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The Chris Wallace Show

Donald Trump Garners Controversy For Questioning Hugh Money Trial Judge Juan Merchan's Heritage And Social Media Post Referencing Nazi Language; Donald Trump Criticized For Comment On Birth Control Accessibility; International Criminal Court Seeking Arrest Warrants For Leaders Of Israel And Hamas For War Crimes And Crimes Against Humanity; Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito And Democratic Senator Bob Menendez Blame Spouses For Recent Controversies And Criminal Accusations; Apple Music Releases Its List Of Greatest Albums Of All Time; Restaurants Increasingly Offering All-You-Can-Eat Buffets; Large Retailers Announce Cuts In Prices; Former Republican Presidential Candidate Nikki Haley Announces She Will Vote For Trump; Scarlett Johannson Accuses OpenAI of Using Her Voice For One Of Its Products. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired May 25, 2024 - 10:00   ET



MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN ANCHOR: And I think that there are a number of people, the polling data bears this out, a number of people who will say I'm not a fan of the guy and I'd rather it not be him. But something is not right about this.

My own as to what's about to unfold, I don't know how it ends, and I don't know if any of the jurors ever do media. But I won't be surprised if a week from now, there's a member of the media -- a juror, who says we just totally discounted all of Michael Cohen. We rendered our verdict without Michael Cohen. And I think that makes it harder for the prosecution.

Stay tuned. "THE CHRIS WALLACE" show is next.

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 from an attack on the hush money trial judge to a Nazi reference in a campaign video, what's going on, what Donald Trump's week of unforced errors?

Then, "my wife did it" -- the bizarre, but some say legit defense we've now seen from a Supreme Court justice and a U.S. senator who is on trial.

And grab a plate. We're breaking down the best all you can eat strategy. And there's only one right way to do it.

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

Up first, Donald Trump's hush money trial is expected to go to the jury by midweek, but it's Trump's comments and his campaign's mistake that are raising eyebrows right now.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: This judge hates Donald Trump.

WALLACE: First, Donald Trump attacked the judge in the hush money trial, Juan Merchan, who was born in Colombia and emigrated to the U.S. as a child.

TRUMP: Take a look at where he comes from.

WALLACE: The moment reminiscent of 2016.

TRUMP: He's a Mexican.

WALLACE: When Trump railed against the judge who oversaw the Trump University lawsuit because of his Mexican heritage.

TRUMP: I'm building a wall, OK. And it's a wall between Mexico.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's not from --

TRUMP: In my opinion --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's from Indiana.

WALLACE: Then Trump was asked if he'd consider restrictions on contraception.

TRUMP: We're looking at that, and I'm going to have a policy on that very shortly. Things really do have a lot to do with the states.

WALLACE: He quickly walked that back, posting he will never limit access to birth control.

Trump's campaign also in cleanup mode after he reposted and then deleted a video with hypothetical headlines about him winning the election.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's next for America?

WALLACE: In several places it said "Unified Reich," which is what Hitler called his Nazi regime, a reference even his staunchest allies chose not to defend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any concerns about the former president posting about a "Unified Reich" on social media?


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.

Lulu, what is Trump's beef with Hispanic judges?

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, "NEW YORK TIMES" JOURNALIST: Why are you asking me that, Chris? What could it be? I think Donald Trump has a long history with racism against Hispanic people. And that is by bringing up the judge's heritage, it is, again, another example of that. I don't see what on God's green earth else it could be. What does it matter where his heritages is, what does it matter that he is of Colombian descent? I truly don't know. It's a dog whistle to people who want to distrust people who apparently come from other places, even though he is an American.

WALLACE: What's interesting about this is the judge in the classified documents trial, Aileen Cannon, who has ruled favorably for Trump several times, was also born in Colombia, but he's never mentioned her background. Reihan, just a coincidence?

REIHAN SALAM, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "NATIONAL REVIEW": Well, actually, that's a great point. I think that this wasn't really about the fact that this judge was born in Colombia. I think it was really where he comes from about his political associations, his belief system. And I know that folks aren't going to believe that, and that's why honestly, Donald Trump tries to get a rise out of people. This is what he loves. It's a kind of rope-a-dope where he speaks at a very loose, some would say very careless kind of way. And then you create a firestorm over it. And for a lot of people, it discredits his critics rather than his utterances.

KARA SWISHER, PODCAST HOST, "PIVOT" AND "ON": Oh, he's just joking. He's just joking. This has gone on for years.

SALAM: He wasn't joking that this judge is essentially a Democratic operative.

SWISHER: Perhaps, but he always uses a racist remark to do it. I mean, if it's Tuesday, it must be another bigoted remark about someone, whether it's Mexicans being rapists. He does this continually, and everyone goes, oh, it's just a joke.


But it's not funny. Like jokes are supposed to be funny. And this is just ridiculous. We keep excusing him.

SALAM: I don't think you're his target audience, Kara.

SWISHER: I know. I get that, but it's a ridiculous way --

WALLACE: Wait a minute. Who is the target audience?

SWISHER: Yes. That is --

SALAM: His target audience is the fact that people, as Kristen pointed out in a brilliant piece for "The Times", he is someone who is a celebrity. He's someone who loves, again, getting a reaction. He says things that are frankly word salads in a lot of cases. He also says other things that are deliberate provocations. He speaks very loosely and extemporaneously in a way that sometimes gets him into trouble. But most of all, people read as entertaining.

KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, CO-FOUNDER, ECHELON INSIGHTS: When we talk about, does he get into trouble? The most important thing for him right now is, one, is it getting him into legal trouble or is it getting him into political trouble? And at least on the political front, this sort of thing has not gotten into trouble despite the fact that he has done it time and time and time again over the last --

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So should we ignore it? I'm actually, because I feel like we are caught in a bit of a rinse cycle. It is totally true that we keep upon having these debates over and over and over again, that Trump said this, and what does it mean? And people defend it and people condemn it. And I actually am just curious here, if it doesn't impact him politically, is the answer to just ignore it when he says things that are, frankly, either in bad taste or can be perceived as racist or are just plain racist?

WALLACE: I want to hear --

ANDERSON: I don't think that the answer is that people should not talk about things that they don't like that Donald Trump has done. But I do believe that there are a lot of voters out there who might in any other circumstance say, if somebody said something that is against people who share the same race as me or look like me, I won't vote for them. Donald Trump has uniquely been able to evade that. And he's doing very well among voters of color. He did his rally in the south Bronx this week.

WALLACE: Let's talk about another issue which might conceivably hurt him. Abortion is a big issue in this campaign, and for some reason Donald Trump was asked this week about whether he could foresee limits to access to contraception. And he said yes.

SWISHER: Yes, this is this is his Achilles heel. He tends to go that way and then pull it back. He's done that several times on this issue. I think the women's issue is his most --

ANDERSON: The reason why you see him do this on issues like this is you can see in that clip the wheels in his mind turning --

SWISHER: That's right.

ANDERSON: Where's he's like I know that I'm about to get into trouble if I say anything, and then the thing that he says doesn't make a lot of sense. And that's the problem. Then suddenly we're going to come up with a policy on it. What is your policy on contraception besides let people have access to it?

And this is something that really worries me for Republicans. Abortion is an issue that's very divisive. People have very strong opinions about it. An issue like birth control is not actually a divisive issue.

SWISHER: Exactly.

ANDERSON: This was a gift to Democrats. You heard a sheer go up in the White House when he said this.

SALAM: He didn't say "Yeah." He said, we're going to look into that and it's going to be something great. It's the classic non-answer that he gives --

ANDERSON: This is not one where you should not have an answer. You should just say no.

SALAM: You're 100 percent right, but what it was, was a non-answer.

ANDERSON: It wasn't a non-answer.

WALLACE: It wasn't a non-answer. He was saying the issue was open.

SALAM: And he was saying that we're going to look into it and you're going to like what we come up with?

WALLACE: What's to look into?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: But he's also saying --

WALLACE: But still, wait, wait, what is to look into.

SALAM: That is a substantive -- fair enough. But I'm just making the simple point that in an extemporaneous moment, it was a non-answer. I agree with Kristen that you should --

WALLACE: It wasn't a non-answer. It was specific answer and he's saying --

SWISHER: At some point, you have to say, at some point in this entire, or all our relations, you have to say that was a mistake. And you know it was.

SALAM: I said multiple times, clearly, if Kristen was in his ear, in the headphone telling him what to say, he would have given a better answer.

WALLACE: All right, but that wasn't it. There's more, as they say in the ads. There was a video with repeated references to the "Unified Reich", and Joe Biden couldn't wait to jump on that. Take a look.


JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Is this on his official account? Wow, a "Unified Reich"? That's Hitler's language. That's not America's.


WALLACE: Lulu, do you think that was an honest mistake or do you think that -- you used the phrase before -- a dog whistle?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: No, I don't think it was an honest mistake. We've seen this repeatedly over and over again. And also, the familiar complaint that the intern did it is very exhausting. And I think the other problem here is that we are at a very sensitive time with the Jewish community. We are at a time when you are seeing antisemitic attacks. And so it is, I think, quite shocking that they would put this out there.

ANDERSON: It's worth noting that CNN's own reporting found that the template that was used was created by a graphic designer in Turkey. This was like --

WALLACE: I understand that. So why would you use that --

ANDERSON: I don't think that you should be putting things out there where you intentionally say this. But I firmly believe that the Trump campaign does have some young staffers who I am sure just didn't even notice it.


SWISHER: This guy is the Britney Spears of politics. Oops, I did it again, over and over, whether it's insulting Hispanics, whether it's right, he loves to make references, whether it's a swastika or anything else. Wow.


WALLACE: I've got to say, I like that line. The Britney Spears of politics. I'm going to use that. Maybe even in this show.

Over on Capitol Hill, Republicans seized on a political opportunity to box in Democrats thanks to a decision thousands of miles away. But will it pay off?

Then spousal privilege, should Supreme Court justices be held responsible for what their spouses do or say?

And later, topping the charts, a new list of best albums ever is out, and we'll see who here has been miseducated.



WALLACE: This week, the situation in the Middle East became even mor highly charged. The U.N.'s International Court of Justice ordered Israel to stop its military operation in Rafah. And that was just days after the International Criminal Court sparked global outrage and some praise linking Israel and Hamas in committing crimes against humanity.


KARIM KHAN, PROSECUTOR, INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT: We'll apply for warrants for Prime Minister Netanyahu.

WALLACE: The chief prosecutor for the ICC, the top war crimes tribunal, making a stunning announcement on CNN.

KHAN: -- for the crimes of causing starvation as a method of war, deliberately targeting civilians.

WALLACE: Going after Israel's leaders as well as Hamas for the October 7th attack and the war that followed.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: They're outrageous. They're beyond outrageous.

WALLACE: Prime Minister Netanyahu compared the move to issuing arrest warrants for Hitler, but also FDR and Churchill during World War II.

JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's no equivalence between Israel and Hamas.

WALLACE: While President Biden, who has pressured Israel to avoid civilian casualties, rejected the ICC's move.

Three European countries said they would recognize a Palestinian state, a historic, if still symbolic, move.

REP. MIKE JOHNSON, (R-LA) HOUSE SPEAKER: Lots of things going on around the world.

WALLACE: But in Congress, Speaker Mike Johnson put the House GOP squarely behind Israel, inviting Netanyahu to address Congress.

JOHNSON: So we look forward to getting that scheduled as soon as possible.


WALLACE: Lulu, was the ICC prosecutor right to equate Hamas and Israel.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I think this is a very problematic decision that they made because what it ends up doing is pitting -- is putting the ICC squarely into litigating what is a very, very complicated situation. And I think what we've seen on the ground is that there's been a huge reaction within Israel that has been punitive to the Palestinians. So whatever they were trying to achieve, they certainly haven't been able to achieve it out.

SWISHER: I don't know, I feel like it's the worst version of both- sidesism I've ever seen. There's no correlation between -- as much as I think Netanyahu is a terrible leader and a vicious leader, it's not, this is a terrorist organization he was putting on the same plane with. I don't think he's Churchill or Roosevelt, but certainly not shouldn't be --

WALLACE: Kristen, do you see any moral equivalence between what Hamas did an October 7th and what Israel has done in the months since?

ANDERSON: Not even remotely. And I'm glad that President Biden said the same. I think the fact, frankly, that it has taken this long for the International Criminal Court to decide that they want to come after Hamas -- since 1988, Hamas's charter has said they want to see the destruction of the state of Israel and killing of Jews. So it's about time. It's just an absolute shame that it's coming with them also trying to both sides it.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It discredits the organization.

WALLACE: Then you've got three countries in western Europe, Norway, Ireland, and Spain, announcing they would recognize a Palestinian state. Reihan, will the recognition of Palestine, even if it's only symbolic, obviously, right now, will that make a difference?

SALAM: Unfortunately, I do think it's going to make a negative difference. It represents a diplomatic blow, it represents a symbolic blow at a time when Israelis are fighting and dying to protect their country, at a time when that country is very much under threat. This is an effort to chip away at its legitimacy, at its right to reach a settlement that is appropriate and reasonable by the context of their kind of democratic public decision-making. So I think it's really, really bad news.

WALLACE: Kara, there's no Palestinian state now, there's not going to be one for a long time, if ever. But these three countries in western Europe are now saying that they will recognize a Palestinian state when it comes about. It just -- doesn't it indicate just how isolated Israel is getting on the world stage.

SWISHER: Yes, absolutely. What was interesting was I was reading the Irish -- I think it was a TSOC or the prime minister, I'm not -- I'm going to get it wrong, but their explanation is we understand occupation -- it was really interesting how they phrased it -- and so therefore we support a Palestinian state. That was -- but it's definitely a negative for Israel and it isolates them much -- and it's going to continue in that --

WALLACE: And then there is the move by Speaker Mike Johnson in the midst of all this to say that he is going to invite Netanyahu to speak to Congress, which not only states what the unified position of Republicans is, very much in favor of Israel, but also does point out the serious split, Reihan, among Democrats. Is this -- is this a good move? Was out maneuvering the Democrats, inviting Netanyahu?


SALAM: I think this is ultimately good for all Americans who support Israel and its fight for survival. And I think it's ultimately going to be bipartisan. My gut is that ultimately, Chuck Schumer is going to extend the invitation as well. And I think that you see a number of Democrats clamoring for Democrats to get on board with this.

The real analogy here is to Congress inviting Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Zelenskyy has plenty of domestic critics in Ukraine, but this is a democratic state. This is an ally of the United States in some broad sense, in the case of Ukraine. In the case of Israel, indefatigable essential ally.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I'm just very curious here. I am just curious, though, because you've been using language like supporting Israel and inviting Netanyahu. Israel and Netanyahu are not the same thing. You can support Israel and not embrace Netanyahu, which is a distinction that Biden has made. And Netanyahu presided over the worst security failure in Israel's modern history, presided over what is widely considered to be an inefficient and corrupt regime. Even his internal critics and even polls in the country say that people are fed up with his leadership during this war.

And so I do question the wisdom of the GOP inserting itself into domestic Israeli politics by giving lifeline to a leader that is unpopular to it's own people that are involved in a war.

SALAM: Let's not forget that Chuck Schumer also was explicitly denouncing Netanyahu and calling for his replacement. Rather odd, rather inappropriate thing to do. I think again, Zelenskyy is someone who is not necessarily beloved by all Ukrainians, but he's a figure the country has rallied around. Right now, Netanyahu --

GARCIA-NAVARRO: But no one is rallying around Netanyahu.

SALAM: He's leading a national unity government. Benny Gantz has come to the White House. Other members of that --

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Benny Gantz has asked Netanyahu to resign. Benny Gantz has given him a --

SALAM: Forgive me. Other members of that national unity government have also come to Washington, D.C. It is entirely appropriate for the democratically elected leader of an allied country to be there, and that's why I believe that many Democrats, quite sensibly, are going to be part of --

WALLACE: Let me ask Kristen. I mean, as a political matter, given the controversy over what Israel is doing in Gaza, which incidentally is a lot more controversial than what Zelenskyy is doing defending his own country from Russian aggression, is this a smart political play by Republicans, Mike Johnson, and the others, or not?

ANDERSON: I think it's smart because Republicans are very unified on this issue and Democrats are very not. They hear from very sort of loud, vocal, and energized young people within their base who are not going to like this. So this is going to catch a lot of House Democrats in a very tough bind.

WALLACE: We've seen an interesting strategy in recent days, wives thrown under the bus, both by a liberal senator and a conservative Supreme Court justice. Is it a legit defense?

And some of music's biggest names top a new list of the best albums of all time. Number one may surprise you.



WALLACE: Not to a defense we've seen recently from too high-profile officials. First conservative Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is taking fire after "The New York Times" reported at an inverted American flag was flown at the justice's home in 2021. That's just days after the January 6th attack where rioters used the upside-down flag as a "Stop the Steal" symbol. Alito told "The Times" he had no involvement whatsoever, and his wife flew it after a dispute with a neighbor. Even some Republicans aren't persuaded.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R-SC): It created a situation that we're all talking about. So yes, I think it was a mistake.


WALLACE: Then there's New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez who is blaming his wife, accusing her of pulling the strings in a bribery scheme at the center of his criminal trial.


SEN. JOHN FETTERMAN, (D-PA): I really can't imagine who -- either it was his idea or he was convinced that blaming your wife, who is suffering from cancer, is really an effective strategy.


WALLACE: Kara, is my wife did it a legit defense?

SWISHER: It's literally like the marital version of like the dog ate my homework. I don't even know what is happening here. Of course, it's not a legitimate -- you know just what your wife is doing. I do, at least. And so no, it makes you look worse to be blaming your wife, I think, personally. I'd never do it. I'd never do it.

WALLACE: The Alito defense took a hit this week when "The Times" reported the Alitos flew the pine tree flag, which says an appeal to heaven at that New Jersey beach house last summer. That flag was also visible on January 6th in support of Christian nationalism and "Stop the Steal." Kristen, does that blow a hole in that you've got two flags, not one, in the "my wife did it" defense?

ANDERSON: No. First of all, I -- we can litigate all day long. The least charitable interpretation of these flags, this pine tree flag, I guess, was also flown by George Washington. There's, there's -- the least charitable way you can frame it is that she's actually a January 6th stop the stealer. But even if that were the case, political spouses are allowed to have opinions. They're not allowed to take bribes from foreign governments. There is no equivalence between what is being accused in the case of, say, Democratic Senator Menendez. You have a Democratic member of the House that's facing a similar thing. His wife set up shell companies to take money. It is not the same as my wife flew a flag outside the house.


WALLACE: But let me ask you a question. I'm a reporter. I'd like to think I'm a straight reporter. If my wife decided she was going to take a position in the presidential race this year in stick a Trump or Biden lawn sign on our front yard, do you think that would raise questions for me and that I would have a right to say, honey, take it off.

ANDERSON: It would be very inadvisable. It would be inadvisable for sure. It would not be anywhere near the same as if she was taking bribes to influence your coverage. It would not --

SWISHER: My only hope is they don't -- the Alitos don't have another house. This is the worry. Where's the third house coming from? But you can't do it. You know this, the sign thing, that was a big deal when my previous wife, when she wanted to put up a sign at our house. I was like, you can't put up any signs because I was a beat reporter at the time and it was problematic.

WALLACE: OK. And I want to pick up on that, because there is the argument that spouses are independent actors, so this is a sign Ginni Thomas can work to overturn the 2020 election while Justice Clarence Thomas refuses to recuse himself from related cases. Lulu, should, let's be specific here -- should justices be held accountable for the actions of their spouses?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So what I would say is I believe that a Supreme Court justice is a very sacred and a very important position in this country. They are the last legal stopgap for many of the great issues that are debated in our time. And so I would say that, yes --

SWISHER: Sorry, sorry about that. I was trying to turn --

WALLACE: That's your ex-wife calling.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I was like, oh, no, it's Justice Alito.

No, I do think that this is this is something that they should be -- listen. The real issue here is that they don't have an ethics thing that they have to adhere to. And so that creates all this confusion. If they had an ethics handbook that they had to adhere to, then perhaps we wouldn't be getting into these --

WALLACE: Reihan, should justices be held accountable for what their wife says or does.

SALAM: I would suggest there be some consistent standard. And if you look at the recent past, you have Judge Cornelia Pillard, who did not recuse herself when literally her husband, a lawyer for the ACLU, was filing a brief in a case. Same thing with Stephen Reinhardt some years ago. There are so many federal judges who say that, wait a second. I am not my spouse, I'm not my husband or wife, and I should be held according to my own standard.

Remember, Judge Merchan --

WALLACE: Let's just remind people, he's the judge in the hush money trial.

SALAM: Exactly. And then a lot of the same people who are saying that because --

WALLACE: Let him finish. SALAM: -- because Justice Alito's wife got in a dispute with a neighbor he should recuse himself, are saying in the case of Judge Merchan he should not, despite the fact that he has made donations to Democratic candidates and his daughter as an active political operative.

Look, there has to be a consistent standard, and my sense is that this is a justice who has demonstrated that he can be perfectly independent of his spouse.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Can I ask you a question, though. Isn't there a difference between the normal, regular political activities of one's nearest and dearest, and actually supporting a violent insurrection trying to overthrow the government? Isn't there a difference between those two things?

SALAM: This is an outrageous characterization of what happened in this case, in my opinion.

WALLACE: Wait, wait, wait. You think that's an outrageous characterization of January 6th?

SALAM: No. It's an outrageous characterization of what happened with Justice Alito's wife. We have no idea about the circumstances under them that there was a pretty fraught, intense dispute --

WALLACE: We kind of do about Ginni Thomas.

SALAM: That's a -- look. When it comes to the Alito case in particular, we know that this is a family that has faced ferocious protests. They've had neighbors who have threatened and tried to intimidate them, who have joined these protests. Their life is extremely difficult. This is something that this --

WALLACE: You think putting a flag out was --

SWISHER: Come on.

SALAM: You know something, families are complicated. And I think that that was all awfully busy time for Justice Alito.

SWISHER: They're not that --

SALAM: And I think that it is perfectly legitimate for a spouse, husband or wife, to actually not one want to suddenly blame them and throw them under the bus.

SWISHER: Let me just say, sure, you can be angry at your neighbors, but putting upside-down flag is just a little much. You've got --

SALAM: You have no idea --

SWISHER: Come on, come on.

SALAM: -- as a reporter --

SWISHER: As a reporter. Let me finish. You're talking over me.

SALAM: Please.

SWISHER: When I was a reporter at every publication I was at, they had strict ethical laws about your spouses and everyone else. And you had --

SALAM: Talk to me about Cornelia Pillard and Stephen Reinhardt --

SWISHER: That's not the same thing. That is so not the same thing.

WALLACE: OK, and you can talk about it during the commercial.

A couple of new inflation trends we're following, big name stores charging you less for what you buy. And more Americans choosing all you can eat restaurants. But do they have the right buffet strategy? I'll share mine after the break.



WALLACE: Once again, it's time to get our group's yea or nay on some big talkers. And this week there are so big, we only have time for two.

Up first, Apple Music revealed its list of the greatest albums of all time, with inputs from musicians, songwriters, and producers. Coming in at number four, Prince's "Purple Rain," at number three, The Beatles "Abbey Road", taking the second spot, Michael Jackson's "Thriller".


And surprising some people at number one, the "Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" which features her famous song "Doo Wop (That Thing)".


LAURYN HILL, SINGER: Some guys, some guys are only about that thing, that thing, that thing.


SWISHER: Great song.

WALLACE: Lulu, are you yea or nay on Apple's top four list?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I like that list. I think it's good. The only thing I would say is that Prince always comes above Michael, and that is a hill that I will die on. Not to bring up Lauryn Hill.

WALLACE: So Prince should have been number two and Michael should have been number four, or does he beat the Beatles?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: No, Michael can be number four. WALLACE: Reihan, did Apple and its advisers roughly get it right?

SALAM: This list is an absolute, unmitigated disaster, and whoever is responsible for it needs to do some deep soul searching about it.

WALLACE: Well, all right, give me your top three.

SALAM: Let's leave aside this top five, OK. Let's look at hip hop music. If you're putting Kendrick Lamar ahead of the Notorious B.I.G. of Brooklyn, New York.

WALLACE: Whose name, incidentally, was Christopher Wallace.

SALAM: Indeed. There you go. It's an insult to all Chris Wallaces. This is -- it's insane.

WALLACE: Kristen, is there an album that you feel was snubbed on the list?

ANDERSON: So I was very surprised when I first saw this list because I looked at the top ten, and Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" was not in the top ten.

WALLACE: Great album.

ANDERSON: It turns out that it's number 11, but still, I think it deserves to be much higher.

WALLACE: OK, from music to food and the resurgence of the all-you-can- eat buffet. After taking a huge hit during the pandemic, buffets are back, due in part to inflation costs at grocery stores and regular sit-down restaurants. Places like Golden Corral have seen a nearly 15 percent jump in sales in the last couple of years. The news isn't so good for Red Lobster, which blames its endless shrimp deal for costing the chain too much and playing a part in its bankruptcy filing this week.

Kristen, are you yay or nay on all you can eat buffets?

ANDERSON: I'm OK with it. I'm a yea. If people want to maximize their dollar per calorie ratio, a buffet is a great way to do that. And look, I'm not a big party person. But if you go to Las Vegas, there's nothing better than the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet on the the Sunday before you leave.

WALLACE: Kara, I can see you as somebody who goes back for a second of thirds in the all-you-can-eat --

SWISHER: No, I do not go to buffets. People cough at buffets.


SWISHER: And by the way, Red Lobster was because a private equity firm stripped that company for parts. And that was the proper narrative. Don't blame the shrimp. WALLACE: I want to dig down on this, because over the years I've

developed a buffet strategy as carefully considered as Eisenhower's plan for D-Day. You know how when you get on a buffet line, the first thing you see is a long line of salads and pastas? Folks, that's for suckers. It will fill you up at little cost to the restaurant. No. No. Head straight for the protein. You know that carving station at the end of the line, they don't want you to get there. They certainly don't want you to get there twice. So skip the filler food and stack your plate with beef and, yes, shrimp.

Lulu, are you yay or nay? You're looking at me with wonder or disgust.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: No, no, wonder, wonder.

WALLACE: Are you yea or nay on my protein first --

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You have a buffet strategy. You're one of those people. I'm seen those people on buffet lines. They're the ones that literally kind of elbow people out of the way to get to --

WALLACE: No, just walk around, and say --

GARCIA-NAVARRO: He's a line skipper.

WALLACE: A line skipper, what is this, "Seinfeld"? Are you yea or nay on the protein first strategy?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I'm a nay simply because I think if you have a buffet, I also would care that I don't like them, but I like it to be a lengthy thing. I like you to be able to go and have the first course, sit down.

WALLACE: So you're going to eat salads and soup and --

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Keep going. It's all-you-can-eat. No one is going to kick you out.

WALLACE: But you fill up. Maybe. I don't know.

Anyway, she's wrong. I'm right.

Speaking of food, the new push to save you money from your grocery bill to your fast food order, and it's under the radar.



WALLACE: Under the radar, big business making big cuts to help save you money. You may have heard this week about Target, which announced it's slashing prices on about 5,000 items ranging from peanut butter to pet food. The cut will continue through the summer in an effort to lure back shoppers battered by inflation.

But one you may have missed is Target is just the latest big-name company to lower prices. McDonald's recently introduced a temporary $5 value meal menu starting in June. Amazon Fresh, the online giant's grocery delivery service, is discounting up to 30 percent on 4,000 items. And furniture superstore Ikea recently made a round of price cuts to thousands of items. So Kara, is this a sign the market is working?

SWISHER: I think the market was working. What happens is when prices go up, they tend to stay up and they don't bring them down. And that's what a lot of these retailers were, in fact, doing, is keeping them, as they go up, coming down was -- and they suffered because online services do that very quickly. They do dynamic pricing. And so I think they've gotten hurt from customers finding bargains elsewhere.

WALLACE: The cost of living is a big concern for voters. It shows up in all the polls, prices, not inflation, and which is one of the reasons that Joe Biden talked about but a good deal in his State of the Union address back in March.



JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Too many corporations raise prices to pad their profits, charging more and more for less and less. That's our cracking down on corporations engaged in price gouging and deceptive pricing, from food to health care to housing.


WALLACE: Reihan, after these stores announced their price cuts, the White House said that they were answering Biden's call.

SALAM: I think that smacks of desperation. I mean, I think the idea that he is somehow driving this is pretty nuts when it in fact is the fact that you have inventories piling up and you want to meet the needs of your customers. That is just plain old capitalism. And I think that it's, frankly, kind of a Trumpy move on the part of Joe Biden to try to insert --

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I think it is a Trumpy move. I think you're right. It's a Trumpy move. Yes. Yes. No, it is, but I don't mean that negatively. I think one of the things that Democrats have said is that they need to be taking advantage of these moments and taking credit for them. And that's what he's doing.

WALLACE: Well, let me ask our pollster here. Kristen, do you think voters will give Biden credit for, particularly if it continues and spreads, the drop in prices?

ANDERSON: Probably not. This was not done by, say, an executive order, an act of Congress. This was companies acting in their own best interests, realizing that even if they're selling some products at a slight loss, as long as it's getting people in the door, it's probably a net benefit for them. So people have to feel really good about the economy in November for Joe Biden to improve his standing against Donald Trump. Right now, he's trailing Trump by 20 points on the economy. That is a deep hole to get out of it. SWISHER: It is. It's interesting? One of the things that I saw there

was a couple of polls that showed people thought the economy, the stock market was an all-time low, and that unemployment man was at an all-time high, and it's absolutely different factually. So it's a mentality thing.

WALLACE: The panel is back with their takes on hot stories or what will be in 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, where predictions of what we should be looking out for. So Kristen, hit me with your best shot.

ANDERSON: Well, it's Memorial Day weekend. And so this is the weekend where we honor and remember those who have lost their lives in service. But increasingly those who are in military service, it's not the battlefield where they're being lost. It's back at home, mental health challenges, losing those who have served to suicide. And that's why the American Legion's Be the One program is so important. It's a big weekend for Be the One to talk to a veteran in your life and destigmatize getting mental health services. It's so important.

WALLACE: Thank you for that.

Lulu, you have a disappointment for the never-Trumpers.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I do. Nikki Haley made some news this week. Let's have a look at what she said before and then what she just said now.


NIKKI HALEY, (R) FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Chaos follows him, and we can't have a country in disarray in a world on fire and go through four more years of chaos. We won't survive it.

Biden has been a catastrophe. So I will be voting for Trump.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: Nikki Haley has come home to Trump. This is not exactly an endorsement. I don't like people saying it's an endorsement. It was the most grudging sort of coming home that I've seen recently. But it certainly shows that all the people who were expecting Nikki Haley to lead the resistance against Trump are going to be disappointed.

WALLACE: Reihan, best shot.

SALAM: Well, mine builds off of Lulu's. When you see how Donald Trump reacted to Nikki Haley's announcement, he actually was quite magnanimous and positive about Nikki Haley, whom he really attacked really sharply when they were in the thick of a campaign against each other. I think right now, Trump right now is on a charm offensive to win back those wavering Republican voters. Another indication of it is the fact that now Tom Cotton, Senator from Arkansas, serious, disciplined, sharp conservative, is being floated as a serious running mate possibility. I think the one-two punch of that actually trying to extend an olive branch to Nikki Haley and talking up Tom Cotton is a sign that he wants to kind of get the band back together.

WALLACE: Trump keeps adding names to the list, though, and I guess this is going to go on right, he indicates maybe into the GOP Convention.

SALAM: I believe it, but I also believe that Cotton is someone who brings some unique strengths, and he is someone who could get a lot of folks who are skeptical onside.

WALLACE: Kara, bring us home.

SWISHER: Well, it's very hard not to talk about the Scar Jo OpenAI controversy this week. But let's listen to the voices. OpenAI, she accused OpenAI of using her voice or using a facsimile of it. Let's listen to it.


SCARLETT JOHANSSON, ACTRESS: Basically, I have intuition. I mean, the DNA of who I am is based on the millions of personalities of all the programmers who wrote me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It looks like you're feeling pretty happy and cheerful, with a big smile and maybe even a touch of excitement.


SWISHER: Yes, both of them creepy.

In any case, what I think it was this huge misstep by Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI. He has been a very favored person in Washington in particular, because he's the friendly face of tech of late. But now he looks like Ursula from "The Little Mermaid" stealing Scar Jo's voice. It's a little more complex than that, but what it does is everyone didn't understand LLMs taking your copyright. Everyone gets someone taking a very well-known celebrity's voice.

WALLACE: And in 10 seconds, because she's going to sue him, or at least maybe.


WALLACE: Does she have a case?

SWISHER: Well, she took on Disney and won quite a bit. So I think she's certainly embarrassed them. I don't know if she has a case.

WALLACE: Gang, thank you all for being here. It was a spirited conversation. And thank you for spending part of your Memorial Day weekend with us. We'll see you right back here next week.