This is a rush transcript from “Die storie,” Januarie 26, 2021. Hierdie eksemplaar is moontlik nie in sy finale vorm nie en kan opgedateer word.
ROBERTS: I’m John Roberts. Trace Gallagher in for Martha MacCallum with “THE STORY”. It starts right now.
TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NUUSGASheer: John and Sandra, thank you. Good afternoon, almal. I’m Trace Gallagher in from Martha MacCallum and this is THE STORY. Oomblikke gelede, President Biden continuing his sweeping blitz of week one. Executive orders and action today focusing on the administration’s racial equity agenda.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT VAN DIE VERENIGDE STATE: We are not just a nation of morally deprived because of systemic racism. We’re also less prosperous. We’re less successful, less secure. We must change. And I know it’s going to take time.
(EINDE VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER (voice over): Among the actions directing HUD to take steps to mitigate racial bias and housing, former HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson joins us later to weigh in on that. Nou, remember Biden’s past record on racial issues and criminal justice were scrutinized during the 2020 veldtog, at times by his now vice president. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT VAN DIE VERENIGDE STATE: You also worked with them to oppose busing. En, jy weet, there was a little girl in California, who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools. And she was bused to school every day. And that little girl was me.
(EINDE VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: Inderdaad, Biden has said in the past, he quote, hasn’t always gotten things right, particularly on issues of criminal justice. But today, he stressed the need for reform now in the midst of a crisis he described this way, about a week ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEBOD: En nou, a rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront, and we will defeat. Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we’re all are created equal and the harsh, ugly reality that racism, nativism, vrees, demonization have long torn us apart.
(EINDE VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: Here now, Deroy Murdock, National Review Online Contributing Editor; Kim Strassel, Wall Street Journal Editorial Board Member, both are Fox News contributors. And Juan Williams, Fox News Political Analyst and co-host of “THE FIVE”, welcome to you all. I want to play this soundbite by Civil Rights Attorney Terrell — Leo Terrell, eerder, saying this about Biden’s plan to advance racial equity. Watch and I’ll get response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEO TERRELL, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: There is not systemic discrimination in this country. They don’t even define the term, Harris. I know what the term mean. It’s illegal term. They use this to basically divide this country. I would challenge anyone, debate anyone from the White House. Where is it? Where is systemic discrimination in this country? Because people of color (INAUDIBLE) every aspect of government —
(EINDE VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: Kimberly, to you first, what do you make of those comments?
KIM STRASSEL, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CONTRIBUTOR: Wel, he’s right. ek bedoel, kyk, this is a legal term. And I think it’s really important. Because it gets to this comment, this word that’s being used now, billikheid. This country was based on the notion of equality of opportunity, all men are created equal. We have many, many laws in place to guarantee that that happens. Are there potentially places where there are still racist or systemic discrimination where it happens? Ja, seker. But legally, that is not allowed. Equity is something very different. Kamala Harris actually put out a video on this. And she said that it’s about all of us getting to the same place.
GALLAGHER: Ja, reg. You’re — equality talks about giving people the same thing. Equity talks about giving some people an advantage so you can even the playing field. Jy weet, Bill Maher, on real time said this, and I want to get your comments in the other side. Kyk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WETSONTWERP MAHER, HOST, REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER: So, am I wrong to not want to see race all the time? Because that’s how I was brought up. Like that’s what a good liberal does is you don’t see race. And now they switched all around. And I’m bad because I don’t see it all the time. And is ubiquity, even effective to make people aware of this issue at every turn?
(EINDE VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: Deroy Murdock, to you first. ek bedoel, does he make a fair point there? Are we confused about how to handle race? ek bedoel, you hear these arguments that we don’t directly talk about race, because we sometimes fear we’re going to get in trouble. So, we talk around race. Your thoughts?
DEROY MURDOCK, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CONTRIBUTOR: I think there’s some truth to that. I think what Bill Maher says makes sense. Jy weet, I grew up also hearing, wel, we need to stop looking at race and focus on the — on the content of people’s character, not the color of their skin, as Dr. King so famously put it. En nou, we’re doing the opposite. We talk about race all the time. It never ends. And what I find incredible about this is how completely self-unaware the Democratic Party is. ek bedoel, just remember, 80 million people just voted for a candidate for vice president who is half Jamaican and half East Indian and a woman. 80 miljoen stemme. She’s now the vice president.
Joe Biden would still be in the senate if it weren’t for Barack Obama, who was elected then reelected President of the United States as a black man and comfortably. He had two people at the Justice Department, Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, our first black attorney generals — attorneys general, they ran the Department of Justice for eight years. And Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell ran the State Department, and they’re both black, for eight years under G.W. Bush.
So, this is such a deeply racist, bigoted country. How do the white people supposedly control America? A lot of black people run the State Department, Departement van Justisie, die wit Huis, and now even the Pentagon under our new Secretary of Defense, our first black secretary of defense, black folks running — a black man running the Pentagon now. If this is such a racist country, how on earth is it that black people running so much of it?
GALLAGHER: Ja, and Juan, respond to that, if you would, Deroy saying the Democratic Party is just not very self-aware.
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS CHANNEL POLITICAL ANALYST: I’m puzzled because obviously, all the examples that Deroy accurately cited, were people who broke glass ceilings. Jy weet, in the long history and glorious history of the United States, it was a first. A first that we have a black woman as a vice president. It’s a first when you see a Barack Obama as president or, jy weet, you look at Colin Powell as secretary — ek bedoel, Lloyd Austin is the first over at the Pentagon.
So, race is part of the American story. I just don’t see how you get away from it. Most common in our history is that we don’t talk about it. We just make assumptions and have a very kind of, jy weet, stalemate about the fact that black people were not considered fully human and enslaved in the country. So, vandag —
GALLAGHER: But to (INAUDIBLE) advancements are being made. ek bedoel, that’s the important point here, as Deroy is saying —
WILLIAMS: Geen, dis — there’s no argument. I don’t think there’s any argument there. I’m all for it. ek bedoel, I wouldn’t be sitting here with you, Trace, unless advancements were being made. I wouldn’t be able to publish books and all the rest. I am deeply appreciative of the advancement. But what I’m saying is, I think oftentimes, people say, wel, let’s not talk about it, it makes me uncomfortable. Jy weet, you stop and think about the contrast to what was going on before where people who were standing up, or in some cases kneeling for racial justice, were derided by the President, as you know, get those SOBs off the field. Jy weet, good people on both sides, when you have white supremacist marching in Charlottesville. I think that’s what makes people not to be provocative, but simply to be sensitive to the fact that white supremacy has grown in this country over the last four years.
GALLAGHER: I think the good people on both sides (INAUDIBLE) has taken a little bit out of context. Juan, we’re not going to go in there right now. Kim Strassel, jy weet, I hear you and (INAUDIBLE) we hear equity, talked about quite a bit in the past week, the past two weeks. Gerard Baker, and his piece in The Wall Street Journal says he thinks that that really, this whole unity equity thing is just — is just code for saying we need to abide by the democratic agenda. And he ends by saying this, quoting, “The truth is that our unity will be achieved by your doing what we tell you to do.” Wat dink jy, Kim?
STRASSEL: Wel, I think he’s absolutely right. Kyk, there’s an attempt going on right now to define — and this is happening by democratic politicians in concert with many in the media — to define anyone who disagrees with Joe Biden’s agenda as a racist or xenophobic, or in some way, morally corrupt. And I think that that really takes away from what Juan’s just talking about. If there is a white nationalism problem in the country, let’s define what that really is. But let’s not just cast anyone who disagrees with the democratic agenda as somehow being in a morally corrupt group. It really waters down the entire word.
GALLAGHER: 30 sekondes, can you wrap it up for us, Deroy Murdock?
MURDOCK: Ja, we heard that Joe Biden would unify our country, bring us all together and so on. En tog, in the first three days, we had the Keystone Pipeline canceled, illegal aliens on their way to citizenship within eight years, the transgender athletic declaration, ens. These aren’t the kinds of things that unify the country. These create tremendous controversy and division and rancor. And I don’t know where this — the moderate Joe Biden is. I don’t think he ever really showed up for work.
GALLAGHER: Deroy Murdock, Kimberley Strassel, Juan Williams, thank you all. Great to see you.
MURDOCH: Great to be here.
WILLIAMS: Nice to be with you.
GALLAGHER: Wel, in his first Fox interview with the new administration in office, Dr. Ben Carson addresses calls for equitable housing. The fight against COVID-19 and sets the record straight on taxpayer dollars spent to house San Francisco’s homeless in hotels, coming up.
GALLAGHER: About San Francisco hotels housing, the homeless may soon be fully funded by taxpayer dollars after an order from President Biden to increase the threshold from the previous administration to 100 persentasie. In moments, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, but first to the Senior Correspondent Claudia Cowan. She’s live for us in San Francisco. Claudia, good afternoon.
CLAUDIA COWAN, FOX NEWS CHANNEL SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Trace. Dit is reg. The Biden administration is giving San Francisco leaders reason to celebrate, pledging millions more in federal tax dollars than the city was getting to help house the homeless. President Biden signed an executive order last week, pledging to fully reimburse cities including San Francisco for hotels where several thousand people have been staying since April. San Francisco has one of the largest homeless populations in the country, and housing them in about 25 hotels has reportedly been costing the city between $ 15 en $ 18 million every month. San Francisco faces a $ 600 million budget deficit and received federal funding to cover about 75 percent of those hotel costs under the Trump administration.
FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said reimbursements would continue until the end of the pandemic, but no one’s made it clear what defines the end. Wel, nou, city leaders are relieved they won’t have to scramble to come up with the money or relocate anyone just yet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LONDON BREED (D), MAYOR OF SAN FRANCISCO, CA: This is not going to be forever but it’s going to be long enough. Ons is — as we start to transition, some of the people that we have in hotels in San Francisco into permanent housing situations, we can now backfill those hotel rooms with people who fit the guidelines under the FEMA requirements for reimbursement. That is really great news.
(EINDE VIDEO CLIP)
COWAN: Mayor Breed said this is not an open invitation for anyone looking to score a free hotel room in San Francisco. She says it’s only for people who have been in the city’s system since last spring. Nou, the details of this funding with FEMA still being worked out. Maar, Trace, it sounds like the Feds are now fully funding this housing program for the homeless, at least through September. Back to you.
GALLAGHER: Claudia Cowan live for us in San Francisco. Claudia, thank you. Dr. Ben Carson joins me now. He is the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Trump. Dr. Carson, it’s always great to see you. I want to get your comments on what Claudia just reported there, increasing the funding under President Trump 75 percent going to these hotels to house the homeless. Nou, 100 percent until at least September. What are your thoughts on that?
BEN CARSON, FORMER SECRETARY OF HUD: Wel, the homelessness problem is not new. It’s been a growing problem progressively every year. And one thing that we’ve learned is throwing money at it does not solve the problem. What you have to do is ask the question, why are these people homeless? And in many cases, you’re talking about people with mental illness, you’re talking about people with drug addiction. Unless you begin to get to the root cause of the problem, you’re never going to solve it.
And the other big factor is the cost. If you go to a place like San Francisco, the average cost of a home is $ 1.6 miljoen, and it’s proportional throughout. Jy weet, that is not going to work. And if you — if you take some of all those multitudinous regulations out of the way, so that building can be done without passing that cost on, then you begin to solve the problem. But we’re not looking at root causes. And that’s why we’re not solving the problem. We were making some very significant progress. And hopefully, the new administration will continue that.
GALLAGHER: President Biden signed an executive order to mitigate racial bias in housing saying this, Dr. Carson, listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEBOD: Housing is a right in American homeownership, is an essential tool to wealth creation, and to be passed down to generations. Vandag, I’m directing the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs and urban development to redress historical racism in Federal housing policies.
GALLAGHER: In your time as HUD Secretary, was that a problem, meneer, racial bias in housing?
CARSON: I don’t think that that was much of a problem. Is it a problem? Has it been a problem, historically? Ja. It’s much better now. Jy weet, I grew up in the 50s and the 60s. America was a very different place racially than it is now. We’ve made enormous progress. But there’s a tendency to want to frame everything in racial terms. We don’t need to do that. What we need to do, weer, is look at the reasons that people are having trouble buying houses. A lot of times it’s because of the financing, and the way that the financing is administered. And those are the things that we were working on very seriously and have made some real progress in.
GALLAGHER: Ja, I don’t want to kind of hop topic it, because if I can’t hear — ek bedoel, I’m not saying you were on the Coronavirus Taskforce, but you are a medical doctor. And I want to get your opinion on what Dr. Birx said this weekend. Kyk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DEBORAH BIRX, FORMER COORDINATOR, WHITE HOUSE COVID RESPONSE: I saw the president presenting graphs that I never made. So, I know that someone or someone out there or someone inside was creating a parallel set of data and graphics that were shown to the president.
(EINDE VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: Parallel set of data. Why would the President be getting conflicting information, or is this a case of different perspectives, or are you buying that scenario at all, Dr. Carson?
CARSON: Wel, jy weet, I was there basically from the beginning. And I didn’t see that. But I wasn’t privy to all the things that Dr. Birx was. Jy weet, but what is a little troubling, as people are always finding ways to stir up the problems, so that we take our eyes off of the real issue. En, jy weet, we’re never going to solve problems if we keep pointing fingers at each other and saying, you did this, and you did that. En nou, I must retaliate against you. ek bedoel, look at what’s going on with the impeachment series. Jy weet, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. The man is already out of office, and yet we’re spending all this time and effort on that because we must punish him. En dan, the other side will say, wel, we must punish you. It’s like a bunch of third graders. It’s so tiring.
GALLAGHER: Ja. Continuing on Coronavirus, jy weet, the California Governor Gavin Newsom, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo are seeming to come into this realization that lockdowns really, jy weet, they’re not all that effective. The L.A. Times editorial board writes the following here. “Governor Gasm News (PH) — Gavin Newsom’s announcement Monday that he was lifting the stay-at-home orders he put in place in December came as a surprise to many and raised questions about whether the governor was truly following the science, as he so often says, or was influenced by growing public discontent with the pandemic restrictions.” And we know from the whole the CDC thing, there’s no evidence that shutting down restaurants is going to help this because there’s no evidence that at outdoor eating is helping spread the Coronavirus. So, we knew early on these governors stopped following the science months and months ago.
CARSON: Wel, jy weet, ons het 50 state. And it seems to me like a smart thing to do would be to say, where are they having the least amount of trouble, and what are they doing? And I think we find there that people are much more reasonable. And we’ve recognized that if people are outside, and if people are not congested together, there’s much less chance of spreading the virus. But for some strange reason, Governor Newsom didn’t seem to acquire that piece of information when he was making his policy.
GALLAGHER: Dr. Ben Carson, it’s always good to see you, meneer. Dankie.
CARSON: A pleasure. Dankie.
GALLAGHER: Wel, moments ago, the Senate voting to set aside Senator Rand Paul’s point of order, arguing the Trump’s impeachment trial is unconstitutional. A vote if you want to know was 55-45. Republican Senator Bill Cassidy, who has just been sworn in as a juror joins me on that next and the impeachment lunch on Capitol Hill between Republicans and law professor Jonathan Turley.
GALLAGHER: While Iran is warning the Biden administration that it won’t wait forever for the U.S. to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal, President Biden has said he will rejoin the agreement if Iran holds up its end of the bargain. Rich Edson live for us at the State Department with more. Ryk, good afternoon.
RICH EDSON, FOX NEWS CHANNEL STATE DEPARTMENT CORRESPONDENT: Good afternoon, Trace. And there is a major international campaign right now. American allies are trying to shape how this administration is going to deal with Iran. That efforts intensifying now especially as the Senate has just confirmed Antony Blinken, the incoming Secretary of State. He says Iran’s nuclear program is back at a crisis point, and that the U.S. will return to the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement and lift sanctions only if Iran stops violating the terms of the deal first. Blinken says the U.S. and Iran are a long way from that point.
And here’s one reason why. Iran’s Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, tweeted quote, “Why on earth should Iran, a country that stood firm and defeated four years of a brutal U.S. economic terrorism, show goodwill gesture first? It was the U.S. that broke the deal for no reason. It must remedy its wrong; then Iran will respond.” Though analysts say the Trump administration’s extensive campaign against Iran, along with low oil prices and the Coronavirus have put the Iranian government in a difficult spot.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GILAD ERDAN, ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO U.S. & U.N.: The Iranians are in such a weak position. Compared to the rest of the region, I think that Iran has very little leverage. But there are a lot of people in the Biden administration that really want to get back to negotiations with the Iranians.
(EINDE VIDEO CLIP)
EDSON (voice over): President Joe Biden has been speaking with his European counterparts, leaders in Britain, France and Germany, who all wants to preserve the Iran nuclear deal, though American allies in the Middle East want the U.S. to stay out and end the deal, also known as the JCPOA.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERDAN: Once back in the JCPOA, all Iran has to do is wait for the restrictions to expire automatically in less than a decade. It is undisputable that the JCPOA does not prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear capabilities.
(EINDE VIDEO CLIP)
EDSON (voice over): There are also major changes coming in Iran. There’s a presidential election in June there. And the next administration there, wel, it’s unclear if they’re going to want to get into the JCPOA again. Back to you, Trace.
GALLAGHER: Rich Edson live for us in D.C. Ryk, thank you. Let’s bring in KT McFarland, former Deputy National Security Adviser for the Trump administration and author of “Revolution Trump, Washington, and We the People.” KT, always good to see you. It is very rich, that Iran is kind of telling Joe Biden he needs to get cracking. Reg? The Iranian cabinet spokesman saying quoting here, die VSA. will not have all the time in the world. We are waiting for the official announcement of their stance, as well as the lifting of sanctions. The window of opportunity will not be open forever.” The window of opportunity, KT?
KT MCFARLAND, FORMER DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Kyk, Trace, this is so predictable, Iran’s behavior, it would be a joke except for the fact that, you know nuclear weapons are involved and the security of the entire region. Natuurlik, Iran has no leverage left. ek bedoel, between their — the sanctions that Trump put on, low price of oil, their economy is in tatters. And that was before the pandemic hit. Daarbenewens, Trump took out their leading king of terror, the guy who was responsible for all their terrorist activities around the world. En dan, ook, somebody, not sure who, took out their — one of their leading nuclear scientists.
Kyk, Iran never abided by this agreement. And this agreement was never to halt Iran’s nuclear program. It was merely to put it on the pause button for a decade. En dan, to be resumed. En jy weet, the clock has been ticking. Iran is going to have nuclear weapons according to the Iran nuclear deal within five years, and that’s going to ignite a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
GALLAGHER: And you say right there, the clock is ticking. And clearly, the one most unhappy about this, Israel. The Israeli ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren said the following, quoting here, “But from Israel’s perspective, the JCPOA is so fundamentally flawed that any return to it, even with some cosmetic changes is a real problem for us. We have to prepare ourselves for war because that is what a return to the deal is going to lead to.”
Is there a bit of hyperbole in there, K.T.? Is it partly true? Is it mostly true?
K.T. MCFARLAND, SKRYWER, “REVOLUTION TRUMP”: Like it’s the Middle East, jy weet, there’s hyperbole on all sides. The Arab countries, Saoedi-Arabië, Katar, the Gulf Arab states, they’re just as upset about the prospects of Iran getting nuclear weapons as Israel is. But the point to be made is, we have leverage now.
MCFARLAND: Nou, whether the Biden administration approved of what Trump did or not, Trump has given them a golden opportunity. We have an Israeli-Arab peace agreements, the Abraham Accords. We have Iran which is on its heels economically, an Iran with an aging leader who’s probably in poor health and he’s in his 80s. And in addition, Iran is having elections.
And the Iranian people, they’re not blaming America for their problem. They’re blaming the mullahs. So I think if the Biden administration were tough and smart, they would, jy weet, they would be tough and smart with Iran. And don’t fall for this, weer, Iran is in the beta dark position, they have to concede. En so, if the Biden administration really wants to success, I think they should push for a very different deal, if one at all.
GALLAGHER: I just want you to elaborate on that point a little bit, because it’s — jy's reg. ek bedoel, the Iranian economy was shambles because of the sanctions. En dan, you had these peace deals going forward with the Arab nations and Israel, and that putting Iran really on the outside looking in. So if anybody is looking for a little bit of help here, it’s Iran. And I think those are those are really detrimental to Iran. ek bedoel, you go back five or six years, Iran was a little bit more in the driver’s seat, now they’re in the backseat.
MCFARLAND: Ja. And don’t throw them a life preserver. Jy weet, Iran is in a position and we always knew, in the Trump administration, that was the whole point of the maximum pressure campaign. We knew eventually they’d have to make a deal there at that point now.
They thought they could wait out and get a Biden administration to throw them a lifeline. But if the Biden administration toughens up, then they can have the right kind of deal, not only for the Middle Eastern peace but for America as well.
GALLAGHER: While we’re on the topic of foreign affairs, Peter Doocy asked the President today about his conversation with Vladimir Putin. Watch this exchange.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETER DOOCY, CORRESPONDENT: Mnr. President, what did you talked about with Putin?
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: Jy.
(EINDE VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: Mnr. President, what did you talked about with Putin? And you heard, the President say you. He sends his. ek bedoel, all good fun here but, jy weet, it’s a serious topic, K.T., your last thoughts.
MCFARLAND: Ja. This is also the time to get tough on Russia. They just committed a huge, massive hack of data of the United States. And they’ve also got a dissident that Putin feels he’s already tried to poison and now he’s going to try to put under house arrest.
Dit, weer, the world is with us on this one. We really should push through with Russia. Don’t give an inch. This is the time to hang tough with any relationship or negotiations.
GALLAGHER: And you look at the polls and you’re right, the world is with us on this. K.T. McFarland, always good to see you. Dankie.
MCFARLAND: Dankie, Trace.
GALLAGHER: Wel, Republican Senator Bill Cassidy is hot off the Senate floor with a date now set on the upcoming impeachment trial, and President Biden’s willingness to bend on that massive stimulus bill. He is next.
GALLAGHER: Wel, President Biden signaling he is willing to bend on income limits for the next round of stimulus checks after a White House call with a group of lawmakers known as the Common Sense Coalition who pushed back on the possibility of relief money going to high income families.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEBOD: The additional $ 1,400 in direct cash payment, mense. Wel, there’s legitimate reasons for people to say, do you have the lines drawn the exact right way? Should it go to anybody making over X number of dollars or why?
(EINDE VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: My next guest was among the lawmakers on the call, Republican Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana joins me now. Senator, it’s always good to see you, meneer.
The pushback was because some families of four making $ 300,000 was, jy weet, were about to get these stimulus checks. So the President being flexible on this, are you satisfied with that more work needs to be done? Where do we stand?
SY. BILL CASSIDY (R), LOUISIANA: Absolutely, more work to be more work needs to be done. I think the perception of the White House is if we throw more money at it, we’ll look better. Jy weet, charging a higher price for the same product is what you do to sell alcohol, but it probably isn’t what we should do to stimulate the economy.
There’s also facts that have just come out, we see that now gross domestic product is going to grow two percentage points more in January, because of what we did last month. Wel, now we’re going to have a GDP of 5%, ek dink, projected coming forward. Do you need more stimulus when your GDP is growing the fastest it has grown in quite some time? There’s a lot more to discuss.
GALLAGHER: And we’re not just talking about Republican Senator Angus King, who’s an Independent from Maine, who caucuses with the Democrats said the following here. There’s a fundamental decision here on the part of the administration, and that is to do what they want to work on the negotiation of bipartisan proposal, or do what they want to try to move the larger package through reconciliation. And there’s a lot of worry that this feeling among Republicans that, jy weet wat, the new process here is just to label these welfare package things as tax breaks or as stimulus. En dan, you just push them through with 51 stemme.
CASSIDY: Ja. And I think that it’s significant that Democrats are criticizing this process. It isn’t just Republicans saying wait a second. ek bedoel, like give us some justification. Democrats are saying give us justification as well. So if they really want bipartisan or even one party to help them, they need to come forward with that justification to say why they’re doing stuff as opposed to present it, take it, leave it, shove it through.
GALLAGHER: But can you stop them from taking it, leaving it and shoving it through? ek bedoel, jy weet, it’s going to be a very tough battle. And the question is these $ 1.9 trillion package, can you whittle it down? Can you get some of the fat out of there? Or is that a foregone conclusion?
CASSIDY: Ons weet dit nie. We don’t know if the President really meant that he wish to work with Congress and wishes to have unity, or if that was just kind of window dressing on an agenda, which by the way, they’re going to get no matter what.
GALLAGHER: Ja, I do say the American people will be the judge. And the American people being the judge gives me great confidence.
CASSIDY: Ja. And I apologize, senator, for interrupting you. We just want to note that February 9th, 1:00 pm, Eastern Time is now the date of the impeachment trial in the Senate. You just came out of that meeting in there.
Jonathan Turley was invited to a lunch today. They wanted to hear what he said. We had him on yesterday. He’s against the impeachment. He thinks it’s unconstitutional. He said the following here in an op-ed, “under this theory, any prior president could be barred from running again by the shifting balance of Congress. Impeachments can thus be used to even long- standing scores or curry favor with some voters.” In essence, jy weet, he’s saying, kyk, this is just not constitutional.
Duidelik, Republicans want to hear what he has to say. And is it because they really are still on the fence or are they looking for reasons to say we’re not going to vote to convict in the Senate.
CASSIDY: I can’t speak for all Republicans. I’ll speak for this Republican. I want to know the facts. I’m not an attorney. I’m a senator. En so, I need to understand the facts, not just as an attorney would, but as a senator would. What if we lower the threshold of impeachment, so that no trial whatsoever is required, no evidence, and no ability for the accused to defend himself or herself, and then you rush it over. Would that be something worthy of impeachment?
Wel, eerlik gesê, that’s just what happened. Wel, they would argue the circumstances dictated, wel, that might be true. I think it’s important for us to consider that and to also think about the precedents, which are established not just in law, but in the political realm.
GALLAGHER: And he’s also saying, what about retroactively? What if the new party comes into power and they decide that so and so should also be impeached and therefore not allowed to run again?
CASSIDY: Ja, that’s certainly true. And that’s one of the things we’re just trying to understand, to take it in the context. There’s a scripture that says all things are lawful, but all things are not helpful. So that may be what’s involved here, not so much as regards President Trump. But as regards the future of our country, if one party is in power and they wish to use impeachment for political advantage, do they use it lightly?
CASSIDY: That has to be one of the considerations.
GALLAGHER: While I’ve got you, senator, I want to get your thoughts on this. Jy weet, the new push by Democrats to push this comprehensive legislation aimed at strengthening voter rights. And Tucker Carlson said this, and I’ll get your quick response on the other side.
(EINDE VIDEO CLIP)
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: According to Democrats, the lesson of that terrible day is that we need more of the corrupt policies that caused it in the first place. We need more mail-in voting. We need more ballot harvesting, more corruption. That’ll unite the country. Ons oordryf niks hiervan nie, HR1 would literally enshrine fraud.
(EINDE VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: Your final thoughts on that, senator.
CASSIDY: Ja. So I haven’t looked at the piece of legislation. But clearly, there are practices that takes place in states that we don’t want across the country. I am more comfortable with state officials having the authority than for a federal official, weer, appointed by a president telling them what to do.
GALLAGHER: Louisiana Republican Senator Bill Cassidy, meneer, thank you for coming on.
GALLAGHER: Wel, the media is enabling hand-in stifling is an enabling hand-in stifling free speech. We’ll have that next.
GALLAGHER: While the mayor of Portland, Oregon pepper spraying a protester who confronted him at a restaurant. Ted Wheeler says the guy got right in his face without a mask so he was worried about catching COVID-19. A former mayor who was there backs him up in an audio recording of the incident. Luister.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
Ongeïdentifiseerde man: Sjoe, he just pepper sprayed me for no reason at all.
SAM ADAMS, FORMER MAYOR: He asked you to back away and you didn’t.
Ongeïdentifiseerde man: Oh my goodness, I can’t see but the mayor has just thrown something at me.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: The mayor says he threw the man a bottle of water to wash out his eyes. Wheeler’s office says he is cooperating in the police investigation.
Nou, the Hunter Biden investigation will come up at the confirmation hearing for President Biden’s attorney general nominee, that’s a Republican Senator Chuck Grassley tells Fox News, no date yet for Judge Merrick Garland hearing. The White House has said that President Biden will not discuss the investigation with his attorney general.
And more than 100 political staffers reportedly complaining to their boss about letting conservative radio host Ben Shapiro write an edition of the Playbook Newsletter. The Daily Beast points out only about a third of the site’s editorial staff signed the letter to the publisher. A political spokesperson tells Fox News quoting here, “it’s an internal matter and will be handled as such.” Shapiro argues the reaction is further proof that many on the left are trying to ostracize conservatives.
Are journalists, once fierce defenders of the first amendment, turning their backs on freedom of speech? Rich Lowry of the National Review writes the following. Journalists have lurched from finding a threat to freedom of the press in every criticism of reporters and news outlets by former President Donald Trump to themselves calling for unwelcome media organizations to be shut down.
Joining me now is David Harsanyi, Senior Writer at National Review, and Martin Gurri, former CIA Analyst and Author of the “Revolt of the Public.” Gentlemen, thank you both.
David, to you first and to build on what Rich Lowry was saying there, you wrote in your op-ed the following quoting here, “I remain one of those naive people who still believes that conservatives need to build their own news organizations and platforms. But if Amazon and Google, maatskappye, incidentally, that gained their market share and power acting as disinterested corporate entities now do the bidding of one political party and dictate speech codes. Wel, that’s not going to be easy.” And you’re right, tough to build a brand when a bigger company can just knock it down, David.
DAVID HARSANYI, NATIONAL REVIEW, SENIOR WRITER: Wel, especially the one that has the virtual monopoly on controlling speech. En, jy weet, companies like Amazon don’t have to worry about their own speech because the government can’t or they’re protected, jy weet, they have liability protection. But yet, they act as sort of a shadow government and dictate what other people can say. So now, we have them acting as censors.
And that’s, jy weet, dit is nie — maybe not an attack on the first amendment, but it’s certainly an attack on free expression.
GALLAGHER: Ja, it’s a fair assessment. Jy weet, I was fascinated, Martin, thank you for coming on, meneer. It’s great to see you. I was fascinated by your piece in the City Journal saying, in wese, that really, if you’re journalism these days, it just — it pays to pick sides. You point to Russian collusion as really a journalistic disaster for the New York Times. But in the post-journalism world, it’s a success.
And you write the following, quoting here, “the intent of post-journalism was never to represent reality or inform the public, but to arouse enough political fervor in readers that they wish to enter the paywall in support of the cause.” And you also note that, jy weet, terug in 2015, the New York Times had under a million subscribers 16 of 6 million by the time President Trump left office.
MARTIN GURRI, FORMER ANALYST, CIA: Reg, and that is what really matters. Post-journalism is a big practice, not just by New York Times, so that was the subject I chose is really about how we’re going to survive in the digital era. And one attempt is simply to change from a journalism effect to a journalism opinion, which you are selling that news because nobody goes to the newspaper for news today. The amount of information in the world is just too great.
But you sell a creed. You sell an agenda to a congregation of the faithful. And with Trump, it works. Nou, let’s see what happens with Joe Biden who’s not an exciting character.
GALLAGHER: Ja. What do you think about that, David? ek bedoel, is it a creed? Is there truth in what Martin is saying about the new journalism in the digital world?
HARSANYI: I think so. ek bedoel, I think the incentive is to say things that excite people not to give them, jy weet, just bare facts. So when a reporter reports bare facts, he’s not famous or she’s not famous. When they give you a slanted view that excites a large number of people, who break through a paywall, who follow you on Twitter, the incentive is to say things that they like, not what give them what they need to hear.
So I think he’s right, that you’re selling — it’s much more productive for a journalist as far as building an audience to have an opinion rather than just give the news anymore.
GALLAGHER: Ja. We pointed out in the intro to you that Ben Shapiro, they had 100 people on Politico, jy weet. For him, he was going to host the Playbook. And a hundred of their staffers wrote those letters saying this was absurd, and it was — they were very disappointed at it.
Ben Shapiro tweeted back, quoting here, “Weereens, my point in Politico. Conservatives feel that media attacks on any one right of center are nearly always designed as a broader attack on conservatives writ large. Politico staffers just keep proving my point, over and over again.
We’ve seen similar situations, Martin, at the New York Times in recent years. What do you think about Ben Shapiro’s point?
GURRI: ek bedoel, I think when you see what happens in New York Times. Once you take that approach, once you decide well, we really kind of a church more than an informational service. Then obviously, heresy becomes an issue. And you have what I call that, and by the way, everything that I write about is based on what this brilliant media analytical Andre Mayer has written.
He calls it discourse concentration. Everything gets narrower, because obviously there aren’t that many topics that are going to fire people up. And secondly, you have to toe the line. And in the time, several journalists and editors have been fired, demoted, chided, have had to face angry newsroom voices —
GALLAGHER: I hate to jump in here but we are just about out of time. Martin Gurri, David Harsanyi, great to see you both. Dankie. It was a great conversation.
GALLAGHER: More of THE STORY after this.
GALLAGHER: And that is THE STORY of Tuesday, Januarie 26, 2021. But as always, THE STORY continues. We’ll see you back here tomorrow at 3:00 pm. My guest Senator Rand Paul to talk about if there’s enough support in the Senate to convict the former president. “YOUR WORLD WITH NEIL CAVUTO” right now.
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