tv Sen. Josh Hawley R-MO The Tyranny of Big Tech CSPAN July 8, 2021 9:00pm-9:34pm EDT
"washington post." >> welcome to "washington post" live. i'm the tech policy reporter and author of the technology to the new border. my guest today is senator josh hawley, republican from missouri. senator, welcome to the "washington post." >> thanks, cat. senator, i'm looking forward to talking about your proposal to break up big tech companies in your new book, but we want to start with the events of januar. you were the first senator to object to the certification of joe biden's electoral college victory. do you write in your book, quote, to raise an objection to one state during the electoral college certification process.
what responsibility do you feel for the cascading events that resulted on january 6th? >> i did what i said i was going to do which is to voice my constituents concerns and this is something byy the way the process that i used to do that the democrats have used in the three of the last in fact every time a republican president has been elected since the year 2000 they've objected to different states over those presidential elections and the law provides for that as well as the rules in the house and the senate during the electoral certification process for objections and debates if there's enough of objection one senator and one representative for every state and then a vote which is what i did and joined by a number of my colleagues. i objected specifically in the state of pennsylvaniahe and oths objection to the state of arizona so we had debate on both
of those. the debate is appropriate and within their rights to raise these issues and i promised my constituents i was a, so i did and that's why i raised the issues and i wasn't going to let the actions of the criminal mob who came to the capital and tried to stop the certification process and debate that we were in the middle of. i wasn't going to allow their interactions to interfere with my constituents in doing what i said i was going to do so those that committed acts of violence and crime on that day deserve to go to prison and i don't care the justification. it's wrong and criminal and i don't care if you are doing it because you are on the right or the left and i condemn those folks who came to the capital and committed criminal violence
just like the rioters across different cities the past year and just like the deranged individual who killed a police officer just a few weeks ago at the capital in service to his violent ideology. if you commit acts of violence and break the law, you ought to do the times for that. but election integrity i promised my constituents i would and did and i do not regret that at all. that is me doing my job. >> members warned that it could be damaging for you to move forward with that objection and in the case of pennsylvania, the court already dismissed the republican lawsuit challenging those results. i want to ask about comments you made in a local interview about a month after the attack. you said biden was duly elected. do you believe biden is the
legitimately elected president of the united states? >> i do but let me go back since you bring it up, the heart of my objection was the objection i filed. they didn't hear or read adjudicate the merits of the claim of the constitutional claim pennsylvania had violated its own state constitution and allowing the universal mail-in ballots.s. they specifically declined to hear it and dismissed it on the procedural grounds and they violated their own doctor and in doing so.. that isn't the only strange thing. the same pennsylvania supreme court that is a partisan court by the way. that court also interfered. >> i want to step in if you are going to challenge saying they didn't know the merit of the case because there was an appeals court that ruled that it lacked merite so it's difficult
to rule on the merit when they don't exist. >> no, no. you can't have it both ways and say they heard the merits and dismissed them [inaudible] it's an important point. don't try to silence me here. you've got to listen to the truth and that is the pennsylvania supreme court did not hear the merits of the case. they dismissed the case on the ground in violation of their own so they never heard the case. the only at adjudication on the merits of that claim or lower court judges that found there was a constitutional violation in pennsylvania. if they can't get their own supreme court to hear the case, if the pennsylvanians constitutn says the mail-in ballots is not constitutional and yet it
happened anyway, then there's a problem and that is a subject for debate in the united states congress and if democrats can object to 11 different states and certifications, surely republicans can object to one. >> senator, we are going to move on. i want to ask about the point of president biden. you said you believed he was elected. what is the message to those who still don't believe that he was? >> he was the duly elected president and this is why we have a certification process. i raised my objection and other senatorsec raised their objections. we had a debate that was interrupted by the violence that isch rightly being prosecuted n. i condemned it at the time but that process is over. the electoral votes have been counted and biden's president. now if you're like me and the people of my state and you deeply disagree with the direction he's trying to take this country, if you disagree
with his far left policies and lawlessness att the border, if you disagree with that, we have to take our stand through the process and legislature and will have more coming up next year. but the thing now is if you disagree as ig do then we continue to stand on principle and havepl alternative visions d in congress i think it's incumbent upon people like me representing my state to oppose this agenda when my own folks oppose it. >> i want to talk about the investigation that are going on into the capital riots. do you support a 9/11 style nine commission to look r at those events? >> i agree with my fellow republican senators. i think it would be useful but it's got to be bipartisan and it ought to be done on the framework of the style of the pattern of the 9/11 commission which is noto what the democrats
have proposed, not what nancy npelosi proposed. she wanted it to be a stacked position which is currently bogged down because there is no reason to further introduce partisan politics. we know for instance there was major controversy about activating the national guard and we know that to some did not want the guard activated on the day because of -- they thought it looked too much like president trump's activation against the riots in dc early in the summer. i think that was a mistake not to activate the guard earlier. there's a lot of controversy who asked for it, when it was activated et cetera. i think we should have a full accounting of all that making sure the various agencies report on how we can improve. i had a capitol police officer take me aside the other day and
say is anything going to be done proactively or is it going to be a blame game and i think that he had it right. it's something a commission could do to think about proactively what are we going to do to make sure that the security failings like this don't happen again and take a look at the physical security in the capital and so on. >> have you been interviewed at all by the fbi? >> i have not. you mentioned the capital police and i want to talk about in an interview on cnn last week. the dc police officer was beaten ferociously, suffered a heart attack and concussion and. had tooo big for his life. he spoke out against that experience. let's play the clip. >> i am happy that i've got the opportunity to speak out and talk about the events of that day. it's been very difficult seeing
elected officials and other individuals kind of whitewash of the events of that day or downplay what happened. some of the terminology that was used it's very different s from what i experienced and what my coworkers experienced on the sixth. i experienced the most brutal hand to hand combat of my entire life, let alone my policing career that expands almost two decades. >> senator, what is your response? >> i don't think we should downplay the violence and the rhetoric about xoxox or whatever that was. criminal rioters ought to be treated as criminals.
by the way a that is true whethr they are rioting at the capital or federal buildings in portland or elsewhere or whether it's rioters that identify with the left or the right like the deranged individual who killed a capital police officer just a few weeks ago the nation of islam. i certainly hope that that story will be told and he will be honored and a the hundreds of officers who've been attacked across the country over the past year. >> many americans first got to know you from the photo with your fist pump on the sixth. who was that directed to? >> that was entering the house chamber on theou morning of the sixth to go in for the beginning of the electoral count and those were demonstrators out there on the plaza, the far end of the plaza on the east side standing behind barricades waving
americanng flags. and theyry had every right to be there, every right to demonstrate under the first amendment and every right to make their views known. what nobody has the right to do is to do so violently. when i walked by that particular groups of folks were standing peacefully behind the barricades and i waved to them and gave them a thumbs up and pumped my fist to them and they had every right to do that. >> but after what happened, do you regret that at all? >> i don't know which of the protesters were demonstrators participated in the criminalip riots and i think that it is a slur on the thousands, tens of thousands of people who came to the capital that day to demonstrate peacefully to say you are all basically the same. it's all the same thing. over and over it is important to distinguish between the peaceful protesters and the
riots. i agreed with it then. i think the same is true of those on january 6th. the tens of thousands who came to dc and the overwhelming majority of whom were peaceful. and i will absolutely support and defend that and other people i disagree with politically doing the same thing. i want to turn to a big decision that works tomorrow related to facebook. we find out if president trump can return to facebook. the company's oversight board will announce the decision. what do you think? >> i think that it's sad right now in the country the free speech that americans enjoy basically depend on the whims of monopoly corporations. i have no idea how it really operates. nobody does. this is the facebook supreme court. i don't think any one company should have this kind of power
over speech, data, news and information. facebook hasti tremendous, tremendous power so i have no idea what the decision of the oversight board will be and i think what it is is less important than the amount of poweror that they exercise and e total lack of transparency and this is why in my view we need to break them up. facebook is a monopoly, google is a monopoly. the power is unlike anything we've seen probably ever and i think that the decision is underscored and amplifies that. >> i'm going to get to those points that you made about breaking up big attack but first let me ask what would the return to facebook mean for the future of the republican party? >> i don't know the answer to that. my view is the former president is a very significant force and that is going to be true no matter what. so i don't know that his return to a platform is really going to
affect his standing in the party one way or another. i can tell you in my state he remains overwhelmingly popular. i don't think that has anything to do with whether he is on facebook or not so the issue about facebook and other social media platforms is an issue about ordinary americans and the control of normal everyday americans by these platforms in the speech and that's important also the data and access to news and sharing of information and that is what is so vital in these monopoly outfits. >> on that issue of speech, the book takes aim at section 230 which is a legal shield that protects internet companies from lawsuits.ts where can you find the agreement from your fellow senators to seo make changes to that? >> here's an idea that i mentioned in the book and i think that when it comes to
section 230 this is an important way forward. the immunity ought to be withdrawn for any platform that engages in behaviorall advertising. you have reported on this. it's when they collect the data which all the companies do without our consent, no meaningful consent. they track us around the web and then they use that sometimes they basically sell it to third parties or they use it by constructing profiles they then sell to advertisers and they try to use behavioral manipulation. it's not just like here is a new product. based on all of your previous history we are going to put images and words and so forth that we know has a great chance of changing your mind. that's behavioral advertising based on your characteristics. it's so dangerous we ought to
withdrawal the immunity for any company that permits, engages or sells behavioral advertising or engages in the algorithmic amplification that's behind it. i would hope that could get bipartisan support. i would say to my good democratic friends, across the aisle, we ought to be able to agree on this. behavioral advertising just encourages the mass surveillance, tracking, taking of data so that would be a place that i would propose to start. >> have you had discussions with the party about the proposal? >> i have and this is something -- here's what i will say about my friends across the aisle. i hope that these companies have influence with the current administration. i hope that will detour them from getting tough on these companies in a meaningful way. one of the things i'm concerned
about is the incredible amount of influence these companies have on both sides of the aisle and we saw them try to leverage that with the incredible amount money that these companies, the ceos gave to the campaign so i hope that my democratic colleagues will remain vigilant on this and not give the companies a pass or let up the pressure. we've got to do something meaningful. we will talk more about that soon. section 230 will be a step but i think we need to break them up. a. >> on that point about breaking the companies up, i want to ask about two bills you recently introduced, the trust funding fornt the 21st century act. on that point about working with democrats, how are you going to get these through congress? >> these are the most aggressive bills that have been introduced
in years and years. i think the most now we will find out where people really are and how they respond to these bills. i think that there is room to get work done across the aisle. it's in the antitrust committee, the subcommittee that i'm a part of that senator klobuchar chairs. i think you can find some good common ground between the two of us on these issues. i proposed to go farther and i think we ought to have mergers and f acquisitions for 100 billn or more. i think we ought to change the standards the court uses to evaluate antitrust cases. we ought to promote the competition, protect competition. that ought to be the standard. with the consumer welfare standard i think that it is deferential in practice. we ought to change the standard and i would highlight those because those are two major
areas where my bill is tougher and stronger but i think that's good. we need to have a debate about how it is enforcing the law and we need a debate about how we can cut them down to size. the big tech corporations are the most pressing but we are seeing economic concentration in multiple industries and we need to confront that. >> you mentioned changing the standard for antitrust litigation. are you going to be able to bring other conservatives are bound to that idea because members of your own party, top leaders have said that is a non-starter for that. >> something that is traditionallytr a principal thoe
who define themselves as economic conservatives competition is going to come near the top of the list. my argument is that the current standard the courtss have used for decades now only gets halfway there. does the business practice in question becausese a higher prie to consumers? that is a fine question but it's not the only question for competition. take the tech company they argue frequently the services are free. they may be free in terms of the consumer facing product but the monopoly rent in other ways take the data collection you don't have a choice if you want the data collected if you use facebook or google or twitter they will track you without your consent or knowledge.
they are going to extract your data. you cannot opt out and there is no other place youou can go and say on this platform my data will be protected. facebook use to pledge that they would protect data. that's when they had the competition over a decade ago but as soon they got rid of the competition they started collectingve the data and that s to get to the reason why the consumer welfare standard isn't enough. but they have all the characteristics of the monopoly and burden consumers and cost them something tangible in control of their data and that's why we need a new standard of that gets back competition and that is a standard in promoting the competition that ought to be the standard to evaluate and that would be my conservative case for adopting it. >> a lot of the ideas sound like
ideas we've heard from the nominee. do you plan to support the nomination? >> i haven't made my mind up yet. i haven't got the chance to talk with her but i will say i'm impressed with her background and work in this area. she has thought very seriously about monopoly problems and i think that her track record that and the voice that she's brought is a really important one. >> ito want to switch gears. you are the only senator to vote against the bill. you said it was too broad but what do you think should be done to target hate crimes? >> this is an anti-free speech bill and as a first amendment guy i take that really
seriously. it changed crimes on the book let's be clear they are already barred. if you commit a crime against somebody based on their race or religion or ethnic background, federal law punishes you for that. my issue in this bill is what it did do is in a section for it gave to the department of justice the power to track and monitor and fine pate incidences. those are speech acts and the department itself said this could include speech. i think it's a mistake to give the government the power to define the speech and to track and monitor it and collect it. that is a big problem and the civil libertarian in me recoils that. we looked 20 years ago and the government has all kinds of power to monitor speech and track it.
that was supposed to be temporary. we are still livingg with it. i can't in good conscience support for their government power over speech. >> as someone who has been covering your positions on the tech issues i it seems in that area you do want to give more power when you talk about having companies proved to the ftc whether they are neutral to get section 230 immunity so it seems i want to move on -- i've come to the view we ought to break them up if they engage in
behavioral advertising or sensor on the basis of the political viewpoints but i'm against more government regulation ofov the companies. i don't think that works at the end ofth the day because what happens is the more the government regulates the companies and tries to fine tune their business model and speech regulation, the more the regulators are captured by the industry. there's a difference between myself and my democratic colleagues. they want the tech companies to censor more andd further define. they want them to basically become wings of the party and i am opposed to that whether it is rightt, or left. >> the companies denied that they censored on the basis of political view. moving on to the future of the
republican party, i want to ask you about how the falsehood has become a litmus test in a lot of ways for the party. is that bad for the party? >> let me go back to what you said a second ago. this is why my proposal is we ought to make their own terms of service enforceable. they do say companies say they don't discriminate on the basis of political viewpoints. they say that over and over under oath. let's make that enforceable. if you are just a normal person andow you get these platforms tt you say wait a minute i think that you violated your terms of service and discriminated on the basis of political speech there's nothing you can do about it. take the company's terms of service, make those enforceable and if they are applying them in an even way there won't be a problem but we ought to give people the ability to go into
court. i'm sorry what was the second question? >> i wanted to ask about the future of the republican party and there's reports there'she a move to remove liz cheney from leadership. do you support those efforts? >> i'll leave that to my house colleagues. i do not have a vote in that process so i will say there's been a lot taken up expended on the republican civil war. voters in my state and all republican voters i talk to but for sure in the state of missouri have zero interest in the republican civil war. they don't want to go back. they want to go forward and continue with the policies former president trump putor in place. they want the border secure, trade to be fair, jobs from
overseas -- >> we are running out of time. i want to ask you one more time do you think liz cheney should be removed? >> i think that is a decision for the house conference. i don't have a vote on that i don't. a. >> looking forward, would you support former president trump running again for office inha 2024? >> i get asked this a lot and i've said this every time i've asked that's a decision for him. i do not give him advice and i wouldn't advise him what to do. i do believee he runs that he will be the nominee but as to whether he will i have no idea whether he should i leave that up to him so we will have to see. >> if he runs would you run against him? >> no. i'm not planning to run. i have an election of my own in
the state of missouri and i hope that they will have me for another six years in the senate so we will see in 2024. >> unfortunately that is all of the time we have left for the event today. thank you for joining us, senator hawley. >> thank you, cat. thank you so much. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ buckeye broadband along with these television companies supports c-span2 as a public