tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC December 13, 2016 11:00pm-11:31pm PST
msnbc's coverage continues now into victory. trump in wisconsin defending today's pick for secretary of state. but is exxon ceo rex tillerson headed for a showdown before congress? we'll ask a member of the foreign relations committee who also chairs the homeland security committee, senator ron johnson. and just how deep is russia's reach into our country? the 11th hour begins now. the 11th hour begins now. and good evening, once again, from our new york headquarters. tomorrow puts you just 37 days from inauguration. tonight, president-elect donald trump continued his ever-expanding thank you tour. this time the suburbs of milwaukee. his opening acts included wisconsin governor scott walker, vice president-elect mike pence and house speaker paul ryan greeted bay few boos from the crowd. boo. >> speaker paul ryan, i have really come --
[ crowd booing ]. >> oh, no, i've come to appreciate him. where is paul ryan? he's like a fine wine. everyday goes by i get to appreciate his genius more and more. >> at the end of the evening, accepting packers jerseys as gifts, this moment was really the first time ryan and trump have shared a stage during the entire election season. meanwhile, in transition news, the debate over trump's pick to become the next secretary of state, rex tillerson, dominated today's headlines pretty much. tonight, trump touted the support tillerson is getting from well known republicans including condoleezza rice and robert gates. trump did not, however, acknowledge that they along with steven hadley, who is also endorsed tillerson, all do work for exxon with their consulting firm which happens to be named rice hadley gates. tonight, the president-elect made a glancing reference to the controversy surrounding this tillerson nomination. >> rex is one of the greatest and most skilled global business
leaders of our time. made some of the greatest deals. and you know, rex is friendly with many of the leaders in the world that we don't get along with. and some people don't like that. they don't want them to be friendly. that's why i'm doing the deal with rex, because i like what this is all about. >> importantly especially in light, important, especially in light of a guest standing by to talk to us before the full senate gets to vote on tillerson, his nomination has to clear the senate foreign relations committee where the demes and minority need one republican to vote with them and they can kill the nomination in committee. it will not go on to the full senate. here's how the head of that committee reacted to tillerson today speaking to our own chuck todd. >> i would say most committee members will want to understand, what is the relationship to russia. how do you see the u.s. role on the world and so i'm sure there will be tough questioning but i would imagine someone of his
stature would be able to handle those. >> another tough republican critic for trump on that committee, senator rand paul, who commented both on tillerson and reports that former u.n. ambassador john bolton could be trump's pick to be deputy secretary of state. >> i'm keeping an open mind on tillerson. i want to know what his world view is more than where he traveled or who he knows. and i think it may be overblown. he made deals in many, many countries, you know, some award -- i don't know that this means he is skiing and fishing with putin, some awards. let's hear at least a little bit about what his world view is. i think this person, john bolton, should never have any position in the state department. i will vote no and i hope my vote will be the deciding vote to keep him out of the state department.
>> there was also an interesting cast of characters in trump tower today. that list included former nfl line backer ray lewis and the great hall of famer jim brown. kanye west was there. more on that in a moment. bill gates was there today. there were also reports that trump met with vogue magazine editor in chief anna winteror today, something trump mentioned tonight in wisconsin. the celebrity meetings and tillerson debate all overshadowed the news that trump made his pick today for interior secretary, republican congressman from montana, ryan zinke. former navy seal and reliable conservative voice in congress. in a moment here, we will be joined by the chairman of the senate homeland security committee. wisconsin senator ron johnson. but first with us in the studio to start off our discussion, our msnbc political analyst any dole wallace and pullitier prize winner columnist eugene robinson. nicole, on tillerson, what do you make of it? >> i don't think this is about tillerson. i think this is about putin have be instincts about russia -- did i say putin? i meant trump.
having a body of statements about about putin. we talked last night about lindsey graham, marco rubio, who are not really in sync with donald trump's musings about putin. so i think they will use the questioning of rex tillerson to sort of probe how he as secretary of state will approach putin's russia. will he ask for an accounting of the allegations about hacking? will he try to get list boss, donald trump, whole be president trump i guess in 36 days. closer to their view about putin and russia and about where this country should stand in terms of being more adversarial or at left tougher. >> eugene, i'm looking at your latest column. trump is assembling an antigovernment.
the intelligence community? you've spoken very passionately. they were trying to meddle with our election. that's a serious thing. it is disanent. it is odd to have an gin coming administration that seems to want to look past all of that and cozy up with russia by picking a secretary of state, one prominent american perhaps, the most prominent american, with that close personal relationship with vladimir putin. it is very odd. another odd thing is that in support of the putin nomination, donald trump today brought up condoleezza rice, robert gates, john bolton is apparently if
line to be, you know, for posed architects of the iraq war. donald trump continues to say it was a historic mistake. it is all very odd. is it random? >> i would say on the iraq point, rex tillerson backed jeb bush that has a foreign policy that is far more hawkish than donald trump who became the nominee and now the president. so i think that donald trump's views on foreign policy are unformed at best. and i think this again is another proxy for not just democrats but republicans sort of flushing out what his impulses are on foreign policy. >> eugene mentioned prominent americans. we have one standing by, as luck would have it. that is senator johnson. senator, i heard john mccain calling putin a butcher. he referred to him as a murderer before. that, to be honest, sounded more
normal. here is mr. tillerson being talked about in part because of his relationship with putin. does that given the fact that he's been advanced to conduct our nation's diplomacy worry you, bother you? >> well, first of all, i've not met mr. tillerson. i'm looking forward to meeting him. i will certainly give him the benefit of the doubt. somebody with his experience, background, i think would be an asset to secretary of state. not only does he know world leaders, not only has he traveled extensively around the world, he also fully understands the economies within the countries and that's really good experience base. you know, i certainly trust that he is a patriot. that he will put america's interest first and what donald trump has campaigned on. sew will be a loyal american and certainly i think he could be a very highly qualified secretary of state but i will reserve my judgment and i look forward to meeting him and look forward to the confirmation hearings. >> as you said, as you well know, takes one republican to switch sides and the domination dies in committee prediction.
do you think he makes it out of foreign relations? what about your committee? >> i can't predict that. this is very early in the process. let mr. tillerson, give him the chance to meet with senators in their offices and let him come before the committee, answer our questions, and we'll take it from there. >> do you support an investigation into russia's electronic hand into our election as mitch mcconnell has come out and said, as the speaker has come out and said? >> first of all, we know, basically russia's method of operations here. i'm also chairman of the european subcommittee of the foreign relations committee. we've healed hearings on the propaganda, the pervasiveness of it, campaigns in eastern europe, throughout europe and other countries. we also knew it before the election. so i'm happy to get more information but we know what russia is up to. they are spreading
disinformation primarily for the purpose to get population different countries to really believe that they can't trust anything. so i have a great deal of faith in the american public to discern what is the truth, not the truth, excellent news organizations. disseminate good information. and americans have to be discerning in whatever information they receive. we knew all this stuff prior to the election, the american people spoke. voted for donald trump. he will be our president. we need to support him. >> that right there in the last answer, senator, sounded just like something former cia director jim woolscy said last night coming from people who would normally be predisposed to regard the russians the way we all used to regard the russians. why do you think there's this kind of per say normalization. all these efforts to bend over backward to give the russians suddenly the benefit of the doubt? >> well, again, i was giving rex tillerson the benefit of the doubt. you know, i think we need to be
extremely weary of russia. i think the foreign policy under president obama, the reset has been a disaster. you have to approach foreign policy first from a position of strength. that starts with economic strength. you achieve peace through strength, not peace through withdraw. i'm incredibly weary of vladimir putin. i think donald trump needs to be weary. i think rex tillerson needs to be weary. my guess is they actually will. they will look at the world in a very -- from a very realistic standpoint and proceed accordingly. >> so for the record, you are among those alarmed that a long time adversary of this country apparently reached into our election process electronically? >> listen, i'm concerned about russian activities around the world. invasion of crimea. georgia. ukraine. i'm highly concerned about the aggressive attitude of vladimir putin if russia.
but it's been aggressive because we have shown weakness, lack of resolve, not as economically strong as we should be. donald trump is all about strengthening our economy. rebuilding our military. defeating isis. securing our borders. that will be a pog position of strength that he will deal with with putin. and that's far better than the position of weakness that has been happening over the last eight years. >> newly elected senator from weigh, ron johnson. senator, thank you for being with us tonight from back home in wisconsin. back to our panel. nicole, what is going on here? >> i'm so happy he won. this is one of the races i watched on election night. >> ran against russ feingold. >> i was happy. i'm flabbergasted that my party can't say, hell yes, i am appalled that intelligence agencies have concluded that russian intelligence meddle where our elections. let's leave the outcome out of it.
he was hung up on the outcome donald trump is our president and he will be sworn in and we will do everything we can to make sure that russia never again muddles or meddles with our elections. i don't understand why that is a difficult bridge for any republican or democrat, frankly, to cross. >> worldwide it is difficult to grasp the concept that what they do to ukraine or crimea or georgia as bad and awful as it might be, is not the same as what they do to us, right? you would think it would be a starting point for every u.s. senator. >> what they do to assad is far more grave -- and people have died in crimea. >> but the senator went on about how this is what russia does. we knew that they tried to spread disinformation and they hack and that sort of thing. >> but there is about brand confusion in the republican party. the republican party, and i said this last night, this may be john mccain's finest hour.
>> they will all find out what john mccain looks like when he is angry. >> at his own party. i have seen it. >> actually most of them already know. they have seen it on "the view." >> and you talk about projecting strength, i don't know that anyone has a longer record of projecting american strength, particularly in russian progression and russian fantasy of -- and john mccain's 2008 campaign where he traveled around with what we called the three amigos, libberman, lindsay and mccain was marked by daily phone calls to leaders in the region who were terrified about america and america that stopped standing up to putin. >> senator mccain is officially invited on this broadcast. we would infact love to talk to senator mccain and have every reason it believe he will join our conversation some night. we employ half of the members of his former staff, after all. and question for nicole, and this is a special question, because we weren't going to include this tonight.
because there was a lot of hubbub today about how correctly news media have been criticize sidesed for going after the latest bright shiny object. our own katy tur put it this way. katy covered the trump effort from the beginning. facing criticism over canceling his business ties, press conference tillerson ties to russia. trump trots out a shiny celebrity to change the subject. nicole, you thought kanye west visit to trump tower today, newly blonde, was an important thing. why? >> so i didn't think i would have to stair down my criticses here at the table. wow. people write books about how people get in to see presidents. he is the president-elect of this country. he has made three appearances in the bobby of his own building since winning the election. one of them was with kanye west. he is someone who has broken with decades long tradition of appearing with cabinet
nomineees. george w. bush appeared to announce his appointees to his cabinet. president obama appeared when he made the majority at least as i recall, the national security, appointments, and most people appear when they make their nominationes. today he nominated arguably the most important member of his cabinet rex tillerson. he didn't appear with him, he appeared with kanye west. this is a window of what will matter to donald trump. and conway west and donald trump have more in common than you might think. they both use social media. they have a direct line to their fan base. they don't need us. they cultivate people in the media as they need them. the notion that conway west got into donald trump's office today is intriguing to everyone. i would scold the media scolds who think we should ignore anyone who gets face time with the president-elect because all
of it is a signal into how he will govern. >> you won't have to argue with me. >> thank you. that's why you're my tv husband. >> it is not an above the fold story. but down in the corner of the front page, where you have this sort of daily aberration, put it right there. >> guess what this is here? a fold. >> family feud. >> our first break. thank you both. thank you, nicole. thank you, eugene. coming up, why so many on team trump are ignoring the intelligence about russia. as we just heard live on tv, this is the 11th hour. he gets a lot of compliments.
including naval intelligence, special operations, homeland security. he also happens to be the author of a very timely new book, the plot to hack america, how putin cyber spies and wikileaks tried to steal the 2016 election. malcom, where is this coming from? elected officials, former elected officials, bending over backward to give this former adversary, russia, the benefit of the doubt. and second part of the question, how deep does russia reach into the united states? >> well, to answer the first part of your question, i'm stoopfide that what appear to have is a crisis of not only honor but a crisis of patriotism here in the united states. i mean, just the number of politicians over the last few days who have stood forward and have apologized essentially for russia carrying out an activity which is the first time in american history has literally
put the thumb, quite possibly put the thumb on the scale and even though we don't know whether anything actually occurred during the vote, we do know that russian intelligence hacked an entire wing of the american electorate. but since then, what we are seeing is we are seeing a myriad of people who call themselves patriots, literally line up and find excuses to explain why vladimir putin would do this or how this is inconsequential. it never happened in american history before. and everyone who calls themselves a patriot should be concerned about it. how deep does it go? we know right now the 16 intelligence agencies came to a consensus and we know that they carried out a hack of one party's entire communications structure and released that via wikileaks to the media and that that had some impact on to the
government. however, on the other hand, it's quite possible that the republican party has been exploited and donald trump himself might have been exploited over the years by russian intelligence and that they may have information which is highly damaging as well. >> is this any way for him to start off a relationship with the intelligence community? you've spoken very passionately. there is a wall issue coming into cia head quarters in langley where they remember the members of the clandestine service who died in service to their country. is this a way for the president-elect to start a relationship with people who are willing to sacrifice that? >> no. and i know that wall very well. i have three friends of mine who i've served with in the intelligence community on the wall at the cia. i have six on the wall at the national security agency. people that i knew. people that i trained.
and the relationship right now with donald trump and the intelligence community is simple. there is no relationship. and i can tell you personally, i spoke to kellyanne conway just two days ago on sunday, and i had 10 minutes of which to implore to her the importance of the sacrifice, the honor, the dignity of service, that u.s. intelligence officers and military intelligence people serving around the world today to have -- to keep us safe, fighting a brutal and ruthless enemy around this world. and i asked her, i said, could you please impart to your boss that these people are all that stands between us and our enemies. and she assured me that trump administration would treat them with respect and dignity. five minutes after that conversation, she went on "face the nation" and called the cia reports and cia analysis ludacris and ridiculous. i mean, that sort of
two-facedness towards the people who are giving their lives and in some cases risking their very lives is a threat to this nation, they have to understand that in almost 30 days they will actually be responsible for the lives and safety of the american public. and if they have this much contempt about the people who are dedicated to saving us, then we're going to have a very, very rough four years. >> malcom nance, we will keep talking about this to our viewers. malcom nance knows what he is talking about. thank you for joining us tonight. coming up, all of the demand for our attention, the place that demand the attention of the world. "the 11th hour" returns after this. (my hero zero by lemonheads)
zero really can be a hero. get zero down, zero deposit, zero due at signing, and zero first month's payment on select volkswagen models. right now at the volkswagen sign then drive event. finally tonight what is called a cease-fire, an arrangement has been reached in what was once the large et city of aleppo but not after what has been a relentlessly bloody conflict. pro syrian forces killed at least 82 civilians, including women and children, and the families chose suicide in some cases over surrender. it all led the united nations to describe aleppo as a quote complete melt down of humanity. the u.s. ambassador to the u.n., samantha power, had strong words for the syrian president and russia saying today, quote, when one day there is a full accounting of the horrors committed in this assault of
aleppo, and that day will come, sooner or later you will not be able to say you did not know what was happening. that is our broadcast for this tuesday night. thank you for being here with us. "hardball" with chris matthews begins right now. i'm an oil man. let's play hardball. good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. huge knewes this morning and bigger news tonight. starting with exxon ceo rex tillerson to the remere cabinet position secretary of state. how much trouble will this cause? our country's top foreign policy officer, man so cozy with vladimir putin, will they? speaking of cozy, new york times reporting tonight that a moscow