tv Meet the Press NBC December 19, 2016 3:00am-4:01am PST
those were based on surveys in january of 2009. most americans believe mr. trump will change the way things are done in government. by a two to one margin, they believe he will bring the right kind of change. 28% expect business as usual. on the subject of russia, 31% say president-elect trump has been too friendly with vladimir putin. 24% say, no, he is not, he hasn't been too friendly with putin. but at the same time by a huge margin american dozen ns do not russia's interference handed him the presidency. mr. obama avoided weighing in on whattism pact russia's hacking had on the election. he tried to explain why his public response to russia's interference has been restrained. >> i wanted to make sure that everybody understood we were playing this thing straight. thating toing
advantage one side or the other. >> president obama dee dfended administration's muted response. >> part of the goal was to make sure that we did not do the work of the leakers for them by raising more and more questions about the integrity of the election right before the election was taking place at a time when the president-elect himself was raising questions. >> hillary clinton blamed james comey for his loss at a party for donors on thursday night. >> i happen to believe this, that that letter most likely made the difference in the outcome. >> clinton's campaign chair called the fbi response to the dnc hacking baffling writing, no one at the fbi could be bothered to drive ten minutes to raise the alarm. but the president and his attorney general are defending the fbi. >> the investigation isn't even over. so i think it's impossible to characterize it in any one way
or the other. i don't know where mr. podesta is obtaining information. >> at that thursday night event, clinton blamed vladimir putin for her defeat. >> we're also learning more every day about the unprecedented russian plot to swing this election. >> but the president refused to say he is the reason she lost, though he did all but confirm an nbc news story that the russian president personally approved the cyberattacks. >> not much happens in russia without vladimir putin. >> while press oident bemobama reluctant blame the press. >> i find it curious everybody is surprised that this looked like it was disadvantaging hillary clinton because you guys wrote about it every day. every single leak. >> some democrats are frustrated the president did not act more aggressively in the fall. >> it was really nothing preventing the administration on its own from being even more declaratory in terms of what the
intelligence showed. i think it was a mistake. >> trump is ignoring the fact the fbi and the director of national intelligence agree with a cia assessment that russia intervened to help trump win. last week he rejected that intelligence. >> i think it's ridiculous. i think it's just another excuse. i don't believe it. >> on friday, team trump brought up an issue that has nothing to do with putin and the russians. >> this wouldn't have happened if hillary clinton didn't have a secret server. >> it's worth noting that the russians did not hack hillary clinton's home server. one other thing, president obama made it clear that he is considering a number of actions in response to the russian hacking that in his words could increase the costs for them. do the russians care about that threat? remember, the president confirmed something else friday. that in september at the g-20 sum knit chmit in china he toldo cut it out. it was a month later that wikileaks began publishing the first of 50,000 e-mails from
john podesta. since president obama concedes not much happens in russia without putin, it doesn't sound as though he cut it out. the only other explanation is that the russians weren't involved with that which could contradi contradict 17 other intelligence agencies. joining me is john podesta. welcome back to "meet the press." >> good morning. >> let me start with this question, do you believe it was a free and fair election? >> i think the russians clearly intervened in the election. i think that now we know that both the cia, the director of national intelligence, the fbi all agree that the russians intervened helped trump and that as they have noted this week, nbc first revealed that vladimir putin was personally involved with that. so i think that people went to the polls. they cast their votes. hillary clinton got 2.9 million more votes than donald trump.
but donald trump is claiming the electiooral college victory. tomorrow they will vote. >> you didn't answer the question. do you believe it was a free and fair election? >> well, i think it was distorted bit rudistort ed by the russian intervention. >> let me ask you this then. >> a foreign adversary directly intervened into our democratic institution and tried to tilt the election to donald trump. i think that if you look back and see what happened over the course of the last few weeks, you see the way the votes broke. you know, i was highly critical of the way the fbi, particularly the fbi director managed the situation with respect to the russian engagement versus hillary clinton's e-mails. i think that all had an affect on the election. >> in the op-ed, you put more wal weight on what mr. comey did than anything else. >> i think nate silver and
others -- >> which do you believe had more impact? >> what i said was baffling, chuck, was on october 7, as the director of national intelligence jim clapper, jeh johnson the director of homeland security went out and said the russians are trying to interfere in our election, director comey counseled against that. he said, i don't want my -- the fbi's name on that. then three weeks later, he went out and dropped the infamous letter 11 days before the election saying that he was going to take yet another look at hillary clinton's e-mails because of the laptop that he had gotten from anthony wiener. so how can you have that both ways? i think that even in their defense, no one disputed those facts. october 7, he is saying to say the russians are involved, which the american people i think had a right to know, was too
political. 11 days out, he drops this bombshell into the election and then just a week later says, we looked at it and there's nothing to it. so he had the opportunity to do that in private. he didn't do it. i think that democrats and republicans who have served in the justice department krilt size e criticized him at the time. >> you asked for a few things. it was pretty direct. you were hoping for a russian hacking investigation. you wanted to see intelligence declassified, should be declassified. president obama said he is not going to provide t. you believe the fbi did not adequately respont to the dnc act. lynch said the investigation isn't over. you said would you liyou would them brief on the intelligence. president obama said it's up to them. do you feel as if the obama administration sort of is abandoning your efforts? >> i think the obama administration is doing what it
thinks is the right thing to do. that's their judgment and their call. >> are they making the right call? >> when i said that 70 members bipartisan members of the electoral college have asked to be briefed, in "the new york times" it was said it's not that putin and trump were colluding, but the russians were trying to elect a lap dog. it's very much unknown whether there was collusion. i think russian diplomats have said post election that they were talking to the trump campaign. roger stone in august foreshadowed the fact that they had hacked my e-mails and those would be forthcoming when he said he was in touch with wikileaks. carter page, one of trump's foreign policy advisers went to russia before the republican convention and met with a person in the russian hierarchy who was responsible for collecting intelligence.
so i think really not what mr. trump knew but what did trump inc. know and when did they know it? were they in touch with the russians? the electors have a right to know what the answers are if the u.s. government has those answers before the election. that's also why i said there needs to be an independent investigation into this. >> we are in 24 hours the presidential election officially occurs. people don't fully realize that. but i think they're learning now tomorrow at noon, this will take place. what would you like to see the electors do? >> i think that's a judgment for them. i think we haven't tried to influence what electors will do. i assume that our electors are going to vote for hillary clinton. but the question is whether there are 37 republican electors who think that either there are open questions or that donald trump based on everything we know about him is really unfit to be president of the united states. and if they do, they will throw
it to the house of representatives. >> there are certain supporters of yours that say the best route is for you to call on all of hillary clinton's electors to support john kasich or mitt romney or mike pence in order to lure 37 others over. >> i know that. the question is, are the 37 republicans not what the democrats are going to do. i guess we will know that noon tomorrow. a rolling noon tomorrow. i think they vote -- >> across the time zones. >> i guess when the hawaiian electors are done voting, we will know the final outcome. >> you know, it was interesting to hear the president say he directly asked putin to cut it out a month later is when your e-mails start getting released to the public. the president also said if he had gotten too aggressive about this during the election, he would have been accused of tipping the scales. he mentioned the fact that the time donald trump was questioning parts of the election. do you think the president -- president obama was cowed by trump? >> i think -- no.
i think he was using his judgment. he briefed bipartisan -- he had his people brief the bipartisan leadership. mitch mcconnell argued against a bipartisan public statement. they did release the statement on october 7 from director clapper and secretary johnson saying the russians were trying to interfere. you know, do i in retrospect wish they had done more? sure. of course i do. i think they were trying to render their best judgment about what was appropriate. and i think that there's a lot -- i'm not saying that it's everybody else's fault. we bore responsible. i know that. the media didn't cover itself with glory on the way they handled the matter. "the new york times" reported this week in their own reporting said that they became an instrument for russian intelligence. so i think we'll all ought to take a lesson from this, look at
it. most importantly, investigate what actually happened and put that out to the american public, declassify as much as possible, do it through an independent investigation. everybody will feel like we have learned whatever lessons there are from 2016. we will move forward so it didn't happen again. >> this is your personal account that was hacked. i gotta think you are getting updates on the investigation that others would not. what can you share? >> i will share this with you, chuck. the first time i was contacted by the fbi was two days after wikileaks started dropping my e-mails. >> let me pause a minute. two days after? >> two days after. so october 7, let's go through the chronology. on october 7, the tape comes out. one hour later, wikileaks starting dropping my e-mails into the public. one could say that those things might not have been a coincidence. two days later, the fbi
contacted me. first thing the agent said to me was, i don't know if you are aware but your e-mail account might have been hacked. i said, yes -- >> when did you know? >> i said i was aware of that. >> when were you aware that you had been hacked? >> i think i was -- it was confirmed on october 7. some of the dnc dumps that it occurred earlier. other campaign officials also had their e-mails divulge earlier than october 7. in one of the dnc dumps there was a document that appeared to me was -- that appeared came -- might have come from my account. i wasn't sure. i didn't know. i didn't know what they had, what they didn't have. it wasn't until october 7 when assuage both really in his first statements said things that were incorrect but started dumping them out and said they were going to all dump out. that's when i knew they had the content of my e-mail account. >> whether hn history is writtet
the election -- >> that's the last time i talked to the fbi. you asked me when did -- am i getting additional briefings. that was the first and last time. >> october 9 is the last time you heard from the fbi at all? >> yes. >> you have not got an update? >> that's correct. >> do you expect to get a phone call before the end of the year? >> maybe before the end of the show. >> when the history of this election is written, is it how much is russia, how much is comey, and how much is the fact that you didn't make one visit to the state of wisconsin after the convention? >> look, i think that -- i actually think that we -- the people are asking for a full accounting of what happened, where did we spend our money, what did we do. i think that's fair and should be forthcoming. >> you want to do an autopsy of your decision making? >> i think that in -- if you
remember in 2012, the republicans took until march because the data doesn't come in until then. we owe it to our supporters to say what we think we did right, what we think we did wrong. i think wisconsin we could have done better. there's no question about it. i think in the -- we had twice as many staff in wisconsin and michigan than obama did. but i think we -- we sent -- hillary did not go back to wisconsin. but i think that -- i think in the end of the day, we also lost pennsylvania. there was nothing we left undone there. and we still lost by 44,000 votes. in total, those three states, we lost by less than 80,000 votes. we won the popular vote by 2.9 million votes. we did a lot of things right. we were up against very difficult media environment. but there's no question that we didn't make every right decision. >> quickly, you had an
interesting lunch on friday. the chiefs of staffs got together to meet with the incoming chief of staff reince priebus. what advice did you get him? >> i told him that -- a couple of things. it was a private meeting. i don't want to go too in-depth into it. there were republican and democratic former chiefs. i think we all respect the office of the presidency. we all want mr. priebus to succeed in the jobs that we held. i think we all gave him advice about -- it was interesting. i think one of the things he got from the republicans was his unique role in protecting that office of the presidency as he comes in as we all had to share that responsibility. in my case, i told him that i think that one of the things that makes the white house work or not work is whether the chief of the staff and the national security adviser are in harness. when they're not, the wagon goes off the cliff. when they are, i think things
can work rather smoothly. it's up to him to make that relationship work. >> john podesta, campaign chair for hillary clinton's campaign, appreciate you spending sunday morning here. happy holidays. >> thanks. more on russia's hacking from the former head of the cia and a former pentagon head, robert gates. later, partisan politics in overdrive. a democrat won the race for governor in north carolina. the legislature voted to strip him of much of his power before him of much of his power before he takes you can fly across welcome town in minutes16, or across the globe in under an hour. whole communities are living on mars and solar satellites provide earth with unlimited clean power. in less than a century, boeing took the world from seaplanes to space planes, across the universe and beyond. and if you thought that was amazing, you just wait. ♪
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welcome back. panel is here. rick santelli, yamiche, katty and jeff greenfield. welcome all. what struck you the most about the podesta interview? >> he sound flustered when you asked him about their decision making within the campaign and wisconsin. of course, russia is important and the fact that hillary clinton the focus on her private e-mails was something that hurt them, how democrats move forward is really going to be -- they will have to look at what they did in the election and who they lost 57and how they lost and wh the turnout was so low. i think those -- that's what struck me most. he had other answers but when it came to his own campaign and how it was run, he wasn't as strong.
>> what did you get out of it? >> he did say there's going to have to be an investigation because the donors are saying what did we send our money on? one other thing that i thought was different was from my reporting with senior members of the white house, what they are saying is that after putin was spoken to by obama, the white house says that the leaking -- the hacking stopped but, of course, they already had the e-mails out there. that's some discrepancy. we will have to sort through that. they are pushing back very hard on the idea that the conversation with putin did not have results. they say it had results as far as we could see the hacking stopped. but, of course, podesta's e-mails had been taken and they were released later on. >> good luck with that defense. it feels like the obama administration and clinton campaign are not on the same page. >> yeah. i think what you heard was what i think many of us would experience if an election came down to one 30th no -- you bang your head against the wall.
maybe bill clinton should not have walked across the tarmac and said hi to loretta lynch, which gave comey the power. i think -- >> some would say she should not have set up the e-mail server. >> and, and, and. it's better when you lose an election by ten points. it wasn't our turn. the other thing i would say very quickly is that going forward it's going to be interesting to see whether or not people in positions of power can separate the issue of russian hacking from how their side did. if it helped your side, are you going to minimize it? whatever happened, we can't let a foreign government do that. >> it's interesting. rick, i'm curious of your thoughts on this. we show that there is a partisan divide on this issue of russian hacking. are you bothered by it a great deal or quite a bit? 86% of democrats are. 29% of republicans. if russia hacked into our democracy, how do we get the country unified on this issue?
>> i think we're taking a bad tangent on the topic of hacking. i think hacking is important. most americans should worry about it no matter what side of the aisle you are on. the notion of trying to use this and various other issues to explain the results of the election is where i think everything is off the rails. the way mr. podesta seemed to pause when you asked him about wisconsin says it all. take the electoral college, for example, i don't know anybody here played chess. when i win in chess, if i have one player left but his king is gone, i win. that's it. wisconsin is the poster child for the party losing track all the way back to 2010, the takeover of congress. there is an unnerved part of the public that understands the history of hillary clinton. we have seen her for decades. we understand donald trump. the sour grapes we were experiencing isn't going to make
a better tasting wine for the democrats in the future. >> let's go to what to do about the russian question here. donald trump's not ready to accept -- dan balls put a theory out. for president-elect who touts america first, russian hacking poses a problem. he throws this out. . >> donald trump's relation with russia has been mystifying all along. the affinity with president putin is recent. how does somebody square that relationship away with the fact that russia is meddling in ukraine, is upsetting our allies, is building up troops along the border of europe and even in syria where mr. putin -- mr. trump seems happy to have putin take the lead, russia is
working with iran. trump will have to deal with that. he is not doing that. >> you know what struck me about what you said? president of the united states did not say that friday when he talked about the threat of russia. he did not put in that global -- was that a mistake? >> i think it's a very accurate reflection of the notion that we are about to have a president totally unlike anything we have had before, whether you like it or not, who will, let me be blunt, uninformed the way traditional candidates have been informed and tends to see every issue through how does it affect me, putin likes me, therefore, the broader issues i think so far have taken second place. it's going to be an interesting questions if mr. balls is right whether now he is ensconced, he says i better start thinking in a different way. am i confident of that? no. >> i'm goes to pause it here. we're picking this back up but i have to pay a bill. we will hear from the former head of the cia and a former secretary of defense, the same guy, it's robert gates on
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welcome back. robert gates has had a ring side seat for both republicans and democrats and he was the head of the cia under the first president bush. well, i talked to him yesterday what he thinks of donald trump's choice of rex tillerson and about what he considers to be president obama's biggest foreign policy success and failures. but i began asking him about the story about the russian hacking of the election. >> as far as i know, chuck, it's unprecedented. i can't remember -- first president i worked for was lyndon johnson. there were eight altogether, i can't remember anything like this happening before. >> do you think there's been enough sense of -- enough of a sense of urgency about this from the obama administration, from congressional leaders, democratic and republican, from donald trump? >> no. i think that given the unprecedented nature of it and the magnitude of the effort, i think people seem to have been
somewhat laid back about it. maybe part of the problem was that it took the intelligence community a while to assemble really firm evidence of russian involvement and russian government involvement that delayed a response. attribution is a challenge, but it seems pretty clear to me that they have developed really reliable information that the russian government was involved. >> you know, for about four years as you know and you actually defended president obama from some of his critics when it came to that that he was too soft on russia -- maybe soft is not the right word. he wasn't tough enough against putin. do you think all of this that putin over time read this as weakness? >> i think that putin saw the united states withdrawing from around the world. i think there's actually the problem has been that president
obama's actions often have not matched his rhetoric. his rhetoric has often been pretty tough. but then there's been no follow-up and no action and if you combine that with red lines that have been crossed, demands that assad step down with no plan to actually figure out how to make that happen, the withdrawal from the middle east, from iraq and afghanistan and essentially the way it was done, i think it sent a signal that the u.s. was in retreat. it was always going to be complicated from withdraw from those wars without victory, without sending the signal we were withdrawing more broadly from the global leadership role. i think some of the things that have been done have accentuated that impression around the world and i think putin felt that he could take advantage of that. >> as you know, president obama said this week that he directly
spoke with putin back in september. warmed him to cut it out. a month later the wikileaks -- podesta's e-mails become public, so obvious that lecture didn't do anything. but the question now is how do you retaliate? how do you characterize it? >> i would characterize it as a thinly disguised covert operation intended to discredit the american election. and to basically communicate -- allow the russians to communicate to the rest of the world that our elections are corrupt and incompetent, rigged, and no more honest than anybody else's in the world and including theirs and the u.s. ought to get off their high horse in telling other nations how to conduct their elections and criticizing those elections and so on. whether or not it was intended to help one or another candidate i don't know. but i think it clearly was aimed at discrediting our elections
and i think it was aimed certainly at weakening mrs. clinton. but the question of retaliation is a difficult one because do you retaliate economically, do you retaliate in kind with cyber? do you retaliate in some way militarily? so i think this is going to be a tough problem for the new president to deal with in terms of how do you -- how do you put the russians on notice that this kind of behavior is unacceptable? my view is that cyber may not be the best way to go because once you get into that kind of an escalation, we're in truth more vulnerable than they are. >> let's move to rex tillerson, you have been supportive of his nomination. people have pointed out that you have done some work for him in the private sector and with him. but explain why are you so comfortable pushing rex
tillerson for secretary of state? for an administration that -- or a new administration in donald trump that you weren't so comfortable with during the campaign. >> well, that's a kind way to put it. he is familiar with countries from indonesia to latin america to the middle east. and russia. and it seems to me having somebody who is secretary of state who has dealt with a lot of these leaders, who knows them, knows how they negotiate, knows how they think, is a huge asset for the united states. >> what's -- >> and i believe -- as i have said, i think the second he raises his hand to take that oath, his only goal will be to do what's in the best interest of the united states. >> what kind of explanation -- i guess explain the relationship for him with russia and with putin. it just -- it just comes across very friendly. is that totally business? >> clearly, the ceo of any u.s. company that does business around the world is going to want to be on friendly relationships with the leaders
and governments of those countries where they do business. but being friendly doesn't make you friends. after all, if you wanted to show pictures i hoisted a glass of vodka more than one time with the head of the kgb. and it looked like it was friendly. if you had taken a photograph of it. but i can guarantee you we weren't friends. we were adversaries. but in the course of doing business you at least maintain the pleasantries. you can't be at each other's throats 24/7. so i think mistaking a picture of somebody lifting a champagne glass or shaking hands with somebody confusing that with being friends or being closely associated other than in a business sense i think is a mistake. i think it's false narrative. >> you said something interesting in another interview. you said you thought president obama's foreign policy is a lot better than he communicates it. what did you mean by that? >> i think that there's been
some very real achievements in the military with president obama. i think that he has -- he has managed a difficult situation where the american people were tired of war, 14, 15 years of war, and how do we conduct ourselves so that we don't send troops to deal with every single problem around the world. i think i certainly was opposed to the intervention in libya. i said can we -- can i just finish the two war i'm already in before you go looking for a third one. i think his restraint frankly from further engagements of u.s. forces in a major way is -- has been the right thing to do. do i agree with how long he approached isil and where he is today, i think that's a mistake. where we are today, we should
have been two years ago in terms of helping the anti-isis people. frankly, i think he's made several big mistakes on syria. beginning -- first of all, putting down a red line and then allowing it to be crossed. but i think that in terms of not engaging, not sending u.s. forces to deal with every single problem around the world was a needed antidote to 15 years of war. >> you can see my entire interview with robert gates online at meetpress nbc.com. a continued look at how the democrats lost the trust of working class americans who used to be the backbone of the party. my visit to west virginia. >> donald trump made a lot of promises. what's one promise you absolutely expect him to keep? those new glasses? they are. do i look smarter? yeah, a little. you're making money now, are you investing? well, i've been doing some research.
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states. from 1932 through 1996, west virginia voted democratic 14 of 17 times. carter beat reagan there. dukakis beat george h.w. bush there. that was then. this year, west virginia was the reddest state in the country going 69-27 for trump. no other state has swung in either direction as dramatically or as fast. this week i traveled to the mountain state to find out, did west virginiians abandon the democrats or was it the other way around? west virginia has become quintessential trump country. but it wasn't always that way. white working class and religious west virginia spent most of the 20th century as a model new deal state. those days are long gone. today the mountain state has flipped from blue to red. in 2014, west virginia elected shelly capito, its first republican senator since the
eyes eisenhower depression. >> the coal industry in west virginia collapsed. nowhere is that felt more acutely than here in boone county where production has fallen 73% since 2005. >> west virginia is left behind. we're overlooked. as far as the economy goes, there has been a huge impact made on our jobs for our coal miners. >> west virginia is the only state that saw negative population growth since 2010. things are so bad that people are leaving the state for other opportunities. what concerns you about 20 years from you now? >> it will be a ghost town. have i an 18-year-old son. he is working part-time at u.p.s. now. if that doesn't pan out, he will have to leave here. to find work. there's nothing here. >> for the few remaining coal miners, once the backbone of the state's democratic party,
there's a sense of betrayal by washington. >> whethobama said he would ban the coal industry. he did. >> we feel like we're abandoned. >> that was before hillary clinton made a pitch to retrain coal miners that to many ears sounded like an attack on the coal industry. >> we'll going to put a lot of coal companies out of business. >> everyone felt like a returnireturn i returning veteran. >> there's a sense in west virginia that coupulturally the democratic party might be a thing of the past. >> there's a split. >> i think there's more liberals in the democratic party now. >> joe manchin is one of the few remaining democrats. he is something of a model of how rural democrats differ from their urban counterparts. >> i'm more of a moderate centrist. people say i'm conservative. i tell people, i'm fiscally
responsible and socially compassionate. >> there's a feeling that even if president-elect trump can't turn back the clock, he can't make the situation much worse. >> i don't think anyone feels like president trump is going to wave a magic wand and it's going to get better. i feel like most people looking at election knew that we could not continue down the same path we have have been on. >> no one in west virginia believes coal is the long-term future. the answer to the revival isn't easy and it's an answer they're trying to figure out. some of the ideas include perhaps if you build it, the jobs will come. which jobs? a head snapping example of pure partisan politics, north carolina republicans strip away power from the democrat who just won the governor's race before he gets sworn in. the microsoft cloud helps us stay connected. the microsoft cloud offers infinite scalability. the microsoft cloud helps our customers get up and running, anywhere in the planet. wherever there's a phone,
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go home safer, then i'll drive it every day of the week. together, we're building a better california. back now with the panel. wasn't to get into the north carolina situation, even a little bit a response of west virginia. i have feel like we didn't finish the russia discussion. i want to get at the punishment aspect. you heard robert gates. there's no easy answer in how you punish russia. there's a fear of what's the retaliation? do you do it on cyber? now it just looks like paralysis. that's the problem. the more we handwritt ring. >> i think the u.s. should be a model for creating various technology, whether it protects gentleman hug yahoo! or the dnc. the issue is hacking itself.
this is america, we invented the computer. we should invent ways to protect those that use it. >> without proper deterrents, north core roo korea, china, ir. all three are powers that have played around in this arena. >> two things i think of. one, obama said this at his press conference, this idea that if we retoaliateretaliate, we d to publicize it. we might be retaliating against russia and we won't know what that means. i think there's that aspect. but i think when i think about donald trump kind of -- after the electoral college, he will be a different person and maybe looks at this issue in a different way, we were always waiting for donald trump to be someone different. i don't think that's going to happen. this is a very partisan issue. i don't know if i expect donald trump to say i'm going to spend the first 100 days looking into
how a foreign government helped me get into office. >> this seems to be that's why they have to do more declassification. this mistrust we have of institutions and us in the press, we need to realize it. there's skepticism out there. i feel like this needs -- show your work. >> it needs more declassification and your poll is showing that. we have had two events this week, thousands of miles apart, which you referred to hand ringing which has shown this president's ability to think about unintended consequences up until the moment where it stops him from taking action. we had the fall of aleppo and we had the hacking of the american election system. on both instances, the president said, we were so worried about something going wrong if we intervened. i think what the american public in this election said we want more action. >> in 1984, the hero said,
freedom means the ability to say two plus two equals four. what i'm getting at is the more we permit hacking, particularly hacking that -- of disinformation, the less we have reliance on a common set of facts. once you begin to lose that, norms begin to fall in a terribly quick and decisive way. >> i want to pivot to north carolina. we have been talking about it. it is perfectly legal what is happening in north carolina. but it doesn't feel in the spirit of ending an election. the north carolina legislature have a veto-proof majority. they can pass laws and the governor can veto it no matter what. but they decided to strip the governor -- the executive branch of powers that they had given to a republican governor and took it away from a democratic governor. >> i believe in state power. much of this is do to a nasty
election in that state. a lot of the issues that the assembly are working on have do with voter registration. but i think in the end, they should be able do as they wish. one of the key tenets of the election that we have seen and many elections since 2010 is the federal government gets too much control in various states. if this doesn't go against what the rules of the state are, then i think the federal government ought to let them fight it out. >> this is not about the feds. this is two branchs within the state. it feels like sour grapes. >> it's more than that. what it is -- i will just -- at the risk of repeating myself, it's another norm that's fallen. your guy wins, you give him as much power as you want. when your guy loses, you take away the power of the guy elected. >> democracies function partly on law and partly on tradition and custom. the peaceful transition is part of the custom. if you start eroding those, you start -- >> where have they taken us? we have less than a 2% economy. we have europe telling brussels
to hit the road. you know what? this exists. whether we like it or not, it's going to play out. i think the media ought to focus on that more. >> this has nothing to do with what happened in the election. >> completely. >> not down in north carolina it doesn't. it's a power grab by people who are doing it because they can in violation of a lot of what we used to think of as traditional when the other guy wins. >> what about the phone call from taiwan? is that a norm that's broken? >> i think it's incredible to -- when you think about this, when i was thinking about this issue, i've been reading about this, when we start covering the confirmation hearings for donald trump, we will talk about the fact that harry reid and the democrats, they changed the rules so that the appointments are a little easier to get through for donald trump. that's unintended consequences. harry reid says he stands by that decision. i think wove seen at least a little bit of the eroding of the norms and traditions we have talked about. now we are seeing this in north carolina. if i was living in north carolina as a democrat, i would say, what's going on. at the end of the day, this is
how government work. it worked that way from the national level. >> i have to say, i think you are making valid point. all of this is why so many people are angry with this system in general. i will be back in 45 seconds i will be back in 45 seconds with our end game and t make sure you're keeping up with your kids' online accounts and the social media they're using. talk with them about appropriate online behavior. being proactive and involved is the best way to protect your kids from predators and bullies. the more you know.
"love actually." here it is. a little fun there. jeff, you were oddly one of the -- an expert in the electoral college thanks to fiction. you wrote a book that the geek in me when i was 22 gobbled up. it was a fictionalized account of what would the electoral college do if the president-elect suddenly died before the electors voted. what could happen tomorrow? what kind much craziness could happen? >> because trump is alive and well, the electors are bound in some cases allegedly legally more morally to vote for him. if you concocted a result where he had two electors more than he needed, i would think tomorrow could be an interesting story.
without getting into the c-span lecture on this. no matter what happens -- if there are electors enough to defect, it will go to the house and they will elect trump. the congress has to decide whether those votes are legal. it's a fantasy. i have a new kitchen somewhere that -- >> there you go. other than that? >> it's a fantasy. >> it does call into question, if you don't believe these electors should think for themselves, then we we get it out of the constitution? still have the version of electoral college, but it simply points. should there no longer be individuals if we're never going to allow them to overturn the result? >> yes. >> anybody else? >> i totally agree. i think the premise of the l electoral college needs to remain. something could be modified to make it more 21st century. >> protect the traditions and norms? >> no. traditions and norms aren't
rules in the constitution. there is a difference between a tradition and a law. >> i think about the history of the electoral college. some of it, even though not all of it is steeped in the idea of slavery and this idea of the south looking at people that look like me as three-fifths of a person. if we are going to look at the electoral college, we should make sure we think about why it's in place. i'm not saying we should at least take it away. i think that we should probably wonder if this is the best way to elect our president. >> if you had a direct popular election and a vote like 1960, one-tenth of the national vote, would you have recounts, it would make 2000 look like a tea party. >> i gotta leave it there. that's all we have for today. we will be back next week. yes, on christmas day, we will be back. because if it's sunday, no matter christmas or not, it's "meet the press."
dangerously low temperatures ahead with minus 12 in chicago and all the way to austin, texas, at just 25 degrees and over a dozen deaths blamed on the weather so far. electoral college monday. final ballots are cast amid a sharply divided nation. will the united nations step in to monitor evacuations from aleppo in order to prevent even more mass atrocities. before the kardashians there was zsa zsa gabor. remembering the 99-year-old excellent and sex symbol and her nine trips to the alter. >> star wars rog one rules the weekend. >> and an oval office prank goes viral. "early today" starts right now.