--WHAT TRUMP IS SAYING: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump repeated his claim he saw thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating on September 11, 2001 when the World Trade Center fell telling ABC’s GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS on “This Week”: “There were people that were cheering on the other side of New Jersey where you have large Arab populations. They were cheering as the World Trade Center came down. I know it might be not politically correct for you to talk about it, but there were people cheering as that building came down -- as those buildings came down, and that tells you something. It was well covered at the time." ABC’s SHUSHANNAH WALSHE notes that Trump stuck to his to debunked claim even as George said several times the “police said it didn’t happen.” http://abcn.ws/1T89X8S Politifact has done a check on the claim, calling it false and giving it a “pants on fire” rating: http://bit.ly/1P1lisE.
--BY THE NUMBERS: Hillary Clinton leads Republican Donald Trump in trust to handle terrorism -- but the table turns among those who say they feel terrorism is the most pressing issue in the election, ABC’s CHAD KIEWIET DE JONGE. Terrorism has surged as an election issue since the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, and this ABC News/Washington Post poll finds Clinton with an 8-point lead over Trump in trust to handle it. Among those who call it the top issue in their vote, though, Trump leads by 25 points. That's because concern about terrorism is especially high among Republicans and conservatives, and their trust in Clinton, on this and other issues, is very low. Those most concerned with the economy, by contrast, tend to be Democrats, and far prefer Clinton, including on terrorism. http://abcn.ws/1Yo2wx7
--MORE FROM THE POLL: There's a contrast in Trump's position on terrorism moving from the GOP contest to a general election. Among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, he leads the top primary candidates by a wide margin as most trusted to deal with the issue. When Trump is tested against Clinton, though, 21 percent of leaned Republicans prefer her, contributing to her advantage over Trump on terrorism among all Americans. http://abcn.ws/1Yo2wx7
--ANALYSIS -- ABC’s RICK KLEIN: The latest weekend in Trump land saw him applaud the fact that a black protester was roughed up at one his rallies; re-Tweet a badly flawed and racially charged set of statistics about violence in America; and stand by a discredited story about cheering Muslims on 9/11 in New Jersey. He also suggested that the attacks on his candidacy just might make him think about running as an independent again. Oh – and he’s still leading in virtually all the polls. At this point, it’s not simply a matter of Donald Trump defying political gravity. Even his opponents have to marvel at how good a politician he is, in his ability to adapt to moments and channel the (often unspoken) passions of his supporters. With the establishment turning up the heat – and the cash – on Trump, there’s a real possibility that he can’t be brought down in a substantial way. (What new information about Trump will do what all the reams of information haven’t done before?) His rivals have to count on Trump supporters not being serious about supporting Trump – or not being serious about caucusing or voting at all. That would count as hope, not strategy. But it may be hard to beat.
TODAY ON THE TRAIL with ABC’s SHUSHANNAH WALSHE: Hillary Clinton is in Reno, Nevada where she will visit a substance abuse facility, it’s an issue that has become an important one on the campaign trail. Ben Carson is also in Nevada. This morning in Pahrump he holds a closed press briefing on Yucca Mountain and federal lands followed by a rally. This evening he visits a facility that tries to dissuade women from getting abortions in Las Vegas. Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina are both in Iowa. Rubio holds three town halls today, beginning this morning in Carroll then holding an afternoon one in Council Bluffs, followed by another one this afternoon in Grinnell. Martin O’Malley and Lindsey Graham are both in New Hampshire. Bernie Sanders is in Atlanta for a rally tonight and John Kasich is in Sterling, Michigan for a business incubator tour this afternoon. Jeb Bush is off the trail fundraising.
BERNIE SANDERS TALKS INCOME INEQUALITY AT BLACK CHURCHES IN SOUTH CAROLINA. Bernie Sanders took his message of income inequality to black Baptist churches in North Charleston, South Carolina, yesterday, in an attempt appeal directly to minority voters in the state. Sanders, the only Jewish candidate in the 2016 presidential race, bowed his head and prayed, and occasionally tapped his foot and clapped to the gospel music, before addressing the congregations, ABC’s MARYALICE PARKS notes. "My name is Bernie Sanders. I am a United States senator from the state of Vermont," he began at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church. "I am running for president of the United States, because I believe that in our great country we can do a lot better for working people and poor people than we are currently doing. "I want to see the United States as a country that does not have more people in jail but has the best educated population on earth," he said. http://abcn.ws/1kP4yrX
BEN CARSON DEFENDS FOREIGN POLICY CREDENTIALS. Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson further defended his foreign policy credentials yesterday, refuting claims that his lack of experience makes him unqualified to be commander in chief. “I hope everyone is on a learning curve,” the retired neurosurgeon said on ABC's “This Week.” “In medicine, we have something that is called CME -- continuing medical education. It recognizes the fact that things are always in the process of changing, and if you stay stagnant, and you say, 'Well, I’m up on it and I’ll go relax,' you’re not going to be very competent.” Noting the world changes at a rapid pace, Carson emphasized that foreign policy experience comes down to practical experience -- not political experience, ABC’s KATHERINE FAULDERS reports. “Yes, we should have in place protocols to deal with that 2 a.m. call in the morning, but we also need to have the ability to think quickly and to be flexible,” Carson said, noting that he likely has more early morning calls than anyone else running for president, and greater experience making life or death decisions. “I don’t know that it necessarily comes down to politics. It comes down to practical experience, solving difficult problems, doing things quickly and efficiently, and using the resources available to you to get that done." http://abcn.ws/1PTQ7OC
DONALD TRUMP ISN’T RULING OUT INDEPENDENT RUN. Trump would not rule out making a run for president as an independent despite signing a pledge over the summer saying he would support the eventual GOP nominee instead of running a third-party bid, ABC’s JORDYN PHELPS notes. “I’m going to have to see what happens. I will see what happens. I have to be treated fairly,” Trump said yesterday on ABC’s “This Week” when asked about a new guerrilla effort by operatives within the Republican Party to derail Trump’s candidacy. “When I did this, I said I have to be treated fairly. If I’m treated fairly, I’m fine. All I want to do is [have] a level playing field." Trump has previously cited "fairness" as a reason he would run a third-party bid. In September, when he signed the pledge, he said he gained nothing besides "assurance that I’ll be treated fairly.” http://abcn.ws/1YnDSNp
NOTED: TRUMP SAYS HE WOULD BRING BACK WATERBOARDING. Trump would “absolutely” bring back waterboarding as an accepted form of interrogation, he said yesterday on ABC’s “This Week.” Trump characterized waterboarding as a form of “strong interrogation” that is “peanuts” when compared to tactics used by ISIS against its hostages. “I think waterboarding is peanuts compared to what they do to us,” the Republican presidential candidate said. “What they're doing to us, what they did to James Foley when they chopped off his head, that’s a whole different level and I would absolutely bring back interrogation and strong interrogation." http://abcn.ws/1XiQkvc
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
2016’S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN DROPOUTS: A LOOK AT THE CANDIDATES WHO CALLED IT QUITS. It is still almost three months before the first votes of the 2016 presidential primaries will be cast, but already the campaigns of three Republicans and two Democrats have come to a close. Last week, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was the latest to call it quits. “I’ve come to the realization this is not my time,” Jindal said in an interview with Fox News announcing an end to his nearly five-month-long White House bid. Last month, long-shot Democratic contenders Lincoln Chafee, a former governor of Rhode Island, and Jim Webb, a former U.S. senator from Virginia, both cut short their presidential campaigns within a few days of each other. And in September two Republicans -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and, before him, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry -- pulled the plug. So what went wrong for these would-be White House occupants? ABC’s PAOLA CHAVEZ has more: http://abcn.ws/1SOCEqu
@eosnos: Out today: @newyorker profile of @marcorubio on immigration, abortion, Paris, & his political dexterity (by me) http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/30/the-opportunist …
@aseitzwald: Great @BenjySarlin on how Ted Cruz could win the GOP nomination. http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/how-ted-cruz-could-win-the-gop-nomination … by http://bit.ly/Lisgo
@tripgabriel: Carson, who used to 'pimp' ie quiz fellow docs about US history, thinks Jefferson helped draft Constitution https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/11/23/no-dr-ben-carson-thomas-jefferson-did-not-craft-our-constitution/ …
@mattcanter: New @prioritiesUSA online ad: If GOP is the "party of the future," some dark days ahead. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkkHqOegzzk&feature=youtu.be …
@markknoller: Also today, @VP Biden discusses the war on ISIS with Ambassadors of the 65-nations in the US-led Counter-ISIS Coalition. No press coverage.