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Meet the Press Transcript - October 4, 2015

NBC NEWS - MEET THE PRESS - OCTOBER 4, 2015

CHUCK TODD:

This Sunday, another mass shooting, and the question why does America lead the world in gun violence?

PRESIDENT OBAMA:

How can you, with a straight face, make the argument that more guns will make us safe?

CHUCK TODD:

In our polarized environment, is there anything to be done to stop gun violence? Plus my latest sit-down with Donald Trump, and his surprising comments about what it would take for him to drop out.

DONALD TRUMP:

I'm not a masochist. And if I was dropping in the polls where I saw that I wasn't going to win, why would I continue?

CHUCK TODD:

Also, is Trump holding his lead? Is Clinton holding off Sanders? We've got new numbers out of Iowa and New Hampshire. And Russia joins the fight in Syria.

SEN. BOB CORKER:

Putin realizes there's going to be no pushback whatsoever from the United States.

CHUCK TODD:

Has the U.S. ceded the upper hand to Russia in the region? And joining me this morning for insight and analysis are Mark Leibovich of The New York Times Magazine; Amy Holmes of The Blaze; Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post; and Rich Lowry of The National Review. Welcome to Sunday, it's the Meet the Press.

(ANNOUNCER)

CHUCK TODD:

Good Sunday morning. This week, Roseburg, Oregon joined the roll call of American towns that have suffered a mass shooting. Nine victims from 18 to 67 years old, gunned down on a community college campus. Jason Johnson, Sarena Dawn Moore, Lucero Alcaraz, Rebecka Ann Carnes, Quinn Cooper, Treven Taylor Anspach, Lucas Eibel, Lawrence Levine, and Kim Dietz.

This morning, once again, familiar questions about how this could have happened and what it means for the battle over the issue of guns in America. We're going to get to all of the politics in just a moment, but for the latest, I want to go to NBC's Miguel Almaguer who is in Roseburg. And, Miguel, I also want you to address we heard from the shooter's father who decided to weigh in on the gun debate. Tell me more about it.

MIGUEL ALMAGUER:

Yes, absolutely, Chuck. We know that the gunman's father, 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer, unloaded several rounds inside the campus behind me. Police say he was heavily armed. We now know he told students inside that classroom to get together, to lie in the center of that classroom, and then began shooting them.

He told one lucky survivor,he said apparently, according to his victims, that they would pass on a manifesto to police that would lead them to more information about the shooting. As you mention, the victim's father is also speaking out for the first time about gun violence and his son. Here's what he said.

(BEGIN TAPE)

IAN MERCER:

How on earth could he compile 13 guns? How can that happen, you know? They talk about gun laws, they talk about gun control. Every time something like this happens, they talk about it, and nothing is done. I'm not trying to say that's the blame for what happened, but if Chris had not been able to get ahold of 13 guns, it wouldn't have happened.

(END TAPE)

MIGUEL ALMAGUER:

Chuck, this is clearly sparking a national debate, but interestingly enough, just shortly after that interview with CNN, we also spoke to a victim/survivor here at the hospital and she said she believes that more people should be carrying guns inside campuses like this one. So it's certainly an interesting debate, even after all of the bloodshed and the massacre here. It's still igniting the country, Chuck.

CHUCK TODD:

Miguel Almaguer, you're absolutely right. This is a debate. Is it about gun control or gun-free zones? We're going to get to all of that. In fact, let me go to some data here for you. According to Mass Shooter Tracker Data, which defines a mass shooting as an incident where four or more people are shot, there now have been 294 mass shootings this year alone; nearly 1,000 since the database was created in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting in December of 2012. That's more than one a day.

The U.S. has a gun homicide rate nearly four times higher than Switzerland's, six times Canada's, 16 times Germany's, 21 times Australia's, and 49 times the rate in France. But the high profile shootings haven't shifted views on gun control. Though 87% of Americans favor expanded background checks, last year for the first time in more than two decades, it's a higher percentage of Americans, 52%, who said it was more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns than to control gun ownership. And we saw the divide play out this week, beginning with a visibly frustrated president who admitted he was politicizing the issue.

PRESIDENT OBAMA:

Somehow this has become routine. What's also routine is that somebody, somewhere will comment and say, "Obama politicized this issue." Well, this is something we should politicize.

CHUCK TODD:

On the campaign trail, Republican candidates responded and sounded strikingly similar.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO:

I always find it interesting that the reflexive reaction of the left is to say we need more gun laws. Criminals don't follow gun laws, only law-abiding people follow gun laws.

BEN CARSON (R):

Gun control only works toward normal, law-abiding citizens. Doesn't work for crazies.

GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH):

If you take guns away from people who are law abiding, the people who are gonna cause these horrible things are still going to have them.

CARLY FIORINA:

Before we start calling for more laws, I think we ought to consider why we don't enforce the laws we have.

FMR. GOV. JEB BUSH (R-FL):

It's very sad to see, but I resist the notion-- and I had this challenge as governor because, look, stuff happens. There's always a crisis. And the impulse is always to do something, and it's not necessarily the right thing to do.

CHUCK TODD:

And on Friday I sat down with the Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump, and asked him to react to the president's statement on the shooting.

(BEGIN TAPE)

DONALD TRUMP:

Well, you know-- I watched his statement. And I understand exactly what he's saying. But, you know, no matter what you do, guns, no guns, it doesn't matter. You have people that are mentally ill. And they're gonna come through the cracks. And they're going to do things that people will not even believe are possible. And whether it's the school shootings which are really very prevalent in this country. They seem to be more prevalent in this country.

CHUCK TODD:

Why--

DONALD TRUMP:

I'm not sure.

CHUCK TODD:

What's your explanation?

DONALD TRUMP:

They're just sick people. They are mentally imbalanced. And they probably see it happening here more here more so--

CHUCK TODD:

Do you think we have more mentally ill people than other countries?

DONALD TRUMP:

I think what we have is I think we have copycats. I think they watch it and they see it here maybe more than other places. And-- the world can be a pretty sick place in so many different ways. But we have mentally very unstable people. And that is going to lead-- and you know it's not politically correct to say. You can have the best security. You can have the best everything. But people are able to get in and do this terr-- you know, just terrible damage.

CHUCK TODD:

This is a startling statistic. 153,000 people have died from gunshots since 9/11. And counting 9/11, up to 214,000. Three-- over-- just over 3,000 people have died from terrorist attacks. We have-- the president's point is, we have devoted all these energies to prevent terrorism. Should there be a sense of urgency on this?

DONALD TRUMP:

So the way I look at it, you take Chicago, you take Baltimore, you take various other places where you have tremendous gun violence and death, right? The strictest laws in the United States-- in the world-- for guns happens to be Chicago where they have a lot of problems. Baltimore, a lot of the places where you have the biggest problem is where they have the strongest laws.

CHUCK TODD:

But local laws--

DONALD TRUMP:

I don't think it's about laws.

CHUCK TODD:

--without a national-- without a national floor are pointless.

DONALD TRUMP:

But the problem you have is the-- the strongest, the most stringent laws are in almost every case the worse places. It doesn't seem to work. It's a tough situation, Chuck. It's a tough situation. And when it comes to the schools, it really is mental health. It's a mental problem. We have--

CHUCK TODD:

You don't believe this is a-- w-- we have too many guns? Do you think there's too many guns in America?

DONALD TRUMP:

Well, you know, you could make the case that-- the school that we just, you know, went through-- and I see it was a gun-free zone. And you were not allowed to have guns at all in that particular area. And you could make the case that it woulda been a lot better had people had guns because they had something to fire back.

CHUCK TODD:

You say you can make that case. Do you make that case?

DONALD TRUMP:

Well, I would-- I would say that it couldn't be much worse. I think the police did a great job. They got there quickly. And they were able to kill him. But you can ma-- I can make the case that if there were guns in that room other than his, fewer people would have died, fewer people would have been so horribly injured.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

We're going to get to the rest of my interview with Donald Trump on his tax plan, how he plans to pay for it; the Middle East--wait till you hear his position there; and what might make him decide to get out of the race someday. That's all coming up in a few minutes.

But first, let's bring back the panel and discuss this issue of guns in America. Mark Leibovich of The New York Times Magazine; Amy Holmes, news anchor for The Blaze,that's the Glenn Beck television network; Ruth Marcus, columnist for The Washington Post; and Rich Lowry, editor The National Review.

Let me throw up that statistic again here, Rich, of the number of people that have died from terrorist attacks and number of Americans that have died from gunshots. Let's take away the different proposals of solutions. Should we have a sense of urgency of this problem in America, with the equivalency of the way we tackle terrorism?

RICH LOWRY:

Well the, it is a core responsibility of the government to protect us from foreign enemies. The reason the gun debate is going nowhere and is so sterile is anything you do at the margins is not going to stop these kind of mass shootings, and anything that you would do that potentially would be much more sweeping is going to run afoul of a fundamental constitutional right to bear arms.

CHUCK TODD:

You know, it's interesting, Ruth, I went ahead and did, we looked up the requirements for getting a car, essentially, registering a car, and the requirements for getting a gun, getting a permit for a gun. All 50 states, you have get a license or a permit to drive a car; 13 states for a gun.

All 50 states require some various forms of testing to drive a car; six states require to get a gun permit. And of course, for the car, you register regularly, sometimes on a yearly basis, sometimes bi-yearly; only six states require that. Is that unfair? As Rich pointed out, the Constitution, there is no right to drive a car in the Constitution.

RUTH MARCUS:

Yes, and Rich really correctly points out the cruel paradox here which is that the measures that would be most effective are also the most politically unimaginable and the most probably unconstitutional. But I think, Rich, you really misstate the total role of government. It's not simply to protect us from foreign enemies, it's to make sure that we have a safe and livable environment. And to quote Jeb Bush, "Too much stuff is happening on guns."

And so we need, within the constraints of public opinion and the constraints of the Constitution, to start to figure out some solutions to keep us safe. I have two daughters on college campuses. I watch these things and I am terrified. And I think whatever your political viewpoint is, you should be terrified. And simply to say that there's crazy people and stuff happens is abdicating government's responsibility.

CHUCK TODD:

Amy, what is the sense of urgency that we should have?

AMY HOLMES:

I think we should have a sense of urgency about what do we do with this angry, misfit malcontents who we also know are inspired by watching the news about mass shootings? Mass shootings tend to happen in clusters. They often telegraph, advertise their intention to commit this violence.

So when I look at the debate, being routine or sterile or stale, as you're putting it, Rich, is that it shifts immediately to gun control and not some of the other issues surrounding mass shooters. And what can we do to try to prevent these mainly young men from committing these violent acts?

CHUCK TODD:

Well, should there be more hurdles? I mean, yes, the mental health issue, but--

AMY HOLMES:

But it's more than mental health. It is the fame that they're seeking, the notoriety that they're seeking, the way that media plays into that by turning them into celebrities. Most of them say, fascinating and disturbing, that they want to be famous.

CHUCK TODD:

There's no doubt that there is a media role. I don't want to mention the guy's name anymore, he's been mentioned once; I'm not going to voice his name. But, as the president points out, Mark, we're not the only country with crazy people.

RICH LOWRY:

That's true. And, look, the president's had this entire debate almost with himself. He anticipated--

CHUCK TODD:

You saw it.

RICH LOWRY:

--all of the tropes that have unfolded over a several-day period, all of which has happened, by the way. He anticipated what the Republican presidential candidates were going to say, what Congress was going to say. I mean, look, the issue is politicized. I don't even, I mean, when he said they should politicize the issue, it is politicized.

It's politicized because the N.R.A. pretty much owns more than half of Congress. I mean, that is why this issue, you know, is basically immutable. You mentioned the Constitution, public opinion; the other piece of this is the political impossibility of any--

CHUCK TODD:

I've got a challenge here for around the table. Can you name me the last candidate who lost because they weren't for gun control? There's a lot of silence here. I mean, if that you want to know when the politics would change, right, Rich Lowry? It's when that phenomenon-- I can list you dozens of candidates who've lost because of their position--

MARK LEIBOVICH:

Right.

CHUCK TODD:

--because they were too pro gun control.

MARK LEIBOVICH:

Right.

AMY HOLMES:

But--

RICH LOWRY:

The N.R.A. represents real people out there, which is why it's so powerful. And what I really objected to in the president's statement, I don't mind politicizing an issue where we're going to have a debate about public policy. That's what politics is.

But it's the sense that he gave that there's some magic button that can be pushed and we all know what it is, and we just don't have the political will to push it. You look at the specific things the left tends to talk about that are more marginal, universal background checks? Well, a lot of these guys pass the background checks we already have because they don't have prior criminal records.

CHUCK TODD:

I guess the question is should we have a--

RICH LOWRY:

The assault weapons ban collapsed because everyone knew that it was just--

CHUCK TODD:

--higher level of background checks?

RICH LOWRY:

Well, if someone hasn't committed a crime, and hasn't been adjudicated for any mental disorder, in a country with the Second Amendment, you are not going to stop that person from buying a gun.

CHUCK TODD:

Last question.

RUTH MARCUS:

There's no perfect solution, but there are marginal improvements. Limit the size of magazines, that would have stopped Jared Loughner from killing as many people before he stopped to reload. Make the background checks so that it's not automatic that you get it if it's not completed in three days, that would've, that might have stopped Dylan Roof from having his guns. We have to do something. Just because no solution is perfect doesn't mean there's nothing we should do.

RICH LOWRY:

These aren't impulse killers. They're people who are sitting and stewing. And I think Amy's point is an important one. There's now--Columbine created a cultural norm where if you're disturbed or disaffected, you go out in a blaze of infamy. We need to disempower that norm. But it's much easier--

AMY HOLMES:

And give families--

RICH LOWRY:

--said than done.

AMY HOLMES:

--tools that, if they have one of these young men under their roof, that they are able to address it.

CHUCK TODD:

I'm going to pause this debate, because we're never going to end this debate, but I think it's one of those things, this is one of those where everybody should admit they should be willing to put everything on the table. We're back in one minute with the rest of my interview with Donald Trump, including the very surprising thing he said about what might get him to quit the race.

***COMMERCIAL BREAK***

CHUCK TODD:

Welcome back. And now to the rest of my interview with Donald Trump, beginning with the tax plan he released this week that analysts say would blow an enormous hole in the deficit. Anywhere from 10 to 12 trillion dollars.

(BEGIN TAPE)

DONALD TRUMP:

Everybody's taxes are going down. And some people won't pay tax. And the reason they're not gonna pay-- and I love the idea of having a little sort of fat in the game, if we can. But the fact is, these are people that are doing very poorly. I mean, they're making not a lot of money.

And we're saving a tremendous amount of administrative costs and a lot of things by not makin' 'em pay. My-- under my plan-- I really think it's a very dynamic plan. We're gonna grow the economy. Hey, if China does at 7%, they're having a terrible year. We're saying we can't do a 3% and 4%.

CHUCK TODD:

We just had 4%--

DONALD TRUMP:

And we can.

CHUCK TODD:

--last quarter.

DONALD TRUMP:

Well, and we can do it. Well, we also had 0% the first quarter.

CHUCK TODD:

I understand. But we just had 4% the last quarter.

DONALD TRUMP:

Okay.

CHUCK TODD:

And we've av-- we're-- we're--

DONALD TRUMP:

Well, a little less than 4%. But we had--

CHUCK TODD:

Right, 3.9%.

DONALD TRUMP:

Right, yeah. It was-- it was-- it was what?

CHUCK TODD:

3.9% last quarter.

DONALD TRUMP:

Okay. Okay. But if you look at the overall average, we're doing 2% and we're doing less than 2% for the year. So we can do really terrifically. China, if they do 7%--

CHUCK TODD:

Right, but in an emerging economy--

DONALD TRUMP:

Now if we do seven--

CHUCK TODD:

An emerging economy is always gonna 6%, 7%.

DONALD TRUMP:

I know that. But if we do 6% or 7% under my--

CHUCK TODD:

Our sweet spot is 3% to 5%.

DONALD TRUMP:

Right. If we do 6% or 7% under my plan, everybody benefits--

CHUCK TODD:

Who-- wait a minute. We've never done sev--

DONALD TRUMP:

--in jobs.

CHUCK TODD:

We've never had a year of 6% or 7%.

DONALD TRUMP:

But we can. We can do that. We can take back--

CHUCK TODD:

How is that gonna look?

DONALD TRUMP:

Well, first of all, a couple of things. Number one, corporate inversion is a big deal. And that's getting worse and worse. Companies are gonna be leaving here. The old days, they'd leave New York and they'd go to Florida. They'd leave New Jersey, they'd go to Texas.

They're leaving the United States now and they're going out to different-- whether it's Ireland and lots of other places in Europe and Asia. And they're leaving. And there are many companies right now, Chuck, that are talking about very seriously leaving this country. And you're talkin' about thousands of jobs. And a couple of these are big powerful companies with lots of jobs.

CHUCK TODD:

What you're saying is, you make it all up with growth.

DONALD TRUMP:

No, no. Not all up with growth. We also start cutting. Because the waste in this country is unbelievable. When you look at all of the--

CHUCK TODD:

You're gonna get rid of entire departments?

DONALD TRUMP:

I would get rid of some. You look at-- as in-- as an example, Department of Education.

CHUCK TODD:

You'd get rid of it.

DONALD TRUMP:

No, not entirely. But I would certainly get rid of a lot of it. If you look at Jeb Bush, he's a big-- you know, he's a big Common Core person. I'm not. I want local education. We could save a fortune with Environmental Protection--

CHUCK TODD:

Financially, not a big department, though.

DONALD TRUMP:

Ahhh--

CHUCK TODD:

You're not gonna get rid of a lot--

DONALD TRUMP:

--it's-- it's a lot-- it's a lot--

CHUCK TODD:

--you're not gonna--

DONALD TRUMP:

--of money.

CHUCK TODD:

--you're not gonna get rid of-- as much as y-- what is another agency you'd get rid of?

DONALD TRUMP:

We have-- even in the military-- I'm gonna build a military that's gonna be much stronger than it is right now. It's gonna be so strong, nobody's gonna mess with us. But you know what? We can do it for a lot less. They sent a washer from South Carolina to Texas. It cost $997,000, okay?

CHUCK TODD:

So you believe you can spend--

DONALD TRUMP:

It was fraud--

CHUCK TODD:

--less money on--

DONALD TRUMP:

--it was fraud.

CHUCK TODD:

--defense than we do today?

DONALD TRUMP:

I think we can make our defense much stronger, spend somewhat less money and increase-- look--

CHUCK TODD:

So you can cut the--

DONALD TRUMP:

--when they--

CHUCK TODD:

--defense budget--

DONALD TRUMP:

--when they send--

CHUCK TODD:

--and make the military stronger?

DONALD TRUMP:

Chuck, when they send an 18 cent washer from South Carolina to Texas and it costs almost a million dollars to bring it there, because of the fraud and abuse and everything else-- I mean, it was a fraud-- but there have been many cases like that-- we can save so much. When a hammer that you buy at Home Depot for $8.00 costs--

CHUCK TODD:

How many--

DONALD TRUMP:

--nine hundred dollars--

CHUCK TODD:

--all right, you know--

DONALD TRUMP:

--but there's thou--

CHUCK TODD:

Do you know how many politicians have said this over the years?

DONALD TRUMP:

I know. But I'm not a politician.

CHUCK TODD:

"Waste, fraud and abuse-- oh, if I get waste, fraud and abuse and that's how--

DONALD TRUMP:

I know.

CHUCK TODD:

--"I'm gonna do it"--

DONALD TRUMP:

I know. But--

CHUCK TODD:

--it never happens.

DONALD TRUMP:

--I'm not a politician. I'm a business guy. I mean, of course, for the last three months I'm a politician.

CHUCK TODD:

It never happens.

DONALD TRUMP:

But it-- you watch it happen with me.

CHUCK TODD:

Let's move to Syria.

DONALD TRUMP:

Okay.

CHUCK TODD:

You came across to me as if you welcomed Putin's involvement in Syria. You said it was sort of, like, you didn't s-- you saw very little downside. Why?

DONALD TRUMP:

I'll tell ya why. I've-- I am somebody that-- and you know I've been saying this to you for a long time-- I want our military to be beyond anything, no contest, and technologically, most importantly. Because you're getting now, militaries have to be technologically advanced. So, we probably have a big advantage-- we do have a big advantage of that. But we are gonna get bogged down in Syria. If you look at what happened with the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, that's when they went bankrupt. They went bankrupt. They were there so long--

CHUCK TODD:

So, you think--you-- you think Putin's gonna get suckered into--

DONALD TRUMP:

They're gonna get bogged down. Everybody that's touched the Middle East, they've gotten bogged down. Now, Putin wants to go in-- Putin does not want ISIS. I know they haven't hit 'em as hard as they should be hitting 'em because--

CHUCK TODD:

They're hittin' Assad-- they're hittin' people we've trained.

DONALD TRUMP:

Excuse me. Where they're hitting people, we're talking about people that we don't even know. The rebel group-- we have no idea. I was talking to a general two days ago. He said, "We have no idea who these people are. We're training people. We don't know who they are. We're giving 'em billions of dollars to fight Assad."

And you know what? It's very po-- I'm not saying Assad's a good guy, 'cause he's probably a bad guy. But I've watched him interviewed many times. And you can make the case, if you look at Libya, look at what we did there-- it's a mess-- if you look at Saddam Hussein with Iraq, look what we did there-- it's a mess-- it's gonna be same thing.

CHUCK TODD:

You think the Middle East would be better today if Gadhafi, Saddam and Assad were sort of-- if Saddam and Gaddafi were still there and Assad were stronger? You think--

DONALD TRUMP:

Not even--

CHUCK TODD:

--the Middle East would be safer?

DONALD TRUMP:

--it's not even a contest, Chuck. It's not even a contest. Iraq is a disaster. And ISIS--

CHUCK TODD:

So, it'd be better off if Saddam were in charge?

DONALD TRUMP:

Don't forget. ISIS came out of Iraq.

CHUCK TODD:

Right. No, I understand.

DONALD TRUMP:

--the leftovers that didn't get taken care of.

CHUCK TODD:

Well, let me button this up. If Saddam and Gadhafi, you think things would be more stable?

DONALD TRUMP:

Of course it would be. You wouldn't have had your Benghazi situation which is one thing which was just a terrible situation. But, of course, it would. Libya is-- is not even-- nobody even knows what's goin' on over there. It's not even a country anymore.

CHUCK TODD:

So you welcome Putin's involvement.

DONALD TRUMP:

I like that Putin is bombing the hell out of ISIS-- and it's going to be ISIS. I'll tell ya why. Putin has to get rid of ISIS 'cause Putin doesn't want ISIS coming into Russia.

CHUCK TODD:

Why do you trust him and nobody else does?

DONALD TRUMP:

I don't trust him. I don't trust him at all, other that we both got very good ratings the other night on 60 Minutes, 'cause I-- (LAUGH) it was with me and Putin. Can you believe this--

CHUCK TODD:

Ah--

DONALD TRUMP:

--of all things?

CHUCK TODD:

--there you go.

DONALD TRUMP:

Right? So, I don't know. Did I get the ratings or did he? But the truth-- it's not a question of trust. I don't wanna see the United States-- we've spent now-- we've spent $2 trillion in Iraq, probably a trillion in Afghanistan. We're in the-- we're destroying our country.

We owe $19 trillion. We're bogged down. Russia was bogged down in Afghanistan, meaning the Soviet Union. It broke up the Soviet Union. They're gonna get bogged down, you watch. As sure as you're sitting there-- and I'm the one that said, "Don't--

CHUCK TODD:

So, you would--

DONALD TRUMP:

Chuck, I said, "Don't do Iraq."

CHUCK TODD:

--you-- you would-- you would sort of-- you would pull out of what we're doing--

DONALD TRUMP:

I'd--

CHUCK TODD:

--in Syria now.

DONALD TRUMP:

--no, I'd sit back and-- this is not usually me talking, okay, 'cause I'm very proactive, as you probably know.

CHUCK TODD:

I know.

DONALD TRUMP:

But I would sit back and, "Let's see what's going on." Here's the problem to what you're saying in Syria. We are fighting Assad. And we're fighting for people and helping people that we don't even know who they are. And they may be worse than Assad. They may be worse, okay?

They may be worse. And if Assad never happened, if you don't have a problem in Syria, you wouldn't have the migration, you wouldn't be talking about all of these countries with what's going on in Europe. And now they're talking about taking 200,000 people that we don't even know who they are and bringin' 'em to the United States? The whole thing is ridiculous. So, I'm not just justifying Putin. But you watch, he'll get bogged down there. He'll be there. He'll spend a fortune. He'll be begging to get out.

CHUCK TODD:

Two more questions I want to get into. You said something the other day that caught me off-guard. You said you're not a masochist. And if you start falling in the polls--

DONALD TRUMP:

Yeah.

CHUCK TODD:

--you'll go back to your business. What does that mean? Are you not in this for the long--

CHUCK TODD:

--haul or not? And I--

DONALD TRUMP:

--people--

CHUCK TODD:

--I was just gonna say--

DONALD TRUMP:

Yeah--

CHUCK TODD:

--I-- I-- I heard it. You said it on The Today Show and with my buddy, John Harwood.

DONALD TRUMP:

Yeah.

CHUCK TODD:

And it caught my ear. I'm, like, "Uh oh--

DONALD TRUMP:

No, you're--

CHUCK TODD:

What does that mean?

DONALD TRUMP:

--you don't-- a lotta people have asked me that question. Number one, I'm not a masochist. And if I was dropping in the polls where I saw that I wasn't gonna win, why would I continue? And it's funny. Maybe it's, like, not like me because it's the power of positive thinking-- I'm a very positive person, I'm a positive thinker-- but the truth is, I'm a realist. I'm doing great in the polls right now, I think you will say. I'm not saying anything. I'm leading everything, right?

CHUCK TODD:

You're leadin' every poll.

DONALD TRUMP:

Everything. By a lot.

CHUCK TODD:

In a Republican primary.

DONALD TRUMP:

Not only leading, by a lot. Okay--

CHUCK TODD:

General elections are different stories, but that's all right.

DONALD TRUMP:

Well, you--

CHUCK TODD:

We're not there yet.

DONALD TRUMP:

I believe in polls. How many elections do you see where the polls were wrong? Not that many. Okay. You see 'em, but not that many. If I were doing poorly, if I saw myself going down, if you would stop calling me 'cause you no longer have any interest in Trump because "he has no chance," I'd go back to my business. I have no problem with that.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

Well there it is. Boy, there's a lot to chew over there, particularly what he said about the Middle East and of course with his own poll ratings. We'll do that later in the show. And there's a lot more to that interview, it's on our website MeetThePressNBC.com.

When we come back, we got something that Donald Trump loves: polls. It's our latest polls out of Iowa and New Hampshire. You'd be surprised who gained the most and who lost the most. Donald Trump's going to be surprised about who lost the most. That's all coming up in a second.

***COMMERCIAL BREAK***

CHUCK TODD:

You know what that music means. It means it's time for Nerd Screen, and this week's Nerd Screen, all about our new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls out of Iowa and New Hampshire. And we're going to start with the Republican race in Iowa here. The leader is the same, Donald Trump, but his lead is down five points from the last time we checked it a month ago.

Ben Carson is second, he's down three. The movers here in Iowa, Carly Fiorina, she jumped three points into third place. Jeb Bush in the high single digits there. Let's look at the rest of the second tier. Cruz, Rubio, Jindal, Huckabee, Paul, and Christie, look at that, all bunched up between 4-6%. You'd say here that maybe it's Bobby Jindal that has to feel the best about this, above 5% somewhere, meaning Iowa. That's good news for him. If your candidate isn't on here, by the way, it means they didn't top 3% in this field.

Now let's look at the New Hampshire primary here. Donald Trump still in the lead, but look at this. His number has dropped a whopping seven points. Carly Fiorina, first time she's in second place in any of the early states. She jumps up double digits here, ten points. She's now up to 16%. Jeb Bush, Rubio, Carson, also in double digits. Jeb Bush, by the way, may be benefiting from a new multimillion-dollar ad campaign he's got in New Hampshire.

Let's look at the second tier here in New Hampshire. Christie, Kasich, Cruz, and Paul, all between 5-7%. The news here? Look at this, John Kasich. Remember when he was in double digits in September? That has been cut in half. Now let's take a look at the Democrats.

Here, things are fairly stable. In Iowa, Clinton ahead 47%-36%. It's close, but she's holding that lead. In New Hampshire, again, status quo, but the status quo is not good for Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders at 48% in that state that neighbors Vermont. Hillary Clinton sitting at 39%. By the way, when you throw Joe Biden in here, guess whose lead expands? Bernie Sanders'.

Coming up, we're going to break down the 2016 race and then look at what happens in Washington when you say what a lot of people think is the truth, but you do it accidentally, you discover your chances of becoming the next Speaker of the House are in big trouble.

***COMMERCIAL BREAK***

CHUCK TODD:

Got a lot to digest. Trump, those polls. The panel is back. Mark Leibovich, I've got to first start with, from what we've seen in those polls, Carly Fiorina spiking into second place. Everything seems to shake up below Trump. I mean, Trump, these aren't great numbers for him, but he's still ahead. But the shakeup is always underneath him.

MARK LEIBOVICH:

It is underneath him. But I think the fact that there's such a big bunch, the fact that itself is fluid, helps Trump a lot because it makes-- in a way it stabilizes his support because it turns the rest of the field into sort of an anti-Trump vote. He's slipped a little bit, Trump has.

I think-- what's interesting now is we're seeing state-by-state polls. There are fewer national polls. Iowa and New Hampshire, there's a little tightening for Trump. And the question is, if he loses Iowa, does he recover in New Hampshire? If you sort of think about this state by state, does he have any organization in those--

CHUCK TODD:

Amy, you know what's interesting here? There are 11 different candidates in the two polls that scored 5% or better in at least Iowa or New Hampshire. This field is still fluid.

AMY HOLMES:

Very fluid. Very fluid. And voters are still undecided. You're seeing all of that churning. I have to imagine that for Jeb Bush, that what's keeping him warm at night is that actually neither of the last two Republican nominees were chosen in Iowa. John McCain and Mitt Romney. And so maybe he's thinking he can survive this if he's not doing well right now.

CHUCK TODD:

The other thing that's making him feel better is that I think in the New Hampshire polls, the first evidence money might matter. Okay? He is spending a whole bunch of money; he's outspending the field right now. And he's in double digits. Let's see where he is at the end of the month.

RUTH MARCUS:

He's outspending the field and he's got a whopping amount still in the bank. But I think the real news in this poll and the news in your interview actually isn't the under card, I think it's Trump because if you look at this poll and other polls, the numbers are starting-- we don't know whether they'll plateau, but the trend line is not good for Trump. And what he told you and what he told Mark is that this guy-- the other candidates, they all have presidential fever. They will slog through the snows of Iowa--

CHUCK TODD:

Look at Bobby Jindal.

RUTH MARCUS:

--and New Hampshire because--

CHUCK TODD:

Bobby Jindal has been suffering, and he's fighting.

RUTH MARCUS:

That's what they want. Trump does not have presidential fever, he has attention fever. And once the attention is off him, he doesn't do smatterings. He told you. Once the attention is off him, he's out of there.

CHUCK TODD:

I promise you, we're gonna talk a little more Trump later in the show. Rich, I want to turn to what's going on inside the Republican conference in the House. Let me play-- Kevin McCarthy is in some hot water for comments he made about the Benghazi committee. Some might argue it is the classic Michael Kinsley gaffe. He accidentally told the truth. Let's hear what he said first.

(BEGIN TAPE)

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY:

Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she's untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened had we not--

SEAN HANNITY:

I agree.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY:

--stopped and made that happen.

SEAN HANNITY:

--something good?

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

And, boy, Republicans didn't like it. Jason Chaffetz, by the way, who just announced today he's officially going to challenge McCarthy for the speakership, he went after McCarthy hard for the comment.

(BEGIN TAPE)

REP. JASON CHAFFETZ:

To suggest that there was any sort of political motivation is absolutely-- it's not fair to Mr. Gowdy, it's not fair to myself, and most importantly, it's not fair to those four families who lost those loved ones. That's not why we're doing this.

I think he should withdraw that statement. I think he needs to express how wrong it was. And it was never the intention, it's not what we're doing. And I think the statement is totally wrong.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

Rich, I've talked to a lot of Republicans in the House who are furious at McCarthy because they feel as if they just handed Hillary Clinton a talking point for the October 22nd testimony. Let's set that part aside a minute. Is McCarthy in trouble?

RICH LOWRY:

Yes, he is, in this sense. He has a strong lock on the House Republican caucus. He probably has 190 or something votes. He needs more. He needs to get 218 on the floor to actually become Speaker, and it's not clear he's going to get there. It's not clear that anyone else can get there either. So it's extremely unsettled, and the only prediction I would feel confident in making is there will eventually be another Speaker of the House. But I don't know how--

CHUCK TODD:

Eventually meaning--

RICH LOWRY:

--they get there.

CHUCK TODD:

--when? By the end of this year? Or by the end of next year?

RICH LOWRY:

I don't know. The best McCarthy will have to make is, "Look, I have the most support within the conference. We don't want to embarrass ourselves with complete chaos on the floor. Just let me have this position and be miserable with it, the way John Boehner is." But it may just be utter chaos.

CHUCK TODD:

Amy, I've heard Republicans, no offense to Jason Chaffetz here, but where is the rest of the A-team of the House? Why aren't they running for speaker? Where's Paul Ryan, where's Jeb Hensarling? Where's some people who might get 218?

AMY HOLMES:

Right, people who are looking for standard-bearers for the conservative--

CHUCK TODD:

Little more of a statesman of--

AMY HOLMES:

Yes.

CHUCK TODD:

--the conservative movement.

AMY HOLMES:

Now, the person I'm looking at who I think is sitting very pretty right now is Jim Jordan. And he's the head of the Freedom Caucus, which of course is going to be pivotal in choosing the next--

CHUCK TODD:

Boy, did John Boehner--

AMY HOLMES:

--House Speaker.

CHUCK TODD:

--not like him.

AMY HOLMES:

Right. And you don't have to be a writer for House of Cards to imagine the back-room dealing, and that Jim Jordan might just become Oversight chairman if he's willing to promise his Freedom Caucus.

CHUCK TODD:

Ruth Marcus, Hillary Clinton campaign. You know, she came out and looked very stern and lecturing but, I mean, she wanted to break out in cheers, right?

RUTH MARCUS:

I think she was doing a little jig kind of right off camera there. What a gift, and Lord knows she needs it because this has been a very rocky--

CHUCK TODD:

She had a very rough--

RUTH MARCUS:

--stretch for her.

CHUCK TODD:

This was no doubt that I think that setting up Gowdy versus Clinton was going to serious. Now Gowdy's been undermined, right?

MARK LEIBOVICH:

He's been completely undermined. And it's actually an unbelievable statement that this actually happened. I mean, yes, it might have been the truth but, again, you're not supposed to tell the truth like this. But she will, not only does she have a sound bite, but she has, she'll be able to repeat this over and over and over.

RUTH MARCUS:

Yes, but it's not that she can repeat it. It's that the attacks on her have to be muted now. To the extent that it was going to be a Hillary-bashing fest on October 22nd, they really need to dial it back down--

CHUCK TODD:

Gowdy's not stupid. He'll change--

RUTH MARCUS:

Correct.

CHUCK TODD:

--he'll change his tact.

RICH LOWRY:

But the thing is, if Republican investigative committees had the power to diminish Hillary's poll numbers, she would have been at zero a very long time ago. And what McCarthy was trying to say, very ineptly, is the committee, through its work, uncovered a key and very important thing that has hurt Hillary.

CHUCK TODD:

And if he had said it like that?

(OVERTALK)

RUTH MARCUS:

Lowry for Speaker, you heard it here first.

AMY HOLMES:

What's amazing about McCarthy's statement is that it's not only stupid, it's wrong. It wasn't the hearing that was driving down her poll numbers, it was the email scandal

CHUCK TODD:

Well what's more important is there are a lot of conservatives who believe and are offended by McCarthy's statement. Anyway, put the pause button there. We're going to get to the other giant news of the week, and that's Russia's military deciding to move into Syria. Did the U.S. just lose control of the region? As if it had it. Or did Russia now step into its own quagmire? And later, Hillary Clinton joined the cast of Saturday Night Live for the opener this season, it was pretty funny.

***COMMERCIAL BREAK***

CHUCK TODD:

Welcome back. US airstrikes killed 19 people at a Doctor's Without Borders hospital in the city of Kunduz in Afghanistan yesterday. President Obama has offered his deepest condolences, but did not apologized for the airstrikes.Instead he promised to launch an investigation. The United Nations has condemned the incident and even suggested it might amount to a war crime. Doctors Without Borders, who have denied that Taliban fighters who were hiding in the hospital, say that the bombardment went on for more than 30 minutes despite the fact that they were continuously raising the alarm bells with US and Afghan officials about what was going on and their GPS coordinates.

But of course this week elsewhere in the regions, the news has been in Syria. Where on Wednesday with one hour's notice Russia launched airstrikes in Syria. Focused on anti-Assad fighters, rather than ISIS. And on MTP Daily, Republican senate foreign relations chair, Bob Corker, who is not always somebody who tosses bombs over at the Obama administration, could not hide his frustration.

(BEGIN TAPE)

SEN. BOB CORKER:

I really hope the president doesn't give another statement because every time he does, nothing happens. Our credibility is diminished and Putin knows nothing is going to happen.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

But on Friday, the president did speak about Russia's action in Syria at the White House.

(BEGIN TAPE)

PRESIDENT OBAMA:

Mr. Putin had to go into Syria not out of strength but out of weakness. Because his client, Mr. Assad, was crumbling, and it was insufficient for him simply to send them arms money.

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

Joining me now is Mike McFaul. He's of course the former U.S. ambassador to Russia, under President Obama. And Stephen Hadley, George W. Bush's last national security advisor. Gentlemen, welcome to you both. Ambassador McFaul, let me start with you. And to unpack the president's statement there, he said Putin was going in out of a position of weakness because Assad was crumbling. By that logic, if Assad was that close to crumbling, did we miss an opportunity to sort of push Assad over the crumbling line six months ago?

MICHAEL MCFAUL:

I would say four years ago, Chuck. The real moment or opportunity for change in Syria was when there were hundreds of thousands of peaceful demonstrators. Assad looked very weak then. ISIS did not exist in Syria at the moment. And that was a real opportunity lost.

Six months ago or two weeks ago I think it's a much more complex terrain, though I do agree with the president: Putin has had the same policy for four years, which is to support Assad. He believes that's a way to peace and stability in Syria. That policy of Putin's hasn't worked, and so he's had to double down with these latest military attacks.

CHUCK TODD:

Stephen Hadley, let's look at where we are now. Obviously, we can go back, and I think everybody's back seat driving the president, including Hillary Clinton, on that front. Does this mean now that, despite us wanting to say Assad has to go before you can fully defeat ISIS, that we're stuck with Assad?

STEPHEN HADLEY:

Well, I think we need to step back and say what are our objectives here? And our objective is there's a huge humanitarian crisis that is overwhelming the neighboring states and threatening Europe. We have ISIS which controls territory. They are training tens of thousands of terrorists that at some point will be coming back at our friends and allies, and potentially against the United States.

And we have a civil war that's been going on for four years. And as long as that civil war goes on, this chaos and violence will continue. So we've really got to step back and say what are our objectives here? What do we need to do? And I think the first step we need to do is we need to get engaged. We've been facing absence without lead for the last four years, and the situation is degenerating the way a lot of people have predicted.

So the first step is the United States has to be engaged. And if you're worried about Russia establishing a sphere of influence and Iranian hegemony, the way to stop that is for the United States to start leading.

CHUCK TODD:

Ambassador McFaul, do you think that it's possible that we sort of held back in what we wanted to do in Syria and held back a little bit because we didn't want to chase the Iranians away from the negotiating table during the nuclear deal?

MICHAEL MCFAUL:

No, I don't think there's a linkage between that at all. I think there was, back when I was in the government, a sense that Assad was going to fall. And therefore, for us to engage, we would only make that problem worse. Having said that, the policy changed a year ago.

I want to point out to your viewers we've had 7,000 attacks in Iraq and Syria against ISIS. We're fighting that fight, it just hasn't achieved the results that we want. But we are definitely engaged in a military way against ISIS today in Syria.

CHUCK TODD:

And speaking of that policy, there is a bipartisan group of senators that went from Joe Manchin with Democrats to Mike Lee on the Republican side of the aisle who want to introduce legislation to stop the training of moderate rebels. That, basically, this policy isn't working. Obviously, there's some evidence that it's not working well. Where are you on this, Ambassador?

MICHAEL MCFAUL:

I think it would be not prudent right now to stop what we're doing. We need to have some allies in Syria. You know, Putin's argument, just to be clear about Putin, he says everybody's a terrorist. There's nobody to work with but Assad.

And my own sense of that is just trying to shore up Assad without an alternative, without a discussion about a political transition, means that the civil war will continue. So I agree with Steve, we need to be engaged, but we also need to be engaged on trying to put together a political transition in Syria. Because otherwise, it will remain a civil war for a long time.

CHUCK TODD:

And who's at that table, in this political transition? I mean, let's do a reality check: Iran has to be at that table, doesn't it? Whether we like it or not. Russia has to be at that table, whether we like it or not.

STEPHEN HADLEY:

I think they do. The question is, before you get to that table, you have to make it clear that you're willing to support the kind of outcome which is inclusive and which involves ultimately Assad leaving. It winds down the violence and unifies the country against ISIS.

So, yes, it's got to be a regional activity, and a lot of the Europeans need to be involved. Our friends and allies in the region need to be involved. But the focus needs to be there's got to be an entry ticket in terms of a set of principles you need to accept before you get a seat at the table. And then we need to see if we can get a broad-based coalition government in place.

CHUCK TODD:

Ambassador McFaul, Hillary Clinton called for a no-fly zone at this point. President Obama, when he reacted to it, he said it's not a half-baked idea but you say things on the campaign trail that you might do differently if you're president. It was the closest you'd get to him criticizing that idea. What do you make of her proposal of a no-fly zone now?

MICHAEL MCFAUL:

Well, I think it comes out of a sense of frustration that we're not achieving our objectives. There's no argument about what the objectives are in Syria; there's an argument about the strategy for achieving them. And to consider a no-fly zone, it would have to be a coalition no-fly zone, by the way, not just a unilateral one by the United States. At least it should be considered.

And when I was in the government, people would say things on the outside, and we would say publicly we'd consider that, and then we would think about it. So I think it's good for the debate that we consider this options right now.

CHUCK TODD:

And Stephen Hadley, I've got to get your response to Donald Trump and what he said: Middle East would be better off today with Saddam, Gaddafi, and a stronger Assad.

STEPHEN HADLEY:

You know, it's amazing. Assad, this began with peaceful demonstrations against Assad's brutality in his treatment of his people, and it's only when Assad declared war on his people that we got into this cycle and violence. And to say that it would be better for a man that has killed over 250,000 people, displaced half of his country, ruined his economy, that it would be better for him to stay in power? I mean, it's a kind of lesson to the world, "If you kill enough of your own people, the world will let you stay in power." That's a terrible lesson. It's not America. It's not what we stand for.

CHUCK TODD:

Stephen Hadley, former Bush administration official; Ambassador Mike McFaul, NBC News contributor and a former ambassador to Russia under the Obama administration, thank you both.

MICHAEL MCFAUL:

I totally agree with Steve, by the way.

CHUCK TODD:

You got it. I slept in so I missed whether Stanford won or lost last night, so my apologies for not trumpening.

MICHAEL MCFAUL:

Stanford crushed Arizona.

CHUCK TODD:

Fair enough. We'll be back in a moment with our Endgame segment, and that thing Donald Trump said about why he might someday sort of potentially get out of the race.

***COMMERCIAL BREAK***

CHUCK TODD:

Endgame time. I'm going to start by revisiting Donald Trump's suggestion that he would get out of the race if his poll numbers started to fall. You know, Mark Leibovich and Rich Lowry, Amy and Ruth I am sorry that you two haven't written cover stories on Donald Trump this week.

Rich and Mark have--Mark you did it on the New York Times Magazine and Rich in National Journal (sic; National Review), and you both sort of come at, you both came at him in the similar way. Dismissive, and then you realize you can't be dismissive.

MARK LEIBOVICH:

Yea anyone who is dismissive of Donald Trump at this point, certainly in the media, is an idiot. Essentially, look, the guy is leading all the polls, it's legitimate. I think when you asked him the question, "What would it take for you to get out of the race?" You know, it was a surprising answer but also reality-based answer. It was the kind of question that most politicians would duck. They would say, "I intend to win. I intend to be in first--

CHUCK TODD:

--the only poll that matters is the one on election day.

MARK LEIBOVICH:

They would throw all of these cliches out there and that in a way is a window into why so many people find it so thrilling that there's actually a person that will speak that way.

RICH LOWRY:

To be a political candidate is to risk, and very often experience, soul-crushing humiliation. And it is not clear at all that that is what Donald Trump signed up for.

CHUCK TODD:

And that's what I take away from it--Ruth, you sort of mentioned it, he doesn't desire to be president, he will not accept having to do what John McCain did. Fall in the polls and carry his own luggage.

RUTH MARCUS:

And carry his own--Donald Trump does not carry his own luggage.

CHUCK TODD:

He made that clear to you by the way.

MARK LEIBOVICH:

Not like Jimmy Carter carrying his own luggage.

RUTH MARCUS:

I don't even think, I think what he wants about being president--and he doesn't need the plane, he doesn't need the big house--he wants the adulation of being president. He actually doesn't want the hard work.

AMY HOLMES:

And that's the fear that Republicans have, that even if Donald Trump were to lose, if he only loses just a little bit, that he might want to stay in because of that adulation. But, when I heard his remarks about, "You know there are other things I could do. Look, I'm a billionaire. I'm terrific," it actually was echoes of George W. Bush when he said, "I don't need to win. I don't need this to feed my ego." A little different, but I think also the public reacts to that well. That this guy isn't one of these--

CHUCK TODD:

Let's remember the context. Let's remember the--

AMY HOLMES:

--cliché-spewing politicians--

CHUCK TODD:

--context. Bush was saying it in context of running against Al Gore who appeared his whole life was to prepare him for that moment--

AMY HOLMES:

Exactly.

CHUCK TODD:

--of running for president and he wanted that contrast. Let's talk about underneath. Dan Balz today, in The Washington Post, essentially did what is dangerous here in Washington. He says, "Well, okay, there's Carson, Trump, and Fiorina. But really, the race is going to come down to Bush, Kasich, and Rubio." I think he's right too, except I'm not willing to go out on that limb yet--

MARK LEIBOVICH:

Yes, I think--

CHUCK TODD:

--watching this field.

MARK LEIBOVICH:

Well, look. First of all, this is not a moment. It's now a four-month period. You know, people said, "Well, like Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann, they all had moments in 2012." No. I mean, this is actually now a sustained movement. He also has unlimited money. I think what Donald Trump is showing people is how you can free yourself up from a lot of headaches, and not to mention a lot of busywork, when you have money. And, by the way, he hasn't spent any of this yet either.

CHUCK TODD:

No. And Ben Carson, by the way, has raised $20 million and now, granted, he had to spend a lot to raise a lot. But that's more money, cash in hand, than Jeb Bush has.

RICH LOWRY:

Yes, absolutely. You go to that conventional wisdom now about Bush and Rubio and Kasich. It used to be Bush, Rubio, and Walker, and how did that turn out? Didn't turn out very well. I do think Trump is very vulnerable in Iowa after the tsunami of earned media. He's just ahead by five points. And usually, it's not the New York billionaires who know very little about the Bible who thrive in Iowa.

CHUCK TODD:

Ruth, very quickly, Bush this week got caught tracking Rubio. Rubio's campaign kicked him out. We now know they are somewhere in Ohio digging through the archives of Kasich. Are they being too ham-handed about who they'd fear?

RUTH MARCUS:

I think this is the moment for ham-handedness because they're so far down in where they are. My quickie prediction, we've spent a lot of time talking about anger and authenticity. We're going to start talking soon about electability. And that's when we get to Dan Balz's undercard.

CHUCK TODD:

Well we shall see and who knows, maybe next week we'll be talking about Joe Biden. Speaking on the Democratic race, Hillary Clinton did a little cameo for SNL's season premiere. Here's a taste of it.

(BEGIN TAPE)

HILLARY CLINTON:

So Hillary, what brings you here tonight?

KATE MCKINNON:

Well, I needed to blow off some steam. I've had a hard couple of 22 years.

How 'bout you?

HILLARY CLINTON:

Me? I'm just an ordinary citizen who believes the Keystone pipeline will destroy our environment.

KATE MCKINNON:

I agree with you there. It did take me a long time to decide that, but I am against it.

HILLARY CLINTON:

Nothing wrong with taking your time, what's important is getting it right.

KATE MCKINNON:

Oh Val, I'm just so darn bummed. All anyone wants to talk about is Donald Trump.

HILLARY CLINTON:

Donald Trump? Isn't he the one that's like, "Uh, you're all losers."

(END TAPE)

CHUCK TODD:

I have to say Amy Holmes, to hear her do an impersonation. I was like, that was fun Hillary, huh?

AMY HOLMES:

Right. Sides of her we didn't knew existed that she does impersonations. Look, I give her credit for going on Saturday Night Live trying to make herself more relatable, more likeable, and poking fun at herself.

CHUCK TODD:

I have to say I was surprised that it was Trump and not Hillary who did-- Hillary not Trump that did the season premiere, Leibo.

MARK LEIBOVICH:

I would wait, I would just wait. I think that they will get him.

CHUCK TODD:

Lorne Michaels is not stupid.

MARK LEIBOVICH:

He is not stupid.

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:

We shall see. Alright, that's all for today. Of course, don't forget to tune into MTP Daily Monday through Friday because if it's a weekday, it's also Meet the Press. That's at 5 PM Eastern, MSNBC. We'll be back next week for the big show. If it's Sunday, it's Meet the Press.

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