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The Chris Wallace Show

Donald Trump's Former Lawyer Michael Cohen's Credibility Questioned During Cross Examination in Hush Money Criminal Trial Of Former President; Republican Congressmembers And State Officials Attend Trump Criminal Trial And Voice Support For Republican Presidential Nominee; President Biden and Donald Trump Agree To Two Presidential Debates With First Debate In June; Some Universities And Companies Rolling Back Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion Initiatives; Popular Television Quiz Show "Jeopardy!" Rolling Out New Team-Based Format; New Portrait Of King Charles Of U.K. Released; ChatGPT And Google Release New Artificial Intelligence Tools That Can Be Used As Personal Assistants. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired May 18, 2024 - 10:00   ET




CHRIS WALLACE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again, and welcome. It's time to break down the big stories with some smart people. Today, we're asking after a dramatic week of Michael Cohen on the stand, did Trump's former fixer blow the prosecution's case?

Then debating the debate, our panel weighs in on what's at stake after this week's bombshell agreement between Trump and Biden.

And the final "Jeopardy!" category is new format. We've got the twist coming to the 60-year-old quiz show.

The gang is here and ready to go. So sit back, relax, and let's talk about it.

Up first, after an explosive week of testimony, Donald Trump's hush money trial is wrapping up with closing arguments expected as soon as Tuesday. It could all hinge on the prosecution's star witness, Trump's former fixer, Michael Cohen. He made damaging allegations, but Trump's team punched serious holes in his credibility.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Today was a very interesting day, fascinating day.

WALLACE: Donald Trump feeling strong after his lawyer grilled Cohen about lying under oath, including about this.

TODD BLANCHE, ATTORNEY: You wanted to work in the White House.


BLANCHE: But you didn't get brought to the dance.

WALLACE: But the defense used Cohen's own texts and words to show he did want to go to Washington and was a disgruntled former employee out for blood.

COHEN: I truly -- hope that this man ends up in prison.

WALLACE: Then getting Cohen to admit he didn't fully remember a key phone call where he claims he told Trump the payoff to Stormy Daniels was moving forward.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: I think it's devastating for Michael Cohens credibility on this.

WALLACE: For its part, the prosecution got Cohen to testify about checks signed by Trump to Cohen they claimed was a $420,000 reimbursement, including for the porn star's hush money.

LANNY DAVIS, FORMER ATTORNEY FOR MICHAEL COHEN: Checks personally written out of Donald Trump's personal bank account.

WALLACE: Outside the courthouse, a parade of Trump cheerleaders, including some V.P. hopefuls, went after Cohen, saying what Trump can't say because of the gag order.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The star witness is a serial perjurer.


WALLACE: Here with me today, podcaster and author Kara Swisher, Reihan Salam, president of the Manhattan Institute and "National Review" contributing editor, "New York Times" journalist and host of "The Interview" podcast, Lulu Garcia-Navarro, and author and conservative pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson. Welcome back, everyone.

So Kara, did Cohen below the prosecution's case this week during cross-examination?

KARA SWISHER, PODCAST HOST, "PIVOT" AND "ON": No, I kind of expected that this is the part where he was going to have that back-and-forth with Trump's lawyer. Mostly they had supporting stuff around and what he had been saying, but this guy is kind of a sketchy character. And you've seen that happen in a lot of trials like this, like a lot of the mob trials, actually. They have a sketchy character convicting another sketchy characters.

So I think overall, they proved what they were setting out to prove, and whether people like Michael Cohen will be what the hinges on.


WALLACE: Well, if it's a matter of liking him, they're in real trouble.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yes, I disagree. I think up until this point I was actually optimistic that the prosecution was making its case. But I think what happened on Thursday actually really makes it very, very difficult for the prosecution to push forward. Everything rests on Cohen. The debate around whether or not on that phone call he actually spoke to Trump and the fact that there was this big surprise that all of a sudden there was this 14-year-old and some crank calls that apparently had not been disclosed before I think was very problematic.

WALLACE: Reihan, let me pick up on this with you, because Cohen offered a lot of other evidence of Trump's involvement. And there's been other evidence, documentary evidence from other witnesses. So how much damage did the prosecution poking holes, or rather the defense poking holes in Cohen's case, how much damage to that due to the prosecution?

REIHAN SALAM, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "NATIONAL REVIEW": Well, the truth is, I don't think the prosecution had a very strong case regardless. So it's possible, even if you stipulate that Trump was doing something that may have been false, does that mean that it was fraudulent? Does that mean that he had an intent to commit a crime? That's not clear to me.


What was the crime that he was looking to commit more broadly? A campaign finance violation? The FEC, which is charged with actually protecting the public against campaign finance violations, said that they didn't really have a case, they didn't pursue a case. And that is a preponderance of evidence standard rather than a beyond the shadow of a reasonable doubt standard. There's no case here.

WALLACE: Do you think there's no case?

SWISHER: No, that's not true. They can make as a case wherever they want to have a case in a lot of ways.

SALAM: That's a scary thought, Kara. I believe there has to be an actual crime.

SWISHER: Yes, but they made a case that he paid off this porn star, and how we did it, and that he possibly did it for campaign -- for the campaign issues.

SALAM: Theres no crime, there's no crime here.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: There is. Wait a second.

SWISHER: There is. It's called fraud.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yes, there is there is a crime. I mean, this isn't a fabulation that they've come up with.

SALAM: They haven't proven intent to defraud. Forgive me, Lulu, please.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: No, no, no. I mean, this is the debate, right? This is for the jury to decide ultimately. And so we can sit here and talk about this all day. But the fact of the matter is there was something that clearly happened here, and clearly Donald Trump, I mean, no one I don't think anyone thinks of Donald Trump wasn't involved in this.

KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, FOUNDING PARTNER, ECHELON INSIGHTS: And that's where I think this is really going to get in trouble for the prosecution, because again, just being sketchy is not necessarily illegal. There has to be a clear violation of a clear law. And so, for instance, say this was done to influence an election. There are lots of reasons why you would not want your adultery to be aired out in public, for instance. That's why this Cohen situation is so potentially damaging, because you need him to be the one to say, yes, this was Donald Trump doing it. Here's why he was doing it. And here is exactly why --

WALLACE: Let me let me play this out, though. Let's assume, and this is just an if, if Trump is -- walks. If in fact, that either he is acquitted or there's a hung jury, what's the political impact of that? Trump has been prosecuted. There are four cases, this may be the only one before the election. And what happens if he walks?

ANDERSON: So I think if he walks, very little changes. I think right now that's almost kind of the world we're operating in right now, that voters right now who like Donald Trump assume that he's innocent, figure he probably won't get convicted. If you don't like Donald Trump, you're not voting for anyways. So I think if walks, it's status quo.

If he is convicted, I can envision a small but not insignificant portion of the electorate going even if you don't like Joe Biden, thinking, I don't know if I can vote for someone who might be looking at jail time. But if he walks, I think it's status quo.

WALLACE: I want to get into one last subject here, and that's the Trump posse -- 21 Republicans, including members of on Congress and state officials, who showed up at the trial week, many of them wearing the same outfit the former president usually wears. Trump called them his surrogates.


REP. MIKE JOHNSON, (R-LA) HOUSE SPEAKER: I am disgusted by what is happening here.

VIVEK RAMASWAMY, (R) FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is a sham. This is not the United States of America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only conclusion, of course, is it's election interference.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, we've got your back.


WALLACE: Lulu, who were the Trump uniform best?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I mean, Vivek Ramaswamy said a true thing here, which is this is not the United States of America. Since when is it in the United States of America that people have to wear the Trump uniform in order to show fealty and loyalty? This reminds me of Saddam Hussein and the good old days when you had the big mustache, when they were sitting around the table.

SALAM: That's a little strong.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh, come on. Come on. Let me -- it was a joke. It was a joke. But to be clear, the idea that you are having to dress up as this man in order to show how close you are to him, how you care for him, it's embarrassing.

ANDERSON: I've sat in a lot of rooms with a lot of Republican politicians that have looked just like that.

WALLACE: Oh, please. Are you suggesting that it was just a coincidence that they all showed up in a dark blue suit, white shirt, and red tie?

ANDERSON: It wouldn't necessarily surprise.

SWISHER: I just was telling Chris, I was going to wear a suit today like this and wander around behind him because I fully support Chris Wallace. It's so ridiculous.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: We all should dress like Chris Wallace, and this would show our fealty.

ANDERSON: -- going on in the Republican Congressional Conference.

WALLACE: Reihan, let me ask you this, to take Lulu's point. Is it a little demeaning that you have all these people rushing not only to go out and attack the witnesses and support Trump, but to feel they need to dress up like him?

SALAM: I think that Donald Trump is a very unique, idiosyncratic figure. He really, really likes folks who are going out on a limb, traveling -- Doug Burgum has a real job. He's the governor of North Dakota. But here he is in New York City backing up the president.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: But they're cosplaying Donald Trump. They're cosplaying Donald Trump.

SALAM: Right, and that's because that's something that Donald Trump appreciates and respects. And these are folks who would want to play a role in the Trump administration.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: But isn't that terrifying? But isn't that terrifying?

SALAM: You know, I've seen things more terrifying, Lulu. I've seen more terrifying things, including how the Biden administration is running the country into the ground. So I mean, I think that it's --

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh, my God. [10:10:06]

WALLACE: Well, on that happy note, when he wasn't in court, Donald Trump was busy agreeing to debate President Biden right here on CNN. Can a June debate help Biden turn the tide?

Then changing the change, the growing trend or rollback diversity initiatives just four years after George Floyd's murder.

And later, the name game, the wild ways some parents are picking their baby's name with the help of social media.



WALLACE: After months of talk about whether there would be or even should be presidential debates, we had two debates locked down in about two hours this week. And while some details are still unclear, what is clear, these debates may be what President Biden's struggling campaign badly needs.



WALLACE: President Biden shaking the political world with his surprising announcement.

BIDEN: I'll even do it twice. So let's pick the dates, Donald.

WALLACE: Offering two debates with Donald Trump in June and September, which Trump quickly agreed to.

TRUMP: I've accepted the two, 100 percent. But I think there should be more than two.

WALLACE: The first debate just over a month away, the earliest presidential debate ever, with vibes of the first televised debate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The candidates need introduction.

WALLACE: Like the Nixon-Kennedy face off in 1960, the candidates will be in a TV studio with no audience.

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: They've got a debate that's not going to be a Roman colosseum, which disadvantages Trump.

WALLACE: Biden's move getting mixed reviews, even from top Democrats.

REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D-CA): I myself would never recommend going on stage with Donald Trump.

WALLACE: But the early debate could help Biden, as his campaign battles challenging headwinds --

BIDEN: Hello, North Carolina.

WALLACE: -- with the economy still the number one issue for voters, and new polls showing Biden trailing Trump in almost every swing state.

AXELROD: This is a close race. He knows that he has to cross this hurdle.


WALLACE: Kara, who won the debate power play, when they're going to have the debate and what we know so far about the format?

SWISHER: If you think about the format, it's Biden. It plays to his advantage, I think. It's without a crowd. It is -- they're having it, they're doing it. And it'll be probably the most watched thing now, because people are very interested. I think they kept out RFK Jr. That was another thing that seems to have happened, it looks like.

WALLACE: I was going to say, not necessarily.

SWISHER: Not necessarily, but it looks like that. So I think it probably plays to Biden's advantage, although Trump does very well in these things sometimes, although not always.

WALLACE: Kristen, do you think that Biden seized the advantage by sunlight coming out this week and saying, yes, June and September, and here are the ground rules, and kind of forcing Trump to say, OK.

ANDERSON: In a way, I don't think that Biden necessarily won this. I don't think that it's going to affect the race in a great -- who won this battle will affect the race a great deal. But in some sense Donald Trump, you expect him to be the one that's kind of blowing up norms and forcing everything to be big and dramatic and difficult. And instead, he was the one kind of sitting back going, OK, sure. Then, there, I'll do it.

Now, I don't know if behind the scenes it was less dramatic, but it certainly to me seems like Biden is normally the one to say, I'm going to do things that are the normal way and Donald Trump is the one that's being odd. And yet Biden is the one that said no, this Commission on Presidential Debates, I'm rejecting them. That to me seemed a little bit.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I do think it can be -- it's going be very important. I mean, if we remember the State of the Union speech, and everyone was saying, oh, it doesn't matter, it doesn't matter. It really did shift the race.

ANDERSON: I think the debates themselves will matter a great deal.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I think the debates will matter a great deal. I think the timing of the debate, having it early is important for Biden. And I do think, and I've said this on the show, it is important for Biden to be seen to take on Trump. WALLACE: Some folks noted in Biden's video announcement, there are five jump cuts. You can watch them here in 14 seconds, which is either edgy, or a sign he needed help from editing to get through the 14 seconds.

Reihan, is this is this debate really all about Biden and particularly this first one, and whether or not he can convince Americans he's up to four more years as president?

SALAM: Yes, absolutely. Lulu made the point that the timing of this debate is very good and important for Joe Biden. That's right. Also for Democrats. Why? Because June is incredibly early. The Commission on Presidential Debates would have had these debates way deep into the fall. Why does that matter? The Democratic National Convention is in August, my friends, and what that means is if Biden really blows it, then the Democratic Party can blow it and press reset and get a new nominee. That's why this has to be extremely early so that the Democrats can recover from a terrible performance.

WALLACE: Lulu, you think that's the real issue here? It's basically a test of Biden's of mental and physical capabilities?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I mean, I think it's definitely a test of his message to the country. I think he is struggling in the polls, and it is an opportunity for him to prove himself yet again and try and impart his message to the biggest audience he is going to have. And so -- but the fantasy that somehow there's going to be a contested convention is, again, a fantasy.

WALLACE: No, no, no. I'm really just saying that people have doubts about his capabilities, and in a sense, the first thing people are going to be judging is has he got all his marbles?


GARCIA-NAVARRO: I think we will persistently have this.

And I will just say about the jump cuts. This is a thing from TikTok.

SWISHER: I'm going to take that one.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yes, you do it.

SWISHER: This is a thing from TikTok. They do it all the time. That's the style. And then at the end, I'll meet you on a Wednesday. I hear you're free. Well done. That was a well done announcement.

WALLACE: Some folks suggest it's no coincidence Biden called for debates the day after "The New York Times" ran a poll that must have alarmed his team. It showed Trump leading Biden in five of the six key swing states. What's more, 69 percent said they think the country's political and economic systems need major changes or to be torn down.

Kristen, you're our pollster on this panel. How much trouble as Biden in right now? ANDERSON: Biden is in a lot of trouble. The best thing for him is

that the election is not being held today because if it was being held today, I think Donald Trump would win it and I don't I think that it would be terribly close. But we have a lot of time to go. And if Americans actually get very exhausted with this election, the fact that we're having this debate so early, that we're going to be talking about this nonstop between now and November, a low turnout election benefits Biden, because right now, Democrats, they've got the most high propensity voters.

Donald Trump will need to bring out a lot of people who hate politics in general or are very loosely connected to the system. If everybody is frustrated and hates everything by November, then you can see it's swinging back for Biden.

WALLACE: My theory is that Biden couldn't afford to let the current arc of this campaign continue until September. He needs to try to change it because he's behind, and having a June debate gives them a chance, maybe, if he does well, to change the narrative.

Going back to Eisenhower, every elected incumbent with an approval rating at or above 50 percent won reelection. Every incumbent below 50 percent lost except Obama in 2012, who was at 49 percent. Biden is 38. Kara, is Kristen right? Is Biden and real trouble right now?

SWISHER: He's got to jumpstart everything. He's got his show -- she's right that it's a long time between then and now. And so we'll have to wait, see how he does in this, what other things that happened. We are in a massively quick news event thing that people come in, and so they could change their minds easily. But she's right, if people get tired of it and Donald Trump does things --

TRUMP: I disagree with you, because "The Times" did a poll in November and Trump was leading and five of six swing-state. There has been a tremendous number of things that have happened since then on the economy, on the trials, and all of that. And guess what, Trump is still ahead in five of six states. There really has been no change in the race in the last six months.

SWISHER: We'll see what the vice presidential -- I think it will matter for Trump this time. I think people will be paying a lot of attention to it.

WALLACE: Up next, the renaming of a renaming, the local decision that's a sign of the backlash against all the changes made after George Floyd's murder.

Plus, one of the world's most popular A.I. platforms just got a whole lot more human.



WALLACE: Now to what appears to be a growing trend, the rollback of social changes instituted after the murder of George Floyd. This week, the University of North Carolina voted to divert $2.3 million in DEI funds from diversity programs to public safety on campus. And the state's board of governors is set to vote whether to reverse DEI initiatives at all 17 public universities.

North Carolina is not alone -- 85 anti-DEI bills have been introduced in 28 states as well as Congress since last year, 13 have become law. It's a stark reversal from a slew of diversity initiatives after George Floyd's murder four years ago, as well as the taking down of Confederate symbols across the south.

Kristen, is the country reversing course from 2020?

ANDERSON: Well, there's definitely been a shift in the political winds. And setting aside the politics of it in terms of governors, legislatures, public universities, look at corporate America. For a long time before say 2016, companies were very eager to stay out of politics, stay out of social and cultural battles. But come 2017, they got not much more engaged. In 2020, in huge waves corporate America began getting more and more progressive, doing more to say diversity, et cetera.

That has all begun to reverse. And now you even had companies like Google coming out and saying, hey, we're just mission first, kind of walking away from some of this. I think they're sensing that in a divided country, you don't want to be touching any of these third rails.

WALLACE: Lulu, how big a rollback are we seeing, and how do you explain it?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I think we are seeing a rollback. It's interesting. I was just speaking with Ted Sarandos, the head of Netflix, for my podcast "The Interview." And I asked him about this, because Netflix had actually been very forward in some of these issues. If you think about the fact that Ted Sarandos took Netflix out of Russia after the invasion of Ukraine and other things like that. And what he said to me was, actually, we are rethinking this now.

And I think you're seeing that more broadly. And in universities in particular what I find interesting, it's not that they're stopping DEI programs. They're renaming them to be other things. They're talking about diversity in different ways.


And I think the reason that's happening is because the right has been very successful in demonizing diversity, equity, and inclusion.

WALLACE: And then there are the case of those two schools in Virginia. Back in 2020, Stonewall Jackson High School was renamed Mountain View High School. And Ashby Lee Elementary was changed to Honey Run Elementary. Kara, this week they decided to switch the names back.

SWISHER: Right. WALLACE: What do you think of the fact that in this one county, a conservative county in Virginia, they are switching the schools' names back to the original Confederate names.

SWISHER: Yes, I always think these things go back and forth and back and forth and back and forth. And now they're going too far. They're going to start doing this, and they'll put up their Confederate statues, and then they'll come down.

One of the things, I think most people, if you rebrand as fairness and things like that, I think the problem is the DEI movement overdid it, and then it got pushed back. And then the right is overdoing it with book banning and everything else. And they'll get pushed back. And I think it's a constant struggle in our country.

But in the word DEI, think about the word -- diversity, equity, inclusion. The opposite of those things are homogeneity, unfairness, and exclusion. So you have to start to convince people that everyone deserves a fair shake. And if you do that, I think most people tend to agree on that.

WALLACE: Reihan, what do you think of the decision in that school district to rename Mountain Valley (ph) High School, Stonewall Jackson High School?

SALAM: I honestly don't think that it has much to do with a larger DEI debate. My guess is that what happened is that in 2020, there was a sense of panic, and there wasn't an effort to really reach out to folks in the community, find a name that would really unite people. And then they just snapped back.

With a larger conversation of a DEI, what I think is happening is this. If you look at folks under the age of 18, under the age of five, this is already a majority-minority America. Who are the folks were pushing back hardest against racial preferences in elite higher education? It was Asian Americans. Look at how opinion has changed among black Americans, among Hispanics. There are big, big shifts against a kind of rigid DEI perspective in favor of something that's a little bit more pluralistic and less bound up with this kind of very highly ideological conception of what DEI and representation are. I think that's good and healthy.

WALLACE: Lulu, do you view what happened in 2020 as, to Reihan's word, a panic?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: No. I think it was a course correction for a country that had not dealt with its history of racism and inequality. And I think what we saw was a good faith effort to try and correct some of that. Perhaps some of the ways that they did it weren't the most effective, I think, more than anything else. They weren't the most effective. Corporate DEI in particular I don't think worked in the way that it --

ANDERSON: There are two examples that come to mind for me of how higher education tried to do DEI and did it wrong. The first was a lot of universities tried to eliminate standardized testing as an admissions criteria. They said it's discriminatory. We don't want to do it. A number of universities have now brought it back because they've seen that it actually is a reasonable predictor of success in higher education.

The second thing you're seeing pushback against is requiring people applying for faculty jobs to essentially submit a statement declaring their loyalty to DEI tenets.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's not fair. That's not fair. That's not what they are doing.

ANDERSON: And it's one of those things that universities are starting to roll back on.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Thats not fair. What they do is they ask people, how are you going to contribute to be inclusive? They're bringing other perspectives in.

SALAM: They are expecting particular answers that they see as the correct answers. If you do not give the ideologically correct answers, people were often punished.

With regard to testing, I thought that was a great point that Kristen raised. When you look at the survey data, the biggest, best surveys we have, over 90 percent of every ethnic and racial group says the testing should be included, that it is fair and reasonable as a way of assessing academic merit. That is what's really striking here about this conversation. You have a small group of, frankly, ideologues who have views that are very much at odds with the large majority of moderates of every color.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: But the people against DEI aren't ideologues? But, I mean, are the people against DEI not ideologues?

SALAM: People say we should roll back --

GARCIA-NAVARRO: There has been a concerted, a concerted movement on the right to take down DEI.

WALLACE: OK, under the category of change, the question is, what's the format for a new version of "Jeopardy!"? The answer next.

Plus, the first portrait of King Charles has people seeing red, a lot of red.



WALLACE: Once again, it's time to our group's yea or nay on some big talkers. Up first, a new spin on an old favorite, "Jeopardy!". This week, amazon announced a new version of the quiz show called "Pop Culture Jeopardy!", which is coming to Prime, but with a twist. Instead of three people competing, the new show will include a trio of three-person teams going against each other on topics like movies, sports, and music. Kristen, are you yea or nay on the new "Jeopardy!"?

ANDERSON: I lean against this in part because I think the thing that's so great about original "Jeopardy!" is you as one person have to have this incredibly expansive knowledge base.


If you have a team, you can be somebody who doesn't know anything about sports or music as long as you have somebody else on your team who does. So, I prefer the original formula.

WALLACE: Kara, I asked this, and let me say modestly as an undefeated "Jeopardy!" champion, where are you?

SWISHER: Yes. I love this. It's like trivia night at the bar. If they have liquor in it, I'm for it. I love the trivia nights. I like all the names they have for their trivia teams. I like the whole thing.


Next, a very untraditional portrait of a very traditional person. Take a look at the first -- Matt said -- first official portrait of King Charles, large, bold, and surprisingly covered and a crimson shade of red. Reaction online has been fiery, with comments ranging from "It looks like he is an apple," to "The monarch is going up in flames." Lulu are you yea or nay on the rouge royal portrait.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I'm a hard knee. This is, as they would say in the U.K., a bloody awful portrait. It's bad. It looks like the picture of Dorian Gray. He's got this very emaciated face with this sea of red about him. It's, you know, it isn't very royal to me.

WALLACE: Kristen, Queen Camilla reportedly said to the painter after she saw it, yes, I think you've got him -- which is either Queen Camilla or Julia Childs. Anyway, where are you on the portrait?

ANDERSON: So I was in favor of it in part because I think we're going to get a very traditional portrait of him at some point. So why not do something interesting? It reminded me a little bit of when Barack Obama's presidential portrait came out and he had all the sort of greenery behind him, and it got a real backlash. I like people doing something different with art.

WALLACE: Well, that's different.


WALLACE: Finally, the baby name game. This week, the Social Security Administration released its annual list of the most popular names for newborns. At number one, Liam for boys, and Olivia for girls. And Mateo and Kaeli were two of the fastest rising names. One possible reason, social media, with some parents turning - unbelievable -- to naming consultants on platforms like TikTok to help them find the perfect fit. Here is a consultant and her assignment.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Somebody DM-ed me and wanted masculine baby names for girls that weren't too masculine.


WALLACE: Kristen, as the one person on this panel who recently had to go through this and name a beautiful newborn baby, Sophie, where are you on the idea of going to a naming consultant to get some help.

ANDERSON: I am extremely nay on this. You should be doing it based on something that is special to you, personal to you, that you think is beautiful. You should not be taking into consideration a bunch of other people's opinions. So I am very much out on this.

WALLACE: Reihan, you have young children, not newborns, but young children. What do you think about this whole idea of naming consultants?

SALAM: I'm all for outsourcing to the right person. I outsourced the nickname for my kids to my mother, who is really quite, quite good at giving nicknames.

WALLACE: And what was the person, what was the girl's name, and what's the nickname?

SALAM: Well, gosh, I don't want to share too much, Chris. But the nickname is Toontooni (ph), which is the Bengali word for a "little bird." And my younger daughters nickname is Bullabulli (ph), which is really chosen because it rhymes with Toontooni (ph), or roughly rhymes. And in our family we all have rhyming nicknames.

WALLACE: What's your nickname?

SALAM: Prithu (ph).



SALAM: Which means "happy."

WALLACE: Up next, artificial intelligence acting less and less artificial.



WALLACE: Over/Under this week, whether new artificial intelligence tools just unveiled are overhyped or not. First, there's the latest model of OpenAI's popular platform. ChatGPT, which is now easier for users to interact with as a personal assistant, and as you will hear, has a much more human voice.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED: Once upon a time, in a world not too different from ours, there was a robot named --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, no, ChatGPT. I really want maximal emotion, like maximal expressiveness, much more than you were doing before.

UNIDENTIFIED: Understood. Let's amplify the drama. Once upon a time in a world not too different from ours, there was a robot named Byte. Byte -

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you do this in a robotic voice now?

UNIDENTIFIED: Now initiating dramatic robotic voice.


UNIDENTIFIED: Once upon a time --


WALLACE: Pretty good.

A day later, Google showed off its own A.I. platform called Gemini, which looks through your pictures and Gmail to help answer personal questions like, how old was my daughter when she learned to swim?

Kara, are we overhyping just how human A.I. is going to get?

SWISHER: Right now, yes, but it is headed that way. And I think that's what's important to think about is where its' going. We started off with Siri and Alexa and those assistants, which aren't very good. And now they're getting better and better with time. I think we over- humanize them. These aren't humans doing this. They're just taking data and crunching it and spitting it back at us. And so I think what's really important here is where it's actually going, which is everyone will have an assistant. My A.I. assistant will talk to your A.I. assistant and figure things out between us, et cetera. I think that's where it's all going.


I think it is overhyped that it's sort of we're like in "2001, A Space Odyssey." That one is a little much. What I think people should pay attention to right now is Google's synopsis, A.I. synopsis, of search answers, which is going to put the final knife in the heart of media, which is --

WALLACE: So in other words, instead of it referring you to an article in "The New York Times" about such and such, it'll just give you the answer.

SWISHER: That is correct, and they're pretty good. They're very good, and they're rolling that out worldwide now.

WALLACE: Krsiten, A.I. developers like Google say that they want these devices to be more a part of your life, to set your schedule, to do your shopping, even to interact not with my A.I. device, but with other people. What's your sense of how human these things are going to get, if not right now, down the road?

ANDERSON: I think they're useful to be thought of as tools that humans can use to do great things. So right now, you can use these tools to help write beautiful music, to help create beautiful art. But ultimately, they're still a human component. So I don't mean to get too philosophical about it, but I think there is something about being human that will be impossible for computers to replicate no matter how smart they get.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I find it terrifying, I find it terrifying, terrifying, terrifying.

WALLACE: That's a good A.I. voice.




GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh, my goodness. Well, first of all, I think it's going to be apocalypse for the industry that I work in, which is media, what Google has just done. I think were unleashing this into the world, and we are human guinea pigs, and we don't know what we are unleashing. And there are no guardrails. And we don't know where it's going to end. And I've seen a lot of "Terminator" movies, you know?


SALAM: I just think a lot about the fact that you now have an A.I. assistant that can help blind people by offering visual descriptions that can give them context. These are incredible, potentially lifechanging tools already, and they're still in a really early stage. So that's exciting.

WALLACE: The gang is back with their takes on hot stories or what will be on the news before its news. That's right after the break.



WALLACE: 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: Recently, Haim Saban, a major Democratic donor, who is a also a huge which media entrepreneur and investor, sent a very stern letter to the White House, specifically to President Biden's chief of staff, to say, look, there are a lot more voters were pro-Israel than anti- Israel. And if you don't knock it off, you're going to upset a lot of voters. You're going to risk losing this election. I think he represents a larger term among many voters and many donors

who thought of themselves as being firmly never-Trump. More and more folks are now finding themselves in what you might call a never-Biden category. Saban might not be in that category, but someone like Bill Ackman, who was a big supporter of Barack Obama, might be.

WALLACE: Lulu, you're focused on still another controversy at the Supreme Court.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yes, this is an actually substantial controversy. My colleague Jodi Kantor at "The New York Times" had a story this past week that talked about Samuel Alito, Justice, Samuel Alito, and how he had after the last election an upside flag in his yard. It was there for several days. And what apparently transpired was that his wife had a personal beef with someone in the neighborhood who had an anti-Trump sign, and put this flag in the yard.

Now, the problem here is that that flag and that symbol just after the last election was a sign of the fealty towards Trump and something that is supposed to signify their belief and stop the steal. Justice Alito is someone who is actually so involved in the Supreme Court on all these issues, and the fact that this was there is deeply, deeply problematic.

WALLACE: Kristen, best shot?

ANDERSON: So mine is also about the Supreme Court, a little bit different. So most people think elections are decided by voters, but actually courts and maps have quite a bit to do with it when it comes to the U.S. House of Representatives, at least. And this week, the Supreme Court took action that will put in place a map in Louisiana the ensures a second majority-minority congressional district. Now on its face, this looks like it benefits Democrats at least for the current cycle. But interestingly, all three Democratic appointees on the court opposed the action. They think it sets a bad precedent long term.

WALLACE: Kara, bring us home.

SWISHER: Well, the pregnant and barefoot crowd got a new hero this week in Harrison Butker, and emphasis on butt, as in butt-head.

WALLACE: We should explain, he is the champion kicker for the Kansas City Chiefs.

SWISHER: Kansas City Chiefs. He gave a speech at Benedictine College. Let's listen to what he said.


HARRISON BUTKER, NFL PLAYER: Some of you may go on to lead successful careers in the world. But I would venture to guess that the majority of you are most excited about your marriage and the children you will bring into this world.

As men, we set the tone of the culture. And when that is absent, disorder dysfunction, and chaos set in.


SWISHER: Wow, I don't know what else to say, except that there's a big backlash, obviously, online, and all over the place. More than half the women -- half the class is women. There was a lot of unhappiness by the women, although it's a very conservative college. A lot of people did like it, but it was truly disturbing. But my favorite part is that he quoted Taylor Swift, one of his teammate's girlfriend, and the Swifties are on it. And so hopefully there will be a backlash.

WALLACE: And we should say, the NFL rushed to say that he had no way represents the views of the NFL.


WALLACE: All right, gang, thank you all for being here. And thank you for spending part of your day with us. We'll see you right back here next week.