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MTP Daily, Transcript 10/13/2016

Guests: Jim Bridenstine, Rick Tyler, Amy Walter, Ruth Marcus, Adam Schiff, Hampton Pearson, Mark Murray

Show: MTP DAILY Date: October 13, 2016 Guest: Jim Bridenstine, Rick Tyler, Amy Walter, Ruth Marcus, Adam Schiff, Hampton Pearson, Mark Murray

PETER ALEXANDER, HOST: Good evening. I`m Peter Alexander in Washington. Chuck will be back in the seat tomorrow. Welcome to MTP DAILY and welcome to what could certainly be the most difficult stretch yet for Donald Trump.

Just 26 days to go. At least six women have come forward publicly with new allegations of sexual misconduct against the Republican nominee, none of which NBC News has confirmed, important to note, and all of which Trump himself denies. This afternoon, Trump fired back slamming his accusers as liars.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: These vicious claims about me of inappropriate conduct with women are totally and absolutely false. These claims are all fabricated. They`re pure fiction and they`re outright lies.

These events never, ever happened and the people that said them meekly fully understand. You take a look at these people, you study these people and you`ll understand also. These people are horrible people. They`re horrible, horrible liars.


ALEXANDER: Trump also specifically went after PEOPLE magazine reporter, Natasha Stoynoff, who wrote about an alleged 2005 incident of Trump "forcing his tongue down my throat". Part of Trump`s response, "look at her".


TRUMP: Take a look. You take a look. Look at her. Look at her words. You tell me what you think. I don`t think so. I don`t think so.


ALEXANDER: Here are some of the other allegations that Trump is now facing. One that`s getting a lot of attention is from 74-year-old Jessica Leeds. This is what she told The New York Times about an alleged incident in the 1980s while sitting next to Trump on a first class flight to New York.


JESSICA LEEDS, FORMER BUSINESSWOMAN: He was like an octopus. It was like he had six arms. He was all over the place. And if he had stuck with the upper part of the body, I might not have gotten that upset. But it`s when he started putting his hand up my skirt and that was it. That was it. I was out of there.


ALEXANDER: Another woman went public in The New York Times story. Rachel Crooks alleged that, in 2005, Trump "kissed me directly on the mouth. I was so upset", she said. Her account is similar to Temple Taggart McDowell, a former beauty pageant contestant, who alleged Trump kissed her on the mouth back in 1997.

And then there`s the account of the teen beauty queens who say Trump walked in on them changing, although other contestants are disputing that account. This afternoon, a woman told The Huffington Post of an alleged incident in the `90s where Trump looked up women`s skirts at a restaurant.

The campaign told The Huffington Post that the story is a fabrication. In addition to aggressively denying all of the allegations, the Trump campaign says it`s proceeding with a lawsuit against The New York Times and potentially against other media outlets for reporting these allegations.

A lawyer for The New York Times responded today declining Trump`s request for a -- not even a request, a demand for a retraction saying, "We did what the law allows. We published newsworthy information about a subject of deep public concern. If Mr. Trump disagrees, they write, we welcome the opportunity to have a court set him straight".

This afternoon, First Lady Michelle Obama took aim at Trump`s conduct, delivering an emotional appeal to voters while on the stump for Hillary Clinton. She was in New Hampshire.


MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: If we have a President who routinely degrades women, who brags about sexually assaulting women, then how can we maintain our moral authority in the world? How can we continue to be a beacon of freedom and justice and human dignity?


ALEXANDER: We`re joined now by Trump supporter, Congressman Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma. Congressman Bridenstine, nice to see you. Thanks for your time.


ALEXANDER: So out of the gate, so are you still supporting Donald Trump after these allegations?

BRIDENSTINE: Well, what we have before us is a choice between two people. The challenge here is severe. I mean, neither one of these candidates are perfect. Certainly, I just heard the words of Michelle Obama. I wonder if she would have that same sentiment towards Bill Clinton.

You have to remember that when Hillary Clinton was the First Lady, she attempted to silence and shame the victims of Bill Clinton. She did this by saying that these victims were part of a vast right-wing conspiracy. And that they`re going to do investigations into these women.

And these women are going to have a lot to answer for. These were the words of the Democratic nominee. And I think it would be appropriate for Michelle Obama to have the same outrage towards Hillary Clinton as she does towards Donald Trump.

ALEXANDER: So, Congressman Bridenstine, if I can, let me pull this up. Bridenstine, let me pull this up. The campaign said just a few days ago that these kinds of alleged victims deserve to be heard. Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump`s own Campaign Manager, said it herself.

She said, we tweet if you agree that "Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed and supported". And doesn`t that sort of defeat the argument that you`re making right now? Shouldn`t all these women be allowed to be heard?

BRIDENSTINE: It doesn`t defeat the argument at all. They absolutely need to be heard which is why Paula Jones, who was paid $850,000 by the Clintons, she`s relevant in this case, as is Juanita Broaddrick, who accused Bill Clinton of rape. Both of these women were told by Hillary Clinton that they were part of a vast right-wing-conspiracy.

ALEXANDER: Understood. So, I think, we`re in agreement then that you believe that right now there is value in hearing from all of these women who have come out now in bulk, at least six today, saying that they were victims of inappropriate touching, sexual misconduct in effect from Donald Trump.

You agree that those stories deserve to be told and they should also be a part of this conversation right now. There was a news conference that we aired by those four women that you`re referring to who had allegations against Bill Clinton. That already happened. And now there`s a new conversation taking place, right?

BRIDENSTINE: Yeah. So this -- I agree with you completely that this whole campaign has gone right into the gutter, which should have been anticipated. I worked hard for a different candidate in the Republican primary. But now we`re in a position of picking between two candidates.

What is before us is the Supreme Court of the United States, the southern border of the United States, Obamacare. There are very real issues that are at stake in this election. And so while both of these campaigns go into the gutter, it`s important for Americans to understand what is at stake in this election.

ALEXANDER: So, Congressman Bridenstine, just to be very clear. Do you condone Donald Trump`s treatment of these new accusers, that they are, "horrible, horrible liars"?

BRIDENSTINE: I don`t have enough information to condemn or approve of. Look, these are all allegations --

ALEXANDER: But you think all of that should be heard?

BRIDENSTINE: I think, in this particular case, when you look at the evidence, if you`ve got a jury in front of you, you tell the jury you need to listen to all the evidence on all sides and make your own determination. We are in the middle of an election here. This election is pivotal in the history of our country. And based on what is at stake, all the evidence needs to be heard, absolutely.

ALEXANDER: So help me understand. What`s going on inside the campaign right now? You`re one of their top surrogates. You`re a big supporter out there who has been speaking on his behalf lately. So this is what Newt Gingrich, one of Donald Trump`s most ardent supporters, said earlier today.


HARRIS FAULKNER, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: So, going forward, is he listening to you?


FAULKNER: What is going on behind the scenes that you know right now that might be a reason why these needles are not being threaded the way they should be?

GINGRICH: I honestly don`t know. I`m mystified. I can`t make sense of it.


ALEXANDER: So can you make sense of what`s going on right now?

BRIDENSTINE: So what I will tell you is I have absolutely no idea what`s going on behind the scenes, because I am not behind the scenes. In fact --

ALEXANDER: What are you hearing from those behind the scenes?

BRIDENSTINE: I have never met Donald Trump before. I`m an independent member of Congress who has made a determination that what is at stake in this election is larger than Donald Trump. It is more important than just one man. We have the Supreme Court that could very well go 7-2 liberal if we pick the wrong President of the United States. I think that`s what we --

ALEXANDER: 7-2 liberal. So you`re seeing several court seats opening up in the course of the next few years?

BRIDENSTINE: I think that`s a very real possibility. I think if that`s at stake, we need to make sure that -- we need to talk about the issues that are important to the American people as we go forward as a nation than going right into the gutter.

ALEXANDER: And one of the members of Congress who wants to do that very same thing is the Speaker of the House, the Republican leader, House Speaker Paul Ryan. You tweeted yesterday that "Given the stakes of this election, if Paul Ryan isn`t for Trump, then I`m not for Paul Ryan". So help us understand it. Is there nothing Trump could say or do that would cost your support?

BRIDENSTINE: So a couple of things. When you think about what is at stake, given what is at stake, if Paul Ryan is not for Trump, then I`m not for Paul Ryan. That is an if/then statement. I`m here to encourage Republicans. We`ve got three and a half weeks left. Let`s stay united. Let`s gets past the finish line. And let`s make sure we don`t turn the Supreme Court of the United States over to Hillary Clinton.

ALEXANDER: But you understand why a lot of people they are fleeing right now, I imagine, right?

BRIDENSTINE: Well, I do, but I think it`s ill-founded considering that we`re about to turn the Supreme Court over to Hillary Clinton. That is the wrong direction. If you`re a conservative Republican that believes as I do, that is not the right answer in the situation that is before us. As far as what --

ALEXANDER: Is there any chance -- sorry, go ahead.

BRIDENSTINE: As far as what Donald Trump could do that would make me lose his support, I would tell you. If he starts embracing the policies of Hillary Clinton, he will lose my support.

ALEXANDER: So let me understand, though. Is there any chance that dumping Donald Trump could actually help members of Congress, potentially senators? In Nevada, right now, we have new numbers recently out that show that the candidate for Senate, Joe Heck, is actually doing just as well, if not better, after dumping Donald Trump.

BRIDENSTINE: And Joe Heck is a good friend of mine. We need to make sure we elect Joe Heck. I used to live in Fernley, Nevada. I flew --

ALEXANDER: So there could be a value in dumping Donald Trump?

BRIDENSTINE: I don`t think there is a value there. If you look historically, what happens in these elections is however the top of the ballot does the rest of the down-ballot is either lifted or depressed based on what the top of the ballot does. That`s all the historical evidence.

Now if there is some idea out there that you can somehow distance yourself from the top of the ballot and somehow rise on the down-ballot, there is no historical evidence for that. So I don`t support that assessment. But I do believe what is at stake here is critical on the top of the ticket as much as down-ballot.

ALEXANDER: Oh, this is already a history defying election season. So we`ll just wait and see. Congressman Bridenstine, thank you very much for your time. I appreciate it.


ALEXANDER: We want to get to our panel right now. Rick Tyler is an MSNBC Political Analyst and former Cruz campaign Communications Director. Amy Walter is a National Editor at The Cook Political Report. Ruth Marcus is a Columnist and Deputy Editorial Page Editor at The Washington Post.

Nice to see you guys all here. First, Rick, just want to get your reaction having heard from the Congressman right now.

RICK TYLER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, look, he`s in a pickle like a lot of these members are. The problem is they sign on, then they sign off, and they`re on again, off again. And he`s got a group of on again, off again surrogates. And if you contrast that to the current President of the United States, Michelle Obama is very popular, Joe Biden, all these surrogates who are working out there. She doesn`t have to work very hard to get a lot of attention. And his surrogates are -- looks like they`re peeling off.

ALEXANDER: Amy, what`s Donald Trump`s end-game here? What`s striking to me is when all these allegations came out is that the campaign Communications Director, Jason Miller, said by bringing up decades-old allegations, you trivialize sexual assault. And then they return to decades-old allegations against Bill Clinton.

AMY WALTER, THE COOK POLITICAL REPORT NATIONAL EDITOR: Yeah. I don`t quite understand -- well, I never understood the strategy of the campaign. Actually let me step back. I have actually understood the strategy of the campaign, which is that our base is going to win us this election. We do not have to expand out --

ALEXANDER: Depressed turnout.

WALTER: Not even about depressed turnout. It`s that we can win with the kinds of people that show up and support us at these Trump rallies. There are millions of those voters out there that, once they show up, it`s going to make up for the fact that we`re losing non-white voters, that we`re losing white voters who have a college degree, that we`re losing women.

It`s going to be okay because we have enough support in this core base. That is exactly what he did today at that rally. That`s what he did in the debate. I think that`s what we`re going to see for the next three weeks which is a burn it all down, go after the establishment, go after all that have wronged us and show up in vote to show them that they need to take us seriously.

ALEXANDER: So, Ruth, if that`s the strategy, can it be a successful one?

RUTH MARCUS, THE WASHINGTON POST ?DEPUTY EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR/COLUMNIST: No. But burn it all down really encapsulates it. And they will make any argument even if it contradicts an argument that they`ve made against the other side.

So women deserve to be believed, except the horrible, horrible liars who say things about Donald Trump. Women -- what he did today was it was kind of a combination of scary and astonishing. You`re going to go after this PEOPLE magazine reporter who wrote a very powerful article explaining what she says happened to her and why she didn`t come forward. And his argument against her is have you looked at that face, shades of Carly Fiorina? That`s going to get you more women votes. Come on.

ALEXANDER: So, speaking of women votes, perhaps the most popular woman in the country right now, at least on the campaign stage, is Michelle Obama. She was pretty passionate today. Perhaps the two best speeches all year have come from Michelle Obama I think a lot of people would think. She says don`t let the ugliness keep you home on election night. Let`s hear some of that.


OBAMA: We can`t just sit around wringing our hands. Now we need to recover from our shock and depression and do what women have always done in this country. We need you to roll up your sleeves. We need to get to work. Because remember this, when they go low, we go --


OBAMA: Yes, we do.


ALEXANDER: Amy, you crunched the numbers. Does this work? Does this appeal work? Will it bring out those suburban women as necessary in --?

WALTER: Well, right now, it is definitely working. I mean you`ve seen numbers coming out of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia suburbs where Hillary Clinton has a lead like we`ve never seen before for a Democrat. And that, I think, is powered a lot by women.

The polls that have come out in the last couple of days, the biggest drop for Trump or the biggest increase for Hillary Clinton has been among women and independents. And I just don`t think that continuing to get in a fight, as Donald Trump seems to want to do, about past indiscretions of Bill Clinton, is the way to bring women back.

ALEXANDER: Rick, how does your party survive this right now? What does the Trump wing of the party look like going forward in case of a Trump defeat, perhaps that`s the question?

TYLER: Well, the party is virtually splitting. And, to Amy`s point, I mean the Trump campaign is depending on empirically the people who are least likely to show up. I mean that`s what we know about them empirically, right. That`s who he is depending on to show up.

What the party is facing right now is you are watching it divide. You are watching it split probably three ways. One, I would call, the Breitbart wing of the party, that`s the Trump campaign and the people who are supporting that. And they would like to impose their way of winning at all costs. The problem is they don`t have any underlying governing philosophy.

Now the conservatives have an underlying governing philosophy but we have no one to articulate it and no leader and no money. And then you have the establishment which everybody is mad at. They have leaders and they have money and they want to hang on to power. And so there is just going to be a big overall after this election.

ALEXANDER: We`re going to ask you guys to stay with us if you can for a quick second. At this hour, Donald Trump is in Columbus, Ohio. He`s about to give a millennial policy speech. We`re going to keep an eye on that. You see the podium is set. He`ll take to the lectern in just a second. We will bring you any news from that.

And could Trump win the battleground state of Ohio? We have brand-new poll numbers coming out from NBC News and Wall Street Journal right after this break. And the Clinton campaign again tackling the fallout from another WikiLeaks released as rumors swirled at Russia`s role in the email hack. Is the government doing enough to stop them? We`re going to talk to Congressman Adam Schiff. You`re watching MTP DAILY.


ALEXANDER: Welcome back. Donald Trump is pulling his campaign resources out of the state of Virginia, the Commonwealth there, where Hillary Clinton has led every poll since the summer. A source tells NBC News that the Trump campaign is now focusing on just four battleground states: Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina and Ohio.

If Trump wins all four of those states and hangs on to all of the states that Mitt Romney won four years ago, he would win the White House. So what are the chances of Trump sweeping all four of those states? We have new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll numbers from each of those four states out in the last week, including two brand-new numbers.

So let`s go to those numbers. First, Ohio. Donald Trump now leads Hillary Clinton there by one point. He, of course, is speaking at an event in Columbus any moment. We will take you there. But Hillary Clinton is on top by four points in North Carolina.

Both the Ohio poll and North Carolina polls were taken after the 2005 Trump comments surfaced and after the debate. In a most recent Florida poll, Clinton is up three points there among likely voters. And, finally, Clinton is up -- and this may be the dagger for the Trump campaign at this time -- 12 points in our latest Pennsylvania poll.

That is a huge lead. Remember, the Florida and Ohio numbers are from before the debate and before the tape. So Trump`s new campaign strategy features four do or die states. And, at the moment, he is only leading in one of them. Coming up, the Clinton campaign is facing another day of fallout from hacked e-mails.



TRUMP: It`s not a coincidence that these attacks come at the exact same moment and all together at the same time as WikiLeaks releases documents exposing the massive international corruption of the Clinton machine, including 2,000 more e-mails just this morning.


ALEXANDER: That was Donald Trump earlier today in Florida. He has just taken the stage at an event in Columbus, Ohio, home to the Ohio State University. We want to listen to the Republican nominee very briefly.


TRUMP: Beautiful people, incredible future, and we`re going to have jobs for you when you get out of college, okay? You don`t have them right now. We had a very bad jobs report. We`re going to have big, big jobs where you have lots of choice, okay?


TRUMP: So I`m really happy to be back here. I love you, too. And I do like Columbus. We`ve had great success in Columbus and great friendships. I have great friends from Columbus. I want to make sure that you request your absentee ballot.

Now how many people here are old enough to vote? Wow, I`d say that`s pretty good. That`s pretty good. Now work a little bit harder, okay? So now that I have that. And remind your friends and family to do the same. We`re now 26 days -- think of it -- 26 days away from the most important election of even your lifetimes.

And you have a long life ahead of you, a long, long life. But our country is going wrong. And we have only just begun to fight. We`re going to make this country so great again. If we win, we`ll create a booming and thriving economy for young Americans and jobs for young Americans. To me, it`s so important.


TRUMP: We`ll create safe communities, lower taxes, leaner government, affordable child care and healthcare and a government that`s honest and decent and fair. You don`t have that now. We are going to be --


TRUMP: Oh boy. So young and so jaded already. But you understand life. I`m impressed. You understand life at a young age. We are the campaign of change, you know that? We will deliver jobs, opportunity and justice for future generations, your generations. We will. Better believe it.

I`ve wanted this race, and you know that, to be about the issues. We won by everybody`s account the other night. We had a debate with crooked Hillary. And we won that debate. And I mean I`m not saying that`s what everybody is saying. And I felt that we won the debate.

Remember when she walked in front of me and I stood and here`s my podium and here`s my chair and I`m standing. And she walks right in front of me. And then the next stage she stood, answering a question, right? And she was right here and I was right here, never moved.

And the next day the paper came out and said I invaded her space. I said what? I invaded her space. No, we won that one and we look forward. I guess Wednesday night we have another one with crooked Hillary.


TRUMP: And, by the way, I don`t know if you know the big Wall Street Journal/NBC poll just came out in Ohio. We`re only one up. No, you know what? And I say that kiddingly, we`re one up. And we`ve got very unfairly battered by people. I have no idea who these people are.

I`ve been battered by people that I have no idea who they are. But we`re one up in the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll which never treats me good. So we`re one up in Ohio. And it just came out, in North Carolina, we`re one up also. We`re doing well.


TRUMP: And she spent a fortune on ads -- a fortune -- here, in North Carolina, just an absolute fortune. And I`ll tell you what. We`re going to have some big surprises. This is going to be Brexit all over again, except even bigger.


TRUMP: The Clinton campaign has refused to discuss the issues. In fact, the WikiLeaks just came out today. She`s got no core. Her people are saying, what`s a core? What`s she talking about? What`s a core? I have a core. You know what it is? Make America great again. That`s my core.



ALEXANDER: We`ve been listening to Donald Trump who is courting millennials in Columbus, Ohio, of course, home to the Ohio State University. A quick couple fact checks there. He said we`ve had great success in the state of Ohio. In fact, of course, he lost to the Governor John Kasich by 11 points in the primary.

But he is right in saying that our new poll has him up 1% there. He`s wrong, though, in saying he`s up one point in North Carolina. Our new poll out just today, in fact, has him down four points in North Carolina. Since the campaign is pulling out of Virginia, they would need to win both of those states, as well as Florida and Pennsylvania, in order to have a better shot at the White House this fall. So we`ll keep an eye on that speech.

Meantime, we are in the fifth day of a massive document dump from WikiLeaks that Trump just referred to there of what appears to be hacked e-mails from Clinton campaign Chairman, John Podesta`s Gmail account. NBC News, we should not, has not independently authenticated any of the alleged e-mails.

The U.S. government has said it believes Russia is responsible for prior hacks in the Clinton campaign. It`s pointing its finger at Russia for this hack. In a statement last night, Podesta said, "This level of meddling by a foreign power can only be aimed at boosting Donald Trump and should send chills down the spine of all Americans".

Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff sits on the House Intelligence Committee and is a Hillary Clinton supporter. He`s here with us in studio today. Nice to see you. I appreciate your time.


ALEXANDER: So the campaign, as we noted, has not confirmed the authenticity of this. But at least in one of these hacks, Hillary Clinton speaks about how you need to have a public and a private position on some issues in order to get things done. Isn`t this duplicitous?

Isn`t this sort of get to the heart of what a lot of Americans want to hear some honesty from her about, that she is a more honest player? And comments like this don`t present her as an honest broker. Why not go after the hack itself but go after the sort of contents of the information?

SCHIFF: Well, I think, a couple things. She addressed this during the debate and I think made the point that what she was talking about there was the fact that as a Lincoln demonstrator, and I think this was after the Lincoln film, you often make one appeal to one crowd to move them on an issue to make --

ALEXANDER: But is that still the strategy, the Honest Abe answer? It seems like that was not one of her stronger moments even the campaign concedes from that night. So I mean on the basic premise, though, of a public versus a private position, can we agree that there needs to be a better answer to separate positions?

SCHIFF: Well, as I mentioned, this is what the Secretary talked about during the debate. And I don`t have a better answer not having been there for the speech or having the full transcript. But this just shows, I think, part of the problem with addressing, frankly, the partial leak of information by WikiLeaks.

And on Intel Committee, where I`m the ranking member, what chiefly concerns me more about this than the content, which, frankly, given the volume of these dumps is now becoming background noise in the campaign, is the fact that you have a major power, an adversarial power, that is leaking information, hacking and leaking information with the design to influence the campaign.

So, I think, voters need to keep this in mind. I mean look at those comments in that transcript of Secretary Clinton, say, what did she mean by that? But they also have to keep in mind who is doing this? Who is leaking this and what is their purpose?

ALEXANDER: Is there any evidence that there is any real content? Understanding that the Intelligence Committee says that Russia is behind this in some form, but is there any true evidence that Donald Trump`s campaign has any real relationship to Russia? Absent Roger Stone, an associate of Donald Trump, saying there is some back channel to WikiLeaks, is there any evidence that Donald Trump has anything to do with whatever the heck Russia is doing right now?

SCHIFF: I don`t think you need evidence that the Trump campaign is somehow coordinating their efforts with Putin via some kind of a hotline. The reality is he`s made clear publicly that he`s inviting Russia to hack his opponent.

He`s urging them to do more. He`s applauding the fact that WikiLeaks is releasing these stolen e-mails. He is praising Putin, so if he needs a green light, they`re already getting that in public from Donald Trump. There doesn`t have to be more coordination than that.

ALEXANDER: Suffice to say there is no evidence of any coordination at this point. SCHIFF: You know, I`m not aware of any evidence of coordination beyond the fact that Donald Trump is publicly calling for the Russians to do what they`re doing. But, you know, I do think it`s important for voters to know that not only do we see the Russians` hacking interfering with the election process as the administration acknowledged last week, but they`re not doing it just as a general disruption, they`re doing it to help a particular candidate, and that`s Donald Trump. And that ought to be of great concern to all Americans. ALEXANDER: What is America doing about these cyber breaches right now more broadly? This is a concern that some fear could have an impact on the election itself.

SCHIFF: Well, you know, it begins with naming the responsible party, which Senator Feinstein and I have been urging.


ALEXANDER: . immediately.

SCHIFF: Exactly. But it will continue beyond that if the leaks continue as indeed they are. I think probably the best thing the administration can do is work with European allies who have also been the subject of hacking and the dumping off and the misleading of information. It may require a combined action on sanctions again.

That is one of the few things that seems to get Russia`s attention. They`re trying to call out from the sanctions that have been imposed over their invasion in Ukraine. The last thing they want to see is new economic punishment. That to me is a better remedy than some cyber tit for tat.

We could I suppose hack and dump information that is damaging to Putin, for example, but I don`t think that`s really where we want to go. We certainly don`t want to interfere with democratic institutions of Russia. They`re already under full assault by Putin. So I think that the economic levers are probably the most powerful here.

ALEXANDER: So finally if I can conclude I want to ask you about another headline making news which is the U.S. launching missile attacks in Yemen early this morning after being on the receiving end of attacks from rebel- controlled areas in that country. Do we believe that those attacks are being pressed forward by Iran? Is Iran ultimately the party behind these?

SCHIFF: They`re certainly coming from Houthi-controlled areas, and the Houthis are in the league with the Iranians. You have to think a step of this consequence, the Houthis that are becoming so dependent on the Iranians wouldn`t be doing it without Iranian knowledge, whether it is done at Iranian direction.

ALEXANDER: So are we moving towards America`s involvement in the civil war there?

SCHIFF: Well, I don`t think we`re moving to involvement such as American ground troops or anything like that. We are going after Al Qaeda there, we are assisting in going after ISIS there, we`re also assisting the gulf allies in pushing back the Houthis and trying to bring about a peaceful outcome. But I don`t think you`re going to see America do more than defend itself as it`s doing right now and look for these targets of opportunity in terms of the counter-terrorism campaign.

ALEXANDER: Congressman Schiff, nice to see you. I appreciate it.

SCHIFF: Good to see you.

ALEXANDER: Thank you very much. Still ahead, The flip-floppers by republican who shunned Trump after Friday`s video revelation are now jumping back on the Trump train. You`re watching MTP Daily.


ALEXANDER: You`re on MTP Daily. But first, Hampton Pearson has today`s CNBC Market Wrap.

HAMPTON PEARSON, REPORTER, CNBC: Thanks, Peter. We had stocks ending the day on a down note, the Dow losing 45 points, the S&P dropping six, the Nasdaq falling by 25 points. The number of Americans filing first time unemployment claims were unchanged last week, holding at a 43-year low at 246,000. The prior week`s numbers were revised downward by 3,000.

And Amazon is hiring 120,000 seasonal workers this year to help with the busy Christmas shopping season. Positions are being created at fulfillment centers, sorting centers, and customer service sites in 27 states. That`s it for CNBC, first in business worldwide.



ALEXANDER: ... 13 electoral votes now out the door. MARK MURRAY, SENIOR POLITICAL EDITOR, NBC NEWS: Again, Peter, it puts all the pressure on the four states that you and I we were just talking about. You have to run the table in Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. There is no -- absolutely no margin for air. And as you mentioned in Pennsylvania where poll show him -- Donald Trump trailing by high single digits or double digits, that`s a very tough place to be.

ALEXANDER: At the end of this week, I think a lot of people are still struck that he`s up in Ohio, but as you pointed out, he`s got a long way to go to be viable.

MURRAY: Absolutely. He has to be up in even more polls than that one.

ALEXANDER: Yeah, Mark, thank you very much.

MURRAY: Thanks, Peter.

ALEXANDER: More MTP Daily right after this.





BIDEN: But it`s not enough, it`s not enough she win just because how unqualified, unqualified her opponent is.


ALEXANDER: That was Vice President Joe Biden this last hour campaigning for Hillary Clinton in Las Vegas. And right after he wrapped up that speech, the vice president sat down with our Chuck Todd for an exclusive "Meet the Press" interview. That`s going to air this Sunday and Chuck will have a sneak peek tomorrow right here on "MTP Daily." Stay with us. We`ll be right back.



HILLARY CLINTON, DEMOCRATIC PARTY NOMINEE FOR PRESIDENT OF U.S.: There`s hardly any part of America that he has not targeted. Now, it makes you want to turn off the news. It makes you want to unplug the internet or just look at cat gifs.


(END VIDEO CLIP) ALEXANDER: She likes that punch line. That was Hillary Clinton speaking this afternoon at a fundraiser in San Francisco. We`re back now with our team for "The Lid," which means Rick Tyler, Amy Walter, and Ruth Marcus. They`re back here to join us right now.

So Rick, she said a lot of people are wanting to turn off their T.V. and tune out this election altogether. For Donald Trump, that may not be such a bad thing right now, assuming the base is rallied.

RICK TYLER, NBC NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: That`s what he`s doing, trying to rally the base, and Hillary Clinton is trying not to make news and just trying to kind of play it safe.

ALEXANDER: Prevent defense, as they say.

TYLER: Kind of sitting on the ball. And she doesn`t have probably a successful strategy. Even if he comes out with some of these things, you know, like the state department and the Haiti contract deal, you know, he`s -- it depends on whether people believe him. He`s now just sort of throwing the kitchen sing.

ALEXANDER: Or whether that even gets through everything else that`s the narrative right now. There`s so many other topics to focus on. One of which that we were talking about with Congressman Schiff earlier in the broadcast was this issue of WikiLeaks. I`m curious your take.

It`s sort of this unprecedented moment where a foreign power, the intelligence community is accusing of trying to alter an election and Donald Trump`s reaction is I think the opposite of what a lot of people would anticipate from the potential commander in chief.

RUTH MARCUS, COLUMNIST FOR THE WASHINGTON POST: If you were a regular presidential candidate and a foreign power was being accused reliably by the United States intelligence community of trying to rig a presidential election on your behalf, at least you would say, purport, profess to be horrified by this, and this is terrible and I want no part of this. Donald Trump is going, wee-haw! He is reveling in the Russian government`s, essentially, hacking of private e-mails.

AMY WALTER, POLITICAL ANALYST, THE COOK POLITICAL REPORT: But, Ruth, Let me just say this. If this were the opposite and there were private e-mails from another campaign. Again, we`re in an alternate universe where a democrat is running against a republican and there were WikiLeaks that exposed terrible things about republicans, would democrats be doing this?

MARCUS: Democrats would be.

WALTER: Would be saying wee-haw?

MARCUS: Well, I think anybody should be smart enough to say to do two things. Say, it`s very unfortunate that this is coming out, and of course, we can`t condone it, but it would be wrong of us to ignore. You know, just have a little bit of common decency. I`ve been happily reading through all the things, and you know, without any guilt. But this is a really remarkable spectacle. And we haven`t pulled back enough to appreciate that.

WALTER: Well, I, for one, I want to say I agree with Hillary Clinton in that I`ve been spending a lot of time on baby animal videos. I recommend those as a way to detach.

MARCUS: Little pandas.

WALTER: They`re really cute. They`re really cute. I want to build on the bigger question of what this does to turnout. And I think that`s the one thing we`re really grappling with, especially for folks who say, how is this going to affect down-ballot races? What does this mean for the senate? What does this mean for the house?

I think that the bigger challenge that we have right now is, we don`t know exactly if you`re turning off the television or you`re not going to watch the debate because you`re worried there`s going to be another hour and a half.

ALEXANDER: Is it possible we`re misreading this like Brexit? I believe that race was basically even going into the vote, right? This is six points.

TYLER: That`s what he`s counting on. He thinks there`s a Brexit vote out there. He thinks these people who show up to the rally is a Brexit vote, and they don`t really have a turnout mechanism. They don`t really have a get-out-the-vote mechanism.

ALEXANDER: What`s the next debate look like?

TYLER: Oh, he`s going to go all in. He has to. It`s all scorched earth from now. He wants to suppress Hillary Clinton`s vote, but he`s an imperfect messenger to do it.

WALTER: We`re finding that actual voters that he`s turning off the most, if we`ve seen these last couple of polls, independents and college-educated women. Those people vote.

ALEXANDER: On the issue of women, let me play this quick clip if I can. This is Donald Trump earlier talking about one of his accusers. And this is the way he described her. Take a listen.


DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN NOMINEE FOR PRESIDENT OF U.S.: Take a look. You take a look. Look at her. Look at her words. You tell me what you think. I don`t think so. I don`t think so.


MARCUS: Yeah. I don`t -- I don`t think so, either. I don`t think people are going to like it very much. We talked about -- so the implication is, what he has said before, she`s a dog -- you know, face of a dog, you know, Collins, look at that face, Carly Fiorina.

His implication is, I didn`t do it because she`s not attractive enough for me to do it. Not an actually very convincing argument and not a very good political argument. And on the debate, I think if he`s going to go hard, I think she`s going to go hard, also. So tune in.

ALEXANDER: You think she`s going to go hard also in this last debate, which if we contrast the last debate.

TYLER: I think she survives it.

MARCUS: We`ll see. But, you know, turn off the kitten videos just for 90 minutes.

WALTER: I don`t know that many people who want to endure this campaign that much longer. The interesting thing, here we are, we`ve had a terrible week for Donald Trump, but yet her favorable ratings still have not inched up at all. The last NBC/Wall Street Journal poll.

ALEXANDER: We say it`s all about Donald Trump this week, but it`s about Hillary Clinton because if you`re fed up with Donald Trump and he look across the eye, that`s my other option.

WALTER: That`s right.

ALEXANDER: That`s why I were still in this place.

WALTER: That`s exactly true.

TYLER: You saw Hillary Clinton`s negative unfavorable rating on its own, you would say, the race is over.

WALTER: Exactly.

TYLER: And then you look at Trump`s and it`s two points worse. It`s really amazing.

ALEXANDER: Rick, Amy, Ruth, nice to see you guys. We`ll be right back for the story you might have missed. Stay tuned.


ALEXANDER: Lastly tonight, in case you have missed Chuck, and we have, he`ll be back tomorrow after a busy week that included interviewing Vice President Biden this afternoon and moderating the North Carolina gubernatorial debate earlier this week, a quiet week for Chuck. Governor Pat McCrory is in a competitive race against the state`s democratic attorney general Roy Cooper.

And what once had been a dirty week in presidential politics of course, this match-up was anything but. There were no below-the-belt insults, no conspiracies. There were some fierce clashes, but they were substantiative, focusing on state issues like the economy, voting rights, the state`s controversial bathroom law all being discussed that night.

And there was a moment of unity as both candidates pledged to work together to help victims of hurricane Matthew. It was for a moment a pleasant reminder of what debates in this country can be -- civil. That`s all for us tonight. Chuck will be back tomorrow with more "MTP Daily." "With All Due Respect," John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, starts right now.