The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 1/6/2017
(FLORIDA OFFICIALS PRESS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS)
MARK GALE, FT. LAUDERDALE AIRPORT DIRECTOR: – county commissioners,
express our condolences and our sympathies and keep our thoughts and
prayers with those that lost their lives here today as well as their family
and friends. Truly horrific incident.
As the sheriff has said, we had a number of individuals that were not only
stuck on airplanes, planes that had landed but as well as some that were on
the gates that were not permitted to leave right after this incident
We had a number of individuals that evacuated out of the terminal on to
different areas. We`ve been working mostly today to make sure that
everybody was obviously safe and secure. Once we received that word from
our law enforcement partners, we`ve been in the process of either
transporting those individuals over to Port Everglades. In Terminal 4,
we`ve had dozens and dozens of buses transporting what we anticipate or
expect to be somewhere in the neighborhood of about 10,000 folks over to
Broward County staff as well as the Red Cross are over there to assist
those passengers in either getting into destinations, assisting with hotel
accommodations, providing them food and shelter.
Through this evening, we`re going to continue to work with our law
enforcement partners here as we continue to try to get the airport back
into an operational status. Working with all our airlines, the
transportation security administration and others to try to get the Fort
Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport back in operation tomorrow
The goal will be to have this operational at 0500, 5:00 a.m. tomorrow
morning, but we`re going to be encouraging all our travelers to check with
their individual airlines. As some may not be operating right away,
clearly, this incident has caused a lot of disruption, not only in their
individual schedules but other schedules around the country. So we
encourage everybody to actually contact their airlines.
We will continue to provide information through social media and through
Twitter, @FLLFlyer, through our webpage. And we encourage people to keep
checking those sources for any changes. And that`s all I have for the time
GEORGE PIRO, FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Good evening. As the sheriff mentioned,
the FBI is working very, very closely with the Broward Sheriff`s Office in
this investigation. We have begun the difficult task of processing the
crime scene which will allow us to identify the deceased in making the
proper notifications to the family members.
As you can imagine with this type of investigation and this type of
incident, it is a long-term, very difficult, complex investigation that
requires us to pursue all leads and avenues. But we are conducting
investigation not only here in South Florida, but in several other states
as we try to pursue the suspects` activities leading up to today`s horrific
The subject is in federal custody as the sheriff mentioned. A long
interview was conducted of the individual by the FBI and the Broward
Sheriff`s Office and he will be charged federally and most likely will have
his initial appearance in Broward on Monday.
Again, as I mentioned, with these types of incidents, as horrific they are,
we are looking at all avenues. We have not ruled out terrorism and we will
be pursuing every angle to try to determine the motive behind this attack
and any associates, any connections and communication, everything that you
can imagine. I assure you, we are pursuing every possible lead. Thank
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was this originally a flight from Anchorage and
Minneapolis and then to here?
PIRO: Yes. The individual flew from Alaska to Minneapolis to Fort
Lauderdale on a Delta Air Lines flight.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why was he coming here?
PIRO: At this time, it`s still too early in the investigation for us to
truly know why he came to Florida. So those are some of the things that
we`re looking at, those – his travel patterns, what brought him here and
his connections to South Florida.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We understand that the suspect had contact with the FBI
office in Alaska. Were those agents aware that he had weapons, was
anything done to keep those away from him?
PIRO: Yes. The individual did walk into our Anchorage office in November.
He came in and spoke with FBI agents. At that time, he clearly stated that
he did not intend to harm anyone. However, his erratic behavior concerned
FBI agents that were interviewing him and they contacted local police and
turned him over to the local police. He was taken into custody by the
local police and transported to a medical facility for a mental health
We looked at his contacts. We looked at – we did our interagency checks
and everything. And at that point, we`ve closed our assessment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) take away firearms, did you guys know that
he had firearms on him?
PIRO: That answer, I – or that question, I really don`t have the answers
for. Again, it`s very early in the investigation. We are working very
closely with our Anchorage field office trying to determine his activities
there. But I can`t really tell you about his weapons there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He voluntarily walked into the FBI office in
PIRO: Yes, he voluntarily walked into our office and he was interviewed by
agents out of that office.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And how long (inaudible) in Anchorage?
PIRO: That information, I don`t have. Again, it`s very early in the
investigation and that`s something that we`ll have to try to determine with
our Anchorage field office. He was turned over to local custody and it was
the local custody that took him to the medical hospital for evaluation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once the FBI (inaudible) in Anchorage, are you guys
looking into a house he may have looked at in Anchorage right now?
PIRO: We`re actually looking at several investigative leads not only in
Alaska, but in other states that we have determined that he`s either
traveled to or has connections there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was there a (inaudible) one of the (inaudible). Was
there a kind of work on (inaudible) that may have set him off?
PIRO: I`m not aware of any type of incident like that, but again, this is
very early in the investigation. But at this point, we`re unaware of an
incident either on the flight or baggage claim.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there any indication that he had become radicalized
in anyway? We know he mentioned some kind of hearing voices in his head.
PIRO: Again, it`s very early in the investigation. As I mentioned, we`re
not ruling out anything. We`re looking at every angle including the
terrorism angle, but it`s going to take us some time to determine the true
nature of the motivation of the individual.
PIRO: I believe he is 26 years old. He was in the U.S. military. We are
currently reviewing his military records. I can tell you that he was in
the military. I believe it was in the army, but we haven`t confirmed
exactly his service.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What type of gun and how many shots fired?
PIRO: What I can tell you at this point is that it was a semi-auto
handgun, but I am not prepared to release the type of handgun and it`s way
too early in the investigation to tell you how many rounds were fired.
SHERIFF SCOTT ISRAEL, BROWARD COUNTY, FLORIDA: No, he didn`t try and take
any hostages. As the subject, Esteban Santiago, was shooting, he was, as I
said, seconds after the shootings contacted by a Broward sheriff`s deputy.
Instructions were rendered. He was taken into custody without incident and
was immediately interviewed by the FBI and the Broward Sheriff`s Office.
One more question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sheriff, did he make any statements while he was
shooting in your (inaudible)?
ISRAEL: Not to my knowledge. If he (inaudible) Colonel Ryde (ph) will be
getting in touch and letting me know when the next press release, when the
press conference will be when we`re ready to release more information.
Right now, I just ask that the prayers of the nation be with the people and
the families that lost loved ones in Broward County. Thank you.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC NEWS ANCHOR: That was Sheriff Scott Israel, Broward
County, Mark Gale, the airport director there, as well as FBI Miami Special
Agent in Charge, George Piro, their briefing on that attack earlier today.
I`m Ari Melber in for Lawrence O`Donell here on The Last Word. We have a
full live hour for you tonight. Starting here, of course, with more on
that attack. NBC News Correspondent Kerry Sanders is live still at that
airport. What is the scene there now, Kerry?
KERRY SANDERS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, the airport remains closed,
but the airport is now beginning to come to life. Those passengers who
have been held in certain areas and certain terminals for hours today as we
just heard in the press conference are beginning to leave. But, it`s a
very complicated process. They`re separated from their luggage. In many
cases, they`ve been told that their luggage will be retrieved at some point
by a private company that will then try to reunite the luggage with them in
35 buses are making the loop around here picking up passengers. You heard
them say there may be as many as 10,000 passengers who have been caught up
in all of this. They`re taking them over to Port Everglades which is where
the cruise ship terminal is. And at that location, they`re helping people
make their way to get to hotels. Uber and Lyft have initiated free service
and sent, we were told, upwards of 600 cars over to that area to help ferry
Airbnb has set up a disaster relief where people can set a free stay at an
Airbnb. Anybody who`s watching and needs to find that, it`s
airbnb.com/disaster, so that they can find lodging for the night that won`t
cost them anything. Get in an Uber or a Lyft to get them over there.
There are also hotels as far away as Boca Raton that are offering free
lodging, so the community is coming together to help those people. Some of
the people who are leaving here have horrific stories to tell, and one of
them is Annika Dean. Now, Anika Dean was down in the luggage area and saw
the gunman and that`s when she decided to hit the ground and fortunately
for her, and this is a remarkable story, as she hit the ground, another
gentleman made his way over to her crawling on the ground and wrapped his
body around her telling her and whispering that he would protect her.
Listen to a little bit of what Anika had to tell me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANIKA DEAN, WITNESSED SHOOTING: I did see the shooter. I saw the gun. He
was walking towards us. I immediately just hid next to a SmartCart, little
carousel. I was laying there and maybe 30 seconds, an older gentleman
shielded me and told me that he would protect me. And I was terrified
because, you know, I have two boys and I was thinking these boys are
probably and may not have a mother or a severely injured mother. But I
just immediately felt tremendous amount of comfort when this man said, “I
will protect you.”
And there was a man nearby us that was shouting obscenities, attracting the
shooter and someone told me the shooter was right by us walking around. I
was looking at the carpet. I was not looking up. I was just praying to
God. Just praying to God and had an angel protect me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: Well, her prayers were answered to think that the horrific
shooting was taking place around her. We now know from Anika who that hero
was. She snapped a picture. Take a look at the picture here. He`s
sitting with his wife. His name is Tony Bordowitz (ph). And Tony is the
man who just, complete stranger, made his way over to Anika to protect her
in the chaos.
As you know, at this point, there are five dead. There were six people who
were injured. They were actually wounded with gunfire. In all, there were
30 people taken to the hospitals with other various injuries. And this
began at around 12:55, 1:00 today.
And within about the last hour plus, as you look over here behind me,
there`s a plane. That`s a United plane. That`s one of the planes that was
out on the runway and has been locked down out on the runway until about an
hour plus ago when they finally got the clearance to come in, so the
passengers who were on that plane have been sitting out there by my
calculation for more than eight hours. Anxious, of course, but also cooped
up inside there.
The authorities didn`t want to let the planes come in that had already
landed with passengers because they were unsure whether there were other
problems, other violence, other areas of concern. At one point, people in
Terminal 1 said that they had heard gunshots and so the authorities started
clearing up that area. And then there were also errant reports with the
sort of things that happened in a chaos like this where they heard that
there was some other suspicious activity inside the parking garage.
And so, Anika told me surviving that first one, that was quite an ordeal.
She said it was just the second and third ones when she heard about what
was going on in Terminal 1 and it was spilling over to two, and then what
was going on the parking garage. She said that all of that combined has
just made this, you know, just really difficult for her to endure. But
thankfully for her and so many people, they did survive.
They did say that the police did arrive quickly. There`ve been some
earlier reports that it took the officers awhile to get there, but
according to Anika, it seemed to her that they were there within about 60
seconds or so. But as we know, Esteban Santiago, who we heard in the news
conference, the 26-year-old alleged gunman, had arrived from Anchorage to
Minneapolis and Minneapolis to Fort Lauderdale.
Apparently, retreat his luggage down at baggage claim. He had checked a
pistol inside his luggage. Witnesses say he took his luggage into the
bathroom, retrieved the pistol and came out. It was loaded at that point.
We don`t believe it was loaded while it was in the luggage and then began
firing. And the witnesses say that he seemed to have enough time to shoot,
change the clip, shoot again, change the clip again.
So, I think there`s going to be a lot of questions at the end of this of
checking even a gun that has no bullets in it. Checking that through where
it can be retrieved on the other end of an airport.
But this happens everyday. People do check their rifles, check their
SANDERS: And there is a procedure for it. I think the real question here,
quite frankly, Ari, is if the FBI knew about this guy in Anchorage and if
he was demonstrating mental capacity issues and appeared to be a threat,
how his name didn`t wind up on that No Fly List. It`s just, you know,
that`s the crisscross here that I think people are going to wonder at the
end of this.
MELBER: Yeah, you raised an investigative question which we`re going to
follow, but also every time we see some of these horrific attacks, we also
see stories of incredible bravery of compassion, of perseverance. And
thank you for detailing one of those tonight, Kerry Sanders.
MELBER: Here is a little bit more of what we do know about the suspect.
Esteban Santiago, born in New Jersey. Grew up in Puerto Rico where he
served in the National Guard and spent a year in Iraq. Santiago moved to
Alaska two years ago. As Kerry was mentioning, served in the National
Guard there. Discharged last August for unsatisfactory performance. His
family saying he received psychological counseling in Puerto Rico after
returning from Iraq as well as in Alaska.
Jim Cavanaugh, an MSNBC law enforcement analyst, joins me now for more.
Jim, on the psychological profiling here, everyone likes to do Monday
morning quarterbacking. In fact, his (ph), as you know, as I know, the FBI
cannot just hold anyone who looks suspicious no matter how much contact
they have with him absent a crime or an intention to do a crime that`s
clearly stated as a threat.
So walk us through what they learned here from, as we just saw in the
briefing, what was an interaction with the suspect and what else you`re
thinking about looking at all of this.
JIM CAVANAUGH, MSNBC LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, the FBI didn`t do
anything wrong in Alaska, and I`ve had this exact scenario, you know, the
guys coming into my office talking about, you know, the CIA is talking to
them through their head and they`re telling them to do bad things, this is
not an unusual event.
The FBI in Alaska didn`t do anything wrong. They called the local police
and the local police did what they`re supposed to do. They took him for a
mental health evaluation.
The gap in all of this – and I spent my whole life doing this with these
guys, the gap in all of this is we don`t have the right statute. Now, some
states have put them in place, a gun violence restraining order. It`s a
very tempory thing, it can be written appropriately so your rights are
endangered. But it can help law enforcement, help a guy like this guy and
all the people who were murdered today. I call it the tragedy triangle.
Now, this is my own personal assessment over there after all those years.
But it`s – there`s some mental health issues, then there`s some contact
with the police and then a gun enters the picture. So that triangle, some
mental health issues, some contact with the police and then a gun enters
the picture, there`s tragedy in the middle. So how do you interrupt that?
For example, if that was a state with a state law like a gun violence
restraining order when he went into the FBI, the police could have been
called and said, “Hey, this guy is talking like this, we might need to see
if he has guns at home. He`s a danger to himself or others.” We might
need to secure those until we can sort this out and flag the National Insta
Check System so he can`t buy a gun. You know, until this is all sorted out
by the court. So, we`re not taking away his rights, we`re just – a
temporary restraining order. It`s kind of like a domestic violence
MELBER: Right. Well, part of what you`re saying here is that –
CAVANAUGH: So –
MELBER: Part of what you`re saying is that, in a lot of the states, the
policy, the toolkit available to law enforcement is not strong enough even
when you have someone who is not only displaying mental – potentially
mental instability but also is actually interacting with law enforcement so
they have a first-person primary witness ability to make that assessment
and they`re still being hobbled. You know, I`m going to speak later in the
broadcast to Michael Moore who made a whole documentary about gun violence.
I think it`s fair to say you and Michael Moore don`t agree on everything.
I know both of you. But it seems to me that as a law enforcement person,
there is some overlap in that you`re saying you do agree there`s got to be
more tools there for law enforcement to at least, as you`re saying, on a
court ordered basis intercept what would otherwise be a mentally unstable
person potentially getting a gun at the worst possible time.
CAVANAUGH: Right. And so when did this guy get the gun that he now
murdered five people with and shot all these other folks in Fort
Lauderdale, when did he get this gun? Did he get it after he went to the
FBI? Because they couldn`t legally stop him from getting the gun. He has
not been committed to a mental institution. That`s the federal law since
1968, if you`re committed by the court. He wasn`t committed from what we
know. He was voluntarily entered so they couldn`t prevent it. That`s why
those gun violence restraining orders are important. You can`t stop
everybody, but this guy could have been stopped. He was known to law
MELBER: All right, former ATF Special Agent Jim Cavanaugh, thank you as
always. Appreciate it.
Coming up, Michael Moore, as I mentioned, here with us to react to some of
the events in Florida as well as to Donald Trump`s intelligence briefing
MELBER: Welcome back to The Last Word. Our other top story tonight, the
Russia hacks. We live in a world full of hyperbole. If you follow the
news, you`re bound to hear many unprecedented developments hyped up. But
today was truly momentous and at times bizarre by any standard, including
every other presidential transition in American history.
Today, leaders of our nation`s intelligence agencies briefed an incoming
president about one, why a foreign adversary favored him over the candidate
he beat. Two, why the U.S. intelligence they offered is solid and thus
this president-elect, in their view, is wrong. And three, why they`re
taking this unusual step of releasing part of that briefing to the public.
So tonight, we actually know a lot more than we knew this morning about all
of these unusual developments including Donald Trump`s response. The
public intelligence briefing concludes that Vladimir Putin directed the
hacking and propaganda into the American election in order to undermine
public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton
and harm her electability and potential presidency.
The briefing notes that while the hacking began, long before Trump was the
nominee back when few people in the U.S. or abroad thought he would win.
Remember that. But overtime, they say it appeared that he might win. And
then, Putin and the Russian government developed a clear preference for
Trump. Why, well, the briefing includes some fairly typical reasons that
are interesting but not remarkable like the view that Trump`s foreign
policy would just favor Russia`s interest in the Middle East.
And then has some responses, some reasoning that is profoundly disturbing
if true. Like Putin`s track record of getting his way with “Western
political leaders whose business interest made them more disposed to deal
with Russia such as former Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi”.
Yes, you heard that right. This new intelligence report says Putin prefers
Trump because he thinks Trump and his businesses, basically his profits and
his debts, will give Putin leverage. Leverage over Trump, thus, leverage
Now, let`s be clear, that`s not a finding that Trump`s debts will actually
result in giving Putin that power. It`s a finding that that`s what Putin
thinks. And maybe Putin thinks that based on business deals he knows about
or based on other hacks he`s done since the briefing also finds Russia led
hacks into both the DNC and the RNC but only released DNC material.
Now, Trump could counter some of these suspicions by releasing his tax
returns and divesting from his international businesses which were told
Putin believes gives him leverage. Until Donald Trump does that, these
questions, to be clear, will only intensify as they should.
Today, though, Trump`s response fell far short of even accepting the
findings on Russia saying, “While Russia, China, other countries, outside
groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber
infrastructure of our government institutions, businesses and organizations
including the DNC, there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the
election including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with
While Trump stressed the hack had no effect on the election outcome, that`s
his opinion, the briefing, to be clear, didn`t reach any conclusion on that
Joining me now is Malcolm Nance, MSNBC counterterrorism and intelligence
analyst, Rick Wilson, Republican strategist and Ken Dilanian, NBC news
intelligence and national security reporter.
Ken, when you look at what`s in the briefing, what is the key takeaways and
what did you make of that reference worded very carefully but a reference
to Putin`s belief that the Trump organization will help Putin have power
potentially over Trump.
KEN DILANIAN, NBC NEWS, NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: I`m not sure what to
make of that, to be honest, sorry. I mean, although, you know, it does
track with Putin`s previous history of favoring right wing and wealthy
political leaders. But in terms of the key takeaways, I was struck, you
know, in the lead up to this and the reporting on this, there was a dispute
over what the motives were, right? There were some people who said the
motives were to elect Trump and there were some other sources were saying,
“No, it was really to destabilize American democracy.”
What we see now is that it was both and that it evolves. And – but there
was a key finding that by the end, the Russians were trying to get Trump
elected and they were happy when he was. And, that`s something that`s
going to be interesting to see how Trump reacts to as this thing moves on.
MELBER: All right, Rick, when you look at Donald Trump`s response on a
scale of one, complete, and total rejection and 10, a responsible normal
president working with the intelligence agencies, where did you see him
RICK WILSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I guess the response has
probably made more sense in the original Russian. This is a guy who is
consistently siding (ph) with – I mean, the things out of WikiLeaks today,
the things that have – and out of Trump`s mouth were identical. This is a
guy who clearly does not believe the American intelligence community. He
instead believes Julian Assange and Vladimir Putin. And it`s really
troubling. And I think even this very carefully worded report which, you
know, obviously protects sources and methods and obviously does its best to
not, you know, outline exactly what Sigan (ph) or comment channels or other
intelligence channels this information came to us by.
You know, it still presents an awful lot of evidence that Trump outright
rejected and I find that – I find it remarkable. It`s an ongoing war with
the intelligence community that he is waging that I think is going to have
some downstream consequences for him.
MELBER: Well, you mentioned his rejection and where that comes from.
Malcolm, former acting CIA director, Michael Moore, was talking about this
and he says, Trump`s repudiation of the CIA flows from his desire to
protect his brand in all cost, his need to always be right, his refusal to
change his views based on new information and his unwillingness to listen
to others. It flows from who he is as a person. He goes on to argue that
if that doesn`t change, it will be dangerous.
MALCOLM NANCE, MSNBC COUNTERTERRORISM AND INTEGGENCE ANALYST: Well, he`s
absolutely right and some of the comments that we have seen just today are
going to prove dangerous, because the report that we are looking at
tonight, the report that you are looking at tonight, by the way, which was
almost identical to the book that I wrote three months ago on this exact
subject, it was unclassified. It was a wash of any sources and
Donald Trump`s brief is going to show the actual path ways of how that
information came to be. He was shown that and now he believes, flat out,
the only thing that he believes related to that report is that he thinks
that this did not benefit him and that didn`t win him the election. And
that`s all he`s concerned about.
Whether it damages the intelligence community, whether he comes out and may
compromise the sources, we don`t know. But you know, what Donald Trump
does from this point, he`s going to own this system and it`s a question of
whether he`s going to listen to it or is he going to abuse it.
MELBER: And, Ken, he told the A.P. here afterward, you know, I learned a
lot and I think they did also. He wasn`t briefing the intelligence
agencies on anything that he had independently researched. I mean that is
KEN DILANIAN, MSNBC NEWS INTELLIGENCE REPORTER: I`m not sure what to make
of that but I did – It was a more conciliatory Donald Trump in the
statement that we saw after the briefing. He didn`t – And the
intelligence community officials I talked to took note of that. He didn`t
– They were afraid he was going to start tweeting and denouncing the
intelligence community as he has been in recent weeks. He didn`t do that.
He didn`t do stuff to find it (ph).
MELBER: What does that say? I mean what does that say that you`ve got
sources that, you`re just reporting on what you`re finding? But what does
that say that you`ve got sources who are now saying, oh, well, even though
he didn`t accept our findings, which is our work, which is our role, which
is the national security piece of this, at least he didn`t disparage us
publicly on the internet. Is that where we are?
DILANANIAN: It is a remarkable state of affairs, isn`t it? But, you know
– And just because he didn`t accept the findings publicly doesn`t mean
he`s not accepting them behind the scenes and he`s not trying to find a way
to thread the needle. I mean obviously he saw this whole thing as an
effort to undermine his victory and that`s the most important thing to him,
it`s to be able to say this didn`t affect the vote –
MELBER: Rick, go ahead.
RICK WILSON, CONTRIBUTOR, “THE DAILY BEAST”: You know, I think Malcolm is
right on target. I mean this is a guy who is obsessed about having
lustrousness to his name. And that if the thought that the Russians put
their thumb on the scale in some way and it becomes associated with his
brand that it`s bad for his brand, I mean this is – It`s remarkable that
he is much more defensive about whether or not he looks bad than what the
Russians have done in the course of running what is clearly from the leaks
of the classified portions and the non-classified report issued today a
very broad spectrum program of active measures directed against this
country. I mean he was more concerned about the leak to NBC than he is
about Vladimir Putin intervening in our democracy.
MELBER: Right. You mentioned that leak and his calling for some kind of
investigation, which we`re going to discuss more later this hour. To your
point, Rick, this is why we generally have presidents with some prior
record of service, be it military, government or public, because they have
some experience working on something other than themselves.
And in his case, it`s private interests and a business. There is no other
record. Malcolm, take a listen to Leon Panetta, also a former CIA
director, talking about just you how unusual and problematic this all is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEON EDWARD PANETTA, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: I have never seen anything like
this in my lifetime. The fact that the president elect is tweeting on this
issue and taking it to the public and in many ways undermining the
credibility of the very intelligence agencies that have to provide
information to him in order for him to be President of the United States,
this is just unheard of and unprecedented.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: And so, Malcolm, I guess the real question is what is in the face
of what may be unprecedented and inappropriate conduct, what is the
appropriate way for responsible people including in government to deal with
all of this?
NANCE: Well, if there were an adult in the room, actually who`s going to
take over the reigns of power, they would moderate their comments,
understand there`s a system in place that is not here just for the
generation of information because he`s going to become the consumer of that
information, because he`s going to become the consumer of that information.
They are here to protect this nation and let me tell you, within the
intelligence community, I`m an intelligence practitioner and the people who
I communicate with are intelligence practitioners.
This has gone way beyond serious. And like Leon Panetta, I think that this
has gone from serious to suspicious. Anybody else in a position who would
have a top secret code security clearance would have their lives ripped
apart right now before being suspected of being an agent of a foreign
I can`t say that that`s what`s happening here, but Donald Trump benefitted
from this hack. Donald Trump doesn`t acknowledge that but what he does
acknowledge is that he is grateful by the way that he speaks about these
foreign powers for whatever they did but he won`t recognize his own
nation`s defense for this cyber warfare operation that was carried out
MELBER: Well, I think you`re putting your finger right (ph). I mean,
Rick, isn`t that the most disturbing part about where we land, which is if
you imagine a person who might have benefitted inadvertently or
accidentally from this kind of foreign intrusion, you would expect them to,
if anything go to the other extreme and say I`m going to work with all the
independent nonpartisan folks to get to the bottom of this because it`s
bigger than the fact that someone may have benefitted me, oh, and by the
way, what we often see in foreign policy, they might go even further and
say, “By the way, you`re not getting any favors back from me. I represent
the U.S., not Kremlin”? Rick.
WILSON: Just the argument about Hillary is not sufficient to accept the
aid, either tacitly or overtly, either consciously or unconsciously of a
hostile foreign power, it`s just absolutely wrong.
MELBER: Rick Wilson, Malcolm Nance and Ken Dilanian, thanks for sticking
with us and thanks for joining tonight.
Coming up, Michael Moore is here to talk about Donald Trump as well as the
shooting today in Florida.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: These are bad
people. These are lying people. These are people that rigged the system.
The media, they rigged the system.
Sit down. Go ahead.
JORGE RAMOS, UNIVISION ANCHOR: I have the right to –.
TRUMP: No, you don`t. You haven`t been called.
RAMOS: I have the right to ask a question.
TRUMP: Go back to Univision.
Even this really dishonest media people, the world`s most dishonest people.
There`s something happening, they`re not reporting it. Katy, you`re not
By the way, I hate some of these people but I`d never tell them. I would
never do that. That`s secret. No, I wouldn`t.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Donald Trump`s verbal attacks on the press are well-known and he
has sued reporters in his private life. But as incoming president, he just
drew a new line.
After NBC`s reporting about the intelligence on Russia, Trump wrote, “I`m
asking the chairs of the house and Senate committees to investigate top
secret intelligence shared with NBC prior to me seeing it.”
NBC news checked and neither committee has received that request. But this
is not just Twitter trash talk. This is the head of the government in a
few weeks calling for investigations into intelligence officials that he`s
currently debating and the press that dares report on the materials.
And while legally that kind of investigation is usually done by the
executive branch, the FBI, not the congressional committee, that may just
be a small detail in the steep learning curve of the Donald Trump
presidency, because the larger question here isn`t whether Trump knows how
to order this kind of inquiry into the free press, but why he wants to.
Joining us now, Michael Moore, Academy Award Winning Documentary Filmmaker.
His latest film is “Michael Moore in TrumpLand”. Thanks for being with us
tonight. Your thoughts on what he`s up to here and whether it`s
MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: Well, the reason it works, when he does that
anger, get people to hate the press that`s standing there, is because the
press has not done the job that the people expected to do.
Let`s just – We don`t have to go back all through my life. Let`s just go
back to the beginning of the Iraq War when the “New York Times” had a
reporter who was writing stories that simply weren`t true about Saddam and
weapons of mass destruction. And from that point on, then go through the
banking crisis, you know, where the media, many of the people in the media,
just don`t understand basic economics or how the economic system runs or
what – you know, I would go on the shows back then and I would say, “All
right. Explain to me a credit default swap if you could in 30 seconds.”
MELBER: Can I have two minutes.
MOORE: No, I`m not going to do this to you right now. You know, you might
actually know – You have that scary credit default swap look right now.
So I won`t go do it.
But I`m just saying that people`s lives in this country have been affected
deeply and in many cases ruined and many of our young people dead in Iraq
and Afghanistan as a result of the press not doing their job and asking the
questions and demanding the answers.
And so there`s already a distrust and he knows how to milk that quite well.
The fact that he goes after NBC, I mean I`ve started watching this at the
beginning, from the – where he`s – when he came down the
gave his conference to announce that he`s running for president. Two days
later, this network fires him from the apprentice. I mean basically ends
the relationship with him.
So you know this about him. His skin is so thin. I mean if Alec Baldwin,
also on this network, does an impersonation of him, you know, he goes
MELBER: Ballistic, yeah.
MOORE: But he actually got fired. “You`re fired,” is what NBC said to him
two days after his announcement in June of 2015. And right away Katy Tur
is on the beat, you know, and initially he starts his thing, where he –
well, you know, his love (ph), it`s a woman covering him, you know, he`s –
and he tries to put on that Trump – I hate to call it charm, but he thinks
it`s charm, and she didn`t fall for it. She was actually a journalist and
asked questions and demanded answers and gave honest reports. And if you
watch Katy Tur right back then, you have no idea what her personal politics
are or how she votes or whatever. That just drove him crazy. And I think
any time a woman, whether it`s Megyn Kelly or Katy Tur or, you know,
whoever, isn`t enamored with him, he loses it, so.
MELBER: Do you think the diagnosis you just gave then means, that when he
calls for this investigation, it is him talking trash or when he`s –
MELBER: – at the government, it`s a real threat, it`s a free speak.
MOORE: No, it`s an absolute real threat. Absolutely. No, no, he will
come after you. You, personally, you the network and if you cross him, he
will use his power to do this as he has used his power in private business.
You know, all the media should be very concerned about this and I forgot
who wrote this piece awhile back about how sadly President Obama paved the
way by, you know – I think there`s eight whistleblowers.
MELBER: The Obama administration has done more prosecutions under the
espionage acts targeting whistleblowers and at times reporters and what
used to be –
MOORE: James Risen.
MELBER: – more of a privilege.
MOORE: Right. And then all the presidents combined, I think, before Obama
for 200 years, they jailed three whistleblowers and he has jailed eight and
gone after everybody James Risen`s and everybody else.
So, that sort of opened the door sadly.
MOORE: And Trump will take advantage of that door and I think anybody who
cares that cares about the truth needs to be worried about this, because
this man, not only has revenge on the mind constantly, behaves like, I used
to say, a 12-year-old, but I feel rather that`s unfair to 12-year-olds.
And also, the way that he seek (ph) this, I mean, today, he goes after his
own show. He is the executive producer of the apprentice.
MELBER: Right. Yes, and cutting his own profits.
MOORE: Going against his own, yes, financial interest. He goes against
the new show.
MELBER: If we fit in a break, will you stay with us?
MELBER: And I should say, these are issues that concern people as a
citizens, as reporters. As a lawyer, I previously was on the legal team
for James Risen. So I always disclose that when his name comes out. But,
OK, so obviously, there are a lot of people who follow.
Michael Moore will stay with us. We`ll take a quick break and talk about
the other big story right after this.
MELBER: We`re learning more about the gunman who killed five people and
injured another eight at the Fort Lauderdale Airport today.
Now, earlier tonight in NBC news spoke with the gunman`s aunt that says he
changed after his service in Iraq.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIA RUIZ, AUNT OF ESTEBAN SANTIAGO (translated): Esteban is a good kid
but he went to Iraq. The National Guard sent him over there. He was there
for a few months. He wasn`t OK when he left there.
After six months in Iraq, his father died and it appears that affected him
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Back with me is Michael Moore, whose Oscar Winning Documentary
“Bowling for Columbine” examined gun violence in America.
You have refused yourself at times from always commenting on what has
become an increasing tort of mass shootings.
MOORE: Yes, after Sandy Hook, I`ve told MSNBC and CNN, because they were
constantly calling me after these shootings because I made “Bowling for
Columbine”, and I said, “I`m sorry. I`m not going to be a pundit for this
with a new normal.” And I`m not going to be part of the new normal where
ultimately the schools says (ph), “Let`s have on the director of “Bowling
for Columbine.” I reject that. I reject our culture like that. We have
90 percent of the country that wanted that Obama gun law passed and we
couldn`t get it passed. I mean, you know, so –.
MELBER: You know, you say the new normal. When I started covering these
shootings, they were the thing in the news that would make me cry more than
anything else and we do with a lot of different stories, and I remember
crying before going on set and trying to get it together and then I can
remember doing this long enough and I haven`t been doing it that long where
you cry less and they happen so often. What it – What do – Here, you
deal in art and story telling, what do you do with a country that`s
MOORE: I was talking to your executive producer this afternoon and I said,
“I don`t know if I want to come on,” because I`m done. I`m checked out of
this. I`m not a participant in the new normal. And he pointed out he
said, “Yeah, but like in the old days, like you just said, this would have
been wall to wall on MSNBC Tonight. And now because it`s just this month`s
mass shooting, you know, we`re also going to talk about the other things we
should be talking about, the Russian thing and everything else today.” So
I said I would come on and I guess the thing I want to say about this
particular shooting, we don`t know a lot as we sit here right now, but the
things we do know are this. As his aunt said he was a good kid and then he
went to Iraq. He joined the National Guard.
You know, back in my day and actually even before the Iraq and Afghanistan
Wars, guys I know in Michigan who joined the National Guard, you do that as
an extra thing to make a little money. You have a regular job. You do
that. You do it on the weekend and you do it in case Michigan needs. I
mean there`s now the internal national problem. That`s why it`s called the
You don`t join the National Guard to go fight a foreign war. But these
National Guard men and women have been sent over there, one tour, two
tours, three tours, four. And the fact that he couldn`t get the mental
help that he needed, this is what we should be talking about. This is the
real – The real story is that, you know, at first it was an as ISIS thing.
ISIS has killed I don`t know, 14, 15, Americans, you know, the actual ISIS,
not people who said they were inspired.
MELBER: Lots of sympathizers, yeah.
MOORE: Actual ISIS has killed 14 to 15 Americans. We`ve had a half
million to a million troops go to that war over a 15 year period who have
come back and many of them need help. They have PTSD. There`re problems
in their domestic relationship. There`s all these – There is this, we are
going to suffer more from what Bush and Chaney did to this country,
starting a war that was not about the defense of this country.
And the violence of today is the violence that was created to this young
man by that former administration. And that is not being discussed. It
won`t be discussed all weekend on any of the news shows. But I wanted to
bring it up and remind people that as his aunt said he probably was a good
kid and then he`s messed up. And if it turns out it was a fight that he
got – you know, there was an argument on the plane and he went and got his
gun because it was handy, because we allowed guns to be transported still
on planes, you know, if he had the time to cool down and not have access to
that gun, maybe we`d be okay.
MOORE: But the fact that he, you know, I mean, I live in Michigan. In my
town I have restored these two old theaters and I run them as non-profits
for the town. But I have a sign in the window that says, “We hire Iraq and
Afghanistan veterans.” And I`ve asked everybody in Michigan to put that
sign on the window and it`s hard to get people to do that.
We have to hire these vets. We have to give them the help they need and I
hope this weekend somebody will talk about why this really happened and why
this young man ended up in this situation.
MELBER: Michael Moore on the airport shooting. What I want to do is fit
in one more break.
And, up next, another important topic, the inaugural protest by the women
in Washington. Stay with us.
MELBER: You`re watching the “The Last World”. Back with us is Michael
Moore. The other question I want to ask you looking forward. What are you
MOORE: Well, I`m going to be in D.C. as I think hundreds of thousands of
people are going to be there on the big Women`s March on Washington.
Women`s March on Washington, that`s the one – If you want to go online at
womensmarch.com or in Twitter it`s @womensmarch.
This is the thing everyone is coming to, women, men, everybody. And that
it`s going to be not the day of the inauguration. It`s the day after.
It`s the sort of the first full day of the Trump era. I can`t believe I
said those words, the potentially short-lived Trump era. That will be
Saturday, January 21st, Women`s March on Washington.
MELBER: For those of us who`ve grown up on your work, who many people take
inspiration from the way you tell stories and the way you do your work,
what do you say to people who look at this right now and there are many and
I hear from them who`ll say it seems hopeless depending on their views.
What`s the point? What`s the point of a march? What`s the point of doing
anything right now?
MOORE: Oh, well, first of all, Trump gets upset if there`s 10 people
outside Trump Tower. He tweets about it. “Unfair,” the first, then after
he wins, right, he has won, he goes, “Protesters down on the streets. It`s
like 10 people. Unfair.” It`s like –.
MELBER: It`s true.
MOORE: It`s right, yeah. No, he did. That`s the word he used and it`s
like, wow, what is he going to think if there`s 100,000 or 500,000? I
mean, you know, it`s so important that we all, everybody who can go there,
It`s a weekend. Come on, you know, it`s down south. It`s at D.C., you
know, there won`t be a lot of snow. But no, it`s – this will have an
effect. We have to throw everything at this. This man is slightly
unhinged, if I can say that, and he`s a malignant narcissist. So he cares
very much about what people think of him. He wants to be the popular guy
and he`s going to be very upset if there`s a lot of people there and then
beyond that, beyond the 21st, the people that Rachel had on the other
night, all the other groups, Boe Wilmans (ph), got a thing going – you
could go online. There`s so many groups forming. You can go to my website
or my Facebook. There`s so many things we`re going to be putting out
there. We`re going to be busy, busy, busy, 100 days of resistance, the
first 100 days.
Look, we stopped him this week when congress tried to get rid of the office
MELBER: The ethics, got it, yeah.
MOORE: Yeah. He didn`t stop it. He had Kellyanne on the “Today” show.
MELBER: Defending it.
MOORE: Defending it at 8:00 a.m. But we all went on Facebook and said
everybody call at 9:00 the switchboard opens and they were swamped. It
broke the switchboard and by – after 10:00, Trump gave in, gave in after
MELBER: So you say the key part of it is keeping track of what`s happening
so you can show them you know what`s happening, the consequences?
MOORE: And you show up. And everybody, you have to show up. You have to
get up off the couch. You have to go and do something. Everybody, look,
I`m so encouraged by this march. I was in just come before coming out
there back in your – the people that do the make up and the hair back
MOORE: Such a wonderful job. Every time, I say to them, “You can`t do
MELBER: Well, you have a nice Bowling there, yeah.
MOORE: But they`re talking about it.
MOORE: When is the last time you saw hair and make up people talking about
going to a march in D.C.? I`m telling you, no offense, I`m just saying
that`s the new political, that`s the new Americana, and that`s what is
going to happen and people are going to be relentless about this. So I am
MELBER: Michael Moore, thank you for being here.
MOORE: Thank you.
MELBER: I really enjoy it and I appreciate your time on Friday night. I`m
Ari Melber in for Lawrence O`Donnell.
MOORE: Come back, Lawrence.
MELBER: Lawrence is coming back next week.
MELBER: Goodnight everybody.
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United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
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