'This Week' Transcript 3-10-24: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Rep. Nancy Mace & Kara Swisher

This is a rush transcript of "This Week" airing Sunday, March 10.

ByABC News
March 10, 2024, 9:36 AM

A rush transcript of "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" airing on Sunday, March 10, 2024 on ABC News is below. This copy may not be in its final form, may be updated and may contain minor transcription errors. For previous show transcripts, visit the "This Week" transcript archive.





JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The state of our union is strong and getting stronger.

STEPHANOPOULOS: President Biden addresses the nation, baiting Republicans, hammering Donald Trump.

BIDEN: You can't love your country only when you win.

STEPHANOPOULOS: As former President Trump secures the GOP nomination.

DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Joe Biden should not be shouting angrily at America. America should be shouting angrily at Joe Biden.

STEPHANOPOULOS: This morning, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Republican Congresswoman Nancy Mace, plus new poll numbers and analysis from our powerhouse roundtable.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: TikTok, under its current ownership structure, is a threat to U.S. national security.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Congress moves a step closer to banning TikTok. Biden endorses the move. Trump opposes it. We'll examine the implications with Silicon Valley’s premier reporter Kara Swisher.

And --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want to talk about history, but you don't want to talk about race? I don't know how you can't.

STEPHANOPOULOS: This Oscar Sunday, with its film adaptation nominated for best picture, why the book "Killers of the Flower Moon" is at the center of Oklahoma’s fight over teaching race in the classroom.


ANNOUNCER: From ABC News, it’s THIS WEEK. Here now, George Stephanopoulos.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning and welcome to THIS WEEK.

It's the first rematch between a president and the president he defeated in more than a century. And it's a rematch that few voters seem to want.

Our new ABC News/IPSOS poll shows the majority of Americans have unfavorable impressions of both candidates and a three-way tie on who Americans trust to do a better job leading the U.S., with 30 percent saying neither.

Biden and Trump held dueling rallies in the battleground state of Georgia on Saturday. That’s where we begin with senior White House correspondent Selina Wang.

Good morning, Selina.


That's right, we may be eight months away from election day, but those dueling rallies held here last night shows we're already barreling towards the general election. That Biden/Trump rematch has officially kicked off.


CROWD: Let’s go Joe! Let’s go Joe!

WANG (voice over): In Georgia last night, President Biden and Donald Trump going head to head.


WANG (voice over): Both Biden and Trump now focusing their campaigns on November.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our freedoms are literally on the ballot this November. Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans are trying to take our freedoms away.

But guess what? We're not going to let them take them away.

TRUMP: But if you’re a disillusioned Democrat, of which there are many today, I extend an open hand, an open invitation, and I ask you to join us on the noble quest of saving our country.

WANG (voice over): Trump, who's days away from becoming the GOP nominee for the third time, rallying in a state where he faces criminal charges for his alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, which he denies.

Trump, once again, made false claims about the 2020 election and repeated his attacks on E. Jean Carroll, despite a jury's more than $83 million defamation verdict against him.

But that didn't bother the voters we spoke to in Rome, Georgia, part of the conservative district of Marjorie Taylor Greene.

WANG: And would you still support Trump if he were convicted of a crime?

DANIEL LATHAM, GEORGIA VOTER: I would. I would say that it would depend on the crime and the validity of the crime.

WANG (voice over): Some 70 miles away in Atlanta, Biden repeating his warning that Trump is a threat to democracy.

BIDEN: When he says he wants to be a dictator, I believe him.

WANG (voice over): The president looking to build off of any momentum from his State of the Union Address.

BIDEN: My purpose tonight is to wake up the Congress and alert the American people that this is no ordinary moment either.

WANG (voice over): Voters we spoke to split on if that performance was enough.

WANG: Did his speech ease any of your concerns around age?

JAYNE KOVICH, PENNSYLVANIA VOTER: Last night, yes, I would say it did, because he didn't seem -- he seemed like he was focusing on the teleprompters. He didn't stray off and lose his thoughts.

EUGENE LOPE, PENNSYLVANIA VOTER: I think he put up an act. You know, he's trying to show everybody he's capable. He's not capable. That's the thing.

WANG (voice over): While the president addressed his age on Thursday night --

BIDEN: I know it may not look like it, but I’ve been around a while.

WANG (voice over): The Biden campaign now further trying to alleviate concerns that the president's age is a liability, instead pitching it as an advantage in a new $30 million ad blitz.

BIDEN: Look, I'm not a young guy. That's no secret. But here's the deal, I understand how to get things done for the American people.


WANG: Last night’s split screen proves just how critical this state will be. Back in 2020, Biden only beat Trump by a margin of less than 12,000 votes.

Now, look, the Biden campaign tells me they know how close this race is going to be. The president, after his travels to Pennsylvania and here in Georgia, he’s heading to Wisconsin and Michigan this week. The president ramping up the fight in those key battleground states.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Selina Wang, thanks.

We’re joined now by former presidential candidate, current transportation secretary, Pete Buttigieg.

Mr. Secretary, thanks for joining us this morning.

You know, the president got good reviews for his State of the Union, but our new poll shows that Donald Trump has the edge on critical issues like the economy, inflation and crime. How do you explain that? How do you turn it around?

PETE BUTTIGIEG, U.S. TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: Well, I’m one of those who believes that President Biden deserves more credit for the historic economic results that he’s delivered, record job creation, unemployment that hasn’t stayed this low for this long since before I was born.

Even -- you know, most of us don’t think that the stock market is an indicator of the economy, but if you do, because I know the former president does, hit an all-time high under President Biden and not under President Trump.

But also, credit doesn’t accrue unless you go out and take credit and explain how these things were achieved. That’s one of the reasons why I’m so energized by the president’s State of the Union Address where he talked about the achievements that had -- that had come about on his watch and why, and then just as importantly, talk about the future.

He didn’t just talk about how he made sure that seniors only pay $35 a month for insulin, he reminded America that we could have that for all Americans, that’s part of his second term agenda and actually something we could have today if just a handful of congressional Republicans would change course and stand with us instead of with big pharma.

So, on issue after issue after issue, Americans agree with President Biden. But, of course, it requires work to get that story out, especially when there’s a fire hose of negativity, talking down the economy and trying to change the subject from the president’s achievements, which is just politics. But it’s exactly why it’s so important to tell the story right now.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The Republican response came from Senator Katie Britt of Alabama. Let’s take a look.


SEN. KATIE BRITT (R-AL): The free world deserves better than a dithering and diminished leader. Just ask yourself, are you better off now than you were three years ago?


STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, majority of Americans are saying the answer to that is no. That’s a classic Ronald Reagan question.

BUTTIGIEG: Yeah. Three or four years you couldn’t get toilet paper. Three or four years ago we were in the middle of a pandemic that killed about a million people. When we took office, just to take a couple examples from the transportation sector, there had been four straight years of promises about an infrastructure build that never came. Of course, President Biden delivered that in his first year and is contributing to manufacturing jobs and construction jobs around the country. Aviation right now, one of our biggest challenges in making sure airplanes can keep up with the demand. Three years ago the big question was whether America’s airlines were going to go out of business because of the condition that the economy was in when President Biden inherited it.

Now, I know those response addresses have to be written before the State of the Union is actually delivered, and I don’t think they usually change them because on what actually happens during the address, but anybody who watched that address saw not just in the substance but in the delivery of President Biden’s remarks, a leader who is in command, showing strength and clarity of vision.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But how can an 81-year-old incumbent be the candidate of change? It’s so critical in presidential elections.

BUTTIGIEG: Well, look at the changes that he’s brought about. Take some of the issues that matter most to newer generations. Climate is a great example, right? He, I think, generously suggested that nobody in the chamber would disagree with him that climate change is real and a real problem, and yet I could hear snickering from behind me from some congressional Republicans who were saying they don’t think it is a problem.

So, it’s a good example of that saying that what matters most is the age of a leader’s ideas. And, you know, similarly, as you look at some of the issues that are especially important to younger generations, like LGBTQ equality, I appreciated that he renewed the call for the Equality Act.

And then, of course, the issue which I think affects all generations of choice. Look, the last president, President Trump, kept his promise to end the freedom to choose in America. That’s one of the few promises that he did keep as a consequence, not only access to abortion but access to IVF is now being interrupted in the United States of America. President Biden laid out a very clear vision, called on Congress to restore the right to Roe v. Wade, something he’s very focused on doing.

STEPHANOPOULOS: In her speech, Britt also falsely implied that the violence encounter by a sex-trafficking victim she met with was the fault of Biden administration policies. In fact, the crimes occurred in Mexico during the George W. Bush administration. That’s not stopping the senator from standing by the story.

What do you make of that? And with Congress paralyzed, what more can President Biden do on his own to secure the border?

BUTTIGIEG: I’ll leave it to her to explain the falsehoods, but I think it illustrates the bigger issue. She’s a United States senator and the United States Senate right now could be acting to help secure the southern border.

As a matter of fact, they very nearly did with negotiations that included very conservative Republicans and Democrats, and had support from the White House, reaching a package that, frankly, involved tough compromises for all sides, something that the basis of both parties might not have loved, but would have made a real positive difference -- only for that to be killed by the chill effect that the former president put on congressional Republicans, telling ‘em not to support anything that would represent a policy win for President Biden.

Look, we have a very clear choice between congressional Republicans who seemed to prefer that this issue remained bad so that they can attack the president over it and those who would actually live to solve it or at least improve it and address it. I think that’s the most important question that should be raised.

And you mentioned that, you know, the story that it was suggested to be a reflection on President Biden turns out to have dated from the Bush administration and happened in a different country. One thing that gets me thinking about is since the beginning of the Bush administration, there had been three major bipartisan attempts to have comprehensive immigration reform or do something big and meaningful about the border. I think 2006, 2013 and now 2024.

Will 2024 go down in history as yet another failed attempt at bipartisan compromise or will congressional Republicans follow the lead of their own negotiators and the president of the United States and actually do something about it?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Donald Trump is taunting the president about debates. Do you think we’re going to see them this year?

BUTTIGIEG: Look, I can’t speak to the campaign side while I’m here as secretary. What I will say is that we got a great story to tell as an administration, and just as you see the president hitting the road to tell that story, I know the cabinet will as well. And we’re proud of it. I mean, no modern president has been able to deliver this kind of job growth, this kind of low unemployment, this kind of infrastructure delivery. It hasn’t happened since Eisenhower.

But again, look, the nature of our world and certainly the nature of today’s media environment is people aren’t just going to go hand the credit to the president. We need to be out there, illustrating why this happened. And most importantly, making clear what this administration’s agenda for the future is.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Secretary Buttigieg, thanks for your time this morning.

BUTTIGIEG: Thank you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Our next guest is South Carolina Congresswoman Nancy Mace, a Donald Trump supporter who gave candid and courageous testimony about her own experience as a rape victim weeks before launching her run for Congress in 2019.


REP. NANCY MACE (R-SC): From some of us who've been raped, it can take 25 years to get up the courage and talk about being a victim of rape. And the first thing that happens when a woman comes out in public and says she's been raped, what is the first thing out of someone's mouth? Is that it didn't happen. This is why women do not come forward. They are afraid.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Congresswoman, thanks for joining us this morning.

You endorsed Donald Trump for president. Judges in two separate juries have found him liable for rape and for defaming a victim of that rape. How do you square your endorsement of Donald Trump with the testimony we just saw?

MACE: Well, I will tell you, I was raped at the age of 16, and any rape victim will tell you, I’ve lived for 30 years with an incredible amount of shame over being raped. I didn't come forward because of that judgment and shame that I felt.

And it's a shame that you will never feel, George, and I’m not going to sit here on your show and be asked a question meant to shame me about another potential rape victim. I’m not going to do that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It's actually not about shaming you. It’s a question about Donald Trump.

MACE: No, you are shaming me.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You've endorsed Donald Trump for president.

MACE: Right.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Donald Trump has been found liable for rape by a jury. Donald Trump has been found liable for defaming the victim of that rape by a jury. It's been affirmed by a judge. He repeated --

MACE: It’s not a criminal court case, number one. Number two, I live with shame, and you're asking me a question about my political choices trying to shame me as a rape victim and find it disgusting.

And quite frankly, E. Jean Carroll's comments when she did get the judgment joking about what she was going to buy, it doesn't -- it makes it harder for women to come forward when they make a mockery out of rape, when they joke about it. It’s not OK.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Doesn't it make it harder for women to come forward when they're defamed by presidential candidates?

MACE: It makes it harder when other women joked about it and she’s joked about it. I find it offensive. And also I find it offensive that you are trying to shame me with this question.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I’m not trying to shame you at all. In fact --

MACE: You are. I have dealt with this for 30 years. You know how hard it was to tell my story five years ago when they were doing a fetal heartbeat bill, when there were no exceptions for rape, incest or life – or – and – rape or incest in there? I had to tell my story because no other woman was coming forward.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm just asking –

MACE: No rape victims were represented. And you’re trying to shame me this morning.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm just asking you –

MACE: And I find it offensive. And this is why women won’t come forward.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Women won’t come forward because they're defamed by those who perpetrate rape. Donald Trump has been –

MACE: They are judged, and they’re shamed, and you’re trying to shame me this morning. I think it’s disgusting.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm – I'm not – I'm not shaming you at all. I called you courageous.

MACE: I told my story. It took me 25 years to tell my story. I was judged for it. I still get judged for it today.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm asking you a very simple question, explain what –

MACE: And I answered it. You're shaming me for my political choices.

STEPHANOPOULOS: No, I'm not -- I'm asking you a question about why you endorsed someone who’s been found liable for rape. Just answer the question.

MACE: It was not a criminal court. This was – this was a – it was a civil court.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It was a civil court that found him liable for rape.

MACE: And, by the way, she joked about the judgment and what she was going to do with all that money. And I find that offensive.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm asking you about the man who’s –

MACE: But as a rape victim who’s been shamed for years now because of her rape, you're trying to shame me again by asking me this political question.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You’ve -- you've repeat that – you’ve repeated that again and again and again.

MACE: I think it’s offensive. As a woman, I find your – I find it offensive. For my political choices –


MACE: I have endorsed the man that I believe is best for our country. It's not Joe Biden. And you looked at the dueling rallies yesterday in Georgia. Laken Riley's family was with Donald Trump. They weren't with Joe Biden. The same guy yesterday that apologized for calling her killer an illegal, who was an illegal. And here you are trying to shame a rape victim. I find it disgusting.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I mean you keep saying I'm shaming you. There’s nothing I –

MACE: You are. The question – it is. It is.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How is the question asking you about a presidential candidate who’s been --

MACE: You're asking a rape victim.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm – and there's no question about that. And you’re -- you've courageously talked about that.

MACE: You’re questioning my political choices because I've been raped. I think that's disgusting.

STEPHANOPOULOS: No, I'm questioning your political choices because you're supporting someone who’s been found liable for rape.

MACE: You’re shaming me. You’re trying to shame me.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Actually, I'm not trying to shame you.

MACE: You are. That's exactly what you’re doing.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You’re not answering the question.

MACE: And I think it's disgusting.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, you're welcome to say that, but you also have to answer the question.

MACE: I did.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Why are you supporting someone who’s been found liable for rape?

MACE: I just answered your question.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What is the answer?

MACE: He was not – he was not found guilty in a civil – in a criminal court of law. He -- it was a civil – it was sexual abuse. It wasn’t actually rape, by the way. And E. Jenn Carroll joked about all the money she's going to get and made a mockery out of – out of this case. And I think that's offensive.

There is a reason why women don't come forward. And when you have someone who says that they're raped and they make a mockery out of this civil court judgment, it's offensive to other women. It makes it harder for other women to come forward when another woman has made a mockery of it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You said women don't come forward because they are afraid. They are afraid because they are defamed by those who commit –

MACE: They’re judged and shamed, like you’re trying to shame me this morning.

STEPHANOPOULOS: They – they are – they are afraid to come forward, as you said, because they are defamed by those who commit the rape.

MACE: And they’re judged.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s what Donald Trump has been found guilty of doing.

MACE: He defended himself over that and denies that it ever happened. But he was not found guilty in a criminal court of law. It was a civil judgment over sexual abuse.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So is that the distinction you're making, a civil judgment is – is – is OK, but a criminal judgment is not?

MACE: This is different. And – and they didn't even input all of the evidence into the – the civil case either because some of the information she provided wasn't even accurate or correct. But to sit here and ask me, as a rape victim, to – to try to shame me for my political choices, is wrong. And I think it's offensive. And you --

STEPHANOPOULOS: You can -- you can repeat that again and again and again and again and again and I've done nothing to shame you.

MACE: And I'm going to because I find it deeply offensive.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You don't find it offensive that Donald Trump has been found liable for rape?

MACE: I find it offensive, as a rape victim, that you're trying to shame me for my political choices. And I've said again repeatedly, E. Jean Carroll has made a mockery out of rape by joking about it. I don’t find that funny. Rape is not funny.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, you’ve -- you've made it perfectly clear.

MACE: Rape is serious.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You’ve made it perfectly clear, you’re comfortable –

MACE: Rape is serious. It’s not funny.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It is serious.

MACE: And it – it shouldn't be made a mockery of.


MACE: But if you want to defend a woman who made a mockery out of rape, then you go ahead and do that. I'm not going to do that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, actually, what you’re doing is defending a man who's been found liable for rape. I don't understand how you can do that.

MACE: Not in a criminal court of law. This was a civil judgment over sexual abuse, not rape, by the way, and she made a mockery out of it. So, which one are you going to --

STEPHANOPOULOS: Can we pull up “The Washington Post” headline right there? In fact, it has been shown to be rape. The judge affirmed that it was, in fact, rape. Donald Trump was found to have committed rape. That's just a fact.

MACE: That is a civil judgment, not a criminal court. They’re two very different things and you know better.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, you’ve – I just showed you the facts right there.

MACE: You know better.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You show that you’re very comfortable with what Donald Trump has done.

MACE: And what you’ve done is offensive to women who have been raped. What you’ve done this morning is offensive.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We’ll let the viewers decide about that.

Let's talk about January 6th. You had just been sworn into Congress on January 6th. You voted to certify the election and you said Donald Trump must be held accountable for the violence right after the riot.

Let's show that.


MACE: We've got to hold not only the president accountable and ensure that he doesn't hold office again in the future, but also we need to hold members of our – of our Congress, even in my own party, accountable for the rhetoric and the actions that led up to Wednesday's events.


STEPHANOPOULOS: You said he should never hold office again. So why are you supporting his run for president?

MACE: Well, I listened to my voters. I listened to my voters in South Carolina. And they've moved beyond January 6th. I said my piece on January 6th. I was – I was very clear about how I felt about it. And I also, as you stated, I voted to certify the electoral college for every single state in the country.

But something's happened between now and then, and that was Joe Biden. And I listen to my voters. They move on. They don't -- they don't ask me about January 6th. Maybe that's what you in the media -- you guys talk about in your cocktail parties, but voters are not talking about it.

They ask me about February 22nd, the day that Laken Riley was murdered by an illegal immigrant. They ask me about October 8th, the day that Maddie Hines, a South Carolina girl, four-year-old girl, murdered by an illegal immigrant who was deported under Donald Trump and allowed back in under Joe Biden's administration. They're talking about the over 8 million illegals who have come across our southern border in an invasion of our country and an actual threat to democracy, allowing that to happen. That's what they talk about.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Not talking about January 6th doesn't mean it didn't happen. And you were very clear right there. You said he shouldn't...

MACE: I was very clear. I just said that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You said he should never hold office again because of what happened on January 6th, because of what he did on January 6th. You said he should be held accountable. How has he been held accountable?

MACE: Well, voters...

STEPHANOPOULOS: How are you holding him accountable?

MACE: Voters held him accountable through our Republican primaries this year. He's won overwhelmingly. America supports him. They're not looking back. They're looking forward.

Since January 6th, we've had three years of Joe Biden. The American people do not like or support it. You've seen the polling. You cited the polling in your show today showing that Trump is beating Joe Biden on all of the critical issues that the American people care about, talking about immigration, the border, inflation, et cetera.

He's very strong on those issues, stronger than Joe Biden, and that's -- I listen to my voters. I talk to South Carolinians every single day, and they support Donald Trump. He's going to win our state overwhelmingly in November.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How have you held Donald Trump accountable for what he did on January 6th?

MACE: The American people have held him accountable through the ballot box, just as they will hold Joe Biden accountable in November at the ballot box.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And you will continue to support him even if he's convicted of a felony?

MACE: Well, here's the thing. You know, the court cases, the lawsuits, that has nothing to do with you or me or the -- it doesn't affect the American people. The chaos that Joe Biden has created by having a wide-open border affects every single American. We see it -- we saw it affect Laken Riley's family on February 22nd. We've seen it affect Maddie Hines' family in South Carolina.

We've seen the violence right here in New York, in Times Square, where illegal immigrants beat up two New York Police Department cops. These things affect -- fentanyl crisis affects everybody. Ten years ago, I couldn't tell you what fentanyl was. Today, last year, I knew two people personally who died of fentanyl overdoses.

So the chaos that Joe Biden has created over the last three years has made Americans rethink who they want to have president. And we have two back-to-back presidencies to compare. They've both been president, and the American people, I believe, right now, are overwhelmingly choosing Donald Trump regardless of how you feel.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you've made it very clear you're comfortable with Donald Trump being found liable for rape and you're comfortable with his actions on January 6th.

MACE: I didn't say I was comfortable with -- you're putting words into my mouth.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You wouldn't condemn it.

MACE: You're -- no, you're putting words into my mouth.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you comfortable with it?

MACE: I support Donald Trump for president. I just endorsed him...

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you're comfortable with it...

MACE: ... a few weeks ago.

STEPHANOPOULOS: ... even though he's been found liable for rape?

MACE: In a civil judgment, not a criminal court case. But you go ahead and keep shaming women who have been raped. Good luck with that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you for joining us. We'll be right back.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The real reason TikTok’s freaking out so much is that today, Congress is going to vote on whether TikTok has to cut ties with China if it wants to operate within the United States. And if it were to pass, TikTok would have six months to cut ties with China or else it's just going to be flat out banned all across America.


STEPHANOPOULOS: The House is set to vote on a bill this week that would ban TikTok over concerns that China could threaten national security by exploiting the app. Many of its users are pushing back. Both President Biden and former President Trump have weighed in both sides, opposite sides of the issue.

We'll speak with tech expert Kara Swisher after this report from Elizabeth Schulze.


ELIZABETH SCHULZE, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's one of the most popular social media platforms on the planet, but also the source of serious national security concerns from U.S. lawmakers. Now, TikTok, the viral video-sharing app is on the verge of facing a nationwide ban after a unanimous vote this week in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

REP. MIKE GALLAGHER (R-WI): We need this bill because we simply cannot allow an app controlled by our nation's foremost adversary and competitor to take over the American media landscape.

SCHULZE: With some 170 million users in the U.S., TikTok is owned by a Chinese company, ByteDance, sparking fears that China's government could access and sell Americans' personal data, manipulate users, or promote propaganda which the company’s CEO recently denied before Congress.

SHOU CHEW, TIKTOK, CEO: Senator, we have not been asked by any data by the Chinese government, and we’ve never provided it.

SCHULZE: The legislation which would force TikTok to cut ties with its Chinese parent within six months or face a federal ban is set for a vote on the House floor this week. TikTok responding with a strong rebuke of the legislation saying, the government is attempting to strip 170 million Americans of their constitutional right to free expression, and sending push notifications to users calling on them to reach out to their elected officials.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know it's going down when you get this notification from TikTok.

SCHULZE: The bill which House Speaker Mike Johnson supports is also backed by President Biden.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If they pass it, I’ll sign it.

SCHULZE: Even though just a few weeks ago, the president's campaign team launched a new TikTok account to help boost his re-election bid.

BIDEN: Mama Kelce, I understand she makes great chocolate chip cookies.

SCHULZE: Former President Trump pushed back on the legislation despite his own failed attempts to ban the app with an executive order in 2020. Now he says a TikTok ban would benefit rival app Facebook, the social media giant he called the enemy.

For "This Week," Elizabeth Schulze, ABC News, Washington.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Thanks, Elizabeth for that.

We're joined now by podcast host, tech journalist, Kara Swisher, author of a terrific new memoir, "Burn Book," which is available now.

Kara, welcome back to "This Week". Thanks for joining us this morning.

Try to -- try to break down this debate for everyone. What is the concern about China? What are the prospects that TikTok will actually be banned?

KARA SWISHER, PODCAST HOST, “ON WITH KARA SWISHER”: I think it's going to happen. I think it's going to pass. I think there's bipartisan support for it.

President Trump used to be for it until he was against it. Now, in fact, had an executive order around it.

But I think a lot of people are worried about two things, surveillance and propaganda. And right now, the focus is mostly on propaganda, especially, for example, around the war in the Mideast where there's more -- who is winning this war.

And I think the bigger issue is that TikTok has become a news delivery vehicle, an entertainment vehicle. If you mashed all the different networks together, it's not as big as TikTok. And so, they have unfettered access to the American people and they’re obviously -- we can't -- our companies can't operate in China in any way whatsoever. It's not even unfettered in any style.

So I think there's a lot of support for it. I think TikTok's overplayed its hand by putting up these notifications and getting young people to call their representatives. It's made them more steeled to pass this, and President Biden will sign it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, if it's banned, what happens?

SWISHER: Well, it doesn't really get banned, right? There's other ways to do it. You can go around it. But it doesn't have to be on the App Store.

Right now, you get your apps from either Google or Apple. And so, it does -- it’s not going to necessarily be banned, because you can do an over the top kind of thing, but they're going to have to do something.

A lot of people don't know that a lot of TikTok is owned by American investors and so, they're going to want a solution where it moves into a different configuration that TikTok -- that the Chinese government is going to have to accept that they don't have -- maybe this tool anymore and that instead they'll make a lot of money because right now, trades are up $250 billion. It really should be worth a lot more than it is and it's doing really well.

So probably that's going to happen and it'll become an American-owned entity in some fashion that is -- that the Chinese government may or may not have access to. Obviously, TikTok has denied that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How do you explain this flip from President Trump? He’s made – he’s talking about Facebook. Does that go far enough to explain it?

SWISHER: I – I think he’s being influenced by the Club for Growth. Jeff Yass is an investor in TikTok, who’s involved in that, and he needs some money, I guess.

So, I – I don’t know, because he was very vehement about this and was right in the middle of it. But I assume that, you know, now he's going to attack Facebook, which is a competitor, obviously, with their own Instagram and other things like that. So, I assume it's for the money.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We’re facing a lot of concerns about disinformation and polarization as we head into this presidential election this year.

In your new book, you write that even if it was never their intention, the tech companies became key players in killing our comedy and stymying our politics, our government, our social fabric, and most of all our minds by ceding isolation, outrage, and addictive behavior. How concerned are you by their role in this election and what – especially what impact AI could have?

SWISHER: Very much so. I think this is the problem, is that this is the way people get their information. They can be manipulated by algorithms and various things, and they could be easily gamed in some fashion in all kinds of ways. Big and small. They can change – I mean with – with advanced artificial generative intelligence, they can change videos just slightly, make Biden look older, make Trump look -- say – say more things. They could put lies out very quickly and then it would have to be refuted. And it’s just more tools. This has already happened. We’ve already been through this. These new tools are even more supercharged.

At the time I called them digital arms dealers in some way, by anyone who's a malevolent player. And that's the problem is that any malevolent player can take advantage of this, even though there's tons and tons of great things that could come with artificial general intelligence. But it's a very great tool for propaganda. And that’s pure and simple. And to spread lies very quickly. And as they become more sophisticated, it could be a real problem. Especially, I think, the focus is on young people, is that this is where they're getting their information, and some of it's bad. Now, this has happened before, so -- but it's supercharged really.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Kara Swisher, thanks for your time this morning.

SWISHER: Thanks a lot.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Roundtable is up next. We'll be right back.


STEPHANOPOULOS: The roundtable is here and ready to go. We’ll be right back.



SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY) (February 2021): There’s no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. Didn't get away with anything yet. Yet. We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation. And former presidents are not immune from being accountable by either one.


STEPHANOPOULOS: That was Mitch McConnell after January 6th. This week he endorsed Donald Trump for president. One of the things we want to talk about on our roundtable.

We’re joined by former DNC chair Donna Brazile, former Trump Justice Department spokesperson Sarah Isgur, our senior congressional correspondent Rachel Scott, and “USA Today” Washington bureau chief Susan Page.

And I want to get to the State of the Union, but, Rachel, let me begin with you. You cover Mitch McConnell every day. He said people shouldn't be surprised by his endorsement. Still pretty remarkable.

RACHEL SCOTT, ABC NEWS SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's quite the turn. And he did say, yes, I would of course support the eventual, you know, Republican nominee. But when you look at what he has said about the former president, that he bears responsibility for what happened on January 6th, when you look at what Trump has said about his own wife who served in the Trump administration, hurling racial insults at her. And now you have McConnell coming back around, falling in line with the rest of the Republican Party around the former president.

For McConnell, I am told, this is also a lot about getting back the Senate. He wants Republicans to win majority back in the Senate again, and so he sees this as more of unifying the Republican Party, of course, heading into November, but this is a very sharp turn for the Republican leader.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Even – even though he is retiring.

OK, let's talk about the State of the Union.

Sarah, what did you make of it?

SARAH ISGUR, FORMER TRUMP JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON & THE DISPATCH' SENIOR EDITOR & ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: This was a State of the Union with an audience of, you know, one type of person. It was for the Democratic sort of elite base in D.C., to reassure them that he could make it through the rest of this campaign cycle. It certainly wasn't geared towards the independents. It wasn't geared towards the majority of Americans who aren't happy with their twochoices heading into this race.

This was a pretty red-meat speech with obviously a focus on stamina, age and could he get through it, which is why that long walk in and the very long walk out were as much a part of the speech as the actual substance.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, Donna, you're from Washington, D.C. Were you reassured?

DONNA BRAZILE, FORMER DNC CHAIR, & ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Absolutely. Look, I don't have to be in Washington, D.C. to understand that, when somebody knows how to start low, go slow, rise high, strike fire, and continue...


BRAZILE: ... to make noise and news, Joe Biden was at his best when he spoke to the American people. It was a master class in saying "We did this; we accomplished this; and we have more work to do."

So I thought it was a great speech, not because you're a Democrat or a Republican, but you're an American who wants to see the country succeed. You're someone who wants to see an economy that's going to lift up everybody. And, yes, you want to see a president who can talk about the price of prescription drugs, OK? You want to see a president who says, "We're going to defeat cancer." And if Republicans cannot rally to that, defend this country, help Ukraine and support the humanitarian efforts in Gaza, well, guess what? Just stick with Donald Trump.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Susan, it's pretty clear Biden had two main goals, address concerns about his age with that energetic delivery and draw a very sharp contrast with Donald Trump.

SUSAN PAGE, USA TODAY WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF: Yeah, you know, an unusual State of the Union address -- and I know you and I have both seen a lot of them -- in that there wasn't the pretense that this was an effort to unveil a legislative agenda, to build a bipartisan consensus for the big things you want to do this year, because that's not going to happen.

This was a -- this was a very political speech in which he -- 13 times you've heard "my predecessor"...


PAGE: ... in ways designed to draw that kind of contrast.

You know, I think you're right, Sarah, that this was an effort to reassure Democrats who have been so nervous because that is what Biden needs to do at this point. You have a new poll that shows 72 percent of Democrats say Biden would do a better job as president than Trump. That's a really low number. That's bad news for Biden. But it means he's got room to grow, and that's what he was trying to do.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And Trump's number with Republicans is much higher...

PAGE: Eighty-two percent.

STEPHANOPOULOS: ... than that, 82 percent.

Rachel, you were inside the chamber. What an atmosphere.

SCOTT: The level of decorum and the lack thereof, rather. And it was interesting to see President Biden -- I mean, look, he knew this from the last time that he gave this address that Republicans booed him, but going toe to toe, head to head with Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, as if this was some sort of, like, high school debate, open forum, repeating back the words that she was saying to him, challenging him on that, and that's where he, sort of, caught himself in this bind when it came to using the term "illegal," which obviously drew a lot of backlash from Democrats, and now the president has -- has backtracked on that.

ISGUR: What a missed...

STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm not sure that was as much of a mistake, even though he took it back, as people have made it out to be.

ISGUR: What a missed Sister Souljah moment for President Biden. He has this back-and-forth. He gets the better of it, but then once again, sort of, caves to that far-left, sort of, campaign staff level base within the Democratic Party, where you're worried more about what you called the murderer than you are about the woman who was murdered.

And, again, like, when you're trying to actually reach those voters who are going to decide this election, not the Democratic base, but the people who don't like two of their choices here and are looking for some way forward, a total missed opportunity.

BRAZILE: But, you know, it was a missed opportunity, too, for the Republicans. Look, they could have, you know, passed that bipartisan border bill. That's what the American people want. They want solutions. They don't want to continue to litigate this fight.

And, yes, it is true that many Democrats don't like the -- the entirety of the bill because there's no pathway to citizenship. There's not -- there's no provisions for the Dreamers.

So I thought the president did a good job in not taking the bait, but instead, I have to tell you my favorite moment. Because you don't get this often, especially with white men. Please forgive me, white men. I'm going to tell you all this.

He spoke truth to power in front of the Supreme Court. That -- that was the moment when he said, "Yeah, you're going to finally see the power of women."

That was a moment. So I applauded him, and, yes, it was a -- it was an opportunity for the president to talk about freedom and democracy in ways that I think the American people will understand it. And again, I just want to tell you, I love me some white men, but Joe Biden...


BRAZILE: ... he was top of -- he was at the top of his game.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Susan, probably the hardest job in politics is giving the opposition party's address, responding to the State of the Union. How did Katie Britt do?

PAGE: Oh, she -- she joined the litany of those who have done really badly, and it's a bipartisan list. And who knows why this is such a cursed position to have? You'd think it would be a great honor and an opportunity to be in the spotlight to give the official response to the State of the Union.

But the setting was bizarre, to put her in a kitchen. She told -- she focused a lot on immigration, a tough issue for Joe Biden, but she told a story that is out of date of an incident, a terrible crime that happened in another country, during a different presidency. So -- so I think this has once againproved it -- if they call you and say, good news, you get to give the State of the Union response, say you've called the wrong number and hang up.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I guess, one of the lessons we're seeing in politics these days Rachel Scott has never backed down, even though it's clear that that story that Katie Britt told -- what Senator Britt told was completely misleading about something that happened during the George W. Bush Administration, saying it's 100 percent accurate.

SCOTT: Yeah. Her office is standing by it. I mean, even though it did happen during the George Bush Administration, not during President Biden's Administration, and also it happened in Mexico. And so, yeah, we are seeing that even when you're called out for something that is not true or is mischaracterized, just standing by -- just standing by the statement as is.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We -- you talked about Joe Biden, Sarah Isgur. Is Donald Trump doing what he needs to do right now?



ISGUR: No, I feel like I'm, you know, taking crazy pills as the only person who is with the majority of Americans who think both of these choices are catastrophic, and we have had the two most unpopular candidates in American history now for three cycles in a row, starting in 2016, and it's this race to the bottom where negative polarization takes over, meaning the people voting for a candidate don't like that candidate. They just are taught to hate the other candidate more, and it's this, not lesser of two evils at this point. It's a lesser of what the frick are we doing here?

And so, no, Donald Trump isn't trying to win over these voters. Joe Biden isn't either. And Donald Trump is up in every swing state that Joe Biden won. And it's Marjorie Taylor Greene getting a moment to shine that you never would have had from a backbencher back in the days. She gets that attention not for legislative success. Katie Britt is on the short list, very high inside Trump world.


ISGUR: To be vice president.


ISGUR: I think we'll see, but it will sort of depend on how she rolls out of this actually more.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I mean, one thing I wonder about there, Donna Brazile, is setting aside everything, all the questions about how she did on Thursday night. Will this -- will Donald Trump pick someone from Alabama after that (inaudible) decision?

BRAZILE: I mean, he doesn't need to pick someone. (Inaudible) he picked Mike Pence from Indiana. He's going to pick somebody who could probably make him look better, someone who will, you know, abide by his rules. But I want to say something about Democrats because I have been talking to a lot of Democrats, including the campaign.

By any metric, and I am -- you know, George, those of us who have campaigns under our belts, the metrics of the Democratic Party are quite different than the Republican Party. Republican Party is broken. They are installing a new Chair who's an election denier. So that's one qualification. You have to be a good election denier.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Aren't they more unified than the Democratic Party?

BRAZILE: No. We are coming together.


BRAZILE: Democrats always come to the party late. Look at the evidence. The evidence you say, well, black people are not going to support Joe Biden, and look at the evidence in South Carolina. Look at the evidence in Michigan. So by every metric --

ISGUR: And all of those numbers are trending away from Joe Biden.

BRAZILE: -- $10 million President Biden raised right after his speech. The metrics of having a ground game, being able to put an ad on TV where you talk about your age, one of your biggest liabilities. So I feel much better about where we are today than, say, three months ago. And you know what? The Republican Party is not unified. What you see is people coming on board because they are afraid that Donald Trump will tear them apart.

ISGUR: If Democrats believe that, they will lose this race. They are not unified. They do not like Joe Biden. They are losing people of color. They are losing young people, that's all trending away from them (ph) --

BRAZILE: But, but, but --

ISGUR: -- and they're acting like everything's fine.

BRAZILE: No, baby. I'm wearing this color because of Barbie. I'm trying to express my support.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And with that, we're all going to look ahead to the Oscars tonight. That's all we have time for today. Up next, on this Oscar Sunday, the debate over teaching " Killers of the Flower Moon" in Oklahoma. We'll be right back.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was sent down from Washington, D.C., to see about these murders.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Huh. To see – see what about them?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See who's doing it.


STEPHANOPOULOS: One of the best picture nominees at tonight's Oscars is "Killers of the Flower Moon," the true story of white settlers who murdered wealthy members of the oil rich Osage tribe in Oklahoma in the 1920s. But teaching that history may now be in doubt because of a new state law restricting classroom discussions around race.

Maryalice Parks has the story.



MARYALICE PARKS, ABC NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Across the country, "Killers of the Flower Moon" is one of the most talked about films of the year, nominated for ten Academy Awards.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're like buzzards circling our people.

PARKS (voice over): But here, in northern Oklahoma, just minutes from the Osage Nation, the subject of the film, high school English teacher Debra Thoreson tells me state law makes her too nervous to teach the popular book on which the movie is based.

DEBRA THORESON, OKLAHOMA TEACHER: If I were teaching that book, then we’d get to, what in society allowed that story to happen? So, what were the laws at the time? What were the social dynamics between races and genders? And you cannot get into that without people being uncomfortable.

PARKS (voice over): The 2021 Republican-backed law specifically bans mandatory diversity training and the teaching that “any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex.” It's one of at least 18 similar laws enacted in states across the country that restrict discussions around race and sex in the classroom.

Thoreson says she would never tell students to feel guilty based on their race, but the penalties around the law are so steep that she backed down.

PARKS: Are you worried that that is the effect of this bill, a whitewashing of history?

THORESON: Absolutely.

PARKS (voice over): She is not alone. Around the state, we heard from educators and leaders of the Osage Nation, worried the law silences teachers and halts progress.

JIM GRAY, FORMER OSAGE NATION CHIEF: They don't want to feel bad about what happened in the past. Well, I'm sorry, say that to my great-grandfather who was taken out into the country and shot in the head. I owe it to him to tell that story.

PARKS (voice over): Oklahoma's Intertribal Council has called for the law to be repealed, and former Osage Nation Chief Jim Gray says the law could suppress his tribe's history.

GRAY: It wasn't being taught in public schools, but this law makes sure it will never be taught in public school, because all it takes is one person to be upset about it and they can file a claim.


GRAY: Then, it's no surprise nobody wants to take that risk.

PARKS (voice over): But state superintendent Ryan Walters, who's made a name for himself by often appearing on right-wing media pushing anti-trans policies and attacking teachers, insists that the Osage murders can and should be taught in schools.

RYAN WALTERS, OKLAHOMA SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION: We have had a major misinformation campaign from the radical left and the Teachers Union on this issue.

ALICE PARKS: So, the trans (ph) are just the radical left?

WALTERS: No. They have heard it. They have heard that absolute lie that's been perpetuated about it. We believe in telling the full story of American history and the full story of Oklahoma history. What we've said is, very specifically, you can't tell somebody that they should be ashamed or feel that way about their skin color or their background. So what --

ALICE PARKS: Teachers say they don't do that, that no one does that.

WALTERS: OK. Well, you see my point.

ALICE PARKS: The Oklahoma Board of Education has already punished schools because of the law. Teachers say it's evidence the law is being weaponized. Regan Killackey, a high school English teacher outside Oklahoma City is a plaintiff in an ACLU lawsuit targeting the state.

REGAN KILLACKEY, OKLAHOMA TEACHER: To understand someone else's experience, they have to be able to see things from their perspective. And if we do not allow students to actually step into someone else's shoes and understand the pain that they actually suffered, we're doing them a disservice.

ALICE PARKS: Oklahoma's Republican Lieutenant Governor who traveled to the "Killers of the Flower Moon" world premiere in Cannes to promote the film has conceded that what teachers can teach under the law may need to be clarified. But until the law is changed or repealed, Debra Thoreson says she won't risk teaching the book.

DEBRA THORESON, OKLAHOMA TEACHER: It feels like we are regressing. I'm not sure what they hope to gain from that, except those who don't know history are bound to repeat it.

ALICE PARKS: For "This Week," Mary Alice Parks, ABC News, Tulsa, Oklahoma.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Thanks to Mary Alice for that story. Coverage of the Oscars red carpet starts at 1:00 Eastern on ABC News Live, and the 96th Academy Awards begin at 7:00 Eastern on ABC. We'll be right back.


STEPHANOPOULOS: That is all for us today. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us. Catch the Academy Awards tonight starting at 7:00 Eastern and I'll see you tomorrow on "GMA."