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King Charles

Nikki Haley Talks With Gayle And Charles; "King Charles" Tackles 2024 Presidential Race Candidates; Professor Roxane Gay Discusses Basic Etiquette And Workplace Issues. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired February 21, 2024 - 22:00   ET



KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN HOST: Her boyfriend, spoke to CNN earlier tonight.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Knowing Ksenia is, that's the difficult part, is I know who she is. She's so full of life. She needs to be out there in the sense of she needs to be with her friends. She needs to live life. I believe in America. I do believe that America will bring her back to me. And that that's the hope I'm holding on to.


COLLINS: Right now, we are told U. S. officials have not been given consular access to Karelina. Russia is claiming that she will be detained until April, that we've seen them extend those before. We'll continue to keep an eye on that.

Thank you so much for joining us. King Charles starts now.


GAYLE KING, CNN HOST: Oh, yes. We are ready. We welcome, welcome, welcome you to King Charles. I'm Gayle King. You are who?

BARKLEY: Charles Barkley.

KING: Charles Barkley.

And guess what, guys, we're starting things off a little differently tonight because our first guest, you could say, has a very big weekend coming up.

Here with us tonight, fresh off of a rally in her home state, is former Governor of South Carolina and Republican Presidential Candidate Nikki Haley.

Governor, we thank you for being with us. I know you've come straight from the rally. We're so glad that your first stop is with us. Welcome.

NIKKI HALEY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Oh, thank you for having me on. I appreciate it so much.

BARKLEY: I'm going to start, Gayle.

KING: All right, please.

BARKLEY: Governor, I'm dying to vote for you. I mean, that sincerely. I want to give all my energy and all my heart behind your campaign, but I was upset when you made the reference that you didn't think America had racism. And my question is -- I was disappointed, number one, obviously. But I want to give you a chance. Did you say that because you felt like you needed to say that to the audience? Because I can say I'm dying to vote for you, and that hurt me. So, I would love you to clarify that, please.

HALEY: So, first of all, I never said that there was not racism in America. There absolutely is racism in America. I said that America was not a racist country. And the whole point of that is, and, Charles, you'll appreciate this, when I grew up, the only Indian family in a small, rural southern town, we weren't white enough to be white, we weren't black enough to be black, they didn't know who we were, what we were, or why we were there. If my mom had told me that we lived in a racist country, I would have grown up never thinking I could be governor, never thinking I could be ambassador, never thinking I could run for president. But my mom always said, your job is not to show them how you're different. Your job is to show them how you're similar.

And it's amazing how that lesson on the playground played throughout my life, whether it was the corporate world, as governor, as ambassador, that once I was ever presented with a challenge, if I first talked about the things we had in common, people would let their guard down, and then we could go towards a solution.

KING: But, Governor, I think most people heard you say --

HALEY: Our job should be --

KING: -- that you did not believe that America had been a racist country. That's the problem that we heard you say --

HALEY: That's not what I said.

KING: Okay.

HALEY: So, I never said -- I said that America is not a racist country. The premise of America was never to be a racist country, and that our number one goal should be to make today better than yesterday. We need to stomp out racism wherever it exists.

But if you go and tell kids that they live in a racist country, then you're automatically telling brown and black kids that they'll never be good enough. I don't want our kids to think that. I want them to know that, yes, there is racism, yes, it is wrong wherever we see it, but that doesn't mean that the country is against you. That means that we need you even more than ever, so we can stomp it out wherever we see it. KING: Okay, I really don't want to split hairs, but the exact quote that you said was America has never been a racist country. I think that's the problem that people objected to. We're not disputing that, what you're saying about America is not a racist country. Some people would argue with that, but we're saying that the comment you made that particular day was that America has never been a racist country. And I think that's what caught people off surprised, caught people off guard and surprised many people.

HALEY: And I don't think the premise of America was to be a racist country. I think that they said that every man was created equal with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and getting it to the place it needed to be was America was a working. But I don't think that the basis of America was that we were a racist country. I think the goal was always to have freedom.


Now, we stumbled along the way and we've got some parts of our history that were not pretty. But we got past that. I don't think that our founders wanted us to have a racist country. I don't believe that that's the basis that America sits on. So, that's what I was saying is I don't think the premise of America was ever to be a racist country. I think it's always to be the best country with the most freedom that allows anybody to be whatever they want to be without government getting in their way or anybody else getting in their way.

KING: Okay. You're making news again today. You make news every day Governor Haley, but today you're making news because you agreed with the Alabama Supreme Court that ruled that embryos are people. And today you said yes, you believe they're people too.

I think that troubled many people, especially women who are going through IVF treatments. We're hearing reports already about fertility clinics that are shutting down because they're worried. What do you say to women that are now concerned about that and your position in that particular issue?

HALEY: Well, first of all, I didn't, I mean, this is again, I didn't say that I agreed with the Alabama ruling. What the question that I was asked is, do I believe an embryo is a baby? I do think that if you look in the definition, an embryo is considered an unborn baby. And so, yes, I believe from my stance that that is.

The difference is, and this is what I say about abortion as well, we need to treat these issues with the utmost respect. I had trouble having both of my children. I am very aware of what it means to go through artificial insemination, all of those things related to in vitro, I know what that is. And I also know the importance between a doctor and the parents is very important to have those conversations.

This case was based on, and should be based on, the rights of those parents for their embryos, and to make sure that they have the responsibility with the doctors on how those are handled, nothing more than that. And I will continue to say, these issues keep coming up. And everybody wants to divide people on these issues. This is not the time where you divide people, you bring people together. Our goal is to always do what the parents want with their embryo, it is theirs.

So, any physician that is in control of those embryos, they owe it to those people to make sure they protect that embryo. And that they do with that embryo what those parents want done with that embryo. That is the way we should look at that situation.

BARKLEY: You know, you've had a magnificent life so far. Incredible life, what you accomplished. You talk about your family being immigrants. But we have to admit the border is, I would say, it's chaos, but that wouldn't do it justice. What is your -- I mean, I don't think anybody has the perfect solution. What's the best way to address this immigration issue?

HALEY: You know, there is a solution and that's the issue. When I was governor of South Carolina, we passed the toughest illegal immigration law in the country. We need to take what we did in South Carolina and go national with it.

We need a national e-Verify program that requires businesses to prove that the people they hire are in this country legally. We need to defund sanctuary cities once and for all. We can't have safe havens. That's the incentive that makes them want to come here. We need to go and put 25,000 border patrol and ICE agents on the ground and let them do their job. We need to go back to the Remain of Mexico policy and instead of catch and release, we need to go to catch and deport.

But, Charles, look at what happened last week. Here you had Congress had a bill on the border. Now, the part of the bill that was good was that it strengthened asylum laws. We need those strengthened because under the Trump administration, 3 million illegal immigrants came because we didn't have strong enough asylum laws.

The part of the bill that was weak was it didn't have the Remain in Mexico policy. We don't want anyone stepping foot on U.S. soil. We have to have that policy. And they had a 5,000-person threshold. We don't even want a one-person threshold. We've got to make sure every person is vetted before they are allowed to come here.

So, Congress should have gotten in a room and figured it out and not left until they got us a strong border bill. But instead they went home for vacation for two weeks, which is unacceptable.

But the other side of that is Donald Trump went and told them not to pass anything until after the general election in November because it would hurt him.

We can't wait one more day to secure the border. Congress needs to get in there and do their job and Donald Trump needs to stay out of it because Americans need to be protected and we have got to secure that border.

[22:10:00] America is acting like it's September 10th. We better remember what September 12th felt like. It only takes one person to have a 9/11 moment.

KING: Donald Trump's base is very clear, they cannot be moved. People say they know who Joe Biden supporters are. When you talk about your supporters and your base, who is that exactly, in your opinion? Who are those people?

HALEY: I want anybody and everybody. You know, my goal is to get people who want normal again. My goal is to get people who see we can't have two 80-year-old candidates and continue down the path that we're on. My goal is to make sure that we bring sanity back and the tone at the top matters. And so that's what I'm trying to do.

But if you want to talk about what the American people are saying, 70 percent of Americans are saying they don't want Trump or Biden.

KING: Yes, we've heard that.

HALEY: 60 percent of Americans are saying they think Joe Biden's too old and Donald Trump's too old. They're the two most disliked politicians in America. Why are we letting that be our choice? That's why I'm running.

KING: Governor Haley, we're going to take a really quick break and we'll be right back. Don't leave, don't leave.



HALEY: I wish Michael was here today. And I wish our children.


And I could see him tonight, but we can't. He's serving on the other side of the world.


KING: Governor Haley is back with us.

Governor, many people were very struck by that moment, very touched by that moment when you became emotional, talking about your husband. What were you thinking about in that moment and how are you getting through this without him by your side?

HALEY: I'm no different than any other military spouse. I mean, when our loved ones deploy, it's hard. But we're so proud of them. And he's like my right arm. We've done everything together. I met him when I was 17. We've been together ever since.

And so, obviously, running for president, not having him here is hard. But I'm so grateful to him and all of his military brothers and sisters who are willing to serve and sacrifice for us because they know freedom isn't free. They know that this is about something bigger than themselves.

And so, yes, it was -- I mean, that wasn't something I wished would have happened, but you can't help it sometimes. And it was just a moment where, you know, it hit home.

KING: Why do you wish it wouldn't have happened? I think it sometimes helps people to see insight into any politician's life, actually. I'm wondering how your husband and your kids, you have two adult children, how they handle all the incoming that's coming at their mom on a daily basis.

HALEY: I think it's hard. I think it's hard for Michael, 8,000 miles away, when he reads or sees what's happening. I think the kids have been fantastic. They have been on the bus tour with me. Any chance they can come in and help and support. My daughter was at every debate. My son is now with me on the bus tour. They're trying to step up for where they know their dad would be, but I'm so proud of everybody.

And military families, it's not just the service member that sacrifices. It's the military families that sacrifice. And we are blessed to live in America, in a country where we have people who are willing to sacrifice just for us to have these freedoms.

BARKLEY: Have you ever -- we had a couple of political guests on throughout the last few shows. Like have you ever been in an election where one guy doesn't show up for the debates?

HALEY: I'm in one now. He won't show up for a debate. We've asked him multiple times to debate, and he won't. You know, it's amazing to me because, you know, he goes and he's doing these commercials now in South Carolina where he says, I'm for open borders and I want to raise taxes. And now he sent text messages to everybody saying, I want to cut social security. None of those is true. None of them is true.

And I always say, if you've got to lie to win, you don't deserve to win. But I can't ask him because he won't get on a debate stage. And so, you know, it's one of those things where we just continue to kind of pound away and remind people who he is. This is a man that -- you know, first of all, we had 14 people in the race. I defeated a dozen of the fellows. I just got one more I got to catch up to.

And in Iowa, they didn't give us much of a chance and we came in and we're 1 percent away from second place. Then in New Hampshire, on Election Day, they said we were 30 points down and we got 43 percent of the vote.

The problem is that night, Donald Trump was upset about it and all he did was talk about revenge, and my dress, by the way. And then the next day he goes and says, anybody that supports her is barred permanently from MAGA.

If you're running for president, your job is to bring as many people in, not push people out. And then you see his court cases where he claims he's a victim. The problem I have is during none of that, did he ever talk about the American people? He never talked about the fact that we were $34 trillion in debt. He never talked about the fact that only 31 percent of eighth graders in our country are proficient in reading. He never talked about an open border. He never talked about lawlessness in our cities. He never talked about the wars around the world. All he did was talk about himself.

KING: That is true, Governor, but he's the one fellow you still got to catch, and right now there's a very big gap between the two of you.

You worked with him in his administration. What was the most challenging thing for you working with him back then?

HALEY: We actually worked well together. And the reason we worked well together is when he was doing something good, I rallied, I fought for it, I wanted America to be strong. But when he was doing something wrong or that I didn't think was going to end well, I would pick up the phone and call him, he'd always call me right back or I would show up in his office and say, you cannot do this --

KING: Have you spoken to him recently?

HALEY: I always gave him options.

KING: Have you spoken to him recently?

HALEY: The last time I spoke to him was when I called him to tell him I was running for president and I called him for two reasons.


One, because it was the right thing to do, because he had given me the job, and, two, I wanted him to know I was in it to win it. I told him we couldn't continue down this path of chaos, and we couldn't continue with this negativity. And I thought we needed a new generational leader. That's the last time I talked to him.

BARKLEY: You talk about chaos. Number one, you're 100 percent correct. I'm going to add to the chaos. What are you doing? And like 20 percent of these dummies or fools out here believe that Taylor Swift is going to swing the election. What are you doing to bring the Swifties on board?

HALEY: Look, I got nothing when it comes to that. I don't even understand it. I don't know where it's coming from. I mean, I think she's talented. I took my daughter to two of her concerts when they were growing up. I've got Swifty bracelets on right now that little girls are giving me.

So, look, I don't know what that thought process is, so I can't really understand it. All I can tell you is it's why we need to get back to normal. That's what I'll continue. We've got to get back to normal.

BARKLEY: Governor, I saw it on television. It's got to be true.

KING: It's got to be true. Governor, I remember the book that you wrote. It was called, If You Want Something Done. You were talking about leadership for bold women. And it was fascinating to me, you had the usual suspects that you named in the book that were not surprised. Hillary Clinton, Margaret Thatcher. But you also named Joan Jett. I was so surprised. Joan Jett was somebody that you singled out, a rocker. We all know who she is. What is it about Joan Jett that appealed to you? That was a surprise to me.

HALEY: I have always been a massive fan of Joan Jett because I love the fact that when she became a musician, she didn't look like the typical rocker, and she was actually shunned. Nobody would give her a chance because she didn't look the part or she didn't act the part. And so she got declined, declined, declined.

And, finally, she and her agent ended up producing their own records and selling them out of the trunk of her car. And that record happened to be the one that had I Love Rock and Roll and all these other number one hits that were on there. And so while they shunned her, she didn't wait on them to accept her. She kept going.

Then, you know, even after that when they saw that she got all the number one hits, the fierceness of her, the toughness of her, and the ability for her to go forward even though she didn't look and act like them is amazing to me.

And so, look, I'm a huge Joan Jett fan. She knows this. We have met and talked multiple times, we texted as well. I think that what she's accomplished is amazing. And I think that every woman should look at that and say, don't let them put you in a box. You go and you make your own box.

KING: So, is Nikki Haley Joan Jetting? Do you channel your inner Joan Jett? Is that what we're seeing when we see you out on the campaign trail?

HALEY: I absolutely channel my Joan Jett. It's something that I think is important.

Look, the political elites have never been for me. When I ran against the longest serving legislator in a primary, they weren't for me. When I ran for governor against the lieutenant governor, attorney general, congressman, and state senator, they were not for me. When I went to be at the U.N., they said I didn't have enough experience. Now I'm running for president, and they're finding everything wrong with me.

But that's all the reason you have to push forward is you can't let the naysayers get to you. You have to keep looking at why you're doing it and stay focused on what your intentions are and be true to yourself. And I think if you do that, people see through that. And I think that that's what gets you at the end of the day.

BARKLEY: When I watch all these debates and I watch all these politicians on television, they always talk about the middle class. Why don't anybody ever talk about poor people?

HALEY: We did. And in South Carolina, I'll tell you, we didn't just talk about it. We did something about it. We had thousands of people on welfare. And what I did -- and we knew this was generational welfare, from one generation to the next. So, what we did is we took those members on welfare. I partnered them with businesses, and I told businesses, if you will take this person and train them, I will pay for them for X number of weeks. And at the end of it, you decide if you want to hire them.

We moved 35,000 people from welfare to work. And we had family parties because the children got to see their parents being productive members of society, and the parents got to do what they always wanted. It's not that people don't want to work. They didn't know how to get the training. Sometimes you have to connect the dots so that you can break that cycle.

We did the same thing with our prisons. I wanted to know how people got in, what happened to them when they were there, and how they got out. And so we reformed the entire prison system.


We started teaching them computer skills and resume skills. We gave them family planning and faith-based help if they wanted it. But I put equipment behind the fence and we taught them a skill. Now, when someone leaves the fence in South Carolina, they've got a job to go to the next day, we have the lowest recidivism rate in the country.

The key is to lift up everybody. When you can lift up everybody, that's magic, that's true solutions that can carry people forward. That's what we always did. That's what I want to continue to do.

KING: A lot of people looking for Magic Saturday is a big, big day for you. The numbers right now are not in your favor. You're insisting you're staying in the race.

BARKLEY: Stay in the race. Stay in the race. I want to tell you, I know you're busy, had a rally tonight. I feel a lot better after talking to you personally. I just want to say you keep going, please.

HALEY: I will remind everybody and all of these primaries coming up, if you're a general election voter, you're given a choice. You vote in a primary, you make your choice. We need everybody to go out and make their choice. We're going to do this.

After South Carolina, I'm headed to Michigan. From there, we're going to all the Super Tuesday states. I'm not moving. I am going to continue to fight for this country as long as Americans want me to fight. And so we're going to continue to do it, and we're going to make everybody proud in the process. So, I hope your listeners and viewers will go to and join us.

KING: Good luck, Joan Jett. Thank you for joining us. Oh, I meant, Governor Haley. Saturday, we'll all be watching. Thank you so much.

HALEY: Thanks. Keep rocking.

KING: Thank you for your time. We really appreciate your time.

BARKLEY: We really appreciate it. KING: King Charles will be right back with more. And Astead Herndon will be here from The New York Times to join us to talk about what he just heard from Governor Haley. We'll be right back.




HALEY: My goal is to get people who want normal again. My goal is to get people who see we can't have two 80-year-old candidates and continue down the path that we're on. My goal is to make sure that we bring sanity back and the tone at the top matters. And so, that's what I'm trying to do.


KING: So, that was Governor Nikki Haley answering the question, so who is your base exactly? We asked her that last segment. We welcome you back to "King Charles".

We're thinking there's no one better to discuss what she said with our next guest, our next guest is Astead Herndon. He's a National Political Reporter for "The New York Times" and he's been covering this race from all angles. He also, by the way, happens to be a CNN Contributor.

ASTEAD HERNDON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you for having me.

KING: Welcome back, welcome back.

HERNDON: I appreciate it.

BARKLEY: We got your back because you were good last time.

HERNDON: No pressure, no pressure.

KING: What do you make of what she said about who her base is?

HERNDON: I thought that was a really interesting question. I think it speaks to the core Nikki Haley problem in this campaign. This is a governor who has a wide net. Her response to that question is, you know, I'm trying to get everyone who doesn't like Trump.

The 70 percent of people who want something different than President Biden or Donald Trump. The problem is that's a general election argument. That's not a primary argument.

The problem she's running into is that the majority of the Republican base wants Donald Trump. And even more than that, the kind of persuadable people who thought maybe if he, someone else emerged, I will vote for him.

She hasn't been able to win over those people either to the point that, you know, the polling tells us that coming into this weekend's primary in South Carolina, Donald Trump is favored by near 30 points.

I mean, that is a number that's staggering for someone, particularly who used to be the former governor of the state.

KING: Yeah.

HERNDON: But I think it speaks to --

KING: And you would think those people would know her better than anyone.

HERNDON: They would, but I really think it speaks to the changes, the broader changes in the Republican Party.You know, when I hear Nikki Haley respond to some of you all's questions, it sounds like a 2016, 2017 Republican in a 2024 time.

You know, she's trying to calibrate that message on important issues like abortion and like immigration. But the Republican base so far has wanted someone who gave them the most familiar, conservative red meat. And of course, we know that's Donald Trump.

BARKLEY: Hold on. For my own benefit, Republicans and MAGA voters, do you think they're the same or different?

HERNDON: They overlap, but they're not exactly the same. I would say a square rectangle type of situation. We know that Donald Trump probably has 40 percent of the Republican base hardcore and has had him, has had those kind of group of people for years now.

KING: And they will not be moved the same.

HERNDON: And has not been moved, has not really shown interest in any other candidate from the start of this primary.

KING: Do you think it's 40 percent? It used to be 30 percent.

HERNDON: So, there was kind of open questions, depending on what polling you were looking at, 30 to 40 percent. What I think is different now is that there was a group of people who were open to other alternatives.

And some of those people have come around to Donald Trump. Now, in our reporting, some of that is because of the indictment. Some Republicans say, oh, because he's under threat, I've rallied around him. And some of this is just because of pure viability.

Republicans tell us, well, no one else has emerged. So, I guess I'm going back with Donald Trump. And so that 40 percent number that was his hardcore base at the beginning of last year, we've somewhat seen that creep up to become a little bigger now to the point where in South Carolina, we're looking at more 65 percent, right?

And so, he's growing the share of Republican voters who are rallying around him, even though we know that from the beginning of this primary, there was a bunch of Republicans who were open to other options. KING: So what do you think, because you've been covering this

campaign, you've certainly spent time with Nikki Haley and you've been in South Carolina.


KING: What do you think is her strategy? Because she says, I'm staying in no matter what.


KING: Despite what the numbers say. So far, we've only had three states that have really weighed in. She says she's staying in. It doesn't matter what the numbers say and what the polls.

HERNDON: And importantly --

KING: Is that a smart strategy?

HERNDON: Importantly, Governor Haley reinforced that this week, gave a speech in South Carolina, making clear that --

KING: She doubled down.

HERNDON: -- no matter what happens this weekend, there's someone who sees themselves staying until Super Tuesday.

KING: Because it's not expected to go well for her in her own home state.

HERNDON: It's not. I think it's important a couple of things to remember. One is that, you know, Governor Haley has financial backing still. There's still a group of Republicans and conservative donors who want to see someone else than Trump and have rallied around her to the point that she doesn't have to get out because of lack of money.


Remember, the reason most people drop out is because they don't want to be President anymore. It's because they run out of money.

KING: Money. Yes, yes. But she's still getting money.

HERNDON: She's still getting that money. The other thing I would say, though, is the prospect of Donald Trump's legal problems has created a different conversation around when to get out of the race.

And so, if you want to be the other option, or you want to be, you want to present Republicans, or media, or just voters with a different selection as Donald Trump is scheduled to go into criminal court, there's a lot of people we talk to in the party that says that's the reason they want someone like Nikki Haley to stay in the race is because it presents a legitimate alternative as we're going to see Trump's legal problems arise.

BARKLEY: You know, she talked a lot about chaos. And I told you, as I said earlier, chaos is an understatement. Aren't people just tired of like, first of all, I admire Mr. Biden. He's been a great man for a long time.

I think he's too old, personally. That's just me. I'm not speaking for Gayle. Trump is 100 percent chaos. Is she just like, ain't you all tired of the BS? You know, we got some serious issue in this country. We need some grown-ups.


BARKLEY: You got Trump who's like, no, no. Don't let him reach a resolution on immigration.


BARKLEY: I want it to be a big deal during the election. I mean, aren't people just tired of the BS? And we're just like, yo, man, can you fix Hawaii?


BARKLEY: Can you help me with my bills? Can you fix the immigration issue? Don't we need somebody like her? Like, you know what?

KING: To step up.

BARKLEY: I'm tired of the noise.

HERNDON: Yeah, I think that's the most interesting part to me about her candidacy is the actual message of normalcy, of wanting a new generation, of wanting a government that looks different than Biden or Trump is really popular. It's actually a thing that we hear all the time when we're on the road. People want politicians focused on getting things done. They want people to do something in bipartisan fashions.

KING: I think people want normalcy, too.

HERNDON: And people want normalcy. That was a big message from the mid-term elections.

BARKLEY: But one of my questions was, I didn't get to it, was, why do you spend so much time talking about this dude? Like, tonight was my first chance. Like, can you talk about some issues instead of just spending all your time talking about him?

HERNDON: I mean, that's an interesting thing because a lot of people say the opposite. Remember, you know, Governor Haley spent a lot of time talking about issues and trying to use that as a way to create a distinction between her and Trump and didn't really see traction.

She actually gained more traction than Republicans as she started talking more about Donald Trump. But the issue is, to back to that square rectangle we were talking about before, there is no lane for an anti-Trump Republican in this.


BARKLEY: No question. Chris Christie has shown that.

HERNDON: I mean, there just isn't. There aren't enough of those voters exist.

BARKLEY: You can't talk his fans off the ledge.

HERNDON: And it's important to remember that's not just his base voters, but the party apparatus is now lining up behind him. He's installing loyalists in state parties at the top of the RNC, so much so that they are trying to pressure Nikki Haley to get out of the race.

KING: Well, we still have a long way to go.


KING: We're sitting here in February. The election is until November.

BARKLEY: Lucky us.

KING: A lot can happen.

BARKLEY: Lucky us.

HERNDON: Thank you for having me.

KING: It's always good to have you here. Always. When we come back, celebrated writer and "New York Times" Advice Columnist, that's Roxane Gay on thorny colleagues at the office. You know anybody like that?

BARKELEY: I do. I know somebody well.

KING: I don't. King Charles returns right after the break. Who are you talking about?



KING: Have you ever had a co-worker do something that you thought was bizarre or strange?


KING: Share, please.

UNKNOWN: No, thank you.

UNKNOWN: TikTok in the office.

UNKNOWN: She was into horses. She would compare child care to her horse care.

UNKNOWN: Two of these co-workers actually physically got into a brawl. UNKNOWN: Everyone's perfect. But they might be watching.


KING: That's a very smart answer. Very smart. Before the show, Charles and I always go out on the street and sort of accost people and say, come talk to us. And guess what they do? Everybody's got a crazy story about their strange colleague or their very difficult boss.

Our next guest is a perfect person, we think, to tackle those tricky work situations. You know a tricky work situation? Have you ever had a tricky work situation?

BARKLEY: Gayle, we're not going to last much longer.

KING: Okay.

BARKLEY: No, so Gayle --

KING: We have to say who she is. Renowned writer, culture commentator, and Professor Roxane Gay is here. We're so glad you're here, Professor Gay.

ROXANE GAY, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: So, thank you so much for having me. It's great.

BARKLEY: So, I took Gayle to --

KING: May I start?

BARKLEY: No. I took Gayle to dinner last week. And I said, we were at the All-Star game. I always take people out who I like and want to work -- they work so hard, they get a break. And she shows up, she says, oh, you got 10 friends with you. She wasn't paying the bill. Is that all right?

KING: No, no. Roxanne, before you answer that, say you land in Indiana, for instance, for the All-Star game. You text your friend and say, hey, want to get together for dinner? Said friend says, yes, 6 o'clock, and name the place. Okay. The place that they chose, I didn't think was great because --

BARKLEY: It was a chain.

KING: It was a chain restaurant. I'm thinking --

BARKLEY: Gayle's a snob.

KING: No, Gayle's not a snob, but Roxane --

BARKLEY: I didn't name the chain.

KING: Roxane, no, please don't, because it's a good chain. But I'm thinking if you're in a different city, try something that you can't get anywhere else. Okay, fine. So, I make the reservations and I call him and say, great, I got us in at six or he said, for how many? I said, two. He goes, two? Well, I have 10 people. Ten people? No one, he didn't tell me that he had 10 people.

Don't you think that when I reached out to him, the proper thing to do would have been to say, hey, Gayle, listen, I'm going out to dinner with friends. Would you like to join us?


As opposed to, yeah, let's go to dinner. And I'm thinking it's the two of us together. What do you think?

GAY: Oh, I think when you go into a dinner invitation thinking it's going to be an intimate conversation for two --

KING: I didn't say intimate conversation

GAY: -- or even four --

KING: Wait, wait, I didn't say intimate --

GAY: Well, not intimate in that way.

KING: I just wanted to get together for dinner.

GAY: Yeah, I would be surprised if he was like, yeah, I've got 10 friends.

KING: And intimate conversations. What did you say? Wait. What did you say when you --

GAY: I'd be surprised if he said, I have 10 friends --

KING: And his friends are very nice.

GAY: But when you're all in a different city, I wouldn't be surprised that someone said, hey, would you mind if I bring these other 10 friends along?

BARKLEY: Just for future reference, Roxane?

GAY: Yes, Charles.

BARKLEY: Gayle's got good taste.

GAY: Oh, really? I really missed that chain price tag that night.

KING: I bet.

GAY: Indianapolis surprisingly has some good restaurants.

KING: They do.

BARKLEY: They do. She picked the best one. KING: And I'm not knocking his friends. It's not that. But if you just

think that it's just going to be the two of you. If he had just said, look, I already have dinner plans with my friends. Would you like to join us? I would have said yes. I would have said yes. It's just that if you think that it's just going to be the two of you and he says, oh, I have 10 people. Am I wrong? Am I wrong?

GAY: You're not wrong.

Okay. You're not wrong. That's a difficult one where you, yeah, you're not wrong.

BARKLEY: Are you done now?

KING: Yes, I am. Proceed.

BARKLEY: You want to take the next question?

KING: No, proceed. You go ahead.

BARKLEY: So what if you had -- this is a work question.

GAY: Yes. If you have a disagreement with a co-worker and they start giving you the silent treatment, how do you handle that?

GAY: Personally, you know, I respond in kind. If you give me the silent treatment, I'm going to pretend you don't exist.

KING: Really?

GAY: Really. Because life is short and --

KING: Roxane.

GAY: I know.

KING: You don't... Roxanne.

GAY: That's it. That's it. I have nothing to say to you. Now, of course --

BARKLEY: See, welcome to my world. See, Gayle disagrees with you now because you disagree with her. But when you was gassing her up last segment, she was like, I love you, Roxane.

KING: Roxane is a genius.

GAY: Go on.

KING: So, if somebody gives you the silent treatment, you give it back. You don't try to work this out?

GAY: Well, first I'll try to work it out. But if it has gotten to the point of silent treatment, I assume that the person in question has already tried to mediate, has gone to a manager, has suggested, hey, can we have a conversation about this? KING: All right.

GAY: People who go to the silent treatment level have decided that there's no resolution to be had here and you are dead to me.

KING: Okay.

GAY: And I will just meet like with like and never use my voice again.

KING: I hear, too, that you get a lot -- your column is very famous, we should say. I hear that you get a lot of questions from people talking about smelly co-workers.

GAY: Yes, absolutely.

KING: This is a thing? This is a thing. I mean, I'm sure you guys have dealt with that.

BARKLEY: I have had a smelly co-worker.

KING: Oh, that's right. Especially on the court.

BARKLEY: Yeah, off the court, too.

KING: Is it because they're athletes or the locker room or no, something different?

BARKLEY: Depending on what country you're from, some guys did not take showers or use deodorant. But I think in some countries, I apologize if I'm wrong, it's a cultural thing.

KING: Okay. But what about in an office? Because most of us aren't --

GAY: In an office, you have to say something. It's so uncomfortable.

KING: You have to say something to the co-worker?

GAY: Well, as gently as possible. But I mean, do you want to spend the rest of your life smelling your stinky friend?

KING: I don't know a gentle way to say that.

GAY: I mean, it's just like, excuse me, but are you dealing with something? Do you have a hormonal issue? Is the water not working at your home? What's going on?

BARKLEY: No, what about, okay, I guess I got a serious question for you.

GAY: Yes.

BARKLEY: What if you, see, this is like my pet peeve. Like, I brush my teeth a lot. I'm always pumping in mints and everything. How do you, if you got a friend with bad breath, that's like my pet peeve.

Because people walk on me all the time. The last thing I'm going to tell them is that Charles Barkley got bad breath. So, I'm always spraying. I'm always carrying mints. How do you handle that?

GAY: Again, you have to be really delicate. It's such a challenging thing to tell someone, like, something about your very physical being is off. But do you really want someone with halitosis all up in your face all day? And the answer is no.

And so, I, in something like that, I would just be like, hey, by the way, I have these extra Altoids. Would you like them?

BARKLEY: I actually -- you can never turn down mints. Because anytime people offer you a mint, that's a --

KING: You should take it.

GAY: Yes.

BARKLEY: That's a hint.

GAY: It is always a hint.

KING: Is it always a hint?

GAY: Or, you know, yes.

KING: I turn down mints all the time. Because I'm thinking I don't want to be chomping on something. So, is that a hint?

BARKLEY: Yeah, I think it is. I really do. I think it is.

KING: Roxanne, we're so glad you're here.

GAY: I'm so glad to be here. Thank you so much. Thank you so much.

KING: I might have to rethink that. I might have to rethink that.

GAY: Yeah, when you see the mint coming your way, you just have to be like, oh -- BARKLEY: Hey, spray away.

KING: "King Charles" will be right back. I'll be back. I don't know where Charles is going. He's got plans.



KING: Charles, as in Barkley, just celebrated a birthday. What birthday do you think it was? Look carefully at this lovely puss right here.

UNKNOWN: Oh, come on. I'm terrible with age.

KING: I love how people study your face.

UNKNOWN: Let me see you do a jump. Can you jump?

UNKNOWN: I'm going to go with 55.

UNKNOWN: Fifty-eight.

UNKNOWN: Thirty-five.

UNKNOWN: Thirty-six.

KING: Thirty-six?

BARKLEY: They said I was 35 and 25, you all. Well, what is it?

BARKLEY: Sixty-one.

UNKNOWN: Oh, my God. What?


KING: Oh, my God. What? So, 61 years old yesterday. How old do you feel? Sixty one yesterday.

BARKLEY: Well, since I lost all the weight, I've lost about 65 pounds. I feel a lot better. But, you know, my body's old.


You know, playing sports are like dog years. No, but listen, I've lived a great life. I'm not -- I mean, my magic number is 50.

KING: Fifty. Okay.

BARKLEY: If you make it past 50, you've had a good life. It's only sad when young people pass away. If you've been here 50 years and ain't accomplished anything, you're a loser anyway.

KING: My magic number is 80. I hope you make it to 80. But this is what we have for you because word is you like lemon. Is that true?

BARKLEY: Lemon's my favorite dessert.

KING: I don't care for lemon, so --


KING: I don't -- it's so tart. So, this is our way. See, we spent a lot of money for Charles Barkley. You all, they went all out, you all. They love me around here.

KING: You should know this.

BARKLEY: What's his name? Buddy Belastro?

KING: You share the same birthday. Let's see who shares your birthday. Rihanna, Trevor Noah.

BARKLEY: Yes. When are you going to introduce me to Trevor Noah?

KING: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. You all share the same birthday. You all have the same birthday.

BARKLEY: You just had to ruin a good moment.

KING: Happy birthday to you, Charles Barkley. Thank you. That'll do it for us. We'll see you next week on King Charles. See you next Wednesday. Take it easy. Did you see me?

BARKLEY: I did. Please stop it.