The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Transcript: 117th Congress: Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.)

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: Welcome to Washington Post Live. I’m Cat Zakrzewski, a tech policy reporter and author of The Technology 202 newsletter.

My guest today is Senator Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri. Senator, welcome to The Washington Post.

SEN. HAWLEY: Thanks, Cat.

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: Senator, I'm looking forward to talking to you a bit about your proposals to break up big tech companies in your new book, but we wanted to start today 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, "My sin was 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?

SEN. HAWLEY: Well, listen, I did what I said I was going to do on January the 6th, which is to voice my constituents' concerns about election integrity, and this is something, by the way, the process that I used to do that, the Democrats have used in three of the last presidential elections. In fact, every time a Republican president has been elected since the year 2000, Democrats have objected to 11 different states over those three presidential elections, and the law provides for that. The law and statues of the United States as well as the rules of the House and the Senate provide during the electoral certification process for objections and then debate, if there's enough objection--one senator and one representative at least for every state--debate and then a vote, which is what I did and joined by a number of my colleagues.

I objected specifically--the objection I filed was to the state of Pennsylvania. Other senators filed an objection to the state of Arizona. And so, we had debate on both of those.

And my view is this is that we needed to have a debate on election integrity. We're having it now. I think it was appropriate to have it then. I thought, by the way, that Democrats objecting in previous elections to have debate was appropriate. It's certainly within their rights to raise these issues, and I promised my constituents that I would, and so I did. And that's why I raised the issues on that day.

And I wasn't going to let the actions of a lawless criminal mob who came to the Capitol and tried to stop the certification process, tried to stop the debate that we were in the middle of--I certainly wasn't going to allow their actions to interfere with my obligation to my constituents and doing what I said I was going to do.

Those who committed acts of violence, those who committed acts of crime on that day, January 6th, they deserve to go to prison, and I don't care what their justification is. It was wrong. It's violent. It was lawless. It's criminal. I don't care if you're doing it because you're on the right or you're on the left, and I condemn those folks who came to the Capitol and committed criminal violence there, just like I have the rioters across different cities in the country all the past year and just like I did the deranged individual who killed a police officer just a few weeks at the Capitol in service to his violent ideology, in that case, Nation of Islam.

So, regardless of what your ideology is, if you commit acts of violence, if you break the law, you ought to do the time for that, but in terms of having a debate about election integrity, I promised my constituents I would. I did, and I don't regret that at all. That's me doing my job.

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: But, Senator, members of your own party warned that it could be damaging for democracy for you to move forward with that objection, and in the case of Pennsylvania, the supreme court had already dismissed--the Pennsylvania supreme court had already dismissed a Republican lawsuit challenging those results.

I want to ask you about comments you made in a local interview about a month after the attacks. You said that Biden was duly elected. Do you believe that Biden is the legitimately elected president of the United States?

SEN. HAWLEY: Yeah, I do, but let me go back for just a second. You mentioned Pennsylvania. Since you bring it up--and that was the heart of my objection. That was the objection that I filed.

In fact, the supreme court, the Pennsylvania supreme court did not hear or adjudicate the merits of the claim, of the constitutional claim, that Pennsylvania had violated its own state constitution in allowing universal mail-in balloting. The supreme court specifically declined to hear it. They dismissed it on the grounds, on the procedural grounds called "laches," and they violated their own doctrine in doing so. And that's not the only strange thing out of step with the law in Pennsylvania.

That same Pennsylvania supreme court, which is a partisan court, by the way--they elect their justices in Pennsylvania--that court also interfered with the count itself.

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: Senator? Senator, I just want to step in here if you're going to challenge this on saying that they didn't hear the merits of the case because there was an appeals court that the case lacked merit. It's difficult for a court to rule on the merits when they don't exist.

I want to get back to the point that you said--

[Overlapping speakers]

SEN. HAWLEY: Well, no, no, no, no, no. Hold on.

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: --that you believe that Biden is the legitimately--

SEN. HAWLEY: No, no, no, no, no. No, you can't have it both ways, Cat. No, you can't have it both ways. You can't say that they heard the merits and dismissed it. That's wrong. That's wrong. The supreme court didn't hear the merits.

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: I said the--

[Overlapping speakers]

SEN. HAWLEY: Hold on. No, no. It's an important point.

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: No. The Third Circuit Appeals Court--

SEN. HAWLEY: It's an important point. Listen, it's an important point. Don't try to censor, cancel, and silence me here. You raised the issue.

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: Senator, we're--

[Overlapping speakers]

SEN. HAWLEY: So, if you raise the issue, you've got to listen to the truth, and the truth is the Pennsylvania supreme court did not hear the merits of the case. They dismissed the case on laches grounds. That's in violation of their own precedent. They never heard the merits of the case.

The only adjudication on the merits of that constitutional claim were lower court judges who in fact found there was a constitutional violation in Pennsylvania. My view is that if the people of Pennsylvania can't get their own supreme court to hear the case, if the supreme court--sorry--if the Pennsylvania constitution says that mail-in balloting is not constitutional and yet it happened anyway, then there's a problem. And that is a fit 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.

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: Senator, we're going to move on. I wanted to ask you again about your point about President Biden. You say you believe he was elected. What's your message to Americans who still don't believe he was elected president?

SEN. HAWLEY: Well, listen, I mean, he's the duly elected president of the United States. This is why we have the certification process. We had that process. I raised my objection. Other senators raised their objections. We had the debate which was interrupted by the violence, which is rightly being prosecuted now and condemned. I condemned it at the time. I do again now.

But that process is over. The electoral votes have now been counted, and Joe Biden is president. And now we've got to do--if you're like me and the people of my state and you deeply disagree with the direction that President Biden is trying to take this country, if you disagree with his far left policies, his lawlessness at the border, his selling out to China, if you disagree with that, then we've got to take our stand through the democratic process and the legislature.

We, of course, will have more elections coming up next year, 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 in principle. We try to present an alternative vision, and in Congress, I think it's incumbent upon people like me representing my state to oppose this agenda when my own folks oppose it.

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: But, Senator, on that point of prosecuting, I want to talk to you a little bit about the investigations that are going on into the Capitol riot. Do you support a 9/11-style commission to look into those events?

SEN. HAWLEY: You know, I agree with my fellow Republican senators here that I think a commission would be useful, but it's got to be truly bipartisan, and it ought to be done on the framework, on the style and the pattern of the 9/11 commission, which is not what the Democrats had proposed, not what Nancy Pelosi has proposed. She wanted it to be a stacked partisan commission, which is why it's currently bogged down, because there's no reason to further introduce partisan politics into this. We ought to have a clear look at the security failings.

You know, we've had several rounds of hearings in the Senate on the security failings on the day. Those are pretty significant. We know, for instance, that there was major controversy about activating the National Guard. We know that some did not want the guard activated on the day because they thought it looked too much like President Trump's activation of the guard against the rioters in D.C. earlier in the summer. I think that was a mistake to not activate the guard earlier on the day. There's a lot of controversy about who asked for it to be activated, when it was activated, et cetera.

I think we probably should have a full accounting of all of that, making sure that the various law enforcement agencies were coordinating and figuring out how we can improve.

You know, I had a Capitol Police officer take me aside the other day and say, "Is anything going to be done proactively, or is it just going to be a blame game looking back?" and I think that he had it exactly right. I think something that a commission could do, a nonpartisan commission, is think about proactively what are we going to do to make sure that security failings like this don't happen in the future, take a look at the physical security of the Capitol and so on.

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: Senator, there's a massive FBI investigation underway as well. Have you been interviewed at all by the FBI?

SEN. HAWLEY: I have not.

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: You mentioned the Capitol Police, and I wanted to talk to you about an interview on CNN last week. D.C. Police Officer Michael Fanone, he was beaten ferociously, suffered a heart attack and concussion, and he had to beg for his life. He spoke out about that experience. Let's play the clip.

[Video transcription begins]

OFFICER FANONE: You know, I'm happy that I've got the opportunity to speak out, 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 "hugs and kisses" and, you know, "very fine people" is, like, very different from what I experienced and what my coworkers experienced on the 6th.

I mean, I experienced the most brutal, savage, hand-to-hand combat of my entire life, let alone my policing career, which spans almost two decades.

[Video transcription ends]

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: Senator, what's your response to Michael Fanone?

SEN. HAWLEY: Well, I certainly don't think we should downplay the violence and the sort of rhetoric he was pointing to about hugs and kisses or whatever that was. I think it's certainly not language I would use.

I mean, criminal rioters ought to be treated as criminals. By the way, it's true whether they're rioting at the Capitol or they're rioting at federal buildings in Portland or elsewhere or whether it's rioters who identify with the left or the right, like the deranged individual who killed a Capitol Police office just a few weeks ago, the Nation of Islam adherent. So, I certainly hope that that officer's story will be told, that he will be appropriately honored, and the hundreds of officers who have been attacked across this country over the past year by criminal rioters.

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: I wanted to ask you. Many Americans first got to know you from the photo of your fist pump on the 6th. Who was that directed to?

SEN. HAWLEY: That was as I was entering the House chamber the morning of the 6th to go in for the beginning of the electoral count, the electoral college counting process, and those were demonstrators who were out there on the plaza, they were on the far end of the plaza, there on the--I guess it's the east side, standing beyond barricades, waving American flags. Some of them were calling, so I gestured toward them.

And you know what? They had every right to be there. They have every right to demonstrate under the First Amendment. They have every right to make their views known. What nobody has a right to do is to do so violently, but when I walked by that particular group of folks who were standing there peacefully behind police barricades, well off of the plaza--and I waved to them, gave them the thumbs-up, pumped my first to them, and thanked them for being there. And they had every right to do that.

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: But after what happened, do you regret that at all?

SEN. HAWLEY: No, because I don't know which of those protestors, if any of them, those demonstrators participated in the criminal riot, and I think it's a slur on the thousands and thousands, tens of thousands of people who came to the Capitol that day to demonstrate peacefully, to lump them in with the criminal rioters and say, "Oh, you're all basically the same. It's all just the same thing."

Throughout all last summer, we heard over and over, it's important to distinguished between the peaceful protestors and the BLM protests and the rioters. I agreed with that then. I said that then. I think the same is true of those on January 6th. The tens of thousands of folks who came to D.C., the overwhelming majority of whom were peaceful and came to demonstrate peacefully, that's their First Amendment right, and I will absolutely support and defend them in doing that and support and defend other people who I disagree with politically in doing the same thing.

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: Senator, I want to turn to a big decision that works, I think, tomorrow related to Facebook. We find out if President Trump can return to Facebook. The company's new oversight board will announce their decision. What do you think of this board?

SEN. HAWLEY: Well, I think that it's sad that right now in our country that the free speech that Americans enjoy basically depends on the whims of monopoly corporations. I have no idea how this board really operates. Nobody does, and this is the "Facebook supreme court," as Facebook has sometimes called it.

I don't think any one company should have this kind of power over speech, over data, over news and information. Facebook has tremendous, tremendous power, and so I have no idea, of course, what the decision of their oversight board will be. 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 this is why, in my view, we need to break them up.

Facebook is a monopoly. Google is a monopoly. The power of these monopolies is unlike anything we've seen in this country in a century, probably ever actually, and I think the decision, the impending decision of this board really just underscores and amplifies that.

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: And, Senator, I want to get to those points that you made about breaking up big tech, but first, I want to ask you, what would Trump's return to Facebook mean for the future of the Republican Party?

SEN. HAWLEY: Oh, I don't know the answer to that, Cat. You know, my view is that the former president is he's a very significant force in the party as it is, and that's going to be true, no matter what. 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 that in my state, in the state of Missouri among Republicans, he remains overwhelmingly popular, and I don't think that has anything to do with whether he's on Facebook or not.

So, to me, the issue about Facebook and these other social media platforms is an issue about ordinary Americans and the control of normal everyday Americans by these platforms in speech, yes--and that's important--but also their data, also their access to news, also the sharing of information, and that's what I think is so vital and so key about the power of these monopoly outfits.

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: On that issue of speech, your book takes aim at Section 230, which is a legal shield that protects internet companies from lawsuits. Where do you think you can find agreement from your fellow senators to make changes to that shield?

SEN. HAWLEY: You know, here's an idea that I mentioned this in the book, and I think that this is--when it comes to Section 230, I think this is an important way forward. I think that Section 230 immunity ought to be withdrawn for any platform that engages in behavioral advertising, and you've reported on this.

Behavioral advertising is when they collect our data, which all these companies do, by the way, without our consent. I mean no meaningful consent. They track us around the Web. They collect our data. Then they use that. Sometimes they basically sell it to third parties without our consent, or they use it by constructing profiles of us which they then sell to advertisers. And these advertisers try to use a form of ads that really are behavioral manipulation. It's not just sort of like here's a new product. It's based on all of your previous history. We're going to put in front of you images, words, and so forth that we know has a great chance or have a great chance of changing your mind. That's behavioral advertising based on your personal characteristics.

I think that that form of advertising is so destructive, and the surveillance that goes into it is so dangerous. I think we ought to withdraw Section 230 immunity for any company that permits, engages, or sells behavioral advertising or engages in the sort of algorithmic amplification that's behind it, and I would hope--just to that point, I would hope that--to answer your question directly, I would hope that that could get bipartisan support.

I mean, I would say to my Democrat friends across the aisle, we ought to be able to agree on this. I mean, behavioral advertising just encourages mass surveillance, mass tracking, mass taking of data. So that would be a place I'd propose to start.

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: Senator, have you had any discussions with any specific lawmakers from the Democratic Party about that proposal?

SEN. HAWLEY: I have. Yeah, I have, and, you know, this is something that I hope--here's what I'll say about my friends across the aisle. I hope the fact that these companies have immense influence--these tech companies have immense influence with the current administration--I hope that won't deter them from really getting tough on these companies in a meaningful way.

And one of the things I'm concerned about--and I write about this in the book--is the incredible amount of influence these companies have on both sides of the aisle, unfortunately, and we saw them try to leverage that influence in the last election with the incredible amount of money that these companies and their CEOs gave to the Biden-Harris campaign.

I just hope that my Democrat colleagues in Congress will remain vigilant on this and will not give these companies a pass or sort of let up the pressure. We've got to do something meaningful.

I think, ultimately, we ought to break the companies up, and maybe we'll talk more about that soon. But Section 230 can be a step, but I really think we need to break them up.

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: Senator, on that point about breaking the companies up, I wanted to ask you about two bills you've recently introduced, Trust-Busting for the Twenty-First Century Act and the Bust Up Big Tech Act. On that point about working with Democrats, how are you going to get these through Congress?

SEN. HAWLEY: Well, listen, I hope that--these are the most aggressive trust-busting bills that have been introduced in years and years. I think they're the most aggressive trust-busting bills in Congress now, and I think we'll find out where people really are, I mean, how do they respond to these bills.

I think that there's room to get some work done across the aisle. You see this in the Antitrust committee--subcommittee that I'm a part of that Amy Klobuchar chairs. Senator Klobuchar has her own antitrust proposals. I think you can find some good common ground between the two of us on these issues.

I actually had proposed to go farther than Senator Klobuchar has. I think we ought to have a hard ban on mergers and acquisitions for mega corporations, those that have a market cap of $100 billion or more. I think we ought to change the standard that courts use to evaluate antitrust cases. I think we ought to make it promoting competition, protecting competition. I think that ought to be the standard.

Currently, courts use overwhelmingly what's called the "consumer welfare standard," which I think ends up being too deferential in practice to monopolies. I think we ought to change the standard, and I highlight those because those are two major areas that where my bill is tougher and stronger than other proposals out there. But I think that's good. I mean, I think we need to have a debate about how our courts have been enforcing the law. We need to have a debate about how we can cut these monopoly corporations down to size--not just in the tech sector, although the big tech corporations are perhaps the most pressing, but still, we're seeing economic concentration across multiple industries. And I think we need to confront that.

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: Senator, you mentioned changing the standard for antitrust litigation, and I just wondered, are you going to be able to bring other conservatives around to that idea? Because members of your own party, top leaders on antitrust subcommittees, have said that's a nonstarter for them.

SEN. HAWLEY: Yeah, it certainly is a--it's a bold new move, Cat, absolutely. But I would just say this. As I talk to conservatives, my fellow conservatives, you know, something that is traditionally a principle of conservatism is belief in the free markets and belief in competition.

You ask most conservatives, especially those who define themselves as economic conservatives, "What's important to you," competition is going to come right near the top of that list.

My argument is that actually the current standard that courts have used for decades now, the consumer welfare standard, it only gets halfway there. That standard basically asks, does the business practice in question cause higher prices to consumers? That's a fine question. That's an important question, but that's not the only question when it comes to competition.

Take the tech companies. These tech companies argue frequently that, oh, our services are free. Facebook, our service is free. Google, our services are free. But the problem with that is that they may be free in terms of the consumer-facing product, but the companies extract monopoly rents in other ways. Take data collection. You don't really have a choice if you want your data collected, if you use Facebook or Google or Twitter. They are going to track you all over the Web without your consent and usually without your knowledge. They are going to extract your data. That's a monopoly rent. You can't opt out of it, and there's no other place you can go, no other peer competitor to them where you can go and say, okay, well, on this platform, my data will be protected.

It's interesting. Facebook used to pledge that they would protect data. That's when they had real competition, MySpace, over a decade ago, but as soon as they got rid of the competition, they started collecting the data, all of that to say that's to get out why the reason the consumer welfare standard, I think, isn't enough.

You can have services that are technically free but in fact still have all of the characteristics of a monopoly, still actually burden consumers and cost them something tangible in control of their data, and that's why I think we need a new standard that actually gets at competition.

That's the standard I would propose. It's just protecting and promoting competition. I think that ought to be the standard our courts use to evaluate it, and that would be my conservative case for adopting it.

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: Senator, a lot of the ideas I'm hearing from you today sound a lot like ideas that we've heard from Biden's FTC nominee, Lina Khan. Do you plan to support her nomination?

SEN. HAWLEY: You know, I haven't made my mind up yet about Ms. Khan. I haven't gotten the chance to talk with her much yet, but I will stay this. I'm impressed with her. I'm impressed with her background. I'm impressed with her work in this area. I think she's thought very seriously about monopoly problems. I think that her record, her track record, demonstrates that, and I think the kind of voice that she has brought in these issues is a really important one.

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: Senator, I want to switch gears a little bit. You were 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?

SEN. HAWLEY: My issue with that bill was in Section 4, Cat, and to me, this is an anti-free speech bill. As a First Amendment guy and as a former First Amendment lawyer, I take that really, really seriously.

This bill doesn't create any new hate crimes or change hate crimes that are on the books. Hate crimes, let's be clear, are already barred. I mean, you can't commit a--let's put it this way. If you commit a crime against somebody based on their race or their religion or their ethnic background, federal law punishes you for that, and that's as it should be.

My issue with this bill, which didn't change any of that, is that what it did do is in Section 4, it gave to the Department of Justice the power to track and monitor and also to define what it called "hate incidents." Those aren't crimes. Those aren't attacks. That's not violence. That's speech. Those are speech acts, and the Department of Justice itself says that this could include speech.

I think it's a mistake to give the government the power to define offensive speech and to track it and to monitor it and collect it. I think that's a big, big problem, and the civil libertarian in me just recoils at that.

I think with the Patriot Act, we look at 20 years ago where we gave the government all kinds of power, frankly, to monitor speech, to track it, in some instances to criminalize it, that was supposed to be temporary. We're still living with it. Those powers are supposed to be limited. They've gotten broader and broader, and so I can't, in good conscience, support further government power over speech, defining offensive speech, tracking it and monitoring it.

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: Senator, I have to say as someone who has been covering your positions on tech issues, it does seem like in that area, you do want to give the government more power over speech when you talk about having companies prove to the FTC whether they're politically neutral to get Section 230 immunity. So, it just seems like some of these positions are a bit inconsistent.

I want to move on to the future of--

[Overlapping speakers]

SEN. HAWLEY: Well, hold on. Wait, wait, wait, wait. Let me respond to that. Wait, wait. Let me respond to that because I think that's an important point. In fact, I don't think the government should be regulating the speech of the tech companies. I think we need more free speech, not less.

I think that the problem with the tech companies is that they censor on the basis of political viewpoints, and that's why I've come to the view that I think, A, we ought to just break them up because the real issue here is they're monopoly power; and B, we ought to withdraw that Section 230 immunity if they behave--if they engage in behavioral advertising or if they censor on the basis of political viewpoints.

But I'm actually against government--more government regulation of the companies as such. I just don't think that that works at the end of the day, because I think what happens is the more the government regulates these companies and tries to fine-tune their business model, tries to fine-tune their speech regulation, the more that they, the regulators, get captured by the industry.

There's a big difference here between myself and my Democratic colleagues. If you listen to my Democratic colleagues--


SEN. HAWLEY: --what you increasingly hear from them is they want the tech companies to censor more. They want the tech companies to further define what is offensive speech and what's not. They want the tech companies to basically become wings of the Democrat Party. I'm opposed to that, whether it's right or left.

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: Senator, I just want to be clear that the companies have denied that they censor on the basis of political view.

And moving on to the future of the Republican Party, I want to ask you about how the falsehood that the election was stolen has become a litmus test in a lot of ways for the party. Is that bad for the party?

SEN. HAWLEY: Let me just go back to what you just said a second ago. This is why my perspective is, my proposal is what we ought to do is make the tech companies' own terms of service enforceable against them.

You're right, Cat. They do say--the tech companies do say that they don't discriminate on the basis of political viewpoint. They've said that over and over under oath.

What I've said is, fine, let's make that enforceable. Right now, if you're just a normal person and you get de-platformed, but you say, "Wait a minute. I think that you, Google, violated your terms of service. I think that you discriminated against me on the basis of political speech," there's nothing you can do about it.

My view is take the tech companies' own terms of service. Make those enforceable in court, and if they really are applying them evenhanded and in a fair way, there won't be any problem. But I think we ought to give people the ability to go into court.

I'm sorry. What was your second question?

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: Senator, I wanted to ask you a bit about the future of the Republican Party. There's reports that there's a move underfoot for the caucus to remove Liz Cheney from leadership. Do you support those efforts?

SEN. HAWLEY: You know, she's in the House, of course, Cat, and I leave that to my House colleagues. I don't have a vote in that process.

I will just say this, that there's been a lot of ink taken up about--used, expended on the Republican civil war. I read that from time to time in the press. I can just tell you that voters of my state and all Republican voters I talk to, but for sure voters in the state of Missouri, they have zero interest in a Republican civil war. To them, there is no such thing. They don't want to go back. They want to go forward. They want to continue with the policies that former President Trump put into place. They want the border secured. They want trade to be fair. They want actually to bring jobs back from overseas. They want to bring our manufacturing back--

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: Excuse me, Senator. We're running out of time.

SEN. HAWLEY: So, I just think--

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: I just want to ask you--sorry, Senator. We're just really short on time.

SEN. HAWLEY: Yes, Cat.

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: So, I just want to ask you one more time.


MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: Do you think that Liz Cheney should be removed from leadership?

SEN. HAWLEY: Yeah. My answer is the same. I think that that's a decision for the House Conference. I don't have a vote in that. I'm not a member of the House.

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: And looking forward, would you support former President Trump running again for office in 2024?

SEN. HAWLEY: You know, I get asked this a lot, and I've said this every time I'm asked, and I've said it to him. That's a decision for him. I don't ever give him advice, and I wouldn't advise him what to do.

I will say that I do believe that if he runs that he will be the nominee, but as to whether he will run, I have no idea. Whether he should run, I leave that up to him. So, you know, we'll have to see.

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: If he runs, would you run against him?

SEN. HAWLEY: No, no. I'm not planning to run, either way. I'm up for--in 2024, I have an election of my own, Cat, in the state of Missouri, and I hope that the state of Missouri will have me for another six years in the Senate, so we'll see. We'll get there in 2024.

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: Well, unfortunately, that's all the time that we have left for our event today. Thank you so much for joining us, Senator Hawley.

SEN. HAWLEY: Thank you, Cat. Thanks so much.

MS. ZAKRZEWSKI: And thank you all for joining us here today at Washington Post Live.

Tune in at noon today for an event on diabetes care in America. Thank you.

[End recorded session]