Return to Transcripts main page

The Chris Wallace Show

Donald Trump Found Guilty On Felony Charges In Hush Money Criminal Trial; Judge In Hush Money Criminal Trial Of Donald Trump To Issue Sentencing Three Days Before Republican Convention; Guilty Verdict May Affect Donald Trump's Presidential Chances In November; Some Calling On Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito To Recuse Himself From Cases Related To Donald Trump Due To Flags Flown At His Houses; Summer Day Camps For Children Becoming Increasingly Expensive; Airplane Designer Showcases Upper And Lower Row Seats Inside Aircraft; More People Dropping Home Insurance Due To Increasing Rates Related To Risks Of Extreme Weather Damage And Labor Costs; Donald Trump Says He May Appoint Elon Musk as Adviser If Trump Wins Presidential Election. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired June 01, 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 now that Donald Trump is a convicted felon, should the former president get jail time?

Then Joe Biden's predicament. Given he's struggling in the polls, should Biden focus on Trump's conviction?

And heads up, the new airplane seating plan that may have you looking over your shoulder a lot.

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

Up first, the fallout from Donald Trump's conviction. From the moment jurors found Trump guilty on 34 felony counts. The former president and his allies have gone on offense, looking to turn his historic legal loss into a political win.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: This is a scam. This is a rigged trial.

WALLACE: Donald Trump vowing to fight back.

TRUMP: I'm willing to do whatever I have to do to save our country.

WALLACE: His allies and potential running mates also quick to attack the verdict.

SEN. TIM SCOTT, (R-SC): This is the weaponization of the justice system against their political opponents.

SEN. TED CRUZ, (R-TX): This was an attack job. This is what you see in banana republics.

WALLACE: Trump's sentencing set for July 11th, just four days before the Republican Convention.

ELIE HONIG, SENIOR CNN LEGAL ANALYST: This is going to be such a tough call for Judge Merchan.

WALLACE: The big question, whether the former president could get jail time.

KAREN FRIEDMAN AGNIFILO, FORMER CHIEF ASSISTANT D.A., MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE: Any other defendant who was similarly situated to Donald Trump, who is not going to show remorse, anyone else in that position would get prison.

WALLACE: The conviction doesn't prevent Trump from running for or serving as president.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's really no projecting how this is going to impact the race.

WALLACE: But while a guilty verdict may not change most voters' minds, seven percent of Trump supporters in a recent poll said they'd be less likely to vote for him if he is convicted.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICS WRITER AND ANALYST: Even a small change in the entire electric could make a massive change when you have a margin that is this close.


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 podcast host Lulu Garcia-Navarro, and author and conservative pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson. Welcome back, everyone.

Kristen, you've seen these reason polls I just referred to where six to seven percent of Trump supporters said they might reconsider their support if he were convicted. Can a convicted felon be elected president? How much has the developments this week, how much have they hurt his chances of winning in November?

KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, FOUNDING PARTNER, ECHELON INSIGHTS: Well, we'll know a little bit next week when the first polls come out of the field. I'm a pollster. I love to rely on that data. But even in the absence of that, I still feel pretty confident that, yes, a convicted felon, if it's Donald Trump, can still win election, or rather reelection, as president.

Right now, when I look at polls, I see a lot of voters that don't like Donald Trump personally. They don't think he's a good guy, but they still think he's better on the economy. The fact that he is now a convicted felon in court doesn't necessarily change how would he perform on issues on who is going to make cost of living better. So I can imagine this not necessarily changing the race until sentencing.

The question of do I want to vote for somebody who is actually looking at prison time is different than the question of, do I think Donald Trump is a good or bad person. And that's where I'm really waiting to see do the polls --

WALLACE: All right, we're going to get to that in a minute, but Lulu, we had never had a president who had ever faced criminal charges. Now, we have a former president running for reelection, who has been found guilty on 34 charges. How big a roadblock do you think that is to him, to the rest of this campaign?

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, "NEW YORK TIMES" JOURNALIST AND PODCAST HOST: I disagree with Kristen, because I actually think it's going to be a substantial roadblock. I think it takes time for this kind of thing to settle in. We're just seeing all the messaging going out. We're seeing Republicans coming and repeating the same words over and over again. Banana republic, fraud.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: Kangaroo court, that's another one of their favorite ones. And what we're seeing is that that's going to -- people are going to listen to that and they're going to make their own decision. But ultimately, I mean, do we want to have a president that is a convicted felon? Whatever you think of our justice system, I mean, this is a huge deal.


WALLACE: Reihan, as we said in the piece, Trump will be sentenced on July 11. That's just four days before the Republican Convention. You heard that former prosecutor in New York say anybody in this situation who had been found guilty of violating a gag 10 times, who had shown absolutely no remorse, would face jail time. Do you think that Trump should get jail time?

REIHAN SALAM, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "NATIONAL REVIEW": I don't. And I also suspect that Judge Merchan is not going to give him a prison sentence. I think it's more likely that there will perhaps be a fine or probation, something along those lines, partly because, surely he understands this is someone who is 77-years-old. This is the first time he's been involved with the criminal justice system in this way.

And also that this whole case relies on a very novel legal theory. This is something that is going to go up to an appeal very, very soon. And I think that it would be really dicey to impose a prison sentence in this case.

WALLACE: Kara, should the former president be sentenced to spend some time in jail?

SWISHER: You'd be surprised if I say no. It's the office, not him. It's just the way we sent Nixon away to California. It's just -- he cannot be incarcerated. He could maybe have some home, maybe he wears something. I don't know, something else. But it shouldn't be incarceration.

It's just not -- this whole, we're right now in a really dicey period of distrusting all our institutions. And it seems it just will -- it will help him, it will help the MAGA people. It's not good for America, for America as a whole, to do that.

WALLACE: Lulu, do you agree with that?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I'm conflicted. I don't want to be sitting in Judge Merchan's shoes. It's a very, very difficult decision. But if the idea is that you are supposed to be equal under the law, then you should be equal under the law. And so, if the decision is that that is what he should face, then I think that that -- I would trust his decision.

WALLACE: I want to talk about another element of this. The reaction among right-wing commentators has been stunning. Here is a FOX News anchor.


JESSE WATTERS, FOX NEWS HOST: We're going to vanquish the evil forces that are destroying this republic.


WALLACE: And "The Daily Wire's" Matt Walsh posted this, "Donald Trump should make and publish a list of 10 high ranking Democrat criminals who he will have arrested when he takes office."

Kristen, what do you think is the effect of these Republican calls for revenge?

ANDERSON: Well, there's a lot of anger and a lot of animation on the right and the far right, right now. I mean, you look at Donald Trump's fundraising numbers, in the 24 hours after the verdict came out, he raised almost $35 million. Now, granted a lot of that's going to have to go pay legal fees for this and the other cases he's involved in. But there is a lot of anger, much the same that we saw after Mar-a- Lago was raided, much the same as we saw during the Republican primary when Trump's numbers went up every time he faced more legal peril.

So this is really, really, really motivating parts of the right, frankly, even parts of the right that don't like Donald Trump. I mean, Susan Collins, the senator for Maine, not Donald Trump fan at all. And she even came out and said, I think this is wrong.

SWISHER: That may be, but that was Jesse Watters saying that, FOX News host. I could take Jesse Watters with one hand tied behind my back. The violent rhetoric is really troubling from my perspective. You can disagree with it. You can say this is terrible. This shouldn't have happened. But the idea of violent -- we're going to arrest people. Matt Walsh is a menace in that regard. This is not the way --

WALLACE: That's the guy who posted on "The Daily Wire." SWISHER: Yes, exactly, because this is not how we should talk. You can

have disagreement without moving into violent rhetoric. And to suggest it is a real mistake.

WALLACE: Reihan, what about that? I mean, look, it's fair game to criticize the result, the verdict of the jury. But it's gone beyond that in some cases where there's talk about going after Democrats and let's put Joe Biden in jail. And I understand that some would say that's the natural sort of consequence of what's happened here, but it's troubling, isn't it?

SALAM: Well, I do think that calling for violence is never a good idea. That is outrageous. It's dangerous. I'll also say that there are a lot of folks who have good reason to believe that no one else would have been prosecuted under this novel legal theory, and also, that there are other folks who have been guilty of campaign finance violations where they've been fined, and where there have been no remotely similar consequence. And I would think that yes, a tit-for- tat response to that is inevitable.


WALLACE: During those six weeks of Trump's trial, President Biden's poll numbers barely moved, with Trump's still leading in key swing states. How can Biden change the narrative?

Then, fond of flags, Justice Alito's latest account has sparked a new debate about what his fellow justices could do.

And later, summer surge. The popular tradition for many families that may now be costing too much to continue.



WALLACE: Donald Trump's hush money trial soaked up all the attention in politics for weeks. Now with the case decided, Democrats hope President Biden can move to shift the momentum in the presidential race.


JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's dangerous, it's irresponsible for anyone to say this was rigged just because they don't like the verdict.

WALLACE: President Biden denouncing Donald Trump's attacks on the justice system.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: It's a rigged, it was a rigged trial.

WALLACE: His first public remarks since Trump's conviction.

BIDEN: The American principle that no one is above the law was reaffirmed.

WALLACE: But the Biden campaign's main focus has been on the ballot box.

MITCH LANDRIEU, NATIONAL CO-CHAIR, BIDEN-HARRIS CAMPAIGN: Only the American people on Election Day can stop him from becoming president again.

WALLACE: Trump's six weeks in court had little effect on the poll. Since the trial began, they've remained largely unchanged, forcing first lady Jill Biden to weigh in.

JILL BIDEN, U.S. FIRST LADY: I believe that Americans are going to choose good over evil.

WALLACE: And leaving Democrats focused on energizing voters.

REP. JAMAAL BOWMAN, (D-NY): We cannot have a President Trump get back into the White House. It will be dangerous for all of us.


WALLACE: Kristen, you're our pollster. How should Biden play Trump's conviction? Should he harp on convicted felon, as some people in his camp were saying? or should he move on and talk about issues that more directly affect people's lives?

ANDERSON: The latter, absolutely. I was very concerned when you suddenly had Robert De Niro showing up in front of the courthouse sort of at the behest of the Biden team. Oh, are they going to start leaning into this more? Are they going to start making a bigger deal? Because all that will do is play right into Donald Trump's claims that this is a Biden rigged political thing. By stepping back, letting the headlines speak for themselves, and focusing all of your time on the issues that matter most to voters, that would be the smartest strategy for them, plain and simple.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You're seeing that actually happen right now. I mean, only yesterday Biden came out and started talking about the Middle East, talking about a peace plan, saying -- trying to show his stature as a president, which I think is a real counternarrative to what you see Trump doing.

SWISHER: Yes, the inclination is a put up your dukes thing, like put up your dukes, Joe. Go after him. And you do start -- when you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas kind of thing. And so he should stick to the economy, how he's helping --

WALLACE: So are you saying that he should just sort of let the narrative of convicted felon tell itself?

SWISHER: Or let surrogates talk about it.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I was about to say, there are surrogates to talk about.

SWISHER: Let the surrogates talk about it. But he should be talking about things he's doing for the American people.

WALLACE: All right, as long as we're giving the precedent advice, Reihan, throughout the trial, the race stayed remarkably, even though there was a lot of negative information that was testified to about Trump, the race stayed really even with Trump ahead of Biden, narrowly, but by a margin, in swing states. What does Biden due to change the narrative?

SALAM: This is really, really tough. My consistent line on this has been that Biden's strategy is to reach out to suburban voters, folks who really are motivated by abortion, for example, as their main issue. And I think that there is some number of voters, particularly educated, more affluent voters, for whom that kind of democracy, protecting democracy narrative, is something that is compelling for them. So I think that trying to project himself as the adult in the room is his best bet.

And I think that in some ways he's been conceding too much to his left flank, particularly when it comes to the Middle East. And I think that that is something that's going to need a bit of a correction from him if he's going to actually consolidate that kind of moderate suburban group that's been so crucial. A Gretchen Whitmer, for example, or a Josh Shapiro.

WALLACE: But Lulu, in the polls, voters clearly favor Trump over Biden on some of the biggest issues, like immigration, like crime, like, if not inflation, the cost of living. How does Biden flip the script on those issues?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I think he's in a lot of trouble. I think, to Reihan's point, he really needs to show that he is the grownup in the room. But I will also say this, we keep on talking about his message writ large. This will come down to a very small group of people who are persuadable. And that is why what has happened to Donald Trump right now, and the fact that he is now a felon, a convicted felon, is going to matter. And people who say that it isn't going to matter I don't think understand how close this election is going to be and who is going to be contesting it.

And so my general feeling on this is that he needs to keep doing more of what he is doing. And my biggest concern is that the problem isn't the message. It's the messenger.


People don't like Biden. They think he is either too old, not energetic enough. There's a myriad of reasons for that.

WALLACE: You can't change that.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I understand that, and that is that is my bigger concern for the Democrats, if I had to say what it was.

WALLACE: One of the most interesting trends in this campaign is that voters view Trump more favorably now than they did when he left office. For instance, approval for his handling of the economy has gone up 10 points from 2020 to 2024, and 42 percent rate the Trump presidency has mostly good for the country compared to 25 percent who said that about Biden.

Kristen, one thing that people have suggested, could Trump's conviction cause some people to stop the Trump amnesia, that they'll remember some of the chaos, some of the disorders, some of the things they didn't like about those four years that Trump was actually in the White House.

ANDERSON: It could insofar as the ins and outs of the trial over the last couple of weeks, your median American voter has not been following it, but the verdict itself has broken through, I would imagine. It's the sort of thing that even if you don't care that much about political news, you probably haven't missed this headline. And so if you are the kind of lower information voter, which I don't say as a bad thing or an insult, but just somebody who has the out there living a life who is not --

WALLACE: Coincidentally, are some of Trump's biggest supporters.

ANDERSON: Exactly. Are those sorts of folks who maybe as they begin to remember a little bit more, do they start seeing Trump in a different light? It is normal for people to have nostalgia for past presidencies. Just look at how many Democrats now have a soft positive view of George W. Bush for instance. So we're seeing this with Trump. The more people think of him as a political actor, I think that will pull his favorables --

SWISHER: Yes, but the memory hole of America is so deep and wide. I mean, next week we'll be onto something else, whatever the controversy --

WALLACE: You really think that? You think that --


WALLACE: -- the conviction is going to be just noise?

SWISHER: I think America operates on a constant memory hole of things that have happened before. They don't remember things as they -- and Donald Trump lives in that social media, fast forward, snackable environment.

SALAM: And he's been denounced so often it just feels like --

SWISHER: We know he's a rogue, right? So we know it. So --

WALLACE: From the "my wife did it" defense to the "my wife likes flags" argument, up next, Justice Alito's latest story that led a congressman to propose a bold idea.

Plus, the new airplane seating plan that's perfect for nosy travelers who won a look over their neighbor's shoulders.



WALLACE: Just when you thought Justice Samuel Alito's flag controversy had blown over, Democrats in Congress stepped up calls for Alito to sit out January 6th related cases, including whether Donald Trump has immunity. All that to comply with the Supreme Court's new who code of conduct.


SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, (D-CT): These flag flying incidents show -- are political statements, and they're part of a pattern by Justice Alito. And the reason that each should disqualify himself.


WALLACE: But Alito replied to Senate Democrats, saying he would not recuse himself because he had nothing to do with the flags. He wrote, "My wife is fond of flying flags. I am not." Meanwhile, new reporting from "The New York Times" about the inverted flag incident contradicts Alito's version of events about who started the neighborhood fight and when, which led to Mrs. Alito raising the flag.

And former President Donald Trump jumped in, going after Democratic critics of Alito.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: They're trying to play the ref. Alito is a tough guy and he's strong and very, very smart. And he put out a great statement. I gave him a lot of credit for it. But they play the ref. They intimidate him.


WALLACE: Lulu, as we learn more about the Alito flag controversy, does the story get better or worse for the justice?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I think the story gets worse for the justice. I think the statement that he put out and was widely panned, the idea that my wife ate my homework and she did it and she likes to fly flags. Oh, my gosh sir, the cocaine isn't mine. I mean, it's sort of like all that kind of stuff doesn't help. And just the history in particular of the flag in their vacation home, the more that that comes out about who is behind that flag, the Christian nationalist themes about it, how it has been raised up in the past few years for stop the steal, I think it is deeply troubling, frankly.

WALLACE: But let me pick up on this, because we have learned more this week about the whole controversy. The justice says, when he saw the inverted flag, I asked my wife to take it down, but for several days she refused. As for the flag at the New Jersey beach house, he said it's her property.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yes. There's no step ladders in his house.

SWISHER: You know what's nice? Here's what's nice. He wants a woman to make choices on her own. That's a really nice thing for him to do at this point given his history and --

SALAM: Chris, just a little history lesson about the appeal to heaven flag. It literally was flying above San Francisco City Hall until this past weekend, right?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: From 60 years ago, from 60 years ago.

SALAM: Indeed, and for 60 years it has been a perfectly acceptable symbol that all sort of folks --

GARCIA-NAVARRO: No it's not. That happens all the time. Reihan --

SALAM: -- in the last week, because it has become inconvenient for folks because they've decided to use this as a wedge against Justice Alito.


SWISHER: Martha-Ann Alito --

SALAM: People have disagreements within their families.

WALLACE: All right --

SWISHER: Martha-Ann is making communications with us with these flags. You know she is. That's what she's doing. She's doing that at her neighbors --

SALAM: Including the veterans flag.

ANDERSON: -- the ridiculousness when you had, who was it, assisting one of the justices during their confirmation hearing, they kept flashing an OK sign, and people said, oh, that's a sign that they're a secret white nationalist. There's some of this does feel a little bit like we're looking in through the tea leaves, trying to find --


WALLACE: I want to move on because the key question at this point is whether or not Alito should stay on these two January 6th related cases, including the one about whether the president should have total immunity. Last fall, the Supreme Court adopted a code of conduct that, quote, "A justice should disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which the justice's impartiality might reasonably be questioned." Kara, should Justice Alito recuse or not?

SWISHER: It doesn't matter. He's not going to.

WALLACE: I'm asking you whether he should.

SWISHER: He should probably think about it, but he won't do it. So what's the point of even having that hypothetical? He's not going to do it. He is a tough guy and he's just going to refuse. So --

WALLACE: Well, OK, here's Alito's reasoning as to why Kara says he's not going to step down. Interestingly enough, he wrote back to his critics in the Senate and the House, and this is what he wrote, "A reasonable person who is not motivated by political or ideological considerations or a desire to affect the outcome of Supreme Court cases would conclude this event does not meet the applicable standard for recusal." Kristen, Kristen, is Alito right?

ANDERSON: Think he's right there. I might have said less about his wife and the flag and all of that, probably had a couple of sentences too many in that letter. But that's the core of the case, right there. I don't think that the fact that there was a flag flying over his house that, again, an uncharitable interpretation is that he somehow is secretly expressing his opinions about the political event. I think it's nonsense.

I think when you look at somebody like Senator Ed Markey, he tweeted as the story was all breaking, this is why we need this code of conduct and we need to pack the court. And it was like aha, there. They give up the game. They're not mad about Justice Alito's flag. They're mad that there's a six-three conservative majority on the court, and progressives don't like that.

WALLACE: Well, that's entirely true, because then there's Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin who says if Alito and Justice Clarence Thomas's wife worked to overturn the election, won't recuse, the Department of Justice should petition the seven other justices.


REP. JAMIE RASKIN, (D-MD): There are other cases like that, but this one is clearer than any of them, really, where you get a judge and or his wife basically wearing their political heart on their sleeve. What does that say to the parties before them?


WALLACE: Lulu, should the other justices make both Thomas and Alito recuse themselves from the January 6th cases?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So the idea behind what Raskin is proposing is that the court should police itself, I mean, essentially is what he's saying.

WALLACE: And it shouldn't be left up to the individual justice.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And it shouldn't be left under to the individual justices. And I think leaving this case aside, I don't think that that's a bad idea. I mean, isn't that what everyone has been calling for, an actual implementable policy there that holds people to account for their actions? And so on the face of it, it looks good. Unfortunately, though, we know that none of the justices have any appetite to do this.

SALAM: I'll just note that Jamie Raskin also objected to the certification of the 2016 presidential election. He's also been, as Kristen was noting earlier on, a huge advocate of packing the court. This is not a serious, credible, independent, nonpartisan voice on the court. He is someone who has a hardcore ideologue who is exactly the kind of person that Justice Alito was talking about. So, look, people disagree with their spouses, and they should not have to recuse in those instances.

WALLACE: Let's hope we don't have to talk about flags next week.

Homeowners are recusing themselves from a traditional must-have, and it could be a costly move for you. We'll explain.

Plus, step aside, Coke and Pepsi. The newer and healthier soft drink that's now all the rage.



WALLACE: Once again, it's time to get our group's yay or nay on some big talkers. Up first, with summer break starting, parents are spending more and more to send their kids to camp. According to the American Camp Association, the average day camp now costs at $87 a day. That's up 10 percent from last year. And sleep away camps are now $173 bucks a day, which adds up quickly when you consider those camps are usually a multi-week commitment.

So Kristen, are you a yay or nay for paying those prices to send your kid to camp? I know they're too young, but when they get to the --

ANDERSON: I'm probably going to have to be a yea when the time comes because what choice will I have? The reality is a lot of our institutes in this country were built around a time when families were one income institutions. We don't live in that world anymore, but things like the public school system haven't kept up.


So schools are out all summer and the day ends at three and parents wind up having to pay the price in our new modern world where, surprise, both parents often work.

WALLACE: Lulu, instead of having to save for your daughter to go to college, are you now going to save for your daughter to go to camp?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Do you know what happens? Let me tell you something. This makes me so furious. January rolls around, and all of a sudden, the floodgates open and you're in this competitive rat race to get the few tiny seeds that are left for your child because, what are we going to do? We're working parents and we can't just have her sitting at home all day when she's 11-years-old. And so it's a nightmare. And we'll pay whatever it is at this point because it's extortion. And something, as Kristen rightly points, has to change.

WALLACE: So you're a definite maybe on this. OK.


WALLACE: Next, a luxury version about controversial airplane seating idea. You may have seen this prototype last fall, which eliminates overhead bins and replaces them with double-decker rows of seats in economy. This week, the same designer came up with a first-class version where the top deck has a coat style configuration and all seats keep their luxury comforts, including lie flat beds.

Kara, you're our world traveler. Are you yay or nay on this elevated idea?

SWISHER: I like it. I like it. I like a very comfy -- I don't think airlines have innovated at all forever. And I love the idea of doing different things within these planes. And I'm all for trying all kinds of different.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We're not ants.

SWISHER: We're not ants, but this is how we move around the world, and it's good to innovate. Planes have not changed in 50 years.

WALLACE: Kristen, the designer doesn't like it being called double- decker, which was my initial idea. He calls with 3-D seeding. Are you buying a ticket?

ANDERSON: I think that is trying to stretch branding a little too far. I was not a fan. At first, I looked at the design and I thought, well, this seems interesting. And then I noticed that the prototype didn't have a roof. And it really raised some questions to me about the livability of the top bunk piece of this puzzle. So count me as a nay.

WALLACE: Finally, a healthy alternative to your favorite soft drink. This week, Bloomberg reported soda startup Olipop will hit about $500 million in sales this year. That's more than double last year. And it's more than 500 times what it sold in its first year in 2019. Olipop as part of a growing category of healthy sodas with less sugar and calories than traditional brands. Some may even include prebiotics and fiber. Reihan, are you yay or nay on healthy soft drinks?

SALAM: I am a firm, strong nay. As the son of a nutritionist, I will tell you that liquid sugar is awful for you, even if it's reduced liquid sugar. Stick with water, have a green tea every now and again, but steer clear of the sauce. It's very, very bad.

WALLACE: Lulu, are you healthy soda drinker?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I'm a healthy soda drinker. I had a poppy before I came here today. I like it.

WALLACE: That explains your behavior.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yes, I'm a firm yea. I think people like soda pop in their life. They like a bit of fizz, and it's --

WALLACE: You know what's really good? Every once in a while, an ice cold Coca Cola.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Diet coke for me. WALLACE: No. Real hardcore Coke.

Up next, the risky move some of your neighbors are making to save money that's gone under the radar.



WALLACE: Under the Radar this week, we've heard about companies dropping people's home insurance policies because of more storms and wildfires. But now people are starting to drop the companies. Recent data shows 12 percent of homeowners had no home insurance in 2022. That's up from five percent just a few years ago. It's partly due to home insurance premiums which have jumped more than 40 percent in the last five years. Experts say the cost spike is because of an increase in severe storms as well as inflation and labor shortages, which make repairs more expensive for insurance companies.

And here's where it could impact your bottom line. Experts say, if more people opt out of home insurance, it could drive up premiums for other homeowners. Kristen, how risky is it to voluntarily drop insurance on your home?

ANDERSON: It is a terrible idea because in the end, if something happens, and as we know with the climate changing, with the expense of getting your home repaired, it's going to destroy your life savings. You're going to be looking to the government to bail you out in that case. I think this is terrible.

Who I feel bad for, the people who lose coverage involuntarily, the people who are losing their coverage because their insurer is folding up, closing up shop, leaving the state. You see this in places like, Lulu, my home state of Florida. The insurance market there is a disaster right now because it's just too expensive to keep insurance open there.

WALLACE: Lulu, what do you think is going on here?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yes, climate change. Hello. This is the problem that we're having, and we're facing it more and more. I mean, we've had this as the canary in the coal mine for some time, but now we're facing an actual insurance crisis in places like Florida because it simply is unaffordable to be able to insure your home. And so now, people are not ensuring their homes. And what's going to happen when the next storm comes? Their houses are going to be destroyed.

WALLACE: Reihan, some politicians are suggesting a government option where the government would be the insurer of last resort.


But there are people, and my guess is you might think that this creates a moral hazard where we are protecting developers and protecting homeowners from building and living in places that are dangerous, like on seashores with rising tides and oceans. SALAM: Government is the problem here for a variety of different

reasons, from a variety of angles. One thing is that home ownership is much more expensive than it needs to be because of land use regulation, because of tight zoning. But then also you're trying to lure a lot of people through Fannie and Freddie through a variety of different subsidies into homeownership who are not necessarily ready for it.

Think about single-family home rentals. That's become a huge political controversy. But there are a lot of people for whom renting actually makes a lot more economic sense. And seeing to it that some larger entities bearing the burden of insurance --

WALLACE: We're almost out of time. Isn't owning your own home one of the best investments you can possibly make?

SALAM: The fact that it's such a good investment is a product of these terrible regulations that lock a lot of younger folks out of home ownership. That is a really bad government policy. Layering on another bad government policy on top of that would be deeply counterproductive.

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



WALLACE: Every week we end the show asking our gang here for their best shots, their special tags or predictions of what's going to make news. And yes, we keep tabs whether their shot is a hit or a miss.

So check out Kara's prediction about Elon Musk in this "Best Shot" reply.


SWISHER: He has to sidle up to Donald Trump because if Biden wins, I think he's going to be in a little more trouble, especially around SpaceX and national security clearances.

WALLACE: And Donald Trump needs the coin?

SWISHER: He needs the coin. Oh, yes, he's the richest man in the world. Donald Trump needs the money, and he will trade influence for it.


WALLACE: Kara, you were right two months ago. Where do things stand now between two of your favorite people?

SWISHER: Well, they're going to be together. They're strange bedfellows. They've disagreed on a lot of things, Trump and Elon Musk, especially about electric vehicles, for example. But they meet each other. Elon is going to be under enormous pressure if there's another Biden administration, especially around issues around Tesla, investigations.

WALLACE: Trump is talking about making him an adviser.

SWISHER: That's correct, on issues he knows nothing about, which will be enjoyable to watch. But they will eventually fight no matter what. But he needs the money, and he needs the influence. And Elon and his stans were full at it after this trial, were all tweeting about it, giving money. And there's a fundraiser in California next week. I call them Elon-stans. They're just Elon people that are raising a lot of money for Trump.

Kristen, your focus this week on U.S. involvement in Gaza?

ANDERSON: Yes, so I think a story that was not as big a headline because of the Trump trial is the fact that the United States spent $320 million trying to build a pier in order to deliver humanitarian aid in Gaza, and within about a week that pier has been demolished by a lot of bad weather. Now, pieces of it have been taken away for repairs. The military is trying to get it back. But this really is a debacle. It's very expensive. It's sad for the people of Gaza who need aid in order to keep going during these tough times. But it's also, I think, a real blunder for the Biden administration to have thought this was a really good way to deliver aid.

WALLACE: And some U.S. personnel ended up on the ground in Gaza. Not a lot, but this is exactly what Biden had promised, no U.S. boots on the ground.

ANDERSON: Yes. And I think back to the withdrawal from Afghanistan and the way that that was a debacle. And that actually really did hurt Joe Biden's standings. I feel like something like this, even though it's not the top headline this week, it underscores a narrative that's very unfortunate for the Biden campaign.

WALLACE: Reihan, your best shot is about a new policy at a very old and distinguished university.

SALAM: Indeed. Harvard University recently decided to adopt a stance of institutional neutrality on matters that happen off-campus. Rather than weighing in on this or that political controversy, sort of that international conflict happening halfway around the world, they're saying we're going to be mum about those things. Essentially, they're adopting a stance taken by the University of Chicago dubbed the Chicago principles. This is a big, and I think very positive development, but we'll see if it sticks.

Now, one thing I'll note is that it's kind of sad that this happened only in the aftermath of the Hamas attack on Israel, because basically there were all sorts of good reasons to have done this years ago. But it is what it is.

WALLACE: Lulu, take us out on a happy note.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yes, it's been a tough week. And so I will take you out on the note of the pandas are back. I'm so excited. As a D.C. resident, the pandas were taken away from us cruelly when panda diplomacy seemed like it was going to be shuttered. And yet we have now gotten word from the first lady Jill Biden that the pandas will be restored to us, two beautiful pandas. D.C. will be paying $1 million a year for these pandas for the privilege. The ambassador from China to the United States talked about how important it was to have this connection with the United States through the panda diplomacy.

WALLACE: That is a bargain, $1 million a year for 10 years, for the delight of the pandas in our town?


WALLACE: 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.