'This Week' Transcript 3-17-24: White House Security Communications Adviser John Kirby, Rep. Mike Turner, and Rep. Ro Khanna

This is a rush transcript of "This Week" airing Sunday, March 17.

ByABC News
March 17, 2024, 8:55 AM

A rush transcript of "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" airing on Sunday, March 17, 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: Our plan is working. America is coming back.

DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Just put me back in office. We'll get it done quick.

RADDATZ: President Biden and Donald Trump clinch their party's nominations, as Trump makes new inflammatory remarks.

TRUMP: And it's going to be a bloodbath for the country.

RADDATZ: House Intelligence Chair Mike Turner responds, and our conversation with those so-called double haters, voters unhappy with both candidates.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think any of us should have to continue to have this choice of the lesser of two evils.

RADDATZ: Ticking clock.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This bill therefore forces TikTok to break up with the Chinese Communist Party.

RADDATZ: The House overwhelmingly passes a bill that could ban TikTok in the U.S., as content creators fight to save it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Members of the House of Representatives are so out of touch.

RADDATZ: What's at stake for national security and what's next for the wildly popular app? We'll ask Silicon Valley Congressman Ro Khanna, who opposed the bill.

And, sharp rebuke.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Prime Minister Netanyahu has lost his way.

RADDATZ: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer slams Israel’s prime minister amid a deepening rift over the war in Gaza. The latest reaction from the White House National Security Spokesman, John Kirby.


ANNOUNCER: From ABC News, it’s THIS WEEK. Here now, Martha Raddatz.

RADDATZ: Good morning, and welcome to THIS WEEK.

It was a week that began with President Biden and former President Trump officially clinching enough delegates to secure their parties' nominations, setting up a November rematch that many Americans say they don't want. We'll hear from some of those dissatisfied voters.

But we begin this morning with the latest inflammatory comments by former President Trump on the campaign trail. The contrast between the two candidates on clear display. And the general election is just getting started.


RADDATZ (voice over): Straight from his private jet to the podium, a free-wheeling speech by former President Donald Trump last night in Ohio. It began as many Trump rallies do these days, with a song by the so-called January 6th prison choir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, please rise for the horribly and unfairly treated January 6th hostages.

RADDATZ (voice over): Made up of those serving time for storming the Capitol. Trump framing them as hostages, patriots.

DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You see the spirit from the hostages, and that's what they are is hostages.

The first day we get into office, we're going to save our country and we're going to work with the people to treat those unbelievable patriots --

RADDATZ (voice over): But that was just the beginning. Trump stoking more fear about migrants at the southern border. Trump at one point saying they're not people.

TRUMP: Well, I don't know if you call them people. In some cases they're not people, in my opinion, but I'm not allowed to say that because the radical left says that's a terrible thing to say. These are bad -- these are animals.

RADDATZ (voice over): And while blasting the auto industry's foreign manufacturing and embrace of electric vehicles, the former president making this comment --

TRUMP: Now, if I don't get elected, it's going to be a bloodbath for the whole -- that's going to be the least of it. It's going to be a bloodbath for the country.

RADDATZ (voice over): A top Trump adviser taking to X to clean that up, saying he was referring only to the auto industry, writing that President Joe Biden's insane EV mandate will slaughter the American auto industry.

The Biden campaign seizing on Trump's statement to accuse the president's Republican rival of threatening political violence and wanting another January 6th. And in an off-camera gala for the press last night, President Biden warning of what he called the toxic cycle of anger and conspiracy.

Trump also directly attacked Biden throughout the speech, even saying this --

TRUMP: How about a couple of more indictments, Joe, you dumb son of a -- that dumb son of a --


RADDATZ (on camera): And I'm joined now by House Intelligence Committee Chair Congressman Mike Turner, who represents the Ohio district where former President Trump spoke last night.

Thanks for joining us this morning.


The former president was in your district campaigning for a Senate candidate that you do not support but you have endorsed President Trump. What's your reaction to comments like that?

TURNER: I think -- you know, first of all, I want to congratulate you, Martha, that you correctly identify that the president’s statements concerning bloodbath were about what would happen in the auto industry, if actually the Chinese manufacturers who are coming into Mexico were permitted to import into the United States, which I’ve read the transcript. As you said, I was not at a rally. But it is incredibly important that that be accurately portrayed.

I think, certainly, there are statements that he makes that, you know, many Americans would not agree with, and many Americans would agree with it. When you talk about what’s happening at the border, this is absolutely a crisis that’s created by this administration. Eight million people have come across the border, almost the entire population of Ohio.

Director Wray of the FBI saying that this absolutely represents a national security threat, that there are people who come across the border who have ties to terrorist groups and organizations. We just last week had a hearing about this in the Intelligence Committee that was a public hearing. So the public could hear this threat. I think this represents the concerns that people have --

RADDATZ: But – but, Congressman, I understand that. I understand the crisis at the border and it’s something we have covered again and again.

I’m talking about former President Trump’s comments calling them not people and animals.

TURNER: Well, I, of course, have disagreed with those in the past. I think the American public disagrees with those.

But I do think that people see that Donald Trump is the only candidate in this race that’s going to be able to fix this crisis. Joe Biden created the crisis at the border. We’ve seen nothing like it, 8 million people. His own FBI director saying it’s a national security threat, that we have the highest threat of a terrorist attack in this country right now as a result of the people that come across the border. I think that is --

RADDATZ: Did you support the border package on the Hill?

TURNER: No, I did not. It would not have fixed the problem at the border. In fact, it would have codified Joe Biden’s policies allowing millions of illegal aliens to come in across the border every year. This is a – this a process that is a result --

RADDATZ: I want to – I want to just -- it want to -- I want to move on to another comment.

TURNER: This is a process, as you know, that -- that’s a result of Biden’s executive directives, executive orders. He opened the border and it’s his -- he has created this crisis.

RADDATZ: I -- we could go over what President Trump did and – and President Biden did, but I want to stick to these comments for a minute and just one more if we can.

He’s also called those who stormed the Capitol, and you heard that so-called January 6th choir, he’s called them hostages and patriots.

What effect do you think that has on his supporters? It was President Trump who wanted his supporters to go up on the Hill on January 6th. Does that have an effect on people when they hear those words?

TURNER: Well, as you know, he did not call for the storming of the Capitol, and we have had a number of these cases, that there have been questions concerning how those cases have been prosecuted, and the individuals, where there have been cases even overturned.

Now you would think, of course, that Donald Trump would have very strong emotional feelings about the individuals who have -- who’ve been in jail and have gone to prison over these. Over these events that occurred on January 8th --

RADDATZ: Do you support those comments? Are they hostages? Are they hostages? Are they patriots?

TURNER: No, I don’t -- I don’t believe they’re hostages. I believe in our judicial system. And I believe, though, Martha, as you’ve seen, because you’ve reported them, some of these cases have been overturned. Some of the -- even the legal construct of the basis of a number of these cases have been overturned.

This is going to be, you know, a continuing legal process and I – and this person – this -- you know, this president obviously has very strong personal views on this.

RADDATZ: Let’s move on to TikTok which -- and talk about your bill that -- this is -- one area you defied Donald Trump on because he supports TikTok. That bill could potentially ban TikTok. You say it’s a national security concern.

I know you had that classified briefing. What can you tell us to make it more clear to Americans why this is a problem?

TURNER: Sure. Well, Martha, I think, you know, we have to first start with, that China, as a country, is not like us. It’s an authoritarian regime that has self-identified as an adversary to the United States. It has banned Twitter. It has banned Facebook. It has banned YouTube in China.

It understands the power of social media and social media apps. And it certainly seeks, in a number of illegal ways, to obtain the data of Americans that it can use as part of its perpetration of this greater surveillance society that it uses to control its own population.


TURNER: When President Xi stood next to President Putin in Russia, he openly stated to the world what his intentions were. He said that we, the two of them, are going to bring about change that hasn’t happened in 100 years. That’s the battle between authoritarianism and democracy and that’s certainly what we’re seeing in China’s -- both economic, its propaganda, and certainly its military buildup that is part of its self-declaration as an adversary of the United States.

RADDATZ: Congressman, is there recent evidence that TikTok is sending a significant amount of data about Americans to China, to the Chinese government?

TURNER: Well, you know, Martha, this -- what you see is a structural relationship for which there is not divisions, and there are great concerns about the individuals' privacy and issues of data between TikTok and the communist Chinese party. But where you have even more importantly here is that this is a propaganda tool, these algorithms, this influencing through social apps, being in the hands of a self-declared adversary of the United States, one that has banned TikTok, banned Twitter, banned -- sorry, not (ph) TikTok -- banned Twitter, banned Facebook and banned YouTube, understands the use of these tools to be able to manipulate a society.

And that certainly is one the greatest concerns that we have.

RADDATZ: We just have a very short time here, but you had a lot of TikTokers up on the Hill this week who -- and TikTok apparently supports a minimum of 224,000 jobs in this country.

What would you say to those Americans who might lose their livelihood?

TURNER: Well, that -- I don’t think they’ll lose their livelihood. They have obviously undertaken a livelihood that is communicating to people through social apps and social media, and this is not a ban on TikTok as you know. This is actually a piece of legislation that requires that the Chinese ownership of TikTok be divested so that we would sever that relationship between Chinese ownership, the Chinese government, the Chinese communist party that is of such troubling concerns.

And, you know, India has previously banned TikTok over the exact same concerns.

These are concerns that as you look at what China is doing around the world, their propagation of a surveillance society, their even illegal means in which they’re acquiring data on Americans and people around the world, their use of propaganda, their own banning of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube because of their concerns of the voices of democracy being heard, you can see what a great concern this is to our country.

RADDATZ: Okay. Thanks so much for joining us this morning, Congressman. Always good to see you.

TURNER: Thank you, Martha. Thank you.

RADDATZ: So, let’s bring Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna who represents Silicon Valley and voted against the TikTok bill.

First of all, Congressman, welcome this morning.

But I also want to ask you why you voted against it. I know you’ve said First Amendment concerns.

REP. RO KHANNA (D), CALIFORNIA: Martha, look, there are two national security issues that proponents of the bill have cited. Both are legitimate. One, will the data get to a foreign government, in this case, the Chinese Communist Party? Two, will the Chinese Communist Party have an influence on algorithms?

We can deal with both with a narrowly-tailored law. Let’s ban any data going to a foreign country and protect American data. Second, let’s ban any foreign interference to the social media app, whether that’s TikTok or another app.

And, by the way, those laws would also cover data brokers, which are selling data to a Chinese company.

So this bill is not actually addressing the issue. Seventy-one percent of Americans want to protect data privacy. Only 31 percent want a ban on TikTok. Congress, A, doesn’t understand, in my view, all of the social media and how it’s working, and, B, is out of touch with what the American people want.

RADDATZ: How -- how do you do that? Get -- get more specific about what you say, banning. What does that all mean and how does that work?

We don’t always know what’s --

KHANNA: So, here’s --

RADDATZ: -- going over there or what’s being taken.

KHANNA: Martha, let me -- I think some of the facts would be helpful. So, TikTok is owned by ByteDance. ByteDance is a Chinese company. It has 60 percent international investors, including KKR and General Atlantic. Three of the five board members are Americans. They have data that currently Oracle is managing in Texas.

As you are -- mentioned earlier to Congressman Turner, there have been reports in some cases that that data has leaked and had access to people in China. No evidence publicly that the Chinese Communist Party has had it, but there has been evidence that they could have it in Chinese national.

So, pass a law, one, to prevent these apps, whether it’s TikTok or Facebook or YouTube for collecting data. That bill has been sitting in the House Commerce Committee for years and it doesn’t move.

Second, pass a law that if there’s evidence that the data goes to China, then Oracle and TikTok would be held liable, civilly or criminally. Third, pass a law that if Chinese nationals are involved in the algorithms, people are claiming these algorithms are manipulating Americans. If there’s information -- insight evidence that a Chinese national or any foreign national is manipulating algorithms, that would be illegal.

RADDATZ: And, Congressman, I want to go back to the current bill. And if -- and your First Amendment concerns. What are those? I mean, if ByteDance -- if ByteDance would divest, the app could continue to function in the U.S. So, what -- what is the First Amendment concern that you have cited?

KHANNA: Well, if the bill was just a divestment bill, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. I mean the – what the first rule the government should have done is pass the privacy laws (INAUDIBLE) and had perhaps they facilitated these American investors to having a spin-off and having TikTok be U.S. owned. We didn’t do that.

The two First Amendment concerns relate to the ban, which is the second part of the legislation. The court has said that you have to have the least restrictive approach when you have a compelling speech interest. Here you have a speech interest of 170 million Americans. I showed several less restrictive approaches than a ban.

The court has also said you need alternative means of communication with a group on TikTok. Now, you asked Congressman Turner, you said, well, what about these 170 million, many of these people, 224,000, have a livelihood, how are they going to communicate with the TikTok audience? And if we say, well, they can just go on some other social media app, well those members of Congress haven’t talked to the TikTok influencer creators because that’s not how it works.

RADDATZ: You don’t think that’s possible?

KHANNA: The audience is very different.

RADDATZ: You don’t think that’s possible?

KHANNA: I think it would be very – I think it would be hard and I – and I don’t think the Supreme Court would look at the audience and say, OK, you can just have people go on to a different app. But I certainly don’t think it’s least restrictive.

And the point is that they – there’s been no evidence right now, you’d have to have a compelling interest, what is the actual evidence that – that you couldn’t just pass a data privacy law or a law banning data going to a foreign country and – and get that done that way.

And I – and the – the frustration is that we haven’t been able to pass these data privacy laws. I mean it took three days to pass a – a ban – a sale, and then if not ban on TikTok. And we haven’t passed data privacy. We haven’t passed the laws to ban foreign interference. The app where there actually was foreign in my district, or near my district, was Facebook. We aren’t tackling those issues. And then we’ve just passed this blanket TikTok.

RADDATZ: Congressman, this passed overwhelmingly. Your other members of Congress must have heard something that alarmed them. Nothing alarmed you enough to want to pass this urgently?

KHANNA: No, it did – it did concern me, the data privacy. I've been – I passed (INAUDIBLE) --

RADDATZ: I mean what you’re talking about would take a very long time.

KHANNA: No, I – I actually think it would be easier to pass – once we pass if. If we passed a law saying you can’t transfer data, you can’t collect data, that would actually solve the problem.

And, by the way, there are so many data brokers who are sending information to China. This law does nothing to them. It does nothing in terms of other social media apps that are collecting data and maybe transferring data.

And now this – one of the concerns that people were citing is, well, there’s a lot of folks who have pro-Palestine viewpoints on TikTok. Well, there are pro-Palestine viewpoints on Instagram and Facebook and all it takes is to go to a college campus and realize that the demo – that demographic has more sympathy to what – the innocent loss of life in Gaza. I don’t say they’re right –

RADDATZ: I – I – Congressman –

KHANNA: But that doesn’t mean that that’s evidence of manipulation.

RADDATZ: Just – I – briefly because, of course, you are campaigning for Biden and Harris, we’ve seen a significant share of primary voters back uncommitted over President Biden supporting Israel and the war on Gaza. What do you say to them?

KHANNA: I say, first of all, Hamas committed a brutal terrorist attack on October 7th. The U.N. found evidence that there was rape and sexual assault. We need to unambiguously condemn that October 7th attack. And then let me say that President Biden now, and his team, are shifting and understanding that Netanyahu’s policies have not been in the interest of protecting civilian life, that too many innocent civilians have died, and he has finally called for a ceasefire with the release of hostages and they’re being heard.

Now, it’s obvious that I have had disagreements with President Biden on this. But here’s what I know, at least he’s listening. Donald Trump wouldn’t listen.

RADDATZ: OK, thank you so much for joining us this morning. We much appreciate it.

Coming up, you’ve probably heard of them, you may be one of them, the so-called double haters, those voters not exactly thrilled with the two presidential nominees this year. My conversation with a group from Virginia on what they will do come November.

We’re back in two minutes.



NIKKI HALEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is now up to Donald Trump to earn the votes of those in our party and beyond it who did not support him, and I hope he does that.

At its best, politics is about bringing people into your cause, not turning them away. And our conservative cause badly needs more people. This is now his time for choosing.


RADDATZ: That was Nikki Haley as she exited the race after Super Tuesday, with a message to former President Trump. But many Americans have made clear they don't want former President Trump or President Biden. A New York Times/Sienna poll out earlier this month showed nearly one in five voters are unhappy with the presumptive nominees. But these so-called double haters could very well determine who wins in November.

We sat down with three Virginia voters who expressed that discontent to see where they might ultimately put their support. It's "Your Voice, Your Vote."


UNKNOWN: So I'd classify myself as a Republican.

NICK GAMBILL, VIRGINIA VOTER: I would probably classify myself as an Independent.

ALISSA BAKER, VIRGINIA VOTER: And I would classify myself as a Republican.

RADDATZ: Fifty-two-year-old Alissa Baker was on Nikki Haley's Virginia leadership team. Now she isn't sure where she'll put her support.

What could change, Elisa, in these next few months? What are you looking for?

BAKER: I think what's really hard for me right now is that both candidates that are now the presumptive nominees are really locked in a battle against each other that are both citing grievances, readjudicating a past battle. I don't have a candidate right now that's talking about our challenges and our problems as a -- as a nation and as a -- as a world. I need to hear that.

RADDATZ: When you look at your own voting record, 2016 Donald Trump?

BAKER: Yeah.

RADDATZ: Twenty-twenty?

BAKER: Oh, boy, 2020, standing there at the -- at the booth with the ballot in front of me, trying to give myself a pep talk and then walking away from the ballot with a blank ballot.

RADDATZ: You couldn't vote for Donald Trump again?

BAKER: Couldn't vote for either candidate, really struggling with the, "Why do I have to keep voting for the lesser of two evils? We deserve better than that."

RADDATZ: You had voted for Trump in the past, though?


RADDATZ: What was it that turned you away?

BAKER: Twenty-sixteen Trump, 2020 Trump, 2024 Trump are very different people.

RADDATZ: What's different about 2024 Trump?

BAKER: A lot of people that have worked for him in the past say they won't come back. Obviously January 6th happened. A lot of indictments have happened. And to be honest with you, I don't know that he wants my vote, or those of us that supported Nikki Haley. He's been pretty clear.

RADDATZ: That was a turnoff to you, when he said that?

BAKER: You know, I believe that the Republican Party should be a big tent. I think, when we compromise, we get to the best solutions. So, yeah, when you want to be an exclusive club, that's a problem.

RADDATZ: This is the first time 21-year-old Nick Gamble can cast a ballot in a presidential race, but after voting for Nikki Haley on Super Tuesday, his enthusiasm for the general election is lacking.

You don't really know who you're going to vote for?

GAMBILL: I know who I'm not going to vote for.

RADDATZ: Who aren't you?

GAMBILL: I will not vote for Donald Trump. I can't associate myself with the Republican Party under Donald Trump.

I agree wholeheartedly, the Trump we’re seeing now is a completely different Trump than Trump of 2016 and even 2020. He's running a campaign strictly for revenge. I think he poses a clear threat to our democracy, our institutions. So, the two options for me are either Biden, write-in.

RADDATZ: And what about those people who would say, if you do a write-in, then you might as well have voted for Donald Trump?

GAMBILL: I disagree because if we have to choose between the lesser of two evils and that's getting old, and I think if more people write in a name, it kind of shows that there is a dissatisfaction. I think a protest vote is a vote -- a perfectly valid vote in and of itself.

RADDATZ: So you're a college student. You voted for Haley. What is the vibe on your college campus?

GAMBILL: People are excited about the election, but I think -- I think it's more so in opposition to Donald Trump, but there are also the voices who are more far to the left who aren't supportive of Joe Biden mainly because of his support for Israel.

RADDATZ (voice-over): El Mehdi Marhoum sat our Super Tuesday. He says as a Muslim Republican, he doesn't feel either candidate has earned his community's support.

I mean, you are the kind of voters who people say, well, if you don't vote for so-and-so, the race is so close, the other guy will win. That doesn't enter your mind?

EL MEHDI MARHOUM, VIRGINIA VOTER: When we pledge allegiance, we pledge allegiance to the United States of America, not to the Republicans or Democrats. So, being a Republican, it doesn’t mean that I have to vote against my community. I have -- there are issues like my community like the Muslim ban and all things of a kind that my community felt that is not appropriate. But I feel like Biden still did not fulfill what I think he was supposed to fulfill.

RADDATZ: Marhoum is frustrated by President Biden's support for Israel in its war against Hamas. According to the Hamas-run health ministry, more than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel's response to the October 7th Hamas attack.

But Marhoum also points to Donald Trump's executive order banning nearly all travelers from five majority Muslim nations as a point of concern.

As a Muslim American, that sounds like a single-issue voter. That's more important to you than any other issue?

MARHOUM: We had a lot of hate toward the community. We had the Muslim ban. So, it's not a single issue. It was more of, like, a safety perspective. It was all the things that affected us as Muslims, but that rhetoric of going on against the Muslim community over and over makes it as a community, not voting for either one of the two.

RADDATZ: But Marhoum says he's still open to backing Trump. He wants to organize a town hall with Trump and Virginia Muslims.

MARHOUM: If that town hall happens, I’m going to be pro-Trump for sure. If that town hall doesn't happen, now I’m going to go back and look at policies, look at the lesser of the two evils. What's going to affect my community?

Because keep in mind, each one of us votes based on our communities.

RADDATZ: Is there anything that could get you to vote for Joe Biden?

MARHOUM: Ah, I don't think so. There is no way for me to vote for Joe Biden. I think it's up to President Trump to win our vote.

RADDATZ: If you had to vote today, Nick, who would it be?

GAMBILL: Joe Biden.

ALISSA BAKER, VIRGINIA VOTER: I wish no labels had announced something.

MARHOUM: Same. I wish No Labels has announced something.

RADDATZ: Is there a possibility you won't vote?

MARHOUM: There is a possibility I won't vote if the things stays as it is, and the hate speech going on. So probably I’m going to leave it blank.

BAKER: Right now probably, yeah, and I hate that choice because that's not a good choice. That's not the way it should be.

RADDATZ: It sounds like you wouldn't stay home?

GAMBILL: No. I don't plan on staying home. I’ll be voting, begrudgingly, but I’ll be voting.


RADDATZ: And on that note, we have so much to get to with our powerhouse round table. Former DNC chair Donna Brazile, former Justice Department spokesperson Sarah Isgur, “New Yorker” staff writer, Susan Glasser, and ABC News political director, Rick Klein.

And I’m going to start with you, Rick Klein.

Walk us through this. These are the voters who could decide the election.

RICK KLEIN, ABC NEWS POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yeah, and consistently in polling, we have seen about 19 percent, 20 percent, 1 in 5 Americans who don't like either of these two men who are running.

So, that could mean a couple of different things. Some of them are Democrats. Some of them are Republicans. Some of them may come home.

Some of them are going to flirt with third-party candidacies, whether it's No Labels --


KLEIN: -- or RFK Jr.


But what the Biden campaign is looking at in those numbers and they've seen it in a couple of polls recently is that when you really press these voters, who are you going to vote for, one or the other, Biden has an edge now among those voters. It gets even wider if it comes down to -- it is a binary choice, Biden versus Trump.

So that's the effort that the Biden campaign is going to engage in as much as anything else. Because these are the voters think about what it means to have 20 percent of Americans in an election is going to be settled by one or two points at a whole bunch of battleground states. They could easily be the deciders. And they also may be late deciders.

So that means that we could be in a campaign that really doesn't get any more clarity for a long while.

RADDATZ: And you saw that Nikki Haley voters there, Sarah, from President Trump hasn't exactly reached out to them or offered any sort of olive branch.

SARAH ISGUR, ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: No, that's exactly right. And, you know, this is now the exhausted majority that we're talking about. It's the long run of negative polarization where campaigns aren't pitching you on their guy. They're saying you vote for us because you hate the other guy. And let me tell you why. It's driven small dollars, it's driven partisan media business models. And in the end, it's weakened the two parties, and it's pulling this 20 percent or so of Americans outside of the two-party system in a way that's frankly unsustainable for the two parties. You're not going to have to do this much longer.

Whether they come home what they do this time around, especially for those Nikki Haley voters, absolutely will be deciding and states like Georgia and Arizona.

RADDATZ: And Donna, let's talk about campaigning this week, President Biden went to five battleground states is anything resonating?

DONNA BRAZILE, ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Absolutely. Look, the fact is, is that the President understands to reach those voters, as well as many of the Democrats who are now feeling a little underwhelmed. He has to go and see them, he has to talk to them, he has to touch them. And I think the more he visits the so-called battleground states and other states to deliver the strongest message on the economy, on what he's doing on national security. He will reassure them that he is up to finish the job. And more importantly, he is delivered for the American people.

RADDATZ: And Susan, you had a piece this week about how people aren't really listening at this point to Donald Trump. You heard one of those voters saying things are different. This is a different campaign in 2020, a different Donald Trump. We obviously heard what he said last night.

SUSAN GLASSER, THE NEW YORKER STAFF WRITER: Yes. I mean, look, Donald Trump, it seems to me, it's very hard eight years into this, we still struggle with how to cover him as journalists. But in a way, the unhinged, rambling rants that you see from the former president of United States are baked in. And I think in a way, we are all desensitized and endured to the extraordinarily remarkable and very at times un-American and threatening things that the former president is saying.

I'm not saying it's easy to understand how to cover it. I think we have to cover it when the former president who's already incited violence among his followers says that there's going to be a bloodbath. What? After the election, if he does not win, he is telling us what he is going to do.

ISGUR: Let me just disagree a little. Because I'm having super 2016 deja vu over the bloodbath news cycle. This is what Donald Trump does. We're sitting here talking about a word that he used four days ago, we were all using to talk about what happened at the RNC that's in headlines about the markets on Wall Street. And now we're not talking about his 100 percent tariff policy, which is bonkers. We're talking about whether he used the word bloodbath to mean this or that, whether he means violence, we all know what he can do.


KLEIN: No. I think very much not. And look, I think -- I think the idea that one comment is going to change the minds of Trump voters. I think we've seen that before to Sarah's point, we've long past that news cycle, but the policies need to be focused on as well. And that's what -- that's what the campaign is going to be and will continue to be a (INAUDIBLE).


GLASSER: I'm sorry, I just have to say something. Like Donald Trump is attacking, in a broad-brush sense, the basic pillars of American democracy, period, full stop. If that's not news to you. It's not about tariffs. That's not the reason why millions of Americans are supporting Donald Trump. Let's be real about that. You have a Republican congressman who came on here today, and he can't even condemn in forthright, straightforward, honest terms, that ransacking of the United States Capitol by thousands of Trump supporters.

He says, well, you know, maybe there's some problems with that. Donald Trump opens his campaign rally, Sarah, by saying, these are martyrs. These are victims. These are heroes. His whole campaign now is being built around an alternate reality, by the way, constructed on an enormous number of lie after lie after lie. That's what he's peddling to the American people. Not tariff policy. He's peddling an alternate reality vision of America that is built on lies. Let's be honest about that.

RADDATZ: Do you see Sarah, any difference between 2020 and '24 with -- with Donald Trump? Yes, he says a lot of outrageous things, but is there anything different? This may be how he's getting attention. But he does say those things.

ISGUR: He absolutely does. And he does it by the way to bring the attention back to him. Anytime we move on, he's going to say something.

KLEIN: Right.

ISGUR: I think that a Trump 2.0 presidency is going to fall along some spectrum and anyone who tells you that they know where on that spectrum, a Trump second administration is going to be, he is not telling you the truth. And there’s a version that’s, you know, the – the dark world of – of Susan’s, and there’s a version that actually doesn’t look that different than the first Trump administration. I don’t think we know.

BRAZILE: Can I, Martha?

RADDATZ: Please. Yes.

BRAZILE: You know, I struggled in the middle of the night, and I shouldn’t tell you what I do in the midnight hour, but I was struggling, trying to figure out how to – how to deal with, you know, what I call the weekly sermons of Donald Trump, because, you know, Dr. Maya Angelou said that hope and fear cannot exist -- occupy the same space. You have to invite one to stay. Donald Trump represents fear. And that's why he uses it as an emotion, and that's why it's so compelling for us to talk about it.

ISGUR: And reporters –

RADDATZ: And, Rick, it works.


RADDATZ: It works is the bottom line.

KLEIN: It – it works. It works in firing up a base and getting voters to – to support him. There's also ample evidence that people don't remember the bad parts of the Donald Trump years. And that, to me, is what the campaign is going – is going to be about. If the campaign is just about Joe Biden, guess what, Biden is not getting a lot more popular, he’s certainly not getting younger. But if -- if the campaign is prosecuting a case against Trump, and that's what a lot of money and a lot of energy is going to be spent doing, then people might have different perceptions.

But the fact that Trump's approval rating, people remember it differently now, he’s higher than it ever was when he was actually president, tells you that. And I know – I know the Biden folks hate that amnesia that has set in with a lot of Americans in their view. And again, that's why the campaign plays out. They have seven months to kind of make that case.

RADDATZ: And – and very quickly, Pence did not endorse Donald Trump.


RADDATZ: You surprised?

KLEIN: I’ve got to say, I was surprised by that.

RADDATZ: You were?

KLEIN: I was. I was.


KLEIN: I thought he would land where Mitch McConnell did and where a whole range of other Republicans, even if it's a begrudging, look, of course, I'm going to vote for him versus anyone else. Pence is not saying who’s going to vote for. But that, to me, does speak loudly.

To your point about the Haley voters in Virginia and elsewhere, there’s still work that has to get done. It's not about endorsements, but it's about convincing them that, yes, there's still a home for them in a party that looks so different.

RADDATZ: OK, we have lots more to talk about.

The roundtable will be back later in the program to discuss the rest of the week's news.

But up next, the White House National Security Communications Adviser John Kirby on the latest in Gaza.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MAJORITY LEADER: Prime Minister Netanyahu has lost his way, by allowing his political survival to take the precedence over the best interests of his people. He has been too willing to tolerate the civilian toll in Gaza. I believe a new election is the only way to allow for a healthy and open decision-making process about the future of Israel.

JOSEPH BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE U.S.: He made a good speech, and I think he expressed a serious concern shared not only by him but by many Americans.


RADDATZ: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the highest-ranking Jewish leader in U.S. history, with harsh words for Benjamin Netanyahu, as Schumer calls for new elections in Israel.

I'm joined now by White House National Security Communications Adviser John Kirby.

Good to see you here, John.

Let -- let's start with Chuck Schumer's speech. President Biden called it "a good speech," and yet he has not sided with Chuck Schumer in calling for new leadership in Israel.

JOHN KIRBY, WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COMMUNICATIONS ADVISER: Well, because the president understands that that's up to the Israeli people. That's up to the Israeli government that they elect to determine whether and how, if there's going to be new elections, what that would look like.

RADDATZ: Well, Senator Schumer also understands that. He's just calling for new elections. And you've seen polling about Israelis, that they would like new leadership as well.

KIRBY: Well, again, that's going to be up to them to determine. It's a democratic country, and they -- we have to respect their sovereignty. In the meantime, he is the prime minister of Israel. They are two leaders that have had a long working relationship. They don't agree on everything. We don't agree on everything with respect to what's going on in Gaza. But that's the government that is in place, and that's the government, the war cabinet, that we're going to continue to work with.

RADDATZ: The president wants a temporary ceasefire...


RADDATZ: ... a Palestinian state, a two-state solution, a peace agreement, and has asked Netanyahu to -- not to move into Rafah. He has defied all that. So what more can you do?

KIRBY: Well, they haven't moved into Rafah yet.

RADDATZ: They said they have their war plans.

KIRBY: They have. We -- we've not seen those plans. and as we've said before, Martha, we would not support such an operation unless or until they can accommodate the 1.5 million refugees that are there, and preserve their safety and security. We have continued and will continue to press the Israelis to do more to reduce civilian casualties, to do more to get more trucks in, and to, again, help us come to closure on this temporary ceasefire, so that we can get all those hostages out.

RADDATZ: As you mentioned, the Israeli war cabinet approved its plan for Rafah. You said you haven't seen it, but President Biden at some point said that was a red line for him and then kind of walked that back. He said, it's a red line, it's not a red line. What is it?

KIRBY: It's no different than --

RADDATZ: If they go in the same way they have been going in, in other places, if they don't move those refugees, and I don't know where they would move them.

KIRBY: Well, again, I won't -- I don't want to get ahead of where we are. They haven't moved into Rafah. I would just reiterate what the president has said many times. We would not support such an operation unless or until they've got a credible executable plan to take care of the 1.5 million refugees that have been pushed into Rafah because of operations in Khan Younis to the north and Gaza City even further to the north.

Now, the Israeli Defense Forces say that they have such a plan for an evacuation. They talked about humanitarian islands in Gaza, again, we welcome the opportunity to see that, to see if that's actually executable and doable.

RADDATZ: And give us the status on that floating dock --

KIRBY: Yeah.

RADDATZ: -- and how long you think that might take, and how they do it without putting --

KIRBY: Yeah.

RADDATZ: -- boots on the ground at all, connecting it somehow.

KIRBY: In Pentagonese, this is called JLOTS, Joint Logistics Over the Shore. It's a temporary pier, floating dock if you will, that is transported in pieces. The first pieces of it are on the way now. They left Norfolk just a little bit earlier this week. It's going to probably take about six weeks to eight weeks or so for all the pieces to get in place and for it to become operational. We are working for partners in the region to figure out the details of how the material will be secured, on and off the floating dock, and of course, how it will be distributed inside Gaza.

RADDATZ: And I want to move to Ukraine. House Speaker Mike Johnson says he expects to pass Ukraine aid with support from Democrats as a standalone bill or combined with aid to Israel. Did the president speak directly with Speaker Johnson about this, and how does he feel about that?

KIRBY: Well, he's already spoken to Speaker Johnson now a couple of times.

RADDATZ: Specifically about that?

KIRBY: I don't know of any conversations that the president has had. I know that we have been in touch. The White House has been in touch with Speaker Johnson and his team about this moving forward. Look, time is of the essence, and you were in Ukraine not long ago. They are running out of ammunition in the Donbas, and they're falling back now, second and third lines of defense. The Russians continue to try to push west. They've got to have the support and we need it now.

RADDATZ: Do you worry at all about our own readiness as we give weapons to Ukraine?

KIRBY: Sure.

RADDATZ: Has that been an issue?

KIRBY: Of course. Since the beginning of the war, we have had -- with every package we provided, we've got to make a certification that it is not going to damage our own national security. And as we have given more and depleted our inventories, we've done everything we can to work with the defense industry to restock, to replenish. That's what this replenishment authority, why that's so important.

So, yes, it is a concern. We haven't reached a point yet where our own national security and our own operational plans have been jeopardized. But it's absolutely something you can't ever take your eye off.

RADDATZ: And I want -- we have been talking about TikTok a lot this morning.

KIRBY: Yeah.

RADDATZ: -- and that bill. They talk about national security. I mean, that's clearly a concern. If this bill doesn't pass in the Senate, what will the president do to assuage those concerns?

KIRBY: Difficult to know exactly where this is going to go. As you rightly said, this is a legislative process. We'll see where this goes in the Senate. We're glad the House took it up and we urge the Senate to move swiftly on this. I want to stress again, over and over, that this isn't about a ban. We don't want to see a ban on TikTok. We understand there's a lot of people whose economic life --

RADDATZ: But it could ultimately become a ban.

KIRBY: It could, but we don't want to see it banned. We do want to see ByteDance no longer in control of that application. We want to see divestiture from this Chinese company because we are concerned, as every American ought to be concerned about data security and what ByteDance and what the Chinese Communist Party could do with the information they can glean off of Americans' use of the application.

RADDATZ: And I know we're going around the world here, but I want you to give us an update on the crisis in Haiti.

KIRBY: Yeah. More violence over the weekend so far, very, very concerning. We do see the political process moving forward. There was a terrific meeting in Jamaica. Secretary Blinken represented the United States where Haitian-led Haitian groups came together and decided on this transitional presidential council to appoint an interim prime minister. It looks like that process is moving forward, so that's a good thing.

On the other front, we are continuing to work with the Kenyans about getting this temporary -- this military support mission in place to help the Haitian national police. There's an awful lot going on there. In the United States, we continue to watch this very, very closely.

RADDATZ: OK. Thanks so much for joining us this morning. Always great to see you.

The Roundtable takes on the politics of Gaza and how they impact the 2024 race.

We're back in just a moment.


RADDATZ: And the roundtable is back. And Susan Glasser, I want to turn to you. The Democrats have not been shy about criticizing Prime Minister Netanyahu. But quite a remarkable moment seeing Chuck Schumer.

GLASSER: Yes, I have to say for Schumer, who is a career supporter of Israel, who has had his entire identity really as being, you know, a leader of Jewish Democrats in America. This is almost a break-point moment. I think it suggests just, you know, that might be the speech that many in the Biden White House themselves would have liked to give right now the frustration, I feel is palpable. It is hurting Democrats politically inside their own party right now. And I think they're concerned that despite all the support for Israel, they don't have the leverage that they thought that they had at the beginning of this conflict.

RADDATZ: And Donna, you heard John Kirby, and you've heard the President say it was a good speech, but they're not committing to anything.

BRAZILE: Well, look, I think Chuck Schumer was speaking on behalf of millions of Americans who are very frustrated, and how Israel is conducting its campaign to eliminate Hamas. I think most Americans would like to see the hostages freed, including the Americans who are still being held captive. And they want Israel to really focus and target on the elimination of these militant terrorists, and not the innocent civilians.

RADDATZ: And Rick, what was highlighted this week, and we said this before, is this uncommitted that got nearly 10 percent of the vote in Washington state primary.


RADDATZ: And that's a lot of that is about Gaza.

KLEIN: Oh yes, that's what's driving this. And to the extent that there's -- there's any problems for Joe Biden inside his own party and his own primary, it is driven primarily right now by that. And I think it's so telling, remember, after the State of the Union, the hot mic that picks up Joe Biden saying, we are going to have that Come to Jesus moment with Netanyahu? It feels to me like --

RADDATZ: You think he really knew that mic wasn't hot?

KLEIN: Well, and if you think he really didn't know that Chuck Schumer was going to go out there, a Jew, the top-ranking Jew in the American history, to begin to bring Bibi to Jesus, I feel like that's an important moment and I think Susan's right. It's a signal moment for the Democratic Party.

RADDATZ: And one of the things I think Chuck Schumer probably is worried about is how this generation of Americans and Americans in general will start to view Israel, and that that could be a real change. And Sarah, the person we haven't heard a whole lot about on the war is Donald Trump. He did say that Israel must finish the problem in Gaza. What do you think that means? And he really has not been pinned down on this.

ISGUR: Remember, Donald Trump's policy is a lot more personality-driven than it is philosophically driven. Netanyahu I think made a huge mistake by making himself a partisan figure in the United States, and aligning himself with Republicans and with Trump, and really against the Democratic Party.

So it's interesting, in Israel, the only polling that shows Netanyahu as being popular is Netanyahu's poll. Every other poll shows that Netanyahu is an incredibly unpopular figure in Israel, same as he is becoming in the United States. I think Donald Trump is sitting back both to see what happens to Netanyahu and also as the Democrats become less friendly to Israel, watch Donald Trump become more friendly in reaction.

RADDATZ: Any third parties are saying, that's us, we'll enter.

GLASSER: Well, that's exactly right. Look, the bottom line is that Netanyahu's interests in a way, politically speaking, is to prolong the war and right now, that's a direct conflict with the Democrats and Joe Biden who need the war to be over yesterday.

RADDATZ: And could they do more? Do you think the administration could do more? We've got about 15 seconds.

GLASSER: Look, the aid that you are seeing by air, by sea, is not enough in any way for the humanitarian crisis. They didn't do that up until now. Then when political necessity forced them to, they said, fine, we're going to do it. There needs to be a lot more aid, and I think there are many more steps that the Biden Administration can take to distance from Netanyahu.

RADDATZ: The U.S. is trying to get that aid in there. Thanks. It's all great to see you this morning. Happy St. Patrick's Day. We'll be right back.


RADDATZ: And that's all for us today. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us. Check out "World News Tonight" and have a great St. Patrick's Day.