Full transcript of "Face the Nation," April 21, 2024

Full transcript of “Face the Nation,” April 21, 2024

On this “Face the Nation” broadcast, moderated by Margaret Brennan: 

  • Sen. Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia and Senate Intelligence Committee chairman
  • Sen. Dan Sullivan, Republican of Alaska  
  • House Appropriations Committee chair Rep. Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma
  • Author David Sanger
  • Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, a Democrat  

Click here to browse full transcripts of “Face the Nation.”   

MARGARET BRENNAN: I’m Margaret Brennan in Washington.

And this week on Face the Nation: The House passes a massive aid package with tens of billions of dollars for Ukraine, widening the divide within the Republican Party. But is it coming too late to help Ukraine defeat Vladimir Putin?

After six months of party infighting over aid to Ukraine, Speaker Johnson did an end run around his MAGA conservative critics and worked with Democrats to get a $95 billion package of foreign aid through the House, a move that could cost him his job.

(Begin VT)

REPRESENTATIVE MIKE JOHNSON (R-Louisiana): I said these are not normal times. They’re not. The world is destabilized and it’s a tinderbox.

(End VT)

MARGARET BRENNAN: But will it revive the weary Ukrainian war effort?

We will talk with Senate Intelligence Chair Mark Warner. Plus, we will hear from Republican Congressman Tom Cole and Senator Dan Sullivan about all this and more.

Plus: As former President Trump prepares for opening statements in the New York hush money trial, bad weather kept him off the campaign trail this weekend.

(Begin VT)

DONALD TRUMP (Former President of the United States (R) and Current U.S. Presidential Candidate): They’re saying the weather is really getting bad, really, really getting bad.

(End VT)

MARGARET BRENNAN: President Biden spent three days in a state that’s a must-win for him.

(Begin VT)

JOE BIDEN (President of the United States): You’re my ticket to the White House, you, Pennsylvania. No, it’s not hyperbole.

(End VT)

MARGARET BRENNAN: We will talk with that state’s Democratic governor, Josh Shapiro.

Finally, ahead of Earth Day, what impact is the recent run of extreme weather having on American views on climate change?

It’s all just ahead on Face the Nation.

Good morning, and welcome to Face the Nation.

Six months to the day after President Biden requested the funding for Ukraine, it has finally passed the House. The $95 billion foreign aid package includes $61 billion for Ukraine and rebuilding U.S. weapons stockpiles, $26 billion in aid for Israel – that includes some humanitarian aid for Palestinians – and $8 billion for parts of the Indo- Pacific region, which includes Taiwan.

A bill also forces the Chinese-owned firm ByteDance to sell TikTok or risk a U.S. ban.

Speaker Mike Johnson, along with a minority of Republicans, worked with a majority of Democrats to get the Ukraine aid through. That bipartisan effort has made some ultraconservative House Republicans livid, and they’re threatening to remove the speaker from his job just six months after a similar scenario cost Kevin McCarthy the speakership. The Senate is expected to pass the funding bill later this week.

We begin today with the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner.

Good morning, and good to have you here.

SENATOR MARK WARNER (D-Virginia): Thank you, Margaret.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So, Senator, $61 billion in aid to Ukraine, about 60 percent of that stays as an investment into the U.S. industrial base, as I understand it.

President Zelenskyy said this morning on another network it’s important that they get crucial long range artillery like ATACMS. Is that what this money will pay for? And, if so, when will they actually get them?

SENATOR MARK WARNER: Well, the great news is, this is finally happening.

It should have happened six months ago. The next best time is right now, this week. We’ve seen the Ukrainians overperform.

If you step back for a moment and think about the fact that, for most of my life, most of America’s defense forces were focused on Russia, getting this additional equipment as quickly as possible – I hope, once this gets to the president by Tuesday or Wednesday, that these shipments will be literally launched with that longer-range ATACM.


SENATOR MARK WARNER: I hope, once the president signs, we’ve been told that there is – it is the president’s signature, making sure Congress does its job, that these materials will be in transit by the end of the week.

And on that schedule, what it will do is, it’s clearly been the case that the Ukrainians, morale has been great, but it’s been undermined over the last couple of months, when they have been – literally given out rationed bullets, eight to 10 bullets a day, and on artillery shells, Russians 10-1.

You can’t underestimate the Ukrainians’ grit, determination. But if they don’t have the materiels…


SENATOR MARK WARNER: … they can’t carry this fight to the Russians.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Will they get those long-range artillery?


MARGARET BRENNAN: Not just ammunition?

SENATOR MARK WARNER: The ATACMS – I believe the administration…


SENATOR MARK WARNER: … was prepared over the last couple of months to prepare – or to provide ATACMS. It is written into this legislation.

MARGARET BRENNAN: According to the State Department, China has helped Russia rebuild its defense industrial base, which has an impact on the battlefield as well here.

How have they been able to just blow through U.S. sanctions or defy them to help the Russians, who are fighting Ukraine?

SENATOR MARK WARNER: Well, if we look back again, I think we would all acknowledge that the sanctions regime has not been as tight as we would have like to have seen it, China being the worst offender with direct military support, India, a country I’m very supportive of, but India in terms of purchasing Russian oil that give that hard currency to Russia for them to go out into the marketplace and acquire arms.

It’s one of the reasons why I think this package, which the House just passed, we will take up this week…


SENATOR MARK WARNER: … that says, we have to be ready to be prepared for our national security interests, not only in Ukraine and Russia, also in terms of military assistance to Israel, but with additional humanitarian aid for the Palestinians who are…


SENATOR MARK WARNER: … in such great challenges.

And there’s about $8 billion or $9 billion for the Indo-Pacific region…


SENATOR MARK WARNER: … because of the concern that we have about China’s aggressiveness towards Taiwan.

Clearly, the Chinese linkage to Russia, combined with the fact that the Iranians are – are providing drones, for example…


SENATOR MARK WARNER: … for Russia and the outlier nation, North Korea, I know the terminology used to be Axis of Evil. This may be the 2024 Axis of Evil combination of nations.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And Speaker Johnson has used that language.

One of the other things that the House voted to do was move this TikTok bill through. So this would force the Chinese-owned parent company, ByteDance, to divest it, to sell it. But they have the better part of a year to do so. The Chinese government says they’re not going to allow that.

ByteDance doesn’t want to sell it. So, if this just gets stuck in the courts, isn’t the reality that TikTok is not going away?

SENATOR MARK WARNER: TikTok, 170 million Americans a day, 90 minutes a day…


SENATOR MARK WARNER: … that’s, frankly, more than the power of eyes that your network reaches on a daily basis.

And that information – and many young people on TikTok get their news.


SENATOR MARK WARNER: The idea that we would give the Communist Party this much of a propaganda tool, as well as the ability to scrape 170 million American – million Americans’ personal data, it is a national security risk.

What – what our goal…

MARGARET BRENNAN: But it is a national security risk, according to U.S. intelligence community, that has a direct impact potentially on U.S. elections. TikTok accounts…

SENATOR MARK WARNER: On U.S. elections, on elections this year.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes, targeted candidates from both political parties during the midterm cycle in 2022. That’s the Worldwide Threat Assessment.

SENATOR MARK WARNER: This is a world…

MARGARET BRENNAN: But TikTok is not going away before November.

SENATOR MARK WARNER: Well, here is the question – the issue.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So, that means it’s an active threat.

SENATOR MARK WARNER: There is plenty of creativity on TikTok. There are people that make their living off of TikTok as social influencers. I don’t want that to go away.

I simply want to make sure that the individuals pulling the strings…


SENATOR MARK WARNER: … are not ultimately functionaries of the Communist Party of China.



MARGARET BRENNAN: But even with this significant bill, the timeline is such that it doesn’t take it away as a risk for the election. And it seems the U.S. government is so limited in so many ways when it comes to these election influence efforts.

SENATOR MARK WARNER: The – the timeline of giving – this is going to be a complicated transaction.

To give it up to a full year, I think, just from a business standpoint, makes sense. The one thing we do have in place – and I’m not putting a whole lot of solace in this.

But I was at the Munich Security Conference earlier in the year, when all 20 of the major social media companies, including TikTok, including Twitter, X, including Facebook, Google, Amazon, you name it, they have all said they would have a voluntary agreement about disinformation and misinformation in elections, because, with artificial intelligence…


SENATOR MARK WARNER: … the ability for people to see this, our images here, maybe having words that we don’t speak…


SENATOR MARK WARNER: … is – ought to scare the dickens out of all of us.

And the truth is, you know, these 20 companies have a – guaranteed a voluntary agreement. They’ll take on watermarking, which will indicate altered – altered content, be willing to take this content down.

But the proof is going to be in the pudding. The parliamentary elections in Europe start in less than 60 days. So we are going, along with our European partners, to say, all right, companies you promised.


SENATOR MARK WARNER: Show us what you’re doing.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So, this other measure that was approved as well, Section 702, it’s a key surveillance tool…


MARGARET BRENNAN: … was reauthorized for two years, instead of five.

Take a listen to what the CIA director told my colleague Norah O’Donnell Friday about how his agency is using this authority.

(Begin VT)

WILLIAM BURNS (CIA Director): Its reauthorization, its passage, I think, is a crucial tool to fight fentanyl, because something like 70 percent of all the successful disruptions of fentanyl traffic moving into the United States that we’ve been a part of have come directly from intelligence derived from 702.

(End VT)

MARGARET BRENNAN: So, these changes to 702, how does it help fight the trafficking of fentanyl? What – what difference is there?

SENATOR MARK WARNER: Well, let’s – let’s remember what 702 is.

It is the ability for the United States government to surveil, listen in, on non-Americans, foreigners who are abroad. And many times, the fentanyl drug cartels are being run out of Mexico, many times supplied with basic goods out of China.

And this ability to listen in on the bad guys’ communications is extraordinarily powerful. Matter of fact, the president gets a daily brief of all of the intelligence hot spots around the world. Sixty percent, 60 percent of what he reads each day is material that comes out of the 702 program.


SENATOR MARK WARNER: Now, let me be clear. There have been times in the past where particularly the FBI didn’t even follow its own rules on making sure that a foreign individual, a foreign terrorist that might be talking to American, that we put appropriate protections on that American.

MARGARET BRENNAN: That led to some of this Republican criticism.

SENATOR MARK WARNER: It’s led to some of the concern.

Five years ago, the FBI itself was screwing up on 30 percent of their queries just meeting their own criteria. We put in place reforms. The screw-up level has dropped from about 30 percent to less than 1 percent.


SENATOR MARK WARNER: We put requirements so that you can no longer do batch queries. We got to make sure FBI agents have to show a national security purpose.

If a journalist or a political figure or a religious figure were even to be queried – queried about, you have to get approval from either the director to the deputy director or head of the National Security Division. We think we’ve got a very strong reform bill. It’s why it passed the Senate.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Senator, so much to talk to you about. Good to have you here in person.

SENATOR MARK WARNER: Thank you, Margaret.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And we turn now to Alaska Republican Senator Dan Sullivan, who is also here with us.

It was a busy weekend here in Washington.

SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN (R-Alaska): Yes, Margaret, good to be back on the show.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So, Senator, this Ukraine aid that finally has moved, President Zelenskyy was on another network this morning, and he said: “The U.S. will send a signal with this that this will not be a second Afghanistan. The U.S. will stay with Ukraine.”

If Donald Trump wins this next election, can you guarantee the U.S. will stay with Ukraine?

SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: Well, listen, I can’t guarantee anything, but I – it’s actually good that the president, President Zelenskyy, mentioned Afghanistan, because, Margaret, this gets lost too much.

I think we got to look at how we got to the situation of Ukraine. I believe strongly that the weakness coming out of the Biden White House – they cut defense spending, you know, every – every year, in terms of the president’s budget, their energy policies exude weakness, and the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan – emboldened Putin to undertake the invasion of Ukraine.

So, we got to remember, kind of broadly, more strategically, where we are. But, as you know, I was a supporter of the defense supplemental. And I think it’s not just going to be important for Ukraine. As you and I have talked about before…


SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: … it’s going to be really important for the industrial base of America, which has atrophied dramatically. Sixty percent of this bill goes into building weapons…


SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: … everything from submarines to 155…

MARGARET BRENNAN: In many Republican districts too, which is why it’s so surprising it took so long to get through the House.

SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: Well, all over the place.


SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: So, I think it’s important.

But, again, you know, a lot of this, in terms of where we are on Ukraine…


SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: … from my perspective, comes from the weakness of the Biden administration…


SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: … and, you know, the president’s inability…


SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: … to actually make the case on Ukraine. He’s given two speeches on Ukraine in the last two years.


SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: And all his speeches do is kind of villain – villainize another part of the Congress.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You – you – we – we could…

SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: He hasn’t tried to bring people together.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We could have a historical argument for the next hour…

SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: Well, the history’s important.

MARGARET BRENNAN: … going – .. going back years about green lights being given to Vladimir Putin around the world by leaders in many countries.

So, let’s talk about…

SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: The history on this is important.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I’m not saying it’s not, but let’s talk about the future here…


MARGARET BRENNAN: … and the signals being sent.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban met in March with Donald Trump at Mar-A-Lago, and then he gave an interview. And in that interview, he said that Trump told him: “He will not give a penny to fund Ukraine. And that is why the war will end because Ukraine cannot stand on its own feet.”

We know he’s not a fan of President Zelenskyy. So why do you think he will be persuaded? He might win this election.


Well, listen, I mean, President Trump put out a statement recently where he thought it was important to support – support Ukraine. He actually also mentioned the Europeans need to do more. And he actually mentioned something, as I just said, that it was very unlikely the war would have started had he still been in the White House. So…

MARGARET BRENNAN: Russia hadn’t withdrawn from Ukraine. You know, they’d gone in 2014. So, this argument over Trump would have made a difference, it didn’t make a difference during his four years in office.

SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: Well, look, I mean, I think the – again, the broader – the broader issue…


SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: … particularly between Biden and Trump right now, you know, where are we? Is the world a safer place for the United States and our allies today as it was four years ago?

I think the – the answer to that is unequivocally no. But let – let’s get back to your question.


SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: I do think that the Republican Party in the House and in the Senate is still very much the peace-through-strength party.

This is the tradition of Republicans, Reagan, the Bush presidencies, Eisenhower, Teddy Roosevelt, and – and…

MARGARET BRENNAN: Are you just talking about the Senate, or the House? Because there were more Republicans in the House who voted against Ukraine aid than voted for it.

SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: Well, but, actually, look at some of the other votes. There was a vote. Republicans in the House 2-1 rejected an amendment to strip funding for Ukraine, 2-1 one in the House. And I – and, look…

MARGARET BRENNAN: That was Marjorie Taylor Green’s effort you’re talking about.

SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: Correct. And – and, you know, we’ll see what the Senate does this Tuesday on this bill.


SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: One of the things that I think the speaker did a good job on with regard to this legislation is, actually, – he actually improved it for a whole host of reasons.

But I – I predict that you’ll probably see a majority of Senate Republicans supporting this legislation.


SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: And, like I said, peace through strength, this is important because…


SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: … Donald Trump was part of that tradition very much. You remember President Obama cut defense spending by 25 percent his second term.


SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: He gutted readiness. This is what Democrats sen – con – presidents do.


SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: Biden did it. Obama did it.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I’m going to – I’m going to talk about some of these mixed messages in the House with our congressmen ahead, Senator.

SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: OK, but, look, I mean…

MARGARET BRENNAN: But it’s not – it’s not so clear.

SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: But I think our party is the peace through strength party. One of the dangers, in my view…

MARGARET BRENNAN: But, as just said, you can’t guarantee a Trump administration and what they do.

SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: Well, nobody can guarantee anything. But…

MARGARET BRENNAN: But he hasn’t even endorsed this bill publicly.

SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: Well, he came out with a statement…


SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: … just last week saying something that, you know, Ukraine was important.

MARGARET BRENNAN: No, he says: “Everyone agrees Ukrainian survival and strength should be much more important to Europe than to us, but it’s also important to us.”


MARGARET BRENNAN: “Get moving, Europe.”

That was the best that Republicans got out of him.

SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: Well, look, I – I think – I – I…

MARGARET BRENNAN: David Cameron from U.K.

SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: Let me make one other point on this.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The Polish president.

SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: I think that we’re – we’re…


SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: … kind of giving Joe Biden a bit of a pass on, not just, as I mentioned how we got here, but the execution of the Ukraine effort.


SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: As you know, literally, every major weapon system that the Ukrainians have said they need, from HIMARS, Patriots, Stingers, tanks, F-16s, now ATACMS, every single weapon system, this administration delays, delays, because they’re scared of, you know, making Vladimir Putin mad.

The Senate – you saw Mark Warner there a second ago.


SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: You interviewed him. In a bipartisan way, we come in and we say, Mr. President, you have to give them these weapons systems.


SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: They finally relent. Think about where we’d be Margaret, if, you know, a year-and-a-half ago, we would have gotten all these weapons systems to Ukrainians. They have…

MARGARET BRENNAN: Or six months ago, if Republicans in the House actually held a vote to do what they did just yesterday.

But I need to move on to the climate…


MARGARET BRENNAN: … because I know you’re also passionate about this and what the Biden administration just announced about your state of Alaska.


MARGARET BRENNAN: The president wants to conserve 30 percent of U.S. lands as part of his climate change efforts.

And he has limited oil and gas drilling in parts in the National Petroleum Reserve…


MARGARET BRENNAN: … to protect polar bears and other things. And then he also blocked a role – road – excuse me – crucial to operating a copper and zinc mine.


MARGARET BRENNAN: You said this is suicidal and lawless.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Those are strong words.

SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: Well, it’s lawless. He doesn’t have the authority to do it.

And I could go into all the laws that support me on that. It’s, as I say, national security suicide. Look, this president won’t sanction the Iranian oil and gas regime. You may have seen Senator Blumenthal and I put a – sent a letter to the president on Friday, saying you need to do that.


SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: But he has no problem sanctioning Alaska.

This – this administration has issued 63 executive orders and executive actions singularly focused on Alaska to shut our state down. Now, that, of course, hurts my constituents. But, Margaret, the national resources, energy, critical minerals, that’s an American strength.

This should concern all kinds of Americans. I will mention one final thing that I really wanted to highlight here. You know, I have been in the Senate nine years. I have never seen such a cynical and dishonest display coming out of any presidency…


SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: … when this president on Friday, with Secretary Haaland…


SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: … announced that they did this because the Alaska Native, the indigenous people…


SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: … on the North Slope of Alaska asked them to, they wanted them to.

These – the leaders of the North Slope of Alaska were unanimous in opposition to this.


SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: They tried to meet with Secretary Haaland. She wouldn’t meet with them.


SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: This is a rule that focuses on their lands…


SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: … where they’ve been living for thousands of years.

And then the president says, well, I did it because the indigenous people of Alaska wanted it.




SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: And I – it is a lie. And go…


SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: Go see what the indigenous people of Alaska from that part of my state said.


SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: They’re very upset.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I know there’s – there’s some…

SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN: And the president was canceling their voices and now stealing their voices. It was really a despicable move.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, Senator, we have to leave it there because of the break, but I know you could talk with me on this perhaps again in the future…


MARGARET BRENNAN: … more in depth.

We’ll be right back.


MARGARET BRENNAN: We turn now to Oklahoma Republican Congressman Tom Cole.

Good morning.


MARGARET BRENNAN: So, you were the lead sponsor on Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan bills. And I know this was a big decision for the speaker to hold the vote at all.

The Polish prime minister tweeted: “Speaker Johnson, thank you. Better late than too late. And I hope it is not too late for Ukraine.”

How do you measure the cost of inaction over the past six months?

REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE: Well, first of all, the Senate only passed the bill 65 days ago.

And it’s not like the speaker didn’t have other things to do. He had to get all the appropriations done, had to do FISA.

MARGARET BRENNAN: This was an emergency. They were running out of ammunition…

REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE: You know, and – well, again…

MARGARET BRENNAN: … when they asked for it.



REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE: … administration waited a while. The Senate took a while, and we had other business under way.

But it got done, got done in a bipartisan way. He showed incredible leadership. And, frankly, he gave us a rule that is a structure in which we considered all these different matters where every single member got to vote the way they wanted to on every single issue.


REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE: That wasn’t the case in the Senate. And I think, actually, when they follow the example we have, you will see more support for Ukraine than we probably saw in their original vote.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But, to be fair, we’re not talking about a policy debate – debate that doesn’t have a direct impact on the battlefield.

I mean, the supreme allied commander testified before Congress on April 10 the Ukrainians are being outshot by the Russian side 5-1 because of this debate, the delay.

REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE: I’m sorry. Democracy is a – kind of a messy business.

And the reality is, it’s done. So it moved through. It moved through on a very bipartisan basis.

MARGARET BRENNAN: More Republicans voted against it than voted for it.

REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE: Well, look, it’s about an even split.

And, quite frankly, if you want to – want to look at the hardcore Republican opposition, go to the motion to recommit, or look at the bill to strip funding from Ukraine. It’s about 2-1, actually 3-1 one on the motion to recommit.

This is politics. There is such a thing as a “Vote no, hope yes” crowd in every caucus. I can go down that list and tell you the members who said, OK, you got the votes. You don’t need me. So, I think there’s actually much more…

MARGARET BRENNAN: That would be a fun game with you, actually.

REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE: Well, it is a fun game.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Because I – I could pick a few of those names off that list.

REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE: And, look, it’s – it’s – it’s politics. I’m not critical of anybody.

The reality is, we have overwhelming bipartisan support for each part of this package. It was structured in a way that it allowed members to both make the points they wanted to make and, frankly, if they needed political cover, do it. But it got done.


REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE: So, I’m – I’m pretty proud of the speaker.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, I – I want to talk to you more on the other side of this break, but just you are in there acknowledging, when you say, “Vote no, hope yes,” that there were Republicans who had to vote no…

REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE: Well, they felt they had to.

MARGARET BRENNAN: … because of the political pressure and the fight within your own party.

REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE: People don’t – no, it’s not – again, people make…


MARGARET BRENNAN: But who wanted it to pass?

REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE: You think nobody makes political calculations in the United States Senate or in the administration?


REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE: Welcome to American politics.


REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE: But the point is, look at the numbers. Look at overwhelming bipartisan numbers…

MARGARET BRENNAN: We’re going to do that…


MARGARET BRENNAN: … on the other side of this break.

Stay here, please.


MARGARET BRENNAN: We will be right back.


MARGARET BRENNAN: And we will be back in just a moment.



We want to continue our conversation now with Oklahoma Republican Congressman Tom Cole.

Congressman, before the break we’d been talking about this vote the House had yesterday to approve the $95 billion package. There was a decision here for Speaker Johnson that was an important one. He basically put his job on the line. As we know, there’s this movement among House conservatives, led by Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, to try to oust him from power, in part because of this Ukraine aid bill.

Do you think this is a real threat to his leadership?

REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE: Well, I take anything seriously. But, no, I don’t. Look, I think it’s a relatively small number of Republican members, frankly just as it was in McCarthy’s case. There were only eight people.


REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE: But the point is, I don’t think there’s unified Democratic support. There was unified Democratic support to remove the speaker. I think both sides have now seen how dangerous this is, how irresponsible it is. And, quite frankly, I think it’s unlikely that Democrats who supported Ukraine, not as many supported Israel as we would have liked, but they did support Ukraine, I think they’re unlikely to remove the speaker over that. All told to be fair, they removed McCarthy after he did what he asked them to do, which was keep the government funded. But, again, I don’t think that’s going to happen in this case. But if somebody wants to do it, it’s within the rules and they can take their shot.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But what you’re saying there is that Democrats you trust would protect Speaker Johnson from being ousted because they wouldn’t vote to –

REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE: Well, I think, frankly – I don’t think you’d lose very many Republicans. We didn’t lose very many Republicans with McCarthy. So, it doesn’t take very many Democrats to either not vote or oppose it. And I don’t – frankly, I don’t think we’d lose the same number of Republicans that we lost with Kevin McCarthy. I think even people that disagree with the speaker –

MARGARET BRENNAN: You wouldn’t get to eight Republicans?


MARGARET BRENNAN: They’ve gotten to three, Marjorie Taylor Greene says there’s (ph) three.

REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE: Look, I think there’s a lot of people that like this speaker, that respect this speaker, even when they disagree with him. They know he’s honest, he’s a straight shooter. They also had a taste of what it’s like to go without a speaker for three weeks. I don’t think they want that again. I certainly don’t think they want it close to an election.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Former Speaker Gingrich said, “the demons that Matt Gaetz unleashed by going after Kevin McCarthy are still out there. You can’t govern by shooting yourself in the head every day.”

How does Speaker Johnson get anything done?

REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE: Well, first of all, he just got a lot done. He’s gotten every appropriations bill passed. He’s gotten FISA through. He just got this consequential – so he’s actually been –

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, he has to rely on Democratic votes, which he’s being faulted for by members of his party.

REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE: No. Well, that’s fine. I mean, honestly – no, there – every appropriations bill is bipartisan at the end of the day. They just work that way. So, most of these – and something like FISA ought to be bipartisan. I actually think he’s, you know, empowered the center, and marginalized the extremes on – on each side.

Now, is there some risk to that? Sure. But the point is, he’s gotten a lot done. I think people admire him. They genuinely like him. They all respect him. Every single Republican voted for him. I don’t think that any other person could have done that at the time other than Mike Johnson. So, the reservoir of goodwill is enormous. I think he’s much stronger than the people seem to think, and I think he’s demonstrated that by what he’s passed.

MARGARET BRENNAN: (INAUDIBLE) Republicans – first of all, do you think Republicans, after November, will have the majority?


MARGARET BRENNAN: And if so, he could be re-elected.

REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE: I do because I think we’re likely to win the presidency. I think this is pretty simple. I used to do politics for a living. I guess I still do. But the reality is, the person that wins a presidency is probably going to take the House. It’s close enough that that probably makes a difference. I think we’ll win. So, I think we will have the House.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Congressman, good to have you here in person.

REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE: Great privilege. Thank you.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We’ll be right back.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Overnight, Israeli defense forces launched a deadly series of air strikes on the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, but there’s also been an uptick of violence in the West Bank.

Our Debora Patta reports.


DEBORA PATTA (voice over): Every ten minutes a child is killed in Gaza says the United Nations. That’s nearly 15,000 children in almost seven months.

Here, paramedics rush to save the injured after yet another Israeli air strike in Rafah. For this little girl, it was too late. Her grief-stricken father is inconsolable. He is not alone. In this room there are only the bodies of children.

Overnight, at least ten more names added to that endless list of horror. The youngest, just two years old.

Our CBS News team in Gaza reports that among the dead was a pregnant woman. Miraculously, doctors saved her baby girl.

Here, Israel Defense Force soldiers prepare for a mission, but this is not in Gaza. It’s IDF footage of a two-day operation in the West Bank city of Tulkarm, where they say they have been rooting out militants. At least 14 Palestinians were killed.

DEBORA PATTA: The IDF pulled out last night, leaving this massive destruction in its wake. It’s on a scale, residents say, they’ve never seen before.

DEBORA PATTA (voice over): This morning, they were mopping up the damage. Israeli soldiers used bulldozers to smash through the area, destroying streets, buildings and infrastructure.

The West Bank has reached a boiling point. Nearly 500 Palestinians have been killed since October 7th and there are ongoing clashes with Israeli settlers, which escalated after a 14-year-old settler was found dead over a week ago.

The U.S. has imposed new sanctions on West Bank settlers and a U.S. official told CBS News that since 2022 it’s been investigating an IDF unit of ultra-orthodox soldiers accused of human rights atrocities with an announcement expected this week.

DEBORA PATTA: The unit is stationed here in the West Bank. Media reports suggesting it could be blacklisted from receiving U.S. military aid prompted an angry outburst from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said any sanctions imposed on the IDF would be a moral low when it is fighting in Gaza.


MARGARET BRENNAN: That was our Debora Patta.

And we’re joined now by “New York Times” White House and national security correspondent David Sanger. His latest book “New Cold Wars” is out now.

David, good to see you again.

DAVID SANGER (White House and National Security Correspondent, “New York Times”): Great to be with you, Margaret.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Where do we begin? The world truly is on fire.


MARGARET BRENNAN: And one of the things I like about your book is, you write, going all the way back to listening to the Nixon-Kennedy debates, and hearing those candidates hash out America’s role in the world, and geostrategy. In this election, we don’t even know if the candidates will have a debate. Meanwhile, the world’s on fire.

How do the American – members of the American public need to think about the global competition the United States is in the middle of?

DAVID SANGER: Well, it’s a very different competition than what we had in the Cold War. You know, those Nixon-Kennedy debates were, you know, at the height of the moment of a U.S. contest against the Soviet Union, which was terrifying and nuclear. But there was a simplicity about it. You know, there was a predictability about it. We understood who controlled their nuclear weapons. They understood who controlled ours. We knew who to call.

The new cold wars are quite different, Margaret. We’ve got Russia and China coming together in a periodic partnership. I wouldn’t say it’s a full alliance. We have other players, like Iran and North Korea, as you were discussing with earlier guests, supplying them, becoming sort of what the Iranians call an axis of resistance to the U.S. It is a far more volatile, I think far more dangerous period than we had even then.

And yet, as you point out, our ability to discuss it as a nation has somewhat degraded. You watch those Kennedy-Nixon debates and put aside who was sweating and who looked young and vigorous and all that –


DAVID SANGER: It was an incredibly sophisticated argument largely about nuclear deterrence. I’m afraid that we’re not having that incredibly sophisticated argument today, you know, 60 years – more than 60 years later.

But the vote yesterday, which you’ve been discussing about Ukraine, at the end of the day turned out to be a fairly overwhelming vote in favor of the U.S. pushing against the Russians in Ukraine and perhaps beyond.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Certainly overwhelmingly yes for Democrats. A bit split for Republicans.

DAVID SANGER: A majority of Republicans voted – voted against.


DAVID SANGER: But it passed – it passed comfortably.

MARGARET BRENNAN: It passed. It did.

And I – it’s just – I think it’s such an interesting point you make, though, in sort of changing how we think about competition with Russia and China. We learned Friday that the U.S. is likely to lose a significant counterterrorism base in the African country of Niger because the government demanded troop withdraw. I think a lot of Americans didn’t even know that there was 1,000 U.S. troops there fighting or working in the counterterrorism space. Russia is moving in.

DAVID SANGER: That’s right.

MARGARET BRENNAN: China is getting and carving out a large amount of influence in Africa. What are the fronts in the new cold war?

DAVID SANGER: Well, there are a couple of different ones. You point out one in Africa. Also an area that China has been wiring up with Huawei equipment and so forth. So, we are concerned, you know, rightly so, that U.S., in not having a competitor straight on to put in 5G equipment may be losing the opportunity to help bind the continent together.

In the book I take you to the Solomon Islands, a place the U.S. fought for in World War II, and scored a big victory, but now has basically moved over into China’s camp. There’s still some contest underway.

But to answer your question more broadly, if you believe that there is something of a new iron curtain coming down, a place where you’re going to divide the U.S., the NATO nations, against China, Russia, Iran, others, it’s somewhere in that border land between Ukraine and Russia. And that’s why the bill that went through Congress was so important.

I don’t know if it’s enough to turn the tide. The Ukrainians may have lost so much time and ammunition here that it may be too late. But certainly had it not passed, that was pretty much, by the judgment of the CIA director, Bill Burns, and others, going to be the end of the contest. The Russians almost certainly would have surged forward.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And China has made clear they have a stake in Russia winning in Ukraine. It is this competition.

DAVID SANGER: That’s right. And, you know, if we had those debates again, and as you say, who knows if we will, I think the most interesting –

MARGARET BRENNAN: Or even those interviews.

DAVID SANGER: Or even – that’s right.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Substantial interviews with conversations about national security interests of America. I mean, we should.

DAVID SANGER: That’s right. And, you know, President Biden has been reluctant to have, you know, major sit down interviews, at least with the print organizations. But I think if we did have those interviews, I think one of the big questions is, what is your plan to get in the midst of the Russia-China combination?


DAVID SANGER: Because the core of what Nixon and Kissinger were doing in the early ’70s, in recognizing China, was to prevent Russia and China from coming together.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You also make this interesting point about the dynamic that’s so different given, first of all, they’re so economically intertwined, the United States and China. But also the business community and technology and the role that plays in this version of competition.

A top U.S. cyber official told you companies, not the U.S. government, have all the insight these days. How do we know when an attack’s coming?

DAVID SANGER: Yes. The book opens with the days running up to the war in Ukraine. And while there was certainly lots of indicators coming from American satellites and signals intelligence and so forth, in the end one of the key indicators that the Russians were getting ready to roll came from Microsoft, whose engineers were noticing that malware that had been placed by the Russians on Ukrainian government agencies were being activated and sent a notice through their channels, which ultimately went to the White House.

At the end of the day, what kept Ukraine running was some combination of Microsoft and Amazon moving all of their data to the cloud and then Elon Musk coming in and providing Starlink so they could communicate to that cloud.


DAVID SANGER: Something we never saw in the old cold wars.

MARGARET BRENNAN: David, it’s a fascinating read. It’s good to see you in person. And we’ll have to leave it there.

DAVID SANGER: Thank you.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Pennsylvania’s governor, Josh Shapiro, is standing by waiting for us.

We’ll be right back.


MARGARET BRENNAN: We go now to the Democratic governor of Pennsylvania, Josh Shapiro. He joins us this morning from Abington, Pennsylvania.

And, Governor, thank you for sticking with us. We’ve been having some transmission technical issues, so hopefully we don’t get interrupted.

I’ll get – I’ll get straight to it.

GOV. JOSH SHAPIRO (D-PA): Good, I look forward to the conversation. Thanks.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I’ll get straight to it, Governor.

You have been outspoken against the rising and troubling anti-Semitism in this country. I know the FBI director said just a few days ago that federal law enforcement is concerned about lone actors targeting gatherings ahead of the start of Passover, which starts tomorrow. Are there known threats in your state?

JOSH SHAPIRO: Well, there’s not known threats right now. And I can tell you, the Pennsylvania State Police, working in coordination with our federal and local partners, are all over this and will let folks know in communities if there are specific threats.

But we continue to work closely with law enforcement and community leaders to do everything we can to take down the temperature, to address the rise in anti-Semitism, islamophobia, other forms of hate. There should be no place for that here in Pennsylvania. Of course, Pennsylvania founded on the vision of William Penn, a place that would be a place of tolerance and welcome and peace. A place where people could come together and practice their faith, whatever their faith is.

We have a special relationship with that here in this commonwealth where we respect all, no matter what you look like, where you come from, who you love or who you choose to pray to. And we’re going to continue to do everything we can to make sure everyone feels protected in this commonwealth.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, there should be no place for it anywhere in America. And I know you agree with that.

Let me get to the politics of the moment.

President Biden won the state of Pennsylvania in 2020 narrowly. He spent a lot of time in your state this past week. We’ve seen in our polling his approval rating among young voters aged 18 to 29 has dropped 12 points since February, from 55 percent to 43 percent today.

How does the president get that back?

JOSH SHAPIRO: I think the president gets it back doing exactly what he’s doing, showing up, talking about his record, addressing things like climate change, which are incredibly important issues for young voters, along with many others, obviously. Making sure that young people feel included in the conversation, not just as a vote, but as part of the governing coalition going forward.

Young people helped propel me to victory as governor. One of the first things I did was start what I believe is the first ever next gen engagement commission here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. A place where young people, quite literally, advise me on policy, meet with me regularly, give me their perspective on what’s happening in the community.

I think part of the frustration by young people is that that – they oftentimes don’t feel heard.


JOSH SHAPIRO: And they feel like their voices and their votes are taken advantage of come election time. This is a moment where the young people deserve to be at the table. And the fact that the president is showing up in these communities and talking about these issues that are going to help young people in the future I think is a really important step.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So, last weekend Donald Trump was campaigning in Pennsylvania. It’s so key. Here’s what he said.


DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Biden has imposed a savage natural gas export ban that’s putting countless Pennsylvania jobs at risk. He’s risking your lives. He’s risking your jobs. But he doesn’t care because all he cares about is the green new scam.


MARGARET BRENNAN: He is speaking to real fear among some of your constituents about President Biden’s decision to, at least temporarily, put a pause on new natural gas projects. How do you respond to that?

JOSH SHAPIRO: Look, I’ve been very clear with the White House and publicly. I hope that this pause that they put in place is very quick and then we move forward.

Here in Pennsylvania, our energy economy has powered this nation, and it has done so over many generations. And going forward I think Pennsylvania has an opportunity to be the center of the clean energy economy. Thanks to the president, we’re the only state in the nation with two regional hydrogen hubs.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But just to – just –

JOSH SHAPIRO: Thanks to the president, we’ve been able to work together –

MARGARET BRENNAN: Sorry, just – you broke up at the beginning. I think you said you’ve been very clear to the White House that you hope this is a short pause. Does that mean you agree it is costing your state jobs and money?

JOSH SHAPIRO: Well, I think if the pause goes on for a long time it has the potential to cost us jobs. That’s why I want this to be as quick as possible.

And what I went on to say, though, is, we have an opportunity here in Pennsylvania to be the center of the clean energy economy. Thanks to President Biden, we have two regional hydrogen hubs. Thanks to President Biden, we are capping methane emissions from abandoned wells. We have billions of dollars of tax credits and other resources coming from the Department of

Energy to help us through a transition.

Here in Pennsylvania, we’re showing that we can both protect the jobs that exist today and create more energy jobs tomorrow. Energy is critical to the future of our commonwealth.

Now, listen, the bravado and the bluster from the former president do nothing to actually create jobs in Pennsylvania. He’s got an abysmal track record when it comes to that. President Biden has a strong record. And we’re going to continue to lead on energy here in Pennsylvania.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You mentioned young voters and how key the issue of climate is to them. The Biden administration touts the Inflation Reduction Act, the IRA, as a green energy bill, even though it wasn’t named that. But CBS polling shows half of Americans have not heard much or nothing at all about what the administration has done. Only 14 percent say they’ve heard a lot. Two-thirds don’t know if their state has gotten federal funds for climate change projects. This seems a real vulnerability for Democrats when it comes to young voters.

JOSH SHAPIRO: Let me be very clear, climate change is real, it is serious and we have to address it. And Joe Biden understand that. Donald Trump has made fun of climate change and denies its existence. So, there’s a clear contrast in this race.

Because of the federal dollars that have flowed to Pennsylvania, as I mentioned a moment ago, we are positioned to get two regional hydrogen hubs that are going to help us combat climate change. We’re addressing all kinds of infrastructure needs here in the commonwealth, from repairing roads and bridges, to making sure people are connected to the internet, to making sure families in Esplen, which is a minority – predominantly minority community in Pittsburgh, no longer need to drink water out of the lines that contain lead thanks to Joe Biden cleaning that up.

So, when it comes to infrastructure investments, when it comes to the kind of investments that are going to help spur on a clean energy economy, President Biden has been there.

Now, we have to make that case. And we’ve got to make sure folks understand that and hear that. That’s why you run a campaign. That’s why you’ll see stark differences when it comes to combatting climate change between the policies of President Biden and what Donald Trump has done in the past and wants to do in the future.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But the messaging needs work is what you’re saying?

JOSH SHAPIRO: Well, I think the case – I think the case needs to be made.


JOSH SHAPIRO: There’s a wonderful track record. There’s a wonderful body of work. They need to make that case.


JOSH SHAPIRO: And I’ll be helping make that case alongside the president.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask about something that has been really damaging your state, and that is drug addiction. Pennsylvania has – I’m sorry, excuse me, the number one public health crisis in Pennsylvania, according to the state, is opioids. The CDC says Pennsylvania recently saw the highest number of xylazine related deaths in the country.

What is driving the addiction?

JOSH SHAPIRO: Well, listen, 13 Pennsylvanians die every single day from an opioid overdose. It is unacceptable. And here in Pennsylvania we’re trying to come at it with a multipronged approach.

First, we have to understand that drug addiction is a disease, not a crime. Now, we have to invest in law enforcement. And I have. We’ve increased the number of state troopers by 400 and I’m looking to add another 400. As attorney general, I arrested over 8,000 drug dealers. So, we’re not going soft on those who are peddling these poisons in our community.


JOSH SHAPIRO: But we also have to make sure that treatment is available. As attorney general, I led a national coalition that ended up holding those drug companies accountable.


JOSH SHAPIRO: The very people that brought this crisis into our communities and brought $2 billion back to Pennsylvania for treatment.

MARGARET BRENNAN: OK. I’m – I’m sorry to interrupt you.

JOSH SHAPIRO: This is really critical stuff and it’s going to require a multipronged approach.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I’m sorry I have to interrupt you. We have to leave it there, Governor. Thank you.

We’ll be back.


Source: cbsnews.com