tv MSNBC Live With Steve Kornacki MSNBC January 12, 2017 1:00pm-2:01pm PST
jill once surprised joe by painting hearts on his office windows for valentine's day. then there are the biden kids, grandkids. they're everywhere. [ laughter ] >> they're all good-looking. hunter and ashley, who live out the family creed of raising good families and looking out for the least of our brothers and sisters, beau, who is watching over us with those broad shoulders and mighty heart himself. a man who left a beautiful legacy and inspired an entire nation. naomi, finn and mazy, natalie and little hunter, grandchildren who are the light of joe's eyes and gives him an excuse to bust out the squirt gun around the pool. this is the kind of family that built this country. that's why my family is so proud to call ourselves honorary
bidens. as yeatts put it, because i had to quote an irish poet and seamus heaney was taken. think where man's glory most begins and ends, and say my glory was i had such friends. away from the camera, jill and michelle have each other's backs, just as much as when they're out championing our troops. our girls are close, best friends at school, inviting each other for vacations and sleepovers. even though our terms are nearly over, one of the greatest gifts of these past eight years is that we're forever bonded as a family. but, of course, i know that the obamas are not the only ones who feel like they're part of the biden clan because joe's heart has radiated around this room. you see it in the enduring
friendships he has forged with folks of every stripe and background up on capitol hill. you see it in the way that his eyes light up when he finds somebody in a rope line from scranton or just the tiniest towns in delaware. you see it in the incredible loyalty of his staff, the team who knows that family always comes before work because joe tells them so every day. the team that reflects their boss' humble service here in this building where there have been no turf wars between our staffs because everybody here has understood that we are all on the same mission and shared the same values. there has just been cooperation and camaraderie. and that is rare. it's a testament to joe and the tone that he set. finally, you see joe's heart in the way he consoles families, dealing with cancer back stage after an event. when he meets kids fighting through a stutter of their own. he gives them his private phone
number and keeps in touch with them long after. to know joe biden is to know that love without pretense, service without self-regard, and to live life fully. as one of his long-time colleagues in the senate who happened to be a republican once said, if you can't admire joe biden as a person, you have got a problem. he is as good a man as god ever created. so, joe, for your faith in your fellow americans, for your love of country, and for your lifetime of service that will endure through the generations, i would like to ask the military eight to join us on stage. for the final time as president, i am pleased to award our nation's highest civilian honor, the presidential medal of
three others. pope john paul ii, president ronald reagan and general colin powell. i'm proud to award the presidential medal of distinction to my brother. joseph, robinette "joe" biden jr. >> in a career of public service spanning nearly half a century vice president joseph r. biden jr. has left his mark on almost every part of our nation, fighting for a stronger middle class, a fairer judicial system, and a smarter foreign policy. providing unyielding support for our troops, combatting crime and violence against women, leading our quest to cure cancer, and safe-guarding the landmark american recovery and reinvestment act from corruption. with his charm, candor, unabashed optimism and deep and abiding patriotism, joe biden has garnered the respect and
esteem of colleagues of both parts and the friendship of people across the nation and around the world. while summoning the strength, grace and faith to overcome great personality tragedy this son of scranton and wimmington has become one of the most consequential vice presidents in american history. an accolade that rests firmly behind hus legacy as a husband, father and grandfather. a grateful nation thanks vice president joseph r. biden jr. for his lifetime of service on behalf of the united states of america. [ applause ]
>> please. thank you. bruce schetting, you're fired. [ laughter ] for the press, rishetti is my chief of staff. i had -- i had no inkling. i thought we were coming over, mir michelle, for you jill, barack and i to -- and a couple senior staff to toast one another and say what an incredible journey it's been.
mr. president, you got right the part about my leaning on jill. but i've also leaned on you. and a lot of people in this room. i look around the room and i see great friends like ted kaufman, who has given so much wisdom. i am look around and i'm startled. i keep seeing people i don't expect. how are you? i look at my new boss over there. but you know, i get a lot of credit i don't deserve, to state the obvious. and because i have always had somebody to lean on. from back that time in 1972 when the accident happened, i leaned on -- and i mean this in a
literal sense -- chris knows this, dodd knows this, mel knows this, ted knows this, i leaned on my sons, beau and hunter. i and continue to lean on hunter, who continues to, in a bizarre kind of way, raise me. i mean, i have leaned on them. and, you know, mr. president, you observed early on that when either one of my boys would walk in the room, they'd walk up and say, dad, what can i get you? dad, what do you need? and then jill came along, so she saved our life. she -- no man deserves one great love, let alone two. and -- but everybody knows here i am jill's husband. everybody knows that i love her more than she loves me. [ laughter ] >> with good reason.
and she gave me the most precious gift, the love of my life, the life of my love, my daughter ashley. i continue to lean on the family. president, you kidded me once, you heard that in the preparation for the two debates vice-presidential debates that i had -- i only had two -- that beau and hunter, the last people in the room and beau would say, look at me, dad, look ate. remember, remember home base. remember! so the secret can tell you, mr. president, that beau and hunt and ashley continue to have to corral me. we were at one of the national parks and i was climbing on top of a bridge to jump off a bridge with a bunch of kids and i hear my sons yelling "dad, get down, now!"
i started laughing so hard, i couldn't stop. i said, i was just going to do a flip, a full gainer off here. he said, "dad, the secret service doesn't want you up there, dad! look at me, dad!" so we've never figured out who the father is in this family. mr. president, you know that, with good reason, there is no power in the vice presidency. i just did for nancy pelosi's daughter the reading of the constitution. you probably about one for her. they had me read the provisions relating to the vice presidency in the constitution. there is no inherent power. nor should there be. mr. president, you have more than kept your commitment to me by saying that you wanted me to
help govern. president's line, often other people don't hear it that often, but when he says. can you get joe to do such-and-such, he says, i don't do joe's schedule, he doesn't do mine. every single thing you've asked me to do, mr. president, you have trusted me to do. and that is -- that's a remarkable thing. i don't think, according to the president of georgetown here, i don't think, according to the presidential and vice-presidential scholars, i don't think that kind of relationship has existed. i mean for real. it's all you, mr. president. it's all you. the reason why, when you send me around the world nothing gets
missed between the cup and the lip is because they know when i speak i speak for you. it's been easy, mr. president, because we not only have the same political philosophy and ideology, i tell everybody and i have told them from the beginning -- and i am not saying this to reciprocate -- i have never known a president, and few people i have ever met in my whole life, i can count on less than one hand who have had the integrity and the decency and the sense of other people's needs like you do. i know you're upset when i told the story about when hunt and i were worried that beau would have to -- that he would, as a matter of honor, decide he had to step down as attorney general while he was fighting his battle, because he had aphasia. he has losing his ability to
speak. and he didn't want to ever be in a position where, to him, everything was about duty and honor, and i said -- and he resign, i don't know. i just have a feeling he may. and hunt and i talked about this. i said, he doesn't have any other income but we're all right because hunt's there and i can sell the house. we're having a private lunch like we do every week. this man got up, came over, grabbed me by the shoulders and looked me in the eyendsaid, don't you sell that house! you love that house. i said it's no big deal, mr. president. he said i'll give you the money. we'll give you the money. promise me, promise me you won't sell that house. i remember when ashley, mr. president, we were in the oval, and ashley was in an elevator, and the elevator plummeted to the -- she was with a group of people, i forget which building in philadelphia, it plummeted to the ground.
immediately the service was worried that, you know, she may have been badly hurt. and i got up to take the call, and you didn't let up until you made sure your service followed through and made sure everything was all right. but you know, mr. president, you know, we kid about both -- about marrying up, we both did, that kind of thing. the truth of the matter is, i said this to michelle last night, michelle is the finest first lady in my view that has ever served in the office. there are other great first ladies, but i really genuinely mean it. [ applause ] >> i mean it. [ applause ]
>> when i got to -- he wh i gwh to meet michelle's brother and he told me about how you guys were raised and i got to know and love your mom. your mom, if she were 15 years older she could have been my mom. literally, the way you were raised, the way we were raised, there wasn't any difference. and i knew that this decision to join you, which was the greatest honor of my life, was the right decision on the night we had t gond acct the nomination, the former nination at the convention. and finnegan, who is now 18 years old, was 10 years old. she came to me and she said, pop, is it okay if the room that we're in, finnegan, macy and ni naomi, that we have the beds
taken out. i said why? she said maybe the obama girls and your brother's children would all come down and sleep together in sleeping bags. i give you my word as a biden, i knew when i left to go to the convention, opened that door and saw them cuddled together, i knew this was the right decision. i knew it was the right decision. i really did. because mr. president, the same value set, the name value set. folks, you know, i joke with my staff that i don't know why they pay them anything, because they get to advise me. let me explain what i mean by that. as the president of the university of delaware where my heart resides, my home campus of delaware, i get to give you
advice. i get to be the last guy in the room and give you advice on the most difficult decisions anyone has to make in the whole world. but i get to walk out. and you make it all by yourself. all by yourself. harry truman was right about the buck stopping at that desk. i have never, never, never, never once doubted, on these life-and-death decisions, i never once doubted that your judgment was flawed. not once. not once. we've disagreed and we've argued and we've raised our voices, and we've made a deal we would be completely open like brothers with one another. but mr. president, i have watched you under intense fire.
i will venture to say that no president in history has had as many novel crises land on his desk in all of history. the civil war was worse, world war ii was worse, world war i, but mr. president, almost every one of the crises you faced was a case of first instances. i watched that prodigus mind, the heart as big as your head, i have watched you. i have watched how you have acted. when you see a woman or man under intense pressure, you get a measure, and you know that, michelle, and your daughters know it as well. this is a remarkable man. and i just hope that the asterisk in history that is attached to my name when they talk about this presidency is that i can say i was part of --
are able to develop the way you developed, and with the heart you have. michelle and i have talked about it. i have confided in michelle, i have gone to her for advice. i have -- we have talked about this man. you have given me insight. and i think it's because, mr. president, you gave me credit for having understanding other people's misery and suffering. mr. president, there is not one single solitary ounce of entitlement in you, or michelle or your beautiful daughters. and your girls are incredible. you really are. it's not hyperbole. you really are.
not one ounce of entitlement. seamus heaney, in one of his poems, said, when you can find someone who says it better, use it. he said, you carried your own burden, and very soon your symptoms of creeping privilege disappeared. you carried your own burdens, and very soon your creeping symptoms of privilege disappeared. mr. president, you have sometimes been like a lone wolf. but you carried yourself in a way that is pretty remarkable. the history, the journey, your journey, is something people will write about a long time. and i am not being salacious
when i say this, you are so fortunate, both of you, to have found each other, because all that grounding, all that that you had, made this guy totally whole. and it's pretty amazing. mr. president, this honor is not only well beyond what i deserve, but it's a reflection of the extent and generosity of your spirit. i don't deserve this. but i know can came from the
president's heart. there is a saying that says, what comes from the heart enters the heart. mr. president, you have creeped into our heart, you and your whole family, including mom, and you occupy it. it's an amazing thing that happened. i knew how smart you were. i knew how honorable you were. i knew how decent you were from the couple of years we worked in the senate. and i knew what you were capable of. but i never fully expected that you would occupy the bidens' heart from hunter, ashley, my sister, all of us. all of us. and mr. president, i -- i am
indebted to you. i am indebted to your friendship. i am indebted to your family. and as -- to end on a humorous note, we're having lunches. lunch is usually whatever is in either one of our minds. we talk about family an awful lot. about six months in, the president looked at me, said, you know, joe, you know what's surprised me? how we've become such good friends! i said, surprised you? but that is candid obama. and it's real. and mr. president, you know as long as there is breath in me i'll be there for you, my whole family will be, and i know -- i know it is reciprocal.
that is the scene in the white house, washington, d.c. i am steve kornacki here in new york. a very, very emotional ceremony, a surprise ceremony as well. you are watching vice president joe biden, the outgoing vice president, his wife, his son hunter up there behind him, his grandchildren as well. they're now being escorted out of the room. what you just saw there was a surprise to joe biden. it was a surprise to many of us as well. we knew all afternoon that there was some sort of event planned at the white house that would feature president obama, vice president de of course both of them leaving office in a little over a week. president obama had delivered his farewell address to the nation a few nights ago in chicago. we got the impression there would be some sort of quick remark, quick thank you, maybe a toast, something like that, from the president to his vice president, the two of them serving together, of course, for the last eight years. instead, after president obama made his remarks saluting joe
biden and his career he presented him with the nation's highest civilian honor, the presidential medal of freedom. joe biden presented with that. president obama also noting that he was taking the extra step of presenting that honor with distinction. that is something that has only been done three other times in history. once for pope john paul ii, once for ronald reagan, once for colin powell, and now for outgoing vice president joe biden. of course, obviously a very, very, you could see, emotionally moved, touched, joe biden there speaking for the last 20 minutes or so in the white house. think about this. put this in some perspective. not only is joe biden leaving office as vice president eight days from now, he has been in office of one sort or another, for more than 47 consecutive years right now. he was first elected to the newcastle county commission in delaware in 1969. he took office in early 1970. and now, january 20th, 2017, for
the first time since then, since january 2017, joe biden, age 74, will no longer be holding public office. you can see, obviously, many thoughts he was having there about his career, his legacy and obviously his role with this administration. quite a scene there in the white house. obviously they will be talking about that one for some time, i am sure. as that played out, though, in the white house. washington, the entire country absorbing big news this afternoon. the justice department's inspector general saying he'll review how the fub and fbi director james comey handled the hillary clinton e-mail investigation during the presidential campaign. this coming two days after this exchange between james comey and director king. on allegations of russian hacking during the campaign. well, i thought we had that clip. obviously, this has been a --
quite an -- all right. we have a statement here, actually. this has been quite an issue here since the election. the role of the fbi. now we have the inspector general saying he is conduing an investigation in the last few minutes. ave the statement from james comey saying i am grateful to the department of justice iq for taking on this review. he is professional and independent. the fbi will cooperate fully with him and his office. i hope very much he is able to share his conclusions and observations with the public because everyone will benefit from thoughtful evaluation and transparency regarding this matter. that is the statement just in the last few minutes from james comey, the fbi director. obviously a breaking news situation. i want to bring in jason chaffetz, chairman of the house oversight and government reform committee. thank you for joining us. i know you put a reaction on twitter a short while ago saying you support the inspector general at the department of justice undertaking this review. you are encouraging this step. let me ask you, what do you hope
this will achieve? >> i think justice is what we all ultimately want to prevail. there were a lot of questions during this investigation that raised eyebrows from both sides of the political parties about why were these things done, and the timing in which they were done. the inspector general at the department of justice is a serious and well respected attorney on both sides of the aisle. it will take months, i am sure. they should get in there and figure out what happened. >> there were several pieces of this sort of comey saga and its role in the presidential campaign. over the summer he came out and made the announcement he would not recommendharges against hillary clinton over the e-mail server. at that point he appeared before your committee. you had very harsh words for him at that time. fast-forward to the closing days of the presidential campaign. he sends the letter to you folks on capitol hill and says, hey, we may have new information from this anthony wiener laptop, we are taking another look at it.
then he gets back in touch a few days later and basically says there was nothing to see here. let me ask you about the last part of it. because you have hillary clinton has gone out in public now and said she thinks that cost her the election. that james comey coming out and saying basically this thing is reopened, donald trump going around telling everybody hillary clinton was back under investigation, and then comey basically saying, yeah, there was no "there" there, that cost her the election. do you look at that and say it raises legitimate questions about james comey and his judgment and how he conducted this? >> i think this investigation, you'll find, or at least this review as they would term it at the inspector general, is not just about director comey. you have to go back to why did director comey have to do this in the first place? why was loretta lynch meeting with president clinton days before this announcement? why was the legislative liaison give information, perhaps, perhaps inappropriately and prematurely. the timing when you are so close to an election.
i think director comey, at least on the surface, from the way i saw it, was living up to the obligation and what he had said under oath that he would get back to congress. he did that in our hearing. he did it in a question from lamar smith and the judiciary committee. he had a duty and obligation to inform congress if they were going to continue to open up this investigation, which he did. personally, i think hillary clinton lost for a variety of reasons. i think this was a contributing factor, but i don't think it was the only reason, but i think, you know, this is why you have an inspector general in the -- in the thrust for justice, come in, impartially after the election. let's go figure out. he if everythg s on the up and up, great. process-wise, we've got to get these things right. there were questions on both sides of the aisle, i think, about how that went down. >> you mentioned this, and i want to be clear to folks out there. the announcement today coming from the inspector general is not, as you say, just about
james comey and just about the decisions he made in the investigation. you also have here the inspector general saying that there are -- there are allegations that a deputy director of the fbi should have recused himself from participating in the hillary clinton e-mail investigation. that had to do with that man's wife. she was a candidate for state senate in virginia. her campaign was supported by terry mcauliffe, alan lye of n clintons. there was a revelation through wikileaks that perhaps, perhaps, the clinton campaign had been told a congressional hearing would be asking uncomfortable questions, giving a heads-up. that's all featured in this. the bottom-line question, i wonder -- the election is over now. donald trump is the president-elect. in terms of comey, we do know, you say he had an obligation maybe to tell you guys if there was going to be a change in the status of the investigation, but do you think now, looking back at it, to make such a big splash with reopening an investigation,
only to say a few days later, nope, it's closed again, nothing to see here, do you think maybe, looking back, the better thing to do would have been to wait until after the election rather than have that sorted out in the frantic closing days of a campaign? >> i think what -- and i am only guessing here -- at least from my vantage point what director comey was doing, once he knew they were spending money, time, assets diving back into the investigation, despite his testimony that i believe was in july, he had a constitutional responsibility to come back to congress and inform us. and that's what he did. now, there are political ramifications for that, but we would have also yelled and screamed at him and he had done it -- not informed us because of the political considerations. so i understand that the timing for hillary clinton appears, at best, as untimely, but you know, she created this mess. it wasn't director comey. it was hillary clinton. she should have disposed of this years ago.
they still haven't gotten us all the materials from the state department. the state department itself still has an open investigation. so i think she can only look to herself and maybe visit wisconsin. that would have helped to. >> jason chaffetz, chair of the house oversight committee. thanks for joining us. nguyjoining me on the phone. hillary clinton's former campaign manager robby mook. thank you for joining me. i want to give you a chance to respond. have you heard what congressman chaffetz saying, this was hillary clinton's fault, not james comey. >> the matter at hand is that the i.g is saying something could have gone awry and needs to be investigated. we have seen a number of things over the last few days, including that the fbi was actively investigating donald
trump's connections to russia, some of that information has now come out. i don't think it's hillary clinton's fault that the fbi was consistently leaking information, that this unprecedented letter was sent out about new material that may or may not be relevant. so i -- none of that is hillary clinton's fault, and i think -- i am glad that action is being taken now to uncover what may have been errors on the part of comey and the fbi. this was an unprecedented move, there are protocols in place not to intervene in political campaigns. that's clearly what happened here. and we need to make sure that this matter is clear up and something like this can happen again. >> you mentioned the unprecedented step, you're sayingof releasing that letter, i think it was 11 days before the election basically saying, hey, this investigation is open again. you just heard, i think,
congressman chaffetz saying james comey had a duty to do that. he had previously reported to congress that the investigation was closed and he previously wasn't recommending any charges and said he would inform them of any potential change in that status. there was a potential change in the status and therefore he needed to tell them. does he have a point there that, if james comey had not followed that sequence of events and waited until after the election we would just have the other side crying foul right now? >> steve, what's a little frustrating here is you heard in the recent hearings on the russian hack of the dnc, you had senators asking director comey, what investigations are happening as it pertains to president-elect trump, his connections to the russians and potential communications between his staff and the russians themselves. and director comey said, i cannot comment on an ongoing investigation.
so i guess, steve, what i don't understand is, when it comes to donald trump, no comment can be made. to members of congress. when it comes to hillary clinton, all of a sudden there is an obligation to tell everything to members of congress. >> but robby, give you a chance to respond to this, but that exchange you're talking about in front of that committee, what james comeyaid, he said the difference there is that the investigation involving hillary clinton had been closed and his obligation was to tell them of a potential change in the status of the investigation. >> right. but steve, steve, my -- my point that i am making is there was no change in the status. james comey alerted members of congress that there potentially, maybe, was new information. he did that before he had a warrant to look at the information. and when he did get a warrant to look at the information, and it only took him a matter of days, it turned out there was nothing there. so my point is that, if he can
go and tell congress about that, he should go and tell congress about what he's finding about donald trump, the status of that investigation, whether he has evidence or not. they clearly did have evidence as far back as october, and they didn't tell anybody about that. that's all coming out now. so i think all any american should be calling for here is fairness. the russians have no right to intervene in our electoral process. the fbi has no right to intervene in our electoral process. what democrats, republicans, the media and everybody shouldi be calling for is fairness. this should never happen again where the election could have been disrupted due to inappropriate interventions from our government or any foreign government. that's all we're calling for. >> we mention here again, this is not just this investigation being opened up by the inspector general, it's not just about james comey and his handling of
the investigations. in their announcement they say they're looking into allegations that the assistant attorney general for legislative affairs may have disclosed information to the clinton campaign. is that a charge that you as the manager of the clinton campaign are aware of? >> i would say, if that is contained there, i think we should be asking whether rudy giuliani was improperly given information or consulted as to what steps the fbi or the justice department should be taking. we all know that giuliani, on television, seems to have information about what was going on, information about this letter or other matters, before anybody else did. you know, look, i -- steve, what i would appeal for here, and i think what we're starting to appreciate post facto, is it's really easy to make false
equivalencies. what director comey did was enormously disruptive to the election. that should not be equated, you know, with small things here or there. if we want to investigate those things, that's great. let's investigate all of this. let's not district and create false equivalencies from the major issue here, which is there is good information to believe hillary clinton was singled out and there were partisan motivations behind what was done. i think the election is over, the result is in, this should be the time to step back, put down our partisan labels and think about how we make sure that our elections are free and fair from inappropriate influences. >> hillary clinton has said, i think it was to a group of donors, that she believes james comey's announcement 11 days before the election is the reason she lost the line of scrimmage. do you agree with that? >> well, outside experts, some
of the professional pollsters and others have said that's the case. i don't want to -- i don't want to get into a back and forth here about what impact it may have had quantitatively. but it was an unprecedented intervention in the election. this shouldn't happen again. and i really will lump in here this question of the russians and that thentelgence community and, frankly, the media, didn't seem to take that intervention very seriously. what i have been calling for is an end to these false equivalencies, when outside governments, whether it's kim jong un or vladimir putin or any other leader tries to intervene in our election, all americans should bind together and speak out against it. if the fbi or any other public service agency of the united states government interferes or intervenes in the election, and, again, there were protocols
that, i believe it's 60 days before an election that the justice department is not supposed to comment on investigations. you know, if these things are happening, they need to be stopped. and every american should call out for that, because it was a democrat this time. it could be a republican next time. >> i just want to ask you this before i let you go. i know, in the closing weeks of this campaign, your campaign, your candidate, was making a big issue about what at the time seemed like donald trump's at least potential reluctance, if he lost the election, to accept the legitimacy of outcome. i want to ask you, given the concerns and questions that you're raising right now, do you consider donald trump a legitimately elected president. >> donald trump won this election, and he is going to be sworn in as our next president. and i certainly hope, like i think every american does, that he will be a good president. and i trust that he knows deep down the awesome responsibility
that he has, and we are all going to be in his care, and our safety and our well-being is going to be his responsibility. that's not the issue now. that is a fact. but, again, now that the election is over, we have to all look as americans at what we can do to make our democracy as free and open and as fair as possible. again, t why it's so important to me that we not let these issues become partisan. i am glad that congressman chaffetz is embracing this investigation. if our democracy can't work properly, that's a problem for everybody. and i think every american would agree that our -- a strong, robust, functioning and fair democracy is the bedrock of what makes our country great, what makes a successful and, frankly, what makes us powerful in the
world. and that must be protected. that is not a democratic issue, it is not a republican issue, it is an issue that all americans have to care about. >> all right. robby mook. he was the campaign manager for hillary clinton. thank you for joining us. appreciate it. >> thank you very much. >> that is the reaction coming from clinton world, at least from a key part of clinton world. meanwhile, hallie jackson is at trump tower. obviously, everybody is waiting to see how the president-elect responds to this. do we have any indication yet? >> not yet. we have been in the lobby for the better part of the afternoon and seen some of donald trump's top aides going into the elevator. we have tried to press them on this topic even as to whether there will be some kind of a statement about this i.g. investigation. nothing yet. the president-elect is somebody who is tuned into the news. he is active on twitter and unafraid to share his opinions there, so i wouldn't be surprised if we see something perhaps later tonight, perhaps
tomorrow morning about this, just given what a factor it was on the campaign trail for president-elect trump. he talked about, as you know, james comey after the news broke on october 28th. he was at a rally. he said it took a lot of guts for comey to do what he did. we are sort of waiting now, after hearing from not just robby mook who you just interviewed but a number of other former clinton campaign staffers and operatives about this. i want to make another quick note on a piece of news that bubbled up today. marine le pen was here, seen having coffee downstairs at trump tower. excuse me for the person yelling behind us here. one of her allies came downstairs, steve, and talked to the media. back to you. >> hallie jackson outside of trump tower. you never know who or what you'll run into there. thank you for that. we have to squeeze in a quick break. a busy afternoon here. we'll have much more on this development from the department of justice, inspector general, also the question of what
effect, if any, did it have on the election. we'll dive into that too. stay with us. onic, widespread pain drained my energy. my doctor said moving more helps ease fibromyalgia pain. he also prescribed lyrica. fibromyalgia is thought to be the result of overactive nerves. lyrica is believed to calm these nerves. for some, lyrica can significantly relieve fibromyalgia pain and improve function, so i feel better. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression, or unusual changes in mood or behavior. or swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling, or blurry vision. common side effects are dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain and swelling of hands, legs and feet. don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica. don't drive or use machinery until you know how lyrica affects you. those who have had a drug or alcohol problem may be more likely to misuse lyrica. with less pain, i can be more active. ask your doctor about lyrica.
h . again, at the top of the hour here we were showing you a very emotional scene at the white house, president obama presenting his vice president, joe biden, with the nation's highest civilian honor, the presidential medal of freedom. joe biden was surprised by this. he thought this was going to be more of a toast and a short ceremony. it turned into a moving tribute,
each man offering to the other. again, that playing out a few minutes ago. joining me now by phone is nbc news presidential historian watching it along with the rest of us. michael, what came through to me watching it was just the incredibly tight personal bond between this president and this vice president. obviously they were opponents back in 2008. they both ran for the democratic nomination. it was not always smooth between them. i remember joe biden beginning that campaign with some comments about barack obama that did not sit well with barack obama, and yet this is where it ends up eight years later. and i am hard pressed to think of a president and vice president in history that had a relationship in public this close. can you? >> you and me both, steve. i was trying to think of it just as i was watching this. you go all the way through history, very hard, if at all possible, to find a relationship between a president and a vice president as close as this one.
the other thing, as you were suggesting, i think a second ago, is that oftentimes you'll see this relationship began and the two seemed to be close and then competition between the staffs or different political aims or even the vice president wants to run for president at the expense of the president. usually these relationships fray. what makes it even more remarkable is the fact that these two guys are so obviously much closer than they were at the beginning. >> obviously hanging over this -- it wasn't mentioned in the ceremony today, but i think it's something a lot of democrats have been asking themselves since the election, it's something joe biden talked about with andrea mitchell in an interview here earlier today. this question of what if joe biden had been the democratic candidate for president this year, what if he had been the nominee instead of hillary clinton, would there have been a different result? would obama and biden not be set to give up the white house right now to donald trump. >> that is the question. we're probably going to have to wait for the memoirs of
president obama and maybe also vice president biden to see how close that came. that's one of the great what-ifs of history. had that happened later on or earlier, there is every likelihood that joe biden would have run for the nomination this past time and you might have a different president being inaugurated next week. >> t career when you think of it, joe biden a week from now, will leave office as vice president, it will be 47-plus straight years that he has been in public office from a county position in delaware to the u.s. senate, to the vice presidency. this guy started young in politics. here he is now into his mid 70s. and an uninterrupted string of public service. >> and, again, it started so poignantly, the 6th of january, 1973, he was sworn in after his first wife was killed in a car
accident, in the same accident both of his sons were badly injured. he came very close to saying, i don't want to be a senator at all. i should stay in delaware and take care of them. it was actually some of his democratic colleagues and actually some republicans too, colleagues to be, would said to him, this is too important, you really have to join the senate. >> nbc news presidential historian michael beschloss. thank you for taking a few minutes. we mentioned before the ceremony at the white house, joe biden sat down with andrea mitchell. she asked about donald trump. she asked about, as well, his relationship with russia's vladimir putin. take a listen. >> is it an asset for vladimir putin to like the president of the united states, or is he playing us? >> it's important that the next president, mr. trump, all that vladimir putin has done and continues to do to try to
undermine america's influence and to try to undermine the unity that exists in europe. he has done everything he can to splinter consensus in europe, to weaken the e.u. as well as nato. i can't believe, after being immersed for several months in this as president, that that's not a consensus that i'm confident it's a consensus that the experts in his administration understand and that will be communicated to him. but i -- i can't divine what president-elect trump is likely to do. >> joe biden earlier today with andrea mitchell. nbc news chief global correspondent bill neely is in russian. he's spon with a kremlin spokesperson about the charges.
what is the reaction over there, bill. >> reporter: i sat down with the chief kremlin spokesman, the man whose words so often echo the words of donald trump when he talks about a witch hunt and fake news. he had very warm words after the news conference by donald trump yesterday. he said he liked the new tone and the new language of the president-elect. he said he liked donald trump's readiness to talk, not confront, his readiness to try to understand what's fake and what's not. what he didn't like was when donald trump said yesterday on hacking, i think it was russia. dmitry peskov said, no, it wasn't. he said trump is definitely wrong on that. on that u.s. intelligence report on hacking, he said it was ridiculous, amateurish, it deeply surprised us. but possibly more interesting was what he said on that unsubstantiated dossier that talked about donald trump possibly, his behavior in
russia, maybe it was compromising activities when he was here. here is what peskov said about that. >> did any russian official, any intelligence agent, gather any information on donald trump when he was in russia, at any time? >> no. no. definitely not. >> donald trump wasn't bugged. >> no. >> wasn't followed. >> no. >> wasn't watched. >> no. >> reporter: i asked peskov, have your intelligence agencies got anything on donald trump? he said, i have never seen a file. i said, look, that's not a denial. he said, i don't work for the intelligence services, i work for the kremlin. make of that as you wish. he was also very hard on president obama, criticized him for, in the last week, damaging relations. and as for talks between donald trump and vladimir putin, he said, the sooner, the better. steve. >> all right. bill neely over there in a snowy moscow. bill, thank you. a very busy afternoon.
joe biden being honored with the presidential medal of freedom at t white house. the news the inspector general of the snjustice department looking into james comey and how he handled that investigation. that does it for me. "mtp daily" starts now. if it's thursday, russian hacking is casting new shadows over today's confirmation hearings. tonight, under review, the justice department watch dog says it will investigate fbi director james comey's handling of the clinton e-mail controversy. >> look at the motivations and the decisions and the practices and how these things were carried out. plus, tough talk from donald trump's picks for defense and cia. much tougher than what we've heard from the president-elect. >> but this was an aggressive action taken by the senior leadership inside of russian. has t