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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  December 19, 2016 11:00pm-11:31pm PST

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tonight. appreciate it. >> thank you, lawrence. >> thanks, lawrence. >> >> msnbc's live coveragen continues into the 11th hour with brian williams. that's next. tonight, the death toll has risen in berlin after a tractor trailer drives into a crowd of christmas shoppers, igniting new fears of terrorism. and the assassination of a russian ambassador carried out on camera in front of reporters. how will putin respond? breaking tonight, the so-called red phone to russia. the white house warned the kremlin not to interfere in the election just days before the vote. and a definitive answer from the first lady about whether she would ever consider a run for the office. "the 11th hour" begins now. good monday evening. two separate attacks overseas today have our attention
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tonight, and has spread some prechristmas nervousness in parts of the globe. after an apparent terrorist attack in berlin, police in new york, chicago, and other major cities are upping security at high profile location. we have a live look for you tonight at the german capital where it's 5:00 a.m. investigators are still trying to learn more about the man behind the wheel of that tractor trailer that plowed through christmas shoppers and an outdoor public square. he killed at least 12 now, and injured an additional 48 according to police. witnesses describe the chaotic scene to reporters. >> people definitely got injured, yes. i spoke to two people lying on the floor with broken limbs but they were going to be okay. i saw one guy being dragged away with blood on his face. >> just crushing through people, it pulled the lights down, so it went dark. >> authorities say a suspect was
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apprehended nearby and a passenger in the truck was found dead. the dead man was from poland. the truck believed to have been hijacked, was also from poland. a statement from the white house reads in part -- meanwhile, in ankara, turkey, the assassination of russia's ambassador to turkey was caught on video. it happened while he spoke at an art exhibit. the gunman was behind him posing as a member of security. this happens fast and a warning here, it is graphic video. [ gunfire ] >> the dead man was the russian ambassador to turkey, andre karlov.
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his killer said "god is great. those who pledge allegiance to muhammad for jihad, god is great." switching to turkish, he then yeld "don't forget aleppo, don't forget syria." he then added "only death can take me from here." he was right. after wounding three other people and a standoff with police, he was shot and killed. the white house called the attack heinous and unacceptable, adding, we stand united with russia and turkey in our determination to confront terrorism in all of its forms. on twitter the president-elect responded to all of this saying, today there were terror attacks in turkey, switzerland, and germany. and it is only getting worse. the civilized world must change thinking. the attack in switzerland, trump was talking about, involved a gunman involving fire at a mosque in zurich. three people were injured according to swiss police. here with us tonight, a foreign correspondent for "the new york
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times" who just hours ago returned from iraq. she covered islamic extremism for a living. thank you for coming in tonight. a few things. number one, if you've been to berlin, everyone knows this location. this church, really the headquarters of western berlin, geographically, at least it feels like that, was allowed to stand after the allied bombing in 1943. it's been added onto, but it's such a dramatic kind of silent war memorial. and these church markets are ubiquitous in europe. they are a big deal. they start several weeks before christmas. so this was connected to that church. how high is the believability that this is terrorism? >> using a truck to plow down civilians is something we know that isis has very much championed.
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there is the nice attack on the promenade, and recently there's the ohio state attack. and just around thanksgiving in their english language publication, isis once again drew attention to this tile of attack and gave people specific instructions not just on how to do it, but the specific car they should use. they said it should be a truck, not a car, that it should be load bearing and double tired in the front to kill as many people as possible. so the mode of attack has the character of an isis attack. we won't know until they do claim it, if, in fact, they do. >> and imagine the nypd, they have a president-elect living in their midst when he's not in florida. on 5th avenue where city buses and some trucks are able to come and go. >> right, right. what we know from "the new york times" is reporting in berlin is that the driver of this truck jumped to the sidewalk, and so
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what's impressive is that even when you put barriers around these locations, these load bearing vehicles are able to -- >> we have to credit the u.s. state department. we don't make enough of these travel alerts. so americans traveling overseas are usually alerted to them. this was back before the holidays. the state department alerts u.s. citizens to the heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout europe, particularly during the holidays. "u.s. citizens should exercise caution at holiday festivals, events, and outdoor markets." and this today in berlin really combined all three of those. >> it did. in fact, if this does turn out to be isis, it will be at least the third such attack on a group or market. the first two were foiled. in france, a group of seven men were arrested just weeks ago. the french prosecutor told us they were planning an imminent attack. although they don't know if the
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market was one of the targets, there is suspicion that is what they were planning to do, because that's a popular market in that place. and in november, a 12-year-old boy in germany planted a bomb at another christmas market in germany. he was apprehended and the bomb was defused. but according to media reports, he was being instructed by an isis handler on how to make that explosive. >> let me ask you about the assassination in turkey. the gunman looked to everyone in the room, squared away, kind of the way you would look in a security detail. he was not connected to the ambassador, who apparently made the trip without a security detail. what does this do to things between turkey and russia? >> i'm sure it complicates it. again, in that situation, we don't have a claim of responsibility. and turkey is a very interesting case. although there have been isis attacks in that country, in
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general, isis does not claim them. there's a number of reasons why. turkey is sort of their rear base, and that's an attack if isis was behind it, we very much might see a situation where they don't claim it at all. however, i've been watching the chatter on the telegram groups that are allied with isis and al qaeda, and there's a lot more chatter on the al qaeda groups than the isis ones. and that's possibly because of references to aleppo. aleppo is a place where al nusiya, an al qaeda affiliate in syria has control. >> brooke, just back from another assignment in iraq, thanks for stopping in. we want to bring in a democratic congressman from california who sits on the house permanent select committee on intelligence. congressman, we have these two attacks today, very different,
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though, maybe some connective tissue. given your committee seat, were you briefed on either or both and can you add anything to the discussion you just heard? >> thank you, brian. and these types of attacks are becoming all too familiar. we mourn with our german friends who have mourned with us during dark days like this. i'll be checking in with the committee tomorrow. but these look just like what we've seen in nice, what we've seen at ohio state. and what concerns me right now is that isis and islamic terrorists are more coordinated than we are internationally to defeat them. and so as we see differences between russia and turkey and other countries failing to come together, isis has exposed that and continues to carry out attacks against our friends in western europe.
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>> looking at the berlin tractor trailer, it's so reminisce sent of nice and it's very rudimentary practices and methods. trucks are with us every day. they deliver most of the goods we depend on in life. is there any true way to police against a determined terrorist and civilians nearby? >> we know that al qaeda and isis have told their followers that this is a new method of attack. we have to become more agile. we have to learn more about who this individual is, you know, if it indeed was a refugee. we have to just continue to scrub our list here. god bless the men and women who protect us at those last points of departure. once you get to the united states, you don't need a truck. it's all too easy in the united states to get an assault weapon or dangerous weapon to carry out many of these attacks. >> back to the subject that's dominated the conversation over
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the past week in this country. the russian electronic interference in our election process, certainly into our computer systems. nbc news reported tonight a couple of new developments. number one, that the americans thought the attack we suffered on the internet on october 21st was a test run, a precursor. they thought worst case, the russians could bring down a power grid here and there on election day. so this nbc news report goes on that the u.s. used the so-called red phone, it's not actually a phone or red, but it's the live link opened up after the cuban missile crisis between our two countries. it says, message was transmitted telling the russians the u.s. would consider any interference on election day a grave matter. but our reporting goes on to say that the communication was somehow muddled, that we received kind of a proforma response from russia.
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>> russia's actions was not muddled. it was loud and clear what they were trying to do. they attacked us. i believe we responded too late, and what we can do now is to protect our democracy is to have an independent, bipartisan appointed commission. i have introduced legislation with congressman elijah cummings. i hope this is a republican and democratic effort, that outside ears and experts can look at and listen to the evidence. and then tell the american people what we can do to make sure this doesn't happen again. and brian, what concerns me is that the president-elect, who is not taking his daily presidential intelligence briefings, has just categorically disavowed the intelligence that points to russia. i think that reinforces why an outside commission is needed to look at this. >> are you buoyed by the fact that mr. mccain and mr. schumer,
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two men who can be polls apart politically, seem to agree on this one thing and this, of course, means it is destined for the new presidency to start out? >> their calls for investigation helps. leadership calls from the top, and so i believe mitch mcconnell and speaker ryan need to join this effort, so we can tell the american people what happened, who was responsible, and most importantly, to declare that we're never going to let our democracy get attacked like this again. >> there was a funning moment on "meet the press" sunday morgue. there's john podesta, the hack of his e-mails started a cascading process prior to the election. and he said his last and only meeting with the fbi, as of yesterday morning, that may change, was in the first week of october.
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he has not spoken with them since. does that alarm you? do you combine that with any other alarming facts that have emerged about the fbi of late? >> well, what really concerns me, brian, is that we knew back over the summer that russia had attacked us. we issued an october 7 declaration that responsible was responsible. that came from james clapper. yet we weren't doing anything to stop the leaks from happening. it doesn't appear until october 31 that president obama reached out to russia. most importantly for me, i'm concerned that we continued to see the dissemination of fake news, and that was perpetuated by multiple media outlets. and before it was too late, we saw president-elect trump elected. and now he is also failing to disavow russia.
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the only way to make sure this doesn't happen again is to have outside experts look at it, say who was responsible. sign off on that, and then i think have a fairer election in 2020. >> congressman eric swawell from california. congressman, thank you very much for joining us. after a break here, our new reporting tonight on what's happening inside trump world. this is "the 11th hour" on msnbc.
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president elect donald trump is now dealing with appears to be the first major deadly terrorist attack since he became the president-elect, and for a
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report tonight on all things trump, we welcome back to the broadcast washington post political reporter robert costa, who is also an analyst with us here. robert, good to see you again. welcome back. i guess standards of human decency and the geneva convention allow for you to take some time off after the campaign. but we have missed you terribly around here. first of all, this election was more or less made official today with the vote of the electors. there was a lot of talk about it. a lot of talk about lobbying efforts to get people to change their minds. is in the end, is it not true that hillary clinton had more electors defect than donald trump? >> that is the case, brian. president-elect trump today at his estate in palm beach, very elated. his people tell me about this victory, the expected victory in the electoral college. but a focus today on foreign policy, private meetings.
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vice president-elect pence met with henry kissinger, an acknowledgement that it's foreign policy that is now at the fore. >> we just showed the word landslide. mr. trump continues to use the word landslide. does it hold up to any scrutiny? >> secretary clinton certainly won the popular vote, no doubt about that. trump continues to hold publicly and privately that because he won over 300 electoral votes, in his mind that's a landslide. that's the phrase he has used. but a study of this analysis it's not one of the major 10 or 15 landslides we've seen. >> as we get ready for a new administration, it appearing an investigation will either be gearing up or already parts of it under way for the new trump presidency. then there are the confirmation of the cabinet nominees. it's been asked in public circles for the last couple of days, could john mccain end up being the democrat's firewall in
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many of these cases, the nominees the democrats are worried about? >> he certainly could. the arizona senator has become the leading hawkish voice when it comes to russia and vladamir putin. we see the democratic party becoming more hostile and hawkish to russia. so in these discussions here today on capitol hill, there's a sense maybe some hawkish democrats, senator mccain, senator graham, they can apply pressure on this incoming administration. until the republican leadership in the house and the senate, they start to push for a select committee, or mount an investigation on russia, it's going to remain at the committee level. >> can i ask you about three more elected republicans and ask you specifically what role is emerging for them? that would be speaker ryan, mitch mcconnell and mike pence.
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>> house speaker paul ryan has spent his whole life working at jack kemp's side, the late new york congressman, thinking about supply side economics. he's starting to piece through with his new chief of staff how to roll out tax reform, working closely. also repealing obamacare with the incoming health and human secretary. mcconnell is focused on the judiciary. there are a lot of openings for the administration. mcconnell is helping the trump administration fill in those gaps and personnel across the regulatory agencies. when you look at pence, he's someone who has been a steady hand, not lecturing the president-elect or chastising him behind the scenes but trying to help the president-elect get ready for governing and to understand congress. because trump is a total outsider. >> there was a nomination, at least informally filled today.
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and that was v.a. secretary to what appeared to be a pretty robust reception. >> we're seeing right now trump just filling out his cabinet. there's a mix of conservatives. with the v.a., there was a push to keep on mcdonald, but the trump team says they were looking for a new voice. >> and the secretary of the army is the nomination i was thinking of that came up. >> v.a. is still under discussion. >> and carlos saleem having lunch with donald trump? >> we reported that tonight at "the post." he's one of the world's wealthiest man. he's been in a feud with donald trump for years, going back to how slim broke with trump, but they had dinner, saturday night, trying to make some peace. trump has been so hostile to mexico. now he's warming relations. >> robert costa, we made him work hard on his first day back. thank you. appreciate you being with us
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from washington tonight. coming up, the question oprah had to ask michelle obama about the first lady's future. we'll bring you the answer right after the break.
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last thing before we go here tonight has to do with the last
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days of the obama family in the white house. tonight, we got to see oprah's exit interview with first lady michelle obama who talked about the long eight-year journey, including raising a family in the public eye, saying nothing of the significance of the first african-american family in the white house. michelle obama is a formidable presence, degrees from princeton and harvard law school. hugely popular, her initiatives have changed the public conversation, and her future appears limitless. so the question has to be asked, is a run for public office in her future? it came up tonight. >> would you ever run for office? >> no. >> no kind of office? >> no. look, that's one thing i don't do. i don't make stuff up. i'm not coy. i'm pretty direct. if i were interested in it, i
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would say it. i don't believe in playing games. it's not something i would do. but it also speaks to the fact that people don't really understand how hard this is. and it's not something that you cavalierly just sort of ask a family to do again. maybe because we got it wrong or we think we got it wrong, so it's like now you -- you just go back in there and do it. you're the closest thing to that, so you do it. but let me just tell america, this is hard. it's a hard job. i said it on the campaign trail. it requires a lot of sacrifice. it is a weighty thing. and it's not something that you even look to one family to take on at level for that long of a period of time. >> eight years is enough? >> and 16 years would be -- 16 years. i wouldn't do that to my kids. >> for all politicians looking for a way to say no, i'm not running for office, you can start there. michelle obama from tonight's broadcast, and that is our
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broadcast for this monday night. thank you for being here with us. "hardball" begins right now. the electoral college makes it official, donald trump surpasses 270 and wins the white house. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm joy reid in for chris matthews. a gunman shot and killed the russian ambassador to turkey earlier today. the attack was caught on camera as the ambassador was speaking at an art gallery in ankara. the gunman shouted in turkish "don't forget aleppo, don't forget syria." meanwhile, there was devastation at a christmasar

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