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THE SITUATION ROOM
Saturday Night Live Mocks Clinton-Trump Debate; North Korea May Be Plotting October Surprise; Trump: 'I Have Brilliantly Used' Tax Laws; CNN Polls: Clinton Five Points Ahead of Trump; Clinton: Trump 'Contributing Nothing to Our Nation'; Clinton Leads Trump in New CNN/ORC Poll. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired October 3, 2016 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BELL: -- to get hold of the five men who held Kim Kardashian here last night.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN: Melissa Bell, thanks very much.
[17:00:05] That is it for "THE LEAD." I'm Jim Sciutto, in for Jake Tapper. I turn you over now to Brianna Keilar. She is in for Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Jim.
Happening now, breaking news. Poll position. Hillary Clinton now has a five-point lead over Donald Trump in our exclusive new CNN/ORC poll just released. She's also pulling ahead in some critical battleground states following their first debate. How will tomorrow's vice- presidential debate impact the race?
Cease and desist. New York's attorney general orders the Trump Foundation to stop fundraising, because it hasn't filed properly with the state. And the campaign is already on the defensive, following a report that Trump may not have paid taxes for as long as 18 years, following a nearly $1 billion loss. Is Trump as successful a businessman as he claims?
"Can't handle it." Donald Trump's campaign is forced to defend a new controversial remark in which the GOP candidate seems to suggest that military suicide happens to service members who can't take the posttraumatic stress of war. One veteran calls Trump's comments sickening. Trump's surrogates say it's being taken out of context. What did Trump really mean?
And Un-provoked. There's new information that North Korea could launch more missiles or even test another nuclear weapon as the U.S. election nears. Tensions with the country are already high after Kim Jong-un ordered a series of provocative moves. Is the North Korean dictator trying to strong-arm the next American president?
Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Brianna Keilar. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news. KEILAR: And we are following breaking political news after a landmark
debate and just five weeks before election day. Hillary Clinton is up, Donald Trump is down in our new CNN/ORC nationwide poll. Clinton now five points ahead of Trump. She's enjoying leads in some battleground states that potentially could decide the election.
These new numbers coming in the wake of controversies that have the Trump campaign doing damage control. The Trump Foundation is at the center of the latest uproar. It's just been ordered by New York to halt immediately all fundraising efforts because it hasn't filed the proper paperwork.
And tonight, growing concern that North Korea may be plotting a so- called "October surprise" in conjunction with the upcoming U.S. presidential election. Experts are warning the Kim Jong-un regime may step up missile launches and nuclear weapons testing to flex military muscle and possibly try to strong-arm the winner of the November election.
We are covering all of that and more this hour with our guests, including a key Donald Trump supporter, Republican Congressman Chris Collins. Our correspondents and our expert analysts are also standing by, and we begin with the Trump campaign.
CNN political reporter Sara Murray is in Pueblo, Colorado, where Trump is holding a rally this hour.
And Sara, Donald Trump's controversies are just piling up.
SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's true, and the latest one has been about his taxes. And Donald Trump came out here in Pueblo just a few minutes and launched into a vigorous defense of his financial practices. He says that the tax code is unfair, but he said he's used it brilliantly over the course of his career.
And it's interesting: if he comes out and says he's no longer fighting for his own business interests, that he's fighting for the American public, it is those business interests, those personal finances, that are causing him headaches tonight on the campaign trail.
MURRAY: Donald Trump stumbling from an underwhelming debate performance, straight into a firestorm over his finances.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: 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. In other words, Trump was taking from America with both hands and leaving the rest of us with the Bill.
MURRAY: Today Hillary Clinton is seizing on a "New York Times" report that reveals a portion of Trump's 1995 tax returns, showing the billionaire business declared a $916 million loss, a loss for large, it could have allowed him to avoid paying federal income taxes for nearly two decades. Trump defended himself on Twitter over the weekend, saying, "I know
our complex tax laws better than anyone who has ever run for president and am the only one who can fix them."
And his allies applauded his tax move.
RUDY GIULIANI (R), FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: The man's a genius. He knows how to operate the tax code for the benefit of the people he's serving.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), TRUMP TRANSITION TEAM: There is no one who has shown more genius in their way to maneuver around the tax code, as he rightfully used the laws to do that.
MURRAY: But today Trump is facing a new wave of scrutiny over his charitable foundation. The New York attorney general has ordered the Trump Foundation to halt its fundraising, amid reports it failed to participate in routine audits required by state law.
While Trump's campaign questioned the attorney general's political motives, they said the foundation will cooperate with the investigation.
As "Saturday Night Live" delights in Trump's tumultuous stretch.
KATE MCKINNON, CAST MEMBER, NBC'S "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE" (AS HILLARY CLINTON): He hasn't released his tax returns, which means he's either not that rich...
ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR (AS DONALD TRUMP): Wrong.
MCKINNON: ... not that charitable...
MCKINNON: Or he's never paid taxes in his life.
MURRAY: Trump is aiming to move beyond the personal and fact-free attacks he lobbed this weekend.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I don't even think she's loyal to Bill, if you want to know the truth.
MURRAY: And is launching more policy-rooted criticisms.
TRUMP: Hillary Clinton's only experience in cybersecurity involves her criminal scheme to violate federal law, engineering a massive cover-up and putting the entire nation in harm's way.
MURRAY: But even as he strived to get back on track, Trump is touching another nerve today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) MURRAY: Drawing a sharp rebuke on social media after appearing to suggest that veterans who commit suicide aren't strong enough to handle the stress of war.
TRUMP: When you talk about the mental health problems 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 a lot of people can't handle it.
MURRAY: Now, retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, who is, of course, a close Trump advisor, set out to clarify what Donald Trump meant, saying he was trying to highlight the challenges veterans face. And General Flynn also went after the media, saying they took Mr. Trump's words out of context -- out of context in order to feed voters and veterans. So the Trump campaign clearly believes that, at least on the veterans' front, this is a trumped-up controversy -- Brianna.
KEILAR: All right. Sara Murray for us in Colorado, thank you.
Well, Donald Trump's troubles appear to be reflected in our exclusive new CNN/ORC poll. This shows Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by five points nationally, 47 to 42 percent. You have Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson coming in at 7 percent and then Green Party candidate Jill Stein at just 2 percent.
We have CNN Politics executive editor Mark Preston. He has more for this -- of this for us. Dig into these numbers.
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Well, you know what, Brianna, since last week's debate, we have seen Hillary Clinton gaining ground with groups that she has been struggling with, including independents and non-college white voters.
Let's take a look at these numbers again. Here are the new CNN/ORC polls numbers. As you said, Hillary Clinton at 47 percent, Donald Trump at 42 percent, Gary Johnson at 7 percent, Jill Stein at 2 percent.
Now, Clinton has gained 4 points in this national poll since September, while Trump has lost three points in this four-way horse race. That's a 7-point swing.
Now, let's take a look at this gender breakdown. We often talk about women voters and men voters. In this presidential race, Hillary Clinton has a 13-point advantage over Trump with women voters, while Donald maintains a 5-point lead with men. But get this: Clinton made enormous gains with male voters in the past month by closing the gap by 17 points.
And as we talked about race and Donald Trump reaching out to the African-American community, black voters still favoring Hillary Clinton by 90 points, if you can believe that, Brianna.
KEILAR: I think he's still up, though, when we look at that number, Mark. I think he was even lower in some polls. Thank you so much, Mark Preston.
Let's get more now on all of this with Republican Congressman Chris Collins in New York. He was the first member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump.
Congressman, thank you so much for being with us. I want to -- I want to...
REP. CHRIS COLLINS (R), NEW YORK: It's good to be with you, Brianna.
KEILAR: It's great to have you. And I want to ask you about taxes. Your constituents, obviously hard-working people there in your district. What do you say to them in light of this "New York Times" reporting that Donald Trump may have been paying -- that they may have been paying more taxes than Donald Trump?
COLLINS: Well, I think to begin with, Brianna, the public at this point doesn't care about Donald Trump's taxes any more than they care about Bill Clinton's affairs. I think what you're seeing in...
KEILAR: Can I stop you there, though, Congressman? Because polls actually reveal that they do. In fact, an overwhelming majority of people say that they believe candidates should release their tax returns. A majority believe that Donald Trump is hiding something by not doing it.
COLLINS: Well, I mean, we can agree to disagree. But what I will tell you.
KEILAR: Well, what are you disagreeing with? Because we have poll numbers out that show that.
COLLINS: ... Donald Trump, you, me and Barack Obama pay the -- what I'm saying is all of us -- you, me, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, President Obama, Mitt Romney, and Warren Buffett -- all paid the minimum amount we are required to pay.
I don't know anyone that checks a box and sends more to the federal government that they're supposed to.
KEILAR: I think Hillary Clinton actually -- I think Hillary Clinton actually does. And I know that I imagine you would say that may not be smart business, that perhaps she could take more deductions.
[17:10:01] But when you're talking about someone there at, say, Topps, your local grocery store there, the assistant manager at one of the branches. I mean, do you think it's -- would you say to them that it's right that they have paid more in taxes than Donald Trump?
COLLINS: Well, I think there's a good chance an assistant manager at a supermarket is not paying federal taxes. But putting that aside, Donald Trump pays the minimum he's supposed to pay. All of us do that. The tax code is very complicated. And so again, I don't think it matters. You do. But I also think what really does matter is jobs, the economy, immigration, security. Who's going to stand up to Vladimir Putin?
And the other issues which Hillary Clinton continues to not address, as she's been very adroit at setting little traps, personality traps for Mr. Trump. I give her credit for that. But it's because she doesn't have a positive message to deliver to America.
So the tax issue, I just remind everyone, all of us pay the minimum we're required to pay in a very complicated tax code, and we need to fix it.
KEILAR: He has not been forthcoming about his tax returns. And you say that you don't think people care. You say I think people care. It's not that I think people care. It's that the polls show people do care. We have our new CNN/ORC poll. This was taken before that "New York Times" report, where they released the 1995 state return. And this shows us some pretty -- I mean, you can't argue with it. Seventy-three percent of voters say Donald Trump should release his tax returns. Fifty-seven percent think he hasn't released his tax return, because he's hiding something.
COLLIN: Well, again, you -- well, he's not hiding something, but again, that's up to him to decide what he's going to do. And over the next five weeks.
I'm saying when people go to vote, they're voting for change, because this country has been going in the wrong direction for eight years. And the only one standing up for change is Donald Trump.
Or they're going to have to accept status quo, which is Hillary Clinton, an economy that is not moving, someone who can't be trusted, who has put our national security at risk and doesn't, frankly, have solutions for much of anything.
So while she will keep harping at this, I don't believe the voters, when they go to vote on November 8, that's going to be their deciding point. There's a lot of things significantly more important than this. That's what we're going to focus on in the next five weeks.
KEILAR: You say -- you say he's not hiding something. So why doesn't he just release his tax returns, then, if he's not hiding something? Especially if he's saying that, you know, he was smart with the way he paid his taxes. You have Rudy Giuliani.
COLLINS: Well, that's -- that's a decision...
KEILAR: You have Chris Christie saying he is genius for doing it. But you said he's not hiding something. So how do you know -- how do you know he's not hiding something, if you haven't seen it?
COLLINS: Well, I don't. I can't say what he's doing or not, but I've often -- I've said from day one he shouldn't release his taxes and give confidential business information to his competitor, which is on his tax return. And those who say...
KEILAR: But these are -- to be clear, these are -- this isn't for the Trump Organization. This is his personal tax return, which is a different thing, Congressman.
COLLINS: Sure. And the -- the K-1 income from each of his enterprises is shown on his personal tax return. Let me tell you what's not on his tax return.
KEILAR: Mitt Romney -- Mitt Romney released it, and he was somewhat of a business experience with -- why not? Why not do that?
COLLINS: Sure. That was a decision he made. Donald Trump's made a different decision. I support his decision, because you should not give confidential information to your competitors.
But that's a decision Donald Trump has made, and we're just going to continue to focus on the issues. And if people want to harp on tax returns, we're going to win this election, because they care about securing our borders, creating jobs and asking who's going to stand up to Vladimir Putin and North Korea.
KEILAR: OK, yes.
COLLINS: But certainly not Hillary Clinton.
KEILAR: And you -- you said it's confidential information. It is, because he keeps it confidential. So just to be clear, he has the choice to release this.
He just was...
COLLINS: And he should -- and he should not.
KEILAR: In response to this "New York Times" report, he just addressed this. Clearly, this is something he's concerned about. And he said that the conditions he faced in the early '90s in real estate were almost as bad as the Great Depression of 1929, far worse than the Great Recession of 2008.
But we look at that, that's not actually true. I mean, real-estate investments were actually on an upswing then. So what is he talking about?
COLLINS: Well, obviously, if he took, and it appears that he does, that large of a deduction, he had substantial losses that created that. And according to the tax code, you carry those losses forward.
KEILAR: But I'm asking you -- I'm asking you why he's saying that business was bad when it just seems like business -- it wasn't actually bad. He just did poorly in business that year. In fact, his losses account for, I believe, 2 percent of the country's losses filed through that sort of loophole or that part of the tax law. Two percent on his own.
[07:15:04] COLLINS: Well, I'll go back -- I go back and say who cares? What they care about is who's going to create jobs, stand up to Vladimir Putin...
KEILAR: Well, you don't care if someone is saying -- you don't care is someone is saying, in 1985, the economy was in -- basically in recession when it was not, and that it was worse than the Great Recession when it was not?
COLLINS: Well, every market is different. Atlantic City is different than others, so...
KEILAR: No, I'm actually telling you. This was a time when casino licenses were limited. It was actually very lucrative. And it seems, you know, some economic experts have looked at this, and they've said this was an issue of Donald Trump doing poorly at a time that did not reflect what would have been a downturn for him personally.
COLLINS: Well, even if that's the case, who cares? That was 21 -- 21 years ago. Who cares?
What matters today is what we're going to do to stand up to Vladimir Putin, create jobs and secure our borders. That was 21 years ago. Who cares? Other than the liberal press and Hillary Clinton, who don't have a positive message to deliver to America. They're trying to skate into the finish line on personality attacks.
Let them do it. I don't think it's going to carry the day, and Donald Trump's going to be our next president.
KEILAR: Who cares? Seventy-three percent of voters say they care about him releasing his tax returns. But we have more to talk about, Congressman Chris Collins. We'll be back with you after a quick break.
KEILAR: And we're back now with Republican Congressman and Donald Trump supporter Chris Collins of New York. We're also following breaking news.
We have our exclusive new CNN/ORC national poll that shows Hillary Clinton five points ahead of Donald Trump with just five weeks to go before election day. First, let's get an update on the Clinton campaign with CNN national correspondent Suzanne Malveaux.
And Suzanne, Hillary Clinton has been speaking out, really, for the first time about this "New York Times" report that Donald Trump possibly, that he could have not paid taxes for almost 20 years.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And really, Hillary Clinton and her whole team are not really taking Donald Trump's bait here. Those I talked to today say they're not addressing any talk of regarding infidelity. Clinton has identified what she sees as a real opportunity here. And that is "The New York Times" report about the 1995 tax returns, which she believes is a window into his character and also his business skills.
CLINTON: Here's my question: What kind of genius loses a billion dollars in a single year? MALVEAUX (voice-over): Hillary Clinton delivering a one-two punch at
Donald Trump today over his 1995 tax returns, knocking the GOP nominee on the trail today in Ohio over a bombshell report in "The New York Times" that Trump claimed a loss of $916 million that year, which could have allowed him to avoid federal income taxes for 18 years...
CLINTON: He has been dissing America in this whole campaign.
He calls our military a disaster. Well, it's not, but it might have been if everybody else had failed to pay taxes to support our great men and women in uniform.
MALVEAUX: ... and blasting her rival in a national TV ad.
CLINTON: He didn't pay any federal income tax.
TRUMP: That makes me smart.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If he thinks that makes him smart, what does he think of you?
TRUMP: How stupid are the people of the country?
MALVEAUX: Clinton is campaigning in Ohio for the first time since Labor Day, with a new Quinnipiac University poll showing her trailing Trump by five points in the Buckeye State. Today she basked in the endorsement of one of Ohio's favorite sons, Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James.
CLINTON: I hope to become president, but I know here in Ohio, LeBron will always be the king!
MALVEAUX: The Democratic nominee is trying to draw a contrast with Trump on the economy, portraying him as out of touch with hard-working Americans.
CLINTON: Trump represents the same rigged system that he claims he's going to change.
MALVEAUX: This as Trump and his surrogates continues raising Bill Clinton's past infidelities and how Hillary Clinton responded to her husband's accusers, like this criticism of Gennifer Flowers in 1992.
CLINTON: If somebody is willing to pay you 130 or $170,000 to say something, and you get your 15 minutes of fame and get your picture on the front page of every newspaper and you're some failed cabaret singer who doesn't even have much of a resume to fall back on.
GIULIANI: I think it's fair -- it's fair game. Hillary Clinton has done quite a job on attacking the people who were victims of Bill Clinton.
MALVEAUX: Trump is also seizing on an audio recording of Clinton's comments from a February fundraiser, obtained from a hack into a Democratic staffer's e-mail, in which Hillary tries to explain Bernie Sanders' appeal to his supporters. CLINTON: They're children of the Great Recession. And they are
living in their parents' basement. That is a mindset that is really affecting their politics.
TRUMP: Hillary Clinton thinks Bernie Sanders' supporters are hopeless and ignorant basement dwellers.
MALVEAUX: Sanders says it's important to look at Clinton's entire message.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She had a very important point that she made, is that a lot of young people who went into debt, worked very hard to get a good education, get out of school and can't find jobs commensurate with the education that they received.
MALVEAUX: With the second debate now less than a week away, the season premiere of "Saturday Night Live" having some fun with the first Clinton-Trump encounter.
ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR (AS DONALD TRUMP): My microphone is broken. She broke it with Obama. She and Obama stole my microphone. They took it to Kenya. They took my microphone to Kenya and they broke it, and now it's broken. Huge China.
[17:25:11] MICHAEL CHE, CAST MEMBER, NBC'S "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE" (AS LESTER HOLT): Secretary Clinton, what do you think about that?
KATE MCKINNON, CAST MEMBER, NBC'S "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE" (AS HILLARY CLINTON): I think I'm going to be president.
MALVEAUX: Clinton could be in trouble in Ohio. She doesn't have to win Ohio, but it's a state that went to President Obama in 2008 and 2012. So she needs to gin up that enthusiasm. The good news for her today, of course, is what we've been talking about, the CNN/ORC general election poll came out today, showing she has made significant gains when it comes to male voters, independents and, Brianna, even those whites who do not have college education degrees, his most ardent supporters.
KEILAR: Yes, that's right. She was definitely struggling and doing a little better now. Suzanne Malveaux, thank you so much for that.
MALVEAUX: Thank you.
KEILAR: And we are back now with Congressman Chris Collins. He is a Donald Trump supporter and also a member of Congress.
I want to ask you about something that I wonder, this issue of Bill Clinton's infidelities. Because this is something that Donald Trump alluded to, perhaps bringing up at the next debate here in less than a week. Do you think that he's going to bring that up?
COLLINS: Well, we don't know. Frankly, I would not, even though some of the allegations against Hillary actually do matter. But I, again, think the very people where Hillary is talking about the economy and the lack of jobs, that's the Barack Obama economy that hasn't budged in eight years, where our jobs have been stolen by China and Mexico.
It's Donald Trump that's going to bring them back. So when Hillary Clinton calls half of America or half of the Republicans "deplorables" and calls Bernie Sanders supporters the basement dwellers, you know, a lot of this has to do with an economy that has been stagnant, has not ,oved the way it should. Donald Trump as answers to that.
So again, America is going to look to see who is the change agent? Who is the status quo. Hillary is definitely the status quo. She's talked again and again about how good NAFTA was. Well, that's one reason she's losing Ohio and doing poorly, on a relative basis, in Pennsylvania and some other states, where NAFTA devastated those areas.
So as we move forward, I think we all just have to look at the Electoral College. Donald Trump wins Iowa, wins Pennsylvania, and Florida he's got 253 Electoral College votes. Wins Pennsylvania, he's our president. If he wins Nevada, Iowa and New Hampshire, he's our president. When you look at Colorado, Michigan, Virginia that are in play.
The national polls don't mean anything. It's a race for the Electoral College. There's many ways for Donald Trump to get there. And really, what matters is Ohio, where he's leading; North Carolina, where he's leading; Florida, where he's leading. He's got to pull out Pennsylvania or the other avenue again, Nevada, Iowa and New Hampshire, where he's doing fine; or pick up Colorado, Michigan, Wisconsin or Virginia. A lot of ways to victory, and I think that's where we're going to be on November 8.
KEILAR: OK. So you obviously want him concentrating on those issues, and we'll see if he does. Congressman Chris Collins.
COLLINS: Jobs, the economy, secure the borders, who's going to stand up to Vladimir Putin. We need to talk about the issues and the change that he will bring to America, change that is so desperately needed.
KEILAR: Congressman Chris Collins, thank you so much for talking with us. And coming up...
COLLINS: Always good to be with you, Brianna.
KEILAR: Always good to have you.
We have some brand-new polls coming up that show Hillary Clinton, she's on the rise in some key battleground states. That includes Florida.
KEILAR: This hour's breaking news, Donald Trump just responded to the "New York Times" report on his taxes, telling a Colorado crowd that he, quote, "brilliantly used the tax laws." [17:33:02] A just-released CNN/ORC nationwide poll shows Hillary
Clinton leading Donald Trump by 5 points, 47 percent to 42 percent. Other new polls show Clinton on the rise in some pretty important swing states.
Let's bring in our political experts to talk about this. OK, we are going to deal with Donald Trump' explanation, or what he seemed to really be addressing in this report, but Jim, I want to ask you first about this line.
And Donald Trump basically said it today. He said, "Look, I have brilliantly used the tax system" after the "New York Times" put out his 1995 tax return, his state tax return that shows he took a $916 million loss, which would have allowed him to not pay taxes for about 18 years after that.
Do people in the campaign really believe that, that this was brilliant?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, that was -- you know, Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie were using the word "genius" over the weekend. Donald Trump just a few moments ago said he was brilliantly using the tax code.
I was talking to a Trump source earlier this afternoon who was saying, you know, we might be able to get ahead of the narrative here if there weren't all these negative stories out there and some of them are deserved. I mean, this is what they're dealing with right now.
But in the words of this adviser, you know, he thinks that Donald Trump and the rest of the campaign should talk about this, you know, this way, which is a lot of Americans out there would use the tax code to their advantage and do what they can to minimize their tax liabilities, you know, sort of like TurboTax. You know, raising the question whether, you know, a Trump tax might be another business product in the future for Donald Trump.
But, you know, I think the question is moving forward, you know, can he somehow escape this news cycle that is just spiraling downward for him? I mean, it was going on all last week, and it's continuing into this one.
KEILAR: He needed to recover after a bad week, and this Monday certainly isn't what he was hoping for.
We just heard Congressman Collins, and he said -- about the tax return thing, he said, "Who cares?" People care, though, right? Don't they care?
REBECCA BERG, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: They do. Polling has actually shown that, for most voters, this is a concern. And it might not be their biggest concern in this race, especially not when it comes to Donald Trump.
But certainly, voters feel like they have the right to know, for the most part. And certainly, there is a long precedent for candidates for president releasing their tax returns, and so people have come to expect this as part of the presidential election process.
And with Donald Trump, in particular, I think these questions about some of his business investments, his charity, his charitable donations and the organization itself. And now, of course, his tax returns and the amount that he has paid in taxes, all these have been persistent questions that have been pushed out there by Hillary Clinton and Democrats have been discussed in the press. And so people wonder, what is there for us to know about his tax returns? We don't even have the full story even with this latest disclosure.
KEILAR: That's right. We certainly don't. And Manu Raju, he's argued all along that he's good at business, right? That this is what he's going to bring to the White House, that he's going to make it work for the country. Or is he -- does this hurt that assertion -- maybe not with the people who support him, but what about these people who are undecided?
MANU RAJU, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Potentially, yes, and not necessarily because he didn't pay his taxes, allegedly, for 18 years, but more so the fact that he lost a billion dollars in a single year. I mean, that goes to the heart of his campaign, that he is a businessman who can run on building up companies and building a major company that produced jobs.
And, you know, by having this major loss, a billion dollars, which is as most -- comparable to the size of a GDP in some countries, that's pretty significant. It's something that you'll have to answer going forward.
But I do think on the issue of how he dealt with it today in Pueblo, Colorado, saying that this is the way that the system works, I don't want to pay as many -- as much as I am required to pay. That is an argument that actually probably Republicans could listen to...
RAJU: ... could believe, because they don't want to pay taxes. They think that taxes are mishandled in Washington, tax revenue is mishandled. That argument could work. But the big concern potentially is losing more than a billion dollars.
CUOMO: Brianna, I wonder if our shock absorbers are just so worn down in this cycle. The other thing that was going for Donald Trump right now is Donald Trump.
Every one of these stories seems to sail by, because there's a new outrage that comes -- that comes next. And it sort of makes you wonder how long, you know, will this have a lasting effect?
KEILAR: Jim Acosta, Manu Raju, Rebecca Berg, you guys are going to stick around with me for more after the break.
Coming up, there's more from "Saturday Night Live's" send-up of the Clinton-Trump debate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR (AS DONALD TRUMP): Hey, Jazz Man. I've got a very presidential answer to this. Our jobs are fleeing this country. They're going to Mexico. They're going to China. I will stop that. If Hillary knew, she would have done it already. Period, end of story. I won the debate. I stayed calm, just like I promised and it is over. Good night, Hofstra.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[17:42:36] KEILAR: We are back now with our political experts, digging into the breaking news. Rebecca Berg, Manu Raju, Jim Acosta with us here. And I want you guys to take a look at something that Donald Trump did over the weekend. He imitated Hillary Clinton stumbling while she had pneumonia. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Here's a woman. She's supposed to fight all of these different things, and she can't make it 15 feet to her car. Give me a break. Give me a break. Give me a break!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Just seems so odd for someone who's running for president. I know we've seen Donald Trump, you know, he does his own thing, but I wonder what he achieves and maybe what he should be doing instead to get those voters he needs.
BERG: It seems like he really has had trouble during this campaign reconciling his identity as an entertainer versus his identity as a presidential candidate. And we've seen his advisers, especially his more recent team, Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon, try to push him to be a little more presidential in public in debates but also in his speeches and all sorts of public interactions. And we've seen him, you know, show some success with that when he is using a teleprompter. In certain settings he has shown us a more toned-down version of Donald Trump.
But then we see instances like this, where he drifts back into entertainer mode, and sure, like, the crowd eats it up at a rally, but for voters, it's a very different calculation.
KEILAR: I have to get in -- I have to get in the "SNL" thing, because then I want you to talk about this. You're going to want to talk about this. OK. This is "SNL" over the weekend with a little bit of the debate, their portrayal of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Our jobs are fleeing this country. They're going to Mexico. They're going to China. I will stop that. If Hillary knew how, she would have done it already, period, end of story. I won the debate. I stayed calm just as I promised, and it is over. Good night, Hofstra.
MICHAEL CHE, CAST MEMBER, NBC'S "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE" (AS LESTER HOLT): Donald! Donald! There's still 88 minutes left. It's a 90- minute debate.
BALDWIN: My microphone is broken.
[17:45:00] BALDWIN: She broke it with Obama. She and Obama stole my microphone. They took it to Kenya.
BALDWIN: They took my microphone to Kenya and they broke it and now it's broken.
BALDWIN: Can you hear that? It's picking up. Somebody's sniffing here. I think it's her sniffs. She's been sniffing all night. Testing. Testing. Gina, Gina. Huge Gina.
MICHAEL CHE, ACTOR: Secretary Clinton, what do you think about that?
KATE MCKINNON, ACTRESS: I think I'm going to be President.
MCKINNON: I mean, this man is clearly unfit to be Commander-in-Chief.
MCKINNON: He is a bully.
BALDWIN: Shut up.
MCKINNON: He started the birther movement.
BALDWIN: You did.
MCKINNON: He says climate change is a hoax invented by China.
BALDWIN: It's pronounced "Gina."
MCKINNON: He hasn't released his tax returns which means he's either not that rich --
MCKINNON: -- not that charitable --
MCKINNON: -- or he's never paid taxes in his life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: I would have paid to be with those candidates if they were watching this on "Saturday Night."
Do you think, Jim, this is something that shapes people's perceptions of what's happening in this election?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Undoubtedly. I mean, it has over the years, right? I mean, if you look at Chevy Chase and the way he did Gerald Ford or Dana Carvey and the he did George H.W. Bush. You know, the list goes on and on. Sarah Palin and Tina Fey.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Tina Fey.
REBECCA BERG, NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER, REAL CLEAR POLITICS: Tina Fey.
ACOSTA: I mean, that's --
KEILAR: Inextricably linked, right? You'd -- yes.
ACOSTA: Absolutely, yes. And I think that, you know, the way Alec Baldwin sent up Donald Trump there and -- I don't know, what was that motion that Hillary Clinton was doing there?
KEILAR: This one.
ACOSTA: That was --
ACOSTA: That was fun, yes.
KEILAR: She does wave, but this is sort of a take on this.
RAJU: I wonder how Donald Trump reacts to this kind of criticism, too. Probably not so well. The Clinton campaign claimed that Hillary Clinton took it well. She laughed about it in the plane. We'll see if she actually saw it because it wasn't very flattering --
RAJU: -- portrayal of her either.
KEILAR: Yes. No, she was portrayed as so ambitious, Rebecca, in this, really. And really robotic and prepared.
BERG: Right. Kate McKinnon's Hillary Clinton has not changed very much since last season. It's still very cutting. It's equal opportunity humor, and that's part of the appeal on "Saturday Night Live."
RAJU: They're probably a little bit more anti-Donald Trump -- ACOSTA: Yes.
RAJU: -- in dynamic points.
BERG: A little bit more. It was pretty hard.
ACOSTA: It probably reinforces the view that Hillary Clinton won that debate. I mean, there was one point where she's sort of crying and saying she's so happy because she didn't think it was going to turn out as well as it did.
KEILAR: Yes. It's a pretty funny clip, though.
ACOSTA: Fairly close, yes.
KEILAR: Jim, Manu, Rebecca, thank you so much.
And coming up, a new warning about a possible provocation by North Korea's Kim Jong-un, just in time for the U.S. election.
[17:52:13] KEILAR: Tonight, there is growing concern that North Korea's Kim Jong-un may be working on his own October surprise. CNN's Brian Todd is here. And tell us, Brian, what could North Korea's unpredictable leader have up his sleeve next?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, tonight, we're getting new information from U.S. intelligence and a respected national security think tank that we could see more missile launches or even a nuclear bomb test from North Korea in the coming weeks, possibly around the U.S. elections.
It's seen as a way for Kim Jong-un to project his strength and even try to strong arm the incoming American president.
TODD (voice-over): Tonight, a new warning that Kim Jong-un may try to provoke the U.S. and send a message of intimidation sometime in the next month, around the time of the November election.
The warning comes from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, CSIS, and is published on its website, Beyond Parallel. The group says for some 60 years, Kim, his father and grandfather have demonstrated a pattern of trying to incite tensions around the time America votes.
Just this year alone, Kim Jong-un has fired off 15 missile tests, two nuclear bomb tests, making five overall. What could be next?
VICTOR CHA, SENIOR ADVISER, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: I think it could be a sixth nuclear test. It could be launching of their rocket to put a slight in orbit which demonstrates ballistic missile capability. Doing a major test would be a way of trying to intimidate the incoming president. TODD (voice-over): Whoever is President will face an increasingly
dangerous North Korean dictator. CIA Director John Brennan, in an interview with CNN's Erin Burnett, said North Korea is the biggest security risk for next president. Brennan called Kim a megalomaniac, calculating and delusional.
JOHN BRENNAN, DIRECTOR, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY: He has invested so much of his effort in building a military and nuclear capability, and he thinks this is his ticket to greatness. I think it's his ticket to oblivion.
TODD (voice-over): Analysts say one reason Kim's being provocative is to cover his flank inside North Korea and there could be good reason for that. Tonight, CNN has learned that some North Koreans have spoken out against their regime.
CSIS commissioned a non-governmental organization to secretly go inside North Korea and talk to ordinary citizens. They showed us the hand written results of their survey of 36 people in nine provinces. Asked what makes them most angry about their government, most of them said it's when the regime takes away things they've earned.
CHA: If you are a farmer and you make a little bit more besides what the government asks you to make and the government takes that away, that makes you upset, or when you collected some savings through some sort of personal enterprise and the government issues an unordinary tax to try to take that money away from you.
TODD: Now, Victor Cha says the people conducting the questioning had to move fast, they had to move in secret, and they could only spend a few minutes with each person who they talked to. Not only did they risk their lives doing this, but the North Koreans who participated took huge risks themselves.
They didn't know that the stranger asking them questions wasn't spying for the regime. Brianna.
[17:55:13] KEILAR: It's so unbelievable. Even with those risks, you have ordinary North Koreans who are not shy about complaining about the starvation problem, right, the rationing?
TODD: That's right, Brianna. The survey found that 100 percent of the people who responded said the rationing that they got from the government -- rationing of food, water, fuel, grain, things like that -- was just not enough to live on. They said just to survive, they have to venture into the black market to get some of those things. They spoke very freely at great danger to themselves.
KEILAR: That's fascinating. All right, Brian Todd, thank you so much for that report.
And coming up, Donald Trump, playing defense, telling a crowd just now that he has, quote, brilliantly used the nation's tax laws to his benefit. Will voters agree? (COMMERCIAL BREAK)