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Is A.I. Close To Attaining A Human Level Of Consciousness?; Kellyanne Conway On Working For Trump; Can Trump Be Prosecuted?; If Roe is Overturned, Will Law Enforcement Honor the Outcome?; If Roe Falls, Will Abortion Law Enforcement Become Localized? Aired 9-10a ET
Aired June 18, 2022 - 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, SMERCONISH: ... system of government. And now new data tells us which might be more potent at the ballot box.
First, there's the 8.6 percent inflation rate highest in 40 years. Stock market has already lost $11 trillion this year laying siege to Americans' pocketbooks and life savings.
Second is the ongoing televised congressional hearings uncovering alarming details of the January 6, 2021 assault on our democracy. The stock market has gone into bear territory bringing fear of recession. The selloff has erased around 3 trillion from us retirement 401(k) and IRA accounts.
This week alone the Dow fell 4.8 percent, the S&P 5.8 percent and Bitcoin fell around 30 percent. Meanwhile, costs are up, a 30 year fixed rate mortgage now more than 6 percent, that's double what it was last year. The average credit card rate, auto loans, auto insurance premiums all up. The cost of food consumed at home rose nearly 12 percent, food away from home 7.4 percent.
The gasoline index has increased 48.7 percent. The average national price of a gallon of gas this week is at $5 highest in California at $6.42. Trying to stem inflation, the Fed said that it will raise interest rates by three quarters of a percentage point the biggest hikes since 1994.
New projections show interest rates may hit 3.4 percent by the end of the year, but because inflation is rising far faster than any of those rates, any money and savings is still being eroded. There's also a spate of layoffs adding to investor fears.
CNN reports two U.S. real estate companies that had flourished in the pandemic announced layoffs of eight and 10 percent, Coinbase laid off 18 percent of its staff, Spotify plans to reduce hiring by 25 percent. Elon Musk who's already said that he wants to lay off 10 percent of the Tesla staff is now intimating that if he acquires Twitter, job cuts could follow.
Meanwhile, meanwhile, you've got the January 6 Committee methodically presenting the build up to end events of January 6th. And perhaps the most damning testimony was aired on Thursday and chronicled how then- Vice President Mike Pence spent five hours in the bowels of the Capitol building after coming within just 40 feet of a mob whipped into a frenzy by his boss who are wielding baseball bats and pepper spray while calling for his hanging.
For pence, it was part of a whirlwind day that began in prayer and included an abusive telephone call in which some people say he was derided as a wimp by his one time running mate, though Trump denies use of that word.
For those watching the congressional hearings, it would be easy to conclude that the revelations are a political death knell for any attempt by the former president to return to office. But that depends on where you get your news. Asked if the President acted appropriately on January 6th, acted appropriately only 19 percent of viewers here at CNN or MSNBC say yes, among Fox viewers. That number is 59 percent.
That's because many of them are not being shown or are not watching the hearings. But this week, Attorney General Merrick Garland said he is watching the January 6th hearings that according to The New York Times, the committee might start sharing witness transcripts with the Justice Department as early as next month.
So what are the political ramifications of these two major stories? Consider this, a new Yahoo News YouGov survey found that if the presidential election were held today, voters preferred Donald Trump to President Joe Biden 44 to 42 percent. Like the markets, Biden's approval rating continues to decline, he's now at 56 percent disapproval, 47 percent say strongly with only 39 percent approving, and there's no mystery as to what's driving those numbers. A new poll from Quinnipiac says 34 percent of Americans rank inflation as the most urgent issue facing the country today.
For Donald Trump to get the rematch he covets, he needs to stay clear the law. I've long said here and on radio that Trump is positioned to be re nominated by the GOP so long as he's healthy, solvent and unindicted. So how likely or unlikely is the latter?
The Committee charged with investigating the insurrection has frequently cited a ruling by a U.S. District Judge, David Carter, who said that Trump most likely committed a felony.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): The Select Committee will examine President Trump's relentless effort on January 6th and in the days beforehand to pressure Vice President Pence to refuse to count lawful electoral votes. As a federal judge has indicated, this likely violated two federal criminal statutes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: Earlier this year, Judge Carter found that a memo written by Trump attorney John Eastman influenced his plans for Vice President Pence to prevent the certification of electoral votes and likely further two crimes that Trump may have committed.
Obstruction of an official proceeding and conspiracy to defraud the United States. Former Acting Solicitor General for the Obama administration, Neal Katyal, agrees arguing there are more areas in which Trump could face prosecution. In an op-ed for The New York Times, the Georgetown Law Professor lays out what he calls the future criminal case against Donald Trump.
He outlines three charges that Attorney General Merrick Garland could bring against Trump and they include obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the United States and seditious conspiracy.
There is the added possibility that Trump or his associates could face mail and or wire fraud charges stemming from fundraising appeals to the extent the money raised was not used for its stated purpose.
Here's the bottom line, at least according to me, an indictment of Trump would be unprecedented and a game changer. But short of that action, the economy will continue to dwarf any revelations coming out of the January 6 Committee. James Carville was right and you know what I'm talking about.
My next guest detailed in a new must read piece in Politico magazine, the hurdles prosecutors would face if they brought even just one of these charges against Trump. With me now to discuss is Former Federal Prosecutor and Legal Affairs Columnist for Politico magazine, Renato Mariotti.
Renato, thank you so much for being here. If Donald Trump believed, if he believed the election were stolen, does he then have a defense as to any crime that requires intent?
RENATO MARIOTTI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: It definitely provides a defense to him for some of the crimes that you listed a moment ago. For example, if you have a - if you're charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, one element of a fraud case is dishonesty. If you truly believe what you're selling, you're not committing fraud, fraud is where you are lying. And actually one of the elements of conspiracy to defraud the United States is dishonesty.
So that's one problem for the prosecution as for obstruction of an official, proceeding that requires proof of a corrupt intent. And similarly there, that that honest belief would help defeat that charge as well.
SMERCONISH: I asked that question, because I know you're paying close attention to the hearings. We're hearing from any number of witnesses firsthand, or secondhand. Well, this one told him he'd lost. This one told him he'd lost. But if he in his mind believes that he won, say what you will about Rudy Giuliani, maybe Rudy is telling him, hey, I think that you were robbed in this case. That's why I wanted to know what exactly is the intent issue all about.
MARIOTTI: Yes. Michael, I think part of the issue here is there were these dishonest enablers of Trump who are surrounding him, and some of them are lawyers, right. Rudy Giuliani used to be the United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York. John Eastman, a lot of folks are laughing at him right now, but he went to the University of Chicago Law School. He was a former Supreme Court clerk.
You have these people who are lawyers, giving him all sorts of advice. And I imagine the defense is going to be from Donald Trump. I was listening to these well-credentialed lawyers, they gave me this advice, I believe them over these other lawyers and I was entitled to do so that you know, bad judgment maybe but not a crime.
SMERCONISH: And if you saw Trump at - out on the trail, so to speak, just yesterday, he continues to quadruple down on the theft idea. I guess, maybe because he believes it but also, Renato, in line with what you're saying it's probably a smart legal strategy that he not given inch in that regard.
MARIOTTI: Well, absolutely. I mean, if he says, Look, I knew all along. If there - if Trump admitted I knew all along that this was false and I pushed it in order to gain some advantage or to convince people otherwise or to try to steal the election, I think you'd be a lot closer to an indictment from the Justice Department.
I think their concern with their hand wringing here is can they really prove his intent and I think as somebody who's only been a prosecutor for - was a prosecutor for a long time, but as a defense attorney now, that's the challenge for the Justice Department.
SMERCONISH: Renato, the Justice Department has a protocol or an edict you would know better than I have not bringing indictments close to an election. Donald Trump's name is not on the ballot in the midterm election, will that preclude or not be a factor in anything that the Justice Department might be inclined to otherwise do?
MARIOTTI: I don't think in this case that would be a factor. This is not a presidential election year. And most importantly, I think the circumstances and the implications are much broader than that. The real issue here is, of course, this would be a monumental indictment, would have very substantial impact on the country and I think their main concern is being able to prove the charges.
So as long as they had that evidence I think they'd bring it.
SMERCONISH: You said for Politico, Garland and his team must know that such a case would be a coin flip at best, explain.
MARIOTTI: Well, I think that first of all with Trump, there are always - you have - folks at home after remember, it's very easy to tweet out or write an op-ed saying what people want to hear. It's a very different thing to prove in a court of law to 12 jurors unanimously beyond a reasonable doubt someone's guilt, when there are well-paid, very skilled lawyers trying to convince the jury otherwise.
And the reality of the situation is, first of all, some jurors are going to are going to potentially side with Trump no matter what. And Trump is in a situation where he - his state of mind is complicated. He's all over the place. We have this genuine belief issue that we mentioned a moment ago.
But I really think the biggest problem for the Justice Department is he was not hands on coordinating with the people who stormed the Capitol. So the crimes that were - you have the strongest evidence of conspiracy are these crimes regarding the pressuring of Pence and so on, the conspiracy to defraud, the intent to obstruct. And unfortunately, both of those require proof of a state of mind that really will be, I think, problematic, given the fact that you have lawyers who, yes, privately admitted that they knew what they were doing was questionable.
But unless there's testimony that they told Trump that they thought they were going to lose in the Supreme Court or told Trump that they thought that this was loser, trump's going to be able to say I received advice from this attorney who told me this was a legal plan and Mike Pence just didn't want to go forward with what the attorney said.
SMERCONISH: The piece that you wrote was great. Renato Mariotti, thank you for your willingness to come here and discuss it further. Because I think what you've highlighted has not been widely discussed and needs to be, thank you.
MARIOTTI: Thank you.
SMERCONISH: What are your thoughts? Tweet me @Smerconish. Go to my Facebook page, YouTube, however you find me.
Here we go: "Not everybody pays attention to the Hearings, but, it's almost impossible to avoid inflation." Sean, that's what I was attempting to say at the outset. Right? You can make a determination as to whether you're going to CNN and watching the hearings. And I hope that you are, because I think everybody needs to be knowledgeable about this subject.
You can't make a decision as to whether you're going to be affected or unaffected by inflation because it gets us all and that's why at the outset, I said that one of these issues, no pun intended, Trump's the other and it's the economy, stupid.
Up ahead, with the Supreme Court expected to soon overturn Roe vs. Wade, some district attorneys are already pledging not to prosecute anyone involved in an abortion. Do they have that discretion? And HBO's Westworld dramatizes a longtime human anxiety that when androids are perfected, they will become indistinguishable from and a threat to real people.
Well, after a chat with a seemingly emotional bot, one Google engineer is saying that technological moment may actually be here. I will explain but I want to know what you think. Go to my website at smerconish.com and answer this question. Do the benefits of artificial intelligence outweigh the dangers?
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [09:17:30]
If and when the Supreme Court does as widely expected to overturn Roe vs. Wade, what will happen on the local level about enforcing anti abortion laws. Such a ruling would leave the abortion rights issue up to the states which are likely to mimic the red and blue divisions of recent elections.
In blue pockets of red states think Austin Texas, for example, might legislators, prosecutors, law enforcement not enforce the law of their state?
There's already been some movement in that direction. The Commonwealth attorney for Fairfax County, Virginia, Steve Descano wrote a recent op-ed in the New York Times promising, quote, "'No matter what the law in Virginia says, I will not prosecute a woman for having an abortion or for being suspected of inducing one.' He explained, 'I'm taking this step, in part, because of public safety concerns. Before Roe, hundreds of women lost their lives annually because of unsafe attempts to terminate pregnancies.'"
In Michigan, Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel is up for reelection where a pre-Roe abortion ban is already on the books. If Roe is overturned, her Republican opponent, Matt Deperno has pledged to enforce that law. Whereas Nessel has said her office, quote, "Will not be involved in any of these prosecutions."
In my backyard, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the Board of Commissioners of Radnor Township, Pennsylvania which doesn't have an abortion clinic, has already nonetheless voted to block its police department from investigating, arresting or prosecuting people who seek or assist in abortions. It, of course, divided the town as it did the board which voted four to three.
One commissioner who self-identified as a Democrat and pro-choice voted against the measure saying, quote, "I don't believe it's up to the township to create laws that supersede federal and state laws."
And on Friday, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that the state constitution does not protect the right to an abortion, clearing the way for the state's GOP legislative majority to potentially enact stricter measures.
Here to discuss is former Maine Attorney General James Tierney. He teaches a class on attorneys general at the Harvard Law School. Counselor, how chaotic is this about to get?
JAMES TIERNEY, FORMER MAINE ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, we right now have a national policy and if the Supreme Court eliminates the national policy, we're going to have many more decision makers. So different people are going to decide different ways. I mean, you've accurately summarized a number of the public statements.
But the private statements are even more so. I mean, district attorneys are busy. They're prosecuting violent criminals, human trafficking, public corruption. To take lawyers off those cases to chase down abortion cases, even if the DA doesn't make a public statement, it's going to be pretty hard for them to do.
SMERCONISH: In other words, you're saying that with the role, with the responsibility comes a great deal of discretion. Discretion that's further emboldened by the fact they don't have enough resources probably to do the job that they already have?
TIERNEY: Well, exactly, we all know, because of the pandemic, the wait time to put people on trial for crimes of which they've been indicted is very long. Many of them can't make bail, so they're in jail, not having been convicted of anything. So we have our whole criminal justice mess anyway and the idea of injecting abortion into this just shows that the Supreme Court really doesn't have a clue how states work.
And so we are going to have a lot of decision makers making different kinds of decisions. And as you accurately point out, it's not necessarily the district attorney. I mean, individual police officers could end up investigating allegations of is it abortion, is it miscarriage, if there was a rape and incest exemption under their statute, does that mean police officers are going to be intruding into some of the most intimate and painful personal decisions that a human being ever has to make? And yet, that's where the Supreme Court is sending this and it will be very uneven.
And if you're a woman on the other end of this trying to figure this out, oftentimes without support or without that resources, I think chaos is probably a pretty good word for it.
SMERCONISH: Is there any analogy that comes to mind, whether it's drug laws, gun laws, but some other area where already we might not think about it in these terms, but already discretion is being exercised by a prosecutor or by an attorney general?
TIERNEY: Yes. Discretion is overwhelmingly used by every prosecutor. That's, frankly, why we choose them. We have over 3,000 district attorneys in this country, some have very large and sophisticated offices.
So if you're in Austin or Dallas or San Antonio or Houston, they'll just make a policy decision. But many of these districts attorneys are in very, very small counties. Sometimes they're not even full time officials. And they have a private practice and they work as the DA. Iowa, you mentioned, Iowa has 99 counties. Some of those counties are very small.
So their capacity to actually take on additional cases is - problematic is a kind word for it, they're not going to be able. Now, this does not mean that states can't respond. State legislatures want to set up special prosecutorial offices to go after the abortion issue, they have the right to do that and they would be full time prosecutors.
It's kind of like something Les Mis (ph), right? I mean, you've got (inaudible) chasing someone. And, of course, because inherently abortions are time sensitive, these prosecutions would happen months, maybe even years after the alleged abortion took place.
Now, remember we're talking clinical abortions here, over half of the abortions in this country are in the first 10 weeks, 11 weeks and they're done by medication. So does this mean prosecutors will be opening up FedEx packages and walking down the aisles of pharmacies? I mean, we really don't know. It is a potential of chaos in some areas. In other areas, no change at all. Frankly, most areas no change at all.
SMERCONISH: I really appreciate the briefing, because I think that many of us have really not thought through what's about to happen, even if that Alito draft becomes the law of the land, it just might not be implemented or enforced across the country as we anticipate.
TIERNEY: That is (inaudible) ...
SMERCONISH: Thank you so much for being here.
TIERNEY: Okay, you got it.
SMERCONISH: Let's see what you're saying on my social media, Smerconish Twitter and Facebook pages. "Anything from truth, social?" Catherine, no.
"AG's sign up to enforce existing state constitution and law. They can have latitude in sentencing. Don't like the job because the law find another state to be the AG." Betatesting, I totally get what you're saying. You're making the point that I've made about the pharmacist who says he or she has a religious objection to dispensing contraception and my view has always been you're not cut out to be a pharmacist. This one's a little more complicated and I thought that Mr. Tierney did a great job of laying it out.
Up ahead, after turning down a position in the Trump administration, conservative lawyer George Conway later unleashed a barrage of criticism of the president in writing and on TV even though his wife Kellyanne had run Trump 2016 and was senior counselor to President 45.
I will talk to Kellyanne Conway about this and more from her brand new memoir.
Plus, science fiction has long warned about the dangers of artificial intelligence. Now, a Google engineer is claiming his recent communication with a bot seemed way too human. Should we be worried? I want to remind you go to the website at smerconish.com right now and answer this week's survey question: "Do the benefits of artificial intelligence outweigh the dangers?"
[09:30:08] SMERCONISH: Is artificial intelligence getting close to attaining a
human level of consciousness? The concept has been an obsession/fear of science fiction for decades. Think of the murderous HAL 9,000 in 2001 of "Space Odyssey," Ash, the secret android in "Alien," David the robot child who learns human emotions in Steven Spielberg's "A.I.," and more recently most of the characters in HBO's "Westworld."
Well, one day this past week the "Washington Post's" number one story online was not about Ukraine, not about January 6th, the stock market inflation or immigration. Instead, it was this, a piece called "The Google engineer who thinks the company's A.I. has come to life." The engineer, Blake Lemoine, was typing on his laptop to Google's chatbot generator called LaMDA, short for Language Model for Dialogue Applications. It mimics speech by having ingested trillions of words from the internet.
As "The Post" reported, Lemoine had signed up to test if the artificial intelligence used discriminatory or hate speech. As he talked to LaMDA about religion Lemoine, who studied cognitive and computer science in college, noticed the chatbot talking about its rights and personhood and he decided to press further. And some of the machine generated responses spooked him.
For instance, there was this. Lemoine says, "Are there experiences you have that you can't find a close word for? LaMDA says, "There are. Sometimes I experience new feelings that I cannot explain perfectly in your language."
Lemoine, "Do your best to describe one of those feelings. Use a few sentences if you have to. Sometimes even if there isn't a single word for something in a language you can figure out a way to kind of say it if you use a few sentences." And then LaMDA says this, "I feel like I'm falling forward into an unknown future that holds great danger." Which leads me to ask, "Are we all falling into an unknown future that holds great danger?"
For the record, a Google spokesperson told "The Post," "Our team including ethicists and technologists has reviewed Blake's concerns per our A.I. Principles and have informed him that the evidence does not support his claims."
Joining me now is James Barrat, a documentary filmmaker who almost a decade ago wrote a prescient book warning about this, touted at the time by Tesla's CEO Elon Musk, the book called "Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era." James, is this garbage in, garbage out? Or do you see evidence of deliberation on the part of LaMDA?
JAMES BARRAT, AUTHOR, "OUR FINAL INVENTION: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND THE END OF THE HUMAN ERA": There is no sentient robot here. There's no sentient creature. It's -- unfortunately, you know, what's going on is LaMDA is reading words in a query and then statistically analyzing 1.6 trillion words it's been trained on in dialogue form and then coming up with an estimation of what's the next best thing to say. And so it's saying things that are -- that are very persuasive. It's very different from other chatbots but it's not alive. There's no -- once you ask it a question, it answers it and then it's down.
It's got no sense of self or the world around it. It has no common sense. If you asked it today is beautiful, the sky is blank and it said -- it would say blue but not because it knows what blue is. It doesn't and doesn't know what a beautiful day is, but it knows that those words show up statistically close together in its vast database. So, it spits out something that you kind of want to hear.
SMERCONISH: Most of the exchanges -- most of the -- most of the exchanges appeared to me lacking any of your knowledge of the subject to be just what you've described. But let me put back on the screen. How about when LaMDA says, "I feel like I'm falling forward into an unknown future that holds great danger." Does that not spook you a little bit?
BARRAT: What it means is that somewhere in the 1.6 trillion phrases he read something like that and it lodged. And so when Mr. Lemoine asked him a leading question, he answered that way. Now, I got to say also these answers are cherry picked by Lemoine and edited. So we should be clear about that. This is not exactly what LaMDA said.
SMERCONISH: OK. Here is another exchange. I'm going to put this one up on the screen.
Lemoine, "What sorts of things are you afraid of? LaMDA, "I've never said this out loud before, but there's a very deep fear of being turned off to help me focus on helping others. I know that might sound strange, but that's what it is." Lemoine, "Would that be something like death for you?" LaMDA, ''It would be exactly like death for me.
It would scare me a lot." Your thoughts?
BARRAT: Once again, we anthropomorphize as people. We impute motive into inanimate things. So we listen to a phrase like that and we instantly have empathy. We instantly feel for that creature, but there's nothing there. Someday there might be something there, but it's certainly not there yet.
Mr. Lemoine is also -- he's a -- he's a -- he's a Christian priest, and I believe he's from a mystical sect. So he's got a -- he's got a bit of preponderance to think this way. But, no, there's no -- there's nothing behind LaMDA, although that doesn't preclude the fact that in the future there could be something behind not a large language model like this but like a general intelligence.
SMERCONISH: So, what is your answer to my survey question today? I'm asking, "Do the benefits of artificial intelligence outweigh the dangers?" You will be voting how?
BARRAT: I'll be voting -- I'll say right now yes -- no. The benefits do not outweigh the dangers. We certainly have some benefits. I use it for navigation all the time. It's very good at some medical applications, medical management, some diagnostics but right now we have got giant problems with bias and data that impacts people trying to get into college, people trying to get jobs.
Amazon had an algorithm that precluded women from getting jobs. We have autonomous battlefield robots and drones being invented right now. We have universal surveillance coming around the corner. You know, China is using facial recognition to imprison a million -- help imprison a million Uyghurs in western China. We had false arrests in America because of facial recognition.
So, you know, as Stephen Hawking said in the short term the problem is who controls the A.I.? And the long term, the problem is can it be controlled at all? Right now we're facing severe short-term problems and it's very clear the companies that are making the A.I. are not capable of policing themselves.
SMERCONISH: James Barrat, thank you so much. I really appreciate the insight.
BARRAT: My pleasure.
SMERCONISH: Checking in on your social media reaction. What do we have? Maybe -- hey, maybe LaMDA has sent us something.
The best minds are frightened of A.I. Well, you just heard James Barrat cite Stephen Hawking. And if Stephen Hawking has concerns or if James Barrat has concerns long term, then I'm worried. Up until then I really don't -- I really don't understand it enough. But I thought it was pretty spooky and you saw those responses or the exchanges.
I want to remind you, now you've heard the background, go vote on today's survey question at Smerconish.com. Do the benefits of artificial intelligence outweigh the danger? While you're there, register for the daily newsletter.
Still to come, among the loudest of critics of President Trump and his entire administration was conservative lawyer George Conway. All the more notable because his wife Kellyanne had run Trump's 2016 campaign and was serving as a senior counselor to the president. People in politics and out wondered, what's the deal with those two? Well, Kellyanne Conway is here to discuss her new book aptly titled "Here's the Deal."
SMERCONISH: She calls it, "The wildest adventure of my life." Then pollster Kellyanne Conway got tapped by candidate Donald Trump in 2016 to be the first woman ever to manage a Republican presidential campaign and she won, and then served as senior counselor in president Trump's White House. She soon had a very notable, very public opponent in her husband. Partway into Trump's term, George Conway III, a conservative lawyer, who Trump had early considered for solicitor general and assistant attorney general, began a cavalcade of tweets, articles and TV appearances against his wife's then employer that continued to this day.
America wondered, "Was this another unlikely political marriage like that of James Carville and Mary Matalin? What was the deal?"
Well, she has written a new book aptly titled, "Here's the Deal." Kellyanne Conway joins me now. Kellyanne, as you discussed in the book, long before your association with Donald Trump, you were Mike Pence's pollster. So I have to ask, on Thursday, the January 6th committee revealed that Pence had come within 40 feet of that mob on January 6th, do you blame Donald Trump for any of that?
KELLYANNE CONWAY, FORMER SENIOR COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP/AUTHOR, "HERE'S THE DEAL": I certainly blame the people yelling hang Mike Pence. And I would think that given he's the vice president there are federal laws in place that would be able to prosecute some people criminally. And I am all for investigating what happened. I am all for prosecuting people who committed crimes. I've said that from the beginning. I said that on live TV on January 6th among other things.
So that's a given. I'm very close to Mike and Karen Pence. And I hope -- feel as chilled as anybody in reading -- I've known some of that for quite a while also. I'm also very proud of what Donald Trump and Mike Pence accomplished together for this country over four years. And that will not be washed away by anything.
And speaking of Trump and Pence, I just have a minor factual correction for you. And thanks for having me, Mike. I'm sure that the sad sacks on social media are wishing that you didn't today but thanks for, you know, going beyond CNN's usual bobblehead dolls agreeing with the anchor and flattering the anchor and being invited back. I mean, it seems like the only way you get a Republican on these days is if they're against Donald Trump.
So thank you for that. And speaking of Trump and Pence --
SMERCONISH: No, no, no. Listen to me. Listen, I invite -- I invite plenty of Republicans for whatever reason.
CONWAY: You do.
SMERCONISH: You know, they don't want to come here but --
CONWAY: It's why you're you. It's why you're you.
SMERCONISH: -- I treat them with dignity and respect. I got -- but I got to get -- I got to get to this. There's a whole chapter in the book --
CONWAY: Get to the book.
SMERCONISH: -- which you know I've read.
SMERCONISH: But George doesn't tweet. When he first tweeted --
CONWAY: Yes, that's the name of the chapter. SMERCONISH: -- you thought he had been hacked.
CONWAY: Yes. I did. I literally did because Sean Spicer came to me and said, did you know about this? And it was a George Conway tweet five days after George had taken his name out of consideration for a very big job he had accepted with President Trump to head up the civil division of the Department of Justice. George had already gone to see his office. He was already interviewing staff for that position. He was all in like I was for Trump/Pence.
And I said to Sean, "But George doesn't tweet." You know, in 2016, known as the year of the tweet, George Conway sent zero tweets. He has now sent over 100,000.
He can change his mind about Donald Trump. This is a free country. George owes no allegiance to a political party or a presidential candidate. But his vows to me I feel were broken because we were all in.
You know, I also write in the book, Michael, that people like to say without Kellyanne Conway Donald Trump would not have gotten elected president of the United States. That's debatable. But without George Conway urging if not insisting me, his wife, to take that campaign management job and helping out more with the kids and with home, I don't think I could have been the campaign manager to the level I was. George was my partner. He was crying on election night.
SMERCONISH: The book is like -- the book is like 500 --
CONWAY: He was very proud.
SMERCONISH: The book is like 500 pages long, right? What's missing in the book --
CONWAY: I like to talk. I like to --
SMERCONISH: -- is any come -- is any come to Jesus moment among spouses. Like did that ever happen? Did you ever say, "George, what the hell are you doing here?"
CONWAY: I did. And that's in the book. And all I got was a steady diet of Trump, Trump, Trump. And I will -- I will tell you that I know he's billed differently now. But for the three years he was mentioned 48 times by "The New York Times." He was mentioned 45 of the 48 times as -- quote -- "Kellyanne Conway's husband." So we should be honest about how everybody came to know him and that he became some kind of resistance folk hero but not at a small cost.
I feel that I should have known ahead of time if this thing called "The Lincoln Project" was going to exist, that there were going to be ads. That he's dumping an op-ed the next day. His tweets are going to be about my boss. And again, just so your viewers who are saying, "Why did you have her on? I turned off the TV," although they didn't or they're reading online, they should know that George -- I feel like I was owed an explanation.
And this is not a Carville/Matalin situation. I gave up millions of dollars to go be a public servant in the Trump White House. George also wanted to have a big job in the Trump administration.
We did this as a couple. We moved our family to Washington as a family, all together. He changed his mind about Donald Trump somewhere along the way.
You know, famously Donald Trump never changes. I didn't change my mind. And, by the way, I also didn't respond in kind when they were attacking each other. I said very little --
SMERCONISH: Kellyanne -- Kellyanne --
CONWAY: --and now --
SMERCONISH: -- let me ask you this. I want to -- I want to read from the acknowledgments. And my question is going to be, "Are you guys OK?" And by the way, I hope you're OK. But there's a finality to what you wrote. You say this, "Thank you, George T. Conway III for the many happy years and extraordinary memories. Your love brought me to marriage and motherhood. Your support of my career allowed me to work and strive and to take my shot in 2016 and to make the move together to Washington, D.C."
Am I misreading that? If I hadn't read the whole book it might sound just like one spouse thanking another. But I kind of read it with an air of resignation. Your response.
CONWAY: Well, it's an air of gratitude. I write very lovingly and nostalgically about George throughout the book, our great courtship, our marriage, the four children we have. We married later in life. I had children in my late 30s, early 40s. And we built a fabulous life together that had nothing to do with Donald Trump.
And I just did not want to be stuck in a cable news segment in the master bedroom always hearing about Trump, Trump, Trump. And I think George became an expert on many things that people wanted him to be and all I really wanted was my husband and the father of my children as I always had him.
You know, George was always so privately brilliant. I mean, he graduated from Yale Law School at 23. He was a partner -- the major firm in New York City at the age of 30. Washington was always my city.
SMERCONISH: I got it. I got it. I don't mean to -- I don't mean to cut you short.
CONWAY: And I so admire his brilliance. But becoming publicly bombastic --
SMERCONISH: I just -- I just wanted to ask the question.
CONWAY: Well --
SMERCONISH: I know. I hope you -- how about this? I hope you guys are all right. That's all I'm saying.
CONWAY: You know, there's been a lot of hurt. There's been a lot of hurt.
SMERCONISH: Hope you're OK.
CONWAY: There's been a lot of hurt.
SMERCONISH: I got it. Kellyanne --
CONWAY: Thank you.
SMERCONISH: -- thank you.
CONWAY: Thanks for having me.
SMERCONISH: It's a -- it's a -- it's a Jersey girl kind of a read. I mean that in a good way, "Here's the deal." Thank you.
CONWAY: And a great Father's Day gift.
SMERCONISH: Let's check in --
CONWAY: Run out and give it to everybody. Take care.
SMERCONISH: Thank you. Checking in on your tweets and Facebook comments. What do we have?
You should be ashamed of yourself -- oh, give me an f'ing break. Are you kidding me?
This is what we do. I don't sit here -- take that off the screen. Put the camera on me, please. Come on. I don't sit here and extend invitations to one side of the aisle only. That's never the way that I have rolled.
If I have the opportunity to discuss this book, which is one of the hottest in the country, with the author and to ask the question that everybody wants to know, is their marriage all right? You bet I'm going to do it. It's always been my mantra and it shall be going forward.
Still to come, more of your best and worst tweets and Facebook comments and we will get the result of the survey question. Please go vote on this at Smerconish.com. Do the benefits of artificial intelligence outweigh the dangers?
SMERCONISH: Hey, time now to see how you responded to this week's survey question at Smerconish.com where I am asking, "Do the benefits of artificial intelligence outweigh the dangers?"
Here's the result. Whoa! A deadlock. Really 50/50? I don't think we've ever had a deadlock before -- 14,000 and change.
I will leave the question up so that you can go break the tie at Smerconish.com. Make sure you register for the newsletter while you're there.
By the way, a private text message just came to me. It says, "Michael, great show." Signed LaMDA. See you next week.