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tv   MSNBC Live With Thomas Roberts  MSNBC  December 16, 2016 11:00am-12:01pm PST

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hearing this and seeing this obviously. >> yes, indeed, they are. >> what's the effect? >> um -- well, as far as our men and women in our foreign service are concerned, they'll continue to do often conditions of great hardship and risks. what they have always done. pursue the american agenda abroad and to ensure that w washington is kept aware of development abroad that can be crucial to us. i have presided over several different elections and inaugurations as an ambassador over seas. it is always been one of my proudest moments. in the after math of the election, traditionally, that's when we come back as a nation and that's when we signal the
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campaign is behind us and governance is in front of us. >> we got about a month to go to set a different tone nationally and internationally. i hope we very much do that. former ambassador, ryan crocker, at the george bush school of government and public service at texas a&m. thank you sir, and great to see you again. thank you for joining us as part of our coverage. >> thank you, brian. >> it is just past the 2:00 hour in the east coast. we are within 15 minutes of the scheduled posted time to hear from the president, this end of year news conference. chris jansing can give us a preview from the white house. chris. >> reporter: i have never seen the white house presser quite like this, brian, it gives you the indication of an interest in this. we can take a look and show you
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almost a chaotic situation here. the big question on everybody's mind is what is the president going to do about the russian hack after previewing essentially to mpr, something needed to be done. he did not go as far as the assessment from the cia and say that they were trying to swing the election to donald trump but he's going to deal with a whole rash of questions, you have his former chief of staffs who published in the washington post today about the fbi and taking on the fbi, you have his successor who's been taking on the intelligence committee and much of the people of the administration and the republicans as well. you have comments from hillary clinton about this being some sort of personal vendetta from vladimir putin. what does he do and the options include something very specific to putin himself and other leaders, as nbc news has
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reported, he controls about $85 billion worth of assets and various seentities in one way o another. he has said himself that it could be public or not public. here is more on what president obama said to mpr. >> there is no doubt that it contributed to an atmosphere. >> to what extent are you suggesting some kind of cooperation between the president-elect and russian officials here. >> i am not suggesting cooperations at all. keep in mind those statements are in the context of everyone acting surprised by the cia assessment that this was done purposely to improve trump's chances. my point is, it should not be
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tweeted as a block buster because it was the worst kept secrets kept in town. >> reporter: the focus was on those e-mails for month as and u heard stronger words from josh earnest yesterday who said trump clearly knew there was malicious cyber activities going on. this was expected to be and all those different questions of the focus of what we hear from the president here today of what questions get asked but also there is clearly a growing concern of what's going on in syria and what is going on particularly in east aleppo. so a range of questions but as you and i talked about before, this is not a president who's prone to short sound byte type answers and so we'll see how many questions he gets in. he runs this himself. he makes a decision about what the last question will be and how long he want to go and so
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well, there is kind of a running joke right now in the press here. our along press conference three question and he can go as long as he wants and he often does continues that he feels that he had an opportunity to fully exchange what he wants to here. >> chris jansing with some of her closest friends in the white house, briefing room. >> you see the recognizable correspondents there. the blue door on the left is where the president comes out. the door on the outside is on chris' other side and there is not enou where people gathered at the door as other correspondents wait for their anchors to toss to them. we are leading up to the time said to be at 15 minutes from now. >> we got to find a better term to describe it because hacking
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diminishes the extent of what is alleged here. malcolm nans is a 35 year -- importantly, he's also the author of a very timely new book called "of all things." the plot to hack america and wikileaks trying to steal the 2016 election. malcolm, you have had a couple of days to think about this. where and how do you describe what we believe have just happened. >> i am glad you asked that question because a hacking is the least of what's happened here. i describe this on july 25th right here on nbc where we are sitting and the dnc, what has happened is the united states was attacked in a very large scale cyber warfare operation perpetrated by russia intelligence at the direction of
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the leader and former director of russian kgb. >> how long do we have a full damage assessment and what do we do about it? >> well, the damage accessessme maybe out there and can get much fuller as time passes. >> when i started my book in that very same day in july, it was delivered on september 23rd, the precise day that the cia did the exact same thing, only at the top secret level with much more information. that information was briefed to congress and by the president. this information has been out there for some time. the only thing that's done now is they can go much deeper and u.s. cyber command along with our allies can go and scrub all known intelligence related to this hacking and the cyber warfare operations which had many different facets and it had cyber and political warfare and special operation and
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intelligence. when they want to influence a country, they bring all aspects of russian political military and they strike and it appears that they did that to the united states. >> we know that the president will be asked about retaliation. we are guessing that he will be kg of realatitaliation as he mu. i heard very smart people during this week saying some form of be careful of what you wish for. when you go on for retaliation, remember of what they have of viewers and remember of what they maybe access of viewers, what do you say to that? >> you can believe that if you are afraid of russia. if you feel that their cyber warfare capabilities demonstrated today is not capable or more capable of doing physical damage. yes, they have the capabilities of shutting down the southeastern sea board of the
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united states, power plant, so do we. you have to understand how do we use cyber warfare power. the national security cyber command, when they launch a cyber weapon system or a malware imagine, it is like a sniper bullet, and it is carefully built. they use three of them for test bed and one of them, they keep on reserve. they use it all the time and . they use it in their own nation and they use information that they stolen against all of our allies and it is just a fundamental peace of how they view the world and when they steal information that's compromising which they cal call -- and disinformation, which they viewed since the beginning of the soviet union, they weaponize it and they take
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out their enemieenemies. what was the intent? it can only have one intent. they don't want to create chaos, they want to make a choice and they chose a candidate and provided all the information that actually had damage against the other candidate. >> i want to bring in our conversation to someone else you know who is relatively in his short lifetime from become an old russia hand, michael mcfall, back as a professor at stanford, he serves until 2014 as u.s. ambassador, michael, i ask you this question, boy, it is just a few hours now on the air last night and that's especially for a general audience tuning into to see the president's end of year news conference, who are we dealing with here? vladimir putin, who is he that you came to know? >> well, he's been the leader of
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russia for 16 years on and off as prime minister and president. he plans to stay there for a long time. he sees the united states and the liberal world order as an enemy of russia. and he sees himself as the conservative of all work against that. number three, he believes and i sat with him in the room and listened to his theories, directly, that we used overt and covert powers to overthrow regimes that we don't like. there is a lot of data that support that hypothesis. he would talk about these earlier period and number four, he's now in a counter strike moment where he's going to use all the different instruments that he has available including their tremendous cyber
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capabilities. by the way, with respect to the word hacking, lets call it theft and lets stop calling it hacking. i got a suggestion for you. as malcolm were saying, we all do that and gather intelligence, believe me, i have been the beneficiary of capabilities and when i was the government of the white house and moscow. what is unique and radically unique and i would say dangerous of the publication to influence our presidential election. that's unprecedented. it just needs a bigger scope and investigation, what i worry about is the obama administration has threaten to do some things, that's good. some different senators have talked about doing some things but it is not enough. i sincerely believe that we need a 9/11 like commission so that we can investigate everything as many facts as possible. by the way, also investigate
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ourselves as to how well we handle this attack. that story about the young fbi person calling the it guy and saying you have a problem, something is not right about that story to me. i want to know more of the facts and the only way you are going to get it is with an independent commission. >> malcolm nance, this is the new york times this week, kind of like the anatomy of the hack. it is unbelievable. it is like the russians landing offshore during world war ii. it is unbelieverable that a jr. fbi agent calls the help desk at the dnc, you know, we got a hack going on. >> that's amazing. for the fbi to know what was occurring, would require for them to have some suspicions which knew that atp 28 and 29, advance threat of 28 and 29, also known as cozy bear and
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fancy bear. it is well-known russian signatures. for the fbi to pass it off to the dnc and knowing this came from a national sensor and national security agency passing it on and the fbi being the u.s. entities. i would had a four arm fire. john mccain and barack obama were both hacked by the chinese. the fbi was late to come into that and a lot of information went out but it was not used the way russia used this information. they should have had a task force go out to each of the rnc and the dnc and say hey, russia's national sensor as are scanning your network.
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turns out, it was september when the fbi went out there. they were in there for a year which means the russians had a highly focused target results that they wanted off of the dnc. they were a national target and now the fbi is going to have to explain why that they did not take this seriously at all. >> i hate to tell you but what you said contradicted the president-elect. katy tur is with us who covers donald trump. just days ago, there is no way to know if someone is just hacked. the company was brought in and determining the extent of that and they immediately saw that these were the entities cozy bear and fancy bear.
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these malware packages and they knew it is done through fishing. they steal everything. cyber command had to have been seeing the exact same thing. it is the top secret code level and that's the information that the president was operating on and not from, you know, somebody who writes for wired magazine. this was at the sensitive collection of the united states. it is real and it happened. >> because someone is always listening these days, richard n engel has been listening to our conversation and had something to add, richard. >> malcolm nance is going to
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have a best selling book on his hands. one of the objectives of a cyber sabotage attack, that's what really is. you said it should be called hacking or something else. hacking is theft and weaponizing it is to use as a sabotage, it is to have americans fighting among themselves to slow them down so that russia feels very much constrained. if the u.s. is busy fighting itself, there will be less pressure on russia to not expand and not go into other parts of ukraine and taking over crimea. that's one thing. two, malcolm, was talking about these groups, cozy bear and fancy bear. the way they operate and difficult for the president to pin it down is sometimes they sometimes operate like independent entities and they
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work hand and glove with the intelligence agencies. think of them as pirates. back in the 18th or 19th century, the american empires and the british empires use pirates and we sometimes call them profiteers or private tiers. they would go out their p piravicy. they are allowed to do cyber crimes and steal and occasionally, they are called to do political missions. when they do that, they use specific software that malcolm nance just described that leaves the fingerprints. the most important question to ask is today considering the historic nature of this press
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conference, does president obama after all that he's learned and known and can or cannot talk about, does he believe that the u.s. had a fair and credible election? if he does, all of this becomes an interesting internal debate and investigation lesson learned but then the country moves on. if he does not say it is credible or fair, a whole a lot of questions to be asked. >> that would be a great question at the top or the bottom of this. richard engel. thank you. >> 2:19 p.m. eastern time. we are waiting for the traditional two-minute warning before we get under way and in the intervening minutes we want to go to andrea mitchell to washington who has some new reporting for us. >> we talked to steven hadley and he went through a number of options pointing out and as we have been dizing with richard and others the president can
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respond with a cyber attack of his own and there is one that's expected by ukraine against russia. there are think tanks and others that are "russian sponsors" and we can find ways to expose them. the president has to be very mindful of wanting to continue this relationship he's developed with donald trump. and particularly trump has expressed so much skepticism and
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of the intelligence and discussing this and tweeting again only today that it had something to do with partisan politics. and i also spoke to anthony, he's leeiforward leading yes, i is russian hacking, he would be concerned of that. >> would someone be for given with the u.s. and talk of retaliation and kind of tapping their watch and checking their calendar and making sure this is 2016 and not 1956. >> well, there are parallels to that time. the rules of how to deal with cyber attack and security are not well defined as we did during a cold war with respect to nuclear weapons. i want to point out, some of us
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are not new to this discussion. we hosted the president of the united states here at stanford university and our cyber security initiative to think about these things last year. he's not going to launch into a major cyber war with 34 days left in his administration, that does not sound like him. number two, he's not going to in my view think about this longer term thing and we'll be in something that starts now that would trickle into the trump administration. instead therefore, i think he has to do what he has a power to do which is to release as much information as possible. every time we keep talking, have you noticed, people still use that dependent clause. if it were the russians then, well, we have to take away that dependant clause "if it were the
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russians." we have to establish that. number two, if it is just handled in a partisan way as others have said the last 15 or 20 minutes, we are just speculating and never know the truth. we have to get it and hand it over to people who don't have a dog in the fight, democrats and republicans. if we don't do that, i fear come january 21st, then we are going to sweep it under the rug and move on, that would be bad for our national security. the last thing i will say because there is speculations about it. there is no way in my view that anybody should challenge the outcome of the election. i know this is controversial to say and every time i say it, i get a lot of hate mails on my twitter feed, to do that is to assume that we can isolated the independent impact of the russian variable as we say in political science compares to all other variables and that caused president-elect trump to
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win, that's a side path but that's not something you can do before monday. we should move on and declare that donald trump is the legitimate president and investigate that all americans can be sure that the next time we vote in 2020 is a free process and not tainted by outside appearance because the russians are not the only one that can interfere and by 2020 where technology will advance even greater. >> ambassador, thank you. joy reid is part of our discussions here. joy, lets face it, a lot of this got caught up in the russians hacking the election and it was the second half of the accidence, in order to ensure a trump's victory and in order to ensure that hillary clinton was defeated. the ambassador's point got us off the target of talking about warfare. the idea that the russians had a
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specific results in mind and that result then occurred. i think you cannot extra kate the two from one another. it is clear and we are reading more and more reporting about the personal vendetta between putin and clinton. this was not a generalized attack. by the way, our intelligence services service others western countries around the world that russia had its eyes on. there was a specific goal, too, that was to further the chance that donald trump who was clearly friendly to the putin government to get elected. i don't think donald trump could get away from that. i this i at the same time, you are now seeing and i cannot believe for the first time in my life i am going to agree with bill crystal. you have republicans going further than what mike mcfaul
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just said and even if they did not accept the russian hacking occurred, if it is, they think it is fine because you had a representative saying today that how horrible hillary clinton was. they're taking a step further of part of the response that they don't want the election of donald trump to be challenged but taking it further to some republicans and saying that the hacking itself is not important to investigate or not a big deal because hillary clinton who they see is so horrible was the target. that was a bridge way too far and certain point, americans and every political party have got to agree that we do not want a foreign power deciding or at least try to manipulate who'll be the president of the united states for very specific end. you got a $500 billion deal on the table with the man who maybe our next secretary of state at issues with exxon mobile. there is too much at stake and
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interference that we know about. we cannot criticize it because it calls into question of the election of the president. >> malcolm nance, do you agree with that especiall this cannot be entangled from politics? >> it can be entangled because it was a political warfare operation. i like to view these in terms of warfare. lets view the cyber operation and launching of the cyber warfare packages at the dnc, it has to have a battle damage effect. there must be a debt battle assessment and some results must come out of it. the only results that could ever come out of replicating water gate which is exactly what happened here. this is water gate 2.0. the dnc was broken into and files were stolen and used and created a political effect that was favor to a candidate that opposed hillary clinton.
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it does not matter if you think if donald trump could have been the nominee at that time or would not have been the nominee at that time. vladimir putin had his fingerprints on this early. december 2015, he was the first one almost endorsing donald trump by saying he's a colorful kind of guy and trump was commenting him throughout that period of time. these operations are not done for fun. they required more than one or two people. this by my calculations of the information warfare management cell that something everybody at the nca are lifting their heads. because you need human intelligence officers to understand how the person that you are handling is going to behave. you are going to need cyber warfare officers who are not just the people that's doing the hack and passing off the information, right? you have to have political officers from the foreign
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ministry who see how this plays out and then you have the pop began da who a propaganda who are monitoring it, three for 24 hours and one for days off in vacation. i have been involved in operations for this intensity and it requires an enormous number of people. but, all of that would had to be directed by the former director of the fsb, former director of intelligence officers and vladimir putin who would have seen the benefit of risking rush being detective in an operation of such magnitude that he knew that we were so politically divided that a russian operation and disinformation operation would be successful even if he did not get his man into place, he would have been successful enough to let it known. he's a player when it comes to
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using the warfare geagainst america. >> does the home team have everything you laid out that the russians are using? >> yes. >> there are tens of thousands of dedicated men and women who risked their lives everyday to make sure that we have capability. as i said earlier, we didn't use these stuff as a sniper bullet once every year. they use itd as part of their world. it is a hot and intergral component. we have people who are saying they would rather side with russia than with other americans who are of a different political bent, moscow's mission accomplished again. the only question was there any
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complicity in the side that benefited them >> how russia is referenced in the national conference. among incredible things happening. 2:30 p.m. here on the east coast, this was scheduled to begin at 2:15. we'll check back in when chris jansing says she had never seen the briefing room like this. we are hearing versions of the same things from people. it is packed to the guilds. we have two camera locations there. there is us here and in the front row. chris. >> reporter: yeah, this is, i am not giving you the cold shoulder, i have to stand side way and that's how packed it is. you can take a look around this room of people who are watching the press briefings know it well. but, there is also a door that goes in the hallway where our offices are and people pouring out in the hallway and all of
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them approved by this white house. you would not get this kind of turn out even for his last end of the year presence if it were not for the news that we are talking about here and people are here and how far will he go and what will he say and how much details will he go into exactly of what he plans to do in reaction to what has happened but, i think more than this, this could well be the last significant in all capitol letters act that he takes as president, i remember not so long ago when i was traveling with him in greece, he was talking about i am still president and there are still day-to-day actions that he has to take. we hear that reaffirm by josh earnest, this is one of those decisions that he's going to be making with great implications and implications for the here and now and a lot of pressure
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that he should have done something sooner. the implications of this are tremendous and the interest of this, judging by the crowd here, is equally tremendous, brian. >> chris jansing, this was set under way at 2:15. notably at 2:20 p.m., the washington post has posted an updated version of this story that had our attention for days. nbc news has sense confirmed what is contained in this washington post story, i will read you the lead fbi, director james comey and james clapper has backed the cia in part to
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help donald trump to win the presidency, according to u.s. officials. comey's support for the cia conclusion suggesting that the leaders of the three agencies are in agreement on russian intentions contrary of suggestions by lawmakers that the fbi disagreed with the cia. what can you add to this, kent? >> intelligence officials have confirmed this report to me. just a few days ago, we were understanding that the fbi were not on the same page. we got a good read out from intelligence officials about that. now, brendan, has written a memo
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that james comey was endorsing the notion that russia was intervening of the idea that endorsing donald trump. >> all right, thank you, katy tur is here with us covering the trump's transition as she covers the trump campaign. this is the point we heard people make over the past few days, especially ambassador mcfaul, donald trump should want this looked into and talk about as much as possible between now and inauguration day, you can see the natural effect that this caused us. >> the campaign does not want to talk about this. this is not a subject that they believe benefits them because ultimately it could end up under
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cutting the legitimacy of his presidency if somebody finds that it did affect negatively the outcome of the elections. the campaign has pushed back on this. this news under cuts one of their main arguments. >> of disagreements. >> yes, they were not in agreement of it. and why the cia was initially in disagreement with the fbi and they said oftentimes the cia was out in front and information flows in and more often, almost always, the rest of the intelligence dp intelligence getting on board. now, what we are seeing the trump team do is not argue that
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there was a hack, they are arguing the content of the hack and pointing to say, oh, look what we found out. they are waiting for what we can say was a shiny object. it is the consequences that we were able to find out and the consequences that we saw that the dnc was not playing fairly by the rules. the tables could turn and russians could decide the next election or the next election after that they adodon't agree h the republicans. they could decide we are going to try to hack into the rnc or certain republican officials accounts which they did try to do according to reports. they can use that against them in elections down the line. the problem that republicans are having with trump is that he
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does not necessarily have any commitment to the republican party. he's not necessarily a republican true and true like the others are. he's not going to be there potentially after four years or maybe after eight years. the rest of them could hold longer terms and the republican platform has been very strong against russia and very strong against putin and as senator john mccain has come out strong and same as marco rubio. what does this effect have down the line and that's why they need as president-elect trump to take it as seriously as everybody else. it is not just about the next four years or eight years. it is about the future of the country and how we hold our elections on both sides. >> michael mcfaul, ambassador. >> lets remember back in october when the fbi did not endorse that statement, you know, i was talking to my -- i saw a lot of friends in the white house at least for a few more weeks, the debate was not about the report,
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it was ironically that the fbi did not want to be saying something that may interfere the democratic process at that point. the debate, subsequently was about intent. that's not what the fbi did. i worked with both of these organizations intensely and given the jobs i had before. in my view, i think we have gotten too hung up on focusing on too much on intentions, we need to focus on the consequences and on that, does anybody seriously believe that the wikileaks data dump or the podesta dump had no effects on our elections. that to me is what they have been debating about and it sounds like they're coming to some agreement. >> michael mcfaul on the other
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side of our country. on the left hand side, you may have noticed, all the kr correspondents, standing straight and talking to the anchor. we are fallen of a two-minute warning period where the president will be emerging from the blue door from the briefing room and coming out of his opening remarks of his folder placing there. here we are coming up at 2:40 p.m. here is the president for his end of the year press conference. >> good afternoon. this is the most wonderful press conference of the year. i got a list of who's been naughty and nice to be called on. let me make a couple of quick points then i will take your questions. >> typically i use this year end
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to review how far we come, today, understandably, i am going to talk about how far we come over the past eight years. as i was preparing to take office, the unemployment rate was on its way to 10%, today is at 4.6%. the lowest in nearly a decade. we have seen the longest streak of job growth on record and wages have grown faster the past few years any time in the past 40. when i came to office 44 million people are unensured, today we covered more than 20 million of them. for the first time in our history, more than 90% of our americans are insured. yesterday was the biggest day ever for more than 600,000 people signed up to get covered. double production of renewal
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energy and enacted the most sweeping reform since fdr to protect consumers. none of these actions spite full growth as critics predicted. the stock market has nearly tripled. our business is bad at more than 50 million new jobs. last year, the poverty rate fell at the pastefastest rate. income gained at the bottom and the middle than those at the top. while we have done all this
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while cutting or deficits by nearly 2/3s and protecting growth in the middle classes. when i came in the office, we were in the midst of two wars and now nearly 180,000 troops are down to 15,000. osama bin laden rather than being at large has been taken off the battlefield along with thousands of other terrorists. over the past eight years, no foreign terrorists are attacked in our homeland that's directed over seas. we opened up a new chapter with the people of cuba and we brought nearly 200 nations together around the climate agreement that could very well save this planet for our kids. and, almost every country on
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earth sees america as stronger and respected today than they did eight years ago. by so many measures, the country is stronger and prosperous. it is a situation that i am proud to leave for my successor and the american people of the hard work you put in and the sacrifices that you made for your families and communities and businesses that you started or invested in and the way you looked at one another. i cannot be prouder to be your president. of course, at the top of this progress does not mean we are not mindful of how much more we need to do in the season, we are reminded that there are people who are still hungry and people who are still homeless and still having trouble to pay the bills or finding work after being laid off. the community that is are still mourning those are stolen from
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us by sense less gun violence and parents are wondering how to protect our kids. after i leave office, i intend to do goods across the others building on the progress that we made. around the world as well. hot spots where disputes have been entrapmentable and conflicts flaring up and innocence people are suffering and no more than this is terribly true than the city of aleppo. for years we worked to stop the civil war in syria and alleviate human suffering. it is one of the hardest issues that i faced as president. the world as we speak is united at the savage assault bs by the syrian regime on the city of aleppo. we have seen the surrounding and the seizing and starving and
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innocent civilians. we have seen targeting of humanitarian workers and medical personnel and entire neighborhoods against the rubble and dust. there is continued reports of civilians executed. responsibility for these brutally lies one place alone is this regime. we all know what needs to happen. there needs to be an impartial international observer force in aleppo. they can help coordinate, there has to be full access of humanitarian aid and as the united states continues to be the world's largest of the syrian people and there needs to be a broader seize power. that's what the united states is
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going to continue to push for, both with our partners and multi lateral institutions like the un. regret fully -- we are going to keep pressing the security council to help improve those who were in such desperate need and to ensure accountability including continuing to monitor any potential use of chemical weapons in syria. we are going to work in the un's general bassembly as well. that's why we'll continue to press for a transition to a more representative government. that's why the world must not overt our eyes to the terrible
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events unfold. the syrian regime and its russian and iranian allies are trying to confiscate the truth. the world should not be fooled. the world will not forget. so, even the season where the incredible blessings that we know as americans, are all around us, even as we enjoy family and friends and are reminded of how lucky we are, we should be reminded that to be an american involves bearing burdens of meeting obligations to others. american values and ideals are what will lead the way to a safer and prosperous 2017, both here and abroad. by the way, of our men and women
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in uniforms. i want to wish all of them a merry christmas and a happy new year. with that, i will take some question and i am going to start with josh letterman of ap. >> thank you mr. president, there is a perception that you are letting vladimir putin getting away. are you repairprepared to call president putin and of hillary clinton's loss. >> first of all, of the transition, we have done everything we can to make sure
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that it is successful and it will continue. there is been a few days since i last talked to the president elect of a whole range of transition issues. that cooperation is going to continue. there has not been a lot of squabbling. what we said is the facts based on uniform intelligence assessments, the russians were responsible for hacking the dnc, and that as a consequence, it is important for us to review all elements of that and make sure that we are preventing that kind of interference through cyber attacks in the future. that should be a bipartisan issue. and, of my hope is that the president elect is going to
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similarly be concerned of making sure that we don't have potential foreign influence in our election process. i don't think any americans want that. and, that should not be a source of an argument. part of the challenge that it gets caught up in the carry over from election season. it is very important for us to distinguish between the politics of the election and the need for us as a country both from a national security perspective but also in terms of integrity of our election system and our democracy to make sure that we don't create a political football here. now, with respect to how this thing unfolded last year, let's just go through the facts
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quickly. at the beginning of the summer, we are alerted to the possibility that the dnc has been hacked, i immediately ordered law enforcement as well as our intelligence teams, to find out everything about it and investigate it thoroughly and to brief the potential victims of this hacking, to on a bipartisan bases, the leaders of both the house and the senate and the relevant intelligence committees. and, once we had clarity and certainty around when in fact it happen happened, we publicly announced, in fact, russia has hacked into the dnc. at that time, we did not, any
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interpretations of why they had done so. we did not discuss of the effects of what it may be. we let people know and the public know. we did not and the reason we did not was because in this hyper partisan atmosphere at a time when my primary concern was making sure that the integrity of the election process was not in any way damage, at a time
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where anything that's said by me and seeing through the media lens, we are planning this thing straight, we are not trying to advantage one side or another, we are trying to let people know that this is taken place. if you started seeing effects on the election, if you were trying to measure why this was happening and how you should consume the information that was being leaked. imagine if we were to do the opposite, it would be one more political problem. part of the goal here is to make sure we did not do the work of the leakers for them by raising more and more questions right before the election was taken place, at a time when the president-elect himself was
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raising questions of the integrity of the election. finally, it is worth pointing out that the information was already out in the hands of wikileaks, that was going to come out no matter what. what i was concerned about in particular was making sure that was not compounded by potential hacking that could handle both counties and affect the election process itself. in early september when i saw president putin in china, i felt that the most effective way to ensure that, that did not happen was to talk to him directly. and tell him to cut it out that there will be some serious consequences if he did. we did not see further tampering of the election process but the leaks through wikileaks have already occurred. so when i look back in terms of
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how we handled it, we handled it the way it should have been. we briefed all relevant parties involved in terms of what was taken place. when we had a consensus around what had happened, we announced it not through the white house or through me but through the intelligence communities that carried out these investigations and then we allowed you and the american public to make an assessment as to how to weigh that going into the election. and, the truth is there was nobody here who did not have some sense of what kind of effects it may have. i am finding a little curious that everyone is acting surprised that this looked like it was disadvantaging hillary
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clinton because you guys wrote about it everyday. every single leak about every little -- juicy tidbit of political gossip, including john podesta's risotto recipe. this was an obsession that dominated the news coverage. i do think it is worth reflecting how it is that a presidential election of such importance of such moment with so many big issues at stake and such a contrast between the candidates, came to be dominated by a bunch of these leaks. what is it about our political system that made us vulnerable to -- um, to these kinds of manipulations which i said publicly before, we are not
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sophisticated -- these were not complicated espionage scheme, they hacked into some democratic party e-mails that contains pretty routine stuff and some of it embarrassing or uncomfortable because i suspect that if any of us got our e-mails hacked into, we would not want it to appear at the front page o ff a teleca or anything controversial about it. then it just took off, and that concerns me. it should concern all of us. the truth the matter is everybody had the information. it was out there and we handled it the way it should have.
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moving forward, i think there are a couple of issues this raises. number one, of the constant challenges that we'll have with cyber security throughout our economy and our society. we are a digitalized culture. there is hacking going on every single day. there is not a company or a major organization and there is not a financial institution and there is not a branch of our government where somebody is not fishing for something or trying to penetrate or put in a virus or malware and this is why for the last eight years, i have been obsessed with how we continually upgrade our cyber security system. this particular concern around russian hacking is part of a broader set of concerns of how do we deal with cyber issues
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being used in ways that can affect our infrastructure and affect our financial systems and our integrity of our institutions like our election process. a report from our cyber commission, that outlines a whole range of strategies it is widely dispersed and a lot of it is private and like the dnc, it is not a branch of innovate, we cannot tell people what to do. we can also do is to on a


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