tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC October 5, 2017 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
things done, even his skeptics had hoped he would? right direction? get a compass. this is "hardball." thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. tonight on "all in." >> the issue of collusion is still open. >> the white house snaps on russia. >> more importantly than the president being frustrated i think the american people are frustrated. >> tonight, the pushback from trump world as sources tell nbc news senate intel has corroborated parts of the steel dossier. >> a thing like that should have never been written. plus -- >> could you address the main headline of this story that you call the president a moron? >> new details on president trump's furious eruption in the wake of the nbc news moron report. >> it was fake news. then, is the nra really making a concession on gun regulations? and an "all in" conversation. >> i don't want anyone to use our tools to undermine democracy. >> as facebook comes to terms
with its unprecedented power, is there anything anyone can do about it? >> i wish i could tell you that we're going to be able to stop all interference. but that just wouldn't be realistic. >> "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. tonight, the infamous steel dossier is at the very center of the news on the russia investigation. nbc news reports that investigators on special counsel robert mueller's team have interviewed christopher steele. that's of course the former british intelligence officer who compiled that absolutely explosive document. the dossier deals an alleged effort by the russian government over a period of years, stretching back to 2013 or so, to cultivate and coopt donald trump and his inner circle, as well as an extensive conspiracy between the trump campaign and russian forces to work together to interfere in the 2016 presidential election on trump's behalf. the president denies those
claims. but clearly mueller isn't taking the president's word for it, neither is the senate intelligence committee. yesterday chairman richard burr discussed the committee's investigation into the dossier but said they're having trouble verifying some details. >> as it relates to the steele dossier, unfortunately the committee has hit a wall to w l wall. although we have been incredibly enlightened at our ability to rebuild backwards, the steele dolls 88 up to a certain date, getting past that point has been somewhat impossible. >> it appears those efforts haven't been entirely unsuccessful. because according to nbc news reporter ken delaney, two sources told him the committee has indeed contributed parts of the dossier. ken dlanian joins me now. what is your reporting telling you about the ways in which the committee or the mueller investigation are dealing with that document? >> i wish i had a better answer
to you you, chris. the real answer is, we just don't know. it's classified and they're not giving details on what they've corroborated. but i'm glad you played that rather inarticulate clip from senator burr because the republicans. trying to say he said no such thing, and he clearly said in his inartful way, he used the term "rebuilding." they have a timeline. there are meetings, things in that dolls 88 that can be checked with, for example, u.s. intelligence reports, signals intelligence, travel records. every effort has been made to do that. the fbi has done it as well. and so there are parts of the dossier, as you know, that track with what we know from public reporting. for example, the dossier said weeks before newspapers reported that there was a russian hack of the dnc in july 2016, there's a dolls 88 report dated in july that says there is a kremlin effort to hack the dnc. it wasn't until october that the u.s. government formally said, hey, this was the russians that hack the dnc.
>> i have to say the document itself, published to great fanfare and great controversy, it contains some salacious details and explosive alleges the president denied somewhat humorously, to go back and look at it and read line by line, you are constantly encountering bits of information that are just publicly verifiable. for instance, that july 19 report in which the dossier says the russians have hacked the dnc. two weeks later press reports say that. >> that's absolutely true. there's another passage where it says, look, despite trump denying he wants to do business in moscow, he's been actively seeking it out. well, what do we learn a couple of months ago? there was a trump tower moscow proposal on the table and donald trump's lawyer michael cohen was pursuing it with top kremlin officials during the republican primary. there are other things that are unverified, unproven, and subject to investigation. for example, the dossier basically says paul manafort was
acting as a go-between, between russian intelligence and the trump campaign. obviously that's not proven, that's something mueller and the congress are investigating. the final thing i think that seems important here is just the degree to which the status of this document, which this document has been at the center of a lot of the reporting, the earliest reporting that it was comey who had to pull the president aside at a briefing and say this was out there. what does seem clear, and i want you to tell me whether this is how you understand it, is that this is taken seriously as a document not itself verified, but as a skeleton to work off to attempt to verify. >> that is such a great way to put it. this is raw intelligence. raw intelligence is often wrong, but some of it is right. james clapper, former director of national intelligence, said in june that donald trump asked mill to refute the dossier, and he said, i could not and i would not. so you're right, it's a roadmap for the investigation. the fbi has had most of it from steele for a long time.
and now it appears mueller wants to ask some follow-up questions. that's what i think this interview would have been about. >> ken dlanian, thank you. i want to bring in former assistant watergate special prosecutor juwan banks, former federal prosecutor renato marriotty. what do you make of this news? >> it's interesting and big news. the dossier i think you and ken covered it very well, chris. the dossier contains a lot of explosive details. and had been denied -- had been the subject of very frequent denials by the administration. they said, oh, false dossier, fake, there's nothing real in there. but at ken was pointing out portions have been verified. now that mueller's looking at it, what it tells me is he's going back and trying to figure out what he can create usable evidence out of. so your viewers understand, you can't just toss this dossier in front of a jury. you actually have to bring in
witnesses who can testify as to what they saw, what they heard, bring in documents that can be authenticated. look, even if mueller is able to just verify small portions of it and bring in that evidence, that could be real problems for some of the president's associates. like michael cohen. he is all throughout that dossier. there's been -- there are these allegations in there that he was meeting with russian representatives. if you look at his denials or i should put that in quotation marks, his sort of denials, he denies certain things and not others. so you really could see him potentially getting in trouble for lying to congress. >> jill, i was curious about when you were working on the watergate investigation, you know, a lot of what was being uncovered was happening in the press. famously by woodward and bernstein and others. the degree to which you in the investigator's office were taking tips that you were maybe getting some other places and attempting to run them down using your powers?
>> we took every bit of information that we got, every clue, every tip, and took it seriously. it's interesting especially in light of the release of the mark felt movie and his being held out as a hero. but really, he was telling us what we already knew, because his information came from the same fbi that worked for us. so it wasn't dramatic, new information. the fbi knew everything that he had and we had it. the people who didn't have it were the public. and it was helpful to bring public opinion to support our efforts to uncover all the information. and it really helped in the end too bring about the replacement of the special prosecutor after the saturday night massacre and to get the release of the tapes, because the public was supporting us because they saw the evidence publicly. here you have a situation where the senate has to get to the bottom of what happened, not just in terms of the dossier,
but in terms of the clear and convincing evidence that we have that the russians hacked. because they have to protect our electoral system. and that's a really important underlying thing that the congress has to do, whereas the criminal prosecution has to proceed through the mueller investigation. >> renato, i want to talk about time scale here. this is now an investigation that was opened i think in summer of 2016, i believe june. it's gone through several phases. i think it's intensified. it's been passed over to the special counsel. and the argument that you heard from sarah huckabee sanders, although it was of the intelligence committee but the same ilk, they've been looking and talking to people, there's thousands of pages of transcript, and they haven't found the smoking gun so this is a witch hunt. what do you say to that? >> first of all, we don't know what mueller's found yet. so your viewers understand, when you conduct a grand jury investigation, as a legal matter, it's secret. so mueller can't divulge to us everything that he knows. we don't know what he knows.
and this is just in the -- frankly, in many ways, it's still in a fairly early stage. as we just heard recently, mueller is interviewing people at the white house about obstruction and other issues. so each one of those interviews is going to generate more requests and more subpoenas and more interviews. i mean, this is going to go on and on at he's verifying this dossier. he's going to be interviewing more people sxoo bringing them in. this is just the beginning. and i would not draw any conclusions other than what we already know about manafort and others being indicted. >> so then jill, this goes to you. obviously there's been reporting suggesting that mueller has informed manafort directly, you are going to be indicted, which if he was unclear on that, breaking into his apartment to search a search warrant probably helped him to that possibility. i guess my question is to renato's point, did you feel when you were working the watergate investigation, was there some sense of extemple pressure that you guys at some point, in order to sustain public interest or sustain people's thoughts that this was a fair proceeding, did have to
pru something tangible that you could come public with? >> let's look at the smoking gun which you mentioned. and we were appointed in may of '73. we found out that there were tape errorinrecordings in july . subpoenaed them, were stonewa stonewalled, but then we finally got some. they weren't the shown gun, it was nine limited tapes and we only got six because one had an 18-minute gap, two were missing. so we only got six of the nine. and then in march we returned indictments. it was only in preparation for trial which was set for september of '74 that we subpoenaed 64 more tapes and got the smoking gun. when we got the smoking gun, and this is now more than a year after we started, that was an immediate response. the republicans acted as americans. the three top republicans in the congress, house and senate, went to nixon and said, there is no
more support for you, you will be convicted in the senate if you do not resign. and that was the end. but that was a year into it. we did not get the smoking gun right away. this takes time. you know, slow and steady wins the race. we have to put the puzzle together piece by piece. and it takes a little bit of time to develop all the evidence that's necessary. and i think mueller is showing every sign of getting it done. >> all right, jill and renato, thank you both. joy reid, host of "a.m. joy" joins me. what do you think is the significance of mueller sending folks to talk to steele? >> i think it's very important. i think you and ken made a really important point that this is a research document. it's a document from which the mueller team can work to find facts. it is not the fact. the important thing that is people sort of characterize the dossier as sort of the conclusions that this guy was drawing. he was sweeping in all of this information and mueller has to put it together.
it's important because there's a lot in that dossier that has borne out. i think it provides the most compelling set of facts that could be a narrative as to how collusion took place. if they can get to the bottom of that by talking to him, finding out where did he get some of his information, he may or may not be able to divulge it, i think it helps to build slowly this investigation. >> you know, the document itself, and part of the reason that i -- the way i think about it has shifted over time as facts fall into place. when you read it the first time, what it lays out seems really kind of crazy. like, i mean, or at least so broad in scope. the idea is that this was a sustained effort over a number of years to cultivate donald trump, to bring him into the russian orbit, to have him be essentially turned into a kind of asset, and then to help his campaign. what it lays out in its scope is really, really enormous. >> yeah. but it isn't if you think about the way that russia has worked. let's remember that the current president of russia was a former kgb agent. kgb spent years cultivating
assets. this is not something they do quickly. i think the idea that you have somebody like donald trump, who showed the affinity in the '80s, showed an interest in the '80s, had a need in the '90s, need and greed are usually the components of the way that the russians, even when they were the soviets, would develop assets. this is how it's done. i think the idea is if you're going to interfere in a presidential election, this is really taking it to a level that is incredibly risky for russia. if you're going to do that, you better do it carefully. you better cultivate these contacts over a long period of time. it's not something they would rush into. so i think it actually makes sense that it was that comprehensive and that it depended on the greed and need of a lot of different people who wanted to make money somehow through russia, or who wanted to have the power of the presidency. >> do we have by the way this clip of the president just speaking a little while ago? if we do, i want to play it for joy. this is the president. he's having a dinner tonight with military officials and their families at the white
house. and it's slightly off target but it just happened and i want to get your reaction, i don't know what to make of
it. this is the president appearing to threaten something and no one can figure out what. >> do you know what this represents? maybe it's the calm before the storm. >> what's your storm? >> the calm before the storm. >> what storm? >> we have the world's great military people here in this room, i'll tell you that. thank you all for coming. thank you. >> what storm, mr. president? >> you'll find out. >> you know, donald trump -- >> what do you make that? >> donald trump still seems to think he's in "the apprentice," a is spence moment before you go to break, come back from commercial and announce whatever it is he's doing. he treats the presidency like a reality show. >> he did this with tom price,
hamg on, we'll have more information for you. >> stay tuned. but at the time that they're potentially ripping up the iran nuclear deal, which could send us on a path of hostility with iran. iran is not iraq, it's a republic, it's not a put-together republic where the people are fractured. it was an empire. it has an actual air force. it's four times the population. he's contemplating any sort of act of hostilities with iran, that's terrifying. at the same time he is goading north korea. if he weren't doing those two things that would just be donald trump doing his donald trump thing. it's kind of terrifying in the context of what they're doing. >> i mean, presumably there are intelligence agents of other countries trying to parse this as well. >> of course. >> i think he thinks it's an asset if they can't figure him out, but there's reasons to think that the literature in deterrence and game theory that could be quite dangerous. >> indeed. next, more exclusive new reporting on the rift between rex tillerson and the man he reportedly called a moron.
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new details tonight on donald trump's fury over an nbc story. yesterday our reporters revealed that secretary of state rex tillerson had openly disparaged the president referring to him as a moron. nbc now learning that the president was so angry that chief of staff john kelly scrapped plans to travel to vegas to stay in washington and do damage control. also angry, vice president pence, who spoke with tillerson ahead of the secretary's stilted press conference yesterday in which tillerson never actually denied calling president trump a moron. the president attacking this morning tweeting, rex tillerson never threatened to resign, this is fake news put out by nbc news, low news in reporting starts, no verification from me. the white house denying the
president undermined tillerson or any other cabinet secretary. >> what's your response to those who say the president has undercut the secretary of state? sarah, just quickly -- >> i think the premise of that question is rud dic husband, the president can't undercut his own cabinet, the president is the leader of the cabinet. he sets the tone, he sets the agenda, i think that question make not sense because of that. >> nbc's carol lee who worked on that story and subsequent reporting joins me now. what do we know from your reporting about the reaction to the story? >> we know that the president was furious. and he vented in the white house for about two hours. he had left quite early to go to las vegas. and once he got aboard air force one, that eswhen kelly kind of started to get into action. about two and a half hours later we saw secretary tillerson's press conference. the interesting thing that happened after that is that
kelly then summoned tillerson and defense secretary mattis to the white house for this meeting. and the reason why that is significant is because, as you recall, it was kelly and mattis who intervened in july when tillerson was threatening to resign and convinced him to stay. so the three of them had this huddle at the white house where they talked about a path forward. meanwhile, you have vice president pence who was really angered by this, particularly because tillerson's spokesman said on the record to us for the story, told us the story about a meeting that tillerson had had with pence and suggested that the vice president somehow was questioning the job that the u.n. ambassador nikki haley was doing. pence's office said that was flatly, patently false. so he was very upset and he and tillerson had a conversation and
he said, you need to fix this. >> you're saying that was the prompt for tillerson to come out before the cameras in that hastily assembled press conference. >> right. >> you're telling me behind the scenes of your interpretation and your colleagues and our colleagues' reporting was not, this is not fake news, but rather, i am furious that the man called me a moron? >> it was essentially -- yeah. why was he -- the idea that tillerson had said something disparaging behind the president's back, the whole notion of this being out there in the headlines, the president was just -- you know. it was not -- he was not at all happy with anything that was happening yesterday morning. >> all right. carol lee, thanks for joining me. >> thank you. >> msnbc stephanie rule, one of our report hoarse broke the news yesterday, it's good to have you here. they are publicly, the president, tweeting about fake news, fake news, fake news, deny fake news. meanwhile they're not interpreting it as fake news
behind the scenes. >> think about this. rex tillerson comes out there, gives that press conference to an audience of one, apologizing to the president, saying you're the smartest, prettiest, greatest, bestest boss there ever was in the whole universe, but by the way, i'm not going to comment on whether or not i call y you a moron, from the parts where i cam from, that's too petty to say that. you know what it's not too petty. because people in that room said it. what do you think it says about that palace intrigue, what goes on within the white house? this is a meeting that took place in july. this has been floating around. so those colleagues that he's working with every day, remember, president trump says, the stories you hear about the chaos are nonsense, it's a well-oiled machine. what kind of well-oiled machine leaks like this? >> the other part of this that strikes me is this is also -- this account has been confirmed by other outlets now. this is something that was clearly -- people knew that this had happened and had been floating around. it was not a crypto secret. >> that's why it's stunning for the president to say, let's go after this fake news, fake news.
this happened. like no way other than to say, it happened. multiple people have confirmed it. think about how unhappy rex tillerson is. a year ago the guy ran exxonmobil. he was the ceo. he flew around the world private, had his own security detail, foreign policy team, didn't even eat in the cafeteria, and now he's got a staff that doesn't even interface with other parts of the administration, he travels alone. people in the administration talk about rex tillerson and his chief of staff like they are persona non grata and that's how something like this gets out. >> not only persona non grata at foggy bottom, at the white house too, a man without a country. he also -- the other part of this is it seems from the reporting i've seen, the president's furious but also feels paralyzed because here's this quick look at the people who have gone from the administration. this is last friday we made this. scaramucci, bannon, comey,
flynn, priebus, spicer, shiller, on and on and on. it will feed the chaos narrative if he does fire tillerson so he's stuck with him. >> remember president trump, "i hire the best people." a laundry list of people have left. and at the same time a laundry list continues of those who keep getting caught flying private, flying on military planes. we know how much that infuriated the president when tom price did it. who's he going to be mad at now? >> you're well sourced in all this. i wondered if i can pick your brain on the comments the president just made about this being the calm before the storm. have you seen this? >> i have. >> what the heck does that mean? >> president trump loves to be unpredictable. it's unclear what the calm before the storm -- the thing is, it could mean anything. but if you are a member of -- >> or nothing. >> or nothing. but i'll tell you, if you are one of his senior staff members and you hear him go out there and say, the calm before the storm, you're not feeling like you know what he's about to say. you're feeling like, what could it be? realize, it could be iran. it could be north korea. it could be fake news.
it could be firing someone. >> could be firing rex tillerson for calling me a moron, which i said was fake news. >> it could be he's going to do something very progressive on gun control. >> right. >> who knows. >> stephanie, thank you. nra comes out in support of new regulations. why it is not exactly the concession some are making it out to be, ahead. ng. but as you get older, it naturally begins to change, causing a lack of sharpness, or even trouble with recall. thankfully, the breakthrough in prevagen helps your brain and actually improves memory. the secret is an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory. prevagen. the name to remember. our guests can earn a free night when they book at choicehotels.com and stay with us just two times? fall time. badda book. badda boom. pumpkin spice cookie?
though as this video illustrates they effectively transform a semiautomatic rifle into a fully automatic weapon. bump stock sales are spiking after paddock's massacre with many retailers sold out. it comes amid a push from some lawmakers to ban bump stocks. the devices are being defended by the group gun owners of america, which bills its as the only no-compromise gun lobby in washington. you'd expect the national rifle association to take the same position, having spent decades opposing almost every single gun safety law. after days of silence following las vegas nra announced it was backing new regulations on bump stocks. sounds promising. only there's a catch and it's a bill one. and i couldn't wait to get my pie chart. the most shocking result was that i'm 26% native american. i had no idea. just to know this is what i'm made of, this is where my ancestors came from. and i absolutely want to know
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jon cornyn has said he wants to have hearings on bump stocks open to vote. are you open to a vote? >> yeah, look, i didn't know what they were until this week and i'm an avid sportsman. i think we're quickly coming up to speed with what this is. fully automatic weapons have been banned for a long time. apparently this allows you to take a semiautomatic, turn it fully automatic, clearly that's something we need to look into. >> a significant number of congressional republicans as well as the white house said today they are open to banning those so-called bump stocks, devices that the las vegas mass shooter used to kill or injure more than 500 people in just 10 minutes. >> should people be allowed to buy devices -- >> should bump stocks be -- >> we'll be looking into that
over the next short period of time. we'll be looking into that over the next short period of time. >> short period of time. tends to mean never. but maybe not this time. in something of a surprise, the normally vehemently anti-regulation national rifle association seems to suggest today it was fine with banning bump stocks, saying in a statement, "nra believes the devices design to allow semiautomatic rifles to function like fully automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations." but fine print what the nra is advocating, not legislation, it's calling on the atf to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law. as politico points out the move is designed to head off a messy gun control debate in congress, a debate over universal background checks et cetera. senator dianne feinstein, who introduced a bill to ban bump stocks and similar devices, suggested the nra's stance is
designed to maintain the status quo. the atf made clear that it did not have the authority to regulate bump stocks under the gun control act or national firearms act. legislation can and will save lives and congress should act immediately. here to break this down, democratic representative keith ellison of minnesota. congressman, what do you think is happening here? >> well, i think, you know, talk about the least you can do. bump stocks, of course we should ban them, they shoulder in have been allowed. what about all of the other lives we could save if we took more action? i mean, there should be universal background checks. you should not be able to have a high-capacity magazine. we ought to be able to step and up ban all these weapons of war that people use on our streets to protect human life. but now that we've seen 59 people killed, murdered, over 500 people injured, you wonder what it's really going to take to actually take real action.
i'd say that when te killed 20 kids at sandy hook or killed 59 people partying in miami, i mean, now we see this tragedy. bottom line is there is -- the bump stock is just a minimal starting point. i really do believe that we need to put the lives of people first. and put somebody's right to possess these weapons of war way behind. >> well, okay, so then i want to ask about the sort of mismatch there is between the problems and the solutions. so part of the issue it seems to me is people who advocate for greater gun safety legislation say, we've got 30,000 americans dying every year, two-thirds suicides, 10,000 gun homicides. then when you look at the things that are being advocated like banning bump stocks or universal background checks or high-capacity magazines, the idea that that's going to stop or reduce the amount of gun homicides in chicago and baltimore, it's hard to make that case.
yet that's what's politically possible. how do you bridge that gap? >> well, look, i think that a lot of the guns in chicago come from other states. wisconsin, indiana. there needs to be stronger enforcement there. but i think in this case, every time you say one life, you are saving somebody's whole world, chris. so we're going to solve this problem. with a number of different measures. but you've asked about the politics. that's the hardest part, right? because even though about 90% of americans say there ought to be background checks for handguns, we still cannot get them. and this is because the nra and others are funded by gun manufacturers, give very, very generous dough thagss. mostly to one party. the republicans. overwhelmingly. >> do you think it's money? i've gone back and forth on this -- >> not only, not only. >> it seems to me you could wipe out the money that mitch mcconnell's gotten from the nra and he would be acting no
differently about what legislation he's going to bring up in that senate. >> i'm not sure that's true either. i think that it is in part the money. i think that it is aggressive lobbying by some people. i think some of these folks get into office based on their devotion to guns. look at roy moore right now, waving pistols around in a press conference. these folks, there's a selection element to this thing as well. so i think you're right. there is a complicated thing. but look, this has absolutely nothing to do with hunting rifles, shotguns, people going hunting, being a sportsman. that's irrelevant. most sports people agree there should be background checks on handguns and these other sort of measures that really cost so many lives all over this country. we really got to look at the money too. it's not just the money in terms of donations. it's the money in terms of the money spent lobbying. it's the money spent on independent expenditures that try to shape public opinion. it is a range of advocacy that
manufacturers owned by wealthy people keep on fighting for to stop us from passing sane, sensible gun legislation. we've had more mass shootings than we have had days in the last year and a half. it's outrageous. if we can do bump stocks we're going to do them, but we need to do much more than that. >> representative keith ellison, thank you for being with me tonight. >> thank you. democracy in the age of facebook. as we learn more about what happened in 2016, what responsibility do social media companies have to prevent intrusion into elections? the experts are here to talk about that coming up. a rare breaking news "thing 1, thing 2" after this.
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council for a perfect, perfect voting record opposing abortion rights. so this past january, it wasn't unusual to see a post like this on murphy's facebook page. we've had great victories to protect the sanctity of life in the first weeks of this new year, #defendlife. but congressman murphy received a text message a day after that post from a woman he has since acknowledged having an affair with. according to said text message, errors of which were obtained by "the "pittsburgh post-gazette"," she texted you have zeroish on posting your pro-life stance when you had no issue asking me to abort our unborn child just last week when we thought that was one of the options." a reply from murphy responded, i get what you say about my march for life messages. i've never written them. staff does and i read them and winced. i told staff, don't write any more, i will." murphy has not responded to the "post gazette's" report but one
hour after that report alleging he urged his mistress to get an abortion earlier this year, the house held a vote on a bill to restrict abortion rights. and can you guess what tim murphy did? that's "thing 2" in 60 seconds. shut down cold symptoms fast with maximum strength alka seltzer plus liquid gels.
pennsylvania republican tim murphy, a congressman staunchly against abortion rights, reportedly urged a woman he was having an affair with to have an abortion. an hour after that report the house voted on a bill to restrict abortion rights, making abortions after 20 weeks illegal in every state. this bill likely won't have enough votes to pass the senate, nevertheless, republicans applauded in the chamber as it passed the house. among those voting in favor of restricting abortion rights was congressman tim murphy. yesterday murphy announced he would be retiring at the end of his term. today house speaker paul ryan announced murphy would be resigning a lot sooner than that. his last day is october 21st.
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facebook, it's not only the largest media company anywhere on the globe, it is also with possibly the exception of the world's major faiths the single institution with the greatest audience size in the history of human civilization. what other entity has assembled 2 billion people? worldwide, more than 2 billion active users. 1.3 billion daily active users. 300 million photo uploads a day. 510,000 comments posted every 60 seconds. close to 5 billion pieces of content shared daily. all of which generates a lot of money, $9 billion in ad revenue in the second quarter of this year alone. as massive as facebook is, it isn't just a social media platform. as one of our next guests max reid suggests comparisons include government metaphors like a state, eu, catholic church, star trek's federation of planets, and business metaphors, a railroad company, a mall, physical metaphors like a
town square, interstate highway, electrical grid. facebook right now seems to the kind of ubiquity of an electrical grid. what it delivers isn't a neutral commodity, its content can be as innocuous as a flyer stapled to a telephone pole, or as malevolent as fake russian accounts buying political ads. facebook has the power to flip a switch on an algorithm they own proprietarily and do -- what, exactly? what could they do? i mean, if facebook ceo and cofounder mark zuckerberg were to run for president could facebook's algorithm assure only favorable coverage of candidate zuckerberg, unfavorable coverage of everybody else running for president? even if that power is not ever used unethically by facebook, the scope of facebook is so massive it may have grown wildly beyond their control. the perfect host for a virus. >> we've been working to ensure the integrity of the german
elections this weekend. but we are in a new world. it is a new challenge for internet communities to have to deal with nation-states attempting to survert elections. >> arguably the most powerful non head of state in the world assuring us his team of engineers will get on the problem of making sure the world's elections are secure. how exactly did we end up here? i'm joined by silicon valley reporter cara swisher, executive ever the re-code where her interview with mark zuckerberg was published earlier this year. professor of media studies at university of virginia, authoring of "googlization of america" and forth coming "the anti-social media." and max reid, senior ed correspond of "new york" magazine, author of a phenomenal recent article titled "does mark zuckerberg know what facebook is?" i want to start with you, max. i love the piece. the basic argument of the piece is, this thing is so massive and it's operating at such scale the person who created it can't know
communications media company. i think he grasped it. i think he has a lot of control over it. what they have done is a lot of sloppiness in a lot of yareas ad haven't thought of the platform and how social media can become weaponized. that's what i talk about. social media is weaponized whether google or twitter. >> twitter, yeah. >> or facebook. the fact of the matter is it's a big company and they have control over the platform and alga rhythm and can do things to put things in place. they have been growing so fast
they didn't get to it. people are talking about the nation state idea, i guess. i suppose. they certainly have sway over a lot of things but, you know, it's a little fever dream of old media to imagine they will suddenly sway the election or something like that. >> i guess here is my question to follow up. i play this idea. there was a time when facebook -- there was a video. something fairly technical and all of a sudden on my news feed and it was in mine, too. i had the thought they could just have every person in america see whatever content they want to have. that would be the largest broadcaster in america. >> we can focus on what they have done. after the 2012 election, they published an academic paper emphasizing the fact that facebook could in fact influence the level of voter turn jout modestly and significantly in
certain yareas because the urge to vote is often socially shared and contagious. they ran the tests, different places around the united states. they did it in congestion and could influence voter turn jeou. that's nothing close. facebook could and in fact did affect how many people voted in a particular place. that might sway a local legislative race and state of florida because that was 114,000 votes in november. right? so facebook has the ability to do more than its ever imagined. the thing is, you know, i like how carol put it about being weaponized. we have a system that unlike anything else we've seen in human history. trying to find the metaphor it fits in. facebook is facebook. there is is nothing like it. there will never be another thing like it. if you design from ground up a
system that would benefit leaders and benefit various forms of nationalists, you could not do better than to invent facebook. that's not all it does. it's great for puppies and babies and -- >> it does remind me -- >> wait, but i want you to respond because you're rolling your eyes. >> i'm not raising -- listen. i can't believe i'm and it's just about the mark the rest of them. everything is a benign platform. we make it -- if you sit with them it's exhausting to talk to them about it. i think one of the things is they see it as a benign platform. it is not a benign platform. any of the tools are not. all of these are not benign and they have to start taking responsibility for the tools and for the use of the tools and for the platform they built. that said, look, you know, remember when microsoft was going to kill us all? >> right.
>> it didn't. >> remember when blank was going -- amazon apparently -- >> true. >> nobody is going to kill us all but the idea they would take responsibility for this frankenstein monster they built is, i think, unrealistic. >> yeah. >> there is no way for them to fix facebook. the problem with facebook is facebook. what they have suggested is cosmetic. what they suggested might work in a fairly controlled test environment like germany, which has deep republican roots and has rules against hate speech and what they did in germany is not a good test for what will happen and has happened in miramar and has in india. what is going to happen in the philippines. that's where facebook is doing the biggest damage, not in the united states. >> so that -- back -- i want to talk about the idea about a -- at nbc news when we publish a thing it goes through standards.
we just got a platform. you published. like at a certain point you can't disengage from the stuff people are putting on your platform. >> right. i mean, there has to be responsibility taken at some point. this is why it's interesting to hear kara bring up microsoft. it will kill us and anti trust lawsuit. the power of the people and the form of government was brought to bear against a company that has grown too big. we don't have a clear sense of exactly how and why the lawsuit affected microsoft but meant it was flat footed when the internet hit it big and microsoft is now catching up to and other ones. in this -- in that way thinking about how we can keep it together. >> to be clear, microsoft broke laws. this is -- one of the issues is
microsoft you can say definitely covered that with the washington post. very familiar what happened there. the fact of the matter is, it also missed out on invasion. it wasn't just the anti trust laws. bill gates initially did not get the internet. he didn't get where computers were going. steve bomber was insulting mobile phones for the longest time. cycles of invasion facebook is not going to be -- remember when aol was so big and now it isn't? >> here is my question. doesn't mean it will happen the same way. >> right. >> i want -- >> unseen -- >> let me separate two questions. there is a conception distinction. is the size essentially reached escape velocity where it is no longer within the kind of invasion and schemes and going to be -- >> it can -- >> you know. >> they can control it. they can control it.
they just haven't done the work they need to control it and i know, listen, let's be clear here, they can build this and absolutely control it. if they are worried about the silicon valleys, another -- >> let me just -- i want to zero in. when they say they can control -- what i'm hearing. i want to make sure, you think they have the capacity if they change assumptions and thing their policies around what the platform is doing to make and the platform non-benign. >> they control adds and don't control residents but have control over spam and have the same google does. it's bad business for facebook to be in the business that -- >> google doesn't control what it does top to bottom. google has some influence over what gets linked high. facebook runs differently. facebook has to abandon the self-service ad platforms and abandon the process of ad tech which relies on deep surveillance of nearly two -- of
more than 2 billion people. i mean, they would have to restructure from the ground up, do everything differently to fix the problems that we see right now because it is so easily hijacked at the core. the problem with facebook is facebook. it's not something around the edges. >> i mean, we've tried -- >> google -- >> may i -- >> in letting them say we'll fix this and it keeps getting worse. at what point do we see mark zuckerberg, you don't get to control this. you've done a bad job. >> one of the things they have done is slow rolled a lot. that's what happening. he said this wasn't a big deal and maybe it was and wrote a long essay saying maybe there is is issues. i think the -- you know, you see statistics. what is interesting is statistics around how many people get news from facebook and people rely on things. >> yeah, it has become central, central to american news consumption. >> to many, to many and then the question is what does that mean? is it a utility.
is it more than that. you better word than any of these nation states or asia -- >> i want to -- i want to talk about this for hours because it's fascinating and you know what you're talking about. cara swisher. and max reid thank you. i learned a lot in that conversati conversation. >> rare interview on his efforts to bring awareness to the crisis and i'll be joined tomorrow night on "all in." good evening, rachel. >> a, that's impressive about tomorrow and b, that conversation about facebook was i think the first time i have ever been edge of my seat interested in anything about facebook of my life. >> i did want to do that for an hour. i late we have to leave it there which i basically had to do. >> really good, man. >> thank you. >> thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. so that escalated quickly. it started last