tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC January 6, 2017 1:00am-2:01am PST
that was a tongue twister. katherine clark was great. >> she was great and the rachel maddow does start right now, too, so you didn't tongue twist that at all. here i go. >> thank you. and thanks to you at home for starting up and staying with us for the next hour. there's a lot going on tonight. we've got two excellent experienced life-long journalists here tonight as our guests which is really good because this is a night when there seems to be a lot of news breaking into the evening hours. at just about 7:00 eastern time tonight we got a surprise out-of-the-blue announcement that former cia director james woolsey has abruptly quit the donald trump transition team. mr. woolsey had been on the trump transition, we had no advanced word that there was anything wrong in that relationship or he might be on his way out. he was on tv as recently as yesterday speaking for the incoming administration, defending them on various matters related to his area of expertise. but for whatever reason abruptly and with no notice tonight james
woolsey has quit the trump transition saying it's effective immediately. they're not saying what it's about but that, of course, has led to lots of speculation. again, he's a former cia director and today was a high-profile day for the nation's spies. heads of the nation's intelligence agencies testified about russia's cyber attacks on the american presidential election. "nbc nightly news" reported the russia attack also apparently targeted the white house and the joint chiefs of staff in addition to the offices of the democratic party. the "washington post" is reporting late tonight that the intelligence community has direct intercepted evidence of russian officials celebrating our election results, celebrating donald trump's win over hillary clinton as a victory for russia. so that's breaking and developing news tonight on that subject.
there's some additional threads of that story that are continuing to break into this evening. we'll have andrea mitchell here shortly with the latest on that. but, you know, it's not always mainstream media and nationally known hard-working journalists with a lifetime of pushy experience under their belt who end up bringing you the most important news in a particular news cycle. sometimes even the biggest political scoops related to a presidential election can come from not where you'd expect but actually some pretty low-brow sources. it was the supermarket tabloid the "national enquirer" that broke the news a couple months ago that hillary clinton had been caught on camera having a seedy romp at this motel. the "national enquirer" broke that news the week of the election. actually, to give them their credit they had quite a bit. they had quite a bit of new
stuff. they had a whole bunch of scoops just on that one cover that one week. there's the seedy romp caught on camera at this motel, roughly identified in the picture by the sign that says "motel." they also broke news on the same cover that hillary clinton was not just having a seedy on-camera romp at this motel, it was a gay seedy romp at this motel because apparently hillary clinton is gay. at least she's gay when she's at that motel. also same cover, yet another scoop, hillary clinton is hooked on drugs, hillary clinton is hooked on narcotics. also same cover, yet another scoop, hillary clinton blackmailed the fbi. in a back room deal to avoid prosecution. that's a lot of news to break on one $1.95 cover. if you notice, though, the red banner at the top, this scoop-filled cover, that issue of the "national enquirer," wait, there's more. that was only one part of a two-part "national enquirer"
exclusive scoop about hillary clinton having a secret hit man. see? part two of clinton hit man's explosive tell-all. part one of hillary hitman tells all was the previous week, that was the explosive story that will change the election. that was about her top-secret file of 24 years worth of coverups and crimes. the "enquirer" got their hands on that file, they got the hitman to reveal the smoking gun proof that hillary clinton bribes reporters, that hillary clinton had her hitman pay hush money to hookers. hoo boy. leading up to the election it was something else. we're used to the "national enquirer" being celebrity divorces and who's too fat and who's too skinny and everybody's always on the brink of dying. but starting this past summer, starting in the heat of the
general election, this nationally distributed low-brow high-profile supermarket tabloid, they really stopped doing most of the other stuff that they do and they became full-time full-boir this. corrupt? >> breaking news, new fbi indictment. really? a new one? what was the first one? also hillary failed secret fbi lie detector, the shocking bribe. donald trump's revenge on hillary and her puppets. you see the inset there? that's muslim obama, little bloomberg, weird tim kaine. in case you don't want to bother reading this particular expose, they pretty much nut it up on the cover there in the red dots, mob connections, shady billion dollar deals, gay double life. there's the gay thing again. gay is the least of her problems because by the end of next week, look, hillary clinton gained 103 pounds. she's eating herself to death.
poor bill, bill will be dead by election day. actually, no, wait, a couple weeks later she's the one who will be dead by election day and the reason they know this is, one, obviously, look at her but they at the "national enquirer," they say they obtained exclusively revealed at last her full medical file. revealed at last. hillary clinton who you can see from this obviously unretouched photo she's already dead, maybe. they had to dig her up to take that picture. she's definitely suffering from alzheimer's disease. even still, though, even though she's probably already dead and has alzheimer's, she's probably still a threat with her violent rages and all and shi has 10 deadly secrets every american must know. so this dead late di is a threat. not to put to fine a point on it, the "national enquirer" finishes that off with "jail clinton now." just a fire hose of this stuff heading into the election and mostly it's this kind of unbelievable hit stuff on hillary clinton.
corrupt! racist! criminal! that was the "national enquirer's" election eve special. that's what they put in supermarkets across the country as people are going to vote. you get a sense of how they tweeted clinton. but it was also at the same time this. did you know donald trump did release his tax returns? he did because the "national enquirer" has them. the documents america has been waiting to see. you might have heard that donald trump didn't release his tax returns but that's just a hillary ugly smear campaign that has now fallen apart because the "national enquirer" is publishing his tax returns. and incidentally he really is worth $10 billion. donald trump tax returns, the "national enquirer's" world exclusives. supermarket tabloids being weird or outrageous or fantastically false is, you know, it's like reporting the sun rises in the east. i know. >> but with the "national enquirer" specifically, there's
something going on here, right? i mean, all that stuff that i just showed you was leading up to the election. right up through election eve. since the election it's been this. "trump takes charge." "success in just 36 days." he smacked down arrogant china, he saved jobs. then it says "what's next? peace between israel and its enemies." obviously. meanwhile, up in the left-hand corner there, poor 117 pound bill clinton he may have beaten alzheimer's and parkinson's which they said was killing him a few weeks ago but he's dead again, this time he's caught the cancer. these are the kinds of pictures they run of bill and hillary clinton and look at the pictures they run of donald trump. that's november 28, december 5, december 12. and actually this is what's on newsstands now.
look at that. if it's starting to seem like this is not just a bizarre turn for this supermarket tabloid that was going to last the duration of the election. it seems like this is a new trump news out let indefinitely now. look at this which they published since the election. "muslim spies in obama's cia." "infested." that's a nice term. "infested. 55 double agents exposed." right under that it says "why we must not stop water boarding or close guantanamo." and in the lower right-hand corner "secret list of traitors inside." the muslim spies in obama's cia. it's not just for the election, it's apparently for governing, too. trump media strategy is basically to avail itself of what is an alternate parallel universe to traditional journalism. and we have talked about this over the course of the campaign in terms of, like, fake stories and social media stuff and using social media and stuff but a lot of the beltway discussion even now continues to be just about
how mystifying we all apparently find it that he will continue to tweet in his unpredictable misspelled helter-skelter way. yeah, he's going to keep tweeting. but the tweeting isn't all of it, his media strategy really is also this stuff. the "national enquirer" is ridiculous. it is exactly what you think it is. donald trump did not release his tax returns to the "national enquirer" or anyone. the "national enquirer" did not obtain hillary clinton's full medical file which shes she has alzheimer's and violent rages, nor is cher dying, broke, or alone, nor was ted cruz's dad linked in the jfk assassination. in this universe, the "national enquirer" is ridiculous. it's a laugh out loud diversion. but not to our new president. >> there was a picture on the front page of the "national
enquirer" which does have credibility and they're not going to do pictures like that because they get sued for a lot of money if things are wrong, okay? a lot of money, and there was a picture, all i did is point out the fact that on the cover of the "national enquirer" there was a picture of him and crazy lee harvey oswald having breakfast. this was a magazine that, frankly, in many respects, should be very respected. i mean, if that was the "new york times," they would have gotten pulitzer prizes for their reporting. i've always said why didn't the "national enquirer" get the pulitzer prize. >> one of the new depths of field on which we need to train our focus for this new era that we're in now is their strategy, the new administration's strategy around media management. it's different. it's really different. other presidents have tried to change the tradition ol politician relationship with the media. president obama talked to comedians, right? and taed to youtube stars.
president george w. bush and his dad both did lots and lots of really right wing talk radio. go back to the fireside chats of fdr, you will find presidents either trying to reach people through non-traditional elements of the media or find ways around the media in a way that best suits their purposes as president. but there is going to be something different and it's not just the tweeting. there's old school elements to the very different media approach the trump administration is taking and it's important in terms of thinking about how they're going to wield power and get their way. he did put a guy most recently in charge of a fringe right wing web site not just in charge of his campaign but in the oval office at his chief strategist. that continues to matter in terms of how they operate. they are using supermarket tabloids that have huge distribution. and their covers are in every grocery store in america whether or not you buy them. they are using this thing against their political enemies and to promote their political selves.
and tonight, as we get ready to talk to a couple of great journalists here on this show, people who have meant a lot to me in my own career, people who outlasted all sorts of ups and downs in this business we're in, i just want to stick a pin in this particular dynamic with this new administration because i think it's worth keeping in mind as a lens, as a way of focusing on what's about to happen. next week we are about to get a real charge in terms of the aggressive and sometimes weird ways this new administration manages media. on tuesday night next week you've heard president obama wille giving his farewell address, his prime time farewell address in chicago. that tuesday, as far as we know, that will be the first day of the jeff sessions confirmation hearings, this incredible controversial confirmation hearings for him as attorney general. the following day, wednesday of next week, january 11, that will be the second day of the jeff sessions confirmation hearing. that same day will be the confirmation for the man they nominated to run the cia, it will also be the confirmation
hearing for betsy devos, a very controversial nominee to run the department of education, also the hearing for john kelly, his hearing is supposed to be the place we debate building the wall and other immigration proposals of this administration. only the same day, that's the day mitch mcconnell's wife elaine chao will have her hearing. it's also the day rex tillerson will have his confirmation hearing. there are six mega confirmation hearings called for the same day. all called for wednesday and on that same day the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell has scheduled what they call a vote-a-rama which means a million different votes on a million different amendments on their budget legislation. that includes the first votes on repealing obamacare. that will happen in the senate on the same day and on that same day we now know we are going to have the first press conference from the president-elect since july, since he invited the russians to hack hillary clinton's e-mails back in july. he hasn't done a press
conference since then but he's going to do it now. that day. you see what they're doing here? and the democrats are going to try to slow these things down, presumably they will appeal to spread these things out so they don't happen on one day, but what this is is an aggressive media strategy. it's an aggressive political strategy to schedule almost all of the most controversial things that will happen in the confirmation process to all happen simultaneously. while we are basically guaranteed that probably none of them wilt any media coverage whatsoever because all of those hearings, as controversial as they may be, all of them will simultaneously happen and they will all simultaneously be blotted out in the media by the fact that donald trump will be doing his first live press conference in seven months. and you may think it's weird for me to describe that as a media strategy, the way they have stacked those individual things on top of each other all for the same day.
i mentioned at the top of the show that nbc news broke the store they the intelligence review of the russian cyber attack on the united states includes evidence the russians didn't just target the democratic party, they also targeted the white house and the joint chiefs. the "washington post" further reports tonight that the review includes evidence of russian officials celebrating donald trump's election victory as a win for russia. well, now we are also getting reporting that the intelligence review has found the link, the link between the russian government hacking those
documents, hacking those servers, hacking those sources of information in the united states, they found the link between the russian government and those documents getting to wikileaks, which is how they got released into the u.s. bloodstream. there's a lot of developing stories in this particular topic tonight as they intelligence review is briefed to the white house, is going to be briefed to the president-elect and is going to be briefed to the rest of the country next week. we have the latest on that with oh, look... ...another anti-wrinkle cream in no hurry to make anything happen. neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair works... ...in one week. with the... fastest retinol formula available. it's clinically proven to work on fine lines and... ...even deep wrinkles.
we have the latest on that with andrea mitchell next. as i mentioned, we're having some developing stories that continue to break new details throughout the evening tonight, a lot of them related to the intelligence review of the russian hacking to the american election. just as we were coming on the air, we got news former cia director james woolsey tonight has abruptly quit the trump transition team with no explanation. he was on tv as recently as yesterday speaking in his capacity as part of the transition and giving the trump transition credibility in terms of having a former cia director on their side but apparently that's done and he's not explaining why. also tonight, we're getting our first bit of reporting into the intelligence community's investigation into the russian hacking which was requested by president obama after the election. that report was presented to
president obama today. while director of national intelligence james clapper testified to congress about what the russians did. director clapper will personally brief the president-elect, mr. trump, on this new report tomorrow. "nbc nightly news" reports that this report contains evidence that the russia attack didn't just target the democratic party, it targeted institutions including the white house as well as the joint chiefs of staff. the "washington post" reporting that intelligence agencies intercepted communications after the election in which senior russian government officials were heard celebrating and congratulating themselves on the outcome of the american presidential election, celebrating donald trump's win as a victory for russia and congratulating each other as russian officials for their role in it. now in addition to that, the "washington post" and nbc news say the report includes evidence that the actors have been identified who delivered the stolen democratic e-mails, stolen by the russian
government, they think they've identified basically the couriers, the way those pieces of information were delivered from the russian government to wikileaks. president-elect's going to get this full over 50-page-long classified report delivers to him tomorrow. we'll get an unclassified version of it next week but we're getting a bunch of details tonight. joining us to make sense of this isndrea mitchell, c news chief foreign affairs correspondent host of "andrea mitchell reports." andrea, i know you were at the senate, thank you for staying up late to be with us tonight. appreciate it. >> sure thing, what a day. >> it's nuts. stories continue to develop through the evening. what do you think is most important in terms of what we've had basically leaked, what we've learned what's in the intelligence report? >> well, from the hearing itself to get back to basics, james clapper who is celebrating 53 years as a spy and has 15 days to go and is counting the days until he's out, he'll be leading
the brief of donald trump tomorrow and he said what he has learned since october 7 when he and homeland security secretary jeh johnson jointly declared the -- their conclusion that this was done by russia at the highest level which is only means one person, vladimir putin, that back on october 7 that he is now more certain that they have collected more information or done more analysis since thin and that it is more authoritative, more conclusive than before. lindsey graham said to me today he's a thousand percent sure that no one who has been briefed on this disagreed with the conclusion and it was rare unanimity in that hearing today. very little dissent that it was russia. varying degrees and some dissent as to how much donald trump's criticism of the intelligence agencies should be faulted, clearly there was a partisan devise on that to a certain extent but republicans are very uncomfortable about it, many of
them, t don't want to be overtly criticizing the president-elect so they would more focus on russia which is a sort of unifying factor here. so for donald trump to disagree with the conclusions tomorrow would be startling but that's what they're bracing themselves for. now a little bit of context for what's been reported out of what this report will be. the report goes all the way back to 2008, 2012. it goes back to a lot of things we have reported and knew previously about russia's hacking. we knew the state department computers were shut down in june of 2015 because of russian hacking. we've known a lot about this before. and what john mccain said in the opening statement is we know the joint chiefs and the white house
and state department have been hacked in the past by russia. what hadn't been reported before is that this is going to be combined in the report and what is new in the reporting on "nbc nightly news" by hallie jackson tonight was the motives involved as well. that putin had a grievance against this administration going all the way back feeling he was being delegitimized by barack obama. ironies abound. >> andrea, we've seen evolving explanations from the president-elect and his team in terms of why they don't buy it. it was initially they sa that the intelligence agencies weren't on the same page. it's clear they are now on the same page. then they said they'd release -- they had released no evidence to prove their case, they have obviously over the holidays and with this new report are releasing tons of evidence to prove their case. we got word from the president-elect, strangely, over the weekend, that he had secret information that nobody else had that would be revealed on tuesday or wednesday and that that was why he didn't believe that russia was behind the hacking. since then we've had him take shots at the intelligence community, going so far as to put the word "intelligence" in scare quotes as if it's not real
intelligence and in the "wall street journal" we've had a report they're planning on not just continuing to disparage the intelligence community but take it apart. maybe get rid of the director of national intelligence and slim down the other agencies, saying the agencies can't produce anything useful because they're corrupt or politicized. this evolving -- these evolving explanations and excuses, do they run out eventually? we see it as an infinite process and they'll never accept the conclusion? >> we should bring our viewers into the circle of how difficult it is and will be to cover this administration so far at least. because for one thing, donald trump tweeted a tweet yesterday that was almost universally interpreted to mean he was siding with julian assange the
fugitive founder of wikileaks and public enemy number one considered by the intelligence agencies for that huge dump starting with chelsea manning and then today said that that was a media lie, that he was not siding with assange at all and that he's a fan of the intelligence agencies so was he dialing that in anticipation of tomorrow's report or is he going to load it up tomorrow? sean spicer said the "wall street journal" report is 100% incorrect and there are a lot of people within the intelligence community who would like to see some reordering of the post 9/11 reforms, quote/unquote reforms, and that perhaps dni is too bureaucratic so there should be an assessment, a lot of people say, after they are in office and can take a close look but not before and not when it seems to be a brushback pitch against the intelligence briefers who will be visiting with him tomorrow. i have learned they are going to be briefing the gang of eight, which is not as sinister as it sounds. it's the bicameral bipartisan
intelligence leaders, both houses, democrats and republicans, they'll meet secretly with clapper and comey and the others tomorrow morning before they fly to new york for this briefing which, again, i have been told was scheduled for at least a week to be tomorrow, not as donald trump had tweeted and suggested was being delayed so they could firm up their evidence. this is messy stuff and do you believe the "wall street journal" reporting, some of which we heard independently or do you believe sean spicer's strong denial and what's going to come next? it's a very confusing bit but we hope the declassified version will at least give us more clarity. >> that's right. and it's one thing to parse different people who are supposedly on the same team saying different things. it's another thing when the principle, when the president-elect says things that contradict his own self. andrea mitchell, chief foreign affairs correspondent, always great to have you here, andrea. >> thank you.
>> it's been one of those days where the news doesn't stop to collect itself before it jumps on the next news story. we have another excellent journalist here tonight who i'm excited to introduce you to. stay with us. you know, in any job, any profession, image matters. i want some gray...but not too much. only touch of gray uses oxygen to gently blend away some gray, but not all for that perfect sa and pepper look. satisfaction guaranteed. just you and the look you want. just for men touch of gray
going to make. i don't know. i don't think you know. a question a lot of people ask is do you know? >> that was the question back from the secretary of state, but if that one felt like a twinge, the outgoing vice president today got asked about the president-elect tweeting insults at congressional democrats. it didn't end before he started to answer himself. >> time to be an adult, you're president. >> that's more ahead tonight, stay with us.
almost everybody who watches tv watches it on tv. or at least on some sort of screen, right? on your phone or something? at some point, you may find yourself with the opportunity to watch tv in person where the tv show is filmed. and if you ever do get to attend the taping of a tv show, the first thing you will find that
the studio looks really different in person than it does on tv. for example, behold! look how much space there is around me! you could fit, like, many elephants in here. smallish? smallish, friendly elephants, but still, it doesn't seem like that, right? tv studios are tricky, tv studios are expensive and right now this company is building a brand new studio in washington, d.c. for a new show that starts on monday. monday, it starts monday, today is thursday. look. this is the progress of the new studio as of today. ahh! hurry up you guys. but also, hold that thought. in covering the ories of
we love our archivists, we love our archives, we love showing news footage and historical footage from the dawn of news. we play a lot less contemporary news coverage on this show. i know a lot of other shoes do it, but i don't end up showing a lot of "here's a thing somebody said on tv last night." it just doesn't come up that often on this show. one thing i have noticed, though, over the eight years or so that we've been doing this show is that when i do use contemporary footage, when there's no other way to tell the story without showing you what just happened on somebody else's tv show, that footage disproportionately and by a mile tends to come from one place -- it has come from one show, hosted by one particular person who we've used footage from over and over and over again. mr. gingrich appeared on greta van susteren's program at fox news. >> what would you do about libya? >> exercise a no-fly zone this evening.
>> foreign policy pronouncements like this one that he made this week with my friend greta van susteren on fox news. >> bring isis to the table or beyond that defeat isis very quickly and i'm not going to tell you what it is tonight. >> why won't you tell us? >> i'll tell you why, because i don't want to, greta. >> donald, why don't you tell? >> that baffled even the usually unflappable greta van susteren at fox news. >> that combination is causing a problem at social security. >> you don't think that's weird? >> greta in the background saying "that's a little weird." donald trump speaking tonight with my friend greta van susteren on the fox news channel. >> donald, you issued a statement there should be a complete shutdown of muslims entering the united states. is that your view? >> absolutely. >> this was one of my all-time favorite greta moments from when she was on fox. >> i know that at least 10 isis fighters have been caught coming across the mexican border in texas. there's nobody talking about. >> it how do you know that? >> because i've asked the border patrol, greta.
>> and the border patrol just let isis members come across the border? >> if you want to count on your fingers how many times we on this show have played clips of greta van susteren over the years, you could not do it. you need like four extra hands. and i know everybody thinks that various news outlets and news networks are at each other's throats, particularly between fox and msnbc we must hate each other's guts, but you know what? greta van susteren is great. she is. she has an uncanny ability to make newsworthy things happen when the red light is on the camera and she is on tv talking about the news. she can get anybody to talk to her. she has reported from all over the world. she had a decade at cnn, 14 years at fox. she's also outside this building one of the single-most decent and genuine and honorable people i have ever come across in this business. and this that i just showed you a minute ago, this is her new studio. she starts here at msnbc 6:00
eastern on monday night. and i could not be happier about it. joining us now from right next to her brand new studio in d.c. is greta van susteren host of "for the record" which launches 6:00 monday night. my friend, congratulations. >> you know, and rachel, thank you, that's so kind of you and i couldn't be happier. i mean, just think about it, i'm the luckiest person alive. i mean, look, i have many good friends over at cnn and over at x news channel who have been colleagues to but just think about this -- i know chris matthews, known him for years, andrea mitchell, travelled the world with her following secretaries of state and even trying to keep up with andrea because she outraces all of us. you and i have been friends for a long time. and to be honest you and my husband and i have tipped a few glasses of wine together -- or more. so i mean, like -- how could i not be luckier? it's like this is just so exciting. this is fun for me. i'm thrilled to be here. >> you are one of the few people who has now had careers at all
three of the major competing cable news outlets and you and i know that people are -- individuals exist within different universes and get varying degrees of autonomy within their networks. but i have to ask you if your fox fans are mad at you for coming to msnbc. do they feel like you're crossing enemy lines. >> i'm getting hit from the right and left. that happens. being in the business people get mad at you every single night. i just want them to give me a chance. if they don't like me, fine, but at least give me a chance. i think that the msnbc audience is going to like me. i hope the fox audience comes over here. i'm interested in the fact and wherever the facts lead me and, look, i like a robust debate. people don't always agree with each other. my own husband doesn't always agree with me. my own family doesn't agree with me. so, look, i -- i want to have a good time over here. i want to do a good job for msnbc. i want to do a good job so you're proud of me, my colleagues are proud of me and most of all i want to do a good
job for the viewers and voters at home because these are very, very serious times and people have really big problems and they're really worried about the future and i'm hoping to put a spotlight on the problems, try to chase down some facts and maybe get some good things going on. >> one of the things i have that always been envious of you for is your ability to get anybody to talk to you. like, your history, your interview history is like reading an encyclopedia. but in the last year or two, you've been particularly good at getting donald trump to talk to you about getting all the republicans to talk to you. let me ask you, honestly, do you feel like some of that was specific to the fact that you were at fox or do you think those republican connections that you made, the republican guests you've been able to book up to and including the president-elect, do you think they will still want to talk to you over here? i certainly hope so.
>> i think so, look, i'm curious and i think they're going to come over here. i'm going to give them a fair shake, i'll give republicans a fair shake, i'll give democrats a fair shake. here's sort of the odd thing. as certain as i am of anything at all, rachel, i'm not 100% certain. so i actually want to know what people have to say because maybe they'll change my mind. maybe i'm wrong about something. so i think i'm a very -- i think i'm a curious person and i'm not out to gun anybody down. i'm out to get information and, frankly, i want to hear what they have to say. >> greta van susteren, host of the soon to be hit show "for the record" here on msnbc starting monday at 6:00, greta, i can't speak for everybody in the building, but let me speak for everybody in the building -- we're super psyched that you're coming here and i can't wait for you to get to work here. it will be great to be a colleague. >> you know what, rachel? i am so glad to be here. it's fun for me. look, you're my friend, this is exciting. i've wanted to work with you. this is great so thank you very much, it's been fun and i look forward to a lot of exciting times ahead. >> good times, thanks, greta, good luck.
let me just say i know what you're thinking. nobody asked know do that. it's true. nobody asked me to do that. i do not have that kind of relationship with anybody who works as an executive in this building. i did that of my own accord because i really am psyched about greta being here. you're thinking ex-fox news, really, maddow? really. she's her own person. nobody tells greta what to do. nobody ever has. she's incredibly heterogeneous in terms of her ideological interests, in terms of her convinceability, she's been all over the world, she does have an incredible curiosity and enthusiasm for this job and i think you're going to like her and i think you should give her a chance. so there. okay, go away. tomorrow we will witness something unique in our nation's capital, real history in the making. it involves two large, pretty mo mahogany boxes.
tomorrow we will witness something unique in our nation's capital, real history in the making. it involves two large, pretty mo mahogany boxes. it's also going to involve joe biden. we're going to witness something that has not happened since the 1870s. vice president biden, also mahogany boxes, also the dawn of a new era in history. i don't know why the story is not getting attention, but it is next. take one of those pillows and take a big smell.
1776, we declared our independence. hurray. five years later, 1781 we got the articles of confederation, which spelled out how we were governed as a country, at least for a hot minute. but the articles did not include us having a president. there wasn't an executive branch at all. it wasn't until seven years later when we ratified the constitution in 1788, that's how we got a president. after that, we needed to hold an election to pick a president for the first time. so ratified 1788. 1789 was the first presidential election in the united states. wasn't a particularly event full one. there was only one guy running. george washington stood for president in that first presidential election in 1789. nobody ran against him.
he got all the electoral votes. then in 1792 it was time for our second presidential election. again, nobody ran against george washington. would you? there were 132 votes vast in that second election and it all went to washington. at the end of that second term four years later, he bowed out. he started making plans to go home to mt. vernon to start making booze. george washington left office after two elections in which he had run unopposed. that meant that in 1796, 20 years after we first declared independence as a country, it was finally time to have our first real presidential election, with candidates and everything. in the first real contested election, look at this, freaking 13 different people got electoral votes.
john adams got the most. jefferson came in second. he got to be vice president. but, look, 11 other guys got electoral votes. that election in 1796, kind of the first real presidential election we had as a country, that is the last time so many people got so many electoral votes in a presidential election. nothing like that has ever happened again in our country. until this year. i'm not sure why this isn't getting more attention today given the craziness of this election year. but today is the day that the electoral college results are going to get certified. donald trump won the presidency by winning the most electoral college votes. but there are two bizarre things that that happened in the electoral college this year.
three, if you count the fact that nobody's ever won the electoral vote but also losing the popular vote by almost 3 million votes. when the electoral college voted on december 19th, the electors cast their votes for seven different people. donald trump got the most, hillary clinton got the second post. but there were also votes for bernie sanders and john kasich and rand paul and faith spotted eagle. and three different electors cast their votes for colin powell. we haven't seen that many since 1796 while we were still figuring out what a presidential election was. that's not all. in addition to the sheer number of people who got electoral college votes, we also set a record this year for the number of electors who were bound to support a particular countdown, but they bailed on that obligation and decided to vote for somebody else. when that happened, that was the largest number of electors to defect on a presidential ballot since 1872. in 1872, they had great reason
to defect and switch their vote to somebody else instead of the presidential candidate they were bound to support, because in 1872 there was this guy horace greely and he up and died between the election and when the electoral college cast their votes. five days before the election his wife died. five days after that he lost the presidential election. then right after he lost the presidential election he lost his business, he lost his newspaper. then after that, dude just up and died before the electoral college even got a chance to meet and cast their ballots to formalize the results. of the 66 electors who were bound to vote for horace greely, 65 of the 66 bolted and voted for somebody else, which you can kind of understand. he was dead. hats off to the three who still voted for the dead guy.
that's a friend indeed. that's the last time. that also bizarre election, that's the last time this many electors voted, flipped the bird to the electoral college, said no. when it comes to the presidential election, i'm just going to vote my own way. but seven electors did that this year in the electoral college. that is historically bizarre on both counts. that is also going to be formally certified tomorrow at roughly 12:50 p.m. eastern time. two big prettyhogany boxes will be carried from the senate into the house claimer. vice president biden will oversee the count and will formally announce the certification of the electoral college vote and the election of the president and the new vice president.
and with those results being certified it will also start a new era in american history, when really for the first time in our country, for the first time in our history as a country, we won't really know what's going to happen the next time the electoral college gets together to cast its votes. it went a little hinky this year. we broke rules that hadn't been broken since the 1790s. which is neat from a historical perspective. but it also puts a little sliver -- shiver up your spine. when we get rid of the old structures of our democracy -- they are the only ones we've got unless and until we build new ones. i'm not sure anybody's much going to notice, but one part of the long ec eep of american
history is going to take a jolt tomorrow when those mahogany boxes get carried into the house just before 1:00 p.m. tomorrow. that does it for us tonight. "first look" is up next. wicked weather is moving across the country burying cities in snow, and now several southern states are bracing for the storm. plus, president-elect donald trump is just hours away from a top secret briefing over russia's alleged hacking. already reports are trickling out. and chuck schumer hits back after being called head clown by the president-elect.