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NYT: Trump Could Have Legally Avoided Taxes For 18 Years; SNL Slams Trump's Taxes In Mock Presidential Debate; Powerful Storm Churns Toward Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba; "Saturday Night Live" Takes On The Presidential Debate; Newspapers Face Backlash Endorsing Clinton; CNN Hero Isha Desselle; The Annual Balloon Festival In New Mexico. Aired 6-7a

Aired October 2, 2016 - 06:00   ET



[06:00:23] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Sunday morning is waiting for you. It's 6:00. It's too early for me clearly. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you this morning.

Overnight an early October surprise, Trump's taxes revealed. The "New York Times" saying they got their hands on some of Donald Trump's decades old tax documents.

PAUL: The report showed Donald Trump declared a nearly $1 billion loss back in 1995. This suggests he may have legally avoided paying federal income taxes for up to 18 years.

BLACKWELL: So clearly plenty of questions this morning, but with fewer than 40 days until the election, does this really change the race? We're digging into all of it. First, here's what's inside that "New York Times" report.


BLACKWELL (voice-over): "The New York Times" report indicates Donald Trump in 1995 reported a $916 million loss and lists tax benefits he used after a turbulent financial period for his businesses in the early 1990s.

The paper signing tax experts said Trump could have used his lost to cancel out an equivalent amount of taxable income for nearly two decades. The paper says it obtained the three pages of documents when they were mailed to a reporter last month.

A post mark indicated the documents were mailed from New York City and the return address claimed the envelope had been sent from Trump Tower. The paper did not examine Trump's federal return.

The "Times" said it obtained one page of his New York State resident income tax return as well as the first page of New Jersey and Connecticut nonresident returns. CNN has not independently verified the document's authenticity. But in response to the "New York Times" report, the Trump campaign said the GOP nominee has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in other taxes including property and real estate taxes.

Quote, "The only news here is that the more than 20-year-old alleged tax document was illegally obtained, a further demonstration that the "New York Times" like establishment media in general is an extension of the Clinton campaign, the Democratic Party and the global special interest," the statement said.


BLACKWELL: "The New York Times" report comes less than a week after Trump appeared to indicate during a debate with Hillary Clinton that he had not paid federal income tax over an unspecified period. The Democratic nominee accused the billionaire of refusing to release his returns possibly because he wanted hide how little taxes he had paid.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The only years that anybody has ever seen were a couple of years when he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license and they showed he didn't pay any federal income tax. So --

TRUMP: That makes me smart.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It sounds like you admitted that you hadn't paid federal taxes and that that was smart, is that what you meant to say?

TRUMP: No, I didn't say that at all. I mean, if they say I didn't, I mean, it doesn't matter. I will say this, I hate the way our government spends our taxes.


BLACKWELL: All right. Joining us now on the phone, Suzanne Craig, the "New York Times" reporter who received Trump's tax documents in the mail, one of the four reporters who contributed to this report. Sue, good morning to you.

SUZANNE CRAIG, REPORTER, "NEW YORK TIMES" (via telephone): Good morning.

BLACKWELL: So have you first, determined, the source of these documents in the period since publishing this article?

CRAIG: We can't say, but we did manage to verify the -- verify them through Mr. Trump's former accountant.

BLACKWELL: I'd like to get to Jack Mitnick in just a moment, who you lean on in this reporting.


BLACKWELL: But first, explain to us the provision and it's early in the morning. So as plainly as possible this net operating loss that would allow Donald Trump to claim a loss of 916 million and then not pay federal taxes for the next 18 years.

CRAIG: Yes. It's pretty crazy. There's a provision in the tax code, when you fill out your taxes if you have business deductions, you can list them and over time if you rack up losses on the net operating losses, you can continue to move them forward to reduce your taxes -- essentially reducing your taxes in future years and also back three.

It allows you to reduce your taxable income to zero which means you don't have taxes to pay in those years and you can move it forward. He can move it forward 15 years and in addition he could have racked up additional net operating losses that he could have rolled forward in the future years.

So we know from 1995 for 15 years he potentially didn't pay taxes but it could be further depending on the numbers in the future years.

BLACKWELL: OK, so let's now talk about Jack Mitnik, 80 years old now, Donald Trump's former accountant. Trump refers to him in the art of the deal. He explains Trump's understanding as the critical role taxes would play in helping him, Trump, build wealth. What did you learn from Mr. Mitnick?

[06:05:10]CRAIG: Well, just incredibly the idea that Donald Trump in the early 1990s, late 80s, when these losses were probably at their largest, businesses were going under. His businesses were failing. Creditors were being left with pennies on the dollars. Those losses from those business failures are what enabled him to not pay taxes going forward.

BLACKWELL: So again, these are three pages. The first page of the New York residence filing, the New Jersey and Connecticut nonresident filings. There are still some questions unanswered though.

CRAIG: There are. We have three pages which gives us a lot of information, but we don't have the schedules that went with that to itemize the losses. We don't have a full view of his charitable contributions.

Checked off boxes saying he didn't want to give to a number of charities, but we don't know exactly what that number is. So there's a lot -- we have a lot of pieces and then there's pieces obviously missing when you only get three pages. They were three crucial pages, but they weren't all of it.

BLACKWELL: We understand that Donald Trump would not comment on what you're reporting here, but there has been a response from a campaign and from an attorney that there could be a litigious response. Tell us about that.

CRAIG: Yes, they threatened to sue the paper if we move forward with them saying that their tax returns are confidential and we made a decision last night to move forward obviously knowing that.

BLACKWELL: All right, Sue Craig with the "New York Times." Sue, thanks so much for the reporting and for speaking with us at this really early hour. Thanks so much. CRAIG: OK, thanks.

BLACKWELL: All right, Christi.

PAUL: I know that a lot of people, you're sitting there, watching it, and you're still thinking how could Trump have legally avoided paying taxes for 18 years?

CNN Money correspondent, Cristina Alesci is trying to explain all of this for us. So first of all, we heard a little bit about what's in these tax returns, what stood out to you, Cristina?

CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN MONEY CORRESPONDENT: What stood out to me is there are still some key details that are missing because the "Times," as you just heard Sue Craig say, doesn't have Trump's complete tax returns and CNN can't confirm the authenticity of the document that the paper does have.

That said, here is what the "Times" is reporting. Trump declared a loss of $916 million in 1995, and that loss could be used to cancel taxable income for potentially up to 18 years according to the tax experts the paper hired.

That means even if Trump made $916 million the years after '95, he could have potentially paid little or no tax on that income. How is this possible? It all comes down to something called net operating loss. This is according to the "Times."

When a business has more tax deductible expenses than income, you end up with what the IRS calls a net operating loss. Now people may be asking, if Trump can write off such a large loss --

PAUL: Right.

ALESCI: -- over so many years, why can't I do that? Now most people are familiar with a different kind of tax deduction, capital losses. Typically these are tied to stocks, bonds, other investments. These are different.

They go by different rules and there are laws in how you can use them. With Trump, we're talking about losses from an operating business, which according to the IRS is the most common reason for a net operating loss.

Now if Trump had most of his wealth tied up in these businesses, which it seems like he did, any losses on those businesses might flow directly to him so he could use them to reduce his tax bill in future years.

Now as you guys have been saying all morning, it's important to note that the tax code does allow you to do this. All of this seems to be above board.

The Trump campaign responded that the candidate did pay hundreds of millions of dollars in other taxes including property, real estate. But it isn't directly denying the "Times" reporting on the federal tax bill.

PAUL: OK, Sue just alluded to carrying money over or losses over. Does this give us any clarity as to whether he lost all of this money specifically in 1995?

ALESCI: Now that's where we get into things that we don't know. The answer is, no. Almost $1 billion is a lot of money to lose, and we don't know exactly when that happened. We do know that one of his businesses, the Taj Mahal, declared bankruptcy in 1991, another in 1992.

Operating losses from those could have been listed on the returns in those years and they could have been carried over to the 1995 return, the year that we're looking at.

[06:10:09]We're actually -- we don't even know actually if the losses -- if he actually used them to offset income in later years. Tax law says he could have done that, but without the returns from those later years, we can't really know for sure -- Christi.

PAUL: Yes, these were only three pages from, as we said, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut. Do the documents help us get any kind of grasp as to Donald Trump's worth?

ALESCI: That's an excellent question. Bigger picture, the newly published documents don't give us the detail that we want especially me, on his overall net worth. We don't know how much money he's made since then. Trump pegs his own net worth as 10 billion but independent analysts especially "Forbes" say he is only worth about 3.7, "Bloomberg" puts his net worth at 3 billion.

To be clear, tax records don't really tell you how much someone is worth. They do tell you how much they made in any given year. All we have right now is 1995.

PAUL: All right, thank you so much, Cristina Alesci. I know that it's a lot to pick through. We appreciate that you're on it. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right, there's a good chance that if you're up at this hour you did not see "Saturday Night Live" raising the curtain on its 42nd season. Alec Baldwin is Donald Trump taking on Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton. Here's a portion of it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's the man to blame for the bottom half of all of his kids' faces, it's Republican nominee, Donald Trump.




(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He hasn't released his tax returns which means he's either not that rich.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not that charitable.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's never paid taxes in his life.



PAUL: All right. "Saturday Night Live" is back, people. Boy, did they jump right into election mode. I mean, let's face it, they're so good at it, why shouldn't they, right? Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, both target neither one off the hook. It was pretty good timing speaking about Donald Trump's taxes.

BLACKWELL: I should also say a pretty good Lester Holt. Alec Baldwin, this season's Trump, Kate McKinnon is back as Clinton. Let's bring in CNN's Jessica Schneider.

The season opened with this sketch, a spoof some would call it about the first presidential debate. I watched it on my phone very early this morning. Laughed until I shed a few tears. Tell us about it.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, a really great episode. You know, it was much anticipated and very hyped. In fact, the show waited until after the first debate to actually begin its season so they could take full advantage of all that debate fodder that we saw just about a week ago.

Of course, the man of the hour was Alec Baldwin. There was a lot of anticipation for him. Once he put on that toupe and put on that pout as well.

It was Kate McKinnon, who we've seen countless time as Hillary Clinton and she actually parodied Hillary Clinton's much relentless debate prep and also hyped debate prep. Take a listen to this.


KATE MCKINNON, SNL, "HILLARY CLINTON": My opponent's tax plan benefits the top 1 percent so much, it's not just trickledown economics, it's -- I don't know, I guess if I had to call it something off the top of the old dome with no prep whatsoever, I don't know, I guess I'd call it trumped up trickledown economics.


SCHNEIDER: So a play on some of those hyped words from the actual debate. Now we've seen Kate McKinnon countless times, so really the heat was on Alec Baldwin. When it was announced last week that he'd be portraying Donald Trump, there were a lot of questions as to whether or not he'd live up to the hype.

Of course, Darrell Hammond is somebody we've actually seen playing Trump in the past. From what I've seen on social media, Alec Baldwin definitely lived up to the expectations. People loved his impressions. They loved his look.

They loved his pout. They loved his talk. So a lot of praise for Alec Baldwin in that role. You know, interestingly as well, it wasn't just that debate that we saw parodied, we also saw a lot of political figures parodied.

They actually did a family feud where we saw everybody from the Trump kids to Bill Clinton as well. The opening sketch is always what people look forward to and what definitely lived up to all the expectations -- Christi and Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right, Jessica Schneider for us there. Jessica, we'll see a little bit more later in the show. Thanks so much.

PAUL: All righty. Gaining strength, extremely dangerous. Hurricane Matthew getting ready to pack a serious punch to Haiti, to Jamaica. CNN meteorologist, Allison Chinchar, tracking this major storm for us. Allison, how has it changed since yesterday?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: The track has begun to shift because we finally started to see that northerly trend that the storm actually finally began to make, and that's a good thing because it finally gives us maybe a little bit more clarity on where it's going to go in the next 48 hours. We'll have more details on that coming up.



BLACKWELL: Hurricane Matthew is not letting up. Still a powerful Category 4 storm packing 150 miles per hour winds. Haiti now bracing for the worst of it. Jamaica is also at serious risk. Shelters have opened. As you can see here, people are stocking up on water, batteries, just trying to prepare.

PAUL: Cuba is in Matthew's path as well. Cuban President Raul Castro overseeing preparations there and the U.S. now evacuating 700 employees and their families from its naval base in Guantanamo Bay.

CNN meteorologist, Allison Chinchar is tracking Hurricane Matthew. So we know that Cuba is in its sites. A lot of people watching this morning wondering if it's targeting Florida. What does the trajectory tell you?

CHINCHAR: That's right. So Christi, we talked yesterday about how once it made the shift to the north we would finally be able to know a little bit more about the track. One thing we want to know is that Florida was not taken out. It's still an option at this point.

Notice the track of the storm, still technically includes Miami and that very eastern edge of Florida. Again, it's on the fringe, but you can't rule it out. So that's going to be the thing to realize going forward.

Here's a look again at the track. It's a very powerful Category 4 hurricane. It finally made that shift to the north. We're finally starting to see a lot of the dynamics of the storm take place and get more finite detail.

One thing to point out, the cloud tops in the storm exceeds 60,000 feet. That's so high, again, if you had a plane going through that area, they wouldn't go through. Their only option would be to go around.

That's how tall some of these cloud tops are. And also just to show the expanse of the storm, tropical storm force winds extend 200 miles out from the center of the storm.

So even say Jamaica, portions of Cuba that may not necessarily get a direct hit, they're still going to have big impacts because of those outer bands in the storm.

Here's a look at what we call the spaghetti plot. These are all the various different options that the models think Matthew has in order for where it's going.

Notice again you've got some going to Cuba, you have some going to Florida. You have some going all the way east as far as say the Turks and Caicos. It goes to show you there's a lot of options with this particular storm.

And, again, while Florida may not be the best case scenario for a lot of these, it's still a scenario at this point. So we still need to keep a close eye on the storm and also watch the intensity.

Because a lot of the impacts that Cuba, Haiti, and Jamaica will get are going to be things that a lot of folks in Southern Florida are going to pay very close attention to -- Victor, Christi.

PAUL: Thank you, Allison. Appreciate it.

BLACKWELL: Allison, thank you so much.

Breaking news now, we're going to push forward on this. "The New York Times" uncovering the details of Donald Trump's taxes showing how he could have legally avoided paying taxes for nearly two decades. Both candidates' campaigns are responding and what the tax report could mean for the campaign.

Also, "Saturday Night Live" is back. This time they're having a laugh at the presidential candidates and their families' expense. There's Bernie Sanders, Chris Christie, Vladimir Putin. We've got it all ahead.


PAUL: It's 30 minutes past early 6:00 a.m. on a Sunday. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Let's get back to the breaking news this morning. Trump's taxes revealed overnight. "The New York Times" says they've obtained some of Donald Trump's state tax documents from 1995. The "Times" said when they were anonymously mailed to a reporter, the return address claimed the envelope was sent from Trump Tower.

PAUL: Now the documents show Trump declaring a loss of $916 million. If that's true, that kind of loss could have legally exempted him from paying federal taxes for up to 18 years.

CNN cannot independently confirm the authenticity of these documents, but based on what they show, they do show, I want to reiterate, that everything was done within the legal parameters of the current tax code.

[06:30:10] Hillary Clinton's campaign is seizing (ph) on "The New York Times" report. They're calling it a bombshell. The campaign said in a statement here, "There it is. This bombshell report reveals the colossal nature of Donald Trump's past business failures and just how long he may have avoided paying any federal income taxes whatsoever" -- unquote.

The Clinton campaign does go on to say though, "Now that the gig is up, why doesn't he go ahead and release his returns to show us all how smart he really is?"

Now Trump's campaign is pushing back saying, he had a fiduciary responsibility as a businessman to pay no more tax than legally required.

Jeremy Diamond has been following the campaign's response very closely. So Jeremy, help us understand how the Trump campaign is going to spin this.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Trump campaign is really pushing back very severely, both slamming "The New York Times" report and essentially pushing back against these suggestions that not paying tax returns that year sheds any light on Trump's character or his qualities as a businessman, particularly pertaining to this $916 million loss.

The Trump campaign put out a statement last night. I'm going to read a part of it. It says here, "The only news here is that the more than 20-year-old alleged tax document was illegally obtained, a further demonstration that the "New York Times," like established media in general, is an extension of the Clinton campaign, the Democratic Party and their global special interests. What is happening now with the FBI and DOJ on Hillary Clinton's email and illegal server including her many lies and her lies to Congress are worse than what took place in the administration of Richard Nixon and far more illegal." So there you see the Trump campaign both slamming this "New York Times" report and also deflecting, trying to change the conversation and put it back on Hillary Clinton and her use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state. But of course what is going to be the focus of this next week in politics is certainly going to be this tax return revelation. It amps up pressure on Donald Trump to release his tax returns and certainly continues to raise questions about whether he paid any income tax at all in recent years given that this report in 1995 shows that Trump may not have had to pay any income tax for 18 years.

PAUL: Yes, and that he may not have had to do that because of the legal parameters, again, of the current tax code. There was a Monmouth (ph) U (ph) poll last month that said 62 percent of people polled say, it is important for a presidential candidate to release their tax codes.

What are you hearing about any possibility that he may actually do that and how if he does not it may hurt him?

DIAMOND: Well, Donald Trump has been defiant on this issue, right? Remember, this is a precedent set by major party nominees for decades, and Donald Trump so far has said as long as my tax returns are under audit, I'm not going to release them, which is to say he's not going to release them before Election Day given that his tax returns going back to 2009 are under audit according to a letter from his attorney.

But certainly this is going to be difficult for Trump because it also undermines, you know, this idea that he is a business -- an amazing businessman and that he's going to help the country given the fact that, you know, this showed $960 million loss. That may bring some concerns for voters who see that as a key attribute. But Donald Trump could also spin this in another way. You know, it could be an opportunity for him to talk about those years in the '90s when he struggled financially, a humbling opportunity to talk about that and how he made a comeback from those difficult years.

PAUL: OK. Jeremy Diamond, appreciate it so much. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk more about what this "New York Times" report means for Trump's campaign with Scottie Nell Hughes, CNN political commentator and a Donald Trump supporter, Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association and a Hillary Clinton supporter. Good morning to both of you.



BLACKWELL: I want to bring back up that -- that "FOX News" poll because I think it's important. I don't want to -- I don't want to just brush by it if we can start there.

The question here, "Is Donald Trump hiding something in his tax returns?" This taken just a few weeks ago, 60 percent of the respondents believe that he is.

Scottie, to you first. I learned that if the truth is better than perception someone will tell you. The statement from the Trump campaign does not deny or refute a single word of the "Times" report. Should they now release the tax returns?

HUGHES: Absolutely not. This is the latest dumpster diving story of "The New York Times" and of course the Hillary Clinton camp wants Donald Trump to release his taxes. We've seen the paperwork, how large it is. That would give them a whole month to sit there and go through every detail, every paper. And I'm sure when we're creating headlines and stories this morning that use the words could have, may have, not verified and making those the headlines, I can just imagine all of the great spin that the Hillary Clinton camp could try to come up with when it's not factual, it's not (ph) (INAUDIBLE).


And the only illegal activity that has happened here is how "The New York Times" possibly might have achieved -- achieved these -- had received these types of documents and how they released them.

BLACKWELL: All right. Well, "The New York Times" said that they were mailed to them anonymously.

And three more words I want to add to that list you just gave, Scottie. This is legit coming from Jack (INAUDIBLE) -- the -- I'm sorry, Mitnick, who was the accountant for Donald Trump during this time.

Let me come to you, Lily. And I want to play something that Donald Trump said to CBS just a couple weeks ago.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I fight like hell to pay as little as possible for two reasons. Number one, I'm a businessman. And that's the way you're supposed to do it. And you put the money back into your company and employees and all of that. But the other reason is that I hate the way our government spends our taxes. I hate the way they waste our money. Trillions and trillions of dollars of waste and abuse. And I hate it.


BLACKWELL: All right. So he said, "I fight like hell to pay as little as possible." Doesn't everyone? I mean, if there are people sitting at home, they want to pay as little in federal taxes as possible too, right?

GARCIA: Exactly. I'm a teacher so when you think that teachers out there are paying more taxes than Donald Trump you know there's something going on here.

And everybody wants to see the taxes -- taxes of the people who want to be our next president. It gives us a lot of good information that the public has been able to know about people who are running for president for the last 40 years with the one single exception of Donald Trump. And now we know why. Because he has stiffed the American public as much as he has stiffed the people that have worked for him and didn't get paid what they were supposed to be paid.

BLACKWELL: Now, when you say --

GARCIA: We're talking about fair share. I'm a teacher he has to pay (INAUDIBLE).

BLACKWELL: When you say he stiffs them -- but let me jump in here. I just want to make sure we say this, that he has broken no law.

HUGHES: No, exactly. Exactly.

BLACKWELL: According to the "New York Times" reporting he has followed every law and there's no wrong doing here.

Let me come to you, Scottie and I'll come right back to you, Lily.

Scottie, let me bring to you what Donald Trump Jr. said in an interview just a couple of weeks ago with the "Pittsburgh Tribune- Review." Now the narrative from the Trump campaign, from Donald Trump himself has been, there is an audit and that is the only reason why he's not releasing his returns. Here's what Donald Trump Jr. said.


DONALD TRUMP JR., DONALD TRUMP'S SON: Because he's got a 12,000 page tax return and that would create -- that would create probably 300 million independent financial auditors out of every person in the country asking questions that are going to distract from his main message.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By that rationale you don't think it'll ever be released?




TRUMP JR.: I think probably not during the election. I think whatever the rules would be once you're a president, I don't think it's any issue. I don't think it's about -- we don't want to take away from our message.


BLACKWELL: Doesn't want to take away from the message. Doesn't think they're going to be release before the election. No mention of an audit.

I mean, is that the real reason why we're not seeing those documents being released echoing actually what you said just a couple of minutes ago? But don't the American people deserve to see those documents as they have for the last 40 years?

HUGHES: If you don't like the law, Victor, then change it. But right now Mr. Trump has done everything. We have laws in this country for a reason. If you don't like it, change it.

And you have to look at -- Mr. Trump was not the only one hurting that year, 71,800 businesses failed. Owing more than $34 billion that same exact year, 20 years ago. So Mr. Trump, (INAUDIBLE) your private -- your previous reporters talked about the airlines and other companies that Mr. Trump of the 515 companies that Mr. Trump has started, 32,000 jobs he has created. We're going to go after this and we're going to go after these maybe possible cases of taxes and discredit everything he's done, good in business and good for our economy?

BLACKWELL: Scotty, I'll add to that no one else in that year is running for president in 2016. The people who were hurting that year.

HUGHES: And he wasn't running at that point either.

BLACKWELL: Well he's running now. He's running now.

HUGHES: But he wasn't running then. But he did everything legally he had to do.

BLACKWELL: I hear you. No one would have asked him in 1995 to release his taxes. They're asking in 2016 because he's on the ballot this year.

Lily, let me come back to you. How much is this really worth? Polls show that voters care about jobs, the economy, and the terrorism not Donald Trump's effective tax rate. That's not what they're going to go to the ballot and make a choice based upon. How much is it worth to the Clinton campaign?

GARCIA: But they do care about his character. They do care about whether or not he's someone who would continue the kinds of laws that allow the super rich to get away without paying taxes while people like teachers and soldiers and folks who work for a paycheck have to pay their fair share of taxes. Think about what those taxes pay for. They pay for our public schools, public roads.

When someone says, I'm too smart to pay taxes, what does that make the rest of us, that we're not smart because we do pay our fair share?


BLACKWELL: All right. Lily Eskelsen Garcia, Scottie Nell Hughes, just the beginning of the conversation this morning of this breaking news from "The New York Times" that $916 million loss taken in 1995 by Donald Trump we'll continue the conversation. Thank you both.

All right. A couple of programming notes. Bernie Sanders will join our Jay Tapper this morning on "STATE OF THE UNION." That's at 9:00 Eastern. And then at 2:00 Eastern Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson will join "NEWSROOM" with Fredricka Whitfield only here on CNN. PAUL: I know you might feel that it has been a tough election year thus far. A lot of hostility from both presidential candidates. "Saturday Night Live" wants to give you a little relief. And yes, they do -- they make laughs out of the whole thing. That's ahead.

BLACKWELL: And how subscribers are ditching newspapers across the country for endorsing Hillary Clinton.


BLACKWELL: We're just a little more than a month away from the elections, and despite all the vitriol that we're seeing from the candidates, "Saturday Night Live" manages to make us laugh at it all. Alec Baldwin, Hillary Clinton -- Alec Baldwin, Kate McKinnon, they are being played to perfection. Watch this.


MICHAEL CHE, COMEDIAN: Mr. Trump, you've criticized Secretary Clinton for voting for the Iraq war but you yourself supported the war.

ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: Wrong, wrong, wrong. You're being very mean to me tonight, Coltrane, very mean.



BALDWIN: I was against the war, ask anyone in the world named Sean Hannity. I told Sean Hannity. Call Sean Hannity.


CHE: You told Sean Hannity on his show and there's proof.

BALDWIN: No, I told him in private. It was just me and Sean, late at night, I leaned over and I whispered in his ear, Sean, I'm against the war in Iraq. And then he whispered in my ear, I'm against the war, too. And the next thing I knew I was kissing Sean Hannity.


PAUL: OK. So Brian Stelter, CNN media correspondent and host of CNN's "RELIABLE SOURCES," and Tim Young, political satirist and comedian, both with us and both laughing through that exchange.

So with that said, Brian, I want to go to you first. What's your reaction to what we saw last night?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: I was laughing the whole time. There were a number of jokes about Clinton but of course more about Trump. And in some ways this debate didn't need to be parodied at all. You know, there wasn't much for the writers to do. They were essentially just reliving the actual debate on Monday, exaggerating and a little bit for effect, and it worked marvelously.

PAUL: All right. Tim, what were your thoughts?

TIM YOUNG, POLITICAL SATIRIST/COMEDIAN: I think the same as Brian, actually. You know, these candidates are caricatures of normal candidates this year. And it was amazing that they were able to find things that were still funny and they could continue to make fun of it, because they kind of make fun of themselves in the actual debate.

PAUL: Tim, how hard is it to emulate somebody? Because, I mean, the voices, they've got the voices down. They've got the little intricacies of their personalities down. That can't be easy.

YOUNG: You'll never see me do an impression. I just like to hate everything. That's my shtick. So it's much easier to take that angle than the whole -- you know, I mean, what they did last night was so incredible. Having those characters to look perfectly, the body posturing. They nailed it. They're two iconic actors taking on two iconic politicians and they did it perfectly. It's very difficult to do.

PAUL: All right. We should point out too they're taking a dig at the family as well. Let's watch this clip.


KENAN THOMPSON, COMEDIAN: Trump, what's the reason people give for being late?

MARGOT ROBBIE, ACTRESS: What an interesting and wonderful question, Steve. May ask my brothers for help?

THOMPSON: They're not here.



THOMPSON: Who are these?

DAY: I'm Donald Trump Jr. The brains.

ROBBIE: I'm Ivanka, the beauty.

MOFFAT: And I'm Eric.

THOMPSON: OK. Show me "Children of the Corn."


PAUL: Tim, how do people who are made fun of on TV usually react?

YOUNG: Well, when you're not Donald Trump, you take it with a grain of salt. I'm surprised we haven't seen tweets yet about it.


YOUNG: Usually people enjoy being made fun of. You know, Scottie Nell Hughes who was in your last segment and she was lambasted last year by "SNL." And she was proud of it, tweeted about it. So I'm kind of waiting for the Donald Trump reaction on this one.

PAUL: Brian, do people usually think, man, if I hit -- if I made it on "SNL" I made it?


STELTER: Yes. And, you know, I would be surprised if the kids -- Donald Trump's kids don't embrace it at some point. Play along with it (INAUDIBLE) really hated it. You know, we should be honest, the "SNL" writers, most comedians do lean to the left. A lot of critics would say this show helps Democrats, President Obama and now Hillary Clinton. That said, they are -- I think the writers try to be equal opportunity satirists when they can be and try to find humor in both candidates.

PAUL: So, Brian, what would the smart reaction be from Donald Trump?


STELTER: Given all the news stories that are unflattering for him right now, I think "SNL" might have been the best thing to happen to him last night.

PAUL: All right. Brian Stelter, Tim Young, thank you both gentlemen for being with us and sharing your insights.

BLACKWELL: All right. We'll tell you who is not laughing right now, conservative newspaper editorial boards breaking from tradition and endorsing Hillary Clinton. What it's costing them? We're talking real money here and the backlash they're dealing with for not supporting Trump.



PAUL: You know, more than 25 million senior citizens live in poverty. There's a segment of this population that's particularly fragile. They're easily falling outside any financial safety net right into homelessness. For this CNN hero shining a light on the forgotten group. Meet (ph) Isha Desselle.


ISHA DESSELLE, CNN HERO: When you're older living on the street, it's a very scary place. You're much more vulnerable. The people who are in between the ages of 50 and 62, society views them as too old for working and too young for Social Security. They need help. It's like you don't exist. And that's wrong.


PAUL: To see how Isha is lifting the elderly out of homelessness. Give them a new beginning here. Go to You can watch the full story.


PAUL: A major bombshell revealed this morning Trump's taxes, at least a few pages of them.

"The New York Times" saying they got their hands on some of his decades old tax documents.

BLACKWELL: The report show that Trump declared a nearly $1 billion loss in 1995. Now this suggests he may have legally avoided paying federal income taxes for up to 18 years.

"The New York Times" is among many newspapers endorsing Hillary Clinton's candidacy but as Reid Binion tells us, traditionally conservative papers who are now with her, and losing subscribers, "The Arizona Republic" editorial board says it has even received death threats.


REID BINION, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Several editorial boards are for the first time in decades breaking tradition by not supporting the Republican presidential nominee. Instead, they're recommending Hillary Clinton and in some cases Libertarian Gary Johnson as their choice for president. Among the media outlets catching heat as rejecting Donald Trump as the suitable choice for president is "The Arizona Republic" which is endorsing a Democrat for the first time since its founding back in 1890.

PHIL BOAS, EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR, THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC: I don't think it's an accident that we're breaking with our history in a year -- presidential election year that none of us have seen in our lifetime. A candidate who is so reckless and so obnoxious and so frightening.


BINION: "The Dallas Morning News" broke a75-year-old streak by not backing a Republican.

MIKE WILSON, EDITOR, DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Our recommendation is just that, a recommendation. It's the -- we recommended the person we think is best qualified to serve as president.

BINION: And for the first time in over a century "The Detroit News" is endorsing a candidate who isn't a Republican. This election they're throwing their support behind the libertarian nominee.

NOLAN FINLEY, EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR, THE DETROIT NEWS: I don't think you -- a voter should be expected to hold their nose and vote for the lesser of two evils. We handle this process the same way we always do. We looked at the candidates and picked the one who best reflected our values as a newspaper.

BINION: The endorsement sparked outrage among Republican readers which resulted in many canceling their subscriptions. Trump responded in a tweet saying, that people were smart for doing so.

I'm Reid Binion reporting.


BLACKWELL: All right. In the next hour we're going to talk with the "New York Times" reporter who got her hands on Donald Trump's 1995 tax returns. She gives us the details of that bombshell just minutes away.

PAUL: And look at the stunning video we have. A huge hot air balloon fiesta getting off the ground there in Albuquerque as the sun is coming up. Is it coming up where you are?


PAUL: Let me give you something pretty to wake up to this morning. It's not Victor. It's the annual balloon festival in New Mexico is what we're talking about. It was really a beautiful sight.

Look at all the balloons going up there.


PAUL: Nine days. Nine days.

BLACKWELL: Yes. It's apparently the largest hot air balloon festival in the world.

Hundreds of different kinds of balloons. You see some of them there. I think that was a dinosaur. This year's theme, desert kaleidoscope.

PAUL: There we go.

BLACKWELL: All right.

PAUL: Thank you so much for sharing your morning with us.

BLACKWELL: We've got a lot on the breaking news coming up in the next hour of your NEW DAY.


That starts right now.