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Transcript: The 11th Hour with Brian Williams, 1/18/2021

Guest: James Stavridis, Celine Gounder, Rick Wilson

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Professor Eddie Glaude, thank you very much for joining us on this important night, we really appreciate it.


O`DONNELL: Professor Eddie Glaude gets tonight`s LAST WORD. "THE 11TH HOUR" with Brian Williams starts now.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC HOST: Well, good evening once again. Day 1,460 of the Trump administration, Joe Biden becomes 37 hours from this moment, our 46th President.

The transfer of power from Donald Trump taking place in unprecedented conditions, The Washington Post just out with new reporting on a threat to the inauguration. It`s detailed as part of an FBI intelligence report. "The FBI privately warned law enforcement agencies Monday that far-right extremists have discussed posing as National Guard members in Washington and others have reviewed maps of vulnerable spots in the city signs of potential efforts to disrupt Wednesday`s inauguration. The document a summary of threats that the FBI identified in a Monday Intel briefing warned that both `lone wolves` and adherence to QAnon, some of whom joined the violence siege on the Capitol January 6, have indicated they plan to come to Washington for President-elect Joe Biden`s swearing in ceremony."

Post goes on to say the Bureau asked it to withhold some details of the Intel report to avoid revealing intelligence gathering methods or specific security vulnerabilities in the District of Columbia.

Military buildup in Washington for the inauguration now includes over 2700 active duty U.S. troops. Pentagon says about 750 of those will be involved in enhanced security and dealing with chemical biological, nuclear, radiological explosive weapon detection.

The National Guard has called up 25,000 troops at least two and a half times the number for previous inaugurations and because this is our country in 2021, due to fears of an internal threat to the inauguration, from within the ranks, the AP reports the feds are vetting the Guard members to stop any potential attacks from those in uniform.


MAJ. GEN. WILLIAM WALKER, D.C. NATIONAL GUARD: The FBI is scrubbing the Secret Service gives out their credentials and then we have other agencies helping with the scrub as well. So it`s we`re really are pretty sure we know who is out here supporting us.


WILLIAMS: The inauguration week opens with the day the nation monitors -- honors, forgive me, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. President- elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris spent the day volunteering at service projects in Philly and Washington while continuing to build up their administration.

Tonight the National Mall is illuminated with 56 pillars of light aiming skyward representing the 50 states and U.S. territories. Also there nearly 200,000 us flags representing those Americans unable to travel to Washington for the inauguration.

Meanwhile, Trump who is leaving town before the inauguration is reportedly near completion of a list of pardons and commutations that reportedly may include over 100 names.

New York Times says that disgraced New York state legislator Sheldon Silver and the rapper Lil Wayne may be on Trump`s list. The Times notes Trump allies Rudy Giuliani doesn`t expect one Steve Bannon chances of a pardon are fading.

NBC News reports three sources familiar with the President`s thinking say, he`s not expected to issue protective pardons for himself or his family.

The Times points this out. They say Trump has been cautioned against pardoning himself by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone. And the former Attorney General Bill Barr, White House officials also believe that any consideration he is giving to granting himself a pardon could also turn more Republicans against him in his coming senate impeachment trial. Some Trump advisors are concerned that he would forfeit his Fifth Amendment rights against self incrimination should he grant himself a pardon.

Trump`s final hours in office are unfolding in the wake of the ransacking of our Capitol. This weekend, even more new video emerged of the riot it was shot by a writer for The New Yorker. It gives us perhaps the clearest look at the mob as it ransack the Capitol and set up camp in the Senate chamber. It explains why America is on high alert for a potential follow on attack. The rioters in this video and the others appear to believe they carried out their acts with the blessing of the President, if not at his direct command.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were invited by the president of the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought I was following my president. I thought I was following what we were called to do. He asked us to be there, so I was doing what he asked us to do.


WILLIAMS: The FBI is now focusing on the role of some self styled militia members and extremist groups may have played in the riot. And this weekend arrested an army reservist with security clearance for U.S. naval bases.

Federal Court documents today revealed a Pennsylvania woman accused of being one of the Capitol rioters told a former romantic partner of hers that she planned to steal a laptop computer, lifted from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi` office and sell it to Russian intelligence.

A federal law enforcement official says she has now surrendered to authorities. Trump`s Senate trial for incitement of insurrection could begin anytime after the inauguration. The Senate is still waiting for Speaker Pelosi to send over articles of impeachment. Lawmakers on both sides are now focused on making the case against and for Trump`s conviction.


REP. TED DEUTCH, (D) FLORIDA JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: The record has to reflect that he was convicted. If this was a serious enough offense for us to impeach in a bipartisan way that it`s a serious enough offense for the Senate to go forward.

REP. NANCY MACE, (D) SOUTH CAROLINA: There are questions about whether or not what they`re doing is even constitutional, even having a trial and impeaching him when he`s already out of office. We`re already divided as a nation. This will just throw gasoline on the fire.


WILLIAMS: Rudy Giuliani has told several media outlets he doesn`t expect to be part of Trump`s defense team for the upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate because as he explains that he could be called as a witness, in part because of the incitement in his speech to the mob.

No announcements have been made on who will represent the president at the trial. As for Trump`s next steps, there were moving vans at Mar-a-Lago today, a dependable sign of a new administration in Washington.

The farewell ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base still slated for Wednesday 8 a.m. It may include a color guard, a 21 gun salute. Bloomberg reporting invitations asked the honored guests to arrive by 7:15. But invitees can bring as many as five guests because Donald Trump wants a big crowd at his farewell.

With that, let`s bring in our leadoff guests as we start a new week, Ashley Parker, Pulitzer Prize-winning White House Reporter for The Washington Post, Sam Stein, Veteran Journalist who is now White House Editor over at Politico and Admiral James Stavridis, 30 year veteran of the U.S. Navy, retired with four stars on his shoulders, former Head of the U.S. Southern Command, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO.

Good evening, and welcome to you all. Ashley, we have now seen the President`s schedule for his final day in office. It is blank, empty except for the admonition at the bottom, we now know that he dictates he`ll be making many calls and having many meetings. Nothing, not a cabinet member, not a pillow manufacturer, can you share your reporting on the state he is in and the tightening circle of people around him?

ASHLEY PARKER, THE WASHINGTON POST, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yeah, that`s exactly right. It`s important to keep in mind that we have not seen the president since last Tuesday, which is when he went to Alamo Texas to visit a section of the border wall where again, also important to note, he made an initial public remarks about the assault on the Capitol where he took no responsibility or culpability and said his initial response was totally appropriate.

And then we haven`t seen from him. We haven`t heard from him and his circle is getting smaller and smaller, and smaller. Two things jumped out at me. One is that, you know, you mentioned pardons in your introduction, is that he spent the weekend poring over pardons. And our understanding is you really knew the specifics of the cases he was asking granular questions. Pardons are something that President likes because it`s one of the true sort of full powers of the presidency, one of the true full powers, he still has remaining. And you sort of wonder if the President had paid this much attention to detail to something like coronavirus, to something like working with Congress to pass legislation. How different might his presidency have looked? We don`t know the answer, but it is always interesting to note what the President does devote attention to and the winning days and what he doesn`t and in the President`s absence, one person who has really stepped up is Mike Pence. His Vice President went to FEMA on Thursday to get an inauguration security briefing. His vice president thanked National Guard troops in an impromptu stop, his vice president traveled over the weekend to California and New York, to thank the military. And perhaps most importantly, it will be his vice president in a striking breach of historical protocol, and not President Trump, who will be there to take part in the peaceful transition of power to Joe Biden.

WILLIAMS: Admiral, let`s talk about the militarization of the District of Columbia. I was thinking about you today knowing you were going to be on tonight in your book and in your life. I know figures like Admiral Nimitz loom large as personal heroes of yours. And of course, you have a lot of company in that, what would an Admiral Nimitz make of it, if you told him today that we have to vet 25,000 give or take guard members because of a suspected, a feared threat from the inside?

ADM. JAMES STAVRIDIS, U.S. NAVY (RET.): Yeah, Brian went strikes me is we began this administration, with an argument over a lie which was about the size of the crowd at the inauguration of Donald Trump. We conclude with the fact this inauguration will have more military guarding it than any in the history of the Republic, probably by a factor of 100%.

We have more troops on the mall than we do today in Iraq, Afghanistan, in Syria combined. The shock of this ought to register on the American people a deeply and it speaks to the errors and the mistakes and the misjudgments that have been made by President Trump.

I think at the end of the day, what we ought to take from this is A, we can do better. We are not the some of our worst days, like the storming of the Capitol. We can and must do better.

And secondly, Brian, you and I have often talked about how this is viewed in the world. And picture our reaction, if the French had to bring in on a per capita adjusted basis 100,000 troops into Paris to ensure the inauguration of their next president, it sends a shockingly bad message to the world. So simply conclude by saying we are well read of President Trump, both domestically and internationally. This is a good professional, strong team that`s coming in. We can be better than we have been. That`s what I think someone like Admiral Nimitz would say, look to the future correct your mistakes.

WILLIAMS: Sam, I have something for you. Here now Mr. Hannity from Fox News tonight. We`ll discuss on the other side.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: Noticeably missing from the Biden-Harris agenda, anything actually related to unity. It is clear no one on the left actually wants to bring 75 million Trump voters into the fold democratic leftists they are now looking for ways to squash any and all dissent.


WILLIAMS: So Sam, it went on kind of like that. To take off on Ashley`s reporting, it`ll be a week tomorrow since we`ve seen the guy because of the big lie. He`s the only one who can effectively call off the dogs with one or two sentences about the election of Joe Biden. Is this the Fox News pivot? And is tonight the preview of the next four years for them?

SAM STEIN, POLITICO WHITE HOUSE EDITOR: Yeah, I think so. Obviously, if the call is for unity, you`d have some self reflection about not acknowledging the results of the election which bred the temperament that led to the riots. But there was none of that in the end of the monologue, of course.

And of course, the other irony that is not lost on Biden people is that of all the Democrats who ran in the primary, he was chastised the most by his Democratic colleagues on the stage, or reaching out to Republicans for saying that was going to be his governing philosophy. And he stuck to it. Now, we`ll see if it takes place in practice now that he has 57 seats at his disposal. But this is not a, you know, a radical leftist, Democratic president by any stretch of the imaginations, someone who prides himself to a fault in his willingness to reach across the aisle. But this is the pivot as you said, this is where Fox News is going on. We`ll see if it stands, but it makes logical sense to say, you know, it`s now incumbent on Joe Biden to unify the country that our broadcasts and President Donald Trump held by.

WILLIAMS: Ashley Parker, I want to quote to you the writing of Ashley Parker. And she writes, "Trump plans to inhabit an alternative reality of adoration and affirmation, his aides are at work to establish a Trump fiefdom in the sunshine state aimed at maintaining his influence over Republican politics." First, on the on the atmosphere of adoration and affirmation, what do you call what we`ve just seen for four years on the White House? Second, is this just going to mean the southern White House for him? Just like D.C., only warmer and with more COVID?

PARKER: Well, it`s a great question. And it`s one we truly don`t know the answer to, in part because of that attack on the Capitol on January 6. I want to take you back to just a couple weeks ago, when on your show, we were discussing because President Trump was discussing grand plans for an active, right? He was going to maybe have a huge competing rally, not at Andrews Air Force Base, but out in the country somewhere. He was going to have a competing event where he was maybe even going to announce that he, Donald Trump was going to run for president again in 2024. And his lock on the Republican Party seemed just absolutely impenetrable, that he might be out of office. But as you said, operating from that Southern White House, he would be determining primaries and people on the potential candidates would be going not just to Iowa, New Hampshire, but down to Mar-a-Lago vista rig. Could that still happen? Possibly.

But what`s important to know is just how quickly and how fast things fell apart from this president who is very much a shrinking figure, who is leaving this White House diminished, who is going to the creature comforts of a Trump branded gilded property surrounded by loving and adoring aids and, "friends who hate to gain access to his club." But he is leaving with a lot less power at least for now than he had just several weeks ago because the truth is, despite seeming to be impervious to the rules of political gravity, it turns out that Donald Trump cannot egg on an angry crowd, an angry mob of his own supporters to violently rise up and attack the Capitol leaving five people dead and pay no consequences. And that is the exit we are witnessing for Donald Trump right now.

WILLIAMS: Sam, let`s pick right up on Ashley`s reporting and her analysis, which is so spot on. It`s about how this President is leaving and where the opinion polls are something that was his doing, but he could not have predicted this a month ago. We`re going to get two ways of remembering him in the next 36 hours, a slew of pardons and commutations and this videotaped farewell address, I assume they`re going to have two different messages, disparate messages, but maybe one through line and that is blank you to the establishment?

STEIN: Yeah. And you know, the other thing to add here and to note is that, you know, Donald Trump never met a camera that he didn`t love. He was ubiquitous for four years. And but many years before that two, part of the reason he was in became president was because he was so willing to just over saturate our media ecosystem. And he leaves office, hidden from public view, largely. He`s unwilling to do any interviews at all, and is in fact being advised by his aides, not to do them for the possibility that he would incriminate himself. So that`s another irony here.

And yes, he`s going down to the southern White House. He`s going to likely bring some close political aids. He`s going to set up a shop. He`s going to have a megaphone eventually, at its disposal won`t mess, it won`t be Twitter, but he will be able to use the camera at some point to affect the course of the Republican Party. And he is looking for retribution to. He`s very mad at the 10th House Republicans who voted for impeachment. He is furious with the Georgia Republican apparatus, who he feels did not do enough. He`s angry with Kevin McCarthy, and he`s going to try to figure out ways to get retribution.

The question is, is this a diminished Donald Trump? Is this someone who is more politically tentative or chastened? I don`t know if I agree with Ashley everything in our history suggests that he will come back and try to reassert himself there. Now I don`t know if it`s going to be as effective. But I imagine he will come back out there, try to plan these primaries, dangle the possibility of a run for the presidency and basically be kingmaker or try to be king again in Republican politics.

WILLIAMS: Admiral final question to you about the world we`re left with, think about the arc and course your career, if you were still on the job tonight with those shiny things on your shoulders, perhaps in a meeting in the tank at the Pentagon, has it occurred to you that there`s a very good chance, and I`m knocking on Wood saying this that the threat as of this conversation tonight is not external, the threat that the Pentagon is probably worried about and concentrating on his internal?

STAVRIDIS: Without question, that`s the case for the next 48 hours. And we need to recognize the reality that we have something of an insurgency underway in this country. And here, I`m not talking about Trump voters per se. I`m talking about QAnon and Proud Boys and white supremacist groups. These are not benign individuals exercising their free speech rights, as Martin Luther King did, many years ago, very effectively, very legally. These are individuals who, as we saw in vivid video, who want nothing but to destroy the nation, and they will stop at nothing. And we are going to have to deal with that that will not be the job of the Pentagon, per se, it`ll be the job of law enforcement, our domestic intelligence apparatus, but we have to recognize the reality of real challenges ahead at the dark end of the political spectrum. In the mainstream, if you will, we do need as you started the show to think about how we can bring back these disaffected Trump voters, create a polity in our nation, and move forward in positive ways. So I`m very hopeful that is job one for the Biden administration.

WILLIAMS: Let`s double down on that hope what a world what our country but here we are, as a great man once said, if it`s not a mess, it`ll do till the mess gets here. Ashley Parker, Sam Stein, Admiral James Stavridis, our great thanks to you for starting off this week with us.

Coming up for us, it`s the one thing that can stop the pandemic. And yet, it hardly seems like a priority for this president who hasn`t talked about the pandemic since the election. Will you get the vaccine sooner under President Biden, will ask one of his top advisors.

And later, this isn`t the first time Twitter has banned disinformation. Is there a lesson for today in the way social media silenced actual Jihotties elsewhere in the world? All of it as THE 11TH HOUR is just getting underway on this Monday night.


WILLIAMS: The nation has surpassed 24 million coronavirus cases. The death toll is closing in fast on 400,000 souls. Tonight California became the first state in our nation to surpass 3 million of its own current confirmed coronavirus cases. In LA County, the situation is so dire that air quality regulations have been temporarily lifted to accommodate a growing backlog of cremations.

Despite all this tonight, the Trump administration lifted travel restrictions from the E.U., Ireland, the U.K. and Brazil effective January 26 but not so fast. The incoming Press Secretary Jen Psaki already said tonight, this is not happening.

In fact, for more we welcome back this evening, Dr. Celine Gounder, Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the NYU School of Medicine and Bellevue Hospital in New York. She serves on the president-elect`s Coronavirus Advisory Board.

Doctor, thank you very much for coming on. This is an urgent time, what can you tell folks about the palpable difference that Joe Biden is promising the difference they may feel in their lives and their efforts to get this vaccine?

CELINE GOUNDER, MEMBER OF BIDEN`S COVID-19 TASK FORCE: Brian, the president elect has proposed an America rescue plan a $1.9 trillion package with a T, trillion dollar package to save the American economy and save the American people from the coronavirus pandemic. And that might sound like a lot of money. But the coronavirus pandemic is costing the American economy $16 trillion, so almost 10 times that much. That`s twice as much as we have spent on all wars since 9/11. So yes, $1.9 trillion is a lot of money. But it`s really a drop in the bucket when you consider the impact that money will have in terms of turning things around.

WILLIAMS: Ron Klain, the incoming Chief of Staff along with a good many people in the medical world, fear of death toll of 500,000 a half a million of our fellow citizens, by the end of February, were universally told it`s going to get worse before it gets better. And if you read any of the evidence, you understand that. What is the target date in your community for this word, better? I know I`ve asked you before, is it summer `21, is it fall `21 or worse?

GOUNDER: So we`re in our fifth peak of coronavirus here in the United States. The first one was in the spring, then you had the southern states over the summer, then with the weather getting cooler in the fall in the early fall. And then we had a fourth and fifth peak around the Thanksgiving and then the Christmas in New Year`s holidays. And so much of this is in our control. Yes, vaccines will play a role here. But it also depends on us to really double down on the masking and the social distancing, and being outdoors versus indoors. If we`re indoors in well ventilated spaces, and sticking as much as possible to our household bubbles. Until we get a large enough number of Americans vaccinated. We do remain at risk and I am concerned about upcoming temptations the spring break holidays, for example, when people might be tempted to spend time again, travel again, be around family and friends again and that could lead to yet another surge.

WILLIAMS: I can`t thank you enough for coming on and always taking our questions and I imagine your life is going to get even more hectic coming up in the next 36 hours as president-elect becomes president. Dr. Celine Gounder, thank you, as always for coming on.

Coming up for us a preview of what a post Trump America could be like. We`ll talk about it with Rick Wilson, Jason Johnson, our colleagues await we`ll be back with them after this.



SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Joe Biden, you talked about unifying the country. If you do not stand up against the impeachment of President Trump after he leaves office. You`re an incredibly weak figure in American history. You need to stand up with a radical left until Schumer to dismiss what I think is an unconstitutional attempt to impeach President Trump out of office. Stand down.


WILLIAMS: Senator Lindsey Graham asking soon to be Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to lead a vote to dismiss the House Article of Impeachment against soon to be former President Donald Trump.

In a letter, Graham calls the effort and unconstitutional act of political vengeance that will incite further division. There`s that continued hint of more violence. And if we know one thing about Lindsey Graham, it`s the fact that Donald Trump has an effect on him like no other man he`s ever met. And Donald Trump of course has never incited division.

Joining us tonight Jason Johnson, a campaign veteran and journalist contributor over at The Greo. Importantly, a professor of politics at Morgan State University and Rick Wilson, longtime Republican strategist who has since left the party. He`s an author. He has also among the co-founders of the Lincoln project.

Rick, I can sense your for the senator from here, as a big proponent of the big lie, do senator Graham`s words ring a little hollow at this point?

RICK WILSON, FMR. REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: You know, Lindsey Graham has spent the last four years with his head planted firmly in Donald Trump`s colon. And this is a guy who has no standing whatsoever to lecture anyone about division or committee (ph), or unity at all.

He was The Handmaiden of Donald Trump`s enormous number of unbelievable lies about every possible thing he has. He has been at Trump side of this the entire time. There`s nothing about Lindsey Graham that deserves even a moment of seriousness here.

He is playing this game out of Washington right now. He`s working the refs. He`s playing the media, he`s trying to convince them that, you know, this is the mature adult way to pursue this.

When in fact, the adult way to pursue this is to impeach Donald Trump, convict him and forbid him from ever holding office again, because he`s a pernicious, immediate threat to this country, in any format, if you could ever rise up from the grave like some sort of orange zombie.

WILLIAMS: Speaking of which, Professor, I have a little something to play for you. This is Congressman Schiff on whether or not former President Trump should get the courtesy and availability of security briefings after leaving office we`ll discuss on the other side.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: There`s no circumstance in which this president should get another intelligence briefing, not now. Not in the future. I don`t think he can be trusted with it now. And in the future, he certainly can`t be trusted.

Indeed. There were, I think, any number of intelligence partners of ours around the world who probably started withholding information from us because they didn`t trust the President would safeguard that information to protect their sources and methods. And that makes us less safe.


WILLIAMS: Jason, I`m tempted to ask why he would start wanting to get briefed now. And I`m also tempted to ask, what purpose would it possibly serve? Yeah,

JASON JOHNSON, PROFESSOR, MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY: Yes, Brian, I mean, we all know he didn`t read him anyway. He would probably get them in the mail every day and say, What is this about?

So, you know, the purpose is, as Adam Schiff sort of referred to, and we`ve talked about for years, it`s just national security. Donald Trump has been willing to sell America for spare parts at any opportunity, if not through just bragging about national security to foreign leaders. We don`t know if members of his family might be inclined to sell that information.

So, since we can`t imagine any future president seeking Donald Trump`s advice in the event of a foreign policy disaster, where it`s like, hey, Donald, I, you know, President Trump, I really, really need your insight because the great work you did in the Middle East during your one term in office, it doesn`t make sense to give him information that he would probably only try and sell or wouldn`t pay attention to one way or another.

There is no more disturbing or sort of telling image of the post presidency life of Donald Trump than stacks and stacks of intelligence briefings sitting outside in front porch every day because we know he`s not going to read them. He`ll probably just sell them a Jared Kushner.

WILLIAMS: Hey, Rick, it turns out Secretary Azar is going to be a trumpet to the end. He said about the coronavirus and the incoming team today, quote, this is a concerted effort by the new team to down talk where things are so they can look like heroes when they come in and just carry forward the momentum. We have established. Rick it`s tough to sugarcoat 400,000 dead.

WILSON: 400,000. I mean, look, this was Alex Azar who stood quietly for three months. Last year in January, February and March, where Donald Trump said Oh, it`s going to go away. It`s minimal. There`s only 15 cases. It`s nothing. It`s the flu.

You know, he`s stood quietly by with that, and now he`s going to go out with good, I`m going to leave this administration like a wet fart. Nobody`s going to be happy with his performance because it was awful. It was terrible. It was embarrassingly bad. And it costs the lives of 400,000 Americans.

All the swagger monkey types around Trump who`ve acted like that they`ve done everything perfectly that they`re leaving the world in good hands. You know, this isn`t a country that is still in the midst of this pandemic. And the impacts of it are by no means even close to being file. We are going to pay the price for their indifference and their incompetence for a long time.

And Alex Azar is one of those people that I know he`s trying to go back into private industry right now. But I would hope that any company that considering hiring him would find like a rabid dog on the street and put them in the office instead because the guy is completely incompetent and we have 40,000 dead people to prove it.

WILLIAMS: Both of these gentlemen are going to stand by while I quickly slide in a commercial break here. We`ll resume our conversation on the other side with the state awaiting the president elect.


WILLIAMS: Incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain has told senior staff that Joe Biden intends to sign about a dozen executive orders on day one of his inauguration. They include rejoining the Paris Climate Accord, rescinding the Muslim travel ban, and a mask mandate for federal property.

Still with us, Jason Johnson, and Rick Wilson. Jason, pretend we are in your poli sci class, we are all your students. How much of the Trump years can the Biden administration Joe Biden starting on day one, do away with, with an executive order with the swipe of a pen?

JOHNSON: I mean, this is the tip of a gigantic glacier that I would be drawing on the board when we`re actually allowed to go back into class. I think that the Biden administration, look, they`re starting off well. Paris Climate accords, you know, climate change is a serious issue. You have to do something about mass mandates, both for symbolic reasons and for health reasons. All these things, you know, the pipeline, all these things make sense.

But what the real danger is, and what Biden really has to face in order to undo Trump`s damages, he`s got to go through every single bureaucratic agency and find the trumpets and find the trumpets who have not been performing their job or grotesquely incompetent, and remove them.

He has to do something simple, Brian, as simple as he`s got to reevaluate our post office. All the damage that DeJoy did last fall, in order to try and hand the election of Donald Trump like no one has fixed that yet. Like there are so many things that Joe Biden`s going to do. I don`t think he can fix them all with executive orders in 100 days, but I do think these first three orders are at least a nice start.

WILLIAMS: It is easy forgetting the list of the Greatest Hits. He did kneecap the US Postal Service after all.

Hey Rick, I`m going to read to you as a Florida man from the Washington Post, quote, some in Trump`s orbit are talking up the idea of Ivanka Trump possibly running for Senate in 2022 when the term of Senator Marco Rubio will be up. Trump has become something of a pariah in the nation`s capital of Washington and its financial center of New York in the wake of the January 6 riot that he incited, but Florida offers him a place to try to rehabilitate himself.

Rick, I got to say, with Ivanka in there as Advisor to the President. She really did keep our country strong, safe and healthy. You agree?

WILSON: You know, the work of Ivanka Trump has been just fearless in every way. And, you know, the fact that she`s getting all this momentum in Florida against Marco is just a delicious shot (ph) and for the moment for everybody, because, you know, he spent a lot of time kissing up to her. And now that she`s talking very assertively out there, they`re out there talking to political leaders in the state trying to organize this thing.

And we`ll see what happens but, you know, the Trump family seems to be moving here in mass. And you know, it`s already a state so full of Florida men and women that, you know, they`re going to at least nudge the crazy average up a few notches. But Trump really does think that he can come here because there is a lot of Florida that is very, very MAGA and very, very red.

So it`s going to be in -- they`re going to they`re going to darken our door here and reduce the tourism value. But, you know, I`m looking forward to the Presidential Library in a trailer park in Oklahoma and Florida, you know, what his $2 billion libraries built. It`s ridiculous.

WILLIAMS: Said the man with a cat in a dress alongside of it, because it`s Florida after all. Professor Jason Johnson, Rick Wilson, Florida man, gentlemen can`t thank you enough. It is always a pleasure or something awfully close to that.

Coming up for us. What years of being in the fight overseas against professional extremists. What that fight has revealed about the risks and benefits of digital deplatforming as it`s known in the trade.


WILLIAMS: About this topic, we told you about before the break. Tonight the President is still officially banned from Twitter and other social media platforms. It`s not the first time social media has resorted to deplatforming to try to curb the spread of disinformation.

Back in 2014, we found out what happened after Twitter started suspending ISIS related accounts. NBC News correspondent Matt Bradley has more from Paris tonight where he`s been kind enough to get up very early and join us live. Hey, Matt.

MATT BRADLEY, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Brian. Yes, you know, this comparison between right wing extremists and Islamist, Jihadist, it`s not to compare the ideologies at all in any way. But, you know, we`ve already started seeing both ideological groups reacting in similar ways to being deplatformed from social media.


BRADLEY (voice-over): Since big tech companies deplatformed. Donald Trump, insurgents who stormed the Capitol, and some of the President`s strongest supporters -- some on the right are roaring about violations of free speech.

JESSE MORTON, ANTI-EXTREMIST ACTIVIST: They can censor the President of the United States.

BRADLEY: Jesse Morton knows that outrage well. 10 years ago, Morton was also a passionate believer in a radical violent form of Islam.

MORTON: Would you fight back. Would you pick a fight?

BRADLEY: He used social media to recruit Americans to al Qaeda, even urging followers to kill the writers of South Park before he was deplatformed from social media in prison for four years, and finally, deradicalized.

MORTON: So a lot of what we see unfolding in front of us now with regard to the far right, I experienced directly when the primary threat we were concerned with was the jihadists.

BRADLEY: Now when anti-extremist activists Morton says digital deplatforming works, but there are side effects.

MORTON: They were very easily able to mobilize and to migrate to alternative platforms and those alternative platforms were somewhat more dangerous.

BRADLEY: Even though deplatforming cut more than all from potential recruits.

MORTON: It`s a command from Allah.

BRADLEY: It also made him more radical, more committed and more susceptible to violence.

MORTON: When they called for censorship and takedown the way that we responded because we were committed extremist and committed radicals and I was wrong then was to feel more threatened, to feel more scrutinized and to feel more endangered.

BRADLEY: To be sure, Trump and his supporters aren`t jihadist, but radical Islam is offer the largest most recent test case to show whether digital deplatforming actually works. It`s a topic researcher JM Berger has studied for years.

JM BERGER, ASSOCIATE FELLOW AT ICCT: It was clear then. And all the research I`ve done since then, is it clear that when you declare for people they lose audience.

BRADLEY: Berger`s 2015 study of hundreds of ISIS Twitter accounts showed that hashtag ISIS was mentioned 40,000 times a day when Twitter began suspending people in September 2014. Dropping to only 5,000 mentions a few months later.

Berger and Morton concluded that social media suspensions work best when they`re consistent, fair and rare. Unlike jihadist, right wing supporters are legion include multiple different ideologies and can count on some elected officials to defend them.

SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R), MISSOURI You should be able to sue.

FAIZA PATEL, LIBERTY AND NATIONAL SECURITY DIRECTOR, BRENNAN CENTER: When you are taking, you know, accounts of Muslims people didn`t really care when you`re taking down the accounts of sort of prominent people. People are going to care and the platforms are very aware of that dynamic.


BRADLEY: You know, we`ve already started to see Brian some of this play out in the same way with election misinformation. The research firm, signal labs said that ever since Trump is one of his closest allies were deplatformed. In that week since, election misinformation online has dropped by 73 percent. Brian.

WILLIAMS: Matt Bradley in Paris, where it`s not yet six in the morning. Matt, thank you for that. And thank you for being clear about the reporting involved. Coming up for us, class and grace and civility. Let`s say they`ve been away on business for a while but they`re about to return to the White House.



MELANIA TRUMP, U.S. FIRST LADY: In all circumstances, I ask every American to be an ambassador of Be Best, to focus on what unites us, to raise above what divides us, to always choose love over hatred, peace over violence, and others before yourself.


WILLIAMS: Her farewell address. Last thing before we go tonight speaking from a White House that for years had actual gaslights, the first lady who along with her husband going out as classily, as they both came in, we knew Donald Trump was leaving town before the inauguration. But now the First Lady`s Office confirms there will not be even the most perfunctory greeting for Dr. Jill Biden as incoming first lady from Melania Trump, no doubt part of that Be Best campaign.

Perhaps you remember the last inauguration day when Trump completely ignored his wife as she exited the car beneath the North portico. This still photo was making the rounds today Trump made sure he was first in through the door, leaving it to the Obamas to place one hand each on Melania`s back graciously welcoming the couple that had endlessly promoted birtherism and endangered the Obama family along the way.

Inside gracious incumbent met with the new guy while gracious First Lady met with Melania. The Trumps are showing no such courtesy to the Biden`s who will instead be greeted when they arrive by the head White House usher. The Biden`s both know the House well enough to give their own tours. It`s just the courtesy of it all.

One more contrast here now is Barack Obama`s last appearance before the White House Press Corps. This is four years ago today.


BARACK OBAMA, FMR. U.S. PRESIDENT: You`re not supposed to be cinco fancy, you`re supposed to be skeptics. You`re supposed to ask me tough questions. You`re not supposed to be complimentary. But you`re supposed to cast a critical eye on folks who hold enormous power and make sure that we are accountable to the people who send us here. And you have done that.


WILLIAMS: 44 to take us off the air tonight and that is our broadcast for this Monday evening, with our thanks for being here with us. Nicolle Wallace and I are back on the air tomorrow. 4:00-6:00 Eastern Time to cover Joe Biden`s arrival on Washington tomorrow evening as President-Elect. on behalf of all of my colleagues here on the networks of NBC News, good night.