News That Matters

Full transcript of “Face the Nation” on Dec. 25, 2022


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

  • Rep. Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland
  • CBS News correspondents roundtable featuring Jan Crawford, David Martin, Nancy Cordes, Catherine Herridge and Jeff Pegues

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


MARGARET BRENNAN: I’m Margaret Brennan in Washington.

And today on Face the Nation: As Americans pause to reflect this Christmas and Hanukkah Sunday, we will too.

What happened in 2022 is not likely to stay in 2022, as the biggest stories from the past year are poised to be front and center in 2023. We will look to the new year in our annual correspondents roundtable, a 72-years CBS News tradition.

Our Washington beat reporters will weigh in on what’s ahead, with the news, the policies and the politics they’re expecting in the year ahead.

Plus, what lessons were learned from the January 6 Capitol attack investigation, and what impact will they have in 2023 and beyond? We will talk with one of the top House committee investigators, Maryland Democrat Jamie Raskin.

It’s all just ahead on Face the Nation.

Good morning, and welcome to Face the Nation. We wish you a merry Christmas and happy Hanukkah. Thank you for joining us this holiday Sunday.

The clock is still ticking on the final days of 2022, but there’s a lot that’s going to carry over to 2023. Today, we want to take a look at some of those stories.

We’re joined now by Maryland Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin, a member of the committee investigating the January 6 attack.

Good morning to you.

REPRESENTATIVE JAMIE RASKIN (D-Maryland): Hello, Margaret. Pleased to be with you.

MARGARET BRENNAN: This is an incredible body of work, all coming to this conclusion now. What do you think Americans at home need to know?

REPRESENTATIVE JAMIE RASKIN: It’s a story of some real villainy and some real danger to democracy, but also of real heroism and commitment to American democratic freedom.

And with democracy under attack all over the world, like with Putin invading Ukraine and the Ukrainian people standing up for their democratic freedom, and tyrants and autocrats on the march everywhere, it’s good to know that we have a strong, resurgent democratic spirit in America.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The institutions held.

But, at the conclusion of this, because you’ve spent almost two years investigating, what happens next for you? Are there pieces of this that, in the new Congress, even under Republican control, need to be further investigated or somehow legislated around?

REPRESENTATIVE JAMIE RASKIN: Well, when you say the institutions held, they did hold just barely.

The truth is that we need to continually be renovating and improving our institutions.

MARGARET BRENNAN: How so? What do you mean?

REPRESENTATIVE JAMIE RASKIN: Well, I think that the Electoral College now, which has given us five popular vote losers as president in our history, twice in this century alone, has become a danger, not just to democracy, but to the American people.

It was a danger on January 6. There are so many curving byways and nooks and crannies in the Electoral College, that there are opportunities for a lot of strategic mischief. We should elect the president the way we elect governors, senators, mayors, representatives, everybody else: Whoever gets the most votes wins.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So, you don’t think that this reforming of the Electoral Count Act, which is really just making clear that the vice president’s role is just ceremonial with the electors, you don’t think that solves the issue?

REPRESENTATIVE JAMIE RASKIN: It doesn’t solve the fundamental problem. I’m for that, and that’s the very least we can do and we must do. It’s necessary, but it’s not remotely sufficient.

You know, we spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year exporting American democracy to other countries, and the one thing they never come back to us with is the idea that: Oh, that Electoral College that you have, that’s so great. We think we will adopt that too.

You know, Thomas Jefferson said that he deplored the sanctimonious reverence with which some people look at the original handiwork of the framers, when they should be looking to their own experience. He said, the framers were great and they were patriots, but they didn’t have the benefit of the experience that we’ve lived.

And we know that the Electoral College doesn’t fit anymore, which is why I’m a big supporter of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, where it’s bubbling up from below, but there are now 15 or 16 states and the District of Columbia who’ve said, we’re going to cast our electors for the winner of the national vote once we get 270 electors in our coalition.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Let’s get back to the work that you have just concluded, because you did make this historic decision to refer to the Justice Department for potential prosecution a former president of the United States.

It’s never been done before. But, in doing so, it doesn’t have the requirement that the Justice Department act. Why did you think making that referral was necessary? Why not just let your work stand on its own with the public hearings?

REPRESENTATIVE JAMIE RASKIN: Well, because of the magnitude of the attack on democracy.

You know, we don’t have a formal statutory offense called crimes against democracy, but that’s what everything was together. And then there were hundreds of actual statutory offenses under that. And we identified four.

There was a deliberate attempt by Donald Trump to interfere and obstruct and impede a federal proceeding. That was the whole plan, ‘stop the steal,’ meaning go in there and blockade the House and the Senate and the vice president from doing their job. It was an attempt to defraud the United States.

There was a conspiracy to defraud the United States to exchange an honest-to-goodness presidential election for a counterfeit election, complete with fake electors, and forcible violence being used to overthrow the process.

It involved the introduction of false statements, these fake electors that were put in. And, finally, there was aiding and abetting an insurrection, giving aid and comfort to insurrectionists. That’s an old crime in America.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.

REPRESENTATIVE JAMIE RASKIN: Our Constitution repeatedly opposes insurrection and condemns it. And, of course, we thought we had solved that problem in the Civil War.

But that statute that we referred to there was passed after the Civil War to make sure that people who incite insurrection and aid and abet it and give aid and comfort to the insurrectionists by saying things like, I love you, you’re very special, that those people are guilty of an offense against the United States, even if you’re president when you do it.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But don’t you fear, in some ways, because this referral you’re making doesn’t have the weight of prosecution behind it — that has to be up to the Justice Department to decide to move forward.

REPRESENTATIVE JAMIE RASKIN: And that’s a good thing too.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But do you fear that, because it is a political body making this recommendation, that it makes it easier for people to brush away some of what you just laid out, that it makes it easier to characterize it or dismiss it as political in nature?

REPRESENTATIVE JAMIE RASKIN: Look, in a democracy, the people have the right to the truth.

And so our bipartisan panel, with overwhelmingly Republican witnesses coming to testify, has laid out the truth, the best that we could find it. It’s not been contradicted or undermined in any way that I’m aware of.

And we’re turning it over to the people and we’re turning it over to the Department of Justice. And, at that point, your point is correct. It’s up to them. And it should operate like that. Congress doesn’t prosecute, but, like everybody else, if we’re aware of offenses, we’ve got to turn that evidence over to people who are prosecutors.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And you’re in that process now of sharing with the Justice Department some of what you found.

REPRESENTATIVE JAMIE RASKIN: The Department of Justice has a far vaster panoply of investigative resources available to them than we do.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And a higher benchmark they have to meet to actually move ahead and prosecute.

So, you know, one of the things I have heard people often parse the language, coup, attempted coup. And the — those skeptics that you referred to earlier would argue that, to substantiate a coup, you’d need to actually prove that the president was cooking up this plan, directing people to do things, and that he had the support of the military in there, whereas some of what has been laid out, it’s kind of this unwieldy, muddy plan.

How do you actually assert that it was almost democracy that was lost at that moment?

REPRESENTATIVE JAMIE RASKIN: Well, in our report, we lay out every element of the plan, including going to the legislatures to try to get them to nullify the popular vote and pass new statutes that would just appoint Trump’s electors. That failed.

We lay out his plan of going to election officials like Raffensperger in Georgia, but he wasn’t the only one — there were more than a dozen cases like that — and trying to get them just to concoct votes: “Just find me 11,780 votes.”

That wasn’t Donald Trump trying to stop election fraud. That was Donald Trump trying to commit election fraud and a conspiracy to perpetrate it right there. So, we lay it out. It’s not muddy at all. It’s very clear.

This is really about the future, because the political scientists and historians tell us that the best sign of a successful coup coming is a recently failed coup, where the coup plotters get to diagram the weaknesses in the existing structure. And they’re emboldened if they’re not held accountable for what they did.

I know Mike Pence said that it would be divisive for the government to prosecute the case. That’s not the test for whether or not prosecutors prosecute a case. The test is whether there was a crime committed. It’s the facts and the law. I mean, you could just as well say it will be divisive not to hold a president accountable who’s guilty for offenses.

But, in any event, it’s not part of the calculus.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to follow up on what you’ve just said, which is sort of a dress rehearsal for a coup.

Congress is putting millions of dollars towards bolstering security for members of the House, for members of the Senate when they are home, and for those who were involved in the prosecution of those who carried out January 6.

Are you fearful of your own security? I mean, what does it say about where we are now, this far after January 6?

REPRESENTATIVE JAMIE RASKIN: There’s very dangerous rhetoric going on out there that’s a real break from everything we’ve known in our lifetimes.

What it means to live in a democracy with basic civic respect is that people can disagree without resorting to violence. But the Internet has played a negative role, especially for the right wing, the extreme right, which now engages in very dangerous, hyperbolic rhetoric that exposes people to danger.

But democracy also requires courage. I’m so impressed by the elected officials around the country who have stood up against all of the threats and all of the intimidation. And those people don’t get enough credit.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We agree.

Congressman, thank you for your time.

REPRESENTATIVE JAMIE RASKIN: Thank you for having me.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We’re going to take a quick break and be right back.

Stay with us. 

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

MARGARET BRENNAN: We turn now to our annual CBS News correspondents roundtable.

Joining us this year, chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford, national security correspondent David Martin, chief White House correspondent Nancy Cordes, plus senior investigative correspondent Catherine Herridge, and chief national affairs and justice correspondent Jeff Pegues.

Good morning to all of you.

(CROSSTALK)

DAVID MARTIN: Good morning.

MARGARET BRENNAN: It’s so good to have you here on the holiday.

David, I want to start with you, because, at this point last year, the world was watching Vladimir Putin build up his military forces around Ukraine and wondering what he was going to do next. And then he did the unthinkable.

What is happening on the ground? How is the cold affecting the combat now?

DAVID MARTIN: Right now, the fighting has died down, except in the center.

But the important thing on the battlefield is whether, when the ground freezes solid, Ukraine can take back enough territory or Russia lose enough territory, so that both sides conclude, this is the best we can do and start negotiating.

Whether that happens remains to be seen. You know, it sounds counterintuitive, but the Ukrainians have not yet demonstrated the ability to conduct offensive operations. All these Russian retreats are cases in which the Russians outrun their supply lines, bog down, pull back, and then the Ukrainians rush in.

Whether Ukraine can now, with American weapons, dislodge them over these winter months remains to be seen.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, there’s no sign that Vladimir Putin is interested in negotiating, according to the CIA, according to the State Department, at this point.

DAVID MARTIN: No sign that he’s even given up on his original war aim, which, as improbable as it seems now, is to take all of Ukraine west of the Carpathian Mountains.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And it’s hard to overstate what a massive impact this invasion had on the world.

And, Nancy, it certainly pushed to the front burner for President Biden rebuilding the European alliance and really funding Ukraine to continue putting up this fight. It’s been $68 billion worth of U.S. aid to date. They’re asking Congress for another $35 billion. How confident is the White House that they can sustain this kind of support?

NANCY CORDES: Well, it’s very difficult for them to make any headway with Kevin McCarthy right now.

What he has said is, Congress is not going to write a blank check on Ukraine or anything else, that they want to see what the money is going to be used for. And there are some Republicans who have gone farther than that and have said, we’ve got a lot of priorities in the world. It’s not just Ukraine. And they feel that there’s been more than enough money that has gone towards Ukraine already.

DAVID MARTIN: And that’s what Putin is counting on, that donor fatigue and partisan politics undermine this consensus of supporting Ukraine with, as the words go, whatever it takes for as long as it takes.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Which is what President Biden has vowed.

Jan, the unexpected can really disrupt all political plans. You correctly predicted that Roe vs. Wade would be overturned in 2022. And you did that on this panel. It was still a shock for the country, though.

JAN CRAWFORD: Right.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So, what’s ahead for the court in 2023? What do you need to warn us about, in terms of impact?

JAN CRAWFORD: Well, I think that, you know, last term, we got a pretty clear picture of what the Supreme Court is: six justices, largely six conservative justices willing to look at all swathes of the law, including abortion rights, gun rights, religion.

We saw them of course, overturn Roe vs. Wade, expand gun rights, expand religious expression. And, normally, when you cover the court, they’ll have a big term, and then they kind of have a quiet term. But that’s not the case with the Supreme Court this year. They’ve got several cases that stand to be very controversial, including affirmative action.

I expect— and I guess I can just say my prediction now. I mean, I expect this court to overturn the use of affirmative action in college admissions. That, I think, will have a significant impact on the political discourse that we saw last year with women’s rights. There’s a case that gay rights groups are very interested in this year. That one, I think, is a tougher call for the court.

But you’re seeing a court that is set on a solidly conservative path. How is that affecting the political process? This is the court we have. It’s not going to change for years. And how does that affect the political process? That means, if you want something done, and are looking to effect change, and you’re liberal, the Supreme Court is not going to be your best outlet. You’re going to look to the political process.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You have to legislate.

JAN CRAWFORD: You’re going to have to look to your state legislatures. You’re going to have to look to Congress.

And that, I think, is the message of this court. They’re withdrawing from these social issues and saying, go take it up with your legislatures.

NANCY CORDES: Student loan forgiveness hanging in the balance as well.

JAN CRAWFORD: In February, they just added that case. That, I think, is a hard case, and one that this Court may agree with some of the lower courts and say that the White House went too far.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Twenty-six million Americans have been more or less promised forgiveness by the Biden administration.

JAN CRAWFORD: The question is, does he have the authority to do that?

MARGARET BRENNAN: Exactly.

JAN CRAWFORD: And promises can be empty if they’re not grounded in proper authority.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Is there a cost politically to making a promise you can’t deliver on?

NANCY CORDES: Sure.

I mean this is something that was cheered by the left, had been pushed by— certainly by progressives for a long time. Republicans were outraged. They said he didn’t have the authority.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Jeff and Catherine, I want to get to you both, because this is a very busy beat, the Justice beat, and I think it’s going to get busier.

Jeff, what can you tell us about the timeline for the dual investigations being carried out by the special counsel?

JEFF PEGUES: Jack Smith, the special counsel, he’s been sending out a flurry of subpoenas across the country connected to this fake electors scheme, this scheme to overturn the election results.

And so he’s been moving fairly quickly, wouldn’t you say? And he’s— clearly, he has a plan in terms of how he wants to prosecute this case. Where it ends up, we don’t know yet. But he’s covering some ground the Department of Justice prior to his arrival hasn’t covered. And so they’re moving pretty swiftly in that case.

We should probably take our vacations soon…

(LAUGHTER)

JEFF PEGUES: … because I feel like, after the new year, we’re going to have to start running even faster.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Does it run right into the 2024 presidential race?

JEFF PEGUES: I don’t think so. Do you?

CATHERINE HERRIDGE: I think it wraps up before then.

Former senior Justice Department officials I have been speaking to, when they look at this broad array of investigations, they believe that, if criminal charges are brought, they see the Mar-a-Lago case as one of the more likely options, because it’s a more discrete set of facts that’s easier to wrangle, for lack of a better legal term.

January 6 is a more challenging case, they say, because so many of the actions were taken while he was the top executive within the U.S. government. So, there are all these questions of privilege.

My question is, if there is a Mar-a-Lago prosecution, how does that go with the public sentiment? I mean, it’s— it’s a records case, right? And is that going to have the same impact as a January 6 prosecution, especially when you’re seeing people who are looking at multiyear prison sentences who say they went to Capitol Hill if not but for the direction of that president?

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-hmm.

Jan, as lawyer do you want to weigh in?

(LAUGHTER)

JAN CRAWFORD: I mean, I think that analysis is exactly right, and also how the— it might land with the public. So, I— kudos, Catherine.

CATHERINE HERRIDGE: Well, I feel very…

JAN CRAWFORD: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

CATHERINE HERRIDGE: Thank you.

(LAUGHTER)

MARGARET BRENNAN: And we won’t even get into the political part of it, but you rightly point out that that’s also got to be a factor here.

I do want to go to the other case that I know you’ve been tracking, Catherine, and that is the one before the U.S. attorney in Delaware regarding the president’s son Hunter Biden.

This case has been under way since 2018.

CATHERINE HERRIDGE: Correct.

MARGARET BRENNAN: When will it wrap up?

CATHERINE HERRIDGE: Boy, I guess I would start by saying that that’s just been the big looming question for several months now. We see upticks in activity. We think there’s going to be movement on that case, and then it sort of recedes into the background again.

My question is, when you look at the big picture of foreign money here — and we see this with Republicans and Democrats — what was it all about at the end of the day? Was it about trying to enrich a family by influence or access? If — if that is not the case here, as the White House says, then it should be put to rest.

That’s the big question. What will the U.S. attorney in Delaware do? Now that a special counsel was appointed in the Trump investigation…

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-hmm.

CATHERINE HERRIDGE: … I think there’s generally a feeling that there’s more pressure for the appointment of a special counsel or some kind of adjudication of the case. Will there be an indictment or no indictment?

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, and, Nancy, the White House would point out that the U.S. attorney in Delaware was a Trump appointee…

NANCY CORDES: Correct.

MARGARET BRENNAN: … and that it will ultimately, though, still go to Attorney General Merrick Garland.

NANCY CORDES: Mm-hmm.

MARGARET BRENNAN: How is this factoring in at all to the thinking at the White House? As we know, the president is making a decision about whether to run for reelection. He’s talking about it over the holidays, as he said.

You can’t say that his own son and what happens next isn’t part of some conversation here.

NANCY CORDES: Sure, although he knew that his son would be a likely target, even before he ran the first time. So you could argue that that was sort of baked into the equation.

I think they’re preparing not just for that, but also for the likelihood that congressional Republicans are going to start investigating that laptop and every action…

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, that’s a certainty, isn’t it?

NANCY CORDES: … that Hunter— that Hunter Biden has ever done once they take control.

And the White House is beefing up their Counsel’s Office for that very reason. And their position right now is, when they think that the investigation is legitimate, they’ll cooperate. They clearly don’t believe that the Hunter Biden investigation on Capitol Hill is legitimate. But, you know, they’re going to have to respond to it in some way when it happens.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-hmm.

CATHERINE HERRIDGE: I think one of the just sort of wild cards here, and it’s a big if, but if there is an indictment of Hunter Biden, that, I would argue, would frustrate the Republican House investigations, because it would put him and his legal team in a position to say, listen, we’re facing a criminal indictment. We’re not really in a position to cooperate with Congress, because it creates more legal exposure.

So, to me, that’s always sort of in the back of my mind, because it brings a sort of certainty to the situation, a sort of resolution, in some respects.

JEFF PEGUES: I wonder if there’s going to be some sort of plea deal, because I just don’t— the people I have talked to on this case, they— they’re sort of curious about whether, at the end of the day, this is going to be something that the Biden family even wants to go away: Let’s agree to a plea deal and we— and move on.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And we’re going to move on and take a short break.

We will be right back.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

MARGARET BRENNAN: If you can’t watch the full Face the Nation, you can set your DVR, or we’re available on demand.

Plus, you can watch us through our CBS or Paramount+ app. And we’re replayed on our CBS News Streaming Network throughout the day Sundays.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

MARGARET BRENNAN: We will be right back with a lot more Face the Nation.

Stay with us.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

MARGARET BRENNAN: And we are back with our CBS News year-end roundtable.

And I will start with you, Jeff. Is— drug issues, fentanyl, crime, this is a continued story since 2020. When do we see improvement in some of these issues?

JEFF PEGUES: It’s going to be a while.

It is flooding the country, no matter where you go. I have been out to Colorado, I have talked to families there who’ve lost loved ones. It’s almost as if the American public doesn’t get how deadly and potent fentanyl, this synthetic drug — they make it in a lab. They ship it in. It’s hard to catch coming across the border.

And it’s seeping into every neighborhood in this country, no matter income, no matter where you live. It’s in your neighborhood.

JAN CRAWFORD: And people don’t even know. They don’t even know often that they’re taking it.

JEFF PEGUES: They don’t know that they’re taking it.

JAN CRAWFORD: They think they’re taking some kind of generic drug or something they got off TikTok or Adderall, and you’re seeing kids dying.

I mean, it’s now at the leading cause of death in people 18 to 45.

JEFF PEGUES: Yes, more than guns, more than car accidents.

I mean, the statistics are incredible. And I think if we weren’t talking about Trump and all these other issues, the Department of Justice, law enforcement, they would like to focus on fentanyl. That’s really all they want to talk about these days, is fentanyl, because it’s having such a pervasively deadly effect.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And, Catherine, on that, but also gun violence on just major city crime.

When is there going to be an improvement? It’s become such a potent political issue.

CATHERINE HERRIDGE: I think it was very well said by Jeff.

The thing that I feel like I keep coming back to at the end of this year is this question of radicalization and domestic violent extremism. You know, 20 years ago, when 9/11 happened, there was this idea that you had to have this in-person kind of mentoring relationship to get someone to cross a threshold to violence.

What we see now is that this generation that’s grown up with the technology can cross that threshold in a virtual world. So what we’re seeing now with domestic violent extremism on both extremes is this same process that we saw with al Qaeda and ISIS after 9/11, but now it’s here at home, and fueling these divisions and — and the violence.

And I think about things that I have heard in the past from intelligence officials who say it’s so— it’s so difficult to defeat the United States from the outside, but the enemy has to defeat us from within and these divisions.

David Martin, what was the most undercovered story of 2022?

DAVID MARTIN: Over 2022, the Chinese air force became more and more aggressive about buzzing U.S., British and Australian patrol planes that were flying around the periphery of China.

And these jet fighters would pull up on the wing of the much slower patrol plane within tens of feet, and then cut in front pop flares, and dump chaff, which are these aluminum strips which are supposed to confuse radar, but can also get sucked into an aircraft engine.

There is just very little margin for error there. And it goes almost completely unreported because the Pentagon is sitting on all the videotapes of these intercepts. They don’t want to release them.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I have a feeling you’re asking for those tapes.

(LAUGHTER)

DAVID MARTIN: Nagging would be the right word.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Nagging for them.

DAVID MARTIN: Yes.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But that risk of miscalculation is so— is so high.

One of my undercovered also is China. And that is just how difficult it is going to be for the U.S. to reverse or even lessen the amount of linkage there is technologically and financially with China.

DAVID MARTIN: Yes.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And it’s going to become more and more of an issue as tension grows. The other thing I would say is North Korea, Kim Jong-un’s growing nuclear capabilities.

DAVID MARTIN: Well, I think it’s safe to say that the American policy of negotiating away Kim Jong-un’s nuclear program has reached a dead end.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.

DAVID MARTIN: And we’re back to deterrence, threatening him that, if he ever uses a nuclear weapon, it won’t be the end of his regime.

JAN CRAWFORD: There hasn’t been a year-end roundtable without David scaring us all.

(LAUGHTER)

DAVID MARTIN: Just to get that good feeling back.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So, Jan, what is most undercovered but should have been covered?

JAN CRAWFORD: You know, I think, as we emerge from the pandemic, we have really failed to deliver any kind of account of what went wrong with our COVID policies, the lockdowns, the mandates, the school closures.

What difference did any of those policies make? I mean, we know the costs. We know the cost of those policies, the learning loss, the mental health crisis, the destruction of our cities that are still trying to recover, the homelessness, the addiction, tremendous costs from those policies.

But what we have not done is any kind of after-review look at what an impact that they had. We got a lot wrong. And we need to look at what it was and — and acknowledge that it was wrong. And the reason is, people’s trust in public health is crumbling. That is a problem, because if we have another public health crisis, which we will, if the public doesn’t believe in our public health policymakers, that is bad for America.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Catherine, I’m going to go to you on that, because I think you have a similar idea in terms of what’s undercovered.

CATHERINE HERRIDGE: Yes.

I think there are two components for me with COVID. One is COVID origins. You just have to look at the data, 6.5 million COVID deaths, of that, a million in this country and more than 600 million infections. And we still don’t know whether it was this zoonotic link, so it spilled over from nature, or whether there’s a link to the lab in Wuhan.

I think most important…

MARGARET BRENNAN: And an accident there.

CATHERINE HERRIDGE: Correct. Right.

So, most important to me, though — and I speak as someone, for full transparency, who has a child who needs special education. He had a transplant. He was developmentally delayed. The policies for special education children with COVID have just been crushing.

You look at the levels of literacy, math, and you look at middle school, high school, and they slid back to elementary school. And our family is fortunate to have that ability to use resources to get our son to a full-time special education school now, but so many of the children that he was in the public system with don’t have those resources.

And I really believe children are resilient. But I have come out of these two years questioning whether these children have the access to the tools that their families also need to help bridge that gap. And I really question the course it’s set them on in the future.

I did some research, and when you look at rates of incarceration, there are incredibly high rates of adults who have learning disabilities or had special education needs. So, I think understanding what happened to those children and how we can do more to support them to try and close that gap is something that’s been extremely underreported. And I agree with Jan.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And none of those things are on the to do-list in terms of congressional investigations.

CATHERINE HERRIDGE: They are not.

MARGARET BRENNAN: No.

JAN CRAWFORD: And if we don’t learn from the mistakes of our policymakers, then we’re going to repeat them. And that erodes public confidence in our public health system.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The CDC is saying it’s doing self-analysis, but people like Dr. Gottlieb would say they need Congress telling them what…

JAN CRAWFORD: And we need to be, as the media…

MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.

JAN CRAWFORD: … asking those hard questions.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Jeff, and then Nancy, what do you think are the most underreported?

JEFF PEGUES: People feel unsafe in their neighborhoods.

And the Police Executive Research Forum, which is a policing think-tank led by a guy named Chuck Wexler, it said that police post-George Floyd, the training is the same. You’ll recall that, post-George Floyd, there were a lot of people who said — who said, you know, we have to train police better.

What hasn’t changed, according to this research, is that police training is still done on the cheap and quickly. You know, these young aspiring police officers are coming on to the force. They’re facing more challenges on the streets than ever before. And yet the training, according to this Police Executive Research Forum, is lacking.

I think that’s an important story, especially given what police officers are facing day to day on the streets, and what the community needs right now amid these spikes in crime.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Nancy, your underreported?

NANCY CORDES: Well, I think we’ve done an amazing job covering the war in Ukraine itself, but I think one of the things that’s been very undercovered is one of the tragic after-effects of that ongoing war, which is growing food insecurities, especially in Africa, where they are facing possibly the worst food crisis in recorded history.

You know, part of it has to do with the war in Ukraine and the reduction in grain and other crops coming from Ukraine and Russia. But it also has to do with the pandemic and the fact that a lot of aid dried up, because countries had to redirect that aid, particularly European countries that are now dealing with an energy crisis as a result of the war in Ukraine, and then climate change, which has had an incredibly destabilizing effect, particularly in Africa.

They’ve missed four consecutive rainy seasons there. You’ve got 500,000 kids who are facing the prospect of famine in Somalia alone. This month, the president committed another $2.5 billion to help with the problem in Africa at the Africa Leaders Summit here in Washington, D.C.

But they’re looking for way more than that, a lot of help from around the world. And it’s just not clear right now whether they’re going to get it.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, that actually transitions into where I was going to go for predictions for 2023.

So I will take a point of personal privilege, because my prediction has to do with Africa and the 54 countries on that continent. The White House is going to have to choose which ones it’s going to get more involved with. And some of them are run by people that have very difficult human rights records.

But the White House is going to have to make some decisions here because of the green revolution, because of the reliance on special earths and ingredients for the electric vehicles and other alternative energies.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, they have 70 percent of the essential items like cobalt and lithium required for electric vehicle batteries. So this is a supply chain controlled by China, coming out of countries like the DRC. And the administration is going to have to make some difficult human rights choices who they want to do business with in the course of going green.

So, I’m going to watch that.

But we’re going to take a break and talk to you about your predictions for 2023 in just a moment. Stay with us.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

MARGARET BRENNAN: David, what’s your 2023 prediction?

DAVID MARTIN: So, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Mark Milley, retires in 2023. I predict he will be replaced by the chief of staff of the Air Force, General C.Q. Brown, making him the second African American, after the late Colin Powell, to become the highest ranking military officer.

And the current commander of Transportation Command, General Jacqueline Van Ovost, will become the next chief of staff of the Air Force, making her the first woman to ever sit on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. You can grade that later.

(LAUGHTER)

MARGARET BRENNAN: David, I usually take what you say to the bank.

DAVID MARTIN: Just do it on a curve.

(LAUGHTER)

MARGARET BRENNAN: OK.

Jan?

JAN CRAWFORD: I don’t think we have any retirements from the Supreme Court. That is not big news, right? No one thinks they’re going to retire.

But I see this Supreme Court staying intact not only through the end of President Biden’s first term, but, if he were to be reelected, I do not think he gets another Supreme Court nomination. This court is this court.

Whether it will be the court that is the longest in history of nine justices to go without a change of membership, I don’t know. That was 11 years. That was after Justice Breyer joined the court in 1994. But it will be this court for some time, so people can get used to some different rulings.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Catherine?

CATHERINE HERRIDGE: I think many Americans forget that there’s still been no resolution to the 9/11 military prosecution at Guantanamo Bay. And we’re entering a second year of negotiations between the military prosecutors and the attorneys for the defendants.

I think this could be the year where there are plea deals in the 9/11 case for some or all of the men. So, let’s just let that sink in. I think it’s going to mean the death penalty is off the table, and, in return, there are guarantees that the men will have certain medical care, and that they will live out their sentences at the Guantanamo Bay prisons.

That means that this goal of closing the prisons, which has been held by a couple of administrations has— has run its course. It’s not going to happen.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Jeff?

JEFF PEGUES: Fani Willis, do you recognize that name?

MARGARET BRENNAN: Georgia.

JEFF PEGUES: You did.

Georgia, Fulton County, the one sort of Trump-related investigation that really flies under the radar. She’s a tough prosecutor. She’s been subpoenaing everybody connected to this case, powerful people in Washington.

But my theory is that she doesn’t care about the power in Washington. She knows she has power in Georgia. And I think, my prediction is that she will bring the first charges related to President Trump. Remember, that was the call where he said, hey, Brad…

MARGARET BRENNAN: Find the votes.

JEFF PEGUES: … 11,780.

It’s evidence on tape. Anybody else who said something like that would be in big trouble.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Nancy?

NANCY CORDES: I predict that sometime in the first few months of 2023, President Biden will announce his bid for reelection. To me, it’s not much of a mystery. This is what he has wanted to do his entire adult life for the last 50 years is to be president of the United States. He feels good about what he’s accomplished. in his first two years.

And I think it would take something very serious to cause him to change his mind about running again.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to go to good news from 2022.

I will start. David, NATO is not brain-dead. And the French president, Emmanuel Macron, once called it that.

DAVID MARTIN: Sure.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And the lesson from 2022 was that it’s not. That’s mine.

(LAUGHTER)

MARGARET BRENNAN: That was my good news, good news for the West.

(CROSSTALK)

DAVID MARTIN: Good news for us, bad news for Putin.

My good news is much more limited, retired Army Major John Duffy, who received a long overdue Medal of Honor, for leading — and being the only American adviser leading a South Vietnamese battalion against an entire North Vietnamese division. He went in with 471 troops. He came out with 37.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Wow.

DAVID MARTIN: He did four combat tours in Vietnam. So he’s obviously a remarkable warrior.

But he also turns out to be a remarkable poet. And he wrote a poem about that battle which is the single best account of combat I— I have ever read. So, I know we don’t do poetry readings on “Face the Nation.”

(LAUGHTER)

DAVID MARTIN: But just— just let me give you a couple lines.

MARGARET BRENNAN: OK.

DAVID MARTIN: “The battle raged back and forth, the dying, wounded moaning softly. Despair and hurt are common. Is this glory?”

We’re lucky to have people who can fight like that and write like that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well said, David.

Jan?

JAN CRAWFORD: You know, I — that’s hard to follow that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I know. It is.

JAN CRAWFORD: But I’m going to follow it with a story of perseverance, inspiration, courage, and believing in yourself.

And these are stories that we see in the world of sports. I think sports plays a valuable role in kind of bringing us together and emphasizing our common bonds. And one of the best stories in 2022 is Hansel Emmanuel, who is a young man who lost an arm and an accident when he was a child, had it amputated, but never gave up on his dream of being a basketball star.

He moved to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic, led his Florida high school to the state championship game, got a college scholarship to play basketball in college, and, earlier this month, scored his first points in a college basketball game with one of his signature, thunderous dunks with his one remaining arm.

And it is to me a reminder that, if you believe in yourself, keep working, never give up, that you can do great things.

MARGARET BRENNAN: That’s also an incredible story, Jan. Thank you.

Your good news, Catherine?

CATHERINE HERRIDGE: Well, to sort of follow up on what David said, I have really had the honor of meeting a lot of service members this year who work in the shadows and do very high-risk work, with no expectation of public acknowledgement, no expectation of medals, or even promotion.

And I think that they just embody what is so great about this country. We have a phrase in our house, which is that these people really come from a different shelf of the library than the rest of us. And thank goodness for that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Jeff?

JEFF PEGUES: It’s so hard on my beat to find a good news story sometimes.

But, all right, so I went to Ohio. I was taken to a cigar shop by — it’s Mason, Ohio, by the way — by this businessman, friend of mine happens to be African American. So I went, waiting for my flight. We sat down outside. And these two guys — we were dressed in suits. They were dressed in overalls.

And they walked by and said: “Hey, how you doing?”

And I said, “Wow, oh, OK,” because I’m not used to, in D.C., a stranger just kind of — it was like, whoa.

I asked my friend: “What was that?”

And there were two farmers. And he said: “That’s the way it is around here. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from. We just — they’ll stop and sit.”

And they did stop and sit. We were talking about politics. We were talking about the state of the country. And how great this country is. Then it turned, because he started about — talking about COVID and how he lost his wife.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Oh.

JEFF PEGUES: It was really incredible the conversation that these strangers from different worlds had. And, as I was asked this question, what kind of positive can you bring to the table, to me, that is America, where you have all these people with different point of views come together, not fighting, smoking cigars, chatting on a beautiful day, and getting up walking away and saying: Hey, take care. Nice talking to you.

MARGARET BRENNAN: A human connection.

Nancy?

NANCY CORDES: My good news is related. And it’s not really on my beat either, but I say this more as a mom.

I think that this was the year that life got back to normal or close to it. You know, at this time last year, Omicron was just emerging. In January of 2022, there were a million cases of COVID every day. Now we’re down to about 150,000 a day, which isn’t great, but it’s better.

And, you know, we’re able to gather inside. We’re able to travel much more easily. You know, it’s not exactly life as we knew it before the pandemic, but it feels more normal for us and, most importantly, for our kids. So, that’s my good news.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Thank you all for joining us and sharing your insights. And thanks to all of you.

We will be right back with a lot more Face the Nation, so stay with us.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

MARGARET BRENNAN: One of the many surprises we were witness to here in Washington in 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s whirlwind trip to the nation’s capital last week.

His story will definitely continue into the new year.

MARGARET BRENNAN (voice-over): This lightning-fast Washington trip, his first foreign visit since Russia’s full-scale invasion, it was less perilous than the front lines, but no less important. The U.S. has given the lion’s share of Western military support. But as that price tag now nears $100 billion, a number of lawmakers have voiced skepticism.

Zelenskyy shared his gratitude.

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY (Ukrainian President): I thank every American family which cherishes the warmth of its home and wishes the same warmth to other people.

MARGARET BRENNAN: There was no holiday cease-fire. Ukrainians kept up their fierce resistance, celebrating in subway shelters, decorating makeshift Christmas trees and finding innovative ways to light them amid a near-nationwide blackout.

(MAYOR VITALI KLITSCHKO SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

MARGARET BRENNAN: Kyiv’s mayor said lighting the tallest menorah in Europe shows that light always wins, not might.

That resilience has inspired the world and led many Americans to see themselves in the civilians caught in the crossfire of a conflict they did not choose. Whether that continues is up to us.

MARGARET BRENNAN: That’s it for us today. Thank you all for watching.

All of us here at Face the Nation want to wish you and your family a very happy holidays.

Until next week, I’m Margaret Brennan.



Source link