Donald Trump, Lafayette Park, Mark Milley discussed on The Majority Report with Sam Seder
You feel to. What extent could you. How did you approach the dilemma. That a lot of these people particularly as you get further into twenty twenty and the president is saying inject yourself with bleach or something to that effect during a pandemic are trying to You know they're involved in a reformation project for themselves. You know that yeah. I i guess your question. It's a good one. I like it sam. Is i think more and more. It's incumbent on reporters like myself and phil To sorta show our work like a math class like we. We want to explain to people how we do it in the era of of fake news. And how successful. Donald trump was in in promoting that idea that reporters are making stuff up. I wish i you know if it only it were so easy will be a lot easier to be a reporter. We made stuff up but no. We actually corroborate everything. There are many things we don't publish because we're so careful Even though we think they are true we have to mean a very high standard. I feel as though what's really important is to show our work. And in this instance many people spoke to us on background because they're afraid of the pain in vindication that trump could bring down on their heads if they spoke out against him publicly. That will change over time. I'm sure but we were on guard for folks trying to rewrite history in a way that was more favorable to them. We were on guard for people who are trying to burnish A slightly damaged reputation and tell a story in which they were brave or stronger or more more of an obstacle to donald trump's dangerous ideas than they actually were and what we found was when we went to corroborate some of the claims With people who work fans of those individuals their story stood up and the ones that didn't we didn't publish you know we had to to test these with documents with independent objective witnesses and that was important to us when one of the things that you have to talk about was lafayette park right. Then and then. I guess you also reported in the book that Trump really wanted to bring out the military for for black lives matter protesters and then was was more or less dissuaded from that. But let's talk about the the lafayette park because there was a new inspector. general report. Came out. I guess A month and a half ago maybe two months ago where how did how did that lineup. For the inspector general report says now that they were clearing it for the sake of donald trump but they were clearing it because they needed to put up fencing. Josh is just seems bizarre to me like maybe you wanna do that at night. When nobody's there As opposed to having to bring in a person like well. What's your sense of what happened there. I'm with you. I mean. I think of i reported this in real time. I reported on this Shortly after the fact in a reported it again for the book and each time i learned something new and it did not dissuade me from my earliest instinct. Which is the secret service. Something i know fairly well is never gonna cross that square with a group of protesters gathered there and take the president across it unless that park is entirely cleared and there was no reason to clear the park urgently other than the president's decision that afternoon and his coordination with white house chief of staff and his secret service team to to go across the square for a photo op. Remember that monday morning. June one began with the president livid. I mean trying to rip the skin off people's faces. He was so angry meeting with his chief of staff. His chairman of the joint chiefs staff mark milley. His chief of staff. Forgive me i'm gonna blank mark meadows. His defense secretary mark esper-. He's meeting with them in. Why is he angry. He's angry that it's been reported that he had to be taken to the bunker a couple of nights before. he's not mad that he was taken to the bunker. He's mad that it looks weak that he had to hide from the protesters. The black lives he says to them. Well what are four leaders thinking. I can't even control my own capital my own white house. I can't. I must look weak to them. He wants this fixed and his solution that he devises with his daughter. Ivanka trump that afternoon is instead of bringing ten thousand military troops to the square. He's going to walk across lafayette square and hold up a bible to show that he's got control over this city. He's able to walk out the front door. Sorry that's a long winded. Answer to your question That report by the way that you mentioned. I'm sorry that's a completely incomplete picture of what happened. The inspector general in that case appointed by donald trump Did not interview the key people at the white house or anyone at the secret service. So how can it answer the question of what the purpose was. If you don't talk to do people who were planning the only urgent reason to clear the square that afternoon. I i mean i'm with you. I mean it sounds like just a bizarre decision like we need to do this right now. Coincidentally after we do it the president is here like we need to put this fencing up right now. When there's thousands of people there it just doesn't make any sense whatsoever and and it's not only logistically. It's it's not only rationally dubious. The facts indicate that. I mean the reporting we did for. The book indicates that the real order came from the white house. And and and. I think i i think it was bar If i remember correctly in the sequence of the bar had said that it was his decision that he walked out there and said we. We're going to go across. The whole thing sounded dubious. But it also i find disturbing the idea that like the inspector general which is supposed to be sort of function as as close to an ombudsperson as we can get in the context in this context. Is that highly politicized right. Like i mean like we're that's they're supposed to be independent. And i am wary of reaching a conclusion without facts that the inspector general is politicized. I'm just mentioning a fact. Which is that. He was appointed by trump. He insisted at the time of the report. The politics trump's appointment have nothing to do with the way he's sculpted the report but as a reporter. A journalist researcher that tries to gain the exact same information. I really wouldn't have complete story if i didn't talk to the people who were arranging for the reason to clear the report cleared the square. I hear you i will. I will make that conclusion. Since i don't have those bona days tori exactly exactly Are well let me ask you about this. What did you notice. I mean because one of the things that that That again for me with a with a a story like this for for donald trump is the people around him right like Twenty years ago. If everything was the same you would not have however one hundred plus Congress people and whatever Half a dozen senators vote to decertify the election on january six but the republican party has changed and there may have been people in the white house a year ago. who were trying to put the brakes. On what trump was doing. Don't bring out the military to deal with black lives matter. You know milly your reporting suggested that he thought there was at the very least some attempt at a you know i guess. A coup for lack of a better word..