tv Sen. Josh Hawley R-MO The Tyranny of Big Tech CSPAN July 9, 2021 12:15am-12:50am EDT
missouri republican senator josh hawley gives his thoughts on the influence tech companies have on the free speech. he's written a book about it in the tyranny of big tech and interviewed by the "washington post." >> welcome to "washington post" live. i am a tech policy reporter and author of the technology newsletter. my guest today is senator josh hawley, republican from missouri. senator, welcome to the "washington post." >> thank you. senator, i am looking forward to talking about your proposal to break up the big tech companies in your new book that we wanted to start with the events of january 6th. senator, you were the first senator to object to the certification of joe biden's electoral college victory. you write in your book, quote,
to raise an objection to one state during the electoral college certification process. senator, what responsibility do you feel for the cascading events that resulted on january 6th? to voice my constituents concerns about integrity and this is something for the process i used to do that the democrats have used in the three of the last presidential elections every time a president has been elected since the year 2000 they subjected to different states over the presidential elections and the law provides for that as a statute and a rule to the house and senate provides during the electoral certification process for objections and debates if there is enough representative at least for every state's debate which is what i did and joined by a number of my colleagues.
i objected specifically and senators filed an objection to the state of arizona so we had a debate on both of those and my view is we needed a debate on election integrity. i think it was appropriate to have it and democrats with a previous election with a debate is appropriate and certainly within their rights to raise these issues and i promised my constituents that ie would, soi did and that is why i raised the issues and i wasn't going to let the actions of a 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 actions to interfere with my obligations and constituents in doing what i said i was going to do so those who committed acts of violence and crime on that day, they deserve to go to prison and i don't care whether justification is. it wass wrong, violent, i don't
care if you are doing it on the right or the left. those folks who came to the capital and committed violence it's like those across different cities in the country over the past year and just like the deranged individuals that killed the police officer a few weeks ago with service so regardless what your ideology is if youou commit acts of violence and break the law you ought to do the time for that but in terms of i don't regret that at all. that is me doing my job. >> members of your own party warned that it could be damaging to move forward with that objection and in the case of pennsylvania, the supreme court had already dismissed a
republican lawsuit challenging those results. i want to ask about comments made in a local interview about a month after the attack. you said biden was duly elected. do you believe that biden is the elected president of the united states? >> i do but let me go back forha second. you mentioned pennsylvania which wastuas the heart of my objecti. the merits of the claims in the constitutional claims pennsylvania violated its own state constitution and allowing the universal mail-in balloting that declined to hear it. they dismissed it on the procedural grounds and violated their own doctor and in doing so and that isn't the only strange thing. the court interfered -- >> if you are going to challenge this saying theye didn't know e
merits of the case, there was an appeals court that said itha lacked merit so to reform when they don't exist, i want to get back -- >> no, no, you can't have it both ways. youy can't say they heard it, that's wrong. it's an important point. don't try to censor, cancel and silence me here. the truth is the pennsylvania supreme court didn't hear the merits of the case. they dismissed the case in violation of their own precedents. they never heard the merits of the case. the only an adjudication on that claim for the lower court judges found there was a constitutional violation in pennsylvania. urmy view is if the people can't get their own to hear the case,
if the constitution says the mail in ballotai is not constitutional and yet it happened anyway, then there is a problem and that is a subject for debate in the united states congress and democrats can object to 11 different states and certifications surely the republicans can c object to one. >> we are going to move on. i wanted to ask about your point of president biden. you said you believe he was elected. what about those that still don't believe he was elected president? rightly being prosecuted now that process is over. the votes have been counted and joe biden's president and now if you are like me and the people
of my state and you deeply disagree with the direction president biden is trying to take this country and far left policy and lawlessness at the border and if you disagree then we've got to take our stand in the democratic process and legislature and we will have more coming up next year in november of 2022 and we can go back to the country then but the thing now is if you disagree as i do then we continue to stand on principle and present an alternative vision and in congress in think it's incumbent upon people like me representing my state to oppose the agenda when my own folks oppose it. >> but senator, i want to talk a little bit about the investigations that are going on in to the capital riot. do you support a 9/11 commission to look into those events? >> i agree with my senators that it would be useful but it's got
to be bipartisan and it ought to be done on the framework on the style of the pattern of the commission whichar is not what e democrats have proposed, not what nancy pelosi proposed. she wanted it to be a stacked commission that is bogged down because there is no reason to further introduce the partisan politics. we oughtht to have a look at the failings. we have severalal hearings in te senate on the security failings of the day. those are pretty significant. there was major controversy about activating the national guard and we know that as some they didn't want them activated on the day because they thought that it looked too much like president trump's activation against those in the summer. i think that was a mistake to not activateie earlier. there's a lot of controversy of who asked for it to be activated et cetera. we probably should have a full accounting making sure the
various law enforcement agencies are figuring out how we can improve. i had a police officer take me aside the other day and said is it just going to be a blame game looking back and he had it right something that a commission could do to think about what are we going to do to make sure the security failings don't happen in the future.. you mentioned the capitol police and i wanted to talk about an interview on cnn last week. police officer michael vallone was beaten ferociously, suffered a heart attack and concussion and had too big for his life. he spoke out about thatio experience. let's play the clip. >> you know, i am happy that
i've gotten 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 the events of that day or downplay what happened. some of the terminology that was used, like xoxox and very fine people,, different 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 spans almost two decades. >> senator, what is your response to michael fanone? >> i certainly don't think we should downplay the violence and
the rhetoric that he was pointing to. that certainly isn't language that i would use. whether they are rioting at the capitol or federal buildings in portland or elsewhere or who identify with the left or the right. over the past year by criminal rioters. >> manyou americans first got to know you from the photo on the sixth.ix who was that directed to? >> i was entering the house chamber the morning i of the sih to go in for the beginning of the electoral count and those
were demonstrators on the plaza on the east side standing behind barricades. when i walked by that particular group of folks were standing there peacefully behind g barricades off the plaza and i waved to them, pumped my fist and thanked them for being there and they had every right. >> after what happened, do you regret that at all? >> no w because i don't know wht of those protesters participated in the criminal riots and it is a slur on the thousands, tens of thousandss of people who came to the capital that day to demonstrate peacefully to lock them in with the criminal riots and say you are all basically
the same. through all of last summer we heard it's important to distinguish between the protesters and the riots. i agree with that then and 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 came to demonstrate peacefully that is their first amendment right and i will support and defend it and other people i disagree. >> i want to turn to a big decision we are expecting tomorrow related to t facebook. we find out if president trump can return to facebook. the new oversight for the decision, what do you think? >> i think it's sad that right now in the country the free speech that americans enjoy basically depends on the whims of monopoly corporations. i have no idea how the board
operates. nobody does. this is the facebook supreme court as facebook sometimes called it. i don't think any one company should have this kind of power over speech and data and news and information. facebook has tremendous power. i have no idea of course the decision of the oversight board and i think what it is is less important than the sheer amount of power that they exercise and of course the total lack of transparency and thisth is why n my view we need to break them up. facebook is a monopoly, google is a monopoly. it's unlike anything we've seen in the country and the century probably evere and i think the decision, the impending decision of the board underscores and amplifies that. >> senator, i want to get to those points that you made about breaking g up big tech, but firt i want to ask what would've trump's return to f facebook men for the future of the republican party? answer to know the ththat, cat.
the former president is a very significant force in the party as it is, and that is going to be true no matter what. so i don't know that his return to a platform is going to affect his standing in the party one way or another. my state, the state of missouri republicans remain overwhelmingly popular, and i don't think that has anything to do with whether he is on facebook or not. ..
>> or they use that by constructing profiles that fsh have these advertisers that is behavioral manipulation not just like here is a new product that based on all previous history we will play in front of you images and words that have a great chance of changing your mind. that is behavioral advertising based on your personal
characteristic. i think that form of advertising is so destructive and the surveillance that goes into it is so dangerous i think we should withdraw section 230 immunity for any company that engage for cells behavioraleh advertising or whatever is behind it but to answer directly i would also hope to get bipartisan support to my democratic friends across the aisle behavioral advertising encourages mass surveillance, mass tracking, mass data that's a place i would propose to start. >> have you had any discussions with any specific lawmakers about that proposal? >> i have. but thiss is something i the fact that companies have
immense influence of the administration hope it doesn't ditch her them in a meaningful way one of the things i'm concerned about is the incredible amount of influence they have a more sides of the aisle and to leverage that influence with the incredible amount of money that ceos gave to the biden/harris campaign. i just hope my democratic colleagues will remain vigilant and not give the's companies pass or let up the pressure maybe break the mother we can talk about that section 230 is a step but i think we need to break it up. >> on that point the two bills you recently introduced the trust busting and that the attack act. on that point of working with
democrats, how do you get these through congress? to make these are the most aggressive trust busting bills in years. the most aggressive in congress now and i think we will find out where people are. there is room to get some work across the aisle and the subcommitteemm that amy klobuchar chairs with her own antitrust proposal good, ground i also propose to go farther than senator klobuchar has but have a hard stand on mergers and acquisitions those have a market cap of 100 billion or more to change the standard the courts evaluate antitrust cases. promoting competition ought to be the standard courts use the consumer welfare standard
which i think is too deferential in practice i think we got to change the standard because those are two major areas where my bill is tougher and stronger but i think we need to have a debate on howo we can cut these monopoly corporations down to size but still we see economic concentration and we need to confront that. >> you mentioned changing the standards for antitrust litigation. can you bring other conservatives around to that idea? and also said it's a nonstarter for them.
>> it is able to move absolutely as i talked to conservatives traditionally on principle is brief of the free market and competition those who define themselves as economic conservatives competition will come right near the top of the list. my argument is the current standard the courts have used for decades is only halfway there does it cause higher prices to consumers? that's an important question but not the only question when it comes to competition these tech companies argue frequently our services are free. google our services are free but the problem is they may be free in terms of the consumer facing product that data
collection you have a choice if you want your data collected if you use facebook or google or twitter. they will track w you all over the web without your consent and usually without your knowledge. that is a monopoly. you cannot opt out. no other place or year competitor a to them to say on this platform i data will be protected. facebook used to place they would protect data but as soon as they got rid of the competition they started to collect the data just to say why the consumer welfarere standard isn't enough those that areal technically free but still have all the characteristicsst of monopoly and burden consumers and cost them something tangible in control of their data. that's why we need a new standard to get back competition and that's what i would propose to protect and
promote competition that's a standard the courts used to evaluate that's my case for adopting it. >> what i'm hearing from you today from the biden ftc nominee do you plan to support the nomination quick. >>n? i haven't made up my mind yet. i haven't got are chance to talk with her much but i'm impressed with her background she has a track record that demonstrates the monopoly problems and her issues she brings up are important ones. >> you are the only senator to vote against the bill targeting hate crimes against asian americans. you said it was too broad but what do>> you think should be done to target hate crimes
quick. >> this is an anti- a free speech bill and a take it really seriously. it doesn't create any newew hate crimes areat change what is on the books. if you commit a crime against somebody based on their race or religion ethnic background federal law punishes you for that that my issue with this bill doesn't change any of that but what it did do is gave to the department of justice the powerer to track and monitor and define hate incidents that are not attacks or violence the speech was are speech acts may say it does include speech i think it's a mistake to get the power meant to have a sense of speech and
that's a big problem than the civil libertarian recoils at that the patriot act from 20 years ago where we gave the government all kinds of power and to criminalize in some instances was supposed to be temporary. it was supposed to be limited they have gotten broader. i cannot in good conscience support further government power over define defenses speech tracking and monitoring. >> is someone who is covered your position on tech issues it does seem in that area you want to give the government more power over speech with having companies proved to the ftc if they are politically neutral to have immunities of it seems these positions are inconsistent. i want to move on. >> let me respond to that. i don't think the government should be regulating the speech of the tech companies i
think we need more free speech not less that the problem with the tech companies as they censor on politicalre viewpoint so we ought to break them up so the issue is the monopoly power so if they behave in advertising or sensor on the basis of political viewpoints that i am against more government regulation i just don't think that works at the end of the day because what happens the more the government regulates these companies to fine-tune the business models the more the regulators are captured by the industry if you listen to my democratic colleagues they want the tech companies to censor more. they want to define what is a defensive speech to become wings of the democratic party.
i am opposed to that right or left. >> i want to be clear that companies have denied they censor on the basis of political view. with the future of the republican party how is the falsehood the election was stolen has become a litmus test for the party is that bad for the party. >> going back this is why my perspective or my proposal is we are to make the tech companies enforceable. you are right they do say that they don't discriminate on the basis of political viewpoints they have saidec that over and overca under oath. let's make that enforceable. right now if you are a normal person with these platforms if you google violated your terms of service and you discriminate on the basis of political speech take their own terms of service and if
they really are applying and evenhanded way there is no problem that we ought to give people the ability to go into court. your second question? >> senator i want to ask about the future of the republican partyf. there are reports there is a move underfoot for the caucus do you support those efforts? >> i i leave this to my house colleagues. there has been a lot of things taken up are the views expended on the republicans civil war read that from time to time in the press but the voters in my stay in all republican voters but for sure in the state of missouri has interest in the republicans civil war they don't want to go backan and what to continue
with the policies the border security one trade to be fair and to bring jobs back from overseas. >> we are running out of time. one more time do you think we list cheney should be removed from leadership quick. >> that's a decision for the house conference. i'm not a member of the house. >> looking forward to support formerer president trump running for office in 2024. and that's a decision for him. it would not advise him what to do. i advised him if he wants he would be the nominee. and we will have to see.
>> attacking big tech from all sorts of angles but to coalesce and use more antitrust enforcement but they have very different reasons for doing so so for democrats to be rooted that animosity in general and skepticism to shrink them down to size and for republicans it is a culture war against the technology companies in general to be biased and other corporate cultures so it is tied to the feeling that tech companies are out to get them.