tv MSNBC Live With Tamron Hall MSNBC December 19, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PST
his own election. this is it. the electors cast the final and decisive votes in the race for president. donald trump won big with 306 electoral votes even though hillary clinton took the popular vote by almost 3 million. i'll speak live with an elector from wisconsin about how he plans to vote. in aleppo, 47 children have been evacuated in the line of fire from an orphanage. we'll keep an eye on them. two others, a symbol of aleppo suffering and bana. the girl who took to twitter to document what's been happening in aleppo. we'll hear from her mom. and treacherous road conditions. travel nightmares. subzero windchills hitting 22 million americans this week causing more than 3700 flight cancellations and school closings. the latest on what to expect through the holidays. good morning. i'm chris jansing in for tamron
hall live from our msnbc headquarters in new york. in just the past half hour, indiana's 11 representatives to the electoral college voted at the state capital, certifying results to have donald trump as the 45th president of the united states. and other states are doing theirs. nothing out 2016 has been normal and today, protests are planned around the country to urge republican members to reverse the election of donald trump. in pennsylvania, the pittsburgh post gazette reports some electors get police protection as thousands of e-mails land in their inboxes every day. some of them messages urging them to have political courage. president-elect trump tweeted last night, quote, if my many supporters acted and threatened like people who lost the election would be doing, they
would be scorned and called terrible names. if the electors followed the state votes, most expected to do, trump would get 306 and hillary clinton 232 and the next, vince vee oiola. founder of several businesses including virtue financial and electronic and national hockey league's florida panthers. msnbc's kasie hunt from our washington bureau. so big day in donald trump land. we heard a little bit from members of his team, of course. we've heard from them, but how are they feeling about the electoral college today? >> reporter: well, chris, i think this is a continuation of the theme we've heard from them since the election ended which is to say they view all of this as an attempt to cast doubt on donald trump's election and very indignant about that. we've seen that in a host of
forums since the both sides tussled about it and heard them talk about the popular vote. kellyanne conway repeatedly makes the vote, hey, we won this electoral college. the popular vote was not the contest that mattered at the end of the day but this conversation is happening for that, partly for that reason. the fact that hillary clinton is ahead in the popular vote by, really, extraordinary margin and the fact we learn new information in these weeks about this russian intervention in the election. the intelligence agencies come to the conclusion with high confidence that the russians intervened in the election to try to help donald trump. all of that contributing to what you were just walking through. these 538 real people who, as it turns out, have to sit down and formally elect the president of the united states. >> let's do a reality check. most of these are party regulars. they're not people who are likely to buck this system.
and you see all of these protesters out there. we're going to go to austin, texas, in a little bit, but you do wonder what they're hoping to accomplish or if they have realistic hope of getting to their goal. >> i think, chris, this is going to be a noisy day on this front. i doubt we'll see an outcome when we saw the returns at the end of election night and donald trump was declared the winner by 306 electoral votes to 232 for hillary clinton. we may see one person here or there do that but by and large, a lot of folks will have gone through the extensive process and work hard to get where they are for their party specifically. there are some states that have rules that say, hey, you can find people, if you change and don't go along with what the state's voting was or that they could be disqualified or replaced.
so there are measures even if some of these folks decide that they need to strike out on their own. >> what can you tell us about nominee for secretary of the army? >> you've covered a bit there in your intro. vincent viola, in charge of a company worth billions of dollars, valued at billions of dollars and owns the national hockey league's florida panthers in addition to being a kbgradua of west point and donald trump praised him as another person to know how to run a fortune 10 company. u.s. army about the size of a fortune 10 corporation here in the u.s. >> we've seen some protesters this morning at the state capital in austin, texas, urging the electoral college to reject president-elect trump. calling him, quote, unacceptable president. incidentally, texas has the most electoral votes of any state that trump won, 38.
jake live from austin. texas wasn't even close, right? trump won by nine percentage points but what are you hearing? why are they there? >> reporter: they're all gathering right now, chris, to basically send a message, a loud message to the electors here, but even though it might be loud, most likely, as you were just talking about with kasie, it's probably not going to be effective. the "associated press" surveyed the electors and only one from right here in texas publicly stated he's going to go rogue and vote against donald trump. he's a republican elector. why are people out here if they're not going to make a difference? here's a sign. don't elect an unfit president and one here said defend democracy, 2.8 million plus. that obviously is referring to the electoral vote. and i see a sign far away that said i'm with hamilton and that refers to federalist 68, alexander hamilton had said the
electoral college was a deliberative body and many people want the electoral college to take that very literally and one said uphold our constitution. i see signs about russia and trump's relationship with russia. i want to see if i can slide over here and ask you quickly. we're live on msnbc. you think you have a chance to stop donald trump from becoming president? >> i would hope that we would have a chance to do it. i think that the popular vote told a story and if the electors followed their hearts, they would stop him. i'm originally from new york. born and raised inanhattan and i've seen this man and i know how he can behave and i certainly wouldn't want him to do to the united states what, how he took advantage of new york city. >> reporter: thank you very much, sir. that's certainly is sentiment out here as this rally continues but the reality is, again, it is a, i think it's beyond a very, very long shot. if anything will change today,
we will see history in that sense, i guess, be made. >> and in part because some of the states, you legally can't decide not to follow the vote, but is it that way in texas? does it require them to vote the way the popular vote went in texas? >> reporter: no. and you're right. there's 29 states where, in some tomorrow or another, the electors are bound to the vote of that state, of the popular vote of the state. sometimes, the penalty for breaking that finding rule or law is very minimal or nominal, but by the same token, here in texas, i think that really the the punishment more is one of a public shaming and we've seen that from the one elector that's come out here in texas, chris. >> and a chilly texas, clearly, from the looks of it. thank you so much, jacob soboroff. let me bring in wisconsin republican elector brian westbray in madison and chairman of the wisconsin third district republican party.
thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> i keep hearing and reading about how unlike years past, electors have been inundated with phone calls, with e-mails, with letters. what's it been like for you? >> yeah, i mean, it has been unprecedented. it is, in fact, the word. over 90,000 contacts between e-mail, texts, foecphone calls. and i applaud the people being engaged. if nothing else, millions of americans who understand the electoral college system better than before this cycle. >> what's the point that people are writing to you about? >> as you said, i'm just a normal guy. so i have a family and a job. i'm a volunteer this this capacity, so i've not had the opportunity to read the 90,000 contacts, but i have read sample
lgs and responded to safmplings and a lot asking me not to vote for donald trump. but they've been almost universally respectful. the number of communications that have been something other than respectful is statistically relative given the vast number i've received. it's just americans being part of the process and i disagree with them. i intend to be a faithful elector and obey the will of the people of wisconsin today but i don't fault the individual for wanting their voice to be heard until the last possible moment. >> you see two major points they're talking about. one is hillary clinton won the popular vote by 2 or 3 million which is an extraordinary number but also are these concerns about russian hacking and i want to play for you what an elector, a democrat from rhode island had to say about his concerns from russian influence in his election. let me play that. >> what i want is the information to be out there so
that the american public and electors know who has been involved and make sure that we protect the integrity of the american democracy. and that's why tomorrow, when we vote in the electoral college, i'll be putting forward a mot n motion. >> are you concerned as well about what we've heard, particularly over the last week or so? cia, fbi, president of the united states. members of your party like john mccain, lindsey graham. are you concerned that this was influenced somehow by russia? >> look, concerns, i'm always concerned about espionage. i assume this is the modern version of a spy war that has been taking place since the b bolshevek revolution but there's in place for these presidents, if found out after the 20th of january that donald trump in fact colluded with the russians
or did some sort of high crime or misdemeanor, there's an impeachment available. the system works. the rule of law works. but what i am not concerned enough about is to allow the fact, and look, the fact that the russians had hacked or if it was, in fact, the russians, the fact that the dnc had been hacked was well known before the election. the final debate which was watched by 73 million americans, secretary clinton went at some length about the fact that there are hacks and the cia and other intelligence agencies and yet the american people and the people of wisconsin elected mr. trump anyway. so i intend to do my duty today to the people of wisconsin, obey their will, cast my ballot for mr. trump and if at some point in the future, find irrefutable proof, then i think the people can take action. >> brian westrate, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us. >> thank you for having me. merry christmas. what happens after the electors vote today? nbc news senior political editor
mark murray joins us live from washington. walk us through this process as spelled out in the constitution, i think, as we've heard just a little bit ago. a lot of folks are learning a lot about the electoral college they didn't know before. >> if you're wisconsin or new york or texas, not necessarily voting for hillary clinton or donald trump. you're voting for that candidate's electors. so donald trump ended up winning wisconsin. you ended up having his electors like brian who actually will be casting their ballots today and as brian ended up mentioning, one of the big reasons why we won't have a lot of defectors, people want to pay attention and vote how their state ended up voting and important to note many of these people are often party officials, big in their state and the last thing they want to do is really, really buck the tide here. let me walk you through one of the reasons why we're actually talking about this the way we weren't talking about it in 2008 or 2012 and this was a very
close race. when you look at donald trump's electoral college vote, you know, it's going to place 46 out of the last 58 elections according to "the new york times" and in the popular vote, donald trump at 47 out of 49 elections where you have actually had the popular vote. this was a very close race and hardly decisive at all. when you look at where the electoral college count is according to the latest one, you have donald trump at 306 and hillary clinton at 232 and if donald trump is not able to end up being at the 270 electoral votes he needs, they'll have to be 37 faithless electors here. that will be very hard, chris, and also worth noting we get reports from people in media there will be one democratic elector casting his electoral vote for bernie sanders. so that would actually jump the number to 38 or so, but it's unlikely that we're going to see
something, a situation that donald trump dips below 270 electoral votes. but even if donald trump dips below 270 electoral votes, that would actually go to the house of representatives that would decide and republicans have not only a majority in the house of representatives, but they also have held a majority of states. if this goes to the house, there's going to be almost no way for a democrat to be able to win. so chris, hopefully that makes things a little bit simple on what's happening today. >> reality check in a big way. thank you, mark murray. good to see you. >> thank you, chris. bipartisan push to investigate the interference in the election. i'll talk with jack, a member of the senate select intelligence committee. we'll talk about what he thinks congress should do now and if he thinks russia is still hacking in the u.s. and here's a live look at electors in jackson, mississippi. donald trump won that state, electoral votes with 57.9% ♪ music playing
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. powerful statement. russia's goal with hacking nothing less than to destroy democracy. he and three other senators from both parties pushing for a streamline congressional information into hacking during the election and apparent gaffes in u.s. cyber laws. asking him to create a select committee on cyber to investigate russian interference. democratic senator of rhode island a member of the senate intelligence and armed services committee. good to see you. >> good morning. good morning. >> everyone is talking about this, obviously, yesterday, senator mcconnell's spokesperson said he'll look at this. he's going to review the letter. have you heard anything yet?
what would you like to see happen here? >> i have not heard anything yet. i would like to see the majority leader mcconnell authorize the committee because of the nature, it cuts to many committees, beyond service and the intelligence committee and the homeland security committee and if we and the foreign relations committee and if we have a disjointed individualized look, we will not be able, one, to find out precisely what happened and i think that's what the american people want to know now particularly, but just as importantly, we won't be able to propose and pass legislation to protect the american public in the future, to protect our elections. those two points are critical and i hope senator mcconnell would recognize that. >> and one of the questions being raised yesterday on "meet the press" by john podesta, the campaign manager for hillary clinton and some of the folks out in various states this morning outside of the electoral college and protesting is
whether or not there was any kind of collusion involving the trump campaign. let me play for you what john podesta said on "meet the press". >> i would argue that there's, it's very much unknown whether there was collusion. i think russian diplomats said post-election they were talking to the trump campaign. so i think, really, not what mr. trump knew but what did trump inc. know and were they in touch with russians? i think those are still open questions. >> do we know what the trump campaign knew and what they knew it? do you agree with john podesta, senator, there was collusion? >> i think what he said is that issue is something has to be looked at very closely. there's been indications of contact, but it has not been firmly established, not ir refutably established and one of the issues that cuts across different committee lines. so the armed services committee
typically doesn't get into behavior of individual americans and their contacts. so that's, again, another reason why a select committee including elements from all of these different committees would be a very effective way to answer this question which is out there. >> there seems to be disagreement about this. exactly whether or not this is continuing even now and if it continues even after the president told vladimir putin to cut it out. the democratic party clearly does not seem to be on the same page on this. let me play a little bit of sound about whether or not before the election this russian hacking stopped. >> 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. and tell him to cut it out, there were going to be some serious consequences if he
didn't. and in fact, we did not see further tampering of the election process. >> no, it did not stop. they came after us, absolutely every day until the end of the election. they tried to hack into our system repeatedly. >> who's right here, senator? >> well, this is one of the issues where the russians seem to be continually trying to hack into systems, not just the united states but across the globe. some directed from the highest level and some of it is ongoing activities of not only agents but surrogates that collaborate with them. so it's not surprising that this hacking would continue. and again, part of what we have to do is answer definitively what happened? what were the steps? was there a conscious decision by the highest authorities in russia to engage in the campaign and what was their motivation? did they cease that at some
point or did they continue it all the way through the election? it's answered not just to look back, but we have to be prepared for a following election. the heart of our democracy, the elections where people feel comfortable and confident that their vote based upon information they received through legitimate sources, not through disingenuous sources is the decisive factor. >> i hear from a lot of people, they say, of course the russians with hacking us. everybody hacks everybody else. not just talking about anecdotal evidence who talk about this. how serious in your mind is what has happened that you know about and do you agree with your colleague on the other side of the aisle, john mccain, nothing less than democracy is at stake here? >> senator mccain and i work closely together. he's a chairman on the ranking offices committee. i think he has raised a very valid point. if nothing is done, will people
have confidence in our democratic system? will they feel that it's their vote that makes a difference, not something else? we have to respond to that. and again, this notion that the hacking is going on. that, unfortunately, is a reality. that's more of an imperative in my mind to conduct this joint committee and look very carefully and propose serious considerations to respond, so that people feel this confidence. and i think, again, the best thing that could be done would be to have senator mcconnell establish the committee and i hope that president-elect trump would see the same virtue and value of having a committee to do the analysis and work with us, with legislation that would be forthcoming. >> we're out of time but i want to ask you quickly given you're on the armed services committee, do you know vincent vie oola?
what do you think? >> we met in west point and active in the financial services community. from my few meetings, seems to be a competent, capable individual. but like everyone who comes before the committee, there will be a careful scrutiny of his qualifications, abilities and suitability for the job. >> senator reid, thank you so much for taking the time. happy holidays, sir. >> happy holidays. thank you very much. let's take a check on the electors in springfield, illinois. these have certified their votes for hillary clinton. she did win that state with 55%. illinois has 20 electoral votes. in aleppo, those evacuations ongoing. we'll have a report from aleppo and hear from the mother of the 7-year-old girl who captured the world's attention from inside the city under siege. >> we can't stay there because
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breaking news out of turkey where reports say the russian ambassador to the country has been shot and wounded in a gun attack. ambassador andre karlaw was at the contemporary arts center where the opening came under armed attack. the ambassador taken to the hospital. reports say he was seriously injured. we'll let you know the latest as that story continues to develop. also developing in syria this morning, thousands of civilians packed on buses and desperately trying to flee the besieged city of aleppo after evacuation efforts postponed for hours have now resumed after armed rebels torched aleast six buses sent from rebel held
areas on sunday. today, unicef reports the orphans trapped in east landscape were able to evacuate safely. in just a short time ago, the u.n. security council passed a resolution aimed at monitoring those evacuations to prevent mass atrocities by syrian forces. let's go to nbc's bill neely in aleppo for the latest. >> reporter: good morning, already today, thousands of people and buses behindme, shuttling back and forth bringing those people out of really horrific conditions and out of the runs. among them, hundreds of children including 7-year-old bana, the little girl that the world has been watching for months. she was pictured this morning smiling and with a syrian doctor and video has now emerged of her relatively safe and looking
well. also free this morning, those 47 children from an orphanage. they too are safe and out of aleppo. though the united nations children charity unicef said some of the children were critical with injuries and dehydration. we know the dehydration came because in those buses, the people were stuck for about 24 hours. sometimes without food or water, waiting to get across this crossing point. so some of those children are being medically attended to. we also know the other child that garnered global attention. omran, being pulled out after the bombing. he is safe, we believe, in aleppo. he actually was evacuated some time ago. so all of those children who caught the world's attention do now appear to be safe.
on those buses are not just civilians, there are fighters on those buses as well. and all of them have two routes. they can come here to aleppo, meet up with families, or they can go to a government camp which we visited yesterday where there are really quite difficult conditions. lots of people, very desperate, very hungry. we saw them running and literally fighting for food yesterday when that food arrived unexpectedly and some treated by russian doctors in that camp. the other route for the people on these buses is out of aleppo all together to a rebel held area and into the fire and the province would be the next target for president assad's forces. but here today, this evacuation continuing and there is a real hope that this could be the end of the siege warfare. it's been so cruel, so brutal,
especially just so many children who have known nothing but war. back to you, chris. >> bill neely, thank you so much. and it truly is just a little ray of hope when you see that some of these children who have broken our hearts are okay now. i want to go to msnbc's cal perry. we were talking about bana, the 7-year-old, cal, who has been tweeting daily. her mother, we've come essentially to know them and the horror of their situation. i understand her mom gave an interview via skype to nbc news. what can you tell us, cal? >> she's become so symbolic of the struggle that so many syrians are facing in the other urban areas and spoke as her daughter slept and it was the first time in a long time we've been able to see her daughter sort of sleeping in a safe place. her mother said that she's sad to be leaving as so many refu e refugees are, take a listen. >> she is very sad because she
left her home and school and her garden. but even they were bombed, but they, she had some feeling, she is very, very, very, very, very sad and she's saying, mom, we shall ever come some day. >> so many children and so many vulnerable orphans, people like bana are now headed, as you heard bill neely say, to idlib, to the west of aleppo. unfortunately, the government is starting to sort of close in on that area as well. and all of this is sort of turning into a swap for those who remain alive in syria. you have government supporters living in rebel areas and rebel supporters living in government areas and these are turning into sort of these massive swaps, basically hostage situations and
unfortunately, bana likely to find herself in another similar type of situation. >> what a revealing interview, even though the home she knows is under siege, it's still home for her. her friends are still her friends and the idea she doesn't know if she'll be able to go home again, just adding to the tragedy. thank you so much, cal perry for your reporting on this. appreciate i have the. here at home, a wedding turned tragic when a tree fell on the wedding party. we'll have those details next.
picture and when it was their turn, they stepped up, started taking pictures and the tree unexpectedly camerashing down. in california, a park filled with the sound of chain saws as frantic emergency crews pulled victims out underneath huge branches and a toppled tree top. >> it was an odd sound. >> reporter: witnesses were under the same tree faking photos for a quincinera and then a wedding party gathered to take their pictures. >> they noticed they watched the tree fall and went straight. but the tip of the tree got most of them. >> reporter: cell phone video shows from all over the park, strangers ran to help. >> there was this lady with a little baby. and i didn't know what to do, but she was screaming so i hold the baby and i put it down and she has a very big bump in her
head. it was bleeding. they both were bleeding. it was blood all over. >> reporter: firefighters pulling out victim after victim, trapped and crushed by the tree while a small child prayed with his family nearby and in the middle of all the chaos, witnesses describe seeing the bride. >> they had the bride in their arms. limbls in the way of them gettig out. so me and another gentleman yanked up a huge chunk of the tree off. >> reporter: overnight, a family member confirmed the mother of the bride was killed. five others taken to the hospital including a 4-year-old girl in critical condition. the entire park now closed off as investigators wait for an arborist to determine why the tree fell with no wind. the question, whether anymore trees in the park could pose a danger after a wedding celebration turned to unbearable grief. it did rain in the area on friday. it happened on saturday so now an arborist is expected to go to that park to see if that may have contributed to the accident and meanwhile, the 4-year-old
girl taken to the hospital, we understand she had a head injury and also understand, she's expected to recover. >> thank you so much. up next, a travel nightmare just in time for the holidays. freezing cold temperatures causing thousands of flight cancellations and affecting millions of americans. we'll have the live report from one of the hardest hit cities, chicago.
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arctic chill this morning has temperatures 10 to 20 degrees below normal for much of the country after this weekend's record cold blast. in illinois, the des plains river froze over and thousands of flights cancelled creating travel nightmares leading into the busy holiday week. relief may be on the way though. we'll check in with our mete meteorologist in just a moment but i saw you there this morning. i think it was 10 below zero when you were doing the today show. how's it feeling out there right now? >> you know what?
today is the day i put on this hat and i said, it no longer matters if i look good. it's all about survival at this point. we bottomed out at 10 below zero at chicago o'hare today. just 2 degrees shy of a record cold for this day in december. it's not just chicago. kansas city, indianapolis, waking up in single digits. even dallas texas, this morning, below freezing. a lot of the country is feeling this arctic air. er the weekend, many parts saw fresh coatings of snow and freezing rain which then made for really slick roads once these cooler air came in behind it. in pennsylvania, about 45 minutes north of pittsburgh, a man was rescued after being for 12 hours. and not knowing what happened to him, police were able to ping his cell phone and track his location. he was down there for 12 hours. so a very lucky man today.
he did survive. back out here live in chicago, i want to show you the chicago river here. look at that. all iced over. this normally doesn't happen until january. that's a significant amount of time for december so that shows you the toll. >> i like the hat. just going to say and thank you for being out there for us. i want to go to nbc meteorologist bill karins. how's it looking as we move even closer to the holiday? an awful lot of people planning to travel thursday, friday, saturday. >> you're okay with the hat for christmas? >> i'm okay. very practical. put the flaps down. >> you've lived in cold places. >> yes, i have. >> reporte >> negative 2 in detroit. still in the freezer here but when you see bismarck up to 14, it's amazing to say up to 14, it feels warm. but things are slowly improving and highs today, kansas city and denver, oklahoma city, a little bit of recovery and the warm air is coming. we change the wind direction. instead of bringing the air down
from canada, we're going to bring it from the pacific across the country and then warm things up. chicago, nice and toasty but go above freezing. raleigh into the mid 50s. new york city into the 40s. little rock into the 50s. so just about everyone east of the rockies has a decent warm-up coming. is there anymore snow coming? you expect a snowstorm and with all the warmth from the rockies to the east. if you're hoping for a white christmas, you better hope it doesn't all melt really quickly. this is the forecast over the next seven days and this red, obviously, of concern. this is the dakotas, this is minnesota and this is saturday/sunday. christmas eve and christmas day. we could be talking about a significant snowstorm up there in areas of the north. the rest of the travel forecast over the holiday weekend actually looks really good on friday, big travel date. east coast is clear as could be and even into christmas eve, not seeing a lot of problems on the map. it's not until we get to christmas eve night and christmas day, chris, we could be talking about a blizzard on christmas day in the plains. imagine that going to grandma's
house? whew. >> the skiers will like that. >> yes. >> thank you. the dylann roof trial. convicted on thursday of killing nine parishioners of a south carolina church. we'll tell you what is expected when the jury returns on january 3rd and why mental health evidence won't play into it. ♪ ♪ style lets you stand out from the herd. what's inside sets you apart. the cadillac escalade. enjoy our best offers of the year.
breaking news out of turkey where the russian ambassador has reportedly been shot and wounded during an attack at an art opening in ang are a. richard engel is in istanbul for us. what have you been able to find out for us? >> reporter: details are still coming in. the russian foreign ministry says that the ambassador to turkey who was based in ankara was at a russian embassy-sponsored art exhibit of turkish and russian photographs, that he was in the middle of giving a speech, according to other news reports and that
during his remarks a man in a suit, stood up, shouted al ala akbar and fired eight shots at the ambassador. he's been hospitalized with a gunshot wound. no word on his status. he said words in russian, destroyed some of the photos and was shot and killed himself. that's what we know at this stage. the gunman or gunmen has not been identified at this stage and we don't know much about the motivation. >> thank you so much. meanwhile back here dylann roof will not call any mental health experts during the federal penalty phase of his trial. roof found guilty on thursday of gunning down nine parishioners at a south carolina church. he's chosen to represent himself
in this penalty phase. his attorneys who represented him during the federal hate crime trial will advise him during the sentencing which begins in a couple of weeks. prosecutors said they are seeking the death penalty. let's go to msnbc chief legal correspondent ari melber. when you look at how cut and dry this case is, i was there the night it happened. without a mental health defense i'm trying to figure out where he goes. why not have a mental health defense? do we know? >> that's the question everyone is asking. here's what we know according to dylann roof's public statements. he said he doesn't believe in psycholo psychology. he has as part of his white supremacist views alleged the teachings of psychology and medicine in that regard are the creation of jews, quote/unquote. this is an individual who says things that he doesn't personally buy into it. another theory discussed by lawyers is that because he did this as a white nationalist hate
crime he doesn't want his standing or his goals in any way diluted by the fact that he may have a mental disability or defection. in other words, a defect he thinks basically t way to show that this was a completely knowledgeable act was that it was made of sound mind which of course cuts against any mitigation defense. >> in the meantime you have a situation where he during this first phase of the trial said at one point i don't want a lawyer. he changed his mind and came back. could he do that? why do that? now this is really a matter of life and death. >> this is what the whole case is about. he already offered to plead and take a life sentence. the whole thing is whether or not he's sentenced to die. that would be his main defense. >> when he turned that -- when he said he wanted to do that and was turned down but said he wanted to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence, to
me that said this is a kid who wants to live. >> you can have all kinds of mental problems and still prefer to live rather than die but we see scenarios in other cases. ultimately you have someone here who wanted to send a message. he appears continually willing to do that even at the risk of his own standing in court. >> thank you so much. >> sure. >> we'll be right back. be ready when growth presents itself? american express open cards can help you take on a new job, or fill a big order or expand your office and take on whatever comes next. find out how american express cards and services can help prepare you for growth at open.com. find out how american express cards and services ♪ everything your family touches sticks with them. find out how american express cards and services make sure the germs they bring home don't stick around. use clorox disinfecting products.
thank you for watching this hour of "msnbc live". i'm chris jansing in for tamron hall. right now "andrea mitchell reports." >> thanks, chris. right now on "andrea mitchell reports," election day, take two. at this hour electoral college voters in 50 states and d.c. are casting ballots. the ballots that actually elect a president. adding to the drama, new revelations about russian hacking to influence the november outcome. >> the entire nonsense about the electors trying to use the
russian hacking issue to change the election results is unfortunate. that actually under mines our democracy more than any other conversation we are having now. >> what did trump inc. know and when? were they in touch with the russians? those are open questions and the electors have a right to know what the answers are before the election if the u.s. government has the answers. failure to act? obama's former defense secretary said american inaction emboldened vladimir putin so meddle in the u.s. election. >> i think putin saw the united states with drawing from around the world. i think there is actually the problem has been that president obama's actions often have not matched his rhetoric. his rhetoric has often been tough. but then there's been no follow up and no action. >> and secret santa. the putin-trump