now we give way to "meet the press" daily with chuck todd. >> if it's friday, president obama steps up to the white house briefing room podium for -- a defeated president obamas above the part an noise. was it effective? >> what made us vulnerable to these kinds of potential ma nip ulzs. >> america is left with unanswered questions on intelligence. >> our goal continues to be to send a clear message to russia. >> if you thought what was happening in north carolina was weird, you saint seen nothing yet. >> this is partisan power grab that goes far beyond political power. >> this is m trtp daily and it
starts right now. >> good evening. i'm chuck todd here in washington. wow. that was some press conference we just witnessed. president obama once called trump infit for the pedestrian and out of step on putin and now he is handing thes over to him amid the unamerican democratic process caused by putin personally. what we saw at what could be his final press conference was a defeatist tone. he spoke amid a dramatic escalation of tensions. moments before the press conference began, two u.s. intelligence officials said the fbi and the director of national intelligence were in agreement with the cia's assessment that
putin's russia intervened to help trump win. so that was the backdrop when the president walked in. the president was asked about the reports. he didn't deny them. here's what stood out. a foreign foe hacked part of the exlection process and much of the criticism was not aimed for involvement in the hacks. it was directed at the american press corps. >> i find it curious that everyone is acting surprised that this was disadvantaging hillary clinton. you guys wrote about it every day. every single week. about every little juicy tidbit of gossip. including john podesta. this was an obsession that dominated the news coverage. >> when the president was asked if he thinks clinton lost because of the hacks, he
suggested she lost because of the press coverage. >> i will let the pundits in this town have a long discussion about what happened in the election. i don't think she was treated fairly in the election. i think the coverage of her and the issues was troubling. >> president obama also blamed certain u.s. news outlets for the rise of fake news. >> if fake news being released by some foreign government is almost identical to reports that are being issued through partisan news venues, then it's not surprising that that foreign propaganda will have a greater
effect. it doesn't seem that far-fetched. >> let's return to the issue of russian hacking. the president defended the reaction which some critics argue was not firm enough. he seemed to acknowledge that trump had a big impact on his approach. >> part of the goal here 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 before the election was taking place at a time when the president-elect himself was raising questions about the integrity of the election. >> so was the obama administration cowed by that? he was finishing his term in the defensive posture. >> the adviser for moveon.org and "the washington post" fix box and michael steele who is an analyst and former rnc chairman.
chris, i will start with you. i have to say, what began with a stunning announcement that the fbi was in synch with the cia, that comes out literally minutes and we know what the news is going to be. this is going to be straight forward and it was like nope. i was a different president. >> your opening and what i published five minutes before i came here is virtually the same thing. given the fact that it now seems clear not only that russia was behind this hack, but also it was clearly intended to hurt hillary clinton and benefit donald trump, cia and fbi agree, the thing that president obama was engaged in and most passionate about by a long time were the clips you just played. the media and he said i don't like to be a pundit and goes on to a long -- again, that's been
a consistent theme throughout his administration and when he was running for office. a disdain for the media. it seems that the fault lies in russia hacking into the dnc. if russia hacked donald trump's e-mails, we would have reported on that too. this idea that the media was complicit and peerp putwe were pupit, that puts the blame where it should not go. >> to defend the president's tone today, he was trying to deescalate the partisanship. that's what we will hear about what y he chose to do what he did. maybe it's to preserve a relationship with the president-elect to have influence on him and maybe it's to see if he deescalates now, he can convince him russia is a
real threat and he may have a lot of reasons, but it struck me that donald trump was a lot happier than hillary clinton. >> it goes back to the peaceful transfer of power that started on day one, on november 9th after the elections. just to chris's point, this has been an unprecedented election. we used that word ad nauseam the last 18 months. we had a candidate who really did manipulate the media. he was using twitter to misdirect. the russian part as well. it was insane. we did cover it as a pundit. we talked about it almost every time i was on tv. we talked about weeklies.
and we didn't focus as much as i wanted to. i'm a democrat, but on the foundation. on other things that would have been important to talk about when it came to trump. it's almost as if we normalize, not as if, but we normalize. >> i want to play something else. the other thing is he tried to do what he could and nothing worked. >> in early september when i saw president putin in china, i felt that the most effective way to ensure that that didn't happen was to talk to him directly. tell him to cut it out and there would be serious consequence fist he didn't.
>> we have a conversation with the president of russia. given all the intel and information is higher than -- >> high enough that you chose to talk to him about it? >> yes and what have you done about it between september and december? you have 35 days left in office. you have a new administration coming in and it has a different posture on russia. this issue will likely not raise to the same level for trump as it does for this president. why department you take advantage to focus the attention and to sit back and blame the press for talking about a recipe as opposed to this, you had the bully pulpit. you had the ear of a president of a foreign country injecting itself and you did nothing. >> go ahead. >> back in what, october, 17
federal agencies said this is a problem. russia is potentially involved in this election. it's not as if we didn't know it was going on. >> i'm with you 100%. the thing that is frustrating for me. it's hard for me to say why didn't people care more about this? not necessarily why department they know more, but it came out yesterday that said people didn't really -- we didn't cover it as much as they wanted to. the russian attack on the united states.
you walk them through it and lay out the case. that's something else he didn't say while he was lecturing the american press core, russia has gone into the uk and france and germany. make the global case against putin. put putin on the spot. none of that was done. i think his worst trait, the trait that he has a tendency to talk around things. from this view over here, it is fascinating in that we elected someone who is the literal exact opposite. i see the world this way. >> you always have to remember,
the president is his mother's son. he does always look at it in an anthropologist-type way. >> the president admitted that he had it with putin and the globalizing effort and the recognition of what putin was doing. to say to the american people at that time and i know the concern that i don't want to inject myself this this process, but this supersedes this. this as you put it was an attack. i had a conversation and i let them know what they are doing. this stops now. not only does it freeze things, it takes it out of this political and elevates it to a level of experience. he didn't do that. >> he feared the political system and feels pained.
it's almost as if he feared the partisanship so he didn't act. is that what we are going to conclude? >> what i head and what happened is he wanted this to be a bipartisan effect in october. he reached out he pulled back and didn't want to politicize it. it is a tough place to be. this as we said over and over again, this is uncharted territory with the presidential election. >> i just feel like if you watch that press conference, the first five minutes he devoted to this -- which they all do, the restation of successes, what he 100% knows because he he likes to admit it or not.
these are things that make the point and will be undone. right? they are his legacy for whatever it is. 34 more days. these are things that will be done. i think you sense that for him. that was a robust defense of obamaism. the robustness that existed, eight questions for more than an hour was when he is talking about the media. that's it. >> he came across that way. you guys are sticking around. we will have more from the press conference. michael mcfall and david sanger on the implications of russia's hacking and what the president could do that the president-elect would accept. keep it here. the holidays should bring joy. so why are you still putting up with complicated cash back cards? some cards limit where you earn bonus cash back
have high level russian official who is go off and decide to tamper with the u.s. election process without vladimir putin knowing about it. >> i am joined by a special assistant to the president and senior official to the council and also a contributor. the national security who has broken quite a few stories over the last few weeks. i was struck by the president's almost lack of blaming and deescalating. he made it clear he thought putin was behind it, but he seemed to be angrier than russia. >> two things. i did hear your first panel and not all professors talk around
issues. >> you never do. that is true. >> my father and mother grew up in montana. a couple of things too. i have lots of different impressions, but on this point, let's dig down on the past before the future. on the past, there is this tension here that you all were rightly talking about between what the u.s. government did to alert the american people and voters about what was happening in the campaign and your reaction to it. i think we need to investigate both. let's be clear. if the obama administration wanted to make a major story about what they released on october 9th, there would have been a different way to do that. what did they do? put out a statement by the dhs homeland security and that's one way to do it.
in september of 2009, we declassified and made the world args wear of new news and information we had about ron's nuclear program. that was a different way we handled the information because we wanted the world to know. there are legitimate questions there and why wasn't there another report after the podesta hackings. he made news and he is the first administration official i know and he said we know the russians did that. why didn't we have a conference about that and a statement about that? we were investigating that. i do think this was an under reported story. that's an empirical question and not about opinion. there are a lot of political scientists working on the story right now and what you will see
is that the word e-mail in a word map for secretary clinton appears in a bold way. on the other side, there are different scandals that don't add up. >> you did show everything and we all caught the accident. in on that meeting and let me get your impression, what did you hear today? >> a few things and it's great to be out with mike and for the record, mike, we knew about that and that's why the white house had to declassify all of that. that's a separate issue. >> that's the kind of reporting that i wish more people would have been doing more.
we were reporting the russian hacks and this white house was not helpful with it for reasons. first they were concerned that it under cut people's confidence. president obama said almost as much today. secondly they were concerned if they escalated with the russians, they would retaliate and the president said that and thirdly the white house came to this late. if you look back at the reconstruction of these events that we published at 7,000 plus words of it, the events begin with the fbi warning the dn krrc in the fall of 2015. he first heard about this in june of 2016.
there are seven or eight months and no one told the president of the united states they had evidence that the dnc was being broken into. >> it was interesting what he said about president obama said about this idea if he came out too strongly, he may under cut confidence. he was still there. we do have a public that lacks confidence and they don't believe half of the country perhaps and even the incoming president does not believe these intelligence assessments. it happened anyway. >> just to agree with david, i was talking to people in realtime at the white house. i still have friends there at least for a few more weeks and there was no question he reported exactly their anxieties in realtime. what is mysterious to me, what
david just reported and the president found out until june, i worked at the white house and i felt with intelligence and something also is strange about the "new york times" story where an fbi agent is calling the it guy and they are not meeting. i have personal experience with that. the russians tried to hack my could when i worked at the white house. i think it was on a friday and sunday morning, three fbi agents showed up at my house. why did that not happen there. people don't believe it and the president was citing goals about republicans and putin and i think the only way we are going to have the facts in a more believable way is if we have a bipartisan independent commission.
it's not going to happen with the obama administration investigating themselves. it's most certainly not going to happen in the hearings on congress. we get the facts to the best of our ability and prepare for the future. the russians did have the capacity to ver veen on election day. we want to make sure they don't have the capacity in 2020. >> i was struck by another aspect of this. the president didn't talk about the global threat that is putin. why is that? >> he did the opposite. he went out of his way to describe russia today.
he said they are broke and doesn't innovate and poses the significant threat to the process. i think it was his subtle way to saying to the president-elect trump that hey, you will have to deal with the russians because they may bedangerous as a failing power than a rising power. don't kid yourself, they would not be what they would like to be. they have struck out because it's the cheapest available weapon to them. >> ambassador, quickly, president obama is still promising some action. he doesn't have that many more days to be in charge of that action. what can you do that would either be effected against putin to the point where the next president would feel compelled to keep it going or what can he
do that would have an impact on putin even if president trump doesn't want to do anything? >> i don't think he has good options with the time left. knowing the president the way i do, i don't think that's going to be his inclination to start a tit for tat cyber war with the russians 30 days before he leaves. another thing about his tone, they are predicting in the obama administration a pivot with russia and a honeymoon period. talking about the threat six or seven months from now may look like they were being hyperbolic about it. that's another concern they have. he has two options. one, declassify and tell us as much as you know. that is something he has direct authority over and i have seen him do it before. he can't do everything, but he can advance the story and two, support the idea of a commission. so that there is something that ties the king's hands moving
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>> if it's sunday weingly talk transition. we discuss trump's pick for secretary of state. and then former clinton campaign chairman joins me for the first post election interview. we will discuss the loss and the role that russia and the fbi played in it. more on the comments just ahead, but here's hampton pearson with the friday market wrap. >> thanks, chuck. we had stocks finishing slightly lower. housing stocks were much weaker than expected last month. groundbreaking slid more than 18% from a nine-year high. and the labor department said unemployment fell in 18 states in november and was virtually
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i now declare the house of the 2015 assembly. >> in what has been called a political coop, north carolina stripped power away from the incoming democratic governor and quickly gavelled out. as we told you, the state's republican-controlled general assembly called a special session and filed multiple bills aimed at making the governor less powerful. one of the bills has been signed into law and another is heading to the governor's desk. the defeated governor is signing these things into power to weaken the governorship.
protesters were at the capitol today and they had to clear the gallery of protesters and demonstrators were tossed out too. governor-elect roy cooper said all of the bills could be unconstitutional and if they are, republicans will see him in court. joining me now, the other sides of this dispute is the executive director of the republican party, dallas wood house. >> that's the funniest thing i have ever heard. we ain't seen roy coopner a courtroom in 16 years as attorney general. i don't know if he can find his way. >> let's go to this. try to defend what what teams to everybody outside of the state pretty indefensible and looks like sour grapes over a lost election. defend this move beyond sour grapes. >> this is the inevitable result of divided power in a state that
loathed executive power. just a few years ago, and high stripped jim martin of his ability to hire people. what was known as the christmas massacre and tried to hire a bunch of republicans in office and right after the first of the year, the legislature passed a law allowing them to fire any state worker and teachers and cooks. if they had been hired in the last few years. this is crocodile tears and what happens when you have divided power in a state that since king george's time loathes executive power. >> did you think what they did was wrong? >> what roy cooper did in 2000 when he helped pack the court once we won. >> that's not the question i asked you, sir.
do you think it was wrong to do that? you pointed out all of these issues that you said hey, do you think it was wrong what the democrats did? >> chuck, i think wrong is always in the eye of the beholder of whose ox is getting gored. >> so you are saying two wrongs don't make a right or two wrongs make a right? >> l >> legislature overtime said they loathe executive power and they will give more to their guy and when the other guy gets in, they will scale it back. guess what. the next thing you know there is gambling in casa blanca. >> here's what i don't get about this. you would have a lot more legitimacy. you have the veto proof and you have a lot more legitimacy if you have the guts to pass the bills and send them to the
governor's desk and you have the ability to override it and do it in a straight forward way rather than this sneaky way that was done. >> what was sneaky about it, the legislature that serves until the end of the year and perhaps we would rather not get off to the foot of shoving a veto override down his throat. maybe we would want a little more cooperation. >> is this a way to show potential cooperation? before we let you take office, we are going to strip you of powers. fewer powers. you can say it is perfectly legal and in the spirit of democracy to make change changes after the voter his voted, how does that send a message that it's on the up and up? >> we have fixed terms in
america. i believe president obama held a press conference on january 20th and he will parton people. that is the way or system works. it's funny that the governor-elect fussed that we tut back his appointments to about where they were in the last democratic governor. he sponsored a bill cut being appointments down to 100. he helped pass it. people have to be held accountable for their actions and hold us accountable. of course there is politics involved, but there is good policies passed this week where both sides were distrustful of the apparatus and created a fully bipartisan commission that both sides can develop trust on. i think we have done good policy work. >> we live in a hyper polarized environment and this seemed on a
level we haven't seen before. by the way, you had a very contentious gubernatorial election and the outgoing governor took a long time to concede. it was fraught with political disunity. why throw gasoline on the fire and divide the state even more? >> i don't believe it is a division because i would say this. they may have elected governor cooper. he won one election and we won a ton of elections. 109 out of 170. you can make a strong argument that the people of north carolina elected divided government and part of that is checks and balances and -- >> why not do it when the new governor is in there. you are using the outgoing governor to sign the bills.
you are doing this after they took office. we can get them through anyway. also again i think they would like to start off the new session on a different foot rather than sending him these things and overriding him that way. look, mr. cooper is the governor. he gets to move into the mansion and ride into the back of the fence and he has a choice when that republican bill was sent to him. he can let them become law or be overridden. >> you don't think this is a front to the plurality and majority of voter who is said they wanted a democratic governor? >> they are going to have a democratic government in line with the powers. the legislature decided he
shouldn't have the same power. >> this is the same decision that legislatures have made when confronted with divided government. we elect a council of folk to divide power. our state loathed it and any time there is a split, we trim it back. it happened every time over the last 50 years. >> you are a spirited defender of this and of your party. a pleasure to have you on. >> we passed good policies this week. merry christmas. >> happy holidays and happy hanukkah. >> camp calls out comey for playing a loss in their loss this november. stay tuned. to severe plaque psoriasis, isn't it time to let the real you shine through? introducing otezla (apremilast). otezla is not an injection or a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently.
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talking last night. >> according to nate silver, who's pointed out that swing state voters made their decision in the last days, breaking against me because of the letter from the fbi's comey. i happen to believe this, that that letter most likely made the difference in the outcome. >> and clinton's campaign chairman, john podesta, speaking out as well, writing in an op-ed in "the washington post" that slams the fbi's director for the fbi's priorities. quote, comparing the fbi's massive response to the overblown e-mail scandal with the seemingly lack daadaisical response to the very real russian plot to subvert the election, shows something is very wrong. >> i think the bigger thing i saw from the op-ed is, what happens next, right? the concern of donald trump's closeness with putin. especially when you look at tillerson, and flynn and what does that mean for the american
people, right? so i do believe that, i do believe that the comey letter and, you know, the russia impact did have an influence. did it sway the election. we just don't know yet. i believe it would be great for the president to declassify the evidence on what the fbi and cia have. and let the american people decide. because we're about to see a president who has a long list of potential conflicts of interest. it will be good for the american people to see what's going on. >> what was interesting, podesta was pretty critical of the fbi and comey. president obama defended the fbi today. again, i think it's -- look -- >> he's walking that line. >> he's the president of the united states, and you know the -- >> donald trump has not shown the same approach as the
president-elect. oh, the cia, what do they know? but i think president obama is very aware, particularly at the end of his term, very aware of the importance of not undermining these institutions, even while, my guess is, president obama in private feels quite differently. just one thing about the hillary blaming the fbi. i think it is demonstrably true that that is going to take a little enthusiasm out of her base, drive enthusiasm, convince some people that didn't really want to be for trump, well, i don't want to go through all of this. she lost the election because she -- wisconsin, michigan, and pennsylvania were states that they assumed they had. that their polling suggested they had, that she didn't go to. she wins those, she wins. well, you can say, broadly, sure, it had an impact. it was a factor. it was not the factor. >> i don't even think it was much of that, at the end of the day. i think those states were losing ground for her long before that comey letter hit the street, largely because she did not
translate. at the end of the day, i'm sorry, i've been a candidate for office. and if you don't translate, you don't win. >> in those areas. i know people are going to say popular vote, but in michigan -- >> well, if michigan is your backyard. wisconsin's your backyard. pennsylvania is your playground. so we put those together with everything else, you're going to tell me that the comey letter had such an impact that the michiganders went, oh -- >> but every democratic nominee except her won. >> we've got a little bit off-topic here pinpoint to go back to whether the fbi's priorities -- i mean, how -- what's interesting here is the trump people weren't happy with comey either, right? they thought comey was dragging his feet on some of these things. comey is just in a political -- i don't know how to put it. >> tough -- >> yeah, he did something that was unprecedented for the department of fbi. 11 days before the election you're going to put out a letter
that's essentially a nothing burger, and then two days before, you prove that the letter was a nothing burger. >> a nothing burger. >> another thing i think today about the fbi, it's brennan that put out the statement that said the fbi, why did they -- >> i agree that -- i don't think she loses, because the fbi letter, but in hindsight, we knew this before the election, why did james comey come out 11 days before? the assumption has to be, by anyone paying attention, is he knows something that they have found on this computer. and it turns out to be absolutely nothing. >> i think he got kocowed by leaks. >> he did, but a remarkable thing, regardless. >> it started with the press conference in july. >> that press conference doesn't happen if bill clinton doesn't go on loretta lynch's plane. >> and the circle closes. >> thank you, chuck. >> a quick reminder, john podesta joins me exclusively
this sunday on "meet the press." coming up after the break, what a difference eight years can make. stay tuned. little dakota's nose was quivering in fear. because it knew an ordinary tissue was near. the fiery tissue left her nose sore and red. so dad slayed the problem with puffs plus lotion, instead. puffs have pillowy softness for dakota's tender nose. with lotion to comfort and soothe when she blows. don't get burned by ordinary tissues. a nose in need deserves puffs, indeed. now get puffs plus lotion in the squeezable softpack.
tadirectv now. stream all your entertainment! anywhere! anytime! can we lose the 'all'. there's no cbs and we don't have a ton of sports. anywhere, any... let's lose the 'anywhere, anytime' too. you can't download on-the-go, there's no dvr, yada yada yada. stream some stuff! somewhere! sometimes! you totally nailed that buddy. simple. don't let directv now limit your entertainment. only xfinity gives you more to stream to any screen. well, in case you missed it, being president isn't easy. here's the president at his first press conference, february 9th, 2009. and here's president obama today. show these photos there. as you can see, nothing like eight years and what it does. it adds a lot of gray. did it with bush, we did it with clinton.
let's see what four years and possibly eight does to donald trump. that's all for tonight. we'll be back monday with more "mtp daily." and of course, if it's sunday, catch "meet the press" on your local nbc station. ari melber picks up our coverage right now. hello, i'm ari melber. 6:00 p.m. on the east coast this friday evening and you're watching msnbc live. president obama comes out swinging in the last press conference of the year, revealing what he told putin after the election hack and smacking down russia as, quote, the weaker country. hillary clinton behind closed doors, meanwhile, lashing out at the russian president as well, saying it was a, quote, personal beef that led to this hack. also, the president offering some tough love to his own party about how to win back the white house. now, folks, there is a last time for everything. today was president obama's last scheduled press conference, a rite of passage in every white house holiday season. but there was very little