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tv   MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson  MSNBC  December 19, 2016 10:00am-11:01am PST

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hallie in warm florida. >> sunny florida. hi, everybody. i'm in miami just south of where president-elect donald trump is at his resort in palm beach. we are watching breaking news out of turkey. the russian ambassador shot and killed in the an art exhibit where he was speaking. turkish officials say the attacker shouted al akilahu akb and condemned the killings in aleppo. the latest from bana in aleppo. this 7-year-old got a lot of attention with tweets. now there are buses to evacuate the people there. back here state side members of the electoral college voting today. this hour the electoral voting begins in wisconsin, in minnesota and in three other
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states. we start with turkey and breaking news. now video from msnbc's cal perry. we have to warn everybody that the video you are about to show of the attack is graphic. first tell the viewers what they are about to see. >> karlov is a diplomat out of the foreign ministry. he's shot from behind, shot and killed by an attacker posing as a member of his security force. there you see him in the photo. let's play the video. you are not actually going to see him shot. we freeze it before the moment. here it is. in just a second. andrei karlov is at a photo exhibit entitled russia through turkish eyes in ankara. behind him a gunman there with hands in the air shoots the
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ambassador dead in front of a number of news cameras. the gunman yells allahu akbar, god is great saying, quote, you are killing people in aleppo and so we will kill you, too. he then turned to people there at the exhibit saying i have nothing against you. you are free to go. i am here to die. the gunman was shot a few minutes after this. obviously a violent incident. at a time at which turkey is rebuilding its relationship with russia, specifically over what's happening inside syria. >> what else can you tell us about what happened and what happens from here?
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>> reporter: the gunman was able to get into this event being hosted by the russian embassy to highlight relations between russia and turkey. he was dressed in a suit wearing a police pin on his jacket. dark tie. a few minutes into the ambassador's remarks, the gunman pulled out a pistol and shot the ambassador from behind. multiple gunshots. he started to shout. first in arabic saying allahu akbar, god is great" and then we are those who pledged our allegiance to muhammed and the jih jihad. his arabic was broken with a turkish accent. he spoke then in turkish and said don't forget aleppo. don't forget syria. you will not taste security if our regions are not safe. only death can take me from here. he warned other people in the room to stand back.
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he points his gun at them and says, everyone responsible for the cruelty in syria will pay a heavy price. then he was killed by police on the scene. turkish security forces are saying he was, in fact, a police officer identified as a very young man, 22 years old from the riot police division. police critically say he was not on duty at the time. >> richard, thanks. i want to go back to cal. i understand you have the video. we are ready to show it here. graphic and disturbing. >> exactly. take a look. we are not going to actually show you the moment he's shot. you will see him coming to the microphone. there is the attacker behind him. at this point he starts that rant, that richard is talking about aleppo and the need to pay more attention to it and the need to avenge the deaths in aleppo. as you can see there and the point of the video is this was an assassination.
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the person was able to gain access directly behind the ambassador as the ambassador is giving this speech to members of the media. a brazen attack, to be sure. >> it's difficult to watch. thank you. i want to bring in now the former u.s. ambassador to russia and msnbc contributor michael mcfaul. put this into perspective for us here. there is a lot to discuss. when you heard about this, when you are watching the video tell us what's going through your mind, the priorities for you when you see this. >> just how horrific this is. it's shocking that this can happen. no matter how horrible things are in aleppo. i have spoken many times about how horrible, what the russians have done with the ally mr.
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assad in aleppo is. in no way can justify an assassination of anyone let alone the ambassador. i can explain it and i can explain how people are upset about what the russians have done. but an explanation should never be confused with an excuse. >> talk about the repercussions that you are discussing, particularly when you look at what's happening in aleppo. how do you see it playing out? >> you know, there has been a reproachment between russia and turkey lately. after some real tension when the turks shot down the russian airplane. that was moving in a positive direction. i just have to imagine this will now increase tensions between those two countries. i also worry about copy cats. i worry that there are lots of people in the sunni world in turkey and within the russian federation upset with the images
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from aleppo. it is a major story covered in a way where this is scene as a crime against humanity. and so one should expect this will inspire others to do something so awful as what we were just witnessing now. >> ambassador, you are referencing the video we are just sharing with our audience, just learning about. we'll play it one more time with the audio. a reminder to the viewers that you are about to see is graphic and disturbing. watch. [ gunshot ] still images there. of what happened. the russian ambassador to turkey apparently as you can see clearly assassinated here. ambassador, you talked about not wanting to give an explanation versus excuse. put it into context. can you begin to explain what
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may have led up to this assassinati assassination? >> i don't know the facts. i'm listening to richard as well today. we have richard engel on the team by the way. you know, obviously for years now, just not since aleppo, but for years in that part of the world in the sunni populations within syria and around, they have blamed russia for supporting assad in what they consider a crime against humanity, against their people. and the images that you see on their blogs on their websites on their television stations are much more dramatic than what we see in the west and what russians see. russians see the liberation of aleppo. that disagreement about what's happening is real, fierce.
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this has been a major tragedy. that's why i'm guessing tensions are heightened and somebody would do such a dastardly act. i want to really emphasize that doesn't excuse in any way, shape or form this kind of assassination. i think about my diplomatic friends around the world, americans and russians alike, that must feel very nervous right now given what happened. again, i worry that this could inspire other kinds of assassinations like we just saw today. >> michael mcfaul, thank you very much. we are falling the story as we are talking about diplomatic reaction from around the world. the french president now condemning the attack along with the u.s. ambassador to turkey. we'll bring you the latest as we get it. up next, we are turning back state side with members of the electoral college casting votes in six states this hour alone. we'll check in at one of the
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locations where it will be happening next. later on the daily debate we are asking if it's time to get rid of the electoral college all together. stay with us. liberty mutual stood with me
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don't let directv now limit your entertainment. only xfinity gives you more to stream to any screen. president-elect donald trump is here in florida about an hour from where i am. right now you are looking live at members of the electoral college meeting this hour in wisconsin and maryland. it looks like it is getting feisty. look at what appears to be an elector in wisconsin. we are watching what's going on here in wisconsin. we'll bring you the latest as it happens. lots of activity around the country with protests happening, trying to convince the electors to reverse essentially the election.
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unlikely and it would be unprecedented. we'll talk about it with kristen welker, my colleague in palm bea beach, jacob soboroff in austin, texas and kasie hunt. walk us through the agenda today for the president-elect. he's already come out feistily, if you will, about what's happening with the electoral college protests. >> reporter: he's going to have meetings here today as he continues to fill out his administration. but to your point about the push-back we are seeing from within trump world about some of the revelations, if you will, from the intelligence community that russia has tried to interfere in the u.s. election. the pushback has been strong. we saw it play out over the weekend. one of his top advisers, kellyanne conway was very firm saying show us the evidence that there is actually russian interference in the election. the reality is of course you have a growing chorus of voices
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within the intelligence community saying they do, in fact, have evidence showing russia hacked top democrats, the dnc, officials with the clinton campaign and tried to meddle in this race. meanwhile, that's all adding fuel to the fire of lawmakers saying they want to see a select committee, an investigation into exactly what happened. senator john mccain, very strong over the weekend. senator chuck schumer as well saying that needs to be the next step. of course senate majority leader mitch mcconnell saying he doesn't want to see that step taken and the reality is you are seeing a divide deepen from within the republican party. those saying, hey, it doesn't matter what the reason for the russian interference. we need to get to the bottom of it and make sure it doesn't happen again. you have donald trump and his team concerned frankly that it could cast a cloud over his electoral victory. you are seeing some today trying to pressure the electors to
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reverse course, not cast ballots for donald trump. but the reality as you said, it is very unlikely we'll see it happen. look at the latest poll. a political morning consult shows 46% of the electors should be bound to vote for the candidate who won the race. 34% say they shouldn't. the majority of people do think the electors need to vote for the state that effectively donald trump won and not reverse course. it adds to the backdrop of the divided country that donald trump is poised to take over when he's inaugurated on january 20. >> kristen, you talked about the polling showing that 34% of people polled believe that electors should not necessarily be bound to whatever their state did. jacob, you have been following this all morning long in texas which i believe begins its vote in a couple of hours.
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what's it like on the ground? explain how it will unfold today. >> reporter: i was just listening to you talk about wisconsin. it's certainly feisty as well here outside the state capitol in austin. texas has the second most electoral votes behind california, of course. the number of electors correlates to the numbers of the members of congress coming from the state. the reason emotions are high is obvious. hillary clinton got almost 3 million more popular votes than donald trump though donald trump did win those 306 electoral votes or i kbeguess he hasn't y but should be walking away with those 306. but this is an election where most of everything hasn't gone as you would expect it to. what's happening here and across the country is these electors who actually are the people that the american people vote for on election day will come to state capitols, cast their ballots for
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president and vice president. those will be counted and ratified in washington, d.c. by joe biden presiding over the senate on january 6. it is an interesting, unique and bizarre process of what the folks here are trying to do is convince electors walking in today to vote for anybody but donald trump. only nine electors over the last 100 years cast what's called a faithless vote, gone rogue and voted for someone other than who the state voted for. there is one elector who said he will vote for somebody other than donald trump. he said he's received death threats because of that. we are taking it seriously despite ultimately at the end of the day certainly there will not be enough electors defecting to stop donald trump from becoming president. >> the a.p. called up 330 electors around the country, found one guy i think from wisconsin who received close to
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50,000 e-mails personally pressuring him about his role in today's electoral college vote. have you met anybody there who had their mind changed at all? do you think it's unlikely? the secretary of state office ultimately administers counting of the votes in texas. if you have 5 million people signing a petition asking these electors to change their votes and you have one so far. from what it looks like across the country from reports it seems unlikely for as vocal as the protesters have been, they will convince other electors to change their vote. >> as we listen to jacob talk about the likelihood that the 37 electors will essentially deny donald trump the votes he needs.
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let's talk about what's next for democrats. the focus for them and republicans is looking at an investigation here, calls for the select committee into russian interference in the u.s. election is assessed by intelligence agencies. what's the latest with that and without getting too much in the weeds here explain the difference between individual committees versus the select committee and white matters. >> right. well, look. you have now a bipartisan call for a select committee which are usually used in extraordinary circumstances. saying we need a new body just for this problem or scandal. that's officially the ask from chuck schumer, john mccain and lindsey graham of mitch mcconnell, the senate majority leader. there are powers that the
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intelligence committee has that others don't have. they can put stuff behind closed doors and they do. there is a perception that mcconnell is trying to shut it away. the middle ground that may end up appearing is senator mccain is focused on this. he chairs the armed services committee. he has the power to create a subcommittee that could potentially get subpoena power and other things. that could investigate this. it seems that will go forward. the critical dynamic to watch will be the dynamic between mcconnell and mccain and graham and how they sort it out. the other piece is the trump campaign and whether they had contacts with russia and so far democrats are careful about how they approach that particular question. take a look at what jack reid, democratic senator from rhode island, ranking member of the armed services committee had to say about it today. >> there's been indications of
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contacts. that's another reason why a select committee would be an effective way to answer this question which is out there. it won't go away. it has to be resolved and answered. >> reporter: that's what the group is pushing for. hallie? >> kasie hunt, kristen welker and jacob soboroff. today we are asking you the microsoft pulse question. all eyes are on the 538 electors officially voting now for the president and vice president today. a lot of questions about the electoral college versus the popular vote. is it time to re-evaluate how the electoral college works? head over to pulse. msnbc.com to cast your vote. hit me up on twitter. i will read out some of the best responses later on in the show. up next, thousands of people are desperately trying to get away
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from war and get out of aleppo. that's where we are headed next as the crisis there intensifies. and an update on the young syrian girl whose tweets gave the world a gripping glimpse into life inside aleppo. stay with us.
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that's your hair lulu! mom, can we have another dog? (laughing) trap and lock up to 4x more dirt, dust and hair than the store brand stop cleaning. start swiffering. today the u.n. security council is voting to deploy monitors to eastern aleppo with families trapped in the middle of the war zone finally getting the green light to get out. but actually doing it, actually escaping is becoming increasingly dangerous and difficult. bill nealy gives us a look on the ground. >> reporter: good afternoon. already today thousands of people have been freed. finally from the six month siege of their neighborhood. you can see the buses behind me which have been shuttling back and forth all day taking those people out of their neighborhoods in east aleppo and into relative safety.
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among those people, many, many children including 7-year-old bana, the little girl who attracted worldwide attention through her twitter account. we have seen her photograph this morning in the arms of a syrian doctor. there was video of her today. she's now in a place of relative safety. remember, she tweeted not just the agony of her neighborhood but her own fears. to her mother today and she said she was both relieved and sad. happy that she's got out with her children, but sad because she's leaving her home behind, because she's not sure how long they will be safe for. of course she has no home now. she said, i left my soul there. also safe this morning, the 47 children, orphans of the war from the orphanage in eastern aleppo. they, too, are out. although the u.n. children's organization unicef said some of
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them are critical with injuries and dehydration which seems to come from spending 24 hours in the buses overnight in freezing conditions without food and water. but generally chose children are safe. also out, the other child that garnered global attention, the young boy from the ambulance filmed in the ambulance in august, amran dagnish. he is here in aleppo and we believe also safe. so all the children that garnered global attention are out. they've got two places to go to. one is here in aleppo. where civilians certainly can go to an army-run camp. we were there yesterday. conditions there really bad people, very, very desperate. and especially hungry. they were literally running and
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fighting over food when it arrived unexpectedly yesterday. russian doctors are there performing basic operations. conditions are bad and they are desperate. the other place these people can go is idl irks brkib province, rebel-held area. the danger is they are out of the frying pan into the fire. it would be one of the next targets of the forces. they would be free from air strikes in eastern aleppo but there could be more agony to come. there is real hope that this evacuation could signal the beginning of the end of the brutal siege warfare. it's been so cruel to so many civilians on both sides. back to you, hallie. >> nbc's bill nealy in aleppo continuing to follow the story. up next, a wedding celebration ending in shock and horror as a tree crashes on a
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wedding party killing one, hurting five others. we are headed live to california for the latest. have you seen the disturbing story from west virginia? an increase in the number of people dying from overdosing on painkillers. why are drug companies pumping more pills into some of the hardest hit areas? we'll take a look next. they are the natural borns enemy of the way things are. yes, ideas are scary,
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pictures under the 100-foot tree saturday. people nearby watching as the tree came crashing down. >> they didn't notice it until they started watching the tree fall. they started running but the tip of the tree got most of them. >> reporter: miguel almaguer is following the story. a lot of rain in the area right before the tree came down. do investigatoring think it played a part? >> reporter: they are looking at that. there was heavy rain in the los angeles area a few days before it happened. as you know, we are in the middle of a five-year drought. we have not been seeing heavy rain or any rain in the los angeles area for quite some time. so there was concern that the heavy rain may have uprooted the tree that may have already been debt. just a short time ago a federal report came out that said here in california more than 100 million trees in the area are dead because of the drought. so that's certainly a leading
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cause of the investigation. an arborist is on the scene. that's a popper la park area on the weekends especially for wedding parties to snap pictures. the park was shut down as the arborist tries to determine the cause on why the tree crushed several members of a wedding party killing one perpendicular. t -- person, the mother of the bride and critically injuring a 4-year-old who is now in the hospital. >> keep us posted. thanks for being with us. in west virginia a new investigation revealing an eye-popping number of painkillers headed into the state. according to a new report from the charleston gazette-mail, drug companies shower the state with 780 million painkillers in six years. what does that mean? break it down. 433 pills for every single man, woman and child in the state. over those six years this report found overdose deaths increased
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by 67%. all the while heads of the drug firms collected salaries and bonuses in the tens of millions of dollars. the new investigation and following the story. eric, walk us through what we should know about really thousands of pages of documents you guys pulled. >> we got all of the sales data for all of the pharmacies where the drug distributors shipped two particular pain pills. one was hydrocodone most people know as lortab or norco and oxycontin. what we found is there was a large number of over dose deaths caused by those two specific drugs. over the same period there were 780 million pills of both of those particular pain pills that were shipped to west virginia.
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the overwhelming majority here, the disproportionate number of pills was shipped to southern west virginia which we call them the southern coal fields, the poorest and most rural counties. >> you talk about the large number of overdose deaths. we have a graphic on the screen now. the top four counties for fatal over doses caused by pain pills in the u.s. all four in west virginia. that shows the extent of the problem. what are legislators, people you're talking to, experts in your state trying to do? >> well, they have passed some legislation about two years ago that's had some positive effects. that particular bill targeted the pain clinics sponsored by the governor. they have shut down a good 10 to 12 pain clinics and what was going on at the pain clinics was people were paying cash, usually
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about $200 or so going into one of the clinics so they might be called pill mills. they were getting prescriptions but they weren't in many cases even seeing doctors. they were just basically cash for scrips is what was going on. >> what responsibility do, for example, doctors have with this and talk about, too, your reporting on the response from what you call the big three drug firms basically supplying more than half of the pain pills that went to west virginia. >> well, the doctors have a responsibility to know their patients and prescribe what's medically necessary. what was going on here is people would come in and in many cases wouldn't give a reason for, you know, or maybe they would say they had back pain or something like that or a tooth ache and getting pills.
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as far as the response from the drug wholesalers, now these are the middlemen. they are the ones that ship the drugs from the manufacturers to the pharmacies and what they have said to this point is that it's really the responsibility of the doctors, that they are just going ahead and filling the massive orders because there are prescriptions going to pharmacies and that's where the problem starts. they say we should be looking at the doctors first and the pharmacies probably second. >> eric with the charleston gazette mail. an eye opening look at the epidemic in west virginia. we are putting a link to your story up on my twitter page and my facebook page so viewers can check it out. let's see what you are saying about the microsoft pulse question. all eyes are on the 538 electors to officially vote for president and vice president today. is it time to re-evaluate how
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the electoral college works? take a look at your results so far. 84% say yep, it's time to take another look. 16% of you say no. including one of you writing on twitter we are premature on the electoral college issue. if we get destroyed let's talk. much more coming up ahead. not just here stateside but overseas as we continue to follow the latest in the assassination of the russian ambassador to turkey, cal perry is back with us with the latest on the reaction from international communities next.
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breaking news now for you within the last few minutes. nato's secretary general condemned the assassination of russia's ambassador to turkey. the ambassador was speaking at an art exhibit in turkey's capital when he was shot and killed. turkish officials say the attacker shouted allahu akbar and condemned killings in
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aleppo. following this is our team on the ground and at 30 rock including cal perry, senior editor of video and digital content. what are you learning? >> reporter: condemn tags around the world. a very brazen attack happening in front of the media. we'll show you the video. it is violent and disturbing. you will hear the russian ambassador to turkey being shot. take a look. [ gunshot ] [ screaming ] >> reporter: the gunman there waving his left arm in the air. he's yelling. you are killing the people of aleppo and so we will kill you, too. he turns to some of the guests at this photo exhibit. this is a photo exhibit entitled russia through the eyes of turkey. he turns to guests and says i have nothing against you. you are free to go. i am here to die. the gunman a turkish police
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officer as confirmed by turkish officials who was off duty at the time was killed by turkish authorities as they descended onto this museum. all of this is happening in the shadow of what will be a vital meeting tomorrow in moscow between the turkish foreign minister and the russians. this was a prescheduled meeting. normally we would see emergency meetings after an incident like this. we have this prescheduled meeting about syria. >> and the video, horrific as it is, is not something we want to show repeatedly. we want to point it out because of the political implications of what happened. you clearly hear the attacker yell, talk about aleppo. even an explanation. nor should there be anything more about the scene what's happening on the ground here.
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maybe the next 10, 12 hours or so. your interview with the ambassador was fascinating. there is no excuse for violence like this. it does show you the way that people in turkey view the conflict in syria. it is right next door. it is something they live with every day. it leads the nightly newscast. you have a significant and serious refugee situation under way in turkey. it is something that literally strikes close to home. of course there is nothing that can justify violence of this nature and this brazen attack was meant to take place the way it did for maximum exposure. >> explain it. at this exhibit it was essentially the ambassador sort of presenting two members of the media. it was the cameras there. there were photographers, reporters, all present. >> it was like what we call in
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the u.s. a pool spray. it's worth saying the bravery of the photographers who continued to film after it happened with the gunman waving a weapon at the media certainly something very stark. but something that in this conflict, in what's become a global conflict where you have so many different countries putting their fingers into syria, iran and russia. this is certainly something that on the timeline of what's happening in syria is now going to be more and more highlighted abroad, hallie. >> cal perry at 30 rock for us. thank you very much. up next, we are taking a look at a tradition date back some 200 years. the electoral college casting now the final votes for the next president. all the drama this year is raising new questions about whether the system works. is it time for a new one all together? we'll talk about it next. ♪ ♪
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you are look at some protests from arizona and michigan. demonstrators are making the last appeal to electoral college. electors in 200 states have already casted their ballots and a few electors pledged to support the person they are voting for considering flip it. chances are, it is not going to do donald trump's inauguration but it might. it means trouble for the future electoral college. i want to bring in our paneli s panelists. thank you both for being here. >> great. >> we'll start with you aldolfo -- when asked if the electoral college should be replaced by the popular vote winner in the future, majority of the people say yes. is this a tipping point for the
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electoral college or should it be? >> i don't believe it is a tipping point nor should i think it should be. i don't know if people really if they fully understand what's really behind the electoral college and something are no longer applicable and among them to give balance to a system that would have a voice and not just the morality of the vote but also different regions and states. you have to remember that our system is of course, a federal system of 50 states and that's what brought the country together. the electoral college does a nice job give voice to the smaller states. the election would be just of the extreme of both coasts. i think they would possibly have a different view. >> and julian, the point has been made that the candidates campaigned a lot differently if the electoral college system was not in place, right?
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>> yes, just to correct aldopo on the history here. well, that was one of the principle reasons. >> other reason, too. >> while you can make the argument, it does give smaller states and state. it is a democratic -- it is anything of an impact to the democrats. two out of the last three presidents have lost the popular vote but won the electoral college. it is essentially reduces the plainfield to ten states to 50 states to 40 states or out of play. so, you know, i think it is hard to argue at a certain democratic. with that said, the chance of changing the electoral college i think are rather slim. the electoral college they have all failed. there is a danger here of d democrats starting to sound a little bit like sour grapes. the electoral college is favorable to the demographic
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map. democrats, while we would love to change the electoral college for the reasons i mentioned, what democrats really need to focus is rebuilding the state's party apparatus and getting a message that's about economy and finding the right candidates. i don't think it is going to change. >> you made the reality check. you sort of made the point that this maybe that this never going to happen category when you look at what will take to get the electoral college, is it enough for democrats to focus on the states party apparatus in your view, aldofo, should republicans do the same? >> there are a lot of reasons why the electoral college and still valid today and they were in the past and multiple reasons why the system was set up that are still valid today and give voice to smaller states.
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i disagree with julian with that. the democrats would very much like to change it if they could because it would concentrate in the extreme of the two coasts since the election showed by a way of wide margin that hillary clinton did win the popular vote in the state. they'll concentrate in the east and west coast state and win the elections and the rest of the country's voice and the issues affecting the country is neglecting it. >> i think it is unlikely that while wyoming and kansas, that depends on the election. we had our electoral college 40 years ago and there were 13 or 14 states. >> julian, go ahead. >> i don't know if you get it. >> here is the point. let me try to explain a couple of things here. in terms of a constitutional amendment. i think it will be difficult because the small states have veto power over constitution limit. there is something in place known as the interstate compact right now, states have a total of 270 electoral college votes
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would sign a contract to send their voters to elect who ever wins the popular vote. that's a way of changing the electoral system and the electoral college without the constitutional limit. there are things of the limit that you do the change it. point two in terms of the democrats right now. i do think that democrats lost their election and they need to stay focus on it. they did not have an economic message that appeals and for most of the geographic area of the country. >> all right. >> democrats have to focus on the economy, they have for fundamentally rebuild their states apparatus and find candidates that has an appeal. julian, got to give you the last word there. >> thank you both very much. >> thank you. >> always a feisty panel. we got a lot more ahead on msnbc. hang on.
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that does it for us for this hour of msnbc live from miami right now. we got more news from my colleague, ali velshi. >> thank you, halie jackson, you have a great afternoon. russia ambassador assassinated. nbc's bill neely is inside aleppo and more on the evacuation of the syrian girl who's the face of the city's conflict and the electoral college about to make donald trump's win official and not without a little drama. we'll have those states by states results as they come in. the protest efforts to get electors to trump trump. while a vote is a

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