tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC January 10, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm PST
of those was voted against and the rest withdrew. >> we'll be here for all of it starting at 9:00 a.m. see you then. for now, that does it for this . that does it for us. joy reed picks up our coverage next. the baton is yours, joy, good evening. >> thank you so much, brian. much appreciate it. breaking news at the classified intelligence briefing presented to president-elect trump and president obama damaging material the russian government has on trump. it's the lead story in wednesday's usa today. the document includes accusations that moscow obtained salacious info of trump. u.s. spies warn prez-elect.
we'll break it down and president obama's spirited farewell speech included a forceful defense of his record, an emotional thank you to the first family. >> it falls to each of those to be those anxious, jealous guardians of our democracy, to embrace the joyous task that we've been given to continually try to improve this great nation of ours. i will be right there with you as a citizen all my remaining days. >> tonight, as i'm sure you heard, there's a stunning report that's surfaced regarding what donald trump was told last week in his briefing of russia's roll in the u.s. election. the materials prepared for trump's briefing last friday included information that made
damaging allegations about trump's deelgts with the russians. the officials say that the material initially circulated among opponents of donald trump and was passed to u.s. intelligence agency. the information has not been verified and the sources would not comment on the nature of the allegations. neither of the officials said that the fbi was actively investigating the information. but according to reports by cnn and the washington post, the material summarized allegations that the russians have compromising material on trump's personal life and financial dealings. donald trump tweeted this all-capped response tonight, fake news-a total witch hunt. tomorrow donald trump is supposed to be holding his first press conference since july. in an interview with lester holt, president obama had this to say. >> mr. president before we sat down there was a word from source that is the intel report on russian hacking had
information that suggested there might have been an effort by the russians to compromise donald trump. can you confirm that? can you tell us what you know? >> i haven't seen the reports. we were on the plane together. i haven't read the news since then. as a matter of principle and a matter of national security, i don't comment on classified information. i ordered a report about russia's involvement in the hacking of the dnc and passing on that information to wikileaks, because i felt it was important now that the election was over for everybody to understand exactly what happened 2340rd to prevent it from happening again, and my expectation and my hope is that
this work will continue after i leave. congress in possession of both the classified and unclassified reports that the president-elect and his administration in possession of the classified and unclassified reports will take it seriously and now get to work reinforcing those mechanisms that we can use to protect our democracy. >> and we will see more of lester's exclusive interview with president obama throughout the week on msnbc and nbc news. joining us, david corn and malcolm. i want to start with you malcolm. we got a little bit of back and forth about it with senator ron white and got a chance to question james comey about a possible investigation by the fbi. take a listen. >> there is, however, extensive
press reporting on relationships between the russians and the individuals associated with both the trump campaign and the incoming administration. my question for you, director comey is has the fbi investigated these reported relationships and, if so, what are the agency's findings? >> thank you, senator. i wouldle never comment on investigations whether we have one or not in an open forum like this. so i can't answer one way or another. >> will you provide an unclassified response to the question i asked and release it to the american people prior to january 20? >> sir, i'll answer any question that i ask but the answer will likely be the same as i just gave you, i can't talk about it. >> one said he found that ironic. would you find it surprising malcolm as an intelligence professional if the fbi were not investigating this?
>> yes. i find it very surprising. there's the regular field offices of the fbi and the main part. but there is a counterintelligence center. these are the spy hunters. these are the people who actually have to run down when american citizens are having liaisons with foreign nations and the activities of the foreign intelligence service ises. if they were operating optimally, if there were real risks, if some of these reports out there even though they may be unsubstantiated and in the political realm a good director would be trying to make sure this is not true. the worst thing that could happen to this nation is if someone using the political process is an actual agent of a foreign intelligence agencyaged infiltrates their way into government. >> or if they had enough on him,
they could sort of make the president of the united states do what they want him to do. a letter to comey was released and up ended the election. he said that he believed in a the fbi had explosive info on the trump team's ties to russia. he said eats become clear that you possess scloif information between trump and the russian government. he wanted that information made public. do you have any reason to believe as a journalistic matter is that that explosive information is this explosive information? >> not necessarily. there are several angles into what harry reid or others might have been referring to. we talk about trump and russia. these memos were put together by
the operatives of another nation, which i wrote about before the election, show that -- or allege that moscow has an ongoing project to cultivate a co on, donald trump for years writing back and that there had been communication between the trump campaign and russians and that russia had developed compromising information of a personal nature about donald trump. the allegations of the reports that came out during the campaign of ties between trump's inner circle, carter page, who may or may not have been close to the trump campaign but also the campaign manager and connections they had to russian business interests or russian individuals who were close to putin. there are indications that the fbi looked at both those people and maybe others. we just don't know.
we know a lot about the fbi investigation of the e-mail server. we know very little about the investigation of the memos and those other associations. >> yeah. malcolm -- and i'm glad david brought up that before the election, mother jones was reporting on that, sorts of waving a red flag about the ties and whether or not intelligence officials were aware of it. you, sir, were on with me on my weekend program dating back to maybe august and you were saying with a high degree of confidence that there was a likelihood that there was something compromising going on or that the russians had some reason that donald trump was being so slolies tus o them. is this the kind of thing you were warning about going back to the republican convention? >> yeah. actually, the date was july 27
that we first talked about the potential compromise by russian intelligence due to his past. that being said, i think that some of the things that were in david corn's reporting have been corroborated by u.s. intelligence and that is what showed up in the two-page pdb. it's a neat way for the intelligence community to actually show information they have confidence in without actually having to show their cards of the sources and the methods of highly classified sources. >> sure. >> for the exact same information. so -- >> first, really quickly, could this be being leaked as retaliation for donald trump being so disdainful of the intelligence community? >> o i'm not sure the intelligence community is going to make that kind of leak.
this is most probably coming from the political world. democrats, republicans, congressional staffers, people within various levels of the administration could have done this. this could have come from a lot of different sources. i don't think you'll see cia handing off documents. they have a lot of allies handling this for them. >> an important thing to note is that these memos were sent in from a counterintelligence professional who had a track record helping with u.s. government agencies and whether they were fully investigated or not, at the end of the day when the intelligence community was preparing these memos or assessments for druch and barack obama, they thought it was important enough to include this material and i would hope that they don't give trash to the president or the president-elect, but i do think that it's incumbent -- i know
james comey, as he said today in the hearing i covered, doesn't want to say if an investigation has happened yet or not it's getting pretty close to the line. he has to tell the public whether this stuff was looked at or not. i think the american public has a righto know. >> he's very selective with the information he gives out. malcolm, david, thank you for joining us. appreciate it. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> the promise ed 11:00 a.m. ne conference went way, way up. i'm about to start the nature's bounty hair, skin and nails challenge to help with lustrous hair, vibrant skin and healthy nails. so in 30 days, my future self will thank me. thank you. wait, i become a model?!? no. whose cellphone is that?
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. in less than 12 hours donald trump is expected to appear at trump tower. he has been promising to explain how he'll deal with potential conflicts of interest related to his real estate holdings. the stakes for this morning's press conference, if it happens, are now higher than ever after new reporting on russia's interference in the presidential election. here's a reminder of what happened the last time donald trump answered questions about russia at a press conference. >> i will tell you this. russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. i think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.
>> and joining us now is former u.s. ambassador to russia michael mcfall and rick wilson, a republican strategist and contributor to the daily beast. thank you for staying up late and being here. >> sure. >> ambassador mcfall, when you heard this news today, we want -- we don't know that any of the information is accurate, obviously. we can't confirm any of it. does at least the idea that donald trump was in russia during the contrary's time period ring true to you? >> yes, it does. when i was ambassador he came to moscow to host the miss universe pageant. i think i got the name right. he was there. he traveled to russia frequently, so the idea that he would be exposed to gathering of intelligence on him, of course, is a plausible hypothesis. i also want to underscore, there's a lot we don't know here. i've got a thousand questions.
>> yes. >> we need to keep asking these questions. >> it's just a matter of the way the fsb, the russians operate. if you're staying in the ritz-carlton hotel, do the russians regularly bug those hotels? >> there's things i can't talk about. >> ok. >> let me tell you when i stayed at that hotel in 2009 with the president of the united states we went to extraordinary efforts to keep our conversations confidential. >> yeah. >> all kinds of things that we did to make sure that we could have private ways to communicate. >> yeah. >> this is a country that is good at gathering intelligence. >> sure. >> this is a country that does that well and one needs to take those kinds of precautions, therefore, whenle traveling to countries like russia. >> we should make the point, rick, that at the time, 2013, 2012, donald trump wasn't president of the united states, president-elect or even running
for president. if you travel as an individual, i guess you take more chances than somebody who is a politician. however, we do now have this as something we have to deal with. it came up today when senator chuck grassley and his committee were interviewg members of the incoming president's team and members of the current government. let's listen to chuck grassley asking about these new reports. >> sure. >> tonight that russians may have actually gotten some personal or financial information about the president-elect that actually compromise the president-elect. one, have you ever been briefed about t the information about this? >> i have not. >> do you have any concerns about that? >> well, of course. if what you described is accurate, i don't question that it is accurate, but if it is accurate, yes. i think the best thing we can do is in the area of sanctions.
>> what do you make of this whole thing, rick? >> these accusations and rumors have been swirling around the intelligence and diplomatic community for well over a year now. they were certainly -- certain to reach a fever pitch over the summer in june and july as david corn's reporting and others' reporting has indicated. the fact of the matter is donald trump has deliberately of skated his relationships with russia, not only about his travel there and his business dealings there but about whether or not many of his companies such as bay rock were involved in what essentially looks to be a set of business partnerships and entanglements with russian ol garks and crime families. there's been a lot of reporting about that. i think what you're seeing is the natural blossoming of this.
for two reasons, one, the intelligence community is increasingly upset and angry that trump has insulted them repeatedly, tried to put off their investigations repeatedly. i think donald trump has also--v and will be more transpampt about it but he won't. there will be many variations on the stories that are floating around. the fact of the matter is his supporters are making a big bet tonight that the cia and british intelligence and others are lying or making something up just to hurt drurp politically that had been circulating for quite some time way before the election reached its fever pitch
in november. >> they're saying everyone is simply wrong. what if they're right? as a former diplomat what could be the risk to the united states if you have a president that a foreign intelligence services have personal information on? >> all intelligence agencies gather intelligence on major political figures, including billionaires in the year 2013. so that they were trying to gather intelligence about donald trump, i have no doubt. what i don't know, of course, is what they have and of course i have no idea if what they have could be used in some kind of blackmail way. i don't want to speculate. we need to know more answers and i fear -- what i really fear is come next friday, we're going to forget about this. we're going to say it's time to move on. my belief is that we need a
bipartisan investigation of russian interference in the most sovereign act that we do as american citizens, vote for our president. and if we don't have that, we're going to be speculating like we were right now. >> do you have any yfdconfidence that the republican party is going to do that? >> i have -- especially folks in the senate on the intelligence committee who have been kurmgs of this kind of information for a long time and have a more granular understanding than donald trump of the importance of the intelligence community and the validity of their reporting and i think there's a rising sense of anxiety among a lot of members of the senate particularly. i think this little honeymoon trump will have after the inauguration is going to rapi y
collide with some of those concerns. there are some stories coming out and the intelligence community is starting to look at is not going to go away. >> you can't trust leaked information that could be wronged, that's what the clinton campaign was saying about the wikileaks. so thank you both for joining us. >> thanks, joy. >> thank you. will donald trump start his presidency in crisis? some lawmakers are calling for a new information. that's coming up. first, president obama's farewell address at the end of his historic presidency. just like the people who own them, every business is different. but every one of those businesses will need legal help as they age and grow. whether it be help starting your business, vendor contracts or employment agreements. legalzoom's network of attorneys can help you every step of the way so you can focus on what you do. we'll handle the legal stuff
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. my fellow americans, it has been the honor of my life to serve you. i won't stop! yes, we can. yes, we did. yes, we can. thank you, god bless you. >> president barack obama ended his presidency in much the same way it began, with calls for uni unity. he outlined his administration's achievements while conceding that more needs to be done, particularly when it comes to race relations. >> there was talk of a post
racial america. in such a vision, however well intended, was never realistic. race remains a potent and often divisive force in our society. if every economic issue is framed as a struggle between a hard-working white middle class and an undeserving minority, then workers of all shades are going to be left fighting for scraps while the wealthy will withdraw further into the their private enclaves. >> president obama ended his speech with this call to action. >> our democracy is threatened whenever we take it for granted. if you're tired of a rging with strangers on the internet, try talking with one of them in real life. if something needs fixing, then
lace up your shoes and do some organizing. if you're disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some suggests and run for office yourself. presuming a reservoir of goodness in other people, that can be a risk and there will be times when the process will disappoint you. but for those of us to have been fortunate enough to see this work and see it up close, let me tell you, it can energize and inspire. more often than not, your faith in america and in americans will be confirmed. mine sure has been. >> and joining us now is jean st. pierre around e.d. deon.
he and i happen to have a new book out. we have a new book out today. i've got to go to kareem first. you were there at the speech and were there and worked for the president in the campaign. you are an obama world alum. >> yes. >> how was it to be there, how much crying was there? >> it was pretty emotional. even the president himself, as we saw, took out his hand kerr whichever and had to wipe the tear coming down his cheek when he had that tender moment with michelle, talking about michelle and her importance in his life, which was one of the things about the obamas and the family, which is how real they are and how they really give you a hope and something to really aspire to, which we're going to really miss once they're gone, we'll be starving for it. just to answer your question --
and by the way, congrats on the book to both of you. the room was emotional. you could tell people were excited and wanted to be there for him. i belief i was hearing new stories this morning that people got online at 4:00 a.m. people who were tukted. about 40,000 tickets were landed out. it was respectful but emotional. they were ready to see him. they were excited that the obama family was there. people were very pleased to see the bidens, but it was bittersweet. we needed to hear from him. we needed to hear that farewell. the reality is he's going to be gone on january 20th. >> absolutely. we were texting during the speech and it really was a quintessentially obama speech but i'm dying to let the whole country hear your impressions of this speech. >> yeah. there were two sort of core things about the speech. the one is what you said and
what we were talking about which was there were so many core obama themes in here that we look forward, not back, that as a country, we're a country of constant change. we're not perfect but we always perfect ourselves. my favorite part about obama, he likes the word "perfect" as a verb, not a noun. at several points in the speech, he urged people to get involved to change the country. i thought there was also another fascinating part of the speech which was a manifesto for democracy. he laid out the markers for how he will probably get involved later on. there are some real warnings here, without mentioning trump by name about donald trump in this defense of democracy. he said that democracy can buckle when we give in to fear. there was an almost eerie line when he talked about the
constitution as a great gift. he said america is no fragile thing. we ran across that phrase a lot when we put together our book but then this line. our gains to the long journey to freedom are not insured. i think he was telling his supporters and a lot of people in the country that village len -- vigilance is going to be required. he's going to be out there to defend these values. >> my notes i took during the speech, i'm going to come to you, he laid out what he said were the three internal threats to democracy. and then he talked about things like climate change that can drive more inequality and more wanton poverty. that is exactly the assessment that the intelligence community has made about the entire western world and the threats to democracy. it was interesting as a speech to the world.
i want to play you -- because one of the underpinnings is the islamaphobia. this was the president talking about fear and islam. >> democracy can buckle when it gives in to here. that's why i reject discrimination against muslim americans who are just as patriot rirk as we are. so let's be vigilant but not afraid. i also will try to -- isil will try to kill innocent people. they cannot beat america. >> i'm going to start with you. what struck you -- that was a huge applause line when he said we have to defend muslims around the world. >> that's a really great question. there was a part of the speech,
which i think will go to your question here which where he talks about america exceptionalism. he loves to define that. because republicans had taken that definition for a very long timeaged he wanted to redefine what that means. he really always puts the onus on us, right. he used the bully pulpit to really rally the troops, and he -- at the end he basically said america's in good hands because of you. right? and i think that was a really important -- he laid down the markers. he laid down what there is to fight for and he put that out there. when you -- and he tied that in with all of his accomplishments as well, kind of weaved that through the speech. i thought that was very interesting. >> i'm curious. contrast that with the big speech he gave in cairo about the global relationship with islam. what did you make of it?
this in a way was more tempered and sober speech. the cairo speech was very serious, but that was a time where there was real hope for change. we weren't looking at isis then and he was very clear this time about the dangers. in no way has he backed off this idea of pluralism and empathy and the need for people to empathize across the lines of race and religion. i was really struck by his shoutout to the middle aged white guy who obama said who has seen his world up ended by economic, cultural, and technological change. he's saying that empathy can't be divided. you can't be empathetic to some people and not to others. that's a critique of trump, but it's also a reminder to everybody else about how you have to behave if you want to up
hold that's idea lsz. >> absolutely. >> he also said let's not pretend that the civil rights movement and jim crow ended in the 60s. >> certainly. and nothing could be nor true. thank you both from joining us. coming up next, a new call for congress to immediately investigate donald trump and the trump team's dweelgs russia. it's beautiful. was it a hard place to get to? (laughs) it wasn't too bad. with the chase mobile app, jimmy chin can master depositing his hard earned checks in a snap. easy to use chase technology for whatever you're trying to master.
. i don't think anybody knows that it was raerk that broke into the dnc. it could be others. it could also be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, ok. >> two u.s. officials with direct knowledge told nbc news the materials prepared for the briefing included information that made damaging allegations about trump's dealings with the russians. the officials say that the material initially was passed to u.s. intelligence agencies.
the information has not been verified by u.s. intelligence. tuesday night, a democratic congressman tweeted this. "fts intel report is true, it would be the most treacherous and criminal act in u.s. history." jonathan, i'm starting with you. it's all over twitter and social media. wur doing the cable news of it. but the more crass version is everywhere, now. >> yeah. >> how do you inaugurate a president who is now at least this sort of compromised in terms of his dignity going into his inauguration day. >> he's going to say tomorrow in his press conference it's a big witch hunt. >> you think he'll do the press conference? >> yes, i think it would be very damaging for him not to. what's so strange about this story, it's either one of the biggest stories in american
political history that an incoming president of the united states has been compromised by russian agents or it's the hitler diaries, a total fake as trump -- and there's nothing in between. it -- if the story's true -- and we'll find out eventually. because as the president indicated tonight, reality has a way of catching up. what you're going to see now is a huge amount of investigative reporting on this. you are going to see congressional hearings. john mccain is insisting on it, rightly, i think. we could have a situation that's not that different from 1972 and 1973. so all these things happened with watergate in the 1972 campaign. it didn't start to come out until 1973 and then they had the big watergate hearings in the summer of 73 and by 74 the president had to resign. i'm not saying that's going to happen with trump. >> sure. >> we have all our attention consumed in the next six months
with what plays out with this story. >> this is not something that's being said about a politician where there is no information that even could theoretically corroborate that he could be a guy. you've got tapes, vulgarity which is his stock in trade, but you have this fixation with being on russia's side. this past saturday, after he'd had his intelligence briefing trump tweets out, having a good relationship with russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. only stupid people or fools would think it's bad. isn't that the problem, donald trump has set himself up to -- i don't know. tell me what you think. >> we have -- we meaning a lot of us have looked around and wondered why is it that donald trump says so many nice things about vladimir putin so
consistently? why has he been so reluctant to criticize him in any way? you showed that tape earlier. it wasn't the russians who did this hacking. it could have been some 400-pound guy on a bed. he has sort of created a question in our heads, why is he like this towards russia. this nflgts, which we don't know how true it is or twlaes yet, but this is a plausible kind of explanation. i think what we've got here are two baskets of things, each of which is very troubling. basket one is that the trump campaign was actively cooperating with russia to defeat hillary clinton. if that's true, that would be lead to that impeachment scenario. the other thing is all this ugly compromising information that the russians again allegedly have on him, these are two big deals.
i think the real test here will be not so much how john mccain reacts, because he's already out there. he wants an investigation. but with this new information, the mainstream republican leadership are saying, wait a minute, do we have to be worried about getting too close to this guy or is this going to be a problem down the line which is why we need to investigate this very quickly. >> he is now in the poll a 73% approval rating. that's like a governor. >> that's the lowest for an incoming president. whereas president obama is at 57%, which is toward the upper end of presidents when they're leaving office. so -- >> so what do you think is the
threshold where republicans say we're not going to follow this guy around anymore. >> there's been some indications that a lot of americans don't care about the russia story. if you start to see it change, people going, you know what, i didn't initially believe these things, they'll be televised because they're juicy. it could be when peoria as they said in watergate changes its minds. when some of these communities that went for trump, the reporters go out there and find out that people do care, then you're going to see a real change. >> then it will be a whole different temperature in washington, d.c. all right, thank you both for joining us. >> good to be with you. >> coming up next, president obama's emotional thank you to the first family.
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. president obama's speech was also a chance to recognize the women who have been by his side throughout the journey. >> michelle. [ cheers and applause ] michelle lavon robinson, girl of the south side, for the past 25 years you have not only been my wife and mother of my children. you have been my best friend. you took on a role you didn't
ask for. aged you made it your own with grace and with grit and with style and with humor. you made the white house a place that belongs to everybody. and a new generation sets its sights higher because it has you as a role model, so you have made me proud and you have made the country proud. maleeha and sasha, under the strangest of circumstances, you have become two amazing young women. you are smart and you are beautiful but more importantly, you are kind and you are thoughtful and you are full of passion and you bore the burden of years in the spotlight so
easily. of all that i have done in my life, i am most proud to be your dad. [ cheers and applause ] >> the incredible legacy of the other obama, first lady michelle obama. that's next. mom, i just saved a lot of money on my car insurance by switching to geico. i should take a closer look at geico...
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. the president and the first lady in chicago last night at what's probably their last major public event together before the inauguration. lots of friends on tonight. i cannot wait to hear your impressions, michelle, of this speech. >> i loved every single word that the president uttered tonight, but obviously one of my favorite parts of the speech is when he looked at his wife and at one of his two daughters and just had nothing but pure love in his eyes for his wife. you know, it was just -- it was romantic. last week she gave a very emotional speech. her goodbye speech. one of the things she said last week was that she hoped she made us proud and like any good husband will do and like any husband who loves his wife, he said you made us proud.
he talked about how she walked into a job that she didn't ask for. he human anized her. when they entered the white house she had to fight the stereotype of the angry black woman. people complained about everything from herbaring her arms and going bare fooft. barack obama told us they are not the stereotype of the black family that has so ingrained in american culture. he's not the broken man that we see in the movie "fences." for example, they have not been broken and they could have very easily been broken from people -- a member of congress yelling at him in the white house, you know, in the joint session of congress you lie and jan brewer rubbing her finger in his face at the airport and all of the things that have been
said about his wife, they have made us provided. >> i won't have time to play my favorite sound bite but she talked about the little boy who wouldwho touched the president's head. what do you think is the most important legacy? let's move. is it the fashion designer she made faimts. what do you think is her biggest legacy? >> i would say, joy, that i would have to put it all together. michelle obama as a human being is her greatest legacy. she completely oversteps or crosses all boundaries. you can't look at her and just see a black woman. she is every woman and we needed that. we needed that in the white house. michelle obama's legacy, if i have to say her biggest legacy is she and barack obama have shown us that there were not only founding fathers, there were founding mothers. >> yes indeed.