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The Supreme Court Rejects Trump's Bid To Overturn Election Results; What Will Convince People To Get Vaccinated?; Will Elon Musk's Move To Texas Affect Tesla Brand?; Do Police 911 Responder Drones Threaten Civil Rights?; How Does The White House Transform Into New President's Home? Aired 9-10a ET
Aired December 12, 2020 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN HOST: The Supreme Court comes up short. I'm Michael Smerconish in Philadelphia. Last night, the Supreme Court ruled against Texas and President Trump when turning away an attempt to overturn election results in four states. The court issued a short, simple, unsigned order that ended what Trump had called "The Big One," his most ambitious legal challenge to the election result.
The night before the opinion was issued, I had tweeted this, "Prediction -- as I'm about to tell Chris Cuomo, the best that Donald Trump can hope for from the Supreme Court is that they reject Texas without comment because if this case draws any opinion, it will surely be blistering." In other words, I knew he'd lose. The question was how far the court would go in its explanation and the answer is not far enough.
It really was a nine to zero decision. I mean, Justices Alito and Thomas were making a point about the Supreme Court hearing disputes among states, not the merit of this case.
I think we'd have been better served if the full court had said more, such as when Judge Stephanos Bibas of the Third Circuit, appointed by Donald Trump, recently rejected a Trump campaign effort to overturn Pennsylvania results and he wrote a 21-page opinion saying this, "Voters, not lawyers, choose the president. Ballots, not briefs, decide elections. Charges of unfairness are serious, but calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here."
Or when, at the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Judge Matthew Brann, a former Federalist Society member, wrote this in his opinion, "This court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence. In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populous state. Our people, laws and institutions demand more."
Instead, we're left with the Supreme Court dismissal of Trump's lawsuit based on standing, meaning that Texas wasn't a proper party to the action. The Texas challenge was widely panned by legal experts, but was supported by 18 other attorneys general and 65 percent of the GOP caucus in the House, including 75 percent of the party House leadership.
That kind of support gave the president's thin case an imprimatur of credibility among Republicans that will now make it harder for the public to understand the case had no merit. For example, the Texas attorney general relied on the work of a statistician who argued that as of 3:00 A.M. on November, 4 that's the morning after the election, Joe Biden had a less than one in a quadrillion chance of winning the popular vote.
But as my next guest argued when writing for "Reason," that assumed the proportions among votes cast by mail and still being counted would be identical to those cast in person and were already tabulated. Anybody paying attention to the election knew that was not going to be the case. It was the red mirage versus the blue shift.
So now what? On Monday, the Electoral College will do its job and ratify the election results, then on January 6, House members will do likewise, no doubt amidst some further attempts at mischief and the entire time, President Trump will continue to raise money so as to fund his effort at running a shadow presidency for the next four years based on the premise that this election was stolen from him. Too bad the Supreme Court did not set the record straight.
I want to know what you think go to my website at Smerconish.com. Answer this week's survey question. Will supporters of President Trump accept the Supreme Court rejection of the Texas lawsuit?
Joining me now to discuss is David Post. He's an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute. He clerked twice for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Thanks so much for being here, David. Less than one in a quadrillion.
DAVID POST, ADJUNCT SCHOLAR, CATO INSTITUTE: Yes.
SMERCONISH: Man, that sounds impressive and compelling. What's the real story?
POST: Well, the real story is what the statistician did was correct, was fairly straightforward, but is completely irrelevant to any of the -- of the questions in the case. What the statistician did was to say if the -- two things. If the voters of Georgia or any of the other swing states, if the voters of Georgia had the same preferences for Republican/Democrat in 2020 as they had in 2016 when Trump, of course, carried the state, then the chances that Biden would have won a majority of the votes is less than one in -- one in one quadrillion.
[09:05:02] Well, that's maybe true. You know, if my aunt had four wheels, she'd be an automobile. The voters didn't have -- all that shows is that the voters did not have the same preference in 2020 as they had in 2016. The same with the mail-in. If the mail-in preferences were the same as the in-person preferences with respect to Biden versus Trump, if the percentages were the same, then Trump would have won the state.
Yes, then he would have. We know that. That's not very interesting. What's interesting was that they didn't have the same preferences and they came in overwhelmingly for Biden and that carried the day. So the one in quadrillion figure is deeply misleading. Attorney General Paxton, in his brief, Texas attorney general, said this shows that the chances that Biden won were one in a quadrillion and that is not the case. It shows that if you make these very weird assumptions, he would -- Biden would not have won.
SMERCONISH: David, it drew a Pants on Fire from "PolitiFact," I can put that up on the screen, and nevertheless was embraced by Kayleigh McEnany and I bring this out to be fair to Texas and to the president. There was much more in the assertions that they were making, but oftentimes based on trends and not on evidence.
You know, the the canard that you cannot win unless you've got Ohio and Florida and after all, he won both, therefore there must be fraud because after all, if you don't win those states -- what else did you find significant about the Supreme Court handling of this case?
POST: Well, I mean, I agree with what you said at the outset. I would have liked the court to have spoken more directly to the merits or the lack of merits of the suit, but I can understand the court is a careful institution when they don't have standing -- when the plaintiff does not have standing to even bring the claim, the justices are, generally speaking, very reluctant to say anything about the claim.
It's as if it's not properly before them, so they really shouldn't speak about whether they have any validity. It's unfortunate, but there you have it. But I think it does close -- I think it was very important that Justices Thomas and Alito, though they said we would hear the case, but "we would grant no further relief," quote-unquote. That's very important.
That means -- because the relief that Trump really wanted, he wanted an injunction against the governors of Wisconsin and Georgia and Pennsylvania, et cetera to prevent them from doing what they are going to do on Monday, which is to call the electors together to make the vote.
He wanted an injunction against them and even Thomas and Alito were saying, well, we would vote to hear the case, but we would not issue this preliminary injunction against the governors and if they go forward with what they do, what they're going to do on Monday, then the -- then the case will rapidly become moot in terms of the election. So the nine of them were staying ...
SMERCONISH: And to ...
POST: ... out of this fight.
SMERCONISH: Right. To your point, that's what I was referring to. In fact, I underlined it my own copy of the order. That's what I was referring to in saying, practically speaking, it was a 9-0 decision. David Post, thank you. I encourage people to read what you wrote for "Reason" and I'll put it ...
POST: Thanks. SMERCONISH: ... in my Twitter feed right now.
POST: Great. Good to talk to you.
SMERCONISH: What are your thoughts? Tweet me @Smerconish or go to my Facebook page. I'll read some responses throughout the course of the program. What do we have? "Smerconish, accept a clearly stolen election? No, it's just the beginning."
Well, Cindy, you know, I wonder if the court had done what I would have liked, which was to write an opinion much like the Third Circuit or the Middle District of Pennsylvania, if you'd feel differently, but my hunch is no amount of logic would turn around people who want to see, in these results, something that suits their own political view and that's a shame and I worry that it's going to diminish confidence in elections going forward and that's a problem for all of us.
Remember now, I want to know what you think. Go to my website. Frankly this really interesting, that tweet in combination with today's survey question. Will supporters of President Trump accept the Supreme Court rejection of the Texas lawsuit? That person who tweeted at me certainly answering in the negative.
Up ahead, the vaccines are coming, but even as we see heartwarming video of the first U.K. inoculations, many Americans remain suspicious or otherwise not inclined to participate. How can this problem be solved?
And Tesla CEO Elon Musk has fled California for the Lone Star State.
Will his move also lead to a corresponding demographic shift among buyers for his electric cars from progressive to conservative?
Plus, transferring the White House occupancy from one president to the next always hectic, over just a few hours on Inauguration Day, but this time, President Trump's refusal to concede might make the transition even more messy.
SMERCONISH: The FDA issued emergency-use authorization of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine late last night and it arrived on what became the deadliest day of the pandemic so far, more than 3,300 American deaths were reported. Each day, as of late, has essentially become a mass casualty event.
The CDC vaccine advisors will meet in just a couple of hours and vote to recommend the vaccine. If the CDC accepts that vote, it's all systems go. So now that a vaccine is coming, how do you convince enough people to take it? To achieve herd immunity and stop the spread, as many as 70 percent of the population must roll up their sleeves in the next couple of months. A recent "Gallup" survey shows 63 percent of Americans now say they'd be willing to get an FDA-approved vaccine. That's up from 50 percent in September, but an "Associated Press" poll released this week says only half of Americans are ready to take the vaccine and that there's a partisan divide. Six in 10 Democrats said they'd get vaccinated compared with four in 10 Republicans and politics isn't the only factor.
A study released by the COVID Collaborative and the NAACP found that only 14 of black Americans and 34 percent of Latinx Americans trust that a vaccine will be safe. It's clear that the vaccine fence-sitters can come from all walks of life. So what sort of messaging can win them over?
Joining me now to discuss is Christopher Graves, founder of the Ogilvy Center For Behavioral Science at Ogilvy Consulting. He's been leading workshops on the behavioral science of health communications with a focus on vaccine hesitancy for the World Health Organization and UNICEF, in addition to a major vaccine maker. So Mr. Graves, your business is one of persuasion. How do we persuade Americans to get vaccinated?
CHRISTOPHER GRAVES, FOUNDER, OGILVY CENTER FOR BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE AT OGILVY CONSULTING: Well, first of all, thanks very much for having me and this is a really important discussion, so thanks for making time for that. This is the thing. We can't persuade people with one just one-size-fits-all message. We are wired very differently as human beings and we have to respect that and it's not about converting somebody's beliefs so much as letting them come to understand the importance of their behavior and where we go wrong is this, Michael.
We don't use really clear, understandable analogies that people get on two stories. One is how are vaccines made and the second is how do vaccines work? If we don't understand those two things, it opens the door to all kinds of really expected uncertainty, doubt, fears and even conspiracy theory and disinformation. So those two things, with very clear simple analogies, can work.
For example, how vaccines work. Instead of using jargon and scientific terminology, what you can do is say that this new kind of vaccine from Moderna and Pfizer, for example, messenger RNA, is like code cracking. It's like in the war when you have an enemy message that you need to decipher, they code crack the virus. Then they send instructions into your own cells. It's like an instruction manual.
Imagine you got all the parts for something and no manual. Well, your body has the parts, but no manual because this disease came from animals, not from humans. So you tell them that what this vaccine does is it codes cracks and then sends in the instructions to do it or if it's a traditional vaccine ...
GRAVES: ... like Merck's coming out with one and others, you know, it's like a boot camp or it -- or it's like a simulation in wargaming for your body. Does not make you sick. SMERCONISH: How about another strategy? You caught my eye with a tweet that you sent out. Put it up on the screen. It said this, "Behavioral science studies confirm the allure of lotteries. Why not a vaxx lottery? Every vaccination comes with a ticket. The payoff is a big money voucher only good at local small businesses," and then a shout out for James Carville. Speak to me about financial incentives and whether they're necessary.
GRAVES: So financial incentives as cash don't work as well as lotteries. This has been shown in behavioral science, including Nobel Prize winners like Richard Thaler just said this the other day. Here's what you do, and it's been tested, to keep people taking their meds, to reduce speeding violations, all kinds of things. We humans love lotteries and secretly, once you get a ticket, you think you might be the winner.
So why not do this? Why not have a new lottery, a vaxpot, a lottery only for people who got vaccinated? Free tickets. You're not asking them to do anything. Free vaccine, free tickets, you're in a special lottery. The way our brains work is we just love lotteries. So why not reward people? The point of behavioral science is you make things easy, you make them social and you make them fun. You don't scold, lecture and punish into behavior change.
SMERCONISH: OK. Final subject. How about the role of influencers? The former presidents are saying they'll jointly roll up their sleeves.
[09:20:01] What a great photo op it would be if the current commander- in-chief would also be a part of that process. Do influencers play a strong role in this roll-out in your opinion?
GRAVES: They do, but my influencer may not be your influencer. So what we do with our no COVID coalition is we match-make influencers with different groups. Matthew McConaughey, for example, with Fauci, Tiffany Haddish with Fauci and then super, local influencers depending on who you find trustworthy. Now, we know that Elvis Presley did this way back and we're going to find others ...
SMERCONISH: Right. Sure.
GRAVES: ... athletes, celebrities doing it. So it can work.
SMERCONISH: Christopher Graves, that was excellent. A real -- a real Don Draper in our midst. Thank you so much.
GRAVES: Thanks for having me.
SMERCONISH: Up ahead, the world's second richest person, Tesla founder Elon Musk, just ditched California for Texas, joining fellow newbie Texans Joe Rogan, Glenn Beck and others. Will this move cause his brand to lose its cachet with progressives and become the car of choice for conservatives?
And with the pandemic still worsening, drones are a way of policing at a distance and one California city's PD is sending out flying cameras to scope out potentially dangerous situations. What's the downside of these RoboCops, if any?
SMERCONISH: Politically speaking, you are what you drive. Now Tesla CEO Elon Musk has made a trail from California to the Lone Star State. He said relocating made sense with Tesla's new factory being built in Texas, but on his way out of the door, he took a swipe at California, saying it had become a little complacent, a little entitled and it's taking innovation for granted.
This move has personal benefits for Musk as well. California's personal income tax, 13.3 percent for amounts over $1 million a year, that's the highest in the nation, but Texas doesn't collect state income or capital gains taxes for individuals.
Other high-profile personalities have found financial solace in a Texas move, Glenn Beck, Joe Rogan among them, but Musk became the world's second richest person this year, making him the highest profile tech executive to leave Silicon Valley during the pandemic. He is now, in a sense, the Lone Ranger, even sporting a little Texas cowboy flare with a black bandana.
Companies can live and die by their brand image, so it makes me wonder if this move could change the perception of Tesla. According to data collected by market research firm Strategic Vision, there's a relationship between political leanings and car buying habits. When you look at the top 10 vehicle types by political leaning, some specific models over-index, meaning it's more heavily weighted toward a political group, tracked by Strategic Vision.
The top three for Democrats, Honda Civic sedan, Honda Accord sedan, Subaru Forester, the top three for Republicans, Ram 2500 3500, Ford F- 150, GMC Sierra 1500 and for those who identify as progressive with no party affiliation, it's the Tesla Model 3, the number one car choice. The data says there are no absolutes. Some wealthy Republicans still opt for a pricey Tesla. So how could this politically-tinged move impact the brands of both Tesla and Musk? Does he lose his base? Does he win conservatives?
Joining me now to discuss is Alexander Edwards. He is president of Strategic Vision and collected the data on political leanings and car buying habits for "Forbes." Alexander, I love this stuff. Let me put up the preference of liberals, progressives. Here's what they most favor according to your data, the Tesla Model 3, the Honda Civic sedan, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, the Honda Civic hatch, the Chevrolet Trax.
Now let's take a look at the Republican vehicles. This is so funny. It's a lot of truck. The Ram 2500 3500, Ford F-150, GMC Sierra 1500, Silverado 1500 and Ram 1500. You think that Musk moving to Texas is going to change the identity of Tesla? ALEXANDER EDWARDS, PRESIDENT, STRATEGIC VISION: Thank you very much very much for having me here and yes, there is going to be a shift. It's not going to be that they're going to lose their current base. They're dedicated and love the vehicle the way it is. Instead it's going to be an invitation to others to come and see what the other current buyers are currently enjoying.
SMERCONISH: Let me show you some images. This is what I'm really wondering. Are we going to get to a point where Ted Cruz -- where Ted Cruz is driving -- look at him. We Photoshopped this obviously or the embodiment for me of like a big, bad, tough Texan is Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell of "Lone Survivor" fame. There's Marcus. We put him in front of a Tesla. You think these guys are going to buy these cars?
EDWARDS: If driving a sporty vehicle that has some great low end torque is important to them, yes, I'm sure they're going to consider it, especially -- you know, one of the things we realize is that people are really enjoying the priorities they want in their vehicles and if it's sporty, Tesla has won there.
SMERCONISH: It really -- there really is truth in jest though, isn't it? I mean, some of this seems so stereotypical and painting with a broad brush, but what most struck me about your data and research is that it pans out.
EDWARDS: Well, it does.
One of the things that we typically joke with since we have so much information on new vehicle buyers, what they do. We just have fun as we see people in various vehicles. We can tell a lot about them as they make the statements of who they are in trying to say, hey this is my ideal self. This is who I'm trying to be and it's -- we think that bumper stickers make a statement. It really is that the car they drive is what's making that statement.
SMERCONISH: Something else from your research. COVID has impacted buying habits of Republicans and Democrats in different ways. Please explain.
EDWARDS: Well, one of the things that we did some additional research on is to understand all the partisanship that's going on here in the U.S. and some of the things that we noticed is that the way that people would approach COVID and their perceptions of where things were at with that was really based on political leanings because their experiences were different.
For example, those folks who are conservative Republicans were less likely to have lost their jobs in the initial stages of the pandemic. So, when we hear people on different sides of the aisle saying, you know, what is the problem with this disease? It's not necessarily just because social media friends, cohorts are telling them one thing or another. It's because their experiences also backed that up.
And sort of like your, you know, previous guest had mentioned, you know, there's a lot of rhetoric on various things rather than some very clear simple answers. Here's the problem, here's the solution, this is what we need to do with it.
SMERCONISH: But you also found that Democrats are looking at buying a car in a COVID environment and saying, well, I want it to be safe and I want it to be healthy. And Republicans are saying, hey, maybe now is a good time to get a good deal.
EDWARDS: Yes, that is also part of the research as well where we absolutely saw that there was some opportunistic behavior on the conservative side where they thought, wow, financially we can make a deal out of this. Where those that were on the Democratic side were looking at everything from concerns about the economy, concerns about their job as I mentioned, concerns about the election going, well, how do I make a safe place for myself? How do I -- how do I go about the shopping process in a very safe way?
SMERCONISH: Alexander Edwards, quick final question. It demands a simple answer. What do you drive?
EDWARDS: I drive a Honda Pilot.
SMERCONISH: Ah-hah. I have to go back --
EDWARDS: Simple answer.
SMERCONISH: -- and look at the data and see where -- see where that lines up. By the way, I've got a Tesla and an F-150, just saying. Thank you so much.
EDWARDS: You're very welcome. Great to be here. Thank you very much.
SMERCONISH: From the world of Twitter what do we have? Let's see what it says.
Smerconish, large companies and high-profile individuals are leaving California for a reason. Do you think it's an indictment on liberal governance or just California governance? I hope you can make electric cars cool for the rest of the country.
I do too, Nathan. Look, I think when he -- when he wanted to keep making cars at the time of the California shutdown I think it became obvious that he was at odds with Governor Newsom, and Governor Newsom didn't seemingly take him for real when he said he might pull up stakes and leave, but he did. It will be very interesting to see what happens to the brand. I suspect everybody will embrace it.
I hope you're answering this week's survey question at Smerconish.com. "Will supporters of President Trump accept the Supreme Court rejection of the Texas Lawsuit?"
Still to come, this drone footage. Check this out. This is so cool. It is from a California city's police department. It helped locate, identify and capture a gang member. It's part of Drones as First Responder. That's a program they have that can get to a 911 call faster than the cops. But for some residents being filmed from above feels unsettling. That's a tweet from a radio listener of mine.
SMERCONISH: So you're look at footage from a police drone tracking a suspect in Chula Vista, California, a city of some 270,000 in San Diego County. It's the first police department in the country with a Drone as First Responder program.
The innovative program started in 2018. It responds to about 15 calls a day. So far launching more than 4,000 drone flights.
When a 911 call comes in an officer can press a button and send a drone across the city. In this particular case that you're about to see according to the Chula Vista P.D., a known gang member was out on parole asleep at the front seat of a stolen car in a parking lot with suspected drug paraphernalia visible on his lap.
He exited carrying a gun in a wrapper and a bag of heroin, ran across the street, ducked behind a wall. Although the police had trouble following him, the drone hovered overhead, caught him as he tossed the gun into a dumpster and hiding the heroin and his escape route.
An officer back at headquarters relayed all of this. The suspect's observed movements to those on the scene who were able to apprehend him and retrieve the weapon and contraband that the drone had filmed while being stashed. The drone then returned home.
He would plead guilty to two felony charges, drug sales with a firearm, possession of stolen property, sentenced to more than five years. Chula Vista P.D. says that the drone footage helped secure the plea.
On the one hand it's just great police work and pretty stunning video. On the other hand I wonder, what are the privacy issues for the rest of us? Joining me now to discuss is Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst for the American Civil Liberties Union on Speech, Privacy and Technology. Jay, what concerns if any do you have on the use of this technology?
JAY STANLEY, SENIOR POLICY ANALYST, ACLU SPEECH, PRIVACY AND TECHNOLOGY PROJECT: A lot of the questions surround where is it going to go from here? You know, drones are a tool like any other. They can be used for good thing and they can be used in ways that are a little bit more serious or questionable.
And the Chula Vista program is very unique. It's pretty much the only police department in the country that I'm aware of at least that's doing this. And it gets special permission from the FAA because it's normally not legal to fly drones beyond the line of sight of the operator.
So the question is, where does this go when our skies are being crisscross by drones all the time? When this gets scaled up and it's not just police drones but it may be Amazon drones, burrito delivery drones, what have you, that's a lot of cameras flying over our homes and our communities. And so it's -- as this technology becomes more prominent it's important to make sure we have our ducks in a row with good privacy protections.
SMERCONISH: Agreed on that. One of the things that I like about this is the ability to keep law enforcement out of harm's way and to de- escalate situations. I've got some amazing video from Chula Vista that I'll show where there's a report of a guy with a gun. And so -- yes, here he is. I think outside of a fast food joint. And you can see he appears to be like waving it around, but it's able to be determined from the drone that it's actually a lighter. I think he uses it to light a cigarette.
Law enforcement nevertheless respond to the scene. You can see they see him light the cigarette with an object confirming that it's not a real handgun. That then gets relayed to the officers who are on the ground. They show up.
Nevertheless, it became an arrest situation I believe because of contraband that he had, drug contraband that he had. But you can understand -- there it is for a narcotics possession. But you can understand, Jay, how this could have been a case where -- it's like man with a gun, they show up, guns drawn, it escalates and you find out later that some guy who's now dead only had a lighter.
STANLEY: Yes, I mean, look, there's definitely no question that there can be good uses for a tool like this. The question is what kind of -- not just what kind of successes does it have, but how often do those successes happen? And what kind of side effects are we not seeing? Because the police departments like everybody else they brag about their successes and they don't brag about their failures or hide their failures.
We have here A.I. drones that can automatically follow people. There are questions around the A.I. and whether that might be biased and so forth. And then there's a larger question which is when you make things very, very easy to do they sometimes get overused.
You know, there are questions around privacy in public and whether or not because it becomes so easy for the police to follow you everywhere because they can just send a cheap $30.00 drone and assign it, that they begin to follow too many people or they begin to invade privacy in ways that raise a lot of questions.
SMERCONISH: And of course the police department says they're very sensitive to those concerns. They're not going to fly it over your house just to take a peek and so on and so forth. So happy to have had this conversation because I wonder if it's -- if it's a sign of what's to now come across country. Jay Stanley, thank you, sir. Appreciate it.
STANLEY: Thank you.
SMERCONISH: Still to come, the White House all dressed up for Christmas with the Trumps. Pretty soon it will be transformed into the Biden home in the span of just a couple of hours. So what happens on moving day when the current occupant doesn't want to be evicted?
And I want to remind you to answer this week's survey question at my Web site, Smerconish.com. Will supporters of President Trump accept last night's Supreme Court rejection of the Texas lawsuit?
SMERCONISH: Imagine completing the move into your new home within five hours of the prior occupant leaving. Sounds pretty hectic, right?
It's what happens every time a new American president is sworn in on inauguration day. A five-hour sweep transforms the 50,000 square foot White House into the new president's home. On top of the normal process this year the White House will also get a deep cleaning to ensure that COVID-19 isn't invited to President-elect Joe Biden's housewarming party. And on top of all that the current occupant doesn't want to move out.
Could President Trump's refusal to concede impact the turn over process for the White House residents? Joining me now to discuss is Kate Andersen Brower, author of the brand new children's book, "Exploring the White House: Inside America's Most Famous Home."
Kate, what goes on in the span of those five hours? How do they pull that off?
KATE ANDERSEN BROWER, AUTHOR, "EXPLORING THE WHITE HOUSE: INSIDE AMERICA'S MOST FAMOUS HOME": It's remarkable. I mean, it's about 95 staff. The house keepers trade in their dusters and vacuums for moving crates because the staff is the -- they are the movers for the day. For security reasons they don't hire professional movers. And it's really incredible the work they are able to accomplish in five hours.
But as you say, Michael, a lot of that is because of the planning ahead of time. And as you say this is an unprecedented transition where you have a president who's not accepting the election results, might not go to the inauguration. But I have confidence that they will get this done. It's a huge house, 132 rooms, 16 bedrooms. It's a ton of work.
SMERCONISH: So, a lot of our attention thus far appropriately so has been focused on things like, is the president-elect getting the PDB, the president's daily briefing?
Are he and Kamala Harris being read in and so forth? But what about the back of the house? Do we know if there's cooperation as to whether the Bidens are getting their sofa of choice? I don't wish to minimize it but, you know, all that the real life kind of stuff. Is it taking place? ANDERSEN BROWER: Well, the White House isn't saying anything about it, we know, and the Biden transition isn't saying much about it either. They have reassured me when I've asked that, you know, things are going according to plan, there are trusted people around the Bidens who are going to be doing this move.
And, you know, the Bidens have been in Washington. They were in the Observatory for eight years. They know how this works. They know a lot of the staff. But it's really tricky.
And when the chief usher at the White House is a Trump hire and so for him to be coordinating with the Biden transition team is essentially betraying his boss, so we haven't seen anything like this in modern history.
SMERCONISH: I know from reading one of your prior books that there's this mysterious warehouse somewhere in the suburbs where all the furniture is housed and you can -- I think that's where they also keep the Ark of the Covenant from "Raiders of the Lost Ark." I'm not sure but don't they get to go and select or at least do by catalogue whatever furniture they want in the house?
ANDERSEN BROWER: They do and, you know, Dr. Biden knows about this warehouse, knows very well how this works. That's one of the most fun parts of being a first lady when you move into the White House.
I would also add that we know from reporting that there is going to be a deep clean of the White House, which is something brand new because of COVID. I mean, there are going to be misters, cleaning rugs and drapes. The misters that you see in the White House briefing room, the general services administration is going to be doing a deep clean, which we haven't seen before, because of COVID.
SMERCONISH: And the goal is that by the time the parade -- and I don't know to what extent there will be a conventional parade this year. But by the time the parade ends and the Bidens go back to the White House, literally their toothbrushes are in the proper place.
ANDERSEN BROWER: That's the goal, you know, and it's remarkable what they're able to accomplish. When the Obamas moved in, Michelle Obama took her staff into the East Room and introduced them to the resident staff and said, we are on their grounds now, we have to respect them.
These are people who stay on from one administration to the next. They're not political. They are happy to serve President Trump, happy to serve President Biden. And it's this rare universe of people that don't get any attention and they are in charge of this move and it's an incredible day and it's amazing to see what they accomplish in five hours.
SMERCONISH: And I'm sure that the job description, criteria number one, confidentiality. Kate, thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate it.
ANDERSEN BROWER: Thank you, Michael.
SMERCONISH: Let's check in on our tweets and Facebook comments. From the world of Twitter. What do we have?
I agree with those who say Trump family will go to Florida for Christmas and not return to the White House.
Michael, I'll take that wager for a nickel. I think he's there until the end, whether that includes going to the inauguration, that's a whole different story. But I would expect him to relish every single minute to live in America's home.
Still to come, more of your best and worst tweets and Facebook comments. And please go vote at Smerconish.com, because up coming are the final results of the survey question, "Will supporters of President Trump accept the Supreme Court rejection of the Texas Lawsuit?"
SMERCONISH: Time to see how you responded to the survey question this week at Smerconish.com. "Will supporters of President Trump accept the Supreme Court rejection of the Texas Lawsuit?"
Survey says, big voting -- wow, 94 percent to six, more than 25,000 voted. By the way, I know that you're correct in your no answer because while I've been speaking, the president has been tweeting. Can you put it up, Catherine? Here is what he is saying. He is saying via Twitter that he has just begun to fight.
From our world of Twitter, what else, or from Facebook, what else has come in this hour?
You are an anti Trumper. What PA did was clearly unconstitutional. The election was stolen.
Well, RI, first of all, I'm not an anti Trumper, I'm just a factually driven person. The question I would ask you is then, why was he unsuccessful, the president, at the Pennsylvania state court level and in federal court including by a judge who was a former federalist society member or the Third Circuit Court of Appeals judge who was appointed by President Trump?
I mean, you can't say that this was a partisan cabal. Too many -- every one of these efforts has gone nowhere.
Here is something else that came in during the course of this hour. No, it's not, Kristian. And the reason -- I'm mimicking the genius himself. When Elon Musk says, Tesla, then I will say, Tesla. But I listened to his interview with Joe Rogan and he said Tesla and I like the car. And I want to keep him happy.
One more if I've got time. Real quick. What do we have?
I believe that the business and venues will make the vaccine mandatory. Will they force people to get it?
My question is, how are you going to know? Like, how will you know who has had it or who hasn't had it that you can then hang out with?
Final note, my full-length film "Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Talking" has now been released. It's available on digital platforms everywhere, Amazon, iTunes, wherever you watch your movies, and I hope you'll check it out.
That does it for me. Enjoy your weekend. See you next week.