tv With All Due Respect MSNBC September 9, 2016 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
nbc station. more "mtp daily" monday. "with all due respect" starts right now. i'm donny deutsche. >> i'm john heilemann. "with all due respect" to donald trump who announced he would release his personal health regimen to dr. oz, at least you didn't pick the least credible tv doctor known to man. >> almost done, almost done. i missed you. >> i missed you, too. in the dugout tonight, big league guests, a political tribute to the chicago cubs and pinch hitter. donny deutsche. first, explosive news out of north korea, the second best korea. today the dprk said that it
conducted an underground nuclear test amid threats of more sanctions from the united states and others. donald trump's campaign manager kellyanne conway said on cbs this morning that north korea would not dare do such a thing if her tough guy boss were president and in a statement the trump campaign pointed the blame at hillary clinton's tenure at the state department. quote, clinton promised to work to end north korea's nuclear program as secretary of state, yet the program has only grown in strength and sophistication. hillary clinton's north korean policy is just one more calamitous diplomatic failure from a failed secretary of state. end quote. on the counterpoint, hillary clinton's statement was about the temperament needed to be commander in chief. quote, this is another reminder that america must elect a president who can confront the threats we face with steadiness and strength, end quote. this week the presidential race has been unusually tuned to themes of national security. both campaigns have devoted rallies to the topic in recent days and announced endorsements from retired military leaders but the major event was when the candidates squared off on nbc for the commander in chief
forum. so i ask you here on this friday, no longer a summer friday, post-summer friday, i ask you looking back over the weekend of national security hubbub, who won the week? >> who won the week, we find out november 8th. i really think this election was encapsulated by what happened this week. it's simple hand-to-hand combat. the calculus is this from trump's point of view. any bad foreign things that happen such as happened today as far as north korea and the nukes, happened because of weakness and happened on hillary clinton's watch. i have a strong hand to fix it. if you're hillary clinton, the response is no, no, no, that's not a strong hand, that's a scary unsteady hand and i have the steady hand. >> unusually small one. >> unusually small one. she's saving that. that is the calculus we are going back and forth. the american public is a left brain/right brain decision. trump is actually not offering anything other than i'm going to huff and puff and blow your house down. so we are not going to know
until november 8th. i don't have the answer. >> it is fascinating that both campaigns believe they won this week. i was at the clinton headquarters in brooklyn. they think this week was great for them. most people looked at the forum and thought trump did better. some people think that's because the questions were too easy and he was down at the values voter conference and saying i did better. amazing both campaigns think they have the upper hand. one thing that happened this week as a result of all this coverage is that the focus on substance is starting to move to the fore and away from style where trump often wins in terms of style points. it's now people are starting to actually look at a little more of the substance of things. we will talk about putin in a second. that plays to hillary clinton's favor in the long run. >> to that point, this election needs to be an iq test for the american public. i don't mean that in an elitist way. >> you do a little. you can't help but be elitist. >> but a man of the people
elitist. versus just i'm strong and here's what i'm going to do versus no, no, no, here are the problems, what are your solutions. i hope the american public does some digging. i really, really, really do. because the fact that trump thought he won that, i think viscerally he did, is the scary thing. >> some of the polling shows that he has a point at this moment. back in the ussr, vladimir putin is making a new addition to his file of nice things that donald trump has said about him. last night, on a phoner between trump and larry king broadcast on the kremlin-backed english network rt america, trump seemed to dismiss claims by american intelligence agencies that russia was probably behind the recent cyberattacks against the democratic party. >> -- very unlikely. i think maybe the democrats are putting that out, who knows, but i think that it's pretty unlikely but you know, who knows. i hope that if they are doing something, i hope that somebody's going to be able to find out so they can -- they can end it, because that would not be appropriate at all.
>> this afternoon, trump mentioned russia again during a speech at the value voters summit i was just talking about in washington, d.c. while contrasting his foreign policy views with those of his democratic opponent. >> my administration, on the other hand, will work with any country that is willing to partner with us to defeat isis and halt radical islamic terrorism. and by the way, that includes russia. if they want to join us on knocking out isis, that is just fine as far as i'm concerned. >> so a bunch of republicans are freaking out that donald trump can't stop complimenting putin, the man-crush is making them uncomfortable. this week trump said putin was a stronger leader than president obama in response to rnc chairman -- in response, the chairman told the a.p. trump does not agree with putin's style of government. also, how speaker paul ryan distanced himself from trump's characterization calling putin quote, an aggressor that does not share our interests.
really, only mike pence and ben carson have taken trump's side in terms of the putin love. yesterday on this show, our guests seem puzzled about what benefit trump gets by praising putin as were mark and i. today we wanted to revisit this topic because there is now a person on the set who thinks, believes, suspects, he has the answer. donny? >> yeah. once again, iq test for the american public. when trump says i respect him as a leader, and what thehe's draw the line, i'm going to be that kind of leader, i'm going to be in control. what he doesn't say is yes, he's a strong leader because he kills his opponents, he jails journalists, he runs as a dictator. he's banking on the visceral thing again. the non-substance thing again, that the american public does not dig further and understand that this man is a villain, that this man is a butcher, as far as putin, and just says yeah, we need a mother -- in charge of our place.
that guy is tough. he's got the country right where he wants it. we need a guy like that. once again, the iq test for the american public. i think trump is making a bet that viscerally people are going to react that way. >> i got to say i think you are out to lunch on this. >> i'm telling you -- >> i think the reason he's doing it is because he is such an egomaniac, such a narcissist that anybody who says anything nice about him, he likes that person. in the end i think that's what it comes down to. i think there's no strategy here whatsoever. it is the case that according to the polling, there's not great polling on this, but polling out that says vladimir putin has an 8% approval rating among americans. americans may not dig or may dig. if you dig you find out all the reasons not to like putin. even the ones who aren't digging don't look at vladimir putin and say that's the kind of guy i want to be running the united states of america. >> i said this this morning. donald trump, like him or not, there are tells. he admires this guy. that's what's frightening. he admires this guy. to him, it kind of is very scary
as an american, in his mind if he's a leader does he understand our executive branch does not operate like that executive branch? i don't know if he makes that distinction. scary stuff. okay. there's a new story out that as hillary clinton and her army of brooklynites abuzz. in 2014, donald trump's foundation gave 100 large, $100,000, to a group suing new york attorney general eric schneiderman, the same guy who brought a case against trump university a year earlier claiming it defrauded students. the group trump gave the money to was citizens united foundation which was being run by trump's new deputy campaign manager. they were suing the new york attorney general over his efforts to require nonprofits be disclosed the identity of their donors. this report comes after questions resurfaced this week about a separate donation trump's foundation made to florida attorney general pam bondi around the same time her office was thinking about joining schneiderman's lawsuit against trump university. how big of a problem is this for donald j. trump, billionaire?
>> i think it is a significant problem. here's the deal. the bondi lawsuit, bondi story, was problematic because to start with, his having his charity donate to her pac was illegal. this does not seem to be illegal. it was a charity donating to another alleged charity. however, the larger picture here is trump university claims of fraud, he first tries to bribe a public official and may have in fact bribed a public official, not to pursue that case. then he takes his charitable money and donates it to an outfit that is all about trying to seek retribution over someone who is suing him. corruption is what he wants to claim about hillary clinton. if these stories build up, it takes that stick out of his hand. >> that's the ultimate irony. i go back iq test the american public. >> lot of that today.
>> hillary clinton, we know the e-mail. donald trump, every way he's conducted business, every way, whether it's -- go back to the sweetheart deal with chris christie on his bankrupt casinos, is using influence, peddling influence, tied up in the establishment, everything that he's running against. i have never seen a bigger hypocrite run for any office and it's just one after the other after the other and the ultimate irony is, this is where he's pointing. the one incidence, or two instances, where we can draw 25 instances where donald trump acted inappropriately within this establishment industrial complex that he's running against. >> the other thing i think the story points to is the fact, it's something again, people in brooklyn are noticing, is that there were early efforts to try to go after trump, a lot of controversies that didn't get a lot of traction including trump university. now suddenly the press is going back and digging into those things again, and he's getting less of a free pass on some of these things. that's also bad news for him if the press starts going after
trump in the way it has often gone after hillary clinton. we have great guests coming up. former congressman harold ford. dan senor. later, we talk to republican party communications director, currently working heavily in trump tower, sean spicer and former hillary clinton chief strategist and guru, mark penn. energy is a colex challenge. people want power. and power plants account for more thaa third of energy-related carbon emissions. the challenge is to capture the emissions before they're released into the atmosphere. exxonmobil is a leader in carbon capture. outeam is working to make this technology better, more affordable so it can reduce emissions around the world. that's what we're working on right now. energy lives here. t betwn you d life's dobeautiful moments.llergens flonasgives you more complete allergy relief. mo allergy pills only control o inflammatory substance. flonase controls 6.
i'm about to read something pithy. it's time for junior and senor joining us from memphis, tennessee. a hillary clinton supporter and a man john heilemann just described as pretty. i kid you not. and dn-- >> he's talking about me. >> want to start with you, harold. handicapping the week in review. simple three sentences, who won the battle of commander in chief this week? >> i agree more with your assessment of it.
i thought that substantively she continued to demonstrate her prowess and command. politically, he had a pretty good week. >> mr. senor? >> i have a lot to say. >> i only gave you three senteeces. >> i will keep it short. i think she should be doing better on the national security issue. i think she will be doing better over time. but the more time she gets her national security discussions or explaining her national security positions get bogged down in discussions about the e-mail, it's not where she wants to be. she has the potential to be much stronger on national security issues. >> if she doesn't win the national security issues she does not win this election. >> i agree with you. trump, if i'm trump, i don't want to be talking about national security because whenever you talk about national security, the only thing the media, the donor class and electorate are paying attention to is does this person have the temperament to sit in the big seat in the situation room in the oval office and make the tough decisions.
when he goes on and on talking about these generals that were rolled over and characterizing one of the most inappropriate ways the intelligence briefings he was receiving that really crossed the line, the way he talked about it, and lastly, the stuff he said about putin is jarring. i don't get it. i don't get why him bear hugging putin, who is he speaking to with that? unless he really believes it. the cumulative effect of all of those raise the question, does he have the temperament, does he have the judgment to be in the big job making big decisions about war and peace. >> harold, we have now come to a place where everyone, one thing both sides agree on is the race has tightened over the last couple weeks. just explain, first, how nervous does it make you to watch these polls given what a bad stretch donald trump had for weeks and weeks and weeks and all the things he's said and done, that the race has tightened this much. as a hillary clinton supporter, how nervous are you? >> well, i look at this first
converration forum as really a practice round. we got a chance to see that mr. trump is not going to change his style. i think the fact that we are making the case he's unpredictable, unsteady, that he is unproven in many fronts and mrs. clinton is showing great capability and composure and competence. the problem we have at the moment is that a lot of what secretary clinton is offering is not something the country's rewarding for her yet. at least it's not coming through in the polls. in the first debate, the 26th which i think will be the most watched debate, i happen to agree with a lot of things dan said there, i think secretary clinton has to be mindful of something donny said as he was describing the way trump is appealing. i do think there's some validity to what donny shared as he talked about this bravado and appealing to americans who want to see a stronger or different kind of strength in the white house than what we have seen in president obama. if i was secretary clinton i would try to smother him with vision and answers. i think dan is right, we need a
succinct answer around the e-mail server and you got to pivot right away to talk about vision and answers. you can't beat him at his game. she has to beat him on her terrain and force him to talk about substance which he's entirely incapable. i think he's inept at doing. >> you said obviously, it has been said all along, this is a judgment on his temperament but doesn't it particularly at the debates have to also come down to a level of knowledge? that's what has to happen at these debates. that's what has to happen from here on in from every journalist is the fact that no, it's not a question does his head spin in circles and spit out pea soup. the question is could he answer the question that mike barnicle posed yesterday. does he know aleppo? these things start to have o happen at some point. >> two things. first of all, if the unhinged wound-up, highly emotional, undisciplined trump shows up at the debate, some of which we saw during the primary debates, she's in great shape.
she doesn't have to do much because there's the contrast. she's on stage, it's effectively a presidential stage, they are made to look like equals and he doesn't act the part. that's a massive advantage for her if he performs that way. if he shows up the way he showed up at his press conference with the president of mexico, calm, sober, i think they sedated him right before, whatever they did, that's a problem for her because he's going to be on the stage, there's this normalizing effect of being on the stage. >> to your question, what she's got to do is constantly yield time to him and say tell us your plan, really explain to us what you are going to do. i will give you some of my time, the way rubio did in one of the debates, i said i will yield you my time, tell me about your health care plan, don't just give me the lines, tell me specifically about your plan. a combination of that plus hanging him with his own words. her alt-right speech was very effective. it didn't overreach. it hung him with his own words. very specific quotes, very specific details, a combination of that and forcing him to explain his policies, if he's
calm in the debate, is the only way to go. >> let me ask you this question. there was a lot of talk for months about the possibility if trump was collapsing, the republican party would abandon him effectively. paul ryan continues to hover on that balance on that tightrope. it doesn't seem the party is abandoning him. seems like his improvement in the poll numbers put him in better stead. explain what you think is the relationship between the republican party and down ballot republicans and the trump campaign. >> i think most down ballot republicans and operatives working for them believe trump is probably going to lose. they think it would be probably a good thing if he does lose. they just don't want him to lose so badly that he crushes some of these house and senate seats that could hang in the balance. if i had to sum it up in a few seconds, that's what it is. they get that he's probably going to lose. they think it's probably a good thing. they think we can rebuild. four years of hillary clinton, third term of obama won't be great for conservatism but conservatism can survive it. they don't want him to get so
crushed that we definitely lose the senate and the house gets a little close. >> harold, next week, game plan for hillary clinton. give me the quick playbook coming off this kind of very at best toss-up week. >> so i think part of it was toss-up, just because i do think the forum itself, perhaps the setup and the questions may have benefited mr. trump a bit more. to your question, i think she's got to do what i tried to say earlier. she's got to smother him with her answers and with her vision. she's got to get out on the road and i think multiply the number of events she's doing each day. i think president obama has committed to giving october to this campaign. he may have to start a week or two sooner to ensure that the turnout, particularly amongst african-american and young voters across the country is as high as it can possibly be. secretary clinton has to deploy bill clinton to do a little more talk about how the economic message for this campaign is going to play out if she's elected. there's no need to panic on
their side. they just have to be willing to pound it more and understand where they are. >> we have to wrap it up. sean spicer from the rnc joins us in a bit. but up next, a look at america's two favorite pasttimes. politics and baseball. people get anxiousnd my office gets flooded with calls. so many things cano wrong. it's my worst nightmare. every second that power is out, my city's at risk. siemens digital grid manages and reroutes power, so servicean be restored within seconds. priority number one is keeping those lights on. it takes ingenuity to defeat the monsters that live in the dark. [phone buzzing] some things are simply impossible to ignore. the strikingly designed lexus nx turbo and hybrid. the suv that dares to go beyond utility.
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clinch their division title. let's just say their record has been nothing short of bigly, which is newsworthy enough on its own. we talked to our great friend will leach about this and he pointed out something else that's newsworthy. the franchise has some fascinating ties both to donald trump and to hillary clinton. we said prove it. and he filed this. >> the story in major league baseball this year and perhaps in all of sports is the chicago cubs. the cubs have the best record in baseball and they are of course loaded with celebrity fans from eddie vetter to bill murray to vince vaughn, all paying homage to the fuzzy cubbies. for the excitement the cavaliers conjured by winning the title, that's nothing compared to what would happen if the cubs won the world series. they haven't won a championship since 1908, when teddy roosevelt was president. the cubs are no strangers to presidential politics. ronald reagan loved the team.
as a young wanna-be actor he would do radio broadcasts of cubs games recreated from box scores. he would ultimately bring that story full circle, taking the mound to throw out the first pitch at wrigley field himself. bill clinton saw his final baseball game in office from a skybox at wrigley. barack obama, the most famous chicago white sox fan on the planet, even said he was cheering last year for the cubs to win the world series. fast forward to the 2016 season. if the cubs win the world series, there will be a party like we haven't seen in sports in decades and if it happens, it will go down just one month before the presidential election. which means you can count on it being a factor in the race. in some ways, a cubs pennant race might magnify america's major concerns with each candidate. for trump, polls say it's his temperament. back in the '90s all was good for trump and the cubs. trump loved the cubs. he threw out a first pitch, sang the seventh inning stretch and became quote, close close friends with cubs great sammy
sosa during his home run chase but that has changed. after the ricketts family which owns the trumps began financing anti-trump super pacs, trump tweeted i hear the family who own the chicago cubs are secretly spending money against me. they better be careful. they have a lot to hide. in march, still angry, he actually threatened to run attack ads against the cubs. then on the other side, there's hillary clinton and her struggle to convince voters she is authentic. well, clinton is actually a cubs fan, we think. from her time in illinoii growing up she claimed cubs fandom and once had a surreal experience with harry carey in the booth and even sang with him. but that changed. in vintage clinton fashion, when she ran for senate in new york she claimed to be a yankees fan as well. much to the chagrin of her opponent rudy giuliani. in an interview the "today"
show. >> fact is i have always been a yankees fan. >> i thought you were a cubs fan. >> i am. >> now she's back with the cubs, saying she would be willing to sign an executive order banishing the curse of the billy goat. trump and clinton. temperament and authenticity. the cubs and their dance with destiny. i cannot wait for october. though i will confess in this case, it's a little easier if you want to dance with a third party candidate. >> we'll be right back. like how hard it's gonna fall. (engine revs) the things it does to your parade. we've got a saying about rain, too: when it rains... it roars. the all-wheel-drive charger. domestic. not domesticated. soon, she'll be binge-studying..
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okay. in a few minutes we will be joined by sean spicer from the rnc, now kind of in-house campaign person working with the trump people. what do you think, if you are spicer i'm going to ask this. what is he saying to trump, what's he saying to trump's people about his fixation, his bromance, his man-crush, on putin? >> i don't think -- there have been a lot of things donald trump has done that have made republicans uncomfortable over the course of this cycle but this example is right at the
top, i think. you saw it in paul ryan's face yesterday. the notion, it is just a fact that if a democratic candidate, barack obama, when he was running in 2008, had suggested that vladimir putin was a better leader than george w. bush, the republicans would have tried to crucify him. >> or calling our generals rubble. >> in that instance at least you could say trump was trying to say they had been worn down over obama's lack of leadership. the putin thing's in a different category. it puts republicans, when clinton yesterday said this thing about would ronald reagan have ever said anything like i do not want to be confronted with this from the top of the ticket. so is it going to matter in down ballot races, probably not.
but i think it does not make him any more popular among folks at the rnc and republicans across the land. >> now joining us from d.c., communications director, chief strategist for the rnc, sean spicer. thank you for joining us. i'm sure you have been eavesdropping. we are talking about your candidate's infatuation, i will say, with vladimir putin. if you were alone in a room with mr. trump right now and you were counseling him on his putin dance, so to speak, what would you say to him? >> well, look, i think donald trump's done very well without my advice. he will continue to do well on his own. so i'mmnot going to give him advice. i think he speaks for himself. he articulates something that i think is why americans are tired of double-speak. he speaks his mind and i think that's something that most americans right now find attractive in a world where they are being spoon-fed sound bites and more of the same of the establishment that hillary clinton represents. >> do you think it's okay he gives kudos to a man who is
basically a dictator, a man who jails journalists, a man who invades countries? do you think it's okay for your candidate to be giving him kudos? >> i think a lot of folks in the media are overplaying this and trying to talk about him giving kudos. he was very clear about the context in which he was doing it. he didn't approve of the system of government or the way he did but he had given him a compliment and said i appreciate his compliment, i don't agree with their system of government but let's keep it in context. >> sean, do you think vladimir putin's a better leader than barack obama? >> that's not my -- i don't think -- it is two totally separate -- different systems of government. it's hard to make it apples and apples competition. >> that's what donald trump -- >> i'm american and i think we should all be respectful of the office of the president of the united states. >> that's what donald trump did. he said putin was a better leader than obama. do you agree with that or not? >> i gave you my answer. >> you did? >> yes. i'm not going -- i mean, donald trump speaks for donald trump.
i think he's made it very clear what he believes. i think that our job is to help get out the word and make that contrast with hillary clinton. what he's made very clear and taking part of that quote out of context is a little misleading. he was very clear that he didn't approve of the system of government that exists in russia or some of the actions but he was talking about the following that he had and the decisiveness especially with respect to how russia is dealing with isis. >> okay. i still, i don't think it's an unfair question to ask whether you think putin is a better leader than obama. it's a straightforward question, yes or no. >> i don't think it matters what i think. donald trump has stated his position. i think you doing mental gymnastics over and over again on this is not getting any further. >> go ahead. >> rudy giuliani last night went on record on chris matthews and said that mr. trump has acknowledged that basically the birther movement was false and that barack obama is a u.s.
citizen. has donald trump come out and said that? >> not that i'm aware of. but i take -- mayor giuliani spends a lot of time with him. >> you are spending a fair amount of time in trump tower. just to follow up, there is some question, i have not heard mr. trump say now that he believes barack obama's a legitimate president who was born in the united states. mayor giuliani said that last night. does mayor giuliani speak for the trump campaign, to your knowledge? does he have trump's -- >> mayor giuliani spends a lot of time with him and has his counselors giving him counsel and spending time with him on a variety of subjects. i'm sure if the mayor said it that's what he believes or he said. i have no reason to doubt what mayor giuliani said. >> but do you know just as a matter of fact whether or not donald trump believes barack obama was born in america now? >> i have not heard him say that. we have not -- that is not the subject of conversation. >> right. so after -- there's been a lot of reporting and i want you to try to clear this up. there's been a lot of reporting
about the state of relations between the rnc and you're at the point of this, the relationship between the rnc and the trump campaign. when chairman priebus didn't put out a statement after donald trump's immigration speech, there was a "new york times" story that suggested there was a lot of discord. what's the state of affairs there? >> that was entirely false. there was never a statement drafted, never one asked for. it literally was made up of whole cloth. there was never a statement, there was never a draft, there was never a thought, there was never a question, there was never an e-mail about a statement. it literally was completely false. the state of relations as you noted, i have been up at trump tower, chairman priebus was there this week, he was on the plane with donald trump, we were speaking at voter values together, we just held a call about our ground game with dave bosse of the trump campaign touting what we have actually done to put the most comprehensive ground game in terms of voter contacting people on the ground so i think we have a tremendous relationship with the trump campaign.
it's probably one of the best hand in glove operations i have ever seen in the last 30 years in politics. >> there's been a lot of talk about the trump get out the vote campaign, i think the words he used was in the history of politics we are going to have the greatest get out the vote ground game yet when we see field offices in various states, we see hillary clinton with 58 offices in florida and i think donald trump with one or two. how is that magically, where are the elves going to come from? >> i'm glad you brought that up. here's the problem. the hillary clinton campaign has gone out there and touted offices. frankly, we do have a ton of offices, i think we have 30 something offices in florida, 40 or 50 in ohio and more coming online every day. the bottom line, here's the bigger thing, what they are not talking about. they are not talking about voter contact and not talking about staff. four years ago we started deploying staff in all these battleground states on a year-round basis. we made over 4.4 million voter contacts. we have over 6,000 staff in the field right now. in context, we have 596 in the
2012 election. that's an exponential factor of 12. we can tout those numbers, we can talk about our staff, we can talk about our voter contact. the clinton campaign by their own account just got staffing in the field a few months ago. the only thing they can talk about right now is staff offices. that's like me talking about the number of cars that i own as somehow i'm a good driver. you need drivers in those cars. we have been out in the field for four years now making voter contacts, training people. we have the most comprehensive ground game, bar none, of any political operation in history. >> real quick, vice presidential nominee mike pence has said he's going to release his tax returns when he said he was going to release his tax returns, he said donald trump and i are both going to release our tax returns. do you know of any plans currently afoot for trump to release his tax returns? >> i'm not aware of one. >> okay. >> i think when it comes to disclosure i would like to say one of the big things is in terms of the clinton foundation, we have a huge transparency issue there.
if we want to really get out someone who was in government and had an opportunity to show instead of shredding e-mail let's find out what's out there. >> appreciate it. >> the clinton campaign refuses to give up the e-mails from the foundation to show what happened and what the quid pro quos were. that's where the transparency issue is. >> i think the ultimate transparency issue is this tax return. i appreciate you don't know whether he's going to do it or not. i'm interested since governor pence said it was going to happen. i was hoping we were finally going to get those. sean spicer, thank you very much. we have a special guest up next. we left on our honeymoon in january 2012. it actually evolved into a business. from our blog to video editing... our technology has to hang tough with us. when you're going to a place without electricity, you need a long battery life. the touch, combined with the screen resolution... a mac doesn't have that. we wanted to help more people get out there and see the world. once you take that leap, that's where the magic happens.
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welcome back. we are joined by mark penn, a long-time pollster who once worked as hillary clinton's chief strategist during her campaign for the presidency in 2008. he joins us now from bloomberg's d.c. bureau. you spent a lot of time trying to get hillary clinton over the commander in chief threshold. she's clearly over that threshold now. there is some current polling that suggest more americans think donald trump is a more credible commander in chief than hillary clinton. how do you explain that? >> well, look, i think that some voters are attracted by this overall kind of tough act i think that donald trump has. i think it's one of the jobs that she has in the upcoming debate is to really establish that she is the right commander in chief. of course, i worked with her
since 2000 in the senate races and she was strong, substantive, you know, a real doer. i think those qualities are just hard to see in the fog of this very personal campaign right now. >> mark, you obviously know her very well personally. i have met her on a number of occasions. she's incredibly likeable and real in person. that doesn't always translate on the camera. the last few days we have seen i think a very smart and calculated effort to kind of show more of the human side, her telling her story about what -- being harassed in school. if you were advising her to this day, would you say keep that going, put the foot to the pedal on that, let people see hillary? >> look, i have always thought that was helpful. but i never thought that that was really definitive in terms of what's going on here. the questions that she's got to overcome now are really those negative favorability and honesty numbers and she has to make a good case that the american people are best off
trusting her. i think that's generally about what she's going to do, how she's going to do it and if she can add to that some personal flavor that adds some additional nnection to that, i think that's great. but it's not what i have seen be really definitive. go back to the first debate against bernie sanders. the campaign was having a lot of problems and then that first debate, she decisively defeated sanders. now, he came back in later debates but in that debate she was strong, she understood the issues, she was real, not just a presidential candidate but a president, i think, in her presentation and she's always done best when she does that. >> so you just pointed to an obvious problem that she has which is that a lot of people don't trust her and a lot of people think she's a liar and she's corrupt. this is a core of what trump's argument is against her. that's the argument he's pressing almost every day. what would you advise her to do? you said it was the central thing she had to do to win in some ways. how would you advise her to
eradicate some of those feelings that some voters have? >> well, look, i think really, the debate is going to be the central issue and it will come through. i think that we have gone through a bad patch post-convention where the bounce came down but i think she could restore pretty much to where she was in the bounce. remember, right now, both trump and hillary have very high negatives. both trump and hillary are seen as dishonest. but only one candidate is seen as really qualified to be president. that's hillary clinton. two to one, people say trump is not. she has to just bring that difference alive, whether it's on foreign policy, whether it's on economic policy, whether it's dealing with crime in the cities. she's got to show across a diversity of issues that she's there, going to work for people, going to work for people in real and tangible ways so people have a reason other than personality to cast their ballot. because the people who are most
decisive in this election are going to be people who don't like either candidate. >> with all due respect, i think that's totally, all those are smart points but none of them go to the question of trust or to honesty, which you raised a second ago. is there anything affirmatively she can do to fix those negatives that she has attached to her? if so, what is it? >> well, i don't really think there's a silver bullet about this. look, if and when more stuff should come out, look, i think she can be more forthright. i think she could be more forthright, i think, in answering those questions that come up, that people want to see her, you have seen a number of instances in politics when charges mount up against someone and really kind of underscoring that she was a public servant from day one, she cared about people, she devoted her life to that, and to be as responsive as
possible. >> i don't think at this point there's anything she can do. the pure play for her is make trump unacceptable and too frightening. she's baked in, she's -- make her a better choice than unbalanced. >> that's the current strategy and the current strategy is showing limits. the current strategy, i say there are four kinds of voters. people who like both of them, 0%. people who like hillary, not trump, 40%. people like trump, not hillary, 40%. people who don't like both, 20%. how do you deal with that 20%? >> sccre the bejesus out of them. >> right. lesser of two evils. he's unacceptable. that's not the only way. make her more acceptable or say look, this is what the election is about. it's about the way we go forward in this country, on immigration, on race relations, on the economy. and -- >> we got to go. we got to go. you will be here in new york fairly soon. we will have you on the show. great to see you back on tv.
mark penn, pollster. >> this guy fired me once. he actually fired me. coming up we check in with two political reporters following the presidential race. ♪ mapping the oceans. where we explore. protecting biodiversity. everywhere we work. defeating malaria. improving energy efficiency. developing more clean burning natural gas. my job? my job at exxonmobil? turning algae into biofuels. reducing energy poverty in the developing world. making cars go further with less. fueling the global economy. and you thought we just made the gas. ♪ energy lives here.
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can i say i was surprised? i'm not sure anything surprises us anymore but i was certainly disappointed that someone running for president of the united states would continue this unseemly identification with and praise of the russian president, including on russian television. >> of course, that was hillary clinton here in gotham city moments ago responding to a question about trump's phoner with russian-backed tv network rt america. joining us now, bloomberg senior
white house correspondent reporter who has been covering hillary clinton, margaret dove and washington, d.c. national reporter for "the washington post" robert costa. robert, let me start with you. i have heard murmurings that one of the reasons behind trump's love of russia and love of putin is that -- one of the reasons he's not going to be releasing his tax returns is lot of business with russian banks. has any of your reporting turned that up? >> "the washington post" has reported extensively about how trump's organization and his son donald trump jr. have talked in the pastbout how russian interests and russian money has flowed into different trump projects throughout the world because the trump organization's private it's been hard to map all of this out. we have seen don jr. talk about it publicly. >> margaret, we just watched hillary clinnon there, she's doing a lot of foreign policy stuff this week. she is also starting to mix it in with kind of more personal human stuff, she talked about her faith last night. talk about that two-track strategy that seems to be emerging as we head into this
home stretch. >> she has one big strength, her foreign policy experience. it's a liability to some extent but it's also a demonstrated strength, a skill donald trump doesn't have experience, doesn't have -- she has a couple big weaknesses and a major one is character questions but also just personality, likability. people's comfort level with her. they feel she's too much of a professional politician or too stiff, whathave you. she's been encouraged for months to talk more in a way that humanizes her. she's trying to do that on both fronts every time she talks about foreign policy or herself, she is not talking about e-mail. >> i want to ask two questions that have bedeviled and confused me for days. you know trump, spent a lot of time around him and people around him. here are the two questions. why does trump keep talking about how much he loves putin, what's the deal with that given the political downsides involved and two, why does he keep insisting he was against the iraq war from the beginning when he just wasn't, and there's plenty of fact on the ground about that. there's easily documented that he's just lying about that.
what is his motivation for those two postures? >> based on my reporting, my conversation with people close to trump, is that on the russia question, he sees russia as a way of getting the u.s. out of the middle east, that if russia and russian allies can be fighting in different areas of the middle east, that would make the u.s. more non-interventionist. a lot of trump advisers privately and friends are perplexed why he doesn't say this more because they believe this is at the core of his belief beyond as donny was talking about the business ties between the russian people and the trump organization. but he's really more in the ron paul wing of the party at heart when it comes to his foreign policy. that's why in some ways, people close to him say he's open to having russia take a larger role on the global stage. when it comes to -- when you look at his organization and his campaign right now, in iraq, this is someone who was murky and thought he was murky at the time of the iraq war, 2003,
2004, but that doesn't mean he was against it because we have all these public statements that show he wasn't against the war. but he thinks murkiness equals being against it. >> i find it baffling. please. >> margaret, in brooklyn behind the scenes, do they really think they won wednesday night? >> i think they thought they won the aftermath of wednesday night because the putin thing is the gift that keeps giving. mostly because trump keeps making it worse than he did the other night. but obviously they didn't, because she still has this inability to just dispense with the e-mail issue and move on. it's not just that matt lauer talked to her for 13 minutes about it. it's that she spent 13 minutes talking about it and hasn't made it any better yet. >> i had one explanation that my partner here shot down violently about why trump keeps going and showing his love affair for putin, is that on some level he's betting the american public is not going to think through this is a dictator and an evil guy but boy, he's strong and tough and we need a mother just
like that guy running this country. is there any calculus in that? >> i think there'sscertainly an instinct there. i'm not sure about the calculus because when you talk to trump and you talk to people who know him they say he has this inclination towards strong men whether in business or politics and he doesn't come out of the republican tradition. the orthodoxy in russia which is really an aversion of what they are doing on human rights, a deep skepticism about putin's agenda, he comes out of none of that on the republican front and it's just his instinct to embrace anyone who is a strong man across the world. he also likes the praise. >> okay. margaret, robert, thank you. we'll be right back. u shot? when it helps give a lifesaving vaccine to a child in need. ♪ thanks to customers like you, walgreens "get a shot. give a shot." program has helped provide 15 million vaccines through the un foundation. it's that easy to make a difference.
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ask about humira, the #1 prescribed biologic by dermatologists. clearer skin is possible. so donny, always great to have you here. one of the reasons is because you always manage to disgrace yourself in a variety of ways over the course of the program. is there anything you really want to apologize for in this episode? >> absolutely not. by the way, i think it's despicable to say what he's saying about putin. i'm trying to attach in-depth
logic to it. >> a chance to apologize to margaret. head to bloomberg politics.com right now. until monday, sayonara. >> "hardball with chris matthews" is next. why does trump stay mum? let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews back in washington. five years ago, donald trump marched into national politics trumpeting the charge that the president of the united states might well be a usurper, that barack obama wasn't who he said he was, a natural-born american. trump has never given up his insistence on this critical point, demanding the president produce his birth certificate, raising in all manner of ways his public doubts that the man in the white house is truly one of us. well, now we are being