Show: MTP DAILY Date: December 28, 2017 Guest: Ro Khanna, Eddie Glaude, Susan Del Percio, Gabe Debenedetti
SHEINELLE JONES, MSNBC HOST: That does it for this hour. I`m Sheinelle Jones. "DEADLINE: WHITE HOUSE WITH NICOLLE WALLACE" will be back next week.
MTP DAILY starts now with Katy Tur in for Chuck today. Hi, Katy.
KATY TUR, MSNBC HOST: Hi there, Sheinelle. And if it`s Thursday, who gets caught red-handed in 2018 and who gets caught "Russian" to judgment?
Good evening, I`m Katy Tur in New York, in for Chuck Todd. Welcome to MTP DAILY.
Heading into next year, can you think of two bigger political questions than these -- what will the Russia probe find in 2018 and how much are voters going to care?
Well, one way to begin answering those questions is to look at what the Russia probe found in 2017 and how much voters cared in 2017.
Let`s start with the biggest bombshells. We learned that the Trump campaign was penetrated by Russian interests, whether it was Trump Junior or Jeff Sessions or Carter Page or others. And looking back on it, the campaign also seemed willing to accept Russia`s help.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, JR., SON OF PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: For me, this was opposition research. They had something, you know, maybe concrete evidence to all the stories I`d been hearing about, but they were probably under- reported for, you know, years, not just during the campaign, so I think I wanted to hear it out.
That was, you know, wanting to hear the information. I mean, that`s what we do in business. If there`s information out there, you want it, and then you make what you do with it.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Politics is not the nicest business in the world, but it`s very standard where they have information and you take the information.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TUR: But if there was seemingly nothing to hide, why did the President`s national security adviser and one of the campaign`s national security advisers both plead guilty to lying to federal investigators about their contacts with Russia?
Both have flipped which means they`re cooperating with Mueller`s investigation.
On top of it, the Trump campaign`s chairman and his top deputy were indicted for money laundering and conspiracy involving their work for a pro-Russian government. Charges they deny.
And though the President denies he interfered in the FBI`s investigation, he did admit that the, quote, made up story, he calls the, quote, Russia thing was one of the reasons he fired FBI Director Comey.
Guy, some look at all these bombshells, and they see a five-alarm fire. Others see a five-alarm nothing burger. But what do voters see? It`s hard to tell.
As enormous as the story was in 2017, you`d be hard-pressed to find any campaign ads about it. There were even some Democrats urging their party not to talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. TIM RYAN (D), OHIO: People back in Ohio aren`t really talking that much about Russia, about Putin, about Michael Flynn. They`re trying to figure out how they`re going to make the mortgage payment, how they`re going to pay for their kids to go to college, what their energy bill looks like.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TUR: But there`s no question that the constant flood of Russia headlines is one important factor when it comes to the anti-Trump wave building right now. It`s not just the most important factor. Not yet. Which brings us to 2018.
As both parties gear up for a reckoning on this story one way or the other, the President and his allies are attacking the credibility of anyone they see as a threat, whether it`s discrediting Mueller as a partisan running a hoax or dismissing Flynn as a liar.
They want the FBI`s investigation investigated. The President says the agency is in tatters. And top House Republicans want to end their Russia probe and open up new investigations into deals when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, but Democrats want more witnesses to testify and even re-testify.
And, guys, the reality for Democrats is that they are being driven by a base that overwhelmingly wants to impeach the President. Begin impeachment proceedings at the very least. So where does the Russia story go now from both a political standpoint and a criminal one?
Let`s start with Joyce Vance who was a former U.S. attorney with 25 years of experience as a federal prosecutor.
Joyce, thank you so much for joining us. What do you think -- where do you think the Mueller investigation is going right now? What`s the next shoe to drop?
JOYCE VANCE, FORMER UNITED STATES ATTORNEY FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA: So I think for folk whose haven`t worked in the Justice Department, the investigation looks slow from the outside, and there are reasons for that. That`s because a criminal investigation proceeds slowly and by the rules.
Mueller will have a team of FBI investigators. We know that he has some investigators from the Internal Revenue Service. It`s likely that there are folks from other agencies as well as some friends like accountants. And they`ve really spent most of 2017 very quietly putting together the paper trail -- banking records, phone records, e-mails -- and meticulously combing through those.
And the reason that they`re so meticulous is because prosecutors don`t target individuals. So this isn`t a situation where Mueller is talking with his team in the morning, saying, let`s look at Jared Kushner today.
Instead, what they`re doing is they`re investigating activity, whether that`s communication between the campaign and Russia during the election or potential activity that looks like it may be Russia recruiting United States persons as agents, and they`ll investigate that situation. And then they`ll make a determination of whether anything that was criminal happened. And only then can they make a decision about whether to proceed with an indictment.
It`s a lot of sausage making that, from the outside, looks slow. On the inside, it`s painstaking and often very tedious at this stage of the case.
TUR: They`re going where the investigation leads. We also have two new clues about where they could be going soon. And there are two reports -- one from Yahoo! yesterday -- saying that Robert Mueller is looking into the RNC`s digital operation, trying to figure out why certain areas were targeted and whether they align with the areas that could have been targeted by Russian misinformation or bots.
There`s also a "Washington Post" report out that says Trump`s legal team is preparing to attack Michael Flynn`s credibility, to paint him as a liar.
VANCE: Two really interesting stories. I think the first piece, the communications piece, was very predictable. The core behind this entire investigation is whether Russia tried to influence a United States election. And it`s important to determine: was that only Russian actors, or were there other folks, potentially folks in the United States and even on the campaign staff, who were involved?
It`s critical that Mueller make that assessment because there are stat sheets, there are laws on the books, that make it illegal for a foreign country to donate either activity or something of value in connection with the campaign.
You know, interesting question, would Mueller indict only Russian personnel if it was strictly a Russian operation?
But what happened online makes it look like the Russians were getting some level of insight about where, geographically, to engage, what populations were vulnerable to the messages and the misinformation they wanted to put out on Facebook and other platforms. So expect Mueller to fully investigate who else was involved in that and determine whether there was any criminal activity.
TUR: Is Mueller going to -- or going to interview the President?
VANCE: I think it`s unlikely that this investigation concludes without that happening. Ken Starr`s investigation into President Clinton went on for about 1,490 days and concluded with an interview of the President. It`d be very difficult to finalize this one without interviewing someone who`s either a key witness or potentially a subject or target.
TUR: When you look at those people that are in the White House right now, and you wonder who potentially has the most exposure. And then you look at Paul Manafort, you look Rick Gates, and what they pleaded to with -- or what they`re facing against Robert Mueller, the not being completely forthcoming on their various federal forms about foreign government interactions.
When you think about that, is Jared Kushner potentially a person who could face the most problems, who could have the most legal exposure?
VANCE: So Mueller`s team has made it very clear with they`re indictments that they take lying to the FBI, concealing the truth from investigators, very seriously.
Anyone who`s in the line of fire either because they made false statements to investigators or because they made misstatements on forms or because they lied or concealed the truth in other forms, those are probably the group of people who are most at risk in the next wave of this investigation. And certainly, Jared Kushner has that bull`s eye on his back.
TUR: He`s had to resubmit his form a number of times now.
Joyce Vance, thank you so much for joining us.
Joining me now on our panel is Princeton University professor and MSNBC contributor Eddie Glaude, Republican strategist Susan Del Percio, and political reporter Gabe Debendetti (ph) -- Debenedetti. I got it the second time.
GABRIEL DEBENEDETTI, POLITICAL REPORTER, POLITICO: Second time.
TUR: I`m going to get it. So let`s -- in looking at whether or not Mueller could be eyeing the President, I am curious. How in the world is he going to react if he has to be interviewed by the Special Counsel?
DEBENEDETTI: Not well. Next question?
TUR: The short answer is not well because, of course, we know how he feels about the Special Counsel and he feels about this whole investigation. Of course, he does have a team of legal professionals around him who are going to try and tread extremely carefully with this question.
So it depends on when we think this is going to happen if it does happen. Whether it`s going to happen in the next few weeks, they`ll try to just blow past it. But if there`s a big build-up to this as we get closer to the midterms, as things get more and more complicated, you know, people around the President are going to be counseling him to tread extremely carefully.
TUR: How does he react if Jared Kushner gets indicted or looks to be getting indicted?
SUSAN DEL PERCIO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Very badly. He`s not going to be responsive to this. One of the things, just to follow up on what was just said, is the timing of this will be very interesting because we`re going into the midterm elections.
Mueller has either has to have this wrapped up by the summer or plans on going dormant during the campaign time because this could be very influential during the 2018 elections if all of a sudden President Trump or Kushner or someone was brought in for an interview in, say, September or October.
So I think the timing will be very important on how that plays out.
TUR: Can an investigation go dormant just because of an election?
DEL PERCIO: Well, when I say dormant, meaning he won`t make indictments or do big interviews or do anything. Let`s not forget what happened in 2016 with Comey when he was going out there, making news during the election cycle. The FBI, traditionally, has always been very careful about making a certain amount of news in the news cycle.
So when I say the investigation goes dormant, I`m not suggesting it says -- it`s not ongoing. I`m suggesting they don`t do anything like make big indictments, do big interviews during September and October, which has always been their practice prior to 2016.
TUR: It would be interesting, though, if it`s an indictment that could be in the national interest, how you --
DEL PERCIO: You could do -- if you know it`s that -- you`re that close, you can do it in --
EDDIE GLAUDE, JR., PROFESSOR OF RELIGION AND AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: August.
DEL PERCIO: Yes, July or August, or you can wait until November `18.
TUR: So the other piece of this is whether or not Donald Trump`s team does try to distance itself from Michael Flynn, which would be interesting, considering all of the things that Donald Trump has said about Flynn and all of the ways he`s been complimentary to him.
Just take a look. We have a mash-up of all the times Trump has praised his former national security adviser.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Michael Flynn -- General Flynn is a wonderful man. I think he`s been treated very, very unfairly by the media.
I think it`s very, very unfair, what`s happened to General Flynn, the way he was treated and the documents and papers that were illegally -- I stress that -- illegally leaked.
I do feel badly for him. He served the country. He was a general.
This man has served for many years. He`s a general. He`s a, in my opinion, a very good person.
Well, I feel badly for General Flynn. I feel very badly. He`s led a very strong life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TUR: This is after he fired him for lying to the Vice President. He`s been complimentary towards him or not negative, at least, towards him, even after it was revealed that he lied to the FBI and that he was working with Special Counsel Mueller. That is until it looks like, potentially, right now, when the Mueller -- when the legal team could be turning against him.
How is the legal team going to find credibility when the President, the person in charge, has been saying wonderful things about this man and saying he has been treated unfairly by the press?
GLAUDE, JR.: I`m not sure. Dowd just came out recently saying that this was just simply a bogus story. It was fake, --
TUR: Fake news, yes.
GLAUDE, JR: -- fake news. But this is standard practice on the part of defense attorneys, to say that if a person is being charged for lying, then how can we trust their word? In relation to --
GLAUDE, JR.: -- or in regards to the person who is under investigation. So I think the interesting thing here is this: folks are scared. And it`s clear folks are scared because the Mueller investigation is -- they are on to something. And whether they call it a nothing burger or whether they call it fake news or whatever, we know they`re on to something. And the question is: when will it come to light?
It seems to me, very clearly, that the question of collusion, the question of obstruction, and all the collateral effects that follow from the investigation of these two things, the collateral effects involved, financing involve lying. It implicates these folks. And they`re not behaving like people who are innocent. They`re just simply not behaving like people --
DEL PERCIO: Well, and it kindly lends to that they`re on to something. They have something. They have four indictments --
GLAUDE, JR.: Right.
DEL PERCIO: -- and two guilty pleas.
GLAUDE, JR.: Right, right.
DEL PERCIO: A guilty plea from the former national security adviser. That in itself is really telling itself.
GLAUDE, JR.: And let`s not forget. The last news cycle, we were actually thinking about -- a few news cycles ago, we were actually thinking about the timeline of when President Trump found out that Flynn was lying.
DEL PERCIO: That`s right.
TUR: Let`s switch for a second because I want to know: do voters care about this? Because if you look at polls, it doesn`t seem like voters have this at the top of their priority list.
The most significant event to you personally in 2017, according to an NBC poll on Russia, go all the way down the list. Russia investigation, seven percent. That`s not the top of the list. Are voters going to vote on this issue in to 2018?
DEBENEDETTI: Certainly, some will, and probably those people that are either big supporters of the President or enormous detractors of the President.
But if things stay as they currently are and we don`t get more information and there isn`t more movement on this investigation as we get closer to the midterms, probably not that many of these voters will vote on that. But that`s not going to be that much of an issue because very few candidates are actually going to be campaigning on this because they specifically know about it.
Now, in Democratic primaries, there might be some people saying we have to impeach the President immediately, and Republicans may be campaigning, saying, these Democrats want to impeach the President immediately. But when you look at what candidates are actually talking on the campaign trail, very few of them are talking about this though.
TUR: Very few people are bringing up Russia. If you look at what happened in Alabama, it was about Roy Moore. If you look at what happened in Virginia, it was about the statues -- the Civil War statues. If you look at Georgia, it was about where Ossoff lived. It was about anti-Trump to a degree, but it wasn`t about this Russia investigation.
DEL PERCIO: And that poll also talks about health care, I mean, as being a top priority. There`s a lot of things. I don`t think it turns into an election issue unless there is more there to show the public why it matters.
GLAUDE, JR.: But it all depends, I think --
DEL PERCIO: I mean --
GLAUDE, JR.: Sorry to cut you off.
DEL PERCIO: Go ahead.
GLAUDE, JR.: It all depends on how we understand the way in which the word "Trump" parses out. Right? Trump is a shorthand for a range --
TUR: But are you going to see an ad that says Donald Trump colluded with Russia? The Russia investigation is under federal investigation.
DEL PERCIO: Yes.
TUR: That sort of ad that you might see?
DEL PERCIO: I think you`re going to see Donald Trump supported a child -- accused child molester, who`ve said, you know, to -- the point to Charlottesville, I don`t think that this is something that necessarily is the worst thing, which has --
TUR: Which is always --
DEL PERCIO: -- worked for him (ph).
TUR: But which is fascinating. This is not -- this isn`t the worst that this President --
DEL PERCIO: Which is interesting (ph).
TUR: -- who`s under federal investigation for potentially colluding with or coordinating with a foreign government to interfere in our elections, is not the biggest thing.
GLAUDE, JR.: Right.
TUR: It`s fascinating. Guys, stick with us, Eddie, Susan, and Gabe.
Ahead, Roy Moore`s last stand. Speaking of Roy Moore. Alabama says, officially, the Senate candidate lost to Doug Jones fair and square, but is it really over?
TUR: Welcome back. It`s official. Democrat Doug Jones is the winner of the Alabama special senate race. Alabama`s Secretary of State John Merrill certified the results from this month`s special election this afternoon, but Jones` opponent, Roy Moore, is still not yet ready to throw in the towel.
Today`s certification comes despite a last-minute protest from Moore. Late yesterday, Moore filed a lawsuit alleging that voter fraud led to his defeat, setting some rumors that have already been debunked by state authorities.
The motion was denied by a judge this afternoon, but Moore`s campaign is not backing down. They put out a statement after the certification today that says, in part, election fraud experts across the country have agreed that this was a fraudulent election.
A source within the Moore campaign tells NBC News that the candidate is still not conceding but that Moore has not determined whether to further contest the results. Nevertheless, Jones is expected to be sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence next week.
More MTP DAILY right after this.
TUR: Welcome back. 2017 is coming to a close and what a year it was. Let`s go back to our panel -- Eddie Glaude, Susan Del Percio, Gabe Debenedetti.
Guys, top landmark moments of 2017. We asked you to give your thoughts. You answered.
Eddie, Charlottesville and the #MeToo Movement?
GLAUDE, JR.: Yes. I mean, it is a sign of the culture wars, right? That we`re in another iteration of the culture wars and that this idea that this country is run and possessed by the property of old White men is dying. Although it`s dying a very violent and intense death.
TUR: How does it resonate, though, in 2018?
GLAUDE, JR.: Well, it`s going to -- it`s already --
TUR: What is that going to look like, though?
GLAUDE, JR.: It`s already resonating in the political process, right? So we saw it in Virginia. We`re seeing it in Alabama, right? We`re going to see it in Mississippi.
We`re going to grassroots organizers all across the country who are mobilizing. It`s going to be Black voters, Brown voters, it`s going to be women. Of course, there are Black and Brown women.
They`re going to be mobilized. They`re actually excited about, in some ways, putting forward a vision of the country that challenges this idea that the country belongs to old heterosexual White men.
TUR: Do you think it`s going to be the end of Nancy Pelosi, Susan?
DEL PERCIO: I do in that when they start looking at that $17 million of settlements from -- for the previous 12 years, she was either Speaker or Minority Leader during them. So she oversaw that. The deadline comes right at --
TUR: What about Paul Ryan?
DEL PERCIO: He was only in power for a year, so he wasn`t Speaker then so he wasn`t overseeing it.
TUR: What about Mitch McConnell?
DEL PERCIO: This is the congressional fund. I am -- and I think on the Senate front, they`ve only found -- I don`t think it`s a substantial amount of money that they`ve seen. There has been things come to light.
But Nancy Pelosi is going to have to explain -- after she fouled up her interview on Conyers, she`s going to have to explain how she oversaw that many cases. And I think we`re going to see a lot more, not just from that $17 million but also when people start reviewing campaign accounts of members of the Congress.
TUR: And does Donald Trump pay a penalty from the #MeToo Movement politically?
DEBENEDETTI: Of course. This is something that he has been dealing with since day one, of course.
Now that the #MeToo Movement is something that people are talking about more openly, it`s something that even some Democrat opponents of his on Capitol Hill are talking about. You have people who might want to run for President out there saying Donald Trump should resign because of the accusations against him.
TUR: And his accusers are not going away.
DEBENEDETTI: Absolutely not.
TUR: That suit is still pending.
DEL PERCIO: And if -- to add to Eddie`s point, not only that, when you look at Donald Trump`s poll numbers, they`re horrible. He gets better marks when they look at him on issues like the economy, so it is clear that Donald Trump is pulling down the party, not necessarily the way he`s handling his policy.
TUR: And he endorsed Roy Moore, and you -- there was a report that Ronna Romney McDaniel, the head of the RNC, was worried that that endorsement is just going to --
DEL PERCIO: She was right.
TUR: -- kill him with women. We`ll see, though.
Susan, yours was firing James Comey and the appointment of a Special Counsel.
DEL PERCIO: Yes, I --
TUR: In 2018, are we still going to be talking about Comey?
DEL PERCIO: Oh, well --
TUR: Oh, yes?
DEL PERCIO: -- we`re going to be talking about Comey and Mueller and --
TUR: Yes, yes.
DEL PERCIO: -- that`s not going away anytime soon. And it was just -- it`s not just that it happened, which is so significant.
It`s also because the amount of time the President has used -- has consumed tweeting about it, the way it`s led to him going after the DOJ, going after law enforcement, going after a pillar of our society and trying to take it down because he doesn`t like an investigation that may hurt him.
This is a -- you know, that takedown is not about -- he needs to put country first on this one, which I know he won`t do, but --
TUR: He`s undercutting the Justice Department --
DEL PERCIO: Tremendously.
TUR: -- undercutting the FBI. He was trying to undercut the electoral process in 2016. He is still trying to do it to a degree with this Election Voter Fraud Commission that`s out there.
And now, we`re seeing Roy Moore, who we just mentioned a moment ago, trying to use this idea of voter fraud as a reason why he should not concede and why he has standing to get back on the ballot or some sort of recount. Who knows?
I mean, what does that mean, though, for us going forward? Are we going to see candidates just refuse to lose and to claim voter fraud?
DEBENEDETTI: Sure. I mean, when we talk about the Trump presidency, we talk about the undercutting of norms so often that it almost doesn`t mean anything anymore. But this is really an important one, the question of accepting the legitimacy of our elections.
DEL PERCIO: Yes.
DEBENEDETTI: There was a lot of concern, you`ll remember, in late 2016 that had Donald Trump lost --
DEL PERCIO: That`s true.
DEBENEDETTI: -- that he would not have accepted the result of the election.
DEBENEDETTI: And he wouldn`t say that he was going to.
DEBENEDETTI: It does not seem that Roy Moore`s challenge upon challenge upon challenge is going to get anywhere. It looks like Doug Jones is going to be a senator next weekend, and we`ll move on from that. But there`s clearly a precedent --
DEL PERCIO: But there`s precedent, yes.
DEL PERCIO: And we still know the Russians interfered with our elections, and we haven`t done anything to really stop them in 2018. So that`s also another big thing.
GLAUDE, JR.: And the irony is that Donald Trump is still here, despite all --
TUR: That`s right.
GLAUDE, JR.: Despite all of what we`ve just said.
TUR: Travel ban was yours, Gabe.
DEBENEDETTI: Yes. I think the travel ban is extremely important here because not only did it happen on, essentially, day one of the presidency, but there were enormous protests immediately. And it showed both sides the political power here and the -- it raised the stakes for the coming year and the years to come.
TUR: And it also set the stage for Donald Trump being a divisive president, not being a unifying president. Not starting with infrastructure, which he could have got Democrats onboard with. Starting with something that was going to alienate a large chunk of the population, and us from the rest of the world.
DEBENEDETTI: And that`s the important point here. Obviously, there`s an enormous issue here domestically with this travel ban and the legal fights that have continued to keep going and will continue to keep going, but it also sends an enormous message to the rest of the world, on day one of the Trump presidency, that this was going to be a dramatic break from the Obama White House and from all previous administrations.
And it really sent a huge message to the world that, listen, you`re going to have to pay attention to Donald Trump because what you`re about to see for the next year, for the next four years, maybe for the next eight years, is like nothing you`ve ever seen before.
DEL PERCIO: That`s a really great point that you brought up that I hadn`t thought about. When you think of it, that the first time we saw such strong voter protest besides after the inauguration, which goes to your point about energizing and having voter turnout.
That really -- I mean, no one expected to see people turning up at airports and changing it. So I applaud you for bringing that up because I hadn`t thought -- I hadn`t remembered that with all the craziness.
TUR: Protests like we haven`t seen in this country and --
DEL PERCIO: I mean, it was over --
GLAUDE, JR.: Since the mid-20th century.
DEL PERCIO: Yes.
GLAUDE, JR.: And I think the travel ban is also -- should also be understood as part of the culture war underneath it.
DEL PERCIO: Yes.
GLAUDE, JR.: It`s all of these deep anxieties about --
TUR: The other.
GLAUDE, JR.: -- demographic shifts in the country.
TUR: The other.
GLAUDE, JR.: Exactly.
TUR: The people that don`t look like us.
GLAUDE, JR.: Exactly.
TUR: Absolutely. Eddie Glaude, Susan Del Percio, Gabe Debenedetti -- I`m getting it now.
DEBENEDETTI: You got it.
TUR: Just rolling off the tongue. Coming up, Capitol Hill versus Silicon Valley. The massive impact Facebook, Twitter, and Google had in 2017, and how they could shape the political landscape next year.
KATY TUR, CORRESPONDENT, NBC NEWS: Ahead, how social media could change the way we look at politics in 2018. Plus, a look back on the political icons we lost over the past year. But first, Josh Lipton is here with the "CNBC Market Wrap." Hi, Josh. JOSH LIPTON, TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT, CNBC: Thanks, Katy. Bank stocks help Wall Street close higher. All three major indexes are set for monthly gains. Dow notched its 71st record close for the year adding 63 points. S&P gained five points. The Nasdaq closed 11 points higher.
Financial stocks gave Wall Street a boost. JP Morgan Chase rose 0.5 percent and oil prices dipped but stayed close to the psychologically key $60 level, a 2-1/2-year high which it touched earlier this week.
That`s it from CNBC, first in business worldwide.
TUR: Welcome back. Members of President Trump`s inner circle weren`t the only ones facing tough questions this year about Russian meddling in the 2016 election. As the investigations heated up, so does scrutiny of the major social media and tech companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google.
Early this year, Facebook`s CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg rejected the idea that the social network had been manipulated by Russia to alter the outcome of the election. By the end of the year, Facebook acknowledged Russian bots published fake news stories and pages that were seen by millions.
Twitter and Google both acknowledged they were infiltrated by Russian bank accounts too. On Twitter, more than 30,000 of those accounts were seen hundreds of millions of times.
Joining me now is California Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna. He represents parts of Silicon Valley. Congressman, thanks so much for joining us. We appreciate your time. I want to talk a little bit about tech and Silicon Valley and the changing way that Americans and lawmakers are perceiving tech. There seems to be a bipartisan frustration with tech.
Democrats not trusting it now because of their involvement with the 2016 election or their infiltration during the 2016 election. Then other Republicans see it as just out of touch with America, this liberal part of the country. And then liberal op-ed pages interestingly are using words like, evil and not your friend, when it comes to big tech.
So as the person who represents a good portion of Silicon Valley, what is your response to those sorts of criticisms? REP. RO KHANNA (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, I think we have to some some nuance. First, these companies are still widely admired. I think Apple and Google have over 80 percent approval ratings and I`m reminded that in Congress, we got an 11 percent approval rating.
That said, look, they have to do better. There were mistakes that were made. They didn`t do enough to have third party verification. If someone goes on to your show and if I make a claim, it will be verified on social media. There were no mechanisms to verify it. And they didn`t do enough in disclosing where some of these ads were coming from.
So I do think the social media companies, tech companies, need to be more transparent, need to acknowledge that mistakes were made. But overall, I remain a technology optimist, and I think most Americans remain optimistic about technology. TUR: Are you confident the tech companies are taking the steps they need in order to secure their databases, secure their platforms in time for 2018?
KHANNA: I think they have started. I think it would be wrong to say that they have solved the problem. These are very difficult problems. Even if they hire thousands of more people to do reviews, there`s going to be a need for better machine learning, better artificial intelligence to be able to review the millions of possible people who use social media, and that`s a conversation we need to have.
I also think and I suggested this before. They need to hire a lot of journalists and people from journalism schools to say, what are the social media standards? How can we make sure something doesn`t happen like what happened in the Roy Moore case, where a woman went on Twitter or a person and said that The Washington Post paid her.
It turned out to be wrong but that story was tweeted and re-tweeted and could have influenced people`s voting decision. They need to find a way to make sure that that is removed from those platforms.
TUR: Tech companies and leaders of tech companies, Mark Zuckerberg in particular, have changed their stories a number of times since the election. Initially, Zuckerberg was laughing it off, saying in now way it could have interfered in the election or had any sort of influence.
That story obviously changed quite a bit. And given that we`re running up to 2018, 2020 is on the horizon as well, and there`s still should be a lot more done by tech companies. Do you think there`s time -- it`s time for more scrutiny potentially oversight or regulation on the part of Congress on to tech?
KHANNA: I do, but I don`t think it is one of grandstanding of just asking a question to make it on to the evening news. I think it has to be collaboration, and these tech companies have to realize.
They claim that they helped to bring on the Arab spring and they claim that people like Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders benefited from social media and there`s no question that they did, but they can`t say that they are changing the world with social media and then not acknowledge the negative impacts.
The fact that they amplify those platforms hate speech. The fact that they have led to false propaganda on those platforms. And I think what would be great is if we tone down the rhetoric, if tech leaders on their part were more transparent to come to the media, answer the tough questions, be open and honest that it`s a new technology that has mistakes.
And politicians should really learn the technology and try to be collaborative on how to solve the problems. That may involve more regulation, but it also just involves a conversation about what type of technology is needed to solve some of these problems. TUR: Isn`t it going to be difficult, though, for Congress to figure out a way to regulate or even to work with companies on this? Do many folks in Congress understand how these platforms work? Do many members of Congress know how to code?
KHANNA: Well, I think that Congress could learn a little bit more. They should come out to the Valley and learn what is possible. I mean, for example, some people called for net neutrality for tech companies, not just for internet service providers.
What does that mean? Does that mean that Amazon should be required to sell every product in the world, or that every website should have an alternative perspective? So I do think there has to be more knowledge about the conversation.
And there has to be one other central point, which is when I go to places like Ohio, Youngstown which Tim Ryan represents, or Paintsville, Kentucky which Hal Rogers, a Republican represents, he calls Paintsville "Silicon Holler" and people there, they are hungry for technology to come to their communities, to have new tech jobs.
And Silicon Valley has a responsibility to make sure that some of these jobs are placed in other parts of the country. And I think Congress has a responsibility to understand the benefits of technology as well and how to take advantage of that.
TUR: Remember, democratic voters are for the beginning of impeachment proceedings against President Trump, 2018 is a big election and there`s a lot of talk about whether or not Democrats should run on impeachment. What do you think?
KHANNA: I think that would be a mistake. And here is what I say to my colleagues, Democrats, who want to push for impeachment. I say imagine if there was a Republican who said, I don`t care what Bob Mueller finds. I don`t care if the president was bribed. I`m never going to vote for impeachment.
We find that totally unreasonable. We would say, what about the evidence? Well, how can we say, we`re for impeachment before we even know the Mueller investigation or the outcome? We should wait to see what the evidence is, or we`re being equally biased.
And I also think that the Democrats, we`ve got to learn the lesson, one of the lessons of this last election. People were upset at all of us in positions of responsibility. They felt their lives weren`t being taken into consideration, that a lot of the job creation, the wealth creation was on the coast.
And we`ve got to figure out how do we connect, how do we assure people who are left behind that we have a vision for them. Everyone is capable of having an opinion about Donald Trump. There`s nothing I can say today that`s probably going to change someone`s mind about Donald Trump.
But I do think what I can say and what Democrats can say may give them more confidence that we actually have a plan to solve their problems, and my belief is that should be the focus. TUR: Congressman Ro Khanna, good to see you. Thanks so much for coming.
KHANNA: Thanks, Katy, for having me on. TUR: Happy new year. Ahead, remembering the lives we lost, an unforgettable year for politics.
TUR: Welcome back. As we look ahead to the new year, we also want to take a moment to look back at some of the people in politics, the media, and culture who we lost in 2017.
(START VIDEOTAPE) ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINKKI, FORMER DIPLOMAT AND POLITICAL SCIENTIST: We no longer live in an age in which peace and war can sharpen to differentiate it. JOHN ANDERSON, FORMER UNITED STATES CONGRESSMAN: There is a third way, and I represent that third approach for the American voter.
ROGER AILES, FORMER TELEVISION PRODUCER: The American people didn`t want to be told what to think about the information they were receiving. So we came up with, we report, you decide, fair and balance. KATE O`BEIRNE, FORMER PRESIDENT, NATIONAL REVIEW INSTITUTE: Given the (INAUDIBLE) certainly rather be a Democrat right about now. DICK GREGORY, FORMER CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Well, my feelings is, after being here witnessing this, that as long as there`s a man alive on the face of the earth, this day will always be remembered the world over. MARY TYLER MOORE, FORMER ACTRESS: I would like to know why the last associate producer before me made $50 a week more than I do. EDIE WINDSOR, FORMER LGBT RIGHTS ACTIVIST: I feel like this accident, this glorious accident of history that put me here in this position -- BOB MICHEL, FORMER HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: Mr. Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to wield this gavel at least one time and actually sit in the chair. It was something to behold.
TUR: Welcome back. It`s time for "The Lid." The panel is here. Eddie Glaude, Susan Del Percio, Gabe Debenedetti. Let`s start with the stories that did not get enough attention in 2017. We`ve been hyper-focused on Donald Trump. Eddie, what do you think didn`t rise to the surface the way it should have?
EDDIE GLAUDE, PROFESSOR, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: I want to lift up the name of Casey Marquez and Francisco Fernandez, two high school students at Aztec High School who were shot and killed in a mass shooting. We didn`t talk enough about what happened in New Mexico at that high school.
And it`s at a time time when we needed to have a discussion about gun control, a time that we needed to have a discussion about mass shooting. The data that you put up earlier about what was on voters` mind, right? Here we have these babies in a high school. They were killed.
And then this extraordinarily heroic substitute teacher who had the presence of mind to put a sofa in front of the door. And so (INAUDIBLE) burst through door and only could shoot randomly. We had no discussion about it. Why? Because we were paying attention to the P.T. Barnum of American politics, Donald Trump.
TUR: Even the mass shootings that did get a lot of focus, Las Vegas and the one down in Texas, they were here and then they were gone in a second. And we kept hearing from lawmakers about how now is not the time to talk about gun control and talk about guns.
Chuck had, you know, his take on that that went viral, as it should have. When is the time to talk about it if it is not right after it happened? Are we ever really going to talk seriously about gun control? SUSAN DEL PERCIO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: The only gun legislation that went through was reciprocity to go state lines with concealed weapons. I mean, not one thing was done after all of that. GLAUDE: Couldn`t even get the bump. DEL PERCIO: Exactly.
GABRIEL DEBENEDETTI, POLITICAL REPORTER, POLITICO: To your point, I don`t know what has to happen in this country for people to talk about this in a serious way.
TUR: I don`t know. We had 22 kindergartners killed a few years ago and that wasn`t enough.
DEBENEDETTI: But we keep breaking the record for the biggest mass shooting in American history over and over and over. And it`s not just, but it happens so frequently at this point that we become totally numb to it.
TUR: So is that the way to cover it or to not cover it, because we`ve decided as a country that it is not important to us? We are not going to change things? We are not going to change our legislation because we`re not doing that?
Is it a story that`s worthy of the coverage any longer? Is that a discussion that needs to be add? If we`re going to accept it as a society, which we clearly are, because nothing is changing, do you cover it that way?
DEBENEDETTI: We should not accept that we`re accepting it as a society to begin with. I can think of few things more newsworthy than the murder of innocent Americans, but we should have --
TUR: More disgusting than the murder of innocent Americans.
DEBENEDETTI: Of course.
DEL PERCIO: Until the voters start holding their elected officials accountable on it, then it`s really not -- we can cover it as we should cover it, but it won`t change until --
TUR: Until the voters who are single issue voters for gun control. Single issue voters for changing the gun laws and doing something about them rather than the voters who are single issue voters for not touching gun --
DEL PERCIO: And also because some of big gun safety lobbyists, if you will, they`re not focusing on moderate Republicans. They`re actually not going after the districts where you can make a difference. They`re more or less building up their support where they have it. They need to learn how to communicate with voters in a different way.
They need to reach out across the party line, not just keep going back to the traditional base of support and say and hold accountable and spend tens of millions of dollars that people do on political campaigns and doing super PACs for or against a county on this issue against a particular member of the House or Senate.
TUR: Gabe, yours was cities pushing back on the Paris climate accord. We only have a little bit of time. DEBENEDETTI: My point is simply that for all the attention that was paid to the president to setting to pull out of this accord, you have cities, states, corporations essentially standing up and saying, you may not want to abide by these regulations, Mr. President, but we`re going to.
So that`s an enormous step that has been taken by a number of local governments and corporations all over the country and it is something that people need to be paying closer attention to.
TUR: Susan, the appointment of federal judges. DEL PERCIO: Appointment of federal judges. Neil Gorsuch was huge to Supreme Court but more importantly 12 federal appointed judges, most with life-time appointments totally changing the face of our judiciary for decades to come, not just the term of one president, but decades. Talk about a deep state. That may be it.
TUR: Stories that did not get covered in 2017, but stories, I think, that will still be relevant and might get another, unfortunately, if we`re talking about guns, another round in 2018 and the years to come, sadly for us. Guys, thank you so much and happy new year.
DEBENEDETTI: Happy new year.
DEL PERCIO: Happy new year.
GLAUDE: I want to say quickly, I wish Erica Garner, she is on her death bed. I just wish her well. She is the daughter of Eric Garner who was killed in New York.
TUR: Eddie, thank you very much. Susan, thank you as well. Gabe, thank you.
DEBENEDETTI: Thank you.
TUR: Coming up, ahead, lights, camera, distraction.
TUR: In case you missed it, you never know what you will see on live TV. Maybe something extinct.
(START VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, we`re really confused about this. Is this kind of confusion far for the course any time you make big changes to the tax law like this?
(END VIDEO CLIP) TUR: No, not our chief White House correspondent Hallie Jackson. She`s not extinct. But this was her this morning in the foreground, at least. In the background, your run-of-the-mill marauding band of dinosaurs. Clearly up to no good. Good news though, they kept their distance chewing the scenery, but nothing else. Hallie handled the distraction like a pro, tweeting, at least it wasn`t gators.
Now, as a rule, we don`t encourage cameos in our live shots from any species, but every so often you have to give it up for creativity. So I say this to our prehistoric (INAUDIBLE), give yourselves a round of applause with your tiny little hands.
That`s all for tonight. Chuck will be back tomorrow with a special edition of "MTP Daily."
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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