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tv   Sen. Josh Hawley R-MO The Tyranny of Big Tech  CSPAN  July 9, 2021 9:00am-9:35am EDT

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a a class on the road ufo conspiracy 37 shaping american culture. changes in public opinion about extraterrestrials often parallel societal anxieties. and on sundays booktv features leading authors discussing their latest books. on sunday on booktv at 8 p.m. eastern on "after words," economist dambisa moyo offers and insider the you on corpe boards in her book how boards work and how they can work better in a chaotic world. .. >> next missouri republican senator josh hawley gives his thoughts that impact social
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media has on free speech. it was an interview with "the washington post". >> welcome to washington post live, editor of the technology letter. my guest is senator josh hawley, senator from missouri. welcome to the washington post. >> hi cat. >> i'm looking at your proposal to break up tech companies in your new book and we want to start with the events of january 6th. senator, you were the first senator to object to the certification of joe biden's electoral college victory. you write in your book, quote, my sin was to raise an objection to one state going the electoral certification process. senator, what responsibility do you feel for the cascading
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events that resulted on january 6th? >> well, listen, i did what i said i was going to do on january 6th, which was to voice my constituents' concerns about election integrity and this is something the way that the democrats have done in the last three presidential election, every time a republican president has been elected since the year 2000, democrats have objected to 11 different states and the law provides for that, as well as the rules of who us and senate during the electoral certification process for objections and debate, if there's one senator, one representative from each state debate and vote. and specifically the objection i filed was for the state of pennsylvania and others filed for the state of arizona so we had debate on both of those. my view is this, we need to
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have a debate on election integrity. i thought it was appropriate then, we're having it now. and the democrats it was within their rights to raise these issues and i promised my constituents i would and so i did. and that's why i raised the issue on that day and i wasn't going to let the actions of a lawless criminal mob who came to the capitol and tried to stop the certification process and debate, i certainly wasn't going to allow their actions to interfere with my obligations to my constituents in doing what i was going to do. those who committed violence and crimes on january 6th, they deserve to go to prison, i don't care what their justification was, it was wrong, violent, lawless, i don't care if you're doing it because you're on the right or the left and i condemn those folks who came to the capitol and committed criminal violence just like i have the rioters
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across different cities across the country the past year and just like i did the deranged individual who killed a police officer a few weeks ago in service to his violent ideology, that is the nation of islam. regardless of what your ideology is, if you break the law you ought to do the time for that. in terms of election integrity, i don't regret i did, that's doing my job. >> some are warning that it's dangerous to democracy. and in the case of pennsylvania the supreme court had already dismissed the pennsylvania supreme court had had dismissed a republican lawsuit challenging those results. i want to ask you about comments you made in a local interview about a month after the attacks, you said that biden was duly elected. do you believe that biden is the legitimately elected president of the united states. >> yeah, i do, but let me go
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back for a second. you mentioned pennsylvania since you bring it up and that was the heart of my objection and that i filed. the pennsylvania supreme court did not hear or adjudicate the merits of the claim of the constitutional claim that pennsylvania had violated its own state constitution in allowing universal mail-in balloting. the supreme court specifically declined to hear it, they dismissed it on the grounds of procedural ground called latches and violated their own doctrine in doing so. that's not the only strange thing out of step with law in pennsylvania. the same supreme court in pennsylvania which is partisan, they elect them and-- >> senator, i'm going to step in saying they didn't hear the merits of the case because there was an appeals court that ruled that the case lacked merit, so it's difficult for a court to rule on the merits when they don't exist. i want to get back to--
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>> no, no, no, you can't have it both ways, cat. you can't say that they heard the merits and dismissed it. that's wrong, that's wrong. the supreme court didn't-- >> it's an important point. it's an important point. listen, it's an important point. don't try to censor and silence and cancel me here. if you raised the issue you have to listen to the truth. they didn't hear the merits of the case, they dismissed on latches grounds. they never heard the merits of the case. only adjudication on the merits of the constitutional claim, the lower court judge was to in fact there was a constitutional violation in pennsylvania. my view is, that if the people of pennsylvania can't get their own supreme court to hear the case, if the supreme court -- sorry, if the pennsylvania constitution says that mail-in balloting is not concussion
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constitutional and yet it happened anyway, then it's fit to hear in congress. if democrats can object in 11 states, surely republicans can object to one. >> senator, we're going to move on and i wanted to ask you about your point about president biden, you say you believe he was elected. what's your message to americans who still don't believe he was elected president. >> well, listen, he's the duly elected president of the united states and this is why we had the certified process. and i raised my objection and, then this i condemned and the electoral votes have been counted and joe biden is president. if you're like me and the people of my state and deeply disagree with the direction that president biden is taking this country and disagree with his far left policies, and the
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border and china, they have to in the legislature, we'll have more elections november of 2022 and we can go back to the country then, the thing now if, you disagree as i do, then we continue to stand on principle. we try to present alternative visions and in congress, i think it's incumbent on me to oppose this agenda when this he oppose it. >> on the point of prosecuting, i want to talk to you about the investigations that are going on into the capitol riot. do you support a 9/11 style commission to look into those events? >> you know, i agree with my fellow republican senators here that i think a commission would be useful, but it's got to be truly bipartisan and ought to be done on the framework on the style the pattern of what the
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democrats propose. what nancy pelosi proposed, she wanted it stacked down. no reason to bring politics into this. we've had several rounds of hearings in the senate on security failings on the day. those are pretty significant. we know, for instance, there was major controversy about activating the national guard, we know that some did not want the guard activated on the day because they thought it looked too much like president trump's activation of the guard against the rioters in d.c. earlier in the summer. i think that was a mistake not to activate the guard earlier in the day and controversy who asked for it to be activated and et cetera, and i think we should have a full accounting of all of that making sure the various law enforcement agencies were coordinating and figuring out how to improve. i had a capitol police officer take me aside the other day and say, is anything going to be done proactively or a blame game looking back?
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and i think that he had it exactly right. i think that something that a commission could do, a nonpartisan commission is to think about proactively what are we going to do to make sure that security failings like this don't happen in the future and take a look at the physical capitol and so on. >> senator, there's a massive fbi investigation underway as well. have you been interviewed by the fbi? >> i have not. >> you mentioned the capitol police and i wanted to talk to you about an interview on cnn last week. d.c. police officer michael was beaten ferociously, suffered a heart attack and concussion and he had to beg for his life. he spoke out about that experience. let's play the clip. >> you know, i'm happy that i've got the opportunity to, you know, to speak out, talk about the events of that day. it's been very difficult seeing
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elected officials and other individuals kind of whitewash the events of that day or downplay what happened. some of the terminology that was used like hugs and kisses and, you know, very fine people, very different from what i experienced and what my co-workers experienced on the 6th. i mean, i experienced the most brutal, savage hand to happened combat of my entire life, let alone my policing career, which spans almost two decades. >> senator, what's your response to michael fanone, and i don't think that we should downplay, hugs and kisses is not terminology i would use. and that if true, rioting at
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the capitol or at federal buildings or elsewhere, or rioters that identify with the left or right like the individual who killed a capitol police officer a week ago, the nation of islam adhere rent. i certainly hope that that officer's story will be told and hundreds of officers attacked over the past year by criminal rioters. >> i wanted to ask you, many americans first got to know you from the photo of your fist pump on the 6th. who was that directed to? >> that was as i was entering the house chamber the morning of the 6th to go in for the beginning of the electoral count, the electoral college counting process and those were demonstrators on the far end of the plaza there on the i guess the east side, standing behind barricades, waving american flags, some were calling so i guess tured toward them and you
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know what? they have every right to be there and demonstrate under the first amendment. they have every right to make their views known. what nobody has a right to do so violently. when i walked by that group of folks was standing well off the bare kids. waved to them. pumped my fist, thumbs up. >> after what happened do you regret that at all? >> no, i don't know which of the protesters or demonstrators participated in the criminal riot and i think it's a slur on thousands and thousands and tens of thousands of people who came to that capitol that day to demonstrate peacefully, to lump them in with criminal rioters and say oh, you're the same. it's all just the same thing. throughout all last summer we heard over and over, it's important to distinguish
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between the peaceful protesters and blm rioters. and i said that on january 6th, the tens of thousands of folks who came to demonstrate peacefully, that's their first amendment right and support and defend them and support and defend others i disagree with politically to do the same thing. >> senator i want to turn to a big decision we're expected tomorrow related to facebook. we find out if president trump can return to facebook. the oversight board will announcement the decision. what do you think of the board? >> i think it's sad in our country that free speech that americans enjoy basically depends on the whims of monopoly companies. and is this the facebook supreme court as facebook sometimes call it. i don't think that one company
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should have this much power over news and data and facebook has tremendous power. and i don't know what their decision is and i think it's less important than the sheer amount of power that they exercise and total lack of transparency and that's in my view why they need to break them up. facebook is a monopoly. google is a monopoly. and the decision of this board underscores and amplifies that. >> senator, i want to get to the points you made about breaking up big tech, but first i want to ask you what would trump's return to facebook mean for the future of the republican party? >> oh, i don't know the answer to that, cat. my view is that the former president he's a very significant force in the party as it is and that's going to be true no matter what, so i don't know that his return to a platform is really going to affect his standing in the
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party one way or another. i can tell you in my state, in the state of missouri among republicans he remains overwhelmingly popular, i don't think it has to do with whether he's on facebook or not. to me facebook and other social media platforms is an issue about ordinary americans and control of normal ordinary americans that speech, data, access to news and sharing of information and i think that's what i think is so vital and key about the power of these monopoly outfits. >> and on that issue of speech, your book takes aim at section 230 which is a legal shield that protects internet companies from lawsuits. where do you think you can find agreement from your fellow senators to make changes to that shield? >> you know, here is an idea that i mentioned this in the book and i think this is when it comes to section 230, i think this is an important way
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forward. i think that section 230 immunity ought to be withdrawn for any platform to engages in behavioral advertising and you've reported on this. behavioral advertising is when they collect our data which all of these companies do without our consent. no meaning consent. track us around the web, collect our data and use that, sometimes basically sell it to third parties without consent or use it constructing profiles of us and sell to advertisers and the advertisers try to use the form of ads that are behavioral manipulation. it's not sort of here is a new product. based on your previous history we're going to put in front of you, images and so forth to have a great chance of changing your mind. that's behavioral advertising based on your personal characteristics, i think that form of advertising is so destructive and the surveillance that goes into it is so dangerous, i think we ought to withdraw section 230
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immunity to any company that engages in behavioral advertising or amplification that's behind it. and i would hope that to answer your question directly, i would hope that that could get bipartisan support, i would say to my democrat friends across the aisle we ought to be able to agree on this. behavioral advertising encourages mass surveillance, mass tracking, mass taking of data and that's a place that i propose a start. >> senator, have you had any discussions with any specific lawmakers from the democratic party about that proposal? >> yeah, i have. and you know, this is something that i hope-- here is what i'll say about my friends across the aisle. i hope the fact that these companies have immense influence, these tech companies have immense influence, i hope that doesn't deter them from getting tough on these companies in a meaningful way and i write about the
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incredible influence both companies have on both sides of the aisle, unfortunately. and saw them try to leverage that with incredible amount of money that these companies, that the ceo's gave to the biden-harris campaign and i hope my democratic colleagues will remain vigilant and not let up the pressure. i think ultimately break the companies up and we'll talk more about that soon, but section 230 can be a step, but i really think we need to break them up. >> on that point about breaking the companies up, i wanted to ask you about two bills you've recently introduced, the trust busting for the 21st century act and bust up big tech act. on that point about working with democrats, how are you going to get these through congress? >> listen, i hope that these are the most aggressive trust busting bills that have been introduced in years and years, i think the most aggressive in
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congress right now and i think we'll find out where people really are. how do they respond to these bills? i think there's room to get some work done across the aisle and you see this in the anti-trust committee, subcommittee that amy klobuchar shares, senator klobuchar has her own anti-trust proposals. i think you can find good common ground between the two issues and i propose to go farther than senator klobuchar has, we should have a hard ban on mergers and acquisitions on corporations 100 billion or more. the standards that courts use to value anti-trust cases and make it promoting competition, protecting competition. i think that ought to be the standard and currently used with welfare standards and i think is too differential in practice and change the standard and i highlight those because those are two major areas where my bill is tougher
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and stronger than other proposals out there, but i think that's good. i think we need to have a tampa bay about how our courts have been enforcing the law, debate how we can cut the monopoly corporations down to size, not just in the big tech sector and most pressing, but still, we're seeing economic concentration among multiple industries and i think we need to confront that. >> senator, you mentioned changing the standard for anti-trust litigation, and i just wanted-- are you going to be able to bring other conservatives around to that idea? because members of your en0 party, top leaders on anti-trust subcommittees said that's a nonstarter for them. it's certainly a bold new move, cat, i would say that as i talk to my fellow conservatives, something traditionally a principle of conservativism is belief in the free markets and competition. and those who define themselves
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as economic conservatives. what's important to you. competition is going to come near that list. and actually the current standard the courts have used for decades now, the consumer welfare standard it's only halfway there. that standard basically asks, does the business practice in question cause higher prices to consumers? that's a fine question, that's an important question, but that's not the only question when it comes to competition. take the tech companies, the tech companies argue frequently, our service is free, google, our services are free, but the problem with that is that they may be free in terms of the consumer facing product, but the companies extract monopoly rents in other ways, take data collection, you don't have a choice if you want to collect your data, facebook or google or twitter, they're tracking you without your consent and usually without your knowledge.
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they're going to extract your data. that's a monopoly and no other place you can go and no other peer competitor to them. my data will be protected. facebook used to pledge that they would protect data and that's when they would have real competition, a decade ago. as soon as they do that they collect the data. the consumer welfare standard i don't think is enough. you can have services that are technically free, but in fact still have the characteristics of a monopoly and burden consumers and cost them something tangible in terms of their data and we need a new standard that gets at competition, that's a standard i would propose. protecting and promoting competition, that ought to be the standard that our courts use to evaluate it and that's my conservative case for adopting it. >> senator, a lot of ideas i'm hearing from you today sound a loot like ideas that we've
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heard from biden and ftc nomination. >> do you support her nomination? >> i haven't had a chance to talk with her, and i'm impressed with her, and she's thought seriously with monopoly problems and i think her track record has that and the issues was an important one. >> senators, i want to switch gears. you were the only senator to vote against the bill targeting hate crimes against asian americans, you said it was too broad, but what do you think should be done to target hate crimes. >> my issue with that bill is section 4, to me this is an anti-free speech bill as a first amendment guy and former first amendment lawyer i take that really really seriously. this bill doesn't create any hate crimes or change hate
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crimes are on the book. let's be clear, hate crimes are barred. if you commit a hate crime on somebody based on their religious or background, federal law punishes that. in section four it gave to the department of justice the power to track, monitor and define what it calls hate incidents, those aren't crimes, those aren't attacks, that's not violence, those are speech acts and the department of justice itself this can include speech. i think it's a mistake to give the government the power to define offensive speech and to track and monitor it and collect it. i think that's a big, big problem and the civil libertarian in me recoils with that. with the patriot act we gave the governor power to track speech, monitor, in some cases
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criminalize it, we're still living with it, they were supposed to be limited and they're broader and broader. i can't in good conscience give the government more power over speech and tracking and monitoring it. >> i have to say that in that area you do want to give the government more power over speech when you talk about having companies prove to the ftc whether they're politically neutral to get section 230 immunity. so it seems like some of these positions are a bit inconsistent. i want to move on-- wait, wait, let me respond to that because i think that's an important point. in fact, i don't think the government should be regulating the tech of the companies. we need more free speech. i think the problem with the tech companies, the political viewpoints. the real issue they're mon
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know-- monopoly power and section 230 if they're behavioral advertising. and i don't think that that works at the end of the day because i think what happens is the more the government regulates these companies and tries to fine tune their business model, tries to fine tune speech regulation, the more the regulators get captures. if you listen to my democratic colleagues what you hear from them, they want the tech companies to censor more and further define what is offensive speech and what not. they want the tech companies to become wings. democratic party. i'm opposed to that whether it's right or left. >> senator, i want to be clear that the companies denied that they censor on the basis of political view and moving on to the future of the republican party, i want to ask you about
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how the falsehood that the election was stolen has become a litmus test in a lot of ways for the party. is that bad for the party? >> let me just go back to what you said a second ago. this is my my perspective, my proposal is we ought to make the tech companies own terms of services enforceable against them. they do say, the tech companies do say they don't discriminate on the basis of political viewpoint. they've said that over and over under oath. right now if you're just a normal person, and you get deplatformed, but you say, wait a minute, i think that you, google, violated your terms of service, i think you discriminated against me on the basis of political speech, nothing you can do about it. take the tech company's terms of service and in court, if they're applying them evenhanded and a fairway and
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give people the ability to go to court. what was your question? >> i wanted to ask you about the future of the republican parties, there's report there's move underfoot for the caucus to remove liz cheney from leadership. do you support those efforts? >> she's in the house of course, cat and i leave that to my house colleagues, i don't have a vote in that process. i will just say this, there's been a lot of ink taken up about, used expended on the republican civil war and i read that from time to time in the press. i can just tell you that voters in my state and all republican voters i talk to, but for sure voters in the state of missouri they have zero interest in the republican civil war, to them there's no such thing. they don't want to go back, they want to go forward and continue with the policies that former president trump put into place, they want the border secured. they want trade to be fair and bring jobs back from overseas and bring the-- >> senator, we're running out
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of time so i want to ask you, sorry, senator, we're short on time and i want to ask you one more time. do you think that liz cheney should be removed from relationship? >> yeah, my answer is the same. i think that's a decision for the house conference. i don't have a vote in that i'm not a member of the house. >> and looking forward, would you support former president trump running again for office in 2024. >> you know, i get asked this a lot and i've said this every time i'm asked and said it to him. that's a decision for him. i don't ever give him advice and i wouldn't advise him what to do. i will say that i do believe if he runs that he will be the nominee, but as to whether he will run i have no idea, whether he should run, i leave that up to him. you know, we'll have to see. >> if he runs would you run against him? >> no, no, i'm not planning to run either way. in 2024 i have an election of my own, cat, in the state of missouri and i hope that the state of missouri will have me
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for another six years in the senate. we'll see and get there in 2024. >> well, unfortunately, that's all the time that we have left for our event today. thank you so much for joining us, senator hawley. >> thank you, cat. thanks so much. >> weekends on c-span2 are an intellectual feast. every saturday american history tv documents america's story and on sunday. book tv brings you the books and authors. support for c-span comes from these companies and more, media com, schools and businesses, and media com, we're built to move you ahead. >> and media com and these companies support c-span2 as a
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