The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 1/6/2017
Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
Date: January 6, 2017
Guest: Adam Schiff
JOY REID, MSNBC “A.M. JOY” HOST: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now.
Good evening and happy Friday, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Happy Friday. I feel like it`s not nice for me
to wish you happy Friday because you have to work the next two days too.
REID: Still working.
MADDOW: I know, never not working. Thank you, Joy. I hope you get at
least a little respite.
And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. It`s good to have you
with us. Electoral maps drive Democrats nuts. And this is why.
This is the national electoral map. This was in 2008 when Barack Obama won
the presidential election that year by a mile. But the map`s really red,
right? Obama won by a lot, he`s in blue, but the map still looks very red.
That`s even more true when you make the map county by county instead of
state by state. This is an election that the Democrats won. This kind of
things drives Democrats nuts.
But it`s just – it`s an accident of the way we make maps and the way we
show electoral votes, right? People who live in rural areas tend to vote
Republican. That shows up on the map as big swathes of the country looking
red on the map even if those swathes of the country don`t have very many
people in them.
And it happens every election, it happens in a national election like that.
Look, this is California from this year. California this year, Hillary
Clinton absolutely destroyed Donald Trump. She beat Trump in California by
a 30-point margin. But look at the map. Still looks wicked red.
Even in a little state like New Jersey, she won New Jersey by a mile. She
won New Jersey by 14 points. But still even in a little state, the rural
areas are big. The state still looks very red.
That`s just what maps will look like as long as Democrats tend to live
closer together than Republicans do. Even when Republicans lose, the map
still makes it look like they won.
Even with that dynamic in mind, though, I want you to check this out. This
was a map like that, an electoral result map. This was the election result
in Russia in 2011.
Russia is the biggest country in the world in terms of landmass. This is
the map of the election results for Russia`s parliamentary elections that
took place five years ago. Talk about an overwhelming result, right? I
mean, the party that is represented by the dark blue, which is basically
the entire map, makes it look like an ocean instead of land, that is the
United Russia Party. That`s the party of this guy.
The first-ever president of Russia after the wall fell down and the Soviet
Union collapsed and it became Russia instead of the Soviet Union, the first
president of Russia was Boris Yeltsin. Boris Yeltsin served from 1991 to
1999 then famously on Y2K, on New Year`s Eve, 1999, December 31st, 1999,
the last night of the year, last night of the century, last night of the
millennium – surprise, Boris Yeltsin quit. Dramatic surprise resignation
that night as Russia`s first-ever president.
But he was the first one and he quit and that`s when this guy took over and
this guy has been in power ever since. From 2000 to 2008, he served as
president, Russia`s second president. Legally in 2008, he had to step down
from being president, didn`t want to leave power, though, he became prime
minister and kept acting like he was president. In 2008, somebody else
nominally got to take over the president`s job, even though Putin kept his
hands on power.
But you know what? Starting in 2008 when he no longer had the title, those
four years obviously still running the country but not having people call
him “president,” that bothered him. He didn`t like necessarily not being
president of Russia, even though he was still running the country. It was
bugging him. Those four years not being president, that was enough.
By 2011, he was already making plans that he would like his old job title
back, please? He would like to be called president again. So, he`s making
plans to do that.
December, 2011, he`s preparing to run again for president, to retake the
title of president and while he was preparing to run for president again,
something bad happened to Vladimir Putin, because this was the
parliamentary election result from December, 2011. And even though this
map makes it look like Vladimir Putin`s party, United Russia Party, makes
it look like he absolutely ran the table in that election, as we know from
our own country, electoral maps can be deceiving.
And even though this looks like it was a route for them, this was actually
a bad result for them. Such was the grip of Putin`s party in power that
this represented actually a loss of dozens of seats in the parliament. And
that was very embarrassing to Vladimir Putin because that election was
supposed to be the run-up to him running for president again. That
election should have been a moment of triumph for him.
That election was just a few months before he was going to take this
historic step of regaining the presidency. It was embarrassing to him that
his party lost all those seats. His party got rejected. The number of
seats they held in parliament dropped by dozens because of this election
result in December, 2011. That was not what he wanted at all as he was
ready – getting ready to go be president again.
And it`s not like, you know, they hadn`t taken it seriously or hadn`t been
trying, Vladimir Putin and his party did their absolute best to win as many
seats as possible in that election in December, 2011. They did their best.
It also appears that they did their worst.
There`s an international organization called the Organization for Security
and Cooperation in Europe, one of the things they do is monitor whether or
not elections are basically rigged. They monitor whether or not elections
are fair. And they monitored that election in December, 2011, that
parliamentary election in Russia, and they did not like what they saw.
Quote, “The contest was slanted in favor of the ruling party.” There was,
quote, “undue interference of state authorities at different levels.”
There was, quote, “a lack of independence of the election administration.”
Quote, “The elections were marked by the convergence of the state and the
governing party”, Putin`s party. Quote, “The playing field was slanted in
favor of Putin`s party.” United Russia. The playing field was slanted.
And remember, these elections, even with all of that, they didn`t work out
that great for Putin`s party. They lost dozens of seats. They did hold on
to their majority in parliament, but just barely.
And these very serious questions were raised by very serious elections
monitors as to whether or not Putin and his party had to actually cheat in
order to just even keep that bare majority. I mean, here`s the OSCE
talking about how the vote counting went during the election that night in
Check this out, quote, “The quality of the process deteriorated
considerably during the count, which was characterized by frequent
procedural violations and instances of apparent manipulation including
several serious indications of ballot box stuffing.” So, this is
interesting, right? In other words, they`re saying the count maybe started
off okay, the election wasn`t very fair, there was stuff going wrong, but
the count started off okay but didn`t end up okay.
When they started to realize what the count was showing in terms of how
Russians voted, what was the phrase? “The quality of the process
deteriorated considerably.” And by the end of the counting, they were just
blatantly stuffing the ballot boxes. And then they only held on to their
majority by a hair.
So, this happened in December, 2011. It was a shock to Putin, it was a
challenge to Putin, it was an indication that if Russians got to vote
freely and fairly, maybe Russians were about to pick somebody else to run
their country, for the first time since Yeltsin when he quit on Y2K, which
was so weird.
But when these results came in, when the results were announced, when this
accounting process, such as it was, was complete and Russians realized that
this is the way Putin was going to hold on to power, a lot of Russians took
to the streets.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: This week in Moscow, thousands of protesters faced off against
police. “Russia without Putin and Putin is a thief,” they shouted. Rare
public defiance following Prime Minister Vladimir Putin`s surprisingly weak
showing in Sunday`s parliamentary election and allegations of widespread
Even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was critical, prompting Putin to
accuse her of inciting the unrest. But the alleged fraud was all over the
Internet. YouTube videos like this one.
An election official is confronted after he appears to be filling out
Human rights groups say more than 1,000 people have been arrested since
Monday, but the opposition plans another big protest tomorrow. By law,
Putin had to step down as president in 2008, but he never really gave up
control. Now, the former KGB strongman says he will run for the job again
Protesters like these hope they can stop him. The white ribbons are the
new symbol of their movement.
These guys have already handed out hundreds tonight. The ribbon says
“Against the party of crooks and thieves.”
So far, more than 35,000 people have signed up on Facebook to join
tomorrow`s protest. Security forces are getting ready for what could be
Russia`s largest political demonstration since the fall of the Soviet Union
20 years ago this month.
LESTER HOLT, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: Mass protests through the streets of Moscow.
Tens of thousands of ordinary citizens rising up against corruption and
their prime minister, Vladimir Putin.
NBC`s Stephanie Gosk is there.
STEPHANIE GOSK, NBC NEWS REPORTER: The cold and the snow didn`t stop them.
The massive show of force on Moscow`s streets didn`t, either. Police
estimate a crowd of 25,000, the largest political demonstration since the
“Russia without Putin” they defiantly chanted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Those were days of protests. Days of protests. It was a
different – three different reports there from “NBC Nightly News” over
December, early days of December, 2011, the election was December 4th, the
protests started December 5. That was five years ago, 2011.
These protests were really big. Some of the biggest protests against any
Russian leader since the fall of the Soviet Union. Even the last Soviet
leader, Mikhail Gorbachev came out and said that that election was a
disaster, it should be scrapped and redone.
Gorbachev came out and said, “The country`s leaders must admit there were
numerous falsifications and rigging. The results do not reflect the
people`s will, I think they can only take one decision, annul the results
of an election and hold a new one.” Gorbachev said that, as thousands and
then tens of thousands of Russians took to the streets saying “Russia
I mean, this was a big deal. This was maybe going to be the end of Putin.
I mean, people wouldn`t even have to overthrow him. This was December,
2011, he was about to stand for president in March just a few months later,
and there`s the country rising up against him, feeling like he`s this
corrupt thief who just rigged the election to stay in power and even still
was only barely able to do it as the country turned against him.
It was an incredible moment, the kind of moment that could have changed the
course of world events. But you know what? Vladimir Putin, he took that
moment and he grabbed it by the neck and squeezed, as he is wont to do. He
sent security forces, including the military, into the streets to arrest
Russians by the thousands.
Opposition political figures picked up and jailed. The Kremlin organized
counter-protests that turned into running street battles between pro-Putin
sort of militias and all these people who were protesting against him. And
you know what?
When it came to explaining what went wrong, you saw a reference to this in
Stephanie Gosk`s report there in that first week of December, when it came
to explaining to Russians what was wrong and what was going on in the
streets and who was to blame for what had happened to his country, what has
pushed the country to the brink like that – Putin, of course, picked
somebody convenient to blame it on, somebody very familiar to us.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
MADDOW: “She set the phone for some of the activist inside our country.
She gave them a signal. They heard this signal and started active work
with support from the U.S. State Department.
The secretary of state gave her opinions about the election. She said they
were unfair and unjust. She set the tone, she gave them the signal.”
That was Vladimir Putin`s press conference with his cabinet after the
election, explaining what was going on with all those thousands of people
in the streets. Those thousands of people in the streets weren`t aggrieved
Russians. They were just puppets of Hillary Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: After protests erupted earlier this week,
Putin turned his anger on the U.S., blaming Hillary Clinton in a Cold War
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: At the time, it seemed so random to us in this country that Putin
would blame Hillary Clinton for the tens of thousands of Russians
protesting against him in the streets, you know, saying “Russia without
Putin” and all this. But that really is what he did.
I mean, as our secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, had been so bold as to
quote from the elections monitors who observed the Russian election and saw
how rigged it was and so, therefore, obviously, those protests were all her
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, THEN-U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Concerning Russia, you
know, we`re watching the election results with great interest. Clearly,
the Duma is going to have a different makeup than it did before this
election and we do have serious concerns about the conduct of the
The preliminary report by the OSCE cites election day attempts to stuff
ballot boxes, manipulate voter lists and other troubling practices. We`re
also concerned by reports that independent Russian election observers,
including the nationwide Golos Network were harassed and had cyber attacks.
Russian voters deserve a full investigation of electoral fraud and
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: When Vladimir Putin was facing the one moment since he took power
on the first day of this millennium, the one moment when it looked like he
might conceivably lose his grip on power, while he was facing that, Hillary
Clinton as America`s top diplomat, she did, she went after him publicly for
rigging the election that kept his party in power and that gave him a
position from which he was able ultimately to regain the presidency. While
tens of thousands of Russians stood in the streets and braves mass arrests,
you know, and shouted “Russia without Putin” and called Putin a thief and a
fraud, the United States government in the person of Hillary Clinton our
secretary of state, she stood up and said, yes, she said those elections
were, quote, “neither free nor fair.”
She said, in effect, those protesters are right. We the United States
government believe those protesters have got a real beef with those
elections for a reason. She said it. “Your elections were neither free
And that incident from 2011, that incident and the grudge that Vladimir
Putin still has over it, that apparently is what explains what just
happened to our country and our election, at least according to the
assessment of Russian activities and intentions in recent U.S. elections.
This is just released late today by the director of national intelligence.
This is from the FBI, the CIA, and the National Security Agency.
And I know you know this is out today, I know the bottom line you have
already heard. But here it is, quote, “We assess Russian president
Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S.
presidential election. Russia`s goals were to undermine public faith in
the U.S. democratic process, to denigrate Secretary Clinton and to harm her
electability and her potential presidency.”
Quote, “We further assess Putin and the Russian government developed a
clear preference for President-elect Trump. We also assess Putin and the
Russian government aspired to help President-elect Trump`s election chances
when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting
her unfavorably to him.”
And you know, it is hard to imagine that there is a barrel of ink yet to be
spilled on explaining the Russian preference for Donald Trump, and whatever
it is about Russia that makes the affection so mutual to him. I mean, the
Putin/Trump connection is very well-trod ground. Honestly, we still do not
have an independent credible explanation for what exactly explains that
bond of what appears to be affection and mutual support.
But according to the intelligence community, for Russia, love of Donald
Trump is not where it started. They started out, the reason they did it is
that they had an intention to denigrate Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
in her new role as presidential candidate, to harm her potential
presidency. It was only as our election progressed according to this
report that Putin and the Russian government developed their clear
preference for President-elect Trump.
Well, why did it start with the hatred of Hillary Clinton? Why was
denigrating Hillary Clinton, hurting Hillary Clinton, hurting her
electability, hurting her potential presidency, why was that the prime
mover for Vladimir Putin?
Well, in the overt official assessment of the FBI, the CIA, and the
National Security Agency, we`ve got it explicitly. Quote, “Putin most
likely wanted to discredit Secretary Clinton because he has blamed her
since 2011 for inciting mass protests against his regime in late 2011 and
early 2012. He holds a grudge for comments he almost certainly saw as
It was that election, that election in 2011 where Russia`s – where Putin`s
party apparently rigged it and had to in order to hold on to power by the
skin of their teeth which led to mass protests in the street which led to
this huge show of popular support against Putin, risking his chances to be
able to regain the presidency after almost 12 years of being in power when
he was not used to being challenged, it was that election.
And Hillary Clinton playing this role for the U.S. government of calling it
straight saying, yeah, it looks like that election was rigged. That`s what
led to what happened in our election. This is his payback for that.
And so if this is right, if this report is accurate, the FBI and the CIA
and the NSA have got it right, then we know why they did it and we know
what they did. Quoting from the report, “The Kremlin`s campaign aimed at
the U.S. election featured disclosures of data obtained through Russian
cyber operations, intrusions into U.S. state and local electoral boards and
All this stuff about who knows where the DNC data came from, who knows
where WikiLeaks got it, maybe it was some 400 pound 14-year-old in a bed
somewhere, maybe in New Jersey – yes, enough with that. No. According to
the FBI, the CIA and the NSA, “We assess with high confidence that it was
the GRU –” which is Russian military intelligence “that relayed to
WikiLeaks material it acquired from the Democratic national committee and
senior Democratic officials.”
So, now we know. If this is right, if this report that they released
public today is right, if they got it right, we have learned what Russia
did. We have learned why they did it. And we have also learned one final
thing which is very, very, very important for all of us going forward and
MADDOW: All right. This is I think the really important part. We have
been told as recently as last night that unclassified version of the
intelligence report on Russia attacking the U.S. election, we`ve been told
that the unclassified version, the cleared for public version of the report
would come out next week.
It was then a surprise today when it came out this afternoon and this
publicly available report, this unclassified version of the report, if it`s
accurate, it taught us a great deal about what the Russians did to
influence our elections this past year and why they did it, which is very
dramatic, why Putin had this grudge against Hillary Clinton dating back to
a specific thing that happened in 2011, why he wanted to destroy her, where
that came from. Fascinating.
If you haven`t heard this report, don`t be daunted because it looks kind of
long. Actually, if you don`t read the evidentiary annexes to it or like
the sources and methods introduction and all the – if you don`t read all
of the surrounding stuff and just read the report, it`s only five pages
long. So, you can absolutely read in the one sitting.
The other stuff is good, but if you just want the nut of it, it`s only five
pages. You can totally do it. I put it online tonight so you can find it
But when this thing came out publicly today, there was one additional thing
that this report taught us. It`s not about Russia, it`s not about Hillary
Clinton, it`s not even about our last election. But it`s really important
and it`s about our new president.
And what we learned today when this public version of this report came out
– surprise, it`s out today – what we learned when this came out is that
our new president will flat out lie to us, to our faces and even put in the
writing, even when we can check for ourselves and see for ourselves that he
is blatantly lying about a really big thing. He apparently will just
bracingly lie to us about important national security stuff and we learned
that today if we didn`t believe it before.
All right. This is not that complicated. This is the public version.
This is the unclassified version of this report.
And on every page of this report, there`s a little box at the top. We`ve
shown it here so you can see it. Little box that explains, it says this,
“This report is a declassified version of a highly classified assessment;
its conclusions are identical to those in the highly classified assessment
but this version doesn`t include the full supporting information on key
elements of the influence campaign.”
So, they not only say that at the outset of this report, it`s literally
printed on top of every single page in the report. They`re saying, yes,
this is the public one, this doesn`t have the sources and methods stuff
that might screw with our spies or whatever. But the conclusions of this
report are identical to those in the highly classified assessment which we
the public don`t get to see. Very clear.
Now, the highly classified assessment, that was commissioned by President
Obama, right? He asked the intelligence community for it. He got that
highly classified assessment from them yesterday. That same highly
classified assessment that went to Obama yesterday went to the president-
elect today, this morning.
And then, here`s the thing, right after that, right after he came out of
that briefing where he received the highly classified version of this, he
put out a written statement about what he learned in the briefing. And he
blatantly and overtly, bluntly, simply lied about what is in this report,
right before this report got publicly released so we could check ourselves
and see that he was lying.
I have to say, I don`t get weirded out by that much stuff in the news but
this puts a shiver down my spine. Look at this, it`s very clear. This was
the statement our incoming president put out after he got highly classified
version of this report. And, again, the public version that we all have
now, that we can all see, its conclusions are identical to those in the
highly classified report.
He gets briefed on the classified version of this, he comes out and he
makes this statement, quote, “President-elect Donald J. Trump released the
following statement at the conclusion of meeting with intelligence
Here`s the statement, “While Russia, China, other countries, outside groups
and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber
infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses, and
organizations, including the Democrat National Committee, quote, there was
absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election.”
So, he`s saying I just got briefed on this report, I met with the director
of the intelligence, and the director of the CIA, and the director of the
FBI, they`ve given me their report and I can tell you, the American people,
having read this report, having been briefed by our intelligence community,
I can tell you now that I`ve seen this report and I`ve been told what`s in
it, there was – what was it? There was absolutely no affect on the
outcome of the election. That`s what he tells us.
Well, here`s what`s actually in the report. Quote, “We did not make an
assessment of the impact Russian activities had on the outcome of the
So, our president-elect is lying to us. He says this report concluded that
Russian hacking had no impact on the election. This report did not
conclude it and now we know because we can read it ourselves because it
came out today. Surprise.
And that`s a big lie. He also tells little lies, too. Here`s what he said
in the same statement to us after getting briefed on this report. He said,
“There were attempts to hack the Republican national committee but the RNC
had strong hacking defenses and the hackers were unsuccessful.”
Really? That`s what the report said? Because now I can look at the report
myself now and it doesn`t say that at all. What the report says is, quote,
“Russia collected on some Republican-affiliated targets but did not conduct
a comparable disclosure campaign.”
So, Russia was successful in stealing data and documents from the
Republicans as well, they just didn`t blast it back into the United States
as propaganda the way they did with the Democratic stuff because they
wanted Trump to win the presidency. But the president-elect lied to us
about that today. He lied to us about what`s in this report.
The president-elect either thinks we are idiots or he didn`t know that they
were going to release the report today so we didn`t know we`d be able to
fact check his statement, lying to us immediately against the thing he lied
We have posted the report online. We`re doing that tonight so it`s easy to
find. Honestly, the meat of it is five pages but the whole thing is
interesting. See what you think.
But also, do not believe a word the new president says on this topic until
at least they correct the overt lies that they told about this just today.
MADDOW: We are awaiting a press conference due to start momentarily from
the FBI and local authorities about the airport mass shooting that happened
today in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Again, this latest update from
authorities is due to start now. We`ll go to it as soon as it does start.
Unless you`re an air marshal, you are not allowed to bring a gun with you
when you get on board an airplane. You can`t bring it on your carry-on
luggage at least. But even if you`re not an air marshal, even if you`re
just a regular Schmoe with a license to have a gun, you can bring your gun
on airplane if you packed it in your chock luggage.
There`s rules about how it`s done. The gun has to be in a locked hard-
sided case. It has to be unloaded. If you`re checking ammunition clips,
you know, magazines with bullets those need to be in their own box, or
included in that hard case with the gun.
If you do pack your gun and your ammo properly and when you get to the
ticket counter, you notify the airline you are checking a firearm, that`s
all you need to do. Those are TSA requirements for traveling with a gun.
But that is what law enforcement believes happened today when a suspected
gunman in the Ft. Lauderdale airport opened fire and killed a lot of
Law enforcement believes this young man packed a gun and ammunition into
his checked luggage, then he retrieved his checked luggage from the baggage
carousel after his flight. After he retrieved his luggage, he got his gun
and ammo out of his bag and started shooting. Law enforcement officials
tell NBC News they believe the shooter flew a red eye last night from
Anchorage, Alaska, overnight to Minneapolis. Landed this morning in
Minneapolis, then from Minneapolis, he took a connecting flight to Ft.
When he landed at terminal 2 at Ft. Lauderdale, they think he retrieved his
luggage from the baggage carousel, went to the bathroom where he got his
gun out of his luggage and loaded it, then opened fire in the baggage
claim. It was shortly before 1:00 Eastern Time these horrifying scenes
today, people running out of the terminal on to the tarmac to get away.
We don`t know yet the type of firearm the gunman was using. There were
eyewitness reports that it was a handgun but we can`t confirm that. People
can also pack long guns on airplanes, shotguns or rifles, so just we don`t
know about that yet.
There are reports he was able to reload his weapon at least once during the
attack. The whole thing lasted less than 15 minutes. Police ultimately
apprehended him without shooting him.
Apparently, he ran out of ammunition and that`s why the attack stopped.
Witnesses say that he threw his gun on the ground after he ran out of ammo.
He didn`t make a run for it. He just laid on the floor spread eagle and
police took him into custody.
Tonight, we`re told he`s being interrogated by the FBI and by county
investigators from Ft. Lauderdale.
Now, we`re learning tonight, late tonight, that federal prosecutors are
preparing to file criminal charges against him. Federal prosecutors
preparing to file criminal charges against him for offenses relating to
interfering with the operation of an international airport. Other charges
related to the people who he apparently killed and injured will follow, but
this means this will proceed as a federal case and the FBI will take the
investigative lead. We expect to hear more about that from authorities
who, again, are due to give a press conference in – any minute now.
This was a murder of five people all together. Five people were killed.
At least eight other people were hurt. Many people who got hurt were taken
to the trauma unit at Broward Medical Center.
As for the suspected shooter, we do know quite a bit about him now – 26
years old, he`s American, his name is Esteban Santiago, he was reportedly
wearing a “Star Wars” t-shirt during the shooting. He had been living most
recently in Anchorage, Alaska. He was born in New Jersey, he moved to
Puerto Rico as a toddler, joined the Puerto Rican national guard in 2007.
He also deployed to Iraq in 2010, spent about a year in Iraq on that
deployment. Authorities say they did find his military I.D. on him today
but he was discharged from the service last year for what the guard
describes as unsatisfactory performance.
Federal law enforcement officials tell NBC News that this suspect was
undergoing treatment for mental health problems. He`d complained he was
hearing voices. NBC News reports a few months ago, he walked into the
FBI`s office in Anchorage claiming that the CIA was forcing him to join
ISIS. The FBI office then called the local police to deal with him and he
ended up going voluntarily into a mental health facility for treatment.
In terms of the motive, we don`t know the motive at this time, but five
people are now dead and eight others are hurt. Over 73,000 people pass
through this Florida airport everyday. Today, this young gunman, for
whatever reason, turned it into a little piece of hell on earth.
Again, we`re still awaiting a press conference from authorities in Ft.
Lauderdale but we are hearing there will be federal charges in this case
and that will mean the FBI is in the lead. We`ll bring that to you as soon
as it happens.
MADDOW: Again, we are awaiting the start of a press conference that`s due
to start 10 minutes or so ago in south Florida. This after the mass
shooting attack at the Ft. Lauderdale airport today. We`ve received some
news in the last few minutes that suggest this is going to be – become a
federal investigation with the FBI in the lead. We`re waiting to hear on
We`ve also got some further information through NBC News reporting about
the mental health history of this shooter so we`re waiting for that.
We`ve also got Congressman Adam Schiff of California of the Intelligence
Committee on deck for us tonight.
Lots still to come. Stay with us.
MADDOW: We knew it was going to happen some time. Today, it happened.
Today, the incoming president decided to try to use his soon-to-be
presidential power to come after NBC News. Quote, “I`m asking the chairs
of the House and Senate committees to investigate top secret intelligence
shared with NBC prior to me seeing it.” The chairs of the House and Senate
Last night at the top of our show, you might remember, we had a whole bunch
of developing stories about the intelligence report that was about to drop
on Russia attacking the U.S. election. There was new reporting on that
from “NBC Nightly News” last night. There was new reporting on that from
the “Washington Post” and a couple of different angles on it. There were a
whole bunch of developing stories on the contents of that report that came
out throughout last night and all the way through our show from 9:00 to
This is the report the nation`s top intelligence officials testified about
yesterday in the Senate which they briefed to the president yesterday, they
briefed to the top bipartisan leadership of Congress today. They briefed
it to the president-elect today, as well as a whole bunch of people from
hiss team that he brought with him to that briefing. I mean, a big
multiagency report comes out on a topic of intense interest, it`s discussed
in Congress ahead of time, it starts to formally get briefed out to lots
and lots of policymakers.
And you know what? In Washington, inevitably, even before the public
version of a report like that comes out, parts of it or stories about it
get leaked to the press. Welcome to Washington, Mr. President-elect.
Quote, “I am asking the chairs of the House and Senate committees to
investigate top secret intelligence shared with NBC prior to me seeing it.”
What this is from the incoming president is an obvious attempt to
intimidate NBC News. That`s not going to work. If the new president wants
to initiate an investigation, he should know that he`s within his rights to
try to do that in the executive branch. He can`t actually order Congress
to do an investigation or any other thing. Congress is independent of the
president. I don`t know if he knows that.
What remains to be seen, though, is how the intelligence communities are
going to respond to him making this public cry. It`s not like the
intelligence committees don`t have other things on their plate right now.
Joining us now is Congressman Adam Schiff. He`s the ranking member on the
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Congressman, I really appreciate you being here with us on a Friday night.
Thanks for being here.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: You bet.
MADDOW: So, the president-elect says he`s asking the chairs of the house
and Senate committees. I think he means the intelligence committees, I
think he means you, to investigate top secret intelligence shared with NBC
prior to me seeing it. He`s talking about, I presume, the reporting that
came out last night ahead of the public publication of this report.
How do you receive that as a member of the intelligence committee?
SCHIFF: Well, my reaction was really much the same as yours. Really? The
president-elect is briefed on Russia hacking into an American election and
further gets information today about the fact that it was not just designed
to sow discord but rather to hurt Secretary Clinton and help his
presidential campaign and what he wants to investigate is now NBC got some
information about this in advance. Really? That`s what he wants the
committees to be spending their time on?
It`s pretty breathtaking. But beyond that, we`re not the committees,
indeed, the congressional committees aren`t the ones that do the
investigation of leaks. That`s done by the executive branch, generally
done by the Department of Justice. So, a little absurd in that respect as
well but the bigger picture is, is this really your priority, Mr.
MADDOW: Especially given what`s in the report that we`ve now all seen.
Even the public version of this, the non-classified version of this is
stunning. I mean, looking at the three-column headline across the front
page of “The New York Times” tonight about the U.S. government concluding
Putin interfered in the U.S. election in order to elect Donald Trump
president and there`s a picture of Donald Trump as president-elect. It`s a
moment in history we are living through right now.
Did your understanding of what the Russians did and why and its
consequences change materially with the publication of this report today
and the way that you`ve been briefed?
SCHIFF: It did. You know, I think it certainly underscored the enormous
gravity of this. I have been briefed on a lot of about this over the weeks
and months. We had a gang of eight breathing which we received in further
detail today, which was in of itself stunning.
But what I came away with was that fact that we really need, Democrats and
Republicans, to work together, to push back hard, to develop a
comprehensive approach to all of the vectors of the Russian covert action
plans for the United States and the rest of the world, that is as this
report shows, they used paid social media trolls, they have their slick TV
platforms, they use bribery and extortion in Europe, they use hacking and
dumping of documents, they use dumping of forged documents.
They`re attacking all of liberal democracy. Not just the U.S., not this
one election and we in Congress need to be able to work with this new
president to push back and fight against that, and that has to start with
him accepting what has happened. We need him to step up. He`s going to be
president of the United States and he needs to lead in this assault on
MADDOW: Congressman, there was something that happened this morning before
– just before the public version of this report came out that has shaken
me a little bit, and I don`t think of myself as a person who gets sort of
buffeted by what happens in the news. I`m not that cynical but most things
don`t personally bother me.
I`m personally bothered by the fact that the president-elect came out after
his classified briefing getting the highly classified assessment of this
version came out and said there was no impact on the election of this
Russian interference. As far as I understand it and what seems to be
explicitly in the public report, the intelligence community did not assess
whether or not what the Russians did affected our election. Whether or not
it can ever be known, they didn`t even ask that question.
When he says definitively it did not affect the election result, has that
been determined by the intelligence community at all?
SCHIFF: No, that`s patently false and I think what the president-elect did
was by trying to comingle the fact that there`s no evidence that voting
machines were tampered with in a way that affected the counting of the
votes, that somehow this means that there was no impact on the election.
Well, that`s just not true. It`s not the job of the intelligence agencies
to determine was this decisive in its impact on the elections.
But it`s quite obvious that the daily dumping of information that was
damaging to Secretary Clinton and helpful to Donald Trump, that was enabled
by the Russian cyber operation had a hugely consequential impact. It was
part of the daily dialogue that Secretary Clinton had to confront when
these documents were done.
So, there`s no denying that it was influential. Whether it was decisive,
we will never know, and it`s not the job of the intelligence agencies to
try to tell us that.
MADDOW: Congressman Adam Schiff, thank you for your time, sir. I know
you`ve got a lot on your plate.
SCHIFF: Thanks, Rachel.
MADDOW: Appreciate you being here.
SCHIFF: You bet.
MADDOW: All right. We got much more ahead tonight. We are still awaiting
that news conference out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, after the mass
shooting at the airport there today. We are expecting some new information
from authorities there both about the continuing investigation, what will
be the prosecution of the suspect who is in custody and his background.
So, stay with us on that.
MADDOW: I want to give you a bit of an eye-popping update on a story that
we covered earlier this week that we got tons of reaction from you guys.
We heard from lots and lots and lots of viewers on this. It was Wednesday
We reported on what we saw as the early emergence of what looks like it may
end up being the anti-Trump movement in this country and as part of that
reporting we spoke to one of the authors of the “Indivisible” guide.
The “Indivisible” thing was put together by congressional staffers as
basically a how-to guide for resisting the Trump agenda at a grassroots
level. It essentially lays out in very practical terms how people can
pressure your own members of Congress. That`s an important part of it. It
has to be your own members of Congress to turn the national tied against
Trump`s agenda, to stop him from accomplishing what he wants to accomplish
Employs a very similar strategy to what the Tea Party did in 2009 to thwart
President Obama`s agenda when he was way more popular than Donald Trump is
now and had way bigger majorities in Congress in support of him. If the
Tea Party could accomplish as much as they did in 2009, imagine what an
anti-Trump movement using those same tactics could do now. That`s the
So, we covered that on Wednesday night. Today, one of the leaders wrote to
us to give us an update on the number of groups, anti-Trump groups that
have been formed through the “Indivisible” website and sort of registered
through the “Indivisible” website.
When we talked to that founder on Wednesday, he said that he was amazed.
He said something like 350 people had already founded groups and registered
them through the “Indivisible” website. It`s now over 1,550. That`s since
Wednesday. Today is Friday.
They also told us their website traffic has nearly tripled to 1.7 million
page views and almost 300,000 versions of this how-to guide have been
downloaded since Wednesday.
So, we reported on that on Wednesday because we saw this starting to pop up
around the country. It`s really started to pop up now.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: As I have mentioned, we have been waiting for the start of this
press conference at the Fort Lauderdale Airport. It`s getting underway
SHERIFF SCOTT ISRAEL, BROWARD COUNTY, FL: And then I`ll turn the
conference over to the airport director, Mark Gale. And then we`ll
conclude with the FBI SAC George Pirro, and then the three of us will take
The day began around 12:55 p.m. when an American subject by the name of
Esteban Santiago landed in the Fort Lauderdale Airport Terminal 2 on a
flight from Minnesota, Delta flight from Minnesota to Fort Lauderdale. He
eventually retrieved a firearm and began indiscriminately shooting.
This cowardly heinous act resulted in the deaths of five people. There
were 8 more people injured by way of gunshot that were transported to local
hospitals. There were at least 30 to 40 more people that went to the
hospitals for various injuries, falling, contusions, broken bones, strains,
sprains and things of that nature.
The subject was immediately taken into custody by Broward sheriff`s
deputies without incident. The subject was interviewed extensively by a
team of FBI agents and Broward sheriff`s deputies. The subject is now in
federal custody. And SAC Pirro will be speaking about that in a few
The subject at this point as I said is an American citizen and the
investigation continues. We bussed maybe thousands of people from off of
airplanes from baggage, waiting in lines, to the port. Terminal 4 at the
port and the Red Cross and many other agencies are coming together to
assist these people.
As tragic as this incident is, and continues to be I`ve never been so proud
of local, state and federal law enforcement. The FBI, the Florida
Department of Law Enforcement, the Broward sheriff`s office and many local
public safety agencies came together and worked with complete cohesion.
The entire law enforcement and public safety community work tirelessly
today and continues to work tirelessly as we continue this investigation.
At this time, I`ll bring up Mark Gale.
MARK GALE, FT. LAUDERDALE AIRPORT DIRECTOR: Thank you, Sheriff. I`m Mark
Gale, airport director.
First, I`d like to say, again, on behalf of Broward County administration,
our mayor, county commissioners, express our condolences and our sympathies
and keep our thoughts and prayers that lost their lives here today, as well
as their family and friends.
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