tv Morning Joe MSNBC December 30, 2016 3:00am-6:01am PST
and this is a live look at times square, where an estimated 1 million will gather tomorrow to bid adieu to 2016 and welcome the new year. and we wish you a happy new year. that's going to do on this friday morning. i'm chris jansing. "morning joe" starts right now. good morning. it's friday, december the 30th. new year's eve eve. joe and mika have the morning off and they'll be back next week. with us on set is msnbc political correspondent, kasie hunt, the managing editor of bloomberg politics, mike halperin, msnbc political analyst, another big night at the garden with fish for robert costa, msnbc anchor and political correspondent, steve kornacki, and in washington, senior political editor and white house correspondent for the "huffington post," senior -- >> senior. >> good morning, everybody. we've got real big news everybody. a quick update on the show last
night. >> excellent show. i was on page mcconnell's said. they say page side, rage side. the second set was phenomenal. harry hood to end it. a great first two nights at the fish, part of a wonderful community. >> and do you anticipate all four shows now? you've been to two, why not four. >> two was great, i would love to go to four. i've got to enter the real world again. >> didn't fish break up? >> they did, actually. they broke up, took a break. >> fish never really breaks up. >> much more on last night's show from bobby costas, exclusive reporting throughout the morning. we have some breaking news this morning, russia reacting to the united states government, punishing what officials say was interference in the presidential election. in moscow, the russian foreign minister, sergey lavrov was suggesting the expulsion of 35 u.s. diplomats, that's equal to the number the united states is declaring persona non grata. the russians may also close two u.s. officials in moscow, which is also the number of russian compounds that the u.s. says it
will be shut down. one in maryland, another on long island here in new york. this less than a day after the u.s. government leveled sanctions against the fsb, the russian spy agency that seceded the kgb, and giving nearly three dozen diplomats who the u.s. accuses of being intelligence operatives 72 hours to leave the country. the president also imposed sanctions on the russian military intelligence service, gru, four of its high-ranking officers and three companies suspected of supporting it. also targeted, two suspected russia-based hackers wanted by the fbi in earlier cybercrimes, including alleged attacks on banks and ecommerce sites. one of the suspected hackers had has a $3 million bounty on his head since february of 2015. the government also declassifying technical information on the hacking to help other networks identify, detect, and disrupt russia's global campaign of malicious cyberactivities. in a statement, president obama said these actions follow
repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the russian government and are a necessary and appropriate response in efforts to harm u.s. interests in violations of established international norms of behavior. he said the administration will soon provide a report to congress on russian interference in this and previous election cycles. yesterday's moves were the first significant u.s. actions taens against russian diplomats since 2001 when the government expelled close to 50 people in response to the discovery of espionage activities carried out by former fbi agent, robert hanson. let's bring in now, "new york times" national security correspondent, david sanger, who's got a big piece in the paper this morning about all of this. david, those were sort of the broad strokes about what the president put forward yesterday. russia responding this morning. what else should our viewers know about this today. >> a couple of things,willie. first of all, the expulsion of the diplomats while familiar and
it's got that nice ting of the cold war, is not what this is about and it's expelled these diplomats because of the harassment of the american diplomats in russia and so forth, but it's all been put together as a package. the big thing here is what can president obama expect to accomplish. can he actually defer future russian action. and how does he box in president-elect trump? because that's what a good deal of this? you have in president-elect trump someone who has been consistently skeptical of the russians, even got involved, talk about 400-pound hack terse doing this from their beds in new jersey and so forth. and so by trying to lay out some evidence, expelling people and doing the sanctions, he's now put the president-elect in the position of having to decide whether to go and actually reverse this stuff. say to vladimir putin, ah, forget about it, soon after he comes into office.
i'm betting that the president-elect doesn't do that. you saw him try to back away a little bit, saying, i'll take an intelligence briefing on this subject next week. >> david, the criticism of this action yesterday, although many, many republican congressmen and senators came out in support saying, this is an appropriate action. the criticism of it is, too little, too late. this would have been nice before they had interfered in our election. this would have been nice years ago when you knew these homes in maryland and new york were being used as houses for intelligence agencies within russia. is it too little, too late? is it too late to stop what's already happened, obviously? but is it enough to stop this happening again? >> my estimation is that it would not happen again in exactly this form, but in some other form. on the too little, too late, if you go back to the big investigative piece that my colleagues eric lipton, scott shane and i had in "the times" a few weeks ago, which i think we
discussed on an earlier show, the united states missed a whole number of signals that this was happening. the fbi first went to the dnc with a warning in the fall of 2015. and yet the dnc didn't get -- the dnc leadership didn't figure out what was going on here until april. the president said in his press conference the other day he knew about it in the early summer. that was an awful long time for the gru and the other russian intelligence agencies to do a lot of damage, including the break-in into john podesta's e-mail. so there is a little bit of culpability here on the part of the united states and the dnc for leaving the door wide open when we know, of course, we're a regular target of russian, chinese, north korean, and iranian hackers, among others. >> mark halperin?
>> david, what do we know about what the possible covert moves were or will be by the u.s. government? >> we don't know a whole lot about this. all you saw yesterday were the public elements. and frankly, to tell you the truth, i think, mark, the public stuff here is more valuable than the private. because if you're trying to establish deterrents for actors in the future, russia included, it doesn't help much to be doing something that no one sees. but, on the covert side, you could certainly see the united states interfere with some of the oligarchs who helped finance putin, you could see the leakage of some of the information about the hundreds of millions of dollars that putin piece believed to have gained with the help of the oligarchs and stored abroad. you could see the u.s. punch some holes in the internet censorship that russia imposes to try to keep dissent down.
there's all kinds of mischief the u.s. can do. i ran across a lot of officials, to tell you the truth, who were very reluctant to go down that road, because you can get on a cyberescalation ladder, that you then can't get off. >> david, it's become almost gospel that russia, quote, hacked the election, but i think it's important to make distinctions about what that means, exactly. it's one thing to have hacked the e-mail of the dnc. clearly, that happened. but i think there a a lot of hillary clinton voters and polls actually show a majority of them believe that russia hacked into voter rolls, voting machines and changed the results of the election. what did you find in your reporting about that? >> there's been absolutely no evidence of any votes changed as a result of hacking on election day. there was some evidence that russian actors and i don't know if it was state sponsored, but i assume they were, hav scanned some of the outward facing
databases of voter registration rolls when you go online to register. and that might have been an effort to try to see if they could affect the election, cause disruption, it didn't happen. and so, you know, what the russians have done, instead, is something that merges new cybertechnology, getting into the e-mails, being quite surreptitious about how they did that, and very old-fashioned information warfare, where they took the data they harvested, threw it out on the internet, counting on the fact that we at "the times" and you at "morning joe" and everybody else in the media would be so captivated by what we learned in the e-mails or infighting inside the dnc or john podesta's conversations about hillary clinton's weaknesses as a candidate, that that would overcome the question, why was a foreign power interfering with the election? >> you know, cakasie, david
mentioned donald trump perhaps being boxed in on this. donald trump released a statement by these actions by president obama on russia saying, quote, it's time for our country to move on to bigger and better things. nevertheless, in the interest of our country and its great people, i will meet with leaders of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated on the facts of this situation. nbc news had previously reported trump was first told about direct links between the voting and russian links on november 18th. >> i don't know anything about it. i don't know who hacked, i don't know sure -- tell me who hacked. i think it's probably unlikely. i think maybe the democrats are putting that out. >> i mean, it could be russia, but it could also be china. it could also be lots of other people. it could also be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, okay? anytime anything wrong happens, they like to say, the russian -- she doesn't know if it's the russians doing the hacking.
maybe there is no hacking. >> once they hack, if you don't catch them in the act, you're not going to catch them. they have no idea if it's russia or china or somebody. it could be somebody sitting in a bed some place. >> i think we ought to get on with our lives. i think the computers have complicated lives very greatly. the whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what's going on. >> last night, donald trump's senior adviser, kellyanne conway would not comment on whether or not the plekt would reverse president obama's actions. these sanctions. but she did suggest politics were behind the president's decisions. >> i will tell you even those who are sympathetic to president obama on most issues are saying that part of the reason he did this today was to, quote, box in president-elect trump. that would be very unfortunate if that were the motivate -- if politics were the motivating factor here. but we can't help but think that that's often true. even "the new york times" characterized it as such, that this may be an attempt to box him in.
that's not the way that peaceful transitions of administrations work in our great democracy. >> conway also dismissed the impact of the sanctions, suggesting members of the russian military intelligence service do not operate within the u.s. >> i've been reading all the news reports about these retaliations, these sanctions put forward by president obama and that administration. some of them seem largely symbolic. the gru doesn't really travel here, doesn't keep its assets here. >> that comment drew that response from president obama's former ambassador to russia, michael mcfaul. quote, this is crazy. can someone organize a deep dive presidential daily brief for the president-elect and his senior advisers on russian intelligence operations asap? >> it's really, i think strike ing and it became pretty clear that donald trump and republicans in congress have a divide on this very question. intelligence assessments.
i'm wondering about intelligence officials. what do you think it takes -- i know you've talked to donald trump multiple times and an understanding of how he approaches a lot of these things. what's it going to take to convince him that this is something that actually happened? >> i'm not sure, but you can almost hear the drum beat right now in washington, among democrats, republicans, the traditional hawks on foreign policy. they think this issue deserves to be at the top of the agenda next year, not only should there be congressional probes, but there should perhaps be a select committee. there's going to be pressure on the republican leadership. speaker ryan, who issued a statement somewhat supportive of the president ee's alaskas yesterday on leader mcconnell. but the problem when i was talking to people down at mar-a-lago last night on the phone and those next to trump is that they look at 2017 and say, we want to get tax reform, affordable care act, supreme court nominee, infrastructure, we all have projects. the last thing they want to be dealing with is this russian
drum beat. but in presidencies, you have to deal with what you're being confronted with and they're being confronted with. >> it seems like republicans hardly criticized the president's actions at all. they may say, hey, we don't agree with what he's been doing with russia for the last eight years, but they didn't have a problem with his actions. that suggests to me there's political pleasure on republicans. >> and traditionally, you took the incoming republican president being skeptical of this stuff out of it. in general, there's evidence that russia tried to hack e-mails, you would find certainly a lot of hawks on the republican side that would say, we need to retaliate in some way. this is the traditional role of the republican party. that's going to create some tension there in terms of their reaction. is david sanger still there? >> yeah. >> a question i want to ask him, though. i want to try to clear this up a little bit more. i think willie said, one thing that's important here, they didn't try to hack -- they didn't actually hack into voting machines. that perception seems to be out
there. the other thing, there's been a lot of reporting the last few weeks that's sort of been contradictory on the subject, what was the intent here for russia? was the intent to simply cause chaos? was the intent to disrupt the election sort of in the grand scale, or was the attempt to put a thumb on the scale for donald trump and against hillary clinton? and i'm looking at the information that came out yesterday and i can't seem to make sense of it from that standpoint. i saw references in there in this report that came out yesterday that says, i think there was an operation here that was going of educational institutions. they were looking to get information from various government entities, and also a political party, presumably the democratic party. i wasn't getting the sense reading this yesterday, this was directed at helping trump, hurting clinton, but you know better. what is your sense of that? >> it's a very good question, steve. and i'm not sure that the motives stayed stable over time. the initial attack on the dnc d many o those attacks on educational institutions, news media, others, were executed by
the fsb. that's the successor to the old kgb. and that was pure intelligence gathering. and it's exactly what the united states does as well in russia. over time, another group came in. the gru. and that's the group that president obama sanctioned yesterday and their officers. they had a very different set of move they came in, grabbed this data, and then made it available, rst on that goosefer 2.0 website that showed up over the summer and then the wikileaks. at some point, they became, i think, aware that it was very possible that donald trump was a viable candidate, but they certainly were aware that they could do some damage to hillary clinton. and so while i think it's impossible the divine motives for sure, what we do know is that vladimir putin thinks that hillary clinton was interfering in the 2011 parliamentary
election in russia. where she denounced the election as rigged. and she has said, and i think there's a fair bit of evidence to back it up, that he had it in for her. now, that said, i'm not sure any of this changed the election result in any significant way. >> another element of all of this. one other major reason the united states is pushing back on russia is what american officials claim as, quote, a pattern of harassment against diplomats working overseas that has escalated, particularly over the last calendar year. according to the state department, it includes arbitrary police assaults and broadcasting on state tv of personal details that staffers say put staffers at risk. in particular, they cite this moment over the summer. >> on the sixth of june, an accredited u.s. diplomat, who identified himself in accordance with embassy protocols, entering the american embassy compound was attacked by a russian policeman. the action was unprovoked and it endangered the safety of our employee. the russian claimed the
policeman was protecting the embassy from an unidentified individual is simply untrue. it's time for russia to treat our diplomats with the, you know, in the same manner in which they're treated here when they come to the united states. >> two russian officials were expelled from the u.s. in response to the attack on the diplomat, but senator tom cotton and his response to president obama's sanctions said in part, quote, while i applaud the expulsion of 35 russian officials and the closure of two of their facilities, these steps should have taken place immediately after one of our diplomats was viciously assaulted by a russian security guard on our own embassy soil in moscow. so sam stein, let's go to the trump side of this. the question has now been raised and kellyanne conway talked about it last night, of donald trump being boxed in. what does he do on january 20th? does he remove these sanctions? and i guess my question is, what would be the grounds for his removing them, given all we've heard and know now in the last 24 hours? >> well, i don't know what the
grounds would be. from a political standpoint, it's a difficult one, because there's already this narrative that he's predisposed and favorable to putin and certainly letting back these diplomats into the country would reinforce that narrative. so i don't know. it's a tough one and when he's going against not just his predator and barack obama and also the top leaders of his own party, that does box him in. respect to the cotton statement, it is interesting that the administration didn't sit on their hands, but that they didn't take this type of action prior to the election. and on a conference call with senior officials yesterday, one of the things they said as to why they didn't do it, they didn't want an escalation that would have resulted in the type of direct election hacking that we referenced earlier. they didn't want this to result in the russian actors getting into the voter rolls and trying to change them. they were worried about that, but then, and david has reported this, i think, they also had this suspicion, and it was sort of an inaugural suspicion, i
guess, that hillary would win, and that this would maybe not be consequential in the end. so if you're vladimir putin and looking at this, i do wonder, do you say, okay, i have 35 diplomats expelled, but the trade-off is okay for me, because i got donald trump in office, someone who's way more predisposed to me than hillary clinton ever would be? >> it's the craziest thing of everything involving donald trump and his relationship with the republican party. republican leaders criticize president obama for being too soft on russia. there's no issue on which donald trump is more out of step with tom cotton and other republicans in congress. he couldn't be more of an appeaser of putin and his rhetoric. i think in a couple of weeks when he takes over, what will his policies actually be towards russia? will they be in any way tougher? will they be real politic in terms of trying to make deals with them. but it is laughable to see republicans criticize president obama for being soft on putin when their incoming president of their party has gone out of his
way at every instance to make nice with russia, to make excuses for them, most prominently, on the question of whether they're even responsible for the hacking. >> and one other thing. one other thing is, and kasie talked about this two days ago, there's a big pressure point on mitch mcconnell here, in that does he actually keep the investigation into what happened within the congressional committees, the senate intelligence committee, that is, or does he the follow the lead of mccain and lindsey graham and establish a select committee? it's not just trump who has a pressure point here, it's mcconnell as well. >> david sanger, before we let you go here, where does this leave the united states/russia relationship here with three weeks to go and president obama's final term in office, where are these two countries right now? >> well, they're about where the u.s. and israel are. you've got prime minister netanyahu and president putin sitting in a cafe somewhere saying, hmm, 22 days, do we just sit and wait this out?
in the israel case, i think it will -- it will get put back together and the question will be whether we're not putting enough pressure on the netanyahu in the end may end up missing bra barack obama, because he needs him politically. in the russia case, i think the far more complicated issue is that while we're obsessed with our elections and so forth, we have elections coming up in germany, in france, we've got continued russian harassment of countries in the baltics. you've got an effort to sort of fragment nato. the russia problem is so much bigger for donald trump than the issues around this election. and i think that he's going to have to get his head around that very, very quickly. and he's not in a great place right now, by seeming to not accept certain intelligence facts. perhaps that will begin to
change next week, as he begins to go into a greater intelligence briefing. and i think the biggeruestion is, what's russia's larger game plan here? >> republicans, i don't think, are going to tolerate criticism of the intelligence community. it's just not going to be something that i think anyone else besides donald trump is going to be willing to indulge in. it is one place where mitch mcconnell and senator lindsey graham and john mccain and everyone has been on the same page, except for donald trump. >> hasn't stopped trump to this point, yet. >> not yet. >> david sanger, thank you so much. this is a must-read piece, front page of t"the new york times," newyorktimes.com if you want to understand what's going on. >> thanks, willie. >> we'll have much more on thi fast-paced developing story. ambassador michael mcfaul will be our guest in the 8:00 hour. and donald trump says he has two simple rules when it comes to his approach to the american economy. we'll tell you what they are and why george will is saying conservatives should not be on board. before we go to break, let's get a check on the new york forecast with meteorologist
bonnie schneider. >> we're looking at a really good-looking forecast for times square, mostly cloudy, southwest winds, and a comfortable temperature of 40 degrees. well, it's not going to be in 40 degrees in massachusetts today when they're shoveling out from all the snow. let's show you what it looked like in bowlowell, mass, with really heavy snow and tough travel conditions and it's not over yet. we're looking at that threat of snow into morn mainorthern main. we're watching for those lake-effect snow bands to work their way through, as the colder airomes over the warmer waters ofhe great lakes. look for more additional snow and a clipper system coming in. it's going to be snowy in this region over the next 24 to 48 hours. watch out for those heavy snow bands going forward. elsewhere across the southwest, we're rolooking at more moistur. watch out for more rain happening right now in los angeles and orange county. we'll see some rain potentially in the burn areas. watch out for debris flow. stay with us. "morning joe" will be right back after this. taking a holiday in britain, are ya doll?
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♪ >> he didn't look like hillary clinton, but one of those lock answers. >> all anyone wants to talk about is donald trump. >> donald trump? isn't he the one that's like, uh, you're all losers? do you think he'll win the primaries? >> he must. i want to be the one to take him down. i will destroy him and i will mount his hair in the oval office! >> i like to stick garden gnomes in this building. >> ted's always's hair.
it's wonderful now and again. see, hair. >> we have the same voice and we have the same hair. and we have the same size hands. >> hello, secretary clinton. this is senator bernie sanders. is your refrigerator running? well, so am i. and i'm never, ever dropping out! ♪ >> yes, he did say that it is gross to watch gay people eat pasta, because he wants them to eat healthy foods. >> but why even say that, kellyanne? >> jake, i have to put this ice cream in the freezer, sorry. >> we should stay in touch. what's the best way to reach you? e-mail? >> you've got e-mail. >> well, i've ghost written a book that i put your name on.
okay? and it's called "winners aren't losers." winners do deals and winners get rich, while sad little losers just sit there and [ bleep ]. there are two kinds of people, which one will you be? a loser like them -- would you like to finish? or a winner -- >> like me. >> the best of political late-night, some of the best moments from the last year. shout-out to that kid, jack iello, the eighth grer, middle school kid from outside chicago with the bernie sanders impersonation. did trump. >> his bernie was so on point. >> it gives me flashbacks. >> it does. >> with just three weeks until donald trump is sworn in, the president-elect once more took to social media, this time saying, my administration will follow two simple rules. buy american and hire american. not all conservatives, though, energized by trump's plan for the economy. george will writing in "the washington pt," a plan to make
america 53again. quote, it is axiom attic that if someone is sufficiently eer to disbelieve something, there is no everest of evidence too large to be ignored. this explains today's revival of protectionism, which is a plan to make america great again by making it 1953 again. according to a ball state university study, of the 5.6 million manufacturing jobs lost between 2000 and 2010, trade accounted for 13% of job losses and productivity improvements accounted for more than 85%. and chinese imports may have cost almost 1 million manufacturing jobs in nearly a decade, but the normal churn of u.s. labor markets results in roughly 1.7 million layoffs every month. the past is prologue, the future, probably, will feature many more such self-defeating government interventions in the name of compassion as protectionist america tries to cower its way to being great again. there are so many elements, bob, of the things that, on the economy, anyway, that donald
trump have said over the last year that have scared the hell out of conservatives. >> think about george will's career, he found his voice in the '70s, he won a pulitzer prize for some of this has comments on watergate. and when you looked at trump, in some ways, it's a relationship like nixon had with the conservative movement. bill buckley and george will, they didn't like a president that had the depth in the movement they had created. trump is still trying to rebuild those relationships he didn't have during the primary process. and i think he can't count on the george wills of the world, as he starts to have this interventionist approach to the economy. >> well, look, i think one of the lessons we learned here, though, is i'm not sure the george will approach to any of this is considered valid by the vast majority of voters in this country, both trump supporters and people who are supportive of bernie sanders. it seems like if there's something that got marginalized here, and i think the republican party is grappling with this
every day on capitol hill. how do guys who had one set of rules, and now they have to essentially decide, are they okay with completely -- letting trump completely rewrite them? i think to a certain extent, they hav to be. >> there is this delusion, gh, that has been pointed out, sam stein, that donald trump is going to bring back all the manufacturing jobs to the states that won in the election. pennsylvania, ohio, wisconsin, michigan, he told voters in those states that he was going to bring back the jobs. and that's kind of what george will's getting at, there. >> yeah, and it is a delusion. but, you know, he's doing his best to paper over it with the symbolic measures. so the carrier instance, for instance. he's not saving every job at carrier. half of the jobs are still probably going to be exported and a lot of those jobs will end up in automation, anyway. but we do remember that intervention, because it was so dramatic, he went to the plant, and he took credit for saving the company. or saving that factory, i should say. so, you know, trump, he does have an uncanny ability to be a
showman, and that might get him through this. i don't think -- but he's not going to be able to reverse historical trends. let's be honest about this. the exportation of jobs was happening well before barack obama or even nafta, this is a multi-decade-long process here. so of one hand, he has these sky-high expectations that george will is talking about. on the other hand, he does have an uncanny ability to take credit for things and be a showman and maybe that will get him through a little bit. >> i think this is a much bigger question here about who the republican party and who the conservative movement is talking to. who they consider their base. and i think what george will represents and bob was getting at, this was a different era of conservati conservatism. it was the reagan area, it was the supply-side era. it was tax cuts from the top of the chain down, it was tax cuts for businesses. it was the idea that everybody was a potential business owner, it was entrepreneurship, this sort of thing. and the trump message, the message that worked in the primaries and the message that got him elected, that won those
places in michigan, in wisconsin, in pennsylvania, was a bad luck message. and the reason that donald trump is president-elect right now, will be president on january 20th, is because he went into places in places in ohio, in youngstown. this is a ancestrally democratic place. these are not the conservatives who rallied around ronald reagan and jack kemp 30 to 40 years ago. these are people who used to be democrats. these are workers. these are laid-off workers. these are blue collar people and they're the people who rallied around donald trump. and i think one of the reflations of the campaign of the last year and a half of politics is when this campaign started, we used to look to people like george will to say, what is the pulse of the republican party and conservative movement and we found out george will doesn't have his fingers on it anymore. >> just real quick, who's the george will of trumpism and pop ewism? it's a hard question to answer. because the trump movement doesn't have this intellectual foundation, doesn't have decades of experience in the political trenes. and this is going to a challenge for trump as he tries to explain
himself. there's not a movement behind him in the magazines, on the web, beyond the grassroots activists. >> and yet if you look to your point, the policies, donald trump's tax policies benefit the wealthy, disproportionately, and his government will be run by the wealthy and those who rk whoed at goldman sachs. >> but some of the things, some of the things he campaigned on are, for instance, i don't want to touch social security. i don't want to touch medicare. again, traditionally -- right, he said, he doesn't want people dying in the streets. he talked about this. now, was that just rhetoric? i don't know. but what that appealed to and who that resonated with are the voters in these kinds of places. they have -- they were union members in the past, maybe. maybe they aren't anymore because they don't have jobs anymore, but these are people that used to vote democratic. and they are not against the idea of government spending, they are not against the idea of benefiting from government programs. in a lot of cases, they think they are owed something because they paid in all these years and they didn't think the republican
party was talking to them, but they do think donald trump is. >> and watch to see if they change the tax cuts to make it much more weighted towards the donald. >> coming up, the top five fights looming for the incoming president in trump's first hundred days. we'll go through the list. and if you want to sound like a tourist in new york city, ask where to get the best pastrami sandwich? new yorkers know the answer, but one of the best, the carnegie deli is set to close its doors today. we'll take a look at the new york institution, just ahead. my business was built with passion... but i keep it growing by making every dollar count. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one. with it, i earn unlimited 2% cash back on
today, a new york institution will close its doors. new york's famed carnegie deli has for decades been a beacon of artery-clogging defiancin the het of the city, a destination for touristsnd locals alike, but today the final pastrami sandwich will roll off the line there. nbc's harry smith reports. >> reporter: if a couple of weeks now, there's been a line, sometimes a very long line at new york's fabled carnegie deli. >> we've been waiting for an hour. >> we got up at 4:30 this morning to get here.
>> reporter: 4:30?! >> yes! >> reporter: tourists and locals waiting patiently for one last taste. >> i'm very sad. i used to come up to new york all the time just to go to carnegie deli. the whole family, this was it. >> do you know what you're going to eat? >> pastrami and cheesecake. >> reporter: a pastrami p pilgrimage, if you will, to an old restaurant that still serves a meal of memories. giant sandwiches without manners that demand to be consumed with lust. the carnegie deli was immortalized as a showbiz hangout in woody allen's broadway "danny rose." >> this is the greatest danny rose story. >> reporter: the walls are filled with photos. >> taylor swift, colleen dion, stevie wonder. >> reporter: faded memories of a more glorious past. in recent years, the restaurant settled a $2 million backwages suit and was closed for ten months for illegally tapping its natural gas supply. non-issues for carnegie's patrons. and as for the owner, she says,
40 years is enough. >> i started here the first day my father took over in 1976, i was the cashier. >> reporter: authentic jewish delis were once as famous as checkered cabs in new york. after today, there will be none in all of midtown. >> it's so good. >> we'll miss the food, but not the heartburn. >> that's harry smith reporting. the carnegie deli was a political stop over the years, as well. here's vice presidential candidate lloyd benson getting a special delivery during the heat of the 1988 campaign, sitting next to him, comedian hetty youngman. how's that for a the two-top. all right, mark halperin, pastrami sandwich, new york city, where does carnegie deli rank? >> it's very good. they didn't rest on their laurels. they have a process. >> a lot of brine. >> kat's is pretty good.
>> sam stein, how about you? new york, pastrami sandwich? >> there's second avenue, there's katz. the fact that -- it's sad. i'm actually very sad that this is happening. it is an institution and if ever we needed an explanation for why trump won the election, it's this. obama let this happen. and this is payback. >> there it is. way to go. >> thanks, obama. >> yeah, way to go. steve, what do you think? >> this is a big problem for me, because i think this symbolizes a shift in our culture that i hate. we're losing the jewish delicatessens in new york, the greek diners in new york. we're losing the places that you can go get a cup of coffee, read the newspaper, have a sandwich. you have all these places now with tiny tables. it's artisinal, grass-fed. i like food that tastes good and it's cheap and i have space to read the newspaper. and we're losing diners. >> what is moving into this location? is it going to be a cvs?
>> i bet it's going to be condos or some grass-fed nonsense. locally sourced. with kale. >> see, that is the anti-michelle obama tirade of -- >> steve kornacki has his pulse on the -- >> rarely seen kornacki so passionate. >> i love a good diner and i'm watching them disappear. >> let's do a kick starter and buy him the sign. do you want the sign? >> which letter would you like? >> let's do a kick starter and open our own diner. >> the "new york post" says -- >> but they said it's not a serious offer, so -- >> yeah, there's a former waiter having a press conference outside today, offering $10 million to save -- >> it's crazy no one would buy it? >> there are lines all the time. >> they say they saved katz, that's another one of those famous diners in new york and they saved it because they're putting in this ridiculous condo all around it. this ultrasleek, ultraexpensive condo and underneath they'll have katz. but the owners of these places,
whether they're delis or gas stations, those are also disappearing in cities. they say, i could work seven days a week, 20 hours a day, kill myself for the next 50 years and not make a fraction of the money i get if i sell right now to any one of these five developers who wants to come in and build condos. i can't blame them. >> here's the good news, carnegie delhi, if you're out in vegas, there's one out there. there's one in madison square garden -- >> or a fish concert. >> and you can still order their stuff online. all is not lost with the carnegie deli. we will be right back with the top fights looming for trump's first hundred days when "morning joe" continues.
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first, trump's cabinet. how's that shaping up? >> i think trump's cabinet and whoever he picks for the supreme court will be the big fights early on. obviously, you were talking about russia, rex tillerson, trump's pick for secretary of state, as well as senator jeff sessions. i think that's a big decision for democrats, whether they go after a colleague that has had a controversial past before. that could be a big fight. and of course, democrats will have to pick their fights. i think some people like mad dog mattis for defense is going to get through, but others are going to have a lot tougher time and getome tough questions on russia. >> tom price is another one, isn't he, bob, in that category with jeff sessions, that he'll be going up against people he knows, people he's worked alongside in washington for some time. >> yeah, definitely. tom price is someone who wants to reform the medicare, the obamacare, have -- he's a conservative's conservative. so he will get support from republicans, but democrats are going to be pressing him, especially, and that's another big fight, the the obamacare repeal. repealing obamacare is going to
be done early. that's the easy part. replacing it is going to be difficult. they're not going to do it right away. the obamacare repeal will be effective two years from now, maybe three years from now. there's been talk of even four years from now, because it's going to be so hard to replace it. and of course, electoral politics will come into play. so price will get some very, very tough questions as hhs secretary. >> bob, kasie hunt. republicans are grappling with the reality that they suddenly have to govern, not something that they were really expecting to have to do. they have to, at some point in the next year, raise the debt ceiling, do you think the leadership there, all of a sudden they'll have a republican president, they'll need to be viewed as the responsible ones instead of dragging their heels against a democratic president who's trying to keep the government open. do you think they can pull it off? >> i think it's going to be very difficult, kasie. this is always difficult, as you know. republicans are not going to go for what obama consistently saw. and that was a clean debt ceiling increase. conservatives right now are
putting together a big package on capitol hill to reduce the debt. i know steve kornacki was talking about this earlier, but trump did not say he wants to reform or lift the retirement age for medicare or social security. well, conservatives, including trump's budget pick, congressman nick mulvaney, they do. so there's no way that they're going to lift the debt ceiling without significant reductions in government spending. how do you do that? you've got to go after the entitlement and that's going to be a huge fight. >> you've got russia policy on there, touched on obamacare. here's one people probably aren't aware of, miner's benefits. we have until april 28th to extend health benefits there. explain that one? >> that's part of the government funding showdown. so unless they pass some type of bill by the end of april, the government will shut down. miner's benefit was a big issue this month. joe manchin leading that effort. they did a temporary fix. joe manchin and other democrats wanted a more permanent fix.
majority leader mitch mcconnell has indicated he's interested in extending those health care benefits. that's a big deal. i think one of the things also to look for is transportation. will donald trump throw democrats a bone? the tone is set in the first hundred days with the opposing party. we saw it with president obama and congressional republicans. it soured -- no matter who you blame in 2009 with obamacare and the stimulus, that really soured the relationship. so the tone is going to be set early and democrats are saying, okay, let's see what he does. it could be quite contention in the first two or three months of the year. >> chris jansing here, i'm wondering if you think that any of these as you tick off as the top five will be impacted in any way that might be a surprise to some republicans because of the public reaction. let's look at, for example, t repeal of obamacare and you have the lowest unsure rate in history and you have 20 million people who are depending on it. where are there places where we might see some interesting push and pull that comes, frankly,
from the same constituents that voted these folks into office? >> well, it's a great question. that's what republicans are grappling with. there are so many elements, whether it's tax law, of obamacare, or the health care benefits, if you're taking health care benefits away, that's not going to sit well. now, i was just -- i spent the holidays in williamsport, pennsylvania, the middle of trump country. people are excited about a trump presidency, unlike many people in the washington beltway. however, if you're not going to be keeping your campaign promises and taking benefits away. if this replacement bill is a huge -- has a huge price tag, conservatives are not going to go for it. so this is, i think, one of the thorniest issues for republicans. it's been a big political issue that they've done well on the marketing of obamacare is bad, but replacing it is going to be an enormous task. >> all right. bob cusack with "the hill," thanks so much and happy new year. >> happy new year. coming up here, first, the u.s. expels russian diplomats. now moscow readies to return the favor as the chill of the cold war creeps back in before the end of the year. "morning joe" is coming right back. liberty mutual stood with me
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talking about. i love new year's eve on times square. >> really? >> really. love it! >> unfortunately, there's a tape from a couple of days ago. >> contradicts. >> come one, come all. >> not the chris jansing view. >> it's a great night for america. >> and you're going? is that what you're suggesting? >> i'm going to my couch to watch it on beautiful hd in the warmth of my home. welcome back to "morning joe." it's top of the hour now on this friday, december the 30th. i'm willie geist. joe and mika have the morning off. they'll be back next week. with us, we have msnbc political correspondent, kasie hundredth, mark halperin, nbc news senior white house correspondent, chris jansing, political reporter for "the washington post," robert costa. senior, and i do mean senior, white house correspondent for "the washington post," sam stein. and joining the conversation, pulitzer prize winning columnist and associate editor of "the washington post" and msnbc political analyst, eugene robinson. gene, good to have you, good
morning. >> good to be here. i also will not be at times square. >> thank you, gene. >> just like chris jansing, whose opinion on the subject i happen to know, so. >> gene, have you ever done times square new year's eve? it's an experience? >> no, i have not. and i am sad to i say will probably go to my grave never having done -- >> not on your bucket list, gene? >> but i've watched it on television. >> you know what you can do, gene, you can go to the olive garden, great view of times square, 400 bucks for the night -- >> unlimited breadsticks, according to one source. >> the steve kornacki favorite. >> a source familiar with the breadsti breadsticks. >> what could be better. breaking news as russia reacts to the russia government, punishing interference. the russian foreign minister, sergey lavrov is suggesting the expulsion of 35 u.s. diplomats equal to the number the u.s. is declaring persona non grata.
the russians may also close two u.s. facilities in moscow, which is also the number of russian compounds in the u.s. that are being shut down. one on the eastern shore of maryland, another on long island in new york. this less than a day after president obama followed through on his promise to retaliate. nbc's ron allen reports. >> just as i told russia to stop it -- >> reporter: president obama made good on that promise to retaliate, targeting russia's top intelligence agencies with sanctions, those in putin's inner circle, but not the russian president himself all but called out by president obama. freezing the assets of russian officials named, banning business contacts with americans. russia also accused of harassing u.s. diplomats abroad, and espionage operations in america. >> we've seen verbal and physical harassment. we've seen them try to revoke their credentials. we've seen them trying to detain them. >> 35 russian diplomats in the u.s. expelled, just 72 hours to leave.
closing two russian government compounds, rec centers allegedly used for spying, shut down as of noon friday. in a statement, president obama saying all americans should be alarmed by russia's actions. >> reporter: the actions today were designed to make very clear, we will respond at a time in place of our choosing. >> reporter: also targeted, two alleged notorious cybercriminals, accused of stealing millions from american banks and personal data from ecommerce sites. the u.s. also declassifying information designed to help computer experts block more hacking. the russians dismissed it all as another sign of aggressive foreign policy, to deal a blow to the incoming administration's foreign policy plans. earlier, president-elect trump again rejected allegations of russian interference in the election. >> i think we ought to get on with our lives. >> reporter: that may prove politically difficult, with republicans and democrats calling for tough steps against russia. >> he has a senate and house leadership that have all supported these actions. if he backs down and he does this, it will be perceived that
it was done for putin and at putin's request. >> ron allen reporting there. let's bring in nbc news pentagon correspondent, hans nichols. hans, good morning. why did the obama administration focus on the russian intelligence service, gru, with these sanctions, who is that group, exactly, and why were they targeted? >> well, the gru is roughly analogous to cia in the states. it's a little bit different, because it's housed within their military apparatus over there, but they like the symbolism of it, right? they're going after the top four leaders of the gru, freezing their assets, travel bans, what not. it's symbolic, because unless you think the gru leadership really likes vacationing in las vegas, this isn't necessarily going to impede their day-to-day activities. but it is symbolic. i think the bigger issue here in terms of the retaliation is the 35 diplomats. but the state department spies, i should say, spies posing as diplomats. but, look, guys, it's the state department that's basically saying, most of this is because their russians were harassing our diplomats.
in a lot of ways, this kind of seems to me like a nescafe conflict. you used to have something be over really quick. what strikes me about the action the obama administration took, this is going to be done and dusted very quickly. and it's going to be difficult for donald trump to undo it. and he's already signalled that he's willing to let this stand and not relitigate it. so the most lasting aspect of this could be that compound in maryland, that georgian compound. it's got those beautiful columns. here's a question. i think i'm going to toss this to kasie. are those corinthian columns on that mansion? >> i could not tell you what kind of columns they are. and i really need to google nescafe wars. because you lost me. >> i could have made that up. that could have been bar talk. but you talk about -- a coffee that's prepared very quickly, a war or conflict that's prepared very quickly. >> i think it's because you're
loving in germany. the rest of us are a little bit too much -- >> what is corinthian? >> can we see that again? >> we'll get to the architecture angle of this this just a minute. hans, what about the argument that's been made by some people over the last 12 hours or 24 hours that this is too little, too late. you called some of this symbolic. there are a lot of people that would have liked to seen these actions taken when our diplomats were targeted inside russia or a couple of years sooner. >> a lot of that criticism is coming from the right and coming from conservative republicans. and you look back at what president obama said in his last news conference, about 37% of republicans sort of being -- having warm feelings towards russia. this is the republican base, this is the republican core returning home. and they're returning home to sort of an anti-russia hawkish stance. i think as we look forward to the next two to three, four years, one of the big divergences is going to be on foreign policy between trump, who not only is isolationist and is not very interventionist, but
also very pro-russia. and the core of the republican base is going to chafe at that. i mean, between 2008, the number of times i heard john mccain say, when i look into vladimir putin's eyes, i see a "k," a "g," and a "b," this is the core of their orthodoxy. >> the bilateral stuff i think is not at all interesting to donald trump or important to the new administration. they care about defeating isis. they care about dealing with iran. they care about issues where they want to work with russia and disregard human rights issues and some of these bilateral issues. and i think if the trump administration sees an ability to get leverage by taking back some of these sanctions, i think that's something they're open to. >> one thing that struck me that the obama administration did with this, in putting out these sanctions and compiling kind of a package of this is that they didn't just talk about hacking the election.
they also talked about this issue with how our diplomats were treated and so, they made this a conversation that's about more than just the outcome of the election. and that's what donald trump is so fixated on, right? this idea that it might undermine his win, because the election was hacked into. the obama administration gave a more comprehensive picture. and that's what people like john mccain and lindsey graham have focused on. they're saying, this is about way more than this election hacking. >> although it also opened him up to criticism, there are republicans who say, why didn't we do something then when an american diplomat in russia basically gets beat up going into their own compound, you need to react then, you don't need to wait to do that. i find it fascinating to listen to kellyanne conway saying, the gru has absolutely no assets in the united states. there is no russian military intelligence. am i listening to hans laughing? is that what i heard? >> there is no military intelligence service operating in the united states.
>> yeah -- >> it's not me laughing. i'm just thinking, if you're a high-ranking gru official, are you really worried about, you know, you can't go to vegas for a long weekend? these guys get to go to cyprus. and having been to cyprus and vegas, you might want to try out vegas. that's why it's symbolic on these guys. you've got to water in cyprus. vegas, you've got the fake palms and what not. but that's why this is mostly symbolic. and that's the main brunt of the retaliation for the cyberhacking, right? the 35 diplomats is about wlost being nice to each other's spies. the main response on the cyberfront appears to be these four individuals. sanctions that the president himself, he's not a big believer in sanctions, right? if you think sanctions against russia are so effective, russia would be out of the crimea. they're not, they're still there, and that's sort of an indictment on sanctions. >> and gene robinson, this now puts donald trump in a position where he'll have to decide in three weeks what to do about all of this. does he roll back some of these, as mark suggested he might be
comfortable doing. does he keep them in place? sloo he'll have a big decision to make pretty soon. >> i think by far the easiest option and the likely option for donald trump is to let it ride, right? because it would look weird and seem to confirm this sort of trump/putin bromance if he were to suddenly reverse these sanctions, which as hans pointed out, are fairly mild. you know, we kick out their spies, they kick out our spies. you know, that's the -- this is like kind of cold war redux, but it's not the first time this sort of thing has happened. that compound on the eastern shore, i agree with hans. i think that'ses t s ththe bigg impact. it looks like a really nice place. my guess, given the style of the building, is that they're probably corinthian columns, the real fancynes witthe curlicues, but we'll have to look more closely at this. >> i love the description of them as beachside spy nests. >> yes, they are. both of them.
let's go to palm beach, florida, to another beach side nest. nbc correspondent hallie jackson is there. all right, hallie, donald trump's response to this essentially was, it's time to move on from all of this news about interfering in the election and all of that, and that he's going to eventually talk to some of the intelligence services about it. >> right, so that statement, willie, was basically a double down with the time to move on part of it. but then it was also a little bit of, hey, i'm going to buy some time, saying i'll wait until next week to get an update from intelligence officials on what he calls the facts of the situation. a couple points to be made here. remember, number one, as early as october, nbc news reporting that senior intelligence officials said that the president-elect and his team had been briefed since mid-august about russia's connection to this attempt to interfere with the u.s. election and had been briefed to what was quoted as a direct link between moscow and the dnc e-mail hack. they've agreed according to a senior intelligence official to
meet with the president-elect's team and the president-elect next week to talk more about this. but a couple of things here. gene's talking about what options donald trump might have here. yes, he could certainly reverse the sanctions. that's one option. he's a little bit boxed in, though. but if he does, it's essentially an acknowledgement he does not trust his own intelligence officials, the cia and the fbi once he takes office, and it will go against what some top republicans in congress want him to do. as you've been seeing from some of the statements that have been coming out. he's kind of between a rock and a hard place. he could roll them back and make the argument in a few ways. he could to point to his secretary of state pick who's said publicly, hey, with russian sanctions hurt american businesses. and exxonmobil has vested interests in good relations with russia. president-elect trump could make the argument that president obama play politics by putting these sanctions in three weeks before the inauguration instead prior to the election. he could make the argument he wants to reset relations with vladimir putin and if he were to
renegotiate end of countermeasures against the u.s., he could say, it's the art of the deal for president-elect trump. of course, all of this runs the risk of, number one, you know, opening himself up to criticism as vladimir putin's puppet, or potentially upsettingmericans who are not happy with what russ did and the fact that u.s. intelligence analysts say that the country did interfere with the election. so politically, it's a little bit of a mine field for donald trump here. he didn't give many clue s as t which way he was leaning in that very short statement. and no mention of the word "russia" in that statement either. >> hallie, thanks so much. bob, what did you make of trump's reaction? a lot of people a little taken back that he said, let's move on from a foreign entity interfering in one of our elections? >> i wasn't taken aback at all. i'm told behind the scenes, he still remains very favorable to russia, to putin. he thinks this is all distraction. and the idea that as president,
he's somehow going to change his tune and listen to the hawks in this party, wii don't see it. i think you're going to have this consensus from the leadership of the republican party that's kind of with president obama, that this is a major issue, it deserves investigation, and trump just entirely wants to move on. he thinks he's agendaing with reince priebus and steve bannon. that's all he wants to fox on >> when as he ever walked back something he has stated so repeatedly and clearly? >> and this is not an issue a lot of members are hearing from their constituents about. this is an issue that they feel strongly on principle and their analysis of the world. but if trump is moving the fast on a domestic agenda and wants to try to do side deals with russia, not on bilateral things, but big problems around the world, i don't think they'll get in his way. >> mccain and graham, the big players right now, they don't owe president-elect trump a thing. they're not going to stop this push for investigations. they think this is a serious national security issue.
and they don't care that the president-elect's in their own party. >> but if pence and paribas and others are working the hill to say, let those guys be marginalized, i just think mcconnell would rather move a domestic policy agenda than -- >> but that paul ryan statement yesterday called it appropriate by the president, said it was long overdue. so you've got ryan, a little more vocal. >> mcconnell, as well. i think you're right and i think, you know, they don't owe him anything. i think there is a potential. you heard trump allude to this. he said, oh, senator graham, he ran against me. that didn't go quite so well. i think that sends a signal trump is willing to blow this up if it gets to be a real problem. but i think this is a very deeply held -- you never see this kind of consensus on capitol hill. from the statements that came out yesterday, from people in both parties. leaders, rank and file, the whole thing. the harshest criticism was, you know, this was too little, too late. and let me say it with words that are slightly stronger than, you know, the other guy. and i think that that is very forceful, even in the face of an
administration that has different priorities. >> and the mcconnell statement said, this is a good initial step. the indication clearly being that we need to get even tougher on russia. >> but gene robinson, a lot of peach wat people watching this, maybe it's not a surprise to a lot of people that donald trump said move on. but the head of state is not concerned in some way that foreign adversary has interfered in our election process, has interfered with democracy in america. how can you move on from that? >> yeah, i don't think people ask that question. i think people wou say, yeah, you don't move on from that, you do something. that said, i don't think this is a sort of top-of-mind, you know, urgent thing for a whole lot of people. i really don't. i think the domestic agenda is more important in people's minds. i think the sort of critical foreign policy items, like
syria, are more prominent in people's minds. and so, you know, there's just something that feels kind of familiar about this. and also, kind of, you know, in a little package. we kick out some russian spies, they kick out some american spies. we each send new spies innd things pretty much go on as they went on before. so i don't think there's going to be a lot more action from donald trump on -- against russia. but i think he will just let this stand, because in the cosmic scheme, it's not that huge >> is it really something familiar about a foreign ed a ver adversary putting its thumb on the scale of the american election. >> if there weren't politics and competing interests is, this would require a bicameral investigation like we've never seen. but it won't happen. because trump can't allow there
to be an outcome where it's determined that the russians helped him win the election. it's just not going to happen. i think in the end, he's going to be moving so fast on the domestic agenda, it's going to be very difficult to get mcconnell to say, yeah, let's let john mccain try to produce an outcome that suggests that donald trump is illegitimate -- >> but he doesn't have to. mccain has the power to -- >> not with a select committee. >> not likely to happen. >> you used the term "foreign adversary," that's not how trump sees russia. in fact, many people within the republican foreign policy community, they think, come next year, they wouldn't be surprised if president trump calls president putin and says, would you want to work together on combatting isis in the middle east? they see them as a potential partner. >> the two mansions, one in long island and in maryland have long histories.
the 45-acre property of pioneer point in maryland about 90 minutes from the white house, it is the former estate of john j. rascobb, a former executive of dupont, but best known as the builder of the empire state building. it was bought by the soviet government in 1972. at the time of its purchase, the local newspaper reported fears of nuclear submarines surfacing in the river to pick up american secrets and defectors. the new york property on long island is 14 acres, built for an heir to the standard oil fortune in 1913, was later the home of a former new york governor. according to "newsday," it was one of two estates on long island purchased by the soviets in 1954. former premiere nikita khrushchev was photographed there during a visit in 1960. the state department says the russians will no longer have access to the compound after noon today. they were targeted because they were, quote, used by russian personnel for intelligence-related purposes. gene, i hear you exhaling there,
saying, wow. i mean, this is cold war stuff, right? diplomats moving around long island and the eastern shore of maryland. >> yeah, i confess, you know, i've been watching for a long time. i didn't know that the russians had this on the eastern shore. this is like a really, really nice place. and i'm sure they use it for intelligence purposes and also for r&r and whatever. it was probably a very nice perk for the russian ambassador and, you know, that will kind of tick them off. but it's not the end of the world. and presumably, i don't know, maybe donald trump has a nice property he could throw 'em. or they could go to mar-a-lago, perhaps. >> or send them down to ac, a little atlantic city action. >> word on the shore is there's a little bar and an old boat around the corner from that eastern shore place where if you want to meet somebody who probably works most the time at langley, might be a good place to roll up and have a beer. i wonder if they'll -- they probably are losing their
clientele. i wonder. >> hans nichols, thank you so much. this has been an extraordinary "morning joe" appearance for you. nescafe, corinthian columns, and something about cyprus and vegas that i'm still working through. >> here's my question for the table. is the response more james bond or jason bourne? because it seems more james bond to me, where it's done and dusted. you know, you can move on. if it's jason bourne, this is an existential question. it seems like we're in the james bond category and not the jason bourne. we'll get to cyprus next time. nice beaches. >> still ahead an "morning joe," cities all over the world getting ready for new year's eve, but in the wake of attacks in nice, france, and berlin, germany, places like new york city are staking out new strategies to keep partygoers safe. you're watching "morning joe," we'll be right back.
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from coast to coast, security is tightening after terror attacks in cities like nice and berlin, law enforcement is on high alert, making an unprecedented show of force here in new york and around the world. nbc's stephanie gosk has the details. >> reporter: the confetti and the rain poured in times square as the city gets ready for its annual bash and its annual massive security operation. >> people will be safe this new year's eve, because we're there, along with our law enforcement partners. >> reporter: in times square, a record 7,000 uniformed and undercover police including hundreds of heavily armed counterterrorism officers will hit the streets. and in the wake of vehicle attacks overseas, the berlin christmas market earlier this month, killing a dozen, and nice over the summer, leaving 86 dead, sand trucks and other vehicles will be used to block off new york streets. while in chicago, fences and concrete barricades went up amid concerns about isis-inspired attacks. boston is taking similar steps. >> it's sad that we have to do
this type of stuff, but it's the reality of what's happening now in the world. >> reporter: in pasadena, california, home to the rose parade, law enforcement outlined their new strategy. >> we'll be using a series of police radio cars, staffed with either uniformed officers or deputies, and water barriers create a chicane of sorts. >> reporter: overseas, security is being increased across europe. in some cities, officers are now armed with machine guns. in london, police presence is ramped up around buckingham palace and around the markets. >> yeah, i think it's quite safe. >> reporter: in times square today, support for the police. >> i think they've been doing a great job anyway and just enjoy it like we're enjoying it. >> reporter: part of law enforcement's strategy, a big show of force to create a deterrence and instill confidence in everyone loong tocelebrate. >> that was stephanie gosk reporting for us. coming up, as relations grow chilly between the u.s. a russia, if pr battle is playing
out on twitter. the russian embassy and the uk tweeted a picture of a duckling with the word "lame" over it. a not so subtle reference to president obama's lame-duck status. former defense department offial dr. even farnlg joins us next. it's a shark! it's a cancer-fighting shark... thanks to st. jude children's research hospital. at st. jude, no family ever pays for treatments, travel, housing or food... because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. wanna play? yes i do. give thanks for the healthy kids in your life and give to those who are not. donate now at stjude.org or shop where you see the st. jude logo. why can't i be a shark?
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on the 6th of june, an accredited u.s. diplomat who identified himself in accordance with embassy protocols entering the american embassy compound was attacked by a russian policeman. the action was unprovoked and it endangered the safety of our employee. the russian claim the policeman was protecting the embassy from an unidentified individual is simply untrue. it's time for russia to treat our diplomats with the, you know, in the same manner in which they're treated here when they come to the united states. >> state department spokesman, john kirby, back in july, talking about an incident from over the summer where an american diplomat in moscow was attacked, which is just an example of what american officials say is a, quote, pattern of harassment, that has escalated particularly over the last calendar year. joining us now from washington, former dod official and former
executive director of the grand talent wmd commission, dr. evelyn farkas. great to see you this morning. >> likewise. >> russia is your specialty. what do you make of sanctions imposed yesterday by the obama administration? >> i think it's great. i think, obviously, i would have been happier if they happened earlier. it probably would have been better if we had done something in the summer, when we first were aware of the hacking. and certainly, when we were aware of how -- i mean, we've been aware for a while of the horrible treatment of our diplomats and that film that you showed obviously came out over the summer. there were a couple of articles about it. the third issue that this package of sanctions and measures addressed was the cybercrime. and that's also been a serious issue for a while. and i think the administration is saying, okay, let's wrap all of these up and take action. the most serious one is the hacking of our logisticses. and that one, the president could not leave office without responding to, clearly. >> you're not alone in thinking some of these sanctions should have been put in place earlier,
perhaps over the summer, as you suggested. why do you think they weren't? why did the obama administration wait until now? >> i think the white house has been pretty straightforward about that. they were afraid that maybe it would be politicized, that maybe people wouldn't believe the intelligence or they would think that the white house had a political agenda in trying to help, perhaps, secretary clinton. i think that was a miscalculation, frankly speaking. it's about the national security. donald trump is going to face this issue in about 21 days. it's got to be his government that they are now trying to hack. and by the way, yesterday, when u.s. administration officials were briefing people on background, they were very clear that they think the russians are continuing to try to hack into, maybe not elections at t moment, but certainly into critical u.s., either private or government e-mail systems. so, one of the reasons why dhs actually put up a whole long, probably very wonky manual for
technicians who run computer systems for companies and other organizations is that they want the whole of u.s. society, if you will, to be geared up, to be ready and to take down any russian efforts right now. because they are doing a lot of this, even today. >> and just as everyone's been talking, vladimir putin himself has come out and said, in fact, united states diplomats will not be expelled from russia. foreign minister sergey lavrov had suggested earlier this morning, as we reported, that 35 diplomats would be expelled from russia to match the 35 russians expelled from the united states, but vladimir putin himself now saying, that is not accurate. bob? >> so based on putin's comments today, what would it look like if the u.s. followed the course that president-elect trump is recommending. that everyone just moves on and there's no kind of investigation and this isn't a central issue. what are the foreign policy consequences to that, if that happens? >> i think that would be really
dangerous. first of all, it's not just about us. if you look at the language, he amended his executive order, which allows the u.s. president to take action against anyone conducting cyberoperations against the united states. he amended it, so that you can also address hacking of elections and other political interference, not just in the united states, but also in countries where we have interests. so our allied countries, nato allies and other partners around the world. and those countries are watching. i mean, the french and germans have elections coming up. the german head of their intelligence agency already said that russia is a threat, russia is trying to influen their elections and hacking into their systems. so this is not just about the united states, this is something that russia is doing at least in europe as well, if not potentially globally. so the president has to respond as the leader of the quote/unquote free world. >> dr. farkas, one thing trump is looking for with russia is leverage, more leverage than he
thinks president obama had. if he asks you, what would be ways in a couple of weeks when he takes over, in context of what president obama has just done, that he could get more leverage over russia than barack obama had? >> i think if h wants to try his approach ofpeaking kindry to russia, to see what he can get from them, that's fine. but he's got to have -- i mean, this does give him leverage and frankly speaking, he should not signal to the russians or certainly not agree to lift sanctions, which i don't think he'll be able to do, because the hill will lash back and put them into law, but he should not give the russians something without trying to get something from them. and frankly, that means he should get the russians to remove their forces from ukraine, remove their forces from georgia and maldova. that's a tall order, but it's a start. and they neat to get into compliance with the nuclear forces agreement, the treaty. they're out of compliance. that's a major issue for the
united states and for our allies in europe. >> we were talking earlier about how it might be difficult for republicans in congress to mount a lot of enthusiasm for going against donald trump on what seems to be his policy towards russia, because so much of the reason he got elected had to do with domestic issues, with the economy, and even president obama, when he gave that last press conference, he talked about how russia is small and weak and they don't produce anythingnybody wants, but arms an oil. given all of that, given that set of circumstances, how do you make an argument to the american people that they should share about that? >> first of all, russia is not small and weak. and the more people say that, the more riled up vladimir putin gets. so making that comment is inaccurate. i'm not criticizing you, but making that -- >> that was the president -- those were the president's words. in his final press conference, not mine. >> i know, i know. and it's inaccurate. and i also think that it's not helpful. because all it does is get the russian pride involved in all of
this, which is not helpful. so i would say -- i mean, at the end of the day, russia is, yes, economically it's declined from the height of the, i guess about a decade ago, when oil prices were high, so, you know, the economy's declined, or maybe less than a decade ago, i should say. but it's not going away. it's got a large landmass. between the united states and russia, we have combined 93% of the world's strategic nuclear weapons. that's pretty serious. and the russians are very sophisticated when it comes to hacking, when it comes to spying. they have great space capabilities. so we can't write them off. and they are directly threatening the united states. this is different from china where people say, well, they're a competitor, they could compete with us, certainly, militarily, economically, but russia has a stated objective. i mean, they've said that they disagree with us, that they believe -- their government
believes that they should have a here of influence in europe where the united states is not involved, where the states in question are aually under russian influence. and those are the former soviet states. they also think that nato should not post its troops in certain parts of nato territory, which again, is russia meddling in the decisions of other country including the united states. so it's an overrule foreign policy that we need to push back against. and if we don't, the russians will continue to try to push us into a corner. >> dr. evelyn farkas, expert on all things russia. always good to see you, evelyn. >> likewise, willie. >> in our next hour, we'll speak with the former u.s. ambassador to russia, michael mcfaul. and up next, how big of an impact did wikileaks have on the election? it was the most discussed issue on twitter during the cycle. and wikileaks spiked the football on twitter. we'll explain all of that, ahead.
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welcome back to "morning joe." just two days away from wrapping up 2016, so what's in store for the new year? our digital team here at "morning joe" asked some of the regulars on this program to give us their takes on 2017 in three words. >> 2017 in three words. >> has to be three? >> i'm trying to think what my three words should be. >> just give me ten seconds. um. >> 2017. >> in -- >> three -- >> words. >> omg. >> different, but same. >> syria, jerusalem, refugees. >> expect the unexpected. >> please stop lying. >> red sox revival. >> build your resilience. >> diet, exercise, lifestyle. >> forget the odds. >> the trump administration. >> trump 24/7. >> trump, kanye,merica. >> better than 2016. >> polarizing, sea changing,
confusing. >> change, progress, administration. >> dangerous, exciting, dangerous. >> exciting. >> unpriblgt. >> tumultuous. >> tumultkmous. >> son. >> i've got another one. breathe. because of madison and hamilton d their constituon,e've survived 240 years. >> i think we're going t survive the next four or maybe eight. >> i think we'll survive. we'll be fine. the constitution will be there with us every step of the way. remain vigilant, fight for what you believe in, but know that this country is stronger than any one president or any one leader. >> and let's all get along. >> easy for you to say. >> that may have exceeded the
three-word limit. >> were you counting? >> just over. >> he's got a privilege. it is his show, after all. >> now it is your turn. tweet "morning joe" your thoughts on the new year with the hashtag 2017 in three words. >> three. only three. >> you are limited to three. >> keep it clean. we're really asking for it. speaking of twitter, new analysis is out this morning about what news topics people tweeted about the most this year. with us now from capitol hill, columnist at the "washington examiner," krista solstice anderson, whose company crunched the data. good morning, what'd you find? >> my company, echelon insights take a look every year at what people have been tweeting about in the news. so we take a look at a whole host of topics, dozens upon dozens upon dozens of things and what we found in 2016 is that the election dominated everything. so in order to analyze what people were saying about the news, we actually had to separate out election tweets from non-election tweets in order to really get a sense of the news stories that moved
people. the number one topic that people across political ideologies were talking about this year, trump. who said in 2016 in three words, trump 24/7? that's what this year was on twitter. hillary clinton got a reasonable size of the conversation once the general election gets going, it's really just trump/clinton. but fore that, you had a little bit of rubi a little bit of cruz. poor jeb bush doesn't really appear on there. but it has been trump all along. and when you take a look at the topics that really drove this election, you know, for the most part, people were not tweeting about the election that much, until we got into general election season. we looked at some of the controversies, things like trump university, wikileaks. we foundhat the wikileaks story and the hacking of the dnc, the hacking of the podesta e-mails far and away dominated twitter conversation about the election. and part of that, i think, has to do with the way that the story kept coming up. you had things like trump
university that popped and then sort of went away. trump's taxes. it was a scandal, a controversy, and then it went away. whereas the stories about the e-mails, whether hillary clinton's e-mail the state department or e-mails that had been hacked from the dnc and john podesta, those stories kept coming back over and over and over again, leading to the total volume for those topics far outpacing anything that was negative about donald trump. >> gene robinson, no surprise, i don't think, that donald trump was the most talked about story across all audiences, but the wileaks hacking story by such a wide margin, the top election related controversy. >> yeah, i think that's fascinating. and i guess my question is, so that's the effect. what's the cause here? was it just saturation media cov coverage, was there something about the story that seems to have fired people's interests in a way that others didn't? >> well, this was one of the stories when you looked across
which audiences were talking about our topic ktopic, that wk popped higher among our everything audience, people who were not just political activists. this is people outside of normal political circles had heard about. this was one that was sustained. it had multiple peaks on our chart. others stories they would pop once and then go away. even something, the trump tapes, the "access hollywood" tapes, that was probably the biggest of our anti-trump stories, ow bad for trump stories, but it had a really big spike and went away. with the wikileaks and the hacked e-mails, it continued to build, continued to have news spikes and new revelations throughout the course of the late summer and into the fall. >> i'm just taking a look, i'm having flashbacks looking at some of the stories, the eruptions, the momentary things in some cases in the campaign. you had three words for 2017.
kwl give you mine for 2017, stop checking twitter. today is my two-week anniversary, if you can call it that, of stopping using, checking, looking at, reading twitter. and i have to tell you, my life is better for it. my professional life, i think, i thought i could not get through a week of being on the job and not checking this every five minutes. i'm looking at this now and remembering the stories. my conclusion, one of the conclusions i walked away with after the election, why did the media miss trump? i think twitter has an awful lot to do with it, social media has a lot to do with it because there was a group think that formed because of the media that created a resistance to even talking about the idea that donald trump strategically might be doing something right and might be tapping into something. so it kind of got me to pull back from it and i haven't gone back in two weeks. >> i want to jump in on that,
because it's not jug twitter. facebook as well. when i was doing the piece where i was talking to late-deciding voters about what it was that got them to finally make up their minds, often in favor of trump, what i came away with was there was two different types of conversationshappening. one was in the ecosystem we inhabit. traditional news. cable, newspapers, and so on. and another was on the social media venues like facebook and twitter where the topics were widely different than what we expect eed an election topic to be. this is sort of where the fake news conspiracy theory stuff thrived as well. i' i'm not saying wikileaks put out anything fake, but none of them have been proven inauthentic, but it did sort of sprout this whole cottage industry of hoax news, fake news. and that ended up having a totally different type of conversation that engulfed a lot of these voters who were never actually political to begin with. for kristen, my question is,
could you measure the audience? is there any way to know whether these people were first-time political news consumers or whether they were brought in from different nonpolitical outlets? and how -- could you measure trat? >> i think what's notable is when we looked across all of the different audiences, the wikileaks hacking story does rank more highly among our everyone audience, people who are not folks we had identified as being politically actest on one side or the other, not people who were inside the be beltway orb, that it popped much higher. inside the beltway, there was so much discussion in the primaries that just hadn't existed outside. so folks inside the beltway, their minds were shaped by these primary discussions in a very different way. whereas for most people, they were beginning to check into the election after the primaries were over, after we got through the conventions. so they were seeing things through a different lens. i don't know what the vote
histories were of the folks but they were tuning in much later in the process, so for them, a lot of the scandals and stories that had rocked things in the primary, that had colored the way that sort of political activists wereeeinghings but not the way that the vast jority of people just chattering about the stuff on twitter were seeing things. >> was some nonpolitical news believe it or not. and here were the biggest spikes. chicago cubs win the world series. i'm eyeballing, it looks like the orlando shooting was second. state of the union, pokemon go. >> what happened to pokemon go? >> there were a few things happening. fascinating stuff. thanks so much. >> thank you. >>ia jean, thank you, sir. >> still ahead, following breaking news overnight. russia suggesting the expulsion of dozens of american diplomats, now, vladimir putin is saying that won't happen.
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welcome back to the top of the hour on "morning joe." it's friday, december 30th. new year's eve eve. i'm willie geist. joe and mika have the morning off. let's get to the breaking news out of moscow as russia reacts to the u.s. government punishing what officials say was interference in the presidential election here. russian president vladimir putin says he regrets president obama is ending his term by leveling
sanctions against russian diplomats. in spite of what a top cabinet minister suggested earlier this morning, putin now says russia will not expel 35 u.s. diplomats equal to the number the u.s. has declared persona non grata. instead, the russian president said he will consider president-elect's actions when deciding on further steps in the u.s./russia relationship. this less than a day after the obama administration followed through on its promise to retaliate for what u.s. officials say was interference in the election. nbc's ron allen reports. >> just as i told russia to stop it -- >> reporter: president obama made good on that promise to retaliate, targeting russia's top intelligence agencies with sanctions. officials in vladimir putin's inner circle, but not the russian president himself, all but singled out by president obama. >> freezing the assets of russian officials named, banning business contacts with americans. russia also accused of harassing
diplomats abroad and espionage in america. >> we have seen verbal and physical harassment, seen them trying to revoke their credentials. >> 35 russian diplomats in the u.s. expels. just 72 hours to leave. closing two russian government compounds, rec centers allegedly used for spying shut down as of noon. all americans should be alarmed by russia's actions. >> the actions today were designed to make clear we will respond at a time and place of our choosing. >> also targeted, two notorious alleged cybercriminals accused of stealing from banks and ecommerce sites. the u.s. also declassifying information designed to help computer experts block more hacking. the russians dismissed it all as another sign of aggressive policy to deal a blow to the incoming sdraz's foreign policy plans. president-elect trump again rejected allegations of russian interference in the election.
that may prove politically difficult with republicans and democrats calling for tough action against russia. >> they have all supported this actions. if he backs down and he does this, it will be perceived that it was done for putin and at putin's request. >> let's bring in "new york times" national security correspondent david sanger, who has a big piece in the paper this morning about all this. david, those were sort of the broad strokes about what the president put forward yesterday. russia responding this morning. what else should our viewers know about this? >> a couple things. first of all, the expulsion of the diplomats while familiar and it has that nice sort of tinge of the cold war is really not what this is all about. they may partly expel the diplomats because of the harassment of american diplomats in russia and so forth. but it's all been put together as a package. the big question here, i think, is what does president obama
hope to accomplish by this? can he actually deter future russian action? and how does he box in president-elect trump? because that's what a good deal of this is. you have in president-elect trump someone who has been consistently skeptical of the russians. even got involved, talked about 400-pound hackers doing this from their beds in new jersey and so forth. so by trying to lay out some evidence, expelling people, doing the sanctions, he's now put the president-elect in the position of having to decide whether to go actually reverse this stuff, say to vladimir putin, forget about it, soon after he comes into office. i'm betting that the president-elect doesn't do that. you already saw him seem to back away a little bit by saying, well, i'll take an intelligence briefing on the subject next week. >> david, the criticism of this action yesterday, although many republican congressmen and
senators have come out in support and saying this is an appropriate action, the criticism of it is too little too late. this would have been nice before they had interfered in our election. this would have been nice years ago when you knee these homes in maryland and new york were used as housing for intelligence agencies within russia. is it too little too late? too late to stop what's already happened, obviously, but enough to stop this from happening again? >> my suspicion is that it would not happen again in exactly this form, but in some different form. on the too little too late, if you go back to the big investigative piece that my colleagues eric lipton and scott shane and i had in the times a few weeks ago, which i think we discussed on an earlier show, the united states missed a whole number of signals that this was happening. the fbi first went to the dnc with a warning in the fall of
2015. and yet, the dnc didn't get -- dnc leadership didn't figure out what was going on here until april. the president said at his press conference he first heard about it in the early summer. that was an awful long time for the gru and the other russian intelligence agencies to do a lot of damage, including the break-in into john podesta's e-mail. so there is a little bit of culpability here on the part of the united states and the dnc for leaving the door wide open. when we know, of course, that we're a regular target of russian, chinese, north korean, and iraniahaers. >> what do we know about what the possible covert moves were or will be by the u.s. government? >> well, we don't know a whole lot about this. all you saw yesterday were the public elements. and frankly, to tell you the truth, i think, mark, the public stuff here is more valuable than
the private because if you're trying to establish deterrents for actors in the future, russia included, it doesn't help much to be doing something that no one sees. but on the covert side,ou could certainly see the united states interfere with some of the oligarchs who help finance putin. you could see the leakage of some of the information about the hundreds of millions of dollars that putin is believed to have gained with the help of the oligarchs and stored abroad. you could see the u.s. punch some home holes in the interne censorship russia imposed to try to keep dissent down. there's all kinds of mischief the use could do. i ran across a lot of officials who were very reluctant to go down that road because you can get on a cyber escalation ladder that you then can't get off. >> david, it's become almost
gospel that russia, quote, hacked the election. it's important to make distinctions about what that means exactly. it's one thing to have hacked the e-mail of the dnc. clearly, that happened. there are a lot of hillary clinton voters and polls show a majority of them believe russia hacked into voter rolls, into voting machines and changed the results of the election. what did you find in your reporting about that? >> there's been absolutely no evidence of any votes changed as a result of hacking on election day. there is some evidence that russian actors, and we don't know if they were state sponsored but we have to assume they were, had scanned some of the outward facing databases of voter registration rolls when you go online to register. that might have been an effort to see if they could affect the election, cause disruption. you show up at the polling place and your name isn't there, it didn't happen. what the russians have done
instead is something that merges new cybertechnology, getting into the e-mails, being quite surreptitious about how they did that, and very old fashioned information warfare where they took the data they harvests, threw it out on the internet, counting on the fact that we at the times and you at "morning joe" and everybody else in the media would be so captivated by what we learned in the e-mails or infighting inside the dnc or john podesta's conversations about hillary clinton's weaknesses as a candidate that that would overcome the question, why was a foreign power interfering with the election? >> kasie, david mentioned donald trump perhaps being boxed in by this. trump released a statement last night on the actions by president obama against russia saying, quote, it's time for our country to move on to bigger and better things. nevertheless, in the interest of our country and its great peek people, i will meet with leaders of the intelligence community
next week in order to be updated on the facts of this situation. nbc news has previously reported trump was first briefed about direct links between vladimir putin's government and the e-mail hacks back on august 17th. he has continued to cast doubt on russian involvement, as recently as wednesday. >> i don't know anything about . i don't know who hacked. i'm n sure who. you tell me, who hacked? i think it's probably unlikely. i think maybe, maybe the democrats are putting that out. >> i mean, it could be russia but it could also be china, it could be lots of people. it also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighed 400 pounds. anytime anything wrong happens, they like to say the russians. she doesn't know if it's the russians doing the hacking. maybe there is no hacking. >> once they hack, if you don't catch them in the act, you're not going to catch them. they have no idea if it's russia or china or somebody, it could be somebody sitting in a bed someplace. >> i think we ought to get on with our lives. i think computers have co
complicated lives greatly. the whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what's going on. >> last night, donald trump's senior adviser kellyanne conway would not comment on whether or not the president-elect would reverse president obama's actions, the sanctions, but she did suggest politics were behind the president's decision. >> i will tell you that even those who are sympathetic to president obama on most issues are saying that part of the reason he did this today was to, quote, box in president-elect trump. that would be very unfortunate if that were the -- if politics were the motivating factor here, but we can't help but think that's often true. even "the new york times" characterized it as such, an attempt to box him in to see what he'll do as president. that's not the way that peaceful transitions of administrations work in our great democracy. >> conway also dismissed the impact of the sanctions, suggesting members of the russian military intelligence service do not operate within the u.s. >> i have been rding all the news reports abo these
retaliations, these sanctions put forward by president obama and his administration. some of them seem largely symbolic. the gru doesn't really trafl here, doesn't keep its assets here. >> that comment drew this response from president obama's former ambassador to russia, michaelcfaul. quote, this is crazy. can someone organize a deep dive presidential daily brief on intelligence operations asap? >> it's really, i think, striking here, one thing that also happened over the course of yesterday is it became pretty clear that donald trump and republicans in congress have a divide on this very question of intelligence assessments. bob, i'm wondering, he's finally come out and said, okay, maybe i'm going to sit down and listen to these intelligence professionals. what does it take, i know you have talked to donald trump multiple times, have kind of an understanding of how he approaches a lot of these things. what's it going to take to convince him this is something that actually happened? >> i'm not sure, but you can almost hear the drum beat right
now in washington among democrats, republicans, the traditional hawks on foreign policy. they think this issue deserves to be at the top of the agenda next year. not only should there be a congressional probe, but there should perhaps be a select committee. pressure on the republican leadership, speaker ryan who issued a statement somewhat supportive of the president's actions yesterday on leader mcconnell, but the problem when i was talking to people at mar-a-lago last night on the phone and those next to trump is they look at 2017 and say we want tax reform, affordable care act, supreme court nominee, infrastructure. we have all these projects. the last thing they want to deal with is this russian drum beat. but in presidencies, you have to deal with what you're confronted with. >> steve, one thing that stuck out to me is it didn't seem like republicans hardly criticized the president's actions at all. they may say we don't agree with what he'soing with russia for the last eight years, but they didn't have a problem with his actions. that suggests to me there is
political pressure on a lot of these republicans. what's your take? >> traditionally, too, if you just took the incoming republican president being skeptical of this stuff, if you took the obama factor out, if you said in general there is evidence presented by the intelligence agencies in this country that russia had attempted to interfere in an election, hack e-mails, traditionally, you would find a lot of hawks on the republican side who would say we need to retaliate. this is the traditional role of the republican party. that's going to create some tungz there in terms of their reaction. is david sanger still there? a question i wanted to ask him, i want to try to clear this up more, because i think willie said one thing that's important here is they didn't try to actually hack into voting machines, that perception seems to be out there. the other thing is there's a lot of reporting in the last few weeks that is contradictory on the subject of what was the intent? was it to cause chaos, was it to disrupt the election sort of in the grand scale, or was the intent to put a thumb on the scales for donald trump and
against hillary clinton? i'm looking at the information that came out yesterday. and i can't seem to make sense of it from that standpoint. i saw references in the report that came out yesterday saying it looks like there was an operation going after educational institutions, they were looking to get information from various government entities, and also a political party, presumably the democratic party. i was want getting the sense reading this yesterday this was directed at helping trump, hurting clinton. what is your sense of that? >> a very good question, steve. i'm not sure that the motives stayed stable over time. the initial attack on the dnc and many of those attacks on educational institutions, news media, others, were executed by the fsb, that's the successor to the old kgb. that was pure intelligence gathering, and it's exactly what the united states does as well in russia. over time, another group came in.
the gru, and that's the group that president obama sanctioned yesterday and their officers. they had a very different set of motives. they came in, grabbed this data, and then made it available, first on that goosefer 2.0 website over the summer and ultimately the wikileaks. at some point, they became, i think, aware that it was very possible that donald trump was a viable candidate, but they certainly were aware that they could do some damage to hillary clinton. and so while i think it's impossible to define motives for sure, what we do know is that vladimir putin thinks that hillary clinton was interfering in the 2011 parliamentary election in russia. where she denounced the election as rigged. and she has said, and i think there's a fair bit of evidence to back it up, that he had it in for her. now, that said, i'm not sure any of this changed the election result in any significant way. >> still ahead on "morning joe,"
donald trump says he has two simple steps to reinvigorating the american economy, but not all conservatives are coming home on his vision for trade. >> later, ambassador michael mcfaul was not on the russian embassy's christmasard list. in november, he was barred from the country. he joins us in a bit to talk about the timing and tenor of the latest sanctions against moscow. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. this holiday, the real gift isn't what's inside the box... it's what's inside the person who opens it. give your loved ones ancestrydna, the simple dna test that can tell them where they came from -by revealing their ethnic mix. it's a gift as original as they are. order now at ancestrydna.com.
with just three weeks until donald trump is sworn in, the president-elect once more took to social media, this time saying my administration will follow two simple rules. buy american and hire american. not all conservatives though energized by trump's plans for the economy. george will writing in "the washington post," a plan to make america 1953 again. quote, it is axiomatic if
someone is sufficient lee eager to disbelieve something, there's no evidence too large to be ignored. that plains while the plan to make america great again is making it 1953 again. according to a ball state university study of the 5.6 million manufacturing jobs lost between 2000 and 2010, trade accounted for 13% of job losses and productivity improvements accounted for 85%. the normal churn of u.s. labor markets results in roughly 1.7 million layoffs every month. the past is prologue. the future probably will feature many more such self-defeating government interventions in the name of compassion as protectionist america tried to cower its way to being great again. there are so many elements. bob, of the things that on the economy, anyway, that donald trump has said over the last year and a half that have scared the hell out of conservatives. >> we think back to george will's career, he found his
voice as a columnist in the '70s writing against president nixon. he won a pulitzer prize for some of his columns on watergate. when you look to trump, and there are some ways a relationship just like nixon had with the conservative movement. bill buckley, george will back then, they didn't like a republican president who was for different kinds of actions in the economy. they didn't like someone who didn't have the depth in the movement that they had created. trump still is trying to rebuild the relationships he didn't have in the primary process. i think he can't count on the george wills of the world as he starts to have this interventionist approach to the economy. >> one of the lesson we learned is i'm not sure ingeorge will approach to any of this is considered valid by the vast majority of voter in this country. boekt trump supporters and people who were supportive of bernie sanders. it seems like if there's something that got marginalized here, and the republican party is grappling with this, how these guys who worked within one set of rules that were laid out in the time period you
referenced and now they have to decide, are they okay with letting trump completely rewrite them. to a certain extent, they have to be. >> there is this dilution that has bint pointed out that donald trump is going to bring back all the manufacturing jobs to the states that won him the election. pennsylvania, ohio, wisconsin, michigan. he told voters he was going to bring back the jobs, and that's kind of what george will is getting at. >> it is a dilution, but he's doing his best with the symbolic measure. the carrier instance, for instance, he's not saving every job at carrier. half of the jobs are probably going to be exported and a lot of the jobs will end up in automation anyway, but we do remember that intervention because it was so dramatic. he went to the plant and he took credit for saving a company. or saving that factory, i should say. so trump, he does have an uncanny ability to be a showman. and that might get him through this. i don't think -- but he's not
going to be able to reverse historical trends. let's be honest. the expectation of jobs was happening well before president obama or before nafta. this was a multi-decade long process here. so on the one hand, he has these sky high expectations that george will is talking about. on the other hand, he has an uncanny ability to take credit for things and be a showman. >> coming up, days after donald trump slams lockheed martin, the company lands a massive multi-million dollar deal with the pentagon. we'll talk about that coming up in business before the bell. ♪ ♪ well, if you want to sing out, sing out ♪ ♪ and if you want to be free, be free ♪
following breaking news on the u.s. sanctions against russia. russian president vladimir putin says he will consider president-elect donald trump's actions before deciding how to respond. counter to what his foreign minister suggested earlier this morning, putin says russia will not expel u.s. diplomats. with us now, former u.s. diplomat who has been sanctioned by russia, michael mcfaul. a professor of political science at stanford university. and director of its institute for international studies. he was the u.s. ambassador to russia from 2012 to 2014. mr. ambassador, thanks so much
for being with us this morning. so much to talk about with you given your experience in the country. first of all, your reaction to the sanctions put forward by president obama yesterday. was it enough, was it an appropriate reaction? >> well, i'm glad there was a reaction. and i'm glad it went into the detail it did. ihink this should put to bed rever any debate about whether the russians meddleed in our election or not. the attribution, i think, was very clear. that's important before there's a transition of administrations. second, i think the sanctions, remember, there were two sets of sanctions. one about the cyberactivity and two about the harassment of our diplomats in russia. i would probably have gone farther in terms of the sanctions with cyber. and i hope that this won't be the end of the debate. i hope there will be an independent bipartisan commission to look into it furthe so that we know more of the details. with respect to the harassment
of our diplomats, i think the response was rather aggressive and appropriate. >> so you were banned from the country, from russia, by vladimir putin. given this element of the sanctions, which is because of the harassment of diplomats, can you speak to what it's like to be a diplomat, a u.s. diplomat inside russia, in moscow in particular? >> well, first, i was put on the sanctions list just to be clear, after the obama administration put many senior russian government officials on the sanctions list in response to their intervention in eastern ukraine. and you know, that is the normal kind of tit for tat that one expects in these kinds of sanctions. that's what's striking about what president putin did today, he decided not to do that, waiting to deal with the new trump administration. with respect to diplomats, i mean, i lived through it. from 2012 to 2014, there was all
kinds of harassment of myself, my family. other diplomats that worked for me. it's little things like, you know, slashing tires, breaking into apartments and moving things around. to bigger things like physical harassment, as was the case just a few months ago with one of our diplomats trying to get into the embassy. and was rather brutally attacked. you can see it, the video exists, by russian police. they believing that he was an intelligence officer coming back to the embassy, allegedly, coming back after some kind of operation. >> mr. ambassador, kasie hunt. are you surprised at the news we have this morning that putin is not, as you mentioned, going to expel u.s. diplomats at this juncture? seems like he's doing similar to beeibi netanyahu is doing sayin i'm not going to work with the sitting administration. i'm going to work with the new guy instead. >> i'm somewhat surprised,
because mr. lavrov prepared the list, and there were even rumors last night, by the way, that they were going to close the anglo-american school, that would have been horrific for all of the families who work at the embassy and other embassies. but yeah, he's decided he's going to try to work with president-elect trump and why not? i mean, given what president-elect trump has said about his desire to have a closer relation with russia, i, too, would do the same thing if i were vladimir putin. >> mr. ambassador, it's steve kornacki. i have been thinking a lot the last couple weeks, thinking back to 2012, the 2012 campaign, and there was a running joke among democrats, and even president obama himself was mitt romney's comment during the 2012 campaign that russia represented the top geopolitical foe to the united states. it was bn't just the idea that said number one and they thought it was number two or three. it was the idea of an
adversaryial relationship at all. given how they're ending with the sanctions, with president obama last week invoking ronald reagan, the ultimate cold warrior, saying shame on any republican who wouldn't be standing up to russia right now. i kno tre was an attempt at a reset in 2012, crimema hpened after that. when you had john mccain saying i look at putin and see kgb. when you had romney wrauarning about that, do you look back at the obama administration and say they misjudged russia? >> no, i don't. because russia doesn't exist as a person. have you ever met mr. russia or ms. russia? they're different leaders that have been in russia, and in the beginning of the obama administration, there was a different leader there. and during the heyday of the reset, when there was a closer relation, the united states and russia got a lot of big deals done, to paragraph the president-elect trump. that's when we got the start treaty done, sanctions done,
when we got russia into the wto, when we opened up a new supply route to afghanistan through russia which decreased our dependency on pakistan so we could go after osama bin laden. in other words, we were doing very cooperative things, and by the way, at that time, two thirds of the american people and two thirds othrussian people thought we had a close, cooperative relationship. then something changed. two or three things changed. first of all, putin came back. he had a different view of the united states. but most importantly, and why the relationship deteriorating the way it did and i witnessed it as ambassador, was that revolution started happening. political mobilization started happened around the world. first in the middle east, then in russia in december 2011. and later in ukraine in the fall of 2013. and putin blamed us, and blamed obama for those popular demonstrations. that's why the reset ended. the good news for president
trump is that mobilization against ought ocrats, whether they're in moscow or allies of moscow, is over now, and that gives them a chance to establish a different kind of relationship with vladimir putin. >> mr. ambassador, mark halperin here. is anything that was announced yesterday likely to actually bother vladimir putin or change his behavior? if not, what would? >> well, you know, these people that are expelled are technically diplomats. i don't know exactly who they are, but i suspect that they're