tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC December 30, 2016 1:00am-2:01am PST
crystal chandlers. this is according to "washington life" magazine. views of the river. tennis court and if you worked in the kremlin or russian government especially in the 1970s, getting sent to the u.s. was important assignment. post for top russian diplomats or any official that the russians wanted the u.s. to think was a diplomat. bought a similar facility in rhode island with a similar feature. hosted russians on assignment until today because president obama shut down for interfering in the u.s. election.
starting at noon tomorrow the obama administration is physically barring any of these russians from accessing the compound. state department saying used for russian personnel for intelligence related purposes. maybe something more than diplomacy. cyberespionage is by definition ephemeral. president obama's actions today are not. physical steps. brick and mortar if you want. starting with compounds but not ending there. also ordered immediate expulsion of 35 suspected psis and four top officers in a russian military intelligence unit. levied sanction against two suspected hackers on the fbi wanted list. last time u.s. government took these actions against russian was three months into the george
w. bush administration. >> president bush speaking out trying to keep u.s./russian relations on even keel after kicking out russian diplomats suspected of undercover activities. >> and now catching them in the act led the u.s. to act. >> russians strike back surprisingly fast protesting to the american ambassador and telling nbc news will kick out same number of americans from the agency there. retaliation for action today ordering four employees out of the u.s. within ten days. acting as contacts for ex-fbi agent accused of spying for russia. >> in that instance bush gave the russians several months to leave. obama is giving them three days. russian president vladimir putin
spokesman is saying will develop response and mirror the u.s. response and make the u.s. side feel uncomfortable as well. fbi and department of homeland security also releasing a 13 page report with documentation of what they call proof of how the rsians try to influence the election with cyberespionage. saying the actions not the sum total of the response to the activities. making this sweeping announcement today, striking back at russia for trying to meddle in the election. just 21 days before a new president takes office which is awkward because president obama is making a huge foreign policy decision but makes it more awkward, president-elect trump has basically repeatedly denied any russian involvement here.
>> i don't think anyone knee knows it was russia. saying russia. maybe it was, also china or other people sitting on bed that weighs 400 pounds. you don't know who broke into dnc. i notice anytime anything wrong happens they like to say the russians -- she doesn't know if it's russians doing the hacking. maybe there is no hacking but always blame russia and they think trying to tarnish me with russia. >> she doesn't know, who knows? but charitable that campaign talk and there's talk in both directions. hes wi he was running for president but this month after elected president. >> the cia has concluded that russia intervened in the election to help you win the presidency. your reaction? >> it's ridiculous, just another excuse. i don't believe it. i don't know why. and i think it's just -- they
talk about all sorts of things, every week it's another excuse. we had a massive landslide victory as you know in the electoral college, i guess the final numbers at 306 and she's at very low number. no i don't believe it at all. >> you say don't know why, do you think the cia is trying to overturn the results or weaken you in office? >> if you look at story and what they said, there's great confusion, nobody really knows and hacking is very interesting. once they hack, if you don't catch them in the act not going to catch them. no idea if it's russia or china or can be somebody sitting in bed someplace. >> no idea. could be somebody sitting in a bed. and just yesterday at mar alago. >> think about sanctions. >> i think get on with our lives. computers complicated lives
greatly. age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what is going on. >> nobody really knows what is going on. notice this is a device of donald trump's we're probably going to hear a lot. if you can maintain doubt about a problem's existence you're under less pressure to solve it. may not even be a problem. that's how climate change denial works. just flagging and understanding this trump trick, strategic ignorance if you like, can help inoculate against spreading. it's true that trump doesn't need to implement any policy until the 20th. but this may reflect the pickle he's in, cia's mount s evidence of sabotage and warm public embrace with putin. but administration not in the pickle. as evidence accrued moved from evidence to consequences. in other words instead of nobody
really knows, obama's position is we know. we're sharing some of what we know. and we're acting on what we know. so let's keep this contrast in mind. choice between we know and who knows. and keep it in mind as you hear what we have tonight. trump's brand new and curt reaction to the sanctions. quote, it's time for your country to move on to bigger and better things, nevertheless in the interests country and great people i will meet with the intelligence community next week in order to be updated on the facts of this situation. trump says he wants the facts of the situation. facts that are presumably part of the presidential daily briefs available to any president-elect. joining us now chief washington correspondent for the "new york times." thanks for joining us on a busy day. get to posture but first on the
policy substance, where do the administration's moves today rank in your view on what one can do diplomatically? >> could have done a lot more and one of the big questions is whether they came to this too late. many in the clinton campaign, many of president obama's own aides have said to me privately they wished they had taken the same set of actions when they were developing options in august and september and octobe the president was concerned about further russian reaction on election day trying to afbt the actual vote count. that did not happen but i think a lot of people will be debating whether he waited too long. then the question is -- >> let me ask you. driving for the heart. were today's measures punishments, deterrents or something else? >> i think three things. certainly an element of
punishment and had a little bit of air of old col war. we throw out 35, tomorrow they throw out roughly the same number. ignore for a minute the persona non grata is the bngs of the kploem ats. question is will the sanctions make much difference? i think the answer is more psychological than anything else. individual members of the military intelligence unit who don't travel to the united states much or keep money here. but could have symbolic importance. same for the companies. next question, is the president doing anything he's not announcing? as you suggested from reading the statement he's left open the possibility of covert action, presumably cyberaction. that will make you feel good and would be known to president putin and his close aides. whether it would have much
deterrent effect on the next country that might do something, chinese, iranians, north koreans, who knows who would be interested in the next election cycle, that's a more open question and may be one of the questions where the public deterrence does more than the covert. >> turning to dald trump's response. what do you make he wants a factual briefing next week? >> well, that's good. i'm a little bit surprised if he hasn't had one already. either as candidate or as president-elect. if you go back to the 2008 election cycle, when the chinese went into the -- both the obama campaigns and mccain campaigns, both of the candidates received pretty full fbi briefings about
what the chinese were doing. that was different in nature. pure espionage, not making it public the way the russians did here. >> bear with me david. there's another story here. if hadn't learned news of the sanctions big headline would be release of more specific evidence of the russians in the hacking. here's what kellyanne conway had to say last week. >> mr. trump is still skeptical the russians even involved, leaving aside whether it affected election or not. cia, fbi, director of the national intelligence and number of republicans saying it's clear that the russians hacked. as basic premise it's clear. mr. trump has said it's not the case. what does he know that all the intelligence officers don't know? >> john, where is the evidence? let's focus on the issue at hand. if the cia, director brennan and
others at the top are serious about turning over evidence to we the american people they should do that. show up when house intelligence committee invites them to brief them. but it's closed door meeting. not so exciting and tantalizing, can't leak to the media. if there's evidence let's see it. >> that was last week. today we got there 13 page fbi report on russian malicious cyberactivity which fbi and dhs assert they agree with the cia that russia engaged in the attacks. provides details on the tools, infrastructure used to compromise and exploit networks and end points associated with the election. be clear for anyone keeping track at home. not the report from the full investigation president obama has ordered. don't know results of that until probably next year but it's something real. fbi and dhs, details that showed
them this is russia behind the hack. what is your reaction to the report? >> frankly ari, i thought the fbi and dhs could have and should have gone considerably further than what they released today. for those of us following this story most of the year, there was little in the fbi report that you could not have gotten from the report turned out by crowd strike and by other private companies that do internet security, crowd strike is the group that had been brought in by the dnc after their hack. it confirmed the crowd strike conclusions but didn't get you where i think the u.s. government has got to be. let me explain what that is. the u.s. government presumably has, they're telling us they have, many forms of evidence that link these hackers to the
gru, and the fsb, two main russian intelligence services. and then take the next step to show that they are -- this whole that they are -- this whole operation was done with the knowledge and perhaps the direct orders of the kremlin, which is their code word for saying that this came directly from putin. that document that you're showing on the screen does not take you there. to get there, you would need to see evidence from implants that the nsa has with russian networks, intercepts from conversations, from reports of human spies and all kinds of other technical means that they would have there. that always sets up a fight between those who don't want to reveal the sources and methods and those who believe that you need to go out and make the case. and given the import of this and a president coming into, as you pointed out, has been highly
skeptical of it, my own view is that there's a greater burden for disclosure here. >> what you're saying is this next step here in that report gives you a kind of a summary or a flow chart but not the underlying materials that would actually be the dispositive truth. >> it doesn't tell you more than what "the new york times" had about the recent hack. >> you educate us a lot on, this i appreciate it. the fbi's view is there might be a lot of things out there that are true that people are piecing together. what they're saying matters partly because it's them, the source that they're willing to confirm what the government view is, but again not until we get a full report and the full accounts in public are we going
'tis the season for people on cable television to make predictions for the future. although i did spend much of my day imploring the magic eight ball in the office for what's ahead, i have only one prediction for you guys. we have a ton more news tonight. that is true. we have great people to talk to, always true on this show and the ranking democrat on the house intelligence committee and the woman who is about to run president obama's new effort, first big thing he's doing coming out of the white house, to do recovery, he says, for the democratic party. i predict all of that on tonight's show. stay with us.
right now we are four hours into a new cease-fire in syria, which somehow could mark a kind of a breakthrough in that nation's bloody six-year civil war. it would be easy to miss this story this week because u.s. news has been full of political sniping over our nation's potential role in negotiating peace between israelis and palestinians some day, a pretty aspirational discussion. meanwhile, other regional powers are actually at the table hammering out these deals in syria and they did it without any u.s. diplomats. instead the new syrian truce deal was led by turkish and russian diplomats and announced in moscow by vladimir putin. the kremlin saying the russian president broke word of the deal after speaking to syrian president bashar al assad by phone and paves the way to comprehensive talks in russia's state of kazakhstan. while some can argue that local players like turkey should be
involved than a more distant superpower like the u.s., you can remember that's an allegation that people in both parties were making while resisting further entanglement in syria, there are political ramifications here. russia announced it will only welcome the u.s. to their talks aftedonald trump becomes president and that was before the u.s. had this afternoon's big news, the series of sanctions against russia related to the hacking of the election and announcing the suspension of those 35 intelligence agents which we were just discussing with david sanger. almost immediately russia vowing to retaliate and pledging to cause that, quote, considerable discomfort in the same areas for the u.s. also russia's foreign ministry spokeswoman calls the white house occupants a group of foreign policy losers. ouch. because we live in a world where most grave issues are boiled down to internet snark, get this, russia's embassy london tweeting this attempt at a digital smackdown.
president obama expels 35 diplomats in cold war deja vu as everybody including the u.s. people will be glad to see the last of this hapless administration, end quote. but picture included, as you can see of a lame duck. ah, it rs the question, are you any good at diplomacy if you find yourself reaching for animal cartoons to pull off your latest russian burn? joining us now for a slightly more serious conversation is a ranking member of the house intelligence committee, california congressman adam schiff. good evening. >> good evening. >> i will not ask you to comment in any way on the duck tweet. what i will ask you is to pick up on some of what "the new york times'" david sanger was saying, many of these moves today are symbolic. is that your view?
>> they're meaningful. it's more than symbolic. it's a serious step to be dispatching 40 russian intelligence agents masquerading as diplomats in facilities of the united states, but nonetheless i would agree that the administration's going to need to do more. i think the congress will need to do more because i don't have that much confidence in the president-elect doing anything at all. if we're serious about deterring the russians, we'll have to make them feel some economic pain. the e steps that the administration is taking that it's not announcing today. those are covert steps to basically shoot across the russian bow, let them know that two can play at this game and there are things that we can do to make putin's life difficult and that of his cronies and those may have an equally deterrent impact. >>hat isour view of what that should look like? understandably, it's covert, so some of it's not going to be discussed. let's be clear about categories. if the idea is a proportionate response, certainly that
wouldn't automatically tampering with their election or the information used in their election and in past administrations and american history, efforts by the cia or others to interfere with other countries' elections democratically or otherwise are pretty widely criticized. >> no, you're absolutely right. no, we don't want to have the same response to what they did to the united states. they're doing a pretty good job of dismantling their own democratic institutions. the last thing we would want to do is to help them in any way. rather, we could take steps to expose, for example, the corruption of both putin personally and a lot of his cronies, the economic theft from the russian people. that's not something, frankly, that the incoming trump administration could easily undo. and that's something that would reflect badly, that would weaken putin. that's one potential step. there are a number of others that i won't discuss, but there's a wide range of things that i think we ought to undertake that the russians would understand exactly who was doing it and why, but they're not things that we necessarily need to broadcast. >> what is the key evidence that is still left to declassify on this, in your view? >> well, here's where i guess i
would part company with david and that is that we can make a clear showing of proof to the american people and we should share as much as we can but we're not going to burn our sources of information. we're not going to alert the russians to what our technologies are. that would certainly be in the russian interest. it's not in our interests. and this is why i think what donald trump is doing right now is so destructive not only to our own country but to success of his presidency. there will come a time when president trump is going to have to come before the american people and explain why he's going to take action vis-a-vis -- and it could be russian or china and he's not going to want to share that intelligence.
so for him to belittle the quality of the work intelligence community does will ultimately belittle his own presidency, his own effectiveness and call it into question. he's already, i think, damaging the country but he's also going to damage his own potential success. >> while i have you, there's another topic that's so significant but rarely discussed, something you have worked on, something rachel maddow wrote a book about. the expansion of the military powers of the united states absent any oversight or control. you have been advocating for some time that there should be a new authorization of force or one that actually condenses or cabins some of the u.s. footprint there. what do you think of that not having gotten traction with congress or either party? >> it's all the more important now. history will be very kind to the obama administration, but this is one area that it won't. that the administration didn't work hard enough with congress to encourage congress to pass a new authorization to use force.
i think the administration took the view, and i can understand it, that they shouldn't want this more than the congress because it's the congress' own institutional authority that's being eroded. and they were exactly right about that. but nonetheless, the administration's broad interpretations of these old authorizations going back to 2001 and 2002 are going to mean that donald trump can come into the oval office and can wage war just about anywhere as long as he claims it's against al qaeda or its successors and point to the obama administration as precedent. so that's a very dangerous thing. i think there may be a great many republicans now who wish they had been more serious about this issue also because they probably are going to have great concerns about donald trump having free rein to make war without the approval of congress. this is a real problem. i would hope that we'd get back at it again with a renewed determination because this could ultimately be a decision of war and peace. >> as you say, a president trump could point now to bipartisan,
look at what happened to the democrats in a couple of different ways. one, you could point out what a lot of people have said, democrats actually when you count it all up, won that popular vote by almost 3 million. their loss in the electoral college was a matter of just 70,000 votes in a handful of states. that's true. or you could look at something else that's true, democrats are in terrible shape in all the key states with republicans controlling most statehouses and governorships across the country, that's wider thatten -- than the presidential field. and something that president obama has been bearing down on and saying that's what he wants to work on as soon as he exits the white house. >> part of what we have to do to rebuild is to be there, and that means organizing, that means caring about state parties, it means caring about local races, state boards or school boards and city councils and state legislative races and not thinking that somehow just a
great set of progressive policies that we present to "the new york times" editorial board will win the day. >> that's a point president obama has repeatedly returned to. rebuilding the democratic party including a focus on red states. well, tonight we have an exclusive interview with the person who has just been hired to do that for president obama. she's my guest next.
one of the shocking facts that came out of this year's presidential election that remains shocking is that the president-elect who is taking office in 21 days did lose the popular vote by over 2.8 million votes. clinton with the edge in terms of votes by a lot. and that came, by the way, while she was the first female major nominee in american history and she got more votes. but that aside, the fact is everyone who plays this game
knows it's not about who puts more points on the board. it's just not. it's about where the points are. secretary clinton lost in the electoral college so she loses the race. proving once again the presidential election is not a true democracy, it is not decided by majority vote. we know that. the founders didn't design it that way. and by the way, neither is the senate. each state gets two senators no matter how many people live in the state, democrat or republican. so when you actually just think about it. the closest thing we have in our federal government to a democracy is the house of representatives. and then think about this. in recent years voting for your house of representative means voting in districts that actually look like this or this or this. we have republicans in large part to thank for many of the oddly-shaped gerrymandered districts popping up across the country after the 2010 census. to be clear, both parties do this, but the republicans have been doing it very effectively, part of an effort called the redistricts majority problem or they call it red map for short.
republicans poured money into local state and governor races so that when republicans won those local races they could then, as a very clear strategy, reshape the congressional districts to make sure democrats could get siphoned off into some wacky looking districts and republicans would then pick up extra wins elsewhere. in 2012 that effort paid off, but it was settle. look at this like this, president obama won his second term. democrats did keep the senate majority, but then in the house races where democrats won the popular vote -- think about that, 2012 -- more votes for democrats, 1.4 million. and nevertheless it was republicans who held on to the
house majority not be a little, not like the electoral college sometimes when it's close but with 33 seats. so while more people voted democratic, redistricting helped republicans hold that big edge in the house. it's a far cry from one man, one vote, a far cry from what we consider to be a democracy. but redistricting takes place every ten years. the next census is coming up in 2010, democrats now gearing up to fight back against what happened 2010. outgoing president obama and eric holder making redistricting reform their priority in the years ahead. holder holding a new democratic redistricting committee and the president's been briefed by that group's progress and how he can help flip those roll races from red to blue in the midterms to build for that 2020 map redraw. the idea is that republicans have been good at the redistricting game. some liberals have been complaining and they reply by
saying don't hate the player, hate the game. now democrats are trying to change the game and this obama/holder group just announced their op to run it. you don't see her doing the pundit laps on television, but she did come out of the network for her first interview since being named for this post. kelly ward. ms. ward, thanks for joining us for the interview. >> thanks, ari. it's great to be with you. >> what is the plan? >> well, as you said, democrats are preparing to fight back. this is the first time that democrats have come together to have a comprehensive strategy focused on redistricting. and how we can make sure democrats are at the table as decisions are being made and that we have a level playing field on which democrats can compete. it's also the first time that we have had an entity within the democratic party solely focused on redistricting. meaning, we're pulling together all of the different house and senate and legislative leaders of our party, but we, the national democratic redistricting committee, will be solely focused on our redistricting strategy a hundred% of the time from now through the redistricting process. >> and how is president obama involved in this?
>> well, as your previous clip showed, he is very committed to rebuilding the party from the ground up and that includes the local races, the legislative races, it also includes making sure that redistricting happens in a fair way. we've seen republicans rig the system with their gerrymandering, often illegal gerrymandering. president obama knows firsthand the impact of that. he's been dealing with a congress where the tea party republicans elected in these very conservative unfair districts have a stranglehold on the process and where they have made obstruction their entire strategy against him. and their gerrymandering is part of why they're doing that and how they're maintaining that control. so he has seen firsthand the impact and now we're thrilled as a democratic party and for our country that in his post-presidency he's focusing on this and making it a priority.
>> yet the flip side which people who are in the democratic party sometimes talk about and certainly a lot of progressive reformers talk about is just adding more gerrymandering isn't necessarily good and some democrats have cottoned to that. take a look at, for example, the florida fifth district, this is karim brown drawn in a weird way. that is not contiguous, not a community, nothing you'd draw like that. but brown fought to keep it that way after the republicans redrew it that way. are you also going to be defending those kind of maps? >> well, our goal is to make sure that the process is fair, that democrats have a seat at the table and that democrats can compete on a fair playinfield. and we have not seen that because of the republican gerrymandering. and florida is a perfect example of this. the florida voters passed an initiative giving the
legislature boundaries for drawing the maps and the republican legislators completely ignored those regulations put on them by the voters and passed what was then later determined to be an illegal map. and in fact, four of the nine seats that democrats picked up in the house in 2016 were because of redistricting lawsuits that overturned illegal republican maps including in florida. and we know that when that happens, democrats do better, democrats normally pick up more seats when the process is more fair, democrats do better, and that's really our goal. and that's what we'll stay focused on. >> right. you're almost getting a the fact that just a return to a more majority rule system would be beneficial to the democratic party and defensible to those thinking about it ethically if it idemocratic and not sort of rigged. kelly ward, interim executive direor of the redistricting committee. it's a mouthful. it sounds more boring than it is important, yet i think we've discussed why it is important. thank you for joining us tonight. >> thank you for having me.
one of the things they do in preparation for new year's eve in times square every year is the organized test of the confetti. today people stood on top of one of the marquees in times square and they did a test run to make sure the confetti would flutter properly. that's important. the good news is it worked. we are a go for new year's eve here in midtown new york, at least from a confetti perspective. just to be safe tune in at midnight on saturday to see if it goes as planned. what about tonight, though? we do have something just as good. tonight on this network we'll do a special reair of rachel's one on one interview with kellyanne conway talking about everything from nuclear policy under trump to his relationship with the press or a relationship that includes the first lady suing a news outlet based on their
coverage. >> every president, not only in the modern era, every president back to the beginning of newsprint has believed that the president has lied about them and has hated the press and against the press. i've never seen a first family, a president or his family members trying to put newspapers out of business through -- >> he's not trying to do that. that is not her lawsuit. her lawsuit is suing someone, g a publicion that lied about her. >> are they going to do -- >> are people going to stop lying about them? she didn't file the lawsuit as the first lady. she has a right -- are people going to continue to loy about her? >> presumably the first family will continue to believe that people are lying about them. all presidents do. if somody lies about the first family, you see it as a lie, would you want that news
enterprise to be gone in punishment? >> no, of course not, no. >> this conversation that we just had will be taught in journalism classes. >> in journalism classes and in law schools. so who needs confetti when you have that admit night tonight. midnight tune in or set your dvr. either way, do not miss it.
>> i can't. i can't. energy. it was department of energy. rick perry later clarified that was a department he wanted to eliminate. and you could feel bad for him. he was so committed to the goal, maybe he'd already omitted it from his mind. but folks, it could be the eighth sign of the political apocalypse, he may have forgotten the name of the department of energy because it sounds sort of vague and forgettable. would he have forgotten the name, though, if it was the department of nukes? we're not just asking. it very well could be named that. half of the energy department's budget, it turns out, is devoted to the u.s. nuclear weapons program, collecting data, inspecting the actual warheads, ensuring the safety of the weapons and promoting federal non-proliferation around the world as a u.s. government goal. in fact, since 1998, no country
except for north korea has conducted a test. but now, president-elect trump talking about expanding our nuclear capability and there is a question whether we would start testing again, under the guidance of someone with, to be accurate, very little scientific background and no experience with the nuclear issues that make up about half of that department. one was a nobel prize in physics in 1997 and has been telling the "new york times" about that, that being a physicist does help manage the job of nuclear secretary. if people are talking to a non-scientist, people might be of tempted to b.s. him.
for a holiday week, we've had a lot of news, president obama announcing those sanctions against russia, the new report from fbi and dhs on why ey ink russia was behind it all. a lot ofs for what was supposed to be a sleepy thursday before new year's. after we finish, our colleague, lawrence o'donnell will have stories on this, including nicolas kristoff from the "new york times." you may say, how many people does it take to put on a show. you see rachel, guest hosts like me come in sometimes, mostly, though, it is a fact, this show depends on a lot of people who usually go unnamed except for once a year when we roll the credits here as a way of saying
back on monday for the start of 2017. that does it for our show, you can always e-mail me at ari @msnbc.com. it's a back and forth between president obama and vladimir putin. the united states has slapped russia with new sanctions in the wake of cyber attacks. now russia is vowing to respond. police in new york city gearing up for an unprecedented security on new year's eve to keep people safe during celebrations. plus, heavy snow has buried parts of new england and there could be more on the way as a fast moving nor'easter rolls through.