On this “Face the Nation” broadcast, moderated by Margaret Brennan:
- Meteorologist Paul Goodloe of The Weather Channel
- Mesa, Arizona, Mayor John Giles
- Barry Diller, chairman and senior executive of IAC
- “Pivot” podcast host Kara Swisher
- Rep. Michael McCaul, Republican of Texas and chair of House Foreign Affairs Committee
Clickto browse full transcripts of “Face the Nation.”
MARGARET BRENNAN: I’m Margaret Brennan.
And this week on Face the Nation: Millions around the world experience firsthand the effects of a warming planet. And most of Hollywood goes on strike, yet another blow to our economy.
A brutal and persistent heat wave has nearly a third of Americans living under a heat alert, many of them confronting temperatures that are downright dangerous. We will examine the impact on the U.S. and the rest of the world also suffering from the devastating temperatures.
Mesa, Arizona, has been particularly hard-hit. Mayor John Giles will tell us how his city is coping.
Then: President Biden is back from a trip to Eastern Europe, where he rallied America’s NATO allies to stand together against Vladimir Putin.
JOE BIDEN (President of the United States): We will not waver. We will not waver.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
MARGARET BRENNAN: But he’s back home and faced with new developments from other foreign adversaries, another provocative missile test in North Korea, new tensions with Iran, and more cyberattacks out of China.
We will sort through those challenges with White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and check in with the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael McCaul.
And, finally, one of America’s marquee industries, entertainment, is at a virtual standstill, as actors join writers on strike, hitting the picket line together for the first time in 60 years to demand higher pay and increased job security at a time of profound technological and social change.
We will ask media executive Barry Diller about the ripple effects on the broader economy. And we will hear from tech reporter Kara Swisher on the upheaval in the entertainment world, the tech industry and beyond.
It’s all just ahead on Face the Nation.
Good morning, and welcome to Face the Nation.
We have a lot to get to this morning, but we want to begin in with some of the extreme weather we’re seeing at home and abroad. There are climate shocks across the country with flooding in some parts and a record-breaking heat wave in others.
CBS News correspondent Danya Bacchus is in Los Angeles with more.
DANYA BACCHUS (voice-over): In the Southwest, a heat dome is intensifying.
WOMAN: It’s like I’m sitting in a baker, and I feel like I’m going to get toasted.
DANYA BACCHUS: Phoenix, which has been above 110 degrees for 16 days, hit a record high Saturday of 118. Las Vegas could see 117 today. And Death Valley, one of the hottest places on Earth, is on track to hit 130, the blistering heat attracting visitors.
MAN: I have never experienced this kind of heat.
DANYA BACCHUS: The extreme heat and dry conditions sparked multiple fires in Southern California, burning thousands of acres and prompting evacuation orders.
In Florida, beachgoers are finding it hard to cool off. Water temperatures there have been reaching above 90 degrees. Wildfires in Canada are causing smoke to once again blanket portions of the Midwest, bringing air quality alerts to Minnesota and Wisconsin.
On the East Coast, Vermont is in a state of emergency following flooding. Flash flooding also took the lives of three people in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Saturday night.
DANYA BACCHUS: Southern California fire crews worked throughout the night.
And, Margaret, they remain on high alert, as the peak of this Southwest heat wave is expected to hit today.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Danya Bacchus for us from Los Angeles.
For a look at how the rest of the world is coping, we turn to CBS News foreign correspondent Chris Livesay, who filed this report from Rome.
CHRIS LIVESAY: Well, the heat wave is named after the three-headed dog that guards the underworld in Greek mythology. And with temperatures set to rise even further, it has its jaws firmly locked on Southern Europe.
(voice-over): People have been collapsing under the weight of the heat wave Cerberus.
WOMAN #1: Thank you so much.
CHRIS LIVESAY: For two days, Greek officials were forced to close the ancient Acropolis during the most scorching hours to prevent further injuries.
MAN: We put on 60 SPF, so we’re good. We have our water. No complaints.
WOMAN #2: It’s really hard. I have got asthma, so this heat is terrible for it.
CHRIS LIVESAY: In Italy, 16 cities have been placed under a red alert for the extreme heat. Some regions in the South may even exceed 120 degrees.
Surface temperatures are sizzling even hotter. In Spain, thermal imaging resembles the sun, as ground temperatures reach a blistering 140 degrees. Forest fires ripped through the Spanish island of La Palma, destroying homes and displacing hundreds, all this while East Asia is being inundated. Mudslides and torrential rain in South Korea have left dozens dead and a climbing death toll.
In one incident, a freeway tunnel was flooded, leaving many drivers trapped.
CHRIS LIVESAY: Indeed, temperatures have been rising steadily for years.
The highest temperature ever recorded in Europe was right here in Italy, just a hair under 120 degrees, only two years ago. The fear is that this year and years to come could be even worse — Margaret.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Chris Livesay from Rome.
We now want to go to Weather Channel meteorologist Paul Goodloe from Atlanta, Georgia.
Paul, are we near the end of this heat streak?
PAUL GOODLOE (Meteorologist, The Weather Channel): Not at all, not even in Europe, also not in the U.S.
Yes, this afternoon, temperatures in Europe already upper 90s, even some temperatures above 100 degrees, and then, in the U.S., the Southeast sultry, the East sultry, stormy in the Northeast. The Southwest is broiling here, and the heat building in the Pacific Northwest, the interior as well.
And then there’s Phoenix, yet another day at or above 110 degrees. This streak started way back in June, but it really continues in earnest this month. In fact, our streak is at 16 days. The old record is 18 days. We’re at least going to have 21 days or more. And in terms of the end, it’s nowhere in sight, the forecast from this month into September likely above average, well above average in the Southwest for — yes, at least for the rest of this summer — Margaret.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We’re seeing reports of some kind of unusual things, like, in New England today, a warning of a tornado watch. I grew up there. I don’t remember that ever happening really before.
We’re seeing the federal government and NOAA say that June was a record heat level, with sea temperatures the highest for any month on record. What is the global impact of all these changes?
PAUL GOODLOE: Well, it’s all about the extra energy we’re having here and changing and impacting our weather, which also is impacting our climate.
You mentioned temperatures. The waters around Florida, the sea surface waters, we’re talking not only bathwater, but hot tub water-type temperatures here. You don’t really get much relief in the water, it is so warm. And that plays into what happens in our atmosphere. The water is warming, so it’s adjusting the temperature above that water, adding more humidity.
For every one degree temperature increase, we can see 4 percent more water vapor, heavier snow events, but also heavier rain events. It doesn’t mean we still can’t have long, persistent droughts. It’s the long-term adding energy or heat in our atmosphere which is fueling wilder extremes.
And we’re seeing this also with rainfall, not only today in the Northeast, but also last week. A one in 100-year flood events doesn’t mean you only see one in 100 years. It’s the probability of any given year of 1 percent seeing that type of rainfall. But guess what? We’re seeing more of that.
In fact, more of — days seeing two inches or more of rain have steadily increased since 1950. We’re seeing that right now with flooding in the Northeast. And, by the way, it’s not just here. Every region of the country has seen an increase in our heavy rain events, leading to more wilder flood events.
We have the concern for severe weather, including flash flooding going on, widespread flood alerts going on across the entire region, because their energy is just that supercharged. And, by the way, the two things we talked about this morning, heat and flooding, those are the two biggest weather killers.
Yes, I know things like tornadoes, even hurricanes, they have a lot of headlines, but the day-to-day occurrences of heavy rain and now the super long heat events we’re dealing with across the country and the globe are killing a lot more people — Margaret.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Paul, wow. That is sobering. Thank you very much.
And we turn now to John Giles. He’s the Republican mayor of Mesa, Arizona, a city about 20 miles east of Phoenix at the epicenter of this heat wave.
Mayor Giles, good morning to you.
I imagine it’s always challenging to manage a city in the middle of a desert. But with this record streak of heat, what — what is the impact on people’s health and the community?
JOHN GILES (R-Mayor of Mesa, Arizona): Well, good — good morning, Margaret.
We absolutely are used to high temperatures in the Phoenix area and in Mesa, but — but this is unusual. Due to some of the, I guess, global conditions that you just talked about earlier, we aren’t experiencing the normal rainstorms that we usually see this time of July in Arizona.
So, we’re used to several days over 110, even — even days in the high teens. But this is unusual because of the weeks-long duration of it.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And so what is the short-term or future impact that you are planning for?
You mentioned rain.
MAYOR JOHN GILES: Mm-hmm.
MARGARET BRENNAN: What does that mean for your water supply?
MAYOR JOHN GILES: Well, water is actually always an issue in the desert, obviously.
And then so we — Arizona, believe it or not, is — really leads the nation when it comes to water conservation. This is the only place in the country where you have to prove that you have a 100-year guaranteed water supply before you can build anything. So that is always on our minds.
And we are continuing to see challenges with the Colorado River. Thankfully, we’ve got other water sources that we rely on. So we feel good about our water future, although that’s something that we’re very — still working very hard on.
Temperatures, we do have a long-term plan for that as well. We have short- term plans. We have a lot of cooling stations. Every year, we do a big hydration donation campaign in Mesa, where we collect about several hundred thousand of these, so that we’re prepared for helping those who are outside, don’t have the resources to be inside during the hot temperatures.
And then, long term, we, of course, have climate action plans, but any climate action plan in a place like Mesa has got to take into account heat mitigation to be something that is taken seriously. So, for example, in Mesa, we have launched a campaign earlier this year to plant a million new trees in our community…
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-hmm.
MAYOR JOHN GILES: … to create more shade. And, also, we’re investing in transportation infrastructure.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Are you going to have to slow development — I mean, do you know at this point — in terms of more construction because of the strain on infrastructure and resources? And how is the electrical grid faring?
MAYOR JOHN GILES: Electricity is good.
We have two major electric companies in the Phoenix area, Salt River Project, Arizona Public Service, Tucson Power down in Tucson. And we — so far, we have not seen any brownouts or any hint that — that the grid is going — is going to be an issue or the wholesale electricity production is a problem.
And, believe it or not, the irony here is that the Phoenix area is really in a — in a — in an economic boom right now. Places like Mesa, we’ve got Apple, Google, Facebook, Meta all coming in making multibillion-dollar investments, bringing a lot of great jobs. So the heat and the — the weather, frankly, is the reason these companies are coming to Mesa and Phoenix.
Hurricanes, blizzards, tornadoes, mudslides, we just don’t do that here.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
MAYOR JOHN GILES: So you do have to tough out, you know, some — some — some high temperatures in the middle of July. But, other than that, the weather is actually a bonus for us.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You know, when you were here in Washington with us last on Face the Nation, we talked a bit about your concerns related to migration.
And you said at the time that — that the city does get overwhelmed. You’re not right on the border, but you deal with the impact. I know Border Patrol says there has been a — that the number of apprehensions has gone down in the past few months. Are you seeing that? And how is the extreme heat impacting people’s movement?
MAYOR JOHN GILES: Well, the heat absolutely is an issue for people who are attempting to cross the border, particularly those that are migrating from Central America, so that is something we’re very concerned about.
And the Border Patrol and humanitarian groups along the border are constantly, every day, rescuing people that are in life-threatening situations. So — so that’s very concerning. The last time I talked with you, we were very nervous about the impacts of Title 42 and what would happen with that transition.
In the past, we’ve — we’ve been — every time there’s a surge at the border, communities like Mesa are heavily impacted, because our resources are called upon when the federal government’s resources are not enough. We have been so far so good, though, when it comes to the Title 42 situation. But, again, we remain very concerned and are looking for a long-term solution there.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, Mr. Mayor, good luck to you faring in this heat. Thanks for sharing your insights.
Face the Nation will be back in a minute, so stay with us.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The gears of America’s entertainment industry ground to a near-complete halt last week when the union that represents actors, SAG- AFTRA, joined writers on the picket line.
A disclosure: Some CBS News staff are SAG-AFTRA members, but work under a different contract than the actors and are not affected by this strike.
But to understand who is impacted here, we are joined by Barry Diller, a former movie studio head who’s currently the chairman of IAC and Expedia.
Welcome back to Face the Nation.
BARRY DILLER (Chairman and Senior Executive, IAC and Expedia Group): Thank you.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You know, we were trying to gauge the economic impact of this.
And, according to the Milken Institute, it could cause $4 billion in economic damage. What do you think the impact will be? And how long will these strikes last?
BARRY DILLER: Well, the problem with this particular — all strikes get settled. The issue for this one is — is when, because you have almost a perfect storm here, which is, you had COVID, which sent people home to watch streaming and television and killed theaters.
You — you’ve had the results of huge investments in streaming, which have produced all these losses for all these companies who are now kind of retrenching. So, at this moment, this kind of perfect storm, it’s OK if it gets settled in the next month.
But I will posit what happens if it doesn’t. And there doesn’t seem to be enough trust and energy to get it settled soon. What will happen is, if in fact, it doesn’t get settled until Christmas or so, then, next year, there’s not going to be many programs for anybody to watch. So, you’re going to see subscriptions get pulled, which is going to reduce the revenue of all these movie companies, television companies, the result of which is that there will be no programs.
And at just the time, strike is settled, that you want to get back up, there won’t be enough money. So this actually will have devastating effects, if it is not settled soon. And the problem with settlement in this case is, there’s no trust between the parties. There are existential issues, obviously, A.I., which…
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
BARRY DILLER: … I think is just overhyped to death in terms of the worries that actors and writers are going to be replaced, rather than assisted, which is what I think will happen.
So — but there’s no trust. You have the actors union, saying, how dare these 10 people who run these companies earn all this money…
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
BARRY DILLER: … and won’t pay us, while, if you look at it on the other side, the top 10 actors get paid more than the top 10 executives.
I’m not saying either is right.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
BARRY DILLER: Actually, everybody’s probably overpaid at the top end.
The one idea I had is to say, as a good-faith measure, both the executives and the most-paid actors should take a 25 percent pay cut to try and narrow, narrow the difference between those who get highly paid and those that don’t.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, let…
BARRY DILLER: But I…
MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to talk about what you just said in terms of…
BARRY DILLER: No, no, the other…
MARGARET BRENNAN: Go ahead.
BARRY DILLER: The only other thing I would do, I would call for a September 1 deadline.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
BARRY DILLER: There’s a strike deadline. I think there should be a settlement deadline, because unless it happens by September 1, the actions — and, you know, of course, who cares about Hollywood? Who cares about it?
But the truth is, this is a huge business…
MARGARET BRENNAN: Exactly.
BARRY DILLER: … both domestically and for world ex — for world export.
And if it — if these conditions…
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
BARRY DILLER: I’m — like, don’t sound like I’m crying to the skies, but these conditions will potentially produce an absolute collapse of an entire industry.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, and, also, they’re all the people who are paid by the hour who work on these sets who aren’t receiving pay when things are shut down. It’s not just people in front of the camera here.
But on your point about A.I. and existential threats here, Fran Drescher, the head of the union, said: We’re all going to be in jeopardy of being replaced by machines.
That’s not the only industry worried about that. If you were running a studio right now, what restrictions would you put on generative A.I.?
BARRY DILLER: Right now, overly hyped, as all revolutions that are at the very beginning.
You know, the downward consequences of the beginning of a revolution, you know, it can be the Romanovs getting shot and Marie Antoinette losing her head. But, in this case, I think the one-to-three-year period, not much is going to happen.
But post that, there are, of course, all these issues. Now, by the way, these issues are not, I believe — relative to some of the worries about replacement, I do not think you’re going to replace — A.I.-generated actors. I don’t think you’re going to replace writers. Yes, you can ingest all this stuff and spit out something that sounds like Shakespeare, but guess what? It is not original Shakespeare.
And writers will get assisted, not replaced. Most of these actual performing crafts, I don’t think in danger — are in danger of artificial intelligence.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, the union wants some say in, I guess, crafting some guidelines on this.
I know A.I. impacts the publishing industry, because you have said that published content should be — and somehow compensated for if it’s plugged into A.I. to program it. Are you going to seek to sue?
BARRY DILLER: Yes. Well, actually, we are. A group of us, I think, are.
MARGARET BRENNAN: When?
BARRY DILLER: And it’s not that — a group of us are.
It’s not that either Google or Microsoft that are the two real leaders of this, in terms of — certainly, Google with having a monopoly on advertising. They too want to find a solution for publishers. The problem is, they also say that the fair use doctrine of the copyright law allows them to suck up all this stuff.
We, in the publishing side, do not agree with that.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-hmm.
BARRY DILLER: It is — it will be, long term, catastrophic if there is not a business model that allows people professionally to produce content.
That would be, I think everybody agrees, a catastrophe. The only way to get there is either legislation or litigation. I think litigation is not going to end up in some courtroom. But I think litigation will hopefully lead to sensible legislation here.
What has to happen is, copyright has to be — copy — unless you protect copyright, all is lost.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-hmm.
So are you thinking of what — like, the AP just came to an agreement with ChatGPT where they have to license AP’s archives of new stories in order to plug them into their model. Is that the future for publishers?
BARRY DILLER: Yes. Yes, it’s probably — yes, but that’s probably meaningless.
I mean, that is not going to solve anything. And, of course, it’s — I understand AP and Chat — look, ChatGPI — what do — GPT — what do they want? They want to continue to suck all this stuff up. They want to, of course, say, we’re open to commercial agreements.
But, on the side of those people who are dependent upon advertising, Google, for instance, they say, yes, we’ll give you a revenue share. Right now, the revenue share is zero. So what percent of zero would you like today? I mean, that’s rational, but it’s not the point. The only way you get to the point is protect fair use, in other words, protect the copyright.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-hmm.
Are you going to launch litigation soon? And who’s this group you referenced you’re with?
BARRY DILLER: Well, it’s not fair for me to actually specify the group, other than — other than it’s the leading — it’s leading publishers.
MARGARET BRENNAN: OK.
BARRY DILLER: And — and, yes, we have to.
It — it — it’s not antagonistic. It’s to stake a firm place in the ground to say that you cannot ingest our material…
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
BARRY DILLER: … without figuring out a business model for the future.
I will just give you one quick reference point. Twenty years ago, when the Internet began, the Internet was deemed free.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
BARRY DILLER: And so everybody, all publishers said, OK, let’s put it all up for free. Everything’s great. Take it.
OK, it almost killed publishers.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I have got to wrap you here.
BARRY DILLER: All right? It took 15 — it took 15 years to get back paywalls that protected publishers.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes, we’re…
BARRY DILLER: I don’t think that same thing is going to happen.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Barry Diller, I love having you.
Hope to have you back soon. Got to go.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We will be right back with a lot more Face the Nation.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION.
And we are continuing a theme with podcast host and tech watcher Kara Swisher of talking about how technology is really changing so many industries.
And you, of course, you’ve watched this.
KARA SWISHER (Host, “On With Kara Swisher” Podcast And Co-Host, “Pivot” Podcast): Yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And you’ve also interviewed Barry Diller before.
KARA SWISHER: Yes, many times.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Many, many times.
KARA SWISHER: Dozens of times, yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And I was reading an interview you did with him back in 2019 and it almost forecast some of this –
KARA SWISHER: Yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Because he said Hollywood’s irrelevant.
KARA SWISHER: He did. He said –
MARGARET BRENNAN: And the rise of tech companies.
KARA SWISHER: Yes, I think he said, if their – if their children had teeth – their children wouldn’t have teeth because they’re so inbred and they don’t understand what’s happening. He had some sort of colorful Barry Diller metaphor about that.
But, yes, he was — he’s been very prescient (ph) and honest. And that’s the reason I’ve known him for so long because he was one of the first people to contact me from Hollywood, and one of the only. There were just two, Bob Iger and him, about the internet back in the early days. And everyone else thought it would go away. And I kept saying, it’s not going away and it’s going to keep changing. And that’s what’s happening now. And it continues. And so Hollywood continues to struggle with the implications of technology, even at this advanced stage.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And that’s the streaming and digital ways of —
KARA SWISHER: That’s the latest.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Using the pipes to get it out to consumers. But it’s also the content makers.
KARA SWISHER: Right. Absolutely.
MARGARET BRENNAN: It’s – it’s that Apple makes content and Amazon and –
KARA SWISHER: That’s right. They’re competing with people with enormous amounts of resources and money that – and that Hollywood doesn’t compare to.
Last year I interviewed Bob Iger, and he even said Disney was too small. Think about that. Think about the idea that Disney, with its parks and its other – its characters, it’s IP, has – has a hard time competing with these tech companies that are getting better and better. Whether it’s Apple TV or its Amazon. You know, obviously, Netflix is really, you know, really plowed the field here and it’s now back again in a very strong position, as a – as a standalone company versus a Hollywood company.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The CEO of Disney, Bob Iger, got some criticism certainly from the union –
KARA SWISHER: He did.
MARGARET BRENNAN: About his comments that this was just sort of the worst possible time to have this kind of negotiation –
KARA SWISHER: Yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Because all of the strain on the industry.
KARA SWISHER: Yes, I think he’s right, but they don’t like that message, right? I think he’s probably right. At the same time he earns an enormous salary, so it’s easy to point to it and say, what a greedy man, that kind of thing. And I get that. And I think it’s important for them to talk about financials. But it almost has nothing to do with what’s going on in Hollywood right now, which is the streaming – the shift to streaming, which is necessary and important, is expensive. The economics aren’t worked out. They’ve overspent. There’s enormous competition between and among all the different companies. And nobody’s figured out how to pay for people.
Now, the actors are correct, is, they should get a piece of this. And figuring out whose value — who values and who’s valuable is going to be very hard.
And — but there – there is a real strain on these – on these companies at this moment in time. It doesn’t mean it’s not going to change, but it certainly is one of those sort of Rubicon moments that Hollywood faces from time to time.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And I’m – and I’m guessing that the — giving everyone a 25 percent pay cut is not something that – that proposal from Barry Diller is not going to go anywhere?
KARA SWISHER: No. No. No, I don’t think so.
MARGARET BRENNAN: No.
KARA SWISHER: But they’re right in like, what’s their value? Whose value is what and who contributes to what? And what happens over time, when you could use AI and all kinds of things to replicate things rather easily, including writers.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
And that’s what I want to ask you about is AI because this isn’t just the entertainment industry, this is every industry.
KARA SWISHER: No, everything.
MARGARET BRENNAN: People are saying, am I going to be replaced by a robot?
KARA SWISHER: Right. Right. Well, not a robot.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, you know what I’m saying.
KARA SWISHER: Yes. Yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
KARA SWISHER: Maybe a robot.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Maybe a robot – well, anyway.
But on that point, how is the tech industry thinking about this? Because when you hear the calls for legislation, things are not moving swiftly in Congress. They are just now really starting classified briefings on what AI is.
KARA SWISHER: Right. Right. Well, they haven’t legislated the old internet yet.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
KARA SWISHER: Not — not in 25 years, there’s not been one piece of legislation, not a privacy, not antitrust, not algorithmic transparency. So, I imagine they’ll get to this sometime in 2060, 2070. I don’t know.
You know, they’re more – they find this more interesting and they’re actually moving a little faster because it’s a global issue. It’s a global issue and a competitive issue with China, for example, and so they’re thinking about it because of the implications of AI are much more profound. They’re more like the shift — farming shift, the manufacturing shift, the internet shift.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
KARA SWISHER: So, this is a big moment, actually. I don’t – I know Barry said it was under sung. No, it’s not. I don’t – I thought crypto —
MARGARET BRENNAN: He said that about Hollywood but then he didn’t when he was talking about publishing.
KARA SWISHER: Yes, publishing. Of course. That’s right.
I think he’s right, they’re not going to suddenly make, you know, an AI, I don’t know, Brad Pitt or something like that. He’ll – he’ll be around until his career is over essentially and be fine.
But I do think that – that there’s implications on writers and everybody. I mean someone that — in the – in the green room just said, is AI going to kill us? And I’m like, what do you do? You know, he’s a lawyer. And I’m like, oh, yes, kind of.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Maybe.
KARA SWISHER: Like a lot of what you do. But it’s going to change what you do versus say you’re a lawyer writing a contract. It can write a contract and then you can check it and it can write it faster. If you’re a PR person, it will write a press release better and quicker. If you’re in journalism, headlines faster and better and then you can pick it.
It’s a lot like using a spreadsheet.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Interesting.
KARA SWISHER: It’s like, you don’t use a calculator anymore, you use a spreadsheet. And you don’t think that that’s put all these accountants out of business. It just changed their work.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So, what does the entry of Elon Musk announcing he has a new firm and also wants China to be –
KARA SWISHER: Yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: What did he say, on team humanity to shape artificial intelligence?
KARA SWISHER: Sure, China’s always really good that way. No, it’s a —
MARGARET BRENNAN: It’s a surveillance state.
KARA SWISHER: It’s a surveillance state. You know I think that.
You know, I think it has to be a global solution for a lot of issues because when you think about things like killer robots, yes, maybe we should all come that AI robots you need to be thinking about that and there should be global decisions made as a – as a – as a group of countries discussing what should and shouldn’t be used.
But, you know, every country is competing and Elon’s was early to AI. I’ve interviewed him many times about it a decade ago. But he was late because he – OpenAI and he parted ways for a variety of reasons. And then they, of course, launched ChatGPT, et cetera, and Microsoft made the investment. So, Elon was ahead but then was behind. And so now he’s trying to be ahead again after calling for a pause.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes, I remember that, a six month pause.
KARA SWISHER: Oh. I know. I know. It’s so funny that he calls for a pause and then started a company.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Then – yes, and –
KARA SWISHER: And then one would imagine that was hypocritical if one was of that mind, but –
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, there was no pause, right?
KARA SWISHER: There was no pause.
MARGARET BRENNAN: What is his entry – Elon Musk’s entry in — excuse me, he’s already entered the social media space through Twitter, but what is the entry of Mark Zuckerberg’s new product Threads mean for Twitter?
KARA SWISHER: Very bad.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Very bad for Musk?
KARA SWISHER: Very bad.
First real – I mean there’s been a lot of really interesting efforts. I like them all. But this is someone who has an immediate social network that you can tap into, which is Instagram a very smart way to do it.
It’s a good product. They’re slowly rolling it out. It seems safer. It seems more civil. It’s a real — Musk made – gave Zuckerberg an opening. And if they were, say, in a cage match, he would have had the stuffing knocked out of him at this moment.
We’ll see if he can recover. But I don’t – I don’t think it can because advertising is way off. He’s created a haven for white supremacists. There’s no safety on that platform. And so Mark Zuckerberg can come in and say, oh, look, we have safety. Oh, look, we have a network. And it was really smart of Mark. And he’s – he’s sort of redefining his narrative. And hopefully he can get it right this time.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Versus Facebook and all the criticism there.
KARA SWISHER: Last time, yes. Yes, exactly. Yes, I think it’s not going to be a huge business. It’s, you know, maybe $8 billion to $10 billion for him if he turns on the advertising and – and Twitter’s gone from $5 billion to maybe $2 billion.
MARGARET BRENNAN: A 50 percent drop in revenue.
KARA SWISHER: At least.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
KARA SWISHER: If not more.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Kara Swisher, it’s always great to have you here.
KARA SWISHER: Any time.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Particularly in person –
KARA SWISHER: Yes, thank you.
MARGARET BRENNAN: To help us make sense of these – these shifts that change our economy –
KARA SWISHER: Absolutely.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Change our politics, change our society.
We’ll be right back.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And we’re joined now by the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Texas Republican Representative Mike McCaul.
REP. MIKE MCCAUL (R-TX): Thanks for having me.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I have a lot to get to with you, but I want to start on the National Defense Authorization Act, which passed the Republican- controlled House and it was — it drew a lot of attention this week because of the social policy issues attached to it. So, this is a bill that pays military personnel. It does things that are necessary for national security.
Once this goes to the Senate, they’re going to chop out all those things. You know that.
MIKE MCCAUL: Right.
MARGARET BRENNAN: It comes back to you in the House. Are you confident that Republicans can get this necessary piece of legislation through without having to turn to Democrats to help you get it over the finish line?
MIKE MCCAUL: You know, we saw this actually when the Democrats had the majority, they passed a very partisan, you know, NDAA bill. It went over to the Senate. You know, I’m a – we did the conference committee. And, traditionally, the more, you know, was – the more partisan minutes get stripped out.
At the end of the day this always ends up it is as a bipartisan bill. You know, but there were some — certain policies, like, for instance, the Hyde amendment since 1980, not to fund taxpayer abortions that, you know, our members felt was very important to put in there.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, that’s still –
MIKE MCCAUL: I think that’s one that will survive.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, are you — you’re talking about the provision that would restrict funding to allow service members to travel –
MIKE MCCAUL: And pay expenses, yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But it doesn’t, in any way, the Pentagon policy, fund abortions? It’s the —
MIKE MCCAUL: Well, you know, I wish they hadn’t —
MARGARET BRENNAN: Or fertility services.
MIKE MCCAUL: Well, they actually kind of started this argument. And, look, this is a process. You know we had a lot of amendments. Our members needed that vote. And I do think, at the end of the day, we come together as a conference. And it will be a bipartisan bill. I think there’s nothing more important than our national defense and our military. We give the largest pay raise in 20 years. We upgrade our triad system, our nuclear capabilities, hyper sonics, a lot to counter China, and particularly in Taiwan. So, it’s vitally important we not politicize this bill at the end of the day. And I feel very confident we’ll have a bipartisan bill coming out.
MARGARET BRENNAN: OK. Because you did vote to eliminate the diversity offices at the Pentagon, to deny transgender troops coverage for hormone therapy, for this restrictions on funding for people to get reproductive services, including fertility treatments and abortions to travel. None of that, you think, ends up in the final bill —
MIKE MCCAUL: Well, because that goes against the –
MARGARET BRENNAN: Because none of those things will get Democratic votes.
MIKE MCCAUL: Well, it does against — since 1980 we haven’t funded anything that goes towards taxpayer, you know, abortions. I think some of the policies on culture that the – that the Defense Department has instituted has caused problems within our own military. Recruitment is at an all-time low now. After Afghanistan, and then to watch these videos that these – these trained, you know, say SEALs have to watch, you know, injecting their own social, moral policies, let’s make it about readiness and our ability to fight a war.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes. Well, yes. And that’s why the defense secretary said, what, one in five troops are now female. And that what he put this policy in to be able to do is for them to travel to get things that aren’t covered in the states they’re living. So, should – shouldn’t all troops, regardless of where they’re stationed, get the same treatment? Like, why penalize them for living in Texas (INAUDIBLE)?
MIKE MCCAUL: Well, they’re free – they’re free to travel to another state to have an —
MARGARET BRENNAN: But they’d be penalized. They’d have to take time off.
MIKE MCCAUL: To have an abortion. Just not at taxpayer expense.
MARGARET BRENNAN: They’d have to take the time off and the like. And so that would impact their ability to do their jobs, arguably, right, if they have to – to go on leave.
But, anyway, I want to also ask you about one of the things that was in there — not in there, but many conservative members of your caucus wanted it to, and those were restrictions on funding for Ukraine. What does that indicate about what Republicans will get over the finish line in the fall in terms of an actual supplemental to help Ukraine?
MIKE MCCAUL: All right. Well, you know my position on Ukraine. We should have, a year ago, been putting in the weapons we’re putting in just now.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
MIKE MCCAUL: For victory, not to – just to survive.
There were several Ukraine amendments. They – they all failed. And I would say the majority of Republicans voted to support Ukraine. At the end of the day, you know, the Reagan Institute did a great – a great poll that showed that over 70 percent of Republicans support Ukraine. And I think that was reflected in our vote. Yes, we had about 70 members that voted against it, but I do think, when it comes back, you’re going to see a more bipartisan support for things like our efforts in Ukraine, particularly as we’re in the counteroffensive.
To me, it’s very dangerous to have these amendments when Ukraine is in the crossfire trying to push the aggression of Russia back in the counteroffensive.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You’re talking about amendments like what Marjorie Taylor Greene was trying to attach.
MIKE MCCAUL: Correct. Correct.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And Republicans did oppose this thing that they —
MIKE MCCAUL: We — we did.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The conservative (INAUDIBLE).
MIKE MCCAUL: And it failed. And I think that’s good news.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You’ve been pushing for longer range missile systems, like ATACMS. Do you have enough funding in this current allotment or what you can put together in the fall to continue the pace of weapons to go to Ukraine?
MIKE MCCAUL: Sure. It was already appropriated in the supplemental last year. You know, the $90 billion. I mean, it’s a draw down authority.
We have ATACMS. So I have great sources on the ground and they’re telling me right – right now, because of the mines and the fortifications, that what they need — the cluster munitions are going to help with, you know, killing Russians in the field. However, they need the longer range artilleries to hit the depots, the energy, the – the logistical supply lines. They don’t have that. And they don’t have air cover. And that’s –
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
MIKE MCCAUL: That’s really important here because the F-16s were held back so long by the administration, and the pilot training, that they don’t have what they need to win in this counteroffensive. And it’s really sad.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask you quickly about Iran. You’ve been vocal in asking the administration for a briefing on the presidential envoy, Rob Malley, and why he is suspended. Do you have any promise that you’ll get it — that you’ll get information?
MIKE MCCAUL: Well, we sent — I sent a letter. We were rebuked. We have been given no answer about his status. Remember, this is a top negotiator to Iran on one of the most, you know, on nuclear weapons programs —
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
MIKE MCCAUL: Our highest classified secrets. So, we are giving a deadline of July 25th to have, you know, the diplomatic security and management secretary come in and brief us in a classified space.
Margaret, I can’t tell you how important this is because if he somehow, you know, worst case scenario, if he transferred intelligence and secrets to our foreign nation adversaries —
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right, but there’s no proof of that at this point?
MIKE MCCAUL: There is no proof of that.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
MIKE MCCAUL: But if he did, that would be treason, in my view.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Unfortunately, I have to leave it there because we have a hard out here. But more to talk to you about, always.
We’ll be right back.
MIKE MCCAUL: Thanks, Margaret.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We turn now to President Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, who we spoke with earlier about the latest Chinese cyber hack.
JAKE SULLIVAN (National Security Adviser): This was an intrusion actually into Microsoft, into Microsoft’s cloud system. And they went in through that to get into the unclassified e-mail system of U.S. government agencies. It was actually the U.S. government that discovered the intrusion, alerted Microsoft, shut it down. And we’re taking steps to make sure that that’s not a vulnerability going forward.
We have seen this kind of thing before many times over many administrations, and we take steps to try to hold the relevant actors responsible. And we’ll do so in this case.
MARGARET BRENNAN: They’re China-based actors according to Microsoft. Do you have any reason to dispute that?
JAKE SULLIVAN: No, I have no reason to dispute what Microsoft is saying.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The Treasury secretary told us that China’s decision to cut off ingredients for computer chips starting August 1st may be retaliatory for some of the actions the U.S. has taken to restrict tech sales to China. Do you see this as tit-for-tat moves here? Are we in a period of escalation despite your diplomatic outreach?
JAKE SULLIVAN: Look, I can’t get inside the heads of the Chinese decision makers, so I’m not sure what was motivating them. What I do know is that I — I think it’s a self-defeating move because I believe that it will only reinforce the determination of many other countries in the world to de- risk, to find ways to reduce dependencies and increase the resilience of their own supply chains, including for the kinds of critical minerals that are at issue in this particular decision.
So, from our perspective, we are being clear and transparent about the steps we’re taking. We’re not looking to end all trade with China. What we’re looking to do is have a small yard of restrictions on technology with national security implications and a high fence around that yard. That’s what we’re going to continue to do. And China, of course, will have to make its own decisions.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Staying in Asia, we saw this week that North Korea appears to have taken a significant step towards an intercontinental ballistic missile that could put the U.S. within range of a nuclear weapon, potentially. Are you concerned that they will carry out another nuclear test in the coming weeks?
JAKE SULLIVAN: I have been concerned for some time that North Korea would conduct what would be its seventh nuclear test going back multiple administrations. And I remain concerned about that. I don’t see any immediate indications that that’s going to happen, but it would not come as a surprise if North Korea moved forward with another nuclear test.
With respect to its intercontinental ballistic missile capability, this is a capability they began testing several years ago. They have continued to test it. We watch all of those tests very closely to see how it is developing. And we coordinate extremely closely with our allies, with Japan and Korea, to make sure that we are responding in lockstep to this threat.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Have you made any new diplomatic overtures since this test in order to negotiate with Pyongyang or talk to them at all?
JAKE SULLIVAN: Not since this test, but over the course of the Biden administration we have indicated to North Korea that we’re prepared to sit down and talk without preconditions about their nuclear program. And we’ve also made clear to China that it is the United States who is ready for diplomacy and North Korea who is not.
So, from our perspective, China has a role to play here, too, given its relationship with North Korea, to indicate to the North Koreans that its continued testing is destabilizing and, frankly, is, in fact, only creating circumstances in which the United States, our allies and partners, have to step up our activities and posture to respond to the threat.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You are just back from Europe, where the president was at this NATO summit. On the diplomatic front, though, there are other issues as well, including the expiration of what’s known as this Black Sea initiative to allow for ships carrying food leaving Ukraine to safely pass without Russia attacking them. Is there any sign from Vladimir Putin that he is willing to extend this?
JAKE SULLIVAN: Look, I can’t predict what Vladimir Putin will do. He has been all over the map with respect to this initiative over the course of the past many months. It is possible that Russia pulls out of it. It is possible they continue.
If, in fact, they pull out of it, the rest of the world will take a look at that and say that Russia has turned its back on ensuring that the countries of the global south, in Africa and Latin America and Asia can get the food they need at affordable prices. And I think that will come at an enormous diplomatic cost to Russia going forward.
So, this is a choice Vladimir Putin is going to have to make. We are prepared for any scenario and we’re working closely with the Ukrainians on that.
MARGARET BRENNAN: OK. Because it’s set to expire at midnight tomorrow.
In terms of the promises made at NATO, there was this general pledge to potentially allow Ukraine to join in the future. Are you concerned that that will shape a negotiation, potentially, with Russia to end the conflict where they are incentivized to just drag this out?
JAKE SULLIVAN: The Ukrainians are currently, as we speak, bravely and courageously pushing against the Russian lines in the south and in the east. They are inflicting enormous damage on the Russian forces. The west is working to continue to tighten the squeeze of our sanctions, hollowing out Russia’s defense industrial base, weakening its capacity to produce advanced technology. We will continue to put economic pressure on Russia and the Ukrainians will continue to put military pressure on Russia. So, I think, in the end, if Russia chooses to continue fighting in this war it will come at a grave cost to Russia and Ukraine will continue to make progress on the battlefield.
In the meantime, we are going to make sure that Ukraine has the support it needs for as long as it takes, and that is a message that came out of the NATO summit. And, finally, yes, we said at NATO, very simply, Ukraine’s future is in NATO. We meant it. That’s not up for negotiation. That’s something that now all 31 allies have committed to.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Not up for negotiation. OK.
On Iran, before I let you go, you’ve said that the administration is trying to put Iran’s nuclear program back in the box, ultimately through some diplomatic effort. Are you close to any type of understanding on that front and any type of understanding that would allow for the four Americans to be released?
JAKE SULLIVAN: We have tried very hard to secure the release of the four unjustly detained Americans in Iran. We have done so since the day that President Biden took office. We have had indirect contacts with Iran on this in an effort to try to get a deal that could get them released. We have not arrived at an understanding that would get them out at this point. We are continuing to work at it.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And by understanding, in terms of the nuclear program, this would not be any kind of written agreement? We are not close to any kind of actual deal?
JAKE SULLIVAN: With respect to the nuclear program, we’re not close to any kind of a deal.
MARGARET BRENNAN: May I quickly ask you about Rob Malley, the president’s envoy. Is he coming back to the administration? We understand he’s being suspended as his security clearance is being reviewed.
JAKE SULLIVAN: Rob Malley has served multiple administrations faithfully and well. He is a public servant. He is a diplomat. He is engaged in high- level, high stakes diplomacy for a long time. And he’s someone who a lot of us, including myself, have deep respect for.
I can’t speak to the current circumstances. I have to refer you to the State Department on that.
MARGARET BRENNAN: All right, Jake Sullivan, thank you for joining us today.
We’ll be back with a lot more FACE THE NATION. So, stay with us.
MARGARET BRENNAN: That’s it for us today. Thank you for watching. I’m Margaret Brennan.