Shadow State: Murder, Mayhem, and Russia's Remaking of the West


The Max Bergmann here for more of the asset podcast please go to our patriarch page at www dot patriots dot com slash asset podcast that's Pat R. E. N. dot com slash acid podcast. You'll hear the phone interviews with our roster and analysts. You'll also get more exclusive content from the acid team like our interview with the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff. Event reacting to Robert, Morris, testimony, and upcoming episode, following the mysterious trail of dead. Russians. Around the twenty sixteen election and a whole lot more. Don't miss out. Sign up today at www dot patriots dot com slash asset podcast. Of course, they would video a Bama on Donald Trump Ritz Carlton, and we know from all types of tasks in Prague that Donald Trump is beaten as being watched by. Security services pretty closely all the way back to his trip to Moscow ninety, nine, hundred a meanwhile in London. There was a pretty enormous espionage operation to you get close to the brakes tears cold secret. Diamonds Mughal. Serious sweetheart deals by by Russia's a man in London map prison hates the European Union and he sees brexit sweat diminishing the UK of the strange. London Paris Brussels. and. Be, Hastings, sanctioned and as far as I still hit. On the record interview you just listened to that and it was very clear is that he really is i. Mean he knows what? He's doing I mean. He he he's. He's DP St-. In. Russia fast he he he knows that tricks he knows how they're. Steel was more or less the first person to. Trump's subterranean subterranean. Relationship. Russia. NAFTA. Leninist idea. The Moscow isn't a state off permanent. If unofficial war with with. Washington and. Social anyone really appreciated that the depths which this is the case. As listeners I'm Max Bergmann coming to you from the mountains of Virginia, and we have a special episode today I spoke with Luke harding of the Guardian about his new book shadow state murder mayhem, and Russia's remaking the West. We talked about his conversations with Christopher Steele. The dossier Russian interference in the UK the more investigation in what to expect in the twenty twenty election. I'm expert in this is the asset. I'm Max Berg Minute Nissen's special road of the asset. I'm here with Luke harding author of shadow state murder mayhem in Russia remaining of the West. Luke thanks for joining me a Max Cranky media. So Luke WANNA sort of dive into this book because it's a fascinating read that kind of gives an overview of Russia's efforts really over the last five years I would say maybe going back a little bit further but it sort of goes through sort of the major events and incidents of Russia prank interfere in the West. But I want to. Start with maybe asking you would, which is probably the most the biggest newsworthy thing in the book, which is your interfere with Christopher Steele. And maybe you could describe how that came about in in what what you learn from talking with steel. In, in what I think I, public interview. Yeah well I it's interesting. I've seen stale pretty regularly regularly over the last four years I guess and Rota collision, which was my predecessor book to shadow state which I think was was the first major trump in Russia to to come out tonight, he went to see him about three weeks. Full US fee publishes dossier in January of two, thousand, seventeen and bang. The good. That he is sent a pardon in London Shakespeare and. I told him everything I was doing I talked by investigations, Deutchebanks, Donald, trump and he he revealed nothing he was he was very discreet, but while picks up all the information. told him and I you know I've been seeing pretty regularly. Ever since including during the last tumultuous few years where we had the muttering quiry for for two years, we had the reports. And we've seen this astonishing. pushback conspiracy driven pushback by Donald Trump, and the people around him to try discredit Chris Christopherson. Can quite interesting. The view on Christmas tell depends on on who you're talking to you because in the UK. I have to say he's still he's still a highly regarded very mind he went from I six full twenty, two years. He was a genius by in Moscow in the Nineteen Ninety S. Mak Gorbachev was that for the two. And headed Am I six Russia desk and lead the investigation into the two thousand, six Polonia murder of Alexander, Living Yanko killed by a couple of criminal goons with Radioactive Cup of tea and and so here in London he he's pretty well imagine the intelligence community and his his reputation is high and then the US. Especially internationally, I, think a lot of the mud. Thrown by by by Donald Trump and his supporters have have have stock I mean I think trump has tweeted about him. When I published by St, it was about sixty times. It must be now at ninety times says, he's failed spy he's he's ally he's a fraud. Etc.. and. That's just not true and the fact that Donald Trump said something repeats as this goes into into Becca chamber right. Wing Echo Chamber doesn't doesn't validate it and. I. Still I did in Victoria around Kota off his offices with all this was not to know after Helsinki and the kind of notorious meeting between trump and Putin wet where trump sided with with Vladimir over over his spy agencies who said, of course Russian meddling in the two thousand sixteen election, and still with pretty define I mean he he believes he still believes that his dossier is broadly accurate acknowledges that it's not flawless that it's Roy Intelligence, but on the key pillars off Russia's support for trump. Of cultivation operation of multiple contacts between the trump team and Russia, I think he's improved proved rise. Say finally those kind of doubt him and his veracity. How do you explain the widow slavish sycophantic relationship The Donald Trump has has manifested was Fatima mccutchen threat is presidencies the one stable consistent theme in in. In other respects is is completely crazy. Time in office. And I think I think compromise money i. think the fact that Putin treats trump like a like a KGB essays explains everything in really validates. More or less while still right in in in your book, you talk about one of the one of the ways that steel reputation as crying effort to serve sully his reputation in the dossier They got some the White House some credence from that with the F. B., I. D. report, and talking to one of one of steel sources in he had many. That appeared to sort of walk back into distance himself from some of the things he had allegedly told steel in in maybe you could talk about that. What was sort steals reaction to the FBI allergy report. Yeah, well, I mean steel has has has sort of he has a problem. which is that he went to publish about his Sosa toll say he went say he was subsidies where he he won't identify the person who? Was the primary source a lot on the dossiers. He's been announced by pro trump media following a leak, which itself is is pretty unprecedented but I think I'm going to speak for him. But what you have to look at is context said the primary subsoils. Behind the dossier, he has a very good track record as a as an analyst as digger as Judea. Guy. With interviewed by the FBI in two thousand seventeen, this is the time when. He was terrified he was terrified of what. Appraisals the might be from Russia I, suspect I for him but. He was worried. Faithful about his his life and you just have to look at someone else he cooperate with Western intelligence second scruple in my country full Gi Udall Asian, working from Russian ministry attachments who has swaps out in in the famous of of two thousand and ten have been living cloudy and Salisbury Information England. And was poisoned by by two. With with Nova novato lethal nerve agent, and you can see. That anybody who who'd be now this is cooperating with steal my sky would be terrified and so I think. There was a degree of of. Distancing by the from from primary disavow his own work whereas understanding is that Ashley his his his record was good. It was long standing that he came highly recommended and say for those who are kind of. Skeptical about what trump may or may not have got up here in Moscow full years as guardians. Moscow correspondent between seven and two thousand eleven when I was. Of the the country in. Deported and we had a series of break-ins by the FSP of the success agencies, the KGB into family apartment and were told. that. We were bucks that there was audio was video in the bedroom. and has be watched. We think. ME. And my wife. Intimately for for very long period of time and the reason I raised this. If they do that to a kind of troublesome british-american correspondent, he's writing dislodging things about abuse and corruption and sell it. Of course, they would video a bomb or donald trump in the Ritz Carlton and we know from all types of tattooing in. Prague. That Donald Trump has been has been watched by eastern security services pretty closely all the way back to his trip to Moscow nineteen, ninety seven. So it's clear that as a massive trump follow Moscow, it's clear that. That that will be tentacles events trump just in two thousand seventeen beginning all the way back on have met anybody not to steal but other fulmer top European intelligence chiefs who Doesn't believe. This is something the Russians do. So. Said really at the end of the day you have to ask south, it's not a question of. Whether, the Russians call stuff on trumpets. It's minute question of wall. In I think on on steel close out on steel. The press are now willing to serve concedes deal to trump and you saw that in sort of a recent New, York Times story where it said well, the dossier has been widely discredited in it's sort of dismissed steel and and I think it's largely just because you know the press like to sort of oftentimes showed himselves as being neutral and that sort of way for them to show themselves as neutral but I've been one. Issue is also I think there are. Orange elite or we need a lot of the what's in the steele dossier had sort of trouble defending him because it's hard to defend on the that isn't defending themselves. And his sort of reluctance out in the press, which in some ways, it's very understandable as also think especially in the US press has made him sort of mysterious figure that that even people who want to defend them are sort of royal. It's sort of difficult because you you don't actually know who he is and he doesn't have the same sort of reputation on this side of Atlantic but so I think that's sort of one kept waiting for him to do sort of Barbara Walters style interview. He will but he sat and he will an iphone the new at times piece was way to say it's been discredited I mean Donald. Trump. Saying something discredited doesn't mean it's Discredited and actually steal was more the first person to elect over. Donald. Trump's subterranean in sub trading relationship with Russia. Now, is that wrong I don't think so I I also think that he may be more forthcoming. If, if big if if if Joe Biden wins in November and then I think we'll a lot more information will be Kinda pump time I suspect that he will be more forthcoming I mean he he he sticking tire in the media water I mean I I did. Cost with him. Last week with with Damian Collins British MP. And as far as that was the first interview. That was me, it was it was Chris. And Damian and will. Listen to that, and it was clear is he really is I. I lost honest I mean he knows what he's doing. I mean what you make the dossier he he's he's deeply immersed. In, a Russian Faz he he knows that tricks he knows how they lie. He is across everything kind of strategically He makes points like the fat the Russian spies rollout wearing green uniforms. With jangling medalists that very often they are. They are charming English the on a Gawks or other intermediaries. That read novels That personable they their kids et Cetera, this kind of complexity bat which I think. Is sometimes lacking for I'd haven't seen any kind of patronizing way so that the US dingle over over Russia instead selling I think actually he's he's become collateral damage in a fight between trump's vehement apologists and those who think well. If there's nothing to see here, wise trump such a suck up mccutchen. Yeah. It's sort of the the the whistle blowers in in the trump world's. Tend to get sullied. Whether it's Alexander Vin men whether it's the whistle blower that. Initially blue the. Expose Ukraine or I mean steel in two thousand sixteen was the one sort of blowing the whistle that trump had teased bizarre ties to Russia and even if parts of the dossier are seen as you know not quite on on the knows that general theme that trump is has this. fealty to Putin is. Throughout unclear. I SORT OF WANNA shift topics in talk, which is another topic that is addressing your but but there's been a lot of new new recently in the UK and that's about Russian influence in the united. Kingdom. Specifically around Brexit and the release. Of this intelligence report that had been sort of Wyatt's over a basically pry was done before the British elections elections last year but kept under wraps in the primary release this number. What was your reaction to that report and? In. What is the extent of Russian interference in the UK well? This has been a huge scandal. In London because basically. This report written by a bunch of MP's across party group of British politicians was reading for publication in late autumn of last year and Boris Johnson Effectively sort of took it and stuck down his sock home refused to publish it and. I think would never publish it but for the fact that the his his placement on this committee was ambush by other MP's most of those and they brought it out a couple of weeks ago and what it says is his two. Crucial things by the way Kristie gave evidence to to this committee has Kobe you can buy. The. First is that. Theresa. May that then prime minister in two thousand, sixteen, hundred, Seventeen Boris Johnson, then British Secretary. Essentially refused to look at pretty compelling evidence of Russian interference around brexit insupportable. Brexit and the reason they wouldn't look at it is because D- brexit his Johnson's great project. And he didn't want kind of de legitimize what he regards us the will of the people and what what we know. Is. Is that the Brexit the brush breaks it operation and the Russian trump operation with Canada. Impaired out I mean I write him my book shadow state the two dramas overlapped an unqualified dramatic percent knew each other and say you know the troll factory and speeds pushing at Anti History Pro donal messages at the same time backing break says a meanwhile in London that there was a pretty enormous Spanish operation to get close to the brexit tears to. Invite some Aaron banks but he's businessman who donated about twelve twelve, million dollars. To. The BICYC- campaign which in this country a huge amount of money it was the biggest the nation finish criminal history I'm was being off a gold secret any diamonds Mu Gulled. Sweetheart. Deals by by Russia's Amana London now now, just refuse to look inside the report essentially said the the the being accused of feigning by government set by the British spy agencies by six at my full life. Here you would have thought would have seen this as a huge threat but for whatever reasons political reasons as usual reasons with squeamish and the other way, and the now the keep went went the rush report is that. It's very good on how hall class of of Brits have been have been bought up by Russian interests. I finale gawky interest something to the Kremlin some not but that's their lawyers. They're real estate guys. There are pairs of the Realm Lords. Senior EX politicians intelligence people pay AUSE. Uneven. I would add some journalists who who, on the Russians payroll and inform watts. Bill Browder, we will give this committee describes is a kind of West and. It's upsetting salmon DC. It's the same in America. There are plenty of people who who do the Kremlin's bidding. In exchange for very basic. Paychecks an I think. I would just lost. It was interesting about this whole story about Russia in the West in recent years is this. It's not it's not tale of far away corruption by by back KGB guys wearing leather jackets. It's it's it's a narrative off complicity by Western. Helpers have a well paid for the services where he of banking politics. The law? He do the Kremlin's work. For, seventy, about all corruption as much as it is about that corruption in I think just put a finer point on the on the banks donation. You know one of the things about British politics in America, we have this unlimited amount of spending. So now but but the spending art constrained and so at twelve million dollar infusion of cash. Can can really make a difference right in in British in a way that it, it may not have the same sort of impact here where the spending is. More out of control. Yeah. I Have Ryan the it's the school Moscow gold at about Russia? BREXIT's and I write the that Britain's. Antiquated. Electoral laws. Actual rules governing two nations what were practically written by a man wearing a medieval tunic or rough holding a quill and writing on parchment and in other words Electoral regulations haven't got to grips with. Digital campaigning with the kind of a knock it weld of social media which which. The Kremlin and companies like China. Steve Bannon. Have, really, explicit in a in a muscle way and what we know is that the leave the campaign that Johnson was the frontman full day cheech it broke electoral law there are there are still still question marks about web squeeze money for all the The commission said they didn't think it was his and then the National Crime Agency which is the. FBI look to this. I think about custody way and said Yeah you know we think it was his so yeah phony he's his exoneration but but. I looked at his business empire I. Find It in the Promo papers found him in the Panama papers this old offshore. Monkey trial stretching from Gibraltar to. Believes to to the British Virgin Islands and We Kansai that Russia supported banks we have the proof of that but clearly, this is a very mucky world. And the victorious vote team a now apparent Downing Street at the governments. And you know the Johnson government is quite similar to give the trump administration insofar as. Seems to have this kind of solitaire insensibility whether they bright rules and winning to cheat. If they think it says a higher end, which is that political pop. In. The main scandals year was simply that the British intelligence establishment didn't just decided not to look into what seem fairly obvious Russian interference and you know I sort of remember going on British television occasionally and even hinting at the topic are the notion that Russia may have interfered with Brexit was. Completely taboo seen as sort of off the wall and baseless. In in in. This is basically you know we oftentimes view our intelligence services is all knowing Rivera Wall Nokia And have to look at something. Director Resources to investigate and it doesn't appear that that that. Disservice that didn't happen in the Brexit kits. Yeah. And that's the main takeaway from the Russia report but bought by these MP's. That basically, the Russian government interfered in support of Scottish independence during the the referendum two, thousand fourteen. In the general election, two, thousand, nine, hundred, and of course, it date in support of Brexit because understand is that Putin? Prison hates the European Union and he he sees brexit his leg administering the UK of of a strange. London from Paris and Brussels and Berlin and possibly hastening end of sanctions. Many he he likes it well, what he do corrupt crony bilateral deals with with weaker states rubbing with Pavel. International. Entities. So so the Russians want to break said they were delighted when it happened in the same way that wanted trump and I think it's kind of dismay and. I didn't quite know how how it works in in Washington. But but for while I kind of thought well, at least pretty spies across it at least. Six. You know what what happened and sell them. What we've discovered is that they were not task though waiting for instructions from Downing Street to look at this look at this kind of Russian malfeasance over the referendum and these instructions never came. And the irony is that Ashley it's being. Without beating myself up here, it's it's really full into two journalists to kind of civic society to try to investigate it so I guess to me. This is one thing I've tried to do in my book shadow state, but will be like how Like cutting from the savage, he broke Hyphen Janet, scandal and Knox. hundred billion dollars of the capitalization of facebook to shine light on this because I think. Not as badly as it is in the US but but I think we've been filed by. Politicians who for whatever reasons don't want to confront. was having Russian. Interference continuing tap. Yeah. In you know just on that theme I think this sort of also applies to the Russian investigation in the Mueller investigation that we add here in the US. You know. We'll talk about more second but I think prior to Miller there's this FBI investigation that was launched in twenty sixteen. I think one of the IMI the big bombshell came out of that F. B. I. I. G. report we wrote this up in a report at the center of American progress titled The botched the investigation is that they didn't acted when the crime was happening when Russia was interfering in two thousand sixteen you didn't have this super aggressive investigation. In fact, the G report noted no they they were so intent on keeping investigation secret. That they kept serve the FBI headquarters, not a field office meaning it didn't have the same capabilities than. They also were just rotating people in and out. It was not treated as as sort of you know it was just people were coming in for I think ninety dates stints and then than moving on so they're expertise and you know there's a little. Note about the steele dossier. This deal dossier came in and actually came in I think into the New York field office but the New York field office didn't really know that there are actually people working on this in Washington, and so the still didn't actually get to them until October, the people actually doing the investigation. So you know you just had it was kind of a keystone cops affair that. In this was sort of came through in the struck Peter Struck and Lisa. Page conversation where it was basically, how aggressive do we WANNA be do we want to keep this sort of very quiet as we might with a normal counterintelligence investigation or go very aggressive because we need to really deal with this threat in the response was very lackadaisical, which then extended to the inauguration in which you had our The the MANAFORT's kind of GRU or Reggie. Are you right hand and our Russian brain come to the inauguration in not in not face questioning from the FBI So I think it sort of puts our intelligence community kind of in our intelligence communities in perspective that they look at what they're looking at, and if they're not looking at something or focused somewhere else you know you're gonNa have things fall through the cracks The yeah I think they're all. Bright Good. Very competent, very high minded people who work in the have gency intelligence insecurity space in the UK. But having said that this was an enormous failure but I've the operation to Bruce Trump. and the Russian push for breaks is an think it flows from complacency and Mold Matt flows from a failure to understand the mentality and thinking of. The Russian political leaders and the people around preaching. I mean they're implacably KGB that the. Brains Akobo brightens facie themselves. In a zero sum world in which Russia is painted a phenomenon forever against the main enemy the main opponents, the gladly participate in Russian which the United States of America and and. This is sort of Leninist idea the Moscow is in a state of permanent. If unofficial wall Quasar Wall with with Washington and. Social anyone. Even any abomination could people were. Really appreciated that the depths of which this is the case, and therefore you have these two enormous espionage operations one, another one in Washington. On in a in a Referendum or an election wet went very narrow scenario fifty-fifty practically, and they are pushing that crazy using trawls using espionage using hacking dumping operations that pushing warm result an. One I would say is that from from Moscow The election of all trump is seen as the greatest trauma in saved. Mush espionage history in a century should trump is is is number what? People got medals promoted the wards and so on I. Think Brexit is all sire up tab because it is. Seen publicly weaking weakening the UK in the your opinion. and. I. Think we've learned snap, but I I'm not sure. The we have reasons you pathway understand in America and. Because Boris Johnson. Refuses to guide I because he was the beneficiary in Austin rush maybe. You could describe where Bush Johnson was after his election victory to become prime minister for another. Win, person he just became. A new. Ward in the United Kingdom. Yeah I mean I sometimes feel we we're in kind of John Kerry. Novel. Because of the plotlines. The actually the plotlines kind of guy. I mean Jonah Keri is lost of of of of plotting and of the slow reveal and and wonderful kind of gray towns where whereas this this this Paul, the relaxed law is lured last. slapstick and and just kind of Chunky. Because what happened was that after Bardstown won his seat majority in December, he went to celebrate the next day at the House of Guinea an Alexander Lebedev now. was. One of my best contacts in Moscow. He's. He's a ex KGB. Fest Directorate Intelligence Officer He trained at the Red Banner Institute spent the Late One, thousand, nine, hundred, seventy by in London. Went into. Media. Banking, a became a billionaire just over a decade ago. London's evening Senate. East pepper in the independent and sunny of Guinea is a kind of gentlemen playboy who surrounds himself with cost young British advises. His articles and Throws runs evening standard and throws these enormous celebrity parties where. It's not just a few agencies that but everybody isn't Anushka. And Johnson went this party in December, which was the sexiest Beth a posse addicts on Lebedeva KGB's Fi I mean it was kind of to his critics ever. And it was a sign that. He really doesn't care. He really isn't. He really doesn't care about perceptions and I I would say that the Conservative Party in the UK. As comprehensively penetrated by Russian interests and qualify Russian money or Russian linked money. As as the trump people west in. Trump's first iteration in two thousand and seventeen it. It's an astonishing story and the the Epilogue, the kind of the. Carries that you have getting Lebanon Who I don't think it's an original thing. I can say that without being sued. To Guy was made a member of the House of Lords, he's going to be lured levels. I duNNo. Moscow. He's the Fest russian-born pair to sit in the House of Lords and he writes an angry obstacle for the. He's some guys right now. The man on Sunday London London satellite of the weekend complaining that his critics people let me guilty of Russia hating Russia phobia. And he compared his his travails to the victims of Stalin's show trials in the nineteen thirties now if I remember, right. The people in the show Charles were taken off. The sentence was pronounced shots in the basement of the Lubyanka whereas low Lebedev is going to be sitting in the House of Lords wearing a turban and a Red Cape adding a stipend of about five hundred don't. Make that. The one thing I say American is. Good to hear that other people also have similar simmered. But. I I want to shift gears and talk about the Muller Station and. Author of the for. Of the first book on the on trump's ties with Russia. The collusion, which is a fantastic read What was your reaction to the molar report in in what you're reporting? What? What's your sort of overall assessment of that investigation? Yeah. I have hauled chat about Mata in in shadow. State? Obviously I tried to ranked closely I sleep with the practically next to my bed an asset to reactions on the one hand. It was. Better document that I have since if is it did pump new information into the system. I. Mean we we we learned some unexpectedly can twisting and new details about about the guy pretends the by the fat votes for example, when Donald Trump made his famous Russia if you're listening, maybe you can find the thousand email emails that that tennis deleted that they spies Majia you working out of this yellow painted neoclassical building in the hearts of Moscow literally went back to the office. Lunch not that kind of volley of spear phishing emails to try and do precisely what Donald Trump. Suggests that. They do. And you know just hear a staff like the fact that Myth Mifsud that the wind Maltese professing you met with Jewish population in London and tell them the Kremlin had hacked till these DNC emails that he was friends with people from. The the twelfth. Petersburg. All the fact that one of Putin's AIDS New York named leaching. It is a- texted the night of trump's victory party and. Three words Putin has. So that was kind of intriguing and. Validating but an, it's an it's an enormous with with a big bang I think all the motor pool was an historic miss. An and I think there are number of reasons for that I. Think the biggest that he relied very heavily on the electronic record and what Americans told him, which is fine but he made no effort to dig deep into into Russian espionage surprise we can see to look intelligent sources in Moscow to. Untangle the chain of command what Putin say about meddling who'd he set to? How is this distribution through through kind of Russian espionage cycles and so on? His advocate of huge fighting was that he didn't follow the money. I, mean Donald Trump has been setting condominiums to to eastern gangsters system nineteen nineties. I met people who told me that. Trump as far back as nineteen nineteen, nineteen, ninety, one, nineteen, ninety two was known as the guy, the guy to five hundred dollars cash put it in hold on his desk a by an apartment. His model was. Yielding Money Fault full GBS people in Moscow or Minsk all Batu. all Astana and sell an imminent look at any of that and I I think two things about wrong one was. Serie handled how many people read every cog off in the metropole it's heavy getting I stay it's written in Legalese, and so I think would've filed is Kinda communication. An Morris disappeared off the was published on the other problem I think was fatigue I think Americans would just. So weary of the whole kind of rush saga by the time it came out that just through the hands up into sit I've got we we can't take anymore. Anina, plus. Would embody tending general played. Play the public played citizens in a muscle away essentially lying about what was unique mispresenting it sitting on the evidence. Waiting for the the the new psychic kind hurricane to kind of role in a roll out before we have the full facts he I think you know I I also think that serve I critical of Democrats also instead of putting in. Everyone's sort of put. On Robert Muller and. Muller I think in his communications team probably should have done more to sort of. Get a right size expectations about what they couldn't could not accomplish I. also think we made this very much just a legal proceeding as if he was and I think one of the problems is when the crime now that you're trying to prove is a conspiracy related to working together on an election. It's very you know it's it's not like Robin Conspiracy to rob a bank where you have this tangible amount of money that you then have to give up the assets and I think in. In Our podcast, we use this clip of Mitch McConnell in. You know there's a law in the US that you can't conspire with your super. PAC, you're outside workstation that's giving money in spending money just for your campaign and so what politicians do in raises famous video of McConnell on Youtube is about three minutes of him just doing stuff there's no audio she's just looking at the camera he's standing with his wife, all these sort of this montage of things that you would see. And what he thought, they just put it on Youtube and then his Super Pac in the news at to cut ads what is that doing the colluding with Super Pac now whether legally conspiring you know is probably not in according to the definition but they know of reviewing and I think that that's where you know the US we sort of became obsessed with the legal analysis of this and then molar. Unlike other special prosecutors of in in not simply Ken Starr but most special prosecutors are seeking to try to convict in fine crimes. It looks like Miller oftentimes is avoiding that yet. Even that said, you know the back end I I know that people on the more steam thought that they had provided enough goods. Congress. With the structure of justice but I think you're right that it just from it didn't it provided new details but one of the details have a lot of just raise even more questions about what was going on. The. Ice Right Max that N. he was kind of man not superman. We we thought he was this new kitchen. kind of hero who's going to WHO's going to swoop in and save us. Republican. And he he didn't. I think we we. Invested in him in a way an one may now we're trying to kind of myself to Roma Miller. I think reason I wrote shatter stages a six success to collision. was. To kind of go beyond actually I think had had gone had kinda cracked it that I wouldn't have been the book I mean by. The trump had no sympathy UK site. The fact that we had no proper reckoning investigational mersal inquire into Russian interference in this country so I so I needed to tell the story kind of dramatic. Non Non Fiction. Way, of. Thinking about it, I mean, you read the answers in motor. In the appendix from Donald Trump which were no I can't remember I. Mean it was real dog ate my homework stuff i. mean I describe it as a form of executive trolling I just get impression that that. We. Had the Senate blood and his nostrils. He didn't really want to bring down the big beast. You just wanted to kind of Trau- ran him. Which is why? This is a bit of a tangent but you. Brought it up with the the comment that that Putin has one that happened on election night You know that to me in the series of sequence of events that are actually played described in the Miller report that with Dmitry Peskov is in New York City the day after the election for the world chess. Championship. which is was headed by a Russian figure with ties to the Kremlin that had been frequently. Basically, used as a as a covert diplomatic vehicle for for the Russian government. And then Curiel Dmitriev who's later ghosts Seychelles meeting with. Suddenly, arrives in New, York as well to attend the chess championship and. It was a victory lap Max by by these guys was trapping lap. Yeah. I can't kiss him. Yeah he has. He say he got sanctioned. He was the head of feet at the chess championship. You'll say also, by the way I'm once said they haven't been can't alien. Spaceship but I mean. These these are all fronts kind of self Russian. POW and Y- The theme we see again and again in both in in Washington and New York and London is the ease with which fresh no potiskum penetrate. santis on our politics and a democracy, and it's a structural problem. I mean, the West is kind of open place in the same way that social media facebook twitter is open, anyone can do it. But what we're seeing very cleverly in the twenty, th century, these unscrupulous post, post-morten authoritarian regimes the. taking taking advantage of the poorest nece out that she subverted using the weapons of the West against West and I still owe show we fundamentally Russ that until we do this will carry on happening. Pretty set and it will happen again in the runup to November. I think the future surprises whenever and gets back from holiday. All, imagine that kind of lumped pancakes the fusion Nasi surprises loan away for that's a great segue to our final topic, which is you know we're in the midst of of macro election Vice President Biden, just pick Harris to be his vice presidential nominee. Were in now the homestretch or the for the election in November. G. You expect Russian interference to happen farm around Do you think it'll look the same or different What do you? What are you expecting over the next three months I I? I think the Russians will do something I mean, bear my last time round was a pretty big Intel conversation as you put it out by Christine will between people who are more cautious. About meddling directly in US politics and those who are more hawkish which were. A group of hotline led by Putin and. Those around him? I mean I think it'll be a cynical session this time I mean the point is the freedom wants trump stand power they see him as their candidate they see him as being uniquely destructive, even an divisive and just to be clear. Just to be clear, the Russians didn't invent. Donald trump the felicite represents, but they sat knee. Tried to help them along the way the fire was burning what what Putin is Palestine was pulled on the FI. So it was it was anger Ed kind of more combustible. So I think as a minimum, we'll see a social media operation. Institute of Trump I think trump loses there'll be. A massive sexual mania operation to suggest that he was the victim of fraud the poll is not legitimate the Biden cheated. And already, we see kind of congress between Russian propaganda, Kremlin propaganda and what trump is saying. I mean he's already laying the ground for that kind of Stab in the back myth. I will say I wouldn't be very surprised if something something is. T mails pretending to Ukraina by mcdumber tabs. In Oh table September on November and I said worry that the media will well full. Time shot they didn't do doesn't sixteen, which is kind of pull that stuff. Out there at sexy and it's it's noise actually story of two thousand sixteen that we never really quite got to. What was the trump Russia. And the big story. This time is what Biden any Cranham in this absent known story. So they'll definitely be something but I think. The Russians feel that have already what that they've achieved so much with Donald Trump Vaz. They may try to decide to not exactly since one out but take step back could because the fire is burning this fire everywhere this kind of cold civil war in America. That's how it looks like from the fall and they just have to keep that joing a that an emission is a company I. Think the thing that sort of keeps me awake at night is actually the NSA document that reality winner. Who got more attention for her name than the document that was actually by her but the document that she released highlighted two thousand sixteen that the Russians had. Successfully figured out how to penetrate. Election Vendor for the software for a lot of the the registration e- books where if you go to a a voting station in, you say your name and they look it up and they find your name in that they had basically spoof the email accounts of this election vendor and then sense more than one hundred emails to local election officials with Trojan. malware. Malware were documents saying please install A. Few a week or two out from the election. and. We don't seem to know what actually came of that effort why that effort was pursued. You, know if we're GONNA now that we're voting in this in this pandemic. In Properties were polling station will always been strong walling. Peluso at the primaries that have occurred. That it's sort of shrinks some of the targets for some of the Russians fiber actors and in that. That strikes me as one. You know we're already worried about chaos in our voting system and. Wouldn't take a lot to just sort of nudge us over the cliff in inherently chaotic election day here in that studio lack of investment in in election infrastructure. But again is sort of just taking advantage of of our our chaos already. Yeah. Yeah and just just as so to say that the the Republicans surprising conceive made no efforts to to improve election structure almost. Willing presient to do something and of course. Something does happen wake necessarily being the way you imagine you'd think they would they would cheat to help trump while they might do. Is. Cheat. To help Biden. said that this would be kind of protects reason trump to say as sheep. Biden cheat in the results not employed victor. Called knows what sit of awful causes she show how? You might be in off to that I mean I I sometimes ask myself. I keep changing my mind on this. Is. In. The race for the world's most. Dysfunctional country. I thought the. And it was the UK and then the US stole the trophy from hands and I'm not sure he's got the trophy but I fear come November that you might just win that competition Mex-. Number One. Thank you so much for for joining me. It's been real pleasure with you. not just today the last few years. Yeah thanks turn tremendous. The asset is a production of the center, for American. Progress. Action Fund protect the investigation and district productive Paul. Woody. Woodhall Max Bergmann Executive Producers and Peter Auburn senior producer. The asset is written by Max Bergmann and the good people at the Moscow Project Jeremy Vinick Kalua dessel and CNN Garelli and the team at protect the investigation and Paul Woody Woodhall and his cohort at district productive the learn more about Russian interference in the two thousand sixteen presidential election go to the Moscow Project Dot Org and protect the investigation Dot Org Please subscribe to the podcast on Apple podcasts or your favorite podcast APP and please leave a rating and review. Thank you. President Putin's annual marathon press conference but. The Senate he said is unlikely to remove Donald Trump from office for what he called absolutely far fetched reason why? The Democrats only decided to impeach president. Trump said. They lost the election. Getting along with Russia is a good thing. Not a bad thing.

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