Return to Transcripts main page


New CNN/ORC Poll: Clinton Leads Trump By Five Points; Trump: I Have "Brilliantly" and Legally Used Tax Laws; Talking Taxes With Trump Supporters; New CNN/ORC Poll: 79% Of Trump Backers Say Paying Taxes Is "Civic Duty"; Swing States Polls Show Post-Debate Shift. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired October 3, 2016 - 20:00   ET


[20:00:12] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And good evening. Thanks for joining us.

If you're looking for a week that could decide the election, get ready. If you're still reeling from last week, get ready for more.

Our breaking new tonight, new CNN polling that shows just how much ground Donald Trump, who's speaking shortly tonight in Colorado, has actually lost since the debate a week ago. And that is only partially factoring Saturday's "New York Times" report that he might have taxes for the last 18 years after declaring nearly $1 billion in business losses back in 1995.

He's been talking about it today, Expected to talk about it again tonight. His surrogates have also been talking about Trump and his taxes calling him a genius.

Hillary Clinton certainly is talking about it as well, but using somewhat different terms. Trump also spoke out on veterans and suicide, that, too, has touched off some controversy. A champ LeBron James is weighing in on the race now.

New York's attorney general is taking action against the Trump Foundation. Mike Pence and Tim Kaine have been prepping for tomorrow's vice presidential debate.

With the next presidential face-off, which I'll be co-moderating, now just six days away.

Strong week, big night. CNN's Jason Carroll starts it all off for us.


JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Donald Trump trying to turn the tables on the tax issue.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My understanding of the tax code gave me a tremendous advantage over those who didn't have a clue about it, including many of my competitors who lost everything they had, never to be heard from again. Never -- they were never heard from again. CARROLL: Trump's $916 million loss on his 1995 returns detailed in

"The New York Times" means he could have avoided paying any federal income tax for nearly two decades.

Hillary Clinton seized on it today campaigning in Ohio.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: While millions of American families, including mine and yours, were working hard, paying our fair share, it seems he was contributing nothing to our nation.

CARROLL: Trump and his campaign not disputing the authenticity of the tax returns, instead, the GOP nominee says he took advantage of the laws to make his company stronger.

TRUMP: As a businessman and real estate developer, I have legally used the tax laws to my benefit, and to the benefit of my company, my investors and my employees.

I mean, honestly, I have brilliantly -- I have brilliantly used those laws. I have often said on the campaign trail that I have a fiduciary responsibility to pay no more tax than is legally required.

CARROLL: Trump also accusing Clinton of getting rich by selling favors and access.

TRUMP: While I made my money as a very successful private businessperson, following the law all the way, Hillary Clinton made her money as a corrupt public official breaking the law and putting her government office up for sale.

CARROLL: Trump's surrogates rushing to his defense over the weekend.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), TRUMP SUPPORTER: The genius of Donald Trump has been to make sure that he follows the law, which is exactly what he's done.

CARROLL: Amid the fallout over his tax returns, Trump today is facing new criticism after appearing to suggest that some veterans with PTSD lack strength.

TRUMP: When people come back from war and combat and they see things that maybe a lot of the folks in this room have seen many times over, and you're strong and you can handle it, but lot of people can't handle it.

CARROLL: The Trump campaign says the remark was taken out of context and insists Trump respects the service and sacrifice of military veterans.


COOPER: Jason Carroll joins now from the Trump event.

So, the New York attorney general today announced a notice of violation to Donald Trump's charitable foundation. What's the latest on that? CARROLL: Well, let's -- first of all, let me tell you (INAUDIBLE)

important. Donald Trump as you can see here has just now taken the podium, Anderson. But even before he did that, he was at the top of this arena filled with thousands of people, he was met by thunderous applause like you're hearing now. Hard to believe if you're looking at these people that he's facing any criticism.

Theatrics obviously very important to Donald Trump, but so are the facts. And the fact is that the state attorney general in New York basically ordered a cease and desist for his foundation to basically stop fund-raising because they didn't file the proper paperwork that charities need to do in the state. Basically going forward now, the foundation has 15 days to provide that proper paperwork, Anderson, or they could be looking at broad changes. And it's really ironic because as you know, Donald Trump was very critical of the Clinton foundation. Now, his foundation under scrutiny as well.

COOPER: All right. Jason Carroll, thanks very much.

More on the new polling from CNN/ORC and later from others in what appears to be movement from both candidates whether in battleground states or among key groups of voters that neither candidate can take lightly.

[20:05:04] The bottom line: CNN's Tom Foreman, a busy man tonight. He joins us now.

So, a lot of new polls out today -- run them down for us. What can you tell us?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In one sentence, Anderson, it was a great week for Hillary Clinton.

Look at this latest CNN/ORC number. Clinton is now at 47 percent, five ticks up from Trump here. She was two ticks behind him a month ago. He's down here at 42 percent. Johnson and Stein, 7 percent and 2 percent, accordingly if you're still looking for alternatives in this race.

What is making a difference here? She is succeeding with certain demographics out there in a big way. For example, look at what's happening with the male vote. She's at 40 percent. He's at 45 percent.

So, yes, he's still ahead with male voters, but he was a lot more ahead a month ago. She's closing that gap and, of course, with women over here still strong, 53 percent for her, only 40 percent for him.

Trump is being hurt by this tax issue. There's just no doubt about it. Almost three-quarters of the people we polled said he needs to release his tax returns and more than half of the people we asked said the fact he's not releasing it shows he does have something to hide.

And lastly, Trump said he was going to make a big surge out there for minority voters. He went to African-American churches and into the black community, saying he could win them over to his side. Not yet. Look at that -- 95 percent still going for Clinton in the African- American community. Only 5 percent for Trump, Anderson.

COOPER: The votes obviously are going to happen state by state on Election Day. Is there an indication how this might affect the electoral race?

FOREMAN: Yes, the electoral map is really what matters. Remember that, and this is our projection map from here at CNN.

Yes, there's always a lot more red on it but when you look at the blue states which have big populations and big electoral counts, if Hillary Clinton right now wins all of the blue states and all of those that are lightly tilted blue this way like Colorado out here, if she wins all of those states, that's it, she's won the election.

Donald Trump would have to win all of the red states, all of the states that are a little bit red, all of the yellow states, and he's going to have to tip one of those light blue states into his corner. It's not impossible, but that's the challenge in front of him right now. And he's got some work in front of him.

By the way, part of the thing that's making a difference here is the enthusiasm is changing. Hillary Clinton's enthusiasm gap has been really anemic. You saw that cheering a moment ago with Donald Trump. His supporters really like him. But hers are beginning to get behind her more. She's up to 50 percent now. He's at 56 percent.

But, Anderson, I do want to say there is one number here that has come up time and time and time again in some form that really aught to worry both parties. Look at this -- the unfavorable ratings. After everything we've been through, even though people are choosing candidates, still most people in this country maintain unfavorable opinions of both of these candidates and may have a hard time seeing either one take the oath in January -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Tom, thanks very much.

As you can see, Donald Trump just getting started there in Loveland, Colorado. We're going to be monitoring what he says. We're going to bring you any news he makes if and when he makes it, particularly if he talks about taxes, obviously the big story the last 24, 48 hour.

Let's bring in CNN senior political analyst, David Gergen. CNN political analyst, "USA Today" political columnist, Kirsten Powers, and Molly Ball, political writer for "The Atlantic."

Bad news for Donald Trump just the last couple days obviously. Anything he can do at this point to turn around? I mean, it's still a couple weeks to go.

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I mean, I think one of his biggest problems is obviously the tax story. So, the momentum is already sort of moving against him and I think most Americans probably don't begrudge people for using tax loopholes if you're a Warren Buffett, for example, who's come out and said I pay less than my secretary pays, that's wrong, we need to change the laws. So, Trump has started saying that. The problem is he got caught,

versus he came out and he released the information. And so, like in the poll showing --

COOPER: He did from the beginning always say, "I try to pay as little as possible".

POWERS: Right. But I don't think people quite understood the extent to how little he was paying.

COOPER: You actually see the dollars --

POWERS: Yes. Well, if he had said, if he had come out and said, I didn't pay any taxes and, you know, and really disclosed everything, I think it would be different than now it sort of feels like people are saying what else is there?

COOPER: Right.

Molly, I mean, his argument that, you know, he knows the tax codes, you know, he's been able to take advantage of what were legal loopholes, he's the one to fix it. Do you think people buy that?

MOLLY BALL, THE ATLANTIC: Well, I think Kirsten's right that it's worse as a post hoc explanation than it would have been if this was the explanation he was giving all along. Now, he has said -- I thought he gave a pretty good explanation today when he had several days to formulate the talking points. The problem was that he couldn't come up with that explanation on Saturday when this was first coming out and his campaign stumbled and flailed around and seemed to admit to several different unfavorable things.

But, you know, if he had been saying all along, folks, the real scandal is the tax code, and here's what I'm going to do, this might be more believable. Instead, it's obviously an explanation for something he didn't want to come out and for good reason, because it offends people's notion of basic fairness.

[20:10:04] COOPER: David, I mean, you worked for Gerald Ford who inherited the presidency from Nixon, who resigned in disgrace. Nixon released his tax returns while he was under audit. Do you think Donald Trump, does this now force Donald Trump's hand to try to release something or not?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I -- it certainly increased pressure on him and we'll hear about it in the next two debates, the vice presidential debate and the one you're going to be anchoring this next week. There's going to be a lot of pressure. I think he's going to resist it and just to ride it out.

But, Anderson, what we're seeing is I believe all the classic signs of a race that's starting to break and break decisively for one candidate. It does not mean the race is over. It's still fluid, who knows what WikiLeaks will actually come up with, out there threatening to come up with something explosive in the incoming hours. Who knows how these debates will go? But if you look at the overall signs, the polls, the national polls, the state polls, the sense of -- a lack of coherence among the people who were speaking for Trump for going off the rails. This genius quote which Hillary properly seized on, you know, what kind of genius loses $1 billion and wants to run for the presidency? Look how wonderful I am as a businessperson.

So, there is a lot here that is moving in one direction. If he's going to turn it around, he needs to do it very, very quickly.

COOPER: You know, Kirsten, you look at this new CNN poll and it's, I think it's nearly eight in ten Trump supporters in this new CNN poll say it's a civic duty to pay taxes. You would think that doesn't bode well, but that poll was actually taken before "The New York Times" --

POWERS: Right.

COOPER: -- published this latest $, story.

POWERS: Yes. I'm not sure, again, I'm not sure if you ask people if somebody is using loopholes that are legal, are you okay with that? I think a certain -- a large percentage of people would say that's okay.

It's just that Trump should have come out in the beginning and like Molly was saying and just said, you're not going to believe this. I paid no taxes. This is wrong. You know, I'm going to change this.

It's more when you won't release I think it becomes problematic for him. And so, again, it just really raises the question of what else is in there and to the point of you're such a great businessman, how did you lose all this money?

COOPER: Also, Molly, you know, last week was by most accounts not a great week for Donald Trump. I mean, there was constant attention on the former universe, a story which probably would have been a one-day story after what happened in the debate. Donald Trump kept reviving, kept talking about it, tweeting about it late in the morning on Friday morning and now we're starting another week with yet another story that is taking Donald Trump off from what he wants to talk about.

BALL: That's right. And there's a Groundhog Day quality to all of this, right? I mean, I was looking back at some of my stories from six months ago. It was the same, like, can you believe what Trump did, that he doubled down on it and keeps wading into these controversies?

In a sense, you know, that week or two-week-long period we had where the story was really about Hillary Clinton and where she was falling behind, that was the anomaly. It's Trump who has this pattern that we've seen over and over again of not being able to let things go, being knocked off message, and not being able to change the subject and doubling down on whatever it is that he's accused of.

GERGEN: Anderson, one other point I think should be made. It's not just about how much taxes he paid. It's also his claim that as a businessman during this period when he was losing all this money, he did good things for investors, good things for companies associated with him.

The same "New York Times" report that helped us understand his taxes in the mid '90s also pointed out that his investors they saw their stock go from $35 to 17 cents. His contractors in various casinos, you know, they got pennies back on the dollars they had been promised. Employees lost their jobs.

This was hardly something -- the only person who gained something out of this bankruptcy and everything was Donald Trump.

COOPER: A lot more to talk about in our extended coverage tonight, including Donald Trump's past criticisms of what other people pay or don't pay in taxes. He's had a lot to say of that in the past.

Later, his new allegations about the state of Hillary Clinton's marriage and the heartburn it's giving some Republicans.


[20:17:44] COOPER: Donald Trump is speaking tonight in Colorado. We're watching it closely to see if he talks about the tax issue.

He did earlier today, saying, quote, "I have brilliantly used those laws" meaning the tax code, laws that would have allowed him to reduce or entirely eliminate his federal income tax bill for a generation, 18 years. Whether he did or not, he's not saying. And whether he'll pay a political price for any of his tax choices or reap any benefits for speaking out certainly remains to be seen.

What does stand out, however, is just how vocal and oftentimes critical Donald Trump has actually been about what other people pay in taxes.

More on that from Randi Kaye.


TRUMP: I'm under a routine audit.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Donald Trump likes to talk about taxes. Not so much his own, but others.

Here's what he had to say in 2011 when asked about President Obama's plan to raise taxes on the wealthy.

TRUMP: Well, you know, I don't mind sacrificing for the country to be honest with you, but you do have a problem because half of the people don't pay any tax. He's talking about that. He's talking about people that are not also working, that are not contributing to the society. And it's a problem. But we have 50 percent, it just hit the 50 percent mark. Fifty percent of the people are paying no tax.

KAYE: And that's not all. Trump has weighed in on taxes many times on Twitter as well. Like in this 2012 tweet where he criticizes the president's tax returns. "Barack Obama who wants to raise all our taxes only pays 20.5 percent on $790,000 salary. Do as I say, not as I do."

Along the same theme, Trump tweeting, "Half of Americans don't pay income tax despite crippling government debt." And later that same year tweeting, "Facebook billionaire gives up his U.S. citizenship in order to save taxes. I guess $3.8 billion isn't enough."

And it doesn't stop there.

TRUMP: The problem we have right now, we have a society that sits back and says we don't have to do anything, and eventually the 50 percent cannot carry, and it's unfair to them, but cannot carry the other 50 percent.

KAYE: And again.

TRUMP: Most of these people are paying nothing now. They have nothing. And what are you going to do? So I believe in proper management, proper administration. I'd love everybody to pay because psychologically I think that's good.

KAYE: And again.

TRUMP: I know people that are making a tremendous amount of money and paying virtually no tax and I think it's unfair.

[20:20:02] KAYE: But while criticizing others for shirking their tax duty, he has boasted about his how works the system, himself.


TRUMP: It's none of your business. You'll see it when I release, but I fight very hard to pay as little tax as possible.

KAYE: And when accused by Hillary Clinton in last week's debate of not paying federal income taxes, Trump had this to say.

CLINTON: And they showed he didn't pay any federal income tax. So --

TRUMP: That makes me smart.

KAYE: And now, Twitter users weighing in with #lasttimeTrumppaidtaxes, including, "I got fined for not rewinding my VCR tapes from Blockbuster," "we still had dialup Internet."

Dems were doing this as they likely are again tonight. "Man, how I love an October surprise."

Perhaps the best saying, "Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." And with 35 days to go, everyone's waiting to see what stones have yet to be tossed.

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.


COOPER: Well, joining us now, CNN political commentators Maria Cardona, Van Jones and Paul Begala, all of them, am I right, Clinton supporters. Also CNN political commentators Kayleigh McEnany, Jeffrey Lord, they are Trump supporters. So is former lieutenant governor of South Carolina, Andre Bauer.

Kayleigh, does Donald Trump have any right to be criticizing other people, other Americans for not paying taxes when this "New York Times" report has revealed what it revealed?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, he did everything within the bounds of the law. I think that's really important to point out, because --

COOPER: So have the people he's been criticizing who haven't paid taxes.

MCENANY: Right. He's done everything within the bounds of the law. That's the point today.

He took out -- he wrote down $918 million in losses so did Hillary Clinton. She wrote down $700,000 in losses, in what we call net operating loss. She did the same thing that Donald Trump did and Donald Trump did everything within the bounds of the law and I'm pretty sure none of us at this table have gratuitously paid the IRS more than we had to.

COOPER: But the question is, is it hypocritical to for years be talking about other people not paying taxes legally, when in fact, he was doing the exact same thing?

MCENANY: Look, I mean, we can go back 20 years and find things that Hillary Clinton has said that are absolutely hypocritical. We can dig through people's past and find a lot.

So, no. I mean, is it hypocritical? Yes, he probably shouldn't be saying that and taking advantage of that but we can do the same with Hillary Clinton.

COOPER: Paul, hypocritical?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, of course, it is. We are all hypocrites at some -- at least if we have high standards we are, because nobody ever reaches those standards.

The problem he has politically is not only just the hypocrisy, but it's the sense that he has gamed the system to advantage himself. This is, I think -- well, there's two things at the core I think of Trump's appeal.

First, I'm a confident businessman. OK, I think certainly blows a hole below the waterline on that. If you lose $900 billion in a boom year while running a casino, hard to argue you're a business genius. The second thing is, he always said I'm going to stand up for the little guy. He always seemed an unlikely messenger, but good for him. He seemed to pull it off in the primaries.

I think this really hurts -- it is reminiscent of another New Yorker you may call, Leona Helmsley, who was a very wealthy real estate woman, and she didn't pay any taxes and said only the little people pay taxes. Now, unlike Trump -- no reason to believe Trump broke the law. He obviously did. You know who indicted her? Rudy Giuliani, one of the top Trump supporters.


COOPER: Does this, Jeffrey, does this put kind of a dent in the reputation of Donald Trump as a brilliant businessman if he's lost 900 --

JEFFREY LORD, TRUMP SUPPORTER: No, no. I'll tell you, there was a 1995 article in "The New York Times" that called him the comeback kid. And it was all about a big event in New York thrown by apparently every civic leader that was there including in the business world. Very admiring of his comeback, his financial comeback from this situation. I mean, there was the police commissioner --

COOPER: But to David Gergen's point earlier, shareholders, stock -- people who bought stock --

LORD: Right.

COOPER: That stock was reduced to, according to David Gergen, virtually nothing and a lot of vendors didn't get paid on the dollar.

LORD: Right, but he came back from it.

COOPER: He did, but the question is did the stockholders and vendors?

LORD: But this is capitalism, this is human life here. Everybody, everybody goes up and down and has the rainbow comes and goes -- if I may use a phrase.

And I honestly don't think -- I was stopped in the grocery store Sunday by a woman who'd seen this story. She was infuriated. She said my husband and I, middle class people, she said we have to do these kind of things with our investments all the time. She says you have to be smart about this.

She says I think what he did was the right thing. Good for him.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, you know, she might be lonely at church this weekend because I think that this is the big fear. We've now gotten down to it.

I think there's a big fear that somehow we live in a country where there's some people who are so wealthy that no matter what they do, they can't lose. They literally just can't lose. And then the rest of us, no matter what we do, it seems like we just can't win. And I think he now is becoming the poster boy for that.

And I think for me, the other part of it beyond the tax stuff, when you pull the story back, it looks like his comeback was stepping on the economic corpses of a lot of people who didn't come back and who can't come back. [20:25:07] And so, you got two problems now.

One is, the patriotism takes a little bit of a ding. The cares about people like you takes a little bit of a ding. But also, the fear that we live in a rigged society, now he is the poster boy of that. I think that's tough for you guys.

LORD: But you --


ANDRE BAUER, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I would say a couple things. In '95 over a million people declared a loss as well. And had a write-down.

Second thing, the very newspaper that wrote this story, while they had over $30 million in profit last year, they got a tax rebate of $3.5 million. If that's not hypocrisy, they wrote the story and they got a check back from the taxpayers.

Also, the newspaper industry in general gets over $1 billion every year in tax breaks, over $1 billion a year.

Donald Trump created 22,000-plus jobs this year. When you use the multiplier most economists use, that's 65,000 jobs paid over, 9.6 was annual revenue, and when you look at these numbers, to say he's a bad businessman because he capitalized on a system that was set up by the United States Congress -- look, I'm a real estate developer. Some years aren't good. Some years you put all your losses in that year and go ahead and write down bad properties. That's part --

COOPER: Maria, was he a smart businessman for using the law?

MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, personally, Anderson, I like businessmen who don't lose $1 billion. I hate to tell you.


CARDONA: But I do think that this points to not just the hypocrisy of it all when he is, you know, dinging everybody else for not paying taxes and then clearly we see that he not only hasn't paid any taxes, declared almost $1 billion loss, and by the way, Hillary Clinton might have, too, but guess at, she pays over 33 percent in her tax rate.

And now we see that for the next 20 years, after that, who knows for how long he is going to pay zero taxes. He has stiffed middle class and working class people. He has stiffed his stockholders. And sure, he came back, but did $ he do anything, did he make any effort to pay everybody back? Absolutely not.

COOPER: All right. There's much more ahead. We'll have more with our panelists.

Up next, the subject of infidelity is raised again. This time Donald Trump is accusing Hillary Clinton of not being loyal to her husband. More on that ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:31:06] COOPER: A lot of news tonight. The breaking news, Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by 5 points in a new CNN/ORC poll. The poll was taken after the first debate but mostly before a "New York Times" report revealed Mr. Trump may have avoided paying federal taxes for close to two decades. Trump's also coming under fire for what he said over the weekend at a rally in Pennsylvania about his opponent. Listen.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hillary Clinton's only loyalty is to her financial contributors and to herself. I don't even think she's loyal to Bill. If you want to know the truth. And really, folks, really, why should she be, right?


COOPER: Oh back with me, is Trump supporter Jeffrey Lord, and joining us, Republican strategist Ana Navarro, who is certainly not a Trump fan.

Jeff, given Donald Trump's need to reach out to undecided women voters, is this a line of attack that makes sense? And clearly this seemed to be an ad lib here.

LORD: Yeah, I think it was an ad lib. I think this will sink, I mean, with all the other news that's going on, I think this will sink, you know, immediately.

COOPER: Are you glad it will sink? I mean do you think it's a line the attack, you should.

LORD: Yes. Deep six it. What I think is going to be sticking to, I mean, the tax issue I really do think is going to backfire on all the people that think this is a big deal. I mean, Rush Limbaugh was talking -- it backfires on two fronts. The actual tax issue, itself. Hillary Clinton, of course, used the same accounting device ...


COOPER: On why given, I mean for a week now, he's been floating, you know, Hillary Clinton marriage stories. This was the first time he actually was sort of suggesting this version of it.

LORD: Right. Here, to me, the legit issue here with the marriage issue is her treatment of these various women. Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey. Kathleen Willey I heard somewhere today is willing to go out on the campaign trail for him. She's so angry at the treatment.

COOPER: Let me bring in Ana. Ana, I mean a, what do you make of Donald Trump bringing this up? And this is the first time he's actually said this publicly and clearly an ad lib. ANA NAVARRO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: You know, we got what, 35 days and 3 hours left, but who's counting? You know, what I can tell you based on the last week that Donald Trump has become unhinged, completely unglued and plans to take us way down the drain into the gutter in the next month and a week. I think it is shameful. I think it is disgusting. And I think his surrogates instead of adding fuel to the fire, finding ways of defending these allegations and these charges and these totally made up things he's coming up with, need to put a stop to it.

When you see somebody you love, when you see somebody you care for driving erratically, driving drunk, you take the keys away. You don't let that person continue to drive erratically, drive right into a brick wall. Donald Trump is driving smack into a big, beautiful brick wall, and it is driving the entire Republican Party down. People must say it is crazy. I am begging friends, Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani who I know to stop the insanity, stop finding ways of pitching the stories against Alicia Machado.

And let me just say something, obvious probably to most Americans but apparently not to Trump or his supporters. Look, man, if you dodged the draft four times, you really should not wage attacks against political, against prisoners of war or against people who served in the war. You shouldn't call them not strong enough.

If you had your share of well-publicized infidelities, you really shouldn't be attacking other people about their marriage challenges. If you look like you haven't seen the inside of a gym in at least three years, maybe just maybe you should restrain yourself from calling a beauty queen fat and miss piggy.

COOPER: All right.

NAVARRO: I mean, I think that's just the obvious.

COOPER: Is -- you know, we had this discussion I think it was on Friday with you, Ana, about presidential behavior and tweeting with that presidential behavior. Is bringing up, you know, making this allegation completely unfounded without offering any evidence about your opponent, is that presidential?

[20:35:05] LORD: In American history, yes. It was done by Andrew Jackson, he didn't like it either, and they called his wife -- I can't stay what say what say called his wife on air. I mean this kind of thing -- if there is a history of this.

COOPER: Right.

LORD: But Anderson, I thought ...

COOPER: Those were 1800s.

LORD: ... after our conversation, I thought a lot object this. I do think that there's been a change in your seen is presidential. And I think if you're going to pinpoint it somewhere, it began when Richard Nixon appeared on "Laugh In" in 1968 all the way through Bill Clinton playing on Arsenal Hall with Paul Begala sunglasses as I understand the tale. There's no way in the world Dwight D. Eisenhower would have done something like that. Today President Obama goes on and jives with Jimmy Fallon and nobody thinks anything ...

COOPER: You think making allegations like that, I mean that's in a different category than ...

LORD: I'm just saying that the standard now has dropped so dramatically that almost anything goes.

COOPER: Ana, is that true for ...

NAVARRO: I totally disagree.

COOPER: ... president for United States and anything goes?

NAVARRO: No, absolutely not. It is the highest office in the land. It is sitting in the Oval Office. It is the responsibility of representing every single American. It is the person who's going to embrace this country and have us move forward not if but when tragedy strikes the United States.

It is the person who is the commander in chief. It is the person who represents us when making bilateral treaties and sitting across the table from our enemies and allies. It is the person who needs to be taken seriously by the entire world, and if you think a person on a public stage mocking Hillary Clinton when she had pneumonia, if you think a person mocking a reporter with a disability qualifies as presidential behavior and status quo that we should now all accept? You frankly see the presidency very differently than I do.

COOPER: All right. We got to leave it there. Ana Navarro, Jeffrey Lord, thank you.

Up ahead, are Donald Trump supporters OK with the fact that he avoided paying income taxes for 18 years while they were writing checks to Uncle Sam? What some of them told our Gary Tuchman, ahead.


[20:40:55] COOPER: Donald Trump is campaigning in Colorado tonight in the wake of the "New York Times" report that he might have avoided paying income taxes for the last 18 years, completely legally. Here's what he said a short time ago.


TRUMP: The unfairness of the tax laws is unbelievable. If something that I've been talking about for a long time. You've heard me talking about it. Despite being a very big beneficiary, I must admit. I am. I am, I'm a big beneficiary. But you're more important than my being a beneficiary, so we're going to straighten it out and make it fair for everybody.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: So, what did Donald Trump supporters have to say about Trump's tax strategies? Gary Tuchman got some answers today at another rally in Colorado.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: These are the most loyal of Donald Trump's supporters.

Raise your hand if you don't pay any federal income tax. Don't pay any, zero.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's me. Can I smarter (ph) ...


TUCHMAN: This woman right here?


TUCHMAN: So you don't pay federal income tax?


TUCHMAN: And how many of you do pay federal income tax?

All indications are an overwhelming majority of people in this line write checks to Uncle Sam. So what does it mean to them if Donald Trump doesn't?

Do you pay federal income taxes?


TUCHMAN: So if Donald Trump is a genius for not paying federal income taxes, with all due respect, what does that make you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I guess not that smart.

TUCHMAN: More than 100 people who don't much like Trump showed up outside this Pueblo, Colorado, rally, trying to highlight his tax issues, but there are a lot of Trump supporters here who pay federal taxes who genuinely like that Donald Trump may not.

RICHARD MANCHA, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Yeah I wish I could -- I had the smarts just to do the same thing.

TUCHMAN: So you don't think you're as smart as he is?

MANCHA: Probably not. I'm not going to lie.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm taxpayer and I need to learn how to be a genius.

TUCHMAN: And what about funding the military, highways, bridges, airports? Things Trump often talks about. Things that are paid for with federal income taxes.

Do you think he has a moral responsibility to pay federal income tax? Not a legal responsibility but a moral responsibility?

MIGUEL ELIAS, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Not in this particular situation, no, because he could use that money to go ahead and put back into communities, he could use that money to go ahead and refuel the economy.

TUCHMAN: But if the 1995 tax return excerpts are accurate, it quantifies that Trump has lost a great deal of that money. Nearly $1 billion on that particular return.

Does that trouble you about his acumen as a businessperson?

DAN GRAY, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I understand and I -- it does to a point.

TUCHMAN: However, this retired firefighter say it's a minor problem and Trump is his man, but is it time now for some Trump transparency?

Would you like to see him release his tax returns?


TUCHMAN: Before the election?

CART: Before the election, it doesn't matter to me.

TUCHMAN: Why doesn't it matter? Don't you want to be reassured that he's telling the truth about what his claims are?

CART: Because I know he's telling the truth.

TUCHMAN: In this room, Trump's word on his taxes is largely taken as gospel.

ERNEST DEGRAW, TRUMP SUPPORTER: He's either paid them or he's avoided them through legal means and there isn't a person in this room who wouldn't do the same thing if they could.


COOPER: Gary, as we mentioned, Trump's not shying away from addressing the tax issue at the rallies.

TUCHMAN: That's right, Anderson. Near the beginning of this rally here, he talked about something that wasn't necessarily surprising but was still notable. He said that I know how to use the tax code. But then he said, however, I am working for you now, I am not working for Trump. And that brought down the crowd. They loved hearing that inside the hall here.

But outside the hall, where the protesters where, they did not believed that for a second. What matters, though, are the people in the middle. The people who are left who aren't quite sure if they're voting for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump or an independent candidate. And if they believe statements like that are sincere and honest. Anderson?

COOPER: All right. Gary, appreciate your reporting.

Today, more breaking news, another piece of the backdrop in Colorado. New Monmouth University poll shows Hillary Clinton with an 11-point lead over Trump among likely Colorado voters, 49 percent versus 38 percent. Gary Johnson, Jill Stein in the single digits.

A lot to discuss. Back with the panel.

Jeff, I think Gary raised a good point which is for people who are undecided or may be on the fence, those people in the room certainly diehard Trump supporters say, look, I don't really care, I think it shows he's a genius. All the things we've been hearing ...

LORD: Right.

[20:45:08] COOPER: ... from the surrogates. In this latest -- I think 79 percent of Trump supporters in one poll say paying taxes is a person's civic duty. This was before even this story broke. So do you think this story has resonance among people who are undecided or on the fence?

LORD: I really do think that the intended effect of this story for the "New York Times," by the way, you know, the "New York Times" wouldn't publish the east, and Rush Limbaugh pointed this out today, wouldn't publish those leaked and hacked e-mails from East Anglia about climate science. They refuse td to publish them because it was illegal, but yet it's OK to publish Donald Trump's tax returns which brings up the question of media agenda.

But I really do think that this is going to backfire here, because so many people, I just got an e-mail right now from a private music teacher whom I know talking all about this and she says your losses are proportionate to your income and she says of course he's doing this. And her let concluding sentence is, I think he's a pretty smart businessman. I really think that this can backfire.

CARDONA: This is.

LORD: So put your money where your mouth is.

BEGALA: I advise a pro ...

LORD: I don't have $1 billion.

BEGALA: I don't but I have several million. Over $100 million. We're putting money behind an ad which we've already made, since the "New York Times" ran that. You make a good point, by the way, we shouldn't be just like lively ignoring that this may well have been a crime. As was the crime when the Democrats were hacked. I did not hear you call attention to the media for using ...

LORD: I'm not for hacking.

BEGALA: But setting that aside, our pac already has an ad ... COOPER: Because you actually believe it does resonate?

BEGALA: Yes, we know it works because even Trump supporters think he should release taxes. Nobody likes being called stupid. We filmed a woman in Marion, Ohio, who said when he says that it makes him smart that he doesn't pay, it makes me think that he thinks I'm stupid. And she says I don't want a president who brags about getting out and paying taxes. I want a president who's proud of our country and was in the up. And this is going to work. I mean, I could be wrong. But I'm not just spinning here.

JONES: What's so interesting, though, you see those Trump supporters and there's a way that when you have a hero, when you have somebody who's reaching out to you as he's been doing and trying to give you some hope, you project a lot onto him and you forgive a lot.

So I think some of these Trump voters are going to be where Jeff is. That I think you have a lot of people who are very uncomfortable with this and what to say to themselves, you know what, there's just something unseemly, it's hard to feel great about the braggadocios stuff when it goes to the ...

COOPER: We got to take a quick break. Want to hear from more of our panelists.

When we come back, we'll also talk more about how big of a speed bump Donald Trump's taxes may be for his supporters.

Plus, how does the Trump campaign square a nearly billion-dollar reported loss with his image as a billion businessmen? Details ahead.


[20:51:28] COOPER: We're talking taxes, specifically Donald Trump's, and how he "New York Times" reports the hid in not have paid any federal income taxes for up to 18 years could affect the race. New polling tonight show Trump has lost ground since the debate one week ago. Nationwide and some key battle ground states.

Back with the panel. Kayleigh, whether you think it's fair or not that he "New York Times" published this, these documents that were sent to them anonymously, whether you think, you know, it's legit that he wasn't paying taxes or wasn't paying taxes or the business loss, does it concern you that this close to the election, valuable days are being eaten up by his surrogates having to respond to questions about his taxes, things which obviously there's probably a lot of other things they prefer to be dealing with.

MCENANY: Sure, well, I always think it's smarter to switch to the offense and not to explain things, but on a day like today, where the story did come out, I do think it was important for Donald Trump to give an explanation, to play defense a little before moving to offense. And I also think it's really important we step back and ask why this tax write-off exists to begin with. It's not as if it's this gift given to people who, you know, are wealthy. What it does, it's supposed to incentivize you to invest and to create jobs and add to the economy. And in the event you get losses, it's to further to incentivize you to continue investing and putting your money out and not to withdraw from the economy entirely.

COOPER: But it was -- I mean first of all, it's a law I think that's no longer in effect, because ...


COOPER: ... it actually allowed somebody to take, I mean he didn't necessarily that may not have been all his money. He may have only put $1 million into whatever the business was. He might have gotten a loan for the vast majority of it. But under the tax law at the time, he could have taken the entire loss, like even though he didn't put in all the money.

MCENANY: That's absolutely true.

COOPER: But we don't have details.

MCENANY: That's absolutely true, but to Jeff's point, that story, the 1995 story in the "New York Times", calling Trump the comeback kid, it notes that Donald Trump actually was $1 billion in the red personally. So he was in a perilous place and came back from that which is great, and just quickly if the "New York Times" wants to remedy the agenda that Jeff spoke about, perhaps they should look at Hillary Clinton's taxes. She's written off nearly $13,000 in computer and computer- related expenses. There real questions there for private server or wasn't included because if there was that would be an illegal tax write off. So I encourage them now turn their glares to the other candidate in fact.

LORD: What does really goes to, and where I think the political strength is in this argument, is the tax code. So many people out there don't like the IRS, they can't stand the IRS. The IRS commissioner is on the verge of being impeached. People feel that ...

COOPER: Right, but our guest l earlier were pointing out, wouldn't it have been better for Donald Trump to have broken this awhile ago and broken it as, you know, what it was an unfair tax code ...

LORD: Right.

COOPER: ... I took full advantage of it, but I'm going to fix it for you.

LORD: Anderson, that is -- I grant you the conventional political wisdom in this town, without doubt. I really -- I've said for months, you shouldn't release any of it, because I think the whole thing is a game and a scam here to get people to do this. People who are outsiders again as Rush Limbaugh pointed out today, who've never been elected to public office, this is a game to get them.

COOPER: Maria, is there any chance? Do you think Donald Trump actually going to release tax returns now, at this point? CARDONA: No, absolutely not. Especially not after this, and the fact that he's going to defend something that is indefensible. And look, I would say a couple of things. The story actually has legs, and what is more damning than the fact that he probably didn't pay any taxes and that today he was talking about how the military is weak and needs to grow? Well, guess what, Donald? You know what would help grow the military? If you would pay your damned taxes.

But more importantly, to his argument that he is a brilliant businessman, because that is what he s put forth, that would make him qualify to be president of the United States and to carry our economy, to -- until we get sick of winning, right?

[20:55:01] There has been an analysis by financial experts who say that his excuse that financial it's like fiduciary responsibility is what took him to claim that loss is laughable. Because that you use when you are looking for other peoples, you are looking after the people's wealth. This was his own wealth. So, that was not fiduciary responsibility. That was personal greed.

And in addition to that, there's a lot of other financial experts who say, you know what? If he had put the money 30 years ago into an index fund, he would be twice as wealthy as he is today. Brilliant businessman, I don't think so.

COOPER: Donald Trump is wrapping up his comments there in Colorado. Andre, why not just release now his tax returns, or release basic information, financial ...

BAUER: Because it will be distorted, just like the last two. And look, almost every state in the country, for a couple thousand jobs, gives unbelievable tax credits, all kinds of incentives. And to say he doesn't pay taxes is absolutely wrong. He pays property tax, he pays FICA, he pays sales tax, he pays hundreds of millions every year in tax, and so he does ...

CARDONA: How do we know?

BAUER: Well because by law, you have to.

CARDONA: Have you seen his tax returns?

BAUER: You don't have to file tax returns ...

COOPER: But he's the only candidate ...

BAUER: ... to show you pay property taxes or they take your property.


COOPER: And we have not -- he's the only person has not rereleased his tax returns since Nixon


LORD: But that means that everyone from Washington to LBJ didn't ... BAUER: Didn't release their taxes. And here's a bigger question. How does somebody that only give speeches write off $700,000 in losses. She's not producing any jobs. She's not creating any income for other people, except for maybe a few lawyers. So how did she write down $700,000 when her whole income is based on giving speeches?

CARDONA: She paid 34 percent in taxes.

COOPER: And we're going do and we know that because she has released her taxes.

CARDONA: Thank you.

BEGALA: And for 40 years.

COOPER: All right, much more ahead, "360" continues next hour, including more breaking news, new polling tonight shows Hillary Clinton regaining some traction in several battleground states. Donald Trump has expanded his lead in a key swing state. We'll break it down for you.