Return to Transcripts main page
The Chris Wallace Show
GOP Results In Iowa Could Reshape The Race; House GOP Divided As Congress Barrels Toward Deadline; Is there A Case To Impeach Mayorkas?; Judge In Trump Trial Latest Swatting Victim. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired January 13, 2024 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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, with all the polls showing Donald Trump with a huge lead going into Monday's Iowa caucuses, what happens if he doesn't live up to those expectations?
Then Speaker Mike Johnson under pressure for trying to make a deal with Democrats. How long will he last?
And the Stanley cup craze that has nothing to do with hockey. Our panel gives its yay or nay on the newest merch mania.
The gang is all here and ready to go so sit back, relax, and let's talk about it.
Up first, after months of campaigning, the Iowa GOP caucuses are finally here. Monday night in frigid conditions, Iowans will gather at locations across the state from church basements to school cafeterias to discuss the Republican candidates and vote. And the results could dramatically reshape or solidify the landscape of the presidential race.
WALLACE (voice-over): In the final hours, three big questions for the three leading candidates.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're going to take our country back.
WALLACE: First, Donald Trump.
TRUMP: Look, we got to get out and vote.
WALLACE: The record margin in a contested GOP caucus is 12 points, but with a lead of more than 30 points in the latest Iowa polls, how big does Trump's win have to be?
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're delivering on the promise to do all 99. WALLACE: Then there's Ron DeSantis.
DESANTIS: We're in it for the long haul with this.
WALLACE: He's put all his chips on Iowa. Barnstorming the state with more than 100 events across all 99 counties. But if he doesn't win or come close, will he drop out?
NIKKI HALEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you will caucus for me, I will forever be grateful.
WALLACE: And then there is Nikki Haley.
HALEY: I wish Donald Trump was up here on this stage. He's the one that I'm running against.
WALLACE: What does she need to do in Iowa to help boost the momentum she already has in New Hampshire?
WALLACE: Here with me, podcaster Kara Swisher, Reihan Salam, president of the Manhattan Institute and "National Review" contributing editor, "New York Times" journalist and podcast host Lulu Garcia-Navarro, and author and conservative pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson.
Welcome back, everyone. Good to be with you.
So, Reihan, what will constitute a win for Donald Trump on Monday night? How big does he have to score over the other candidates, especially Haley and DeSantis, for people to say he won Iowa?
REIHAN SALAM, PRESIDENT, MANHATTAN INSTITUTE: This sounds like a high bar, but I think it has to be comfortably above 50 percent because the expectations are incredibly, incredibly high for him. And if it's anything short of that, then people will smell blood in the water.
WALLACE: Even if he wins by double digits?
SALAM: Yes. I don't think that's going to be enough, honestly, because I think that if you see some kind of surprise, if you see that there's a surprise, for example, in second place, I think that that could give someone a tailwind.
WALLACE: Lulu, as I said in the package, the record for the biggest win ever in a contested Republican caucus in Iowa was 12 points. So is Reihan right? Does he have to get over 50 percent which would mean winning by 20 or 30 points?
LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, NEW YORK TIMES JOURNALIST AND PODCAST HOST: I think he does because he's not coming in only as someone who wants to be the nominee. He is coming in as an incumbent. I mean, this is someone who was the president of the United States. And so therefore there's a lot of expectations on how well he's going to do. That said, the fact of the matter is that even if it isn't over 50 percent comfortably, as you said, Reihan, I think he still is the man to beat. And so, you know, I think we're just fudging words a little bit. I mean, ultimately is there a lot of tension here? I'm not so sure.
WALLACE: Then there is DeSantis who is all in on Iowa. He has campaigned in all 99 counties. He has a big, strong gain there.
Kristen, what happens if DeSantis doesn't do well, if he -- if he loses by double digits and, God forbid from his point of view, if he actually finishes behind Nikki Haley? Is he done?
KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, AUTHOR AND REPUBLICAN POLLSTER: He does not have much of a path past Iowa. He polls in very low numbers in New Hampshire. He's kind of nowhere in South Carolina where it's all about Trump and all about Haley. And the withdrawal from the race of Chris Christie has made it even better for Haley which makes it even worse for DeSantis.
He's right now got to be looking I think at 2028. He's very young. Right now he's still very well-liked by a lot of Republicans. The problem he faces is those same Republicans just like Donald Trump a little more.
WALLACE: But you seem to be saying he's -- it's already over for him.
ANDERSON: I think unless there is something very shocking, and hey, it's politics, anything can happen, but unless there's something very shocking I just don't see much of a path for him beyond Iowa unless he, frankly, outright wins.
KARA SWISHER, PODCAST HOST, "PIVOT" AND "ON": No. What he has to do is actually get out and then back Donald Trump, like right away in the most slavish way possible which he's good at. And so that's what he needs to do. That's what he will do next week when he loses badly, which is he's going to lose here badly.
WALLACE: Wow. I'll put you down as a definite maybe on --
SWISHER: Put me down. No.
WALLACE: On him. Nikki Haley is the challenger as opposed to DeSantis who seems to have some momentum. Take a look at this. In the latest CNN poll in New Hampshire, which is only eight days after Iowa, she's now within single digits of Trump, trailing by seven points. And her super PAC has been hammering Ron DeSantis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In a world of chaos, the last thing America needs is another dumpster fire.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Support for Ron DeSantis plummeting. Republican voters are just not that into DeSantis.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: She also got a boost this week from Chris Christie who dropped out of the race, and she was seen as the main competition for Haley in New Hampshire. But he set down this marker. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: Anyone who is unwilling to say that he is unfit to be president of the United States is unfit themselves to be president of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Kara, should Haley get tougher on Trump? Should she -- it doesn't have to be those words, but should she in effect say he's unfit to be president?
SWISHER: No. She can't win if she does that. She has to at least put a nod to him as the beloved party leader in some fashion. I think she's doing it right calling him old. She essentially calls him old all the time and saying that --
WALLACE: Yes, new generation --
SWISHER: And old Trump. She's doing the old Trump-new Trump thing very well, right. Old Trump, we all liked him, but this new guy, he's chaos, he's old, he's a little crazy. I think that's the best way to do it. I think doing Chris Christie, who does it very well, is a mistake. And I don't think she smoked. I thought when he said that off hot mic, whatever, he probably wanted it heard, I don't think she smoked at all actually.
WALLACE: I mean, does she -- are the expectations for her now that she has to beat Trump in New Hampshire?
SWISHER: Absolutely. And I think she might. In fact, I think she will.
WALLACE: And if she were to finish seven points behind like the poll, is that good enough to --
SWISHER: No. I think she has to beat him. If she beats him in New Hampshire -- I interviewed Maggie Haberman and Jon Karl this week on my podcast, and they were like, the thing that Trump is most scared of is a tighter, tighter race because then everyone starts to -- he has to have the dominance going.
ANDERSON: Yes. Donald Trump's whole brand is I'm a winner. If he doesn't win in New Hampshire, suddenly people start going, oh, this is actually an interesting race. I think right now a lot of voters, even Republican voters, are kind of checked out. Many of them just sort of assume, oh, this is maybe already a done deal. Oh, there's people fighting for second place, but you know, I think a win in New Hampshire for Nikki Haley is necessary and really would potentially change the game. Her problem is then she goes to South Carolina where all bets are off.
WALLACE: That's the odd thing. That's her state.
ANDERSON: I know.
WALLACE: She's the governor there. You would think that -- but at this point she's down 20, 30 points to Trump in her own state.
ANDERSON: Right. Which is why she needs huge momentum. And that's why from my perspective -- I know the folks here assembled think that, you know, Trump needs 50 plus percent. I think a win for Trump in Iowa is either a commanding 50 percent-plus lead or some kind of muddled result down in second place where Nikki Haley actually doesn't get a ton of momentum out of it. Then she falters in New Hampshire and so on and so forth. There's two ways for Trump to win in Iowa. Either big numbers or a muddled mess in second place.
WALLACE: What do you think about what Haley needs to do vis-a-vis Trump? You know, Chris Christie saying if she doesn't say he's unfit, obviously it didn't work for Christie. But on the other hand, you know, is there some middle ground between what she's saying now and flat-out saying he's unqualified?
ANDERSON: Well, I've long thought that she needed to be a little bit tougher on him. And if you watched the CNN debate from this past week, about halfway through she does get tougher. She says January 6th was horrible, that some of his legal defenses are ridiculous. I mean, she was tougher on him. You just had to get to minute 60 of the debate to get there.
I wish she'd front load that a little bit more. But ultimately she also can't be too, too tough on him because so many Republicans do still hold some affection even if it is for old Trump.
SALAM: Chris, I'll also say that when you look at 2016, one of the big themes we talked about was the existence of a shy Trump voter. Folks who were a little bit apprehensive about letting people know about their support. I think that this might be the cycle for the shy anti- Trump voter. And if you saw Nikki Haley win in New Hampshire, that suddenly makes a lot of folks who start to rethink things, maybe this isn't inevitable.
And then you could see a cascade of a lot of folks who are messaging, you could say they're being politically correct about what it means to be a Republican in 2024, right up until the point where they see that there are some cracks. I'm not saying that's the base case, but I do think that that's a possibility.
WALLACE: Well, we're not going to have to wait long to get at least the first answer to this saga with the results Monday night in Iowa.
Meanwhile over on Capitol Hill, it's the same old story. No spending deal, a possible shutdown or another short-term solution, and House Republicans talking once again of putting up a help wanted sign at the speaker's office.
Speaking of jobs on the line, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin playing defense after keeping his cancer diagnosis and hospital stay a secret. So with the U.S. now shooting it out with the Houthis in Yemen, is it time for a change at the Pentagon?
And later, the NFL playoffs are here, but you might be shut out of watching one of the biggest games. Find out who on the panel is throwing a flag on the NFL.
WALLACE: New year, same problems, at least for Congress. Lawmakers came back to work this week facing major legislative deadlines. If the House GOP had any hopes of stopping their infighting, well, that new year's resolution is already broken.
REP. TIM BURCHETT (R-TN): No border, no budget.
WALLACE (voice-over): Threats from hardline Republicans with less than a week until a partial government shutdown.
REP. ANDY OGLES (R-TN): We must hold this government, the funding, and anything else hostage.
WALLACE: The pressure is on House Speaker Mike Johnson to keep the government running while keeping the far-right of his conference happy.
REP. MIKE JOHNSON (R-LA): Our top line agreement remains we are getting our next steps together.
WALLACE: Johnson who's been speaker for just 80 days being asked by hardliners to back off his deal with Democrats for a $1.6 trillion budget.
REP. BOB GOOD (R-VA): I'm vehemently opposed it publicly and privately, and will continue to do so.
WALLACE: It's basically the same deal that took down Johnson's predecessor, Kevin McCarthy, last fall.
MANU RAJU, CNN ANCHOR AND CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Are you worried that one of these guys is going to make a move on you?
JOHNSON: No. Not worried about that at all.
WALLACE: While in the Senate leaders on both sides already gave up on making a deal by next week's deadline and plan to pass another continuing resolution.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): You know, the Senate -- the simplest thing takes a week in the Senate.
WALLACE: Reihan, now that Mike Johnson has said I'm going to ignore the hardliners, I'm going to stick to the deal I made with Chuck Schumer and the Democrats in the Senate, how long will he last as speaker?
SALAM: He is making a bet that the motion to vacate, the threat to dump him out of the speaker's office yet again is something that the rebels don't actually want to do because they saw the chaos the last time around. They saw the damage it can do to the party. So he is making a bet that that's just a lot of grousing.
You know, we'll see if that's true. I suspect it is in this case because I think there's a recognition among those rebels that if you roll the dice again, you could get an outcome that they're going to like a lot less than Speaker Mike Johnson. The last time around, remember, Democrats and the Problem Solvers Caucus came right up to the edge of saying that we're going to step in and get a more moderate speaker that we're comfortable with.
If that happened this time around, that suddenly means that they do not have the power that they have over Mike Johnson.
WALLACE: But, Kara, I mean, what Johnson is talking about, which is basically making a deal that's going to have a lot of Republican opposition and he's going to need Democratic votes to pass it in the House, that's exactly what got Kevin McCarthy kicked out as speaker.
SWISHER: Yes. But I think Reihan is right. They've had enough. They want to be in the minority really badly it feels like because they keep fighting on these things. And M.J. of course knows that they're not going to keep going and I think that that's his play.
WALLACE: M.J. is --
SWISHER: That's my name for him.
WALLACE: We're not talking Michael Jordan. We're talking Mike Johnson.
SWISHER: No. No. Not even close.
WALLACE: Not even close.
SWISHER: So I think he has -- he's got to bluff here with these people, and he's got to make them fight him. And I don't think they will. I just don't. I think they will be loud. They'll get on Twitter. They'll make all kinds of statements like -- using the word hostage, well done, like badly done. They look like crazy people. And so I think they're --
GARCIA-NAVARRO: But I don't know that they can, that they look like crazy people. I mean, one looks at this and says, are they on a suicide mission, for sure. But I am not so convinced that Mike Johnson is going to be around in three to four months. I think it is an ungovernable coalition that they have in the House right now, and I think this is going to come back again and again. I mean, let's not forget these funding fights keep on popping up. And so if it's not this one that will do him in, it might be another one.
WALLACE: Well, let's talk about that. Congress only has until midnight Friday to pass something to keep the government running. And Speaker Johnson has wavered about the idea of a continuing resolution or a CR to kick the can down the road a few weeks or a month. Here he is in November, and then this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNSON: I hate CRs as much as everyone does. We're not going to do this again. We're not doing this under my leadership. I'm not ruling out anything, committing to anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Kristen, does a shutdown make any sense for the Republicans? Did they gain anything by, you know, saying we believe in certain things and we're going to shut down the government until we get it?
ANDERSON: I do not think it has any benefit to Republicans at all because the reality is that the issues on which they say they want to shut down the government around the border, oh, we're spending too much money, voters are actually with them on a lot of that. You shut down the government, you immediately light on fire any goodwill you have from voters in the middle who are otherwise with you on these issues.
It makes you look like the crazy party. And it has been fascinating to me to watch all of these Freedom Caucus folks treat Speaker Johnson as this traitor, like he's one of them and he's supposed to be doing their bidding as speaker, and now suddenly he's out there saying things like we need to be the adults in the room, we need to govern. Governing is hard, Speaker Johns is discovering this, and I think the Freedom Caucus, they have to realize at this point that this whole gambit to put one of their own in charge, it's not yielding anything for them because that's not how governing works.
WALLACE: But, Lulu, you say they are the crazy party. And that's the question. You know, a lot of --
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I don't think it's the crazy party.
WALLACE: Let me just --
GARCIA-NAVARRO: It's the group.
WALLACE: A lot of them feel very strongly about that the spending they agreed to with the Democrats is too big. A lot of them feel very strongly you got it use there to get tougher on the border. Would a shutdown at least show their voters, you know, we're fighting for your principles?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I mean, this is what I -- I don't know that it's the crazy party. I think there's many members of Congress in the House, on the Republican side, who actually feel that this is insane and are tired of this. And they've spoken out against the Freedom Caucus. I think that that particular group, though, is willing to take things to the edge. Their entire message is about if we don't set things alight, nothing's going to change.
That is the message to the -- to their voters, that is their message to their own party. And so I just think we're going to be seeing this over and over again. I really do.
SWISHER: They're going to lose. People in regular life have to compromise every single day. And when they see this going on and the government shuts down and people aren't paid, it is bad all around. And they will lose the message. Like Kristen said, they will lose what the point is versus --
WALLACE: Let's talk about the big picture here, unfortunately, that's not governing, that's politics, and we do have an election in November. And with all the retirements and one expulsion, the Republican -- they could only lose two votes and maintain control of the House. That's down to a two-vote majority. What are the chances that they end up in the minority? Some people say they're sure headed that way, Reihan. What's the chances that in November they end up back in the minority?
SALAM: I'd say the deck is really stacked against them when it comes to a number of redistricting cases that have unfolded in a number of states that could become way more competitive. New York state, for example, is potentially going to blow up its redistricting map. So there are a lot of seats that Republicans won pretty narrowly in 2022 that can flip.
Another thing I'll say big picture about the chaos in the Republican conference in the House is that the Republican Party right now is a party that does not trust its leaders. The Democratic Party is a party that does generally trust its leaders. You know, over time the GOP has become a party that embraces a lot of Americans who, by the way, for good reasons in some cases just generally don't trust institutions.
And that's a huge challenge for the GOP leadership. How do you rebuild that trust? There's one person by the way who could come to Mike Johnson's rescue. Donald Trump. He's someone who's been incredibly loyal to him. And if Donald Trump came out and said, hey, this is my guy, line up behind him, that could be pretty interesting and pretty darn helpful for Speaker Johnson.
WALLACE: Well, let's talk about the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue because for the first time in his presidency, Joe Biden is dealing with serious personnel issues which has some asking, is he really in charge? Our panel breaks that down next.
WALLACE: Three years into the Trump presidency, 10 members of this cabinet had either left or been fired. So far, the Biden cabinet has seen only one departure of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh. But that stability may be about to change. This week secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas faced an impeachment hearing in the House over the border crisis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MARK GREEN (R-TN): What we're seeing here is a willful violation of his oath of office taken by Secretary Mayorkas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Then there's Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin who didn't tell anyone for days, including the president, he had cancer surgery and was in the hospital. Now with the U.S. launching strikes against the Houthis in Yemen, lawmakers from both parties are calling for Austin to step down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KIRBY, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL COORDINATOR FOR STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS: Secretary Austin has been an exceptional Defense secretary, and he still has the full faith and confidence of the commander-in-chief.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Reihan, should Secretary Austin either resign or be fired?
SALAM: Yes. This is a very serious breach. The fact that the president, the National Security adviser were totally caught off guard by this is, frankly, quite dangerous. And I believe that, you know, this might not be a political liability in a year's time, but I do think that it's something that President Biden as someone who claims to be a conscientious public servant really needs to take action on.
WALLACE: Kara, I mean, let's review what happened here. He was diagnosed, Austin was, was diagnosed with cancer in December.
He has surgery a few days before Christmas. He has to go back because he's having very bad effects from the surgery on January 1st, and he doesn't tell anyone at the White House for days about any of this.
KARA SWISHER, PODCAST HOST, "PIVOT" & "ON": Yeah.
WALLACE: And he's directly in the military chain of command.
WALLACE: Does he have to go?
SWISHER: He probably has to resign. I think that's probably where it will be. Biden's had a very stable cabinet for a long time. Trump every week there was someone leaving or some controversy. Omarosa was outside the Gates running in and things like that. So, this is not a crazy thing. I think nobody cares -- at least voters
don't think it's an unstable administration. What it is, is this guy made a mistake, he should -- he should resign, that's all. He should resign and get better.
SOLTIS ANDERSON, AUTHOR & REPUBLICAN POLLSTER: I don't know that it's a sign of instability, but it might be a sign of is the control room empty. I am a little troubled by the idea that the secretary of defense and the president are not talking on a regular enough basis that he can just be absent for that long and the president has no idea.
To me, I think there was a bad lapse of judgment on the part of the secretary of defense. I don't know if it's a fireable offense. What worries me more is, is there this little communication between these two men at the top? That just doesn't make me feel good at all.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: What was, I think, disconcerting is that he apparently thought that because it was Christmas he could kind of slide in and get -- and not be noticed that he was sick, and that he was having to get this operation. I mean, he's the secretary of defense.
As we know, the Middle East doesn't take a vacation, wars don't take a vacation, and so the fact that he did this shows incredible -- incredibly poor judgment. I'll say that I don't know that it's a sign that President Biden isn't at the wheel.
SALAM: I will say that part of this is a narrative which I frankly think has some basis to it that there are geopolitical crises unfolding in the world right now that might not be there if there were another commander in chief in the White House. If that is something that many Americans believe, and I believe it is, I certainly believe it myself, then the fact that you have this chaos --
WALLACE: Let me follow up. You're saying that Putin wouldn't have invaded Ukraine or Hamas wouldn't have invaded Israel if somebody else was president?
SALAM: It depends who that somebody else is, but yes. I think that when there's a perception that you don't have decisive American leadership, when you believe that you have a president who's asleep at the switch, then I do think that our rivals are willing to take more chances and push the boundaries. And I think that that's the story of what's happened with these geopolitical crises under President Biden.
And this absolutely reinforces and exacerbates that sense. I will tell you in the Chinese politburo, there are a lot of folks who noticed this story, have paid careful attention to it, and it's taught them something about the Biden administration.
WALLACE: Well, I'm going to pick up on this because, you know, this is a talking point for Republicans that Joe Biden is old, he's not running things, somebody else is. Doesn't this feed directly into that point and, therefore, isn't it damaging, the idea that, you know, this isn't forgive me, the secretary of labor, this is the defense secretary. We do have ships and military out in the field in the Middle East, and these two guys aren't in touch for days.
SWISHER: You know -- no. I don't think that. I don't agree with you, Reihan. I think that he made a bad judgment. He should resign and get it over with, and put someone else in.
Biden did respond very quickly to Israel. He did respond -- he actually pre-responded to Ukraine saying the Russians are coming in here, the Americans were the ones who said that. I don't think he wasn't responding. I think it's that this guy made a terrible decision and should be gone.
WALLACE: I want to --
SALAM: Deterrence --
WALLACE: I want to break in and I want to talk about the other case of a secretary in trouble. And that's Mayorkas, who's already gone impeachment hearings in the House about him. There's been a record number of migrants coming across the border illegally.
Reihan, is there a case, a legitimate case to impeach Secretary Mayorkas?
SALAM: There is certainly a strong case for President Biden to fire him. There is a pretty darn strong case for him to resign. As to whether or not they're high crimes and misdemeanors, you know, my sense is that what Republicans in the House are doing right now is trying to get authorization to have a really thorough investigation, to really understand all of the moving pieces. I don't see a case --
WALLACE: Or just to embarrass Biden and his border policy.
SALAM: That's certainly part of it, right? Because this is something that is a national embarrassment. I don't see the evidence for it right now, but there are attorneys general of a number of states, Missouri, Montana, who have said they believe it there's something here, and that counts for something.
WALLACE: Lulu, Republicans say that the high crime or misdemeanor is gross incompetence on the part of Mayorkas and a failure to follow the law.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I mean, again, this is a party that cannot pass any budget, and they're focusing on trying to impeach Secretary Mayorkas.
And not only Secretary Mayorkas, they're actually trying to open investigations and possibly impeach other members of the cabinet.
WALLACE: I mean, in fairness, I mean, the border is a problem.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: The border is a problem. But Mayorkas is enacting the policies of the president of the United States. And so therefore, you can dislike the policies of the president of the United States, but is that really something that you should open an impeachment to the person who is doing their job? You might not like the way they're doing their job, but he's actually acting in the interests of the president. He works for the president, and so, I just -- I just find that to be a kind of slightly spurious and not terribly --
SALAM: I think that's well said. And I think there are Republicans --
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Thank you.
SALAM: -- who are going to be running against President Biden who are going to make exactly --
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Peace in our time.
WALLACE: On an odd note of comity here, not comedy, comity, let's change the mood with a classic song from one of music's biggest legends.
WALLACE: Prince's "Purple Rain" joining a growing fad on Broadway.
Up next, our hip panel gives its yea or nay on this latest craze.
WALLACE: Time to look at some stories that caught our attention as our group once again gives us their yea or nay.
First up, the Stanley Cup craze, and no, I'm not talking about the sports trophy. It appears everyone is thirsty for these pink and red Stanley drink tumblers as a Valentine's gift. In fact, customers are lining up outside target stores where they're being sold, and rushing the shelves to buy them. Prices range from 20 bucks to this super- sized quencher for $45.
So, Reihan, are you yea or nay on this Stanley Cup?
SALAM: You know, I find them hideous, but I'm a huge yea on this, as an incredible American business story. 2019, they were selling $73 million worth of these god-awful cups. And now, it's $750 million.
Terrence Riley, the marketing genius behind this, also turned around a little shoe you might be familiar with called Crocs. He is a legend, and this is what America is all about. So, go commerce.
SWISHER: I didn't know you were a yoga mom, Chris. That's great.
WALLACE: All right. Now you're going to give me shots, ladies and gentlemen? When we first asked Kara what she thought about the Stanley cup, I swear, her answer was "I know nothing about hockey". SWISHER: I get that -- I'm not a yoga mom, my friend. Thank you. Is this a gift for me?
WALLACE: No. It's one of our staff's. The question is, are you on the Stanley cup bandwagon?
SWISHER: No. I think it's silly. It's a silly thing. But yea, America.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: It makes you drink a lot.
WALLACE: That's good.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: My daughter has one, it makes you drink a lot. That's good.
Drinking more water is good.
WALLACE: Next, this could make you feel old. Prince's "Purple Rain," yep, it's turning 40, and plans are in the works for a new Broadway musical based on the 1984 Oscar-winning film featuring the late singer's greatest hits. It's just the recent, most recent in a string of so-called jukebox musicals on Broadway featuring songs that hit the charts years ago.
So, Kristen, yea or nay on this latest trend on Broadway, jukebox musical?
ANDERSON: I am a yea on it. Look, not everybody is going to want to see "Les Mis". I get it. So, whatever gets people into alerts to, off their screens, watching people performing real live entertainment, I think is positive.
My only caveat is I don't want this to crowd out original musicals. Imagine in all you had on Broadway were these jukebox musicals and nothing like a "Hamilton" ever has a chance with an audience. That's my caveat.
WALLACE: Well, I want to pick up on that, Lulu, because that's the move. Moving away from original musicals like "Hamilton" and, two, because it's intellectual property, the people already know famous movies like "Aladdin," or famous musical stars like Tina Turner or Prince.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So this is like the Broadway version of endless sequels. I personally really love them. You get to sing along, you know the music. Kids love them. They're very family-oriented. So I'm with Kristen.
SWISHER: They're also not knew. I saw "Beatlemania." I'm pretty old, so I saw "Beatlemania". I loved it. I love these things.
WALLACE: Just not Stanley cup.
SWISHER: Yeah, I'm going to bring the Stanley cup. WALLACE: Finally, the NFL playoffs kick off this week. In perhaps the
biggest game, the Chiefs versus the Dolphins, is only available streaming on Peacock, not on network TV. The NFL certainly scored a touchdown getting $110 million in Comcast which owns Peacock for exclusive rights to stream the game.
But this will be the first time ever a playoff game is not available on broadcast or cable TV. So, Kristen, are you as outraged as I am about this, and at the NFL's greed?
ANDERSON: I'm probably only not outraged because I think I already subscribe to Peacock, so it's no extra money out of my pocket. I'm use today to paying extra because I pay for the NFL Red Zone Channel. I'm a huge football fan.
I can understand how if you are a football fan you're now like, wait a minute, I got to subscribe to Amazon to watch the Thursday night games, I have to have a cable package. It's a lot.
WALLACE: And I don't have Peacock.
Our next story is nothing to laugh about. A dangerous trend impacting the lives of elected leaders, judges, even police, and it's gone under the radar.
WALLACE: Now for a dangerous trends that's largely gone under the radar. Threats of political violence against public officials have seen an alarming spike in recent weeks. Since Christmas, prominent public officials have been targets of swatting, where people call 911 to falsely report a crime and get police to raid the official's home or business.
On Thursday, police responded to a bomb threat at the home of the New York judge in Donald Trump's fraud trial. And check this out -- more than a dozen state legislatures across the country have received bomb threats already this year, forcing several to shut down.
Trump issued a warning this week if courts rule against his claim of presidential immunity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: I think they feel this is the way they're going to try and win, and it's not the way it goes. That will be bedlam in the country. It's a very bad thing. It's a very bad precedent. As we said, it's the opening of a Pandora's box.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Kara, is swatting the terrible new normal for public officials in this country?
SWISHER: Well, it's been going on for a long time actually. It's often organized online. It's like people find it entertaining to do it and target people. But it works because police departments don't have to respond to everything. And I think what has to happen is they have to know when it's swatting or if a house keeps getting called.
Some people they call regularly. It's one of these games that they do on these online sites, and it's really -- it's highly dangerous and traumatic to the people who are subject to them.
WALLACE: And, Kristen, I mean, yes, it's been going on for a while, but there seems to be a new momentum to it. I'm wondering is this kind of a symptom, a dangerous mix of the growing polarization of our politics, as well as the dark side of the Internet?
ANDERSON: What's so dangerous about it is if law enforcement shows up, they don't go what's going on. If you have somebody doing a job, but they're trigger happy, there have been bad, devastating consequences of swatting.
And that's not today that political violence is new at all. You had the horrible shooting of Gabby Giffords, you've had -- you can about -- you can go back and find people with real mental illness who have tried to harm public officials. What seems different about this is this isn't necessarily people with mental illness so much as people in a really bad corner of the Internet and think this is funny. And that is just terrifying.
WALLACE: Lulu, I mean, that gets to the question why are people doing this. Is there a purpose behind bomb threats and swatting public officials?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I believe that there's a purpose. I believe that that purpose is to intimidate. I don't think that it is a game, and I think that there is an intent to actually persuade certain people to perhaps act differently. And I think we're seeing that.
I mean, when you see people swatting President Trump's, you know, judge, it might have an effect. People are afraid. If you see people swatting politicians, those politicians, we don't know. Might they change their votes, might they behave differently than they would otherwise. And so, I think that there's this pernicious effect that happens when we see this kind of political violence spreading in this way.
WALLACE: The panel is back with a look at next week's news before it's news. And that's rights after the break.
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, Reihan, hit me with your best shot.
SALAM: Crazy as it sounds, the most important presidential election in 2024 could be the one that's happening this weekend in Taiwan, where you could have an election outcome that helps determine whether or not there's a war across the Chinese -- the China strait, the Taiwan Strait, excuse me, or not.
And basically if there's a war there, recent analysis found that global GDP would go down by more than 10 percent. A devastating impact on the global economy and on the American economy.
So, we should hope that there's an outcome in that election that easy tensions rather than ratchets them up.
WALLACE: There's one candidate who would do one and one who would do the other.
SALAM: That's right. You've got a lot of candidate who want the status quo but some of whom might ratchet up tensions and others will ratchet them down.
WALLACE: Lulu, what's on your mind?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: George Carlin died, as we know, in 2008. He's the famously irreverent comic. But you might not know it in certain corners of the Internet because there's an A.I. special that basically has an A.I. bot doing a very raunchy and very provocative Carlin bit.
I think this is very, very dangerous. And so, indeed, does the family of George Carlin whose daughter says she finds it disrespectful and what's to prosecute it. The real thing that I find interesting about this is that I think we're going to see more of this. I mean, the fact that A.I. is taking over and being able to represent people in ways they don't want to be represented --
WALLACE: After -- I knew you were going to say this, that people would be interested. It's an audio. It's not a visual. Here it is.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know how much Americans love reality TV? We love it so much. We elected a reality TV show host as president.
Well, not we -- I was dead at the time. So you elected a reality TV show host as president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: I got to say I'm not sure that sounds like George Carlin. But it's an interesting and somewhat troubling development.
Kristen, hit me with your best shot.
ANDERSON: I love a good red carpet. The good news is if you love awards shows, the Golden Globes which were a week ago, they actually had pretty good ratings, bounced back after a tough 2023. I'm hopeful that as we have the Oscars, and the rest of the awards season, we'll continue to see awards shows come back, red carpet --
WALLACE: The host bombed with his monologue.
ANDERSON: That's true.
WALLACE: Kara, wrap us up.
SWISHER: I think the Apple Vision Pro, which is about to be sold to the public, it goes on sale February 2nd, I think, and comes out -- is going to be really interesting and is a big shift in computing paradigm. And I'm going to get one and wear it here on set.
WALLACE: But not with a Stanley cup.
SWISHER: Not with a Stanley cup.
WALLACE: Is it -- as revolutionary as the iPhone?
SWISHER: It's different. It's going change the way we work and use entertainment. It's just the first step toward heads-up computing.
WALLACE: I must say, the videos are really interesting.
SWISHER: They're astonishing. Would you like a demo? I can get you one.
WALLACE: I would love it.
SWISHER: All right then.
WALLACE: Thank you all for being here. Fascinating as always.
Thank you for spending parts of your day with us. And we'll see you right back here next week.