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The Chris Wallace Show

Former President Trump Appealing to Supreme Court to Overrule Colorado and Maine Decisions to Remove Him from Republican Presidential Primary Ballot; Former President Trump to Argue Presidential Immunity from Charges of Insurrection; Biden Reelection Campaign Characterizing Former President Trump as Threat to American Democracy. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired January 06, 2024 - 10:00   ET




CHRIS WALLACE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again and welcome. It's time to get together with some smart people to break down the week's big stories. Today we're asking, does Donald Trump have a case for presidential immunity as the appeals court prepares to hear arguments that could change the entire election?

Then, President Biden's new campaign strategy appears to be less Bidenomics, more Hitler references. So is the president running away from his record?

And for shizzle, our panel gives its yay or nay on the country's newest Olympic reporter, Snoop Dogg.

The gang is all here, so sit back, relax, and let's talk about it.

Up first, as we mark the third anniversary of the January 6th attack on the Capitol, the central issue now is whether Donald Trump's criminal cases can go forward. This week a three-judge panel will take up the question and potentially decide his political future.


WALLACE: A major legal fight playing out Tuesday, focused on two words.


WALLACE: Donald Trump claims he can't be prosecuted for what happened on January 6th because he was still in office, an argument the special counsel reject.

JACK SMITH, SPECIAL COUNSEL: An indictment was unsealed charging Donald J. Trump with conspiring --

WALLACE: The D.C. appeals court will hear arguments, but whoever wins, the case is almost certain to end up at the Supreme Court. The justices agreed Friday to hear whether states can keep Trump off the ballot.

TRUMP: After this, we are going to walk down, and I'll be there with you.

WALLACE: At the heart of the matter, whether the former president engaged in insurrection.

TRUMP: We fight. We fight like hell.

WALLACE: Maine joined Colorado in barring Trump from its primary, citing the Constitution's insurrection clause, which legal experts agree is unprecedented.

SHENNA BELLOWS (D), MAINE SECRETARY OF STATE: It's also unprecedented for a presidential candidate to engage in insurrection.

WALLACE: However, the fact remains, Donald Trump has not been charged or found guilty of insurrection in any criminal court.


WALLACE (on camera): Here with me around the table, podcaster Kara Swisher, editor of "The Dispatch," and "Los Angeles Times" columnist Jonah Goldberg, "New York Times" journalist and podcast host Lulu Garcia-Navarro, and Reihan Salam, president of the Manhattan Institute and contributing editor of "The National Review." Welcome back. And here is to a 2024 with lots to argue about.

So Reihan, let me start with a threshold question with you. Does Trump have a case for immunity, that he can't be charged criminally for any actions while he was in office?

REIHAN SALAM, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "NATIONAL REVIEW": My sense is that it is not an especially strong case, that these were things that were not done in his official duties as president but rather as an office seeker. But there is a line of argument that when you look at the founding era, when you look at the Federalist Papers, there was a deep concern about the judicial branch basically taking action against the executive branch. And I can't imagine a scenario if this were to go to the Supreme Court, that you might peel off two or three justices on that basis. So again, I don't think he is going to prevail, but I do think that there is some give here.

WALLACE: Lulu, the Trump lawyers make exactly the argument that Reihan did, which is that the federal courts including the Supreme Court, can't sit in judgment of the executive. Is there any merit to the argument that Donald Trump has just total presidential immunity?

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, JOURNALIST, "NEW YORK TIMES": No, he is trying to argue that he has total immunity, and that is a ridiculous argument to make. No one in this country has total immunity, much less the president of the United States, who is not supposed to be above the law, be it a man or a woman. He is not a king. He is the president of the United States, or former president in this case. And I think that it is dangerous to even -- to consider that he would be given that kind of leeway.

WALLACE: The Supreme Court decided late Friday that it will hear the case of states kicking Trump off the ballot for allegedly engaging in insurrection.


There are a bunch of questions, such as whether the 14th Amendment even covers the president. But I want to discuss the main central issue. Jonah, did Trump engage in insurrection?

JONAH GOLDBERG, EDITOR IN CHIEF, "THE DISPATCH": I typically do not use the word "insurrection" because it's a complicated set of standards. If you read the Will Baude, which is a fundamental "Law Review" case, article that lays out this case, it's a judgment call whether it rises to the level of insurrection. I do think he fomented a riot. I do think he committed an impeachable assault on the supreme -- the supreme branch of government, which is the legislative branch. I think what he did was a hate crime against the Constitution. Whether it meets the threshold of the technical definition of "insurrection," I honestly don't know.

WALLACE: That becomes important when you are talking about the 14th Amendment.

GOLDBERG: It does become important when you're talking about the 14th Amendment. I suspect what we're going to see is the court come close to nine-zero against the 14th Amendment argument and nine-zero against the idea that he has immunity.

WALLACE: Kara, Trump's defenders say that he was exercising free speech. He wasn't inciting. They say that at worst January 6th was a riot.


WALLACE: Not an insurrection. And the fact is, and it is interesting, neither the federal prosecutors in Washington nor the state prosecutor, the Fulton County prosecutor in Atlanta, neither of them charged him with an insurrection.

SWISHER: Insurrection.

WALLACE: So was it an insurrection?

SWISHER: Well, I'm not a lawyer about these things. And as Jonah said, that will be up to the Supreme Court. I think they have a very good case making that, because I think publicly a lot of people have that point of view. Well, it got out of control. Well, he said a lot of things that got people going. Now, other people then prosecuted for hate crimes. They've been prosecuted for creating a riot and things like that.

I think probably that is his best argument, is that it was bad but not that bad. I wasn't trying to overthrow the government, when I think he was. I think he was trying to stop the process. But that's his best argument going in, and I think that's probably what they'll stick to. And it's hard for a lot of people to get their idea around essentially a treasonous behavior for a president that is very popular.

GOLDBERG: I think one of the things that a lot people fail to understand, and I agree with you, is that they say, well, the president hasn't been convicted of insurrection and hasn't had due process on this charge. The 14th Amendment was written this way to avoid having to put hundreds of thousands of Confederate soldiers into individual trials, right. It was this blanket approach that said you basically were involved in insurrection if you were on the side of the Confederacy, in an insurrection, an uprising against the government. So you don't actually have to have a criminal ruling according to the interpretation of this. You just have to meet the qualifications of how they define insurrection, and there are good arguments on both sides.

SALAM: And the precedent that's being overturned here comes from 1867 from Chief Justice Salmon Chase who is saying, look, this is unworkable. You need to actually have some legal process. Congress needs to pass legislation here, because if you don't have that, if you are just using these very vague standards of what represents an insurrection, then you have a problem where partisan secretaries of state, anyone can strip folks from the ballot in a way that could be incredibly chaotic. So I think that we've really opened a can of worms. And I agree with Jonah that I think it's going to be nine-zero.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I just want to say one thing. I find it wonderful that we are all citing, you know, legal theory from the 1800s, but this is insane. I mean that we are having to discuss the 14th Amendment when we are talking about the probable next GOP nominee for the presidency in the former president, whether or not he actually committed insurrection or not. I just wanted to pause for a moment and think about the fact that we are actually engaging in this discussion.

WALLACE: I want to throw one more log on the fire because there was a poll this week that indicated that Republicans -- and we are talking about the GOP nomination -- are even more sympathetic than ever to these arguments about Donald Trump. I want to put this poll up. Only 14 percent now of Republicans say Trump bears significant responsibility for January 6th. That's half as many as did back in 2021 after January 6th, and 67 percent of GOP voters say Trump's actions on January 6th are not relevant to his fitness to be president.

SWISHER: That's what he relies on. That's what he has relied on for everything he has done, is eventually people get tired and want to move on. And I think he is benefiting from that. First when you saw it, you went, yes. Kevin McCarthy, same thing. And this is what he benefits in his constant repetition of it, makes it easier for him to make --

WALLACE: Jonah, how do you explain that? How do you explain the fact basically the GOP voters, the vast majority of them, certainly a majority of them, are happily going to give Donald Trump a pass on his behavior post-election?


GOLDBERG: I think there are a lot of explanations for it. Part of it is they're wrong. Part of it is that there's a social desirability bias in the polling where they're basically putting a middle finger, we're not going to give you the satisfaction about any of this stuff. And part of it is that Trump has benefited supremely from basically being banished to crazy rightwing media and not actually been in people's faces very much for the last couple of years. And so a lot of people have just sort of forgotten and only gotten the pro Trump spin for a while now.

WALLACE: All right, on the Democratic side, President Biden's campaign strategy is becoming clearer. And it could mean you will be hearing Adolf Hitler's name a lot more. But is that a winning message?

Then, record-high oil production across the country, but it's the president's slick move that's gone under the radar.

And Walt Disney couldn't have imagined this. Our panel gives it yay or nay on the horrific future Mickey Mouse is now facing.



WALLACE: It was always clear if the presidential race came down to Trump versus Biden, both candidates would end up trying to sell themselves by bashing their opponent. But President Biden has decided to make his move surprisingly early, going harshly negative this first week of January.


WALLACE: Two major speeches offer an early sense of President Biden's reelection strategy. Friday at Valley Forge where George Washington's army camped during the Revolutionary War, Biden argued Donald Trump is a threat to democracy.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He's willing to sacrifice our democracy, put himself in power. Our campaign is different.

WALLACE: On Monday he will speak at Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, the site of a 2015 racist massacre.

BIDEN: The most dangerous terrorist threat to our homeland is white supremacy.

WALLACE: A concerted effort to court black voter, only half of whom approved of Biden's work in a recent poll, a sharp drop from the 87 percent who backed him in 2020. The Biden campaign hoping the speeches and new ads draw a starker contrast with Trump. Aides telling CNN Biden may go full Hitler, directly comparing Trump's rhetoric to the Nazi leader.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They're poisoning the blood of our country. That's what they've done. (END VIDEO TAPE)

WALLACE (on camera): Lulu, is Biden smart to go this hard at Trump, to go, quote, full Hitler, in the first week in January? I mean I certainly expected it in the fall, I certainly expected it October or whatever, but it's really early to be doing this.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Some would argue it's a little late. I mean, have you looked at his poll numbers? Have you seen how people are seeing his presidency? And I think he's also deeply worried. I mean I think we are now heading into the general election. We kind of know --

WALLACE: Even though we haven't had the primaries yet.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I know. But it feels like we already know that these are going to be the two people who are going to be facing off against each other. And Biden is taking the fight to Trump. And I think by letting Trump just sort of dominate the airwaves, I think it has been a mistake. And I think it is important to remind people what exactly the fight is about.

WALLACE: Jonah, the MAGA extremists argument, which is the one that in the fall of 2022 Biden made, worked very well for him and for Democrats in the midterm. What do you think of him going that argument and literally in the speech on Friday talking about Nazis and comparing Trump's rhetoric to Nazi rhetoric, doing it this early?

GOLDBERG: I think that's the right question. It is a tactical question to me as just a matter of politics. I would have his surrogates doing that now. There's a real problem, or there's a real potential of this all sort of becoming background noise and there's no shock value to it by the time you get to the general election. And so it's going to be dismissed by a lot of people on the right pretty early because argumentum ad Hitlerum is an old tactic of the left, and even if it has more salience now. But I just feel like it is a little early to come out of the box like this because I don't know who it's going to persuade, unless the point is just purely persuading his own coalition to come home.

SWISHER: Where do you go when you start with Hitler? Like really, what, Satan? I'm not sure where you move. And so I think one of the problems he has got -- one thing he can do is keep repeating it and repeating it. And the more we see Trump and he says crazy things and people pay attention to it, then people will --

WALLACE: But 11 months is a long time.

SWISHER: It is a long time, but it will grow over time. It will grow over time. People will go, oh, that guy. And I think it is better to say, look at that guy than look at me.

GOLDBERG: Also, one advantage of it, though, is that when Trump gets called Hitler, Trump's response is to say, hey, I didn't get this from "Mein Kampf." I came up with this language all on my own, right. So it's like, I didn't plagiarize Hitler. I just used duplicative language. GARCIA-NAVARRO: And he couldn't be president of Harvard if he did that.

WALLACE: Lulu, what did you want to say?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: What I wanted to say as a tactic, sure. Is it going to get old? But this is his central message. This has been his central message since the moment that he actually said he was going to try and become president of the United States. It is not unusual for Biden to say, this is why I am here, I am fighting for democracy, I am fighting for this country, and I consider Trump to be an existential threat.

WALLACE: But let's be honest about something. One of the reasons, and you kind of touched on it in the beginning, one of the reasons that Biden is taking this route is because he has spent all fall touting his own record, leaning into Bidenomics, and it didn't work.


Take a look at this latest CNN average of recent polls. At this point 38 percent approve of the job the president is doing, 58 percent disapprove. Reihan, he was making the affirmative case for himself, and folks weren't buying it.

SALAM: Joe Biden's best chance right now is to have a low turnout election. We are in a very different moment right now in which in the past the assumption was always among progressive activists, we need to get folks to turn out, we do better in presidential years than we do in off-year elections. Now, it's very different. Jonah mentioned very astutely that in 2022 these tactics worked because you had a somewhat more affluent, more educated electorate. A lot of folks were on the sidelines. What Biden is trying to do here, I suspect, is trying to demotivate some folks, number one. Number two, try to see to it that people that might otherwise go to a No Labels candidate to Robert Kennedy Jr. stick with him out of the sense that the alternative is so noxious and terrible.

But the problem is that, as everyone is saying, that this tactic wears thin. It seems like it's not especially plausible. It seems like a desperate maneuver from someone who had a failed presidency.

WALLACE: Well, that's a question --


WALLACE: -- a failed presidency. I mean the economy is going great. GDP is --

SWISHER: Terrible what is happening here. He should be focusing on Trump. That should be where he should focus. But I'm saying it has to build over time, because what he wants to do is, "look at that crazy guy, look at that dictator." You want to keep saying it and repeating it just the way Trump does. Repetition, especially on social media -- by the way, the Biden people are quite good on social media if you look at it. The constant repetition is something that does work over time, and people are worried -- WALLACE: What do you think of Reihan talking about a failed --

SWISHER: Oh, it is not failed, Reihan.

SALAM: Look, you might believe that, but when you look at the electorate, they look at 2017 to 2019, whether we like it or not, as a much, much better time for their pocketbooks. When you are looking at the geopolitical situation, it looks like it is out of control, and it looks as though Biden hasn't done terribly much about that. So you're right that he is going back to the old standards. I'm not sure it is going to ultimately resonate. But I actually agree that this might be his best option. This might be the only thing he really can say. And I think that there are some voters out there who pick up on that, right? Who understand this is --

SWISHER: Yes, this guy is bad.

GOLDBERG: He's floundering.

SWISHER: Well, some of it. Some of it is and some of it isn't. It has been an incredibly difficult situation internationally everywhere.

GOLDBERG: It's just not the return to normalcy that people --

SWISHER: Right, exactly. That's right. But then Trump is always wandering around the back, remember when he was chasing Hillary Clinton. It is the same thing.

SALAM: The president of the United States has something to do with the level of geopolitical chaos unfolding, whether or not people think that, actually, it's fair game, that they can't actually make certain moves that they might not make under other circumstances. And that, ultimately, belongs to Biden.

WALLACE: All right, I think we will be discussing this some more.

Following the murder of George Floyd, three letters emerged as part of our lexicon -- DEI, diversity, equity and inclusion. But almost four years after Floyd's death, has the country moved on already? Our panel's take, that's next.



WALLACE: When the ball dropped on January 1st, a bunch of new state laws went into effect, including a Texas ban on diversity, equity, and inclusion, or DEI programs in state colleges and universities. It's a big change from three years ago after the murder of George Floyd when companies and schools and other institutions pledged to make DEI a major focus.

And following this week's resignation of Harvard's first black president, Claudine Gay, diversity is once again a hot subject. Elon Musk posted on his X platform, "DEI is just another word for racism," which prompted a response from fellow billionaire Mark Cuban, who said diverse workforces are good for business. So, Kara, why has the debate and attitude towards DEI changed so dramatically in just a few years?

SWISHER: Because I think the right has done a good job of pointing out all kinds of problems with it, and people do feel uncomfortable, especially because what's fair, what's not fair, how do I get into things, do I get into things. What can you say at work? And I think one of the problems, I thought Mark was really smart. I thought he did a very smart thing.

WALLACE: Mark Cuban?

SWISHER: Mark Cuban, and said it is good for business to have a diverse workforce and that you should try really hard. I think Elon was just relying on tropes, like why don't you have -- I think at one point it was J.D. Vance that said you should have a short Asian woman be on your basketball team, which is just ridiculous. It's ridiculous. You are not interested in actually debating the issue of how you get to equity.

And I think most people feel like we live in a meritocracy. In a lot of cases we live in a mirror-tocracy. You hire people that are like you, and you see it all over the place. So people don't quite know where they are, and it is very easy to attack.

WALLACE: Reihan, has in effect the country moved on from the so-called racial reckoning we were all talking about after the murder of George Floyd?

SALAM: I think there is a broad that that racial reckoning involved smuggled in some really contentious ideological ideas that weren't ultimately about diversity but rather were about imposing ideological uniformity. When you're looking at DEI bureaucracies, what really is noxious about them is that they actually don't respect all sorts of diversity, including viewpoint diversity, including the fact that, look, in some cases you have groups that are overrepresented, and that can be OK. The point that J.D. Vance was making about the Dallas Mavericks is that it can be good and healthy and reasonable in some domains to have --


GARCIA-NAVARRO: Ridiculo (ph), ridiculo (ph).

SWISHER: What she said.

SALAM: You can say it's ridiculous. You can make that assertion. But fundamentally the fact that I am one second general Asian American on a panel of four. I am massively, massively overrepresented. But I think it is reasonable to say that you are going to judge people based on their merits. And when you're looking at organizations --


SALAM: That are high performance organizations --

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me. This is the burden -- and I can't tell you how infuriating I find it -- this is the burden that always comes with representation. The idea is that because you are a person of color, suddenly it is -- you are only there because it is some noblesse oblige, it is because some white guilt put you there, because there was some DEI initiative, and you can't win either way you look at it. What infuriates me is you look at the whole Claudine Gay thing, and everyone is talking about DEI. This woman cannot win or lose. If she is there --

SALAM: I'm happy to talk about Claudine Gay, please.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Let me finish. If she is there, it is because of DEI, that they put her there because she is black. If she loses and they kick her out, it is because she was never good enough to be there in the beginning. You can't win in this situation.

SALAM: Yes, but --

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And it is infuriating as a person of color to constantly have this cudgel put on our heads.

GOLDBERG: I get the argument you can't win, but you also can't have it both ways. You can't celebrate and tout that someone was hired and it is a wonderful thing to expand diversity. Harvard went full tilt talking about how great it was hiring the first black woman, and then say all of a sudden --

GARCIA-NAVARRO: The first black person. It wasn't even the first black woman. It was the first black person.

GOLDBERG: OK, I don't care. The point is that she got caught obviously plagiarizing. And those are the facts. It was this massive --

GARCIA-NAVARRO: This was an ideological, very well-funded --

GOLDBERG: The motives of the attack don't change the fact that she plagiarized.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh, come on.

GOLDBERG: And where I disagree with you, Kara, is when you say --

GARCIA-NAVARRO: When somebody fails who is white and is a man.

GOLDBERG: You mean like the president of Stanford.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yes, when nobody -- in fact, there are books written about this, fail and then come back. You know, look at --


GARCIA-NAVARRO: Pivot, exactly.

SWISHER: Nice way to get into your podcast.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Pivot, and then when a person of color fails all of a sudden it is an indictment of an entire system that the right doesn't like.

SALAM: This is so ridiculous. She was a graduate of Exeter and Stanford with a Ph.D. from Harvard.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And do you know why? You have to be so excellent to get where she is.

SALAM: Second generation Haitian American who came from a family that dominated the concrete industry in Haiti. She was not the wretched of the earth. She was someone who should be judged on her merits.



WALLACE: Wait, wait.

SALAM: Absolutely not. But she was selected because she established the office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and belonging at Harvard. She presided over a steep decline in the free speech climate, and she also --

WALLACE: All right.

SALAM: -- targeted minority professors who dissented from her perspective.

WALLACE: Go ahead, Lulu.

SALAM: That was a problem. She was a person with ideas, not someone --

WALLACE: Reihan, Reihan.

SWISHER: One thing that strikes women and people of color a lot, it seems like standards are only applied when it comes to women and people of color. I have seen so many incompetent men on boards of Internet companies, and they always talk about, well, we're going to bring on a woman to be more diverse when they've basically driven the company into a wall. We never judged -- used the word standards with white men. We just don't.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And merit and all of these other words. And let me say one thing --

SALAM: The president of Brown University celebrated African American woman. No one questioned her credentials, her excellence as a steward of that institution.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Are you saying what happened to Claudine Gay was not a completely engineered -- I mean it was -- Chris Rufo said it, he actually admitted to the fact it was entirely engineered --

WALLACE: Chris Rufo, we just quickly, should explain, a conservative activist --

SALAM: And my colleague. WALLACE: -- who led the charge.

SALAM: And my colleague. Look, this was not a concerted campaign out of whole cloth. This was based on ideological predilections. She was based on the fact that she was entrenching certain ideas. She was someone who was actually doing great damage to an important American institution.

SWISHER: In your opinion.

SALAM: And what he was trying to do was surface the hypocrisy, the idea that we are defending free speech when, in fact, free speech, Harvard literally ranked dead last among research universities in the country on the speech climate.

WALLACE: Reihan.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Black people, Latinos are always the ones who have to sit here and say, you know what? It's exactly right. When we make a mistake, we have to wear the cloak of shame and say we never deserved to be here.

SALAM: Like the black Latina --

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And I'll say something else, and I just want to say this last thing when we are talking about DEI, which is there was a big push in 2020 thinking, OK, here we are. We've had a big racial reckoning.


And do you know what happened? All of these DEI offices that were created, 75 percent of them were led by white men. That's all I have to say about that.

SWISHER: In any case I would recommend reading Mark Cuban on this, because he really is smart. He is talking about building a business that's diverse for the future.

GOLDBERG: I have no problem with diverse businesses.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So how do we get there?

SWISHER: And to do these little tweets about racism is not useful.

GOLDBERG: You can't fight -- my problem is DEI is that it is illiberal. It's speech policing. Claudine Gay got attention because she couldn't figure out how to speak clearly with moral seriousness about antisemitism.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: But DEI is not illiberal.

GOLDBERG: While she is talking about DEI. She says, except for the stuff about Jewish genocide, we believe in all of these other things. That's what got the attention to her. And she would still be there today if she wasn't a plagiarist. WALLACE: I am glad we settled this.

Let's lighten things up here a little. You may soon see Mickey Mouse in a whole new and very scary light. We'll explain.

Plus, from rapper to reporter, our panel gives its yay or nay on Snoop Dogg's new gig.



WALLACE: Time now to look at some stories that are just plain interesting as our group once again gives us their yay or nay. Up first, your home deliveries will soon be getting to your doorstep a lot faster. The FAA has cleared the way for major retailers like Amazon and Walmart to have their drone services travel much farther, meaning everything from meals to medicine will be getting to your home in less than 30 minutes, sooner than you expected. Kara, are you a yay or nay on drone delivery?

SWISHER: What do you think? I'm a yay. Of course, I love drones. And they're very diverse, by the way.


SWISHER: I like these things. They've been tested out in places that don't have good delivery systems like in Africa, delivered blood and other food. It is really -- I have been following this for years. I think safety issues are there. People might shoot them down. There's all kinds of things we'll have to figure out just with electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles, but I think it is a great way for delivery. It saves time. It saves gas, et cetera. Love it.

WALLACE: But wait a minute here, because Amazon is talking about ramping up to 500 million deliveries a year by -- yes, I just wanted to make sure it was a year and not a day -- 500 million deliveries a year by the year 2030. Lulu, am I the only person here who sees traffic jams, danger, bedlam in the skies above us?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: No, I don't like drones. I mean they remind me, first of all, of warzones. I spent a lot of time in war zones and drones are often used for surveillance, and you always know that possibly a bomb is about to land on you when you hear a drone over your head. So it has a bad connotation for me, just for me. But also, they are weird little machines that fly through the sky.


SWISHER: Yes, great.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: What do you want me to tell you?

SWISHER: Fantastic.

WALLACE: Next, Disney's iconic character like you have never seen him before. Mickey Mouse is now in the public domain after Disney's copyright expired on January 1st, 95 years after the first appearance of "Steamboat Willie." That means the loveable rodent's image could be used by anybody in almost any way. And already at least two horror films featuring a mean Mickey are in the works, with one called "Mickey's Mousetrap." Last year the same thing happened to another beloved character with the release of a film called, I'm not kidding here, "Winnie the Pooh, Blood and Honey."

So Reihan, are you yay or nay on the idea of the copyrights for these beloved characters expiring?

SALAM: I am a big yay on this, and partly because as a conservative I believe in what the founding generation laid down. They wanted copyright terms to be about 14 years, a heck of a lot shorter than they are right now. And I think that that actually can be a spur to creativity.


SWISHER: Love it.

WALLACE: Disney says it is going to do everything it can to protect its trademark. You are OK with Mickey as a serial killer?

SWISHER: I loved "Blood and Honey." Yes, sure. Why not?

WALLACE: You saw it?

SWISHER: I sure did. Yes.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: But what about Mickey porn?

SWISHER: Oh, well. That's humanity. I don't know what to say. I think that creativity people will do interesting things and people will do terrible things. If they violate Disney's I.P. they should --

WALLACE: I could say, Lulu, that the fact that you said Mickey porn shows, you went there.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I went there.

WALLACE: I'm not sure anybody has.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I'm sure they have.

WALLACE: Finally, a surprising hip-hop twist to the upcoming Summer Olympics. NBC has hired rapper and actor Snoop Dogg to help with its coverage of the Paris games as a special correspondent. An NBC executive explained, quote, "We don't know what the heck is going to happen but he will add his unique perspective." So Jonah, yay or nay on Snoop Dogg joining the ranks of Olympic reporters like Howard Cosell and Bob Costas?

GOLDBERG: Let me caveat this by saying rarely have I been torn about something I cared about so little. But --

WALLACE: But you're in cable TV.

GOLDBERG: I say nay.



GOLDBERG: I don't know why we have to inject -- I don't know why we have to inject sort of, you know, performative celebrities into every aspect of life. I just don't see the point of it, but I don't really care.

WALLACE: In ten seconds.

SWISHER: Fo' shizzle like you just said. Ratings, baby.

WALLACE: Did I say it OK?

SWISHER: I'm not sure.


SWISHER: I think neither of us should say it again.

WALLACE: That was the only time.


WALLACE: You would think that President Biden would be a big yay on this next story. U.S. oil production hitting record highs. But up next, our panel's crude take on why Biden isn't touting the country's well-oiled machine.


Yes, it's "Under the Radar."


WALLACE: Time for a story that's gone under the radar. We're talking about sky-high oil production. It turns out the U.S. is pumping out more crude oil than ever before and more than any other country in the world according to the government. As a result, Americans are feeling some relief at the pump where gas prices have fallen to $3.25 nationally, down almost $2 a gallon from the high in 2022.


But you are not hearing President Biden touting the good news. Why? Well, take a listen to what he said while campaigning back in 2020.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Would you close down the oil industry?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: By the way, I would transition from the oil industry. Yes.

TRUMP: Oh, that's a big statement.

BIDEN: That is a big statement, because I would stop --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why would you do that?

BIDEN: Because the oil industry pollutes significantly.


WALLACE: Jonah, is record oil production -- I find it quite odd even asking this question -- a political plus or minus for Joe Biden?

GOLDBERG: I think it's a problem for Biden within his own coalition, which is one of the reasons why he doesn't talk about it, and I think it is a huge mistake. It's one of these collective action problems we have in our politics. Republicans throughout the primaries, including Trump, Tim Scott, they said Biden has shut down oil production and energy production in this country. It was flatly untrue, but the Democrats had no incentive because of their own internal coalition problems of saying it is not true.

WALLACE: You're talking about the leftwing environmentalists?

GOLDBERG: Yes, they want to phase out fossil fuels. He talks about phasing our fossil fuels. Republicans take him at his word. It is just not true. We're going gangbusters on oil.

WALLACE: Lulu, I must say, I was surprised about the fact that this exists, and the reason is that the spike started as kind of a delayed reaction to Russia invading Ukraine, oil spiked to $100 a barrel. American companies started drilling like crazy, and Biden at that particular point when it was at $4 or $5 a gallon to get gasoline, said, pump more. But what does he do now?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I mean, the fact of the matter is two things can exist at the same time. We can decarbonize, we can transition, but we actually need oil and gas still. And so I actually agree with Jonah that this is not a problem. He should have been touting this because I think you can hold two things at the same time.

SALAM: But this also applies more broadly with Biden and the challenges he faces with his coalition. What he needs to understand, what his team needs to understand to win is that the left has nowhere else to go. What he needs to do is get those suburbanites, get those black moderate voters who don't want ideological Democratic president. They want a practical one. So talk about oil and gas. Talk about backing Israel in the war with Hamas, just own those things and don't be afraid of that progressive --

WALLACE: But you see how scared the Biden White House gets when it's about the environment or it's about immigration.

SALAM: Their staff. It's their staff and it's the echo chamber of other elite folks in the Acela Corridor, frankly, who have these views that are very much at odds with middle class, working class, black, brown, white voters that they need to actually be on their side who are demotivated right now. They need to focus on that group, not the other fringe group.

WALLACE: So we need a bumper sticker that says, Joe Biden, the gas president.

The panel is back with their predictions of what's news before it's news. That's right after the break.

And that's what you would do, just tout it?



WALLACE: Welcome back.

It's time for our panel's special takes on what's happening or predictions of what we should be looking out for. So Kara, hit me with your best shot.

SWISHER: Well, I was going to talk about Dave Chappelle's newest show on Netflix, which I think is another unfunny show because he obsesses on trans people again. And I think Dave Chappelle is incredibly talented. I am a big fan, but I have to say, he has got to stop making unfunny jokes about trans people. But instead, I brought you a Christmas present.

WALLACE: This is very sweet.

SWISHER: This is a Michigan hat. So I'm going to make a prediction, Michigan over Washington. I have to. My son would murder me if not. So Michigan over Washington.

WALLACE: One thing I learned from Ronald Reagan, never put a hat on. It makes you look like a dope.


WALLACE: Reihan, what is on your mind?

SALAM: So in 2023 you saw a surge in unauthorized migration. There are about 2 million illegal immigrants who came into the country versus 1.6 million legal immigrants. What you're going to see in the coming months is more and more Democrats embracing border hawkishness. You're going to see that from big city mayors, but also from folks running for competitive seats for Congress in 2024.

WALLACE: Lulu, best shot?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: First of all, I feel like I need to bring you gifts.

WALLACE: That's right. You know, actually --

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I know, she brought you a lot of stuff. WALLACE: Let me just say this. I do have to say, this come from Lulu,

a Taylor Swift bracelet.


WALLACE: I'm sorry, from Kara, excuse me. And this came from my granddaughter. And I must say, hers was a little fancier than yours. Go.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Open primaries. This is movement that is gaining traction. Ten percent now that we are heading into primary season, only 10 percent of the voting public actually chooses who is going to be in the primaries. And so many places now believe, including Arizona, Pennsylvania, there's a movement to have primaries be open to members of the other party, and that will reduce partisanship.

WALLACE: So basically, it's a jungle primary. Everybody goes.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Everybody goes, and the idea is that is going to reduce partisanship, because what you're having now is you have very, very big partisan people going into primaries, and you're getting very extreme candidates. And if you have open primaries, that, so the theory goes, will introduce more moderate candidates.

GOLDBERG: Jonah, take us home.

GOLDBERG: I'm in favor of that, although I would abolish primaries although if I could.

I think that the success, whether you think it's pernicious or not of this plagiarism scandal with Claudine Gay combined with the unprecedented ease with new software for finding plagiarism, there is going to be an all-sides hunt for plagiarists, because I think there are whole generations of people who got away with it because that software hadn't existed until recently.

WALLACE: And will it continue to be a capital offense?

GOLDBERG: I hope so.

WALLACE: Well, on that note, thank you all for being here. Thank you for spending part of your weekend with us. We hope to see you right back here next week.