MR. JORGENSON: Hello, and welcome to another in our series Next on Washington Post Live. I’m Dave Jorgensen, senior video reporter here at The Post. He led the U.S. men’s soccer national team during the World Cup. His commitment on the field recently earned him the title 2022 U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year. And by the way, he’s only 23. Joining me now is Tyler Adams.

Tyler, welcome to Washington Post Live.

MR. ADAMS: Hey, how you doing? Thanks for having me.

MR. JORGENSON: Really good. Thank you so much for doing this. You know, at 23 I was a barista at Starbucks. Nothing wrong with that, but I did not have as much to say as you might right now. So, I have a lot of questions for you.

MR. ADAMS: No problem. I wouldn’t mind a Starbucks right now, though.

MR. JORGENSON: Okay, we’ll see if we can arrange that afterwards. Okay, so let’s get right into it. You had a whirlwind of a year going all the way up to the World Cup. What did it mean to you to make it so far with the U.S. men’s soccer team?

MR. ADAMS: Yeah, it was a whirlwind to say the least. Obviously, a lot of changes coming on in my life, obviously, changing clubs, first and foremost, you know, living in Germany for three and a half, four years, and then making the move–or the decision to come to England, get myself acclimated here in Leeds. It was one of the best decisions of my career. You know, it allowed me to get regular playing time and, you know, really develop and show my ability. So going into the World Cup, I was very confident. And yeah, making the run that we did, it means a lot. I think for our country moving forward and continuing to move the sport forward is something that, you know, I want to be at the forefront of. So just continuing to work hard to do that.

MR. JORGENSON: Yeah. And you know, with the Leeds United Football Club, it’s a Premier League in England, as you know. You played for, I believe, it’s Leipzig, in Germany, but you started out with your home team–and I will talk about them–the New York Red Bulls at just 16. How does it compare playing for a European team versus a Major League Soccer team in the U.S.?

MR. ADAMS: Yeah, the opportunity that New York Red Bulls gave me was a massive one, you know, to sign my first professional contract, get my foot in the door. But my dream was always to play in the Premier League. It was something that I watched and woke up early every single morning as a young kid, to watch the football matches, to watch players like Thierry Henry shine in the league. You know, it’s a cumulative league of the best players in the world, and that’s something I always wanted to be a part of. So, you know, New York, I’m very thankful for them to give me my start and allow me to develop as a young player. But when that transition and opportunity arose for me to have the opportunity to play for Leeds, it was a no brainer in my mind.

MR. JORGENSON: Also a no brainer, I think, to add you to, you know, the best of the U.S. and the U.S. World Cup team. You know, the last two World Cups, we didn’t qualify, but there was a rebuilding effort. Coach Gregg Berhalter brought you and several young players to the roster. Talk to me about the work that went into not only reviving that team, but also the image of men’s soccer in the States.

MR. ADAMS: Yeah, I think that when we didn’t qualify for the last World Cup, a lot of people, you know, had their heads held low. But at the same time, it was an amazing opportunity for a lot of young players to get their foot in the door, and maybe an opportunity that wouldn’t have come if we had qualified for the World Cup. So I think it progressed our team a lot. I think players that were 18, 19, 17 years old even got more caps under their belt and more international experience. And I don’t think we would have been as successful at this past World Cup without that experience.

So you know, thankfully, to the coaching staff and Gregg Berhalter, they really changed the culture of the national team. I think that we came in a lot more focused. We had a lot of players playing at top levels, whether it was in Europe or for some of the best teams in MLS. And then when we came together, we worked throughout that process for four years together. So that was super important.

MR. JORGENSON: Yeah, and I think, you know, the success of your team also helps with the popularity here in the U.S. I’m from Kansas City originally, and supporting KC once they started being pretty good, people–we got pretty excited about it. And suddenly it was–it was a little–it was a little, you know, something for Kansas City to get behind: soccer. But as of now, why do you think soccer isn’t quite as popular in the States as it is abroad?

MR. ADAMS: Yeah, it’s just different. You know, one thing that amazed me when I started to live in Europe was that, you know, the access to soccer fields are everywhere. The same way that in America we have basketball courts outside where you can go, you can play as early in the morning as you want to as late at night as you want, that–they have that access here for soccer fields. So I think that, you know, gaining that exposure and allowing kids to play on fields, and you know, create more public environments where kids are allowed to play, you know, soccer for me growing up was an expensive sport. In Europe, you don’t have to pay anything in order to play. So I think we need to continue to allow kids from all economic backgrounds in order–in order to succeed, to give them a ball at their feet at a young age and just be able to play for free.

MR. JORGENSON: That’s a really good point. And I want to address that a little bit more later, but I have this one question I’ve got to ask. It was the–you’re the youngest captain in the World Cup in 72 years. What was your reaction when you found out that you were going to be the captain for the U.S. team?

MR. ADAMS: Yeah, for me, it was–it was a huge honor. You know, I take immense pride in wearing the armband. You know, for me, I’ve always felt that I was a natural leader, a competitive guy at heart. I just want to do whatever I can to win. And that being said, I want to continue to develop myself as a leader, but also the players around me–you know, put them in positions to succeed, and they do the same for me. So, you know, going into this World Cup, you know, I knew I was going to be wearing the armband.

But at the same time, I knew it wasn’t going to be a sole responsibility. So we had a bunch of guys that are on the team that are captains of their respective teams that have all that experience as well. And we all lead in different ways. So, it was never going to be a singular effort. So for me going into the World Cup, it’s a huge relief that you don’t have to carry the burden by yourself. You know, I was well respected within the team as well as I respect every single player, but it was–it was a team effort.

MR. JORGENSON: Yeah, and two members of that team helped form what is known as the MMA: Yunus Musah and Weston McKennie. How did you three–well, how did you form the MMA? Was that just an organic process? And tell me about how you three kind of started to work together to find that synergy?

MR. ADAMS: Yeah, it was absolutely an organic process. It was amazing. Me and Weston have known each other since we were 13 years old. So, you know, he’s one of my closest friends. We go–we go way, way back. We went to residency and lived together in Florida at a young age as well. So, we’ve known each other forever. And you know, our connection on the field speaks for itself.

But you know, when Yunus got thrown into the mix and he decided to make the decision to represent the U.S., you know, we all looked at each other in the locker room as a team, and we just thought how lucky we are to have a guy like him in the changing room and on the field. You know, his talent speaks for itself. But his personality and his work ethic is something else. You know, he just wants to come in and get better every single day. He’s never down or negative, always positive. And you know, the smile that he has will light up any single room.

So, yeah, that that was a complete organic relationship. We think that our qualities and traits on the field really balance each other out and allow each other to have freedom and success. So yeah, we’re really comfortable with each other.

MR. JORGENSON: Well, it’s great as a spectator to hear that, but also you just see it. I mean, you can just tell that there’s that chemistry, which is–which is good–great with any sport, of course.

So the U.S.–sorry if this is too soon–didn’t make it to the finals. But I do want to ask you about that. As the team leader, how did you deal with that loss?

MR. ADAMS: Oh, it was–it was difficult. I think in that moment, you really start to realize how valuable that opportunity was. I think looking back on it now, it took me a lot of time to reflect and digest that. That loss had felt like no other loss in my career, because, you know, you want to obviously advance as far as you can. And I know that, you know, we’re very optimistic about the future of our team and what we’re capable of. And it just feels like we let ourselves down in the moment.

But looking back on it now, it’s going to be really valuable. And you have to realize, at the end of the day, that only one team leaves that tournament happy. So, you know, you need to win out in seven games in order to–in order to, you know, obviously achieve the dream of lifting that trophy. But we came up a little bit short. So I think that now, going into 2026, we have our eyes set on that feeling. You know, we don’t want to have that feeling of grief or loss again. So we’re going to continue to battle hard and continue to try and develop.

MR. JORGENSON: Coach Berhalter called you a guy that’s mature beyond his years, and I feel like that’s a–that’s a very mature answer. I don’t even know if now I can have that response to losing something, and I’m just playing, you know, local basketball. So, I think that’s really great. And I think that’s–you know, the best way to approach is to think about, you know, next time we’re going–we’re not going to let this happen; we’re going to win out.

You know, that seems like that’s part of your leadership style. But can you tell me more about that and how you’ve developed your, you know, specific leadership style?

MR. ADAMS: Yeah, you know, I’ve had the luxury of, you know, being in a family that was very diverse. I come from a diverse background. I’ve been in a lot of team environments with really good captains that are also very diverse. And I think by having that exposure to that, I’ve become, you know, a talker when I need to, but most importantly, a listener. I can relate to a lot of people, make them feel comfortable, allow them to get the best qualities out of themselves and feel confident.

And that’s something that I always try to do when I’m on the field, is just try to give the guys this confidence, you know, obviously, through my play, and you know, setting the example, setting the tone of what I need to do and have my teammates follow that, but at the same time, just allow them to flourish, whatever they can do, you know, try to minimize their weaknesses, and bring out their strengths. So over time, I found through, you know, being under different coaches, different captains, different leadership styles, what the most important things are. And I try and take the positives from each person that I’ve met along the way, and try to add that to my own leadership style.

MR. JORGENSON: You just touched on it, but I want to go a little bit deeper there. You know, you grew up in a blended family. You mom’s White. Your brothers are White. Obviously, those experiences–you know, clearly, you know, that’s a very–not very unique but, you know, relatively unique experience to have. So can you tell me more about that and maybe how that affected your life and growing up and, you know, even just down to the field?

MR. ADAMS: Yeah, I mean, you know, thankfully it didn’t affect my life at all. If anything, it gave me an opportunity to see how a different culture and different people, you know, relate to each other. For me coming into some of the family that I did, one thing that always tied us together was soccer, you know? And I think that you can talk about that in any way. Whenever you bring a soccer ball to a community, it doesn’t matter your skin color, it doesn’t matter your personality, doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter your race. Everyone’s going to be smiling and having fun. And that’s the amazing thing about football.

And you know, coming into my family, I grew up with a single mother, a White mother. And when she met my stepdad, Daryl, who I call my–call my father all the time, and my brothers, you know, my brothers, there was nothing that separated us. You know, we–I was very thankful that they shared the same love for me as I did for them. They supported my mother when, you know, she needed it the most. And we’ve come into a family now that, you know, nothing can separate us–no skin color, no sport, no argument, no anything. And that’s a luxury to have.

You know, I’m very, very thankful for, you know, the way they’ve supported me, and I’ll continue to support them, but the love I share for them, you know, it doesn’t matter, our race or our skin color. You know, I love them just like they love me.

MR. JORGENSON: That’s a really beautiful takeaway. And I think it’s clearly out in the world when you’re–when you’re interacting with different people, you are able to come at it with a mature way and also just understand that everyone’s coming from a different place.

With that in mind, there was this specific press conference, where you’re confronted by an Iranian reporter, not only for mispronouncing Iran, but she also–they were asking you how to, excuse me, share how you feel as a Black man representing in a country where discrimination against minorities is prevalent. Already very loaded. This already happened to you. Can you tell me how you handled that moment, and you know, what you were thinking at the time and maybe a couple months later now how you’re feeling about that?

MR. ADAMS: Yeah, I think that going into to that press conference, we knew it’d probably be a little bit more hostile than the normal press conference leading into a World Cup. But I don’t think anybody could have been prepared for some of the questions that were thrown out there. And you know, for myself, you know, what I always find important is that in a moment like that, you’re able to digest the question first and completely understand, you know, of course, what they’re asking. And that’s why I almost felt like I was having a conversation, you know, with the reporter. You know, there was no hard feelings or, you know, no–I didn’t feel the pressure to have an amazing answer, or you know, stick to the script, so to speak. In that moment, I just really expressed how I felt, and I think that’s why it resonated with a lot of people.

You know, I come from a background that’s, again, very, very diverse. And I’m super fortunate for that, because not everybody will have the same or share the same experience as me. But, you know, one thing I really wanted to express in that answer was just that, you know, I think everyone is out there just trying to make progress. And when we can understand and have conversations like that, it’s the best way that we can educate each other. And that’s the most important thing at the end of the day for me.

MR. JORGENSON: That’s great. And I do have, I guess, in a way, a scripted question for you, but you don’t have to give a scripted answer. This is an audience question from Kerry Guy who asks, “Soccer is an ambassador to global diversity. What strategy does USMNT soccer have in order to increase the exposure to communities of color in the United States?”

MR. ADAMS: Yeah, that’s a–that’s a great question. You know, so one thing that I’m actually working very closely with right now, is the U.S. Soccer Foundation, and one thing that I did was open up some football fields in my community, actually, which is a low-income area, that comes from a socioeconomic background, where it’s mostly color. And that’s a really good thing for myself, because I obviously want to support in my community specifically the people–the people of color and the people that might not have as much access to soccer fields.

So, we’ve actually just opened up two football fields recently with the U.S. Soccer Foundation. And they’re really striving to find the areas around the U.S. where they can benefit most from that. So, yeah, it’s a great question.

MR. JORGENSON: You know, speaking of the diversity amongst the U.S. Men’s Team, it was the most diverse roster, with 12 Black players and four Hispanic players on the 26-man squad. Coach Berhalter said the diversity of the team is the diversity of America. What does it say about the future of the league itself?

MR. ADAMS: It says a lot. I mean, I think that it’s moving in the right direction, right? Because you’re giving–you’re giving these kids that might not have had the opportunities in the past these big opportunities to develop through the youth stages of football, and that’s exactly what they have in Europe, where it’s–you know, you don’t put a price on something. And then all of a sudden, you see kids from different backgrounds in such a diverse sport, you know, come together and have this opportunity all of a sudden. So it doesn’t surprise me at all that it’s–that it’s moving in that direction. You know, when you look at our roster and you see how diverse it is, you know, we’re one of the close–most close-knit groups that you can find, and I think that that’s amazing and moving in the right direction.

MR. JORGENSON: And bringing it all the way back to the top of our conversation where we were talking about, you know, playing with leads, where do you see it going? How are you feeling? You’re still in your first year there. How’s it going? Tell us a little bit about it.

MR. ADAMS: Yeah, it’s been–it’s been amazing. It’s been amazing. I think that after a hard last year in Germany, where I found myself mostly on the bench more than anything, you know, I was a little bit discouraged and, you know, lacking confidence. And you know, I just didn’t feel like I had an opportunity to show everybody what I was capable of and allow myself to develop, you know, as a person and as a player. You know, I’ve taken those experiences now. And now coming here to Leeds, when I’ve been faced with any type of adversity, I feel a lot more comfortable handling it.

But more specifically on the fields, I’ve been able to really just develop. You know, the coaches and the players have allowed me in this environment to just be myself. And you know, that’s a comforting feeling when you can come to work every single day and be yourself. And you know, off the field, I absolutely love it–the city itself, the people, the fans. It has everything you would want as a football player. So, me, my girlfriend, our dog, we’re settling in quite nicely.

MR. JORGENSON: That’s incredible. A very American question for you. Is there–is there any key differences between, you know, an American coach and a European or English coach? What are some key differences maybe that you could tell us?

MR. ADAMS: I mean, I think just like anything else, when you have–when you meet a fellow American, it doesn’t matter where you’re from, or who you are, or what your background is, you always connect on a different level. And you know, for me being coached by an American is–you know, especially in Europe, that doesn’t come around often. So, when you have that opportunity, you have to relish it. Just the conversations you can have, everything is more relatable. Oh, did you go out to eat here, or what’s the food like, or just everything in your regular day life, it’s always more relatable.

MR. JORGENSON: Okay, I like it. Great. Okay, so we have another audience question. This one is from Liz Rusch, who asks, “Just last year the USMNT worked with the USWNT to negotiate historic contracts for equal pay. Can you share how you became aware of the inequity in pay, discussions you and [your] teammates had about it and how the contract negotiations unfolded?”

MR. ADAMS: Yeah, absolutely. So, it was quite interesting, actually, because I am, you know, actually a part of some of the negotiations to a sense. We have a counsel within the team that handles the contract negotiations with our lawyers and some of the USWNT lawyers as well.

And I think that it’s super important that we kind of iron that detail out that we could become, you know, one of the first countries to really recognize the pay difference and how we can kind of sort that out. Obviously, we’re on a little bit of different schedules in terms of when they play their World Cup, when we play our World Cup. But when you look at the women’s national team play, you can just look at their team and say that they deserve more than they’re getting, you know, whether it has to be the TV rights details, or the revenue, sharing details, all those kinds of details.

Obviously, I’m not the one to handle that. But it’s quite evident that what they’ve done and the success that they’ve had, and how hard they work, you know, just as hard as us, you know, they deserve that opportunity to get paid, you know, as much as us, if not more. It doesn’t matter about gender or anything like that. Their success speaks for itself. And when you have success, you should get paid. That’s the bottom line.

MR. JORGENSON: And is this something that you like–did you become aware of this because other women’s soccer players tell you about it? Are you approached by someone? What–how–what was–how did your involvement begin with it?

MR. ADAMS: Yeah, so it’s actually–I think–when did we first start talking about it? It had to be almost a couple years back when we worked on the new bargaining agreement, and we were just talking as a team and with our lawyers, and we were figuring out, obviously, what was the best way to go about it. We were working on our numbers, since we were leading up to the World Cup. And we started comparing them with the Women’s national team numbers. And at that time, we all recognized and we sat there together, and we just said, you know, what is right? You know, like, what is the right thing to do in this scenario? And the right thing to do and in that scenario is for the Women’s national team to get paid. That’s the bottom line.

So, for us, without obviously going into all the details of the numbers and what every single person makes, you know, we finally came to an agreement. And it was an amazing day when you can, you know, be the first country in soccer history to get paid the same amount between the men’s national team and women’s national team, because that shows a synergy. It shows a support level that what they do is just as valuable as what we do. And it has to be recognized like that.

MR. JORGENSON: Yeah, and that’s really great to be part of soccer history in that way. Tyler, unfortunately, we are out of time. So, we’ll have to leave it there. Tyler Adams, thank you so much for joining us today.

MR. JORGENSON: Thank you very much.

And now I’d like to bring in a few of my colleagues for a conversation about the top stories on Capitol Hill, Camila DeChalus and Marianna Sotomayor. Okay, here they are. Perfect. They are both congressional reporters here at The Post.

MS. SOTOMAYOR: Thanks for having us.

MR. JORGENSON: Hey, thanks for coming. This is so great. So, I’m going to just–we’re going to go back and forth here. I’ve got a lot of questions for both of you. A lot of questions that I’ve been trying to answer for the last few weeks in making TikToks, so this could be really helpful for me in a lot of ways.

We’ll start with you, Camila. You have reported extensively on George Santos. And I want to start by asking what should be an obvious but it is becoming a seemingly difficult question: Who is George Santos?

MS. DECHALUS: So, George Santos is a Republican lawmaker who’s representing the congressional 3rd district in New York. And essentially, what we found throughout our reporting was a lot of things that he said about his personal and professional life has been fabricated. He’s said that he’s worked at Goldman Sachs or in Citigroup, and we found no records of him working there. Also, he said he’s obtained a master’s degree from New York University. There’s no records of that. And everything from even his personal life of even talking about how 9/11 claimed his mother’s life, but then we found that she died in 2016. So, there’s just been a lot of unraveling of untruths that he said throughout while he’s running for office and even now.

MR. JORGENSON: I do feel like, you know, just from someone who doesn’t report on this directly but is deeply involved with news, it seems like every day there is something, a new detail. Would you say that’s kind of the–what you’re feeling as you’re reporting on this story?

MS. DECHALUS: Yes. And that’s also what constituents in his district are also feeling. I mean, every day, they’re saying that there’s just new reports of just revealing that things that he’d said in the past is just simply untrue. And some people I talked to who even supported him initially when he was running for office say that they’ve been deceived, that he misrepresented himself when he was running for office saying that he was a businessman, he was into finances. But now with all these reports coming out to light, they really feel like they don’t even know who their congressman really is.

MR. JORGENSON: Yeah, and we’re going to–we’re going to try to get to the bottom of that in this roundtable.

But so, we’ll go to Marianna next. Santos is 34 years old, which makes him one of a handful millennials in Congress. Can you talk to us about how age factors into the story? You have–how are younger people reacting to the story and how are quote-unquote older members of Congress reacting?

MS. SOTOMAYOR: Yeah, you know, you probably would not be surprised to know that older members of course judging those younger members; we see that happen privately all the time here on Capitol Hill. But for a lot of Republicans, they’re actually thinking back to another very young Republican no longer on Capitol Hill. That is Madison Cawthorn. He was elected last cycle at 25 years old, and he similarly really embellished a lot of things about what other Republican colleagues were doing. And he didn’t necessarily lie a lot about his resume, but a lot of things came up after he was elected about his past. He had a lot of accusations against him, sexual harassment claims, things like that.

But ultimately, we did see Republican leaders, including McCarthy, go after him when Cawthorn said that a lot of these Republicans, falsely, he had seen them doing drugs, engaging in orgies–all things that just were very much not true. That is when you saw Republican leaders actually speak out against him and say we’ve lost trust in this member.

We haven’t seen that yet with George Santos. But, you know, we have seen a number of leaders actually put him on committees, for example. They’re not very influential ones. It’s the Science and Small Business Committees–not to say that, you know, they don’t have influence, but a lot of members really skeptically kind of wanting to get to know him, not really embracing him. But it really is a matter of let’s wait and see for a lot of Republicans here on the House side.

MR. JORGENSON: So, when a member is put on these committees, whether or not they’re, you know, more impactful committees than other ones, is that the other members sort of signaling that, hey, we have trust in this guy? Is that part of the issue that they’re going, hey, we’ll put him on this committee so he’s legitimate? Is there something to be considered there?

MS. SOTOMAYOR: Yeah, a little bit. You know, there were a number of Republican members who outright said he should not be seated on committees. We don’t know how he’s going to behave. What is he going to talk about? And there were legitimate concerns about potentially putting him on any kind of committees–let’s say Intelligence, Homeland–where you would have to see highly classified information. They wouldn’t want someone like that to necessarily deal with the gravity of issues that do come forth in those committees.

So, there is a little bit of calculation there. But of course, the committee debate, who gets to sit on it, their impact, that is something that we will continue to see on Capitol Hill, not just among Republicans, but also Democrats as well.

MR. JORGENSON: Camila, you were talking earlier about the residents you spoke to in New York who regret voting for him. What do they say? And when did this regret begin? Was it directly after the election? Is it as more details come in? What–how are they feeling about this situation as it unfolds?

MS. DECHALUS: Well, some residents I talked to said that the initial report that the New York Times did just revealing that he didn’t work at the companies that he said he worked were just enough for them to start kind of questioning, you know, who is the congressman that’s now representing our district. But then I think as more reports kind of unfolded that not only had he embellished things on his work resume, but also just things in his personal life, like, you know him even saying that he started a charity but there just being no records of it, and then things about just his upbringing and his personal life, just including his mother, I mean, these were just things that kind of across the board they really can’t pinpoint things that they see just like it.

And you know, one resident I talked to about it just kind of commented about the situation said that they just feel really embarrassed that their congressman that’s in the news right now is not because he’s touting his accomplishments and what he’s doing for constituents. This is more about just his life, and they feel like this is just a really poor reflection the district itself, and they feel like he’s not really representing his constituents this way.

MR. JORGENSON: Pivoting to an article that you wrote yesterday, Marianna, about immigration policy and how it might show that the narrow margins Republicans have in Congress will make it really difficult for them to be effective in the 118th Congress, can you tell us more about that piece that you published?

MS. SOTOMAYOR: Yeah, we’re seeing a number of issues. Even though Republicans have only been in the majority for a couple of weeks, they’re already having problems with that very narrow margin. They can only lose four votes–right now actually, can only lose three because a congressman, last week, got injured, fell in his–near his home and will be out of session. And that’s important when the margins are extremely thin.

And on this case in particular, Republican leaders were saying that they’re going to put an immigration bill on the floor as actually part of the negotiations that helped McCarthy become speaker pass his piece of legislation forward.

And apologies, there’s a bit of a delay. This is what we do here on Capitol Hill. The broadband is not too great.

MR. JORGENSON: You’re doing great.

MS. SOTOMAYOR: These members are working on that all the time. But back to your question. Chip Roy’s bill on border security was pretty extreme for a number of members, especially Hispanic Republicans who have grown in the ranks. They’re saying that this is a non-starter–it’s not a realistic pathway to actually achieving immigration reform–and led the way to make sure–there was actually a number of concerns that the members knew what this bill was about. So that’s been pulled from consideration. It’s actually going to go back to the Homeland Security Committee to be debated.

And this is not the only piece of legislation that we’re going to likely see that happen to. For example, there’s some police reform bills that Republicans have been talking about a lot on the campaign trail. That’s also probably going to hit a pause just because that support isn’t there. So, you know, choose any issue that could be divisive and it’s likely that Republicans are really going to have to work hard, talk amongst the ideological divisions within their factions to try and find a solution. But again, even if they pass anything, then it is under Democratic control. So, a little tricky to see what’s going to become law.

MR. JORGENSON: Speaking of trying to, you know, work across those divisions amongst conservative members of Congress, I want to talk about Speaker McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. You have taken note of the fact that the tension between these two leaders is impacting the rest of the party. What does the Republican Party expecting them to do to make amends and move the party forward with unity?

MS. SOTOMAYOR: Yeah, you know, their relationship is very interesting. They’re very different. One, just evidence is that they are from different generations. They just have different styles of approaching not just leadership but members themselves. And we have seen that both are very, very attuned to politics and understanding what they need to either gain majorities and try and recruit better candidates.

And that’s a little bit of where the friction lies, and it’ll be interesting to see in this cycle how both leaders really do try and balance a lot of the demands, because it also exists on the Senate side, a lot of those more extreme demands, a lot of pro-Trump allies who may try and sway how these leaders try and navigate the party in and of itself. We’ve seen those divisions, with McConnell being a little bit more reserved to embrace Trump, McCarthy very much going forth and saying, if I don’t embrace him, look, this is–this is the majority that makes up my majority as speaker of the House. So it’ll be very interesting because, of course, the House really wants to pass a little bit more extreme legislation that the Senate would never take up.

But really, the moment I think that will be telling for both of them is anything that has to do with fiscal negotiations. You see, McConnell doesn’t want the economy to default, doesn’t want the government to default. That would have worldwide implications. McCarthy is saying a lot of things have to change. The Biden administration has to bend before we can even get to raising the debt ceiling, and you know, funding the government, things like that.

MR. JORGENSON: Well, you just mentioned Trump there, and something that’s popular–that was popular with him and is popular with a lot of Republican legislators is TikTok–or rather, it’s not popular with them.

Camila, you’ve written a little bit about this in the video sharing site as an illegal surveillance platform. Part of the concern is that TikTok obtains a lot of data that can be manipulated and can impact the user algorithm to promote specific information. Is there much evidence to suggest that the ban on federal devices is influencing other key industries to rethink the data collection risks that are inherent with the platform? That was a mouthful. Good luck.

Okay, Camila, are you able to–I will–yes, I can–I can start that over, and I can make it even easier because I gave you a lot of questions there at once.

I want to ask you about TikTok, which you’ve written quite a bit about, and legislators that have concern over it being an illegal surveillance platform. Is there much evidence to suggest that the ban on federal devices is influencing other key industries to rethink the data collection risks that are inherent with platforms like TikTok?

MS. DECHALUS: Well, there is. You’ve seen just in the past few months that there’s just been more efforts, especially with lawmakers, there’s been more calls just to ban TikTok from government devices, but then a greater ban just in the U.S., just in general. I’ve talked to some lawmakers that have tried to put forth legislation about TikTok, and they’ve just really expressed just that there’s a lot of national concerns that they have about TikTok being owned by a Chinese company, and they’re really fearing that they have–that ByteDance that owns TikTok has just information about American users that they really could use to their detriment.

So even people from Democratic Senator Mike Warner to–Mark Warner to even Republicans, this is not just a Republican effort. There’s been Democrats that have also kind of raised their hand saying that we–they would also like to see a ban. You’ve seen even in the past few months that, you know, now House staffers and House lawmakers are not allowed to download TikTok on their government devices. But this is going to be a trend that you’re going to see not just happening these past few months, but actually going forward, that there are just going to be more efforts to try to have more regulations over this app that’s not really based in the U.S., that’s based in China.

MR. JORGENSON: Camila, we might have to have you on the Washington Post TikTok account to tell some of our followers about all this happening, because I think you just explained it better than any of us ever did. Thank you for that.

Marianna, I have one more question. I want to know about 2024. I know it’s always something that we start thinking about way ahead of time. You know, on one side you have Joe Biden, who is not getting any younger, as even Nancy Pelosi pointed out recently, and then you have potentially DeSantis or Trump kind of tied in polls, neck and neck. What do you think party leaders are saying behind closed doors about the 2024 presidential prospects?

MS. SOTOMAYOR: Yeah, and I will just say, because since I am in the Senate Gallery, you might hear a lot of noise; it’s kind of like Grand Central Station here, and apologies for that. But to your question, yes, all eyes are on 2024. Even the meeting that’s supposed to happen today between Democratic leaders, both House and Senate and Biden is expected to be about messaging, and how do you talk about what Republicans are thinking about doing to, for example, cut the deficit, and you know, be able to fund the government? How do you use that to talk to voters and let them know now, hey, they’re trying to cut your benefits, you should vote for Democrats, because we won’t do that and we have also been able to pass a number of things to help you? That’s kind of what a lot of Democrats are thinking about. Republicans equally trying to message and think their way through.

However, it is worth noting that these lawmakers are trying to do that messaging without necessarily the cloud of 2024. Republicans really not eager to talk about Trump in any form or fashion. He’s also having trouble, our colleagues are reporting, trying to get people to show up to his rallies that he’s expected to have in the upcoming weeks.

And you know, Democrats here also don’t necessarily want to talk about Biden, though they are defending him in many different ways, saying, you know, he’s the one who kind of spearheaded a lot of the legislation that we were able to pass when the House had the Democratic majority. They just want to keep focused on, you know, really attacking Republicans, not necessarily wanting to talk about the president and his potentially upcoming reelection chances. Though, we should expect Democrats likely to back him even though the question about his age, for him and for Trump, very much on the minds of these members when you ask them privately about 2024.

MR. JORGENSON: I have about 50 more questions on my mind for you about 2024. But we’re out of time, so that’ll have to wait until the next Washington Post Live NEXT. Marianna, Camila, thank you for joining me on Washington Post Live.

MS. DECHALUS: Thanks for having me.

MS. SOTOMAYOR: Thanks for having me.

MR. JORGENSON: And thanks to all of you for watching. To check out what interviews we have coming up, please head to WashingtonPostLive.com to register and find more information about our upcoming programs. I’m Dave Jorgenson, and thank you for joining us on Washington Post Live.


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