Full transcript of "Face the Nation" on January 2, 2022
On this "Face the Nation" broadcast moderated by Margaret Brennan:
- Former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb
- Education Secretary Miguel Cardona
- Representative Liz Cheney
- Representative Adam Schiff
- University of Chicago professor Robert Pape
Click here to browse full transcripts of "Face the Nation."
MARGARET BRENNAN, HOST: I'm Margaret Brennan in Washington.
And this week on Face the Nation, we begin our third year of COVID-19 with a massive spike in Omicron cases and a still fragile democracy, as we near the first anniversary of the January 6 Capitol attack.
America is kicking off 2022 with a repeat from last year, a coronavirus crisis that's going to get worse before it gets better. The Omicron variant, fueled by holiday gatherings and spreading with breathtaking speed, particularly among younger Americans, is frustrating and worrisome to a nation that has had enough.
JOE BIDEN (President of the United States): We have to do more. We have to do better. And we will.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But what else can be done, with nearly 15 percent of eligible adults still refusing to get vaccinated?
We will talk with former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb.
And as students head back to school after winter break, what's being done to keep them safe? Education Secretary Miguel Cardona will weigh in.
Then: We're coming up on a year after the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, that devastating day for democracy. Is the Capitol still as much of a target now as it was then?
Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger says, yes, even more so.
TOM MANGER (U.S. Capitol Police Chief): The threat level is much higher than it was a year ago. It's exponentially higher than it was five years ago.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Wyoming Republican Liz Cheney shares few political views with California Democrat Adam Schiff, but they are working together on the committee tasked with investigating the January 6 attack. We will hear from both of them.
Plus, Americans weigh in on our democracy in a new CBS News poll. We will also talk with the University of Chicago professor Robert Pape. His latest study on political violence has some surprising findings about those arrested for their role in the insurrection.
It's all just ahead on Face the Nation.
Good morning, and welcome to Face the Nation.
Two years and two days ago, the WHO received the first formal word from China about a mysterious new virus circulating in Wuhan. We have made a lot of progress fighting that virus since those terrifying early days of the global pandemic. And we are learning to live with masks and restrictions designed to protect our health.
But we're starting a third year of COVID, with new concerns and confusion about the Omicron variant.
Mark Strassmann begins our COVID coverage from Atlanta.
MARK STRASSMANN (voice-over): A new year in our COVID chronicles welcomed by maskless Floridians with this super-spreaders jamboree, risky behavior, even reckless.
Like many New Year's resolutions, COVID records get broken daily.
GOVERNOR PHIL MURPHY (D-New Jersey): The speed at which Omicron is spreading is staggering.
MARK STRASSMANN: Take these jarring U.S. numbers, a new average of 356,000 new cases a day. That's four more cases every second. On Thursday, 16 states reported their highest total ever.
WOMAN: The numbers we're seeing, put that mask on, and keep it on through January at least, honestly.
MARK STRASSMANN: More ominously, those numbers could be fractional, driving this epidemic, people who are undiagnosed, either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, but untested.
WOMAN: This place is so busy. It's so packed. We have patients coming in all the time.
MARK STRASSMANN: More worry spots, hospitals overwhelmed by sick patients and sick staff.
WOMAN: The majority of these people are not vaccinated. I can't get them out of the fricking waiting room. I can't get the sick people out of the waiting room to get them away from these people with COVID.
MARK STRASSMANN: Many doctors say avoid going to the E.R., often a COVID hotbed, especially for children.
MAN: If you're going to have people getting together, and you have children that are unvaccinated, they will be the bullseye for Omicron.
MARK STRASSMANN: Across COVID America last week, almost 400 children a day were hospitalized for the virus. That's a 66 percent increase from the week before.
MAN: I'm probably seeing four to five times the number of children who are currently in my ICU.
MARK STRASSMANN: Schools another worry. Millions of children head back to class tomorrow. Parents spend hours in line for testing, often confused about school guidance and protocols that vary district to district, even school to school.
Many parents also worry their kids are soft targets.
WOMAN: They got to use the same bathroom, the same lunchroom. So, you are still exposing back everybody to COVID.
MARK STRASSMANN: More than 2,000 K-12 schools have already closed or will offer remote learning.
But most of America's major school systems will resume this week by teaching in person, while they can.
WOMAN: If the teachers we have are coming down with the virus, who's going to teach the students?
MARK STRASSMANN: Here in Georgia, testing now shows the positivity rate now pushes 40 percent. It's so high, Atlanta Public Schools just decided to hold virtual classes this week, when the kids come back on Tuesday -- Margaret.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mark Strassmann, thank you.
And we go now to former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who also sits on the board of Pfizer.
Good morning, and happy new year.
DR. SCOTT GOTTLIEB (Former FDA Commissioner): Good morning.
MARGARET BRENNAN: This is not how we wanted to start the new year, of course.
Doctor, how far out are we from the Omicron peak? And do we need to focus on the infection rate or the hospitalization rate?
DR. SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Well, we clearly need to focus on the hospitalization rate and how many people are becoming severely ill.
There is a very clear decoupling between cases at this point and hospitalizations and ICU admissions. This does appear to be a milder strain of coronavirus. And we also have a lot of immunity in the population.
I think places that have been hard-hit early, like the Mid-Atlantic, the Northeast, New England, Florida, parts of the Pacific Northwest, may be two weeks away from peaking, but the rest of the country probably faces a hard bmonth ahead of us.
I don't think you're going to start to see a national peak until we get into February, because there's parts of the country that really haven't been hard-hit by Omicron yet. And the virus will spread around the country.
There's a very clear, as I said, decoupling between cases and hospitalizations. And it does appear now, based on a lot of experimental evidence that we've gotten just in the last two weeks, that this is a milder form of the coronavirus. It appears to be a more of an upper airway disease than a lower airway disease.
That's good for most Americans. The one group that that may be a problem for is very young kids, very young children, toddlers, who have trouble with upper airway infections. And you're, in fact, seeing more croup-like infections and bronchiolitis in New York City among children.
So, that could be a challenge for young kids, and we are seeing rising hospitalizations among that pediatric segment.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Now, obviously, a huge point for parents of young children like me.
I have been looking at pediatric hospitalizations at this record high and concerned about sending my son back into a preschool even with a mask on.
What do you tell parents? Are cloth masks just not good enough anymore?
DR. SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Cloth masks aren't going to provide a lot of protection. That's the bottom line.
This is an airborne illness. We now understand that. And a cloth mask is not going to protect you from a virus that spreads through airborne transmission. It could protect better through droplet transmission, something like the flu, but not something like this coronavirus.
We have to recognize this has not been a benign disease in young children. There's a perception that young children haven't been hit hard to date from coronavirus. That's just not true. We've recorded more than 600 pediatric deaths from COVID over the last two years.
To put that in perspective, we have one death from flu and the pediatric population last year and so far two this year. So, over a period of time when we've done a very good job protecting children generally from respiratory infections. We've recorded more than 600 deaths from COVID against three deaths from flu.
So, this is affecting children, and particularly young children. And this new strain could have a predilection, again, for the upper airway, which could be a bigger challenge in young kids because of the way that it binds to the airway cells.
In terms of going back to school, I think the prerogative clearly is to try to get schools reopened. We shouldn't be doing preemptive school closures, in my opinion, but there will be situations where we have reactive school closures, when there are large outbreaks.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, and we also know that there are staff shortages because people are actually getting sick, right? That's where the infection rate matters. People can't go to work, teachers, or kids have to stay home from school.
Given the test-to-stay policies now, can we be confident that antigen tests are catching the virus and that, if your kid takes one, they can safely go to school?
DR. SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Yes, look, the manufacturers feel very confident that their tests, the major market tests, are detecting this virus.
There was some experimental evidence that the FDA put out about a week ago showing that, in laboratory studies, there appeared to be decreased sensitivity in terms of the test's ability to detect this virus.
But that doesn't correlate well with real-world settings, per se. So, we really don't know whether or not that experimental evidence is suggestive that these tests may not be as sensitive at picking up the virus. But they do appear to be detecting Omicron at pretty high rates.
And I think you can be reasonably confident. Once again, if you're using the antigen test to protect a high-risk setting, the best approach is to do serial testing over a period of time. While any individual test could miss the infection, if you're doing serial testing, you're likely to pick it up.
And we need to get tests into schools. We still don't have tests widely available to the schools, so that they can use these tests for tests-to- stay policies to prevent large quarantines when are cases diagnosed in the classroom.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We've seen even some universities move to remote learning for like a month or so.
Should people plan to be back in the office and back in university settings in a month? Is that a clear time frame?
DR. SCOTT GOTTLIEB: I think, certainly, the February time frame is appropriate in terms of when we're going to pass through this Omicron wave across the United States.
Now, this is a big country. This will affect different parts of the country at different points in time. But if the UK is any guide, London's already peaking. If South Africa is any guide, this is about a two-month epidemic wave from start to finish.
And so, parts of the country that were affected earlier, like New York, probably are going to start to peak in the next two weeks, other parts within the next four weeks. So, I think certainly, by the end of February, we will be through this, if businesses need a guide of when prevalence is
going to start to decline.
In terms of school, I think the imperative needs to be to try to open schools. What you're saying by closing schools preemptively, and even colleges, is that you can't possibly control outbreaks in those settings. And I just don't think that that's the case.
I think, with the tools we have, with prudence, with the knowledge we have about how to control this infection in those settings, you can do pretty --
a pretty good job of trying to control large outbreaks, certainly within the classroom.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But just to button up what you said earlier, though, that your -- your teachers and your kids need to be wearing high-quality masks, not cloth ones. You made that point.
If the FDA does go ahead...
DR. SCOTT GOTTLIEB: I think that's -- yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Go ahead.
DR. SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Oh, no, I was -- that's the bottom line. And we haven't done a good job of getting high-quality masks to people.
The question is, do people have the tools they need? And the answer is, in many cases, they still don't.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right. Right.
Well, some states like Connecticut are sending out N95 masks.
DR. SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Exactly.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But that hasn't happened elsewhere.
The FDA is expected to green-light these booster shots for 12-to-15-year- olds and the immunocompromised in the younger age group. Should schools mandate them? Do you recommend them?
DR. SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Well, look, I certainly don't think schools should be mandating boosters.
I think this should be left up to the discretion of parents and their physicians. You know, it's going to depend on the individual circumstance. What is the risk that the child's facing? Are they in a setting where they're more likely to come into contact with the infection?
Do they have some underlying health conditions that put them at increased risk of bad outcomes? We've seen that the durability of the vaccines in young children, particularly 12 to 16, has been more robust than what we've seen in adults. In the studies, at six months, there was 100 percent protection in that 12-to-16 cohort.
And that's likely because kids are getting a more robust response from the vaccines more generally. And, remember, they're -- they're at less risk overall from the infection.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
So, talk to your doctor.
All right, Dr. Gottlieb, thank you very much.
Face the Nation will be back in a minute. Stay with us.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We go now to the secretary of education, Miguel Cardona, who joins us from Meriden, Connecticut.
Good morning to you, and happy new year.
MIGUEL CARDONA (U.S. Education Secretary): Good morning, Margaret. Happy new year to you as well.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You told me back in November that there is no excuse for schools to be anything but in person.
Do you stand by that statement now?
MIGUEL CARDONA: I know we've had an Omicron surge, but I still believe very firmly and very passionately, not only as an educator, but as a parent, that our students belong in the classroom, and we can do it safely.
We have better tools than we had in the past to get it done. We know what works, and I believe, even with Omicron, our default should be in person learning for all students across the country.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But then you are seeing school districts already go through closures, more than 2,000 so far, according to Burbio.
Teachers unions, including the largest one in your home state of Connecticut, have said they want a delayed return because they don't have access to testing. They are concerned about infections among young children.
So, it seems some of the educators disagree with you.
MIGUEL CARDONA: Right.
You know, the goal is to have students and staff be safe in their classrooms with the use of the mitigation strategies, with a whole host of strategies that we have now that we didn't have when we were having these conversations in March 2020 and to open the school year the previous year.
We have access to vaccinations for students ages 5 and up. We have testing that's a different pool of tests than what we're seeing now, where we see people scrambling for tests. When the American Rescue Plan passed, there was $10 billion for surveillance testing for our districts.
And we're seeing districts implementing strategies now to do surveillance testing to ensure that classrooms are safe. We understand there may be bumps in the road tomorrow. Superintendents today are getting phone calls, learning that some of their schools may have 5 to 10 percent of their staff not available due to COVID-19.
So, we recognize that temporary emergency closures may be necessary to keep children safe.
MARGARET BRENNAN: How widespread is that?
MIGUEL CARDONA: But it's the expectation that, through the use of American Rescue Plan funds, we address some of the shortages in staffing for the long-term benefit of our students and our families.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, I understand the $10 billion that was allocated in the American Rescue Plan. That was months ago.
But, today, school districts are saying they don't have the tests.
MIGUEL CARDONA: Right.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Whose fault is that, if the money was allocated?
MIGUEL CARDONA: Right.
Well, we know that this Omicron came quickly, and, in many districts, there aren't systems set up yet. We're working closely with those systems. We've partnered with the Rockefeller Foundation to help develop contracts. And we're seeing in many large districts across the country that they do have them.
That, coupled with what we know is going to help, having a shorter quarantine period, we do believe our schools can remain open. We have to stay vigilant. We have to stay focused and those mitigation strategies that work. And we have to continue to work together to give our students a chance to learn in the classroom.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So, you say now the testing is being set up. So are you saying that the federal government can ensure that every school district in the country has an adequate supply of testing this week?
MIGUEL CARDONA: What I'm saying is that we are working with districts to set up systems that maybe were not set up when there was a dip in spread. But we're working closely now to make sure that they're being set up.
We're working really hard to make sure that they have access to tests and that they have resources to provide testing.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So, we know remote learning has hurt children. Emotionally, we are seeing the impacts of that as well.
But you have teacher shortages also due to a hit to morale. People don't want to go into that classroom, many of them. Have you gotten on the phone and asked the teachers unions to still show up in person?
MIGUEL CARDONA: Since the beginning of the pandemic, even before I was secretary of education, when I was serving as commissioner here in Connecticut, we worked together. And we had to communicate the importance of in-person learning, but also in making sure that our educators are safe and have the support that they need.
That's why it was critically important with the American Rescue Plan to
have funds available to provide that safety that they needed. Vaccinations for educators was early. I mean, the president announced that -- I believe it was in March. And we had over 90 percent of our educators vaccinated by the summer.
That shouldn't stop. Our educators -- it doesn't take a pandemic for us to appreciate what teachers can do. We need to continue to support them, not only during the pandemic, but beyond.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
But that's why I'm asking what you've asked the teachers union to do, because, out in Chicago, in Massachusetts, in Connecticut, you have teachers saying they don't feel safe.
MIGUEL CARDONA: Well, the message hasn't changed.
We need to make sure we're following mitigation strategies, that we're supporting our educators by providing a safe learning environment, we're providing vaccination for our students as young as 5, so that the whole school community is safe, and we're providing surveillance testing to make sure that, if someone is sick, that they stay home.
So those are the things that we can do to provide a safe school environment. And we need to double down now that Omicron is higher to make sure that we're doing that.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
MIGUEL CARDONA: But it works.
You know, we went from 47 percent of our schools open in person in January of last year to 99 percent in December. We know what works. We have to stick to it. We have to support our educators, our families. And, most importantly, we have to support our students.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The White House said that the unvaccinated faced a severe winter of death.
Children under 5 cannot be vaccinated. What is your message to the parents of a kindergartner or a preschooler when they send their child into the classroom? What are they supposed to think about that?
MIGUEL CARDONA: Right.
And I think about those parents regularly. I remember having to reopen schools before we had vaccines for any children and before we had the science that we have now. So, I remember how difficult that was, as a parent myself.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right, but I'm talking about now and White House language about now.
MIGUEL CARDONA: Right.
So, my message to those parents is the same message. And this is why I was mentioning that -- is the same message I have had to parents for the last
Mitigation strategies work. When we have masks and when we're ensuring that, if students are sick, they stay home, when we ensure that the people round them are vaccinated, we're protecting those children as well.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Thank you, and good luck to you, Mr. Secretary.
We will be right back a lot more Face the Nation.
Stay with us.
MARGARET BRENNAN: A year after the violent attack on the Capitol by hundreds of Americans determined to stop the certification of the 2020 election,a new CBS News poll finds that day still has a lingering effect on the national psyche.
Sixty-eight percent think it's a sign of more violence to come, and two- thirds think democracy itself is threatened.
Joining us now is CBS News director of elections and surveys Anthony Salvanto.
Anthony, good morning to you.
This is an incredible number; 68 percent of Americans believe the country
is at risk of violence?
ANTHONY SALVANTO: Good morning, Margaret. It is.
Let's try to understand what's driving that a little bit. First, look back on that day at the Capitol. And I should start by saying there's overwhelming disapproval of what happened.
But there are 17 percent now that do approve of what happened. Over the course of the year, we have seen some movement among Republicans within those who disapprove, a little bit of softening of that, from the strongly disapprove, a little more into this somewhat disapprove category.
And then let's look forward, because what's so important isn't just what people anticipate. It's that democracy depends on not just folks following the norms, but thinking that other people will.
Well, in future presidential elections, do you expect there to be more violence by the losing side? And you get 62 percent who say, yes, that could happen.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Does that amount to an endorsement of political violence? And who are these Americans?
ANTHONY SALVANTO: It does not.
And what we want to emphasize here is that it's not that people say that they themselves would undertake it, but whether they might be OK with it if other people did.
Let's start by looking back at what people think happened that day. Well, there's a lot of folks on the Republican side, four in 10, who think that, rather than Trump supporters who entered the Capitol, that it was left- leaning groups pretending to be Trump supporters.
So, then you look at people who believe in conspiracy theories, in QAnon. They are much more likely than Americans overall to approve. So it all starts perhaps with what they believe to be the case.
Now, we tackled this head on. We asked, OK, what do you want former President Trump to be doing now? And there's 12 percent of the country that say he should be fighting right now to get back into the office before the next election.
Now, you take a subset of them who say that, if necessary, force could be used to do that. Now, that's 4 percent of the country. We don't often talk about numbers that small, but what we have seen here is that it doesn't take large numbers of people to feel that way, and then that in turn leads to that lessening confidence or that anticipation that more violence might arise, because they know that those folks are out there -- Margaret.
MARGARET BRENNAN: An important point.
But we are seeing radicalized politics outside the United States, too. From what you see here at home, is all of this about the former president, or is something else driving it?
ANTHONY SALVANTO: Yes, we asked about a range of issues, not just elections, and asked, well, are these important enough that violence could be justified, again, if undertaken perhaps by others?
And you get a range, from civil rights, to gun policies, to labor issues, among others, where you get 20-odd percent, even 30-odd percent who say that it might be justified. And then you look at, well, is it justifiable for candidates or elected officials to do things like call for violence?
And that's 14 percent, again, not an overwhelming number, but it is some.
Now, one of the things you want to look at, Margaret, is why they think that might be justified. It's not so much that people think that violence can itself be acceptable, but they fear that their opponents might do that, or worse. So, it's a sign of that underlying mistrust.
However, it's a new year. I want to show you something besides these very sobering things. You look at whether people think, in the abstraction, that the U.S. should divide into red and blue states. And there are not many people who feel that way.
The overwhelming number of people would like the country to stay together.
MARGARET BRENNAN: A note of optimism.
Anthony, thank you.
We will be right back.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We will be back in a moment with a lot more Face the Nation.
Stay with us.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION.
We now turn to the congressional committee investigating January 6th. Republican Liz Cheney of Wyoming is the vice chair of the committee, and she joins us now from Capitol Hill.
Good morning to you.
REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): Good morning, Margaret. Thank you for having me.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We know Democrats are planning a vigil. We know the former president is planning a news conference. Are you concerned about the country being at risk of political violence this week and in the years ahead?
LIZ CHENEY: Look, I think that if -- if what he has been saying since he left office is any indication, former President Trump is likely, again this week, to make the same false claims about the election that he knows to be false, and the same false claims about the election that he knows caused violence on January 6th.
I think that it is, indeed, very concerning given what we know happened in the lead-up to the 6th, and what the committee is finding out about the events of that day. But I think that it is not surprising, but, again, he knows these claims caused violence. And we've seen now people who were in the Capitol, people who have been arrested because of their activities on that day, they themselves have told us in court filings, they've told us on social media, we've seen it on videos, that they were here because Donald Trump told them to be here. And so he's very -- he's doing this press conference on the 6th. Again, if he makes those same claims, he's doing it with complete understanding and knowledge of what those claims have caused in the past.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You've raised in the past the possibility of criminal culpability for the president. Is that the consensus view of the committee?
LIZ CHENEY: Look, the committee is -- is, obviously, going to follow the facts wherever they lead. We've made tremendous progress. We have had now - - if you just think about, for example, what we know now about what the former president was doing on the 6th while the attack was underway. The committee has firsthand testimony that President Trump was sitting in the dining room next to the Oval Office watching on television as the Capitol was assaulted, as the violence occurred.
We know that that is clearly a supreme dereliction of duty. One of the things that the committee is looking at, from the perspective of our legislative purpose, is whether we need enhanced penalties for that kind of dereliction of duty. But we've certainly never seen anything like that as a nation before.
MARGARET BRENNAN: One of the things that we've seen in CBS polling is that there is just a hard percentage of the population that believes what the
former president is claiming. Eight million people believe in violence to restore him to office. Seven out of 10 Republicans still believe President Biden's illegitimate, 66 percent believe there was widespread voter fraud.
So these numbers are pretty hard here. Why hasn't this conviction abated within your party?
LIZ CHENEY: Look, I think that -- that we're in a situation where people have got to understand the danger of President Trump and the danger that he posed on that day.
You know, if you think, Margaret, he could have simply walked a few feet to the White House Briefing Room, he could have gone immediately on live television and asked his supporters to stop what was happening, ask them to go home. He failed to do that. He -- he, instead, we know, had the motivation, at the same time the violent assault was happening, he's watching television, he's also calling at least one senator urging delay of the electoral vote.
So, this is a man who has demonstrated that he's at war with the rule of law. He's demonstrated that he's willing to blow through every guardrail of democracy. And he can never be anywhere near the oval office again. He's demonstrated a complete lack of fitness for office.
I think one of the really important things that our committee has to do is lay these facts out for the American people so that they really have a sense of the truth of what happened that day, and so that they inform us in terms of our legislative activity going forward.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
That assumes facts can actually persuade. What happens with this committee if Republicans take the majority in 2022? Have you asked Kevin McCarthy to keep it?
LIZ CHENEY: You know, Leader McCarthy has said a variety of things. He has both acted to obstruct the actions of the committee, but he's also, on a couple of occasions, said that he's willing to come talk to the committee.
I think that the American people, again, in particular the Republican Party, you know, we, as Republicans, have a choice to make. I am a conservative Republican. I believe strongly in the policies of low taxes and limited government and a strong national defense.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
LIZ CHENEY: I think the country needs a strong Republican Party going forward. But our party has to choose. We can either be loyal to Donald Trump or we can be loyal to the Constitution, but we cannot be both. And right now there are far too many Republicans who are trying to enable the former president, embrace the former president, look the other way and hope that the former president goes away, trying to obstruct the activities of this committee. But we won't be deterred.
MARGARET BRENNAN: In a number of state capitals around the country, in 19 different states, election laws are being changed. And in some there is concern that Republican-controlled legislatures could be able to change certification of an election if they don't like the outcome of it. This is undermining confidence among some in the public about the integrity of our
elections. Would you ask your fellow Republicans in states around the country to stop trying to do that?
LIZ CHENEY: Absolutely. I think that, again, you know, as a nation we've got to be founded on the rule of law. We've got to be founded on fidelity of the Constitution. And when you look at what former President Trump continues to do to this day in terms of trying to undermine our belief in our Democratic process, in terms of trying to undermine the rule of law, in terms of trying to find local officials who will help him do that, one of the really important lessons we learned on January 6th was how important it was that we had a few individuals who stood up. We had individuals at the Department of Justice before January 6th who stood up to the president, who said absolutely not, we will not claim that this election was stolen, who told him the truth, and we had local officials in the party, the Republican Party, who did the same.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We have congressional races in 2022. You, yourself, are running out in Wyoming. We know the former president endorsed your primary opponent. He's promised to help campaign against you. You have one of his biggest donors, Peter Thiel, a billionaire, throwing money behind your primary opponent. This is a direct challenge here.
Given how red your state is, how do you expect to win that primary?
LIZ CHENEY: Look, I am absolutely honored and privileged to be able to represent the people of Wyoming in Congress. I absolutely anticipate that we will have a very energetic and hard-fought campaign this year. But at the end of the day, I am also incredibly privileged to be able to stand up and defend the Constitution of the United States. And I'm confident that the people of Wyoming will not choose loyalty to one man, one man as dangerous as Donald Trump is.
You know, imagine a man who, while the violent assault was underway, while he was watching television, watching it unfold, not telling his supporters to stop and go home, instead was sending out a tweet saying that Mike Pence was a coward. This is a man who is simply too dangerous ever to play a role again in our democracy. And I look forward to the opportunity to continue to help the American people see the facts about what happened, and to continue to make the case at home about the kind of representation that we need in Washington for the people of Wyoming.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Would you be willing to run against him in 2024?
LIZ CHENEY: I'm very focused right now on my re-election and -- and on the work of the select committee. And I can tell you that -- that the single most important thing, though, is to ensure that -- that Donald Trump is not the Republican nominee, and that he certainly is not anywhere close to the Oval Office ever again.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Congresswoman Cheney, thank you for your time today.
We'll be right back with the chair of the House Intelligence Committee.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We go now to a Democrat on that January 6th committee, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff. He wears both hats.
Good morning to you, Congressman.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Good morning.
MARGARET BRENNAN: When will you begin public hearings, and what is the purpose of them?
ADAM SCHIFF: We should begin them, I hope, in a matter of weeks, if not a couple of months from now. And what we expect to do is to lay out what we've been learning for the American people. There were several lines of effort to overturn the election. There was, of course, the lies being promulgated by the former president, but also efforts with local elections officials and state legislators, efforts at the Justice Department, and, of course, the violent attack on January 6th. And we hope to be able to tell the story to the country so that they understand it isn't just about that one day, January 6th, but all that led up to it, what happened on that day, and the continuing danger going forward.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So exactly what degree of coordination have you seen so far? Particularly between those within the Trump White House, political operatives, and the 725 people that the -- that have been charged by the Justice Department?
ADAM SCHIFF: Well, this is really a focal point of our investigation, and that is, what was the role of the former president? What was the role of his aides and advisors? Certainly they were indicatively involved in many of those lines of effort.
In terms of the actual violent attack on the Capitol, how much expectation of violence was there, how much was that part of the plan, either spontaneously or in terms of any predisposition towards violence that day, that is still a matter under deep investigation. But we intend to use every effort to get out the full facts and expose them to the American people and -- and take legislative action to protect the country going forward. But that issue, that is, what was the White House's role in what happened on the 6th that led to the first violent attack in a century and a half, if not longer, is at the core of our investigation.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
Because you have oversight in your intelligence committee role, I want to know to what degree you think this was an intelligence failure? Was there just a failure of imagination in terms of too much focus on militias and organized groups versus sort of a defused threat of political violence? Why was this missed?
ADAM SCHIFF: Well, you know, I think that in part it is an intelligence failure. That is, the failure to see all the evidence that was out there to be seen for the propensity of violence that day. A lot of it on social media.
Now, there are answers for why the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security failed to see it as cheerleader as they should have, and we're looking into that.
But we shouldn't be distracted from the fact that, yes, while there were things that could and should have been done to protect the Capitol that day, the primary lever, instrument, the cause of that violence was the promulgation of a big lie by the former president.
As his supporters said, who came and attacked the Capitol that day, they felt like they were following the president's instructions. So, it's -- it's important to lose -- that we don't lose sight of the real motivating cause here and -- and not just focus on the security of the building. It's
also vital we understand that this was an attack inspired by the commander- in-chief.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
This is going to go to the Supreme Court in terms of determining whether some of the records from the Trump administration will be released to your committee. If there is a lengthy delay, if the Supreme Court hears this out, how negatively will that impact your work? And how badly do you need those documents?
ADAM SCHIFF: Well, we have gotten tens of thousands of documents and have hundreds of witnesses, so we're trying to get information in various means and forms so that we're not solely dependent on that litigation. But, of course, it's the hope of Donald Trump and his acolytes that they can delay until they can deny justice.
I don't think they'll be successful. I think the court understands, and the courts have been moving with great alacrity, that really delay is the strategy. It's not about the merits of litigation so much as it is depriving Congress and the American people of information they believe I assume would be incriminating to them.
But when it does go before the Supreme Court, we well get a sense of whether that court is a conservative court or whether it has become just a bipartisan court. If it's a conservative court, it will not disturb the decisions below, which I think have clearly held that Congress has a right to this information under these circumstances.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
ADAM SCHIFF: You have the executive branch represented by Joe Biden, and the legislative branch in a court. It would be extraordinary for the judicial branch to differ with both other branches of government.
MARGARET BRENNAN: In your Intel Committee role, I want to ask you about Russia. What specifically would stop Vladimir Putin from his aggression? Do
you need to cut that country off from the global financial system, to
sanction him personally?
ADAM SCHIFF: Well, I think that it would require enormous sanctions on Russia to deter what appears to be a very likely Russian invasion of Ukraine again. And -- and I think our allies need to be solidly on board with it. Russia needs to understand, we are united in this.
I also think that a powerful deterrent is the understanding that if they do invade, it is going to bring NATO closer to Russia, not push it farther away. That we will move more NATO assets closer to Russia, that it will have the opposite impact of what Putin is trying to achieve. So the combination, I think, of very strong sanctions, and I certainly have no problem of going after Putin personally, but I think more that the sector- sized sanctions will be the most important.
But -- but beyond that, the knowledge that, in fact, we will move more NATO assets closer to Russia, not further away, if they once again bring war to Ukraine.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
Very quickly, do you fear these diplomatic talks are just building a pretext for Russia to say they have no choice but to invade?
ADAM SCHIFF: I fear that -- that Putin is very likely to invade. I still, frankly, don't understand the full motivation for why, why now he's doing this, but he certainly appears intent on it, unless we can persuade him otherwise. And I think nothing other than a level of sanctions that Russia
has ever seen will deter him, and that's exactly what we need to do with our allies.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
All right, Congressman Schiff, thank you for your time. We'll be right back.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We want to take a closer look now at the 725 people who have been charged for their roles in the attack on the Capitol. Who are these individuals, and what can we learn from their backgrounds that can help us understand the political violence that we saw that day on January 6th?
Joining us now is Professor Robert Pape of the University of Chicago.
Professor, I know you've studied insurgencies in war zones. You're working with the Pentagon now. I mean you're looking at what is happening in the United States. And one of the things that was chilling to me was that you found the majority of those who attacked were not affiliated with any organized militia, they were everyday people.
ROBERT PAPE, PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO: Exactly right, Margaret. What we're seeing is a movement that is a mainstream movement, not simply confined to fringe elements. And this is important because we're so used to thinking of right-wing extremism or really extremism in general, as part of the fringe. They're just a tiny fraction of America, less than 1 percent. And they come from people that are economically destitute, many often unemployed. Well, that's not what our studies of the January 6th -- those who broke into the Capitol on January 6th shows, or the -- our studies of the insurrectionist sentiments in the country.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And what you found is that some of these people were -- were business owners. They were employed. These were people who had
something to lose. They were putting things at risk when they went to
Washington and carried out this violence?
ROBERT PAPE: Absolutely. Very strikingly finding is their economic profile. Over half of the 700 who broke into the Capitol, who have been arrested so far for breaking into the Capitol, are business owners, CEOs, from white- collar occupations, doctors, lawyers, architects, and accountants. Only 7 percent were unemployed at the time of their January 6th insurrection, nearly the national average. This is very different than we're used to seeing from right-wing extremists where typically 25 percent, 30 percent of right-ring violent offenders are unemployed, and virtually none are CEOs or business owners.
Further, if we look at their relationship to the militia groups, so only 13 percent of those who broke into the Capitol on January 6th were members of militia groups, like the Oath Keepers, or extremist groups like the Proud Boys. That means nearly 90 percent were not.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So, if these people believed in what they were doing, who are they getting their information from? How could they truly put everything on the line and carry out this violence? Like, who is telling them what to do?
ROBERT PAPE: Well, we can see their media consumption from surveys that we've done after our studies of who broke into the Capitol. We find that only 21 million people believe two radical beliefs in America today. One, that Joe Biden is an illegitimate president, and, two, that the use of force to restore Donald Trump to the presidency is justified. And their media sources of those 21 million, they come from -- 42 percent of the 21 million, their main media source is Fox News, Newsmax, and One America. That is mainstream, conservative news. Their second most prominent news source is actually liberal and centrist media, like CNN, NPR, CBS. And you might say, well, how could that be? It's because often when people watch ideas they disagree with, that makes them angry. Only 10 percent of the 21 million are getting their news mainly from right-wing social media, like Gab or Telegraph.
MARGARET BRENNAN: President Biden has said that -- that he believes racism was a key part of the attack on the Capitol on January 6th. Have you seen anything that bears that out to be true?
ROBERT PAPE: Race is an element, and race is a driver. So when we look at the counties that the 700 who broke into the Capitol came from, where they live, what we see is over half live in counties that Joe Biden won. They don't mainly come from the reddest parts of America. They're coming from San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia, Houston and Dallas. Further, when we look at the key characteristic of why some counties and not others, what we see is the counties that sent the insurrectionists are the counties losing the most white population.
Well, that dovetails with this right-wing conspiracy theory that used to be part of the fringe called the great replacement. The idea that whites are being replaced. This idea is also that the Democratic Party is doing this deliberately. Well, that idea now is voiced by mainstream political leaders, by mainstream media figures, embraced full throttle.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So what are the triggers that you are watching? Because I know you have said in the past, this isn't just about violence in Washington. You could see sparks of violence in Atlanta, Georgia, in other major cities. What is the trigger?
ROBERT PAPE: That's exactly right. So what we're seeing in our surveys, our national surveys, of the 21 million in the insurrectionist movement is a mass of combustible material. Think of it as like dry wood that could be set off like -- from a lightning strike or a spark, as in wildfires. Well,
we're moving into a highly volatile 2022 election season, where there could be many sparks at the local levels. And a lot of our election laws, say Georgia or Texas, the counting of the vote has been more politicized than ever before.
What that does is it creates a very dangerous season. Which means, as we go through the 2022 elections season, it's crucial to have dialogue with our political leaders, our community leaders, especially the White House, over this new empirical reality.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Professor, important work. Thank you for sharing it with us.
ROBERT PAPE: Thank you, Margaret.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We'll be back in a moment.
MARGARET BRENNAN: That's it for us today. Thank you for watching.
Be sure to join us next Sunday when we talk exclusively to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
For FACE THE NATION, I'm Margaret Brennan.
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