Transcript: University of Chicago professor Robert Pape on “Face the Nation,” August 13, 2023

The following is a transcript of an interview with University of Chicago professor Robert Pape that aired on “Face the Nation” on August 13, 2023.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Security has been stepped up in downtown Atlanta, ahead of possible charges that could be handed down against former President Trump this week. There is new research that support for political violence is on the rise, following Trump’s numerous indictments to date. Robert Pape, a professor at the University of Chicago, joins us now with details.


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ROBERT PAPE: Thank you, Margaret.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And I know you’ve been tracking this really troubling trend in American politics for a while here. And the survey you did in June, on the second federal indictment of former President Trump after that point, what impact did you see? Is it feeding more anger, or is it just sort of baked in?

PAPE: What we’re seeing is the country as a whole on the edges, but now moving into the mainstream, is becoming much more angry, much more radicalized. And this is particularly happening just in the last three months. What is occurring, I study this not from the perspective of a political pollster who’s ahead in a political horse race, but from 30 years of experience in studying political violence. And the biggest picture to take away from the survey of our dangers to democracy tracker, is that political support for- support for political violence is now breaching into the main strain. That’s different. It’s not just about Oathkeepers, proud boys, it is now breaching into the mainstream, and we’re seeing the consequences of that in many ways in our society.

MARGARET BRENNAN: In looking at some of the research you’ve shared with us, one of the things that stood out you are seeing this radicalization on both sides of the political spectrum. 30 million people, according to your numbers, think the use of force is justified to prevent Donald Trump from being president. 18 million think it’s justified to restore Trump to the presidency,

PAPE: Exactly. What we’re seeing is not simply a manifestation on the right, that is absolutely important and there’s no doubt that January 6, the crowd that sieged the Capitol, is something that has not happened on the left. So I’m not trying to draw that equivalence, but nonetheless, what we need to look at are the sentiments on both the right and the left that are being radicalized to millions and millions of Americans. And this is important because political- these sentiments are a bit like understanding wildfires, the first part of your show, it’s the dry kindling, that is so important that we can measure in advance. We can’t measure political- political scientists like myself, or meteorologists, a campfire that could set off that kindling or powerlines that could set off that kindling. What we can actually measure and see whether it’s growing, shrinking are the sentiments for political violence in the country and those are growing. And it’s important not because every one of those people is going to commit political violence, but because it helps to legitimate political violence, and it is the pool of people that ultimately do commit acts of political violence,

he following is a transcript of an interview with University of Chicago professor Robert Pape that aired on “Face the Nation” on August 13, 2023.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Which is your response to those who say, well, that’s a small percentage, you’re saying that could have huge ramifications.

PAPE: And we’re seeing those ramifications in Utah, but Utah is not an exception to this–

MARGARET BRENNAN: You’re talking about the 74-year-old man who was shot by the FBI when they were trying to serve a warrant to his home because he had been making threats online about President Biden.

PAPE: And what’s important is not that we’re just seeing the rise of online chatter in the last few years. So remember, we studied that with ISIS as well. What we’re seeing now is the rise of determined threats by individuals. The man in Utah made threats online in March, was visited by law enforcement, and then did it again this time brandished a gun. Now that’s a determined threat. If we look at the man who was arrested in front of Obama’s home just the month before that, he was at January 6 breaking into the Capitol. Then he surveilled the area the day before and in a 17-minute video, then he comes back with guns and bombs. Brett Kavanaugh, attacker before that, the Pelosi attacker before that. These are determined- what we’re seeing is determined individuals, not simply online chatter and our surveys, this tracker of dangers to democracy, help to give and inform the situational awareness and how it’s changing in our country.

he following is a transcript of an interview with University of Chicago professor Robert Pape that aired on “Face the Nation” on August 13, 2023.

MARGARET BRENNAN: With the older man in Utah, this was online threat posting, but there are individuals around him who have said he wasn’t necessarily a threat. So there’s some probing of whether the- the political rhetoric matches actual intent and that will how do you measure that?

PAPE: That will be the case in every single instance of a specific individual. There’s always psychosocial circumstances, there’s always biographical constraints of being able to execute violence itself. Those will be- often vary and become unique to every single individual. It’s not the one individual case, Margaret, it’s this pattern that we’re seeing now going back now years of determined- normally, FBI comes- law enforcement knocks on your door says, hey, we don’t like this threat to the president, maybe you should knock that off. That often just goes away. That’s not what happened in this case. What happened in this case is they ramped up, they got more aggressive as President Biden was about to come to Utah. So Biden is coming closer to him. It is not at all weird that then, I mean, just think of what had happened if something had gone wrong and the law enforcement had not gone and knocked on this man’s door. We don’t want to wait until we actually have to react after an event and so- but this isn’t a lone wolf, this is not a lone case. What we’re seeing is case, after case, after case of this and we should go back to January 6, where the crowd is chanting hang Mike Pence, building a gallows and not just sort of dismiss that as well, is that just chatter?

MARGARET BRENNAN: We’re not and that’s why we’re going to continue following that. Thank you. That’s it for this week. I’m Margaret Brennan. 

US FAA investigates near collision between Southwest plane, Cessna

Southwest Airlines flights resume following the lifting of a brief nationwide stoppage in Chicago

(Reuters) – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on Saturday it is investigating a near collision between a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 and a Cessna Citation business jet in San Diego, the latest in a series of troubling U.S. aviation incidents.

The FAA said its preliminary review shows that just before 12 p.m. PDT on Friday, an air traffic controller at San Diego International Airport cleared the Citation to land on a certain runway even though Southwest Airlines Flight 2493 had already been told to taxi onto the same runway and await instructions to depart. The facility’s automated surface surveillance system alerted the controller about the developing situation and the controller directed the Cessna to discontinue landing.

A person briefed on the matter said the initial review shows the Cessna passed over the top of the Southwest airplane by about 100 feet. The FAA is sending a team to the facility to investigate.

Southwest said on Saturday it is participating in the FAA’s review of the incident. “Our aircraft departed without event and the flight operated normally, with a safe landing in San Jose as scheduled,” the airline said.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating six runway incursion events since January.

A similar near-collision incident occurred in February in Austin, Texas, when a FedEx cargo plane and a Southwest Boeing 737 came within about 115 feet (35 meters) in poor visibility conditions. The controller had cleared the FedEx plane to land and the Southwest plane to depart.

On Thursday, the NTSB cited the failure of a Lear 60 charter pilot to get a takeoff clearance in a February incident in Boston that resulted in a near-collision with a JetBlue flight.

The NTSB said the airport surface detection equipment issued an alert, and the air traffic controller gave go-around instructions to the JetBlue flight.

The JetBlue Embraer 190 was just 30 feet (9.1 m) above ground when it broke off the landing “close to the point where both runways intersected,” the NTSB said, adding the Boston tower told the charter pilot the JetBlue flight passed about 400 feet above them.

(Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Matthew Lewis)

Shippers warned to stay away from Iranian waters over seizure threat as US-Iran tensions high

This is a locator map for the Persian Gulf and its surrounding countries. (AP Photo) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Western-backed maritime forces in the Middle East on Saturday warned shippers traveling through the strategic Strait of Hormuz to stay as far away from Iranian territorial waters as possible to avoid being seized, a stark advisory amid heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S.

A similar warning went out to shippers earlier this year ahead of Iran seizing two tankers traveling near the strait, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which 20% of the world’s oil passes.

While Iran and the U.S. are now near an apparent deal that would see billions of Iranian assets held in South Korea unfrozen in exchange for the release of five Iranian Americans detained in Tehran, the warning shows that the tensions remain high at sea. Already, the U.S. is exploring plans to put armed troops on commercial ships in the strait to deter Iran amid a buildup of troops, ships, and aircraft in the region.

U.S. Navy Cmdr. Timothy Hawkins, a spokesman for the Mideast-based 5th Fleet, acknowledged the warning had been given, but declined to discuss specifics about it.

A U.S.-backed maritime group called the International Maritime Security Construct “is notifying regional mariners of appropriate precautions to minimize the risk of seizure based on current regional tensions, which we seek to de-escalate,” Hawkins said. “Vessels are being advised to transit as far away from Iranian territorial waters as possible.”

Separately, a European Union-led maritime organization watching shipping in the strait “have warned of a possibility of an attack on a merchant vessel of unknown flag in the Strait of Hormuz in the next 12 to 72 hours,” said private intelligence firm Ambrey.

“Previously, after a similar warning was issued, a merchant vessel was seized by Iranian authorities under a false pretext,” the firm warned.

The EU-led mission called the European Maritime Awareness in the Strait of Hormuz, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Iran through its state media did not acknowledge any new plans to interdict vessels in the strait. Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

There has been a wave of attacks on ships attributed to Iran since 2019, following the Trump administration unilaterally withdrawing America from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and re-imposing crushing sanctions on Tehran.

Those assaults resumed in late April, when Iran seized a ship carrying oil for Chevron Corp. and another tanker called the Niovi in May.

The taking of the two tankers in under a week comes as the Marshall Island-flagged Suez Rajan sits off Houston, likely waiting to offload sanctioned Iranian oil seized by the U.S.

Those seizures led the U.S. military to launch a major deployment in the region, including thousands of Marines and sailors on both the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan and the USS Carter Hall, a landing ship. Images released by the Navy showed the Bataan and Carter Hall in the Red Sea on Tuesday.

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