr. Mayor let me ask you this--

RUDY GIULIANI:

Last year, last year--

CHUCK TODD:

I understand--

RUDY GIULIANI:

--last year, last year, crime went up, crime went up more than in the last 41 years. I mean, that's extraordinary.

CHUCK TODD:

Let me ask you though--

RUDY GIULIANI:

--41 years.

CHUCK TODD:

--let me go back to this tape. He didn't apologize for attacking a Gold Star family, he didn't apologize to questioning the nature of a federal judge just because of his ethnicity. Why did he choose to apologize for this?

RUDY GIULIANI:

Well, I think in this case, he realized it was, we're talking about his personal behavior and his statements that were absolutely wrong. And when he, I think when he heard them, he was shocked. I'm not sure, not going to say he didn't remember them, but they probably weren't at the top of his mind. And when he was confronted with it, he was pretty darn shocked that he had said such terrible things and he feels terrible about it. He feels terrible for, for his family and how embarrassing it is for them; he feels terrible from his own point of view. But he also realizes he has a responsibility. And I think the last 14 months have driven that into him.

CHUCK TODD:

But there seems to be a pattern. There seems to be a pattern here. Let me play for you, this isn't the first time he's talked this way. Here he was with Howard Stern, take a listen.

(BEGIN TAPE)

DONALD TRUMP:

Well, I'll tell you the funniest is that I'll go backstage before a show.

HOWARD STERN:

Yes.

DONALD TRUMP:

And everyone's getting dressed and ready and everything else and you know, no men are anywhere and I'm allowed to go in because I'm the owner of the pageant and therefore, I'm inspecting it. You know, I'm inspecting--

ROBIN QUIVERS:

Right, right.

HOWARD STERN:

You’re like a doctor, you’re there.

DONALD TRUMP:

--I want to make sure that everything is good. Yeah, the dress-- “Is everyone okay?” You know, they're standing there with no clothes. "Is everybody okay?" And you see these incredible looking women. And so, I sort of get away with things like that.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

That was, by the way, not 11 years ago Mr. Mayor, that's now July, 2008.

RUDY GIULIANI:

Yeah, but still, he wasn't running for President, he was on a shock jock show. Howard Stern happens to be a friend of mine and I've been on his show--

CHUCK TODD:

But why is that-- Why is this idea-- Why is it not running-- Wait, let ask you this, Mr. Mayor, why is the idea of not running, "Well, he wasn't running for President, so it's okay to be a misogynist."

RUDY GIULIANI:

I’m not saying--

CHUCK TODD:

--He wasn't running for President, so it's okay to make unwanted sexual advances?

RUDY GIULIANI:

Chuck, Chuck, I'm not saying it was the right thing to do. I'm saying that, for example, when I was the Mayor of New York and I went on the Howard Stern’s show, I made sure that we didn't fool around, we didn't tell jokes, we didn't say that things, you know, would shock people. On that show, a lot of things are said that aren't true, you just say them because they're funny.

I'm a good friend of Howard Stern's and I really like him a lot, but every time I was on his show, my people, my mayor's people, handled it so that we never talked about things like that. It's not right to say it, whether you're a politician or not, now--

CHUCK TODD:

It's not saying it, Mr. Mayor, it's doing it. He's bragging about making unwanted sexual advances.

RUDY GIULIANI:

It's wrong. It is wrong.

CHUCK TODD:

You're saying that the words are wrong. How about the actions?

RUDY GIULIANI:

Well, the actions would be even worse if they were actions. Talk and action are two different things. So you want to--

CHUCK TODD:

Wait a minute, New York Times, “Temple Taggart was 21-year-old beauty contestant when, she said, Mr. Trump kissed her on the lips, without invitation, at a pageant event. It was an unwanted advance she has turned it over in her head for years. Watching him relive his sexual aggressions on thia video, she said in an interview on Saturday, ‘made me feel a lot better,’ she said. It was like, ‘Thank you, now no one can say I made this up.’” You were just implying this stuff was made up.

RUDY GIULIANI:

I'm not implying it was made up. I said we're talking about things that he was talking about. I don't know how much he was exaggerating, I don't know how much is true. I certainly don't know the details of it. But I do know that this is unfortunately the kind of talk that goes on among a lot of people and they shouldn't talk about this. This is wrong.

He realizes that, he understands it now. He's running for President, he realizes that he's got the weight and the responsibility of all these people on his shoulder and this is something he's not going to do in the future. And he's very apologetic about it and wants to move onto what is going to be really important 30 days from now.

You know, he is going to lower taxes, she's going to raise taxes. He's going to add to our military, she's going to decrease our military. He's going to support the police at a time in which we've had the biggest increase in crime in the last 41 years. He's going to take on radical Islamic terrorism. And he's not, one thing he's not is what came across in WikiLeaks, and that is two people.

CHUCK TODD:

Okay.

RUDY GIULIANI:

Hillary Clinton actually specifically described that she's two different people, to the financial people who were giving her millions of dollars, she's on their side and she wants to be a big part of the government.

CHUCK TODD:

Okay.

RUDY GIULIANI:

But she tells them she has to pretend to everybody else that she isn't. If that comes out when she was running--

CHUCK TODD:

What does that say if you believe that Hillary Clinton says one thing in private and that means what she really is is what she is in private, should we assume what Donald Trump did in that Access Hollywood bus is really what Donald Trump is like in private? I mean, that's what you're implying here with Hillary Clinton.

RUDY GIULIANI:

You know, Chuck, the reality is that in both cases, both people have things in their personal lives that maybe if they could redo it, they would do it differently. And the reality is that this is a situation in which neither side should throw stones because both sides have sinned.

So how about we put that behind us and we start talking about who's going to lower taxes? Who is going to say the word "radical Islamic terrorism" so we can finally defeat them? And who is going to best be able to support the police so this largest increase in crime in 41 years doesn't start to become a trend. Is it going to be Donald Trump, with his policies--

CHUCK TODD:

Right.

RUDY GIULIANI:

--or Hillary Clinton, who has had a chance. She's been part of our political fabric for 30 years and 70 percent of this country thinks we're moving in the wrong direction. She's one of the reasons for it.

CHUCK TODD:

Mr. Mayor, last question, has he ruled out bringing up Bill Clinton's personal life at tonight's debate?

RUDY GIULIANI:

I believe he will not bring up Bill Clinton's personal life. I do believe there's a possibility he'll talk about Hillary Clinton's situation, if it gets to that. I don't think he prefers to do that. But I think he will if he's trying to show--

CHUCK TODD:What does that mean? What situation?

RUDY GIULIANI:

What I'm talking about, the things that she has said and that have been reported in various books and magazines and other places about the women that Bill Clinton raped, sexually abused and attacked. Not Bill Clinton's role, but her role as the attacker.

CHUCK TODD:

Well, I've run out of time because I know that you have to do another television interview. But those allegations have not been true.

RUDY GIULIANI:

We would rather not get into that.

CHUCK TODD:

All right, Mr. Mayor, I will leave it there. We will watch tonight's debate.

RUDY GIULIANI:

Okay.

CHUCK TODD:

Thank you, sir, appreciate you sharing your views.

RUDY GIULIANI:

Thank you.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

Joining me now is the first Republican Senator to call on Trump to step down, Mike Lee of Utah, Senator Lee, welcome back to Meet the Press.

SEN. MIKE LEE:

Thank you very much, Chuck.

CHUCK TODD:

Anything that Rudy Giuliani said there that would make you reconsider your support for Donald Trump or give him time tonight to show real contrition and change your mind?

SEN. MIKE LEE:

No, but there is something that Mr. Giuliani said that I think was significant which is that Hillary Clinton is, in fact, a flawed candidate, a deeply flawed candidate. So flawed, in fact, that I think the Democratic Party ought to be taking steps to replace her with someone else. For whatever reason, they've not. The Democratic Party has chosen to be the party of the Personality Cult during the Presidential election cycle. I don't think we've got to follow that path. The path I would suggest is a path that would bring Republicans together.

Bring together those grassroots activists who have made Donald Trump so successful, who have had this very persuasive argument that the Washington political establishment of both parties has failed them and that we need a new leader, a Republican leader who can win, who can defeat Hillary Clinton.

That's what unites us more than anything else as Republicans is the fact that the Washington political establishment is broken and Hillary Clinton needs to be defeated. We need a candidate who can do that and I would like to see the Republican Party identify such a candidate and make that change.

CHUCK TODD:

You know, you identified flaws with Donald Trump and were willing to speak out about it before many others were. A lot of people are now joining you over the last 48 hours and a lot of Democrats and even some voters in the middle are going to say, "Why now? Why did you wait until now? The evidence was there for months, arguably, years." And certainly, for instance, you, Senator Lee, you showed the judgment of not supporting him a year ago and stuck with it. How should other Republicans who have suddenly decided, "Okay, I'm not supporting him now," answer that question?

SEN. MIKE LEE:

Well, I think people have to consider the totality of the evidence. There were some like me who raised questions in light of warning signs early on. There were a lot of others, who wanted to be persuaded, who hoped that they might be persuaded between now and November.

What was released less than 48 hours ago was less than persuasive. In fact, it turned a lot of people off to the point that I have serious doubts now about Mr. Trump's ability to defeat Hillary Clinton. In fact, I don't think he can. Now there is a way here for Mr. Trump to have a legacy in this election cycle and for his supporters, who are really energetic and who have done a whole lot of good, as far as expanding the party, to have a lasting legacy that could mean something here.

And that is for Donald Trump to step aside and for the Republican Party to find a candidate who can bring together all the elements within the Republican Party and defeat Hillary Clinton in November. That's what we want to do, that's what we need to do now.

CHUCK TODD:

You know, if Mitch McConnell jointly made that plea that you just made, it would probably send a powerful message. I know you've been urging others to join your cause. What would you like to hear? Speaker Ryan and Senator McConnell both have denounced Donald Trump, but so far, they're sticking by him. They're the two current leaders of your party. Do they need to step up?

SEN. MIKE LEE:

Look, I would always encourage any other Republicans, whether they're leaders, whether they're in Congress or not, to step up and make their opinions known. Look, the fact is, once again, Chuck, we don't want to see Hillary Clinton elected president.

And we've got lots of other people who can do this. Our party is not a personality cult; our party is about ideas. And it's about ideas that will help reinvigorate America's middle class. It will help the poor get out of poverty and that will end this Washington-centric mindset that has been crippling the American economy. We can do that, we've got candidates who can do it, there's still time to do it. But we have to actually do it.

CHUCK TODD:

And is that candidate, for you, is it Mike Pence?

SEN. MIKE LEE:

You know, I'm agnostic at this point about who it ought to be. There's still time to decide who that needs to be. But the point is, Mr. Trump, in order for any of this to happens, needs to step aside. Now look, I want to make very clear, we cannot win this election without Donald Trump supporters. But we also can't win this election at the top of the ballot, and in many cases, down ballot without a different Presidential candidate. And that's why the time to act really is now.

CHUCK TODD:

Mike Lee, Republican from Utah. Appreciate you coming on this morning, getting up early out there in the time zone.

SEN. MIKE LEE:

Thank you, Chuck.

CHUCK TODD:

Always appreciate it, thanks for sharing your views. When we come back, can Republicans do what Mike Lee is pleading to do, bump Donald Trump off the ticket? What happens if he does decide to step down? Could they even get another name on state ballots? And later, reaction from the Democrats, could Donald Trump return Nancy Pelosi to the Speakership? I'll ask her about that coming up, stay with us.

***COMMERCIAL BREAK***

CHUCK TODD:

Welcome back. Panel is with us, Steve Schmidt, senior advisor to John McCain's 2008 Presidential Campaign. Heather McGhee, President of the progressive group Demos, Ruth Marcus, columnist and Deputy Editorial Page Editor of the Washington Post. And Sara Fagen, who was political director during George W. Bush's administration. Welcome to you all. All right, I want to start quickly with what Mike Lee is pleading to do. He says there's still time. Sara and Steve, you’ve both dealt with ballot deadlines. It's October. Sara, is there still time?

SARA FAGEN:

There functionally isn't. I mean, people have been voting in Florida and North Carolina, for example. And I think by the end of next week, 18 states will have started early voting.

CHUCK TODD:

Yeah.

SARA FAGEN:

So you can do it symbolically and it may be useful for the Senate candidates to have a different face of the party the last month, but I don't think logistically it's possible.

CHUCK TODD:

Steve, what happens tonight?

STEVE SCHMIDT:

Well, this debate will be like the last debate. You'll see someone who's manifestly unprepared for the duties of the office of President of the United States, who has no idea what he's talking about from a policy perspective, who lacks the requisite dignity required of someone who wishes to be the Head of State of the government of the United States, and someone who lacks the capacity to be the Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful military and the world's most potent nuclear arsenal, that's what you'll see tonight.

RUTH MARCUS:

I would suggest, actually, that there's another way in which it's going to look like the last debate, which is Donald Trump will come in sounding contrite. Whether he is or not, he will do his best to exhibit contrition, but it's gonna only last for so long. And these Tweets and everything else that we're seeing, suggesting that he's gonna go after Bill Clinton. He just-- he showed us last time around, he can't keep it together for 90 minutes.

CHUCK TODD:

Heather, I don't mean to interrupt, I knew it just come in, but literally, so Rudy Guiliani says no, he's not going to bring up Bill Clinton's past allegations. Donald Trump has Tweeted a video interview with Juanita Broaddrick and that's what he just Tweeted a few minutes ago. The point is, I think where, we know where Donald Trump's head is at.

HEATHER MCGHEE:

It's where his head is at, is at, and I think, frankly, the idea that suddenly conservatives are going to be able to create this immediate sort of last-minute face lift is real folly. The idea that Mike Pence will somehow rise as the, the man who can return the Republican ticket to the fold of female voters, which you know women haven't gone for the Republican Presidential nominee in decades. Mike Pence is someone who was the initial sponsor of the bill to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood. He was someone who cut off funding for Planned Parenthood in Indiana, which led to a public health crisis. He signed a bill requiring women to give basically funereal services if they-- for fetal tissue, whether it's through miscarriage or abortion. I mean this is--

CHUCK TODD:

Alright.

HEATHER MCGHEE:

--the party, they have to stick with it.

CHUCK TODD:

You already have your campaign, you already, you already know how you're running against nominee Mike Pence? Is that how--? By the way, Democrats are already--

(OVERTALK)

HEATHER MCGHEE:

It’s the idea that they can just sort of push Trump aside--

(OVERTALK)

SARA FAGEN:

You forgot the 2004 race, where Republicans did do very well with women, but--

CHUCK TODD:

Let me throw out the women numbers, by the way, just so people know. This was, before all of this, among women in our last NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll, Clinton led 51-37. Donald Trump's unfavorable rating among women or the positive favor is 24-64. So he was actually, Sara, over performing his favorable rating with women by, by 13 points. Is it possible he could actually go lower with women?

SARA FAGEN:

Well, I think it's, it’s entirely possible he could go lower with women. What we saw Friday indicates that he will go lower. And what we also don't know is what else is out there. You know, there's still a month left in this campaign. And you know, you think about the tax bombshell a week ago, now this? It's hard for me to believe that we're going to go a month without some other significant news here.

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:By the way, I’ll give you an--

SARA FAGEN:

So you can always go lower.

CHUCK TODD:

By the way I'll give you an "Oh, by the way," Central Park Five--

HEATHER MCGHEE:

Absolutely.

CHUCK TODD:

Like, in the middle of nowhere, all of a sudden he is saying-- They’ve been acquitted--

RUTH MARCUS:

And paid money--

CHUCK TODD:

Paid money for the false accusation of murder.

HEATHER MCGHEE:

And exonerated by DNA evidence and they found the perpetrator.

CHUCK TODD:

But he’s still throwing it out there.

STEVE SCHMIDT:

When we, when we look at this-- When we look at where this race is today, the Presidential race is effectively over.

(OVERTALK)

STEVE SCHMIDT:

Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the 45th President of the United States. Chuck Schumer will be the Majority Leader of the United States Senate.

CHUCK TODD:

You’re that confident?

STEVE SCHMIDT:

And the only question that's still up in the air is how close the Democrats will come to retaking the House Majority. What this exposes, though, is much deeper and it goes to the Republican Party as an institution. This, this candidacy, the magnitude of its disgrace to the country is almost impossible, I think, to articulate. But it has exposed the intellectual rot in the Republican Party. It has exposed at a massive level the hypocrisy, the modern day money changers in the temple like Jerry Falwell Jr. And so, this party, to go forward and to represent a conservative vision for America, has great soul searching to do. And what we've seen and the danger for all of these candidates is over the course of the last year, these, these candidates who have repeatedly put their party ahead of their country, denying what is so obviously clear to anybody who's watching about his complete and total manifest unfitness for this office.

CHUCK TODD:

Well, Steve, I will let that be the last word of this segment. Pretty powerful statement there from you. You guys are coming back in a little bit. We'll be back in a moment, though, with a voice from the Democratic side. Right now, she's House Majo-- Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, but could Donald Trump give her back the Speaker's gavel? And as we go to break, SNL had their own take on the Trump tape story last night. Here you go.

(BEGIN TAPE)

CECILY STRONG:

Do you think he should drop out?

KATE MCKINNON:

No, no, no, no, give him a shot.

(END TAPE)

***COMMERCIAL BREAK***

CHUCK TODD:

Welcome back. We've heard from a number of Republicans this morning reacting to Donald Trump's comments on the Access Hollywood tapes. We're fortunate enough to have a Democrat join us and not just any Democrat, but the Minority Leader of the House, Nancy Pelosi. How are you?

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

Good morning. Good.

CHUCK TODD:

Let me start with this mess that Donald Trump finds himself in. Tonight what do you advise Secretary Clinton to do if he does bring up Bill Clinton's past?

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

I don't think Secretary Clinton needs any advice from anyone. She is such a talented debater and the rest and when she goes into the Oval Office and she will in January, she will be the best prepared, one of the best prepared people in the history of our country to do so, by dint of her knowledge, her experience, her judgment, her connection to American people and what they need. So I think she will talk about the issues.

CHUCK TODD:

Do you think that stuff is fair game that he brings up?

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

No, because you know why? Elections are about the future. They're about the future. He's talking about something, about Bill Clinton, he's not on the ballot. But what's really important to note about all of this is that there's not a dime's worth of difference between Donald Trump and the Republicans in Congress when it comes to issues that really affect people's lives. Disrespect for women, whether it's a disrespect by saying equal pay for equal work, respecting a woman's decision to make about the size and timing of her family, whether it's about Medicare and Social Security.

Pence voted to privatize Social Security when President Bush was President and he voted three times for the Ryan budget to voucherize Medicare, to take away the guarantee. So issues that relate to the well being of women are more important than their locker room talk.

CHUCK TODD:

But it's interesting that you bring up, you want to tie, House Republicans to Donald Trump, I understand that a lot of Republicans say Donald Trump doesn't represent the Republican Party, but it wasn't just Republicans who said that, a pretty prominent Democrat said this at the Democratic Convention. Let me play the sound.

(BEGIN TAPE)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA:

Look, we Democrats have always had plenty of differences with the Republican Party. And there's nothing wrong with that. It's precisely this contest of ideas that pushes our country forward. But what we heard in Cleveland last week wasn't particularly Republican and it sure wasn't conservative.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

Did the President inoculate rank and file Republicans from Donald Trump with that comment?

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

No, no, no. I completely agree with what the President said. The Republican Party is the Grand Old Party, it's done great things for our country, what we've been saying to them is take back your party. It's been hijacked by a radical wing of I don't even know of what, of our country, not even of your party.

And when President Bush was President, we treated him with respect. We got a lot done working together. We opposed thewar in Iraq and privatizing Social Security, but he was one of the best Presidents on immigration. He was disappointed in his own party for not supporting that. We had one of the biggest energy bills in the history of our country and the list goes on. So no, we need a strong Republican Party. I don't paint everybody with the same brush, but the Republicans in the House of Representatives, I do.

CHUCK TODD:

Okay. Let me ask you about something that came out in these leaks, some leaks, some hacking of John Podesta, was some speech excerpts.

REP. NANCY PELOSI::

Yeah.

CHUCK TODD:

There was one speech excerpt from Hillary Clinton that implied, and let's take a look at it, it implied the idea that she says one thing. “But if everybody's watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So you need both a public and a private position.” It sounds like what she's saying is, "Well, I'm going to tell you one thing here in this private speech and I am going to have a public position another way." Trade, for instance, seems to be one topic where she seems to say one thing behind the scenes and one thing publicly. How do we trust her trade position, for instance?

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

Well, I trust her trade position because what she's saying is that we are a global economy, we have to face that reality, but we don't have to accept TPP. And that we should recognize, sit down, start with workers, growing paychecks and put trade policy together that way, rather than starting with investment in corporate America.

CHUCK TODD:

You take her at her word that she will never support TPP?

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

Oh, absolutely.

CHUCK TODD:

And you're there, too? You will never support TPP?

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

Yeah, well, I want to have a trade agreement and I've said to my members I didn't want to give anybody a fast-track; we didn't give it to Bill Clinton, we didn't give it to President Bush and we didn't give it to Barack Obama. We were indiscriminate, Democrats and Republicans, in terms of saying, "Congress should have their prerogative to have more say on how trade agreements affect American workers." And so, yeah, no, we're against most TPP, overwhelmingly, the Democrats.

CHUCK TODD:

You take her at her word that she is not somehow saying two things and she is not just doing-- you know, some progressives, some Bernie Sanders supporters see that and they're just sitting there, going, "You know what? This is why I don't trust her."

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

No, I think what you hear, and that's the first time I'm hearing that, but what you're hearing is that we should have a trade agreement. It isn't TPP, because that isn't what grows America, it doesn't start with the American worker. It rejects any discussion of climate and relationship to commerce. So Hillary Clinton, the fact is she has such great knowledge; she has a vision about her country and it's about strengthening the middle class.

And that is the biggest difference between Democrats and Republicans. Classically, trickle down economics, tax breaks for the rich, or middle income economy, growing the middle class and those who aspire to it and having consumer confidence to spend and inject into the economy to grow the economy.

CHUCK TODD:

How damaging were Bill Clinton's comments about Obamacare when he said it was-- call it, "the craziest thing," talking about folks getting squeezed in the middle. Small businesses, folks, basically, that are not eligible for subsidies. And even when he clarified it, he basically circled what he believes, what he circled was essentially the issue that Republicans are bringing up on the campaign trail.

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

Not damaging at all.

CHUCK TODD:

You don't think it's damaging at all?

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

No, the Affordable Care Act, 20 million more people have access to affordable, quality healthcare. Not only that, tens of millions more are no longer subjected to pre-existing conditions, eliminating--

CHUCK TODD:

Do you acknowledge this problem with premiums? And do you acknowledge this problem in the middle here with small businesses really struggling?

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

I wanted single payer-- I mean, I'd love a single payer. I wanted a public option, which would address that. But we've never done anything, whether it was Social Security, Medicare and the rest where we haven't said, "Let's see how this works and let's improve it."

But no, I wouldn't worry about that. But what I do think is that the Affordable Care Act stands there with Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Affordable Care Act as a pillar of health and economic security for American families. And I think it's really important to know that the Republicans have voted over 65 times to eliminate it. And they have voted more than one time to dismantle Medicare by taking away the guarantee. The Ryan budget takes away the guarantee. Pence voted for that three times.

CHUCK TODD:

Final question: How confident are you that you will get the Speaker's gavel?

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

Oh, it's not about me. It's about the Democrats winning as many seats. But I want the American people to win in this election, so we can take this to a place where we really are talking about issues that affect them in their daily lives. We can try to find some consensus. And one of the other differences between Democrats and Republicans, we really do come forward to work in a bipartisan way.

President Obama certainly did that. We did that very respectfully with President Bush. I hope that we can take this debate to a place where the American people are not disgusted and turned off by what's happening in the campaign, but instead, inspired by it.

CHUCK TODD:

All right, Nancy Pelosi--

REP. NANCY PELOSI:

Hey, go Giants.

CHUCK TODD:

I saw the orange, no comment. I'll leave it there as a Dodger fan. When we come back, how big a role will the Trump tape play both tonight and in the next week? Stay with us.

(BEGIN TAPE)

CECILY STRONG:

Now Mr. Trump, many Republicans have stood by you through a lot of other scandals but are now pulling their support. People like Senator John McCain.

ALEC BALDWIN:

Coward.

CECILY STRONG:

Carly Fiorina.

ALEC BALDWIN:

She's a four.

CECILY STRONG:

And Idaho Senator Mike Crapo.

ALEC BALDWIN:

More like "Crap-o."

(END TAPE)

***COMMERCIAL BREAK***

CHUCK TODD:

Welcome back. Time now for Data Download. Even before the Trump tape was released, Donald Trump was starting to sink in both state and national polls. This morning we have two brand new NBC, Wall Street Journal, Marist Polls taken earlier in the week.

In the four-way race in Florida, Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by 6 among all registered voters, 45 to 39. The race does get tighter when you cut it down for likely voters. Here, Clinton leads by just 3, 45-42. But it is Florida. 3 points is actually a pretty big lead for Florida in presidential politics. And Trump doesn’t have a path to the presidency without Florida.

Now, let’s take a look at Pennsylvania. Clinton’s so-called firewall of Pennsylvania. Well, it looks like one. It’s pretty solid. Among registered voters she has a double digit lead in the four-way race, 48-36. And guess what? When you cut it down for likely voters that double digit lead is still there, she still leads by 12, 49-37.

By the way, a 12-point lead for Clinton in Pennsylvania can mean she’s likely gaining in next door Ohio as a couple of recent polls of suggested. And remember, all of these polls were in the field before the news of Trump’s “Access Hollywood” tapes broke.

Coming up, we’ll tee up tonight’s unusual presidential debate in St. Louis. And later, Seth Meyers on comedy in politics

(BEGIN TAPE)

SETH MEYERS:

We don’t think of it in terms of if we’ll tell jokes about Donald Trump because they’ll work the best. I think we tell jokes about Donald Trump because they’re the ones we’ll like the most.

(END TAPE)

***COMMERCIAL BREAK***

CHUCK TODD:

Back now with our panel, guys before the Access Hollywood tapes, there was some question about the idea of a town hall format and how Donald Trump would interact. And we did a little numbers crunching here. And you know, he doesn’t do a lot of Town Halls, Hillary Clinton does a lot of small events and town halls, interacting with so-called, what you guys call in the business “real people”, alright. Just she’s done 65 to Trump’s 33, and we’re being generous counting that as 33. Ruth, Trump interacting with everyday people, that to me is a unique challenge for him tonight.

RUTH MARCUS:

Well, he did it the other night. But it wasn’t practicing for the debate up in New Hampshire. Sure and because real people can ask you rude questions or questions that you perceive, if you’re Donald Trump, to be hostile. And what does donald trump tell us about how he deals with hostile, nasty questions? He’s a counter puncher. Well, you can counter punch Hillary Clinton. You could counterpunch a network anchor. But you cannot counterpunch somebody in a town hall and that’s going to be a hard thing for him.

SARA FAGEN:

This isn’t particularly a great format for her either. I mean, she has been so incredibly scripted through this campaign. And even a lot of evidence of that town halls she does do, you know, she prescreens the questions, so you know, to the degree that she gets asked a question that’s uncomfortable about Bill Clinton’s past, or the way she handled Bill Clinton’s past, it could end up not a great night for her either.

HEATHER MCGHEE:

But it’s also true though that with the Trump tapes, this has broken through from the political, you know, roundtable through to culture, right? As soon as the Trump Tapes went live, you had women going on social media to do something extremely brave. Which is to share their own stories of sexual assault, right?

RUTH MARCUS:

And, I’m sorry to interrupt you. But what happens when a woman says, you know I’ve been touched against my will and here’s what I felt about it, Mr. Trump. How does he deal with that? That’s a tough one.

STEVE SCHMIDT:

We’re having a style discussion. How is he going to present? Let’s go back to the first debate, it’s not that he had a bad debate in the way that George W. Bush did or Barack Obama did. It’s that for the first time in history you saw a candidate for President of the United States who was absolutely incoherent, talking about nuclear weapons in one breath and then attacking Rosie O’Donnell in an ad hominem attack in the next breath. It was just, it was unprecedented how bizarre it was. And I think tonight, he’s going to get questions. He has no policy depth. He doesn’t know anything on these public policy issues. He’s incoherent on national security issues. And I think you’ll see in this debate what happened in the last debate. Just an inability to make it through to 90 minutes.

RUTH MARCUS:

The best news for Donald Trump would be if the debate shifted from talking about these tapes and on to policy where he is as bad as you say.

SARA FAGEN:

Arguably, that’s the case. The other thing that we’ve spent little time talking about is the fact that Hillary Clinton’s email or more emails from the Clinton campaign was released. And in it, she is talking to Wall Street one way and talking to regular voters another. And this is getting almost no news because once again, we’re talking about Donald Trump.

CHUCK TODD:

He blocks out the sun.

Sara Fagen:

He blocks out the sun. That’s a great way to put it.

CHUCK TODD:

Heather, she is going to have to answer that question tonight, though. The personal, the public and the private, you know what’s so interesting about both leaks is it made everybody, it reinforced a stereotype. With Trump, it reinforced a grotesque stereotype. With Clinton though, it reinforced this political politicians stereotype.

HEATHER MCGHEE:

We elect politicians to office. I know that this is a different moment in our politics.

CHUCK TODD:

How dare you?

Heather McGhee:

And trust me, you know, I’m as progressive as anyone. My organization has been fighting to rein in Wall Street’s abuses. We know exactly what we get with Hillary Clinton.

CHUCK TODD:

Do you trust her?

Heather McGhee:

Actually, in some ways knowing that someone is such a politician that they actually go to the center of the political moment has made it, I think, easier for progressives to know how to organize after January. I’m serious. In January, we know that actually as opposed to what happened when Barack Obama came into office, this is what progressives talk about right now. Nobody wanted to organize against him and push him to the left.

CHUCK TODD:

That’s not going to be the case. That’s very interesting.

STEVE SCHMIDT:

And I think it’s deeply comforting for Republicans behind closed doors that she thinks Bernie Sanders is nuts. You know, for a lot of Republicans that cannot vote for Donald Trump. I think it’s comforting.

CHUCK TODD:

By the way, let me put up our new battleground map. We put this up Friday and now it feels obsolete. But essentially, we have as you see very few toss-up states. Just Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Iowa, Nevada, and New Hampshire at this point. We don’t have Pennsylvania in there and we made this decision before we knew our Pennsylvania numbers and it was reinforced there. Where does this map go from here, Steve? After all this, what do you expect? Is the bottom falling out?

STEVE SCHMIDT:

It goes blue. Yes, the bottom is falling out.

CHUCK TODD:

And then what comes next? Is it Arizona, is it Georgia, is it Utah?

STEVE SCHMIDT:

Well, let's step outside of the revelations on Friday from the tape and let's just look from the debate performance through the attacks on the Miss Universe, the midnight Tweeting. It's the worst week a Presidential candidate has ever had in October in a Presidential election, ever.

CHUCK TODD:

Period.

SARA FAGEN:

There are going to be a lot more swing states come Wednesday. And to me--

CHUCK TODD:

Swing states we've never seen before. Kansas, you know, watch out, I mean, who knows?

SARA FAGEN:

Sure, and there's been a lot of talk about Senate Republicans distancing themselves. John McCain is the only one who's really publicly done that in advertising. I think the question is, is it going to be Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday-- And before the rest of those ads should up and is it too late?

CHUCK TODD:

Yeah, well, let me pause there. Back in 45 seconds. "Endgame" and what Seth Meyers had to say about Donald Trump.

***COMMERCIAL BREAK***

CHUCK TODD:

Back now with Endgame. Okay, let me just finish that discussion I cut you off because we wanted to do that. Can Democrats turn this moment, Heather, into a wave moment or not?

HEATHER MCGHEE:

It needs to be because the actual problems in our country are really urgent, right I mean one thing that if you step back from all the mess, all the unfitness of him as a candidate, this election has shown that the donor class has broken away from the working and middle class majorities of both parties. Both Sanders and Trump have really shown that—

SARA FAGEN:

By wave—

HEATHER MCGHEE:

--and can we continue that into policy I think is the question.

SARA FAGEN:

By wave, I think you mean can Democrats take back the House and if you look at those polls you put up from Pennsylvania and Florida earlier, there’s a question in there. Only four and five percent respectively are willing to change their votes. Yes that was before the Access Hollywood tapes, but people are really dug in it’s hard for me to imagine that while Donald Trump may lose a few points here, that it’s going to be quite as wide as we all think it is sitting here today.

CHUCK TODD:

Steve, I will quickly tell the Senate race numbers in those Pennsylvania and Florida just so you know so a twelve-point lead for Hillary Clinton meant a four-point lead for Katie McGinty over Pat Toomey. That Florida three-point lead meant only a two-point lead for Marco Rubio over Patrick Murphy, a candidate the Democrats were walking away from.

STEVE SCHMIDT:

No doubt. Look, inside the Republican Party, break glass, hit the red emergency button. We’re at that, we’re at that hour now. Chairman Priebus has some enormously difficult decisions to make come Monday morning to see what he can save and begin the prospect of rebuilding the party after what’s in essence going to be a armageddon moment on Election Day.

RUTH MARCUS:

And I think we need to-- We don’t know about the wave yet because we don’t know about the known unknowns, which is what ha-- what happens when more things come, if and when more things come out as we’ve been told. What happens if it turns out that Donald Trump wasn’t all talk and no action but women come forward and say “he grabbed me there.” What-- and, and the question of how quickly and how soon Republicans renounce Trump. I think the lifeboats are getting awfully full.

SARA FAGEN:I do think in tonight’s debate, and Donald Trump is the wrong person to do this, but Hillary Clinton has never been asked about the way she described the women who accused Bill Clinton. All alleged, but near twenty, and she did go on TV on this network in the nineties and you know effectively call them nuts, say that they had things in their background. If we’re going to have a conversation about sexual abuse and sexual predators, she should a-- be asked if she regrets the way she handled that.

CHUCK TODD:

Do you think she has an answer on-- of that nature, Heather?

HEATHER MCGHEE:

I think we’ll have to see tonight. I do. I think there’s no way in the world Donald Trump doesn’t bring that up and it doesn’t become a shouting match pretty quickly.

CHUCK TODD:I’ve always wondered if she has to have an answer that isn’t a deflection.

RUTH MARCUS:Her answer is “My husband’s not on the ballot, I am”--

SARA FAGEN:

--not on the ballot, but she is--

RUTH MARCUS:

--and her answer is--

SARA FAGEN:

--and she handled that in a way that is-- yeah.

RUTH MARCUS:

I stayed with my-- my husband cheated on me and I stayed with him.

SARA FAGEN:

Mmhmm.

RUTH MARCUS:

You cheated on your wives and left them.

CHUCK TODD:That’s an interesting segment, alright. Let’s lighten the mood here a little bit. Our buddy Seth Meyers is bringing his late night show to DC all this week and I sat down with him on Friday. We talked about Donald Trump and this specific joke he made the last time he had a big deal time in this town.

(BEGIN TAPE)

SETH MEYERS:

Donald Trump has been saying that he will run for President as a Republican, which is surprising since I just assumed he was running as a joke.

CHUCK TODD:

Obviously at that moment, you didn’t know his expression that night--

SETH MEYERS:I didn’t know.

CHUCK TODD:

Everybody else said, I’m sure you’ve seen this clip. There’s actually been reporting and speculation that said the ridicule he received that night gave him more drive to prove everybody wrong and run.

SETH MEYERS:Yeah, I-- sincerest apologies to everyone, if that’s the case.

CHUCK TODD:Do you feel like there’s a duty about this election?

SETH MEYERS:

I don’t feel-- I also don’t think I could fulfill it if there was a duty. I don’t think that we have as much influence as every now and then people will write or claim us to have. So yeah, I don’t feel it’s a duty. I genuinely enjoy doing it though.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:That was about Seth Meyers and whether comedians in this last month have a duty to denounce Trump more so than ever, or whether you just be funny.

RUTH MARCUS:

At least we found somebody who’s enjoying this campaign.

CHUCK TODD:It is hard, I think the comedians have had the best time.

SARA FAGEN:

They’re not journalists. They’re entertainers. And their job is to entertain. It’s not to, you know, put in the minds of the public, you know, things about candidates, which they’re not qualified to be putting forward policy information.

STEVE SCHMIDT:

But they do, but they do reveal an essential truth about these candidates and so from a political advisor perspective, we try to mitigate their weaknesses, and they, they reveal who they are and that’s part of th-- this process, it’s a full reveal of who their character is.

CHUCK TODD:They’re the MRI technicians of American politics. Alright, before we go, quick programming note. MSNBC will have live coverage of a town hall style face-off tonight between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The most surreal debate in American history, I can promise you that. It all begins at 9 o’clock eastern tonight. That’s all we have for today. Be back next week because if it’s Sunday, it’s Meet the Press.

***END OF TRANSCRIPT***