Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW Date: January 6, 2017 Guest: Adam Schiff
JOY REID, MSNBC "A.M. JOY" HOST: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now. Good evening and happy Friday, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Happy Friday. I feel like it`s not nice for me to wish you happy Friday because you have to work the next two days too.
REID: Still working.
MADDOW: I know, never not working. Thank you, Joy. I hope you get at least a little respite.
And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. It`s good to have you with us. Electoral maps drive Democrats nuts. And this is why.
This is the national electoral map. This was in 2008 when Barack Obama won the presidential election that year by a mile. But the map`s really red, right? Obama won by a lot, he`s in blue, but the map still looks very red.
That`s even more true when you make the map county by county instead of state by state. This is an election that the Democrats won. This kind of things drives Democrats nuts.
But it`s just -- it`s an accident of the way we make maps and the way we show electoral votes, right? People who live in rural areas tend to vote Republican. That shows up on the map as big swathes of the country looking red on the map even if those swathes of the country don`t have very many people in them.
And it happens every election, it happens in a national election like that. Look, this is California from this year. California this year, Hillary Clinton absolutely destroyed Donald Trump. She beat Trump in California by a 30-point margin. But look at the map. Still looks wicked red.
Even in a little state like New Jersey, she won New Jersey by a mile. She won New Jersey by 14 points. But still even in a little state, the rural areas are big. The state still looks very red.
That`s just what maps will look like as long as Democrats tend to live closer together than Republicans do. Even when Republicans lose, the map still makes it look like they won.
Even with that dynamic in mind, though, I want you to check this out. This was a map like that, an electoral result map. This was the election result in Russia in 2011.
Russia is the biggest country in the world in terms of landmass. This is the map of the election results for Russia`s parliamentary elections that took place five years ago. Talk about an overwhelming result, right? I mean, the party that is represented by the dark blue, which is basically the entire map, makes it look like an ocean instead of land, that is the United Russia Party. That`s the party of this guy.
The first-ever president of Russia after the wall fell down and the Soviet Union collapsed and it became Russia instead of the Soviet Union, the first president of Russia was Boris Yeltsin. Boris Yeltsin served from 1991 to 1999 then famously on Y2K, on New Year`s Eve, 1999, December 31st, 1999, the last night of the year, last night of the century, last night of the millennium -- surprise, Boris Yeltsin quit. Dramatic surprise resignation that night as Russia`s first-ever president.
But he was the first one and he quit and that`s when this guy took over and this guy has been in power ever since. From 2000 to 2008, he served as president, Russia`s second president. Legally in 2008, he had to step down from being president, didn`t want to leave power, though, he became prime minister and kept acting like he was president. In 2008, somebody else nominally got to take over the president`s job, even though Putin kept his hands on power.
But you know what? Starting in 2008 when he no longer had the title, those four years obviously still running the country but not having people call him "president," that bothered him. He didn`t like necessarily not being president of Russia, even though he was still running the country. It was bugging him. Those four years not being president, that was enough.
By 2011, he was already making plans that he would like his old job title back, please? He would like to be called president again. So, he`s making plans to do that.
December, 2011, he`s preparing to run again for president, to retake the title of president and while he was preparing to run for president again, something bad happened to Vladimir Putin, because this was the parliamentary election result from December, 2011. And even though this map makes it look like Vladimir Putin`s party, United Russia Party, makes it look like he absolutely ran the table in that election, as we know from our own country, electoral maps can be deceiving.
And even though this looks like it was a route for them, this was actually a bad result for them. Such was the grip of Putin`s party in power that this represented actually a loss of dozens of seats in the parliament. And that was very embarrassing to Vladimir Putin because that election was supposed to be the run-up to him running for president again. That election should have been a moment of triumph for him.
That election was just a few months before he was going to take this historic step of regaining the presidency. It was embarrassing to him that his party lost all those seats. His party got rejected. The number of seats they held in parliament dropped by dozens because of this election result in December, 2011. That was not what he wanted at all as he was ready -- getting ready to go be president again.
And it`s not like, you know, they hadn`t taken it seriously or hadn`t been trying, Vladimir Putin and his party did their absolute best to win as many seats as possible in that election in December, 2011. They did their best. It also appears that they did their worst.
There`s an international organization called the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, one of the things they do is monitor whether or not elections are basically rigged. They monitor whether or not elections are fair. And they monitored that election in December, 2011, that parliamentary election in Russia, and they did not like what they saw.
Quote, "The contest was slanted in favor of the ruling party." There was, quote, "undue interference of state authorities at different levels." There was, quote, "a lack of independence of the election administration."
Quote, "The elections were marked by the convergence of the state and the governing party", Putin`s party. Quote, "The playing field was slanted in favor of Putin`s party." United Russia. The playing field was slanted.
And remember, these elections, even with all of that, they didn`t work out that great for Putin`s party. They lost dozens of seats. They did hold on to their majority in parliament, but just barely.
And these very serious questions were raised by very serious elections monitors as to whether or not Putin and his party had to actually cheat in order to just even keep that bare majority. I mean, here`s the OSCE talking about how the vote counting went during the election that night in December, 2011.
Check this out, quote, "The quality of the process deteriorated considerably during the count, which was characterized by frequent procedural violations and instances of apparent manipulation including several serious indications of ballot box stuffing." So, this is interesting, right? In other words, they`re saying the count maybe started off okay, the election wasn`t very fair, there was stuff going wrong, but the count started off okay but didn`t end up okay.
When they started to realize what the count was showing in terms of how Russians voted, what was the phrase? "The quality of the process deteriorated considerably." And by the end of the counting, they were just blatantly stuffing the ballot boxes. And then they only held on to their majority by a hair.
So, this happened in December, 2011. It was a shock to Putin, it was a challenge to Putin, it was an indication that if Russians got to vote freely and fairly, maybe Russians were about to pick somebody else to run their country, for the first time since Yeltsin when he quit on Y2K, which was so weird.
But when these results came in, when the results were announced, when this accounting process, such as it was, was complete and Russians realized that this is the way Putin was going to hold on to power, a lot of Russians took to the streets.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: This week in Moscow, thousands of protesters faced off against police. "Russia without Putin and Putin is a thief," they shouted. Rare public defiance following Prime Minister Vladimir Putin`s surprisingly weak showing in Sunday`s parliamentary election and allegations of widespread fraud.
Even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was critical, prompting Putin to accuse her of inciting the unrest. But the alleged fraud was all over the Internet. YouTube videos like this one.
An election official is confronted after he appears to be filling out multiple ballots.
Human rights groups say more than 1,000 people have been arrested since Monday, but the opposition plans another big protest tomorrow. By law, Putin had to step down as president in 2008, but he never really gave up control. Now, the former KGB strongman says he will run for the job again in March.
Protesters like these hope they can stop him. The white ribbons are the new symbol of their movement.
These guys have already handed out hundreds tonight. The ribbon says "Against the party of crooks and thieves."
So far, more than 35,000 people have signed up on Facebook to join tomorrow`s protest. Security forces are getting ready for what could be Russia`s largest political demonstration since the fall of the Soviet Union 20 years ago this month.
LESTER HOLT, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: Mass protests through the streets of Moscow. Tens of thousands of ordinary citizens rising up against corruption and their prime minister, Vladimir Putin.
NBC`s Stephanie Gosk is there.
STEPHANIE GOSK, NBC NEWS REPORTER: The cold and the snow didn`t stop them. The massive show of force on Moscow`s streets didn`t, either. Police estimate a crowd of 25,000, the largest political demonstration since the early `90s.
"Russia without Putin" they defiantly chanted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Those were days of protests. Days of protests. It was a different -- three different reports there from "NBC Nightly News" over December, early days of December, 2011, the election was December 4th, the protests started December 5. That was five years ago, 2011.
These protests were really big. Some of the biggest protests against any Russian leader since the fall of the Soviet Union. Even the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev came out and said that that election was a disaster, it should be scrapped and redone.
Gorbachev came out and said, "The country`s leaders must admit there were numerous falsifications and rigging. The results do not reflect the people`s will, I think they can only take one decision, annul the results of an election and hold a new one." Gorbachev said that, as thousands and then tens of thousands of Russians took to the streets saying "Russia without Putin."
I mean, this was a big deal. This was maybe going to be the end of Putin. I mean, people wouldn`t even have to overthrow him. This was December, 2011, he was about to stand for president in March just a few months later, and there`s the country rising up against him, feeling like he`s this corrupt thief who just rigged the election to stay in power and even still was only barely able to do it as the country turned against him.
It was an incredible moment, the kind of moment that could have changed the course of world events. But you know what? Vladimir Putin, he took that moment and he grabbed it by the neck and squeezed, as he is wont to do. He sent security forces, including the military, into the streets to arrest Russians by the thousands.
Opposition political figures picked up and jailed. The Kremlin organized counter-protests that turned into running street battles between pro-Putin sort of militias and all these people who were protesting against him. And you know what?
When it came to explaining what went wrong, you saw a reference to this in Stephanie Gosk`s report there in that first week of December, when it came to explaining to Russians what was wrong and what was going on in the streets and who was to blame for what had happened to his country, what has pushed the country to the brink like that -- Putin, of course, picked somebody convenient to blame it on, somebody very familiar to us.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
MADDOW: "She set the phone for some of the activist inside our country. She gave them a signal. They heard this signal and started active work with support from the U.S. State Department.
The secretary of state gave her opinions about the election. She said they were unfair and unjust. She set the tone, she gave them the signal."
That was Vladimir Putin`s press conference with his cabinet after the election, explaining what was going on with all those thousands of people in the streets. Those thousands of people in the streets weren`t aggrieved Russians. They were just puppets of Hillary Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: After protests erupted earlier this week, Putin turned his anger on the U.S., blaming Hillary Clinton in a Cold War of words.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: At the time, it seemed so random to us in this country that Putin would blame Hillary Clinton for the tens of thousands of Russians protesting against him in the streets, you know, saying "Russia without Putin" and all this. But that really is what he did.
I mean, as our secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, had been so bold as to quote from the elections monitors who observed the Russian election and saw how rigged it was and so, therefore, obviously, those protests were all her fault.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, THEN-U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Concerning Russia, you know, we`re watching the election results with great interest. Clearly, the Duma is going to have a different makeup than it did before this election and we do have serious concerns about the conduct of the elections.
The preliminary report by the OSCE cites election day attempts to stuff ballot boxes, manipulate voter lists and other troubling practices. We`re also concerned by reports that independent Russian election observers, including the nationwide Golos Network were harassed and had cyber attacks. Russian voters deserve a full investigation of electoral fraud and manipulation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: When Vladimir Putin was facing the one moment since he took power on the first day of this millennium, the one moment when it looked like he might conceivably lose his grip on power, while he was facing that, Hillary Clinton as America`s top diplomat, she did, she went after him publicly for rigging the election that kept his party in power and that gave him a position from which he was able ultimately to regain the presidency. While tens of thousands of Russians stood in the streets and braves mass arrests, you know, and shouted "Russia without Putin" and called Putin a thief and a fraud, the United States government in the person of Hillary Clinton our secretary of state, she stood up and said, yes, she said those elections were, quote, "neither free nor fair."
She said, in effect, those protesters are right. We the United States government believe those protesters have got a real beef with those elections for a reason. She said it. "Your elections were neither free nor fair."
And that incident from 2011, that incident and the grudge that Vladimir Putin still has over it, that apparently is what explains what just happened to our country and our election, at least according to the assessment of Russian activities and intentions in recent U.S. elections. This is just released late today by the director of national intelligence. This is from the FBI, the CIA, and the National Security Agency.
And I know you know this is out today, I know the bottom line you have already heard. But here it is, quote, "We assess Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election. Russia`s goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, to denigrate Secretary Clinton and to harm her electability and her potential presidency."
Quote, "We further assess Putin and the Russian government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We also assess Putin and the Russian government aspired to help President-elect Trump`s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him."
And you know, it is hard to imagine that there is a barrel of ink yet to be spilled on explaining the Russian preference for Donald Trump, and whatever it is about Russia that makes the affection so mutual to him. I mean, the Putin/Trump connection is very well-trod ground. Honestly, we still do not have an independent credible explanation for what exactly explains that bond of what appears to be affection and mutual support.
But according to the intelligence community, for Russia, love of Donald Trump is not where it started. They started out, the reason they did it is that they had an intention to denigrate Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in her new role as presidential candidate, to harm her potential presidency. It was only as our election progressed according to this report that Putin and the Russian government developed their clear preference for President-elect Trump.
Well, why did it start with the hatred of Hillary Clinton? Why was denigrating Hillary Clinton, hurting Hillary Clinton, hurting her electability, hurting her potential presidency, why was that the prime mover for Vladimir Putin?
Well, in the overt official assessment of the FBI, the CIA, and the National Security Agency, we`ve got it explicitly. Quote, "Putin most likely wanted to discredit Secretary Clinton because he has blamed her since 2011 for inciting mass protests against his regime in late 2011 and early 2012. He holds a grudge for comments he almost certainly saw as disparaging him."
It was that election, that election in 2011 where Russia`s -- where Putin`s party apparently rigged it and had to in order to hold on to power by the skin of their teeth which led to mass protests in the street which led to this huge show of popular support against Putin, risking his chances to be able to regain the presidency after almost 12 years of being in power when he was not used to being challenged, it was that election.
And Hillary Clinton playing this role for the U.S. government of calling it straight saying, yeah, it looks like that election was rigged. That`s what led to what happened in our election. This is his payback for that.
And so if this is right, if this report is accurate, the FBI and the CIA and the NSA have got it right, then we know why they did it and we know what they did. Quoting from the report, "The Kremlin`s campaign aimed at the U.S. election featured disclosures of data obtained through Russian cyber operations, intrusions into U.S. state and local electoral boards and overt propaganda."
All this stuff about who knows where the DNC data came from, who knows where WikiLeaks got it, maybe it was some 400 pound 14-year-old in a bed somewhere, maybe in New Jersey -- yes, enough with that. No. According to the FBI, the CIA and the NSA, "We assess with high confidence that it was the GRU --" which is Russian military intelligence "that relayed to WikiLeaks material it acquired from the Democratic national committee and senior Democratic officials."
So, now we know. If this is right, if this report that they released public today is right, if they got it right, we have learned what Russia did. We have learned why they did it. And we have also learned one final thing which is very, very, very important for all of us going forward and that`s next.
MADDOW: All right. This is I think the really important part. We have been told as recently as last night that unclassified version of the intelligence report on Russia attacking the U.S. election, we`ve been told that the unclassified version, the cleared for public version of the report would come out next week.
It was then a surprise today when it came out this afternoon and this publicly available report, this unclassified version of the report, if it`s accurate, it taught us a great deal about what the Russians did to influence our elections this past year and why they did it, which is very dramatic, why Putin had this grudge against Hillary Clinton dating back to a specific thing that happened in 2011, why he wanted to destroy her, where that came from. Fascinating.
If you haven`t heard this report, don`t be daunted because it looks kind of long. Actually, if you don`t read the evidentiary annexes to it or like the sources and methods introduction and all the -- if you don`t read all of the surrounding stuff and just read the report, it`s only five pages long. So, you can absolutely read in the one sitting.
The other stuff is good, but if you just want the nut of it, it`s only five pages. You can totally do it. I put it online tonight so you can find it easily.
But when this thing came out publicly today, there was one additional thing that this report taught us. It`s not about Russia, it`s not about Hillary Clinton, it`s not even about our last election. But it`s really important and it`s about our new president.
And what we learned today when this public version of this report came out -- surprise, it`s out today -- what we learned when this came out is that our new president will flat out lie to us, to our faces and even put in the writing, even when we can check for ourselves and see for ourselves that he is blatantly lying about a really big thing. He apparently will just bracingly lie to us about important national security stuff and we learned that today if we didn`t believe it before.
All right. This is not that complicated. This is the public version. This is the unclassified version of this report.
And on every page of this report, there`s a little box at the top. We`ve shown it here so you can see it. Little box that explains, it says this, "This report is a declassified version of a highly classified assessment; its conclusions are identical to those in the highly classified assessment but this version doesn`t include the full supporting information on key elements of the influence campaign."
So, they not only say that at the outset of this report, it`s literally printed on top of every single page in the report. They`re saying, yes, this is the public one, this doesn`t have the sources and methods stuff that might screw with our spies or whatever. But the conclusions of this report are identical to those in the highly classified assessment which we the public don`t get to see. Very clear.
Now, the highly classified assessment, that was commissioned by President Obama, right? He asked the intelligence community for it. He got that highly classified assessment from them yesterday. That same highly classified assessment that went to Obama yesterday went to the president- elect today, this morning.
And then, here`s the thing, right after that, right after he came out of that briefing where he received the highly classified version of this, he put out a written statement about what he learned in the briefing. And he blatantly and overtly, bluntly, simply lied about what is in this report, right before this report got publicly released so we could check ourselves and see that he was lying.
I have to say, I don`t get weirded out by that much stuff in the news but this puts a shiver down my spine. Look at this, it`s very clear. This was the statement our incoming president put out after he got highly classified version of this report. And, again, the public version that we all have now, that we can all see, its conclusions are identical to those in the highly classified report.
He gets briefed on the classified version of this, he comes out and he makes this statement, quote, "President-elect Donald J. Trump released the following statement at the conclusion of meeting with intelligence community leaders."
Here`s the statement, "While Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses, and organizations, including the Democrat National Committee, quote, there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election."
So, he`s saying I just got briefed on this report, I met with the director of the intelligence, and the director of the CIA, and the director of the FBI, they`ve given me their report and I can tell you, the American people, having read this report, having been briefed by our intelligence community, I can tell you now that I`ve seen this report and I`ve been told what`s in it, there was -- what was it? There was absolutely no affect on the outcome of the election. That`s what he tells us.
Well, here`s what`s actually in the report. Quote, "We did not make an assessment of the impact Russian activities had on the outcome of the election."
So, our president-elect is lying to us. He says this report concluded that Russian hacking had no impact on the election. This report did not conclude it and now we know because we can read it ourselves because it came out today. Surprise.
And that`s a big lie. He also tells little lies, too. Here`s what he said in the same statement to us after getting briefed on this report. He said, "There were attempts to hack the Republican national committee but the RNC had strong hacking defenses and the hackers were unsuccessful."
Really? That`s what the report said? Because now I can look at the report myself now and it doesn`t say that at all. What the report says is, quote, "Russia collected on some Republican-affiliated targets but did not conduct a comparable disclosure campaign."
So, Russia was successful in stealing data and documents from the Republicans as well, they just didn`t blast it back into the United States as propaganda the way they did with the Democratic stuff because they wanted Trump to win the presidency. But the president-elect lied to us about that today. He lied to us about what`s in this report.
The president-elect either thinks we are idiots or he didn`t know that they were going to release the report today so we didn`t know we`d be able to fact check his statement, lying to us immediately against the thing he lied about?
We have posted the report online. We`re doing that tonight so it`s easy to find. Honestly, the meat of it is five pages but the whole thing is interesting. See what you think.
But also, do not believe a word the new president says on this topic until at least they correct the overt lies that they told about this just today.
MADDOW: We are awaiting a press conference due to start momentarily from the FBI and local authorities about the airport mass shooting that happened today in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Again, this latest update from authorities is due to start now. We`ll go to it as soon as it does start.
Unless you`re an air marshal, you are not allowed to bring a gun with you when you get on board an airplane. You can`t bring it on your carry-on luggage at least. But even if you`re not an air marshal, even if you`re just a regular Schmoe with a license to have a gun, you can bring your gun on airplane if you packed it in your chock luggage.
There`s rules about how it`s done. The gun has to be in a locked hard- sided case. It has to be unloaded. If you`re checking ammunition clips, you know, magazines with bullets those need to be in their own box, or included in that hard case with the gun.
If you do pack your gun and your ammo properly and when you get to the ticket counter, you notify the airline you are checking a firearm, that`s all you need to do. Those are TSA requirements for traveling with a gun. But that is what law enforcement believes happened today when a suspected gunman in the Ft. Lauderdale airport opened fire and killed a lot of people.
Law enforcement believes this young man packed a gun and ammunition into his checked luggage, then he retrieved his checked luggage from the baggage carousel after his flight. After he retrieved his luggage, he got his gun and ammo out of his bag and started shooting. Law enforcement officials tell NBC News they believe the shooter flew a red eye last night from Anchorage, Alaska, overnight to Minneapolis. Landed this morning in Minneapolis, then from Minneapolis, he took a connecting flight to Ft. Lauderdale.
When he landed at terminal 2 at Ft. Lauderdale, they think he retrieved his luggage from the baggage carousel, went to the bathroom where he got his gun out of his luggage and loaded it, then opened fire in the baggage claim. It was shortly before 1:00 Eastern Time these horrifying scenes today, people running out of the terminal on to the tarmac to get away.
We don`t know yet the type of firearm the gunman was using. There were eyewitness reports that it was a handgun but we can`t confirm that. People can also pack long guns on airplanes, shotguns or rifles, so just we don`t know about that yet.
There are reports he was able to reload his weapon at least once during the attack. The whole thing lasted less than 15 minutes. Police ultimately apprehended him without shooting him.
Apparently, he ran out of ammunition and that`s why the attack stopped. Witnesses say that he threw his gun on the ground after he ran out of ammo. He didn`t make a run for it. He just laid on the floor spread eagle and police took him into custody.
Tonight, we`re told he`s being interrogated by the FBI and by county investigators from Ft. Lauderdale.
Now, we`re learning tonight, late tonight, that federal prosecutors are preparing to file criminal charges against him. Federal prosecutors preparing to file criminal charges against him for offenses relating to interfering with the operation of an international airport. Other charges related to the people who he apparently killed and injured will follow, but this means this will proceed as a federal case and the FBI will take the investigative lead. We expect to hear more about that from authorities who, again, are due to give a press conference in -- any minute now.
This was a murder of five people all together. Five people were killed. At least eight other people were hurt. Many people who got hurt were taken to the trauma unit at Broward Medical Center.
As for the suspected shooter, we do know quite a bit about him now -- 26 years old, he`s American, his name is Esteban Santiago, he was reportedly wearing a "Star Wars" t-shirt during the shooting. He had been living most recently in Anchorage, Alaska. He was born in New Jersey, he moved to Puerto Rico as a toddler, joined the Puerto Rican national guard in 2007.
He also deployed to Iraq in 2010, spent about a year in Iraq on that deployment. Authorities say they did find his military I.D. on him today but he was discharged from the service last year for what the guard describes as unsatisfactory performance.
Federal law enforcement officials tell NBC News that this suspect was undergoing treatment for mental health problems. He`d complained he was hearing voices. NBC News reports a few months ago, he walked into the FBI`s office in Anchorage claiming that the CIA was forcing him to join ISIS. The FBI office then called the local police to deal with him and he ended up going voluntarily into a mental health facility for treatment.
In terms of the motive, we don`t know the motive at this time, but five people are now dead and eight others are hurt. Over 73,000 people pass through this Florida airport everyday. Today, this young gunman, for whatever reason, turned it into a little piece of hell on earth.
Again, we`re still awaiting a press conference from authorities in Ft. Lauderdale but we are hearing there will be federal charges in this case and that will mean the FBI is in the lead. We`ll bring that to you as soon as it happens.
MADDOW: Again, we are awaiting the start of a press conference that`s due to start 10 minutes or so ago in south Florida. This after the mass shooting attack at the Ft. Lauderdale airport today. We`ve received some news in the last few minutes that suggest this is going to be -- become a federal investigation with the FBI in the lead. We`re waiting to hear on that.
We`ve also got some further information through NBC News reporting about the mental health history of this shooter so we`re waiting for that.
We`ve also got Congressman Adam Schiff of California of the Intelligence Committee on deck for us tonight.
Lots still to come. Stay with us.
MADDOW: We knew it was going to happen some time. Today, it happened. Today, the incoming president decided to try to use his soon-to-be presidential power to come after NBC News. Quote, "I`m asking the chairs of the House and Senate committees to investigate top secret intelligence shared with NBC prior to me seeing it." The chairs of the House and Senate committees.
Last night at the top of our show, you might remember, we had a whole bunch of developing stories about the intelligence report that was about to drop on Russia attacking the U.S. election. There was new reporting on that from "NBC Nightly News" last night. There was new reporting on that from the "Washington Post" and a couple of different angles on it. There were a whole bunch of developing stories on the contents of that report that came out throughout last night and all the way through our show from 9:00 to 10:00 Eastern.
This is the report the nation`s top intelligence officials testified about yesterday in the Senate which they briefed to the president yesterday, they briefed to the top bipartisan leadership of Congress today. They briefed it to the president-elect today, as well as a whole bunch of people from hiss team that he brought with him to that briefing. I mean, a big multiagency report comes out on a topic of intense interest, it`s discussed in Congress ahead of time, it starts to formally get briefed out to lots and lots of policymakers.
And you know what? In Washington, inevitably, even before the public version of a report like that comes out, parts of it or stories about it get leaked to the press. Welcome to Washington, Mr. President-elect.
Quote, "I am asking the chairs of the House and Senate committees to investigate top secret intelligence shared with NBC prior to me seeing it."
What this is from the incoming president is an obvious attempt to intimidate NBC News. That`s not going to work. If the new president wants to initiate an investigation, he should know that he`s within his rights to try to do that in the executive branch. He can`t actually order Congress to do an investigation or any other thing. Congress is independent of the president. I don`t know if he knows that.
What remains to be seen, though, is how the intelligence communities are going to respond to him making this public cry. It`s not like the intelligence committees don`t have other things on their plate right now.
Joining us now is Congressman Adam Schiff. He`s the ranking member on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Congressman, I really appreciate you being here with us on a Friday night. Thanks for being here.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: You bet.
MADDOW: So, the president-elect says he`s asking the chairs of the house and Senate committees. I think he means the intelligence committees, I think he means you, to investigate top secret intelligence shared with NBC prior to me seeing it. He`s talking about, I presume, the reporting that came out last night ahead of the public publication of this report.
How do you receive that as a member of the intelligence committee?
SCHIFF: Well, my reaction was really much the same as yours. Really? The president-elect is briefed on Russia hacking into an American election and further gets information today about the fact that it was not just designed to sow discord but rather to hurt Secretary Clinton and help his presidential campaign and what he wants to investigate is now NBC got some information about this in advance. Really? That`s what he wants the committees to be spending their time on?
It`s pretty breathtaking. But beyond that, we`re not the committees, indeed, the congressional committees aren`t the ones that do the investigation of leaks. That`s done by the executive branch, generally done by the Department of Justice. So, a little absurd in that respect as well but the bigger picture is, is this really your priority, Mr. President-elect?
MADDOW: Especially given what`s in the report that we`ve now all seen. Even the public version of this, the non-classified version of this is stunning. I mean, looking at the three-column headline across the front page of "The New York Times" tonight about the U.S. government concluding Putin interfered in the U.S. election in order to elect Donald Trump president and there`s a picture of Donald Trump as president-elect. It`s a moment in history we are living through right now.
Did your understanding of what the Russians did and why and its consequences change materially with the publication of this report today and the way that you`ve been briefed?
SCHIFF: It did. You know, I think it certainly underscored the enormous gravity of this. I have been briefed on a lot of about this over the weeks and months. We had a gang of eight breathing which we received in further detail today, which was in of itself stunning.
But what I came away with was that fact that we really need, Democrats and Republicans, to work together, to push back hard, to develop a comprehensive approach to all of the vectors of the Russian covert action plans for the United States and the rest of the world, that is as this report shows, they used paid social media trolls, they have their slick TV platforms, they use bribery and extortion in Europe, they use hacking and dumping of documents, they use dumping of forged documents.
They`re attacking all of liberal democracy. Not just the U.S., not this one election and we in Congress need to be able to work with this new president to push back and fight against that, and that has to start with him accepting what has happened. We need him to step up. He`s going to be president of the United States and he needs to lead in this assault on liberal democracy.
MADDOW: Congressman, there was something that happened this morning before -- just before the public version of this report came out that has shaken me a little bit, and I don`t think of myself as a person who gets sort of buffeted by what happens in the news. I`m not that cynical but most things don`t personally bother me.
I`m personally bothered by the fact that the president-elect came out after his classified briefing getting the highly classified assessment of this version came out and said there was no impact on the election of this Russian interference. As far as I understand it and what seems to be explicitly in the public report, the intelligence community did not assess whether or not what the Russians did affected our election. Whether or not it can ever be known, they didn`t even ask that question.
When he says definitively it did not affect the election result, has that been determined by the intelligence community at all?
SCHIFF: No, that`s patently false and I think what the president-elect did was by trying to comingle the fact that there`s no evidence that voting machines were tampered with in a way that affected the counting of the votes, that somehow this means that there was no impact on the election. Well, that`s just not true. It`s not the job of the intelligence agencies to determine was this decisive in its impact on the elections.
But it`s quite obvious that the daily dumping of information that was damaging to Secretary Clinton and helpful to Donald Trump, that was enabled by the Russian cyber operation had a hugely consequential impact. It was part of the daily dialogue that Secretary Clinton had to confront when these documents were done.
So, there`s no denying that it was influential. Whether it was decisive, we will never know, and it`s not the job of the intelligence agencies to try to tell us that.
MADDOW: Congressman Adam Schiff, thank you for your time, sir. I know you`ve got a lot on your plate.
SCHIFF: Thanks, Rachel.
MADDOW: Appreciate you being here.
SCHIFF: You bet.
MADDOW: All right. We got much more ahead tonight. We are still awaiting that news conference out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, after the mass shooting at the airport there today. We are expecting some new information from authorities there both about the continuing investigation, what will be the prosecution of the suspect who is in custody and his background. So, stay with us on that.
MADDOW: I want to give you a bit of an eye-popping update on a story that we covered earlier this week that we got tons of reaction from you guys. We heard from lots and lots and lots of viewers on this. It was Wednesday night`s show.
We reported on what we saw as the early emergence of what looks like it may end up being the anti-Trump movement in this country and as part of that reporting we spoke to one of the authors of the "Indivisible" guide.
The "Indivisible" thing was put together by congressional staffers as basically a how-to guide for resisting the Trump agenda at a grassroots level. It essentially lays out in very practical terms how people can pressure your own members of Congress. That`s an important part of it. It has to be your own members of Congress to turn the national tied against Trump`s agenda, to stop him from accomplishing what he wants to accomplish in Washington.
Employs a very similar strategy to what the Tea Party did in 2009 to thwart President Obama`s agenda when he was way more popular than Donald Trump is now and had way bigger majorities in Congress in support of him. If the Tea Party could accomplish as much as they did in 2009, imagine what an anti-Trump movement using those same tactics could do now. That`s the basic idea.
So, we covered that on Wednesday night. Today, one of the leaders wrote to us to give us an update on the number of groups, anti-Trump groups that have been formed through the "Indivisible" website and sort of registered through the "Indivisible" website.
When we talked to that founder on Wednesday, he said that he was amazed. He said something like 350 people had already founded groups and registered them through the "Indivisible" website. It`s now over 1,550. That`s since Wednesday. Today is Friday.
They also told us their website traffic has nearly tripled to 1.7 million page views and almost 300,000 versions of this how-to guide have been downloaded since Wednesday.
So, we reported on that on Wednesday because we saw this starting to pop up around the country. It`s really started to pop up now.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: As I have mentioned, we have been waiting for the start of this press conference at the Fort Lauderdale Airport. It`s getting underway right now.
SHERIFF SCOTT ISRAEL, BROWARD COUNTY, FL: And then I`ll turn the conference over to the airport director, Mark Gale. And then we`ll conclude with the FBI SAC George Pirro, and then the three of us will take any questions.
The day began around 12:55 p.m. when an American subject by the name of Esteban Santiago landed in the Fort Lauderdale Airport Terminal 2 on a flight from Minnesota, Delta flight from Minnesota to Fort Lauderdale. He eventually retrieved a firearm and began indiscriminately shooting.
This cowardly heinous act resulted in the deaths of five people. There were 8 more people injured by way of gunshot that were transported to local hospitals. There were at least 30 to 40 more people that went to the hospitals for various injuries, falling, contusions, broken bones, strains, sprains and things of that nature.
The subject was immediately taken into custody by Broward sheriff`s deputies without incident. The subject was interviewed extensively by a team of FBI agents and Broward sheriff`s deputies. The subject is now in federal custody. And SAC Pirro will be speaking about that in a few moments.
The subject at this point as I said is an American citizen and the investigation continues. We bussed maybe thousands of people from off of airplanes from baggage, waiting in lines, to the port. Terminal 4 at the port and the Red Cross and many other agencies are coming together to assist these people.
As tragic as this incident is, and continues to be I`ve never been so proud of local, state and federal law enforcement. The FBI, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Broward sheriff`s office and many local public safety agencies came together and worked with complete cohesion. The entire law enforcement and public safety community work tirelessly today and continues to work tirelessly as we continue this investigation.
At this time, I`ll bring up Mark Gale.
MARK GALE, FT. LAUDERDALE AIRPORT DIRECTOR: Thank you, Sheriff. I`m Mark Gale, airport director.
First, I`d like to say, again, on behalf of Broward County administration, our mayor, county commissioners, express our condolences and our sympathies and keep our thoughts and prayers that lost their lives here today, as well as their family and friends.
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