tv MSNBC Live MSNBC December 18, 2016 1:00pm-2:01pm PST
good morning. i'm sheinelle jones. president-elect donald trump is staying quiet despite the growing concern about his news on u.s. intelligence. he's yet to puck lickly acknowledge russia's interference in the presidential election. china has agreed to return a stolen u.s. navy research drone taken from international waters last week. trump waded in on twitter saying china should "keep the drone." and dangerous winter weather continues to cause problems across the country. snow and record cold temperatures make for treacherous travel. we start this hour with president-elect donald trump who is spending the holidays at his mar-a-lago estate amid growing
concern about his views on u.s. intelligence. specifically, trump has yet to publicly accept the cia and fbi's assessment that russia meddled in the presidential election. take a look at this. a new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll finds that 55% of americans are bothered by reports of russia's interference. 37% believe that interference helped trump win. incoming white house chief of staff reince priebus today outlined the conditions on which the president-elect might consider accepting the intelligence findings. >> i think he would accept the conclusion if these intelligence professionals would get together, put out a report, show the american people that they're actually on the same page. we haven't heard from comey. so, look, i think that these guys should billion straight with the american people and come out and say it. >> let's go to nbc's ally vitale. what do we know about how the president-elect is being advised on this right now?
>> reporter: so we haven't heard him exactly come out and confirm or talk about the russia hacks and that's notable because part of the strategy has been to disregard the news about these hacks even as it has been trickling out over the course of the past few weeks, many of his advisers saying this is another example of people trying to delegitimize trump's victory and most of us should accept the case and move on. tomorrow a key day with the electors in terms of certifying the results. you also have this discrediting that's happening in terms of how the trump administration or to-be trump administration is dealing with the hacks. look at what james woolsey said on abc today far sense of how this is going. >> is it a problem if he doesn't agree with the intelligence community when he comes and takes office? >> well, you know, i think that is really the wrong stance to take. the intelligence community works for president, not the other way around. >> reporter: and that gives you
a little bit of a sense of the other half of this attempt that the administration is making now, saying basically that the cia is the same people that gave us the saddam hussein and weapons of mass destruction. there's a little bit of the discredit and disregard happening right now. so trump is not expected to weigh in on this. i know that prins pree base has said if certain conditions are met and certain things are said that maybe he would accept the terms of these hacks and what people are saying about them. as it stands right now, he has not weighed in and has not seemed to agree that russia is behind the hacks and has certainly not agreed to the fact that russia was behind them with the intention of influencing the election in his favor. >> obviously, trump is going to do what he wants to do but this is what everybody is talking about. he's always on twitter. i'm wondering if there's enough pressure if he would feel obligated, i don't know if obligated is the world, but at least say something before the holiday or will we see him at all before the holiday. >> reporter: it doesn't sound like it. right now what we're told is we'll be in west palm beach for the foreseeable future, at least
until christmas maybe, so that's kind of what we're seeing. we're hearing of course the cabinet is still being put together and the focus really is on building the government. that's what his advisers have been saying, they are appointing people at ha may say is a fast clip and we're expecting those announcements to continue. of course he is down here enjoying this weather and frankly i can't blame him as someone who's from new york. this is definitely a nice alternative to being up there where it's snowy and cold. right now that's what we're expecting. we're hunkered down in mar-a-lago and while everyone is reeling about russia, he just finished up a thank-you tour which felt like a victory tour yesterday in mobile. that's what crowds were talking about. they weren't talking about russia. >> i have to to be honest and i was thinking it, blake mccoy is in chicago and he's freezing. there looks like there's a spa right behind you. >> exactly. >> thank you. for more on the intelligence community's findings, joined by former personal aide and spokesman for president george
w. bush. a national political reporter for bloomberg politics. and former managing director for the democratic congressional campaign committee. good afternoon. >> hello. >> good afternoon. >> giancarlo, we heard reince priebus setting those conditions. do you expect mr. trump to publicly accept this intelligence before he enters at least the oval office? >> well, i'm not sure that he has to. as director woolsey said in his interview, the intelligence community works for president and not the other way arnold. one might argue that it would be the right diplomatic thing to do to start the relationship off on the right foot, but it is the president-elect's prerogative to manage that relationship anyway he sees fit. so it might hobble him in the early days of his administration, but he is entitled to manage his administration any way he chooses. for me, i think the real issue here and one i'm quite surprised that my fellow republicans are not focusing on is the fact that whether or not mr. trump chooses
to accept the findings, the reality is that we have an administration that will knew that russia was behind this, well in advance of when anyone thought they knew, yet president obama chose not to do anything about it for political reasons. that's the story here, not whether or not donald trump wants to accept the findings of the cia. >> taryn, can you respond to that? the president said he was in between a rock and a hard place and didn't want to influence the election up fairly. what's your take? >> right. andite it's exactly that and exactly what he said. unfortunately, no matter how you look at it, it is clear that this entire hacking scandal affected and impacted the election. regardless of how and when things are announced and whether you believe it had an impact on hillary clinton's loss or you don't, what's important is the future of our democracy and safeguarding our national security has to happen and i think that means we need to legitimize our electoral process and need to make sure that our president and his intelligence community that works for him is
paying attention to such a serious issue. cyber security can't get any more dangerous for us as we move forward and we need to make sure we're taking the right precautionary steps that this doesn't happen again. >> here's former defense secretary robert gates on president obama's stance towards russia. take a listen and we'll talk about it. >> i think there's actually the problem has been that president obama's actions often have not matched his rhetoric. his rhetoric has often been pretty tough, but then there's been no follow-up and no action. >> president obama said on friday that his administration intends to send a clear message to russia. should there be any expectation that the incoming administration will continue any sort of retaliatory acts? >> that remains to be seen. i've seen no indication that president-elect trump is going to acknowledge this and follow up on what president obama tries to do.
kellyanne conway said he isn't obligated to. president-elect trump and his team see these leaks and the talk of this whole thing as an effort to discredit and delegitimize his electoral college victory and that's going to make him less likely to acknowledge it. having said that, we have a bipartisan group of senators now and some republicans who are not in the senate as well who have said this is very, very disturbing and that there should be a select committee to investigate to get to the bottom of what really did happen. it's unusual to see this sort of consensus in the intelligence community over something. they're also in a difficult spot here because if they do reveal how they find this stuff out they could blow valuable leads and kind of burn sources that they have in russia that helped them figure this out. it's not clear we're going to see a smoking gun here. we'll see definitive proof because that would be problematic for the intelligence committee. there will be a bit of a cloud over there. there are certainly a lot of questions about how, you know,
trump's aides' ties to russia and the fact that he's nominating a secretary of state that has a close relationship with vladimir putin and how that relationship is going to go forward. so there are a lot of questions that remain to be seen. >> giancarlo, here's clinton campaign chair john podesta on what he calls some of the open questions about the trump team. >> i think really not what mr. trump knew but what did trump, inc., know, and when did they know it, were they in touch with the russians. i think those are still open questions and the electors have a right to know what the answers are if the u.s. government has those answers before the election. >> your reaction? >> my rx reaction is mr. podesta is part of an administration that we've heard complain for eight years about how the other side tried to delegitimize him from the beginning. that's what they're trying to do here.
we all famously were told about and learned about how hillary clinton as secretary of state hit the reset button and what good did that do? >> take a look at these nm biers. 55% are bothered by russia's interference. 37% believe it helped trump win. should that 55% number be an indication to the incoming administration that these are questions that won't go away in the minds of voters? sahil, you first. >> shushgs i think people will have a lot of questions, especially democrats shocked by the results of this election are looking to this, perhaps putting a little too much faith in this as -- too much faith in the fact there was outside meddling as to why they lost. it's very important to note here that donald trump is the duly elected pilots no matter what happened here. president obama certified that,
he said there was no election tamperings, and president obama said i think very importantly that the only reason that our electoral process is vulnerable to russian meddling or foreign influence of any kind is we're very polarized, very dysfunctional and very divided. and the fact that some people are putting part of the loyalties first over the prospect of something happening externally. that's critical to keep in mind. i think these questions will linger. i think it will be a political challenge for president-elect trump, but i don't think it leads to anything in terms of not making him president or preventing him from taking that office. >> taryn, i'll leave you with the last word. 37% believe the russian hacking helped trump win. >> right. absolutely. and i think that he's got to combat that. that actually the onus becomes on sort of the president-elect if he really wants to bring people together at this point in this very polarized nation that he's going to have to do a lot of work, which is why avoiding
an investigation and our independent assessment of what happened is really going to kind of continue to drag that number down for him. if you think it didn't have an impact or it didn't make a difference, then go ahead and have it investigated so we can safeguard against future happenings like this and to make sure that we really need to know those answers. i think that's what's most important. >> have to leave it there. giancarlo peressutti, cam casah kapur, taryn rosencrantz, thanks for talking with us this afternoon. >> thank you. >> donald trump is reacting to china's return of an unmanned u.s. naval drone that was seetzed in international waters this week. let's go to nbc's hans nicholls who joins us from the white house with more. is this causing a problem for the current administration? >> reporter: no, and they haven't indicated they're bothered by trump's comments. they've gone out of their way to make sure this transition is very smooth. part of that is not reacting to donald trump's tweets. here's what we know about the incident. happened about 50 miles northwest of subic bay. it was from al ship following
their own -- they had gliders out there, drones, two underwater drones. they're often, almost always, in the south china sea being followed, being shadowed by chinese ships. in this case the chinese recovery ship came in, took the drone, through diplomatic measures they have ayn greemt to get it back. all along officials at the pentagon were saying yes, this is a big deal because it is seizure of u.s. government property and you simply do not do that if you are a professional navy. so they took the opportunity to tweak the chinese navy and almost insult them in a way that they weren't very professional. the second part of this, and this is where trump's response that they should go ahead and keep it actually you could see it carrying some water in the pentagon. this wasn't a valuable piece of equipment. it was unclassified. it was a $150,000 drone. it's commercially available. and it was basically testing water temperature and salinity to make sure sonar is working properly. so not a terribly valuable or critical piece of equipment.
guys? >> good information, hans. thank you. scary moments for travelers in chicago when a plane skidded off the runway as dangerous winter weather continues to cause major problems across the country. and in texas, a five-day ban on drinking water has been lifted in corpus christi, but officials say they're not quite out of the woods yet. will your y when growth presents itself? american express open cards can help you take on a new job, or fill a big order or expand your office and take on whatever comes next. find out how american express cards and services can help prepare you for growth at open.com.
a five-tay water yugsage ban has been lifted in corpus christi, texas, after test results show nod contamination. the ban was put in place on wednesday following a suspected leak at an asphalt plant. residents were forced to use bottled water and several distribution centers were set up. the environmental protection agency and the texas commission on environmental quality will continue to test water samples over the next couple of days as there is still a possibility of
contamination. turning to the winter weather, the polar vortex is back delivering dangerously cold temperatures the millions of americans, some people seeing windchills around 40 below zero this morning. 14 deaths reported in eight states stretching from california to maryland this weekend. it's not just the roads that are a mess. slick conditions at chicago's o'hare airport sent one plane off the runway this morning. nbc's blake mccoy is in chicago outside soldier field. last time i checked with you, people were leaving the game not because it's over, because it's so darn cold. >> reporter: yeah. it is very chilly out here. the game did end. the packers won, adding insult to injury to bears fans with these cold temperatures. 11 degrees at kickoff today making it the seventh coldest bears game in history. it did not keep away tailgaters who showed up early outside the stadium. take a listen.
>> first bears/packers game. only way to get tickets is a day like today. >> go big or go home because you don't want to be out here if you're underdressed, that's for sure. >> the goggles insulate the heat. on a day like today, no skin goes exposed. so you try to eliminate as much of that as possible. >> it's just an experience thing. you can't knock it till you try it. >> reporter: you mentioned that plane sliding off the runway this morning at chicago's o'hare airport, that united airlines flight. there were no injuries there. but these weather conditions have made a mess of travel across the country. in denver, they got 9 inches of fresh snow. that was way more than they were expecting which caught airlines off guard, led to canceled flights there. we're hearing stories of harrowing rescues. in western pennsylvania, a driver was rescued after spending 12 hours down an icy embankment. hi family reported him missing and police used his cell phone to ping his location.
so they're urging people, officials are urging people to take those travel warnings seriously and don't leave your house for unnecessary travel. right now, though, you can see look at all these facemasks. fans here braved this game. you have a ski mask on, buddy. goggles. >> are we in milwaukee? >> reporter: all right. i don't think i want to encourage this. >> you were about to have some really interesting television. i was, like, come on, this would be a good sunday. i will tell you, blake, the challenge is even when officials tell residents to be careful, they're so used to the cold weather. granted, this is unseasonably cold, but they're so used to it that sometimes they take it in stride. those people are pretty jolly, if you will. >> reporter: that's right. they were telling people just because you're used to cold weather in chicago, pleetz bring blankets and extra layers to this game. take it seriously. >> good advice. blake mccoy, thanks for checking
in. >> reporter: i think there's some liquid warmth going on. >> thank you, blake. new ranking showed traveller satisfaction is among the rise. among the reasons cited, thoughtful design, technology and innovative and local food. portland ernl oirpt came in at number one among airports for the second consecutive year. in at two was tampa international airport. then las vegas, mccarran airport. laguardia, nuke liberty international airport, and philadelphia international airport. cities where i've lived the last 15 years were rankled low nest the large airport category. a possible sign of hope for the tens of thousands of syrians still desperately waiting to escape the war-ravaged city of aleppo. the latest on what's being done at this hour to get those people to safety. and at progressive, we let you compare
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send u.n. monitors to eastern alep po. they would ensure safe ev evacuations and immediate delivery of humanitarian aid. the security council will hold a vote on the resolution tomorrow morning. of course this comes as evacuations out of aleppo, syria, are still on hold. after activists say militants burned five buses assigned to evacuate two other villages today. let's check in with matt bradley in london. what can you tell us? >> reporter: this is an ongoing situation and we're expecting 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning your time the united nations delegates will be voting on this resolution. this is a french resolution that's been revised by the russians. these two countries of course being on opposite sides of their interests in this war in syria that's been going on for six years. it's an interesting development that russia would actually sign onto an agreement like this. earlier in the day, russia threatened to totally veto any french resolution that would put u.n. monitors on the ground in aleppo to try to monitor the
situation and ensure that what's thought to be tens of thousands of civilians and fighters remaining in east aleppo can safely withdraw and be evacuated to rebel-held areas mostly to the west of aleppo. again, these sorts of negotiations really pale in comparison and complexity to what's going on on the ground in syria. the evacuations in aleppo themselves are now wrapped in with four other towns and villages that are all part of these negotiations going on not just between rebel groups and the government but with iran and turkey and other international powers that are all playing a very real part in these negotiations and reallitis part of what is extending this evacuation and delaying it for days and days. last week there was agreement and all these evacuations were thought to be imminent. now it's been delayed and delayed again. we're hoping tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. as samantha powers
said, there will be a unanimous u.n. vote on this resolution, but it's not clear if that's actually going to happen. >> dealing with so many people and a time line on when we can expect evacuations to resume. >> that's right. not clear when this will happen. it's been on again, off again, on again, off again, and now it's on again. these families suffering in east aleppo, some pro government, some anti-government and with the rebel groups, they're all suffering through these extended delays. and now we're hoping that this is going to be resolved with the u.n. resolution, but really these two components of the diplomatic game in syria are detached from each other. the u.n. negotiations are for just having these monitors on the ground. the negotiation on the ground themselves are separate.
just having monitoring groups won't do anything to ensure the evacuations proceed as plan ld. >> looking at these pictures of all these kids caught in the middle. president obama in hawaii for their final holiday vacation before the president leaves office. we'll take you there after the break. as president-elect donald trump continues to stock his cabinet. "snl" keeps coming up with the jokes. at the marine mammal center, the environment is everything.
we want to do our very best for each and every animal, and we want to operate a sustainable facility. and pg&e has been a partner helping us to achieve that. we've helped the marine mammal center go solar, install electric vehicle charging stations, and become more energy efficient. pg&e has allowed us to be the most sustainable organization we can be. any time you help a customer, it's a really good feeling. it's especially so when it's a customer that's doing such good and important work for the environment. together, we're building a better california. welcome back. i'm sheinelle jones live at msnbc headquarters in new york. here's what we're following at the bottom of the hour. russia and france have announced an agreement on a u.n. resolution to send u.n. monitors to eastern aleppo. tens of thousands of syrians are are still desperately waiting to escape the war zone in aleppo. it is still unclear exactly when evacuations will resume. china has agreed to return a
u.s. navy research drone it snatched last week. it was recovering two of the unmanned gliders near the philippines when the chinese ship took one. the pentagon said it engaged with china to secure the return. and clinton campaign aide john podesta said there needs to be an independent investigation into the russian hacking of the election. president obama and president-elect trump sharing one thing in common, about as far from the white house as you can get without leaving the u.s. mr. trump in mar-a-lago in west paem beach, florida, and president obama is in hawaii. steve patterson is traveling with the president. still morning there. any sightings of the president yet today? >> yes, there is, and i will get to that in just a second. i just want to say what a privilege it is to cover the president and be in hawaii when it seems so miserable in so much
of the mainland 48. i have to apologize to my friends, family, colleagues, anybody a that's following me or friends with me on social media. because i think i've been going a little too hard. who can help it. yeah. i wanted to bring it up first. the low here is 71, the high 78. >> okay. >> reporter: so the obamas are chilling. i know, i know. stop. there's nothing major on the schedule until christmas. really they're creatures of habit when it comes to vacationing. they come to the same place, to oahu every single year for christmas. this year obviously the last year but no different. they end up at the rental home in kai lua, a slim pi town about 45 minutes away from waikiki,
tourist central. they get away from the commotion a lilt bit. expect to find the girls shopping on the beach and the president of course on the links. he was golfing all day yesterday, meeting with friends, hanging out. today was nature day. michelle and barak took some time to go to honolulu botanical garden, a bushl section of that place. sounds like they got rained out quickly. there's a full lid on their activitied today already, which is really up usual, but it just seems like they're hanging out for time being. they've had enough on their plate so they're going to enjoy this beautiful weather in hawaii. there is some serious stuff, though. this will be a historic trip for them. not only is the last time as the first family that they're going to be vacationing for christmas but also the prime minister of swra pan, shinzo abe, will be the first sitting japanese prime minister to visit pearl harbor. that comes after president obama is the first american sitting president to visit hiroshima.
so a huge cultural event that's happening there and also the president expected to visit the troops as he always does on christmas. but for now, you know, we get updates kind of hour by hour, minute by minute, and seems like they're relaxing pretty well at this point. back to you. >> when you get to follow the president in honolulu, you take it. >> reporter: i got to take it. can't beat it. again, i'm so sorry to everybody back there freezing. i wanted to say that. this is a pretty sweet big but a pretty good job too. >> steve patterson, thank you. president-elect trump continuing to fill out his cabinet, some choices with so much controversy. one is a "saturday night live" character with a cameo last night by john goodman. take a look. >> your secretary of state pick rex tillerson is here. >> merry christmas.
i just wanted to come by and -- putie? oh, my god. >> rexie, baby. all right here. we're having some oil drilling problems. >> that's no problem. as soon as the sanctions are lifted we'll up our intake about 30%. >> what are you guys talking about? >> don't worry about it. kate shepard, senior report we are "the huffington post." an article you wrote this past week paints a disturbing image of this. not surprising rex tillerson might face some critic bus you looked beyond tillerson. what did you find? >> he's the most obvious, right? if you say what oub would-be a really tough thing for trump to do for the environment? hmm. let's pick the ceo of the
largest oil company in the u.s. that's a pretty big symbol. if you look lower down the cabinet, scott pruett who he picked to head the epa, the attorney general from oklahoma whooo has made suing the epa one of his major goals as the a.g. he is pretty hostile to a rot of the regulations coming out of the epa. if you look at jeff sessions, which is not necessarily the obvious one but department of justice handled a lot of environmental enforcement cases and sessions has been a big critic of environmental regulations and specifically has said that climate change is not something he cares about, a look at the more recent announcement, ryan zinke, the head of the interior, he's a little less of a problem for environmentalists. he's been sympathetic to public lands. he's relatively new, a freshman congressman so people don't know what to think about him but the others have been pretty rough signals for people who care
about this issue. not to forget rick perry at the department of energy, the guy who forgot the department of energy, but he's also someone who's been sympathetic to oil interests. >> your story quotes the union of concerned scientists saying, "never before have we seen such a concentration of extreme wealth and privilege in a single cabinet." the net worth of the trump cabinet so far is an estimated $14.5 billion. what does that mean for battles like on climate change? clearly a strategy on his part. >> trump didn't talk about climate change often but has tweeted it's a hoax so he'll probably deprioritize it and get rid of a lot of the regulations that the obama administration has put in. the people he's put in his cabinets are signaling that will happen.
>> so donald trump attacked cruz. he slammed hillary clinton for her wall street speeches. talk more about what it says now that we have so much of these two worlds coming together in the white house. >> it's people coming directly from big business such as tillerson or people who have been very sympathetic to it, like prewitt from oklahoma. he was caught a few years ago, "the new york times" caught him submitting talking points to the epa that were written by the lawyers and lobbyis for one of the biggest oil and gas companies in the state. these are going to be people sympathetic to those companies and interests and not regulating in a way to take care of problems we have in this country. >> "time" magazine says rex tillerson voiced support for the paris agreement, backed the carbon tax in 2009. what makes environmentalists so
sure he and mr. trump wouldn't be open to conversation? >> tillerson is an interesting. he' said climate change is real but also given speeches saying it's not a big deal. we'll adapt to it. he head a company that sells fossil fuels, which are the leading contributor to the problem. so it's a different kind of denial. >> we'll have to see what happens. thanks for your time. >> tanks for having me. >> while last night's episode threw some jabs at trump's latest gaffes and controversies, it fit in one more surprise in its final episode for 2016. kate mckinnon has hillary clinton starring in a scene.
that crew. all right. growing concern over russian interference in the presidential race clinton campaign aide john podesta is speaking out about being targeted in e-mail hacks for the first time. hey team, i know we're tight on time, but i really need a... ...sick day tomorrow. moms don't take sick days. moms take nyquil severe: the... ...nighttime sniffling,sneezing, coughing, aching, fever best... ...sleep with a cold, medicine.
you're smart. you already knew that. but it's also great for finding the perfect used car. you'll see what a fair price is, and you can connect with a truecar certified dealer. now you're even smarter. this is truecar. i think really not what mr. trump knew but what did trump, inc., know and when. were they in touch with the russians? i think those are still questions and the e electors have a right to know what the answers are if the u.s. government has the answers before the election. that's why i said there needs knob an independent investigation. >> john podesta, hillary clinton's campaign chairman, in his first interview since the election, expressing concern over russian interference during the campaign. podesta was the target of russian hacking. his private e-mails stolen and published on wikileaks in the months and weeks leading up to the election. they became a constant source of
embarrassment for the clinton campaign. u.s. intelligence sources have exexpressed a high level of confidence the hacking was intended to help donald trump and that president putin authorized the cyber attacks. president obama before leaving for his holiday vacation vowed russia will face consequences for its hacking of the u.s. election. dimitri peskov, a spokesman for putin, responded to the allegations saying, "either stop talking or present some proof." for more on russia's role in all of this, i'm joined by naviyd jamali, former double agent who worked for the fbi against russia and author of "how to catch a russian spy." thanks for your time this afternoon. >> you got it. >> you were once a russian spy and the u.s. has accused putin of spying. how does the u.s. prove he's behind the hacking? >> yeah, it's a great question. you know, there's sort of two things going on here. one is the very public presentation here that frankly there's just not been much done in that field. the second is the behind the scenes part of this.
as you mentioned i worked almost four years under cover for the fbi against the russians. in that vein, on the second silo, the actual practical application of intelligence, you have things like a network, you have people, safe houses. by the united states saying to russia we know you're behind this, we know you're basically saying those assets the russians used to hack, to deploy to wikileaks, they're essentially burned. the silver lining to this is actually the u.s. is taking some sort of aggressive actions in essentially calling out the rugs and saying we know what those elements are. >> do you think that putin would respond to that or how old he respond? >> well, you know, the gain with this is always not to escalate things. that's the challenge. cyber is one thing. what you don't want to do is transfer to kinetic, which is to say bombs and bullets. i think putin, you know, is a spy master. he's been playing this game many years. i don't think he wants to go to war with us. that's the good thing. but i do think that he may have overstepped a little bit in this in that he was hoping very much
to cause chaos, which he did. but i don't think that he really wants to come into a shooting match or clearly an escalation. but i think that, you know, there is something going on here and i think, you know, we've heard bipartisan calls to investigate. and i think back to my first point, it's probably worth sharing some of this information with the public. we really need to have a cuban missile crisis sort of moment at the u.n. whered a l ed a ld a a stevenson presents the pictures. let's get it out there. >> interesting because so many people i've interviewed over the last few days and they're concerned if we get more information we'd be jeopardizing some classified, secured information. clearly you believe there's a way to do that, kind of tap-dance between both of those issues. >> yeah. you know, look, it's always sources and methods. the intelligence community holds those two things close to their chest and they should. on the flip side, sometimes it's worth burden of proofing those sources and methods and this happens to be one of those times. the public good outweighs that. >> interesting.
i want your take on this nbc news reports that russian hacking of foreign governments has been going on for years. government officials in finland, netherlands, germany and the ukraine are among the countries that have complained of russian hacking. tell me this, what is their end game in all of this? >> you know, i spent a lot of time with the russians it wasn't this sort of amorphous, maybe this guy is russian. it was a diplomat to the united nations. for the russian, the cold war has never ended. they've always viewed us as their main enemy and that's never changed. anything the russians do has to be viewed through the prism of does it hurt the united states. that's their only goal. and if you're going to come in this and say they could be our allies, you'll be sorely mistaken. any nato ally, any ally of the united states, anyone who opposes them, they do that as an enemy and they're going to operate accordingly. yeah, i'm not surprised they've hacked other countries, run operations. it's -- these are not people that we should be trusting. >> so does it bother you, then,
when you see people questioning the relationship or at least the response, a lot of people calling it warm with president-elect trump? >> you know, i think it does bother me. i also think that mr. trump is going to come into office and going to be surprised very quickly how much the russians are not aligned with trump. there's a lot of talk about the russians did this for trump. at the end of the day, the russians just want to cause chaos. they want to weaken us. and i don't think that an american president is ever going to be an ally of russia. that is the good news. no matter who is in that office. i think any president coming in will soon find the reset with george bush, or looking into his eyes and same thing with president obama, the russians will turn very quickly. that's sort of happened here as well. >> i have to tell you, i've never talked to a former double agent, better yet who worked for the fbi against russia. fascinating conversation. i could pick your brain for a long time. thanks for talking with me today. >> you got it. a man who lost his wife and two daughters this those
devastating tennessee wildfires found it in his heart to forgive the two teenagers who started the fire. that story and his amazing letter of forgiveness next. american express open cards can help you take on a new job, or fill a big order or expand your office and take on whatever comes next. find out how american express cards and services can help prepare you for growth at open.com. fi...one of many pieces in my express i havlife.hma...es so when my asthma symptoms kept coming back on my long-term control medicine. i talked to my doctor and found a missing piece in my asthma treatment with breo. once-daily breo prevents asthma symptoms. breo is for adults with asthma not well controlled on a long-term asthma control medicine, like an inhaled corticosteroid. breo won't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden breathing problems.
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a father who lost his wife and two daughters in last month's deadly tennessee wildfire writing a letter of forgiveness. we first met michael reed during his desperate search for his family. he later learned they did not survive. he has a powerful message for the two teenagers suspected of starting the fire. nbc's kerry sanders has the story. >> i told her to call 911 and get out. that was the last time i heard from her. >> reporter: separated from his wife and two daughters in a firestorm, michael reed and his son prayed for a miracle. >> she's got to be somewhere up there, she has to be. >> up there as in on the mountain. >> up on the mountain. >> reporter: hours of anguish turned to days until officials
confirmed what he didn't want to believe. wife constance, 12-year-old daughter chloe and 9-year-old daughter lily did not make it out alive. we would eventually learn the wildfire that swept through the smoky mountains taking 14 lives allegedly started by two teenagers. >> authorities in tennessee say they have charged two juveniles. >> reporter: now in the ashes of so much grief a remarkable letter of forgiveness to the two teenagers who started the fire, as humans it is sometimes hard to show grace. we hold grudges. we stay angry. we point the finger and feel we have to lay the blame somewhere. it's human nature and completely understandable. but i did not raise my children to live with hate. forgiveness isn't in you. it is in me. i forgive you. my son forgives you. my wife and beautiful girls forgive you. we know you didn't mean for this to happen. we know you would take it all back if you could.
in those early hours not knowing if his wife and daughters were alive, his wife had recently renewed her faith. >> he didn't save her three weeks ago just to take her away from me now. >> reporter: it is now michael reed's deep faith in this holiday season that's giving two teenagers something they could not have thought possible, forgiveness from a father and son who lost that most precious gift of all -- family. >> that was nbc's kerry sanders reporting. that does it for us this hour. i'm sheinelle jones. stay with us for news updates throughout the night and any breaking news as it happens. our new msnbc original series "iconoclist" is next. have a great night.
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