Full transcript of “Face the Nation” on Nov. 20, 2022
On this “Face the Nation” broadcast, moderated by Margaret Brennan:
- Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein
- Former Vice President Mike Pence
- Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California
- Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway, co-hosts of the podcast “Pivot”
- Democratic Rep. Karen Bass
Click here to browse full transcripts of “Face the Nation.”
MARGARET BRENNAN: I’m Margaret Brennan in Washington.
And this week on Face the Nation: Change is coming to Washington, but as both parties try to move past the chaos of campaigns ’20 and ’22, a certain former president is not on board with that.
It was a seismic, but not surprising announcement.
REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI (D-California): The hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic Caucus.
MARGARET BRENNAN: It’s a changing of the guard, as Democrats move to the minority. That new generation is younger, more diverse and untested when it comes to facing a potential barrage of Republican-led investigations.
REPRESENTATIVE KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-California): They just give you one gavel with the power and the power of subpoena as well, and we’re going to use it.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But the Republican Party will have to deal with the fallout from Attorney General Merrick Garland’s decision to name an outside counsel to oversee investigations of former President Trump.
MERRICK GARLAND (U.S. Attorney General): Appointing a special counsel at this time is the right thing to do. The extraordinary circumstances presented here demanded it.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We will talk with a former Trump deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, as well as House Judiciary Committee Democrat Zoe Lofgren.
Plus, the former vice president opens up to us about January 6 and the big issue dividing him and the former president.
MIKE PENCE (Former Vice President of the United States): The 2020 election was not stolen.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Finally, we will take a look at turmoil in the tech world, as Twitter teeters and crypto crashes.
Tech watchers Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway will join us for analysis.
It’s all just ahead on Face the Nation.
Good morning, and welcome to Face the Nation.
There is some breaking news overnight from Colorado, as we have learned that five people are dead and at least 18 others have been injured in a mass shooting at Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs. Now, police say they do have the alleged shooter in custody, and the FBI is assisting with the investigation.
We begin this morning with former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. He appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel for the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and to determine if there were links between that country and former President Trump’s campaign.
And he joins us in studio.
It is good to have you here, in an extraordinary week.
ROD ROSENSTEIN (Former U.S. Deputy Attorney General): Good morning. Glad to be here.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to get right to it.
Due to the former president launching his campaign — the current president may also run for president — the attorney general said it is absolutely necessary to have a special counsel oversee this investigation into the classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago and what happened with trying to change the outcome of the 2020 election.
If you were in that old role you once had, would you have appointed a special counsel?
FORMER U.S. DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL ROD ROSENSTEIN: You know, it’s easy to second-guess from outside the department.
I don’t know exactly what Merrick Garland knows, what information was available to him. He didn’t say that he was required to appoint the special counsel. He said that he thought it was the right thing to do. I believed, under the circumstances that I faced, that the appointment of Robert Mueller was the right thing to do with regard to the Russia investigation.
But I think, in this case, Merrick Garland clearly made a discretionary decision. The department had been handling this itself for two years, could have continued to handle it itself. But he believed that this would help to promote public confidence.
I think it remains to be seen whether that’s the case.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So, you wouldn’t have done this, yourself?
FORMER U.S. DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL ROD ROSENSTEIN: As I said, it’s it’s easy to second-guess from outside.
I think my inclination, given that the investigation had been going on for some time, and given the stage which they’ve reached, is that I probably would not have. But I just can’t tell from the outside.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So, from where you sit, does the appointment of a special counsel indicate at least a willingness on Merrick Garland’s part to go ahead with a prosecution, or is that overreading the decision?
FORMER U.S. DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL ROD ROSENSTEIN: I think what it indicates is that, despite the fact the department has been at this for some time, almost two years on the January 6 investigation, close to a year on the Mar-a-Lago investigation, that they still believe that they have a viable potential case.
It doesn’t mean they made a decision to go forward, but it certainly is an indication they believe it’s a possibility.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Now, one case that’s been going on longer, the investigation into Hunter Biden, which CBS has learned the FBI has gathered sufficient evidence to charge him with tax and gun-related crimes, and that is before the U.S. attorney in Delaware, David Weiss.
I believe you know him, since he was a Trump appointee. Can he independently oversee this, or do we need another special counsel?
FORMER U.S. DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL ROD ROSENSTEIN: Well, yes, this investigation, as you said, has been going on for a very long time, which is not good for anybody.
You know, it promotes conspiracy theories and suspicions. So my hope is the department will make a decision in the near future about whether to go forward. And, hopefully, that decision will be accepted by the public. I do believe that the U.S. attorney in Delaware, you know, has the right experience to make that decision.
So, I think we can be confident that he’ll make the right decision in that case.
MARGARET BRENNAN: OK, so not in that case.
But let me ask you about the content of what is being scrutinized here with the former president. I know, when you were U.S. attorney in Maryland, you dealt with individuals who took classified material, sometimes top secret, SCI-level clearances, and kept it at home.
And you prosecuted them to the full extent of the law. Why should the president be any different?
FORMER U.S. DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL ROD ROSENSTEIN: Well, you’re right. We did have a lot of federal agencies in Maryland. And so we had a number of cases that came up during my 12 years as U.S. attorney, both under President Obama and President Bush.
And we prosecuted those cases because we believed the facts justified it. Now, if the facts justify a prosecution of President Trump, I think the department will make that decision. But we just don’t know from the outside.
You know, there are extenuating circumstances when it’s the president, when there are a lot of staffers and lawyers involved. And so I think we have to wait to see how that all shakes out.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Former Attorney General Barr sat with PBS, and this was right before Merrick Garland’s announcement. But he said that, to indict, the Justice Department needs to show Mr. Trump was consciously involved.
Let’s hear what he had to say.
WILLIAM BARR (Former U.S. Attorney General): I personally think that they probably have the basis for legitimately indicting the president. I don’t know. I’m speculating.
MARGARET HOOVER, PBS: You’re speculating, yes.
FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR: But — but, given what’s gone on, I think they probably have the evidence that would check the box. They have the case.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you agree?
FORMER U.S. DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL ROD ROSENSTEIN: Well, I don’t know.
I think the — Attorney General Barr, that is — mentioned later in that interview that he was speculating. And I think it’s — you know, there are multiple levels of issues that the department needs to consider, Margaret.
Number one is, is the evidence sufficient to obtain and sustain a conviction? Number two is, is it an appropriate use of federal resources to bring that case? And a case against a former president, obviously, would be extraordinary, would raise unique concerns.
And so I would hope that Merrick Garland and his team would be very careful about scrutinizing that evidence, not just checking the box, but making sure that they’re prepared to stand behind the decision that they make.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So, when you say sustain a conviction, what do you mean by that? Does that mean looking at the courts that are likely to prosecute? I mean, where would you prosecute this case, Florida or Washington, D.C.?
FORMER U.S. DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL ROD ROSENSTEIN: Well, it means ensuring that, number one, you will get past a jury, that is, being able to persuade 12 random citizens that your case proves the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, number two, that it will be sustained or upheld on appeal.
You know, the department sometimes brings cases in which they use novel theories that prevail in district court, but are overruled on appeal. If they’re to bring a case against a former president, you would want to make sure they had a — a lock-solid case and they were confident both of conviction and of prevailing on any appeal.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And that there wouldn’t be some national security implication, such as political violence?
FORMER U.S. DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL ROD ROSENSTEIN: Well, you know, that’s — and that’s a difficult issue, Margaret, as to whether or not the attorney general should consider the — the potential for public unrest if they were to bring a case against the president.
MARGARET BRENNAN: It has to be considered.
FORMER U.S. DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL ROD ROSENSTEIN: I — I think it highlights the importance of the department ensuring that they have a solid case, that is, that they’re going to win a conviction and they’re going to be able to sustain an appeal.
The circumstances, the stakes are higher than in an ordinary case. You need to make sure, if you bring that case, that you can persuade people that it’s meritorious and that you deserve to win.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, that gets at the fundamentals, the distrust of institution and where we are at these days.
But the former president has already said he’s not going to comply with any investigations. He said that on Friday. So, what does this mean for the timeline? Are we running right into the 2024 presidential campaign?
FORMER U.S. DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL ROD ROSENSTEIN: I’m concerned about — about the timing.
Obviously, the new special counsel, Jack Smith, needs to get up to speed in the case. He’s not even in the U.S., so he needs to come back and get engaged and supervise his team. He may need to bring in additional team members, people he trusts to review the circumstances.
And then there are other potential delays as well. You know, one of the downsides of appointing a special counsel is the possibility of litigation over the validity of the appointment of the special counsel. And that has always been upheld by the courts. But litigation can impose additional delays.
So, I think there’s a fair chance that this is going to drag in — well into the campaign season.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And then the question of whether the candidate wins or not.
Rod Rosenstein, thank you for your insight and for joining us today.
FORMER U.S. DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL ROD ROSENSTEIN: Thank you.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Before the appointment of a special counsel was announced last week, we spoke with former Vice President Mike Pence about his new book, “So Help Me God.”
In our wide-ranging conversation, Mr. Pence details extensively his story, up to and including the January 6 attack.
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: The president’s words and actions in and around January 6 were reckless.
The tweet that he issued the day that I was in the loading dock before — below the United States Senate endangered my family and endangered people that were in the Capitol and was indefensible.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Why did it take you two years to talk about your anger? Weren’t you incandescent with rage that your family was put at risk like that?
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: Margaret, I was angry that day and many days since.
But, on January 6, I have to tell you that I had to put that aside. The president had decided to be a part of the problem. I was determined to be a part of the solution, to work with leaders in Congress, leaders at the Pentagon, leaders in law enforcement to do our part to finish our work under the Constitution.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You were calling and trying to get the National Guard to come in and restore order.
Did you feel you had to do that because the commander in chief was derelict in his duties?
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: Margaret, I didn’t know what the president was doing at the time. I wasn’t at the White House. I had no contact with the president or the White House that day.
When I spoke to the congressional leaders in our first conference call, they informed me that they were getting mixed messages from security personnel. And I asked them if they wanted me to get involved. And they did.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you think President Trump needs to be held responsible in his events — in the events that led to January 6 and the violence of that day?
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: Well, I think everyone that perpetrated the violence at the Capitol needs to be held to the strictest account of the law.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But what about those who fed it? What about those who gave it oxygen, the lie oxygen to mislead people?
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: I’m confident that the American people will hold all those responsible, at the end of the day, and history will be their judge.
I mean, in — in my book, I — what I have tried to do is share a candid story about the evolution of that controversy. The president and I have developed a …
MARGARET BRENNAN: You do. You say the president came to you at least five times. You lay it out in detail leading up to January 6.
And it’s almost like you couldn’t believe this, because you kept telling him over and over: This is not legal. This is not constitutional.
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: I did. Many people did.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you look back and say, I wasn’t forceful enough?
I mean, what could you have done differently?
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: Well, I did tell the president many times that, after he exhausted every legal challenge that the campaign had every right to pursue, that he should simply accept the results.
The president was hearing from a cadre of attorneys who, frankly, should never been let on the White House grounds, let alone in the Oval Office, telling him what, as the Bible says, his itching ears wanted to hear.
My hope was that, at the end of the day, he would come around. I remember, on the night of January 4, we had a meeting with the president and part of that legal team in the Oval Office. The president left on the helicopter. There were no harsh words between us, but he was continuing to make his case, and I was continuing to make my position clear.
But at his rally in Georgia, which I watched on television, the president actually opened up the rally by speaking about me:
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
DONALD TRUMP (Former President of the United States): I hope that our great vice president, our great vice president comes through for us. He’s a great guy.
Of course, if he doesn’t come through, I won’t like him quite as much.
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: But then he paused and he said to the crowd, now — now, one thing you know about Mike Pence is, he always plays it straight.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And then he called you the next day.
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: But I remember, in that moment, thinking, he might be coming around.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But he wasn’t.
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: My continued hope was that, at the end of the day, he would recognize what our duty was on that day, as the presiding officer under the Constitution to oversee the count of the electoral vote of an election that we lost.
But — but it was not to be.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Will you answer questions about that day before Congress?
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: Congress has no right to my testimony.
We have a separation of powers under the Constitution of the United States. And I believe it would establish a terrible precedent for the Congress to summon a vice president of the United States to speak about deliberations that took place at the White House. And…
MARGARET BRENNAN: So, you’re — you’re closing the door on that entirely?
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: I am closing the door on that, and — but I must say, again, the partisan nature of the January 6 Committee has been a disappointment to me.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The lawyers and the chief of staff to the president at the time, the — Mark Meadows, who let those lawyers you said had no business on the White House grounds, you think, no consequence, only prosecute the people who actually physically went to the Capitol?
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: There are those that are speaking in defense of people that rioted at the Capitol and created the conditions where lives were lost.
But I believe everyone that was rioting in the Capitol that day and perpetrating violence needs to be held to the strictest account of the law.
But I do believe that, at the end of the day, the American people will hold accountable those that permitted the circumstances around which January 6 was able to flourish into violence that day.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You also think the FBI executing a search warrant to take classified material from the former president’s home was not the way the Justice Department should have handled it.
But, to be clear, were you ever personally concerned about Mr. Trump’s handling of classified information?
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: I don’t recall ever being concerned about the president or anyone on our administration’s handling of classified information. I — at least among the senior staff, of which I had regular contact.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But, if he had, he would be prosecuted, you would think.
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: Well, let me say, you know, no one is above the law.
But as someone that served on the Judiciary Committee for more than 10 years, having oversight over the Justice Department, I just think there were many better ways to obtain those classified materials from Mar-a-Lago than to execute a search warrant against a former president of the United States of America, something that had never happened in American history, Margaret.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And never been prosecuted. Do you think that that should happen?
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: Well, look — well, I — my — my hope is that the Justice Department will think very carefully about next steps.
This is a very divided time in the life of our nation. I think our nation needs to heal. But the idea of executing a search warrant against a former president of the United States sent the wrong message to the American people and, frankly, sent the wrong message to the wider world that looks at the United States of America as the standard.
And that was my disappointment in the decision to execute a search warrant.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And there will be more of our conversation with the former vice president just ahead.
But we turn now to California Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren. She serves on the Judiciary Committee and the Select Committee investigating January 6.
Good morning to you, Congresswoman.
I want to get straight to it. Does the refusal of the vice president and the former president to comply with your investigation in any way impede the impact or outcome?
REPRESENTATIVE ZOE LOFGREN (D-California): Well, we wish they had come in.
Certainly, other presidents have come in when asked by the Congress, including Gerald Ford, Teddy Roosevelt, many others. It is almost Thanksgiving, and the committee turns into a pumpkin at the end of December. So, we don’t have time to litigate this.
But I think they’ve cheated history, and they should have done otherwise.
We, on the other hand, have received substantial information from other sources. And we’re in the process of, as I’m sure you know, writing our report now.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And you’re continuing to gather information, as I understand it, speaking to two Secret Service officials recently.
What more do you need? And are you still sharing that information with the Justice Department?
REPRESENTATIVE ZOE LOFGREN: Well, we’re not sharing information with the Justice Department. We’re doing our own investigation.
However, we anticipate, when our report is released, to release all of the evidence that we have assembled, so the public can see it, including the Department of Justice.
MARGARET BRENNAN: OK.
But you have — I understand the committee has released documents to the Department of Justice. Is that not the case?
REPRESENTATIVE ZOE LOFGREN: Well, we’re not — no, we’re — we’re — we’re doing our own investigation.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
REPRESENTATIVE ZOE LOFGREN: And within a month, they — the public will have everything that we’ve found, all the evidence, for good or ill.
And I think we’ve, as we’ve shown in our hearings…
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
REPRESENTATIVE ZOE LOFGREN: … made a compelling presentation that the former president was at the center of the effort to overturn a duly elected election, assembled the mob, sent it over to Congress to try and interfere with the peaceful transfer of power.
It’s pretty shocking.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, as we know, the Justice Department has its own investigation. And that’s what led us to the attorney general making news just a few days ago with this special counsel to take up the events surrounding January 6.
But what does putting this in the hands of a special counsel accomplish here? Do you think it actually removes politics? Or does it still just keep it there, since the attorney general will still have oversight of the special counsel?
REPRESENTATIVE ZOE LOFGREN: Well, I think, from what the attorney general said, he sought to depoliticize this investigation.
Obviously, career professionals are doing it, and to have a special counsel overseeing it. But, you know, the right wing never fails. Up is down, and down is up. The effort to depoliticize, they are now criticizing as somehow a political measure.
So, the effort to segregate the investigation from the attorney general himself is in the eye of the beholder. And, of course, the former president is saying he won’t partake, as if, you know, it’s a — it’s a slice of pizza. I mean, it’s not up to him. He is being investigated for these offenses. And we’ll see what they find.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You sit on the Judiciary Committee. You just heard Rod Rosenstein say that he thinks the U.S. attorney in Delaware is sufficient in terms of being able to independently decide on what to do with Hunter Biden and that case.
I wonder if you agree with that, or if you think your Republican colleagues are right to ask for a special counsel to deal with the current president’s son?
REPRESENTATIVE ZOE LOFGREN: Well, I don’t know anything about that case. Certainly, in the case of the…
MARGARET BRENNAN: But you have oversight of the Justice Department.
REPRESENTATIVE ZOE LOFGREN: Yes.
Yes, but we don’t — I served with Mike Pence on the Judiciary Committee. We don’t oversee and interfere with individual investigations and cases. That would be improper in terms of oversight.
You know, if — if the president’s son has committed offenses, then there’ll be a judgment on whether to prosecute or not. And that’s the rule of law, just as the rule of law applies to the former president. People in this country have to adhere to the law. And, if you don’t, if you commit an offense, and the facts are there, then there’ll be a prosecution.
And that’s what it’s about, living in a country where the rule of law, not just politics, leads us.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
REPRESENTATIVE ZOE LOFGREN: That’s about our democratic republic.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, the issue of what to do with Hunter Biden will come before your committee as the chair…
REPRESENTATIVE ZOE LOFGREN: No.
MARGARET BRENNAN: … the incoming chair of it has said, along with the head of Oversight. They want to lead investigations.
REPRESENTATIVE ZOE LOFGREN: Well…
REPRESENTATIVE ZOE LOFGREN: … they’re going to find…
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right. So…
REPRESENTATIVE ZOE LOFGREN: There’s nothing for us — there’s no role for the legislative body in a prosecution, not…
MARGARET BRENNAN: No. Understood.
But are you prepared, as Democrats, for this knife fight?
REPRESENTATIVE ZOE LOFGREN: Well, I mean, we’re going to be there.
And the incoming Judiciary Committee chair has a history of playing a little and loose with the truth. We’re aware of that.
MARGARET BRENNAN: OK.
REPRESENTATIVE ZOE LOFGREN: And we will be there as truth-sayers.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We will be watching.
Congresswoman, thank you.
Face the Nation will be back in a minute.
MARGARET BRENNAN: If you can’t watch the full Face the Nation, you can set your DVR or watch on our CBS News Streaming Network throughout the day on Sundays.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION.
We also spoke with former Vice President Pence about the former president’s entrance into the ’24 presidential campaign and the prospects for his own run.
MIKE PENCE, (Former U.S. Vice President): I look forward to being involved in the process in some way. You know, whether we are in the debate as a candidate or in the debate as simply as an active Republican, I look forward to getting behind the Republican cause and supporting candidates around the country, as well as our nominee to get this country turned back to the policies that will make us strong and prosperous again.
MARGARET BRENNAN: That sounds like you’d prefer he’s not the nominee, but you didn’t say no.
MIKE PENCE: Well, I – I just think there will be better choices. I think now calls for a different time. I think now – I think the American people want to see us move forward.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You talk about moving forward. The idea of relitigating the 2020 election continues to circulate, as you know that, amongst members of your party. Do you think continuing to push these claims, as the former president does, is a direct threat?
MIKE PENCE: The 2020 election was not stolen. We have a process in this country where states conduct elections. Questions of irregularities of fraud are then adjudicated in the courts. The states then certify electoral votes. And as we did on January 6th. But I do think there’s been far too much talk questioning the integrity of our elections.
MARGARET BRENNAN: According to a CBS tally, there are going to be 156 members of Congress that will be sworn in, in January, who continue to raise questions about the validity of the 2020 election. That’s more than back in 2020. Isn’t that a risk? Doesn’t the party need to stop that?
MIKE PENCE: There’s a First Amendment in this country that people can hold the opinions that they hold, even if I disagree with them. But I have every confidence that the new Republican leadership in the Congress, the new Republican majority, when Nancy Pelosi hands the gavel to Kevin McCarthy, is going to draw the lessons from the midterm campaign, which for me give evidence of the fact that — that the American people want the Republican Party, and frankly all of our leaders, to be focused on the future.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Did it surprise you then that Republicans didn’t end up with a larger margin?
MIKE PENCE: I was surprised. I was disappointed at the outcome of the election. As you look around, what happened on Election Day, candidates that were focused on the future, candidates that were focused on the issues that the American people are focused on, did quite well.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You’re very proud of the Supreme Court justices put on the court who just recently struck down Roe versus Wade. Do you think the decision on abortion access should stay in the states or should there be a national law banning it?
MIKE PENCE: From very early on in my public career, I – I was determined to be a champion for life. I just always purposed to advance the sanctity of life. And I always believed that Roe v. Wade would be sent to the ash heap of history. It’s – you know, it’s interesting that Ruth Bader Ginsburg even said – who was one of the great Supreme Court justices of our time —
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, she questioned the – the legal basis not being solid enough.
MIKE PENCE: She questioned the legal foundation of it, and – and she was right.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But what –
MIKE PENCE: But from my perspective —
MARGARET BRENNAN: But is – but doesn’t what you’re talking about, the moral imperative –
MIKE PENCE: Yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Does that Trump states’ rights?
MIKE PENCE: Well, the Dobbs decision really gave the country a new beginning for life. And it did return the question of abortion to the states and the American people. Many alarmists on the American left in the beginning spoke about it banning abortion and taking away their right. And, actually, I think most Americans figured out pretty quickly that, in fact, this question that bears so deeply on the – the life of the nation has simply been returned to the people and their elected representatives.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So no national (INAUDIBLE).
MIKE PENCE: For my part, I — I will tell you that I will always support efforts to strengthen protections for the unborn. I think it’s most likely that it will be resolved at the state level. But the 15-week legislation in the Congress, had I been a member of Congress, I – I would have supported because I think it actually –
MARGARET BRENNAN: That’s not too liberal for you because it would allow access up to 15 weeks of pregnancy?
MIKE PENCE: Well –
MARGARET BRENNAN: That’s where the majority of abortions are performed.
MIKE PENCE: I would have supported it as a beginning.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The Rubio/Graham bill, the 15 weeks you’re talking about, also has exceptions for life of the mother after the 15 weeks.
MIKE PENCE: Right. I supported those exceptions during my public career.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You do?
MIKE PENCE: But, Margaret, I do believe it’s more likely this is going to be resolved at the state level. It may take as long to restore the sanctity of life to the center of American law in all 50 states as it did to overturn Roe versus Wade. But people that know me and my family know that so long as we live, we’ll seek to be about the business of life in this country and doing our part to support the sanctity of life.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I was – I was interested to read that you and your wife, Karen, underwent IVF therapy.
MIKE PENCE: We did.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Which is a lot to go through. And there are people who are concerned that if you start with abortion access restrictions, that it will also lead to restrictions on IVF treatment. If you believe life begins at conception, you can make that argument. Should it be protected as a right?
MIKE PENCE: Oh, I — Karen and I struggled for more than five years with unexplained infertility. And, in fact, I’ll never forget the day that I called home, driving off to a work appointment, and Karen answered the phone and said, happy Father’s Day. And our son would come along, then a daughter, then another daughter, all within three years. And we were busy but joyful.
And in the midst of all of that, we – we also received word that we had — we had made the list for an adoption for a young woman with an unexpected pregnancy. But we wanted to find out if the second family on the list was clinically infertile. And when we did, we stepped aside, not wanting to prevent them from having the joy of a little one in their home.
But I fully support fertility treatments and I think they deserve the protection of the law.
MARGARET BRENNAN: What about same-sex marriage? A number of Republicans are getting on board, federal protections for it. Do you believe that you need to consider that when you talk about compassion?
MIKE PENCE: Well, as a – as a Bible-believing Christian, I’ll always hold the view that marriage is between one man and one woman. I think it was ordained by God. And that will always be my values. But the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled on this in the Obergefell case. And, you know, we —
MARGARET BRENNAN: So you don’t think a federal law is needed like a number of Republicans are now —
MIKE PENCE: We can – we can disagree with Supreme Court decisions, but we can’t disobey them. I respect the pronouncements of the court. And I actually think it’s just as important, as we go forward as a nation, that we make it clear that we don’t believe in discrimination against anyone because of who they are, who they love or what they believe.
But, at the same time, I think we need to make sure that we protect the religious freedom of every American that’s enshrined in the Constitution, the ability to live, to work, to worship in a manner accordingly that dictates to your conscious.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Our full interview can be seen on our website at facethenation.com and on our YouTube page.
We’ll be right back.
MARGARET BRENNAN: This weekend there is uncertainty about Twitter’s future under its new owner, Elon Musk.
For more we are joined by tech journalist Kara Swisher, host of “On with Kara Swisher,” and, from London, Scott Galloway, who is her co-host on the podcast “Pivot” and also a professor at NYU.
It’s good to have you both here.
KARA SWISHER, (Host, “On with Kara Swisher” Podcast and Co-Host, “Pivot” Podcast): Yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Last night Elon Musk, Kara, put Donald Trump, the former president, back on Twitter.
KARA SWISHER: Yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: He had been suspended after January 6th.
KARA SWISHER: Permanently.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And he went and he founded his own social media company, Truth Social. And according to filings, he has a six-hour exclusive. He can only post there, not on Twitter.
KARA SWISHER: Yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So what does lifting the ban on his use of Twitter actually do?
KARA SWISHER: Nothing. I mean he’s been posting — people have been posting his – his Truths, I think that’s what they’re called, on Twitter already and it gets out anyway. So, he has – you know, he’s got these contractual obligations to this company that is not doing great. And I think he can’t resist, and he’ll probably go full Twitter at some point. But I don’t think it makes any difference. Plus, he’s the former president, so it doesn’t quite — hit quite as hard. So, I think the juice is a little bit out of his power on that platform. We’ll see.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, he’s also, Scott, a presidential candidate, as we learned just a few days ago. He was kicked off of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube after January 6th. Do you think this – this opens the floodgates, or is this just a gimmick by Elon Musk for PR?
SCOTT GALLOWAY (Professor, New York University and Co-Host, “Pivot” Podcast): I think it’s mostly the latter. I think if Elon’s out of the news for more than 48 hours, he’ll decide to kick him off again. He said that people had spoken in Latin. I found that this poll – you know, Elon Musk’s polls on Twitter are more for support than illumination. He ran a similar poll to see whether or not he should sell Tesla stock and it – it ended up he’d already filed to sell those shares. So, I think these polls are mostly a gimmick and I would argue the people haven’t spoken, the GRU has spoken. These — Twitter has become —
MARGARET BRENNAN: Russian intelligence, you mean?
SCOTT GALLOWAY: One hundred percent. Twitter has become a playground for bad actors and fake bots. This poll is meaningless. This decision is meaningless.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But you had predicted earlier that Twitter could collapse. Just — we’ve seen thousands of employees either get fired or walk off the job. Do you – do you stand by that?
SCOTT GALLOWAY: Well, Twitter will survive. And even if it doesn’t, let’s keep in mind, it’s not a national treasure. We would all be just fine if Twitter went away.
But I think when you see this sort of wholesale firing and the way in which he’s gone about firing that creates this type of resentment, I easily see this site going down. I – I think we should do a head of lettuce test versus when the site goes down.
What we’re not talking about is the knock-on effects at Tesla. You know, when you buy a Tesla, you’re buying a pair of Air Jordans. You’re associating directly with an individual. And no individual, maybe with the exception of Trump or Putin, has eroded more of their good will and brand equity than Elon Musk. And then you go to SpaceX, where everyone who works for a government, and this is a government contractor, has a responsibility to termination (ph) form they have to fill out. And I think he’s antagonized enough officials that we’re going to start seeing more scrutiny on SpaceX contracts.
KARA SWISHER: Yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, I mean, there was already talk for national security purposes –
KARA SWISHER: Yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: To review that because of foreign ownership.
Kara, for – for users at home, what does this actually mean? Like, what should we do to protect ourselves? Is there anything to protect ourselves against?
KARA SWISHER: Well, you know, collapsing — Twitter used to go down all the time with the fail whale. It was very common. And they’re – you’re going to see more of that. I’m already seeing issues on the platform because of fewer people. And that’s – like, you can’t download your archive very easily. If you – if you sign off and you have two-factor authentication, good luck getting on and stuff like that. You’re going to see around the edges.
There may be — the problem is, if he starts pushing out big changes, you’re going to see problems. If he starts doing lots of things, you’re going to see problems. If one coder makes a mistake, you could see problems. And that’s what it is.
What everyone’s going to do, Margaret, I know it’s hard for us media people and politicians to understand, but it’s not very big anywhere else. It’s a very small service compared to the Facebooks, the Instagrams and the TikToks of the world. And so I think it’s not going to matter to most people. It’s going to matter to the chattering class who enjoys dunking on each other throughout the day, essentially.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, I mean, it has become, in some ways, a news wire almost —
KARA SWISHER: Yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: For government announcements, things like that.
KARA SWISHER: Yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Scott, I also want to ask you about this stunning fall we saw this week of – of the founder of FTX, this cryptocurrency exchange. Thirty-year-old billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, top Democratic donor. He’s known in this town. Justice Department, SEC, CFTC are all now investigating. What exactly happened here?
SCOTT GALLOWAY: Well, on a very broad level, we don’t — as a species, we can’t help but to worship people. And in the U.S. we’ve decided to worship tech billionaires. And they don’t fall under the same scrutiny, including a 30-year-old MIT graduate who we’re all hoping is kind of the next Jesus and doesn’t need a board of directors or doesn’t need any sort of regulatory scrutiny. And as a result, in about 24 hours, you had the immolation of $34 billion in capital. And that is literally take a medium size city and everyone in that city on Tuesday has $10,000 and the next day they have zero.
So, this will bring unwarranted scrutiny. It’s more spectacle than significant because the entire crypto market now is $800 billion and Amazon has shed over $1 trillion. When the whole FTX debacle was unwinding, the markets were actually up. So it makes for interesting news.
And unlike the great financial recession where we saw huge damage to the economy and no one go to jail, I think this is going to be the opposite. I don’t think it’s going to have a very big impact on the economy, but I think you’re going to see some perp walks here.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Some arrests. I mean the Treasury secretary was asked by our Nancy Cordes about this, and she said, the absence of appropriate supervision and regulation of digital assets contributed to the collapse.
KARA SWISHER: Yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I mean that’s saying essentially, we were asleep at the wheel as a U.S. government.
KARA SWISHER: Well, this is early and they – they haven’t done much regulation on the regular internet. And that’s 20 years hence (ph) essentially. And so they were just starting to come up with ideas between the SEC and the CTFC of how to regulate all this stuff. And Bankman-Fried was part of it. He was consulted quite a bit in the — a lot of people were. And he was calling for regulation, if you recall, which is somewhat ironic. But there hadn’t — they hadn’t figured out how to deal with this very new and sort of explosive new financial instrument. And I think that’s more the problem is Washington moves at a glacial pace around these things. They were moving faster than they have in other areas, but they certainly hadn’t figured out. But, ultimately, this is going to be, you know, some sort of fraud case or something. Listen, I agree with Scott, someone’s going to jail.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Scott, there are also layoffs, not just at Twitter but we saw some at Facebook, we saw job cuts at Amazon. You’ve called this a Patagonia vest recession. What does that mean, exactly?
SCOTT GALLOWAY: Well, most recessions were either labeled white or blue collar, meaning that they typically impact one cohort more than the other. Either executives, white color or blue class, sort of the working class.
This is the Patagonia vest recession. And that is, we’re going to see more people laid off in the growthy part of our economy that has sort of been the gift that keeps on giving for 13 years. But again, Margaret, I think this is more noise than news because 99.99 percent of the people on the planet would pray to be recently laid off person from Meta or Google. If you’ve been recently laid off from one of these firms, it means that you probably went to an elite school, you live in a city where the growth prospects or the economy is growing like crazy, and you are — your biggest problem is not going to be what to do, but what not to do. So sort of a —
MARGARET BRENNAN: But what if you’re an H-1B visa recipient and you get sent back home suddenly.
SCOTT GALLOWAY: Fair point.
KARA SWISHER: Fair point. I mean you saw the picture.
SCOTT GALLOWAY: That’s a fair point.
KARA SWISHER: You saw that picture from Twitter. I mean everywhere (ph). Elon put some — another performative photo op of them doing coding. I’m not sure what they were doing. But there were people there that were clearly from other countries. And so they are stuck there. They are kind of — they can’t leave. And I think that’s one of the issues you’re going to have for all these people is, where do they go?
A lot of companies are taking care of it (ph). I think Facebook was one of them. Or Meta was doing that. So they’ll try to figure that out. But Scott’s 100 percent right, these are people who have lots of options.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
KARA SWISHER: And there will be more jobs for them comparatively. And I will note that Scott does himself have a Patagonia vest and he’s doing just fine. So —
SCOTT GALLOWAY: Never. Never.
KARA SWISHER: Yes, you do, I’ve seen it.
MARGARET BRENNAN: All right, next time you’ve got to wear it, Scott.
Thank you. Good to see you. Scott’s joining us there from London.
KARA SWISHER: Thank you.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And, Kara, good to have you here in studio.
We’ll be back with the mayor-elect of Los Angeles, Karen Bass.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We go now to Democratic Congresswoman Karen Bass, who made history last week when she became the first woman and the first black woman to be elected mayor of Los Angeles.
Good morning to you.
REP. KAREN BASS (D-CA and Mayor-elect, Los Angeles): Good morning.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You are going to be sworn in as mayor of L.A. December the 12th. You’ve got a lot of work cut out for you.
KAREN BASS: Exactly.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And I know you campaigned hard on the –
KAREN: BASS: I certainly do.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You did, you campaigned hard on the issue of crime and homelessness. And I want to get right into that.
Homicide’s up 14 percent from two years ago. Robberies up almost 16 percent in L.A. over that same time. Do you plan to keep the current police chief?
KAREN BASS: Yes. There’s no desire on my part to remove the current police chief. You know, we have a crisis in our city with homelessness as well. Forty thousand people are asleep in tents all throughout our city. And four or five of them pass away every morning. And so we have multiple crises right now. And so it’s my intent on day one to address that issue. And it’s my understanding that the chief of police’s contract is up at the end of next year.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So, you could revisit it at that time, in other words.
But I –
KAREN BASS: Right, revisit that, along with many other general managers as well.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
When I ask about your approach to policing, I’m mindful that you’re in a pretty unique position because you worked on this in Congress in putting forward the George Floyd Policing Act. In your public safety plan for L.A., you talk about hiring more officers.
KAREN BASS: Yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And I know in the past you’ve said that defund the police was one of the worst slogans ever.
How do you bring all that to changing policing in L.A.? What specifically do you do that’s different?
KAREN BASS: Well, first of all, I think what’s most important about police reform, whether we’re talking in Los Angeles or anyplace else, is accountability and transparency. Those are two things that are critical.
In terms of hiring police officers, we’ve had several hundred police officers retire or move on for other reasons. And what I am proposing is that we replace the ones that the city has allotted for. In other words, bringing the police department up to its full force that is budgeted.
The other thing is, is that in many communities they want to see an increased police presence. And so I am calling for moving officers off of administrative duty and putting them on the streets. That’s the way we can hire them as soon as possible.
But, in addition to that, I believe in obviously stopping crime when it occurs, but doubling down and tripling down in communities where crime prevention strategies and different approaches are required. And I’ve worked on this for a number of years. And so I want to fully fund programs to prevent crime, to intervene, especially with young people.
And one of the things that our current chief of police said is that he accounted for a spike in crime, especially post-restrictions of the pandemic, because many of the crime prevention programs shut down due to Covid.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You disclosed back in September that – that you yourself were a victim of burglary at your home. And you had two guns stolen at that time. And I wonder, did you have those guns because you felt unsafe in your own home? And did you go out and purchase new weapons?
KAREN BASS: I have not purchased new weapons. I had two handguns. I had owned them for a very, very, very long time. And I certainly believe in an individual’s right to legally possess guns and properly store them. Mine were legally purchased and properly stored.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But you wouldn’t encourage people to feel that they have to arm themselves to defend their own homes?
KAREN BASS: I – I certainly hope – and, you know, one of the things that happened in the pandemic, not just in Los Angeles, but all across the country, was an increase in gun purchasing.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
KAREN BASS: One of the reasons why we’ve had an increase in crime in Los Angeles is because of ghost guns. And ghost guns absolutely need to be cracked down on. And that’s something that will be a focus of mine as well.
MARGARET BRENNAN: What is the long-term solution to the homelessness and housing crisis? Because housing affordability is a pretty big problem in Los Angeles.
KAREN BASS: Absolutely right. Los Angeles has become unaffordable. You have to have a comprehensive approach. There’s no magic bullet. So, first and foremost, you have to prevent people from falling into homelessness. And clearly affordability is key to that.
But, you know, people are on the streets for a variety of issues. And you have to address why they’re there. Is it substance abuse? Is it mental illness? Is it just straight-up affordability? We have people who are in tents who actually work full-time. We have thousands of children who are in tents, some with mothers who fled domestic violence, some who are teenagers who aged out of foster care, some people who were formerly incarcerated because they are not able to find housing are in tents. So, we have to have a comprehensive approach and address the reasons why people are unhoused.
But, first and foremost, we have to get people off the streets. People are literally dying on the streets in Los Angeles. And this has got to stop.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, we will be watching, Mayor-elect, how you do just that. It’s a – it’s a tall order.
Thank you for joining us this morning.
And we will be right back.
MARGARET BRENNAN: That’s it for us today. Thank you all for watching. Until next week, for FACE THE NATION, I’m Margaret Brennan.
I have been writing professionally for over 20 years and have a deep understanding of the psychological and emotional elements that affect people. I’m an experienced ghostwriter and editor, as well as an award-winning author of five novels.