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MTP Daily, Transcript 1/13/2017

Guests: Guest: Neera Tanden, Michael Steele, Chris Cilliza, Aditi Roy, Kip Cassino, John Lewis, Neera Tanden, David Ignatius

Show: MTP DAILY Date: January 13, 2017 Guest: Neera Tanden, Michael Steele, Chris Cilliza, Aditi Roy, Kip Cassino, John Lewis, Neera Tanden, David Ignatius

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: That`s going to do it for us here in New York. Tonight, do not miss Lester Holt`s exclusive interview with President Obama on Air Force One. The Dateline NBC special, "Barack Obama: The Reality of Hope," 10:00 p.m. Eastern on NBC.

MTP DAILY starts right now.

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: Yes, it`s Friday.

Doubts on the legitimacy of the 2016 presidential election hit a new level. Tonight, a bomb shell declaration from Congressman John Lewis.


REP. JOHN LEWIS (D), GEORGIA: I don`t see this president-elect as a legitimate president.


TODD: Why this living civil rights icon and respected member of Congress says the Russians stole the election.

Plus, how Russia has become a new test of Republican allegiance to Trump.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: Is Vladimir Putin a war criminal?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Should we ignore the lessons of history in our relationship with Vladimir Putin?

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Do you think the Russians were behind hacking into our election?


TODD: Finally, the future of political messaging. While political advertising will never be the same.

This is MTP DAILY and it starts right now.

Good evening, I`m Chuck Todd here in Washington and welcome to MTP DAILY on this auspicious Friday the 13th.

It was nearly 42 years ago to the day that President Gerald Ford bluntly told the nation this.


GERALD FORD, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I must say to you that the state of the union is not good.


TODD: Folks, with just seven days until this inauguration, you could argue that American democracy and American leadership are facing a crisis of confidence. The likes of which we haven`t seen in a very long time.

Democrats have aggressively gone after Trump. They`ve aired their grievances about his policies, his temperament, and the election process.

But it was clear that questioning the legitimacy of the office of the presidency was a line they would not cross, until now.

Today, I spoke with Democratic Congressman John Lewis of Georgia in an interview set to air this Sunday on "MEET THE PRESS."

Congressman Lewis isn`t your average House Democrat. He`s a civil rights legend and, arguably, the spiritual center of the Democratic caucus.

When he speaks, the caucus listens, now listen to this.


(on camera): You have forged relationships with many presidents. Do you plan on trying to forge a relationship with Donald Trump?

LEWIS: You know, I believe in forgiveness. I believe in trying to work with people. This is going to be very hard. It`s going to be very difficult. I don`t see this president-elect as a legitimate president.

TODD: You do not consider him a legitimate president. Why is that?

LEWIS: I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected and they have destroyed the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. I don`t plan to attend inauguration. It`ll be the first one that I miss since I`ve been in the Congress.

You cannot be at whole with something that you feel that is wrong.

TODD: (INAUDIBLE) that it`s going to send a big message to a lot of people in this country, that you don`t believe he`s a legitimate president.

LEWIS: I think there was a conspiracy on the part of the Russians and others to help him get elected. That`s not right. That`s not fair. That`s not the open Democratic process.

TODD: You`re a man of action. You have been your whole life. You believe this president is not legitimate. What would you tell young folks, young activists to do?

LEWIS: I would say to young people, and I continue to say it today, and I`m going to say it during the next few days is we celebrate and commemorate the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. That when you see something that is not right and not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation to do something. We cannot afford to be quiet or to be silenced.

TODD: What should be done? What should Nancy Pelosi do? What should Chuck Schumer do? What should Barack Obama do?

LEWIS: We must not be silent. We all must act.


TODD: Folks, we`re at a serious inflection point in the American democracy. It`s a messy tangle and volatile situation. The office of the presidency is facing an unprecedented credibility crisis.

The FBI is under review following allegations it meddled in the election. So is the Department of Justice. The intelligence community looks like it`s engaged in open warfare with the incoming commander in chief.

They`ve concluded Putin`s Russia hacked Democratic institutions in an effort to help Trump. The incoming White House is attacking legitimate news outlets as fake news and failing piles of garbage for their reporting on the issue.

[17:05:07] Congress has its own credibility crisis. And now, the legitimacy of America`s highest office is being publicly called into question by civil rights legend.

Let me bring in the panel. Neera Tanden, President for the Senate of American Progress. She`s been a long-time trusted aid to Hillary Clinton. Michael Steele, MSNBC Political Analyst, former RNC chair. Chris Cillizza, MSNBC Contributor, also "The Washington Post" Fix.

Neera, I just -- I`m curious to your reaction.

NEERA TANDEN, PRESIDENT, SENATE OF AMERICAN PROGRESS: You know, I think what John Lewis is reacting to and what a lot of Americans are reacting to is that we`ve learned a lot of information over the last several weeks.

And in a normal course of business, you would have further investigation into this. You would have House committees. You would have Senate committees, actually look at these facts to possibly to restore the legitimacy and -- or answer the questions that people have before then.

And what`s odd about the moment we`re in is that we both have these deeply troubling allegations that a foreign power was involved in our elections to help Donald Trump. That`s not coming from me. That`s not coming from Hillary Clinton. That is coming from government sources. That`s coming from our intelligence agencies.

And, yet, we see a stone walling from Republican leaders who had investigation after investigation. And I believe that stone walling is creating more questions than it`s answering.

And so, I plead with leaders and the Republican Party, Republican leaders in the Senate, Republican leaders in the House to answer these questions.

We need a bipartisan, independent investigation that has Republicans and Democrats allowed to answer, ask questions, subpoena power.

And that`s when you`ll get -- when we see all of this aired out, --

TODD: Right.

TANDEN: -- when we see answers in the public realm, then people who are perturbed about the results can have real answers.

TODD: You know, Michael Steele in -- was talking with colleagues today after I came back from this interview with John Lewis. And it struck me, Donald Trump wasted the last two months.

He had an opportunity to try to basically -- as one person said, try to make it so the asterisk doesn`t stick. Whether they`re -- there are small or big gestures.

The biggest one would be just say I want to get to the bottom of this too.

TANDEN: Absolutely.

MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, I think that is the most profound part about this. Is that watching Republican leadership, just to your point, sort put of bricks in the wall, has been rather disturbing for a lot of folks.

My thinking is you`d want to get out there and expose that this did not happen. Your suspicions are not founded. And, yet, by their actions and their quiet, I guess support of what was coming out of Russia or elsewhere, sort of denying this, is feeding this mill.

So, when you see someone like a John Lewis who`s probably, you know, learning stuff, as a member of Congress, and putting it together and you have other sources putting this stuff together, the narrative is being created outside of them.

TODD: Right.

STEELE: And they`re not controlling that going into inauguration. And the first day of the administration, what are you dealing with?

TODD: And there does seem to be this sort of -- and momentum is a terrible word to use here, but a crescendo is probably --


TODD: -- a crescendo where you had this week.

Look, John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio, controlled these -- controlled the messaging this week.

CHRIS CILLIZZA, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Rubio questioning Tillerson is the -- I mean, if you`re -- look, there are a lot of things as we go, Obama`s farewell speech, --

TODD: Right.

CILLIZZA: -- the Trump press conferences.

But if you`re really looking for something out of the Hill that is the moment, that`s it.

TODD: That`s it.

CILLIZZA: This is what I don`t understand. It seems to me -- and this is in line, I think, with Neera`s point. It seems to me that you can hold two things in your mind at the same time that Donald Trump is unwilling to do.

The Russians, according to the FBI and the CIA, were hacking into Democratic e-mails, John Podesta, the DNC, with the expressed intent of hurting Hillary Clinton`s chances and helping Donald Trump. Point one.

Point two. Donald Trump`s victory does not necessarily need to be fully under, --

TODD: Right.

CILLIZZA: -- you know, disqualified because of point one.

Trump is unwilling to grant -- I mean, he barely -- all the headlines said, Trump, finally. He basically said, I think it`s probably Russia. I mean, it wasn`t exactly like the strong --

TODD: It wasn`t a declaration.

CILLIZZA: And then, he said, like, it`s an asset that Putin likes me, right? That was the press conference.

What I don`t understand is, point one can be true. You can have a bipartisan commission aimed at saying, it is -- it is -- we can all agree that it is bad that a foreign power is trying to hack into the election, influencing election results.

Without saying -- which is what John Lewis is saying, point two, which I don`t think is -- I would agree with, which is, this is an illegitimate presidency.

[17:10:12] TODD: Yes.

CILLIZZA: They are not dependent on one another.

TODD: And a lot of people are going to -- and he is going to lead more people to -- I think he`s going to give a permission slip to people that maybe have wanted to say he`s illegitimate to now say it.

TANDEN: You know, I would just say to this though, it`s because -- I mean, I understand point one and two. The differences between one and two. I get it. I think most people get it.

It`s the fact that he`s unwilling to -- and this meaning Trump, unwilling to directly engage in this topic, to state what facts are, to continuingly take positions, to say great things about Russia and Putin.

I mean, it is an interesting through line as of his entire campaign, that the only area in which he`s been really consistent --

TODD: Yes.

TANDEN: -- is Russia`s power.

TODD: But let me get -- "The Washington examiner" --

TANDEN: That is why --

TODD: I want to underscore your point.

TANDEN: That is why people are thinking he has something to hide.

TODD: Yes, I want to underscore your point here, Neera. "The Washington Examiner," conservative editorial page, this is something I was going to say for you guys a little later in the show.

And this is what they headlined. Trump alone can clear suspicion over Russia. This is what "The Examiner" writes.

Trump needs to do more because, at the moment, it is hard to shake an uneasiness about Trump and Russia. He has lost the benefit of the doubt in this matter.

He and his allies are telling us to disregard various allegations or asking us to ignore too many bits of corroborating circumstantial evidence that suggests an unseemly intimacy between Trump and Vladimir Putin`s corrupt regime.

This was not the liberal, you know, "New York Times" editorial page. This is "The Washington Examiner," a conservative (INAUDIBLE.)

CILLIZZA: And, again, I mean, I think this idea -- I was struck by the tone of the coverage from the Trump press conference which really, in truth, after being pressed repeatedly, he said, I think it`s Russia, but it could be -- if you go and look at that sentence, he then says --

STEELE: Right.

CILLIZZA: -- and people are hacking all the time.

OK, sure, right. That is true. But we`re not talking about all the time. We`re talking about in this particular instance in which every intelligence --

STEELE: (INAUDIBLE) we`re translating broadly with the public right now.

TODD: Well, and that`s what happens. The message to the public -- and, Neera, I go back -- explain the power of John Lewis, as far as what his comments, how they will resonate.

TANDEN: I mean, he`s a -- I think he`s a great moral leader for the country. But he`s, obviously, a great moral leader for the party.

And I think the challenge of his remarks for folks is that, you know, there`s no reason to give the benefit of the doubt here.

And every time we get a denial on hearings or investigations, it`s just really feeding this.

TODD: Do you believe he is illegitimate? Are you in this category? Or do you feel too close to it because of --

TANDEN: I think I`m a little hard to -- since I was a -- I believe --

TODD: You were in the middle of it.

TANDEN: -- I believe I was a victim of Russian hacking.

TODD: I agree.

TANDEN: I think I -- it`s a little hard for me.

TODD: Totally agree, that`s why I was --

TANDEN: What I would say is the issue we now know is that from published reports -- this is not fake news. Published reports, the FBI did receive a FISA warrant for to investigate Trump`s connections, his campaigns connections, to Russia.

TODD: It`s a report in the guardian.

TANDEN: Detailed -- it`s a report in the guardian. It had -- it`s -- yes. It`s not in the original dossier.

TODD: It`s not -- I mean, we`ve been able to confirm this.

TANDEN: I`m just taking that point.

TODD: Right, yes. It`s nothing to do with the other aspect.

TANDEN: Yes, it`s the report -- I want to be clear. I want to be crystal clear about that. But that is -- it has not been denied. It has -- no one is -- no one is -- but I would just say, my only point is, there are all of these scrolls of issues.

TODD: Right.

TANDEN: Many of them are ridiculous. Many of them are very serious. There were a bunch of connections that were reported on them publicly between Paul Manafort and others.

The point is people are going to continue to press on these going into the future unless we get a public airing. And I don`t know why --

STEELE: But who are these people? I mean, if it`s -- if it`s anyone out of the Clinton camp.

TANDEN: Absolutely.

STEELE: East coast or the west coast, trust me, this is not going resonate with the Trump supporters and voters out there.

CILLIZZA: Well, there`s no -- and I understand. There is no question. If you looked at that -- if you looked at that press conference --

STEELE: There is no proof of that.

CILLIZZA: -- if you looked at that press conference, basically, from his perspective -- and people say it`s not a game, I understand that.

TODD: Right.

CILLIZZA: But from his perspective, he wins this week. Why? His confirmations. People look like they`re going in the right direction.

STEELE: Absolutely.

TANDEN: I disagree.

CILLIZZA: And he -- it`s all about us versus the media.

TANDEN: Independent voters care about these issues.


CILLIZZA: Well, remember, Chuck, victory is a --

TODD: All right.

CILLIZZA: -- different thing in his world now.

TODD: I understand that but it`s --

STEELE: It`s a different thing in all of our worlds now.

TODD: All right. I`m going to sneak in a quick break here. When we come back, we`re going to dig a little bit deeper into Russia.

By the way, you can catch more of my exclusive sit-down with Congressman John Lewis, of course, this Sunday on "MEET THE PRESS."

Also, I have an exclusive interview with Senator Diane Feinstein, ranking Democrat in the Senate Intelligence Committee, as well as the incoming chief of staff, Reince Priebus.

Still ahead, new questions about Russia`s relationship with members of the incoming Trump administration.

Stay tuned.



TODD: Welcome back.

My colleague, Lester Holt, sat down with President Obama on Air Force One earlier this week. It was all for a dateline NBC special that airs tonight.

Lester asked President Obama about the moment he learned Donald Trump would be his successor. Take a listen.


LESTER HOLT, ANCHOR, NBC NEWS: Tell me what happened that night, watching those results when you realized that Donald Trump was going to win. Was there an unvarnished Barack Obama at that moment?

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know -- you know, there was just surprise. You know, generally speaking, not just me, but my team had been pretty good at seeing something coming. And partly because just the polling so was off and the data was off, there was a surprise.

You know, I think the president-elect would be the first to acknowledge he didn`t run a conventional campaign. And it`s not clear that he or his team thought they were going to win.

And so, I think, more than anything, it was just a surprise.


TODD: That "Dateline" special, Barack Obama, The Reality of Hope, airs tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern on your local NBC station.

Up next, new question about President-elect Trump`s team and their ties with Russia.

We`ll be right back.


TODD: Welcome back to MTP DAILY.

A week out from the inauguration and Russia continues to cast a very large shadow over the incoming presidency. That shadow hung over the confirmation hearings for President-elect Trump`s cabinet picks on Capitol Hill all week.

And his long-awaited press conference and new reporting from "The Washington Post" David Ignatius today raised even more questions about the relationship between the president-elect, his staff and the kremlin.

Ignatius was the first to report on a phone call, actually, perhaps, a series of phone calls, between Trump`s incoming national security advisor, Michael Flynn, and Russia`s ambassador to the United States. On the same day that the Obama administration announced tough new sanctions against Russia, including the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats.

[17:20:14] Trump`s transition team said a phone call did happen. But they dispute the timing, saying Flynn spoke with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on the day before sanctions were announced. And that the topic, itself, did not come up.

"The Washington Post" columnist, David Ignatius, joins me now. So, David, let me just start with that Trump claim, contradiction. What say you?

DAVID IGNATIUS, COLUMNIST, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, I take the Trump team at their word that it was the 28th of December, not as I wrote, the 29th.

The 28th is the day in which many news organizations said that these sanctions were eminent. "The Washington Post" actually --

TODD: You think the day is irrelevant in this case, is what you`re saying.

IGNATIUS: I think the day is irrelevant. "The Washington Post" wrote the day before the 27th that they were coming.

So, on a day when it was known that these sanctions were coming by the Trump team`s own account, the national security advisor designate, General Flynn, had this conversation with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak. That`s undisputed.

And the question is, was that appropriate? You could make an argument from a policy standpoint that, sure, you know, that`s what an incoming national security advisor should do.

But the on very eve of the sanctions, was it right to have that conversation? That`s the issue I tried to raise.

TODD: I`m not trying to out your sources here, but this indicates that there`s some monitoring going on. Are people either -- people are leaking out of Flynn world, people are leaking out -- something`s happening here, or there`s, obviously, some discomfort somewhere on this issue.

IGNATIUS: Obviously, I don`t want to talk about sources, and I don`t know how my sources knew that there were such conversations between Flynn and Kislyak.

TODD: It does raise the specter that there is a lot of concern.

IGNATIUS: I think there is a lot of concern. One of the things I was trying to say in any column this morning is at end of this week, and the back and forth Trump`s understandable anger at the leaking of unsubstantiated material, but the continuing allegations and issues, it`s really important that the American people to know what`s true and what`s false.

That, in some way, we have a resolution. People often talk about how we`re in the post-truth era. And Trump says fake news. It`s really important to know what`s real.

And you do that by an investigation, either by Congress --

TODD: Right.

IGNATIUS: -- or by the Justice Department or both.

TODD: What is -- what kind of pressure is the Obama -- outgoing Obama administration feeling right now on this -- on this very topic?

IGNATIUS: I think a lot. And as I`ve delved into this more and more over the last several months, it`s been obvious to me that they`ve been under intense pressure for months. We just didn`t realize it.

These allegations about Russian hacking, about Russian efforts to help Trump, and the possibility that people in the Trump entourage were in touch with the Russians, have been around since late summer.

TODD: Right.

IGNATIUS: And we now know that the Obama administration authorized the intelligence agencies to brief the so-called gang of eight, the senior congressional leadership, about these issues starting in September.

So, from September on, the Obama administration has known that there was this intense effort to destabilize our political system by Russia. Why didn`t they do more about it?

And I think the answer is they were genuinely scared that if they move, the Russians would escalate in ways that they couldn`t control and that the election itself might be vulnerable.

TODD: Are they missing this proverbial smoking gun here? Because I`ve got to think, if they truly had it, we`d know.

IGNATIUS: Well, --

TODD: Considering the intensity of the situation right now.

IGNATIUS: But if by that you mean, if they had --

TODD: whatever context -- whatever they had. They had definitive -- the definitive proof of more than just what Russia says.

IGNATIUS: So, I -- they`ve had some months to look at this set of allegations, like major news organizations, "The Washington Post," NBC, other news organizations. They, apparently, have been unable to establish that the major allegations are true.

It`s my understanding, I wrote this morning in my column, that the FBI`s investigation remains open. Does that mean it`s still an active investigation? I honestly don`t know that.

TODD: And there is a difference between open and active.

IGNATIUS: So, something that`s open has not formerly been closed.

TODD: Right.

IGNATIUS: Once it`s closed, the FBI director would be free to tell us that.

TODD: Right, and that`s what he did. There was a specific phrase he used, actually, when he was having his back and forth with Angus King. When Angus King, sort of, gave him a little nudge on the whole idea of going -- we don`t speak publicly about investigations.

[17:25:08] And then, he made note of -- essentially made note of the Clinton e-mail investigation. And then, he chimed in, it`s different for closed investigations. That seemed to be the tip.

IGNATIUS: Well, I think that was a statement that this is not yet closed. When it is closed, there will be, appropriately, an announcement as there was with the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation.

I think, Chuck, the best guarantee that there will be a resolution of this, a firm-based for the country, is for the investigations to be appropriately completed.

And the people who will guarantee that are members of the incoming administration. I think everybody watched carefully as General Mattis applied the pressures about Russia, as Mike Pompeo, the proposed CIA director responded. And they gave very clear, direct answers to those questions. And it`s obvious they want to see this resolved just as a matter of national security.

TODD: Cannot do your job if it`s not?

IGNITIUS: I don`t see how to even have -- I don`t see how Trump can have a successful presidency. It does take the issue that he wants to go forward with, in terms of improving relations with Russia.

People are going to be suspicious of that to the point that they`re going to resist it, unless he has a resolution. Unless he has a firm base of fact on which to base his policy.

TODD: David Ignatius, quite the scoop this morning, or it was last night as this was making the rounds. A lot of reporters, as always, having to match you.

David, --

IGNATIUS: Thank you, Chuck.

TODD: -- thank you.

Seven of Trumps cabinet picks had confirmation hearings this week. And at many times, many of them, questions about President-elect Trump`s relationship with Russia were front and center. Thanks, in large part, to three Republican senators who arguably drove the agenda all week. John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio.


GRAHAM: Do you think the Russians were behind hacking into our election?

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R), ALABAMA, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL NOMINEE: I have done no research into that. I know just what the media says about it.

GRAHAM: Do you think you could get briefed any time soon?

SESSIONS: Well, I`ll need to.

GRAHAM: I think you do, too.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: Is Vladimir Putin a war criminal?


RUBIO: There`s so much information out there. It should not be hard to say that Vladimir Putin`s military has conducted war crimes in Aleppo. And I find it discouraging, your inability to site that, which I think is globally accepted.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Putin wants to be our enemy. He needs us as his enemy. He will never be our partner, and he believes that strengthening Russia means weakening America.

RUBIO: Is Vladimir Putin and the Russians looking at all of this and saying, we`ve done a really good job of creating chaos, division, instability in the American political process?

REP. MIKE POMPEO (R), DIRECTOR NOMINEE, CIA: I have no doubt that the discourse that`s been taking place is something that Vladimir Putin would look at and say, wow, that was among the objectives that I had.


TODD: Let me bring back my panel, Neera Tanden, Michael Steele and Chris Cillizza.

The heart of the David Ignatius story is the -- is a man who has been at the center of controversy involving Russia, and that`s Michael Flynn, the national security advisor. And someone that seems to present some unease request with other members of the Republican foreign policy assessment.

CILLIZZA: And I would say, one of the talked about seven hearings this week, one of the people who does not need to be confirmed.

TODD: Right.

CILLIZZA: So, look, I think this is the point here I made earlier. This is where there`s smoke, you have to answer to make clear that there`s not fire.

TODD: Right.

CILLIZZA: Right? I mean, that`s the issue here. It`s that -- it`s not an isolated incident. Each of these things doesn`t happen in a vacuum.

I make no accusation there, but you --

TODD: Right.

CILLIZZA: -- the dots are all there. It is up to someone senior, like Donald Trump, to say, look -- beyond a tweet that says, ridiculous, fake news. This isn`t about the media. Ultimately, end of the day, you can make it about the media.


TODD: And this is what makes this so -- it`s -- like, it`s obvious what the -- what the easy thing to do is, politically. To let a little steam out of your mouth.

CILLIZZA: Of course.

TODD: It`s obvious.

CILLIZZA: And to the chairman`s point, earlier, get in front of it.

STEELE: Get in front of it. It`s easy.

CILLIZZA: Get in front of it.

STEELE: That`s right.

TODD: And that is -- that is -- it goes back to the editorial review. It`s, like, that is the head scratcher.

The obvious solution here, to essentially you could actually compartmentalize this --

STEELE: Right.


TODD: -- for at least a while. Focus on what you -- Obamacare, whatever.

STEELE: But my suspicion is what`s driving this right now is exactly what you said. It`s that number two. It`s that sense that Donald Trump has that this is all about delegitimizing his win. That this is about the only way you won is because you had --

TODD: That`s what Lindsey Graham told me last Sunday. That was his -- the only explanation he could come up with.


CILLIZZA: His whole personality.

TANDEN: That`s the only positive explanation. Let`s be honest about that.

STEELE: And that`s -- well, I mean, until --

TODD: Right, the only other explanation is --

TANDEN: That there is something, a definite connection.

STEELE: Yes, the other explanation is much more nefarious, but you need a whole lot of evidence to make that real. OK?


STEELE: So, I mean, you just do. We`ve had that point and you can have all the documents out there. But until it really gets, like you said, drilled out in the public, and you have the hearings, you have the independent review of what happened here, there`s always going to be a suspicion, and that works to Donald Trump`s advantage. As long as it`s that little bit of suspicion, he can claim.

TODD: Here`s what`s coming. This is -- the rubber is going to meet -- it`s going to hit the road in the first couple of weeks because there`s going to two things that hit his desk or attempted to hit his desk. One is a new sanctions, tougher sanctions against Russia. And the second is, it`s my understanding there`s going to be a bipartisan bill that will come out of the senate calling for an independent commission on this.

(CROSSTALK) TANDEN: I mean, that`s the big question, right? Why doesn`t he sign that?

(CROSSTALK) NEERA: I think the issue here is it`s not just smoke. I mean, the things that we`ve seen so far this year is the Republican platform takes an extraordinary step on Ukraine, his policies on Syria, a significant difference, his language on Russia, his language on NATO, these are a bunch of policy positions for a person who has not been seriously consistent across the board. He has positions that align with Russia, which is odd for a Republican. He`s allowing Democrats to take the national security tough position here. And I think the challenge here is that it`s just so obvious, it was months ago he should have said we should have had that investigation. The fact that he refuses to do, and I think raises questions -- substantial questions because, it`s so obvious.

TODD: So look, in the political problem you guys.

TANDEN: . he doesn`t say yes to it. People are going to say forever it confirms.

STEELE: To what end does this go? I mean, so.

TODD: When he`s going to start losing Republican support on Capitol Hill, that`s when -- that`s what I think.

TANDEN: Clear the air, that`s the point.

CHRIS CILLIZA: Is it Rubio on Tillerson? I mean, is it something like that that has real impact. You know.

TODD: All right. You guys will be back. We might talk about something else.


TODD: Still ahead, the 2016 election broke a lot of rules, changed the political landscape. So how will politicians change the way they work for your vote and pay for that message? Stay tuned.


TODD: Still ahead, a peek into the future of political advertising and why it is forever changed. But first, here`s Aditi Roy with the CNBC Friday market wrap.

ADITI ROY, CNBC: Hi, thanks so much, Chuck, and happy Friday to you. Stocks end the week with modest moves. The Dow sheds five points, the S&P is up four, the NASDAQ needs 26 to close at yet another record. Financials were a bright spot today thanks to better than expected earnings from JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America. Results from Wells Fargo disappointed. And retail sales rose last month driven by strong demand for autos. Another report showing customer sentiment falling slightly, but remaining near a 13-year high. And that`s it from CNBC first in business worldwide.



DONALD TRUMP, THE PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: I had cases where I was tied or up in a poll, but she had spent in a state like 50 million and I had spent like 2 million. And they said, Donald Trump is not spending the money like -- and I`m saying, wait, that`s a good thing.

(END VIDEO CLIP) TODD: Political advertising, like so many other things after the 2016 election appears to have forever changed. President-elect Donald Trump completely upended the campaign norm that winning means spending more money on ads, according to a research firm that track the data. Donald Trump spent about one-third less on ads than Romney did in 2012. Clinton`s campaign spent about the same amount as Obama did four years earlier. Obviously, that didn`t add up to success and the whole landscape of political advertising itself appears to have changed. How ad dollars were spent took a dramatic shift. Essentially, this was the year that TV ad spending went to the direct mail style. So broadcast TV is still by far where the most political ad dollars are spent. But overall, spending on broadcast TV ads dropped by 19 percent, spending on more niche, broadcast radio ads went down by 23 percent, too. But direct mail, that tick up 6 percent. Cable TV up 52 percent, and digital ad spending grew by a massive 789 percent. So what do the categories that grew have in common? They allow for the more precise voter targeting. The very nature of campaigning has changed and it`s going to keep on changing how campaigns spend money. Kip Cassino of Borrell Associates tracked this shift. He`s the author of this report. The final analysis, what happened at political advertising in 2016 and forever. Mr. Casino, welcome to the show, sir.


TODD: So this is the campaign, when we look back on this and say this was the campaign that essentially where the way campaigns used to do direct mail is now how they do their TV advertising, where 100 ads to 100 different constituencies.

CASSINO: That`s pretty much it. What we`ve seen is a change in the way politicians that are thinking forward will look at how to spend their ad dollars. Looking from -- instead of saying we`ve got to talk to everybody so that somebody will listen, they saying we`re just going to talk to the people who we know are going to vote for us, and the ones we to want vote for us, and try and not talk to the other folks at all.

TODD: There`s an unintended consequence there that I`m concern about for the future, which means we also -- that means that persuasion ad is dead. That all advertising messages, if you can do this -- if this is where the trend is, then all advertising messaging is only going to be targeted to people that you think will agree with you. That is -- that will have reverberations in the future.

CASSINO: I think it will. I don`t think we`ve seen the end of what`s going on yet though. I don`t think you can discount the fact that Trump was a one odd phenomenon, that his ability to get earned media is not something that`s likely to be emulated, unless we`re going to get a staple of movie star candidates.

TODD: Well, although that`s possible, we could have a trend setting on that front going forward. But let me go to what`s next. So, if we saw sort of this was the year that broadcast TV got slash, and we saw the rise of more sophisticated cable targeting, the rise of more digital targeting, what`s next? What was the tiny slice that didn`t exist ten years ago that`s coming?

CASSINO: I think what`s coming is the consideration of mobile, the idea that you can reach people in their back pockets and pocketbooks instead of waiting for them to get in front of a screen. People haven`t figured out how to do that very well yet, but I think they will.

TODD: And is there -- has there been -- what kind of testing do you feel like`s been done, have they done enough? Do they know that doing it this way truly has worked, or are they moving into these categories before they know for sure this is the smartest way to go about this?

CASSINO: Well, you know, you and I know, Chuck, that advertising is basically research. You`re trying to improve your message every time out. The beautiful thing about doing the stuff online is it allows you to test hundreds of thousands of times in a month. And that`s exactly what the Trump campaign did this time around. They actually were able to run 750,000 message tests in one month.

TODD: Was there less money spent because some of these entities, some of these platforms didn`t know that they could charge more? And that essentially this will flatten out and you`ll start seeing a rise again, and the big money`s going to be necessary to do digital?

CASSINO: Absolutely. I think one of the reasons we`re seeing this leveling off is that cable and digital are relatively cheap.

TODD: All right. Kip Cassino, it`s fascinating trend spotting that you guys did. And I think you`re right, I think this is the start of a new era. This will be one of those pivot points in the world of campaign advertising. Appreciate the report and thanks for coming on. Still ahead, Republicans set the wheels in motion to repeal Obamacare, but can the party rally around one replacement plan as John Madden says, if you have two quarterbacks, you have none. When you have six plans, you probably have none. Stay tuned.


TODD: Welcome back. Tonight, I`m obsessed with our obsession over superstition. Yes, today`s Friday the 13th. The first of two of Friday the 13th in 2017, by the way, so let two big horror movie Friday debuts. Lots of people consider the number 13 unlucky, and Friday the 13th is especially more unlucky for any number of ridiculous reasons that you could find on the internet. It`s why a lot of buildings in the U.S., especially hotels don`t have a 13th floor, why calling it the 14th floor when everybody knows it`s the 13th floor makes people less afraid, I have no idea. Did they ever see the movie Saturday the 14th? Well, apparently it does. But it`s not just the number 13 that strikes fear in the hearts of the superstitious. In Chinese culture, it`s four that`s unlucky, so much so that some buildings here in the United States that cater to a Chinese clientele have gone above and beyond to make Chinese customers feel more comfortable. In Las Vegas, the Mandala Bay has no 40th floor. Up the street, the Wynn in Las Vegas, they don`t even have a fourth floor. It also doesn`t have a 40th floor, or 41st floor, or any of the floors in the 40s. The elevator actually goes from 39 to 50. I`m not kidding. Not everyone is determined to avoid unlucky numbers. Today, in what the London telegraph suggested might be the unluckiest flight ever, Friday the 13th, travelers took Finn Air flight 666, to hell, that`s Helsinki. Not a fiery pit where Satan lives. As far as we know, it wasn`t anymore hellish than Airline travel usually is. Everyone landed safely. By the way, the two pilots -- their last names were Kennedy and Lincoln. Anyway, for all you superstitious people out there and conspiracy theorist happy Friday the 13th. We`ll be right back.


TODD: Time for the lid, panel is back, Neera, Chairman Steele, Mr. Cilliza.

TANDEN: I get the first name, they get their nice designation.

STEELE: You have a cool first name.



TODD: All right, all right, all right.


TODD: So before -- I don`t think we`re going to have time to get to -- to unpacked Obamacare aspects -- and we won`t have time because this is going to take longer than they think it`s going to take.


TODD: Because there`s an interesting -- you know, there`s been a lot of focus -- we`re talking about Marco Rubio, I mean, it is hard to imagine how Rubio support Tillerson giving the incineration he make. Lindsey Graham, John McCain are both considered potential no`s, so you think OK. That`s -- if all the Democrats vote together that`s enough to kill the Tillerson nomination. Chris Coons, Democrat from Delaware on senate for relations, said he`s undecided because -- while he`s not -- didn`t think Tillerson was that great, and the confirmation process fears what would come after. What do you say to that kind of Democratic thinking in there?

TANDEN: I say that if Marco Rubio votes against Tillerson, a lot of progressives will be shaking their heads, if not their hands.

TODD: If Democrats helped.

TANDEN: If Chris Coons delivers the vote for somebody who can`t answer basic questions, has statements that are still disconcerting about Russia, so I just think that`s a very difficult position for Chris Coons to be in.

TODD: Well, Michael is still there. There are a lot of very well respected Republicans in the foreign policy committee, Conde Rice, Bob Gates, Steven Handley, that -- they`re campaigning in behalf of Tillerson. They can private phone call -- and making a lot of Democrats feel more comfortable about Tillerson

STEELE: And that`s why Marco Rubio likely will not vote against Tillerson.

TODD: You really think that.

CILLIZA: I think at the end of the day, he did what he had to do in the committee.


STEELE: He believed what he had to believe, and did what he did on the committee, it gets real on the floor, and I do not see Republicans pulling away from Tillerson on the senate floor.

(CROSSTALK) CILLIZA: Here`s the argument for that, which I think is what will happen. The argument for that is Rubio says, obviously, I interest many of my concerns to the hearing with secretary of state nominee Tillerson. In the interim, I have spoken with both him and with Bob Gates, who have assured me -- like that`s the way -- that`s the political way out. I don`t know if Rubio takes it. I think he probably will.

TANDEN: Yes, he setup these questions the way he did the question, the toughness of the questions, you can`t argue that I`m standing on principal by voting for the guy who you made very -- you made very difficult for him -- he didn`t ask open-ended question, he prosecuted the case.

(CROSSTALK) STEELE: That happens all the time.

TODD: What I think is more likely is Rubio sticks as a no. I wouldn`t be so convinced that McCain and Graham are both -- you know, they -- Bob Gates would have a lot of impact, I`m sure of it, and John McCain. I think considering where Rubio is.


TODD: Yes, he is. I think it`s more likely that one of those two, or both of them.

(CROSSTALK) CILLIZA: I mean, it`s meaningless in vote, unless it`s indicative of a broader.


STEELE: If that happens where does Trump go next? What do you think Donald trump do?

(CROSSTALK) TANDEN: I think there`s an interaction between these forces. The less -- the less that we can get answers, the less that there`s an investigation pressures. They actually creates more pressure on the Tillerson vote.

TODD: That I think that`s right, I think that`s outside force here and that what`s going to be ultimately happen there. Neera, Michael, and Chris, quite a Friday. Careful of the latter and the black cats. After the break, questioning president`s legitimacy, it`s actually not new. Stay tuned.


TODD: Only tonight, in case you missed it on top of the show, Congressman John Lewis, civil rights hero and icon, said that Donald Trump, he does not believe is a legitimate president because of the Russian meddling in the election. Leaving us on what you feel about Lewis` position. It`s not the first time a president`s legitimacy has been questioned. In 1824, when John Quincy Adams won the presidency over Andrew Jackson, despite getting clobbered in the popular vote, a lot of people questioned the legitimacy of his victory, in fact, this happens pretty much every time the popular vote loser moves into the White House. After the 1876 election, Rutherford Hayes was called Ruther-fraud Hayes when congress gave him the electoral majority. Same in 1888, with Benjamin Harrison. You may remember the occasional cry of file in 2000 when the Supreme Court stop the Florida recount, and George W. Bush won the election. Sometimes it has nothing to do with voting, when William Henry Harrison died a month after taking office in 1841, a lot of people didn`t accept the idea that his vice president John Tyler, or any vice president for that matter could legitimacy ascend to the presidency. A lot of people just called him an acting president. And most recently, of course, conservative right and some Republicans claim to doubt President Obama citizenship and therefore the legitimacy of his right to serve in the office of the presidency. None of this is meant to pass judgment on John Lewis` position, it`s just to remind us all that this isn`t the first time someone had question the legitimacy of an American president. I`m sure it won`t be the last. This is what our political system does. We have this back and forth, doesn`t make it any less shocking, frankly, to some of us when you do hear it from people with big influence. That`s all for tonight, we will be back Monday with more MTP Daily. And if it`s Sunday, catch me at The Press on your local NBC station. For The Record.