'This Week' Transcript: Eric Trump, Joel Benenson, and Evan McMullin

A rush transcript for "This Week" on October 23, 2016.

ByABC News
October 23, 2016, 9:47 AM

— -- THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT FOR 'THIS WEEK' ON October 23, 2016 and it will be updated.



DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I don't want to think back, if only I did one more rally, I would have won.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- as his path to victory narrows, Donald Trump lashing out.

TRUMP: All of these liars will be sued after the election.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And not backing down.

TRUMP: I will totally accept the results if I win.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hillary Clinton playing offense.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Every time Donald Trump says he wants to jail his opponent, meaning me, I think to myself, you know, we don't do that in America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clinton pulling ahead but can she break away?

And can Trump make a comeback or has he slipped too far behind?

We're one-on-one with Eric Trump and Clinton's chief strategist, only on THIS WEEK.

Plus, how would a Trump loss affect the GOP?

We talk to the Independent candidate threatening to edge Trump out in a key red state.

From ABC News, it's THIS WEEK. Here now, chief anchor, George Stephanopoulos.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC HOST: Good morning. With two weeks and two days to go, what is the end game for Donald Trump? Can he pull off the most spectacular upset in election history? Or has his unprecedented campaign hit an impregnable wall?

Our new ABC News/"Washington Post" Tracking Poll taken after the final debate has Hillary Clinton now ahead by 12 points. That 50-38 advantage the largest of the campaign. And it shows voters firmly rejecting Trump's closing arguments. Fifty-nine percent don't think the vote is rigged. Only 29 percent support his reluctance to accept an election loss. Sixty-nine percent don't like the way he's handling charges of sexual assault.

The clock is ticking. Trump's map is shrinking. No candidate has ever come back from this far behind.


TRUMP: I just got caught in the rain. I'm soaking wet.

How does my hair look?

Is it OK?

STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): The rallies can still be fun, but there were moments this week when Donald Trump just seemed done, tearing his notes at the end of the debate, getting booed at that charity dinner.

TRUMP: Here she is tonight, pretending not to hate Catholics.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Stalking off from a local interview in Ohio.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you've been labeled a racist. You've been called a sexist...

TRUMP: Thank you very much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How -- how do you respond to that?

TRUMP: I am the least racist person you've ever met.

STEPHANOPOULOS: From contemplating defeat...

TRUMP: We've got to win. What a waste of time if we don't pull this off.

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- his Saturday morning speech in Gettysburg was supposed to focus on his first 100 days as president. But it kicked off with familiar complaints about voter fraud, the media and his accusers.

TRUMP: Every woman who lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign, total fabrication, all of these liars will be sued after the election is over.

CLINTON: And go to Gettysburg and say he's going to sue women who have made accusations against him, I'm going to keep talking about what we want to do.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Trump is still promising an upset.

TRUMP: We will shock the world. This is going to be Brexit plus.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But he's up against a Clinton campaign with more money and ground troops and she's closing with a direct pitch to Trump supporters.

CLINTON: I understand that they need a president who cares about them, will listen to them, and I want to be their president, too.



STEPHANOPOULOS: And we are joined now by Donald Trump's son, Eric Trump.

Thank you for coming in, your first appearance, I think, on THIS WEEK.

ERIC TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S SON: Yes. It's great to be here, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you saw that poll, down double digits, 12 points in our tracking poll. And it shows the arguments your father is making right now are not working.

So how do you turn this around in the next two weeks?

E. TRUMP: Look, I don't give much credence to "The Washington Post" polls, right?

Before the Florida primary, they said that we were only winning the state by 6. We ended up winning the state by close to 20 points, actually, over 20 points. So, again, "The Washington Post" polls, I don't give a lot of credence to.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The polling average shows about a 7 to 8...

E. TRUMP: Look at the...

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- point win now for Hillary Clinton.

E. TRUMP: -- look at the "L.A. Times" poll. We're up by 2 points. The "IBD" Poll, we're up by 2 points. The Rasmussen, we're up by a few points.

So, you know, the polls are all over the place. And, in fact, there was a poll, and it was a Reuters Poll that came out this morning. There was two states, Minnesota and Michigan that were within the margin of error. I mean these states haven't been run -- won by a Republican in 30 years, so...

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you don't think you're fighting from behind right now?

E. TRUMP: Maybe -- listen, maybe, but I can tell you, when I'm on the ground, the amount of love out there is -- is incredible. The amount of Democrats that I have coming up to me every single day and saying I've been a Democrat my entire life, my entire family is made up of Democrats, we're coming out and voting for you, and then I look at the backup of some of these polls, including the poll that you just showed two seconds ago and it's showing that we're only getting 4 percent -- 4 percent Democratic support. I mean we're getting the -- the union votes, we're getting the law enforcement votes. I mean so many of these votes had always traditionally gone to the Democratic Party and I can tell you, we're getting 90 percent of those...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Most -- most...

E. TRUMP: -- votes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- most polls do show most Democrats going for Hillary Clinton right now.

Do you think you might be living in -- in -- in a bubble of your own support?

E. TRUMP: No, I don't -- I don't think so at all. Honestly, the -- look at last night. I'll give you a perfect example. Look at last night. He was in Cleveland. He had 10,000 people in Cleveland. You know, Hillary and -- and Tim Kaine, they were in Pennsylvania. They had 600 people in a gym. I mean the -- the enthusiasm levels are just totally -- totally off the charts.

And, George, the amount of people I have come up to me every single day saying I haven't voted in 50 years, I'm embarrassed to say that -- they always start with, I'm embarrassed to say this to you, Mr. Trump, but I haven't voted for -- in 50 years and I'm coming out and I'm voting for your father because I believe he's going to change the country and I believe we don't need another career politician in -- in the Oval Office. I heard that all day every day.

And those people aren't on the voter rolls.

So, listen, I think we're going to do very well and I -- I really believe we're going to win this.

STEPHANOPOULOS: There were times this week when your father appeared pretty irritated. He got those blues at the Al Smith Dinner.

How are his spirits?

E. TRUMP: Oh, amazing. I -- I think -- I think incredible. And listen, my father is an amazing fighter and what he's already accomplished is nothing short of remarkable. He's fought maybe the greatest political machine in the history of the world, which, you know, one that you obviously know better than anyone. He's fought, quite frankly, the entire mainstream media, who is always, you know, who's always counted him out, never thought he could do this, who's always put him down whether it be the primaries or -- or now.

He's fought super PAC money the likes of which has never been seen before.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So he wins no matter what happens on election day?

E. TRUMP: To me, as a son, he wins no matter what. I mean I'm so incredibly proud. I mean he's carried the weight of this country for the last 18 months. I happen to think we're going to win. I mean when I'm in these states -- and I just came back from North Carolina and I just came back from Ohio -- I mean you can't drive, George, 500 yards without seeing another Trump sign. You don't see a single Hillary sign. I mean the enthusiasm differential between the two candidates is just -- it -- it's not even -- it's not even close. And I think you're going to see that on election day.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Eleven women have now come forward and said your father -- they accused your father of sexual assault. He said yesterday all of them are lying, he is going to sue.

All these people are lying, even though they describe behavior that far -- your father bragged about on that tape?

E. TRUMP: George, what -- where were these women before?

Where were -- it's not like my father is a hidden individual, right?

I mean he's one of the most known people in the world, whether he was...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Several have made the accusations in past court filings, going back many years.

E. TRUMP: Whether he was building hotels, 15 seasons of "Apprentice" and then the day that the Hillary WikiLeaks come out, the day that the Hillary WikiLeaks come out, you know, all of a sudden, people start coming forward.

I -- I think you have to be really naive to think that -- that one -- one and the other, you know, weren't -- weren't coordinated together. I mean I think somebody would really need to be naive.

But the thing -- the depressing thing for me is how much time the press spends on that topic, yet the DNC has an operative on a hidden camera that comes out bragging about how they incited violence, incited violence at the Chicago rally, a rally that got police officers punched, a rally that got people hurt, and no one even talks about it.

I mean you see these disgusting tactics used by the DNC -- as a civilian, I'm totally shocked by them.

You see these disgusting tactics used by the DNC, where their operatives are out bragging about...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, we are going to have Joel Banks (ph) in...

E. TRUMP: -- hurting...

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- about that. He's coming up right after you.

E. TRUMP: Let me finish...


E. TRUMP: -- and no one talks about it.


E. TRUMP: -- it -- it's very sad.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me ask you...

E. TRUMP: It's actually very, very sad.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me finish on this first, though. Your father has said he's going to sue.

If he's president, does he really want to be involved in a legal suit like this?

E. TRUMP: I don't know. You know, you -- my father is a guy who -- who will fight and he will fight for this country and he's always fought for himself. And quite frankly, throughout this whole process, he's needed to fight for himself.

And he believes in a right and a wrong. And -- and when he feels that there's injustice, I think you should stand up to ourselves. And quite frankly, we wouldn't have the problems that we have in this nation right now if somebody did a better job -- if our politicians did a better job standing up for our country.

And he stands up for himself. He's a fighter. That's who my father is. And he -- and quite frankly, he's a great fighter. And, you know, he believes in calling out right and wrong.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But, you know, several of these -- he says these stories have been debunked, but at least in one case, the "People" magazine reporter, she told six different friends and colleagues at the time.

E. TRUMP: George, I just don't believe it. I just don't believe it. And then you come out now with -- with -- with three weeks left in an election, three weeks left in an election. And you know what somebody told me?

They go, Eric get ready for October. They told me this months and months ago, get ready for October. Your family will live through the worst, most unthinkable, hardest month of your lives. Get ready for October.

What they'll throw at you, what the Clinton machine will throw at you, you know, the dirty tricks, the things that will come out, the things that they'll orchestrate.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But do you have any evidence...


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- the candidates are behind this?

E. TRUMP: -- it's unlike -- well, listen, you see that -- you see the hidden videos. That's pretty bad stuff. When they're talking about going out, paying...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, I was talking about these other allegations.

E. TRUMP: -- paying people to commit voter fraud, paying people to go incite fights at -- at rallies which get people hurt, I -- I think you see their true colors.

I think you also see their true colors in -- in these WikiLeak emails, where they're going out making fun of Christians, making fun of Evangelicals, making fun of "needy Latinos," when Donna Brazile is giving debate questions to Hillary ahead of time. I mean, George, you -- you know us for a long time.

Can you imagine what would happen if my father got the debate questions?

STEPHANOPOULOS: You'd get pilloried. There's no question about that.

Talking about the debate, you know, your father did not, on Wednesday night, say that he would accept the election results.

Is he now prepared to say that he will accept a clear result unequivocally?

E. TRUMP: He didn't say he wouldn't accept it, either. He said -- my father will accept it 100 percent if it's fair -- if it's fair. You've got 24 --

STEPHANOPOULOS: What does that mean exactly?

E. TRUMP: You have 24 million voters in this country; one in eight that are misregistered (sic) to vote, meaning information is inaccurate. You have 2 million people on the voter rolls right now that are dead. This is Pew Research. This came out last week.

You have 3 million people in this country right now that are registered in multiple states; 14 percent of all noncitizens in this country are registered to vote.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But there's scant evidence that that has actually affected any elections. I'm just trying to say -- are you setting the groundwork here to say that the --


E. TRUMP: -- 3 million people, I mean these are real numbers, especially when swing states --

STEPHANOPOULOS: That seems like you're suggesting that the outcome is unfair no matter what happens.

E. TRUMP: I think what my father is saying is I want a fair election. I want a fair election. You see the media pile on; 94 percent of all contributions that have gone to the campaigns have gone to the Hillary campaign from the media, meaning when the media donates their money, 94 percent of that has gone to the Clinton campaign.

We've gotten less than 6 percent of it. I mean, you see -- you see this bias, right, and you see these numbers. You see, again, 2 million people that are dead, that are on the voter rolls in the various states. Some of these states are being won by --


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- 5- or 6-point win for Hillary Clinton, he'll accept it?

E. TRUMP: Listen, if it's a fair outcome, he will absolutely accept it. There's no question about it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Eric Trump, thanks very much for coming in this morning.

E. TRUMP: Thank you, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: OK. We are going to bring in Joel Benenson, now chief strategist for the Clinton campaign also the top pollster as well.

And, Joel, thank you for coming in this morning. You just heard what Eric Trump had to say. And I want to show a video that gets into what he was talking about, these charges of inciting violence.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you're there and you're protesting and you do these actions, you will be attacked at Trump rallies.

That's what we want.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, so -- oh, oh, so that's part of the process of getting -- of eliciting the reaction.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: the point is we know that Trump's people will freak the (INAUDIBLE) out. His security team will freak out and his supporters will lose their (INAUDIBLE).


STEPHANOPOULOS: This is pretty shocking stuff. Now I know there have been questions about these O'Keefe (ph) videos in the past, about the editing --



STEPHANOPOULOS: Yet, yet both those operatives who were in these videos have now resigned and they did receive money from the DNC. They were subcontractors.

Isn't this exactly the kind of behavior you all have been complaining about?

BENENSON: Well, it's a video of somebody who has a track record of doctoring videos. These people have resigned; whether they were talking to him on camera or whether they had some snippet there that's been manipulated and taken out of context, I don't know.

It's actually the first time I've seen the video, George.

But what's been going on throughout this campaign, in Donald Trump's own words, we have video of Donald Trump saying, punch him in the mouth. I want him carried out on a stretcher.

I mean this is a candidate running for President of the United States. So if the Republicans and Donald Trump or Eric Trump want to talk about James O'Keefe instead of the words of the nominee of the Republican Party, I think it's showing a sign of desperation here in the last weeks of the --

STEPHANOPOULOS: But are you confident you don't have other operatives out there doing exactly the same thing?

BENENSON: I'm pretty confident. I mean, I think, as I said, we're talking about a guy who has a track record of doctoring videos. These people resigned, as you said.

And if this was happening day in and day out, we would know about it, number one.

And number two, Donald Trump, day after day, on the stump, was inciting people at his -- he said, I'd like to punch him in the mouth. I could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and I wouldn't lose a single vote.

I mean, let's be honest about who here has been inciting violence day in and day out at Trump rallies. It's been Donald Trump. And I think it's part of the reason why he's been lagging in the polls, why he's been unable to reach beyond his base, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You saw our poll out this morning, 50-38, that's the biggest margin we've shown in any of our polls.

Number one, is that what you all think is happening with the race right now?

Is it over?

BENENSON: Well, look, I don't think it's -- I've been in this for a while. I don’t think it's over until the people vote. But what I think has been happening consistently -- and especially from the conventions on and through the debates -- is that Hillary Clinton is the only candidate in this race who's been talking to people beyond their base.

Yes, we have a strong Democratic base. It's stronger than the Republican base but she's been reaching out to Republicans, independents, moderate voters.

I think your poll shows that. And the reason why is because these people believe in America. They're optimistic about America and they want a president who will lift each other up, not tear each other down.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The poll also shows that almost 60 percent, 59 percent of voters still are having a hard time with how Hillary Clinton is handling this whole e-mail issue.

Can you put that behind you?

BENENSON: Well, I think when you look at your poll numbers, I think it is one factor that people are putting into their whole decision and what your poll shows is hat voters have put it behind them. They're making a decision now between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

And they're factoring in everything they know about the people. There's a lot of things in there about Donald Trump that people are very unsatisfied with, including the fact that he's calling the election rigged and says he won't accept the results.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We've also had a lot of focus on these WikiLeaks e-mails in recent days.

Donald Trump, yesterday in Gettysburg, talked about banning contributions from lobbyists who register for foreign -- for foreign -- either foreign governments or corporations.

And there was an exchange in the e-mails between Jennifer Palmieri and Robby Mook, where you guys debating whether or not to take money from foreign lobbyists.

Robby Mook, "I'm OK just taking the money and dealing with any attacks.

Are you guys OK with that?"

Jennifer Palmieri, "Take the money."

Does Donald Trump have a point right there?

Should this kind of should these kinds of contributions be allowed?

BENENSON: Well, first of all, I'll tell you something, I haven't spent a lot of time reading through WikiLeaks e-mails.

But I will tell you this, what we know is that many are not authentic. We know that this is a hack, 17 of Russians -- no, because these e-mails, we have no idea whether they are authentic or not or whether they've been tampered with once the Russians, which 17 American intelligence agencies say are responsible for these hackings, have been manipulated. I have seen things -- I'm not going to go into details --


STEPHANOPOULOS: But you're not suggesting that those are --

BENENSON: They may well be. I don't know. I know I've seen things that aren't authentic, that we know aren't authentic. And it's not surprising. What's ridiculous about this whole conversation is that 17 intelligence agencies have said the Russians are responsible for this. Donald Trump refuses to accept it, refuses to condemn them.

They are meddling in an American election for the first time in history, as far as we know, and we have a Republican nominee for president who refuses to acknowledge what the American intelligence agencies have confirmed or condemn the bad actors here, who happen to be the Russians.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's take a look at the strategy for the last two weeks.

How explicit is Hillary Clinton going to be in saying give me a Congress I can work with, number one?

And as you allocate resources -- we saw you go into Arizona this week -- how are you going to divide time between trying to run up the electoral map and trying to get a Senate and a House on your side?

BENENSON: Look, I think you make these decisions almost day by day, George. You're in the last, you know, two weeks of a campaign basically, 16 days at this point and you know what it's like in those days. You want to make sure you solidify the votes in the states that you have and reach out where you can.

I think, in terms of going forward with the Congress, I mean, Hillary Clinton has made it clear that she wants to bring this country together. She wants to unite people, as she's said --


STEPHANOPOULOS: How is she going to do that?

BENENSON: Look, you were in the White House with her. You know how she does it, the same way she worked with Tom Delay, a Republican, the Whip of the floor of the House of Representatives, to get reform on foster care, to get more kids adopted, so that they could get adopted out of foster care.

She worked with someone who is a bitter archenemy to find common ground on issues you agree on and move the ball forward to make progress that will make a difference in people's lives.

It's what she did when she got, you know, defeated on health care in '94, went back to work, worked with Democrats and Republicans to get CHIP, insurance for kids, passed that now ensure 8 million kids.

She has a track record of doing that. Look, no one's here going into this with rose-colored glasses, saying it's going to be easy. But I think there's only one candidate in the race and that is Hillary Clinton, who is talking about the need to bring the country together, to be building an economy that works for everyone, not those at the top, and make sure that is a country -- we create the country we want to be, living up to our values, where we do have each other's backs, not turning our backs on each other.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But your biggest worry right now?

BENENSON: Last couple of weeks, your biggest worry is something unexpected. You know, the first race I did, George, on the consulting side when I left journalism, was with Governor Mario Cuomo.

And he said to me, the first day I worked for him, Benenson, you know, in every election, there are going to be three things no matter how well prepared you are you can never anticipate.

And how you deal with those three things and how each candidate does is going to determine who wins this election.

We probably had more than three things we couldn't anticipate in this one. But I think we just have to stay steady, stick with our plan, keep delivering the message that Hillary Clinton is delivering about, building the country we want to be and the people that we want to be for the future of our children and the next generation.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Joel Benenson, thanks for coming in.

BENENSON: Thanks for having me, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You've heard from both sides. Next, the man who could be the first third party candidate to win a state since George Wallace in 1968. Independent candidate Evan McMullin joins us live.

Plus, insight and analysis from our powerhouse roundtable.

And Martha Raddatz on the front lines of the most critical battle against ISIS yet. She joins us from Iraq.


CLINTON: It's amazing I'm up here after Donald. I didn't think he'd be OK with a peaceful transition of power.


TRUMP: Hillary is so corrupt, she got kicked off the Watergate Commission.



STEPHANOPOULOS: The Al Smith dinner is supposed to be a lighthearted. This year it was edgy, even ugly. So in our survey with SSRS this week, we asked about presidents and humor. Nearly 3/4 of Americans said they thought it was pretty important, but a full 40 percent think neither of these candidates is all that funny. Contrast that with the 68 percent who say President Obama has a good sense of humor, something he's honed with comedians Jerry Seinfeld. Let's hope things lighten up for the winner after the election.

And when we come back, the third party candidate who wants to start a new conservative movement. Eric McMullin is next.



TRUMP: We're leading in Ohio. We're leading in North Carolina. We're leading all over the place.

Having a tremendous problem in Utah. Utah is a different place.

STEPHANOPOULOS: This year Utah is different -- not deep red but purple. The Mormon voters there just don't like Donald Trump.

SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We're going to make a strong play to win Utah's electoral votes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And Trump is getting squeezed by native ton Evan McMullin.


STEPHANOPOULOS: The 40-year-old conservative Mormon has been a CIA operative, a congressional staffer for the GOP. But in August, he announced an independent run for president, calling himself the true conservative alternative to Trump. And the latest polls show he's got a real shot at winning his home state.

MCMULLIN: If we can send a strong message here from Utah, it will change the discussion in Washington and across this country.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And Eric McMullin joins us now. Mr. McMullin, thank you for joining us, you're in Boise, Idaho, another state you're contesting right now. If you win Idaho or Utah, where you're really competing well right now, you'd be the first third party candidate since George Wallace to win a state. So what would that mean exactly? What message would that send?

MCMULLIN: Well, it has the potential of blocking both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the electoral college, but that's only if the race between Hillary and Donald --

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes, that's a real stretch.

MCMULLIN: Right now it is -- yes, right now it's not, Donald Trump is being dominated right now by Hillary Clinton and -- which is one of the reasons Mindy Finn, my running mate, and I warned against nominating him in the first place.

But if it isn't close, then it will be a strong message I think to Washington that people in this country, at least here in the Mountain West, and elsewhere in this country, still stand on principle, the very same principles that made this country the most powerful and prosperous on earth. Namely, the truth that we are all created equal, all men and women, and that we all have inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Mindy and I are standing for these fundamental principles and truths, and that's our message.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The top elected officials in the state of Utah, top Republican elected officials in the state of Utah, have been very critical of Donald Trump. People like Senator Mike Lee said they will not submit him. Mitt Romney, who of course did very well in Utah, has said he's against Donald Trump as well.

Would a public endorsement from him help you carry this state? And where do things stand right now?

MCMULLIN: Well, right now we're either tied with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump or leading in the polls so we feel very good about where we are. We're depending on the endorsements and the support of regular people across this country and in these Mountain West states. They are the ones who are funding our campaign; they are supporting us; they are carrying our message online, on social media. And that's the support that we care about.

We've invited Republican leaders to join us in this cause. The reality is that the vast majority of Republican leaders are putting party ahead of principle and putting power over the interests of their own country. And that's the challenge that we have going forward. That's the challenge that this country has. That's the challenge that the Republican Party will have. And that's the challenge that the conservative movement has, which is why Mindy and I are calling for a new conservative movement in this country.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What is that movement?

MCMULLIN: That movement, simply put, is a movement that is dedicated to these principles that I'm talking about, namely the equality of all men and women. We are standing also for the cause of liberty, the idea that we all ought to have the power and the freedom to pursue happiness in the way we like.

Right now you have a party in the Republican Party that turns away people of different races, turns away people of different religions. That's not to say that all Republicans feel this way; I was certainly raised among Republicans who are open to people of different backgrounds. But the reality is that, even after 2012, the Republican Party knew that it need to do more to appeal to minorities and to women and millennials, and the reality is it hasn't been able to do that. And, in fact, it's going in the wrong direction, not the right direction, in its nomination of Donald Trump. But then also in standing by Trump even as he continues these bigoted, sexist, xenophobic messages to the United States and people our country.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It seems like there's going to be a civil war in the Republican Party no matter what happens on November 8th.

MCMULLIN: Yes, I think that's true. But the reality is there was a battle after 2012 too and look where we are. Look where the Republican Party is with Donald Trump. It's just unlikely, I believe, and Mindy believes, it's unlikely that the Republican Party will be able to make the kinds of changes it needs to make after this election. These are generational problems. So maybe over time, over a number of decades, these changes can be made, but the reality is the conservative movement doesn't have time for that. And if the Republican Party can't make the changes, as wasn't able to do after 2012, the conservative movement will need a new political vehicle.

So at the very least I believe that's a new conservative movement along the lines that I've described here. It may mean a new conservative party. We'll just have to see. But Mindy and I are skeptical, sadly, that the Republican Party is going to be able to make the changes it needs to make.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Is it fair to conclude you prefer a President Clinton to a President Trump?

MCMULLIN: I think they're both terrible. And I've described, George, what I think in this country is a leadership crisis. And I think both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and the American people recognize this.

These are the two most unpopular major party candidates ever to be nominated since we were measuring those kinds of sentiments. And the American people know that they -- that they need better, that they deserve better.

They -- both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump personify this crisis. But it's not just them, it's our other leaders. It's our leaders who wouldn't stand up to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the primaries, because they were afraid that they were going to be criticized or that they would lose their seats in Congress, for example.

Unfortunately, our leaders today, George, don't have the courage to stand up for Americans, to stand up for equality and liberty. They've allowed racist -- the racist message of Donald Trump to spread throughout the country.

They've allowed the government in Washington, D.C., to grow and grow to the extent that it's depriving people of their liberties.

We can't -- we can't stand for this any longer. We need a new conservative movement that I think will provide the kind of leadership to this country that it needs.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Evan McMullin, thanks very much.

MCMULLIN: Thank you, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Our powerhouse roundtable coming up.

Plus Jon Karl takes us inside the battle for the control of Congress.

And Martha Raddatz on the ground in Iraq with Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.


MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC NEWS CHIEF GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Coming up on THIS WEEK, we will have the latest on this massive ground battle to retake Mosul. The Secretary of Defense will join us to tell us about the progress.




JASON KANDER (D), MISSOURI SENATE CANDIDATE: I'm Jason Kander. And Senator Blunt has been attacking me on guns. Well, in the Army, I learned how to use and respect my rifle and in Afghanistan I'd volunteer to be an extra gun in a convoy of unarmored SUVs.

And in the state legislature, I supported Second Amendment rights. And I also believe in background checks so that terrorists can't get their hands on one of these. I approve this message because I'd like to see Senator Blunt do this.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Could that ad decide control of the Senate?

It's put veteran and Democrat Jason Kander into a dead heat with Roy Blunt in Missouri, one of a dozen competitive races and Jon Karl is going to join us now for a closer look at where things stand.

And, Jon, Democrats need to pick up at least four seats to gain back control and Republicans are playing defense in most of those battlegrounds.

JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, George. And Democratic chances of winning the Senate have gone up as Donald Trump's campaign has gone down.

Our partners at 538 (ph) now put the odds of a Democratic takeover at nearly 70 percent. Right now, Republicans hold the majority in the Senate with 54 seats. . That means, as you pointed out, if they win the presidency, they need to pick up four seats to win a Senate majority.

In our latest ABC News race ratings, there are 11 competitive Senate races; 10 of those are currently held by Republicans. Two of them are already likely Democratic pickups. That's Illinois and Wisconsin. Three others tilt towards Republicans. That's Arizona, Ohio and Florida.

And six seats, the ones in yellow on the map, are pure toss-ups. Democrats only need to win half of those to win control of the Senate.

STEPHANOPOULOS: One of the things we've been seeing more on the stump right now, Hillary Clinton (INAUDIBLE) closely tying herself to her Senate candidates.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump seems to put a lot of his candidates in kind of an awkward spot.

KARL: Yes, and remember, most of these states aren't just Senate battlegrounds, they're presidential battlegrounds. And, George, in every one of these races, Republican candidates have been forced to account for things that Donald Trump has said and done.

In these 11 competitive races, six of the Republican candidates have actually refused to endorse their own party's presidential nominee. And even those who still are endorsing Trump have been highly critical of him.

Case in point: Marco Rubio, over the past week, he has called on Trump to stop saying the election is rigged, to stop exploiting the WikiLeaks e-mails hacked by the Russians and, by the way, Rubio says he still does not trust Donald Trump with the nuclear codes.

Listen to how he handled Trump in the Senate debate that I moderated down in Florida on Monday.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: I don't trust Hillary Clinton with classified information. She has proven that she cannot handle it and that she would expose it to foreign intelligence agencies as she has.

KARL: Excuse me, you trust Donald Trump with classified information?

RUBIO: Well, again, listen, this -- just know that this choice -- when it comes to this election, I've already admitted to you, this is less -- two less-than-ideal options that we have before this country.


KARL: Other Republican candidates are running as if Hillary Clinton is certain to win. They are making the case, George, that there needs to be Republicans in the Senate willing to stand up to her.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The House much more likely to stay in Republican hands; the Democrats would need to pick up 30 seats. And that's very tough.

KARL: Yes. Talking to operatives on both sides, nobody anticipates that Democrats will get those 30 seats. But Republicans are certain to lose some. A top Republican operative in the House tells me they expect to lose at least a half-dozen seats and as many as 15.

And, George, I would not rule out the possibility that we see a wave that takes everybody by surprise. If things go dramatically bad at the top of the ticket, Republicans could suffer severe losses.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes, a lot of experts say a win of about 8 points or more for Hillary Clinton could put the House in play.

Jon Karl, thanks very much for that update.

We'll have more of this on our roundtable.

And up next, Martha Raddatz from the front lines of the battle for Mosul, the last ISIS stronghold in Iraq.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Iraqi and Kurdish troops, backed by American airpower, are closing in on the last ISIS stronghold in Iraq. The campaign for the key city of Mosul is moving fast. But ISIS is putting up a fierce fight, setting fire to a sulfur mine and executing dozens of civilians.

And our Martha Raddatz is on the front lines with the secretary of Defense, Ash Carter -- good morning, Martha.

RADDATZ: Good morning, George.

Thousands of Americans are involved in this battle to retake Mosul. Most are on bases, but about 500 are out there assisting the Iraqis, putting their lives on the line.


RADDATZ (voice-over): A hard-fought week of territory regained from ISIS.

LT. GEN. STEPHEN TOWNSEND, COMMANDING GENERAL: The largest scale that any army has under -- attack that any army has undertaken since probably our push to Baghdad in 2003.

RADDATZ: From front lines west of the Great Zab River and just north at the Kiyara military base, 30,000 Kurdish and Iraqi troops moving toward the final prize, with the aid of U.S. artillery and airstrikes.

But resistance has been fierce -- mortars, automatic weapons and squads of suicide bombers, even ISIS armed drones here shot down by Kurdish forces.

And visible even from space, bomb craters and the black acrid smoke of war. ISIS blew up oil wells and sulfur stocks at a factory for cover -- air so toxic, some Iraqis donning HAZMAT gear to keep going.

But amid the violence, celebration, too. Villagers and victorious Iraqi soldiers marking the end of the terrifying reign of ISIS.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You cannot sleep without fear. You cannot guess when will they take you at night.

RADDATZ: Church bells in the village of Bartella, outside Mosul, rang for the first time since the extremist take over. It has not come without cost. Dozens of Iraqi forces believed killed this week and one American, Navy Chief Petty Officer Jason Finan, hit by an IED, the first U.S. death since the operation began.

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter addressing U.S. troops here about the loss.

ASH CARTER, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: There is no more serious responsibility for me and nothing that I take more seriously than putting Americans in harm's way.

RADDATZ: There are more than 5,000 U.S. service members in Iraq, 500 are out on the ground with the Iraqis. I sat down with Secretary Carter just a few moments ago here in northern Iraq and asked him about the dangers the Americans are facing.

CARTER: Make no mistake, whether they're flying airplanes overhead or whether they're advising units on the ground, even behind the front lines, they are at risk. It's also important everybody understand that we must do this. We have to protect ourselves from ISIL. They intend harm to our country.

RADDATZ (on camera): How would you assess the progress?

CARTER: I'm encouraged because it's going according to plan. ISIL will surely be destroyed.

RADDATZ (voice-over): The biggest battle, however, yet to come. The most hardened ISIS fighters, an estimated 5,000, digging in for the last stand in Mosul. It will come at a high human cost -- the injured, the dead and the displaced. This refugee camp outside Mosul already humming, may face a million displaced before this is over.


RADDATZ (on camera): Despite the progress in this first week, retaking Mosul will take many, many months and the aftermath will be even more complex, something the next president will have to deal with day one in office -- George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: This is just the beginning.

OK, Martha, thanks very much.

Our powerhouse roundtable standing by live. They're up next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What has she been doing...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, Donald, no, no, no. Donald, don't. Don't, don't...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- for the last...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- don't, don't set her up...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'd be happy to talk about the last 30 years.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Back in the 1970s, I worked for the Children's Defense Fund.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then I was a senator in New York on 9/11.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we get it. We get it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And then I was secretary of State and I don't know if you've heard this before...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- but I was instrumental in taking down a man by the name of...








STEPHANOPOULOS: Tom Hanks a pretty good Chris Wallace right there.

Let's talk about this week with our roundtable. Joined by our political analyst Matthew Dowd, Republican strategist Sara Fagen, Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons, senior editor of "The National Review", Jonah Goldberg, and the editor and publisher of "The Nation", Katrina Vanden Heuval.

So Matthew, we're two weeks and two days out. You just saw our poll right there. We heard from Eric Trump and Joel Benenson.

How close to over is this?

MATTHEW DOWD, ABC NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, four score and seven blunders ago, Donald Trump could have won this race, at -- if he had actually matured and developed some level of discipline. But that would have been asking him to be somebody other than...

STEPHANOPOULOS: What was the point of no return?

DOWD: You know, look, I said two weeks ago that that moment in the first debate was like Tiger Woods hitting the fire hydrant and after that, it was all over and he wasn't going to win another major again.


DOWD: And the great thing is, is the debates actually mattered. When you win all three, they matter in this.

I think the fascinating thing that's likely to happen in this election are two things that seem so in conflict.

First is, Hillary Clinton is very likely to win, but she is going to be the first president in modern times to win and be disliked and distrusted by a majority of the country. And I was looking at the numbers today, is she -- her margin could be the largest margin of a Democratic nominee for president in an open race since before the Cubs were in the World Series, 1932.


DOWD: She could have the largest...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Way to fire up...


DOWD: -- since 1932 for a Democrat in an open race.

SARA FAGEN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I -- I think that's right. I mean if you looked at the -- if you look at the electoral map today, she'd win at least 307 electoral votes and probably a lot closer to 340, if not higher.

You know, to your question on the debate, I think it wasn't actually, the first debate, where it was the point of no return, it was the morning after the first debate, when he erroneously brought up, you know, this feud with Miss Universe. And it -- it's been downhill ever since for him.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You did see, Katrina vanden Heuvel, over the course of the three debates, Hillary Clinton executing a pretty clear strategy.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Make Donald Trump see if he would take it.

VANDEN HEUVEL: I mean she got under his skin. She's a great counter-puncher. She was prepared. And what I think she did in the last debate and coming off of what Sara said, you see it in the poll today, the gender gap, the -- it's -- I think this election is going to show an unprecedented gender gap.

And it's not just that. It's you came away from that last debate, I think millions of women, saying we are all nasty women now, because she's tied a party to the boorish, predatory sexual behavior of Donald Trump. And I think that's critical.

I'd say one last thing. I mean this election and what a torturous, winding election it's been, I think it revealed the distance between the establishment and the people in this country.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, and I want to...

VANDEN HEUVEL: And I think that's going to play out in an important way...

STEPHANOPOULOS: It may. In many, many...

VANDEN HEUVEL: -- post-election.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes, it's going to play out in both parties, as well. And Jonah Goldberg, you're from "The National Review." You guys were -- you made no secret of your opposition to Donald Trump early on.

But sketch out the alienate universe that Matt Dowd hinted at right there. This is not over yet, two weeks and two days to go.

But what could have Donald Trump done earlier on to make this more competitive, closer today?

JONAH GOLDBERG, "THE NATIONAL REVIEW": Well, this is sort of the problem. I -- I agree entirely with Matt that the debate was the sort of pivotal moment. But it also is based upon the sort of mistaken understanding of Donald Trump. There's always been this myth that he could pivot. You know, he said in the primaries that come the general election, I'm going to pivot. I'm going to be so presidential.

It was all untrue. And what we saw in the debates was that he's incapable of staying on message and being a disciplined candidate. It's an Aesopian thing.

The -- the scorpion has to sting the frog, because that's what scorpions do. Donald Trump has to be Donald Trump because that's what he is.

He's trying to invoke "The Gettysburg Address" and...


GOLDBERG: -- and he spends the first 10 minutes talking about how all these women are lying. I don't remember Lincoln talking about how all the women who accused him of groping him, you know, were liars. It's -- it's a very strange thing.


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- about transforming and evolving right now, how does Hillary Clinton evolve in these final two weeks to address this polarization, to address these ugly feelings that are out there?

JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, one thing we see her doing is we see her going in and talking to states where there are real Senate campaigns that matter. One of the numbers in the poll today that I saw that really mattered is she's at about 43 percent with white voters. But Donald Trump is only at 47.

Now, Obama was at 43 in '08; Bill Clinton, in '96, was at 43. So if you're a Democrat and you're getting 43 percent of the white vote, you're doing pretty well.

But what's happening to all those other white voters who are sitting out?

I think that's the place where maybe she can spend some time going after some of those voters...


SIMMONS: -- and really trying to bring them into the fold.

FAGEN: She missed a real opportunity in that final debate in her closing argument to talk about bringing people together. I believe she didn't do that because her base is so left and has pulled her so left that she made a calculation that she didn't -- she couldn't do that just yet in this election cycle. And to me that says even if she does in fact win the country is not going to come together any time soon.

VANDEN HEUVEL: Let me take issue with this idea that the base is so left. I mean, as I said --

FAGEN: The base is so left.

VANDEN HEUVEL: This election has revealed a distance between the establishment, the elite and people. And I think post-election, the Democratic Party needs to address issues that elevated Donald Trump. Corporate trade deals which ravaged community, how do you speak to an inclusive populous in which Bernie Sanders elevated? How do you fulfill a Democratic platform which the party agreed on?



VANDEN HEUVEL: Mainstream positions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have evidence that Hillary Clinton didn't do that?

VANDEN HEUVEL: And finally the end of work in this country, the end of conventional work, these are issues that are Trumpist but are also important for the future of the country.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And Katrina, the problem could be politically, depending on what happens in these final days. What happens -- how does Hillary Clinton do that if the -- if the Republicans hold on to the House and can block her agenda which, you know, the agenda where she's absorbed a lot of the Bernie Sanders ideas.

DOWD: Well, I -- you know, this is the thing. This, as I mentioned earlier she's going to be re-elected on Election Day where half of her voters aren't voting for her. They're voting against Donald Trump that she's disliked and distrusted by the country. There's not a mandate on a series of issues because this hasn't been argued over issues in this.

I think Donald Trump, for all the things that we've said about Donald Trump and the buffoonery nature of it, he is like the guy that's pointing at the moon, and you look at the guy until you see the moon, right? Donald Trump is pointing at the moon which is a very frustrated working class part of the country, the same thing that Bernie Sanders pointed at in the Democratic primary. That's not going away. That's been growing and building for 30 years.

Hillary Clinton has to figure out in a very divided country in a very demographic diverse country and a country that doesn't like her. What -- is she a transformational leader and does she do that? The final two weeks in this, she has an opportunity to become her as well just like Donald Trump didn't do to become something that people perceive as not, which is a transformational leader that can speak to the whole country.

SIMMONS: George, the name we didn't hear today is Paul Ryan.


SIMMONS: And I think when we're talking about, what does she do to bring the country together, she can week a Democratic Senate, she's going to have to build a relationship with Paul Ryan. And let's see if he eliminates the --


SIMMONS: If he can get rid of that, we do have a chance to --

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me dig down on that question a little bit more. Let's say, for the sake of argument right now, the Democrats pick up seats in the House but do not get control. You've seen Paul Ryan attacked by Donald Trump, attacked by his voters. Attacked by Evan McMullin earlier today. Can he remain as speaker? Will he want to remain as speaker if they lose seats?

FAGEN: That's a -- that's a very good question whether he will want to remain or not. I think he's going to have to answer the question about what his future looks like much earlier than previous House members or Senate members, and it's going to be very difficult. Even if he remains as speaker I think that the Republicans would probably lose 25 or 26 seats right now.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's right up to the edge. Yes.

FAGEN: And so he's going to govern with a very narrow majority and he's going to lose many of those suburban members of Congress. If you look in your poll, white women and particularly college educated white women are fleeing the Republican Party and they are fleeing these House seats right now, too, eventually.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But, Jonah Goldberg, he's going to have to be working if he wins with Hillary Clinton and responding to a lot of members in his conference who have majority Trump voters in their district.

GOLDBERG: Yes -- no, look, it's going to be a hot mess. When Jennings Brian won -- had enough power to win the nomination three times in a row but he didn't have enough to actually win the presidency. If Donald Trump doesn't play nice, when and if he loses, and he decides that he is just going to be a spoiler or create this television network, we could see -- I would predict that we are going to see a new party emerge because there's just no way you can reconcile people like me who want a limited government, individual liberty, constitutionalism with a populist --


STEPHANOPOULOS: The end of the Republican Party?

GOLDBERG: It's entirely possible.

VANDEN HEUVEL: I think that we are going to see tectonic shifts and realignments of parties in the next few years.


VANDEN HEUVEL: But let me just come back, the poll today also is interesting because majorities are not accepting Donald Trump's idea of a rigged election. They don't like that. And I think that he is alienating his own voters as if they don't have the agency to make a change but there's this argument that Trump is not really part of the Republican Party. Voter suppression is far more dangerous than voter fraud, and that has been a systematic effort on the part of the Republican Party to disenfranchise millions so I think that -- it's the first election, George --

FAGEN: That is not accurate.

VANDEN HEUVEL: It's the first election --

FAGEN: I mean, it's not simply accurate.

VANDEN HEUVEL: It's the first election that is being held without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act.


VANDEN HEUVEL: Because we have a right-wing court which gutted a central civilizing advance --


STEPHANOPOULOS: Hold. Go ahead, Sara.

FAGEN: Yes, I just don't think that's right. There's -- just like there is no systemic evidence to suggest that the election is rigged, there's no systemic evidence to suggest that Republicans are trying to suppress voters and have been doing that for some period of time.

VANDEN HEUVEL: If you listen to the tapes, Scott Walker tapes that came out where he literally is talking to --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a paradox statement.


VANDEN HEUVEL: Project Veritas has got $110,000 from the Trump Foundation.


DOWD: I think the issue is -- I think the issue is, is Paul Ryan is going to have to make a decision, Republican leaders is going to have to make a decision on election night. And that's what I think the moment they -- they should have and could have been principled much more principle to try to grasp a hold of where the country is. But I think one of them has to stand up on election night and be the designated driver and take the car key as way from Donald Trump and concede and on his behalf and say enough is enough. It's time that we --


STEPHANOPOULOS: Don't you think he's going to concede if it's clear?

FAGEN: So he said that actually. He said that --


FAGEN: He will accept a clear result and based on everything we see today the result is going to be very clear.


GOLDBERG: Do you think he's going to hold to that message for more than 72 hours? You know, particularly --

VANDEN HEUVEL: 72 minutes.

GOLDBERG: Yes. That's the thing is, you know, surrogates going out saying, oh, he's just talking about media bias, he's not talking about a rigged election. And then in minutes, Donald Trump goes on Twitter and says, no, no, I'm talking about real rigged polling places.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Is there anything Hillary Clinton if she wins can do about Donald Trump once he loses?

SIMMONS: I think what Hillary Clinton can do is go to some of the rational Republicans who have stayed around Donald Trump and get them to come out and make sure they know this is over. So you see somebody like Mike Pence come out and congratulate Hillary Clinton. You see Paul Ryan come out and congratulate Hillary Clinton. Then you'll start to see, well, OK, well, who's left? So it's important for some of the folks -- Donald Trump can be by himself sitting over in a corner being one of the least patriotic candidates for president I've ever seen in this country because nothing is going to --

DOWD: I don't think she should go and talk to Republicans actually.

VANDEN HEUVEL: I agree with Matt.

DOWD: Because I think they're -- I think they're all tainted with this. Donald Trump is not the cause of this. Donald Trump is a symptom of this.

VANDEN HEUVEL: Absolutely.

FAGEN: She needs to address --

DOWD: Donald Trump arrived -- and she has to address the symptom. I think she needs to talk to independents, talk to independent leaders around the country and build something new.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That is going to have to be the last word today. Excellent discussion. Thank you all.

We'll be right back after this from our ABC stations.