Barack Obama - Russia's Election Tampering & New Challenges to Democracy

December 12, 2016 - President Barack Obama 12/12/2016 Views: 45,681

Trevor visits President Obama at the White House, and the outgoing commander-in-chief weighs in on how Russia's email hacks affected the 2016 election. (10:23)

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uh, I did some

Christmas shoppingthis weekend and, um,

thanks to President Trump,this year's hottest gift

is potable waterfor your doomsday bunker.

-Now... -No, no.Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop.

Dude, why do youkeep doing that?

Oh, it's Roy Wood Jr.,everybody. Roy Wood Jr.

-(cheering, applause)-Oh, man.

-You're killing me.-But why... I...

-You're killing me.-I don't understand. What...

what are you doing?What are you doing here, man?

Trevor, you keep calling the manPresident Trump.

It's President-elect Trump.

Oh. Dude, my bad. You knowwhat happens is sometimes

-it just-it just slips out.-Yeah, I understand.

But until January 20,

the presidentis still Barack Obama.

(cheering, applause)

-Enjoy that.-That's true, that's true.

You better enjoy it.

You just can't go pushingthis man out the White House.

Obama's... He's basicallyat a restaurant,

he's enjoying his meal,

and now America's coming overlike an aggressive waiter

trying to rush him out.

You-you're right, you're right,we should appreciate, uh,

President Barack Obamawhile we still can.

Look, to me, this will always bethe lasting image

of Obama's presidency.That young kid in that photo

sees someone that looks like himwith hair like him

in the Oval Office.

When people touch Trump's hair,they're not inspired.

They just rubbing it.They're like,

"Yo, man, what the (bleep)is this?

What the hell is this?What am I touching?"

Yeah, man. It's truewhen you say that, you know,

because if you think about it,we're-we're closing in

on a chapterin American history.

This is-this is it-- we'reofficially closing a chapter

in American history.And I mean, like, closed closed.

Like, really closed.

Not like Obamaclosing Guantanamo closed.

Like, really closed.You know?

Here you go. You wantto bring up Gitmo.

That's fine.

Talk tough in your pretty littletelevision studio.

I bet you... I bet you'd

never say anythinglike that to his face.

What-what do you mean?

I-I would do that, Roy.I'm that kind of person.

I speak truth to power.

I bet you all the money in mypocket you wouldn't make a joke

to Obama's face about Gitmo.

How much do you havein your pocket?

About $20.

You're on.

Don't get comfortablewith that money.

It's on.Don't get comfortable, Roy.

Don't get comfortable.

WOOD: Oh, uh, he-he eventook the cameras with him. Okay.

Okay.

NOAH: Mr. President,

-thank you for being on theshow. -It is great to see you.

Yeah, I'd like to apologize,first of all. I-I know you've

waited a long time for this andyou wanted to make this happen.

I just... I'm sorry. I...

You guys wouldn't,uh, wouldn't book us.

I kept on...I kept on calling.

I was focused on the election,and I apologize.

Uh, but let-let's get into it.No, thank you

for being on the show.

We are living throughone of the craziest times ever.

I mean, just beforewe came to the interview,

more news broke. Uh, we heardthat the CIA assessed,

with high confidence, that, uh,the Russians were involved

in the hackingof the DNC and RNC, uh,

with the specific intentof swaying the election

in favor of Donald Trump.

And we heard that, uh, you know,the president ordered a review

of... of this from allintelligence agencies.

-Right.-And you wanted the news...

or you wanted the briefingsto be concluded

before the inaugurationof Donald Trump,

-when he takes power.-Right.

Uh... why-why the rush?

Well, it's not a rush.Keep in mind that

when the DNC got hacked,

uh, we immediately assigned

our intelligence community,

our law enforcement toinvestigate what had happened.

And we determinedand announced in October

that it was the consensusof all the intelligence agencies

in law enforcement that, uh,

that organizations affiliated

with Russian intelligence

were responsible for the hacking

of the DNC.

Uh, materialsthat were being leaked.

So that was a monthbefore the election.

This was not a secret.

And the reason that I'm...

have called for a review

is really to just gatherall the threads

of the investigations,

the intelligence workthat has been done

over many months,

so that the publicand our elected representatives,

going forward,can find ways to prevent

this kind of interference

from having an impacton the elections in the future.

Uh, I will say this,though, Trevor.

None of thisshould be a big surprise.

-This was reported onbefore the election. -Yeah.

I don't thinkthere was any doubt

among anybody in the media

or among, uh,members of Congress

as to who was beingadvantaged or disadvantaged

by the political gossipthat was

being, uh, put out in drip,drip, drip fashion

-leading up to the election.-I-I think, now...

I think now the difference is

there isa President-elect Donald Trump.

-Yeah.-And now the big question is

what would bea suitable response?

People say,"Well, this is-this is an act

"towards the United Statesor this is Russia

undermining the very democracythat we stand on.

Well... But-butI think what's...

I think it's really important

for everybody to understand

what our challenge is.

Russia trying to influenceour elections

dates back to...the Soviet Union.

What they did here, hackingsome e-mails and releasing them,

uh, is not...

s... uh,a particularly fancy brand

of espionage or propaganda.

Um...

we were, frankly, more concerned

in the run-upto the election, uh,

to the possibilitiesof vote tampering,

which, uh,we did not see evidence of

and were confidentthat we could guard against.

But, Trevor, I thinkwhat everybody has to reflect on

is what is it about our...

political ecosystem,

what is it about the stateof our democracy,

where the leaks of...

what were, frankly,

not very interesting e-mails

that didn't have any...

explosive information in them...

The risotto was interesting.

...ended up being...

an obsession

and the fact that the Russianswere doing this

was not an obsession.

I-I... This was not a secretrunning up to the election.

The president-elect,

in, uh...

in some of his political events,

specifically saidto the Russians,

"Hack Hillary's e-mails,

"so that we can finally find outwhat's going on

and, you know, confirmour conspiracy theories."

You had, uh,what was very clear,

uh, relationships

between, uh,

membersof the president-elect's, uh,

campaign team and, uh, Russians

and, uh, a professed...

uh, shared viewon a bunch of issues.

The real question that I thinkwe all have to reflect on is

what's happenedto our political system,

where... some e-mailsthat were hacked and released

ended up beingthe overwhelming story

and the constant sourceof coverage,

breathless coverage,that was depicted

as somehow, uh,damning in all sorts of ways,

when the truth of the matterwas it was, um,

fairly routine stuff.

And-and the reason I say thatis because,

going forward, uh,

I worry that we don't spendenough time

on self-reflectionabout how our, uh...

how our democracy's workingand our campaign's working, um,

and how all of us have to,I think, do a better job,

uh, making sure that we talkabout what's at stake.

Uh, we... For example,

these e-mails got a lot moreattention than any policy...

(chuckles) that was beingdebated during the campaign.

Let me ask youabout what's at stake.

The president-electhas very clearly said

he refusesintelligence briefings.

Um, and so he's come outand said,

"I don't need them,because I'm a smart man."

You're a president.

You knowwhat a briefing entails.

Can you make effectiveand informed decisions

without intelligence briefings

and without the support of theagencies around the presidency?

Well, uh,

I think the president-elect

may, uh, say one thingand do another once he's here,

because the truthof the matter is

is that it'sa big, complicated world.

It doesn't matterhow smart you are.

Y-You have to havethe best information possible

to makethe best decisions possible.

And, uh, my experience

with our intelligence agenciesis that they are not perfect--

they'd be the firstto acknowledge that--

but they are fullof extraordinarily hard-working,

patriotic,and knowledgeable experts.

And i-if you're not gettingtheir... perspective,

uh, their detailed perspective,

then you are flying blind.

Y-You know,part of what we have done

is to, uh,

just hammer away

at the basic principle that...

intelligence shall not besubject to political spin.

And I'm very proudof the fact that,

over the courseof the eight years,

the message I've sentto every intelligence agency

is I want it straight,without spin.

Uh, and I think we've developeda culture that does that.

My hope is is that, uh,

that s... uh, remains.

Because we've seen, in the past,

-where there was political spinon intelligence, -Yeah.

or at least the-the intelligenceagencies felt obliged

to, uh,cater to the predispositions

of the president or his team

that, uh, you end up makingbad mistakes.