20 Episode results for "Michael Isikoff"

Conspiracyland: Coming Soon

Conspiracyland

01:30 min | 1 year ago

Conspiracyland: Coming Soon

"In the early morning of July tenth two thousand sixteen a young staffer at the Democratic National Committee was shot twice on the streets of Washington DC. His name was seth rich because the murderer has never been solved. The death of seth rich has taken on a life of its own. I'm Michael ISIKOFF chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo News in this six episode podcast. We're going to investigate the gate how this senseless murder spawned bizarre and outlandish conspiracy theories. Seth ranch was assassinated for political reasons or conspiracy theory. It's all confirmed house was his face serious risks wchs we'll hear from those who are spinning the thread. You'll think I'm nuts. I'm a believer in the deep state. If Seth rich was leaker of course that would discredit the Russian narrative we have the full attention of the White House and those who have been caught up in the whip sooners. You're in your own in a world dominated by social media. The Russians play a big role. These conspiracy theories have gone into overdrive the elements of political.

Seth rich Seth ranch Democratic National Committee Michael ISIKOFF White House murder Yahoo sooners
'Like Watergate in Reverse'

Impeachment: A Daily Podcast

24:34 min | 9 months ago

'Like Watergate in Reverse'

"This is impeachment a daily podcast from WNYC. I'm Brian Lehrer. It's Monday November twenty fifth as usual. The impeachment news did not take the weekend off after the five days as a public hearings. There are still new facts coming out and one big new conundrum for the Democrats will get to the facts here is the conundrum. Should the Democrats crafts and the House hearings because they have enough evidence. Proceed to an impeachment vote which will succeed on the House floor. But then watch it die with a roar from Lindsey Graham and and a whimper from Susan Collins in the Senate or keep holding hearings in the house to just get all the evidence of wrongdoing. They can out to the public for the election year. And for the sake of history that those court cases play out maybe to see if they forced John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney any and Mike Pompeo to testify and show the American people just how high up this alleged conspiracy was to turn national security policy the Energy Energy Department the Office of Management and budget. And yes the Secretary of State's office into one giant arm of the trump election campaign even if it goes to the Senate to die anyway at least they'll have a fuller indictment. If the evidence proves what I was just laying out what it looks like so far house Intel Committee Chairman Adam Schiff who of course led the hearings kind of lean both ways in the CNN interview yesterday saying their investigation continues but a yes we love for these witnesses. Come in but we're not willing to simply allow them to wait us out to stall this proceeding when the facts are already overwhelming Adam Chef on CNN state of the Union. My impeachment guess for today is Michael Isikoff chief investigative correspondent then for Yahoo News and Co author of the book. Russian roulette. The inside story of Putin's war on America and the election of Donald Trump. Michael also hosts the podcast best skulduggery. I Mike always good to have you. Thanks for coming on right so shifts. Says he won't wait for months to fight Bolton and the others court what for testimony but do you think. The Democratic leadership in the house is seriously torn on how to proceed. Well this is a good day to be asking that question because we've got a big ruling that's supposed to come from a federal judge here. In Washington Judge Contingent Jackson about whether Don mcgann mcgann You remember him. The former White House counsel who had given you know key evidence about President Trump's efforts to obstruct the Muller inquiry inquiry whether he has to testify before House judiciary and this is the first judicial ruling. We're going to get on whether top White House officials visuals who had direct knowledge of conversations with the president. has to testify in an impeachment inquiry for before the House if Judge Jackson accent rules as I think many expect her to do That began does have to testify. That's GONNA make The the issues that you were. We're laying out there A lot more complicated because the Democrats will have a clear judicial ruling in their favor. Now it's going to get appealed but You know they will have an upper hand to try to make the argument that these other witnesses. Mulvaney POMPEO Across the board should testify and You know that's this is. This is playing coming out this week right but you would agree with you that even if the ruling goes judiciaries way and they say don mcgann has to testify that it would still take months before Bolton and Mo- Vini and Pompeo and anyone else related to trump Ukraine would be forced to testify because they will appear l.. Like you say and be because I'm sure these folks will say well No. My case isn't the same as Don mcgann and then they'll have to have their own hearing Right and That's why I think it's the end of the day They won't want to delay this too much further. I mean look he. Here's the conundrum. The Democrats have Right now which is laid out this incredibly damning case against the president with lots of evidence that sort of adds up to what everybody suspected from the beginning. But you know we had a poll. Yahoo News Bush came out late. Friday which was in the field often through Thursday with the last set of witnesses there and it doesn't show show the needle has moved. You've got I think it was like forty eight forty nine percent supporting impeachment forty five percent opposed. That's roughly fleet where it is before the hearings pins on board right right So you know you're left with what Speaker Pelosi and chairmanships warning about Four months during the MOLLERING quiry about the dangers of trying to pursue sue a partisan impeachment In which there's not overwhelming public support. Now there's a lot of reasons why there isn't overall allowing public support including including the polar the fractured media. We have today. But that's what the situation is so I think the Democrats are wrestling with that And and whether there might be a case for prolonging this some more if not to achieve conviction in the Senate because that's still looks a long way away but as you pointed pointed out to lay out the case for the American public to the reasons they might want to continue investigating to the new stories from the weekend documents were released lead on Friday from the freedom of information requests. That show Secretary of State Palm Peyot knew what was going on with Rudy and the shadow foreign policy and the pressure campaign campaign as early as March so how much did POMPEII. Oh collude in the politicization of foreign policy at the expense of US interests not to mention and letting them get ambassador Marie out of its recalled without him having any problems with her work and the Washington Post has a story about the office of Management and budget run by acting chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney scrambling and early August to legally justify the hold on military aid which by law. They had to release ace without too much delay because it passed both houses of Congress so Michael Pompeii Oh could be implicated in Mulvaney could be implicated and they have evidence further showing the reason. The aid was withheld. How we could deal Qadhafi for the president and our understanding of how much the government was hijacked? Well look clearly you wanna see what these emails show it looked. It sounds to me like they were mostly focused on a very narrow issue about whether Oh and be had the authority to suspend congressionally appropriated funds at that point. And that's not what impeachment is going to be about. It's it's not gonNA be about the narrow question of whether there was a violation of the Congressional Sufficiency Act or impoundment by President. So I I'm not sure how much those emails would add to it. Certainly well let me let me just jump in on that because it's not gonna be narrowly on the impoundment sufficiency act meaning. How quickly money has to be released after? It's passed by Congress but if it contributes to the larger narrative of the president isn't it and the chief of staff and the Secretary of state and the energy secretary were all subverting. US foreign policy potentially really national security is all these witnesses testified For the sake of doing a campaign favor though for president trump. That's a big story. Yeah I I would say look I and I. I think I've made this point a couple of times. Now this is sort sort of Watergate in reverse you had a year and a half during Watergate congressional. FBI investigations that culminated with the smoking gun tape Nixon ordering the CIA block the FBI from investigating the Watergate burglary. In this case. We started with the smoking gun we started with the transcript two months ago. They clearly shows the president Asking Zone Linski to launch these sir. investigations of the Biden's in two thousand sixteen election interference. We have the president's words the role of Pompeo and Bolton and others and and Mulvaney is all interesting and part of the narrative but I I would argue that the damning evidence. Vince has been the most damning evidence has been on the table from the beginning. The question is what is the appropriate response to that. The other other way to look at it though is what we learned in the hearings was the answer to the question. Was this just an offhand remark. That seemed named inappropriate by the president to the president. of Ukraine's Alinsky do me a favor. Though or as we learn from the hearings was it embedded into a months long and massive campaign that involved multiple departments all kinds of you've officials to as we said before subvert. US foreign policy in the interests of of the campaign. And I think the biggest thing we learned from the hearings was that this involved involved all these different players who testified feeling the pressure and all these departments of government does this ultimately make it more serious in the minds of the American the people even though Yahoo News poll didn't find it. move the needle right away. I guess that remains to be seen if and when they do push it to the Senate the script will will flip from one in which Adam Schiff made the rules to one. In which Mitch McConnell makes the rules. What would you expect to go on there? If we're if it were to go over there as look I think the Republicans senators are just watching the polls. I think that's it's it's whereas public sentiment and here is a are are there political risks for them I that are too great to defend the president and I think you know now the question is is is up in the air at this point. I I can tell you that that a few weeks ago when I spoke to house Democrats. They were hoping hoping that by the end of public hearings. The poll numbers supporting impeachment. We get up to fifty five fifty six percent They thought if it was. If it got to that point then you'd have a chance of getting some a reasonable number of Senate Republicans to go along Like I you say right now. That hasn't happened We'll have to see what the what the numbers look like over the next week or two but I think a lot. I think things fall is going to depend on what those poll numbers look like. Let's take a phone call. Peter you're on the Air Peter. Thank you for calling in line I try to witness. The Biden situation is a little bit rotten and despite really wanting out of office. I just don't think the American people Are Back in the impeachment. Because the Biden Situation Ukraine's love little fishy. So if it were any other situation maybe you'd have more public backing impeachment but wait based on everything that's come out. How does it smell fishy to you? I think what we know from the evidence and we'll get Michael to weigh in on this too who And then I'm GonNa play Lindsey Graham Clip that might surprise some people but based on the evidence as I understand it. Hunter Biden did kind of sleazy thing. He got on the Board of burris MMA that Ukrainian energy company and made a lot of money. He didn't have any expertise. He's they wanted him for his connection Stewart's father when his father was vice president presumably however nothing has come up to even suggest the Joe Biden the potential candidate here. He's the issue did anything to use the powers of the federal government to do anything to protect Burris Korea summer or his son or am I missing something Peter. You're not you're not missing anything but even though with of something inappropriate people people take it to the Trans level. The eleven's level. Peter Thank you very much and I guess Lindsey Graham is on level thirteen because he's already asking asking the State Department for documents pertaining to Hunter Biden's role in the board of BEREA SMA that Ukrainian energy company and by doing so. Graham is keeping the narrative alive that Joe Biden might be corrupt. It's a far cry. From the way Senator Graham spoke of his colleague after Biden's other son Bo died aid in two thousand fifteen. Listen if you can admire Joe Biden as a person. There's probably you got a problem. You need to do. Some self evaluation the worst. I called him after Bo died and he basically said well Bo was my soul tall for a long time. He came to my ceremony Instead some of the most incredibly heartfelt things that anybody could ever you say to me. And he's the nicest person I think I've ever met politics. He is as good a man as God ever created. And we don't agree on much Lindsey Graham in tears on Joe Biden's character then now he's making sure the American people keep keep asking if Biden is corrupt based on no apparent evidence of anything. Joe Biden has done Biden reacted on CNN and Friday night. They're asking Lindsey Graham before my and now they know he knows if he'd come out against trump. He's got a real tough road for reelection number one. I am disappointed and quite frankly angered by the fact he knows me he knows my son. He knows there's nothing to this. Lindsay is about to go down in a way that I think he's going to regret as whole life. When you say I say Lindsey I just I just embarrassed by what you doing for you? I mean my Lord Joe Biden Leiden on CNN on Friday so Michael Isikoff yarn investigative reporter poking around in that part of the World Russia. Least I don't know if you've been in Ukraine. Is there any evidence. Joe Biden used the power of the US government in any way to protect his son. Because if there is it should come out if the Republicans are just going on a fishing expedition based on nothing so they can say. We don't know we should know that too. I know nothing has a surface that suggests that Biden was doing anything other than Implementing what was US foreign policy at that moment and AH foreign policy position that was supported by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund which was that? The prosecutor Shrinking was corrupt was not pursuing a legitimate corruption cases in Ukraine rain. And that this was important to be done. You know that said There was testimony From George can't last week and others that a the Hunter Biden role in Boris Ma which was a corrupt company at the time which its assets had been frozen as part of a money laundering investigation investigation in the United Kingdom was of concern At the among officials in the State Department So much so that they they wanted one of them wanted to Raise the issue with the vice president's office and apparently that never happened So yes there was an optics issue there with Hunter Biden That does not look good from today's perspective to say the least does it implicate the vice president himself in doing something wrong or improper. No we do not have the evidence for that one of the things we might see in the Senate it is a witness who Devon Nunez the ranking Republican on the Intel Committee. Kept saying he wanted to call but shift and the Democratic majority. You were blocking her. Here's Nunez in one of the many times he spoke the name. Alexandra Chalupa violating their own guidelines Democrats rats repeatedly redacted from the transcripts. The name of Alexander Chalupa contractor for the Democratic National Committee who worked with Ukrainian officials to collect dirt on the trump campaign which she provided to the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign. So this is part of what we generally call the debunked conspiracy Chrissy theory that it was Ukraine rather than Russia that hacked the DNC and on behalf of Clinton Not on behalf of trump. Michael as you reminded us on your twitter feed you. We did some of the original reporting on Alexandra. Chiluba I was the first person to write about Alexander Chiluba in the two thousand sixteen election because as a result of her efforts to Research and circulate information about Paul Manafort's dealings doings with the PRO Russian political party in Ukraine Her a personal email account was hacked by Russian state actors And this was a pretty good sign of just how extensive The Russian hacking operation was. It wasn't just of the DNC computers included personal emails of Of of various people who worked for the DNC and the Clinton Campaign And in that I it was clear I I wrote at the time. Yes she was. DNC contractor who was very outraged about the role of ball all matter for it as a campaign share the trump campaign because of his dealings with the Anna Corrupt Yanukovych government. She was trying to publicize that and she did reach reach out to Ukrainian embassy officials and others to try to get more information about MANAFORT's role Metaphor of course since been convicted but to equate late that with the wide ranging systematic attack by Russian security services stealing emails Dumping them for political effect to using trolls to drive. Public opinion is is is absurd. I mean there's snow equating. What the Russians did in their attack on our her democratic system and the handful of situations That have been cited by newness and others involving Alexandra Chiluba the bottom line is. There's nothing that Chalupa did that is. He is in any way equivalent to what the Russian Gru and the Internet research agency were doing during the election then inviting listeners to impeachment a daily podcast to call in from around the country with their own articles of impeachment. Like now that you've heard all this stuff. How would you actually put put it into words? And we'll also invite trump's supporters to defend against these after we've added a few but let me play to that came in over the weekend the first first one is based on trump Ukraine. The second one actually is not he is number one. Hi this is Michael Mola from Lexington Massachusetts and here is my articles of impeachment. Donald J trump routinely and legally allows his own personal political legal and financial interest just to supplant those of the presidency in doing so T- delays justice decreases domestic tranquillity. This honors those who have sacrificed acker Faez in our common sense and throws disdain upon the general welfare jeopardizes the very blessings of liberty that we the people have fought to secure or for ourselves. And our posterity. Thank you Michael in Lexington. An Adam Schiff in waiting. Perhaps here's listener. Article of impeachment number over to my name is John. I'm from Houston. This is for article of impeachment What say that trump has lied the prosecutors and at Kennedy hardly impeachment He wrote to Miller Written answer that he had no for or law of the week but now riquet to find his trial that campaign inputting trump's on a conference call in the twenty sixteen they discussed the forthcoming. It will be clear lying to the prosecutors which can be gooky. Thank you genetic in Houston Michael on that one. It's in your wheelhouse because you wrote the book. Russian roulette the inside story of Putin's war on America and the election of Donald Trump is genetic houston onto something substantive there. Well he's onto something that did catch the attention of a lot of us who were covering the stone trial But in terms of enabling the president on this one Look those answers. These were very carefully written by his lawyers and they included the all purpose phrase. I don't recall On multiple occasions including to the question of whether he had advanced knowledge or was had converse advanced conversations and about what was going to come out with wikileaks. So in order to prove it perjury by the president You got a pretty high bar. Are there as long as it's got that magic. Those magic words I don't recall. It becomes really hard to bring a case on those grounds Michael ISIKOFF chief investigative correspondent responding for Yahoo News and Co author of the book. Russian roulette. The inside story of Putin's war in America and the election of Donald Trump. Michael also hosts the PODCAST skulduggery. Thank you so much anytime. If you're hearing this after after the Don mcgann court decision came down we think the potential implications are still Michael was saying during the segment but we will deal with the content tomorrow so tune A. and for that again listeners. You can call and ask an impeachment news question. Just leave a voicemail anytime including your name and where you're calling from and some of you hear your questions on the show. The number is eight. Four four seven four five talk. That's eight four. Four seven four five talk eight four four seven four or five eight to five five impeachment. A daily podcast is excerpted from my live daily radio show which we also invite you to listen to. It's the Brian Lehrer a show ten. AM to noon eastern time streaming live then at WNYC DOT org. Thanks for listening. We'll have another episode tomorrow mm-hmm.

Hunter Biden president. Ukraine Donald J trump Senate Lindsey Graham Michael Yahoo Michael Isikoff Adam Schiff Mick Mulvaney US Putin John Bolton America Brian Lehrer don mcgann
Clyburn's Lament

Skullduggery

58:47 min | Last month

Clyburn's Lament

"A Michael ISIKOFF. Of correspondent for Yahoo News and I'm Dan Kleinman, editor in chief of Yahoo, News, and a quick reminder that you can follow us at skulduggery Pod, and by the way. If you've got any questions, thoughts ideas, you wanNA share, tweet right out us now. Let's get on with the show. This morning families here are grieving and pray for the day. It is unfathomable that somebody in today's society would walk into a church. When people are having a prayer meeting. And take their lives I. do believe this was a hate crime. May. Z.. Really. Does. Five years ago this week on the evening of June seventeenth two thousand fifteen. A white supremacist named dylann roof walked into a Bible study class in the basement of the Emanuel Ame church in Charleston South Carolina and while shouting, racial epithets opened fire with a Glock pistol killing nine. One of the most horrific acts of racial violence in modern memory and prompted that remarkable moment when President Barack Obama sought to heal the wounds by singing, amazing grace at a memorial service for those who had died. Nobody remembers the pain and horror of the Charleston Church shooting more than south. Carolina Congressman James Kleiber who had fought for civil rights in his State since childhood. But over the past two weeks, Clyburn has had to grapple with the legacy of the country's racist pass once again amid the protests over police carrying African Americans. We'll talk to him about what needs to be done now and what shouldn't be done? And we'll talk to psychoanalysts who contributed to a new book about President. Trump's long history of narcissists behavior on this episode of skulduggery. Because people have gotta know whether or not their president's. While I'm not a crook. I told the American people. I did not trade arms for hostile. My heart to my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not I did not have sexual relations with that woman. There will be no lies. We will honor the American people with the truth and nothing else. I'm Michael Gough chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo News and I'm Dan Kleinman editor in chief of Yahoo News I have to say I had completely forgotten until when we were booking this interview James Clyburn staff reminded us that this is the fifth anniversary of that Charleston massacre, and in one sense, it seems so long ago like some sort of abberant action from the country's tortured past, but as we've seen over the last two weeks with the protests and the killing of African Americans by police departments, it is still very much with us, and that's the story of our tragic history with racism in this country that. Even as we see signs of progress, sometimes, they're just signs, and they don't actually reflect the sort of deep seated issues that we have been dealing with for hundreds of years in this country, and so at moments like this, which kind of forced the country to confront, it's tragic racial past you begin to examine these kinds of episodes and another one that is very much in the news right now and that you know. I think probably a lot of Americans are learning about. About for the first time where those terrible riots race riots in Tulsa, Oklahoma Ninety nine years ago when mobs of white people marauding through the streets, of Greenwood Tulsa the most affluent black neighborhood in the country terrorized and murdered up to three hundred people left fifteen thousand people homeless. Of course, this is the site of the first big rally that Donald Trump will be giving since covid. He had to move it from June nineteenth under pressure because that was June teeth the. The day that blacks in this country commemorate the end of slavery, but I guess the silver lining is that a Lotta people are learning about it. You know look the Tulsa. Massacre is so fascinating because you know look I grew up in the sixties I remember the riots in major American cities and Harlem Watts and Detroit and I don't remember learning about the Tulsa riots by whites killing African Americans in Oklahoma that was just not part of the American history books that I. I read or was taught in school. It's a reminder that our history changes constantly, and what we what we learned. Today is a very often what we forgotten many years ago. Clyburn look nobody's got greater moral standing to talk about these issues then James Clyburn You know the longest serving highest ranking African. American in Congress guy who fought for civil rights was arrested. I think at the age of twelve participating in sit ins in South Carolina and really interesting because. while. He's clearly as we'll discover clearly angry about what's happened with the killing of African Americans by police. He's also a measured voice and he knows what happens when the rhetoric gets too heated, and the actions go too far and hearing his kind of measured response is I think illuminating? He's also a hard, nosed Paul and a deeply pragmatic politician, and I think he understands that as inspiring as these protests are, and protests are clearly an important dimension of democracy that you also have to harness that energy and apply it to other forms of Democratic Action, including passing legislation and getting new policies. Put in place that. Reflect the kinds of changes that need to be made, and that is what he's focus on. That takes getting more Democrats elected and he's. Laser focused on that issue right? And he and he's worried about how some of the rhetoric and we'll talk to him about this about defunding. The police could be counterproductive for that goal. I think it's also worth pointing out that this is also the fifth anniversary, or this month is the fifth anniversary of the Supreme Court's historic same sex marriage decision, which seemed so momentous at the time it's it's kind of bizarre that it took place that both the Emanuel Ame Church killings and that Supreme Court decision took place the very same month and this month. We have the protests over. Over the police killings, and we just had another historic, totally unexpected supreme court decision about transgender and gay rights. Yeah, well, this is a transformational landmark decision. It is the first time that the United States Supreme Court has extended real civil rights protections under title, seven of the nine hundred sixty four civil rights act to gays and transgender people. People don't a lot of people don't realize that in I don't know twenty six or twenty seven states in the country you can be. You can still be fired for being gay or being a transgender person, well no more and people who. Who are cynical about our institutions and don't think that the laws can really be changed and. This is an example of of how nine people who wear black robes can make a really big difference in this particular case six. To three decision, but what's really notable surprising to use your word was that two of the most conservative justices on the court chief justice Roberts and Neil Gorsuch who replaced Justice Scalia and was regarded by conservative activists out there as a sure bet on these kinds of issues voted with the majority here so voted. Gorsuch wrote the Indiana and wrote the opinion, and I think it's worth noting that. He clerked for justice. Kennedy who in the past was the swing justice, but a conservative who also wrote all of the most consequential gay rights decisions including the gay marriage decision, so he's following in the footsteps of His of his mentor. They are I. Think the last thing I want to say about this. Is that at times of great crisis? In this country you put spotlights on the continuing issues that we are dealing with in terms of discrimination, it is probably worth remembering that progress and setbacks kind of move on parallel paths. Remind reminds us of that Martin Luther. King quote that. The arc of the moral universe is long, but it ultimately bends toward justice, and so for people who are depressed right now about the state of our country every once in a while, it's nice to see that there are some silver linings here and there well with that cosmic thought Let's go to our gas, too. I think has. Equally, if not greater cosmic thoughts about where we are congressman, James Clyburn, so let's get to it. Congressman James. Clyburn welcome back to skulduggery. Thanks. So it was five years ago this week. That the. Horrific! At Emmanuel Ame Church in Charleston South Carolina took place. As you look back at that moment right now when we when the country is facing A. Racial reckoning. What are your thoughts? Well I've given a lot of thought to that. the seventeenth of June. Masa, the fifth anniversary of riffing Yvette and it was the response to that event two fronts. That I think. Instructs us. About this five year anniversary number one. The response to the police two days after that shooting. This twenty one year old self professed white supremacists. Who went into that search invaded a Bible study. Killed Nine people went up to North Carolina and was arrested. When he was arrested. All the videotapes show that several policemen. Approaches Automobile. And when they did your mobile stopped. As they arrested him though they had their guns drawn at the beginning, they re hosted their guns. And then took him out of the car in various civil way. Even he was thirsty. Give him water. You said it was hungry and it took him to a Burger King. And took him before taking him back to Charleston. Face Justice. That's the first instruction on how to conduct an arrests. The second of Instruction I. Think came after. The at the hearing when those family members. Look at? This guy who just murdered their family and friends. and. They say they gave him. That to me started a reexamination. Of what this country is. And what this country could be. I really believe those family members in their reaction and the reactions there in tossing. Started this reexamination. That allowed this response today I was there in the nineteen sixties John Lewis I'm net. In October nineteen sixty. I remember what it was like to have. A movement develop around young people. Young and whole, black and white. Jews gentile. Catholics and Protestants will gather. But we lost that movement. We lost that movie because it got hijacked, it got hijacked back slogan. Burn Baby Burn. Became the headline. Hijack in the movement. We lost. This time. I hope it be different. which is one of the reasons I've been speaking very strongly against the headlines, seekers and the slogan there. That's been taking place in this cat in in. One of those slogans that we will get into in this conversation has to do with policing and defunding the police, but we'll get to that, but I wanted to pick up on on what you were saying before. You're seventy nine years old. You grew up in the Jim Crow South as you pointed out. You are a young activist. During the civil rights era, you launched your political career after being involved in that Charleston hospital strike, which was I think one of the last campaigns and civil rights campaigns in South Carolina of that era. And so I guess what I want to know is right now after the killing of George Floyd and these wide scale protests that erupted in its wake. How do you assess the state of race relations in America? Right now? I guess the question really is notwithstanding the the stubborn persistence of systemic racism in our society in our institutions in your view is the trajectory still toward progress and freedom and harmony or have these brutal police killings laid bare that maybe a myth. How do you feel about where we are today? I think that this whole notion of. Institutionalized racism. Something that we've never really had an honest examination of. I often think. About a woman down in Charleston Rowena Tobias. To me when I was very young in my twenties, she invited me to her home one day. She said to me that she thought. That she saw in things out saying and doing. It's unreal future for the issue of race. Yes, which is at? This is the reason we can't get this issue. Resolve because people talk about it. She talked about tossed since early beginning. How was the economic hub on the East Coast? Then anytime, the question of race came up. People stop talking. And she said to me on that day. I would hope that you go through your career. Please don't stop talking. This issue has to be addressed. And until we do, we will not get dissolved and I think that's what's going to happen. We have eight nor this. We have a pretend that didn't exist. All of a sudden now people watching George, a floyd being lynched as they watch the television sets in their decided. It's time to start talking. They were taken instructions from those postals reacting to the Emmanuel. And, they're saying we just cannot ignore this in a longer and so I think that this time it's a bit different. And it's kind of interesting because this week, we also celebrating June teeth. And that isn't a classic example of what it is not to communicate. June t started in eighteen, sixty, five, two, and a half years after slavery had been declared over. Because it did not get communicated to those postal down in Galveston Texas. It was not the Joe Grainger got their two and a half years later to tell them. That they were now free, that's what communication is all about. The failure to communicate kept them in the slavery two and a half years longer than that the failing to communicate today is what's keeping us from solving this prop congressman you said before that the civil rights movement that you were part of in the nineteen sixty s got hijacked by people shouting slogans like. Like Burn Baby Burn, and you expressed concern that the same kind of hijacking could be taking place right now with the protests over the police killing of African Americans and I. Think you have spoken out against the slogan that many of the protesters are shouting de-fund the police. Do you see defend the police? As the equivalent of burn baby burn in the nineteen sixties. This familiar. Certain anytime you give the other side cover to deny or reject then I. Don't think you're doing a good service. You know if be mean restructure. The police say restructure. If we men deconstruct. Policing. Say deconstruct. That is my problem here. I have a problem with people who tell me what they mean when they say the fundamentally I believe in the meaning. The problem is. If you allow the soundbite lead. Then you'RE GONNA lose the argument. Explain what you mean when you say you believe in an in the meaning, but not the soundbite. Everybody I've talked. She said what they will tell you. This is what I mean by that I mean. The. Which? Is exactly what I believe ought to be done. So, but you is almost like saying. Burn baby burn means get off the back of the bus integrate. Kaunda's the start of new. Does that mean that that's what we were trying to do. They're trying to de. Segregate Transportation de Segregate product accommodations open up schools the nineteen fifty four supreme. Court decision still not been here too, and we're trying to get integrated. So how does that mean? How does burn baby burn? Contribute to that it doesn't. Do, you think that if Democrats were take up. That slogan defunding police that that would lead to electoral routes that it's essentially handing Donald Trump and the Republicans are kind of political battering-ram to go against the Democrats now. We know that Biden has said he doesn't support that, but in terms of congressional races for example Jim Klabin, then support that either and I worked on congressional races, and that's one reason I'm speaking out. Joe sent the Anatole all of us years ago that we should learn the lessons of history. Bound to repeat them that has it lessen the history that I have learned and I don't want to repeat it and I'm standing by and watching the body else. Check us back there, so please explain the distinctions in your mind. You don't support the slogan. Defend the police, but you do support changes in the way. Policing is taking place in this country. Just distinguish for us what you do, support and what you don't support number one I'll just invite you to look at the justice in policing act everything that I suppose in that act. De Militarized Police. Get rid of this. Whatever we call this immunity eight. That police officer got. You can shoot a seven month old seven month, pregnant woman and the immunized. You can put the death nine bullets into a committed person. Arm can be immunized. You can keep your knee on the net. Over a black person for eight minutes forty six seconds on the law. You've got qualified candidate. That's what I mean. Get Rid of qualified ended demilitarize, take these military equipment and ammunition out of the hands of local police. Get rid of Kohl's. That's the kind of stuff I'm talking about, so you're talking about systemic reform. There are critics out there. Who will say that the police departments as currently constituted are essentially irredeemable that they have to be kind of race to the ground and rebuilt that there is something rotten to the core in policing and in police cultures. Do you not accept that absolutely except that I agree with that? Argument the problem is. Often what the solution is. And solution to me is not the funded is restructuring. Everybody keeps telling me about Camden New Jersey. What did they do in Camden? New Jersey they got rid of the police department, but the broad in the county to take over policing in default police in right. They needed a police department. So that's all I'm saying I agree with that. And you have watched. The protests unfold over the last couple of weeks. Mostly peaceful, but not entirely in some cases there's been looting in some cases. There's been rioting. Concerned, are you about the protests that have gotten out of hand and are enough people on your side speaking up and speaking out against? The violence and the looting well, that's exactly what happened. This family. George Fluids family spoke up and spoke out against the looting. Saying that's not how they want their brother their father. Uncle to be remembered. They spoke out against. I spoke out against many of us spoke out against it, and that's all I'm saying now we're not going on those people who are up to no good people who protest their protests with a preference people who come in their motive, cocktails and bread now the building. What's their purpose? People's looting? What's the purpose? The people who are protesting that's not them I say over and over again. If you play their game, they win and that's what they are doing. The people who participated in violence. That's their game. The auto values are so in Washington. DC lose the president sending his folks out. There declared out a path. For him to stage a photo op police on horseback. But tear gas. Some other chemical agents that are now admitting that they use the fact it matters. That was violent action. Always say violence is the unjust use of force. Power. That, was valid the use of Powell but congressman. Clyburn there seems to be at least some generational divide in this country over these issues and you saw on social media, for example, a lot of people quoting Dr King and I think one of his last speeches, talking about rioting, being the voice of the unheard and using that as a kind of a justification because the anger that's being expressed by people who do riot or who do burn down. Buildings is a kind of desperation, because their situation is so bad, you don't. What do you think of that Martin Luther? King quote and how it's been used and that argument? Well people could use quotes thing. They went out of people used to buy, but the justify slavery. Than doing, but did use your walk. thinking the fact of the matter is I would also put Dr Chain in his letter from Birmingham jail. When he said that he was coming to the conclusion that the people of ill will in our society was making much better use of time than the people of goodwill, and so all I would say is for to take a look at Dr King as a whole. He wasn't justified righted. He was explaining it. As soon as the big difference in explaining what people do then to justify what they do, so king never justified that. What did they say about king calling for nonviolence? John Lewis intensified is internalized with him I never internalized not valid I'm not a violent person, but I'm sitting in on the nonviolent person congressman, the president today and signing an executive order designed to encourage local police departments to adopt best practices and doing so through incentives for grant money. Is this an adequate response to the protests? In your view? The constitution encourages legislation is what artists? So that's why I said two days ago, and I'll say it again. I don't care what the president met with executive order. If he signs an executive order, he can resend. We need to do legislation. The House the Senate and then he needs to sign that legislation if he is really serious about this. Then encourage Mitch McConnell to tick off the justice. Policing Act got two hundred and twenty sponsors in the house. About thirty, five or forty in the Senate telling him. Come out support that Mitch McConnell put it on the floor. And then he will sign it. That's when I know. He's serious nothing. To encourage the Bible encourages everyday. Congressman President Trump is set to have a physical rally in Tulsa on Saturday Tulsa, being the site of the worst incident of. Violence in this country and our tragic tragic episode in our history is at a slap at the face of black Americans. Do you think he should be holding a rally there? Well, that explains one more incident. To explain what the answer is to his question. What do you have to lose? When they asked that question turned out to be very significant. Turn of events, thirty percent of African American males went out and voted for him based upon that question. The fact of the matter is he's now showing us every day whether you've got to lose going to toss. Is An indication of what to got to lose your dignity and your respect. And I would hope that those thirteen percent of Americans that voted for him, and those who are out there supporting them now I would hope they will re gather themselves take back their dignity, demand respect and sent to this man who looks in the camera and calls a black woman at dog. And think about whether you want. What are they were more him about the women in their lives Congressman We still have a covid crisis in this country including in your state in South Carolina where there have been some increases in the number of cases. A lot of people saw the protests taking place the lack of social distancing people congregating together, and said that is going to cause increases in the number of sick people and potentially lead to more deaths. Are you concerned that the protests have undermined the kind of restrictions? We need to keep in place while the Cova. Crisis is still with us. Absolutely. Not The protests got nothing to do with that. The problem you've got is leadership at the national level. This president has left this country up to having fifty uncoordinated responses to covid nineteen, so that to me is what the problem is. If this president would give leadership to this issue, and not declared that I take no responsibility and not live up to each of the governments. They won't have won. National call knitted effort if he were to lead on this issue. I think people were re would follow so what we see taking place year. Nothing has been coordinated no leadership and that's the problem congressman. We can't finish this interview without asking you about the vice presidential search. I'm sure you're tired of hearing these questions, but you obviously are a have been influential adviser to Vice President Biden. You have said publicly that. He needed to pick a woman. He did you've. You've said that picking a an African American woman, or a woman of color is not a must, but is a plus, and I wonder for you personally. Would it be a preference off? said that I'm the father of three F- American women nothing would make me more proud than the. Woman on this ticket. Yes, so, which is your candidate well? The vice president will know if I ever decide to share. You haven't today with him. No I have not I've said well. You can share it with us and we'll relate out. Now so. I have not come down to one person yet. Okay? Several women out there all of whom are not African, American that I've talked about that I. Think would be great run inmates, and would make great presidents, but I think we gotta do the vetting gotTa. Do the polling Andy instructed by that? And then this president vice-president must let his heart and head take a look well. He called it some petticoat. I call it. Heart just ask about one of them. WHO started to get a lot of buzz lately and that is Susan Rice the former national security adviser. Who is Simpatico with Vice President Biden? Who has governing experience and clearly has national security experience, but she doesn't have any electoral experience. Do you think that's an issue at all? It. People who raise that as an issue I? Don't know if that's an issue that you would call disqualified. If I felt that I never would have mentioned her name I think if you go back, you'll find the first time. I ever expressed in the thing on the subject Her name was included in the group of name to the offered a one last political question for you. There's a Senate race in South Carolina this year with Senator Lindsey Graham up for reelection, and some recent polling suggests that this is going to be a lot tighter than anybody expected. What's your sense right now of whether the you're Democratic candidate has a chance of defeating. Graham yes, a good chance! This is James Harrison I believe Jamie Harrison. Known since he was an eleventh grader, he came into my life when he was grade high school student he has exactly what it takes to be a great Yazoo Senator and I. Do believe that he's GonNa surprised a lot of people in the state, and in this nation the morning of November fourth well, we will see if you're pragnell stations bear out, but we always welcome you on skulduggery, and we hope to keep talking as the campaign continues. Real. Pleasure to have you thank you. congressman absolutely. It's no secret that our world has been interrupted. World interrupted is a daily podcast telling stories of coronavirus and its impact on the economy. We want to cover the issues in the macro global economics, the stock market and our political climate will also cover the micro stories. Maybe the ones you don't hear much about in the news or the media. We hope you'll listen and be a part of the journey. Subscribe Today on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. We, now have with US Michael Maccabi and Judith Logan. Michael is one of the world's experts on narcissism and leadership He's the author of fifteen books including one called narcissistic leaders who succeeds in who fails and he does have the distinction of he may be one of the only academics, if not the only academic who's been approvingly cited by Donald Trump himself Michael, welcome to skulduggery. Trump cited man the bub. INC like a million air saying Oh, I had accurately described him as a productive narcissists. Okay well, we will discuss that in detail we have thus dr do to logo a practicing psychotherapist for the past fifty years, and also a and I was struck by this judith, a captain and teacher in the Palm Beach County civil. Air Patrol which makes me wonder if you have your own connection to Donald Trump. No I do not. Think. Michael is the editor and Judith is a contributor to a new book, psychoanalytic and historical perspectives on the leadership of Donald Trump. Narcissism and marketing in age of anxiety and distrust so Michael, let me start with you because you've written and studied. Narcissism among public leaders were all leaders, and in this book you explore Donald Trump's narcissism. I thought it was interesting that you conclude that he does not suffer from narcissistic personality disorder. Explain how why you reached that conclusion. First of all. A distinction between diagnosing someone. And understanding and many. Mental health professionals been writing about now. Trump is having a nurse assistant personality disorder, but that would assume he's suffering that he is out of reality. In fact, he's not suffering may be suffering more from him that he is not in unreality. He doesn't. He doesn't have the illusion east president of the United States. Furthermore was most people who diagnosed miss his looking at normal personality types. Now narcissistic personalities can be a normal time. It kind of Carson who is? Very strong need. Change things who has very little conscience lot of winner a and some of these people could be Productive Jab. Thanks where they can make Steve jobs making me. Monks kind of person that. Trump compares himself to, but he's not at all like people walk. He has not essentially versus. The personality is essentially a marketing personality. This is the kind of person who's whole sense of identity depends on whether significant others affirm as being in court me sees himself as a commodity. And he he has in a horrible feeling if he's not A. He's not felt to be a winner, so he'll do everything possible to create this kind of role in the mind. He treats everyone else like a commodity also had. People are goods on the basis. How successful they are are not now has narcissism his innocence, a defense against this acting. This lack of of rail authentic identity, so he creates this grandiose data this kind of narcissistic identity. He constantly needs others ferment. Basil's need other people to affirm the fact successful so to understand trump in a way which has not been done, we have to understand his personality also particularly philosophy, which is one in which the only thing that counts what I. It's been a winner. Otherwise you're you're nothing we have. Also in a context of what's capable. Many people felt abandoned. Felt. In terms of. Chefs in culture and the economy. We are saying today really. A cultural art between on the populists and the progressives and trump has ability Israel. His positive elements is the ability to market to understand how. Information Technology and all this relational technology in such a way to appeal to this base together. What they want Michael, I was GonNa say I was struck in your essay for this book, the excerpt from trump's think like a billionaire. The book he wrote and I use air quotes when I say the word wrote in two thousand and four where he cites you and he says Michael Maccabi Cycle analyst and consultant believes billionaires like Jeff bezos Steve Jobs in Ted Turner a successful in part, because they are narcissist who devote their talent. Talent with unrelenting focus to achieve their dreams, even it's even if it sometimes at the expense of those around them. Then he talks about your book. Any says a narcissist does not here the naysayers, and that one sentence from trump's own book again in air quotes really leaped out at me because not hearing, the naysayers may be useful if you're trying to start a business, but if you're running a government and running foreign policy and trying to. Govern the country. It seems to me, not hearing naysayers hearing people who raise questions about the policy you might be pursuing is a really bad thing. Also. Many people don't know how much trump was into. Norman Vincent. Pl who wrote the power positive, thanking who said really the same thing you have to exaggerate your positives. No listen to the negatives. Turn everything into a positive so really a in effect, Michael What crump dead. was, saying. You know I have to make myself. A narcissist is excess Michael Judith. We're going to bring you in in just a second but I just want to follow up if trump is not a kind of like clinically speaking. A narcissist or you know in the sort of classic narcissist that we think of what accounts. What do you think accounts for that? Seemingly pathological need for adulation, an affirmation, and in terms of his life story, his relationship with his father, for example who famously told his kids that you're either killers are losers. What in in his? Personnel, Eric, from I described, it's. The kind of person. WHO HAS Self esteem is not based on any inner qualities you know most of us have our Self Esteem Pacer ability to love to help others to be. Effective on. His self esteem as totally based on what others ranch where he has placed in the work of the. Importance and that really that makes somebody G- really desperate and deep sense to constantly get affirmation. That's why he demands that he has to go out and give a talk to is followers, even though it's dangerous right now. He needs that reinforcement and his policies are to understand policy to understand that you have to understand. He really is focusing on this group, which gives them a sense of southwestern judith. You've written an. For this book called gas lighting and beyond. Tell us what you mean by gas lighting. Guess Lighting is the systematic manipulation of someone else's reality with the unconscious or unwitting cooperation of the victim, so that the guest later insists on one version of reality that's true and the gaslight victim begins to believe it when in fact, it isn't true. and. The movie and the play. What's the movie? Tell us about her. And why you chose that? First of all. There's the play nine hundred thirty, eight by Patrick, Hamilton then there's a one thousand nine hundred forty British movie then. There's the Oscar winning nineteen forty four movie with Charles, Boyer a Ingrid, Bergman and Joseph Kat and that's the famous movie nineteen forty four. Charles Boyer A is a psychopath and he makes Paul. His wife believe she's going crazy. By dimming the gaslight and does of cotton comes in as the detective in saves the day, and so just picking up on the Joseph. cotten character as I understand it and I saw this wonderful movie I saw it a long time ago, but I certainly didn't have the insight that you had into this phenomenon of gas lighting, but Joseph cotten the investigator and he's investigating Charles. Boyer character whose I Guess Murdered Ingrid Bergman her character's aunt and is also trying to cheat her out of her jewelry. He comes in and he validates Ingrid. Ingrid Bergman's view of reality, and I want to get to trump here I. think you say your essay that in some ways in the trump scenario trump would be Charles Boyer and are the American People Ingrid Bergman in other words, we being being gas, lighted by and I. Think you may say that. Joseph cotten could be Bob Muller the person who stands up for facts. Yes, you're correct. I wanted to put out there. I'm the psychoanalyst so I take a psychoanalytic perspective, so one of the things that's very relevant to me, are the character traits and the character patterns and the Early Childhood where his mother was very sick. When he was two years old and. Almost died, and so he was on his own in many ways with an abuse of harsh father, he was mentored by Roy Cohen in later years, but in the early years it's reported that he spent a lot of time with his father with the Mafia and with organized crime people, and when he was in Atlantic, city, it was I lift down there. It was known that he was involved with the Mafia and organized crime, so he does have connections to organized crime, which would speak to his sociopathic traits I'm not calling him associate, Pathak, personality, disorder, or a psychopathic now, Judah. Do have to break in here because I'm one of many reporters who's looked into this and there are certainly connections that trump has had over the years with various figures who were close to the Mafia. There was one I wrote about who was actually a a deputy of John Gotti, who was a frequent companion of trump and trump, actually even one sport a horse race from him, but we should. Should say he has never been charged with any criminal wrongdoing. Relating to any mafia figures, he's never been mentioned in any indictments of Mafia figures, so we do have to be a little careful when we talk about exactly what those connections are. There were associations, but that does not necessarily make him. A May made man of the mob or anything close to it. Thank you, that's correction. You're wrecked, but. But let's get back to this concept of gas lighting and this idea that donald trump is gas lighting the American people. How do you see that he does it by saying? Reality is reality, and he operates at what I would call the borderline level of ego functioning in other words. You're damned if you do damned if you don't so, he put something out there then he changes his mind so. So you can infer whatever you want. Whatever you want to ensure you in fire, but is a sense in which because he does this with impunity. He says whatever he wants to say whether it is true, true or not, which we are not accustomed to our president's doing that quite as baldly, and as often that it kind of knocks our confidence in a way. It knocks us off our heels. Knock some people off their heels, but it appeals to people who WanNa strongman and what to believe what he's saying. When it's positive, weren't offers hope in other words. The Corona virus will be gone by Mother's Day or Easter people wanted to. For? The coronavirus is a hoax. I know a number of people especially in the state of Florida. where I live who have believed it's a hoax until they get it so question for both of you starting with Michael Sort of hanging over a book like this is the specter of something known as the gold water rule, and that dates back to the one thousand, nine, hundred, sixty four presidential campaign between Barry. Goldwater Lyndon Johnson, in which a magazine editor queried psychiatrists around the country whether Barry, goldwater. Goldwater was psychologically fit to be president of the United, states and something like one thousand, one, hundred eighty nine opined that he was not fit, and that caused an uproar and the American Psychiatric Association then adopted a rule that said you may not diagnose somebody you have not personally examined or treated so Michael starting with you. Is this book violation of the Gold Water rule? No certainly not first of all. We're not diagnosing. What are you doing them? Chat what we're doing. Understand that. We're going to have to start with you know using. Understand psychological understanding, of personnel. which is very good. Very few. Ever taught anything about their talked to diagnose looking for elements of illness. I'm looking for total understanding of a personality within culture because I think we can't understand the personality leader outside context and culture, in which somebody could be a leader, one context, but not in another for example Winston Churchill. He was the indispensable leader in World War. Two rejected before and after the war before the war as a warmonger after four, because the people wonder to social government, but his traits are the same. You can't understand leader just by their traits. You have to understand this whole concept. Of the content of the interaction of the leader so I think. We have a chapter in there by auto convert one of the world's experts on on narcissistic disorder and he of course. He says I'M NOT GOING TO DIAGNOSE DONALD TRUMP because I haven't seen him, but he really he describes how trump copies some of the behavioral of Heaven which is similar to gas lighting of constantly repeating things over and over again that are untrue. That had been used responsible for this, and that trump says the demonstrators all the Anki fall. They're all these. People Begin to Belabor this is kind of behavior that needs to be understood as jody has understood in terms of gas lighting. This is not diagnostic due to thin your essay. With the cold water rule, it sounds like and when reading it, it reads like you're tempted to want to diagnose Donald Trump but aware of the goldwater rule that puts some brakes on you. Correct I really liked an interview. An article by pretty gorgeous on the past president of of the American where she got out the army manual for leadership and fitness for leadership, and compared Donald Trump and terms of the qualities for leadership and. I don't think he. He met any of 'em. So I think that's one way to get around it, but you're right. It's hard not to want to diagnose when you see all this stuff out there, but my training is I'm not supposed to diagnose unless I see somebody so i. You're right. It was difficult for you. Still. I think if you've read the essay in October before trump was elected, my african-american position said if Donald Trump is selected on leaving the country and I said me too. Meanwhile. We're both still here so and. He diagnosed him and he's not a psychiatrist or a psychiatrist psychoanalyst. By the way, a lot of people seem to be wanting to diagnose donald trump physically at the moment after watching the West Point appearance where he seemed at one point to struggle to drink a glass of water, you needed two hands and also to walk down the ramp from the West Point speech. I don't know if either of you have any thoughts on that. Yeah, well, a number of physicians, not just neurologist think there may be at frontal. Frontal, temporal dementia or organic changes because the changes vocabulary syntax in the last ten twenty years this kind of cognitive decline that people talk about. Does it seem accelerated him, or is it the kind of thing that you that you often see with people as they move into their seventies for example, or is there something else potentially going on? We do see it because I. I certainly see it all around me and my peers. I an impatient, but you see it, so it's common defies being put in a box. Let me say something here I. Don't see anything wrong with diagnosing. Traitor are clearly diagnosed. The problem I see it was so many people would trump is there? It's a bad diagnosis. They personality is order doesn't take in all the elements. Like checking off a couple of traits, some of what you can find many people who are just very egomaniacal. Just follow themselves etcetera etcetera. What we're trying to say in this book is we have a better understanding of trump back in the nineteen seventies. When I was in psychoanalytic training, my training was different from my husband. WHO's a physician psychoanalyst and I was trained not to use diagnosis, I was in a medical setting. So of course I learned how to do psychiatric diagnosis, but the analytic training was to understand the person and to not use psychiatric diagnosis because DSM's change every ten years back in that day. It was the SNP. Than? Three, and then it was four and five, and it's changed, and it's going to change again so using psychiatric diagnosis. I think doses in an away because it. Like Michael says, it misses a lot of important things in understanding the person I've got one last question, which is how trump compares to previous leaders that we've had in this country, who may have exhibited some psychological issues I think of Richard Nixon who publicly. You didn't see it very much, but when we then listen to the tapes that came out years later you saw. Saw The brooding paranoia. All sorts of things that Nixon was largely able keep in check publicly, and so I wonder. Does that say something different about Donald Trump that he exposes himself in the way he does, or is it about our culture that we just start with twitter and social media just out there more. What does that tell you Richard? Nixon was authentic narcissists. A whole pattern that I have seen a narcissistic presidents of having a way, taller donkey notch identify was in a very strong mother. You see it in Ronald Reagan. You say don't consider him number early, authentic or absent. Even see it, Obama. That's not the way that trump is very different, and and Nixon was need productive narcissist. Real Vision Nixon was a visionary. Wants to China had the whole idea of creating Tom or the Russians. And with trying as and the also in many ways was progress in terms of health and safety hurting environment. He's so much better terms of any kind of policy in any kind of taking the problem of his paranoia in his narcissism did self, and he really shot himself so I would not compare if you feel what somebody who's more like trump look at bars Johnson in the UK. He's also marketing personality, so it's not just the hair. All right well, listen Michael and Judith. I WANNA! Thank you for your insights. The book is psychoanalytic and historical perspectives on the leadership of Donald Trump Narcissism and marketing in an age of anxiety and distrust Michael Judith. Thanks for joining us. Thanks to South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn psychoanalyst's Michael Maccabi and Judith look joining us on skulduggery. Forget to subscribe to skullduggery on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts and tell us what you think. Libra review sure to follow us on social media at skulduggery pot. Talk to you soon.

Congressman President Trump South Carolina James Clyburn President congressman Michael president skulduggery Charleston Vice President Biden Michael Judith Donald Trump Tulsa Barack Obama Dr King Michael ISIKOFF John Lewis Senate
St. Ignatius of Journalism

Skullduggery

1:02:01 hr | 3 months ago

St. Ignatius of Journalism

"A Michael ISIKOFF chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo News. And I'm Dan Kleinman editor in chief of Yahoo News and a quick reminder that you can follow us at skulduggery pod and by the way. If you've got any questions thoughts ideas you wanNA share tweet right out us now. Let's get on with the show officer gets tasked with infiltrating a group of hackers in Europe. The operation goes south and the officer has prosecuted for conducting illegal surveillance of journalists. He goes to jail for a year and when he gets out he's determined to get revenge against the CIA officials who hung out to dry and the hackers who set him up. That's the plot of a new novel. Paladin by the veteran Washington Post columnist. David Ignatius a journalist with unusually impeccable sources inside the US intelligence community. We'll talk to Ignatius about his new book as well as his reporting on the Michael Flynn case and the origins of Cova. Nineteen this episode of skulduggery. Because people have gotta know whether or not their president's while I'm not a crook I told the American people I did not trade arms hostile my heart to my best intentions. Still tell me that's true but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not. I did not have sexual relations with that one. There will be no lies. We will honor the American people with a truth and nothing else. Michael isikoff investigative correspondent for Yahoo News. And I'm Jan Kleinman editor and chief of Yahoo News. You know I gotTa Say David. Ignatius is an amazing guy. I met him many decades ago when he was editor at The Washington. Post and I was a young reporter there but aside from churning out these incredibly insightful columns about the US intelligence community he also keeps turning out these novels that really our understanding about how the CIA and other intelligence agencies work and Paladin is certainly well in that tradition. Absolutely Ignatius is one of those kind of rare birds in Washington columnists often get dismissed. His pundits that is the last thing that David Ignatius he's got super valuable insights into Washington Into how things really work. What's really going on in the city but the thing about as a columnist that so impressive is that he is always reporting and his columns are chock full of original reporting and he breaks big stories. And you know we're going to talk about the Flynn case which he pretty much broke that story and kind of drove that whole day. Yeah but in a way. It's true with his novels as well. I've read a bunch of them and what's unique about them. Is he writes with a kind of a and really deep knowledge of the intelligence community and inner workings of the Washington National Security bureaucracy in a way that I think in some ways. There's like more truth. In the novels than there is in most newspaper stories. The kind of gets to the essence of what really is going on kind of for similar. Tude that's a big word for skulduggery kind of a similar to that really makes the fiction that he writes incredibly immediate and believable. So I'm psyched. Tatakta Ignatius about Paladin about all the other skulduggery. That's going on in Washington. So why on one side of the spectrum we have Ignatius and his deep enriched understanding of the way the intelligence community works and at the other end of the spectrum we have president trump perhaps Sort of the opposite in understanding what Cia and the FBI and the other agencies of the deep state really do and what kind of work they do but certainly we have our trumpian specialist on the line with us. I understand Mr Hunter Walker Hunter. Are you with us? Yeah let me let me just say I miss you guys. It's been so long since we've all been able to get together in the real world. Well we can virtually get together as we are doing right now. Yeah but that's not the same as getting a bear hug from Mike. That's just not the same thing I don't know I'm not really a Kinda guy but hey hunter we wanted to talk to you before we get to Ignatius just because of this sort of mind blowing stories. Were hearing out of the White House about top aides having to self quarantine because Kovic has invaded though White House. I gotTa tell you. I'm I'm not surprised by this and in part because when I say I can't get together with you guys. I can't see you guys physically. I have been able to physically see president trump just the week before last. I was one of a group of reporters that was brought right into the Oval Office We were not required to wear masks. We were not given tests and that occurred multiple days a week before last. That also occurred last week. Because it's standard practice for the press pool not to be tested even when we're brought in the room with the president and that's just one of many ways that you know social distancing the president's own social distancing guidelines had not been followed at the White House I did a story at the start of last week before. These cases broke noting that the White House was regularly hosting these large events. Where THE UNTESTED. People Unmasked People. Some of whom in the room with the president and medical experts? I could be a towel. Who'S CONTRIBUTING TO YAHOO'S CORONA VIRUS? Coverage was telling me that this is not a good practice for any workplace but also particularly out of step with you know she might get to a hospital instead on on a critical floor where you have people performing critical functions. You want to have the highest standard including testing multiple times a day right and the White House is certainly critical. You have the president you have the vice president. All the people including the medical experts and the people working vaccine effort were really in charge of the response here could not be more critical to helping the country recover and you know we found out once once. These cases emerged at the White House that they weren't even testing gaily. They were actually testing weekly. So they've now you know gotten it together a little bit. They say they're testing daily. Although hunter who how many people who do we know or how many people do we know who work at the White House who have tested positive. So we know that Katie Miller. The wife of Stephen Miller of the president's closest advisers. She tested positive. She's the vice president's press secretary also a White House Valet. This is extremely interesting because this person was is a member of the military who was reportedly involved in you know helping the president with his meals and his clothes so really close contact. You know this person tested positive Jonah. Winter and I broke the story for Yahoo Last week that there are eleven cases as of last week in the secret service many more people in monitoring or quarantine. We don't know how many of those secret service agents were on the White House complex and then within the press within the White House press corps. There's been a couple suspected cases including my own right so You know it. It's really stunning to see the president. Get up in the Rose Garden this very afternoon. And he said there's been just one case that the White House and that's that's totally untrue. There's been you know at least to fully confirmed cases and like so hunter. You've actually kind of been ahead of the curve on this story. You just mentioned the story about the Secret Service that you in. Janna broke before that you did a piece about how the White House did not seem to be kind of practicing the same kinds of safety guidelines as their task force had been asking the country to follow not as much. Not all that. Much social distancing wearing of masks temperature taking a wonder what do you think is at the root of that kind of reluctance? I will note however that today for the first time I think the White House did essentially mandate that people in the White House wear masks. But before that you didn't see a lot of people with masks the president we've never seen him wearing a mask. So what what is that about well. You know there's a lot to unpack here but first off. Let me just step back for a second. Obviously you know in my conversations with medical experts when they've said we need more stringent security measures at the White House against rotavirus on one level. They're talking about protecting these. Vip's or involved in critical work But on the other level they're also talking about PR public relations and as we're trying to get the country to adhere to these guidelines and really to change their entire lifestyle the White House should be at the forefront of modeling Best Practices. And just are not you know. Your question is a very very good one. I I obviously can only speculate. I said on this program. Many times I would never try to get into president. Trump's head or purport understand his logic but you know we have seen a pretty stark partisan divide in response to corona virus with you know Republican Governors and Republican officials and even president trump sort of e you know in in his tweets about liberating states airing on the side of reopening and Democrats. You know focusing on locking down social distancing and taking more aggressive response to this. I think you know on one level. Economists Really Serious. Economists are saying we need to measure the damaging economic effects the pre-opening and weigh that against the deaths that would be caused by opening more. And I think you know Republicans traditionally they do sort of take that more Economically minded approach. I think they are going with the opening side of things but I also think president trump. What he talks about is often such a window into where he feels vulnerable right and when you see him standing in the Rose Garden today surrounded by these two signs eating the way testing my read on that is his is always on the coming campaign the election and he thinks he's vulnerable to the problems. That have occurred. America's testing I also think this is a president who repeatedly said the best argument for keeping him was the economy. He's now saying we had the greatest ever in corona virus. Killed it so he you know naturally would be more on this reopening side because he wants the economy booming again that is the symbol for his reelection. But I think there's also a kind of cultural and an ideological dimension to this and I think you know we are seeing the kind of culture wars play out in this corona virus crisis and a couple of things you know a lot of us remember seeing Matt Gaetz the Trumpian Congressman from Florida. Who at the outset of all of this was like on the House floor wearing like look like a world war? One era gas mask widely believed to have been mocking the wearing of masks. Our colleague Allison's area and Tweet at a headline from the federalist the President of the United States should not wear a mask. Then it says President Trump needs to exhibit strength and leadership in this crisis. He can't do that from behind the mask but it is this idea that wearing a mask or taking these kinds of precautions is is kind of wimpy. I mean people used to talk about the Republican Party and the Democratic Party is being the Daddy Party and the Mommy Party the Republicans being the Daddy Party because they were tough on national security tough on crime all of those issues and I think like there is an element of that in these attitudes about mask-wearing cough thoughts about that. I mean look on Mask Wearing A. You're probably right. I think trump doesn't want to wear a mask because he wants. He wants as much face time with everybody he could get. He is very image. Said he doesn't want to. Who want to push back a little bit on the idea that those who want to move towards reopening that it's just about corporate profits or the stock market. I mean there is real suffering going on as a result of the economic shutdown and as we saw just the other day last week and our conversation with those Amazon whistle blowers the people suffering are the least able to weather. The storm the lowest paid workers in those warehouses who don't even have health insurance. Who Don't get paid sick leave. Those are the people that half continue to show up from work. Those are the people who are suffering the corporate executives and the tech. The techies in Seattle can work at home. They get paid. So there's to all the Democrats who talked for years about the inequities in our society and in our economy. Those inequities are only being exacerbated by. What's going on right now. With the economic shutdown so wanting to move people to get back to work is not about corporate profits. It's about this the health and welfare of our citizens including most of all our least fortunate citizens. I think that's a really really important point. Mike but I also think that largely through you know partisan universe that we operate in. We've kind of ended up with this false dichotomy in the American discussion. Where it's either being careful about corona virus minimising deaths or reopening right. And what we've seen in some other countries is you know Canada and the UK both have Schemes involving grants and other things. Where seventy five to eighty percent of people's wages are being covered right and we are so unable really to have or or predisposed against having this conversation about sort of more welfare and benefits that it's becoming open or close. It's not becoming stay. Closed Wall providing making up for people's lost wages and certainly that's not the conversation. Republicans wanted the because ultimately these these two things are inextricably linked. I mean if we are not prepared for a massive resurgence of this virus in the fall. Let's say that is going to have a huge economic consequences for the for the country? And so you know you're right it's not. It's not a zero sum game. It's not one or the other so hunter we are recording this. Just half an hour. So after the President ended his most recent press conference where he talked about testing. He talked about a whole bunch of other things. He talked about his Transition America's transition to greatness which was a phrase. I had not heard from him before. Tell us a little bit about the highlights. From the latest press conference with the President he has tried to brand the reopening and very trumpian fashion as the transition greatness. He also as I alluded to before was surrounded by these giant signs. That said we are leading the world in testing You know I do think the White House has legitimate positives to point to about Are stepped up testing and performance our testing but at the same time. There's a lot of questions that come up. And they really are playing fast and loose with the facts when the President says that we have done more testing than any other country. Obviously one of the biggest biggest countries in the world with population of over three hundred twenty million people per capita there are other countries that have done more testing than us one of those countries up until April was South Korea. And you know the White House initially took a lot of flack because South Korea was held up as this model response They had a much lower infection rate than they were doing. More testing in their population is more much more dense than ours. So they you know. There was no reason that they should have had a lower infection rates. We have now in April. Pass them in per capita testing. But you know part of the reason for that is that you know they actually in part due to their very robust initial response have seen progress with corona virus. And we're able to ramp down there testing at the same time in. This goes to your point that you just make damn to. South Korea has started to reopen. And we're seeing new outbreaks there so they also cautionary tale. The other thing that the president was focusing on a lot in this press conference was just just sort of talking about how he does want the economy to kind of get back on. Its feet how. He's very very very confident. That and then of course with any trump press conference that was a little bit of sparring with the press. There was A little bit of news today. He talked about The shooting Georgia Tomato Arboretum. He said he spoke to Tim. Scott whose the only black Republican senator to discuss it and he also talked about Obama Gate. Which is this phrase. He tweeted over the weekend after some of the Flynn revelations and I thought it was really interesting because the president has repeatedly said that you know Obama and others committed crimes. And it's like nothing we've ever seen him that we would see what it is and so from the Washington Post asked him very pointedly. What is this crime that President Obama committed and president trump really couldn't answer that he said you know you can read about it in any newspaper except yours snoring? Well clearly this was. This was triggered by Obama's comments late Friday which we did break having gotten a copy of the tape. That's where he called the Flynn case they Threat to the rule of law and the trump response to over nineteen as a absolute chaotic disaster and trump. This is what's so amazing between late Saturday night early Sunday morning. Trump tweeted or re tweeted more than fifty times about the investigations by the FBI and the House Intelligence Committee into his campaign ties to Russia. So here we are in the middle of this pandemic mass human suffering more than we've now reached more than eighty thousand deaths and the guy is just obsessed with the Russia probe. What do you mean? He's multitasking. President has to do a lot of things you know. When you're you're tweeting you have to be able to tweet on multiple storylines. So that's you know in. That's what trump I think. I think I think triggered triggered was exactly the right word Isikoff and I think he was triggered by the Obama audio that we published you know. These were the sharpest comments. I think that Obama has made about trump since trump was elected. And there's no as great as our reporting was. I think there's no question in my mind. That Obama probably do that That audio Mike it out after all there were like three thousand members of the Obama Alumni Association on that call so someone was going to leak. It I think Obama new what he was doing. I think it's the beginning of his kind of more aggressive efforts to help his former vice president and friend Joe Biden and I think he's entered the fray and I think that's going to be interesting and trump's One of trump's tweets He's said Obama was responsible for the biggest political crime in American history by far exclamation point. Today we didn't see what the crime was. It goes back to what I was saying to you guys I think so often what we see trump talking about is a window into his insecurities and these these three big themes I think show areas where he may be feeling a little bit vulnerable particularly with the Campaign. Going one is again. You know all of the questions about Twenty sixteen campaign in their ties to Russia. Another is America's performance testing. And you know sort of initially ordering off the corona virus which we clearly did not do and then also now with virus raging through the White House. He's he's trying to saying it's only one person and sort of falsely downplay at there and of course you know for God's six or seven years now he's always had this preoccupation with along so you add Obama into that mix and it just you know it's It's on the fire. I gotta ask you hunter just before we before we leave. There was a kind of a bizarre end to this. Press conference in some ways it was very trumpian. He got angry and he basically just walked off the stage but a reporter for CBS News. An Asian American reporter for CBS. News seems to be a legitimate question. Trump was going on in the press conference about how we have more testing than anywhere anywhere in the world. He's been saying that for weeks and weeks now and so she just said why does that you keep saying that. Why does that really matter is? Are we in some kind of global competition and trump got all huffy and looked at her and he said? Why don't you just ask China? That question just asked China. And she's she was like why are you asking? Why are you saying directing that to me? Is it because you know I'm Chinese American? And he said just ask China. What did you make of that? So God you can't read. I know you can't read his mind but it was just so strange. I will tell you something. I think that you know we were talking earlier in the press conference about sort of you know reports that China has hackers trying to steal vaccine secrets from the US. You know the president has repeatedly played this game calling it the quote Unquote Wuhan Virus. And you know pointed to legitimate misconduct on the part of China that kind of allowed this virus to spread after it originated on there. So he you know he does. I think when you're asking him you know why do you see this as an international competition it it? It would make sense for him to point to China but obviously you know him. Doing that. Question from wage is is very loaded. And he's actually repeatedly sparred with her and I think it you know something from him a lot that these women of color who are reporters Get the worst of it. I mean I. I've made him angry before. And the worst thing to me is people like you caused division in the country whereas you know women are told they're nasty or this or that the land the languages is much more stepped up and we've also seen the president make questionable racial comments. I mean you know April Ryan. The African American reporter was told by him to sort of call the black caucus with his assumption that he he knew them and even separate from exchange with wage out. Today we had the one I mentioned earlier where President Trump said. Oh I I called up Tim Scott to talk about the situation in Georgia and you know Tim Scott Black but he doesn't represent Georgia so I think you know the president clearly has these kind of. Let's say different interactions with with people of color that just continue to stand out and be somewhat awkward. Yeah whatever he was thinking and we don't know what he was thinking the optics were not great. Honor we'd love to keep talking to you but we actually have a genuine novelist Waiting to come on the show and for all your great wording written any novels yet so no but I think one day hunter will be the protagonist of a novel. He's definitely carries. A great cable was great. I mean you can't come up with a better name for like Washington reporter than Hunter Hunter Walker. So he's going to clearly be a protagonist named I may not have David's for similitude appreciate elevating my look my loquacious for the accent is on the first syllable for similar to Tude. Okay this right I take care you guys tune. It's no secret that our worlds has been interrupted. World interrupted is a daily podcast telling stories of Corona virus and its impact on the economy. We want to cover the issues in the macro global economics stock market and our political climate will also cover the micro stories. Maybe the ones you don't hear much about in the news media. We hope you'll listen and be a part of the journey. Subscribe Today on Apple podcasts. Or wherever you listen to podcasts. We are now joined by David. Ignatius columnist for the Washington Post all around Washington wiseman and prolific novelist author of the new novel. A Paladin David. Welcome to skulduggery. Might be so other than Sort of basic questions about how you find the time to turn out novels when you're writing regular columns for the Washington Post on national security. What prompted you to want to write. Paladin and also tell us the origin of the name Palette and where that comes from so the first in terms of the theme. I had been working on a previous novel about the. Us Chinese battle to steal each other's secrets about how to build a quantum computer and I became fascinated by new technology writing that book and as I did my research. It was obvious that there were new. Technologies of manipulation of information coming along. The shorthand is deep fakes. But as a whole science now of creating not fake news but but fake events Video imagery that people will think is real so I thought that would be really fascinating. Issued a play with. How do we know what's what's true? And what isn't this new world? Then I got interested in in a character who could carry that thought I was reading Hillbilly Allergy by J defense. Which if folks haven't read it is about somebody from the rust belt world that elected Donald trump and that sense of growing up in a town. That is now depopulated. All businesses are gone away. It's just a shadow of what it was so I thought I wanted to make my hero. Some of you carry that burden. So his case he's from mckeesport Pennsylvania. Great Steel town now just that nothing goes him His name is Michael. Donna the book so those two basic elements world of Super Manipulation ends up crushing Michael Dunn ends up destroying his job at the CIA is marriage a goes to prison for a year plus the technology that that didn't it and how it works. Those are the those are the things I began with. The Paladin turns out the Paladin or fraternity of avenging nights. In France of Charlemagne in the Ninth Century Sorta like the Knights of the Round Table. Righted wrongs and did good social bandits. You might say so. They became Embodiment of one of the themes of the novel. And just like the name but I was growing up there was a TV show. Called Have Gun. Will travel was starter. Guide and Richard. Boone was called himself the Paladin and he was private detective with this set back in the eighteen nineties and San Francisco Gold Rush I was like the powder and as the name and I decided that was. It was right playful theme for the Book David. These so-called deep. Fakes are already being used aren't they? I mean they are out there. I think I have read about it. Becoming part of the dark arts of even political campaigns but are there intelligence services that are using deep fakes and by the way in the novel. You you say. The technical term is genitive adversarial networks. Is that right? Yeah he fakes like so much else. In the early really began with sex people begin concocting videos that showed famous movie and TV stars. You know having what looked like sex with people when they hadn't said they were crazy. Internet rage and that people began to crack out of it but the technology was used essentially involves creating a neural network chain of the very sophisticated processors cheating yet with imagery that gets rendu. Fake might so we feel you know thousand images of Mike is gus face? So every line every shadow every every function linking face and boys is fed into the computer and then we get a second computer neural network which will will call detect sake Mike and so we run two against each other so every time as just a little hint that discordant so lit that doesn't move right in sync with the words shout of it falls role on on the face detect fake. Mike sees it. An instantly corrected the better version. And then any little hint of mistaken. That is corrected. And so these GANZ. If they're called genitive adversarial networks create in the end an image that is so close to reality that it's extremely difficult to detect there are ways to detect it Our intelligence agencies working walk on going. What imagery that they get? What voices that they intercept or real. How they they're real Darpa has had a project for the last. Three years called the media. Forensics that's about how how do you develop techniques for the will know that the imagery we get on Social Media? Whatever channel is real? And how do we water marketing effects? So this this issue's been out there for a while. It's getting more and more sophisticated in terms of actual intelligence service use of these techniques. I can't point to one untold of there have been some but I don't have a specific you know. It is frightening stuff and in the novel. Your hackers use it for personal profit among other things they create a deep fake of a video of a corporate executive owner of a company who is telling his board that he's Has Terminal Cancer which is then used? The the hackers can short the stock and and make a Bundle as the Stock Price Sinks. But we've talked about this before on the on the podcast. The there's the political threat as well. I mean the scenario you describe of creating that fake video of the executive talking about how he's got terminal cancer. I imagine a scenario for the last days if not the last hours of an election campaign where a video like that pops up about one of the candidates saying something completely outrageous that could hurt that candidates prospects in the election. And how do you defend about against that? How do you address it when it gets out there? And it seems so real. Well that's one of the challenges that we in the news media thinking about. How do we help the public know? What's true and what's not during this coming campaign every to campaign in in the future you remember. In the French presidential election there was information. That was dumped. The last minute by the Russians. We think about my crawl and the French were very smart. They pulled back French. News media said saying that they were being manipulated that not report this in a way that would have turned the election. I'm told that When macron came into office and sent a message. You don't ever do this again. A very direct clear warning so I think it's interesting as false information. That's in the last days of of a campaign through fakes. Thinks about Mike for a minute about true information that surfaces and go back to the Access Hollywood tape so today. We're so much more conscious of the fakes maturation. Magin that that tape. Come out with a sound. Water was sound some in the tree and Donald Trump said. This is fake. This has been this has been manufactured. This didn't happen. People know how to do this. This is false. A lot of people millions of people would have believed it and it may be that we have to be worried about true information not energy trading in this era of debates because people are so cynical suspicious as we're worried about false information being planted that that's why I think some way that we can really establish by we. I mean we independent of government. Somehow we in the media we in the technology business can identify help. People know it's true and what isn't because they'll they'll be manipulated in either direction being told off of something that is true planted with something that isn't it doesn't seem as if we're prepared in media culture right now to meet that challenge. I mean it's fascinating that the the French media did it. I don't know if their culture is different. But boy it's the wild west here and it's so competitive. How do you suggest we go about doing that? I think we need to be in the business of I. Used to call editor interrogating the facts. So seeming facts. Come asks you when you you have to look at the turn them upside down. Shake them think about where they came from. Think about what other facts they've been hanging out with and do that kind of of francs ourselves if we're you know quick to jump on a story because it's hot and we've done preliminary checking. I think that's just we're GONNA have to be more serious about it and I have a feeling in this future. Where manipulation of facts is so much easier and more powerful with the value of truth will increase people pay a lot this pusher of trading financial markets. You'll pay a lot to know that your information stream isn't polluted that what what surfaces about corporations that are in your portfolio is. Is You pay a lot of money for that. And some people pay a lot of money for reliable sources. They want news sources that break news. So they'll want they'll reward aggressive news sources but they'll also any pay pay more for the curation parked these people. I know these people got it right so you know. Maybe that's a good thing. As lying gets more sophisticated. The value truth increases people pay more for Truth and the truth checking technologies and skills so in the novel your Protagonists Michael. Dunn is a CIA officer. Who's assigned to investigate this Hackers in Europe that At least some of them seem to have journalistic mission or self-proclaimed. But not really and he gets dimed out. I mean he gets Discovered the hackers go after him and his CIA handlers. Basically disowned him and let him go to prison when he was doing what they asked him to do. And I just want her. You know we've had the ongoing controversy debate over the last several years about a deep state that seems to be with the president's allies talk about a lot and I wonder if your scenario here and depiction of the of the agency kind of feeds into the idea of a deep state of agents and officials are out in the US government who have their own. Agendas I don't want to feed that because I think the one reality of this one aspect of this novel is that the the foot soldiers in the CI and by extension other intelligence agencies are are highly motivated people and sometimes are made the fall. Guy As Michael Mean you know Michael Dunn is is part of this apparatus and he's manipulated by somebody at the top for very complicated reasons. I think it's wrong to see the book as implying that he was manipulated by the agency as a whole and in the end there is a machinery to establish the truth and avenge the wrong was. It was done to him so I am not a deep stapley right on. Walk this novel to be taken. Is that more? I felt watching C. I. FBI officers who were asked to do things by political leadership often with of legal counsel support for the legality of what they were doing. Basically get hung out to drive away Michael Dunham was. They're told to do something assured that the country wants them to do it and how they end up being career enters than they just have to fall back on their legal insurance. I think that's a real problem and I think you know we in the end will will get the intelligence service that we deserve it. We don't protect the people who followed legitimate orders distinguish which legitimate. Well David of course. That's a that's an echo of the detention and interrogation program and I think you Michael Dunn actually raises that. He's he's very wary of this job because of that. But are you suggesting that career agents or officers when they are given an order to carry out what we now commonly referred to as torture that it was okay to follow orders as long as there was a a opinion saying that it was legal? No I mean I think the case of torture those techniques People should have seen them as as improper shocking conscience and should've said no but there there are lots of his ankles over time with people being asked to do things told to do things that they in the end. You don't really WANNA see I says. Now we're not gonNA fall this order you know. We don't think that's a good idea just as you don't want a military. That defies civilian authority. I think the torture issue is just in a in a separate basket. The character in the book Michael Dunn Raises. That 'cause I think his generation of Seattle officers this sense that you know you get told to do something. And they say there's a legal opinion supports it and you won't go to jail and then they do it. I think that was very scarred. And that's probably good because it makes them think if I'm asked to do something that would shock the conscience. I shouldn't do it now. The the hackers or Dunn's original target is this hacking group and I believe the guy he's going after his how Jason. How am I remembering the name correctly? Now there is a sort of echo of the whole Wikileaks debate there where they portray themselves as a journalistic organization in fact you know going to the US government there. There are a lot more than that or not even that I forget how pompeo originally described him basically as a private intelligence service. Did you consciously want to have people thinking of wikileaks when you describe these characters and you know does what they ultimately are revealed to be? Is that your conception of what wikileaks is? This is A. It's a novel and thing is undoubtedly it may look like in. In Real Life Press' invented story. That said Yeah I want people to think about the question whether with leaks is journalistic organization like The Washington Post deserves the same protections or something. I don't I I don't have an easy answer for that. I know that some of the things that wikileaks has been accused of doing the Washington Post or any organization like it that I though wouldn't do but you know I haven't in my in my journalism come to a final judgment about that. Well I like about writing. Fiction is you. Don't have you're not Reagan office because I'm telling you what to think about wikileaks masking to think about the hardest issues. So Jason. How a character? Who's running the organizations whole fallen empire? Who's a kind of? He sees himself as a social. Bandit he's GonNa take down all the fat cats and you know make information the to accomplish his purposes available in. He's in the business on like wikileaks. Putting out information December which is emended is not real and matter where wiki leaks inventing any any information but yeah I think those issues are worth thinking about. It's nice to have a chance to let Jonathan Jason. How my character speak for himself and say why he wants to be a social bandit? Espn decides that he's wrong. He doesn't want to do that anymore. Feels a deep remorse that he heard people who didn't deserve it. But you know I want the reader to decide I do enough punditry in my column telling people you know should think this or that Know Not why don't WanNa do that? How unfold a story in the complexity the list? I love the fact that Jason How weeds Eric Hobsbawm Sir. Primitive rebels which a lot of us read in college and most of us didn't become bandits. Social bandits maybe Yesica off is associate. David I WANNA Internet wasn't around was going to college. I have a big fan of your books. Always been interested in your tradecraft. E how you actually learn about the spies tradecraft and you're known to be one of the best source Intel reporters in Washington. So when you're interviewing your sources for your columns. Are you also picking their brains about how to crack safes and and you know put surveillance technology into places and all of those kinds of things? How do you do it? How did you learn about these things? So there were reporting all goes into the same Receptacle they might bring. I try to distinguish when I'm talking to somebody. This is for my novel Doctor Journalism. This conversation is it's for an imaginary world and then often last people are you comfortable with with my listing. You in the acknowledgements at the end of my novel to say that I that I talk to you whether you read a part of the book done that in this novel is as in past ones the of course out in the world learning about things that interest me all right about ones that I can. I can prove like a pin down in my my journalism. You might call them. But there's some things that are super complicated. I would know how to write a column about takes. I said I just don't know enough about how it's actually been used so I sure know enough to be able to speculate about how it might be used and so there are people in the intelligence community. Who are worried about this problem or willing to to talk with and say yeah. This is the way to think about this. Here's how you say you create this kind of imagery. Here's our thinking about ways to detect your the potential dangers of so I obviously wouldn't be wouldn't be true to say that the stuff that I learned. My journalism doesn't end forming my section. Because it's it's just all their compliance well It is a A great read. The novel is Paladin. It's out today or this week David Tuesday but the you know the the in this moral were nobody's going. I know it's available online and our listeners. Should check it out on kindle or however they're getting the books these days when they can't go to bookstores but if you could put your column hat on for a little bit two subjects in particular. I think we want to ask you about both very much. In the news I The Michael Flynn case The Justice Department dropping the charges the charges against him as the Guy who put Michael Flynn and play with your January twelfth. Two Thousand Seventeen column reporting on his conversation with the Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. What was your reaction to the bar? Justice Department's decision to drop the charge? I was I was astonished. I wrote a column that appeared the day after and I said if he did nothing wrong here especially just from a saying. He may have lied as he is. He said he did in his plea agreement but it wasn't a material I wasn't a significant firmly significant live. It does that was so why did he work so hard to conceal it? Why did he conceal it with Vice President pence why the elect pence make statements in public won't was at the? He felt about his conversation with the Russian ambassador on the same day that President Obama finally was taking action to punish the Russians for their intervention. Their covert action to subvert our elections. Why did he think that he didn't want that to come out? And there was an effort. It's now been publicized Ho Kicks. The trump campaign's spokesperson was told that the to deny that this was true. Others others were told us very deliberately at hope picks was was quoted in intestinal that. She made saying that she realized later. She being instructed to mislead people about this. Why why was that and I think the answer is pretty simple that given what we now know about the dimensions of the Russian subversion campaign what what our community if I reported on January six two thousand seventeen three years investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee led by Republicans. Confirmed wasn't accurate judgment about what the Russians were doing. Why was it OK to reassure them as Flynn Kislyak? That will work this out. Like don't don't to what Obama's doing worldwide. We'll see. We'll take care of this. I think that to me is is the is the baseline issue here. I understand the criticism of the FBI in a number of areas of the Russian investigation. I think any reasonable person looking at what the FBI did what some FBI officers did. And the Carter. Page of surveillance Warrant application process should be shot. This incredible for whatever reason. Yeah I mean you wrote in in that column. The recent disclosures about how they prepare. How the bureau prepared to question? Flynn in two thousand seventeen. Should trouble anyone who worries about abuse of power by federal investigators? Why they explain that. What in particular now. There was the dispute between the Bureau and DOJ about how to handle this new information about Flynn and what he was saying to the Russian ambassador and vice president's public lies about it. But as I read the documents it seemed that DOJ was saying we have a duty to alert the White House and the FBI is saying. No we want to get to Flynn and see what he says. We don't want to involve the White House counsel or anybody else at the White House so I have read. Some of the exhibits were made available with the just spur move. I hadn't read all that so I wanna be careful and not going to be what what what I know from what I have read. It seemed to me that the discussions that took place prior to the questioning of Flynn had an edge to them that it's seems troubled. Some people the Justice Department. Not simply because they they had a question of whether the White House should be informed for but for for other reasons as I as I in my initial reading both book. That evidence what I wrote it and and believe is the idea of the FBI. This enormous law enforcement apparatus being let loose on a citizen. Even somebody's powerful as Mike. Flynn is just become national security advisor without really strict limits on how they operate you know I. I grew up being worried about that kind of FBI. And I don't think I don't think you suspend those concerns just because of the current cast characters. Just one more question on this. And I know Danny wants to ask you about your Chinese lab columns but it has been reported. That the John Durham investigation assigned by attorney. General Bar to look into the origins of the Russia investigation has been focusing on the disclosure to you about the Flynn. Phone call with Kislyak. You have any indication that the F. B. I. Or the Justice Department is has access your phone records emails any other material that they are indeed trying to identify your source for that story as part of their investigation. Just GonNa have no comment whatsoever on that. That's the question for our lawyers of our PR. People shouldn't take that as a in any way confirming because I'm not I just love our fair enough I actually have one follow up on the flint thing which is kind of more of a thirty thousand foot question and it's a complicated question with. I'm sure accomplish complex set of answers but you think a lot about these things so I'm curious what your view is and that is what you make of these conflicting narratives raised by the Flynn case that on the one hand you have Barack Obama who just said publicly in a story that is broke this audiotape of phone conversation he had the dropping the cases assault on the rule of law and the core values of our of our democracy and then on the other hand so many people on the right and led by the president saying that our system of justice has been essentially poisoned or perverted by dirty cops and the deep state and deep say conspiracies that led to an unjust prosecution of Michael. Flynn I mean. This seems to be the reality that we're living in right now well. I think the FBI and the process of investigation become alternate political. Footballs it's too bad. I I don't know how the FBI recovers in Sushi from from the what is going through right. It's GonNa take very good leadership up. Generally Chris raised seems to to be fighting for telegraphy professionalism over girl but maybe fighting for his job from what we can tell yes. I mean he is job may be at risk but I. I've been impressed by Chris. Raise attempts to play this straight so often in my experience. Fbi directors end up being politicians. You know that they they feel after. Speak to the the gym Komi. That kind of you know citizen Avenger aspect to some of the statements when he spoke out about about the San Bernardino. A iphone issue was very public role. Thought a lot about public relations. Louie Freeh was obviously that way. Stamos J. Edgar Hoover endlessly about the public face of the FBI's public relations. Chris Wray seems to need to be much lower keys trying to protect the bureau. He's trying to keep it focuses mission. You know maybe you should do more public relations. I don't know but I find myself admiring that and it's a welcome change anything something tempting for the FBI. It's so close to politics. It's so easy to play politics now. Isikoff raise the controversy over the speculation that the virus the corona virus may have leaked from Chinese lab the Institute of Virology Wuhan and like the Flynn case like so many other cases these days. This is a an investigation that seems to have become politicized and the right and the left. You can see it now in the papers it was on sixty minutes last night are going at each other over this question you've written about it you've taken it seriously. Not that there is any kind of definitive evidence that it came from the lab but that it is being looked at by the intelligence community and that it is at least plausible. Talk about where you are on that issue right now so for a long time. I thought that the origin story of covert nineteen but we initially hat but it somehow got into the population. Ruhan through this seafood market In Wuhan where people ate all kinds of crazy stuff and they might have eaten something that either had a bad in it or eaten the bat or they're all kinds of stories it basically involved this market where somehow the virus would jumped the back. Krona virus jump species and then injustice an infected human beings and the more. I looked into it. I realized that there were reasons to think that that argument might not be right. That might not be the origin story. There were some anomalous details like the fact that the first people who were infected had no connections that could be established with that markup of some other details that began to surface in Atlanta and other scientific journals and so. I began to look again at what people like Tom? Cotton it and saying God was really Skeptic on some of this early comments I totally inflammatory. I still put they were likening. It took noble implying. That was a deliberate release. There's no evidence whatsoever of that and I think even. Tom Is backed off that at the time I spent with this story. I thought that reasonable people should be agnostic about whether this was an accident the nature whether it just jumped species in nature accidentally or whether it was an accident in a laboratory we know that there were all kinds of background of interest that have been collected in to file logical laboratories in Wuhan wandering near this market one the few kilometers away which is much higher tax supposedly higher higher security and the argument that it might have been a leak from the laboratory. Somebody work in the laboratory not Preston sufficient hygiene at some way being infected waste. That came out of the laboratory. Somehow getting in the trash or in some other way and seven-nation I couldn't find people who really book Caref- carefully at those who didn't think that that was a possibility at the same time the more I asked the more definitive the evidence was that this was not man-made was not bioengineered that part of the crazy conspiracy theory was crazy. It's just there's there's no evidence of that so I ended up thinking and I say this to you listeners. The right thing here. We need to know how to begin. We need to know what the real origin story is. It shouldn't be politicized and be the left versus the right. It should be a factual forensic investigation and the only people who can we do that? Make it happen the Chinese and they should. They should for all sorts of reasons. First we need to know how it happened apart to create the right vaccines part. Make sure it doesn't happen again to understand. How did how did this? How did this horrible outbreak? It's crippled the world get started. The Chinese I think in the end need to show that they're modern and self confident enough to tolerate a real investigation. Their initial response to this was to do a police. State students supress and manipulate information and they were seemed to do that and their own citizens are still angry about it so. I think it's in the Chinese interest certainly in everybody else's interest to have a real investigation that only as possible there's international involvement and oversight and. I don't think that's that that shouldn't be a politically difficult decision at all. Everybody should agree. That's what's needed and people should should join together in that demand and just keep making it. Until China finally response of course inevitably it has become a bit of a political football with some accounts suggesting the trump administration is putting pressure on the intelligence community to confirm the Chinese theory and There's been pushed back on that. And so all I can say to. Our listeners is as this continues and the debate goes on about this the best way to keep track of what is really going on and what the truth is is to read. David's column and if you just want a good read you should check out his novel Paladin. David thanks for joining us. Thanks to you. Mike and Dan folk been journalistic colleagues. You know seems like forever but you're decade. The I guess just the last thing I want to say is that in the end theme of this novel and the theme of our conversation is that serious journalism were retake that role lots of investigation analysis and publishing. What's true at just you know it's a lifeline. People people need it. It's the the the Wuhan Virus Story if people let themselves be manipulated for political reasons. The damage will be lasting. So I WANNA make sure I don't. I don't get pulled into that but you know I had to be corny about it. I still think journalism to save us from some of their nightmares reliving. Well I'll be Corny to the truth and good. Journalism will set US ALL FREE. So thank you so much. David greatly appreciate it. Thanks to Washington Post columnist and novelist. David Ignatius and Yahoo News White House correspondent Hunter Walker for joining us on skullduggery. Don't forget to subscribe Scott Agree on Apple podcasts. Already listen to your podcast and tell us what you think. Be Review which were to follow us on social media at Skulduggery Pot. And we'll talk to you soon.

president President Trump FBI White House Mike Michael Flynn President Obama United States Washington White House The Washington Post David Tuesday CIA vice president Tatakta Ignatius reporter officer YAHOO Michael Dunn Michael ISIKOFF
OTM presents: Impeachment Pod, the Taylor Testimony

On The Media

23:03 min | 10 months ago

OTM presents: Impeachment Pod, the Taylor Testimony

"Being an online dashboard get started today at indeed dot com slash podcast that's indeed dot com slash podcast on the media supported by indeed dot Com. Are you hiring with indeed you can post a job in minutes set up screener questions than zero in on your shortlist of qualified candidates Brian Lehrer show ten A._M. to noon at W._n._y._C.. Dot Org Respondent Michael Isikoff who is also co author of the book on the Russia investigation called Russian Roulette. I'm Michael thanks for coming on today have pain so drip drip now downpour it might have been a watershed day. Let's see where we are with Yahoo News Chief investigative cards so we've been covering all this congressional testimony about the trump Ukraine scandal right drip drip drip a little new damning testimony every day toward conclusions bribery extortion of Ukraine quid pro quos if you prefer that term and for what for Illegally Soliciting Twenty Twenty campaign hell Asadollah Marie Ivanovich because remember she wasn't Pro Investigations Enough William Taylor testified yesterday and his fifteen page opening statement nope from a foreign government you know these basics by now but if it's been drip drip drip yesterday was more like a Geyser a burst pipe award person to pay up before signing the check but Taylor also texted at the time I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with the political has apparently been known for years as meticulous note taker in his State Department work but here's just one more so for now quote Ambassador Sunland Tried Ahnlund that trump wanted Ukraine presidents Alinsky to make a public statement of his determination to get to the bottom of any corruption involving the Bible allowed in a public pronouncement Taylor's fifteen page statement is online if you want to read the day by day log of what he saw and heard this summer Taylor sales in two thousand sixteen and it was to help Hillary Clinton Donald trump according to Taylor trump wanted President Celeski to name these investigations was released to the Washington Post in detail day by day account ambassador Taylor described being told especially Bhai Trump's EU ambassador Gordon foil the witness was trump's current ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor he's the Guy Secretary of state Pompeii oh handpicked to replace the previous and this is impeachment daily podcast from WNYC. I'm Brian Lehrer it's Wednesday October twenty third on his watch we knew about that text message that he had sent on September ninth to to explain to me that president trump is a businessman when a business man is about to sign a trek to someone who owes them something he said the businessman asks the of the sort of broad story that we've been covering for the last month or so look when McMahon Dany made that extraordinary press conference last week those comments at the presser in which he basically acknowledged there was a quid pro quo. I mean the the deal you know the the basic outlines of a deal where clear but but Taylor fleshes it out didn't and the Ukrainian energy company BEREA SMA that Hunter Biden was on the board of and a theory that Ukraine not Russia hacked the DNC man to ambassador sunland saying it's crazy to withhold security systems for help with a political campaign we now know how he got trump everything quote ever quote everything was dependent on zone Linski making this announcement including securities assistance in order to get the security aide to fight Russian aggression trump wanted Zoecke to make this got to that point the conversation he has with Sahlin the week before in which sunland the political appointee the ambassador into the European Union who seems to have take it on the Ukraine brief himself had told him that after talking to you what was most significant about ambassador Taylor's testimony to you well just the the specifics the details of fleshing out granularity and and the real anguish that he felt as a career diplomat seeing this play out the public announcement about investigations into the Biden's and two thousand sixteen minutes let me go to that testimony and I'm going to read you one paragraph and read everybody listening one paragraph from William Taylor's testimony as released as his written opening statement yesterday this is unquote ambassador. John also told me that he now recognized that he had made a mistake by earlier telling the Ukraine officials to whom he the wanting celeski quote in public box he said this is again from Ambassador Taylor's public testimony yesterday the written opening statement he spoke at a White House meeting with presidents Alinsky was dependent on a public announcement of investigations in fact and You could have read them to say that the quid pro quo was really just about a meeting not the security assistance right and Komo also the military aid and other security assistance totalling about four hundred million dollars and then this goes on silent said that president trump wanted President Alinsky a public announcement by Alinsky for a meeting is unsavory but it's not quite as serious as Acid or Samland said everything was dependent on such an announcement including security assist assistance in other words not just a White House meeting about ordering such investigations and it and it so it goes on so what do you see as the significance of trump insisting that's alinsky announcing investigations in public well if you had taken the text messages that had come out the in the previous weeks in a public box and that's Taylor quoting what he was told the trump wants quote in a public box by making a public statement the Russia Ukraine desk officer in the NFC he's now emerging as a looking like a pretty pretty much collapses with Taylor's testimony combined with these text messages combined with the other tests of conversation he has on September seventh with Tim Morrison a National Security Council official who has taken over for Vienna Hill as whiskey himself out in the trump wanted to have it as a campaign talking point another country has seen fit a head of state has seen fit a crucial witness he tells Taylor he had a sinking feeling after listening in on a conversation or learning about a conversation that Sahlin had the Ukrainian people because Russia will be more free to invade right so they're in the in in the passage you just read it's explicit it's not a hold up on the military the military aid that's money that's real that's Taylor said it's life and death death that zone Linski go to a microphone and say he's opening investigations of Biden and the two thousand sixteen election interference the discrepancy And you know hopefully that will be in public and we we need to take note of that why at this point is all this still taking place behind closed doors this testimony this vital testimony the public should be able to see it here it evaluate the did Taylor personally detailer personally hear the president say these things about demanding Ukraine and the Biden's and twenty sixteen thus the meeting it's the aid itself and then you go on just a few graphs later in Taylor's testimony where he recounts this remark private as you just referenced and three the President Writes Taylor off in a tweet as a radical unelected bureaucrat. He didn't say that about Taylor specifically but the money that's come in there's a conflict there by the way between Sunlen and and Taylor just had with trump and according to morrison trump told someone that he was not seeking a quid pro quo but he was insistent he saw this as US military aid for health with trump's reelection and ambassador sunland responses to him also in writing so what is yeah now that's that's pretty clear so I think that the the no quid pro quo defense which was has been the White House Defense and the Republicans Defense at for the past month this has been unfolding in it's against Taylor is basically three things so far one it's just hearsay to the hearings are self are taking place in we're going to have to make their public ace and bring all these very important witnesses back before the TV cameras to testify in public that trump defense at this whole group of State Department officials who've been testifying radical unelected bureaucrats and actually WanNa take each of these briefly I hear say to open an investigation into these things so you see American People Biden must be corrupt and the two thousand sixteen Russia story must have been a hoax something like that don't you think example Fiona Hill who was trump's Russia and Ukraine advisor she testified that national security adviser John Bolton was furious about Rudy Giuliani all he was in the middle of this he was relying what he had been told about these conversations or what he learned from these about these conversations so hill Kurt Volker another trump Ukraine envoy testified that he and William Taylor and acting assistant secretary of State Fil Rica shared with each other their concerns about Giuliani Volcker said they were just very uncomfortable with him being active then there's Michael Mckinley Secretary of state pompeo's so remember that Song Wind you know he was talking directly to the president now is he going to deny senior aide until two weeks ago he testified that he just resigned because of quote what appears to be the utilization of our ambassadors overseas credibility of these witnesses I think the Democrats are starting to realize this they cannot maintain these this closed door testimony for much longer which would be more than hearsay of Taylor's text messages to ambassador Assan Lynn in the summer in which he stated in writing that would vance domestic political objectives on quote and Gordon Samba and himself trump's controversial e you ambassador who by the way is not a career Janis politically motivated shadow Ukraine operation. She's the one who said Bolton described Giuliani as quote a hand grenade who's going to blow everybody up so that's Fiona with other witnesses most of them trump appointees who have also testified so I went back over account so some of the other witnesses from the last two weeks and we have for it is is this sufficient four impeachment and removal and I think that diplomat but a career hotel developer like trump who donated a million dollars to the trump campaign and then poof was named Master Europe even Gordon Sanmen testified I what Taylor says he told them maybe but you know that's why we need these public works well in fact I thought these are pretty clear at this point and we're going to get back to that private we're GONNA come back to that private testimony versus it be useful for our listeners following impeachment news at this point in the conversation to take a minute and put Taylor's testimony side by side so at this point one of the things that's going to have to happen is both silent and Taylor has to come back and testify and clear up this very clear you know we need to see and hear that public case to break through but the allies of the case and the details of the case not due to a defensive hearsay. Yeah I mean look I mean hearsay can be evidenced if it's corroborated elsewhere the public testimony that everybody agrees needs to come in a minute but let's take another trump defense that I mentioned the Taylor and other recent witnesses he started his civilian service in the federal government for President Reagan he was first appointed Ukraine ambassador by President George W Bush I mean that's crucial testimony This is this is this is how you build a case and let's see in who aren't following this at the level of granular detail to share a little bit of William Taylor's bio he was a West Point Cadet he fought in Vietnam a Ukraine than Obama was doing and then he was brought back this year by Secretary of State pompeo obviously trump loyalist to replace ambassador let's see how one can credibly sustain an argument like that now I mean credibility is important seeing and hearing witnesses you did that from two thousand six to two thousand nine he did not serve President Obama's my understanding but rather was part of an organization that lobbied Obama to do more for embassador to Ukraine as a radical I mean it just it's nonsense obviously I mean it just it's hard to with the trump agenda so what happens if they do hold public hearings and they compare that history of service with the president's or being busted at it he's he did not he's hearing it from Sabra and he's hearing it from Morrison there is documentary evidence though Onlin had been insisting he never would have been a part of any quid pro quo that was his testimony last week it's now clear that he was you know that's what trials are for that's what you know public testimony in hearings are for and But just get saying these hearing so far are illegitimate all I'm asking is give Donald Trump the same rights as Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton had when it comes to impeachment and I'm insisting all right let's get to the private testimony public testimony defense here's what Lindsey Graham demanded on Fox News last night in the context with Gordon somnolence if there's a discrepancy between their testimony in terms of witness credibility I mean look to describe somebody doc and Michael I did there was cut and paste from the few news articles in the last few weeks but you see how it's all consistent I it certainly consistent like I said continue to do this behind closed doors I've covered congressional hearings for decades now you know this is not the first time we've seen something like this and what they're what they tell you is your remember that Taos Ski hearing before judiciary you want another circus like that they're afraid that if they had bill Taylor with that kind of background who served Republican and Democratic administrations who fought for his country who

William Taylor Hillary Clinton Donald trump Ukraine trump Donald Trump president trump Brian Lehrer John Bolton bill Taylor Hunter Biden Russia President Obama Ambassador Sunland State Department Michael Isikoff President Reagan President George W Bush pompeo
Defund the Police - and then what?

Skullduggery

45:26 min | Last month

Defund the Police - and then what?

"A Michael ISIKOFF chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo News and I'm Dan Kleinman editor in chief of Yahoo. News and a quick reminder that you can follow us at skulduggery Pod, and by the way. If you've got any questions, thoughts ideas, you WanNa. Share tweet right out us now. Let's get on with the show. defunding the police, it's become the rallying cry for protesters across the country, demanding radical change in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. But, what exactly does that slogan mean? And how far should funding cuts go? And if it means fewer cops on the streets who will keep the peace in neighborhoods still beset by violent crime, mid striking new poll numbers showing that American attitudes toward race, protests and abuses by police have changed dramatically in just the last few weeks. We'll talk to Alex Vitale, the sociologist whose book the end of policing has become a roadmap for the defunding the police movement, and will dissect those new poll numbers about the protests with Yahoo News, political and Polling Guru Andrew Romano on this episode of skulduggery. Because, people have gotta know whether or not their president's a pro I'm not I told the American people. I did not trade arms hostile to my heart, and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not I did not have sexual relations without him. There will be no lies. We will honor the American people with the Truth and nothing else. I'm Michael ISIKOFF chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo. News and I'm Dan cliven editor in chief of Yahoo, news, so when I look at these new polling numbers about how much American attitudes are changing, it's a reminder of the power of imagery. The video of George Floyd and that police officers knee on his neck has really struck a nerve, and it's hard to think of a moment when there's been such a dramatic shift in American attitudes. Yeah, I don't know about whether. Maybe Ramana will know this, but whether there have been shifts in American attitudes that are this dramatic I do know that there is a law for a long time in our history imagery. Most of the in our modern American history has been the television has often had a dramatic impact on American attitudes. All you have to think of is bull Connor's dogs. During the civil rights era, and the Vietnam War brought into the living rooms of Americans and the impact that that had over time. In this particular case I think we're GONNA. See Very considerable polling shifts in a very short period of time you know in a week or two on one of the perennially tragic issues in our history, which is race, but I think we should just bring Romano in to talk about the results of our latest Yahoo News YouGov poll, Andrew You with us. Hey, okay, so pretty striking numbers in this new Yahu News YouGov poll. Tell us about what you found. Yeah, I think it has to be one of. Of the most rapid shifts in racial attitudes in US history. I mean, we'll say recent US history to be safe, but it's hard to think of another time when us on a entrenched and difficult issue as race have changed this quickly, and one indicator of that is views of black lives, matter the movement that sort of sort of provided the the engine and the ideas behind the protests that have gripped the nation in two thousand sixteen. Just a quarter of Americans told the poster that we work with you. They approved of black lives. Matter today, fifty seven percent say they have a favorable view, some more than double. That is just remarkable, a similar majority fifty six percent. Say, they've become more concerned about racial injustice in the. US In just the last two weeks since the protests began, and so you're seeing numbers in this poll. Usually up around sixty percent of Americans saying things like racism is built into American society, the assumption of white superiority pervades schools, businesses, housing, and government sixty percent thing. The police have a problem with systemic racism, even more sixty three percent. Saying America has a problem with it more than sixty percent of respondents, saying that many or most Americans are racist. Sixty nine percent, saying race was a factor and George Floyd killing fifty four percent, saying it was a major factor. The list goes on sixty percent. Say that the death of African Americans during encounters with the police are signs of a broader problem as opposed to isolated incidents and six hours of. Don't treat black and white people equally, so it's just across the board, these wide wide, which already some of these you know, the very difficult questions that. You know back and say twenty thirteen and black lives. Matter began that most Americans tended to disagree with so a lot has changed Andrew. I was also struck by the change in attitudes towards Colin Kaepernick. The San Francisco Forty niners quarterback, who famously took a knee during the national anthem. You report that in two thousand sixteen, just twenty eight percent of Americans considered Cabernet conduct appropriate now fifty two percent, a majority say it's okay for NFL players to kneel during the national anthem to protest police killings I think that's. A revealing, I haven't seen another poll. Where majority approved of that protest, that form of protests and I think it's probably just sort of tipped into a majority over the last week or so I think that's been one of the most controversial cultural issues in sort of recent us. History obviously something that president trump has tweeted a lot about riled up his supporters about that's been all over, Fox. News see a majority of Americans supporting that form of protests. I think is really a sign of. that. We have an NFL season in the fall I. Think a lot of people are going to be looking to see how NFL players are handle it when the national anthem is played and I would not be surprised if we see a lot of them taking that knee. Yeah, I wouldn't either I. DO think that that that'll be sort of. It'll be a telling sign of where we are as a country. One other thing I wanted to bring up. That is a big change, and we were talking about the sixties and sort of the long arc of history here I. Think it's really interesting how these these numbers reflect back and affect views of trump. You know one question. Question we asked and I hope this was a really interesting. Question is sort of which approach is a better way to regain composure in America. We had three quarters of respondent say that the country was out of control yet only thirty six percent, so that law and order would be the right way to approach this and get control back in the United States the remained sixty four percent, preferred bringing people together I bet those numbers would have been different, nineteen, sixty eight, and our president tweeted law and order in all caps once again this morning. Thursday morning as we record this podcast and he's also got law and order pinned to the top of his twitter profile so. This is, I think we're seeing? And it's reflected in our poll also, but we're seeing almost a plummeting of trump's poll numbers vis-a-vis Biden also in terms of his approval numbers, disapproval numbers. You know it has to be I think that kind of double effect here of both corona virus, and these protests and I guess also the economic toll as well from the pandemic, but I want to ask you Andrew. Just a from a polling perspective. Yes, we are seeing a dramatic shift in attitudes about race about the police about all of these issues. Issues, but what is your sense? Is there any way based on past polls in moments like this of whether this is a temporary effect kind of a blip based on the imagery that s office talking about the headlines The fact that we are having this national conversation this moment. Would you expect to see a numbers like this sustained, or could you imagine them fading quickly? How do you see that? In in the context of the kind of polling that you've looked looked at over time? Yeah, I've seen people. Make you know sort of? Of Two comparisons to this moment, one is on an issue like guns and one on an issue like gay marriage, so what we see in polling around guns is that when there's a particularly you know sort of tragic mass shooting the polling numbers move, and then they kind of revert back somewhat at least to the norm on gun control what we see on something like gay marriage, however is a sort of steady shift towards more equality, and so people have looked at the sort of arc of polling over time. Think this may be more. More of the latter, that is Americans tend to move towards greater equality over time, and that this might be particularly big jump in the numbers, but that they keep heading in the direction of addressing and trying to fix racial injustice so I would be surprised. We saw it kind of revert back to the old norm. The way the way we do something like now while there's a kind of a paradigm shift here in terms of attitudes about race and racism in American society and an American institutions. It is not translating to the policy. Of the protesters this is GonNa. Be the conversation that we have with our next guest. Alex vitale about the defunding police movement and the more radical prescription, which is abolishing police, as we know it, so talk about what the poll shows in terms of how far the American people are willing to not go in terms of those kinds of solutions to what is perceived to be a policing problem in the country right now. Yeah, so you know obviously de-fund the police in quotation marks has become the rallying cry in the major demand of these protests. It's been something that's been pushed for an activist circles for some time, but you know the American people. Probably weren't even aware that it was a thing until about twelve days ago, so we were the first I think the first pole to ask about cutting funding, police departments and weather people approved or disapproved of this was on May, twenty ninth and thirtieth kind of the height of the early chaotic protests. We got remarkably low numbers of approval for that I believe. Believe. It was sixteen percent overall approved cutting funding for police departments. We found in this poll. We asked again to sort of gauge how it's changed over the last ten days or so only twenty five percent of the public favor cutting funding for police departments. That's much less than fifty three percent who oppose cuts if you put it in just if you just. The police or cut police department. It is not a popular policy fifty nine percent of Americans. We kind of tested sort of various views. Which of these do you agree more with more closely represents your view. Fifty nine percent agree that quote. Police departments have a problem with race, but the problem can be fixed by reforming the existing system just twenty four percent again about a quarter say that police reform hasn't worked and that we need to define the police and reinvent our approach to public safety. We also asked. Do you think we need more or less cops on the street? Four percent of Americans insisted that we need more cops on the street. Not less and black Americans were evenly divided on the issue, they were the most inclined to say less cops, but even then fifty fifty on that issue and one of the things I was interested in was is is a question of just how much people know they just here? de-fund the police and they reject that because they think it means doing away with the police are giving police. Police no money that there will be no one on the other end of the line when you call nine one one, so we asked in sort of to kind of like less extreme ways where we explained what activists are actually calling for and one of those ways was. Would you support spending less money on police? In order to invest more money in a community education housing and healthcare programs? Even then a plurality were still opposed to that, and then we. We gave the most generous explanation which was do you support gradually read redirecting police funding towards an increasing number of social workers, drug counselors and mental health experts responsible for responding to nine violent emergencies, and that's a key, tended of most defunding proposals, and that got a plurality support, but it was forty nine percent I wasn't even more than half, so I think no matter how you put it. This is not a policy with a huge groundswell of public support. Support Behind it, so Andrew this strikes me as a dichotomy here because while we have broad and growing public support for the protests in general, the specific demands that the protesters are putting forth are not supported by the American people, and so when you take a look at what's going on in Seattle right now. Where the protesters have set up their own autonomous own demanding that the mayor take drastic action to de-fund the Seattle police? Department, it is not. Something that seems to resonate with the people who have been polled here, so I wonder if that we were talking a moment ago. Is this going to last or is? Could attitudes change back again? And I'm wondering if that dichotomy between the support for the protests in general and the lack of support for what they're demanding may lead to some change in these numbers over time. Yeah, I'm really. I think that's really interesting. There were some other questions in the poll that maybe got at this. We asked a couple different ways. You know you support. Protests even when they become violin. And I think there was something like three quarters of Americans. Saying that would that would be going too far, we asked. Should the protesters keep protesting or stop protesting at this point? And I think it was almost evenly divided something like forty to forty four percent on that question I'm so. I think that there is there are ways that the protests can go too far. I will say politically. Politically I'm not giving that. We have a Republican Party. In Democratic Party I'm not sure that that is a bad thing for Democrats. It puts them in a slightly complicated position because they have to. You know a lot of these protesters are sort of in the democratic tent, and they need to address these concerns, but we know if you were to say which approach to addressing these issues to support the one that would. Would gain by far. The most favor in the poll is pretty much exactly what Democrats are proposing to do, which is pretty large scale reforms to the policing system to address systemic racism here in the United States I mean. We did almost everything in the democratic bill in this poll and it gets you know they get seventy eighty percent support you know things like police have to wear body cameras, and so on the. The Democratic Official Democratic Party position is very popular at this point. Yeah and Biden was actually fairly nimble about this for a campaign that has not been all that nimble throughout this period. He came out quickly and said that he does not support defunding the police buddy does support reform, and so he's obviously in the mainstream of where the Democratic Party is I'm sure he supports the Democratic proposal that the House has just. Put Out I think it's fair to say that none of these numbers look good for president trump, and that law and order mantra he's going to on. Twitter seems to be coming across as increasingly hollow so Andrew I. WanNa thank you for this We have a good gas to talk about this fund the Police Movement Andrew Vitale, and let's explore and get on with the show. Thank you Andrew. Thanks so much. It's no secret that our world has been interrupted. World interrupted is a daily podcast telling stories of coronavirus and its impact on the economy. We want to cover the issues in the macro global economics, stock market, and our political climate also cover the micro stories. Maybe the ones you don't hear as much about in the news or the media. We hope you'll listen and be. Part of the journey subscribed today on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. We are now joined by Alex Vitality, the author of the book, the end of policing a professor of sociology at Brooklyn College Alex Welcome to skulduggery. Thanks guys happy to be here so quite a lot of attention these days on what we do about police departments across the country in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing, and you've written quite a provocative book. Book. That's getting a lot of attention that calls for essentially the dismantling of police departments across the country and WanNa. Get Watch. Give you this chance to sort of tell us what you mean when you say the end of policing. What are we talking about? We're talking about dialing back. Really a toxic politics that has dominated both parties over the last forty years. Which says that all government can do is to subsidize the already most successful parts of the economy in hopes that some of that will magically trickle down to the rest of us, and in the process it's created mass homelessness mass problems of untreated mental illness opioid overdoses through the roof, failing schools, and then they turned all of those problems over to the police to manage, and so the book is. Is really a roadmap for dismantling our over reliance on policing in it's. It's demand for political reform that our politicians be held accountable for using the police on the already most vulnerable communities in our society, instead of actually fixing their problems Alex before we get into the substance of your proposals, and what the specific problems are now beyond what you just said I want to ask you to two. Two quick questions and one of them is is really about how we got here. The roots of the kinds of policing that you're identifying, but before that just very quickly, you know. A lot of people have been shocked by the violent tactics of some police in controlling these protests, the militarized response, the knockdown of that seventy five year old activists in Buffalo, the targeting of reporters. What have you seen? Seen in the police's conduct over the last couple of weeks that sheds light on the problems of policing in America. Well first of all they're. They're making our point for us. I don't know if you guys covered Ferguson, but I certainly watched those protests in the way. The police handled them and then I've watched. What's happened this past week and a half and I don't see any police reform. I don't see any changes to the violence in policing I. Don't see any effort to create police community partnerships. You know when push comes to shove. The police are showing US their true colors. They are violence. Workers were often not really interested in the well being huge parts of the population, and that we need to get them out of our lives. In every way, we can figure out how to do so. Who's the them well? It depends on what we're talking about what you just said them and I. Send it in a way that would suggest all police, officers or most police officers. But who do you have in mind when you say them? Okay, sorry I. It's not about good apples and bad apples. This is not about sorting out who the good police officers are in the bad police officers because I I think a lot of that is irrelevant in distraction, right? It's also not about demonizing police officers individuals I've been a police scholar for over twenty years. I work with police all over the world. Please call me all the time. I get emails from them. I ride around in. In the back of patrol cars as I travel around the world. Most people go into policing because they think they're trying to help. The problem is is that that job doesn't allow them to provide the kind of help that they think they can provide. It relies on the tools of criminalization to try to imagine that they're protecting everyone from the bad guys. This is about failure to understand the limits of policing in producing safer and more just communities. That's what this is really about. Policing is not the only way to produce public safety or to produce justice. Want to ask you just. Quickly about how we got here and we do a Lotta history on this podcast, because we think it informs the president, and and the future, and there's a line in your book where you say that the thin Blue Line is between haves and have nots. Normally people talk about the thin Blue Line, being being between civilization and chaos, but you have a kind of an economic interpretation of what policing has been about in this country, and also that it's always been highly racial is, so we don't have time to do the whole history, but very quickly give us your theory of how the police have evolved, and what their role in society has become based on history. Policing is a fairly modern invention for the most part. It's less than two hundred years old about one hundred fifty years in most places in the US, and Europe, and it gets created in that nineteenth century to manage regimes of exploitation around colonialism slavery, and the management of a new urban industrial working class, and it was not about producing safer and more just communities that that may have been a byproduct of those who benefit from those systems, but really policing is rooted in. In the maintenance of inequality, regardless of the attitudes or desires of individual officers and today, we don't have slavery colonialism. We barely have industrialization in the US right. What we have is mass homelessness and mass, mental illness and mass involvement in black market because of people's economic precarity, and that's what police do all day is they manage that population of people they go into the most valuable communities to try to micromanage those people with the tools of arrests and handguns and ticket books. So I, just WANNA. Come back a little bit to exactly what you are proposing here because you spend a lot of time in your book. debunking the liberal reforms that Democrats are now pushing for that. A lot of critics of police departments are pushing for wearing body cameras. Abolishing choke holds more accountability. You say these don't matter. They are pointless, so what exactly? Do, you want to see in major police departments right now. What are we talking about? Yeah, these were forums, implicit bias, training and police community meetings, and even some of the accountability stop. It's just not working. So what do we do instead? We have to look to what this de-fund movement really is. It was already occurring kind of percolating under the radar dozens of cities across the US where people were lining up to go to budget committee hearings were off being city council members demanding that they shift dollars from policing and jails into community identified targeted interventions that are tailored to address specific public safety concerns that those. Those communities have so and so in in Saint Louis where we have closed. The work houses an amazing campaign that wants to close a jail and put that money into community based anti-violence projects. Youth Programs Homelessness and Mental Health Services. So this is about municipal politics, and it's most pure for, but what about the police departments that people who patrol the streets who you call when you've been mugged or robbed or shot? At what are you proposing should happen to the police officers on the streets I. Think we gotta find that magic switch in Washington that we can just turn off and then poof air no police. Right that that's which doesn't exist. There's no city council in the United States that's going to create a zero dollar budget for the police this year in the budget cycle right that this is like a diversion from going from you know zero, two thousand and ignoring all the steps in between this is about evidence based strategies for dialing back our reliance on policing and where that process ends depends on where the evidence leads us. We've gotta starts taking off as much as can of what police do and replacing it with better alternatives that includes things like you, violence and domestic violence and sexual assaults. We have evidence based strategies to replace so much of what police do, but it's not gonNA happen overnight. We have to build up the community infrastructures. We have to win broader popular support for these ideas, but we can start with establishing a logic about getting. Getting police out of the schools in putting more counselors in or getting police out of the mental health business. You Know L., A. County New York City have fully developed plan under discussion about completely getting the police out of the mental health business, it would say huge amounts of money and wives but Alex. why not, if it is gonNA, take a lot of time to build that infrastructure that is needed the social services. Mental Health System Housing better education, all of those things. Why not while we're trying to get to that promise land? Why don't we institute a lot more of these reforms and I wanted to I want to talk specifically about some of the ones that have been proposed, but it is also I. Think the case that sense two thousand fifteen when the black lives matter activism. Activism started to rise up and some of these reforms began to be instituted that the numbers actually have come down somewhat in terms of the killings of unarmed black men in particular, not a lot, but the Washington Post reported that since then it's come down by about ten percent. Is that not in any way attributable to some of the reforms that have been instituted? In other words, why is it an either or proposition? So it does require that we get into the weeds, a little bit right, and that we sort out the difference between a whole set of really superficial procedural reforms, implicit bias, training and mindfulness, training and police community partnership meetings. These are interventions that are designed at room to get the community to restore its trust in the police to reestablish the legitimacy of relying on police to solve our problems. There's also a set of. Of Reform some of which are included in the eight can't wait program that are essentially harm. Reduction interventions their efforts to dial back the power of police by limiting their ability to use force, and it is possible that some of those interventions would make some difference I don't disagree with that. There is some evidence to show that, but it's marginal. We've had six years of a national crisis and we've gotten maybe a ten percent reduction. That may be the result of a whole. Whole set of factors that to me is not very encouraging. Here's one that I think is interesting, which is in the eight can't wait set of proposals, and it is, and I think maybe the Democrats in their plan may get it this as well, but I'm not sure, but it is called a duty to intervene, and it is the idea that if a police officer is abusing his or her power, and doing something really inappropriate that the police officers around them have A. A duty to intervene and stop them and if that had happened in the George Floyd case presumably George Floyd would still be with us, but I think that's an interesting idea. Because it gets at this idea of the culture of loyalty inside the police, and you talk a lot about the need to change the culture in the police. So why wouldn't that work so I? Don't I'm not trying to change? The culture of policing I'm not sure it's possible and the thing is. They had such duty Minneapolis on the books. Those officers who stood around had received specific training that demanded that they intervene, and they did nothing and even more so. That demand is superfluous because existing regulations already a require that police intervened to save people's lives, they have sanctity of life requirements and low level use of force requirements, and this is routinely ignored and never enforce their never any consequences for these officers, and even when there are in those rare cases, it does not appear to feed back into the behavior of fleecing in an ongoing way. It just doesn't work as you know. The majority of victims of homicides in this country year after year are people of Color in Chicago which has had the worst epidemic of murders over the last. Decade Ninety three percent. Of the victims of murders in Chicago in two thousand eighteen were people of color, eighty percent African American. Thirteen Percent Hispanic, and I want to read you something from an article in the Chicago sun-times. Just a couple of days ago, while Chicago was royal by another day of protests and looting in the wake of George Floyd's murder, eighteen people were killed. Sunday may thirty one making it the single most violent day in Chicago in six decades for that weekend, twenty five people were killed with another eighty-five wounded by gunfire, making it. The most may have been the. The most violent weekend in Chicago history, and then the article goes on to quote Reverend Michael Pfleger a longtime crusader against gun violence said it was open season last weekend in his neighborhood and others in the south and West sides of Chicago quote on Saturday and particularly Sunday. I heard people saying all over. Hey, there's no police anywhere. Police ain't doing nothing. I sat and watched a store looted for over an hour. No police came I got in my car drove around to some other places didn't see police anywhere. What would you say to the Reverend Pfleger? Well, I would say that policing even when they are filling, the neighborhoods has not solved the violence problem in Chicago, and also that this problem is not going to be solved overnight. We have to create new infrastructures and I would ask that reverend has he also asked for new community centers for young people in this community? Has He also embraced putting in more cure? Violence programs to deal with with youth violence. He's a longtime crusader for a against gun violence. Right? My guess is that he has and we're those resources. These communities have been told for for forty plus years. Now that the only tool they can have to address problems like youth. Violence is more police, and so of course with the choice as police are nothing, a lot of people are going to choose police, and the whole point of this is to put other options on the table. Mean these killings are appalling, but in New York. We've had high. Research about the ability of these cure violence sites to reduce homicides and shootings dramatically. And in Chicago they have cut those programs so Alex just in very practical terms, so that people can understand what we would be replacing traditional policing with. Clearly, there are going to be a lot of times when you can have mental health professionals respond to certain kinds of calls or If there's an issue with a homeless person. You can have someone who's got that kind of expertise. But when would it be appropriate for the response to be you know a police officer or some kind of public safety officer. With a uniform badge and a weapon, an ever are there. Do you envision circumstances in which that kind of policing would still be necessary? It's quite possible I mean. We don't know what the end of this process is going to look like. But states are going to always need some kind of capacity to mobilize violence, but it should be understood as the tool of absolute last resort, but instead we've made it the tool of first resort to address every problem under the Sun Right, actually have this admittedly a political question or a question about public persuasion, but you have a set of policy ideas here that you clearly hope becomes a reality, and that is about the kind of framing of this issue. The slogans defunding police abolished the police title of Your Book. The end of policing I wonder for a lot of people today. Maybe the vast majority of Americans those slogans are kind of conversation enders. And how do you think about? Other than doing podcasts like this one. How do you think about getting the message out to the American people? The nuances that you're talking about the fact that this is not something that happens overnight that this can be done while at the same time continuing to protect the safety of people. Are you at all concerned that in the atmosphere of these protests that that message is being simplified? Look Public Messaging is tricky here. I've spent the last three years. Criss crossing the country I've been on a plane every other week for three years before Cogan happened being invited by communities trying to figure this out, so there is a hunger. There's a hunger out there for a new way to move forward. And my publisher for me that there have been two hundred thousand downloads of my e book in the last two weeks, so people are trying to figure this out, and I'm doing ten twelve interviews a day everywhere. I can find a chance to do it to get this message out, and so are dozens of other people in this movement all across the country. Yes. Yes defunding police is not the whole story. It is confusing to some people, but it's hard to put this full analysis down on a cardboard sign. It's hard to reduce to a Hashtag. We need that opportunity to explain it to people and most importantly in communities that have public safety challenges. We have an obligation to work with them to convince them that we. We have credible alternatives. So this is not going to be fixed at the top with some kind of technocratic intervention. This is about taking the community organizing to a new level. Your book talks a lot about the evolution of policing over the years and one that really did hit home for me. Is Your discussion of the ten thirty three program? Tell us what. What that is and what it's meant for police departments yeah, so in in the late nineties under the Clinton administration, they decided to enable the direct transfer of surplus military equipment to local police, departments and massive amounts of equipment has been transferred in addition especially after nine eleven, there was a massive increase in grants to allow the direct purchase of military grade equipment. So this has flooded cities, big and small with Humvees and bearcats and sniper rifles, and all this tear gas that we see all across the country, and I think this is a terrible development. It is expanding police power. It is expanding police violence, and it's being used at the moment to suppress lawful protests, so there is language in the new Congressional Bill. Bill from the Democrats to radically Pare back ten thirty three, and to create more accountability for the use of that stuff, and it's certainly a step in the right direction. I was just GonNa. Say I saw the real life impact of that I remember when I was covering the Boston Marathon bombing and remembering one day vividly couple days later when just? Just saw down the street, just roll after row of armored personnel, carriers and officers with assault rifles, all at that point looking for one guy, the WHO is still alive and was responsible for the bombing, but it was a pretty scary sight to see and I think your discussion of that for me, but I wanna ask you one other aspect of this the impact of the one thousand nine hundred ninety four crime bill that was shepherded by then Senator Joe, Biden Yeah, so I don't want to overstate the importance of that one bill because as you know, policing is a local matter primarily, and it was local prosecutors and local state legislatures that played the predominant role in driving things like mass incarceration. But the ninety four crime bill has been horrible. It has been part of this process of turning over everything to police to manage and subsidizing this process at the local level, so it was responsible for creating more police in schools for intensifying the war on drugs for turning the problems of communal violence over to the criminal justice system to manage exclusively. It actually diverted resources from community based strategies. So this is a real problem in there, there's actually A. A National Movement, the People's Coalition for safety and freedom. That's doing organizing around the country to try to articulate what an alternative to the ninety four crime bill would be for the next congress so I'd like to go a little bit further back in history to discuss another I, think key inflection points, and that's the nineteen sixty eight presidential campaign which we've talked a lot about on this podcast recently and to set it up and the impact that. That had on all of the issues that we're talking about now I wanna read a passage from your book which I think a lot of our listeners will find astonishing the Nixon campaign in nineteen, sixty eight, and the Nixon White House after that had to enemies, the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I'm saying now this is this is Eric. Men who was the? Chief of Staff Deputy Chief of staff for domestic policy. We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but getting the public to associate the hipsters with marijuana and black's with heroin, and then criminalising both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We can arrest their leaders raid their homes. Break up their meetings and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did so talk about that period and the Nixon southern strategy and how that led to where we are today. Yeah. That's usually where I began this conversation about this over reliance on policing this expansion of the scope of policing, it is about using the police to advance a political project. That had nothing to do with public health or public safety right? The war on drugs was part of the southern strategy of trying to win over traditionally democratic white southern voters and some suburban voters in the north over to the Republican Party in the wake of the civil rights. Movement and Nixon knew that law and order was normally state issue, but he said you know drugs, Cross international borders and state lines often, and we have these international treaties, so we can get into the drug business, and we can use that to signal to whites that if they WANNA try to restore racial animus and racial inequality in the United States. We're the party for them that. That the Democrats passed. The civil rights acts. They have abandoned you, but you can find racism at home with us. This is the political problem. We're up against just to wrap up here. You talked about all the downloads of your book and all the attention it's getting but look this is a active and live debate. It's going on in Congress. The Democrats have just introduced their response to the George Floyd killing and their proposals city council's are debating measures across the country. Are you taking an active role in this debate beyond doing podcasts? Are you testifying? Do you plan to be out in some of the communities that are grappling with these? Tell us which. Role vising put advising police departments. Who are who are? Pushing for this, yeah, not police departments I didn't write the book for Police Police did not create the war on drugs right? This is a political problem, so my inbox is filled filled with emails from elected officials around the country who are looking into how to respond to this and I'm you know part of a network of people I'm not the only person with this analysis you know I'm bedded in a community of people who are trying to sort this out and we're. We're in touch with each other on a regular basis and yes. Mayor City Council members district attorney's controllers have all reached out to me and over the next few weeks I hope to get back to as many of them as I can to start figuring out. How do this and at the same time I'm also you know because I've spent the last three years traveling the country. I have connections with these groups all over the country and I. Them and I'm I. Have you know a phone call with Patrisse cullors coming up and you know I'm trying to directly assist this movement in any way I can. Well, since there isn't a magic switch to flip, and this is going to take some time, you'll have the opportunity to speak to a lot of other people, and we hope you'll come back and talk to our audience on skulduggery. Thanks for joining us you I really appreciate getting to the to the hardest matter and exploring some tough issues with you guys and the book is called the end of policing. The Yahoo, news national, correspondent, Andrew, D'Amato and sociology professor at Brooklyn College Author Alex Vitality for joining us on skulduggery, forget to subscribe to skulduggery on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to your podcasts and tell us what you think Lee. Review be sure to follow us on social media at skullduggery pot. We'll talk to you soon.

US George Floyd Police Police president Andrew Chicago Yahoo Alex Biden Alex Vitale America officer Twitter Seattle Republican Party Michael ISIKOFF WanNa Minneapolis NFL
Protesters and Social Distancing

Skullduggery

54:33 min | 2 months ago

Protesters and Social Distancing

"A Michael ISIKOFF chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo. News and I'm Dan Kleinman editor in chief of Yahoo, news and a quick reminder that you can follow us at skulduggery Pod, and by the way. If you've got any questions, thoughts ideas, you wanNA share tweet right out us now. Let's get on with the show. They marched by the tens of thousands in Washington DC in New York and Chicago and across the country demonstrators largely peaceful, took to the streets this weekend to protest the death of George Floyd, in what many see is the systematic racism that signifies, and while the protests undoubtedly sent a powerful message about the depths of anger and despair, among millions of African Americans and persons of Color. It also may have sent another message about the steady collapse of social distancing during the covid nineteen pandemic. Will, a past week of protests caused a spike in the numbers of those infected and dying from the disease, and how to public health experts persuade increasingly restless public from opening up their businesses or going to the beach or attending church services when they see so many protesters, congregating in large numbers and walking side-by-side on crowded streets will discuss with Scott Gottlieb the former FDA commissioner under president, trump and Kavita Patel, a former Obama, administration, public health, official, and Yahoo. News contributor on this episode of skulduggery. because. People have gotta know whether or not their president's pro bowl. I'm not a crook. I told the American people. I did not trade arms for hostile. My Heart in my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence. Tell me it is not. I did not have sexual relations with that one. There will be no lies. We will honor the American people with the Truth and nothing else. Michael ISIKOFF chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo News and I'm Dan Kleinman editor in chief of Yahoo News. So I like many of us were watching the protests yesterday on TV. I didn't go down. To observe them firsthand, and they were striking, they were moving at times, and it is true. Many were wearing masks, but many were not, and they were crowded together. People within you know a couple of feet, if not inches of each other after we've been told consistently about the need to stay six feet away from everybody else and I think this is really going to be could be a inflection point in the whole social distancing effort. In fact, I'm looking at today's Washington. Post op ED column by Meghan. Meghan mcardle R.I.P social distancing making the point that we're going to discuss with Doctors Gottlieb in Patel about. How do you maintain that message about the virus? When so many people are out there? Ignoring that message? Yeah, I would say that I think people aren't blithely ignoring that message I think this is a a kind of a conflict between people's very strong views and principles about racism, and what's been going on in the world and the treatment that African Americans have suffered at the hands of police and. Their health and a lot of people have made the choice to go out there and put their health and potentially the health of other people at some risk. I will say I won't dispute. That I'm just saying that it's pretty hard to maintain that message about the virus. When so many people are out there? Yeah, although although I know no yeah, and that's a that's an. An inflection point some kind of turning points in terms of attitudes towards social distancing. We will see first of all. We'll have to see whether there are going to be significant spikes. Don't know, be we now for the first time at least on the east coast have a lot of warm weather. We don't really know what the impact of warm weather is on this virus the. The science about this virus has evolved over time, which is that it is less dangerous outdoors than it is indoors, and then secondly it is certainly possible that if there are spikes, and we see the numbers to really go up again that people won't go back to social distancing, so I think there are a lot of open questions. I will say that today. I, we're recording. Recording this part of the podcast on Sunday, so the day after these protests here in New York which of course, the world epicenter of the disease and governor. Cuomo said we aren't just flattening the curve. We have crushed the curve. Deaths are down to about thirty a day, which is a huge drop. Hospitalizations have have plummeted. Clearly, the social distancing worked, and I think it's. Remains to be seen what happens going forward, but I think people have proven that they can do it. Once I'm not so sure that if necessary, they couldn't do it again. Remains to be seen, and you know we have already seen some upticks, and actually in some cases, sharp increases in certain cities in. Dallas and Houston has at a steady rise. You look at the numbers and north. Carolina and they're climbing. You look at the numbers in. Florida they do seem to be going up, so we'll see and we'll. We'll see what Doctors Gottlieb Patel say my guess is. They're going to be quite concerned about this. But ISSAKOV. You talked about inflection points and I wonder if there's another inflection point that we're seeing in these protests, because it seems like for the last few days, and particularly Saturday and Saturday evening, a lot of the violence that we had seen seems. Seems to have started to dissipate. There are clearly isolated cases of violence and brutality. We saw the seventy five year old man knocked down in buffalo blood streaming from his mouth, and the COP just walk walking by him. They were fired and are being prosecuted, but largely speaking these protests have become much more peaceful and less violent confrontations with the police. What's your view? Well I mean I think that's that's unquestionably true. For some of those in the trump administration, noticeably Attorney General William Bar. He's still fixated on the violence and looting that did take place early on, and I thought the interview he did on face. The nation was was kind of eliminating about how he sees the world, and how he sees these protests, and what prompted him to make that historic directive on Monday to clear out the protesters from Lafayette. Park and expand the perimeter. Let's listen to an exchange that he had with Margaret. Brennan of CBS on face, the nation in an environment where the debate is about heavy handed use of force and law enforcement. Was that the right message? For Americans to be receiving well, the message is sometimes communicated by the media. I didn't see in A. Video being played on the media. What was happening? Friday Saturday and Sunday. was comments about peaceful. The protesters were I didn't hear in about the fact that one hundred and fifty law enforcement officers injured in many taken to the hospital with concussions. So it wasn't a peaceful protest. We had to get control over Lafayette Park. So you can hear. There are very fixated defending his conduct, his decisions and very much fixated on the looting and the violence that was occurring early on and very much fix fixating on the big lies, being perpetrated by the media look. Yeah, you know this is our hands. Always the case that especially us in covering the news that we are covering kind of dueling narratives, people see the world in very different ways very much shaped by their own personal experiences over time and bill. Bar Sees what has happened over the last couple of weeks in very very different terms from a lot of other people. His narrative is that the cops are good by and large. There are some bad apples which. which needs to be weeded out that these protests while a lot of them have been peaceful, he is fixated as you say on the violence and the looting and I also thought it was pretty interesting when he just dismissed the idea of a pattern and practice, civil rights investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department. You remember few pods ago. We had been up to the former head of the Civil Rights Division at Justice. Justice under President Obama talking about how this Justice Department has all, but abandoned the hinds of investigations that she was doing when she was there into the systematic practices of particular police departments. She did at Ferguson. She did it at Chicago. She did it in some other cities and bar just sort of off handedly. There's no need for that. We don't need to do that, you know. Let's let the state and locals take. Take care of that well I have a little bit of I. Think insight into his thinking on this because I talked to a friend of his recently, and it does come from a pretty ideologically fixed view of of the law and of the role that the federal judiciary should play, I think what he believes. Is You know these pattern and practice investigations under the Obama Administration? They have led to consent. Decrees were essentially. The Justice Department kind of takes over police. Departments imposes all sorts of reforms that these police departments to do these consent decrees are overseen by federal judges and bar thinks. The judiciary the unelected. Judiciary has is too involved in police departments, and that is not their role. They are exercising too much power unaccountable power, and they should basically, but out so should he take comfort from all the conservative judges? Mitch McConnell has rammed through. Who? Judges, who no doubt share bars larger philosophy of the law, the yeah well I don't think he's taking any chances. I. Just I don't think we're going. See New era holdovers. Yeah! I don't think we're going to see new era of bar imposed consent decrees, police departments around the country. This strikes me as an issue that that the Biden will take up in a forceful way, saying you know if I'm elected president, this is the kind of steps I'll take to to root out the kind of racism I mean it's. I agree with you I. also think this is tricky territory for for Biden. There is a a movement in this country to fund the police kind of the more radical take on that is that the police actually ought to be disbanded I kind of raised to the ground and rebuilt with a new philosophy, and I don't think that Biden is going to be able to touch that. You could already see trump tweeting that sleepy. Joe Supports defunding the police and. I think Biden is going to be walking that line carefully because there are a lot of suburban voters out there, that might be concerned about going too far in that direction, so it'll be a test of his nimble nece on these issues, and we do have to discuss this De. Fund the Police Movement We've got Alex Vitelle, whose guests a big promoter of it coming on the pod Wednesday to discuss it, we also have. have an excellent story by our Andrew. Romano Suzanne Smalley on this movement de-fund. The police is one of those phrases that is clearly going to Spook a Lotta people. What are we talking about here? we talking about dismantling police departments, or are we talking about shifting some funds away? It's a it's a sort of murky area, and in cities like Chicago or Washington where you still have high crime rates and really unacceptable murder rates. That disproportionately affect communities of color I just wonder how politically saleable that slogan is yeah, it's a it's a tricky issue, but I will say that if one of the things that comes out of these protests is a conversation, a civil conversation and thoughtful conversation about those kinds of policies. How far to go what the limits should be your shouldn't be you know that's a good thing. We shall see, but right now we have an important conversation to have about what all this means for Covid nineteen, where we are with Doctors Gottlieb in Patel. So let's get to it. It's no secret that our world has been interrupted. World interrupted is a daily podcast telling stories of coronavirus and its impact on the economy. We want to cover the issues in the macro global economics, the stock market and our political climate will also cover the micro stories. Maybe the ones you don't hear much about in the news or the media. We, you'll listen and be a part of the journey subscribed today on Apple podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. We are now joined by Scott Gottlieb the former FDA commissioner and Kavita Patel. Regular Yahoo News Health analyst and former Obama administration public health official Doctors Gottlieb and petal welcomed skulduggery. into thanks. So I just want to start out to you Dr Gottlieb. You were on I. Think CNBC May Twenty Second, and you talked about how the country could return to some degree of normalcy by the summer, and now since then we've had these waves of protests in light of the death of George Floyd with. Thousands of people in streets across the country, not adhering to social distancing restrictions. How worried are you right now that this is going to upset the apple cart and cause you to revise what you were saying just a few weeks ago about the country getting back to normal well, take a step back in terms of the outlook from you know two or three weeks. Weeks ago and from that APP may interview on CNBC. I really thought we would get back to what I was defining as the new normal that we were going to get back to an environment where this summer was going to provide a seasonal effect crossovers typically seasonal, so they don't spread as efficiently in hot humid weather, so we'd get the benefit of that. And if we practiced good techniques, in terms of you know personal hygiene handwashing wearing masks when we went out trying to reduce our activity to move as many activities outdoors as we could, amas may social activities outside we know the risk of transmission is less. That we could define a new normal where we wouldn't see an acceleration in cases and we SORTA would have perhaps what I was referring to is a slow burn through. The summer wouldn't come down a lot, but they wouldn't go up. We've in fact seen since then is cases really bounce around twenty thousand a day? They're starting to go up a little bit more now. See some states that we're. Cases are accelerating and not just new cases because we can't really look just at new cases because we're. We're doing a lot more testing, so we're going to diagnose more cases, and we'll probably diagnosing a higher percentage of the total cases in the country before we were probably diagnosing somewhere between one and ten or one and twenty cases probably now doing better than that. That we're diagnosing at least one in ten cases, but you're seeing hospitalizations. Go Up to in certain states when you look at Arizona Arkansas Florida Georgia. Texas North Carolina South, Carolina. You're seeing some worrisome trends even before events of the past week now the events of the past week where you saw very large groups gathering people were still you know you look at the pictures from those those gatherings protests, you still see a lot of people wearing masks, presumably people are still taking precautions in those gatherings, but they certainly create. Create risk, they certainly create additional risk that you could have new chain of transmission coming out of those events. We're really not going to know and see the consequence of that for a number of weeks. Ultimately you need a couple of you need a couple of replication cycles until you start to see the implications. Let me just ask you some very kind of a practical question about this. Because we are often find ourselves in situations where we have to try to reconcile as best we can conflicting imperatives, and for a lot of. Of People, obviously everyone's health is a huge imperative, but for a lot of people going out and protesting and expressing their values and dealing with these issues of justice is also a powerful imperative. So what specifically would you say? People who feel compelled to go out there and protest should do to protect themselves to protect people around them. What can you do all do some of the things that you saw people doing in those gatherings? You saw a lot of people wearing masks, so a lot of people wearing high quality masks. Try to engage in a level of social distancing to extent possible. You know not not get grouped up really close, but try to maintain some distance. It's obviously an. It's obviously something people that doing outside, so there's less underlying risk than doing something in a closed setting indoors, but there are still risks because you're bringing large groups of people and the risk is going to correlate with the background rate in the population, so in a lower prevalence part of the country, the risk would be lower than a higher prevalence part of the country meeting. You know part of the country are state. That's already experiencing a large outbreak. The risk is obviously higher because there's a higher percentage chance that there. There are people in the crowd who are going to have the infection and risks transmitting it, neither by and large. When you look at the pictures, there's a lot of young people in these crowds there, obviously more likely to be symptomatic, and and not have outward signs of infection, so that increases the risk that you have dramatic spread within those within those gatherings, and so people obviously felt compelled for all the reasons you said to go out and protest. They knew the risks. A lot of people took precautions. There's things to get to the in language. You question its things. You can do to reduce your personal risk by practicing good tactics wearing a mask trying to distance where you can. Pick up on this I wonder and I'd like to expand this to both of you Dr. Godly Dr. Patel to you appreciate how this could come across as mixed messages just a few weeks ago. When we saw the demonstrations in Michigan and elsewhere for people demanding that the economy be opened up, there was a sort of almost universal decrying those protesters for violating basic social distancing restrictions, and they would argue they were. Were protesting to support their livelihood to open up the economy, so people can continue to work and make a living, and now we're hearing somewhat muted messages about the dangers of that and I just want to read you a couple of paragraphs from politico story today for months, public health experts have urged Americans to take every precaution to stop the spread of covid nineteen. Stay at home. Steer clear of friends now some. Some of those same AC experts are broadcasting new message. It's time to get out of the House and joined the mass protests against racism quote. We should always evaluate the risks and benefits to control the virus Jennifer News Oh John Hopkins a Miala just tweeted in this moment, the public health risks of not protesting to demand an end to systematic racism greatly exceeds the harms of the virus. That sounds very different. Different message from public health expert than we were hearing just a couple weeks ago Oh. Look, I'm not going to speak for the people who are in that article I think it's important from public health standpoint that we send a message and I think the messaging. Is that engaging in activities where you're bringing together large groups of people and not practicing good social distancing, not practicing mask crates risk of spreading. Spreading then I think we're. GonNa see some chain of transmission. Get Lit from these gatherings, and we need to understand that now. People who went out into these groups I think by and large did so knowing the risks, and felt compelled to to protest given the events of the past week, but that doesn't change the underlying equation that it creates risk Kavita. Can you weigh in on that? Yeah, because this is. Is actually something that I mean out, but it's probably or at least meet personally incredibly frustrating. Because the first to Scott's point, the messages have been the same from even myself like. If you're first of all, you're going to protests or do any of this, which by the way in the first waves of protests around reopening or having opposition to wearing masks for example that was actually in direct violation of recommendations. Recommendations so what you see now are people not only kind of doing. Of course you see images of people that are not wearing masks, not social distancing, but not a single one of us have ever kind of said. Yes, go out! It's your right to protest and put others in harm's way and I think that's to me the important message and the reason I think you're hearing kind of this muted message. Message that was referred to in that article, and probably from some others who are kind of incredulous at this quote, double standard, which I don't think it's a double standard is because the very nature of what has driven people to accept a risk versus people who did not believe there was a risk, but the nature of this kind of latter stage of alcohol, it just peaceful protests or desire to kind of. Police officers, kneeling wearing masks sixty two part as well so that has come in culminated at a time that has a very different kind of message, so the message from health. Officials Scott. People were leading state governors for example had not change I think what's different about now. Is You have doctors actually late today while we're filming this at one o'clock Eastern, there's actually a kind of a nationwide. Workers kind of you know safe protesting and it's really out of an abundance of frustration with events very separate I think Mike at Important to point out very separate from the health messages, which both times both waves have been about the concerns and spreading this virus, and just to add to what Scott said. I think the only thing I would add is that if you are protesting even a safe environment doing everything you can, if you're in a household where you have a risk or you're worried, came into contact with someone at risk, which is a lot of people you have to do your best. Best to get tested. You know five to seven days later or at least isolate yourself, and so I think you're seeing a lot more kind of recognition of that risk upfront, and also an acknowledgement that they despite these risks want to protest in a safe manner. I want to go back to where we began. Which is where we are in terms of the spread of this disease or containing it, and despite falling in New, York and nationally cases I think you mentioned Dr Gotlib Been Twenty states. It's climbing. So the first question is why and to what extent is that a because? We've lifted restrictions. Restrictions, relaxed our attitudes toward social distancing and other measures and tell us what you think, and then a Dr Patel you should respond as well about if and when a second wave may come in how prepared we are for that. Look we. We expected cases to go up as we reopen the economy. That's why a lot of states prescribed very staged reopenings where they were going to do this. In phases, and in assessing hospitalization rates are going up. I think we always expect the cases to go up I think that you know given events of the last couple of weeks, and he sort of acceleration. Acceleration and the reopening and a lot of states is still had a lot of infection. Probably cases are GONNA go up more than perhaps we anticipated and the question's GonNa be will this of summer backstop be enough to offset the relaxation of the social distancing and the the sort of back to work effort. I think there was there's there's some exhaustion among the population. We've been doing this for two or three months. It's been hard. It's had a big impact on people's health on their economic lives, and so you know it's going to be hard to maintain even the discipline as people go out. The challenge that I. See and all sort of pause here, but is that if we that we have a bump up? In cases, we don't have an epidemic again doesn't become epidemic over the next couple of months, but cases either bounce around where they are now or they go up a little bit more, and we have this sort of slow. Burn through the summer where every day we're turning over twenty twenty five thousand cases if we take that into the fall. That's a very big risk because in September. We're going to want to go back to school back to college campuses, people are going to be back in office as businesses GONNA to restart more in earnest, coming off the August breaks. And that's a lot of risk to be taken into the fall for second wave, and that's what I worry about that. We never really crushed the infection. We have this slow. Burn through the summer and it sets us up for very difficult ball. Kovic slash flu season, so you can imagine. How likely do you think it is that for example schools won't be able to open up in September. And for that matter both political parties have their national conventions at the end of the summer. Do you think that? That it would be wise at this point to do virtual conventions. Well, we'll if you look at the two thousand nine H. M.. When season the flu pandemic that the key epdemic all the way through June collapsed in July and August as there was a seasonal affect with that flu, not saying that that was a very novel flu, we had no cross-community, and then towards the end of August last week in August, and you look at the charts into September accelerated. It just took off and became epidemic again. This could potentially follow a similar pattern. We don't know we just don't know yet, but I think if in July and August we maintain the current levels of infection or perhaps come down from here, but probably maintain the current levels. I think there'll be an attempt to reopen schools in the fall and college campuses and restart activity, and we'll go into it with the hope that we could maintain a sort of that level of infection. Infection with the case based interventions, the testing the tracking the tracing I. think that's going to be very hard if we take twenty thousand infections into September trying to keep up with that as we get into the flu season with testing and tracing. Is GonNa? Be Challenging, because remember it's not twenty thousand infections is probably two hundred thousand infections. 'cause. We're not turning over all the infections computer I don't know what your thoughts on. The only thing I would add to that to augment it just Dan by the way I'll just say I. Don't think anybody is going to. Have a huge convention in person, high security necessities just by nature of political conventions, no matter what we are, but in a year of a pandemic and on the heels of this uncertainty in the country. It just doesn't make sense so I think there's going to have to be some component that's in person, but the majority of the convention. Particularly the way we we've done things are going to have to happen separately. Do do you agree with that Dr Gottlieb? What specifically well Dr Patel said tone, expect there to be in person, maybe very limited in person conventions, but we're going to have to do it essentially virtually. Discussions with with anyone about the convention specifically, but I every indication I get from just reading. The public reports is the Republicans intend to go through with big in-person person convention on are looking for a venue that will accommodate that I think it's partly going to depend on what what the situation looks like in the fall, but if you know I think. Probably the base case is that we see slow-burn through the summer that infections hover around twenty, twenty five thousand a day that we're turning over. We, don't we? Don't see it accelerate, but we don't see it diminish and I think in that kind of environment. There's going to be a lot of pressure to go through with some form of an in person convention. I think I would add is just for the fall for the second way I mean we're learning more about the kind of proportion of these infections that really originated in nursing homes, or at least high risk places that are predictable so I. Really do hope that despite a pretty infectious virus that could be even worse than this first wave that will at least have to Scott's point. Kind of the testing will at least have a little bit more of a better surveillance system combined with a better reaction to the actual can predict on in a way where these infections. Infections could hop by them I want to return to a subject. I asked you about the last time you were on a few weeks ago and also get Dr Gottlieb's thoughts as well like many people I obsess over the numbers I look at them many times a day. State by state and I still have a hard time seeing a correlation between the numbers of cases and deaths and the way the states have imposed social distancing restrictions. Everybody was focused for awhile on Georgia because they opened up early on when I look at total cases per one million population. Georgia is four, thousand, six, hundred, ninety five, and you look at states which have bad much more rigorous restrictions, Maryland nine, thousand, three hundred ninety cases per million almost twice. What Georgia has Michigan more five, thousand, eight, hundred thirty two state by state I, do not see empirical evidence that what the governors are doing in terms of restrictions and lockdowns is reflected in the numbers, so please both of you tell me what I'm not seeing or why. I'm wrong. Couple of things I'll say it's not that you're wrong. It's at the data is one. You have a lag in testing. If you actually look at per capita testing between the two states for example or even cities Atlantic, Atlanta and Baltimore you'll see about three times. The testing done in Baltimore than it was done in Atlanta when Atlanta re open and a lot of that you can look at by kind of positivity rate so that it's number one. It's not apples to apples on some level and then number two. There is actually again. I keep going back to this risk element if you actually look at. At Seattle Baltimore, and some of these incredible hot spots in Atlanta as well they do originate from kind of a kind a constellation of places including nursing homes, so I do think, and this is why I think. Scott mentioned it. I think others have mentioned that it can be dangerous fallacy to the point of you, not being wrong, but the way we look at this data can be wrong that it were just looking at the sheer growth numbers that does not tell the underlying story and in particular. I would argue that in Georgia for example as well as parts and Saudis, the lack of testing and And that. We still I would say Scott can disagree with me. I would argue we still don't know Kinda. One index case occurred the community spread, and when the first case, where now backtracking and saying well, we thought it was Seattle February Twentieth Oh. In fact, it was earlier, and I actually still think we're kind of piecing together. The epidemiology of this virus, so the point made about governors and lockdowns. We do have statistics from Geo location across the country that shows even for like that small period of time having the kind of stay at home order is echoed by the White House actually did matter. Matter so I do think probably the most important data point for me Was this national call the stay at home and that is where we saw dramatic decrease doctor Godly I think you have to look at it from the context that you look at New York the tristate region which implemented some of the most significant mitigation steps they were very heavily seeded, had a major epidemic underway very heavily weighted from travel from Europe, and it's fair to say they crushed epidemic. They the they had the biggest epidemic in the United States and you've seen the New York region. Come sharply down the epidemic curve. To the point where now we're New York's reporting fewer hospitalizations a day in the state of Georgia. The state of Georgia by comparison wasn't as heavily seated, but never crushed their epidemic. Assistant? Spread and the persistent level of cases that in fact looks like it's trending up now, and so they've had this sort of slow burn. They've maintained a base level of infection and never really crushed epidemic now the question's GonNa. Be whether or not you need to really crush the epidemic and drive cases all the way down to set up lower risk for the fall, or whether we we still are going to be at equal risk for the fall. What's your advice on that my? My advice is I. Think you really need to get to a point like Japan or South Korea where you Germany? Where you effectively extinguish spread, she can get back to a baseline of very little spread to set up a situation for the fall where we could potentially avert or mitigate a second wave. I think taking a lot of infection into the fall when the conditions are more ripe for spread as very risky. Dr Golly I. WanNa ask about vaccines. We we've heard a lot of. Kind of all kinds of conflicting things about a potential covid, nineteen vaccine that early trials are extremely promising that the process is moving faster than it ever has before, but also. You're hearing some experts saying that there may never be effective vaccine. So what's your view on this? Should we BE OPTIMISTIC OR PESSIMISTIC? And I guess if you had to predict where we'll be next year in terms of vaccine. What would you say based on everything you know right now, but I think that all the data that we've seen and granted. It's very early data from the animal studies price days as well as early human data on several vaccines. Suggest that we can get a vaccine to covert nineteen and six months ago. We weren't sure that we'd be able to develop a vaccine whether you can use a vaccine construct to induce. Durable immunity in in a human against this virus and I. Think the answer to that question is you can based on data. So we're going to be able to draw I'm hopeful we're going to develop a vaccine for this I think that. The platforms that we're taking forward. The five that have been selected so far are all very novel platforms. Three are viral vector platforms in to our marinate platforms, and what that means is three of them use viruses that are modified to deliver the protein that's on the surface of the corona virus that we want the body to develop immunity. That's very novel way of developing a vaccine. The other two are MRI vaccines including one by visor, which I'm on the board of and what those vaccines are built off of our platforms where what you're delivering to the person to patient is a sequence of the genetic. Genetic information from the corona virus that codes for that same protein, so by giving that genetic material to a person that person's body then takes up that genetic material and starts to manufacture on their own that protein, and then your body develops antibodies against that protein and the corona virus protein that we're talking about here. Is this spike protein? The protein that the coronavirus uses to invade ourselves sells these are very novel vaccine technologies, and because of that novelty. There's a lot of unknowns. There's a lot of things that could delay these programs. There's still potential theoretical risks associated with them, and so you know we're. We're GONNA have to wait and see how quickly we can advance programs. I think in a best case. A licensed vaccine is really an early twenty twenty one event in a best case, we'll have the vaccine stock available by the end of this year, because we're starting to manufacture it at risk but the big trials to determine whether or not it's safe and effective definitively I don't think could be completed in two early twenty one. The question's GonNa be whether or not the FDA makes them available under an emergency use authorization before those trials a fully read out whether if we have an epidemic this. This fall the vaccines are made available office sled populations under an a under emergency. Use Authorization. I think there's going to be tremendous pressure to do that. In fact, we have another epidemic heading into the fall I. WanNa do ask you both you know we've had so many. Conflicting Studies reports about various aspects of this and I was really struck this week. When the Lancet which a couple of weeks ago, it's one most distinguished medical journals around published the article, stating that Hydrochloric Queen had led to a spike in deaths among patients who had received it. This is the drug that president trump has promoted. As well as Fox, News Personalities Lancet retracted that this week and said that the data was suspect, and they needed further material to see if it could be verified and it just. Led Me to think that there are so many instances here where we see accounts on one side or the other on all aspects of this that then get modified. What did you? How did you both react to having the Lancet retract a major article like that? And what does that tell us about what we still don't know about this disease? Greedy won't take that. I! Happen to know to the authors of that study so it. It was something that I kinda followed both when it came out originally and then kind of through its narrative art I wasn't involved in the study. I just happen to know who they are and become a had been acquainted with the company that they reference which was the source of the data. I'll just say this. I think that it's incredibly important to kind of focus on the science so honestly partisan politics statements by the president's statements. At you know even the counter kinda statements about how this might be crazy because the president said it I put all that aside and really look at the body of the evidence, and actually both Scott are both trained. We I'm familiar with this drug. Just because I've used it in patients with chronic conditions for years, and it has a safety profile warning even before all cove it. was pretty crucial so putting all that aside leading up to this Lancet article. Kind of looking through the body of data, it was I was hopeful that we would understand more about Wednesday could be used safely if it could be safely and then when it shouldn't. And I felt pretty comfortable, not just after the DA study, but a couple of the other, the Va was not randomized, but a couple of other count- controlled trials that this was not a drug that you should use unless you're in a study, or unless you really understood the risks, and that actually kind of cemented. My clinical suspicion was now kind of the land article. It's unfortunate about this. Is that I? Think you're seeing across the the body of science you're seeing A. A desire to get the best evidence out there as quickly as possible and I. Think this is a clear case. Where they felt like it was the best evidence, and then when it was called into question, they couldn't verify it through third party retracted it. It's not the first time it's been done so I'm not making an excuse for the journal, but I would just say that for me. It puts it aside, and I still have a preponderance of evidence that show that hydrochloric, when when are just not beneficial and so I think that's where I land on this and I think it's important to have a clear message to the public that the the. Retraction of this one study does not eliminate the findings of other very credible studies, which now have compounded the evidence that we see having said that also might they're still open trials on this drug. So this is not. I don't think the story is totally finished for me. As a physician, I have no need to spend more time on this and I. Think There's enough promising treatments to move on point. Frankly Dr Godly your former agency the FDA. Early on approved emergency use for Hydrochloric Queen. Your thoughts on that and the. The Lancet article well, I agree with Kavita that the the evidence. That's come out of more rigorous studies has not demonstrated that this drug is effective against covert nineteen. There was one very rigorous diet that came out just this past week. Looking at the drug for prophylactic use for preventing infection and people who are at high risk of exposure, and didn't show any benefits or should not be used prophylactically. A lot of a lot of people were using it that way including providers, and both alien and the US and the. Data that we've gotten so far from more rigorous studies has not shown treatment benefit, and in fact when you talk to providers in New York in particular. They were prescribing very widely early on, and they pulled away from doing that because they're just not seeing robust treatment effect in their own clinical practice. Now that's obviously anecdotal, but doctors do get a good good a sense whether or not drugs or having treatment effect when they're prescribing it widely to patients, and so if this is having a treatment effect, it's not a one that's so robust. It's easily detected in the open. Open label studies that have been done to date or in you know with the collected clinical practice. Now that said there are a number of rigorous studies underway. That are going to read out this month. The Data Safety Monitoring Boards of those studies have done interim looks to make sure patients weren't being harmed to make a decision on whether they were gonNA stop those trials early, including one in Europe those trials were allowed to. To go forward, so that suggests that there's not a strong signal that patients are being harmed, but that doesn't mean that there's a signaled. They're being benefited, either and so we're just going to have to wait for those trials to read out and allow a careful scientific process here under fold I. Don't think anybody should be using drugs. Corcoran, for the treatment of covert outside of a clinical trial, and I think if those trials. Trials read out negatively. The FDA is going to have to closely evaluate pulling that they probably at the point right now based on the data that's available where they should go back and reexamine the US that's been granted already, but if they're not going to pull that now in a way for those trials, they certainly should do it on the basis of those trials. If in fact, they read out negatively was the FDA. Approved it. I don't think that there was sufficient evidence to to support anyway for this drug based on the at the point in time, in which they did it. It was on the basis of some very small series that don't form the basis of of reliable clinical experiece. Now that said the drug was being widely prescribed, and it was being prescribed outside of settings where. Where we were collecting good data in many cases, and what the a required and I don't know if this is being adhere, too, but what it required was the collection of clinical evidence, and so if the drug was already being used widely off label, and was available, but was being used in the absence of of protocols that collect reliable evidence to determine ultimately whether or not it was. Was Safe and effective for that purpose that might have been the judgment that was made I. Don't know how what the judgments were. In terms of the internal deliberations on granting any way, but that would be one reason and one consideration that the agency might make in granting the e way that it would. It would force the collection of information, but if you're asking me whether or Or, not the data available at the time supported a finding that this drug could be beneficial in this context I. think that data at the point we should decision was made was very mixed I've got one last question for for this for both of you. We are once again engaged in a wrenching conversation in this country about racial disparities, obviously in the wake of the killing of. Of George, Floyd and more generally criminal justice system, but in the weeks and months before this there was a lot of discussion about inequities and the healthcare system, and how cove in nine hundred was falling disproportionately on African Americans and people of Color in this country we are now many months into this pandemic. We've talked to Kavita about this, but I would like to hear from both. Both of you what your thoughts are now about what needs to be done to close this healthcare divide in this country over this issue and more generally convenient once you start sure and I think to give Scott a lot of credit here because he's been pretty, I think pretty on point about about three areas that contribute to this number one. It has to do with a lot of. Of like Kennedy implicit. Bias that we find in healthcare. It's been studied since the dawn of time about how person of color when they present for care, how they often even an unconscious bias kind of it received from the system, and the second is a real critical point around healthcare, access and everything from lack of access lack of insurance or lack of the ability to kind of seek. Seek care without sensitivities to cost or out of pocket cost all the way to the fact that like in Washington dc where I live that. If you go into the communities of largest African American proportion, you will find you only a handful of primary care clinics, and no hospitals anymore so I think, and then finally I think also just. We know that there are a higher proportion of. Chronic conditions diabetes hypertension undiagnosed conditions in persons of color. So I think those are three point, some kind of stealing Scott's points but I think he's made them publicly trying to shine a light on this for all people I guess for me what it's tried for I don't think any of this is new to health care. We all know it and the critical question is what do we do about? It and I think part of this now. I'M GONNA put a lot of responsibility, not just on. Federal and state. But I would also say this is local hospitals people who are already experiencing financial losses. They really do need to rethink. How do kind of community care and community outreach and even with protesters Dan? If all we do is tell people to get tested the city of Philadelphia. Recommending Governor of California. If all we do is tell, people just go get tested, not ging that that the that didn't even happen in the beginning because of these issues that Scott's brought up in the past then we're just missing the point Dr Godly. What do you want to add particularly in terms of the prescriptive piece of this? Yeah, look I I think when we look at covert risk in particular among black Americans panic Americans and disproportionate impact that this diseases had in those communities. I think we're seeing the impact of of the inequities that computer refers to and that people are now you know bringing even more attention to although these are these are persistent problems to stomach problems that we've long recognized having been able to reconcile, and hopefully this time is different I. Think when you think about the dimension of this problem. With, respect to covert and also healthcare more generally. You have to ask you though I. Why are there higher rates of Cova disease among among black Americans in Spanish Americans, you look at census tracts that are identified as disproportionately black in in this country that one in five counties are identified that way they represent thirty five percent of the total population of the country, but fifty percent of the Cova disease and sixty percent of Kobe deaths, so clearly a disproportionate impact, so why why at a higher rates of disease among these communities in the first place why are there? Higher rates have serious disease and bad outcomes when? People of Color Get, Cova disease I think. You know the first has to do with ECCONOMIC. Factors economic related factors people who you know, a forced to live in crowded housing who rely on public transportation or work in essential jobs at a higher proportion where they they they couldn't. They couldn't zoom in for two months. They had to go to work. They had to take public transportation work they couldn't social distance at work because they worked in jobs where where they're required to work in settings where they didn't have proper p. e. p. p. e.. Higher rate of infection and a lack of disposable income to do things like stockpile groceries, so they had, so, people had to go out more, so they were income, related issues and the second Why is there a higher rate of of when when you have this higher rate of disease? Why is there now a higher rate of severe disease, serious disease and excess morbidity and mortality? These same communities I think that has to do a lot with the issues of Kavita was talking about poor access to health care. In racism in the healthcare system distrust of healthcare, sometimes discrimination healthcare system as well as you know more underlying chronic disease, oftentimes relating back to those first factors, the economic factors because you have high rates of diabetes and hypertension and heart disease, because the people coming from communities where there, there aren't whole foods. There aren't opportunities to engage in more healthful living, so these are these are. Systemic problems. This isn't the first time we've brought attention to the first time. We've recognized this, they're they're gonNA. Take time to fix I think if you ask. What can we do in the short run to resolve some of this or address it, not resolve a start addressing it in the context of covert and mitigating the risk for that that of the summer and the fall. I think the one thing you can do in the short term is make sure that you get the covert related screening and treatment into these communities and particularly the testing because when you have medically and socially underserved communities. And communities that are more vulnerable at higher risk of contracting the disease, and at higher risk of a bad outcome of the disease. We have to get the screening into those communities and right now when you look at the the the sort of distribution of testing. It's not there so I think that that is one thing that if i. if you ask them what do in the next two months. That's something we can do. Get testing into medically and socially underserved communities Jackson got one last question for you. We were taught wanted to bring you back to the numbers. You're saying you're expecting. That will probably see numbers of about twenty to twenty five thousand new cases per day through the summer What about deaths? We're now coming in at about a thousand a day a little bit more mid week, a little bit less towards the weekends. What do you foresee in terms of the numbers of deaths will be seeing through the summer and early fall from this disease. I think the are trending down when you look at the trend, so we're. We're a trend line for below a thousand a day I think I think you're likely to see dad's trend down, but sort of plateau somewhere maybe around five hundred. Because what's GonNa Happen is if we if we SORTA stay on this slow burn if you will and I know if she's a phrase. A couple of times we're turning over twenty thousand cases a day, but testings continuing to go up which it is, we're going to be turning over more mildly symptomatic. Symptomatic aces dramatic community cases that are less likely to result in hospitalization, less likely to result in debt, so the overall morbidity cove. It might go down more even if the case is. Stay stagnant because we're diagnosing more of those milder cases, and we're not just diagnosing cases of people who get admitted to the hospital, which is what we were doing a month ago so I would expect to see deaths continue to come down, but plateau somewhere maybe around sort of five hundred level, or below that all right on that somewhat better news. Than some a lot of the bad news I WANNA. Thank you both for joining us to always great to have your insights on this and Dr Gottlieb. We appreciate you coming on and hope you can come back. Thanks a lot. Thanks for having me. Thanks to former FDA. Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and Yahoo News medical contributor and former Obama administration official Kavita Patel for joining us on skulduggery. Don't forget to subscribe to skulduggery on Apple podcasts or ever. You listened to your podcasts and tell us what you think. Lever reviewed short. Follow us on social media and skulduggery pot. Talk to you soon.

Doctors Gottlieb Scott Doctors Gottlieb Patel FDA president New York Yahoo Washington Dan Kleinman George Floyd Chicago Kavita United States Obama Lancet Dr Patel Michael ISIKOFF Europe
Coronavirus: Insight and Info from Dr. Patel and Dr. Wen

Skullduggery

35:16 min | 4 months ago

Coronavirus: Insight and Info from Dr. Patel and Dr. Wen

"A Michael ISIKOFF chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo News. And I'm Dan Kleinman editor in chief of Yahoo News and a quick reminder that you can follow us at skulduggery pod and by the way. If you've got any questions thoughts ideas you wanNA share tweet right out us now. Let's get on with the show. The trend grows more alarming by the day. The Corona virus pandemic is having a hugely disproportionate impact on minority communities. This week Maryland reported that African Americans and other minorities accounted for more than half the one hundred and three deaths from the virus in that state that fits in with the national picture in which counties that are majority black have three times the rate of infections and almost six times the rates of death as counties where white residents are in the majority according to a Washington Post analysis. We'll talk about these figures to to public health experts Yahoo News Medical Contributor Dr Kavita Patel and former Baltimore Health Commissioner. Dr Lena Win and ask them what can be done about it. And we'll also get their outlook for when social distancing restrictions can start to be lifted on this episode of skulduggery because people have gotta know whether or not their president's are. I'm not a crook. I told the American people. I did not create arms-for-hostages my heart and my best intentions. Still tell me. That's true. But the facts and the evidence. Tell me it is not. I did not have sexual relations with that one. There will be no allies. We will honor the American people the Truth and nothing else. I'm Michael ISIKOFF chief. Investigative correspondent for Yahoo News. And I'm Dan Clyde manager and chief of Yahoo News you know. I think these figures on the impact on minorities is going to be a huge story. That's GONNA be with us for some time. It's a huge story just in terms of the real life impact. It's having on communities across the country cities across the country. It's going to be a big political story. Because underlying it are the inequalities economic and otherwise in the country and that's GONNA play into the political debate in the country. Look the virus does not discriminate but the virus does expose the huge structural inequities and disparities in our healthcare system and the numbers really are shocking when we first started to see them. Some people cautioned that we need more data to be able to really be sure that this kind of pattern exists but in reality who really needs data who doesn't know that healthcare outcomes in marginalized communities are worse because people have less access to good healthcare. And because you know people who are living in poverty are just knocking a theory as well in our in our healthcare system the number that really jumped out at me by the way was Chicago. Seventy two percent of virus related fatalities in Chicago where African Americans when they represent only a third of the population and we are seeing these kinds of numbers around the country. You know there is this concept that I've read about called weathering. Which is this idea that there's been increasing research on that people who live in these kinds of poorer communities marginalized communities that the stress placed on their lives contribute to were healthcare outcomes so stress from poverty stress from crime. All of the kinds of stresses that people experience living in these kinds of communities and it is a huge problem. That obviously we're going to have to deal with in the long term but the question right now is. How do we deal with this? In the short term people are dying because of these inequities and just getting back to the political dimension to this. Ironically these figures are coming in on the The same week that the one candidate for president who made front and center inequality and also expanding healthcare a medicare for all Bernie. Sanders has dropped out of the race. So one wonders as these disparities. Get more more attention. Is that GONNA be put more pressure on Biden to move closer to sanders positions on some of these issues. Does it affect his vice presidential selection process. Does it make it more likely? He'll WANNA put an African American on the ticket just to underscore his commitment. Doing something. Those parodies those are all good questions but I would say what it is is. It is a huge opportunity for Biden. Who has had trouble breaking through on this issue understandably because he's just a candidate right now he doesn't actually run anything other than a campaign. He doesn't have the levers of power to make a difference but he does have a voice and he does have a historic relationship with the African American community where he has credibility and a community by the way that has put him in the position of being the Democratic nominee for the presidency. So I think it is both an opportunity but also an obligation at this point and let's see if we start hearing from from Biden really significant way on these issues. Well look. These are big questions but today's is not going to be a political podcast. We've got two really good public health experts to talk about these figures into talk about where we're going so let's stay focused on that and bring them into the conversation. We now have with us on the podcast Dr Kavita Patel Yahoo News Medical Contributor and public health specialist and former Obama administration official and also. Dr Lena Win. The former health commissioner of Baltimore and a emergency physician and professor of Health at George Washington University doctors. Welcome to skulduggery. Thank you very much. Thanks for having us. I want to start out by talking about the mounting evidence. We're seeing of the disproportionate impact. The virus is having on minority communities a Maryland today has just reported for the first time. A ethnic breakdown and racial breakdown of virus cases in the state. This is a state where thirty percent of the population is black yet. More than fifty percent of the Tallies and the cases are African Americans. This is in keeping with a lot of data. We're seeing I want to ask both of you. What accounts for this disproportionate impact on minorities Dr Patel Shore? I'll go first and thanks for having me. I think that You're seeing actually in medicine. We would call kind of symptoms more reflective of a broader larger diagnosis. There are there have been for decades now. Kind of documented systemic racial disparities in all aspects of healthcare from ax access healthcare literally. How do people of Color Actually get insurance or not able to get insurance all the way through disparities in once they even get to a doctor whether they receive the same type of treatments as their non-ethnic minority counterparts? So to be even more blunt about it when you see numbers out of Maryland Chicago New Orleans every urban center. That is identifying kind of A. You know a difference. In discrepancy in how minorities are being treated for covert or not treated or obtaining lab tests that also has to. Do I think with what we've known that it is harder to receive care? And even when you do it's different and that's I think I'm trying not to be so I don't want to reduce it all to one thing but that's that's my take on it and you also have to remember that communities of Color and certainly Lena knows a lot about this because she did it every day. Communities of color have had challenges accessing these kind of hospitals and hospital based care in large part. Because where you have a high concentration of communities of color there are just less hospital beds per capita so we do know research across urban centers that there are fewer hospital beds in communities of color compared to other neighborhoods in areas. Dr Win as the top public health official in Baltimore City with a large African American population. I assume this does not come. As a big surprise to you and so tell us what kinds of entrenched disparities you were seeing in healthcare delivery and outcomes for African Americans and I guess this is also a problem for Hispanics as well but tell us about the disparities that you were seeing in Baltimore when you were working there. Sure and I live in Baltimore still until I'm looking out my window and just reflecting on the disparities along residents in the city you have neighborhoods in Baltimore. That are just a couple of miles apart. Where a child born today can expect to live sixty five years or eighty five years a twenty year difference in life expectancy based on the zip code into which sheer. Here's born and then you know. I used to begin my presentations when I was the health. Commissioner with a map of our city and I actually stopped showing these maps of disparities. Because it almost didn't matter what you had in the legend it was the same map over and over again because the same areas that had high infant mortality also had high cardiovascular disease also had high rates of death from gun violence also had high prevalence of HIV and drug overdose and of course also had high rates of incarceration and low socioeconomic status. I mean it's the same map over and over again and when I think about Kobe. Nineteen and the data that we're now gathering it's tragic but not at all surprising because as Kameda just mentioned this is just one. More example of amplified disparities disparities that are rooted in systemic racism and the historic inequities. That got us to where we are. That are then amplified. Also by lack of access to healthcare. But it's not just. It's also the social determinants of health access to healthy food. The air that we breathe the education up the education opportunities that were exposed to and also the circumstances in people's lives. I mean physical distance. Social distancing is a privilege that many of us have but many people don't have a result of their work or living situations and so. I think there's a lot more that we need to do. When it comes to reconciling where we are now with the history of disparities in our city. Let me just pick up on that last point. You made about social distancing. Because a lot of us do have the luxury of working from home of doing podcasts and participating in zoom meetings and doing all the things we would do in the office but given the inequality in in our country the larger predominance of less fortunate people who don't have that luxury who do have blue collar jobs or do have jobs where they simply cannot work at home that that is in and of itself is disproportionately impacting minority communities. And this is a in a sense. The steps were taking to try to flatten. The curve may be exacerbating those disparities. Dr Patel your thoughts on that yet. That's not just a important point to make but it it highlights what I think Lena has been kind of commenting. We're calling it social determinants of health. But it's this interplay of you know the very people who were identified in kind of lower wage jobs is essential workers to your point are not only. Are they not able to stay at home? But it's it's actually worse than that. They're being told in fact. I have cases in DC of former patients of mine who are told that they're essential but they have been taken their their health care actually has been taken away because they are being told there. Is that Joel? And they are not given enough money or wages in order to receive health care. And so you actually have undocumented. People were picking or fruit. And you have people of Color who are checking our groceries and actually have you know zero rights and part of what. I've found Dan in my is that we're trying desperately. I'm not a lawyer. Lena's not a lawyer and we're having to learn in the healthcare industry how to be advocates on multiple fronts for populations in a way that certainly I've never encountered and it's bringing up. I mean you know my parents kind of went through the civil rights movement and I'm a first generation. Lena is as well. And I really see so much of what I have read about unfolding today and it troubles me but then I also see some do not make everything seem so negative. I do see some amazing silver linings of people just pulling together and willing to advocate for these populations. My fear is that we have preventable deaths on our. We have blood on our hands and we have. I'm worry that we're not learning from that. That's probably the most graphic I can be about it. Guess my question on this though would be. If the social distancing restrictions are having this kind of impact on people of Color people less fortunate. What's the remedy for that? What steps can we take? That could mitigate that disproportionate impact. If there are any I I think that the key here is to take away the right lesson. I don't think the right lesson is to say. Well if social distancing is reading or amplifying disparities that we should do away with social distancing. I don't think that's the right lesson because frankly this is the only tool that we have at our disposal right now. We do not have a vaccine what. We don't have a working treatment when our healthcare system is in crisis. What we can each do is practice social distancing to the best of our abilities and actually one could see. It flipped as well as those of us will have the privilege of practicing social. Distancing should be doing that so that God we allow the others who cannot practice social distancing to have the best chance at reducing transmission as individuals have to take public transportation. Because that's the only way of getting to work than those who have the privilege of not taking public transportation should be avoiding it so that those who have to take it can actually physically distance in that way the less community transmission that we all have the better. It is for everyone in our community. So that's one way to see it. And then the other thing too is to see it as our obligation all of us to create better policies that support those who do face the greatest burden of disparity so for example when it comes to accessing healthcare. Those of us who do have good health insurance policies should still be advocating for everyone to have universal healthcare to not be priced out of the ability to get testing and treatment. We should all be advocating for paid sick leave. We should all be advocating. Four programs like housing and support for individuals who could otherwise cannot afford food. I mean I think we can all do Dr Wanless. Let me at both of you. Kavita as well let me ask you. Because you're talking about prescriptions for deeply entrenched social and economic problems that we have and we're in the middle of a crisis right now and people's lives are on the line or there are things that should be done. Now that can be done. Now by the government by hospitals buy healthcare institutions to deal with these inequities are right at this moment. Yeah I'll start. I think absolutely so bottom. Line Lena's correct. We need to extend kind of everybody needs to follow. I'll call universal masking non-medical masks. There's a lot of debate. In as you know in Maryland some of the counties are enforcing it some. Aren't we need number one. People all need to wear masks if it protects me at protects you if we're all doing it together number. Two hospitals have never really traditionally been very good at thinking beyond their borders and their walls and we know just for example in the district in Maryland. We know to Lena's point there are neighborhoods where there is. There is zero ability to access a test so we need hospitals who are incredibly focused on. What's happening inside their walls to actually take it literally today. A pop up in the testing area or at least a pop up so that there's a presence in these neighborhoods of color and then third something that I'm finding with kind of the population I deal with. Which is a largely non-english-speaking there are not people have been talking about telemedicine and we are finding that we're having to use just regular old fashioned telephones no video. No FANCY APPS no skype no face time because there's still a lot of distrust amongst communities of color and there's also a lack of technology access and then I'd be I guess as a final step. Obviously we've talked at length on your podcast with others have talked about the lack of a federal response so we need local officials to step up the enforcement for protection for these call them essential workers but I'll also call them vulnerable populations and that I think is another layer. That could be done today for example the mayor of Baltimore the mayor of DC. And they've done this to some degree. Actually making it clear that public buses public transportation is prioritized for these workers. And actually making it free which I know is a huge hit to the city's economy but we need to make it as easy as possible at every step of the way for people to earn a living and to do it in a way that keeps them healthy. Do either of you see any evidence. At this point that we are flattening the curve yes there are hopeful signs from parts of this country and the world. I mean looking at other countries I think is an important important indicator for us because we can learn lessons about what's working what's not we look. At countries like New Zealand that have done an exceptional job of containing kkob nineteen am countries like South Korea that were aggressive testing and contact. Tracing have also been able to do this too so important lessons from other countries as well as from within our own country Washington State California to places that had early size of community transmission because they were very aggressive about social distancing Physical distancing guidelines We DO SEE EVIDENCE. That they did not have the skyrocketing right. I mean I think a lot of public health is. What did you prevent? They were able to prevent this rapid escalation of cases. That we've seen an other places. And I think is a hopeful. Sign that these measures Astra CONAN restrictive as they might seem actually happen effective and as I think all public health experts Dr Baojun even measure this morning now is not the time to look at these indicators and say well they've been successful so we should let up but rather to take the opposite lesson to say we knew what works so we have to double down on these efforts and prevent more deaths from happening so as Dr Dr Patel can beat was saying we don't have blood on our hands because now that know what works we have to do it. Kavita what what are the data points that you are most focused on? That might suggest that we're flattening the curve here because we know that while the number of fatalities for example in New York City where I am right now continues to go up in record. Numbers Governor Cuomo has been pointing to hospitalizations which seems to have been leveling off. Is that an important indicator of where things are right now. Yeah I've been tracking for about sixteen metropolitan areas just drawing from their county or city's websites and also trying to get you know it's it's a several things. It's the doubling rate. So how many days does it take for cases to double and when you know in New York City at one point we were seeing that every two to three days? The number of cases not hospitalized but just cases of corona virus were doubling every two to three days and that has now slowed down to approximately five to seven days in some parts of Manhattan so looking for doubling rates certainly looking at hospitalization rates as well as ICU rates as well as discharges. I mean. That's something that's getting a reported and people aren't actually processing it but it is a great story when someone gets discharged from the hospital. That's a that's a good thing and so that's that's another indicator and I do also feel like something that needs to be emphasized and and certainly Dr went will kind of I agree is the number of tests. I mean we are still seeing. I'm from Texas. We're still seeing disturbingly. Low total numbers of tests. And I think that that to me that just tells me that we underestimated the cases in that particular region. And that's just one example of several in the Mid West where we still have a lack of access to testing and it's hard to believe that in April twenty twenty. We're still saying that but we are all too that the lack of testing and a number of people have observed that it makes it hard to come to any firm conclusions. About what the fatality rate of those who are infected are. We don't know how many people have actually been infected. What's your best information at this point about where we are on? What the fatality rate for getting viruses for those who get the virus well. I really agree with everything that all of you are saying about testing that the lack of testing has hindered us in many ways including with not actually knowing what where the next epicenter of the outbreak is going to be. I mean there are places that may have zero cases that are reported but that doesn't mean that they actually have zero cases. We also note that the lack of testing has contributed to another issue too with with regard to the Taliban. Because if we're looking at I think what you're referring to is the numerator and the denominator denominator actually is much larger. Because there are many more people with the disease that we just haven't picked up on then perhaps. The fatality rate is lower that we might be currently getting. There's a numerator problem to though in that there are people dying. Who may not have a known diagnosis of Kobe? Nineteen but actually has died because of it the other issue too within the US the death rates lag behind the infection rate because it takes time for somebody to become infected and the two become severely ill and then to succumb to that billeness and so that they Taliban in the US I think still remains unknown. We do know that out of China out of Italy that the Taliban rate has varied some in some places. Some people think that it's three percent. There may be some cases where it's as high as eight percent but there are a lot of unknowns because of our testing issues and also because the demographics in our country may differ from those in and others to Dr Wen and Kavita as well Anthony Fouled. She was on CNN. This morning talking about how we are days away from immunity testing which I know. There's a lot of interest in and it also relates to this question of when life can return to some semblance of normalcy but there are a lot of questions about both immunity testing the efficacy of that testing. Also we're seeing in some medical literature that there is the potential for reinfection and we've seen some cases out of South Korea reports out of South Korea to that effect talked us about immunity testing. And about this idea of the potential of reinfection Kavita. Once you go first. There was a lot of hope for immunity testing with kind of a rapid immunity tests. But we do not know enough about the performance of these tests. So I'll caveat all of this by telling you that there is hope for it but we do not yet have enough. I think what we're going to require in. The country is kind of a panel of immunity tests. It's not going to be just this one test. It's going to have to be kind of a set of tests that tells us have you had this infection in the past. Do you currently have it? And we also do not know to your point about reinfection. We believe that getting corona virus gives you some immunity that we think probably last for several months. But as you kind of heard we can't tell if the reinfection is really false negatives or some level of lab detection error or true reinfection and I think that where I guess I'll go ahead and put a stake in the ground here. I think that what I'm looking forward to in the fall. We'll have more antibody based treatment ramping up to do clinical management of this disease. We have other. Maybe additional drug tools in our kind of utilitarian armament and then we can use that as a bridge to a vaccine. Which can hopefully you know Dr Fao? She said you know twelve to eighteen months at the fastest and I'm really hopeful that at some point then we get what we call in public health herd immunity. And until then you know. I know that there have been others that have said. We'll need to be in kind of a total lockdown until them. But I think that what you describe is Canada's immunity based testing which is only a piece of it plus some actual treatments that we have which I think will largely be antibody based and then kind of early vaccines which is hopeful but not necessarily promised to be delivered on in a certain amount of time. And I think that's where we start to have the country feel a little bit closer to normal even hun which has reopened quote unquote doesn't look normal so I think there's some level of that that we have to expect one quick follow up question Dr Wear. Maybe you want to take this on. We're reading that in the UK. They have seriously been discussing this idea of immunity passports and Dr Fao G. Apparently this morning talked about immunity certificates being under discussion in this administration. The idea is that if you are tested and your team to be immune then you get a certificate. That says okay. You're good you can go back into the workplace. It seems a little Orwellian. It seems like you're sort of creating two classes of people as public health policy specialists. What's your reaction to the idea of immunity certificates and the? I actually think it's a great idea. If we have the science to back it up I mean there are a Lotta people. We know that there are a lot of people who have Kobe. Nineteen and just don't do it. There are some who have symptoms but never got tested. There are some who never had symptoms in the first place. I think a lot of people would to know if they have immunity to Kobe. Nineteen I mean. That's assuming though that the science is what we assumed to be as in we assume right. The suction has to be that once you get it. You're not going to get it again. And there was the question earlier about reinfection. I don't know that a trusted these reports coming out because it's also possible that somebody wasn't clinical reinfected but rather that they never recovered from the illness. The first place was something wrong with the test. That was measured. So I don't know if reinfection as possible but we have to assume that the that the only way but this immediately password to work is if somebody really develops long term immunity and cannot become reinfected because otherwise you're giving somebody false assurance and maybe they'll get sicker the second time around right so we have to That has to be suction another assumption. Is that the test is valid that you're not going to get a false positive or negative because again that that gives Unless ordered that that provides false. Reassurance may be very dangerous but assuming that you do get lifelong immunity and that the test is fully accurate. That would be wonderful. You can imagine. Healthcare workers would want to know if they are immune individuals would want to know if they're immune they can certainly potentially live their lives very differently. Be deployed in a frontline settings very differently so I guess. I'm not as concerned about the kind of the negative societal consequences as I am very optimistic about what this could mean if such tests were actually available now. I don't think we're anywhere close to that because we still need so much more data available on whether there's immunity in the first place and we need widespread testing. Not only for these serology is the antibody test that we're talking about. We don't even have testing to find out if somebody has an acute infection. So there's a lot that we need to do to get there but if we are it would be extremely promising last question for both of you given where we are right now and let's assume that the few hopeful trends were seeing continue. When do you foresee that we might be able to lift some of the restrictions and get back to business as usual? I'd like to hear from both of you on that. I'll start. I think I certainly think there will be some legs in certain parts of the country but I would say for example on the East Coast are area. I would say that by the end of May we should have more guidance on how larger groups. Let's call it. Schools churches kind of have a little bit more behavior. That looks closer to normal. I think that we have now gone to where our country is going to be more comfortable even in those settings with masks and I often wonder if shaking hands or some of the things we do conventionally as part of our everyday work is going to change and so I do think though that for example in this kind of district Metropolitan Area New York etc we will start to see guidance that are gonNA come from local officials candidly about kind of moving back to closer to normal by the end of May potentially the beginning of June and now having said that if we get a hot spot that's unexpected or kind of a reversal. No trends like the governor. Cuomo keeps caveat in you know like it could end up being different the next several days then that changes. But that's what I'm looking forward to and I'll tell you that you know that's where to be honest. That's for me. A light at the end of the tunnel. 'cause IT'S NOT THAT. Far Away Darwin. I think we'll see restrictions being rolled back in phases. Were not going to see it all just one day. Everything's going to go back to the pre Kobe. Nineteen days but rather we'll see area by area. Escobedo was sane and also different types of restrictions being lifted certain businesses going back May Be schools and I think we have to prepared for what happens if there is another search what happens if there is another wave of infections we have to be ready for that consequence and be ready to implement the these restrictions again but I think as long as we recognize. Continue to recognize that. This is a quickly evolving situation. Which is what we've said from the beginning and also not see trials as setbacks because we frankly don't know what will happen. We are learning from the experience in China and from other countries that are lifting these restrictions. But there's a lot that we don't know about what will happen in this country and so continuing to tolerate that uncertainty is important for all of us on that sobering note. I want to thank both of you. It's been a really helpful discussion. We always appreciate your insights Dr Patel Doctor. When it's great to have you on for the first time we hope to have both of you back. Thank you explain match. Who was more dominant at their game tiger or MJ Tiber equation? Golf is the most unbelievably Goering's for in existence. And I love Golf. What's the best baseball movie of all time? The problem with Major League Baseball movie about baseball in the time of quarantine. Yahoo Sports is putting every single argument. You've ever heard or made in a sports bar to the test checkout boxed in by Yahoo Sports on Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays on Yahoo Sports Dot Com Youtube for your podcast APP choice. Thanks a Yahoo News. Medical Contributor competed Patel and former Health Commissioner of Baltimore. Lena Win for joining us on. This episode is Paul Buggery. Forget to subscribe. The skull agree on Apple podcasts. Or wherever you listen to your podcast and tell us what you think. Lieber reviewed latest episode is also on Sirius. Xm On the weekend. Check it out on this channel. One twenty four on Saturdays at three PM Eastern time with replays on Sundays at one. Am and three PM for short. Follow us on social media. Re-pot we'll talk to you soon.

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Bonus Episode: Muellers Punt

Skullduggery

29:23 min | 1 year ago

Bonus Episode: Muellers Punt

"No. Arrive late on a Sunday afternoon. And it was a stunner after nearly two years of investigation. Twenty eight hundred subpoenas nearly five hundred search warrants and interviews with five hundred witnesses special counsel. Robert Muller had reached his conclusion, you found no evidence that President Trump or anybody in his campaign conspired with the Russians to interfere in the two thousand sixteen presidential election, so declared attorney general William bar, and I four page letter to congress Trump, of course, immediately, proclaimed, total vindication. It was proof as he had said over and over again, there was no collusion. But there are questions big ones that remain on the table on the other major issue Muller investigating whether Trump obstructed Justice, the special counsel reach no conclusion really Muller didn't recommend inviting the president, but he didn't exonerate him either. Instead, it was bar and deputy attorney general rod Rosenstein. Both of them. Trump appointees who decided that Muller's evidence did not add up to a crime that should be prosecuted. How exactly did they reach that conclusion? And why were they not Muller the ones who made the call the whole purpose of appointing a special counsel in the first place was to avoid any appearance of conflicts of interest by political appointees and yet at the end of the day to political appointees beholden to the president made. What may have been the most consequential decision of Trump's presidency in Trump's favor. We'll discuss what that means. And where things go from here on this special episode of skulduggery. Because people have gotta know whether or not their president's across. But I'm not a crook. I told the American people I did not create arms for hostile my heart. And my best intentions still tell me that's true. But the facts and the evidence tell me it is not I did not have sexual relations with that one. There will be no lies. We will honor the American people with the truth and nothing else. Michael Isikoff investigative correspondent for Yahoo news. And I'm Dan cliven editor in chief of Yahoo news. So the long awaited report has arrived. We haven't actually read it yet. Just this four page summary by bar, but it sure was surprising on many levels and Washington is breaking down into partisan rancor and division surprise surprise of. The first thing we need to say, I think it is important to say is the premise of this investigation was that Russia may have colluded conspired coordinated with the Trump campaign to effectively throw the twenty sixteen election to Donald Trump and the very clear conclusion of the special counsel after two years of investigation all those prosecutors all those F B I agents said subpoenas that you mentioned was that that did not happen. And so this president is going to and you know, some measure justified in going out and saying that they came after him really hard, and they didn't bring him down. And then and this is going to say that that is going to embolden him, and it's going to rile up his base, and it's going to enhance his image as the guy who's upending the establishment in Washington, the deep state came after him, and he still standing exactly, and, you know, look, there is some truth to this. I mean, I think that all of us in the media and myself included who have pursued the Russia story need to acknowledge that the most serious allegation against Donald Trump has not panned out. There are a lot of serious matters and serious misconduct by Trump throughout the election and his presidency involving the rush and were you will bull contact us. Right. The Russians had with the Trump campaign with top officials in the Trump campaign. Trump was pursuing a business deal in Moscow. Cow while running for president that queer conflict of interest all of that was concealed from the public. We've learned a lot in the course investigation and before we beat ourselves up too much. I mean, there was evidence pretty good evidence that Trump and Trump's children and a lot of people around him wanted to collude. They were they were they were offer. They were colluding curious I met in that June twenty-sixth seen meeting with Russian operatives who claim to have dirt on Hillary Clinton. They showed up to get that dirt. Okay. So in the end, according to Muller, and we have to accept his word, no crimes committed. And look I have to say having acknowledged that I end along with others, you know, may have overstated at times some of the allegations against Trump. I did see this coming for a while. I suspected this is where things were headed. And I think I pointed out on this podcast at various times, the court filings that I read by Muller did not point at further criminal cases against the president. Or other high ranking figures in the Trump campaign, you know, many others would read those court filings on the cable networks and say the walls were closing in. And it was Muller have the goods, and you know, the big day was coming when it would all come down. I didn't see that in the court filings. And I think those who did see it should accept some responsibility here for seriously misreading, what was in in the court file also said that one of the most important avenues of inquiry was whether the Trump campaign coordinated had contact with WikiLeaks before the dissemination of those Harun stolen emails. And we had Randy credit co on our show who was a key link to that theory. We talked about a Roger stone. And at the end of the day, we were pretty skeptical that it all added up and we raise the question. Well, is it do we just have subsided latrines and oddballs here were making right, or it's all sorts of claims that at the end of the day they backed away from and and we did an apparently that's what happened we need to get credit. Go back on and tell them Randy credit. Yes. Yes. And before we get to goes big questions that remain on the table, which I think are serious and are going to be getting a lot of attention, particularly from the House Democrats. We should acknowledge that the Steele dossier, which you know, was in the Nixon riled everybody up. And as recently as last week, you know, Rachel, Maddow. God bless her was still clinging to it saying it's been proven. It's being shown to be more and more true. As more evidence comes out, it isn't the dossier alleged a well-developed conspiracy between the Russians and the Trump campaign to interfere in the election to hack the DNC to provide those emails to WikiLeaks with plausible deniability and the Trump folks were in on it, those were the allegations in the steel dossier. And of course, Muller has found base. Basically, none of that to be true. And the people that touted it half to acknowledge that this is a pretty serious finding. But look that said let's talk about what remains on the table here, and the very curious wording of the bar letter saying that Muller, nobody is ever described as a hamlet like figure who has trouble making a decision couldn't decide or didn't decide whether the president's conduct amounted to obstruction of Justice what the bar letter says is that there was no decision to indict the president for obstruction. But he was not exonerated either. And he left it Muller did to bar and Rosenstein to make the decision, and I have to say I find. That completely baffling. I can't think of a precedent wear a senior prosecutor, not just an independent counsel or special. Prosecutor just let's just say a US attorney operating somewhere out in one of the districts in the United States investigates, a crime investigates, say obstruction of Justice in at the end of the day says I can't really figure out whether this is a crime or not or whether they're charges I could make or not. So I'm just gonna ask my bosses in Washington to decide for me. I mean, I it's really really weird. I will say that. If you read the words of the bar letter, it's a little unclear whether Muller explicitly says, I'm leaving this to the Justice department to make this decision or if that's just something that bar and Rosenstein decided to do because Muller did. Not split -ly. Make a call the reason. Let's look at the actual wording because I've got it here right in front of me after making a thorough factual investigation into these matters. That's this is bars letter, the special counsel considered whether to evaluate the conduct under department standards governing prosecution and declaration decisions, but ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment the special counsel. Therefore, dig not draw a conclusion one way or the other as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction instead for each of the relevant actions. Investigative report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the special counsel of us as quote difficult issues of law and fact concerning whether the president's actions in intent could be viewed as obstruction special counsel states that quote, so I guess this is Muller talking here while. This report does not conclude that the president committed a crime it also does not exonerate him. And then it said because say special counsel's decision to describe the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching any legal conclusion leaves it to the attorney general to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes crime. And the reason I bring that up is because I guess the question is was it Muller's expectation that literally hours after he delivers that finding the attorney general with that make the decision because there's an alternative here. He could've straws. Well, the attorney is that it's just left up to the congress to decide what to do. And the attorney general says, okay? Well, there's no finding here. And which implicitly means that there will be no prosecution, and so now it's in the hands of congress a couple of things under the old independent counsels law which Ken Starr worked under there was. An affirmative obligation to report to conduct that might potentially be impeachable the special counsel regulations under which Muller is governed doesn't have that language in it being a by the book guy Muller didn't have the authority to go to congress on his own and say, I think you need to look at this us only obligation was to report to the attorney general which he's done, but given all the time and effort he spent investigating the obstruction question. Remember, you know, how many hours was Don Mcgann, the White House counsel questioned other members of the White House staff the whole back and forth with the president himself who ultimately was not interviewed by Muller. I just find it puzzling that he did not feel he add an obligation. To make what was clearly a tough call. I mean. I mean. One of the one factor one factor here. Maybe when reason why Muller may have been reticent to make a call. I'm not saying this is justification. But trying to understand it is that he was never able to interview Trump himself. And of course, what are the Louis dry? Well, he tried he tried but in the Andy wasn't able to well he from Cuenca. But he could have subpoenaed him. I'm not look all I'm saying is with. To he punted on that as well. Right. He cutting in this. I'm just talking about like and how unique. Make obstruction decision and you obviously have to establish corrupt. Intent you have to understand what the president was thinking at the time that he took those actions, and you know, it possible that without being able to establish that corrupt intent because he didn't interview him. He had a hard time. Knickknack call that doesn't explain it. Because at the end of the day seems to me that it is his obligation to either say we've made this case we can bring this before a jury, and we can win this case beyond a reasonable doubt. Or we haven't. And so so we're we're going to recommend that there not be a prosecution or obviously not on indictment since we have that he thinks well, president said that the fact that oil see is determined. You can indict the president was not a fact right in the decision not to bring criminal charges against the president. What he said is generally speaking, again, this is bars words to pain and sustain an obstruction convicts. Action government would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person acting with corrupt intent engage in obstructive conduct with a sufficient nexus to a pending or contemplated preceding a trial. Like, you have to be like charted awestruck the trial or get a witness to not testify in a trial. Right. That's the that's the pending proceeding. Right. Well, look grand jury proceeding can be an investigation which this was so it seems to me on its face. There was a Nexans there to appending proceeding. I think the question would be whether he was acting with corrupt intent, I suppose, but you know, what's interesting is that so Muller spends a year year and a half looking at this question of whether the president's obstructed Justice in the end of the day, he says because of legal issues, and the facts are difficult. I can't make a judgement bar turns around. He makes a judgment Messa judge in a matter way it right away, and this brings up, you know, I think. Point that some people have made which is that, of course, bar did write this memo that some people described as a job audition. I mean wrote this memo that he sent to administration lawyers, basically arguing that the president the obstruction investigation was a joke that wasn't the legal term used. But his argument was that president can't be held criminally liable for exercising. His constitutional duties in this case as president of the United States, he gets to fire the FBI director, or he gets the fire the attorney general, so I guess in some ways he'd already made up his mind. So it didn't take them a long time to say, well, you can't you know, he didn't obstruct Justice. Look there's no question that Nadler is going to haul bar up there. And it's going to be ugly because they are going to bring up you can already see this. They're going to bring up bars. Previous opining the memo he wrote arguing why obstruction the presidents firing of Komai did not amount to obstruction. Didn't justify an obstruction investigation and say he had already made up his mind before he ever took the job that this was not obstruction. You know, the guy I want to hear from even more than bought. Hey, look, boss Muller. Yeah. I wanna hear from Muller. I just find it completely baffling that he did not make even a recommendation here. According to bars letter, you just laid out. Here's the evidence you decide like I said in the in the introduction here. It seems to me that undercuts the whole premise of a special counsel, the reason you have a special counsels is so that political appointees who could be accused of having a conflict of interest because they are beholden to the president. You know, you want somebody independent to make that call? And here the guy who was supposed to do that. Instead bucked it doesn't. This everything we know about Muller is he's hard charging decisive former marine mazing FBI leader when he ran the FBI. It's just what in the world could be the justification. I just don't get it. Because if you are not going to charge, obstruction of Justice. Then you say, okay. There's no case here you don't just like kick it upstairs. It's just makes even more than Mullah. I wanna hear from the molar stats. I want hear you know, because there had to have been vigorous intense debates about this among the Muller team. I gotta believe that there were multiple different views people with different perspectives. And I don't know this because they've been leak free. But God there must have been some pretty intense arguments behind closed doors. I handle. Yeah. Originally point. Because I I don't really also see what the league. How could don't see the that Muller and other members of his team can really resist subpoenas or decline to discuss any issues, except for issues that are grand jury protected or classified or that may, you know, have some impact on other investigations. But in this particular case, the decision has been made the investigation is shut down. So there's no executive privilege. I just don't know how anyone on the mother team at this point could resist those kinds of questions from congress. So I think they will be hauled up there Muller for sure. But I think it's a very interesting question to see whether Andrew Weissmann and some of the other people who were on that team will be called up as well. And what do they do when they get called up? I mean molar is a guy who shares, you know, me may, you know, he may get up there and say almost nothing you'll say, I don't know. I don't know. It will be very interesting. You know, another thing that. We gotta start looking for right away. Are there had to have been memos about this by molars, folks? How to evaluate the evidence? What to do about it how they made the call not to subpoena the president? I'm not terribly surprised by that. Because I never thought the Nixon versus USA precedent was exactly on point with these circumstances. In in Nixon in the Nixon tapes case, it was about getting tapes that were needed for ending ongoing and existing criminal trial criminal trial of John Mitchell. Haldeman at Erlich Mun. Those tapes were the best evidence of what took place a right? But they were pretty good arguments on the other side basic principles like the president's isn't above the law, and you had the Paula Jones precedent, maybe they wouldn't have won that case in the supreme court, particularly the supreme court, but it's not too close enough case that in a matter of such. Huge public interest. The idea that you don't seek testimony from the president seems a little strange to me unless unless maybe Muller new from the very beginning that he wasn't gonna make the obstruction call. Yeah. In which case, why did he let this drag on as long as it did remember when we had on was it Phil lack of Bora last summer. I believe it was saying he didn't understand why the obstruction investigation was taking as long as it was. And why we hadn't heard from Muller or ready that was last summer because most of it involved, discreet conduct in February of two thousand seventeen. Yeah. That's when that's when Komi was fired. That's when the whole back and forth with Rosenstein took place. That's when he started berating sessions recusing himself. I dunno. It's all puzzling. But let's listen, we should move on just very quickly and touch on some of the other investigations that remain. But before I do want to say. Say just one thing about these obstruction cases is this does not go to the very baffling as you put it decision or non decision by Muller. But it is the case that these are hard cases to make. And so you I these are things that bar pointed at in his letter, I in this case because Muller made concluded that there was no collusion. Therefore, no underlying crime committed. And that's not as he put it determinative. But it does go to intent. And it is it does make it harder to make these case. Then you gotta prove corrupt intent which is very hard to do. And finally, the Siggia that there needs to be a nexus to a pending or contemplated. Preceding, you know, those are all elements that you have to prove and they're difficult. And so it's not shocking to me that in the end, you know, they didn't say that he actually did commit obstruction? But it is very surprising. Although I would point out. I almost tweeted this today, and then decided not to but that if you're looking for a parallel or store at Stoorikhel analogy Bill Clinton was impeached for perjuring himself in a deposition in a sexual harassment lawsuit that at the time of his impeachment had been dismissed by the federal judge. So. Oh, and you also have you know, swagger Libby, who you know, they didn't prove and underlying crime. There are lots of cases like that. But it's not the strongest. Let's just very briefly talk about this is not the end of the road by a long shot in terms of the investigations into this president. There are many more out there. You know, the bar letter actually talks about Muller having made various referrals to different US attorneys offices around the country. So just Mike wanting just tick off some of these other investigations in the ones that you think present the most sort of payroll leads to this president, look, you have the southern district investigation into the campaign finance violations that Michael Cohen is going to prison for and you know, as we know the southern district concluded that Cohen's conduct was directed by Donald Trump. So that would seem to indicate that there's he's got some serious potential. We go exposure on that now again, so the district is ultimately answerable to William bar, but I can tell you knowing a lot about this other districts and their reputation for being pretty aggressive no-hold-bars. Prosecutors they're not gonna say whom we investigated him for the president for this or the other thing, and we just can't decide whether to charge you're not. So we'll just send this up to our bosses the head of the criminal division department. You guys can make the coffers. Also know bar who if he feels that the they don't have a case or they should make he will not hesitate squash. That there's the investigations into the Trump inaugural fund. That's also being handled by the southern district. And apparently they've got evidence from Colin about improprieties and potentially legal contributions to the from foreigners to the inaugural fund. It'll be very interesting to see how that pans out. There's separate investigations into Trump's business by the New York attorney general's office. Fraud taxing broad. Yeah. Lots of other potential crimes there. And then and this relates to the I think in some ways to the investigations and the businesses the whole question of emoluments which we've talked a lot about on this podcast. Although I gotta say judge the SETI who had given the green light for the emoluments case to go forward. That was the case the lawsuit brought by the attorneys generals in Maryland and DC four circuit gave that decision. A really hard time gave the attorney general's a really hard time it during our oral arguments last week. So we'll see how that plays out. It was three Republican judges, and they didn't seem to be buying the arguments of the Agee's that they had standing because other businesses in Maryland and district of Columbia had been harmed by the Trump tells business with foreign governments which the premises. They were only getting that. Business as a way to suck up to the and curry favor with the president of the United States and his administration will see, but that's an ongoing matter that certainly will be getting attention. There's going to be no shortage of stories and hearings and commentary about what happened today with this bar letter. There will certainly be a bar testimony before House Judiciary. I would think very soon and no shortage of stories about all these investigations. But if nothing else this is a what happened today? This bar letter is a reminder of something that you know, you know, and have known for years just because they're federal prosecutors investigating. You doesn't mean you're gonna end up being charged with the cost? No, absolutely not. But but on the other hand, there's also the old Kinsley rule a reference to Michael Kinsley, the great journalist Republic who said that. Sometimes it's not the cameras exact words were it's not the scandal. Isn't what's illegal the scandal is what's legal? That's right. And so that bay and that pretty much encompasses everything to do with Donald Trump and the Russians and the two thousand sixteen election. Now, this is a special edition of skulduggery, and we will be back at the end of the week while fully with a lot more information to die sack. See it in. Imagine the orange glow of a sunset over the ocean. Or the look on your daughter's face when she met her new baby, brother. Now, imagine what these moments would be like if you couldn't see them our site is a gift one that serious diseases could compromise but yearly exams from an eye. Doctor can detect them before it's too late. Find an eye doctor today at think about your eyes dot com. Sponsored by the American up to metric association. Thanks for joining us on this special edition of skulduggery. Don't forget to subscribe to skulduggery on apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcast and tell us what you think leave a review. The latest episode is also on Sirius XM on the weekend. Check it out on this channel one twenty four on Saturdays three pm eastern time replays on Sundays at one AM and three PM be sure to follow us on social media at skulduggery pot. Now, you can watch the podcast on Yahoo. News dot com and Roku Saturdays and Mondays eight PM eastern time talk to you soon. Imagine the orange glow of a sunset over the ocean. Or the look on your daughter's face when she met her new baby, brother. Now, imagine what these moments would be like if you couldn't see them our site is a gift won that series. I disease could compromise. But yearly exams from an eye. Doctor can detect them before it's too late. Find an eye doctor today at think about your eyes dot com. Sponsored by the American up to metric association.

Robert Muller president President Trump special counsel attorney Washington rod Rosenstein United States Prosecutor Yahoo skulduggery William bar Russia Trump Michael Isikoff FBI US attorney congress deputy attorney general
Buried Treasure: The Donald J. Trump Twitter Library

Skullduggery

18:17 min | 1 year ago

Buried Treasure: The Donald J. Trump Twitter Library

"The may fourth two thousand nine a milestone in American politics, although completely unnoticed at the time. Donald Trump is about to be a guest on late night with David Letterman to promote his appearance. Trump turns to what was for him. A new medium Twitter be sure to tune in and watch Donald Trump on late night with David Letterman as he presents the top ten list tonight. Exclamation point. Yes. That was Donald Trump's first tweet ridden. You might have noticed in the third person was the start of a long love affair with Twitter. That is continued. And in many ways has come to define his presidency to Markley phenomenon comedy central's daily show is put together a noteworthy exhibit, the Donald J Trump presidential Twitter library, a history of Trump's relationship with Twitter and one that historians will be studying for years into the future. That's our subject on this episode of. Buried treasure. Because people have gotta know whether or not their president's sucrose. Well, I'm not a crook. I told the American people I did not create arms for hostile my heart. And my best intentions still tell me that's true. But the facts and the evidence tell me it is not I did not have sexual relations with that one. There will be no allies, we will honor the American people with the truth and nothing else. I'm Michael Isikoff. Chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo news. And I'm Dan Kleinman editor in chief of Yahoo news. You know, what an ingenious idea to Mark the Trump era then to turn it into a Twitter library. We've got a president who really doesn't read very much doesn't right very much. And you know, he uses one principal form of expression to communicate with the world Twitter. It will one of the things that's brilliant about it is all presidents have their presidential libraries after they leave office, and they typically are fairly sober affairs. They delve into the history of the period, everything you wanted to know about that particular president they're pretty faithful to facts into history. What kind of a presidential library from right? You know? We'll clearly it's going to be a. Twitter library, and that's what they've produced. And I have to say, it is remarkably clever and hilarious. And the thing. That's so striking about it coming from, you know, this comedy central that does comedy is all of the tweets are real tweets, and, you know, at one level, they're frightening. But they are also are hilarious. Larry is. And you know, look, I mean, they're presented in a very sober way. With gold plated frames, and you know exhibits, but it also is a reminder of just who Trump is. And how he is risen how he rose in American politics. I mean, you know, the one that was the most striking to me was the birther of a nation exhibit with all Trump's tweets promoting birtherism idea that Barack Obama wasn't born in the United States and extremely in quotes extremely credible source on quote as called my office and told me that at Barack Obama's birth. Forget is a fraud. That's August sixth two thousand twelve which is really interesting, by the way, because I had remembered Trump's birtherism phase as being from two thousand eleven when he was talking about running for president in two thousand twelve and then, of course, Obama comes out and actually releases the full form birth certificate that completely destroyed the birtherism myth, but Trump kept going. He kept promoting it in two thousand twelve. Well, after that, we're gonna get we're gonna introduce our guests in in a minute. But I do have to say this one thing there is this just genius feature at this museum. Right. When you walk in. It's the Trump nickname generator where you put your name in different versions of your name, and it spits out a Trumpian nickname. So I'm gonna read mine, and then I'm gonna let you tell everybody. What yours res-? So my when I put Daniel in. I got bowlegged Daniel when I. I put Danny in which people call me, I got baby Danny which was kind kinda my favorite my kids like that too. And I'm sure do for Dan. Of course, it was lying, Dan. So is a cough. Yeah. Well, mine which is really striking to me is conspiracy denying Mike, which you know, as you know, we we're going to have this upcoming six part series of skulduggery called conspiracy land and really jazzed about that that'll be coming in a few months. I don't know that they had any idea of that. But in a way, it's perfect because these are supposed to be insults, right right for Donald Trump. The insult for cough is that you deny conspiracies because he believes in traffics in conspiracy. So I don't know if he believes in. But he certainly traffic's we should note that we saw this travelling exhibit of comedy central at south by south. South west Eugene vent was getting a lot of a lot of visitors. But I think they're taking it around. And you'll be able to see it in various cities, certainly in New York and be great for them to bring it to Washington. But we did meet one of the comedy central with daily show regular correspondents down there, ROY wood junior. And we talked to him about the Donald J Trump president survivors standing right in front of the famous Kafi tweet. We'll get to in a minute, right? Okay. We are here with ROY wood junior of comedy central fame. Yes. This is the Donald JR. Excuse me. The daily show presents the Donald J Trump presidential Twitter library on your. You said it's a podcast say assets. What's the idea? What are you? Honors just just presenting what has been said, it is an organization of positive and negative statements of what have been people go fire. President all we he said it he said it. We didn't put words in his mouth, which is going. Hey, remember, all those tweets about Hollywood celebrities. It's a lot. It's put him on wall. Just what he says. But comedy is sometimes about the juxtaposition of the serious and the absurd and what I love about this is okay. We're looking here. You guys can't see it. But we're looking at the famous co Fathy tweet and describe it because it's like, it's an gold. This is literally a museum think of these tweets pieces of art because they are they're funny some of them country, dick, one another some of them are like what the fuck was thinking when we have to put this on the wall. So it's the tune in the presentation of it, but the actual content. I think it's very fascinating. You look at all of the tweets Trump is done and we just broken down into categories. There's a whole wall katie's between three hundred on Obama does walls on presidential policy. We have the one that I really love is Trump versus Trump where we show you tweets where he tweeted one thing, and then eventually tweeted something the complete opposite. So it's just basically him arguing with themselves. But he tweeted both of those things. Is. So it's like this is funny to see this guy kinda arguing with now. I notice you got a whole birther exhibit of his birther tweets out there. Yeah. Char- are pretty amazing. You know, most of them from two thousand twelve do you think that's funny? The birther the whole birther did to begin with. No, I don't think that was very funny because it was unnecessary distraction from what President Obama's trying to accomplish. And I think at the end of the day, the fact that the only thing that they could try and coming by whether or not he was a citizen just speaks to all the policies must've been pretty decent. If that's the best. You can say, oh, you shouldn't have been here in the. But you know, the people you know, that people are gonna come in here, and they're going to see those and they're going to laugh, so you one of the things you do is a lot of your comedy is about race. So how do you how do you walk that line? I think that if we are presenting for the and I'm just speaking for the library, not necessarily for the daily shows content or the pieces, we do I think that if we're presenting what was said in a way where there's some satire to that. I don't think we're doing anything. That's too far down the road. I think the thing that's also interesting with the library, even with the birther exhibit to that point is I still believe there are people that are going to come in here and go while these are the president's whereas these adult, this is amazing. What's weird is that this is the first president to really speak digital you wanted to go. See JFK thing you got to pull up some microfilm reader scripture read, some notes scribbled on some White House correspondent and that part of. This is just Trump is around the clock. Sometimes it's about foreign policy and Kim Jong. Sometimes it's I've never seen it skinny person drinking diet coke. So his longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen testified week or so ago before congress and called the president racist as well. As a conman cheat the you what was your take on that? Personally. If I if you asking me personally, do I think the president is races. Yeah. I think the president's races. But then that's also opinion. I can't pool any specific Nichols racism founded, it's the feeling it's the mention of all the policies and the lack of speaking perfect example is how he handled the crisis in Puerto Rico with the hurricane. How fast he took his ass down the Alabama my home state not hating on the crib? But if you just look at those types of things, it's just. Just. That's that's an interesting point. When you look at things like that. On. So you only care about your people that what it is the play devil's advocate. It's about it's about raw politics, Puerto Rico has no electoral votes. Alabama's red state which he wants to solidify with his base. Okay. If that's what it is. That's what it is within. That's the case. Then most of his base doesn't exist with any minority with any predominantly minority district in this country. Is that racism, or is that politics? I don't know. No, no again, you can't there's no smoking gun. I believe I would say Andrew Gillam said it best. I can't say that Mr. Santa's is racist. I can save it all the racist. Think he's. Yeah. Hey, you one of them. Yeah. So you mentioned Alabama you come from Birmingham. You wrote a really interesting piece in the times. I think back in September about your home state Lucien. Yeah. In some ways, you were proud of your state and standing up for it and also very realistic about its legacy of racism, the continues talk about that piece in what you were trying to say let all us trying to say is. When you hear about Alabama. It's always drama. It's all it's ROY Moore. And whether or not ROY Moore was pulling in our Kelly or it's Jeff Sessions doing with Jeff Sessions does. And then there's Zia GMs where you know. There's a museum Montgomery that the equal Justice initiative Greenland, and it commemorates all of the Lynch's that have been documented in the south well over four thousand during the civil rights era and the mirror existence of that facility isn't knowledgeable to the past. And that's something that didn't happen with black people along black people the ones that Greenland like part of the curation creation of it. But that's a spirit of togetherness for that to even exist. So to even stop in acknowledge the past three museums ceremonies and stuff that's happening and Selma every year for the bridge crossing the commemorate. Buddy Sunday, that's part of it. But that's just have the other thing. That's we're talking about is the tech sector that's blooming in Alabama, everything that's happening with an aspirin aerospace in Huntsville, the film and television industry starting to boom automobiles coming all types of factories. So there's a narrative to Alabama and where it's headed that is often ignored. And that's something that I don't really. I don't like it just to be blunt. I don't like that. Because when you talk about every other place in this country. You talk about where they headed the boom, the growth what's happening. What's all San Francisco? Holguin Nashville, Scott. Yes. Music all Allston also. But if it's if it's Mississippi Alabama, it's member that time when the black people white people did the thing to the black people. It's like that's part of the. But there's also this there's more there's a way out of that. And I think that that's not always acknowledged. So I just wanted to take time to write something that did that. You are seeing these some of these hopeful changes even in this very divisive period. Even in the in the age of Trump does that fill you with some hope or -absolutely. Yeah. Absolutely. And thing that sets. With the with the recent tornados in Lee county, Alabama where Trump went down there. And you know, we made that a political whatever whatever form self and potentially creates resentment of other people of Alabama and those people didn't do anything but just get hit by tornado. Yes. Some of them are Trump supporters, but still people in that state that are doing Hella good stuff and some of them probably vote Republican, you know. So that's the other thing is that we're so quick to default to paint. Everyone one way because they were one hand Jews not to wear the red hat, and there's a lot more nuance to a lot of these people that are living and exist in these places and to grow you have to coexist. There's a lot more coexisting happening in the world. And there is division. You know, the media's not quick to point out. I finger at that. That was one reason why I really enjoy when the daily show, let's go to Alabama. We did a whole week of shows. Covering issues in Alabama. I went out to the Talladega national forest with the gentleman who believes in Bigfoot, but he also fights for conservation. So. Time trying to find big bite serving. He fights the paper industry tooth and nail to keep them from to fight before station. We great which would be bad for Bigfoot because they didn't have forests the hang out in. Where's he going to go? Why it's fighting. That's funny. But it has core that person matches up with everything else that a lot of liberal said that they believe in. And I don't know which way his political leanings are. If you buy just on stereotypes white dude with mustache talk pissed gotta camouflage head on. I'll tell you big foot out there. Bigfoot your default assumption is Republican before you even have a conversation with it's about shining lights on that. There's people that looked like something you wouldn't jive with. Who do things that you do jive with what you do with that? Let me take you back to the Michael Cohen hearing for a moment your member. There was that extraordinary instance, after he's called Trump racist when Mark meadows the Republican congressman head of the freedom caucus from north. Carolina says, you know, has this woman win patent stand up behind him. And African American woman who has apparently worked for Trump, and she doesn't believe he's raises racist than so I mean, did you that what what was your reaction? Come out with a service of white people. The black person stand behind you. You gotta not look racist charge. Eighty dollars an hour. Trump doesn't with the black passers and Ray Lewis Jim Brown coming Trump Tower and all of that stuff. So you know, I it's there's a body. Yes. But it doesn't surprise me. You know, there's always going to be people that are. This always going to be people that are going to do something tricks. But I'll say this much you put in a black person behind. You doesn't food the people who really see who you are you putting a black person behind you shows moods Zachary who? Exactly. Well on that note. Thanks for joining us on this. Always. Okay. Thanks for joining us on this episode of very treasure. Don't forget this skulduggery on apple podcasts or Revie listening to your podcasts and tell us what you think leave reviewed. Sure to follow us on social media at skulduggery pond. We'll talk to you on Friday. No, one sees the world the way you do. That's why it's important to capture your unique point of view. 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Donald Trump Donald J Trump president Trump Alabama Twitter President Obama Trump Tower Trump Dan Kleinman Trump David Letterman Michael Isikoff Yahoo cough Michael Cohen editor in chief principal ROY wood Donald JR
Tickling the wire

Skullduggery

1:13:10 hr | 1 year ago

Tickling the wire

"This podcast is sponsored by emperor investments, a new automated dividend investing platform. We build personalized, pure equity portfolios designed to meet your financial goals. Get your first six months for free by visiting emperor invests dot com. Slash Yahoo. In July two thousand sixteen smack in the middle of the US presidential election. A strange story is published by a Russian news agency, a former Russian intelligence officer who had defected to the west, had died inside the United States. The officer was Colonel. Alexander Petya off a double agent who years earlier had secretly tipped off the FBI to the existence of a ring of sleeper agents, known as the illegals who are living, quiet lives posing as ordinary American families while they spied on US political and business figures only Petya wasn't dead at all. He was living in an undisclosed location under FBI protection. The Russians were tickling the wire. It's a phrase common among law enforcement and Intel types putting out disinflation that they apparently hoped would create a stir among Petya ABS family and friends causing phone calls to be made in emails written. That would help the Russians track him down. Now, a new book offers a provocative theory about the Petya false flag. The Russians had actually targeted Petya for assassination, the ultimate revenge for his betrayal of the motherland, but when they couldn't find him, they went next down. Their list of traders leading to the poisoning of Sergei scruple another former Russian spy living in Salisbury England. It was a sign of just how aggressive Ladimir Putin's. Russia has become a useful reminder during the week. The US Justice department indict seven Russian military spies on cyber hacking charges. They were members of the very same military intelligence unit that hacked the democratic emails during the two thousand sixteen election. We'll discuss all this with the author of that new book, the scruple files Amil dissect the new FBI report on Brett Cavanaugh on today's skulduggery. There is absolutely no collusion. I didn't make a phone call the Russia. I have nothing to do with Russia. Everybody knows it because people have got to know whether or not their president's across. Well, I'm not a crook. I told the American people. I did not trade arms. For instance, my heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true. But the facts and the evidence, tell me it is not. I did not have sexual relations with that woman. The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently saw significant quantities of uranium from Africa, but he tends to have to answer this question is the rooms. A Michael Isikoff chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo news, and I'm Dan Kleinman editor in chief of Yahoo news. So you know, climbing, you're a little too young for this. But when I was a kid, I used to read mad magazine and I loved the regular feature spy versus spy a sort of cartoon about the skulduggery of intelligence agencies and the battles inside them and between them. And I gotta say, that's one reason. I am totally addicted to these spy stories, and you know the this new theory that Petya off the double agent who had was so crucial in the roundup of those Russian. Spies had been targeted for assassination inside the United States was a real grabber for me for the record. I do remember mad magazine used to read it as a kid. I was born in during. It's a fascinating tale and a great conversation that we have. But I, we've gotta get to what looks like is the new mall of the story that's been riveting, Washington and the country for the past few weeks. And it's this confirmation war over co cavenaugh for the supreme court. And in some ways, a spy story of its own everybody trying to spy on each other and into Kavanagh's background. Absolutely. And you know, as we record this podcast, it is beginning to look like the smoke signals would suggest that Brad Kavanagh is going to be confirmed. But with the caveat that you know throughout this story, there have been surprises and last minute, you know, new bits of information. So we need to recognize that possibility. But right now this f. b. i. report that everyone has been waiting for. Looks like it has not moved the ball forward in terms of corroborating, the underlying stories. But the report itself is being attacked by Democrats, and we're going to, we're going to talk about that, but you know, look, this does not really surprise anybody. I think everybody expected that there would. This would be a very quick report that what the Democrats were demanding was that the f. b. i. speak to the witnesses who could corroborate or shoot down the claims of Dr Dr Ford and any other accusers that might be out there and it doesn't look like the f. b. i. came up with anything that strengthen the allegations of Dr Ford. Yet on the other hand, it's impossible to shoot them down and you have all these other claims about Kavanagh's drinking and his high school yearbook that may or may not resolve any of the murky issues here. But the Democrats are saying, look, you didn't speak to, you know, these thirty other witnesses who might have some useful information. Of course, I should point out. There's nothing from stopping any of those witnesses from coming forward and saying whatever they've got to say, and I suspect they will. And I suspect that Democrats will be pushing them to come forward and they're beginning to think about how this will play in the midterm elections. And you were saying before the show that you think this is going to this is going to get really ugly, and let me read this one tweet from our friend, Susan Glasser of the New Yorker that I think captures. This this idea that that nothing has changed even if break having our gets on the supreme court. She's, she tweeted basically we are close to being back where we were a week ago, accept everyone. Everywhere is angrier. Right. I totally agree. And I think that if cavenaugh does get confirmed this weekend and his sworn in immediately as he's likely to be on the supreme court, there's going to be real fury on the part of the left of Democrats of lot of women's groups that's probably going to help the democrat. Channel that fury into electoral success you could. You could argue that the Republicans would have been better off if the Democrats are somehow able to stop cavenaugh because their base is quite furious about the way Kavanagh has been treated. So you know, electorally this may be a net plus for the DS. But of course the downside is the conservatives Kenema jarred, the supreme court. Yeah. Yeah. And you're beginning to hear from Democrats, you know people talking about impeachment e impeaching Brett cavenaugh once he's confirmed, and also people writing pretty seriously about a packing the courts, all you. You don't need a constitutional amendment to put more more people on the supreme court, just an act of congress. So I mean, another way of of. Of of saying what Susan Glasser said in that tweet is is the old talking heads song same as it ever was. Right. Well, let's explore that f. b. i. background investigation. And we have show run Gaba a former FBI counterintelligence agent, and now a senior lecturer at Yale university's Jackson institute for global affairs. Isha welcome to skulduggery. Thank you. So wanted to ask you about the FBI report background report on Brett cabinet seemed to me, you know, everybody is putting so much emphasis on what's in it. What might not be in it that the FBI was in kind of a really a no-win position here in trying to produce this report within a week. I think that's right. You know, it's important to understand that background investigation or not normal criminal investigations. They're not here to figure out conclude. Basically what happened. They are there to look into potential derogatory information that has surfaced about this candidate and basically provide more information in context so that the decision maker who is not the FBI would be the White House in this case can decide whether or not this impacts judge Cavanaugh suitability for this position. Now, in my opinion, I think that the right way to go about this for the White House to have said, we have these allegations. We need you to find out all the relevant information surrounding this and let the FBI do it. It'd make the determination on who exactly they would need to interview to cover all of their leads. I wrote a piece along with ambassador norm Eisen who had worked in the White House and reviewed these FBI. Background checks and a former counsel for house congressional committee who also review these yesterday, and we went through the allegations and found at least thirty people that should have been interviewed in order to make sure that they got information from anyone who had it as well as a sculptor. Tori information from people who may have had it. We'll limit follow up on this because thirty people and chief among them. I would assume would be Dr blazey Ford and Brett Kavanagh the accused and the accuser. And as I recall when a few days after the Senate Judiciary committee wrapped up the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearing and then Anita hill surfaced and sent her memo into the Senate Judiciary committee that very day the FBI FBI agents were on her doorstep, and they interviewed her and then they interviewed Clarence Thomas. So the whole ethos of the FBI is, you know, running down every lead and not leaving any stones unturned. I get that this is not a criminal investigation, but what justification could there be for not interviewing Dr. Blasi Ford and Brad Kavanagh as. Matter at normal investigatory procedure, there would be no reason to not interviewed them and not. It's not interview them. I, the only reason they wouldn't is if they were instructed not to by the consumer of the background check in this case, the White House. That is my opinion. As you said in this kind of situation, the first place that you would start is where the person making the allegation, and then you would give the person who's being accused chance to respond. I know there have been some prosecutors on Twitter who said, well, they might be the last people that you would interview that might be true in a criminal investigation where they don't know they're being investigated. That's not the case here. This is not. They have been at all exactly. You would start with them because otherwise you don't have a baseline narrative on which to figure out who to like to get background checks start there. It's kind of an expanding concentric circles. So you start from the very middle and then you go outward from there. And then if there's more people that would you could talk to you. Outs outward from there until you're maybe two or three degrees won't move. So you're really getting full information even in the most limited situation, you would start with these two people, and then you would go to immediate witnesses and then other people who had it soon to be fair. I mean, both cavenaugh judge Cavanaugh and Dr Ford testified at length under oath before the before the committee gave their account conflicting accounts of of the events at issue and and Cavanaugh was also questioned number of times by committee staff about these allegations. But let me ask you about this list of thirty on Michael. That was a joke. Well, I mean, I mean, we need to be on. We need to be clear that Senate questioning on both sides for both witnesses was not reflective of what at the FBI the how the FBI would conduct an interview. I'm sorry. You know, you had. The prosecutor who probed on particular details perceive blog these account. I think the FBI would have really, you know, would have pro DRA memory to to find out, you know more about that summer if you could nail down the date, if there were other people, you know they didn't go down that road and then with with judge Cavanaugh. I mean, they didn't even ask anything. They actually fired the prosecutor altogether. So I don't think that that is a sufficient basis to replace an interview. I don't disagree with that, but I want to get to this thirty list of thirty witnesses that you say should be interviewed. I mean, look Dr Ford gave a very made a very specific and damaging allegation about what she says happened to her, and she identified people who she said. She remembered being around the night that this happened. I and the f. b. i. is apparently interviewed all of those witnesses including the key I witnessed. She says to the event that issue the attempted rape to talk about everybody else who was in that circle who she's, you know, she acknowledges weren't. They are wouldn't have any first-hand information. I mean, how does that get you to resolving or helping the decision maker resolve the specifics about the allegation that she made talking about people. Who had no first-hand knowledge of anything. Well, they'd go to relevance to the conduct at issue, and it goes to credibility. So you know one one thing you learn when you're an as messed gator is that people behave in patterns. And so the idea here is whether any part of her testimony can be corroborated even if it is. It doesn't mean it's true, but it kind of bolsters credibility. And if there's nothing that's corroborated, then you have it standing a load. So you know things like judge Kavanagh's pattern of drinking his aggression while drinking, whether you know how he treated women. I mean, you know, to some limit to degree in a circle of people that were with him a lot in that time period that would go to whether or not you know what, what Dr Ford is alleging is even plausible. I mean, if if no says somebody like that, it would. Come out of the blue it. That would be very unlikely. It also goes to, you know, if if judge Cavanaugh has testified that he did not engage in that kind of behavior at all, and that is affirmative defense. And it turns out that that's not true. It actually undermines his credibility in terms of the truthful known of what he's saying about everything else. He did not testify that he never drank in high school. So tracking down everybody with whom he drank to get conflicting accounts about how much he drank. I'm just not sure how that gets you to any of the quiet games. Sexual combat about finding every single person. Like I said, you would start with the people who were there that Dr Ford alleged you would also go to, you know, for example, there's a party on the calendar which has certain people that are there. I mean. Relevant, but I'm just telling you that in a normal course of investigation, you wouldn't like it's not like he would go through the yearbook and interview every single person, but there would be people if you're really interested in getting to the truth dot is what you would do. And I think if that's the relevant comparison and that's what we're looking at. So I mean, if you feel like what they've done is sufficient, then that's fine. I mean, maybe reasonable people can disagree, but I'm just letting you know that that's what, in my opinion to, if if this came up in the course of a background check just for, you know, Joe schmo and somebody like made an allegation like this. I think they would probe a few people who knew that person to find out whether this is some kind of pattern of behavior that other people were aware of even if they couldn't corroborate the specific allegation. OSU. We wanna talk to you in a minute about how this is playing out playing. On on the Yale campus and get your perspective on that. But before at once a question about the process, which is what we've been hearing is that the Senate received one copy of this FBI report, and each Senator is reviewing it individually for the most part, except I think on the judiciary committee staffers don't have any access to it. I guess there is a concern that it will leak, but should shouldn't this report be public. Do you think the American people have a right to actually see what's in it or is protocol that these kinds of reports stay under wraps? And do you think that's that's the right approach here? Well, I think in this case it's become such a matter of public interest that for the public to know what if any derogatory information was uncovered by the FBI would be helpful because then there's some baseline against which to measure the White House's judge me. If they and it looks like they have if they decided that this doesn't make him unsuitable. I mean, if there's nothing there, then the White House looks like they are making the right judgment. And I think that enhances confidence even if people disagree with his nomination. Ultimately, I think it protects also the integrity of the court. On the other hand, if there were a, if there is derogatory information in there that tends to, you know, go to some of his behavior. And as I mentioned before his credibility and you know, I disagree with Michael. I think that he was incredibly evasive about his drinking the extent of his drinking, how much he drank. I mean, he, he, he said he liked beer and he said that sometimes he drank a lot of them, but I don't think that that is responsive really to the question that was being asked by the various senators. So you know if if there's derogatory information there, then I think there's a way for the public to feel too. Put some pressure on the White House. I mean, ultimately to do this without any transparency at all will always leave a question Mark on both the judge and if he's confirmed on the supreme court, and I think that's a bad thing. On the Yale campus spread Kavanagh is a graduate of Yale college yell law school. I know that when he was first nominated a lot of your colleagues at Yale said, very positive things about his nomination. What is the mood right now on campus and particularly among your colleagues who were quite praiseworthy of Brett cavenaugh when his name for surface, I think that there is a lot of concern and I believe that most of those people have now felt that that his confirmation would not be wise and I don't know that that means that they've concluded that they, you know, believe the, you know that this actually happened in, you know that he is guilty of this, but just that the question alone raises questions. And I think more than that from the. Law school perspective, I, there was a letter that was signed by over six hundred fifty law professors from across the country that the New York Times published yesterday and many law professors were on there. I think beyond allegation which goes to his character and fitness, it was his demeanor and his partisanship at the confirmation hearing last week that I think really concerned, many people in the legal field, and I can see why you cannot have someone. I mean in the judicial branch, even the perception of impartiality requires refusal and given his diatribe at the hearing, I think his impartiality would always be questioned. He's not gonna, so he's not going to recuse himself from anything. And if he's confirmed and he's if he's a Justice on the supreme court, and there's no way to force a supreme court. Court Justice to recuse himself. So another option that you're beginning a couple of other options that you're beginning to hear people talk about is pursue pursue impeachment proceedings against him or through legislation, add more justices to the supreme court, taking a playbook from FDR and packing the courts. Would you support either of those approaches. You know, I think impeachment is always ultimately a political question in terms of, you know what congress wants to do. I think that there have been enough questions raised about his truthfulness under oath. I think that is a big problem and I would I would I would I would want to see is at least some clear, you know, investigation congressionally about his answers under oath. And I think if he's found to have lied even about minor things. I mean, I used to be the admissions that yet law school and I would counsel applicants. And I would say, you know, there's very, they're very few things in your past that will keep you out of law school because people get second chances. But if you lie about them, then you're done and I think that that applies here and you know, you just can't have that question. Hang. Over the supreme court. So if you were the director of admissions when Brett Cavanaugh applied for admission to Yale college, and you had heard something about the Christina Ford allegation, and he denied it and the evidence was as it was, would you have admitted him to Yale. Possible question I, I hate admissions question because you know, it's, you know, you have to look at the totality of the circumstances. People apply with all kinds of character fitness issues. And I think that there are a lot of relevant. You know, things that you take into account, how long ago to occurred is the person contrite? Are they reflective? Are they able to take responsibility and accountability for their actions? Does it potentially, you know, is it a again, a pattern of behavior that could potentially put other people in danger? So all of those questions have to be answered. You might ask for an interview. You might have other people way in. So it's just not. I mean, it would raise a red flag. I can tell you that. Absolutely. What I can tell you is if that was not disclosed, and it came up later and he did not self disclose that. That would be an automatic denial or even a reputation of admission. In my opinion. Of course, would have denied it at the time and if you couldn't prove it gets clicking that. Yeah. Well, I think it's clear show that whatever happens and if Brett cabin is confirmed and ends up on the supreme court, that that people will continue to investigate this this episode. And particularly if the Democrats take back the house, we'll be hearing a lot more about this and we're very pleased that you could join us on the show to get your insights, and we may have you back on to talk about this or certainly not if this than other matters. So thanks so much offshoot running joining us on skulduggery. Thanks a lot. Real shift gears and bring in Mark urban veteran, diplomatic and intelligence editor for the BBC. And the author of the scruple files, Mark, welcome to skulduggery pledged to be with you. So I, this is a very timely and fascinating look at what remains a real spy mystery here the poisoning and attempted assassination of Sergei's scruple in in the UK and you knew screwball you had spent time with them. Tell us how you came to meet Sergei scrawl before he became a household name and what your interactions were like? Well, essentially, and to cut a long story short, I got the feeling for some time, but there was a lot of a spin on going on of it. It was having a lot of. Quincy's, but generally the public won't aware of it. So I thought that's a book about the the kind of return of Cowell star espionage, and obviously not quite a big subject. So then only still looking at the swap happened in twenty ten in Vienna. I'm thinking, well, why didn't I stall an end mind but and in the in the main body of tell the stories of people who in the day and how they inform our understanding of this new style, espionage will so swin. So gay script Powell was swapped for those folks who've been lifted by the FBI on the long running investigation which they will go stories. Now, if you've seen the Americans that Finchley dramatized of ocean of that type of agent, the people they call illegals. We're living a fake life in America rolled up. I'm sorry, you were getting to that. I was going to say, let's back up a little bit for our listeners. And we've talked about the illegals on this program before, but tell the story briefly of the. Illegals the rolling up of that network and how it led to screwball based. Paul being poisoned many all those years later. Well, the sensually. I mean, I think we now know coins lulls amount how it came to be that these people were found now the Soviet Union, historically and Russia, as as the successor or the inheritor of its intelligence agencies had these loan held belief that in a way the most kind of important and serious area responding with with these illegal networks. Now, of course, in the twenties and thirties, they had loads of people coming to Russia who were idealogical communists. Now they might have come from, you know, Germany or hungry or sorts of countries. So you could put them back into western countries and they could call absolutely convincingly FU Germans Spanish what, whatever original identity most because that's what they were, but they and they had some big successes without including cools the Bom. Spy ring the guy who wound them about the German intention to invade Russia in nineteen forty one. Suits of legends if you like of the Soviet intelligence, he's now when the Cold War ended, they can't doing with us and on many people in western countries was distinct. They'd peculiar and an example of an unreformed mindset. I mean, you could get so much more from the internet. And instead they would taking these people who were Russians and they were training them sometimes for as much as fifteen years in spine. Kroft languages trying to get into bilingual standard and then infiltrating them and they sort of what town but good ways to get them into the US via South America and Canada with, for example, they could build up what they legend their full FAI density and spend years. So one of the couples that was arrested in twenty ten had spent years in Canada kind of building on their identity. And before they came to the US and settled in the US. So at the same time that this was going home from ninety nine hundred nine onwards would say they had an extraordinary. Spy, and he was a member of the organization that supported those illegal agents that you've cooled line f. It's the department within Russian foreign, and this was a man cooled unexamined Petya and he. So I here was a kind of walking with the FBI in New York. He was based at that time in New York, and his job was to support some of these illegal agents. And he started working for the US which meant obviously they could find them. And as things went down though the coming years, he went back to Moscow. Then he came back for another tool. So so things happen to this man, but he kept providing excellent intelligence and the FBI mounted this extraordinary long term surveillance on these people at the end of which, but by the time they were ready to arrest them. They had seven, Russian illegals. The wife of enough to other Russians that included the famous Anna Chapman who operating under their names. They went. Technically, they were also there on the so-called nonofficial cover red headed beauty who actually, and I learned this from your book. I didn't remember this turns out she was technically not an illegal. That's right because that was her name. She married an Englishman and name Chapman, and and you know that that was real name. Just just to just to emphasize the point because I think it's it's something that a lot of people certainly didn't know at the time we've only come to know these many years later that the whole FBI investigation into the legals was a result of a tip from a double agent. Alexander Petya off the guy who essentially was a Russian spy who began working for the US tipped off the FBI to the existence of this network of sleeper agents inside the United States. Absolutely. And and listen when I was when I was working on a of my book before the poisoning this Alexander Petya was a pretty central character in what I was working on. And in a sense. The scope of the FBI investigation increased as he rose up the organization. So when he was initially in New York in the late nineties and he offered his services to the FBI, he was a guy just dealing with South America. So the first one they go to beat 'em was guy. He was cooling himself on the Tharu. Now he, I mean, we really going into engine history that he he had left Russia to begin building up his legend in nineteen eighty three. I mean, that's how long he'd been living double life coming to South America. He married a lady in Peru, Peruvian lady, and they didn't move to new and then as say, froze higher up the system. He gained a wide knowledge. And then of course, as he did, the FBI investigation became wider investigation. And by watching some of these folks, they, they discovered others. And in the end ended up with a set of them that they just wanted to arrest in two thousand ten or so. We got one guy Petya. Off who is who's the FBI tipster and then disappears after. The illegal operation is is rolled up the Jeff's before in or just before. Okay. So yeah, man seems to be the trigger for the whole actually know why he left Moscow, but maybe you know, he'd been doing it for long enough. Maybe the FBI just decided enough already that they had their own reasons for wanting to wind up such a long running and complex investigation. So we get him out. I guess my point is so after we arrest these spies, the sleeper agents inside the United States, the Russians want them back and the way way before internet, I'm isn't it. He is extra our, our source. The FBI source is is actual faded out of out of Russia and brought to the United States. Right, right. Okay. So the Russians want their spies back and hence the spy swap that leads to the release of Sergei scruple. Absolutely. And three other individuals and three others, right? And tell us about Sergei Skar Paul, his history and how he came to be a spy for the UK's. Am I sex. Well, he was the man. You might see him in a way as sort of all typical Russian officer of his of his generation. I mean, he'd grown up in the fifties and sixties. He'd go onto minute tree, Lynn, Kaliningrad, and gone into the engineer troops for very tricky going into the ad boom engineers. And then from they going into the GO you which is Russian military intelligence, and he had a posting in Malta lost in a few years gone, I'm for a bit and then go into Spain. Now he rive in Spain in nineteen Ninety-three and it was pretty near the end of his posting. He was due to go home in September of ninety six. So it was pretty much three posting. It was pretty near the end. The m. i. sakes in the woods, the trade pitched him and effectively suggested that he should work for them. And you know as to how he'd got to that point where he was receptive to that all. Well, I think that was caught a long story, but I think like a lot of Russian military guys, he's h. He felt very disillusioned about the collapse of the USO not happening on t. one years before they, everyone was then suffering from the effects of hyperinflation. You know, he was. He was trying to support his own immediate family, but his mother and his, you know, his brother's family and all sorts of other people. So when you got how how is it? You got to talk to him in two thousand seventeen a couple years ago. Well, I'm not gonna tell you in Tyler, how, but essentially having having fixed poem him as a significant person in this. In his sort of plan book ahead, which Frank was a project I was, I was picking up and putting down for the best of two years. There was no deadline. I thought, well, that's fine. This guy now actually script how was quite findable as the. Tragically to learn to for a number of reasons because he was on the electoral roll, which is, you know, like register of of household is in this country. So. Yeah, yeah, under his own name. And that was quite different to, for example, the good, yes ski or let him kin out, exempted it, but then other people who'd come to this country and been taken care of, but intelligence is a no not onto their am names, and I'm not, you know, effectively how I found him. So you know, we had a meeting we we sort of got on k. that was on sort of neutral ground and then the decision was taken. Yeah, you know, come round and talk, and the next ones were in his home Mark. I'd like you to draw a little more clearly or expansively the connection between Petya of and screw hall because it goes beyond the the swap you report, or you theorize in your book that there is a more clear connection between. The the Russians are going after Petya in the United States, and eventually the poisoning of Sergei scruple. So explain that. Yeah, I mean, then don't some the, no, they went bosom buddies or anything like that. They worked in different organizations. I mean, there's an interesting parallel that both men were involved a covered the enough Afghan stone before the Russian invasion. I don't skim. I did all say whether he knew and he said no bought, of course subsequently they, they would. It's become linked, particularly in the minds of those in Moscow who felt that traces should not be allowed to get away with it. And if you look at, you know, if you look at that period of the mid two thousand or something about some sort of a few years back, you know that many of these individuals the Russians went catching that many and then cools potato defect. He didn't twin ten huge damage to to the Russian intelligence service. I mean, not just those folks in in the US those illegals. But in other countries to with things would dealt with a bit more quietly. So a whole glow. Oh, Belay. Jim was a network was rolled up obviously at that point and you may have seen the video of of Vladimir Putin reacting with them salute cold fury to what had happened. He became if you like public enemy number one, and they're not send, you can say, obviously he was more of a tollgates than soggy, screw pal because he'd done this huge amount of damage. He defended an of cool Sergei had been arrested. He'd spent several years in jail in Syria. He'd been paldon bond presidential palm in two thousand ten. So of course, Petya was was in a higher category if he won't to make an example of someone who betrayed the mother on now. Interestingly, a few weeks by the New York Times, ran a story saying that Russian hitman had been detected in Florida in twenty fourteen oh, maybe twenty fifty. Now they didn't name the postseason bumped who he was telling, but I knew that it was put saying when I was able to get that confirmed. And then I found out. As well. Who knows? Maybe that mission was successfully frustrated by the FBI or the agency, whoever and go, I went home presumably having no found potato. But I've been discovered that in twenty sixty that had been this information operation in which they had flown to the story that Petya for done. And I was told when I was writing the book that the idea walls that he would get in touch with some friend or relative and say, you know, this is rubbish. I'm still very much live and that that might through intersection of those friends or relatives and that communications give them an Email account or a phone number. Some stop point for a new operation where they could find him. So the evidence is there that they'd been trying to get potato and not in a sense is part of the build up to what then happened in Seoul's brain. So your theory, as I understand it is that Petya f- was the time. Airy target for Russian intelligence, and that's the guy they really wanted. That's the guy who was number one on Putin's list as a as a traitor to the country, and that's significant on a number of levels. Number one, there's been this debate within the US intelligence and law enforcement community for many years about whether the Russians would actually commit an assassination on US soil clearly they did it on UK soil clearly. They've done it elsewhere in the world, but we really haven't seen hard evidence of a Russian hit inside the United States for decades going back to, I think, pre World War Two days. But if your theory is correct here, at least the Russians were trying to assassinate Petya off inside the United States as late as two thousand sixteen. Yeah, I guess that's right. I mean, if you believe if you believe people in the US intelligence community and oversee, then you times that story, they seem to feel it was genuine, the post mall slant to do home to him. But I think I think the indication of your question is right carrying out operation like that's in America involved in altogether, different level of risk, political risk and security race, scuffing for Russia because you know if they succeeded in targeting Petya of and killing him. I mean, the consequences could have been extraordinarily one one name that we have not mentioned here to four is Putin, and I think is his role in all of this is is fascinating and it does go to the whole question of of motive in this group hall case. And it seems to me that you alluded to this before. Or actually, but it seems to me that. Putin based on his public pronouncements has had every motive to go after script hall as well. And what I found fascinating and I did not remember this, perhaps it no it that Putin himself was a when he was stationed in in Berlin in Germany. During during the Silva, the end of the Cold War was a member of line s or department Asan was part of his job was supporting illegals and that he would have you'd. This is just the just enraged by the betrayal. That he was seeing. I think that's right. I mean, look, if I want to, I'll you count to, you've said some of the people who if you like spin for Russia or or you know, you want to put a positive context on what he's what he said. We'll on q.. Well, when he made these examples made these statements about they would choke them pieces of Silva. Even, you know, with what he said today that he said, other things along the lines of we didn't kill this person. We didn't try to kill this person that despicable latte suit of thing that he distanced himself. He said back in twenty ten, we, we no longer have an assassination diplomants you know our intelligence of his, but these people will will come to an end, you know, a bad end, trust me, that sort of thing. So he tries to distance himself. The problem is, you know, there's just been quite a few people who he who basically been moded in Russia. Political mud is other kinds. Mood is where you know, there's been suspected efficient involvement and you get sort of ju- language which is denial on the one hand, but then then he Gration of the postseason and saying that they would, you know, sorry, rotten people. Another version of it a little bit of which was protected today was, oh, this person wasn't worth killing, which, you know. I mean, imagine the western politician responding like, you know, it's an extraordinary thing to to sort of say, let's go to the core question, which is why they tried to assassinate score. Paul when they did it was he'd been living quietly in in in the UK for more than seven years. He was not like listen Yanko a public critic of Putin who's trying to. Was in his face denouncing the the Putin government. Why go after this guy after so many years, I think it's a complex combination of, you know, as I said before, aspiration versus attainability all availability and because script how was findable and because he's someone dole to regularly traveling back and forth, which gave up its Unity's intercepting communications or rather that communications with him. But knowing way he'd be at a particular time, I, he, he was very tempting that sense. Now, some people have said, oh, that was crazy. You know, on the eve of the World Cup here on the eve of the election. But you know, even some Kremlin political analysts have said since it happened, oh, this souls pre thing played out pretty well for President Putin because he. Was worried about voter apathy. He was worried that people would be angry about the cost of living increases pensions, various other things and souls breeze successfully diverted people onto Russify, BIA unwise, everybody. We blaming us for this and you know, we need to pull together so you know, extraordinarily you got quite openly making that type of ultimate in Russia, even while Russia officially denies responsibility. But you you do suggest that there was a would have been deep animists towards scruple because of some of what he revealed to British intelligence, particularly that corruption within the FSBA itself going all the way up to a guy named Nikolai patra chef who was the head of the f. s. b. a close crony of Ladimir Putin is now the head of the Russian Security Council. Yes. I mean, what we, what we know when Sergei told me which until the book paid was completely on was that was another g. o. u. of a. who made the decision to spy for the west around about the same time just off to the guy. So this would have been sometime probably late ninety, nine hundred six. This guy in the book he's given a pseudonym for various reasons, but he was a naval officer William for the jail you. It was working under civilian cover in in Madrid. Now they saw the postseason. He ran the scientific and technical intelligence gathering, which in layman's terms was kind of way of going on shopping sprees for bits of technology that Russian alms make his or other industries wants to get hold of. And the Russians have a long record of this spying relates computer or trying to bribe a soldier to keep them the latest night vision goggles. Whatever it is acquiring bits of west and technology. Now, this other officer was involved in this, but he was involved in diversion of funds and captain Balart off as I call him in the book. He knew that if he was going to do that kind of thing, he needed some color. So he was paying off general back in Moscow on the way and he in turn. So claimed by Sergei wills, paying off Petra chef so that when the two of them were cool to miss album, the naval captain below was cool. I the the consensus will series. He tried to to bunk and without knowledge which could him Oded in jail Mark before we, we wrap up here. I, I'd like to step back a little bit and you put this. Story. This repulsed story in the sort of larger context of these spy wars that have reemerged between Russia and the west. Think I read a while ago in the New York Times that there are more Russian spies in London now than there were at the height of the Cold War. I don't know if that's true, but what's going on. Well, I, it's, it's an aggressive competition for influence for secret information. You know, there's a set of people at the head of Russia's mean we're not just talking about President Putin, but many of the other people he's put in place while these so-called Sylvie key. The people who came up through the power organizations secret police ministry and so on. And they still have a view of the world in which this type of competition for information for secrets. Espionage is pretty central to their will view, and you know, let's be honest, the US UK and of the other western countries have been spying back pretty hard as well. I mean, initially there excuse during the Yeltsin years of chaos was, oh, no. The whole place might go Betty up. We don't want nuclear weapons going stray. Now it's a different kind of espionage bottle and it's it's, it's about penetrating those organizations and funding out what they're doing because that's so central to the Putin power powerbase and just put this in the larger context, especially in the wake of we're still investigating here in the US what happened in the two thousand sixteen election. But you do make the larger point that this is the this repeal poisoning is in the context of a pattern. By the Kremlin of taking greater and greater risks to advance its interests abroad, the the, the meddling in the in the two thousand sixteen election in the US is but one example. But there are lots of others while I think for many people shooting down of that Malaysian Airline. I've I've ever Ukraine in which you know nearly three hundred people off that lives is the most say, at one because of the scale of the human tragedy. But I mean, that is an actual difference. I think from from code will one. I mean the the, the Soviet communists will in certain ways, very risk of us. I mean, sure. They were implacable ideological foes of the west, and they wanted to work for its destruction. Whereas you can argue that Putin and the people around him a semi capitalist in in their outlook, their economic outlook on logical out, but they would move risk of us those old communists to run the Soviet Union. And some of these things that are happening in those few years, I think would have been up -solutely unthinkable to them. And this is one, I think, many people, you know who I two in in the security world and the defense world regard all times as being more stable and injuries the most times. Well, not notwithstanding the differences. Everybody loves a good spy-versus-spy story and we, we thank you for coming on skulduggery. We wish you the best of luck with the book and I have a feeling the story does not end here and maybe we'll have you back. With pleasure. Okay. Well, thank you very much Mark urban and the book is the scruple files the life in near death of a Russian spy. When we come back, we'll talk to Dan Hoffman former Moscow station chief for the CIA who was responsible for the spy swap of surrogates. Paul. The stock market can be a great way to grow your wealth, but it's not easy to be successful investor. So what can you do if you don't have the time to put in the work and become the next Warren Buffett, introducing an turn vestments of pure equity, automated investing platform. Emperors, portfolios have outperformed the market since inception have consistently pay dividends and are designed to help you achieve your financial goals. Experience the emperor difference for yourself and get your first six months free by visiting emperor, invest dot com. Slash Yahoo. We are now joined by a old friend of ours who knows more about the scruple case than probably anybody in the US. Dan Hoffman, the former Moscow station chief for the CIA. Dan, welcome back for a third time to skulduggery. Thanks. It's a pleasure to be with you again. Now, look, you played such a key role in the events that we just talked about with Mark urban, starting with the spy swap that led to spur Paul's release in exchange for the illegals who were arrested by the FBI in two thousand ten. And as you know, in in Mark's book, your identified as the guy who arranged the Scott spies wop. Yeah, I, I will tell you it's it's kind of odd for me to see my name in print that way. Normally at the agency, the things that we do our secret and stay secret, but the the swap the arrest of the illegals and the swap was really a public event in a way that normally things just don't take place between the United States and Russia at the bilateral level. There are lots of things that are over, but certainly not when intelligence is involved. But in this case, you know, the illegals were arrested. That was the department of Justice matter, and there was full coverage certainly in the United States and Russia about the idea that there would be a swap and full coverage about those who were freed from Siberian labor camps, where they all probably would have taken their last breath Mark is I will. I will tell you an exceptional investigative journalists, and it's no small feat to establish significant report and trust with someone like staircase could it. Paul was raised not to trust journalists, and I, I have to tip my hat to Mark for a job well, done. That sounds like an attitude. Many in the US have about, especially these days about not trusting journalists, but I getting to the to the larger point that Mark is making in the book. It goes to a question we have discussed on this show before. In fact right after the scruple poisoning, which is why, why would the Russians after so many years go after this guy who was living quietly in the in the UK in Salisbury, I practically eight years after you arrange for his release and Mark has a couple of provocative theories about it starting with just how much how much information he provided to the Brits about corruption within the FSB and also the idea that he may not have been the number one target. For Putin and the Kremlin, right? So I think certainly exposing Russia's massive level of corruption. Colluding with former director FSB Patrushev Geffen. It Lee brought Putin's ir and and and certainly encouraged Putin to to aim his sights on skip Paul. That's for sure. The last thing Ladimir Putin would want is that sort of negative publicity and what it means in the reason why is because it makes it harder for him to govern inside Russia. It's all about regime security. And when the guys in the FBI or if in the SV are g, are you see that there is corruption at high levels like that, then they wonder as they did in the nineteen nineties, which is what Mark writes about related to Sergius could Paul, they wonder why? Why am I taking on this low state salary while Patrushev. Is skimming so much money from the state coffers. I don't like that very much and then they think of other ways to earn money. And sometimes that involves espionage stealing secrets on behalf of of NATO countries for example. So that's certainly one issue for Putin. And then I think the timing of the attack on skinny Paul and the method certainly indicated, look Putin could have done this missile tribute to believe or non attributed practically had he just made it look like a bar fight or someone could have run him over stoop over with Laurie. But he used Novi chunk in sensually discoverable operation. Not unlike the attacks on our social networking in media sites with the Kremlin return address at the internet research agency or the Trump Tower meeting in two thousand sixteen Putin wanted his own people to know it because he wants them to know that if they step out of line, he's gonna kill them. And he also wanted to drop increase the level of antipathy between the UK and by extension NATO and Russian. Advance zone, March election, knowing full well that that would drive voters to the polls and it did. He got his seventy percent voter turnout, which was his goal. That's pretty Machiavellian, but Ladimir Putin's, KGB guy and that kind of the way he operates. Dan Isikoff alluded to another theory of the case here, which is that Alexander Petya have who we just talked about this defector who fingered identified the the, the so-called illegals in the United States to the FBI allowing the FBI to roll them up that he was the number one target, but they couldn't find him. And so they just went down the line and the next the next in line was was scruple scruple? Does that theory. Certainly. It's certainly possible that that Latimer Putin has a kill list, and I'm sure he does and defy. Factors would be high on that list. Remember when Vladimir Putin has given both in interviews over the years, the most recent one was on the eve of his election when he did to to our interviews as part of a like, say this loosely called documentary where there was a sycophant journalist asking him questions and journalists ask Putin if he could forgive anything and Putin said, yeah, and then he kind of leaned back with a Cheshire grin and said, nah, just not doctors treachery. So he's he's interested in in exacting, revenge on on as many of these guys as he can find and the poisoning of skinny. Paul, I'm sure was ringing alarm bells for all of us. All of the countries who are hosting high level defectors, whom Putin would want to target. And I think there's no question that that that you know, enhanced security measures are in order to protect those folks. What I find so interesting about the Petya f- ongo here is there was this Russian news agency report on July seventh, two thousand sixteen right in the middle of the US election that Petya off the defector who was under FBI witness protection program protection and who had fingered the illegals was dead. And now from as as Mark urban reports in his book, he wasn't dead, isn't dead. I've been told the same thing by many by multiple sources, but this was to use a phrase in the law enforcement world tickling the wire. The Russians were trying to find him and they thought by putting this story out, it would create some buzz, friendly members. Friends would start to talk, and that might figure might lead the Russians to the location of Petya th in the United States. Yeah, you know, you're a hundred percent, right? That's not uncommon practice in law enforcement and other operations to try to induce some sort of activity. Whether in this in this day and age, you know, cyber activity emails and then phone calls. And that's certainly one way to do it, and I certainly wouldn't put it past the Russians to run that sort of an operation. The the idea would be to target those who are not so sophisticated and the the MO of Russian intelligence services to understand that this is just a ruse when in fact, that's what it would have been, and it's it's typical of the Russians to do that sort of thing for them. You know, whatever anx they might cause someone and people could fall ill if they heard stories like this, but that doesn't matter for them. The ends justify the means. The premise of this theory is that is that the Russians would have hunted down. Down someone that they considered a traitor in the United States on US soil and assassinated. That person potentially, which is something that they've done in other groceries, notably in the UK, but not in the United States. Would you're given your background in your experience, what is your best judgment whether whether they would do that it was that a bridge too far for for even for Putin. There is no bridge too far for bladder Putin. If you look at all the norms, he's broken first time, post World War Two invading two countries and changing the map of Europe, Ukraine and Georgia. The massive cyberattack on Stony, obviously, annexation of Crimea, as I mentioned, unprecedented interference, but meddling but interference in our election and the massive, just espionage operations. He's running. Against us all worldwide, the poisoning of Litvinienko and of end up getting Paul Vladimir Putin is a throwback to Stalin. You know, he's, he's, he's going to do anything he can get away with until we counter his attacks on us. That's what deterrence is all about. It's about telling the Russians that if they take steps, if they go too far with what they're doing, we're going to wrap them on the knuckles and make them feel a lot of pain. But then we've got to do that. You may recall that one of our diplomats and summer two thousand sixteen was attacked walking into the embassy and the Obama administration did nothing about it. All that did was emboldened Putin. He said, okay, I, I've shown the world what I can do to US diplomat inside Moscow, and I'm going to keep moving forward with these sorts of aggressive operations worldwide against my enemies and the United States. We're his. Main enemy, and because we haven't countered him, we really don't really haven't deterred his attacks against us. So there's no doubt in my mind that Putin and and and his intelligence services which are quite capable. And that's one lesson that the legals operation taught us that they would seek to obtain information about where defectors are located, and then surveilled them with an eye towards attacking them. The. Has you look at the way the Trump administration has responded. We have this to the Russian aggression certainly in the two thousand sixteen election and and elsewhere around the world. We have this dichotomy. On the one hand, people will say, well, you know, we've, we've stiffened sanctions as a result of congressional pressure, but we've done so treasury as sanctioned a whole lot of high level. Russians I, we've taken other measures and yet we have a president who continues to seem to make apologies for Putin and put better relations with Russia as as a higher priority. How do you sort out that sort of double and contradictory track? We seem to be on with the Russians right now, and I know you go on Fox News a bit and where they're all Trump friendly, but. What do you say to the folks who think that our president is undermining what our policy should be? Well, I when I was in Helsinki I said that I thought, you know, the president could have been more forceful with Putin and and called him out for his attacks on our democracy. That's a bit of an understatement. Women say, yeah, for sure. I mean, well, I think it it just gets to my point about the idea that that if if you're going to take countermeasures against them in one of the some of those countermeasures we've talked about now our cyber operations at the point of attack. So if the internet research agency is mounting cyber attacks against us, we can go out and make them in operable. But before you do that, you need to tell Ladimir Putin that we are going to take those take that action. Otherwise, it's not going to be very effective and they also may misinterpret what we're doing. There's no doubt that the administration it doesn't. I think the way I would look at it from the Russian perspective, is it. A monolith? No, the president is doing with Russia. What he's doing with North Korea, which is trying to establish a positive relationship with the ruthless dictator of that country. You can argue about the merits of that and you have, then you've got embassador Bolton to speaking out very forcefully called Russia's attack on our elections and act of war, and you've got feeling a hill in the White House. Someone who keeps the very low public profile, but who's in my estimation, for sure, having a huge impact on our Russia policy, which has been very forceful as you pointed out during the administration. So there are some mixed messages out there and the the key I think for us, if I were in the intelligence community would be to parse out what that actually means to the Kremlin, what does what does it mean to flat Amir Putin? And is he trying to drive a wedge between the president and the congress? I think he is sometimes trying to do that or drive a wedge between the president and some of his key administration officials. And then does that even matter in terms of our policy, good questions to be asking for sure. Well, I have to, you brought up the own a hill, so I've got a make a plug here for Yahoo news, very own, Alex in his area and who did a terrific profile of Fiona hill, the Russia specialists in the. Extraordinarily well done and a fitting tribute to someone who is in my view, unquestionably the number one best Russia expert we've got, and it says a lot that she's in the White House, managing our Russia strategy. Well, she didn't want to be interviewed as she is extremely under the radar. She wants to stay that way probably because she might not be able to have the kind of influence. I guess she has in the White House if she were more high profile. So Dan serve final question here we are all awaiting what Robert Muller is going to finally do in his sprawling investigation. And you know, we've had some pretty detailed indictments of those GRU officers in the internet research. Agency, but you know a lot of people think we're going to we're getting into the fourth quarter here. We're going to probably see some climactic moves after the election. Now, what's your, what are you expecting. Gosh, it's so hard to predict. I mean, I just based on what we know there were. There's a lot of facts out there to digest contact between Russian intelligence and Trump campaign official Carter page. And of course the Papadopoulos story which is out there and general Flynn, I guess, is going to be sentenced here. Yeah, and so there's just there's a lot out there and it's it's premature to make any assessment yet on what we've got because the Muller investigate you think Fiona hill has a low profile with exception of those indictments. We haven't really seen a whole lot. I think we need to to wait and let the fact you know, present themselves, and then we can make an assessment about what we've got in terms of what has been discovered, and and at the end of the day, what I would emphasize just from my own perspective and I'll admit. It's the optic if somebody's certified years in Russia, but it's the the bad guys are in the Kremlin. They hate the Democrats. They hate the Republicans. They wanted destroy our country. And what I hope is that that we can arrive at some sort of a bipartisan consensus, which I used to remember sometimes seeing in the nineteen eighties that Russia is the threat and together we need to harden our defenses. We need to hold people accountable for their misdeeds including our own citizens. But we need to harden our defences together against the enemy, which is Russia. Well, on that note, we'll let you go with the proviso that we're going to have you back for a fourth time on skulduggery maybe after we get the results of the Muller investigation, I think that'd be great. I look forward to it. Okay. Thank you, Dan. Thanks, Dan. All right. Take care. Pleasure. Thanks, Austria. Run Gaba marker, and Dan Hoffman for joining us on this week's episode don't forget to subscribe to skulduggery on apple podcasts or ever. You listen to your podcasts and tell us what you think leave a review. The latest episode is also on Sirius XM on the weekend. Check it out on channel. One, twenty four on Saturdays and eleven AM eastern time with replays at ten pm and then Sundays at two AM and one PM. We'll talk to you next week.

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F.B.I. Confidential

Skullduggery

48:56 min | 1 year ago

F.B.I. Confidential

"There are few people more intimately involved in the decision to launch an FBI investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia. Then Jim Baker the former chief counsel of the FBI beggar was there when the FBI and the summer of two thousand sixteen opened up the counter intelligence inquiry code-named crossfire hurricane and he personally reviewed a secret court application to wiretap the phones of Carter page, a Trump foreign policy campaign adviser who had just left the campaign as Baker saw. Then these moves were absolutely necessary steps in light of the alarming intelligence, the bureau had received about Russia's interference in the election and its contacts with members of the Trump campaign. But those and other moves by the FBI are now under intense scrutiny with attorney general Bill bar appointing a top federal prosecutor to investigate the origins of the Russia probe in other words to investigate the actions of Baker and his colleagues at the. FBI? We'll talk to Baker about what he makes of that extraordinary move and the other attacks from the president and his allies on the FBI on this episode of skulduggery. Because people have got to know whether or not their president's across. Well, I'm not a crook. I told the American people I did not create arms hostile my heart. And my best intentions still tell me that's true. But the facts and the evidence tell me it is not I did not have sexual relations with that one. There will be no lies. We will honor the American people with the truth and nothing else. I'm Michael Isikoff. Chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo news. And I'm Dan Kleinman editor in chief of Yahoo news. Jim Baker welcome to skulduggery. Thanks for having me. So after more than twenty years in the government top positions at the Justice department general counsel at the FBI, you're kind of in the media spotlight right now making some waves. What is that? Like, what's it? Like, it's continues to be weird. And something that I'm trying to get myself us too. I'm not a media expert in any stretch of the imagination. But it's something that I feel is the right thing to do right now. And so I'm trying to do my best. And and not screw up. What prompted you to want to speak out. So mainly I thought it was a couple of things I feel as though I have an obligation to try to help the country at this point in time. Which is the thing that has motivated me throughout my career. And I want to try to give the American people some reassure. About what it was that. We were doing and not doing at the FBI to let them know how their government worked and that we were acting in a lawful way. And I'm sure we'll dig into that. As we go here. The other thing is that I've become concerned about the level and content of the dialogue in the country with respect to the animosity. I'll use the word hatred that is floating around in many circles. And I think we're doing a disservice to the country when we engage in that kind of interaction that kind of those kinds of statements. So there's been some news on this front in just the last twenty four hours, the Torney general has appointed John Durham, the US attorney in Connecticut to investigate the decisions that you and your colleagues made in launching the FBI investigation of Russia and its ties to the Trump campaign in the summer of two thousand sixteen. What is your reaction and thoughts about the attorney general of the United States? Somebody you worked with and four taking the step. Look, I welcome accountability and transparency it's important to hold the FBI accountable for how it exercises its the thority, and the attorney general has that responsibility to make sure that he's comfortable that we did things appropriately. So my welcome scrutiny, and you know, the specter general has been looking at these issues and a variety for ways that a big report on the Hillary Clinton investigation that we did is working on the Russia investigation now so it reviewing that. And so this is one of their park. The attorney general believes is appropriate and I look forward to cooperating and helping them come to the conclusions and addressing the matters that they need to address. So there actually are multiple investigations, you mentioned, Mike mentioned Durham, you mentioned the inspector general there's a US attorney out of Utah. I think who's got some part of this. Investigation. Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee says he's going to look into the origins of the Russian investigation. So why don't we rewind? Why don't we start? Why don't you start by telling us your kind of account of how this investigation got started? And then we'll maybe press you on some of the issues that others have raised the rush investigation. Yeah. Yeah. So I think it's important to let's take one step back because you have to understand what we were doing in terms of the FBI's overall responsibilities to protect the country, and especially with respect to Russia. So we've we the bureau have had investigations or an investigation. I guess you would say concern about Russia for decades and decades, and we are organizationally structured to deal with the Russia thread, people are assigned to work on Russia matters something that's been a priority for a long long time. And so we're constantly trying to figure out what they're up to and thwart them. That's the basic idea in a variety. Of different ways lawful ways that we can we can work them. So when and they of course, have a long history of running operations against the United States and influence operations. I mean going back to actually before the revolution. So this is not new when it comes to the Russians long history of trying to interfere with disrupt intervene in our domestic affairs in an effort to achieve their national objectives and to enhance the power of the Russian federation now Russian federation. Yeah. So that's what that's what they've been trying to do. And so so when we're focused on Russia and looking at what Russia is up to if and win Americans become involved in activties or interactions with Russia that come across our radar screen in some fashion. Then we look at those were obligated to look at those if there's some legitimate lawful basis under the applicable attorney general. Guidelines the constitution laws United States. We look at those things. And so in this, particular instance, my recollection is that the thing that started the focus on what Russia was doing in connection with the Trump campaign had to do with this information that we got from third party regarding George popadopoulos and his interactions with them that's gonna partner intelligence organs from an from an allied government. Yeah. Yeah. So we got that information. And that again, that's likley reported as the Australians. Yeah. I'm just not going to confirm or deny with fair that is so but keep in mind, also, so we're looking at Russia. This popadopoulos information comes out, but there's also a third piece, I guess, which is the activities in the summer of two thousand sixteen before we got the popadopoulos information about the hacking of Email accounts, the dumping of emails publicly other things that were going on the the government's assessment of the Russian Federation's role in. That type of hack and dump activity. And so we were looking at what they were doing what they the Russians were doing at that point in time. And then this information about popadopoulos drops it connects those Russian activities now with at least efforts on the part of the Russians to interact with the campaign. So that was something that I think we as I've said, I think we would have been derelict in our duties, if we hadn't investigated an intimate moment is there a growing suspicion that people there on the Trump campaign or associated with the Trump campaign are looking to collude with the Russians, I know that's not a legal term. But I think people know what we're talking about. Or is the primary concern that the Russians are probing looking for ways to infiltrate campaign or influence it in some ways, what's the mindset at that moment when the FBI learns about the popadopoulos information, I guess, I can just say my mindset at the time hearing this information my wreck. Collection of the conversations was that is even simpler than that. What are the Russians up to it's pretty basic like what what is going on here. Why are they having these interactions? What is their goal was? I said this investigation was about Russia. It was about Russia. And so the focuses on Russia. What are they doing? And how are they trying to do it? That's what we wanted to focus in on. Okay. I have one follow up question. I know Mike is going to have some questions on this. What I've never understood is why at that point or shortly after that, the F B I doesn't make the decision to give the candidate Donald Trump some sort of defensive briefing. You know, he is likely to be the nominee of the Republican. He was again, right? By that time, he is the nominee, and it would seem to me. And I think there's precedent for this maybe not in a presidential campaign. But that you offer the person who might be a target of some kind of intelligence operation a briefing protectively prophylactically defensive. And that didn't happen. Why not a couple of things? So first of all my recollection is that there were higher level briefings on intelligence and counterintelligence matters for the two campaigns. They were at a at a high level with respect to this specific thing. I think the answer is similar to the explanation. We've given about why we didn't disclose to the public. What we were doing with respect to the Russian investigation disclosed prior to the election. What we're what we're doing? My recollection. Is that look it was just simply we didn't know enough at the time to assess what was going on who was connected to what who was responsible. We simply didn't know enough information. So quite frankly, I think it would have been imprudent and poor judgment to start briefing people about the investigation. We really didn't know what was going on. I mean, you can imagine criticism that we might have gotten had we given briefings precipitously to people that we later. Thought were actually suspects in some fashion. Then you've tipped them off about the investigation that a certain point was there enough suspicion that the F B couldn't actually provide a defensive briefing because you may be giving information to people who could become targets of that investigation. I mean, I think I guess I would say in this time period of them thinking about in the summer and early fall of two thousand sixteen I guess, I would say we just didn't know enough about what clearly as you read. The Muller report clearly was a I think is he's describes it a sweeping and systematic effort to interfere in our elections. We only knew the tip of the iceberg in that time period, we just hadn't Doug enough to be able to feel comfortable I think to start briefing people that we didn't know what their level of responsibility was lurking beneath Dan's question. There is that there was a suspicion that the candidate himself may have been compromised or maybe part of what you were looking at. So was that a factor in the decision not to do a defensive briefing? So I'm not going to zoom in on that exactly why I guess what? I would say is we just didn't know who was responsible for what who knew what? And who we could go to to give a defensive briefing. It's simply was just too early in the investigation, again, a very complicated in matter and complicated investigation. It was just too hard to figure out at that early of a stage in the in the matter. You didn't fully understand what you were investigating. But give us a sense of at the time. How alarming was this intelligence that you had gotten? It was pretty alarming. I guess I would say I mean, it looked it linked up what we were beginning to see with respect to the Russians trying to intervene directly in our politics in our election. And so that was alarming and the fought that somehow somebody in either one of the campaigns might have had some connection to that. Or some awareness of it. That they didn't inform the FBI about was alarming. It was quite concerning and disorienting, I guess in the sense that wow. Is this is not something that we would have expected. It's contrary to what we would have thought would have happened were you guys talking about this? Did you in the director and others sort of try to talk through just what the potential consequences are if a Republican presidential campaign had been somehow infiltrated compromised by the Russians. Yeah. I mean, I don't remember. What point we started talking about these sort of longer term or more significant potential implications of it? But yeah, I mean from the outset you could see like, oh my goodness. This could go in a lot of really bad ways. But let's just hold on. Let's figure out what the facts are. Yeah. There's a bunch of nightmare scenarios that you can come up with. But let's let's figure out what we've got here. And so the at the first part, my recollection is okay. Well, how are we going to go about investigating this? Because we want to keep this close hold. We just been through all the stuff with the Hillary Clinton E mail case. So we thought we thought it was completed at that point in time. We were sick of politics or sick of having anything to do with politics. I think the last thing that people wanted to do was have some other investigation touching either one of the campaigns. We were like done with that and ready to move on. But the facts didn't allow that. And so we were the first part was really a struggle to figure out. How do we do this carefully? So we keep it close hold. So it doesn't leak and therefore has some impact on the on the campaign, and yet how do we move quickly and prudently in light of the threat? That's out there that learning more about every day. But at the end of the day, you are investigating a political campaign something that the FBI does not normally do, and yes, I know of how this can blow up, you know, down the road. What can happen if it becomes public that you are? Investigating using all the tools that the F B I has to investigate somebody who's been nominated to be president United States. I guess I would argue with your presumption there that we're investing in the political campaign again, we're investigating Russia, and we're machines ties to the Trump campaign. Well, we're investigating was what was Russia doing? This is how I think about it. And now, I think I thought about it at the time, I guess based on it's been three years now. But my recollection is you know, we're trying to figure out what are they doing the Russians because it could be that the Americans on the other side are innocent. It could be that they're being duped or laying onto unwitting in some fashion because the Russians are extremely sophisticated and they will try to get away with as much as they can with the least amount of risk and investment that they have to put into something. Right. So so therefore, it's not we were not trying to investigate the campaign. We. Were trying to figure out what the Russians were doing with respect to the election. And to some extent if they're touching the campaign. What are they doing? What are they up to at some point that summer the steel doc- comes in? And you know, how controversial that has become, but tell us when you first saw it heard about it and learned about it, and what your reaction was. And what was the reaction of the folks in the FBI? It's a good question. We sitting here right now. I'm not re-. I don't remember exactly when the first time was that. I encountered that. But it starts with a pretty bombshell allegation that the FSB's got a tape of Trump with prostitutes in his hotel room. And they're hanging something over Trump. That's something. You would remember by remember it, of course. Right. Literally. How I remembered it the first time I learned about the first time, I'm not recalling right now. But yeah, of course, I mean, like the information K. Came in. And there was a lot of detail with respect to a lot of different types of activities that were allegedly going on. And so I I guess the way I have phrased it, I think we took it seriously, we didn't necessarily take it literally was literally true in every respect. But it was something that something that we were obligated to deal with and obligated to assess given what I what we understood what I understood to be the source of the information Christopher Steele. That point in time. We were obligated to take it seriously and look at it and try to figure out whether it was true or not. And so the challenge was then how in the world. Do you go about investigating this? How do you go about validating that information because that's what we had to try to do? Well, let's talk about that. Because the FBI is in the business of you know, lots and lots of information comes in some of it's very raw some of its more reliable, and you have to figure out how to assess that information. So what were the marching orders talk a little bit about what that process is like to try to verify information like that? So I'm not going to go into the details with respect to what investigative steps we actually took to try to to validate it. But I guess I would say that the first thing was to come up with an investigative plan for how we would go about validating that especially with respect to the number of sources and sub sources that steel supposedly had according to the dossier, and where they were geographically and to try to figure out how to do it. It was challenging. And so we'll source is is the sources source -sarily known to may or may not have been known to the the FBI steel or the FBI, right? Yeah. Exactly. I mean, look this comes up on a regular basis with sources, they often have sub sources of various natures and to various degrees. And so we the bureau had to try to figure out how to do that. That was common. I guess the other thing is that I would just make a comment. Around this topic. Generally is as I've said, I think we're not a bunch of idiots, and we just don't take everything and swallow it hook line, and sinker. We go through a process of validating information that we received some sources from sources, it's hard. It's challenging can mistakes be made, of course, mistakes can be made. And so in terms of handling sources vetting their information. It's very it's very difficult, but it's important to do. But we just at least in my experience don't swallow things whole and just accept with some source tells us as the the gospel truth. So by the time you've said that you personally reviewed the Carter page five zero. Yes. And it's process you knew better than anybody in the government because you used to head the Justice department office that submitted Pfizer requests to the fives court, and that's in October at that point in time. What was the FBI's assessment of the credit? Ability of the steel allegations. My recollection is that. So that some of that information was put into the Carter page Pfizer. Right. And if you look at what's been disclosed because you know, there's a redacted copy of that available in the public record now heavily redacted. But there is a long footnote that goes into describing our assessment of steel not named in the application, but you know, of steel that point in time, and I believe successfully endeavors to lay out at least what we knew at the top of the organization about steel and his reliability at that time and to put the court on notice it's a footnote in normal type, you can't miss it. As almost like a page long. If not a page long and to put the court on notice about matters regarding Steele's credibility. So the core could make an assessment. Says I recall, it is that still had a political agenda that was detrimental to that of candidate Trump. But he doesn't walk through. What was verified what was not verified? What your overall assessment of the credibility of the allegations were well a lot of that? Footnote is blackout is my recollection. But I think it does make an assessment at the end of the day that the FBI believed him to be reliable. We wouldn't have been putting the if if I believe that if we had the well, you can imagine some type of scenario where you might put the information in and say that you nevertheless, you don't believe that it's reliable. But I think we would most likely not even put it in the first place. If we didn't think it was rely as you sit here today, would you write it in the same way? I don't know all the facts and circumstances that the via soom the inspector general has been looking at this in the Muller report. You have a general idea of what's tough question. I mean, I don't know what I would do. I mean, you have to you have to remember that a Feis application is part of an investigation. It's in order to get authorisation to use at particular type of investigative tool to figure out what's going on. It's a snapshot taken at a particular moment in the investigation when you know certain facts, but you don't know everything, and you don't know how the investigation is going to conclude at the end of the day. So facts can change assessments can change as your investigation procedures. Learn more, and you learn about stuff you didn't know before. And you discount stuff that you thought was true previously legitimately thought was true. But now, you realize was wrong. So that's just just not speaking specifically about this case. But just generally that's what you do. It's you're in the middle of the investigation. And then you have. To it evolves. Well, so your assessment changes. There's probably nobody who knows more about the relationship between the FIS accord, and those judges who sit up there and the lawyers both in the FBI and the Justice department to deal with them regularly. And I wonder if there's a sense in which that relationship has built up institutionally over years, there's a certain level of trust. There's not public scrutiny in that process. If lawyers at the FBI and the Justice department aren't as explicit about everything don't go through the details. The way Mike was was questioned you about because of that institutional relationship that has built up over all of these years, and and that kind of trust that exists. Well, so yes, the government has to have the court has to have trust in the government in the lawyers that are appearing before I spent a huge amount of time and energy on that question and did everything that I could possibly think of to make sure that the court retained confidence. In me, personally in the Justice department in the attorney gen attorneys general, and my lawyers that were going before the court. So the way it works is that, you know, we file applications, and we put into them we have an obligation to put into them all the material facts. So what should be reflected in the application are the material facts that would help the court understand what's going on. Because the next Park Day preceding, the lawyers appearing before the court have the highest duty of candor to the tribunal to the court. And so we should be doing that. That's how we should be proceeding. Remember, though that the court has its own legal advisers, the senior experienced attorneys who worked on thousands of this point in time of Feis applications. They know what they're doing. And there's a dialogue and a discussion back and forth between the government and the court about the applications. The facts information in them. And so that's why when I read that Carter page application to me even just going on what's not been redacted at the end of the day. I thought that was in. There was consistent with the way we described sources and describe the reliability in other application when you were running for the FIS application process at the Justice department and petitioning the court. How often did your applications get rejected? I mean, they rejected some, but they didn't. But there was a small percentage. It was a very small percentage, and you would go back and revise them. Yeah. I mean, we was submit the application. There's a whole series of explanations about why the denial rate was so low that it gets people worked up and it used to get worked up at that point in time the whole rubberstamped by rubber stamp jam. I rejected categorically because the that was just not my experience with the court. It was no rubber-stamp be. We would submit applications in drafts prior to them being signed. And so if the court had a problem with the probable cause or something having to do with technique or the minimization procedures or whatever. We would review it and address it and try to fix the application. Add more facts per if we'd filed something already maybe we'd file a supplemental declaration to give more facts of the court, if they had concern, we would adjusted we would have interactions about it and fix it. There was no incentive to sort of gin up some type of denial. So we could appeal it that just didn't make sense on a general basis. Let me take you to the events of January sixth two thousand seventeen generous six that's when the intelligence community chiefs, including the FBI director are going to go brief President-elect Trump at Trump Tower about the intelligence assessment about Russia's interference in the election. And there's a meeting at the FBI before Komi goes and one question on the table is do you tell the president elect that he is not under investigation as part of what the? FBI is doing and as Komi has testified in written at his book, you very forcefully argued that that should not be communicated to president elect Trump why because they didn't think it was accurate because I thought that at that point in time that the president fell within the category of what we would describe as the subject or a subject of the investigation meaning that as the head of the campaign and given the scope of the investigation that we were conducting relative to the campaign. I thought that his activities fell within the scope of what we were investigating, and that's the definition under department of Justice guidelines about what a subject is that the activities of the person fall within the scope of the investigation. So therefore, I didn't think it was accurate to say that he wasn't under investigation. And I had many discussions about that. And I know he's testified in. And written about it. And it was just say back to you disagreed. And so what grounds would he say he thought that was too far restraints, and he just didn't feel comfortable saying that to the at that point time. I guess he was the president elect because he thought my recollection is I think he thought it would be what's the word exactly to confusing hard to understand be misinterpreted. And he just didn't think it was the right thing. Do that wouldn't happen. If it were an ordinary citizen. It was because he was president elected that point presumably, well, yeah. And you're going ordinary citizens usually not talking to people about matters relative in the investigation as a general matter, but people when you interview them when you interview a normal person, it is common, especially if that person has an attorney to ask what what's my status and my target my subject, I'm just a witness, and you have an obligation to explain to that person. What their subject is when you're interviewing them in connection with the investigation. Talk about being missing. Interpreted comas doing something else? Pretty extraordinary at that moment. He's going to present to Trump the information from the Steele dossier that there are allegations that he was consorting with prostitutes in Moscow a pretty sensational salacious. Allegation. Was there? A full discussion about the wisdom of doing that knowing that you had not verified that allegation. There were many discussions about that event, which was one of the many horrible things that we had to deal with during twenty sixteen 2017 going back to the Clinton investigation. It was a horrible year where we were confronted with many many difficult challenging novel unheard of decisions that we nevertheless had to make and we had to execute. And so yes, so with respect to that particular discussion, we talked about it a lot and tried to figure out exactly what we were going to say, why do we need to say something in the first place? Why are we doing this? Where did you come down on that? I came down on it that did had to be briefed to the president-elect significantly because it was about. Out to be disclosed in the press. That was the to me that was sort of the driving the factor at the end of the day. This was about to come out. And we thought I thought it would be inappropriate not to brief the president-elect because we knew about this information already to some degree and for him to find out later that we knew about this went up there gave him a briefing on a related topic. And didn't at least alert him to the fact that the information was out there, and that we hadn't verified it yet. Did you talk through how this was likely to be received? Yes. I Donald Trump self knowing who he is what his mindset is your the FBI, you know, the legacy of J Edgar naps blackmailing, lots of people over many decades that that's how this would come off at Jim. And I had talked over the years many times about the Hoover days, especially the investigation of Martin Luther King junior. What was done there? The blackmailing of of Dunton, Dr Martin Luther King. And so, yeah, we were quite worried about that quite worried about how that would come off. And so we wanted to try to make sure to convey to the president elected. That's what we were not doing that, sir. We have this information. It came to us in a particular way. The press has it. It's about to come out. You should be alerted to to that fact. We don't want to proceed on this basis without you being aware of those facts. But no, we were quite worried about the the Hoover analogies, and we're determined not to have such a a disaster happen on our watch. So Komi comes back from the meeting. You know, you talk to him. He tells you he did this. But he also told the president elect that he was not under investigation. What was your reaction? Well, that last part is I said I disagreed with him with that assessment. But yeah, Jim then created the I think it was the first of his various memos on his interactions of with the president elect. And then the president. Yeah. So, you know, we were I don't know. He he did the best he could under extremely difficult. Pickled circumstances with respect to that very challenging difficult conversation. I wanna play a clip of Komi just recently on Anderson Cooper in which he's asked again, by Anderson Cooper about that allegation. The P tape allegation. Which to this day has not been verified there's been no corroborating evidence to support it that surfaced. Over the President-elect Trump that that was verified that the salacious aspects about the tapes, George Stephanopoulos, interviewed you to your or your when your first book came out, and I just want to play something you said about those about this. Can you believe tonight? Honestly, never thought these words we'd come out of my mouth. But I don't know whether the current president is states with prostitutes peeing on each other Moscow two thousand thirteen it's possible. But I don't know so investigations over. Now nothing in the motor report corroborated that salacious claim about the tapes in prostitutes. Do you regret making those comments which some would see as sort of stoking the fires or leaving is an open question. Dr is trying to give an honest answer my answer, it'd be the same today. But you could have just said well those were unverified. That's what I was saying that I don't know. Whether it's true or not that's a crazy thing to have to say because any other leader. I would think I would say, that's preposterous. It couldn't possibly be true. There's a footnote in the Muller report that actually makes potentially oblique reference to these tapes were someone in Russia is alerting. I think Michael Cohen in October late October, we stopped the flow of the tapes. I don't know exactly what he means by that. But Muller seems to connected in some way to that allegation. Again, Muller didn't say wasn't the case, she didn't disprove it. But he also didn't establish that it was the case, right? I think that person said the that those tapes hammer were false another important thing is the counter-intelligence part of this work, which is what whether the Russians had leverage over the president. That would be part of the counterintelligence investigation Mullen left that with the FBI his document is about a prosecutors look at whether their crimes to be pressing using the restaurants have leverage over prison Trump. I don't know the answer to that things possible. Yes. Greeny. Komi is now private citizen. It can say whatever he wants. But how do you feel about a former FBI director giving some credence to an allegation pretty salacious that the FBI has never verified? I guess I'm not sure that he's giving credence to it. He's simply say that. He doesn't know if it's true or not is coming from the former director of the FBI is keeping alive something that you normally wouldn't do when you're the FBI you deal with facts with evidence that you can corroborate. Jim Komi is going beyond that in that colloquy with Anderson Cooper, I understand. I think I understand your point. But I mean, he's he's a privacy. Now, he is entitled to say whatever he wants. I guess I would say that look there's no information in the mullahs report that establishes the veracity of that allegation. And so I guess. I would I would leave it at that. There's no information there that indicates that that allegation is reliable. It's isn't airline time. Don't you know enough now to be able to say that based on all of the investigations took place all of the assessing of the steel report that there is reason to cast doubt on a sensational allegation like that. Or we wouldn't go that far. I don't know what the bureau has found there's been no public assertion that it is reliable by the bureau or by Muller. And so and there's been nothing to establish at least in the public record that I'm aware of nothing to establish that that particular allegation is is true. And so I think it's I guess I would say it's prudent at this point in time to have skepticism because I think were there to be something that would validated. You would have thought it would have come out. So this point time. So call me is wrong to be speculating about this. I'm not going to say that he's wrong to be speculating. He's entitled to his opinion. I've phrased it the best. I can in terms of how I would think about it. Now, there's no information to validate it at this point time that's been made public. And so, you know, going back to the beginning. I had skepticism about aspects of that reporting, and, you know, still do the attorney general made quite a few waves recently when he talked about spying by the FBI. And I think you reacted pretty strongly to his use of that term. Now, he says, look, it's a colloquial term that is equivalent to surveillance. The question is was there inadequate predicate for it? But you think the attorney general was wrong to be talking the way he was well, I guess what? I'm trying to say is that I don't know all the information that the attorney general knows. So I don't know exactly what he's basing that assessment on all I can say is what I was aware of at the time and how I think about the word spying and to me. The term spying connotes some level of impropriety of unlawfulness and what I'm aware of with respect to what the FBI did. We did it lawfully consistent with the general guidelines and so on so therefore, I don't think about it as spying I think about it is the F B I undertaking lawful investigative activities in order to figure out what's going on. So I I just I don't understand what the attorney general is trying to convey in that regard. But as I say, I don't have access to all the information because he believes something was going on because he is appointed Durham to undercut undertake this investigation, and by the way, if I heard you correctly and your initial answer you will fully cooperate with the Derm investigation. I plan to fully cooperate with the department to help them figure out what happened because I believe what happened was lawful. Lease based on every piece of information that I have rod Rosenstein. I was quite upset with what Komi wrote in his recent op-ed questioning his character in the way that he handled the Muller investigation course, Rosenstein wrote the memo that recommended firing Jim Komi, we have a clip of Rosenstein 's talk just last night, I believe so I do not blame the former director for being angry. I would be too. If I were in his shoes. But now, the former director seems to be acting as a partisan pundit selling books at earning speaking fees, while speculating about the strength of my character and the fate of my immortal soul kid, you not. That is disappointing speculating about Seoul's is not a job for police and prosecutors does rod Rosenstein have a right to be angry. He's entitled to whatever emotional reaction. He's having to Jim statements. Yeah. I mean, but what what do you make of his comments again? I mean, I think you know, Jim Komi at this point in time as a private citizen, and he's entitled to say whatever he wants to say, he's not a prosecutor or an investigator. Whatever it is that the the the former deputy general said, and so, you know, gyms entitled his views Roz, titled to his views. I'll just leave it at that. Okay. Let's talk about your views. And because you've been the target of the president. He's tweeted about you, a lot of his allies gone after you you've been a dedicated, you know, government servant for years served. Honorably never had any questions about your integrity to find it under attack. Now. What's it been like, it's been horrible? I mean, it's it's it's horrible. There's not much else. I can say about it. I guess I have, you know, gotten a bit more accustomed to hearing it accustomed to the tweets and so on. When they first started to happen. It was very unnerving and sort of an out of body experience to have the president United States tweeting about you in what I perceived to be negative light initially and then the following ones. So yeah, it's been it's been horrible. It's been horrible. It's also been you know, I guess I would say rewarding in a strange way because when the president, especially when he first started to hack me and throughout this period. My friends have rallied around me. And so I've been extremely fortunate and lucky to to have that I've made the analogy to feeling like Jimmy Jimmy Stewart at the end of it's wonderful life. You know, there's all these people come out and support you, and it really was an emotional reaction in that way to to feel that to feel that from so many people it was really it was great you. You've had an interesting we action it interesting way of kind of fighting back. You wrote a piece in law fair called why I do not hate Donald Trump. In fact, your responses to love. Of Donald Trump and to love the people who support Donald Trump, and you first to it as a kind of defiant. Love talk about that. Yes. So it just seems so right? I'm trying to figure out what I'm how I'm capable of responding in a or whether I'm capable of responding in a positive way that again is helpful to the country and does honor to the people who have given me the freedom and opportunity that I have. And it just strikes me that anger and hatred is the wrong approach at least for me. Look this has been a I'm not like some perfect person. I have plenty of flaws and weaknesses, and this has been a journey for me to to get to this point. And I'm not saying that I've successfully reached the end of the journey. I I struggle with these things I still react. When I hear negative comments about me, or my in particular about my friends and former colleagues, and so I'm just trying to say that it seems to me that for me personally and for the country there. Got to be a better way to respond to the president and anger and hatred is not the right way. Also fear is not the right way. So I think that that I think the anger and hatred may come from initially from a a sense of fear about him. And so I don't want to I want to have any of those emotions I want to try to move forward in a positive way to have have a positive dialogue, especially with the president's supporters. Some of whom include, you know, my family and friends, and so even though I don't necessarily understand their perspective. I strive to I strive to do to understand why they support the president. And I love them. And I want to try to expand that and I think that's a better way forward for the country, then for all of us to be arguing and hating and speaking all these, but at the same time, I think you must believe that the president has done things that have been destructive to the institution that you loved dearly. The Justice department, including the FBI by attacking this investigation as a witch hunt and hoax and attacking firing FBI directors attacking them, personally, forcing out attorneys general attacking you personally at the end of the day. I mean, I think you've talked about investigations or are about asking questions if you knew the answer is you wouldn't have to investigate. So, and I think you've said that it would be a dereliction of duty. Or if you had not investigated these events, and they set of facts, so what kind of damage does all of this due to the FBI to its ability to investigate things things that they suspect things that could be threats to the United States federal crimes what's toll of all of that. Well, the look the FBI is a resilient organization full of people who have to confront confront and deal with adverse circumstances all the time. And so I have confidence that they'll make it through this. What it does? I think though is under minds. The confidence of the American people in the FBI impartiality of the FBI in the professionalism of the FBI and the Justice department. And so that's what concerns me because in the long run the FBI needs the trust and confidence of the American people in order to be successful in a variety of different ways to support funding increases for the FBI to reach out to the FBI and provided with information when they see something going on that they think is wrong and unlawful and to cooperate with the FBI when the FBI needs help and asks for the public's help or knocks on a door and asked to talk to somebody, and if people have it in their mind that there's something wrong or corrupt about the FBI. Then they're not going to do that. And that is destructive to the to the overall system and just one last thing, and then people sit on juries American citizens sit on juries and have to listen to FBI witnesses testify, and you know, they should not just again swallow at the FBI says hook line, and sinker. But if they've already had their minds sort of turned against the. FBI by the president United States himself. I think that does undermine the system of Justice states, you love Donald Trump, but you wanna see him defeated in twenty twenty and will you vote against him. So I let it back up. I am on a path toward loving the president Kennedy. That's great. But I got one last question didn't answer. My question. At the end of the day. You're a law enforcement guy, and Robert Muller laid out compelling evidence that a lot of people say amounts to obstruction of Justice a federal crime. What should be the reaction of the house of representatives to the evidence? That Muller spelled out in his report. Okay. Let's back up a second. I'm not a law enforcement guy right now because I my career was but I am not. And that is painful to me that is painful me to me because I love that career. And I loved those institutions, which is part of the reason I find many of the statements that the president and other people make against those so challenging to deal with. I wish I was still there because I love the FBI loved the department of Justice with respect to the mall report. Look, I think especially volume to the talks about obstruction is alarming. And even if it doesn't rise to the criminal level of. Criminality, which I think there's an open question about that is certainly reveals what I assess as a my opinion a pattern of corruption that is alarming and should not be tolerated tolerated in the United States with respect to what the house of representatives should do. I guess I would say look I mean, the polling to the extent that you can rely on it indicates that there's a sort of not public support for impeachment proceedings. So I think whatever the house of representatives is going to do under its article one thirties is going to have to be with the support of the American people. So they've got to do which does not seem to be there now. So I think they need to do a better job of educating the American people, but why why they're concerned about the president his activities or his, you know, other people in the administration and build the case and educate and explain before they take any action. Jim Baker thanks for joining us. Thanks for having me. Want to talk with someone but are unsure where to start better held makes it easy to connect with a licensed professional specialized in the issues. You wanna talk about better? Help is flexible allowing you to schedule video or phone sessions. You can even texture therapist and start communicating in under twenty four hours. Go to better help dot com slash podcast to get ten percent off your first month with the code podcast, simply fill out the questionnaire and find a counselor for you. That's better. Help dot com slash podcast. Thanks Jim Baker for joining us on this episode of skulduggery. Don't forget to subscribe to skullduggery on apple podcasts or rubber you. Listen to your podcast and tell us what you think legal review. The latest episode is also on Sirius XM on the weekend. Check it out on this channel one twenty four on Saturdays at three pm eastern time with replays. On Sundays at one am and three pm short. Follow us on social media at skulduggery pot. And now you can watch the podcast on Yahoo. News dot com. Youtube and Roque Saturdays and Mondays in E P, M eastern talk talk your soup.

FBI president President-elect Trump Russia attorney United States Robert Muller Justice department director Jim Komi Hillary Clinton Jim Baker Mike Carter Christopher Steele Yahoo Trump skulduggery Michael Isikoff
Democrats test the NRA's grip on gun policy (Ballots and Dollars Podcast)

Yahoo Finance Presents

29:45 min | 1 year ago

Democrats test the NRA's grip on gun policy (Ballots and Dollars Podcast)

"Trickery corruption and sleaze if you're looking for a guide to what's wrong in washington download the skulduggery podcast. It's your all access pass. D._c.'s under-belly kelly co hosted by yahoo news chief investigative correspondent michael isikoff and editor in chief. Dan cliven sco buttery shines a light on the scandals of the trump era and looks back on infamous political schemes of the past that shed light on events of today. Listen every friday for a fresh take on washington's dark side. This podcast is brought to you by the new yahoo finance premium. If you're looking to take your investing to the next level premium premium has you covered. Try it free a yahoo. Finance dot com slash premium from yahoo finance this ballots and dollars a a podcast about the politics that affect your pocketbook. I'm rick newman and i'm alexis christopher's today. We are talking gun control. The mass shootings in el paso in in dayton thrust the gun control issue to the forefront of the twenty two thousand presidential election and president trump has said he is in favor of background checks but rick rick. He says there was no political appetite for legislation to ban assault weapons. There's some new research out by pew that may say differently. It depends how you define political appetite. There certainly is public interest in doing something about gun violence and has been for some time so <hes> the few data you mentioned pew research find him and by the way anybody can look this up and people should look this up to see harry cobb. What are these <hes>. This is the pew research center <hes> so <hes> the percentage of americans who say <hes> there should be a new rules or new laws to prevent people with mental illnesses from purchasing guns. That's eighty nine percent the porsche the new say new rules or laws barring gun purchases by people on federal no-fly our watchlist eighty-four percent eighty five percent favor <hes> more extensive background checks for gun sales <hes> some of the other ones and the other big one here banning assault weapons sixty seven percent of americans favor that banning assault weapons. That's that's a lot none as you know as people think that <hes> gun policy and gun rights and gun control this is very divisive. <hes> that's a very solid majority sixty eighty seven percent of americans saying they agree. We should ban not limit but ban the sale of assault weapons. That's a lot of people who think that so. I think what this is telling you. We have a little bit tyranny of the majority in the senate in particular <hes> where a few republicans notably mitch mcconnell the senate majority majority leader have basically stood in the way of any kind of new gun control legislation. It sounds like if there were some political leadership on this yes. There would actually be a political appetite to do something joe. Biden has gone on the record as saying he wants his much. He wants to be a complete ban on all assault weapons and some are saying that what that amounts to is infringement on our on our human rights <hes> <hes> wanting to take away the guns that are already out there yeah and i think the the so when you it sounds very clean when you cite poll results but the reason this gets so so muddled when you talk about actual policy and converting public opinion into sa- into an actual law is that <hes> i think a lot of people don't necessarily they perceive this as <hes> one discreet law or one discreet policy issues so <hes> i mean we can put the i'm going to put the national rifle association nation in a different category because they oppose essentially any kind of effort to regulate guns in any way whatsoever so every piece of every type of gun regulation bad to the n._r._a. They are way off to the extreme on one end and they are out of touch with where americans in general are but when is to make sure the second amendment is not touched yup. I think <hes> some people would say their mission that the n._r._a. Is essentially a lobbying group for the gun industry even even though it has the status of <hes>. I don't know technically what it status is but i think the n._r._a. Itself is a nonprofit group and it has a separate lobbying group but i think it's largely believe lobbying in the republican party <hes>. I'm not even sure it's that anymore. I mean we're seeing a lot of fracturing here with regard to <hes> public opinion about the n._r._a. Itself off which has had a lot of problems <hes> for sure and in governance problems apparently questions about whether they're spending the dues money and the other contributions they get for members in a responsible way but to go back to this question of assault weapons bans <hes> the i think the sort of complication here is that <hes> is this belief which certainly is stoked by gun right defenders that people who say they want to ban assault weapons don't want to stop at banning assault weapons weapons i it's assault weapons then it's long rifles and handguns and then it's a total ban on all going to you know the camel putting its nose under the tent theory and <hes> i. I actually think that's kind of silly. I think that <hes> probably there are some politicians who do have that kind of strategy. I just don't think it's politically plausible. <hes> given the sort of role that guns play in u._s. Society the society we have the importance of rural of voters in rural populations who live off the land in ways that those of us in cities do not and have done that for decades and centuries <hes> so i don't think we would ever ever get to a place where we can have a reasonable chance that you would actually begin to ban hunting rifles for example <hes> i. I just don't see that happening. I don't think that's politically plausible but it is <hes>. I think it has been ineffective scare tactic by the n._r._a. And others on that side of the debate saying oh they're not going to solve with stop with salt weapons. They want to go oh after the next level of guns after that the next one after that so when joe biden says yep i want to ban assault weapons completely the gun rights advocates say see he's going to take away royer guns and i don't think that's an all what biden talking about in fact just to go back to what biden said <hes> you so even with even when you say an assault weapons ban. What does that even mean. <hes> it could mean a it could mean several different things so it could be a ban by the way we did have an assault weapons ban from one thousand nine congress did pass an assault weapons ban in nineteen ninety four four and the republic survived that somehow <hes> that was a ten year ban that <hes> built into law were supposed to sunset in two thousand four and let you know what happened into violence overall in this. I wish i don't have those data. Yeah i would venture to say that <hes> there probably is at least one mass shooting involving an assault weapon that did not happen between nine hundred ninety four and two thousand four. That's completely unprovable <hes>. There's no it's impossible people to say. Oh what williams seventeen people here are the ones who would otherwise have been killed. I mean you just can't do that but you're right i would. I'm sure i'm sure somebody has done that but biden. I didn't think so get into what by naturally says he wants to do. Ban assault weapons going forward so in other words you can no longer so if you were to enact act from that day for you can no longer sell <hes> assault weapons but what about the ones that are already out there and it's millions back to buy them back and there's a big difference difference between a voluntary buyback program and a <hes> some kind of done seizure program <hes> you know so the <hes> the screen rights canal the gun rights fanatics they are always talking about. Is the government's gonna go house to house. Basically break down your front door and take all your guns. That is just never going to happen open. I mean in the united states. That's not gonna happen. Peanut so biden says let's do a voluntary buyback where the government will offer you money for your for your salt weapon. We've seen this before. We've seen it at the city. At the city level. <hes> i think <hes> beto o'rourke has gone a little bit further that he would have a mandatory mandatory buyback program hard to i'm that's sounds sorta sounds sort of sounds like <hes> you know when the government has a right to seize your land to build the highway or something like that that goes too far. I mean that that is the type of thing that would frighten people who might otherwise be inclined to support an assault weapons weapons span so it matters how you do it kamla harris perhaps the most extreme senator harris actually wants to do this by executive order. I mean is that can i do that. I don't know <hes> i think we've seen with trump that <hes> some there are some things you can do with an executive order and some things you can't and a lot of this is not entirely clear because nobody has really used executive orders. The way trump has until now <hes> so yeah she saying she would be aggressive have but i think we also need to keep in mind that what we're hearing from the <hes> democrats now most of them perhaps joe biden is an exception but most of the democrats what they're saying. They're talking to democratic primary voters not to general election voters who are going to be <hes> more centrist so they're talking to more liberal and progressive. Whatever ever progressive means. I never know what that word means <hes> voters right now so i think that's where comma harris is coming from so you might find that she says i would <hes> you know i favor executive action to bubble and so she's going to do something with executive action but then when the when she has to explain that if she were to become the nominee then when she has to explain that to general election voters and try to win some independence in the middle she'd say i would use executive action to form a study group that would propose legislation or <hes>. Maybe you would recommend voluntary buyback program or something so it's always going to sound more moderate in the general election than it. It is in the primary. I want to get back to that pew research poll because it found that about three quarters of gun owners current gun owners say this right is essential essential to their own sense of freedom which leads me to wonder you know the democrats are so left on this topic are they. Are they a alienating some of the centrists or some of the trump base. They're going to need to unseat him in the next election. I'm not sure the democrats are the that far to the left on this extreme. We want an executive order. We wanna ban all assault weapons. I i would argue that. Banning assault weapons is not extreme at all. I mean we're actually beginning to develop <hes> we know that they their their weapons at a lot around in a very short period of time murder may people people in the in the space of one that on on our street we just don't i mean we don't need that in fact i think the way you actually framed aimed that question. I think says a lot about <hes> how america itself is an outlier among advanced economies when it comes to guns because i don't <hes> yeah i don't i don't i don't know what every country in the world does on this but i think the united states is the only events economy that allows us all weapons or mo- for the most part military grade weapons <hes> and we we we we obviously have the most permissive gun rules in the world and we also have the by far the highest rate of gun on violence in the world <hes> among advanced countries not among <hes> third world or developing countries <hes> so i think it's a as a starting point. I think it it makes no sense whatsoever that we we have a single assault weapon in the hands of anybody. This podcast is brought to you by the new yahoo finance premium. Are you ready to take your investing to the next level with premium features advanced data and sophisticated new way to stay on top of your portfolio. You can trade with complete confidence because it's more than just your portfolio right. It's your money yahoo. Finance premium. Lets you trade up using tools that helped you go beyond the on the fundamentals with industry-leading insights and detailed company profiles. You can trade up to advanced portfolio tools that help you monitor allocation diversification sophistication and risk you'll discover new opportunities with detailed research reports an investment ideas that are updated every single day. So are you ready to trade up trite right free today a yahoo finance dot com slash premiums but i also i also think think of any democrats. The democrats have been members of the n._r._a. Before the n._r._a. became this kind of toxic interest group. It used to just represent the interests of of gun owners. It used to do <hes> firearms education. I mean that's a good thing now get. This safety and education is less than ten percent of the overall n._r._a. Right now and speaking of people who left george w. h. Bush left <hes> he was a member for years and then he felt they started to get a little wacky and he decided to resign. I mean my own view. Is that <hes> the n._r._a. Has become an extremist fringe group. I don't mean i don't mean that to say that in itself is fomenting getting violence but it but it just does not represent any commonsense approach to public safety at all and it didn't use to be that i mean there are a lot of so you know we they're democrats who come from rural states who've been hunters and <hes> you know have no actually have no problem with <hes> people owning hunting rifles uneven handguns for protection or whatever it is common sense gun legislation because i for one although i i'm not a gun advocate ticket i don't i don't wanna take anybody's right to be able to go and hunt but mike. I don't think anybody really no. I don't know i'm not gonna speak for everybody but i don't know y. We need these high powered assault weapons and live as though a war is going on in our own backyard because the second amendment well here at to me and i think to a lot of people would agree with this is it's. It's up for interpretation. That's why we have the totally court right. Our forefathers could have never imagined the the weapons of mass destruction that we now have twenty nineteen when we wrote this constitution your guns of mass destruction in ordinary citizens hands right not <hes> in some government <hes> you you know deputy to believe that the n._r._a. Which puts itself out there as as an organization. That's there to also educate people that they would allow everyday normal people you know there. There's so normal people. There's something profoundly wrong with the n._r._a. And i actually think this would be a great time for some other <hes> done <hes> firearms arms education group or <hes> some other group that represents in a more sensible way the interest in let's say for hunting hunting group group or something like that to you know <hes> frankly to us you know business. Term disrupted the n._r._a. Among the things we've learned about the n._r._a. Recently first of all very weird <hes> connections with russia <hes> and people from the n._r._a. Traveling to russia and russia for some reason <hes> funneling some money to the n._r._a. And now we've got questions about their investigations ongoing into this as we speak i mean at the new york state. Attorney general is really going after the n._r._a. <hes> there seems to be a cult of personality l. d. around the guy who runs the n._r._a. Wayne lapierre <hes> he gets all kinds of perks that i mean even some ceos don't get taking trips to italy on n._r._a. The trump by his wardrobe. I mean what kind of like your hands are. If you're a hunter they traded company magazine american american rifleman which has been around for a long time. I mean if you joy if you joined the n._r._a. In order to get the magazine and you know you know in your an enthusiast about hunting and you're paying some dues are how do you feel about your money like going for this guy who mainly just kind of like a washington lobbyist but i mean this i in the positions they stakeout or just so far removed from where public opinion is on gun or having said all that they are a very we know powerful lobby have been for their and they they contributed thirty million dollars to president trump's two thousand sixteen election so he can. He just simply not afford to perhaps do the right thing and do it as conscious tells them to do because he wants to be president so badly that he's gonna do the n._r._a. Wants him to do trump can afford to buck the n._r._a. Yeah yeah in fact given the trump really doesn't give a crap about <hes> who he insults or upsets pierre. He does us <hes> and he actually huddles with the n._r._a. Apparently every you know after these mass shootings. It seems like he calls up the n._r._a. Announced what should i do <hes> so trump is seems particularly unnerved by gun violence and <hes> he does not seemed he. I mean he doesn't have a he doesn't seem to have any kind of personal position on this. He's just just trying to figure out what's the most effective leader thirty. Million dollars is not a lot of money for regard to a presidential election one lobbying. It's not it's not really that much money and i've asked people. Why is there a so powerful politically and it's not that they do give some money. I mean it matters. <hes> i mean typical presidential campaign. These days is going to is going to have a billion dollars or more in funding so thirty you know thirty million dollars three percent of that <hes>. That's not huge wjr <hes> the the way the n._r._a. Has been effective is they are they have very active very active membership base and they can really <hes> activates nikki really yeah they can really activate those members especially in local or state <hes> state races <hes> so those are the races in which some activists <hes> who are really going after a candidate or supporting a candidate aligns with their interest can actually make quite a difference and i think that's that's why you see members of congress kowtowing to the n._r._a. The way they the way they have been doing for a long time. Especially mitch mcconnell even does it <hes> you know he's one one of the most powerful people in congress and even he seems beholden to the n._r._a. <hes> not because they need the money. It's because the n._r._a. Ab- just controls seems to have the able to persuade or influence enough voters to make a difference especially in tight election. There's even been talk of taking away the n._r._a.'s as tax exempt status wondering if maybe that would be enough to do the trump administration is not going to do that. That's a factor that would be a federal thing. There's no chance that will happen in the in the trump administration <hes> <hes> you could see something. I mean <hes> more interesting. What's going to happen with the new york state investigation into the n._r._a. I don't know what leverage the new york they would have with regard to its tax exempt status but they could prosecute them. Criminally <hes> and i'm sure you could find a i'm sure they already have found some jurisdiction to do that. Obviously i'm not a lawyer. I don't know where that's headed but <hes> the n._r._a. Is in trouble and i think the real question of the moment <hes> every time there's a mass shooting the question is will so we finally be able to muster some enough political support this time to get some kind of <hes> legis- new legislation passed and the answer always is no and i i think the answer i think the answer is still no but <hes> at the federal level need to get some sort of a consultant more. I'm i mean i'm sorry to say the into hopeful that we can have any kind of legislation before the next presidential election on gun can not at the federal level. I mean i mean it is possible. Now that <hes> i i mean republicans are some republicans are coming around to this so let's talk about legislation the way i see legislation at fault it kind of falls into three different buckets <hes> the <hes> <hes> biggest deal would be a ban on on the sale of certain types of weapons and perhaps buybacks of those weapons to get some of them out of the hands of people <hes>. That's the hardest <hes> the next is extending is more extensive background checks that would make it harder to sell people <hes> to lay person. Why would wanna pose a background check. I can't answer that because it makes no sense to me. I mean the classic thing that people say is. We're going to get tweets where you got tweets wreck i. I hope people explained to us. I'd like to understand why a universal background check is a bad thing when you're having a weapon that can take lives in the wrong person because no i mean i'm. I agree with you completely. Nobody really argues about the need to get a driver's license to drive a car. <hes> a car can be dangerous. <hes> cars is arguably deadly weapon and we are re that you should you should have to prove you can handle in order to get a license but you don't have to prove you can handle a gun or in most. I mean someplace you do after in new york state you do but <hes> anyway <hes> so morrison's background checks not likely to happen to federal level and then the area where there does seem to be a little movement is these so-called red flag laws right which would make it harder or they put up limits to sell a gun to somebody who triggers a red flag. Well you know and what give me a break because i mean the n._r._a. Says we can get behind that. Let's put guns in the hands of mentally ill people oh thanks on a a well the the the one one problem with that is mentally unstable. People don't normally raise their hand and go sign up for a list that says that says oh. I'm i'm feeling alling mentally unstable. Could i want to be on the list that you can't sell stuff too so identifying. The people in a preemptive way is the problem there are so you find out after the fact and that's a big oops oops. I mean realize it can't hurt. It can't hurt but i'm not doesn't seem realistic to think it's going to change much <hes> so we heard the governor of ohio recently say we should do something like this. I think there are a couple of members of congress republican by the way the governor high is republican. <hes> a couple members members of congress saying maybe we should do something like this. There is a <hes> there are a couple bills in congress that would do this and do something on background checks and i think what mitch mcconnell on all he recently seemed to lighten up a little bit and he said well. Maybe when we come back into session in september we will he instead on blocking instead of just blocking this. It's a legislation. Maybe we'll have some hearings on it and maybe we'll come up for a vote it the <hes> the sort of sleight of hand here might be that if okay. Let's give the gun control advocates hits a we little something and let's pass a red red flag bill which really isn't going to change anything <hes> and if you know by the way if somebody who's unstable doesn't up on this listen can't anti gun the fine it's not losing jobs not like losing a lot of gun sales <hes> so those are to my mind. Those are the three buckets and if there's any movement at all. It's probably not the federal level. It's more at the state level <hes> as it has remained where you might where you might see more efforts to <hes> pass red flag laws and maybe more extensive background checks whatever states can regulate this to this is all happening in as we move closer to the election so i guess my question is is gun control as the issue of gun control one that the democrats can use to defeat trump or is it actually going to wind up hurting them more more because they are alienating fly over america. It's a great question in remember when you think <hes> how can the democrats gain traction against against trump <hes> the democrats don't have to persuade democrats and democrat leaders already onboard they have to persuade independence and <hes> people who are in the middle and perhaps some republicans who are not happy with trump. That's what they have to persuade <hes> so i i think we've had in a in a bunch of these podcasts. I i sorta keep going back to joe biden not only because he is the p the candidate everybody knows the motion his leading in the polls right now but because he he's also one of the most centrist the democrats and i think if anybody can pull this off it's going to be somebody like biden and i think if i think biden could be persuasive wasif if he says i want <hes> assault weapons off the street and that's it and i think i think biden could actually be persuasive so you know he keeps fighting these rearguard actions actions because he's had forty years as a politician. He's got a long record of being you know in favor of things in one thousand nine hundred seventy four that fell out of favor in two thousand fourteen but i think you okay joe biden could actually this is an instance where he might use that to his advantage and be able to say look in my forty years as a as a politician. I've never tried to take people's guns. Take you know god god fearing law-abiding citizens guns away. All i wanna do is try to take away the most destructive weapons of cosmos harming. You should know from my record. <hes> <hes> that <hes> that's as far as i wanna go on this so <hes> he could be persuasive <hes> and <hes> you know the the other thing about people's attitudes toward gun violence anson gun policy is it ebbs and flows based on what the late at win. The latest tragedy happened headlined. Sorry i think i think i can predict with about one hundred percent accuracy that there will be another appalling mass shooting between now and probably probably many more than one between now and november twenty twenty but i am more relevant question might be will there be a mass shooting in the let's say two months prior to the election in november in november twenty twenty because people get very fired up about this issue in the immediate aftermath of one of these incidents since and then they they kind of lose interest <hes> and <hes> you know when you saw the parkland shooting i mean sure invited survivors of that shooting into the white house seem to have a very sympathetic ear that's when he's talking about universal background checks and then he seemed to have met with the head of the n._r._a. And had a change of heart. I mean my hope was right. I mean i i i get the feeling that i have not had a sit down with the president that he wants stricter. He wants them regulation and he wants to tighten belt a little bit and he's somehow afraid to do that. And my and my hope is that he will just go with his heart on this trump has a hard on this <hes> okay honest i. I actually think he does and i just don't think he has the courage to see it through well. We're trump firmly believes in something. He seems to always have the courtesy of through no matter. How unpopular does i mean. He rejects the advice of mainstream advisers over and over like on tariffs talk about <hes> because it's something he believes in. I think trump just doesn't i. I think think he's confused about <hes> what to do about these incidents politically and i would also point out that trump is out of touch with the majority already of americans on this topic so the majority of americans want something done <hes>. It gets a little harder when you say what should that something be but <hes> you know for when the n._r._a. Basically is aligned with about into my mind about fifteen percent of americans who say we should do actually nothing about guns. We should just continue to tolerate this carnage. <hes> <hes> because the most important thing is our ability to own handguns and the death of children doesn't matter to that i mean the n._r._a.'s just completely out of touch with where where the majority of americans are here but the n._r._a. Punches above its weight also it has been it has been able to <hes> influence policy even though it advocates advocates a minority view on these policies so trump's out of touch on this but it's up to democrats to hold him to count for that and to really find a way to advance advance their own political cause at trump's expense. He's out of touch on other things too yes <hes> but we talked about other podcasts but that doesn't mean democrats are going to be effective at capitalizing on it that that right there is the key and of course we're going to be watching any developments and see if any kind of legislation can happen between now and the end of the year so ric conversation is always. Thank you all for listening into ballots in our audience i would like to add. I think we're doing this whole topic because <hes> alex our producers right. There wasn't one audience member who asked about this or thousands dozens thousands thousands really listen somebody said would you guys address gun policy and we did. We've taken the audience requests here at ballots dollars like a d._j. Like a good d._j. Right all right. We'll be sure to follow us on twitter at alexis t._v. News rick rick j newman all right be sure to rate and review this podcast. Wherever you get your podcast. This was the best one the trickery corruption and sleaze. If if you're looking for a guide to what's wrong in washington download the skulduggery podcast it's your all access pass the d._c.'s underbelly co hosted by who news chief investigative investigative correspondent michael isikoff and editor in chief. Dan kleinman sco buttery shine a light on the scandals of the trump era and looks back on infamous political schemes of the the past that shed light on events of today. Listen every friday for a fresh take on washington's dark side. This podcast is brought to you by the new yahoo finance premium. If you're looking to take your investing to the next level premium has you covered. Try it free a yahoo. Gal who financed dot com slash premium from yahoo finance ballots and dollars podcast about the politics that affect your pocketbook book. I'm rick newman and i'm alexis christopher's today. We are talking gun control. The mass shootings in el paso dayton thrust the gun control issue to the forefront of the two thousand presidential election and president trump has said he is in favor.

assault trump joe biden yahoo president washington mitch mcconnell new york executive michael isikoff rick rick pew research center united states rick newman congress editor in chief senate
Buried Treasure: Crack in the White House

Skullduggery

30:24 min | 1 year ago

Buried Treasure: Crack in the White House

"No evening. This is the first time since taking the oath of office that I felt an issue was so important so threatening that it warranted talking directly with you. The American people all of us agree that the gravest domestic threat facing our nation. Today is drugs. It was fifth nineteen Eighty-nine and president George H W Bush was giving his first nationally televised speech from the Oval Office rallying the public behind a major new offensive in the drug war and to hammer home is message. The president's speechwriters came up with a dramatic touch that nobody was expecting little more than a minute into that speech. Bush suddenly reached under his desk and pulled out a plastic bag with a white chunky substance clutching it as he displayed it for the cameras this. This is crack cocaine sees the few days ago by drug enforcement agents in park just across the street from the White House. It could easily have been heroin or PCP. It's his innocent looking as candy, but it's turning our cities into battle zones. And it's murdering our children, let there be no mistake. This stuff is poison that bag of crack, certainly got attention. But not in the way, the president or speechwriters had expected White House officials had at first claimed that this crack had been seized in Lafayette Park across the street from the White House as part of an undercover drug by but seventeen days after the speech, the Washington Post revealed that the whole thing was a setup the president's speechwriters had come up with the idea thinking that holding up a bag of crack was the perfect prop to illustrate that. The drug problem was spreading everywhere across America right up to the doorsteps of the White House. But as the post reported there hadn't been any crack dealing in Lafayette Park. So to match the words crafted by the speechwriters federal. Drug agents were forced to lure a suspected teenage drug dealer from northeast Washington to Lafayette Park, telling him when he was baffled as to where that was it was across the street from the White House, the young drug dealers response where the fuck is the White House this past month a podcast series called the uncertain. Our looks back at the Bush cracks speech as a cultural moment, a classic case of White House media manipulation that symbolizes how the drug problem has been used over the years to score political points. And it also looks at what happened to that young drug dealer how he spent years in federal prison under harsh mandatory minimum sentencing laws that have had a devastating impact on minority communities will examine the backstory of the Bush crack speech, and what it tells us about the country's drug problems then and now with the host of the uncertain our on this episode of buried treasure. Because people have gotta know whether or not their president's across. Well, I'm not a crook. I told the American people I did not create arms for hostile my heart to my best intentions still tell me that's true. But the facts and the evidence tell me it is not I did not have sexual relations with that one. There will be no lies. We will honor the American people with the truth and nothing else. A Michael Isikoff chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo news, and I'm Dan Kleinman editor and chief of Yahoo news. Well, as you probably know, this is one of my favorite buried treasures because the author of that post story was more many years ago when I was the drug reporter for the Washington Post, and I gotta say it made quite a splash at the time. Okay. Well, not to feed your ego cough. You don't need it. But this story hit like a bombshell for me. Personally. I was a young reporter working for a weekly newspaper called legal times. I was covering the local criminal Justice system in the courts, and I knew your work. Of course, the thing about the story like it hit me on a couple of levels. One was like this was the age of sort of the image meisters, the Michael Devers, and we all felt like so manipulated by politics and how they were trying to manipulate our our emotions and so to see the Bush Whitehouse be exposed like this was just so satisfying. But on another level, it was a really important story. And I think we're going to touch on in this interview. And that is I covered the drug war, and I saw every day in the courthouse sort of collateral damage and the wreckage of the drug war on the one hand how damaging crack cocaine was and how Howard fueled so much violence. But also these. Policies that were putting away young teenagers for twenty thirty forty years. I mean, just he's insane sense is doing all of these awful things. So that's I think what the messianic many ways, you know, for all the attention. You know, the story got at the time the aftermath of what happened to that. Young kid Keith Jackson, a teenager from northeast Washington went to Springer in high here never had any problems before, you know, first time offender, but under these mandatory sentencing laws, the federal judge in his case Stanley Sporkin was forced against his will to impose a mandatory sentence of ten years. Not for that crack by because he ultimately got off on that one by. But there were some others also set up by federal drug agents is judges were were on the frontlines of these terrible policies, and they hated it. I remember talking to them at the time. They just hated it. And it's really interesting. I know we're going to talk about this to look back all these years, and how we as as a society how our politicians think so differently about this issue right now. But at the time, you know, there was this pervasive fear fueled by politicians that led to those policy. That is exactly the issue. We're going to talk about with our guest. Chrissy Clark who has revived the story and put it together in this brilliant podcast, the uncertain our inside, America's drug war. So let's get out. Want to talk with someone but are unsure where to start better health makes it easy to connect with a licensed professional specialized in the issues. You wanna talk about better? Help us flexible allowing you to schedule video or phone sessions. You can even texture therapist and start communicating in under twenty four hours. Go to better help dot com slash podcast to get ten percent off your first month with the code podcast, simply fill out the questionnaire and find a counselor for you. That's better. Help dot com slash podcast. We now have with us, Christy. Clark who is the host of the uncertain our senior correspondent for marketplace. Chrissy good to talk to you. Hey, great to talk to you guys. So I am just you know, was thrilled when you reached out to me many months ago and told me you were doing this story looking back at the Bush, crack speech tell me what interested you about this to start. So I had been interested in looking back to at the start of the crack era because we talk so much right now about opioids and the opioid epidemic and what's happening right now. And it is by all accounts the worst drug epidemic that our country has ever faced. But I grew up in an era. I was a kid in the eighties and early nineties. And that was when crack was the thing that everybody was talking about. And it was the media. There was a media frenzy around it, and I just that was just kind of part of the wallpaper of my childhood hearing about crack and how scary it was. And how dangerous it was. And so I started to wonder so whatever happened whatever happened to crack where where did it go because you don't hear about it anymore because that was the war on drugs actually worked or did something else happen? So that was one of the things that started motivating my research, and then as I was looking at the crack epidemic and the opioid epidemic and kind of comparing the two I read some article that made vague reference to this Bush speech where he held up a baggie of crack, and they mentioned the writer mentioned in the article, you would never see a politician today. Talking about opioids the way that George W Bush talked about crack in that speech, and Matt can you imagine Trump holding up, you know, a bag of Oxycontin and doing the same thing? And I had never heard about. The speech. I was a kid when it happened. And so I said I need to find out more about this. And so I started researching and quickly found your article was like, oh my God. This is an amazing story and people need to be reminded of this especially right now, we're one of the great things you did in this series. Is you like delve into the backstory even more than I had at the time about how the speech came about. So why don't you sort of walk us through how that happened because you talked to I believe David demerist who is the chief speechwriter chief of the speech writers in the White House at the time. Yeah, I talked to David Democrats. I actually talked to a few speechwriters from the time. 'cause one question I had was just like so whose idea was this to begin with and that was sort of a hot potato. I wasn't sure if anybody was going to claim responsibility slash credit slash blame for that. But we did end up talking to Mark Davis. Who said, yeah, this was my idea. You know, I talked to a couple of other speechwriters at the time who said, oh, it kind of came up in a in discussions. I can't remember whose idea. Was. But Mark Davis said this was my idea, and basically so this was the first year of President, George H W Bush's administration. He was kind of trying to climb out of the technicolor shadow of Ronald Reagan and make a name for himself and one of the ways they decided to do that was to really seize on the issue of drugs. It was already in public opinion polls. It was the most important threat facing our nation. According to a majority of Americans, and so they decided to Bush's first televised speech from the Oval Office was going to be all about this. This was the number one issue that the polls show the public cared about at the time. There was this sense. The crack trade was spreading throughout the country was out of control fueling violence, fueling murders in our inner cities and the White House. I mean, I guess they had a legitimate reason to want to galvanize the public's attention on this issue. Didn't they I think it's very fair to say that drugs were and crack in particular were really scaring a lot of Americans, and it was absolutely devastating certain communities in the country and the country needed to have a serious conversation about what to do and policies to try to help people who were addicted to crack, I think that there became a bit of a media and political feedback loop around what the threat of crack actually entailed by the time Bush gave his speech in nineteen eighty nine crack use was actually already on the decline. It was not spreading to suburban neighborhoods and too far flung corners of the country as it was depicted. It was not. Actually being sold in front of the White House or in the park right across the street. No, no, drug crack buys that affords had found in Lafayette Park at all. And that's what really peaks your inch. Right. You learn from the Martin believes that there had never been a crack by in the park across the street from the white except for that DA by for the White House was the quote, I got and that was what really piqued my interest in this story what I wanna hear because he talked about a little bit. Is you just made the point that crack use was actually on the decline? It clearly wasn't having the impact broadly across America as the White House wanted people to think, but the sort of stage craft the fearmongering the way the media covered it the way politicians talked about it had a real impact in terms of policy, and you interviewed actually a really interesting character for the podcast, Mike, and I both know from having covered these issues Eric stir. Erling who played a really interesting role in how all of this Volve talk about Eric sterling, and what he told you. Yes. So Eric sterling was at the time a democratic staffer for the US house of representatives, and he was involved in writing key parts of this legislation that had actually been passed a couple years before Bush gave his speech in one thousand nine hundred six this was the anti-drug abuse act of nineteen eighty six and it was all part of. I mean, I think it's important to remember at this time being hawkish on drugs and calling for an even more amplified war on drugs was not just something that Republicans were were talking about. This was a bipartisan issue. This was something that Democrats and Republicans were both. It was almost an arms race around the war on drugs, you call it a bit a bidding war, and I think sterling talks about actually writing that legislation where one member of congress would offer an amendment saying, let's put one hundred million dollars into this. For more enforcement. And then another would say, no two hundred million exactly. And another person. Actually, I think it was Mark Davis. The speechwriter at the time he described that era and the attitude on drugs as the sound of one hand clapping. Everybody was saying we need more of this. We need stiffer and tougher law enforcement. And so what was so important about this legislation that Eric sterling worked on this was basically where mandatory minimums sentencing got encoded into law when it came to various drugs and the frenzy around what sentences were attached to what drugs, and what quantities of drugs. Eric sterling is pretty candid. Now and says we didn't know what we were doing. It was random like we didn't even really understand the metric system compared to the two ounces. So we were pinning amounts of crack versus cocaine to certain sentences. Crazy, let's talk about how these two stories. Merge. The the Bush crack speech and the impact of mandatory minimums on the kid who was basically used as a pawn in that Bush crack speech, you know, the way I wrote about at the time, and you have amplified now, basically, the speech writers, write the speech. I think it's a great idea. They call up somebody from the White House calls up the Justice department. Can you make a bus that we can use for the speech? The Justice department calls the DA the DA says, well, we don't really have anything around the White House. But we got a few undercover investigations going on. Let's see if we can move one of those suspects there to the White House. That kid was Keith Jackson a teenager. It's Springer high school in northeast Washington. Tell us what happened to Keith Jackson both in that drug by and then the aftermath where he runs into mandatory minimum sentences. Yeah. So he was I mean, he did not know when when he got a call. Call from an acquaintance of his one day in early September say, hey, there's a deal that we can do here. He had no idea what he was getting himself into. And it's interesting, you know, you talk now, even to some of the speech writers that I spoke to who worked on the speech. They say, you know, this whole story was kind of a footnote in the end like the scandal around the setup for the speech. It didn't really matter. It didn't actually change the needle move the needle in terms of public perception or in terms of how amplified the war on drugs did get in the coming years. But it was not a footnote for Keith Jackson it dramatically changed his life. He was not convicted for the drug by in front of the White House. But he was convicted for three other sales that had happened over the course of the couple months before then and they were four relatively small quantities of crack. But because of the mandatory minimums that were in place the. And in many ways still are he was sentenced to ten years in federal prison ten years in federal prison. And as I recall, it, the judge Stanley Sporkin really didn't want to give him such a harsh sentence. No. In fact, he said you seem like a nice young man who was out of control for a period of time. But this is too harsh. But my hands are tied here. The legislation tells me that the law says that this is how much I have to charge you or how much I have to sentence you. And he actually suggested to Keith Jackson at his sentencing, maybe you can appeal to President Bush and see if he can lessen the sentence because he was intimately involved in this whole story. Did he seek to DC pardon or a commutation of a sentence? It's unclear if he did there's no record of that. I we actually went to the office of where where they keep track of those things and they had no record of one. It seems unlikely that he would have gotten one given a member member President Bush's reaction after the story broke. And he was asked about this. And he said does anybody have any sympathy for that drug guy? So he gave you and he as you said he really owned it when he was asked by reporters about it. I wanted to ask you, Chrissy you here. We're talking about the kind of racial impact of these laws. But I also wonder whether consciously or unconsciously you thought, and you didn't say this in in the podcast. But I wonder if you thought at any point that there was a racial element to you know, that particular speech and the decision to bring in a young black teenager from the inner city and to set him up and just in terms of the entire the whole kind of climate of fear around this issue. You know, I remember this is something you did talk about in the podcast when Len bias the star university of Maryland basketball player. Died and it was a drug related death at first reported that it was crack cocaine because in some ways, that's what everyone wanted to believe it turned out not to have been crack cocaine, but talk about the sort of racial element to this story at the time. Yeah. I mean, everybody I talked to who lived through that time many of Keith's classmates as well as historians who look at these sorts of dynamics talk about how much crack was really painted as a black threat and was really stigmatized and racial is d- and that actually has a long history drugs, and and policies around drugs are often racialist going back to the first drug laws back in the eighteen hundreds around opium when specifically there was only one forum of opium that was outlawed and that was smoking opium. And that was just so happened to be the the way that Chinese immigrants took opium. But you were still. Allowed to ingest it or to to shoot it up for many years. So there is this long history of kind of tying a particular drug and drug scare to a racial minority in the country. And I think that in the case of crack that was definitely going, and it's worth noting that crack was not just used by black people in the inner city. It was also used by white people now just proportionately by African Americans. But I think because it was cheaper and they were poorer and because people living in those communities who were so vulnerable felt more desperate. Right. And that is when people look at the sentencing disparities between crack cocaine and powder cocaine. They point to that in Ron number is many more white people have used crack than black people. But when it comes to the rates of crack, you capita per capita per capita in among black Americans. It was a much higher rate, but crack powder cocaine and crack cocaine their same chemical, but the sentence. In around each of them was very different just to go back to that Bush, crack speech and give a little reminder of what a cultural splash it made at the time. It made it onto Saturday Night Live, and we do have the clip from Saturday Night Live right after that speech was given and the drug problem bigger than ever. This is this is cocaine crack, I'll tell you something this crack was bought right here in the White House. Three feet from this. This. Drug problem worse than we ever thought marijuana being grown in the rose garden. Millie the Bush dog bringing in crack pike from the south lawn. He's the closed down an ecstasy factory in the Lincoln bedroom. That is I got that was Dana Carvey, of course, doing his excellent, George H W Bush imitation. Chrissy, your thoughts on hearing that. I mean, he's really good at what he does. But I think that it does. It's funny. It's both. It's a hilarious clip. But there is something kind of bitter sweet about it for me. Because when I hear that. And when I look back at the articles that you were writing at the time where you really were kind of exposing this fiction that had been created this myth in this narrative that had been created around crack that really didn't hew closely to what was going on with where the real threats were. I think that it's kind of this missed opportunity that we had you know, thirty years ago. There was this moment where the media was taking a closer look at what Bush was doing when it came to the war on drugs, and what was actually really going on with crack in the. Crack market and yet in the end that ended up not making much of a difference for the next couple. The next couple of decades cover the Clinton crime Bill where they increased mandatory minimum sentences, and we should point out something that's probably going to get more attention. Now that Joe Biden is in the race. He was the chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, and he pushed those tough on crime bills with those mandatory is now made a sort of a semi apology wrote. Yeah. You could think of this as sort of a moment when we did question ourselves and say, maybe we're misunderstanding the nature of the crack epidemic. Maybe we need to think more carefully about who crack is affecting and how we can help those that are being affected, and sadly that was not what ended up happening now we are rolling back some of the mandatory minimum laws very slowly but bit by bit. And I think there is consensus now in the same way there was consensus thirty years ago in the other direction that we did go too far. But there were moments where we might have come to that conclusion a lot earlier and meanwhile for three decades people have been dealing with the consequences of the direction, we did go. So what did happen to the crack epidemic? That's a really good question. So in many ways, it kind of burnt itself out when I talked to drug policy experts and folks who have researched this they talk about how if you look at any given city where crack hit hard, and you look at the use of rate and kind of new initiates of new people who are using the drug each year, you see this kind of three year peak and fall in any given city where there's a spike of new users, and then it drops off pretty dramatically after that. And the best theory. I mean, epidemics are difficult to get to the bottom of. But the best theories that people have are that in many ways, the stigma around. Crack because it was it's a kind of drug that when the devastation sort of the heroin affects that it can have on someone become pretty visible pretty quickly. And so what that means is that folks around that who are witnessing that often. They might say, okay. That drug is not for me. I might try another drug, but that one I I know an uncle and an aunt and the sister who have been affected by that. And it did not go well and drug researchers that I talked to say that that's actually something that happens in many drug epidemic. So that might have a longer or a slower period of peaking and falling. But ultimately, the stigma of the drug and the devastation that the drug can have will kind of scare a new generation of users away from it was gonna ask what lessons can we draw from that experience for the current opioid crisis, which is really serious, and which is. Having a devastating impact on a lot of communities across the country. Well, something that I think you hear much more now than you did back in the late eighties and early nineties is that addiction is a disease that we need to focus on helping drug users ravioli rather than trying to stamp out the supply, which can feel like a game of whack a mole. We need to focus on helping the people who who are addicted and try to prevent them from harming themselves or others. I think that that's an approach and a stance that we hear a lot about. Now, we didn't hear that a lot back in the eighties, though, if you go to the communities that were effected, the hardest by crack, it was something that a lot of people were saying to themselves and to anybody who would listen I spoke with a woman carry bridges who was a classmate of Keith Jackson's, and this is something that she's been saying for the last thirty years, we need to her mother was. And her uncle many many of her family. Members struggled with drugs were addicted to crack, and she said we needed to help them. We didn't need to lock up the people who were selling who are selling the crack. For decades, we needed to help the people who were addicted, and I think that that's something that now people are open to that idea. But I think a lot of the people who who were affected by crack thirty years ago, feel a little frustrated that this is only now an approach that the country seems to be moving towards a Christmases ago. This is making me think about when I was covering drug trials and homicide trials in DC superior court and the people who as you would just looting to this. If people who did understand what was happening and how unfair and destructive these policies were we're obviously the people who were being affected by them. And in those trials you began to see jurors kind of taking control of the situation, and you begin to see jury nullification in. I remember trials in which the jurors. I'd say, you know, what we're not sending another young black teenager to prison because he's gotten involved in all of this drug situation. So at you know, that's people into listen. I guess I got I got one quick question for you. Did you reach out to Keith Jackson? I did many times and in many in many forms of media from phone to Email to actually knocking on former addresses of his I did speak with him. Finally, I also spoke with his mother briefly. And you know, I made my best case for why I wanted to hear from him. And why I think a lot of Americans need to know his experience, and he he's been talked so much about, but we actually have heard very little except for a few brief moments in trial transcripts from him. And so I spoke with him. I I asked him if he would talk to me on the record. And he said, you know, I just want to put this behind me. He doesn't want to relive. I should say I I have reached out to him over the years and gotten the same response. All right. Well, everybody can hear a lot more about this. And the great journalism that Chrissy Clark has done on the uncertain our inside America's drug war, Krissy. Thanks for joining us. Thank you so much for having me. Thank you. Thanks for writing that article. Longtime ago. Extra Chrissy Clark for joining us on this episode of buried treasure. Don't forget to subscribe to skulduggery on apple podcast, or you. Listen to your podcast and tell us what you think leave review be sure to follow us on social media at skulduggery pot. We'll talk to you soon.

George H W Bush crack cocaine White House Keith Jackson Chrissy Clark America White House president Lafayette Park Washington reporter cocaine Stanley Sporkin heroin Mark Davis Washington Post Oval Office Michael Isikoff Eric sterling Yahoo
131. Trapped

The Skylines Podcast

31:19 min | 1 year ago

131. Trapped

"So i am on the northbound southbound northern line platform at bank station because i am going to have an adventure getting edgeware with a man who also recently went to edgeware. We'll we'll get into that shoulder to introduce yourself. I i'm a direction. I'm a journalist charles worker housing campaign maybe and that it is the train number zero one free to edgewood which we are going to which we're going to get onto you now. Around three joanna jr mrs skylines lines symmetric podcast as you just heard this is going to be assume location episode we stopped by trying to recall them chew but it does not it does not go as well as as well as expected so don't worry if you're if you're getting annoyed by the cheap background noise after a couple of minutes give up on a move to a cafe i pay where occasionally fair in the background you can hear the noise of the bloody espresso shame in keeping with that theme in this opening which i recorded purely to reassure people people become quality would improve. I'm sat outside and the enjoys intern. Shopping center where you can hear is drilling some days. It's just give up anyway. Stick with us. There's an ex an anecdote about about the reason why we tried to record on the job followed by a nice nice discussion about about rent controls and the like and the trap that the british rental system has has a large chunk of the population currently caught in so stick with us. It is worth bearing in the noise. I promise so okay on the on the train now ever announce a chinese studiously avoiding the windows. It is recording a podcast as improper so the first question is right now. I live in l. even hackney. I i work in kansas talent incumbent. So why exactly did you go to edge wet so i was going to a beating in around i in the launch of the mayor of london's rent control because <hes> i komo properly i tried to go to whole and unabridged by quick northern line and get get up to angel angel then when i go to buying a realized that the doors closed in on my back straps couldn't get my back out the door okay. Thus that's fine. You just get out of the neck station right yeah so i kind of realized things were starting to to to go wrong by gone way. Past angel of work walk walk into like kings cross used to kind of area and then we'll be two colon dial actually out the boundary is though that does is going to be opening ladies guys listen city and metropolitan nine and national rail senators announced. It was no help just say there are gonna be moments where we just have to stop for the announcer and there's not really a way round this triumph. This is less as a podcast moore's stupid experience. You'll having so you get trapped in the doors at any point. Did you start to panic. I think like initially because i saw this meeting is already kind of late to. You're going to be even later to a fresh which is sitting down okay. Can we automate this meeting being an she's the doors going to open on on the side and it was frustrating but were you definitely sure about that like. Is it not possible that you some cafe. You could have just been trapped in the door. Indefinitely it was possible. I think like edgeware and nothing happened another point. I would like seek help but i felt the need to like a biased by vice style male of asking for help on the thing of positive anyone for help on the cheap. Yeah is kind of the ultimate firepower to strategy speak to another human being on the chip which is why paper is starting to get a slightly strange looks now. The northern line is slightly screech. Yes then i was imagining it might be when we agreed to do this but in a style out getting into take i should say for the benefit anyone who doesn't live in london intimately familiar with huma edgeware is vanderlei. There's a long way our yes. There's like north west. London playful ends the loyd leafy suburban housing. I've i've got some lift bag. Gonna go there. Maybe like once a year profoundly keeping that's nice. Did you say hi. I think i talked i was i was like panicked enough belden each item each. I have a a terrible confession at this point in the podcast. I'm slightly worried that this is going to be completely unlistenable so while original plan was to go all the way to edgeware. I'm i'm gonna make a radical suggestion which we find a cafe in which to talk about housing. What's your sounds good so you now in a cafe in in the angel is written in london by my stomping ground to these ten last year as we got closer doing this podcast. We've got progressively worse. Oh sierra let the original plan was to try and reenact the whole affair by deliberately getting trapped in the doors and then being stuck there to edgeware war recording a podcast okaz because that seemed like a funny thing to do on social media but i think by the time we actually met up this morning thinking that maybe that was in fact a bad idea and we will be sending the wrong message in possibly bringing in thailand underground network grinding to a halt said now here. We are in this in this cafe. There was the sound check where it was slightly worse than recording on the chip but we're hoping this is going to work fine. Let's let's get into the actual me to this conversation among other things. You're the coal for the rent trap yes so you the rent trump is a book about how we kind of go into renting crisis and some of the uk's outs of it so you kind of looking at how pry rented housing has become a much bigger housing quite the young people and for poor people on why the roots out either into housing contrary haitian of being closed off the last two years and what that's what i being socially what that means politically economically as well okay well. Let's start with. We've you've sort of first principles. They're wow so many more people. Are this one of the questions we're really obvious but this is why are so many more people renting thing now than fifty years ago. Why didn't you would just go and play there. I mean there's a few different things like firstly. They're proposing last just housing so there's make social housing collapse space in the eighties under the impact of right to buy and financial restrictions based on counsel's stop the building housing than under new labour that was a lot of emphasis placed on counsel's outsourcing session housing to probably say stations if you've never been able to build as much housing councils were. It's not just a capacity thing because the average has an association is or at least was smaller and it has fewer than the average council nowadays in my opinion not it's councils have that strategic role being able to actually do things on a much larger rendre more strategic scale whereas housing associations traditionally were smaller than specialist list organizations the on a particular clientele that criticism of of councils was you are to monolithic to to serve a particular community and national community type example. There are lots of blackout asians or whether that's about people with mental health issues leg disability whereas now housing stations the ones with tens of thousands of homes across multiple across the country and our actually recruited becoming the kind of monolithic base of all housing stopped off. My question is one simple time. They were relatively small organizations. Some of them are managing jiang as many accounts did right but the difference is they have neither ciller control over planning powers nor nov client g._t. To house people in the same way so they have different have different abilities different incentives as well. I guess it used to be for example. Council's used to give landover to patients in exchange for being able to to nominate who could he live with house. People a of the housing list and simply say jason you speed receive subsidy from central government because building social housing was being is be a good thing by central government at the time whereas that has collapsed as well say stations inc. Being hirsch to sweat they're out sets essentially to become more more commercial organizations which is why you see several housing associations move more towards providing more generic what general needs housing and focusing on things like shadow in shape while the ban specialized housing breaking on groups groups of people that have like high needs. We were slightly off our original track. Here is tends to happen when i talk to anyone about housing but kind of go back a bit so it's one of the reasons that private renting through the roof is because much less social housing around piece property prices or seven the mckay ah yup yeah yeah one of the reasons why people come escape into patient if house prices significantly higher in the the flip like deposits on of in particular on a hippie expensive to rent is you don't really have the capacity to due to build up savings so one of the stocks in the rent trot it might it might not be the part one was like rinses would struggle struggle to save like a hundred and fifty pounds towards towards a deposit. Thanks rent is higher. The cost of living is higher wages haven't gone up for ten years really exactly and then on top of that again like in one of the effects of renting expanding and they kind of fit by to lap dial situation as you've got the gripe letting agencies who predominantly from themselves through leading agency phase that let these now thankfully band but in that era they were way for that they essentially to tell us large amounts of money most renters and sometimes team to landlords and this is kind of why it's been one of the easier problems to solve is because they were stiffening both tenants and landlords right so it's much easier to say the parasites not have a third of the house of commons think well hang on. That's what we saw that me yep absolutely there's the the one people uh-huh and actually like right hated with lettings agents break felt they were being sued over there are lots of private charging some of those like examples of the b._b._c. tune investigation. If he is back in london where example agencies racially discriminating you can get ten and where they were happy to accept landlord instructions to know house african caribbean people are they were really kind of like the unaccountable pfizer policy not because there were lots of waste they could could defraud people could three people so i okay we kind of took to bed about why the private rental sector has grown so much in the last generation in britain. Is that necessarily a bad thing. One of the things you hear a lot in this to buy is well. Why are we sub segment homeownership by germany. People rent for the whole what's wrong with doing that. What is wrong with just renting innately. There's nothing wrong with jeff renting it the it's the quality of of of that renting is by renting the in the u._k. Currently means this insecurity because you can be victims without reason under section when he wound up the nineteen eighty-eight housing acts it's unregulated in terms of rents that talk as well as inflated rent control. I know so like anti-missile condition of rental housing stock. It's traditionally been much much lower. Quality housing much nights be crowded. Much relates beat the crap end of housing so there's nothing innately wrong wrenching as long as that's your choice decent place to live so it's not renting itself as much insecurity that comes with renting the british system particularly exactly insecurity underpin so much of the issues because it is about the power dynamic between landlords unmoved and tenants and so for example mike i will do a she was evicted for us nine were to replace a broken. Tom set of drawers and it's kind of like mental. Even if you don't wanna replace the draws. Why can you not just say no. Why why do you have to be like well. Not even gonna do for your money anymore. Like what was the logic there from what i remember. He said something in the lines of like i i don't like women who talk back chumming i would if i would s grabbing rationality to i would imagine that this particular guy i saw oh. Here's someone who's willing to stand up to me. They're going to be trouble. I can quite easily find someone who will he will pay pay the same amount of money or more for this room and because it's essentially a seller's market particularly in cities like london there are so many people fighting over so few flats rents so high landlords they can. I'm just kick someone else someone out and get an inappropriate a higher rents. That's an extended. That's not necessarily true and rents have been flatlined. You're even slipping a bit but that's still the impressionable. There's no other people have right yeah get pretty much kind of used to that scenario of having no power no market power and not is being able to to ask that that repairs or improvements even if they might actually by beat be up for i mean like i remember one one potential quite naturally and never friends live that he was he was fine pointing good like like like decent pies needs to be on one of bike wanting people living in this place to be okay but he decided to manage a._b._c.'s some letting each with that was thrive much at the school of no we won't do that or we're going off the landlord about that and and never getting back to them so yeah i often can get impression. It's not the highest quality people end up in the in the lettings agent fitness trickery corruption and sleaze. If you're looking for a guide to what's wrong in washington download the skulduggery podcast test your all access pass. D._c.'s underbelly co hosted by a who news chief investigative correspondent michael isikoff and editor in chief. Dan kleinman skulduggery shines a light on the scandals of the trump era and looks back on infamous political schemes in the past that shed light on events of today. Listen every friday for a fresh. Take on washington's dark side so what's the solution lie if you thought about this more than almost anyone else. How do we fix this how you gonna fix this for us so to me and i think in the while it was this combination of progressive legislation and regulation for example finding no folks evictions rent control buying his fees making lionel's accountable the three way through licensing in the same way like a taxi driver would is licensed ideas accountable for their actions and on the other side eight an active wrenches movement to enforce these basic rights into to establish collective coletta power in a way the individual renters. Don't have okay okay so i want to unpack a couple of days. A lot of those fairly straightforward like a licensing scheme for landlords seems quite sensible because it's kind of ridiculous you can be responsible for someone's home life. I'd be completely miserable authorities if you abuse that power planning lettings agency phase of already covered by rent controls so i'm going to slightly play devil's advocate here because i really don't like i don't like this conclusion. I want to believe the rent. Controls can fix things but from what i've read. It's one of the things you can get columnists from the left and the right degree on his rent controls are bad because they were kind of credit inside as outside this fame well like people. You'll have rent controlled apartments. Stay with them forever but the sum you're sure to of rental property to people who don't have as conch and if we end up renting if more expensive or more on official things if they can download play tennis off against each other there are other ways in which they can kind of like forced tendency to differentiate themselves over them other than simple financial runs and these are arguments put forward not just by people in the right but by paul krugman the left left linear communist drive the new york times. Why is that wrong. 'cause i really wanna believe that we can just set rent controls and so this out so one of the the issues behind that is the people often kind of like talk about regulatory invoke when control and actually ranks road sat of different different different types of systems so you kind of like the new york system is very very different from the danish system or the venezuelan system actually actually whenever like we we can think about what we want to do with the rent control system then design it around that i believe at the very good ratings econ con establishing system rent control that at the very least mitigates to weigh less level the kind of the the bad impacts ax and tell us a bit about the different forms of rent control. What are the things you can change. The weakest form of rent control would obey limiting renting creases during a tendency so you have like a shelter i think of this labor under ed miliband about this see how like a tendency and the lions will be limited to to like inflation level increases during that time but then once they eh one hundred tendency came to an end they could then new rents whatever level they they wanted to wearers for example the danish system it is based far more on basically limiting the amount of profit lonzo kevin it makes i take the costal building a building a block of flats mobility hiring and you can charge a said a certain percentage of bats to the tenants <hes> yeah so you can charge by percents of the of the value of the of the cost of instruction that means that the twenty year pay back back some leeway around around in previous rounds so that is a much long term thing based based on here is going to be able to make this about like a reasonable amount of pro feminist but not be able to to w reynolds no particular reason so the point is it's not as simple as like. It doesn't have to be as simple as saying right. This is the rent visit their ways kind of connecting getting it to landlords jemele inflation or just so it kind of looks a bit more like a reasonable share. Someone's living costs rather than something can suddenly spike fifty percent without warning yeah exactly and interesting kind of the the first of rent control in the interest in nineteen fifty fifteen and was it was a flat when freeze rents were frozen outs for you will laugh holes because that was essentially an economic crisis about about by by the u._k. Was at war and the landlords decided to raise their ratings sure but vehemently that was made easier by the fact that must've insight if you're a people around on scan to a war and like immeasurable pretend to population is in a ditch france somewhere trained me like the place that was the the real kind of like center of rent control like quite quite control was <hes> glaus guy. I'm what happened was that all of these workers from elsewhere in scotland mutu <hes> glasgow to working munitions factories that was that was short term higher pressure on housing in in glasgow. Dansko rents were raised then when when people couldn't <hes> couldn't pay than they were summarily victims. They always kind of like these taipei's. He's especially never kind of families of people who were pointing in <hes> in front soul or wherever they were being victimised and things like this landlord is you'll bucks. One of the things that really put pressure on the government was that <hes> rent control this red strike. That's happening blouse renton to become an industrial strike within the mission factories and shipyards in say quickly cost his rent restriction act well this this gets onto the other thing. I kind of wanted to talk about the you listed in your daily with the rental. Crisis is the idea of building kind kind of a rental movement so you're you're a trustee of generation rents which irregular probably be aware of his campaign to kind of improve. The lot of runs renta's basically. Do you think this is a form of civil society that we we will be seeing more of in rent. His banding together to exert political pressure pressure grew yeah i think so because this ongoing issue of private housing being much launch of all like calixto u._k. Means so much for renters for a long time on that actually having some type of collective protection mclovin r._d._c. to make sense within that actually kind of thinking about some of the by civil society organizations that are about kind of people living more precarious lives whether ah that's kind of like forms trade genius and the kind of working with people on on insecure contracts but actually going to be people living within an insecure housing and people who are able to come together in campaign you see kind of examples of wrenches french unions for example in united states and germany so what does it rented union actually because he's talk about trade you have imagined involved in negotiations orchestrating strikes so the workforce in can exert its combined influence. What does it renter's union so it can do a number of things and again. It depends on what the system that you're getting like in the in the u._s. Like a ten cm. We'll do a lot of like legal advocacy representing members and interests within the call sexual. They were lovey for uh legislation or especially in the u._s. Like city legislation in the u._k. We've we've only read to be recently. The start of the wrenches <music>. I'm living wrenched for tennessee neva in scotland and i've that puts below being tristan that during the doing of recycle in the time like like action casework so you say like a members for example on the fiction and trying to find ways to either look that or using strength of numbers against a lime lettings agent does not necessarily the without before they used to dealing with people who have any any power so for example while by i actually did an article for new statesman on evictions and as part of that i went into eviction 'cause there isn't a definitive action by went to the court decided most rent is don't turn up because they have so little basis they can actually appeal on but whereas a wrench can essentially make life difficult for for a landlord or letting can pick a unleashing agents that can use that connect to power to twins full some for with negotiations even if there isn't a kind of a league structured. It's not just about having the legal rights is about your ability to enforce leads right basically as it stands. I love tenants. They they tend to be younger poorer and less work. They call them show coach in the middle of the day with a lawyer saying okay is his outline case. If you look okay how how the scottish union started and literally started with this particular unpleasant landlord code mark fourteen as as like nobody it was predominantly like a student landlord in edinburgh and you're just like this really horrible landlord and eventually wanna pay has has had an jamie complained about something each dump it is. I didn't story unthreatened to threaten to shoot him. It wasn't even i've done any kind of the. I'm going to shoot you with like makes you had done for shooting. Someone like jamie recorded this conversation and that it was became the basis basis of a legal case against monaco chain then countersued jamie and then we'll each other of of this guy five join dead and eventually they want us it can of their case. He was under scottish law. You can be deemed to be a not a fit and proper person to be alon more so his view was taken off. He tried to the company to someone else and then lead the country but anyhow it was this group of the people who came together. We can assist actually not then formed the re private tenant action roy onto that and the basis of the living rent tennessee. You need in in scotland but is this is actual thing like people want laying up the door to <hes> to take that case to against this this guy very much to do it themselves and thanks both people on board and by seven if you look at the ability and willingness of councils to enforce against one mos patchy at best councils don't invest in not to enforce men housing bulls to environmental health says says welcome people who specialises quite tennessee people and council expertise. It's been gutted the decades who is main in forest territory not they were losing a lot of people just get counselors have repeatedly faced budget since oh yeah absolutely and then again what one of the impact the the housing crisis is the council's are struggling to find places to house people who come to the messiahs and one of the places that they can how's myth with private landlords say councils can't be seemed to be too until onboard because they lead them to a house people of edison's services. I do wanna be wrapping up but just as a last question nine hundred we've always seen 'em western world is. The economy's changed old school. Trade unionism has become a less powerful force in politics and civil society. Do you think likes renters. Unions could could be way of kind of playing that sort of roe v less powerful members of society kind of exert collective power in a way the baps no hanson is to call me the last couple of decades obsolete the race by michael on like amazing as as the the the collective what vice has become a place that white fewer and fewer actually do work in one of the places that we can start to organize on is is is like around like neighborhoods around our our experiences wrenches even even not without challenges alan. Just we don't have a single employer or we have a much more kind of like fragmented landlords house the people but but actually essentially the basis upon which you can start to organize that economy. That's more about atomised workers more about insecure work insecure vaping well. That's a nice positive note to end on. There is power in a union says. Maybe there is hope. I almost get in contact with you. What's the best way. I'm on twitter handles at s._a. J. e. r. j. samir. Thank you very much. Thanks aw you've been listening to skylines. The pass from symmetric in these states missile site presented. I'm recruited by me on edge and produced by nick hilton. You find skylines finds every two weeks on wednesday cost or whatever app you used to get you cost moya. Leave us a nice review to tell other people it really helps people who discovered a show and meglomaniac so people can get listen to this really u._c. In two weeks thanks for listening dan.

London edgeware scotland germany michael isikoff london tennessee joanna jr intern kansas jamie uk washington glasgow twitter moore new york belden
Buried Treasure: "The Longest War"

Skullduggery

32:05 min | 3 months ago

Buried Treasure: "The Longest War"

"Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan Afghanistan Afghanistan. Repeat that America's longest war can win that war and a week. Hospital bombing was a lot of innocent civilians killed every year. There was this sense that if we did X Y and Z finished war. There is the weariness and frustration. Because it's in their country seven. American presidents from Jimmy Carter to Donald Trump all talking about a conflict seemingly with no end. It's the subject of the longest war a new film about Afghanistan that will premiere on showtime Sunday night April Nineteenth. The film is a penetrating look at decades of death destruction crushed dreams and self deception that mark the American military presence in that country but with an uneasy. Peace deal now on the table. Will anything change? We'LL DISCUSS WITH GREG. Barker the director of the longest war on this episode of buried treasure because people have gotta know whether or not their president's across well. I'm not a Crook told the American people I did not trade arms for hospitals my heart and my best intentions. Still tell me that's true but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not. I did not have sexual relations without him. There will be no lies. We will honor the American people with the Truth and nothing else. Michael ISIKOFF chief. Investigative correspondent for Yahoo News. And I'm Dan Clyde editor and chief of Yahoo News. I have to say the Watching this film which is really quite gripping what really struck me is the historical dimension that we so often forget. We think of Afghanistan as something. That's in the back pages of the foreign news. Section occasionally getting Some headlines but going back to the Soviet invasion in nineteen seventy-nine right through to the CIA as secret war against the Soviets to the rise of the Taliban to the Us invasion to US looking the other way And shifting resources to Iraq on and on it goes and here we are decades later. Still enmeshed in that country still with troops on the ground taking casualties and the question arises will it ever end. Yeah you know well they call it the graveyard of empires the Brits the Russians and and now the Americans and you know the irony is the longer we're there the more history we have that with that place. The less we seem to understand that and the more mistakes we seem to make and twenty years later since the invasion after nine eleven twenty five hundred people dead twenty thousand wounded a trillion dollars spent and you know some people would say lost and here. We are the hope. Is that at some point? We'll we will learn from those mistakes and resist these kinds of adventures in the future. But I don't now if you look at each of the triggering events for American involvement. You know the Soviets invade the C. I. A. Launches The covert war to expel them from the country. The rise of the Taliban all of those were and the harboring of Osama bin Laden. That's why we invaded in two thousand one. All those were real events that arguably had a direct impact on American national security but everybody is very good. Every president is very good at responding to the crisis of the moment but when you look for a long-term strategy an exit strategy as it were it just never seemed to be on the horizon. And I gotta say this peace deal that trump is touting and has signed There's a lot of skepticism that it's going to lead into any better plays that the Taliban is really going to lay down their arms and allow for a Anything resembling a free and democratic government in that country. Well of course that wasn't the original objective to turn Afghanistan a free and democratic government. The objective of our invasion of Afghanistan was to expel al-Qaeda from from there and to kill Osama bin Laden and that has happened and you could argue. That was the moment. Maybe that was the moment maybe back in two thousand eleven when Obama should have said okay we got our Guy Bin. Laden's dead al-Qaeda's on the run. Now's the time we can start drawing down. But look all these are questions. We can Debate endlessly will be debated endlessly. But let's get the perspective of a guy who made this movie veteran filmmaker Greg Barker enemies with us. Let's hear what he has to say. We now have with us. Greg Barker the director of the longest war which will be premiering on showtime April Nineteenth Gregg. Welcome to the PODCAST. Thank you great to be here. Really powerful movie. I and goes into historical sweep that I don't think most people understand when they think about The war in Afghanistan but tell us what prompted. You WanNa make this movie now. Well apparently because it's just been so long and then we hear stories of he steals and yet start sort of giving me thinking about how ever my entire life I the hearing about Afghanistan and Bacne film we have traced back every president since Jimmy Carter talking about our objectives in Afghanistan in telling us things that would be. Okay when we all know it's it's just continue on and on. It was amazing. Opportunity that came up in partnership with the executives of Upon Wayne which last season which is running right now is offset in Afghanistan in the course of doing those their research they do a little dive in the US policy in Afghanistan to supplement the film. And they had this idea like what if we did a documentary around that and And taking shape time and and they came to me and it was just the perfect combination. collaborated with my longtime friends. Peter Bergen and his his wife russia-nato who have a lot of experience Ghanistan and we don't have films together so it just kind of it just Kinda came together and it felt like the right time to step back and tell the store Greg. You mentioned that this has been going on for what feels like all of our lives and I remember in October of two thousand and one getting phone calls stepping out of a Chinese restaurant. Mike and I were both working at Newsweek. At the time because the bombing had begun and at the time man you know we thought it was going to be a fast war and I didn't have children then. I now have a daughter. Who's like getting ready to go to college? And you know one of the things that is striking about the movie is that there seemed to been seemed to have been all these different points over the last two decades kind of points where we made mistakes that we could've avoided we could have ended the war. It could have taken a different trajectory. Think about a possible peace deal early on with Taliban obviously the decision to go into Iraq. Talk a little bit about those kinds of inflection points over the course of this entire war but what was striking looking at it. I in in Kabul and traveled quite Around the country credit dead in early two thousand and two for frontline. Pbs and Imagine we'd still talking about it and still there now and But it seemed like looking at the whole history. There are really only a couple of moments of real clarity of purpose during the eighties. Missioun as campaigned against the the Soviets in support of the Mujahedeen. Monique and argue about whether that was effective or not but they sort of knew what they were doing. And in the immediate aftermath of nine eleven would purpose was objective was overthrow the Taliban and disrupt al-Qaeda and then install a new government and then help recreate Afghan society. Things got a bit money then and with I think it from hits and it shows like living in a complex global problem right now. These things are when you take your eye off the ball. Things tend to go wrong which happened consistently in Afghanistan most notably with Iraq. You know I mean I think. That's the at the moment when Afghanistan needed attention. You know we were invading another country and and all of it wasn't just the national policy as you guys know it works like some people just have so much capacity to deal with so wasn't gently. It was the policymaker attention shifts. You know team's moved from Afghanistan suddenly UNWRAP satellite time. I remember talking to some agency guys like we couldn't even get the satellite imagery. His everything was shifted over to Iraq and people just assumed it was okay and then of course the Taliban which have been offered up some piecemeal after refusing to give up bin Laden after and after harboring him but they did some elements. Apparently WanNa make some kind of accommodation right after nine eleven correct with the war. And we're we're we're rejected based on opportunity to regroup and then we had our Alpha ball and then you know kept being told for years and years that successful just around the corner you know the tragedy here is the the lies told me knocking people I think and also just you know more importantly for the ordinary Afghans who've lived forty years under continual state of okay awesome warfare. I can't imagine what it must be like to have grown up. I just want to follow up on that. A little bit. Because unquestionably the invasion of Iraq and the transfer of resources from Afghanistan to Iraq was one of those inflection points that Danny was referring to but when one looks at it after watching the movie and tries to sort of pinpoint a moment when we could have done something different. That might have made a difference. It seems to me that the Obama first year was that moment he comes in and there's an intensive debate within the new administration and National Security Council. Do we double down or do we begin to pull out. Clearly Obama's instinct was to want to pull out but he doesn't. He does double down. He follows the generals and it seems to me. That's the one moment that one could sort of point to and say but for that things could have been different. Do you agree yeah? I think that's right. I think that's right. I think Link actress if you're sitting in the White House at that time you know concern about I mean straddles international terrorism now seems I think a bit distance at the time was pretty visceral and then the last thing somebody in the White House little wanted was Another terrorist attack. That could be traced back to Afghanistan. Right after we'd cold out so. I think there are a lot of factors there but yeah I think you're right. I think it's like they. You know they have the conversations. They have those internal deliberations. I remember covering remember it being covered time. GotTa live with tension on a long time and there was some of the expectations that the result would be something kind of kind of transformative when in fact it was sort of more of the same more troops for awhile. What we know also is that there was a massive uptake of Joan Don't use and I think you know I it's the number speaker themselves. In the outlying film Computer Bergens research is that you know. Obama turn to the drone program based out of Afghanistan. Much more heavily than than even the last year's the Bush we'll see. Greg actually went to pick up on that because. I think one of the things that you're movie does hammers home. This point that the Afghan war was a CIA war and beginning with A. You're not talking about the you know the post nine eleven period but beginning with the CIA being the first boots on the ground for the Americans. The secret detention and torture program and the drone program which of course alienated so many of our Afghan allies that the CIA was this kind of unaccountable paramilitary force at the disposal of American presidents. And I wonder the extent to which that fact that the CIA was driving this in so many ways and that presidents had the ability to run the kind of their own wars with this tool that they had at their disposal with played into all of this and the fact that it went on as long as it has gone on your. I think that's absolutely I mean this. In fact the you know the focus of the film is really believe the agency's activities they're going back to the to the eighties and in fact you know we emit they lead the operations against the Soviet occupation than clearly. Were trying to do more under the administration against the Bin Laden presence there and then led the war after nine eleven. I mean there were ansel of special operations troops on the ground with a couple dozen agency officers who combined. Us Air power lead that war and then the objectives were always kind of tap counter terrorism and then of course we we sort of started rebuilding the country which was awesome worthy and it got missed in terms of the messaging. But I think at its core. It's always been award driven by the the key objectives. The underlying objectives have been driven by the agency with the larger military dealing with the situation on the ground. Which is you know became a war against the Taliban over time. You know the conundrum here is you mentioned that part of the mission in the early days was nation building and a lot of people frown on that a it doesn't sound good in the current context of Bir Limited resources but as your film shows in Afghanistan. That's one place where for a while? At least it made a difference. Women were liberated after the oppression of the Taliban. They were educated they could go to school. They could hold office. They could walk. The streets. Half of the population was living a life that was denied them before and one of the really depressing things. Your film shows is the resurgence of the Taliban in more recent years puts all that at risk which leads to the ultimate conundrum of you know what to do. Do you risk having all the progress that was made during those many years of nation building. Just wash away with a resurgence of the Taliban or do we stay in this seemingly endless war. What's The answer it is. The question is thinking about intensive like the key inflection. Points may was probably right after in the before the days of Iraq. Actually because I think at that time you had millions from all the regional powers including around a neighbor who wanted a stable Afghanistan and were more invested in that new in that new government once attention focused turn to Iraq it just kind of things started on a downward slope which continued to that debt today. Now it's you know it's hard to it's hard to set. You know the comfort of our homes to say that we should continue to send soldiers through Afghanistan twenty years after the initial invasion almost forty years after a person. Calment there on the other hand when it's if we do pull out. There's a very good chance it's going to. It's going to be chaos for the general population. The Taliban will make some kind of resurgence. There is a peace deal in place where they're going to abide by what that actually means politically long term. We don't know I think there's a weariness Murang`a amongst all parties that after four decades of war. You know people are people when they come in just want to get on with their lives. So there's an element of hope there. But I think I think it's it's hard to know what staying looks like long term in a way that that actually contributes to some sort of long-term vile resolution. Greg put you on the spot but having made this movie What would you do if you were Had the power to make a decision about what we do in Afghanistan. The I won't say good question. I don't know I mean I would in the best. I will in the best of all worlds. You keep some small presence. There that can do a counterinsurgency counterterrorism operation and help support the Afghan government so it's not overrun by the Taliban in Ragland full collapse we pull out. Looks like in Syria. We know there. I should point out that back to that. First Year of the Obama Administration. That's what then Vice President Biden wanted to do right to withdraw bring down American military presence and just keep that which was necessary for counter terrorism and that was rejected and in fairness. I did tonight. Did this frontline in two thousand and two. That's what the military commanders who led the operation in Afghanistan rather than nine eleven envisioned as well may envisioned this is a green beret commanders in conjunction with the Agency. They envisioned the short term commitment. You know small footprint because I knew the history of foreign occupying troops in Afghanistan in new government and out and I think no initial warplane. You'd never expect they considered putting you know. Thousands of goods on the ground. Rejected it for practical reasons but also because they thought politically it would. It would become productive and we ended up doing that. Partly distinct sheer bureaucratic inertia. So I think there are a couple of key moments what you talk about Vice President Biden and even some nearly commanders like. Let's not overcomplicate this. And let's let's kind of find a way of withdrawing keeping a small footprint there but it hasn't been out that way greg one of the things that we've learned more recently and that shows is that policymakers military leaders people involved in that conflict have known for a long time that they were not doing well that they were not likely to win. There was a lot of manipulation of statistics. A lot of outright lying that went on the Washington Post of course revealed that in their series. And you got Doug Loot Louis who was the Afghan czar for both the Bush and Obama Administration. Saying we didn't know we were. We didn't know what we were undertaking. We didn't we didn't know what we're doing there. We didn't have the foggiest idea of what we were undertaking. As you looked at this history. What did you come away thinking about all of that deception? There's an element of hindsight being twenty twenty. But did they lie because they couldn't accept the political consequences of admitting defeat? What was the reason for that kind of lying and deception? That went on for so long. It was here telling me. American people will treat that all the policy makers knew it wasn't just the generals. It was the senior policymakers. The amazing thing is that the Washington Post series is they got these tapes and transcript from internal kind of an internal history What went wrong where everyone behind. The scenes was incredibly candid. You know publicly. I mean. We'RE NOT SURPRISED. That's the way it often works. in DC but but to see laid out so so clearly. I can just fear lack of a good alternative. You know. It's not never been an easy problem. And so never not a good option. So they're kind of sense of disliked muddle through in. Just keep pushing the ball down the road. I Mix Administration Mike. We're talking about this actually before we started recording which is a win that series came at that post series came out if felt to me like it got some attention but it felt like there was also a kind of collective yawn. We were in the middle of impeachment trump. With all of his distractions was at your reaction to and is that part of the weariness or the cynic cynicism after all these years of war but people just sort of expect. Their leaders lied to them. Routinely about this kind of thing. We're in such a device of time. Now too cynical time also found that people I talked to in DC who follow all this like well. There's nothing new in here. We know all of this already because they were people who looked at the problem. Knew it wasn't like Oh we think it was going well. And what a shock like. It just never articulated and Rhino is just the general level. I don't think it helps us our belief in affected government. When it's you know yet another proof and it's just it does go across administrations. It must be said people really upfront about it so I have to ask you. The movie starts out with the CIA agent The young woman. What's her name? Mattis Lisa Mathematics. And I gotta say I was at first a little puzzled as to why a movie about the war in Afghanistan is starting with a young mother with her two kids in the backseat of the car. Trying to figure out. Where is this going? And what does this have to do with what the movie is about? And then somewhere in the middle there it dawned on me this is in conjunction with the end of homeland. And she kind of represents Your Carrie. Mathison the Cia officer WHO's trying to make sense of what's going on in the world my right about that now. I'm not sure she's exactly carry mouthful so it's like no. She's not crazy it's just. He's not bipolar. She seems very sane. Actually Yeah I am a couple of things. I had made a film about the hunting bin Laden. Hbo called Manha Mimic. The core of that were a group of women inside the agency who had begun tracking him back in the early nineties without station that a version of that became zero dark thirty. So I knew that I knew some about that world and assefy and as it happens. I have another son coming out this weekend for it's a narrative feature for net flicks about Sergio Vieira to mellow out. Sergio and I'm more and more I more and more drawn to the emotional sim stories behind the news. So my background is frontline. Pbs documentaries this is probably close to that happened some of my other films recently. It's a factual history. But at the core of these things I think the way to get people to actually To sell to tell stories about people and their emotions and Lisa for me is you know believes in the mission believes in what? She's down proud of her job. And at the same time you've seen the film you know really affected by by head and questioning whether or not the rish. She was taking being away from her family for a war. That's going on for so long. And she saw a lot of acting pretty nasty stuff. There is was worth it and you kind of see the emotional toll that it's taken on her and threw her. I think by extension us so I'm just drawn to those kind of emotional. Yeah Y- I thought that was moving. I mean just seeing her with her children and raising that question. Am I responsible mom for taking these risks? When what I'm seeing on the ground suggests a very different story than what the narrative out there has been and kind of fatalistic. Moment so yeah. I thought that was super interesting. The other thing moment in the movie that I thought was interesting. I it's something that I had never really thought about. Was Steve Call who of course Now is the Dean of the Columbia journalism school fantastic journalist and the author of Ghost Wars that great history of the CIA and the US involvement in Afghanistan and Pakistan but when he raises that question about basically says I think the Americans never really knew whether the Taliban was their enemy or not. Now yes of course. The Taliban was allied with our enemy osa-osama bin Laden but that was in the very beginning and they had never expressed any intention to strike at the United States. That was kind of epiphany moment for me because the idea that we were in a war for two decades against a group that we don't quite understand how or why or to what extent they are enemy is pretty interesting. It's very interesting and so we didn't go to. We didn't go to realtor at us because of our Qaeda which was given safe haven by the Taliban but I don't think the Taliban knew about nine eleven at all And I look what if you're if you're Taliban senior Taliban official your guest does this thing that causes you know America coming in overthrow you and invade your country. You're not very happy about it and so I think it's you know not excuse. Taliban what's happened since but in or or at the kind of regime. They had before nine eleven. So it's but but in strategically they were not sort of saying we're going to we're going to attack the US but they did. They did that bin Laden do what he wanted in Afghanistan. Grandma's training camps. So I want to ask you about one more character who I found fascinating and I can't remember his name now. Michael maybe was a British guy aid worker who had gone into Afghanistan. An aid worker. Who had gone into Afghanistan in nineteen eighty nine Yeah and who who dresses you know like the Taliban who speaks the language. His body language mimics their body. Language clearly had a relationship and had built trust with with the Taliban. Tell us tell our listeners about him. Well he's a very interesting guy. He's kind of hard to really get a handle. But it seems Michael Simple. He's an academic out of Dublin. But he he is also some interlocutor with all parties in. Afghanistan seem to have contacts with Certain elements of the Taleban. Actress can't across him some years ago. developing project. Some that didn't happen but about the David Road and his his kidnapping and his wife hosted MobiNil Talk to Michael. Lot numbers for telling me all these conversations he had with this. You know brain well-informed brothers and of unusual guy who was explaining her what the Taliban thinking was and she found when she became quite close to him already over skype calls now always intrigued. Bergen Peter Bergen new him as well. And I'd never really attorneys. He seems to talk to everybody. It'd be trusted by everybody in that part of the world's that's an unusual that equality and I've never really seen him talk. Like you talks in this film and so Peter Knights. Thoughtless trump was asked. If he'll actually do it and and he did so. Obviously you know. It's not safe for particularly productive. Try to get an interview with the Taliban but I think Michael as far as I know he's not a support battalion at all but he doesn't understand thinking and I think it's useful to kind of understand that so yeah I mean he was he had in the end. Did some filming kind of we had those meetings. And you know we couldn't go but he just did since filming himself on his iphone and to give a picture of of what he what he does. Mary interesting guy so I guess the To close this out Where we go from here whether Two years five years ten years down the road the longest war will still be The right way to describe Afghanistan. What's your sense about the peace deal whether it's going to lead to anything resembling peace and whether the longest war will still be relevant into five or ten years. I take public here an Afghan right. Now you're worried more about I'd be worried about the impact of this virus song on their society you know. And and the chaos likely result from that you know minimal healthcare minimal social distancing in the midst of a war that ongoing war turmoil. A you know. They've been elections. Now there's now non Taleban forces can't agree who's semi President says two presidents vice presidents and they're trying to negotiate this steel. I just feel for the for the the people who are just trying to get on with their with their lives. I don't think it's GONNA see peace. Net Damage Stan to glean the aftermath of this pandemic anytime soon sadly well a Sobering thought to To end on but the movie is Great. It's got amazing historical perspective going back quite a few years and it airs on Sunday on showtime. I believe at ten o'clock right after the final episode of Homeland do I have that correct Greg. Yes almost episodes the pen. Open the ultimate okay. All right what a great time slot then of course. We'll be available on showtime. You know anytime acted out and God knows people have plenty of time to watch on demand for the foreseeable future Greg Barker. Thanks for joining us. Congrats on the movie enjoyed it. It's no secret that our worlds has been interrupted. World erupted is a daily podcast telling stories of Corona virus and its impact on the economy. We want to cover the issues. In the macro global economics the stock market and our political climate will also cover the micro stories. Maybe the ones you don't hear much about in the news or the media. We hope you'll listen and be a part of the journey. Subscribe Today on Apple podcasts. Or wherever you listen to podcasts. Thanks Greg Barker Director of the longest war for joining us on this episode of buried treasure. Don't forget to subscribe to skullduggery apple forever. You the steer podcasts and tell us what you think leave a review shorter follow us on social media at skulduggery pawn. We'll talk to you soon.

Afghanistan Taliban Greg Barker Agency Afghanistan Osama bin Laden president Iraq Obama US Donald Trump Jimmy Carter Michael ISIKOFF Peter Bergen al-Qaeda director America Yahoo Crook
"Is Trump our OJ?"

Skullduggery

1:08:43 hr | 7 months ago

"Is Trump our OJ?"

"A Michael ISIKOFF chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo News. And I'm Dan Kleinman editor in chief of Yahoo News and a quick reminder that you can follow us at skulduggery pod and and by the way. If you've got any questions thoughts ideas you wanNA share tweet right out us now. Let's get on with the show. What Explains Plains the unswerving loyalty of President Trump's base? It's been a question that is bedazzled inside the beltway types for some time prompting endless talk about the power of Fox. News the insidious distortions of social media and the benighted worldview of a huge chunk of the American electorate but John Harris one of the founding editors of politico wanted to dig deeper. He asked trump supporters in the wake of the president's impeachment to email l. him with a simple instruction. Explain yourself helped me. Harris was saying a certified Washington insider himself. Better understand where you are coming from and how you might react. If similar allegations of misconduct had been leveled against Hillary Clinton what he got back was far more illuminating. That anything anything. He expected several hundred responses. Many of them both candid and thoughtful. Best summed up by one reader who after decrying trump's personal personal behavior while lauding his accomplishments wrote quote he is our Oj. We'll ask Harris to explain himself. Emma last to to a Bernie Sanders most vocal supporters. The hosts of the Chapo Trap House podcast to explain themselves on this episode of skulduggery auguring because people have gotta know whether or not their president's across I'm not a crook. I told the American people I did not trade arms for hospital my heart to my best intentions still tell me that's true. But the facts and the evidence tell me it is is not. I'll do not have sexual relations with that. One there will be no lies. We will honor the American people the Truth and nothing else. I'm Michael ISIKOFF chief investigative eight of correspondent for Yahoo News. I'm Dan Kleinman editor and chief of Yahoo News so just a few days ago we all thought we are on the precipice of war with Iran. The Iranians were vowing revenge in the wake of the Assassination of General Sumani ordered by president trump trump everybody was expecting a pretty swift and potentially lethal response from the Iranians. And then they fire off these these missiles that don't hurt anybody at A. US Air Base Not Americans nor Iraqis and it seems as though Oh we dodged a bullet or dodged many missiles you can say precise Laura. Yeah I think. In in hindsight the likelihood likelihood of really hot war with large amounts of troops on both sides and invasions and tanks. I think that was not likely it was scary it. It looks like that's where we're headed but it was not in either side's interest to pursue that kind of clash. I do think that it's going to be ugly for a long time. I think all the conditions and dynamics are still there for a long and bloody proxy war Asymmetrical Warfare I. I think there's going to be a lot more bloodshed going forward. The Iranians want America out of the region. I think they feel like they have momentum the Iraqis after all the voters in their parliament to kick us out now that was a draft legislation. That may not happen now but I think that is where things are headed did and it isn't that the way they were ever since trump pulled out of the The nuclear deal Iranians have stepped up their attacks on. US interests in Iraq and elsewhere in the region. They've stepped up their support for Hezbollah for the Islamic Jihad in in Gaza for the Hootie rebels in Yemen. So I'm not yet sure how this fundamentally changes the dynamic of where we were. Look I I heard of custom Silla Mani in two thousand. When I was a foreign correspondent based in Jerusalem and I was covering the withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon which they occupied for a couple of decades Sulamani was running that Hezbollah insurgency against the Israelis as I remember in the last weeks of the Israeli occupation visiting Israeli soldiers in their bunker? I'm still haunted by the frightened faces of those soldiers who were fearing the next suicide bomber the next roadside bomb the next rocket that would hit their bunker. It is a slow bleed strategy and it is highly effective and they don't need Sulamani to run it. The Iranians have been doing this with their proxies for generations. Now so oh. They've got time on their side. And we don't and I think either there will be a swift withdrawal or they'll be a long bloody eh withdrawal. I don't think it ends well for the United States under either scenario. Yeah but look I. I'll just make one final point on. This is before we give the Iranians too much credit for their military prowess at first when we learned there were no casualties on that airbase missile attack. We thought a lot of people thought that the Iranians may have deliberately steered their missiles away from where. US troops and Iraqi troops as it turned out were stationed at the airbase but now that we learned today as we speak that it was a Iranian missile. That shot down an airplane airplane taking off from their own airport. It makes you wonder if You know maybe they are as screwed up as our military sometimes minds is certainly in aiming after potential threats but look we we should be talking also about what may be. He is finally on the eve of an impeachment trial. We don't know Pelosi was is still withholding those articles as we speak but McConnell analyst just told his caucus he expects the trial to begin next week you know I I just don't know how much Pelosi is gained by withholding holding them. She certainly put the focus on whether there's going to be a vote for witnesses or not but even if you take McConnell's finals own rules you know from the proposed rules based on the Clinton impeachment. It seems to me once the opening arguments since are done there will be motions to call witnesses and those Republican senators who are facing reelection. Action will have to vote anyway. Yeah the point I think of Pelosi's strategy here was to put more pressure. Sure on those senators. If they had gone straight to a trial there would have been less time. There's been a public debate about this question of whether there should be witnesses and the theory theory was that that was going to put more pressure on the Susan collinses and the Lisa Murkowski's and the Cory Gardner World. You know. Maybe that she waited too long and at this point like everything else in our politics everything moves so quickly it's already been baked in. It's already been discounted and maybe it won't have a significant impact on on those senators senators. This is hard to predict. It's going to depend very much on the dynamics in the individual states and races and and you know what those individuals senators facing acing and we just don't know one thing that did happen during this interregnum is John Bolton the former national security adviser who widely believed believe by Democrats anyway to be a critical witness potentially one that would be very harmful to president. Trump came forward put on his website that he now would respond to a subpoena in the Senate trial. And so we'll have to see what I have to say. Count Me Skeptical on that front. That Bolton is really gonNA stick it to trump. He's kind of hinted at that. But you know this is a guy. Conservative live Republican ideolog for decades loyal to his party and his vision of the world and I should point Out that on the he made the announcement posted the announcement of his willingness to testify on the website of his Super Pac Bolton pack. And it's right above a previous release announcing that the Bolton SUPERPAC had endorsed for re election and presumably will be funding. The campaign will be funding. The campaigns actually making contributions to the campaigns of Tom. Cotton of Arkansas Cory Gardner of Colorado Colorado Thom Tillis of North Carolina Zinger in the house. Kin Zinger in the house and Lee Zeldin most of those pretty solid trump supporters. So the idea that Bolton is going to be the guy who brings trump down. No I don't see see that. He is not the difference between acquittal and removal from off. So what are the Democrats getting their. Here's what he is going to have to iffy testifies he he is going to be testifying presumably publicly released a videotape deposition to all the things that we heard he said and did in those house hearings which she's saying that he didn't want to be any part of this drug deal. That was being cooked up on Ukrainian and Sunlen by the price. And that's the key that is and what doesn't go if somebody doesn't go beyond what we already know. Look it will not be decisive still still. It's a real person. It's it's it's the closest adviser to the president in this whole process testify publicly. If I'm the Democrats I'm GONNA take that. Of course. Of course. It may be mildly at this point. Yes it is a constitutional process but Democrats are clearly looking at this almost almost a third of the way into a presidential election year as a way to hurt trump. This may hurt trump. A little more we will be discussing that and related matters with our our first guest. Our old colleague John Harris. So let's get on with it Lou We are now joined by our old Washington Post colleague later founding editor of politico. Oh John Harris John Welcome skulduggery. Thank you so much so fascinating piece. You had in politico about the mindset mentality of trump's supporters. Something we've all speculated about for quite some time tell us the genesis genesis of this piece and what you found well Michael. I've got a perspective like you in that. The Clinton impeachment isn't distant history. It's a one. Yeah I remember pretty well and we believe offered and so when you start talking about impeachment. It's natural I think for me to have these. Comparisons between what Republicans thought then and in what they think now and I have a hard time understanding how somebody could be outraged by bill. Clinton's conduct feel that it warrants. It's constitutional remedy removed from office and at the same time. Be totally cool with what trump did and said that impeachments outrageous. I don't have if somebody is problem with somebody saying both are outrageous need to go. I don't really have a problem. Somebody same both. I really not that big a deal to have some perspective and step back. They don't the two things don't seem incompatible to me but in the spirit that I think we as journalists should try to have curiosity before judgment I'll ask and so before the holidays. I did a column saying saying what can you tell me what you think trump defenders and tell me how you would think what you would think if the facts were exactly the same in the Ukraine matter except Hillary Clinton was was president. I want to hear from you minister. I heard from several hundred people and Bunch of the responses pretty good now my first reaction to that is so you're the editor of politico. We all read it inside the beltway here. But you've got several hundred trump supporter readers out there. Well I mean these are certain immature. We have many anymore agree to write me and most did it in good faith which was for me a good feeling because I was asking in a spirit of good faith and I didn't know how many people would just respond with invective and insults profanity and all the rest a few but not most and they gave me their views. And so why was I found it interesting into the mindset of how people justify their behavior we all right and I write sometimes about the tribalism Lizama politics which is fine for describing groups. It doesn't really do much to eliminate house. Specific individuals get from point a to point point. Beat I've never heard anybody say. Wow I just tribalism I just do. Whatever my tribe seems to be doing and I surrender independent judgement and just do that? Nobody justifies his own views that way and in fairness I never hear I usually hear people invoke tribalism to describe the behavior other people not the behavior of themselves that was interesting in their responses. which is you guys journalists for Washington professional class? You guys are a tribe too right well so John. There was one of the readers made an analogy to a kind kind of spectacle and criminal case that we are all very familiar with and covered back in the day they kind of crystallized this mindset in a lot of ways and that was OJ. Tell us about that reader and all along email and he started out and he thinks so. Trump is narcissistic. I can't remember all the adjectives. They use a basically a horrible person. Wait a minute I I want to hear. From trump defenders. Hang on. He'll get there what this reader said one he thinks trump is fundamentally strong person and has done well with the economy and but the main thing this Oj came in is the obsession with that. The people pursuing trump are not on on the level and so just as a lot of people could end up supporting. OJ Simpson's acquittal. Even though they thought he was guilty because the system was rigged rigged. The police. Were racist that this person says look we can support trump with all his flaws his character flaws and some of the flaws in his record. Because this game your Game The Washington game is not on the level. So this guy's line was he is our OJ which really. That's a great headline. I think we'll make it the name the title for this podcast but I gotta say without fully going there. I did a long way over the last year. Draw some analogies you remember Mark Furman. Of course he was the racist cop who was on the scene investigating waiting the the OJ the murder of OJ's wife and friend and later turned out. He was a racist cop who had a history story of prejudice against African Americans. No evidence that he tampered with with the evidence but it was enough to raise doubts for the members of the jury that wanted to believe. OJ's version of events. And I thought you know Peter Struck is the Mark Furman of the investigations into Donald Trump. A guy who was the top. FBI Agent Investigating Trump and Russia crossfire hurricane McCain and had these clear bias against the president. No evidence that he tampered with evidence or did anything improper in in his official duties but the fact that he came from a place of extreme prejudice against Donald Trump. What a a lot of people would think would be for good reason but no question what he was writing? He was the Mark Furman of the Russia investigation. Yeah I guess so. Well Although Muller identified that early and fired the guy a mature that he was not connect. No he did he. He booted him off the case but it began crossfire. Hurricane began premolar as the common thread. I think Michael between all these Back to OJ Simpson The Bill Clinton impeachment that we covered now the trump impeachments. It really comes down all at the end not to the facts of the case it comes down to one question. Which side are you on? That was Clinton Jaren old lefty folk song. Which side are you on woody? Guthrie come on my museum. They're going to help us mark. So you in this piece you wrote you right with great insight on the perception of trump supporters Out there this must have gotten you also to think a little bit about about the reality of it and I guess that's what I want to ask you which is the perception is clearly that the the professional classes you put the insiders the elites have stack the decks against us and I guess the question is how do you actually sort of analyze that premise. Do you see it that way or is there something else going on here that in our culture I mean the tribalism for example apple all of the other kinds of structural issues in our politics that have driven people apart and driven people to want to support Donald Trump. So what what is the reality here ear behind these perceptions in your view. Well I don't accept the reality is of course I wouldn't and this is probably my own tribalism at work. Somebody would say but the I don't accept the idea that are non ideological media like politico are sort of hopelessly biased or or or carrying it agenda that that's not the tradition That Michael and I he grew up in At The Washington Post or you did earlier in your career Daniel I do just reject that. I do think it's certainly true that that a lot of Democrats were on the record. Even from the very beginning of the administration wanting to impeach trump and many trump supporters view it through that prism look. Look look if it wasn't this to be something else you want to victim from office. It's my guess my great concern. It's a concern about our business in the media and it's concerned turn more. Broadly about the political culture is that we've lost some of our mechanisms of accountability because if any factual matter can be be looking at face value but only through the prism of whether it's a weapon or a shield and some kind of ideological war if every institution is affected by hi This mentality which side are you on. It really weakens the ability of culture a political culture to impose accountability. It's really hard hard to see. People have made the point many times. It's really hard to see a repeat of nine hundred seventy four with Nixon when his time was up when Republicans blekinge came to him and said Mr President. We are now with you. If it had only been which sign on and Democrats he my wealth so so then what is the levers of our muscles of accountability. They've got to be pretty weak. So then the the follow up column maybe should be what do you do about it. What is the prescriptive element here? I don't really have an answer to that except that I think what's going to change. This is is one side or the other in our politics is going to win decisively in a way that we haven't in for twenty years or maybe early forty years. Reagan had had a big big victory and was able from that point on to sort of impose certain assumptions in the political debate. But starting with kind of Gingrich and Clinton it's been essentially essentially a jump ball in battle for power and I think until the pendulum decisively shifts. You'RE GONNA have investigations as a form form of partisan combat. You're going to have a mentality that nobody believes what the other side is. is saying and that everything is geared to the next election the next battle. How would you expect to see? A trump like figure emerge on the left as well in other words. This is not just a phenomenon of of the right in our politics. It's not but I do think Democrats is historically the party that believes in government and has a lot of affirmative -firmative uses for government is not likely to move to somebody. WHO's so contemptuous government? Because you've got natural fit Bernie ZANDER's and to some extent and Elizabeth Warren who they're tapping into a lot of the same anger and contemptuous status. WanNa blow things up up and yet. They're staying within the rules. They're not finding alternative realities alternative act contemptuous of institutions a government or institution. Asian or broadly whether to the media whereas a lot of conservatives that's the essence of trump. They are contemptuous they are in a nihilistic frame of mind they do want to blow it up couple couple of great lines in the piece really limped out of me one right towards the top with talking about the responses. You got with sincerity candor. And even even a measure of wistful idealism. People shared their views of a political and media culture. They believe is cynical at its core if almost nothing his on the level almost anything goes. Yeah I think that That describes the world. I see I don't know if Michael the world is it is is it is reality right now and I wonder just following the impeachment drama as it plays out and I want to get get to your own reflections Twenty years later on Clinton impeachment versus this one but yeah we heard so much from the Democrats. Let's in November and December about the urgency of impeachment about how trump was a clear and present danger to the Republic a public and this needed to be done right away and then we get to the articles passing the house on a purely partisan basis basis. And as we sit here at this moment now this may change very quickly but as we sit here three weeks later after the articles past Pelosi has yet to deliver them to the Senate and seems to be plant. Engaged in this game of Political Gamesmanship with Mitch cacahual and I just wonder if you think that you know will feed the view of this whole thing as being cynical to its core. I mean for people who are predisposed to believe that it will. I don't personally think it's fair when people describe it as urgent they didn't mean an urgent. The sense of a ticking bomb like in a James Bond on movie and the thing will be diffused with seven seconds to go or something. I think they meant urgent. In the sense that if an institution allows the another institution of government to just be contemptuous of a of its demands or constitutional responsibilities. You fundamentally we can the institutions in a long term way and you sever that that kind of muscle of accountability and so in that sense. I think this would be what Pelosi would say like like if I if we acquiesce to this. If we yield to this defiance how do we ever reverse that press but having donut having done it. Why why not pull the trigger and take it to the next level? Or what is the advantage of it sitting there clearly. She's not going to get Mitch McConnell to cave on the rules. Now what do they think that they can get a handful of Republicans squirming to. Do you think they're squirming. I think the optics of this are actually not helping the vulnerable a not putting pressure on vulnerable Republicans like Susan Collins is or is not is is not that I don't exactly see how this is accruing now to Democrats advantage but I don't think it's necessarily hypocritical. Would she democrats I think particular Speaker Pelosi. We're trying to institute to assert institutional responsibility and they saw all that effort beans or before or ignored by the other chamber. This is like I don't think it's I don't think it's hypocritical. ERTA try. Let me let me actually go back to the Clinton impeachment. Because I think there's another point that I think indicates why some of those things that could have fed some of these cynicism that exists exists right now and to the point of your column which I went back and I looked and Schumer back then when Clinton was going to be on trial he voted for an immediate dismissal. Yeah he voted against bringing witnesses to the trial. And then you look at like Lindsey Graham. You know he he was four witnesses is he was a house manager and he is right and he is flip flopped on their positions from twenty years. and that's exactly what McConnell said just recently McConnell. who was asked about this? He said yeah go back and look how he basically said. We're it is tribal. Go back and look at our records. Everybody has done this. But isn't that why I to some extent the voters who are writing to you feel the way they do with those voters are right right. And that's what I'm saying is a political process. It's not a if not. What was the line? If nothing is on the levels on the level anything anything goes we actually wrote. Almost all my yeah. I didn't want to be unfair to the people I was quoting because I yeah so I throw that and I think they would see that almost nothing is on the yeah. Hopefully they're still a few things but there are precious few. I think That are on the level that the right it's infused with politics takes and it's easy to find hypocrisy and I could have written a whole article just flipping it from the Democratic Perspective and gone collected all those examples Schumer. I thought this was more relevant because not a Democrat who's pressing the United States. It's a requirement and listen on Pelosi's posturing I think it's like doc. Allot of things in Washington. There is a high minded explanation for it and justification for what she's doing but there's also clearly a political talk to her working. Yeah I mean I think it's it's much more narrow than that. You Got State of the Union coming up first week in February. She doesn't want the trial to have taken place and him to go give his State of the union claiming vindication and being you know getting the thunderous applause from all the Slo Chamber after the Hangzhou President Trump to be delivering state of the Union while while the trial is going on. And you know if she she holds off for a little while longer you know she may get that and You know it colors is the bill and there's going on right. There's a lot more Senate Democrats who would rather be an eye and New Hampshire. Should I'd say we're taping this on Thursday afternoon. McConnell said today Senator Baucus he expects the trial next week which means the expects Pelosi to to deliver on Friday we will see and our listeners will know by the time they're presumably listening to this but we didn't think that she would be able to hold out this long we I didn't and I listening to are today our news conference. She seemed Pretty Cagey. She said. No probably soon. When I'm ready he is the way she put it Clinton impeachment? You covered it. You wrote a great book about The Clinton presidency and then and now the way Clinton handled old impeachment versus the way trump is handling it similarities differences. Well much more struck by the differences. Bill Clinton decided that he would survive this. If he could convince people that he was more worried about their problems as he liked to say that he was about is and so there was this phrase. I think I helped inflict on people at the time compartmentalization and certainly you adopt came into a lot of my copy. I think must been somebody over at the White House and we kind of bought it at the time because is it was true. You Know Clinton would appear give speeches. Impeach wouldn't pizza would never come up. I think it was only later after the presidency and I went back to it and wrote a book really yes. It was true in terms of the public image president inside the White House. He was of course he was conceived the rages he baits such I- Pricey basically lost year of his presidency and he lost much more than that because he had a project that he saw his second term as being likely to carry out or if he was going to he was going to move the center of the country in the same way. That Ronald Reagan did he saw himself as somebody who was a great unifier and could basically create a new democratic Arctic party from the center that would last for generation after that was his ambition that was completely demolished by the Lewinsky scandal and in the impeachment and we're had no choice but to do everything he could to keep Disparate elms the democratic coalition behind him and and he basically lost his second term and he lost What would it could have been the possibility of really creating something? Big there'd be Clinton it just like reaganism but instead there was allegations of a vast right wing conspiracy right. I mean the imperatives of the right what you need to do to win the knife fight and look so much of what trump has done publicly on twitter time and again to excess was being done regularly by the Clinton White House. He's just more transparent well of course in it surrogate so I never had those aspirations because trump's entire political strategy is is the base. He doesn't want to build something bigger Daniel. That trump has done the Clinton would actually in certain plum loved to have done Clinton despised. FBI Director Louis Freeh absolutely well that actually brings us back a little bit to European apiece because some of the appeal that trump seems to have for his supporters is that he's not a hypocrite. He says what he believes. You know he's just just out there with there's no artifice. There's right and there's a lot of dissembling right. But he's openly in league but there's an essential sort of truth in that he doesn't project kind of false piety the smarmy nece politicians on on. Trump's mind you know it's going to be on his lips or it's on his fingers pretty much in real time right but I you know just going through the similarities the attacks you know the contempt for the FBI BI and the FBI director the going after Ken Starr. He didn't do it on twitter every day but his surrogate certainly did investigate the investigators filing complaints leak investigations on and on it went and going after the media which I think I could probably speak a little too from his surrogate. So you know there. There were There are a lot more. Similarities than differences are external the similarities are internal. Yes and I would say you probably from what I've read very similar Nixon when presidents are in the bunker they are. There's a lot of common traits. Feel agreed they feel paranoid. They if you'll on appreciated and they feel ready to do what ever they need to do to survive another great line which I circled and reading the piece of the nearly sixty three million people cast votes for trump. Last time. It's hard to believe there are any who did so because they thought he was deferential to precedent a protector of established norms a stickler for playing by the rule goes to the point people Trump for WHO and I think a lot of trump supporters. It's not I back him even though he does all these things they back precisely because he shares their contempt. What I love was that you had a reader Peter who did not vote for trump last time but now is going to vote for trump? That can will the leads to be to explain yourself how well you know. Three years into the trump presidency. I get the logic the economy is doing well. He's fighting for the Little Guy. I mean I don't I don't know much about this particular. Losing half our audience go much further John as we wrap up here put on your crystal ball houses going to play out impeachment impeachment and then going into the election. Why I don't have any reason off to challenge the Conventional Mon- impeachment that it'll go to an acquittal and the question is whether it's really rapid dismissing the charges or or there there's more extensive trial in then I think the and Nancy she policy new this this is why she was didn't really want the impeachment in the first place? This is going to be fundamentally decided by the public in November and I thought the article was was interesting because it kind of helps to know I'm voters are interested in and they have more sophisticated the most gauged more sophisticated rationale for what they think. Then maybe we sometimes give them credit for it. Let me quit very quickly on the Democratic field. Is there anybody any of the the Democrats who are still running for president who you think can speak effectively to the concerns of these kinds of voters who will tell. Do you think not before the election. I could imagine some being a president if they were elected. President being able to sort of detox of The environment I think I think a bunch of them could I think even people who don't think of as natural natural unifiers dividers like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. They can have the. I think they could convince people that. Uh there on the level that they're not full of full of BS and there's something genuine we that's a hopeful. Well we shall see. I don't I wanNA live this way. That's what struck me from. Yeah I've had several hundred emails. People don't like the way we're living as a country and yet they don't see any escape took the piece is he is our OJ. It is by John Harris and worth reading John. Thanks for joining us. Thanks so much Ludi So we are now joined by Virgil Texas and mad. ADD CRISP OF TROPPO Trap House. Welcome guys thanks. For having a so-so there's so many things I wanna ask you but can you please explain that that name well. It began because the show started as an informal discussion. That me my friend. will medicwere and Felix Petermann Olive. Who met online online had via Google hangouts just ripping youtube links off of her audio not even knowing how to edit them and so the first episode Muscle Redid was really just a trial at the end of it? He jokingly said we should call at that because making it sound like a rap mix tape you know using hip hop lingo. Oh and whatever and we all thought that was funny and then it got really popular almost immediately and we were essentially stuck with it. But we're all kind of glad as much much as nonsensical and silly. We're really glad we didn't think too hard about it because then it would be something like politics boys with the Z.. Or something something very you understand. I can't he's explanation really. Okay Look Chop Oh is that a reference to El Chapo and how does that fit in with your where you get drugs. I'm told that's obviously it's sort of wealthy. It's like it's like emoting the drug culture robber forms but I just wanted to start with a consensus Now we're talking about for US Nixon right now. This is the hardest anyone's it's like Arctic point between a name that sounds like a hip hop mix tape or something and then a bunch of squeaky voice nerds talking about politics. Okay so look. We're talking here. In the second week of January in the aftermath of news that president trump trump has taken out Qassam Sulejmani the head of the Revolutionary Guard codes force. Are you guys Celebrating the EH death of this enemy of America. I I'm not urgel. I'm not either. I've been Disassociating things in the news. And I'm just just now kind of putting myself back together now. It's a disaster horrible in every way very bad folks and we don't like to see it. Yeah because it let them. I WANNA tease out your thinking here a little bit. Well I mean. We shouldn't be there. I think as our are like easy. Easy sort of slug answer. That is that the United States presence in the Middle East. Is this attempt to be the you know. The arbiter of whatever is actually only at every point makes things worse makes things more fraught and then we to explain the chaos. We create the side to to blame people actually in the region like Iran for destabilization. That all of it comes directly from your intervention. And so the idea that we're going to make anything safer by deepening military actions in the Middle East doing something as radically the stabilizing attack. The top military officer and diplomat format for one of the biggest countries in the region is horrified. Do you think that that the United States is the main destabilising presence in the Middle East. I mean obviously the Iraq war a lot of people think had that effect and how would you assess Iran as a destabilizing force. I mean they're responding. That's the thing that I can't can't get over the idea every opportunity for that. Iran has taken to infiltrate themselves into countries from Iraq to Syria area. None of these are these are all vacuums created by American military action and occupation and the chaos unleashed by that and they actually live there and it seems insane to me to be condemning country for trying to stabilize the their neighbors on their own terms. But who wouldn't do that when we are art insisting on dictating the terms in the Middle East from five thousand miles just one follow up question on that. So do you think that Iran has the right to pursue pursue a nuclear weapon. I think honestly they have an more responsibility to pursue and acquire nuclear weapon. Because at this point it should be pretty clear that the only guarantee against the US military aggressions if you have a nuke so they should get one as soon as they can well. I don't think that's a position in your candidate for President Bernie Sanders actually endorses. Now I had a one year Virgil. You're you're curiously seriously silent through all this discussion. I was told this would be easy Know Matt Matt that was misinformed and that was a perfectly Crime Hewlett answer from that would let me also answer this way inside assessing what is an extra judicial assassination session whether this is a good or bad thing. I think you have to look at the person who conducted it and is what one of the more horrifying things I've seen in the past. Few days was the the President's explicit threats to bomb fifty two military targets cultural centers places within the borders of Iran a threatening. and I would say an apocalyptic war cry and I think that as that policy which includes things like extrajudicial assassination is a deep moral stain on all of us as Americans. And you would you would include Obama's Trojan war as well as part of that. Yes I mean that's all that consider all those extra judicial. Yes I mean that is that is is central to what what I would call. The show's critique. That is to to what you know. We're calling the left critique to the the right this this this amorphous group that sits to the left of the Democratic Party and is largely a reaction to the Obama Administration. They should win. The Obama Administration did not pan out. How a lot of activists thought they would in two thousand eight? I totally agree with that. Part of your analysis which points to the precedent set by Obama in his drone wars that can be traced directly actly from that to the action taken by president trump but there are distinctions that one can make. And you'll you just invoked invoked you know the phrase I think apocalyptic conflagration in the In the Mideast as a result of trump's threat to bomb Iranian rain IAN cultural sites which would unquestionably be a war crime. and which is why so many on the left and so many Democrats. Let's put as the top priority in twenty twenty getting rid of Donald Trump if not through impeachment through the ballot box. And they look at in your candidate Bernie Sanders and say and conclude. No He's not the guy that can do it. And if you look at the polls well you look at the polls that's the one yardstick yardstick. We have mason-dixon Paul just last week had Biden ahead of trump in Florida and Virginia. Too Key states it's and sanders four or five points behind trump. So if the goal here is first and foremost to get rid of the guy you just suggested suggested is a war criminal. Shouldn't the first priority be not electing Bernie Sanders but electing a Democrat or nominating Democrat. Who can beat beat trump? Well first of all. I reject your premise right there. How when you you cite one? We signed Poland. You sure you. Will you sighted eight all right one Mason Dixon poll which as I understand it is an outlier. From the past year of hypothetical cool matchups by verses trump sanders versus trump. So on consistently I will concede that Biden generally does the best west here in these matchups which generally is like maybe like four five points in the popular vote ahead. You know we can. We can haggle over. How much that is is? What consistently Bernie does second best in all of these matchups Bernie a guy who is a democratic socialist? You WanNa talk about someone and who would do badly if we're only looking at hypothetical general election polls it's people to judge it's Elizabeth Warren. It's amy claw with charts the rest. Yeah the Biden and Bernie are head and shoulders above any other Democrats in head to heads against trump. A lot of that is name recognition. which tell you that head to head? Matchups a year ahead of the of the election meaningful. And if they're close they're close. I'm sorry I mean this is literally the first time I've heard this. You're talking about two states. which by the way you wouldn't have heard Dan he stayed so he can win with a high in the mid West where Bernie would be pull stronger than than pretty much? Anybody else that you don't need to win Florida but anyway regardless of any of that they are close enough that you cannot say I'm going to take the demonstrably in public public some downing man. I'm sorry we're not supposed to say this. It's not polite interest. Say What Biden is losing it that he is not his his. The screen door is open. Okay we know this. You can't say it. Pour Julian Castro said it and they all. Everyone was horrified to point out that he is out to lunch. So you're going to pick a guy who is forget the horrible policies. Forget the fact that he has his fingerprints on every awful neoliberal reform. The entire monstrous turn to the Democrats that has led directly actually trump being president. And he is he is a handmaiden of all of it forget all of that he is just not up to the job and we're supposed to pick him because he pulls better than Bernie a year out of the election in a couple of states or by a couple of points that to me is madness and frankly conceals the fact that most people who say that are actually interested in electability. They just don't want a left winger. I want to stay on the presidential election but I want to actually go back to something you said before Matt which was pretty provocative and I don't know maybe mark can move up in the interview or something and I'm glad you said something provocative because we have you on the show because we want they want to say though I'm not I'm not Bernie Bernie Bernie surrogate or anything so I don't want any of this crap like Bernie wants the never nuke. I understand what's possible. What's realistic didn't answer my question before? Has I understand political realities. You just asked me about my personal beliefs. It is cool but I'm not going to be the NFC GIVERNY DO I. I don't WanNa know what you you you bet at this in in one of your earlier questions. What is distinctive about Bernie's position right now Bernie's as immediate reaction to the assassination? Yeah well you know. He used it as a as a way to draw distinctions between him and Biden in pointing out Biden's prior support for the Iraq war which he voted for Even though he was conflicted about it and he suggests suggests the draws the distinction between somebody like Biden and mainstream Democrats who have been in favor of US interventions in the mid mid-east over the years and himself who would tend not to be. Although I gotTa say we had Jeff Weaver on the show last week and I asked him would Bernie Bernie Sanders. Given intelligence that Sulejmani might have been plotting an attack against American interests would Bernie Sanders hesitate to use force. Take them out. Hold on a second and weaver said no Bernie Sanders would not hesitate to use If there was a threat to American an interest in the region he would use military force. So that seems to be a distinction from where you guys are at well. Yeah of course because it was so why are you you just so enthusiastic about a guy who on a key foreign policy issue doesn't even support your position when I've tried. Do not listen to your interview with Jeff Weaver. I understand it that you should you have an opportunity to it's out Out there but the response that I the official Bernie Sanders cafes I would commit extrajudicial assassination now actually just to be fair it. Mike Okay he did not say what he did not explicitly say in you know if it was sore Mani. He said what he said was to American interests were threatened lives interests were threatened he would use fairwood news force. Twenty four question Christian fucking. There's a truck full of explosives that's GONNA come to an American military base where you're going to stop it. Senator Clay No to that. I think we should surrender to the bomb in the press does is the difference between a direct intervention on the something that could kill a specific number of American troops or whatever which by the way hopefully would be less of an issue. Because I really and we talked about this. They wouldn't be there the first wave but but but but that is on the same level and is basically the same thing rhetorically quickly as assassinating the head of the art of the soil. At the airport of a frigate friendly country. We've got diplomatic medic frigate passport. I want I just want to. I want you to clarify your point on Iranian nukes. And I know this is just European. Take but no it's important and so your position is you or you would favor your support. Iran pursuing and obtaining a nuclear weapon and. And you're not concerned. There's a question you not concerned. Well first of all the Iranians you think would be doing this purely for defensive purposes a and B. You're not concerned that they would use. Is this a a nuclear weapon to threaten. Its neighbors to threaten Israel to its influence in the region leads entirely highly defend I would prefer. Ideally is for Iran to not in a nuke as part of a process where there is universal denuclearization. But I just I don't bright but how how. How are we especially as America's influence all over the world is is challenging declining? How are we supposed to maintain this idea that there's a club of countries that are responsible enough to get nukes and nobody else gets them? And if you're anywhere in like the the the the little space of trying to be a regional power but you're not on our slate of of countries that are approved that we're going to militarily interdict you to the level of threatening to commit cultural genocide decide against you unless you. I'm just saying that all of this means the only rational action for these countries is to pursue nuclear weapons. I'm not saying I'M GONNA to help them. I'm not going to smuggle Carl Fuchs cranium but it is in their interests to do it because they did the nuclear deal will they did it and what happened immediately. Afterwards we got a new guy in tore it up and immediately started you guys support the nuclear. Yes that was. That was the one thing. The Obama Administration restauration that. I think was an unambiguously good thing and I was happy he did it. And it's like it's on the sheet for me Obama. Lets a lot of bad of the good things things. One of the top for me is nuclear deal so absolutely a couple of other commissioning now in this new era you how are you. How are you supposed to with a straight face? Say America should be overseeing using anybody's nuclear anything. We have no credibility. It's all gone and I know we don't want to believe that. But how are you supposed to spend two and a half years talking about how terrible trump trump isn't always destroying our reputation around the world doing X Y and Z. And say we still have the standing. Because how can we say we're not GonNa let another senile game show host any fun time and and building on that I apologize. I should've framed as a different way what I meant was you seem to imply that Bernie's not what I want in terms of Middle Eastern policy when his response among all of the you know the top level Democratic presidential candidates his responsibility facination was uniquely uniquely. What I want to say in no uncertain terms that this was this was bad? This was a crime. I don't know exactly what words to use I. We'll get us out of the Middle East. We are getting out of the Middle East and nobody else said that. Maybe Marion Williams trump that right now we are returns all okay but yeah but trump is not a guy who has had compiled voting record of for over the past thirty years in the US Congress against these foreign intervention. And as well you know when we're talking about whether any you know any foreign government can trust us to maintain our commitments you. You know you could say well okay. Well trump was an aberration. You know we'll go back and normal president now who keeps our treaty obligations and the Iranians have nothing to worry about when literally every single. US senator except for two voted to increase sanctions on Iran. Two years ago and those two robin call while they were Ernie Sanders. Wow they were in compliance with every element of the of the tree. I got another one for you. What about providing military aid to Ukraine to fight Russian aggression? No Good Lord. No you guys agree. Bertel I gotta I gotTa be honest with you. I do not care that much about foreign policy except when it is just like in in your face you know. You're you're staring at the unblinking eye of of horror and American aggression and war crimes and seeing all the the the lunacy that and racism that added unleashes so when it comes to arming crabby. I probably not. I don't know distance. Do you guys disagree on what you disagree okay. So the Star Wars prequels sequels had hours of discussions. We can go to the tape on these show on a show called star. Wars minutes are the most controversial burchill episodes of Star Wars minutes date. He insists that the principles are somehow harder pop culture. I hear that you guys are not the big fans of the West Wing and that the west wing has kind of poison degeneration of democratic operatives that you know the belief that you can make thank you know a high minded speech and transforming American politics my now fifteen year old daughter just discovered west wing and she's been binge watching it so I guess guess I might be poisoning her mind. So what's the problem with West Wing. I think the essential problem with west wing is that it says that what matters in politics is intentions and that the way that political change happens is through persuasion persuasion but not of the people importantly of other people all in the room with you of the other party. People the assumptions because it's a TV show of everybody's right now is that that's not what gets communicated that you get Republicans. Republicans and Democrats in the room and they all want what's best for the country and you talk it out. And I think that the Obama Administration by their own admission operated under those principles else they all have said as much and then they ran into the modern Republican Party in the form of Mitch McConnell and they were absolutely polacks by it because they kept waiting for him to act like someone from the West Wing someone who had some higher thing that he cared about and it never happened and then they had no response to it. That's my main issue. So look I mean. The Principal Obama operated under is that were a diverse country with with diverse interests and they are reflected in the congress in our political system with vastly different perspectives on the world. Then you guys have and so then the question is do you try to work with people like that to compromise or or is it all my way or the highway. What and what gets something -CCOMPLISH sear? Okay what are the diverse interests. What are the diverse interests? We're a country of diverse. People are very Christian and other people are very secular. Diverse sows are not really really political interests. Like generally we have some ninety percent support for religious pluralism. No one knows what very few people WanNa make a theocracy when you say diverse interests like that it sounds like I want to eat spaghetti for dinner I want to you know what's another food was going to say. But that's close yeah. Those are not very diverse. That sounds like we're intra-party. Oklahoma what do you say diverse interest. That's what you make it. Sound like think of diverse. I interest I think I own this copper fucking copper wire factory. I WANNA pollute this river. I WANNA dump writing toxic waste in the poor people they wrote and then in another interest might be. Hey I live in the poor people neighborhood. I don't WanNa die please. Yeah well look I mean. There are perspectives that the free market system mm-hmm and capitalism is is a better way of managing of having an economy than state run bureaucrats. Telling you and I what we should do or what healthcare we should have or reg- whatever I mean that is the you're not agree. But there are people who legitimately we have different philosophical perspectives on the best way for a good society than the ones that you do and they've got some pretty powerful powerful arguments in their favor by looking for starters at the performance of socialist systems over the many decades and their many failures. How about why doesn't Scandinavia ever count? When these things are how come how come with actually has money to begin with and socialize as opposed to countries that are in the imperials aliens have turned away from the Democratic Socialism? That was its hallmark in the fifties and sixties. Let's say hold on a minute though see. That's that's always what happens. It's like what happened. Oh they're not socialist anymore really their way more socialist than us and if we start if we said if and if you said let's do what they're doing now which is it used to be but still way more social than it is now even though that's an example of them not being social city more. It's still socialist for US though. So the thing that use that that's not a socialist and therefore proof of capitalism's victory or whatever. It's still too socialist for us. It always it always will be because has this has nothing to do with ideology is it. What is fond of pointing out? Norway Sovereign Wealth Fund controls a much bigger chunk of its economy than Venezuela yes. It's much more state run. Norway has a larger percentage of its economy under state control than Venezuela does. Not and. They're both they both have oil wealth at the base of it. And that's that's just a fact. All right you guys are burning is the. You're all in for Bernie. Let's look at the rest of the Democratic field and your sense end of Buddha Chech- because someone told me that you guys don't really like Mayor Pete and that you did you say that he might be asset. Paul said that his record is what's the base. What are you based on? What vacation Shen in Somalia to Somalia that some conversations with a guy about wait a minute she molly land and then which is awesome all IAEA breakaway area and then he met with local leaders like we all like to do on vacation and wars and he did it with a guy who he somehow co wrote as a kid a New York Times op ED with a guy whose entire resumes USA ID and charts of the Agency for Retain National Development? It does have stated. Don't also been documented connection to the Central Intelligence and so they. He went to prison there or something like but wait a second Joa. You guys are serious that you think or is there something. I don't know what it just throw this out there don't even if he wasn't his record. Well I don't understand what actually makes actual a Roger Stone here. Sounds you see this. The one argument against Mayor Peeping CIA agent is is you know if if that fucker could put ya on his resume talk secrets. CIA Guy you would not hear the end of it. That's your she. He's ashamed. Okay so look if judge where to get the nomination and be the nominee against donald trump. Would you support him with a support. Me What he would you. Vote form form. I've lived in New York with differences. Like well you cast a vote. I mean I wouldn't. You probably would not virgil. I don't know would you want him to beat trump. What difference does that make this whole C.? Knows ship speed same. I just the guy not what we want about anything does it. Matter guys. Audience has gone listens. Essential Argument fucking luggage crossroads. Weird a crucial moment. We either changed the way things are done or we go down this road that is leading. Okay all right so mayor P and whether or not made gives a shit the neither one of you would commit to even voting for him against Donald Trump. What about closure? I don't care as I said for me. It really depends what the general election campaign how that shakes out all right so this is a maybe vote for clover. Here's what's observing in other words. We know that what what people like mayor which are saying now as kind of frankly shitty is what they're saying now is what they're going to be saying in eight months is going to be different all over again all right more. Broadly if amy club with Char If she gets the nomination than pivots at the Convention says I'm a Nazi. I have a national title socialist in the Hitler kind and I'm more of a Nazi than trump sir. And I want I. She says that she wants to make America white at those state and murder all the minorities. I would not support her. I would want her to lose rather than asking about you guys. Let me ask you where you think. Thank your audience would be if you obviously have this very intense Bernie Bro. I if if Bernie it doesn't get the nomination and it's not Warren who assume would be your second pick and it's one of the others Biden Buddha judge cloture where where do you think your audience. I'll tell you this and I hope everyone listening. Who is on the fence? Maybe they are. Maybe they don't like Bernie maybe they're they don't think he can win or whatever. I'll tell you right this this our audience will as a block refused to vote for whoever gets the nomination which means if it's not burn. Yes which means that for everybody. Who unless you said is concerned? First and foremost with the trump they are morally obligated to vote for Bernie in the in the primaries. He is the only one who has a significant chunk of people who will not vote vote for the nominee which means he have to pick him because if he doesn't get the nomination so if you're really concerned issues there collectability right you have to pick burning or okay okay. I got one more question about you. Guys which is it's a generational question because you guys are like twenty thirty a years younger than we are and you've probably come across to some of our audience as angry guys cool blue. Yeah a little angry and I want to hear we. Would you agree that. You're you're angry about the situation in this country right now. Is that a fair. Yeah Yeah okay so I think and then start talking about it so so. That's what I wanted to probe a little bit and I think there are a lot of good reasons for people in your generational generational cohort to be angry. But I wanna hear from you guys. Why are you angry? Why do you think that you guys have been fucked? I guess by US are mostly by. Yeah so just talk about that a little bit. How he's a fucking now but you? I heard you guys don't do. I don't think that's right. I don't I don't take seriously this idea of generational politics I it pretty clear. And you've got a copy of our New York Times bestseller book. The Chapel Guide to revolution a manifesto against logic facts and reason and make pretty clear in our book. I think like to think that we what we're recommending people use as your ristic for explaining explaining the economy and political situation and frankly the material forces that shape their lives You shouldn't look the culture. Don't look to to to this you know boomers versus says biennial generational divide look to your material class interests to dictate. The you know political circumstances we find ourselves in who in America gets to live where gets to do what for living or even has to work who who you know as a group collectively whose interests are represented by Congress by the presidency by the judiciary by the DC land and which views gets promulgated in the media. Well that would be US right. Yeah Ok allies on that note. I kind of liked that tagline for this episode. That's the title of the episode. Anyway thank you guys for coming in driving US thanks. Politico Co founder John Harris and the host of Chapo Trap House Virgil Texas and Matt Christian for joining us on this episode of skulduggery. To- forget to subscribe to skullduggery on Apple podcasts. Or wherever you listen to your podcasts and tell us what you think leave a review. The latest episode is also on Sirius. Xm On the weekend. Check it out on channel twenty four on Saturdays at three PM eastern time. Time with replays on Sundays at one A._M.. And three P._M.. Shorter follow us on social media at skulduggery pot. We'll talk to you soon.

President Trump president Democrats Hillary Clinton US President Bernie Sanders Iran politico Michael ISIKOFF Bernie Middle East John Harris Pelosi Washington America trump Mitch McConnell Mark Furman Iraq
Revolt at the New York Times

Skullduggery

43:12 min | 2 months ago

Revolt at the New York Times

"A Michael ISIKOFF chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo, news and I'm Dan. Kleinman editor in chief of Yahoo News and a quick reminder that you can follow us at skulduggery Pod, and by the way. If you've got any questions, thoughts ideas, you wanNA share, tweet right out us now. Let's get on with the show. In the course of one weekend, two major American newsrooms are engulfed in crisis and top editors are forced to resign at the New York Times James Bennet the editor of the editorial page steps down after a newsroom uproar over an op Ed. By Republican, Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas. The ran under the headline, send in the troops, and in Philadelphia, the top editor of the Inquirer Sandwich Hausky is booted out over a headline that read buildings matter to. Both peoples are unexpected fall-outs from the wave of nationwide protests, growing out of the killing in Minneapolis of George Floyd in the outrage over police harassment of African Americans, but they also raise profound questions for the media. Is it the responsibility of newspapers to tell all sides of the story and reflect all viewpoints even when they might offend some readers, and some might perceive as furthering and authoritarian agenda. Are Newsrooms Endanger of censoring unpopular opinions for fear of rousing the woke brigades. We'll discuss with David Folkenflik the media correspondent for NPR on this episode of skulduggery. Because people have gotta know whether or not their president's. I'm not a crook I, told the American people I did not create arms-for-hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not i. did not have sexual relations with that one will be no allies. We will honor the American people with the Truth and nothing else. I'm Michael, ISIKOFF, chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo News and I'm Dan Kleinman editor in chief of Yahoo News I gotTA. Say when I think it was. You sent me the tax message on Sunday. That Bennett was out as New York Times editorial page editor and I was astonished. I you know I've been reading about and following the controversy over that Tom Cotton. Op Ed, but I never imagined that it could lead to the resignation of one of the most influential editorial page, if not the most influential editorial page editors. It seemed to me that the offense if it was an offense for running that op ed did not rise to that level, but we are living in very different times than we were just a few months ago. Yeah I was shocked. I mean I think we know James. Span it a low key, thoughtful, pretty careful I in my experience with him, and he's sort of the last person that I would've expected to be pushed out in this way, but look we are living. Not to be grandiose, but sort of in Revolutionary Times here, and there is a reckoning that's going on, and in times like this. There are kind of re settings of standards. Mainstream institutions often find themselves behind the curve and people are SACRA. They lose their jobs. They become. Kind of symbols of this kind of change. Yeah, and look. A, part of this is. In the news cycle I just remember we go back to last week. We had two podcasts back to back with our Hunter Walker. Who's been covering the protests in Washington DC AND When we did the podcast on Monday was right after Sunday night when there was vandalism and looting and rioting in Washington DC, the protests had gotten out of hand and. You know stores were broken into. There was a fire at that church. There was legitimate reason to be concerned that these protests. Were going too far despite the fact that they arose from very legitimate grievances, but then Monday night, the park police clear out those peaceful protesters from Lafayette Park and the conversation changes from protests out of hand to military style crackdowns on the right to dissent and I just wonder you know I'm sure. Cotton wrote his Op ed thinking just about what had gone on Sunday night in Washington DC and many other cities across the country, but when people saw the images, the graphic images of the impact of The equivalent of sending in the troops, which is what bill bar ordered to take place? They had a different viewpoint. Look things are very raw out there. People are very angry and they are very angry for good reason, but we also are in a period of really intense polarization, and these are times when. There's just not a lot of tolerance for hearing other perspectives. When the stakes are so high, there is so much pain and suffering out there and. Just a time when people aren't going to say okay well, let's just hear what the other side has to say. I think that the danger is I was thinking about this. You know I grew up in the seventies. I remember I'm the son of a Holocaust survivor, but I remember that sometime in the mid seventies, the Nazis, marching in skokie Illinois and in our household as offensive as neo Nazis were marching in a mid western town. The ACLU leaves in its right to defend. Defend back kind of expression as as important as it was, and the New York Times is a major really important institution in this in this country, and it has been a paragon of free speech and the First Amendment and so I think the danger is that we go too far and that we really chill speech in this country and one last thing I want to say about this. Which I think is important is when you talk about just reflecting the other side well. Donald trump has moved the kind of goalposts so far in the other direction. It's become so extremists now that just to say, let's let the other side. Have it say you get into dangerous territory and I'm not saying this is the case here, but you could easily find yourself and territory where speech is also incitement to violence. Yeah, I was just GonNa. Make a similar point that. That in some ways this is a reflection of how donald trump has driven everybody crazy, including his critics and prompted them to do things that in other contexts we would find quite offensive in in my view, that's censoring opinions and saying some views are verboten and not fit for public comment I mean look clearly when it's racist viewpoints when it's antisemitic when it's offensive towards women. One can understand that cotton. That's not the way I read cotton's column. He was making a provocative, controversial and too many objectionable point, but I don't think it was beyond the bounds of discourse to read it and here from it, but let's hear what our media expert David Folkenflik has to say on this. He's one of the shrewdest observers and reporters on events in the media, so let's get to the show. It's no secret that our worlds has been interrupted. World. Interrupted is a daily podcast telling stories of coronavirus and its impact on the economy. We want to cover the issues in the macro global economics, the stock market and our political climate also cover the micro stories. Maybe the ones you don't hear as much about in the news or the media. We hope you'll listen and be a part of the journey subscribed today on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. We now have with US David Folkenflik. The media correspondent for NPR and the host of on point in NPR, show on the media David, welcome to skulduggery a great to join you guys again so quite a few days in the media world, the resignation of James Bennett The New York, times, editorial page, editor and Stan wish now ski the executive editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer both basically forced out. It seems because of controversial headlines, and in Mr Bennett Gaze at the New York Times and OP. Ed that ran under one of those headlines from Tom Cotton the Republican senator. Senator of Arkansas this seems to US pretty extraordinary. I can't remember too high level resignations coming back to back over pretty similar issues. What do you make them yet? Quite a week tour having accusing it's it's quite a year. We're having this week. It does seem like a moment. It's a moment where these prominent us rooms are grappling in a different way with some of the same issues that we're seeing. Play out at so many of these protested cities and communities across the country are black lives are black sensibilities, being taken as seriously as those of their white counterparts. Rethinking intently about the choices we're making editorial he as journalists, and about not only the good and use that they can have in serve, but the harm that they can do. These are the kinds of questions I'm hearing from African American journalist, those newsrooms and others including my own I think that what you're seeing is a journalistic judgments being called into question. Not, simply about whether or not, they were the right calls, but whether they reflect a blindness or deafness to the way, life is lived for people who aren't white and aren't at the top echelons, the top elite positions running these institutions and I think you know there's been a kind of resentment burgling for a while for for decades, probably as long as there have been African Americans in newsrooms, but about. About issues very closely related to the ones we see, play out, and some of them have to do with who gets to decide what gets covered and who gets to decide how the things that do get covered, get covered, and that may seem well journalism, and that's true James Bennett ran this piece called. Send in the troops by Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton, you know a guy with sort of A. I think it's fair to say a bit of an authoritarian streak when it comes to what he would characterize as law and order, he wanted the president to invoke a little, known and little used statute to send in military troops, even if over the objection of governors and mayors to quell civil unrest, he framed it as going after looters, and seemingly drawing distinctions between leaders and protesters, but as we know sometimes mass protests, episodes of violence occurred that don't involve the vast majority of protesters and yet if you're militarizing those interactions between protesters and and looters and law enforcement, those distinctions are. Are GonNA. Get Lost but David, isn't it? This is the editorial page of the new. York Times, and isn't it one mission of editorial pages to reflect a diversity of viewpoints, not just ones that stroke the sensibilities of the majority of readers, but viewpoints that challenge them, and it seems to me. That's what basically the Times was doing here running a piece by a sitting united. States senator that reflected a viewpoint of many in the White House many at the highest levels of the US government, and you know we shouldn't. Readers want to be exposed and understand what that viewpoint is. Something very interesting I don't think anything I've said necessarily means that there isn't a rationale to running it. But I'm describing what journalists themselves are. Feeling and their reaction to it, I think part of it is generational, I think people under the age of forty under the age of thirty eight field bit differently than people who have been in newsrooms for decades I think some of it reflects you know a racial divide in terms of experience of how life is lived. That is not uniform in either direction and I do think that you know part of the original mandate of the Times opinion page, which really helped introduce phenomenon to American print journalism was look. We have aditorial that reflect the opinion. Opinion of our owners, or at least as reflected by people, they designate to write an official editorial position by the newspaper, but we are going to expand the range of opinions presented to our readers as a way of fostering debate, embracing the marketplace of ideas, which doesn't say that idea just dominates. It says that ideas are tested by often country, thinking and the Times editorial answered self is very much against the idea of militarising the law enforcement response to figuring out how to handle this this wave of protests, and at times eruption of violence in looting. And vandalism and and writing, but all of this is true, and James Bennett was an interesting and sometimes controversial figure he came to the from the Atlantic four years ago to the times and I think did an impressive job of expanding the range of opinions presented by The Times both on the right, and on the left with some really disparate interesting thinkers, as they broadly expanded the number of folks who they published online, but you hit on a really interesting point you said. Shouldn't readers want this well? Readers are now much more than in the driver's seat at the New York Times and this is increasingly true at other publications as advertising withers right. Paying subscribers are increasingly important to newspapers. I can't underscore this enough and digital subscriptions for the Times approve stratospheric. They've never had despite what hear from. The president never had more subscribers in existence since eighteen fifty one times was founded and digital subscriptions has really propelled that it is the way to add readers at very minimal cost, and what the readership expect is increasingly important to what people who are running the news reports and the editorial sections decide to do because if you lose those digital subscribers, you lose the ability to keep adding journalists I mean they now have like seventeen hundred journalists more than ever before at the Times at a time when newspapers generally are. Watching their finances go down the drain, so the readers are actually very important expectation of what the time is, maybe a little different than what you've said. Tom Cotton is not just conservative Tom Cotton, saying the PE- your sons and daughters, your friends and neighbors, you people who paid or read us. We're saying we want somebody with bayonets, putting down anything that strays over the line and lawlessness by the way sometimes involves mass protests without permits. Permits in public streets, but David, I mean you talk about readers more than ever being in the driver's seat, but I think you could also argue to some extent. Reporters inside the newsroom more than ever are in the driver's seat. If you look at this particular case and others out there and you know I think it is the case that social change is often driven by younger people and driven by generational changes, and I wonder if. If in this particular case, you know what it reflects about what's going on more generally in newsrooms out there and had a new generation of reporters kind of fueled and liberated by Social Media You have the excesses of course of the trump administration, and in some ways a rethinking or even discarding of kind of traditional standards and conventions that we've all relied on journalism, you know striving for kind of pure objectivity balance reflecting both sides both. Both side ISM becoming a bad word these days in favor of different kind of notion of truth, which is closer to the idea of taking moral stances in some cases, so is this something that you're seeing in newsrooms around the country, and is this kind of reckoning? That is taking place right now. rummy disentangle some of the important things that you're talking about here because I. Think you're onto something. I would characterize it a little differently. I would say. We moved from this notion of impartiality of objectivity. And progressive notion of about a century ago right to one I wouldn't call it to truth. I would call it to fairness, and the idea is to be fair to your readers to be fair to you. Particularly the people in subjects writing about the communities your rooted in and also to the facts and the truth, and that was the idea of fairness was a way of getting out of the pit of saying well, you know we said candidate X., said this, we said candidate. That candidate X. was actually making slanderous claims that are ungrounded fact unsupported by evidence, but we presented both sides. That is actually a journalistic failing. That is both lazy, and not you. What is the point of what we're doing? I always feel like the point of what we're doing ultimately is to enable people to act not just as consumers of news, but as citizens that they have the. I don't need to tell somebody what to vote or how to vote or what to think, but I want to tell somebody happy information the context that they can make up their own minds about what's going to best serve them their families, their communities, their nation, right and I think fairness was way of getting at that now there is I think among some journalists particularly, but not only younger journalists and idea. Even that is A. A fool's game when you were reporting an asymmetrical age, the symmetric calorie has a lot to do, but not only to do with partisan politics that is the Republican Party and the Democratic Party play by different rules. When it comes to journalism, it comes to facts and it comes to. The respected doesn't afford journalists in the role. They play in the political cycle. They're certainly extreme figures in an unscrupulous figures on the left as well. And Online, but there's a way in which people are saying, you know. Let's just get to the truth. Let's just get to what is moral, and what is true, and what is moral, and what is professionally ethical eric kind of different. And you know you can be amoral and still ethical. You can tell the story without saying this is wrong, but you can present the facts in a way that allow people to get there. And there's attention you know. I Value Opinion Journalism. It can be done well from the right and the left, but it's got to be fair to the back there. Other people who say you know we have to be clear on morality here and there are people you know. Newsroom editorial pages genuinely are run separately from newsrooms from the reporting wing of newsrooms as you guys both know in conventional legacy news outlets, and yet people at the times and people at the Philadelphia Inquirer say this is representing my brand. This is representing who I am publicly, and it's not in keeping with where I'm at. Yes, there should be dissonant voices. Yes, there should be con-. Pro and con, yes, there should be a vast rate things debated, but certain things shouldn't be amplified by the New York, times and giving credence and credibility they should be covered in the news pages, but as the. Clear violation of civil liberties that they represent whatever they have again. I think that. There's a real case to be made for what Bennett did. She has mean he has harbored the aspiration for his time at at the new. York Times of ultimately taking over for team Buckeye as the editor in chief, called the executive editor there and leading the newsroom, and he is seriously mis read the news from a number of Cajun what whatever the merits of his decisions. You have to be able to lead in those positions. Maybe bring people along to a place. They didn't initially want to go and he has failed on a number of cases to do that PG, Bird. The publishers backed him a couple of times. He just say you know finally, said you know. There was a lapse in editorial decision making here, and not for the first time I think the souls. Burgers have spent a little too much time explaining why what James Bennett did was right. To their own staffers. To the point where they ultimately felt this was a liability. Well I wasn't it wasn't helpful to his cause I don't think that he did not read the piece which he ultimately acknowledged and an editor of a section that produces a large amount of copy may not read every piece, but it is his or her responsibility to make sure that those pieces that are going to be very provocative and controversial. They read sure and look you know again. I kind of admired some of the things Bennett was doing. I think that. That it was a more dissonant, more interesting editorial page than the one he inherited by in this moment I think you're seeing in real time playing out in front of US journalist, hashing out what's accepted and what's interesting in part because social media affords more junior reporters and more rank and file, journalists, the ability to speak out publicly and to commune and share with one another where they're coming from simply because somebody has said this is the right decision doesn't even that's accepted in the same way at once was. Even reluctantly and I think that means that that it's more like almost like college faculty at Times. Let's talk about what actually happened at the time because. I, think you alluded to this before Sulzberger the publisher at first defended Bennett and defended the decision to run the op-ed, and then there's this extraordinary blowback from the news room and reporters and editors are complaining and. Raising their objections to it and Sulzberger reverses himself. I mean it seems a little like a mutiny of a of a sword, in which you know, the rank and file got to dictate to the brass what they should do and I'm just you know your first and foremost a reporter on these things give us insight into how that reversal by Seoul's Burger came about. My understanding is that he didn't know originally that Bennett hadn't read it. And that ultimately he concluded or said he concluded that the process to get it on wine was a little flap dash. This was initially scheduled to run in the Sunday paper you know. The Review Section is published in advance of Sunday, but. They didn't have to get it up Wednesday at the time they did. They could have taken a little more time with that, too. that it out. The fact that some of his assertions were challenged on a factual basis by reporters enabled grapple hold for critics to try to tear it down. Let me just say this I thought. Rich lowry had very interesting piece in the back and forth, and we've allred columns in the New York Times elsewhere that make bold assertions that are perfectly or even ordeal agree well backed up facts so yeah. I was just going to say I. Mean You know one of the factual assertions that the editor's note that they appended to it challenged. Was that Khadr as of left wing? Radicals like Antifa were contributing to the violence. Now that has not been substantiated. It's been asserted by the Attorney General of. Of the United States and others in the US government, but as an assertion in an op Ed, it does not strike me as it hasn't been debunked, either and I was gonna say as an assertion in an op, ed. It doesn't strike me as really much beyond what you could read in. OP EDS in the New York. Times across the board every day by their columnists and others, there are assertions made I mean as you read the cotton piece, let's take away the headline. The crudity of the in jarring nature of the headline did you find it objectionable on its face and something? You would not have run if you were in James. Bennett shoes such a good question. I would I you know. Here's what I'd say I I tend towards wanting to ventilate arguments. People are able to knock down his arguments by reading it closely I. DO think that you know the Times mistakes. Itself thinks that good news coverage of something setting it out fairly, but also setting out legal and moral than other objections, and and challenges to. It doesn't accomplish the. The job as well I did note some Michael. Powell not known as a reactionary commentator for the times, and not a right winger at now laboring in Sports, previously a columnist in the new side, you know, he said this was an embarrassing retreat from principal when the Times effectively apologized, and regretted the publication that said CJ shivers a former war correspondent for the Times A. I guess currently an investigative reporter for time. Who's himself a veteran of the US? Marine Corps said the decision to publish. This was wrong on its face and talked about what he's seen abroad when protesters face not domestic police, but military forces, trying to keep control of circumstances, and how that heightens tension, and you know he to talked about what journalists have faced. You know reported on fairly extensively as well the kinds of hostility and violence that journalists faced at the hands of police officers and law enforcement officials across the country in these recent weeks. Well beyond the Pale you know in the US It's often considered beyond the Pale to include for example, people from Hamas or leaders from Hamas in talking about what how you would deal with trying to come up with some sort of long-term peace surrounding Israel Palestine and the middle. East right in Israel. Newspapers are much more likely to publish those things. Yeah, that's within the accepted bounds of discourse. You know so I think these things are very fluid. What we saw as? was in some ways as a result of market forces, it was useful for newspapers as the number of newspapers dwindled in major cities across the country to appeal not too strong niches like cable news does now, but more blandly to a broader part of the population. So that's how impartiality was embraced by newspapers and became a journalistic ethic. It became a matter of principle, but it was really driven by market forces. You don't. Don't have to be a Marxist to see that right, so you know the things that we take as points of absolute morality and principal in our profession often evolve overtime forces that are actually apart from that so i. think that whether or not you think what Bennett was right, the clearly was strong reaction from their readership, but in this case the readership that that undermined him. What's inside the newsroom across the way? At a on the news side of the divide there, and that was a problem for Sulzberger and I think that right now. Journalists are raw and I think that they are. It's more like the seventies to me. You know people are talked about this being sixty eight, but it feels to me like the seventies where people are like, are we inventing new forms narrative or inventing new forms of what ethics mean what it needs to be an ethical journalist, and sometimes that can lead very positive results, and sometimes it can lead to chaos because. It's not clear where the lines are drawn right now and I think he's in that. You know like The Washington Post where Ben Smith, had a great column in The Times about how Marty Baron perhaps the best newspaper in the country right now nonetheless has a sort of rigid control over what's appropriate for people to say on social media it drives out some of their very talented people, and it also caused great confusion, because the editors don't always know what principles they're applying other than trying to shut people up, you know, David. You mentioned Israel. I had been thinking the same thing I was based. There was always struck by the. The vigorous debate in the newspapers and the kind of you know basically a battle of ideas, and it seems to me I guess one of the questions coming out of this episode at The Times and the other ones is that there's a danger of a chilling effect that these op. Ed Pages ought to be forums for vigorous debate in our society and I remember years ago as a young journalist, I worked for the Washington Post editorial page for the late great. Meg Greenfield and I think one of the things that she used to do. With part of the problem. is you run a piece like the cotton piece? There's no context. All you have is a piece. That's very provocative, and that is very prominent. It's the op-ed page of the New York Times. She used to run kind of point counterpoint when there was a more provocative piece of that sort, so I kind of wonder like. Because I think it would be kind of a sad thing, if opinion editors were no longer willing to run provocative pieces, so what are the kind of prescriptive things that you can do to continue running those kinds of pieces, but avoid some of the pitfalls that has you know led to? Bennett's being pushed out and I. Guess The question is. Are you worried about a? A chilling effect as a result of these kinds of decisions, Bari Weiss, who's a conservative something of a contrarian at the Times was hired as an editor, and soon became a writer on under her own name, is basically characterized this as tensions between the woke young `uns, and the more, classically liberal, forty and fifty. Something's at times, and she tributes this kind of Smothering correctness that she attributes to college campuses now I can tell you having been a former higher education, reporter, college, campuses, or clamorous paces, player, people, debate and outrage each other all the time. There may well be a left of center ISM, but it's you know they're a lot of conservative voices. They're to you in a lot of lot of clashes there. You know it's really question how times conceives of itself is. For Liberal America. Is it for all America? You know back in the day they used to have basically one conservative voice and William Safire Right, and I thought he was enormously engaging in reading with the morning lists was great, but you know he was pretty alone there for a long time and under Bennett they've tried to increase that to be honest under his predecessor. They tried to increase that, but there's always been this sort of wink till Abramson. Once said to me, you know we're not a liberal paper, but were a cosmopolitan paper. That understands the sensibility of the upper west side, and you know so. They wanted elite. They wanted bankers advertising type people, and they also wanted people who aspired to the kind of life reflected in the pages of the New York Times and the issues interested in the issues written there and so there's this kind of wink and. As I think it's easier than ever you know. The Times I think stumbles over itself not to be too explicit in going after president trump in characterizing it I think Washington Post Times harder hitting, and it's things about calling things racist calling things lives rather than evasions and yet in terms of social media. It is much more rigid about what it lets people do, and how voiced it lets people be. And you're just two different models of of an approach there each with its own problems i. do think that you know good news. Organizations allow the ventilation of a lot of different kinds of ideas from a lot of different perspectives. I do think under Fred Hi. Meg Greenfield, successor at the Washington Post I, think that is very careful, centrist editorial stance, but also by and large a fairly establishment. Editorial page as well or opinion pages well like I, don't see an incredible array of wild leftists and incredibly hardline rightwingers. They're like it seems to me to be pulling people gravitationally towards. What it uses a reasonable center now, no, I agree with you one hundred percent on on the way that Fred Hi although. He, did I think get a lot of criticism from the left for being a neo con, or for that for those pages to reflect the views of neo conservatives, which I think was unfair so I mean. Even. If you push toward the center, you're to in some ways you're going to get. You'RE GONNA get. You may get hit even harder by both sides. Let's talk about just for a moment as we wrap up here. The Philadelphia Inquirer because they're the offense was running a piece under the headline. Buildings matter to and look the point. Leave aside the headline for the moment which you know may not have been the most sensitive headline writing There was I. mean the point of the piece was there was indeed violence specially those first few. During these protests. To say that is not in any way to take away from the fact that there was legitimate outrage over what happened to George Floyd and legitimate outrage over the way African. Americans have been targeted by police, but there were I mean I live. I live in Washington that the on Sunday night a week ago. You know there was a burning. Nursery at Saint John's church. There were stores broken into not far from my home and looting that took place and I guess the concern is when the executive editor of the paper gets. Out Over perhaps infelicitous headline, the concern is that reporting core facts such as yes, there have been violence at some of these protests becomes expendable that perhaps that doesn't get reported because people are too intimidated about offending the woke brigade, so Richard totally reasonable for people to cover the idea that you can't cover the beyond vandalism at times, destruction of property, the idea that businesses and communities have no stake in the question of whether storefronts or shattered and inventory looted is wrong. It has to matter it has to be covered. It's part of the community and you see that. That not only from columnists in the Philadelphia, inquirer or stayed pillars of the establishment, but also some of the protesters themselves people who have fought for years to build up their communities to establish strong foundations on which to construct a strength particularly for people of Color, particularly for people in working class communities in neighborhoods, often ignored by politicians, they understand that the destruction of property and the the hitting businesses can have a real repercussion and last and endure, and we saw that in cities across the country in you know more severe and sustained rioting in say, nineteen, sixty eight. After the killings of the killing of Martin Luther King, for example and other places so. And other incidents I should say so. This is an important thing. They headline did suggest in the minds of reporters in the enquirer that somehow the paper was. Equating destruction of property the loss of life, but usually editors don't lose their jobs over a single mistake. Ben Bradlee fortified by Watergate. Doubt didn't lose his job over Jimmy's world in which Janet Cooke. invented. A A a a US tiny you know I think he's supposed to be seven years older something who was a heroin addict and built a huge project around this fictional person. That won a pulitzer that had to be returned about as big as a global embarrassment. A newspaper can get into Bradley. Had Reservoir of goodwill Bradley had A. You know a record to stand on? It rally also incredibly for about returning thing and and being contrite, even though its top leaders had essentially warned him ignored some warning signs that have been. Set off by some of the editors who had interacted with her on the project so I think in this case the question is, is this just some sort of French revolution where people who are being taken out to the Guillotine or You know an individual circumstances. Did people not have effectively the political capital and I don't mean ideological, but the the goodwill reservoirs of goodwill and trust within their newsrooms to survive the these controversies on this subject, and at a certain point, even beyond the merit if you can't. Read your newsrooms. It's not going to be useful for you to do it. That's different than saying that you should be fired or forced out over a single. A single mistake, the publisher Philadelphia said that she wanted to set the enquirer on a new course. Rethink the way in which the newspaper dealt with issues of race in light of the convulsions that the nation's going through for the past. You know weeks. And that probably This editor wouldn't be you know a a white male in his late fifties. I believe wouldn't be the best one to lead the paper this time well, I was GonNa say it is also the case with James Bennett who is otherwise an excellent journalist, did a terrific job editing the Atlantic magazine, and did a lot of good things at the Times magazine, but over the course of his years as editorial page editor. At The Times, there were a number of mistakes. There was Sarah Palin defamation lawsuit. There were a couple of columns by Brad Stevens that were controversial, so he may not have had the kind of certainly didn't have the kind of capital that a Ben Bradlee had. Probably is part of the story here. Cure I just think there's. A lot of this is generational journalists, instead of things evolving over time at the panel discussions that schools of journalism and public policy are sort of arguing things out in slack channels on text and on social media in real time, and you know I covered a story in Pittsburgh this week about a black reporter who was sidelined for a tweet, she did that sort of was flippant about the effect of looting in Pittsburgh comparing it to the aftermath of tailgating parties. That kind of trash the area around Kenny Chesney concerts. Pittsburgh and she was told by her. She couldn't cover the protests because she. She had shown her hand now turns out. She's the daughter of a retired State Trooper and retired probation officer, so it's hard to make the prima facie case that obviously she's pro looting, an anti law enforcement, but she's one of the very. She's one of a relatively small number of African. American journalists at the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. She was sidelined that same day. A white reporter was about a tweet. He sent out calling a man accused of looting by police. He sent out a tweet tagging and story. He wrote about this in which he called the man who had been accused a scumbag. And is that her said don't do that. We don't think that's appropriate, but he was not pulled back from covering issues, leading to protests, violence and vandalism in the wake and two days later. The Union pointed out this disparity thing. A white journalist was cautioned, but not punished. A black journalist was preventing prevented from covering issues about race and justice in her hometown. Pittsburgh and then what the newspaper decided to do to prevent the white reporter from covering the protests two minutes after the union left a meeting with top editors so. You're seeing you know that's an instance in which you know. These two journalists, one, twenty, seven, one, twenty, eight, both of them from Pittsburgh. Both of them felt free to sort of maybe show a little bit of where their heads are added a moment in a way that. Before social media, they couldn't do, but a reporters who had done so saying basically, Hey, there are times where people do violence and. y'All. Don't get that upset about it. Let's at least think about it. She was sidelined and remained sidelined a week later and I you know I, think that newsrooms are that newsroom is in tumbled as a result of this episode as well and newsrooms are kind of grappling with this issue in the leaders. Don't have control of the narrative I. Think is what I take from this rather than right or wrong is that leaders don't have control of its social media is giving an outlet for journalists in the rank and file to speak out and to find support. And I think it's very unsettling for those who seek to run these major institutions at this time. Well, it does sound like newsrooms across the board are a engulfed in tumult. Although I should probably say it's, it's virtual tumult since. Most people actually aren't in newsrooms these days, and it does make me wonder if that's a factor here. The fact is that nobody is actually sitting next to each other anymore. Talking these things out, but just hurling Bromides as we are, all want to do on social media might be contributing to it, but David I really WANNA. Thank you for your always helpful insights, and it sounds like you'll have lots of media issues to talk about on your next on point God knows. Thank you always a pleasure to join you. THANKS TO NPR media, correspondent and host of NPR's on point David conflict for joining us on skulduggery, forget to subscribe to skullduggery on Apple Podcasts, regulus dear podcasts and tell us what you think. Leave a review short. Follow us on social media at skulduggery pod. Talk to you soon.

The Times New York Times James Bennett editor David Folkenflik reporter US Senator Tom Cotton president vandalism OP EDS executive editor York Times Philadelphia Michael ISIKOFF The Philadelphia Inquirer editor in chief skulduggery Pod
Ep. 33 Clues of a killing

The Tip Off

24:25 min | 1 year ago

Ep. 33 Clues of a killing

"In in july two thousand eighteen a horrifying video began to spread online legal on a dusty path somewhere in sub saharan africa a group of gun-wielding men in camouflage fatigues frog marching to terrified looking women down the road slopping pushing guy. One woman tries to whisper to young girl. She's holding by the hand. The ever woman in carries a baby strapped to her back with shoal. The video plays on the women and the young girl forced to the floor and blindfolded the baby. Maybe remains on the women's back in three men draw their weapons and shoot all four from dead. It's a sickening sight and one. That's not easy to forget. But where did the video come from. Who would women who were that killers those questions ali. I'm the roy wanted to find out. I made mcclenaghan. This is the tip of my name is miriam and open source. <hes> investigator alan works for bbc africa and has a very particular set of skills he something of an expert in open source investigations using information already published in maps databases or other places online to to get to the crux of the question when he arrived in at work at the bbc offices one morning soon after the video of these awful killings was published. His colleagues had a challenge for him. So then we will continue to open my computer. You've got twitter this thing. Would you in see what's coming from africa and the day before this one. I just got into the the office and before i sat down. There's someone from focus on africa which is a program at the bbc that kaminsky. Hey have you seen this video coming out of. We don't know where the cameroon and karen you verified. Before the end of the day. I thought okay gets gets up and as i started to watch the video is trying. My best turned out to be much longer longer the investigation than just a day very the b._b._c. team produced a report on the video anyway but it was couched in caveats. They had no idea when it was from hutu. People uh where it was. They were rumors going around. It could be molly or cameroon but no one was sure. That could've been it the the b._b._c. Africa team had plenty of other things to be getting on with the day after the video pit. The cameroonian government came out with a statement saying it definitely wasn't filmed in their country tree that any suggestion that was an official soldiers were involved was quote fake news but after watching the horrific video of the killing of the unarmed women and children over and over again elian just couldn't let it go the video is one of the worst view i had to watch an others or saying the same with <unk> that sri horrible crime <hes> that's being shown those two women in those two children especially you go one pot with one of the chided i i don't know he's probably two three years old and even younger i don't know bugs into the camera before being killed so reese sticks to the brain and so i i couldn't in other the same other in the community tweeting about and we could see from that we couldn't get it go from the video because of the crime he decided he was going to make his mission to find out everything he could and there were others that seemed to feel the same alleanza twitter feed was alight with people sharing information comparing theories they banded together and started a group in a direct message on twitter around fifteen people experts some of them in open source investigations nations from all across the world determined to do what they could to bring these killers to justice. The first thing this group wanted to do was find out wedding. Adult video had been shot. But where do you start with that to the untrained eye. There's very little to go on in the film a dusty path with badly l. e. eddie buildings around a wide pale sky the l. e._m. Had spotted a few things right away you start looking at cruise and the individual and and then you can hear also but you see soldiers walking down in mitri uniform certain type of camouflage which might be specific to contract your region you hear french in the video aw which first of all obviously reduce the sort of area of research to francophone african countries okay. That's something an immense find the first time the video was posted on the tenth july on facebook and they're under the post people publishing comments. That's three useful because is it could be wrong as well as some people are wrong and say and say things out so the off but you've got interesting crews in the comments that can help you so there's some clues that the suggestion that this this was cameroon but that's a country twice the size of the u._k. How'd you narrow it down physical clues in the video in the background and behind the soldiers and the young women you can see the jagged edge of a mountain ranch if alabama and the group could find that then it'd be closer to working out where the killings happened so they got to work clicking open google earth looking for mountain ranges in cameroon and then zooming down to street level view to try and match the jagged edge on the video to what they were seeing that we drew the mountain range and try to see if you find it for quite a day so we're spending hours and <music> hours in front of google's trying to match proved to be used we couldn't we couldn't find it as we kept going and as we keep reaching out to people with motive of coming in <hes> so actually the togethers to the regulation was part of a coupla think he was probably three or four people sing each brace near this town near this the town so we could then. That's good because then you've go. Can you can zoom in a try to see if you find the mountain wrenched around this location and one of the schools was actually right because when they say it's actually a someone coming from cameroon who i can't give more details about about the social security by someone coming from cameroon who <hes> michalik was in touch sure with intouch with different sources and he said if you looked at the area near the town of it in the final of cameron zooming within a day or even a couple of hours we found a mountain range that was quite similar to the one we could see in the video. He stat to screen there. It was the same jagged mounted edge on google earth as seen in the video that found it some things some time that when you find something open open source. It's almost like you get the kick almost like if you've been taking cocaine or something. I don't think you shouldn't get address and you feel really good because you've been <unk> as you as you were saying yes i was i was i was in front of your screen and you just at some point. You're cooking. I'm going to give up but the team needed more the mountain one thing then they could use a building seen in the video and the trees and the paths to pinpoint on google exactly where the spot was that the killings had happened every single building every single tree individual was much too correct one satellite imagery and because they were going perfectly you can be sure that there's no other sports the spoke with perfect pitch which is how you can be under percents sure can also tell much more than that those physical clues could also tell them and when it happened how find out more after this <music> liam and a group of online volunteer investigators a digging into the mystery of how two women and two children came to be executed. You should in cold blood by men who looked like they could be army officials. It'd been several days since video. Killings had started circulating and the group were making making headway often working long into the night. They were active all the time i was still freelancing for the bbc so at other trainings at the same time and it was sometime frustration because you'll the training somewhere and then arrive and those guys would have moved already so much in your. I wish i could take. I want to be with the team. Working on a._m. Was meant to be working on other projects at bbc but he kept finding himself coming back to that video that was taking my editors. You know this this video trying to verify into into a mighty to listen. You'll never find those knowing finds so they were joking about it but they get me worked on it. We were working on something else at the same time but they get me. Whenever i wanted to dive into the investigation on the case they had me work on its and so i was doing that at home as well and spending most of my time on that one even though it was pretending mighty to those workout and other things so they wouldn't bother me what he ever investigators in the twitter group we're trying to do now was workout when the killings taking place but there was no time stamp on the video no calendar does or clocks in view so the answer would lie elsewhere it came from the satellite images of the area using those the team could look at that same patch of land over different time periods over time the earth changes buildings change infrastructure change buildings. Get destroys all get built. <hes> got of changes inches the you can try to identify in order to assess the time and so for this case we use google earth satellite imagery and digital groups are the imagery which is higher solution as as googlers and we try to compare with so certain buildings in the interview and then we're trying to look at different dates going back. I can tell him or moving forward in time whether those buildings were present on not flicking back and forward on the satellite images are the could see subtle differences in the landscape like the thin walls built around the edge of a building in the early fotos they weren't there and suddenly in november twenty fourteen they appeared so the fact those same wills could be seen in the video of the killing well that minute video had to be made after that date and then there is another building that was there in twenty fourteen was then twenty fifteen on saturday injury and that we could see on the video but by january twenty sixteen had been destroyed and because we have in on the videotape it gives us a general range of november twenty fourteen to january twenty sixteen as the possible dates using the entry and then another thing that the satellite imagery gave eva's is obviously you got two seasons in the final of chemical the wet season into hot dry season in the wet season you everything is green so you see it on saturday injuries or oh green but individual we could see it's very dry and there is even a path that you see at the somewhere in the video the only shows during the hot dry season <hes> which takes place between january and may of the urine so using all those eggiman we could zoom in on the specific pure then be sure about that the incident took place between january and may twenty fifteen from those clues in the video that worked her five month window when the killings must have taken place but wait. There's this mole the people in video cast long shadows on the ground like sun dials now knowing what year it was and the latitude and longitude of the location location alum could input all data into a program called son calc hit enter and gave a timeframe of end of march beginning of april when us how precise you can be okay so they know where the killings took place and they know that they happened around march or april twenty fifteen but the video and not been posted online until mid twenty eighteen and there are still questions haunting them who were those men the ones who it pulled out that guns and fired so callously those women and children well again. There was a clue in the video one of the men in albums online detective if group on twitter used to work in australia military and he recognized one of the guns the menus right away. It wasn't unusual model as is the stavros. 'em twenty-one an automatic rifle not unlike an a._k._47. We gave us interesting but we need to prove that it's it's again. That's prison other african countries because maybe the gun is i don't know in nigeria and then that could be that could be hard but we looked at it at open source evidence and it's the only country that puts a lot of the 721 was cameron. You know that was textual evidence. We confirmed that by looking on facebook at different units of the cameron and especially the special forces soldiers fighting the <unk> they were twenty one and then we looked at other mijas areas will be sure that's cameron. Soldiers in the community was the only one in sub saharan using the seven twenty one so it was looking more and more like the men in the video were part of the cameroonian army but the government's communication mista rejected the idea. He said the color of the fatigues. The men were wearing video. I was completely wrong. That come reunion army doesn't wed. I was kind of clothing so it couldn't be them. Yes again. Investigative team proved him wrong. That sets up a youtube account. I'm watching anything and everything they could on armed groups in north cameroon and youtube algorithm did the rest a suggested video popped up at the side of the screen a news report from channel four news. We're on our way towards the border with nigeria speeding along in a cameroonian military convoy the villages ever more remote the land parched and rookie would driving driving through territory boko haram wants to occupy poss- people they want to rule the troops are here for our protection because in boca haram is is foreign as valuable commodities for kidnap with going to a remote outpost where there was fighting this very morning and that was re re cookie but it's a nice technique as well gino to get more content just using youtube to your own advantage and then we could again the piji rotation location to the video contacted the reporter and get more information in that report filmed the army compound post lesson from the location of the killings army personnel wore the same kind of camouflage and carry those starve. 'em twenty one guns. What's more alum and his colleagues had been able to make out the names of some of the men with the guns in the video they shout to one another go each lebron's the the team manage to find two of their facebook pages and worked with sources to confirm it was the same man as in the video there done incredible incredible work but it wasn't just information that this online team was sharing with each other in this twitter private message group they were supporting each other to that's really important in opel's journeys journalism in general the vicarious trauma of seeing the video in how effective those kudos which you see that it wasn't about showing off and we strong and can watch that because we had to see the video three hundred times then we started talking about how affected us personally and it's nice defense ends mechanism also to keep forward so it's amazing to have this team then the team that you don't have any offices would walk in your face and i will be on my own thing nikki working on this but then i'll be at the same time with fourteen people in the netherlands some in the u._s. over the word working on this case to get re motivating yeah it was i really want to watch and also the fact that sometimes you see content you just seat once and it goes out of your mind but with this one we we will probably watch the view more than one hundred times in order to pick all the details you watch it over and over again and because we're so taken by the the case some time he was a healthy whereby some of us will go. Oh whom and let's take you shouldn't do that. Go home and you know in your bedroom style watching the video because then you bring that's horrible thing into your personal life and so that's why i think some of us started to talk about techniques we could put in place in order to protect ourselves but it's very important because in journalism <hes> obviously already there's been some talk about and some studies about jainism and for war reporters but vicarious trauma is isn't talk or discuss as much but it could take a big so weeks into the investigation now and the team of piecing together more and more information many of them want to hurry up and publish already the editors of the b._b._c. are pushing back wanting more and more details eager to insure everything is triple checked but then out of nowhere the cameroonian ruining government put out a statement admitting for the first time that yes the men in the video army officials are not being arrested. Elian was stopped opt in his tracks. Could it really be true that they've been brought to justice. Did this and there was no point in publishing. We thought they conscious get away with saying it's fake fake news and then changing side and being okay. Well you know decision and let's go with over three important. The public knows that you've been denied this at the beginning and we can prove that you were wrong and also the facebook accounts. Were still active even enough to the government claim that they were arrested. We did they rearrest them. They are they re trying them and the government will not comment on its puffer saying we we have an investigation that we didn't give more details with it's very possible that they've done nothing in this just communication technique in the they've acted on it so we need to publish information and it's in the public interest anyway after nearly nearly a month for running up the investigation double and triple checking the details the b._b._c. We're ready to publish but album had one major frustration. Despite everyone's best efforts that not been able to find anything about the women and children murdered in the video they will names publish on facebook about the women saying the names of the women are ex ex and we couldn't verify anything about the woman or the two young children themselves where they were from what they were doing here. You're the soldiers came. They belong to haram in the video but we couldn't find anything. That was something that was really frustrating because often you find more about the victims and it's hard to find the perpetrators before this case we found the perpetrator straight away que- never get anything on the woman more that those names we couldn't find their for couldn't publish they laid out all the details they did have to the cameroonian government who just reiterated that there was an investigation going on and the bbc decided to produce video not just about the findings but also laying out how they'd done this incredible investigation so it was found on himself working late into the night the evening before publication just confirming a few things and trying to move the story was finally done and he went to bed we miss my mom ended up waking up but even and by that time we had already being shirt already quite and we're at this stage pretty shocked. All huffy was going during the day kept. He kept exploding people picking up. Let's hope it it does well for the memories of those two women in two young children. These women and children are being led to their deaths. The soldier has accused them of belonging to the jihadist group boko haram in the final scene of this video too graphic to show here there blindfolded forced to the ground and shot at close host range twenty two times. The video was viewed more than fifteen million times. The original tweet about the story from the b._b._c. got more than fifty thousand retrieve. The story was picked up by media all over the world and many powerful people noticed it too later the u._s. Military military withdrew seventeen million dollars insecurity eight cameroon citing escalating violence and increasing human rights violations it also struck struck a chord closer to home while the cameroonian communications minister continued to state. He hadn't seen the video many other people in the country and elsewhere in africa had the engagement by the african nodules was re fascinating <unk>. They've re funded amazing. The techniques investigation reengaged aged with and there was one commence of a guy on the facebook publication. He said that's amazing because <hes> whatever african governments do and now they know that two people were watching god and the b._b._c. which was really really funny then can replace the b._b._c. by any media organization all the open source and as behind it by amnesty and it was just regal the fact that organization is rian going defaulted very finding information holding a government and soldiers to accounts and yet every appreciated the investigation asian gauge with the in the way that we did not expect it to being an incredible collaborative effort with the group sharing their findings within that twitter the group and more publicly as they went salang so often a lot journalism is not showing your workings. Being a secretive is not telling anyone what you're working on until you publish but they didn't it really oakland way. Do you think that was necessary. In this wise collaboration is essential the sort of being opened by the end actually we we were investigating koos twitter g._m. Group we publish on twitter either ideas of the occasion. We made a call to twitter. Can you help us find this cook asian so it was no secret that we were working on it. We didn't try to hide it and because we from the beginning. Is this going to be a difficult case and we need as many brains as possible to work on its in order to have different ideas in geneva most of investigation that would benefit by being more cabaret rotate that's happening in journalism you see that trend toward smoker aberration which is really fantastic buh indian open source if there is no corroboration and you're gonna get nowhere and three part of the idea of the community as well thanks to allah leroy for telling that story i linked to the b._b._c. africa video in the show notes do check out the tipoff is produced by me made mcclenaghan with production support from alice milliken a theme music is by dice news. If you're a fan of the show please do leave us a review on apple podcasts or wherever you get podcasts and you can tweet test at tip off podcast thanks for listening and stay tuned for more stories behind the headlines <music> <music> trickery corruption and sleaze. If you're looking for a guide to what's wrong in washington download the skulduggery gorie podcast. It's your all access pass. The d._c.'s underbelly co hosted by a who news chief investigative correspondent michael isikoff and editor in chief. Dan and cliven sco buttery shines light on the scandals of the trump era and looks back on infamous political schemes in the past that shed light on events of today. Listen every friday for a fresh. Take on washington's dark side.

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From Rashida with Love

Skullduggery

55:46 min | 1 year ago

From Rashida with Love

"No. Love you. And you win when your son looks at you and says momma, look, you one bullies don't win. And I say baby they talked because we're going to go on their winning teach the mother fucker. Rashida Toledo speaking at a move on. Then just hours before being sworn in as a new congresswoman from Michigan her comments caused a bit of a stir instantly labeling her as one of the new progressive firebrands in the democratic house, but leap hasn't backed down. She's introduced a resolution to impeach the president a goal. That's getting lots more attention. These days in the wake of the president's moves to stonewall congressional oversight ignores subpoenas and claim executive privilege over the entire Robert Muller report has the needle moved on impeachment. We'll talk to congresswoman tell e about that and other issues, including our controversial views on the Middle East. And we'll hear from Peter Baker the chief White House correspondent for the New York Times. But the update he's done to his book on Barack Obama's presidency, including Obama's very strange encounter with a successor. Donald trump. On this episode of skulduggery. Because people have got to know whether or not their president's crook. Well, I'm not a crook. I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostile my heart. And my best intentions still tell me that's true. But the facts and the evidence tell me it is not I did not have sexual relations with that one. There will be no allies, we will honor the American people with the truth and nothing else. I'm Michael Isikoff. Chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo news. And I'm Dan Kleinman editor in chief of Yahoo news. So in one sense, it's going to be a bit refreshing to hear from a House Democrat who does not equipped Kate about what she thinks. He house should do about Donald Trump. Yeah. I mean, you know, you prefer it to her as one of the house firebrands, and that she is look Rashida to Leib who we had on this podcast Representative Omar all of them represent this kind of grass roots fire out there, and that is going to be putting a lot of pressure on the House Democratic leadership. It is putting a lot of pressure. You could see the sort of change in tone change in rhetoric, but from the house leadership about whether to begin impeachment proceedings against the president in light of the very damning details in the Muller report. But more than that sort of. Trump basically giving the finger to the very concept of congressional oversight not going to comply with subpoenas invoking executive privilege, preventing people from testifying, and it really puts the democratic leadership in the house in a bind because they don't want to impeach because it's it almost certainly not going to result in Trump's removal from office. But if you don't do anything. Yeah. What's the message? You're sending for those who favor going ahead with impeachment or at least impeachment proceedings. This allows them to say there is a constitutional confrontation. It'd be not a crisis yet. But a constitutional confrontation that is forcing us to do this. And the argument that I've heard is to subpoena the Muller report. That's you know, you get to the courts the Trump administration can play that out for the rest of administration just for months, and then they will be a fight over executive privilege, and at least. The Trump administration can make some plausible arguments along those lines. But if it's in the context of an impeachment proceeding, which is part of Congress's constitutional authority written into the constitution that at least plausibly it gives them an argument that to go forward with this. We need documents. We need evidence. We need information. So not saying that this is not a strategy without risks. But it does give them a little more a better stronger arguments to go forward. It seems to me that once you begin an impeachment proceedings, you have to immediately start thinking about how what the end game is because if you begin proceeding, and then you don't impeach you know, that's a call. You're going to have to make which is going to be very popular with your base. Well, look, I mean, the impeachment proceedings are akin to a grand jury investigation, right? When the house of representatives actual. Votes to impeach. That would be the grand jury indictment. So if you're making the criminal analogy this happens in our criminal Justice system, all the time that there are grand jury investigations that do not end up in bringing criminal charges, and that's not even talking about a trial and conviction which would have to happen in the Senate and would never happen. So I think that's how Democrats are some Democrats are beginning to think about this. I get the optics are different in this kind of political context. But I think you're beginning to see kind of a sea change in how this is being don't think the subpoenaing the Muller report, which is what they're holding bar in contempt for turning it over that doesn't seem like a political winner to me. I mean for one thing do they really think that the full report is going to be different than what Muller has already delivered Muller has seen all the evidence. He's written a report on we've seen more than ninety percent of it. It's hard to imagine that. There's some bombshell in the redacted portions that Muller somehow excluded totally agree with that. I think I think there has to be a broader argument that has to do with separation of powers it has to do with Congress's their role to conduct oversight of the administration. And that goes to not just a Muller report. It goes to Muller's testifying. It goes to. Again, testifying goes in frankly, it's going to also go to the the tax releases as well all of these issues because the administration has taken this unprecedented position that they're not going to cooperate with any investigations at all will. Let's get the perspective of the congresswoman who has no hesitation in saying she wants Donald Trump impeached. We're here in the office of congresswoman receded to leave from Michigan congresswoman, welcome to skulduggery. Thank you for having me. Okay. We're gonna just warp speed. Tell your life story in in less than a minute here. Okay. Daughter of Palestinian immigrants oldest of fourteen children. Born and raised in Detroit. Your father worked on the Ford Motor Company assembly plants, you attended public high schools, you're a lawyer, and you spent three terms in the state legislature before running for John Conyers seat thirteenth district, you came here to Washington to shake things up. How's it going? I think we shook things up. Yep. We hit the ground running. And I say we because this is a pretty incredibly diverse just bold class many of which have never served in office before many of which didn't run the be first of anything. They really ran because they wanted to fight for something fight for change. And they felt this calling for public service. But I love it. I love that. I get to serve with real people. You know, one of my colleagues is a survivor of domestic violence. Another had never had health insurance until she got here. So many even yesterday. Hurry. My colleague Representative muscle Slatkin, lose her mother. Because of the fact that she had preexisting condition. How that created barriers for her to get access to healthcare all of these women, especially the women have come with these truly authentic real life stories and challenges only hope in will continue to fight to make sure that they still we all. Grounded on very much rooted in the communities we serve so one way you're trying to shake things up is to impeach the president. And you made that clear that was your intention from day one. But it does seem like the democratic leadership which has been extremely reluctant to go that route maybe inching towards what you wanted to do from day one. Do you send some momentum in your efforts to begin an impeachment proceeding? Well, yesterday, I was given hard drive this kind of a I rather than like the box. But there's ten million signatures ten million people signed on and said, please United States. Congress members hold this president accountable to the rule of law. Many of which are supporting the resolution I introduced to impeach the president to look at impeachable offenses of the president of the United States from day one. I've been truly truly eager to use the checks and balances powers here. You know, a friend of mine. Line said this past election this way that everybody saw to me was a referendum. If you look at it. I mean, it was electing new jury to look at this president to hold this president, and it's ministration accountable. Because the proof is in the numbers, and you introduced that patriot resolution the last time, I looked you had something like seven number. So I think of it as seven I think of it as every single person represents six hundred and fifty thousand people I look at Medicare for all I look at green new deal. Everybody's like, oh, you just have this many, oh, the leadership doesn't want it. But with every movement, it doesn't happen with the introduction of something within the halls of congress. It actually happens outside of congress in the streets. You saw that with the civil rights movie saw that with the women's rights movement in so many people want to concentrate on one person, the leader of this of the speaker of the house, and that is important, obviously. But I can tell you just like with myself and others we wanna represent our district, and so many people at home and across the country want us to do something. They want us to put country first, they don't want us constantly looking at protocal strategies, but actually listening to them and saying this is out of control. We have a president that doesn't abide by the United States constitution. He's obstructing Justice. And why aren't you? You do in your job or impeachment. Resolution doesn't mention what you want to impeach him for it just says beginning impeachment proceedings them is not it is no it list. If you look at the impeachment resolution it list, it says look at the fact that after his he so many people focused as I introduced this before the Miller report came forward, so many people are focused on what happened before he took the oath of office what I'm more concerned in what more American people. The American public is concerned about is after he took the off oath office. What has he done what has seeped into post the dog Gration? And what is says it lists is says look at the anti-corrupt laws in the United States constitution, we need to look at the fact that this is the first president off forty four before him divested in his four their foreign and domestic investments from Carter who sold his farm to others. But understand we have a corporation running our government that loan an impeachable offense. I think you've said that that maybe a crime made. Violate the constitution doesn't the oath of office to hold the United States, a pull the United States constitution. We set a precedent when we don't say to someone that this is conflict of interest. This is a corridor to power. This is the most powerful position in the world. And in you know, you got to upgraded version of pay to play. There's been over a thousand contacts between the Trump organization. The businesses and the Trump administration so stand that people are spending thousands of dollars and the Trump hotel in DC from clean mobile to the Saudi Arabian government. And all of that to me feeds into the corruption. I just wanted to get you to answer that specific question is it your view that by not divesting is corporate interests that that would be an impeachable offense. If you think about it if I could have been unblocked on day one was he made it clear from think I was very clear about. I think you. Clear about that day. One specific people wanted to focus on malaria throw much ways on the Mullery porn. And I said focus he decided he wanted to be a public servant. He decided when he raised his hand and took the oath that he wanted to be president United. Steph a sacrifice you have to take his walkaway from having four profit industry in those complex, and it's not small businesses. I mean, this will not be the last CEO that runs for president of the United States. And we don't hold this president accountable to the rule of law. I mean, you you say is that impeachable? It is I mean, you have older courts resolve whether the he's in violation of the emoluments clause because there are lost its responsibility in this chamber. Okay. That's article one in your idea of articles of impeachment what's article too? So one of the things that I think is really really important to look at is. When you look at his exercise of pars and pardon. His part empowers. He look at some of the actions that he's taken in regards to immigration all of that. In many ways has been done in a way that is connected to for profit industry. I mean, you look at the people that are making the most money off of detention caging up children at the border is people that have given to the inauguration committee for the president's in our look at that look at how all of the money is connected. How that corruption is feeding into it. I mean for me this is about investigating the article about investigating specific actions. And that's why it says I mean, if you look at the history of Nixon and so forth. It was this kind of resolution. I mean, that's what I base it on. And they introduced this resolution that says let's look at the impeachable offenses of this current president. And that's what the processes of the committee process for us. The look at all of that not for me. But for my colleagues and for all of us to use the public process to look into code. If you started before you actually took the oath of office by saying impeach the motherfucker it suggests that when you say that. Mean investigate whether he should be impeached. Or are you saying he should be articles of impeachment should be voted, and he should essentially be indicted before it goes to the Senate? Look, you know, my colleague Representative Al green is most likely going to move forward in the articles. And I think you're gonna see myself and others are already eager to vote for it and to support it. And then let me tell you why I want to go through the public process, but it's obviously he doesn't really care for the law of the land. He doesn't care to respect that we do have these checks and balances these separation of power, the fact that this is what our responsibility is you now have his US attorney being held in content. Turns it Torney general. I'd like to say his attorney because obviously that he doesn't work for the American people, but for us his personal attorney. Yes. And I think I've been very clear about that bar has not upheld the standard of what we think of a person that is going to. Protect protect American democracy. Protect the American people. And this is why we're here, but we're also fighting for healthcare for also honestly, we were fighting for campaign finance committee Sern that but think about is on impeach minute Spain from the agenda Curtis Democrats campaigned on and dress the concerns of the American people. But think about it. We're passing all of this. We're fighting for kids at the border. We filed subpoenas subpoenas to ask this president. Give us the information of the children being caged at the border. We want their names we want to know where they're at do. You know, where their parents are at they haven't responded to our subpoena. Request you understand we can't even do our job. So if I want to investigate the big pharma and fight against the fact that right now, I have a call of a woman can't afford her insulin. If I try to do that, Dino what I have a problem with that maybe around the corner, they're spending thousands of dollars at the Trump hotel in DC or any other industry in to me that is the corridor. Corruption that is happening because no matter what we do in this chamber. And if it's going to be tainted by the fact that this president hasn't divested, but also the fact that this president doesn't mean truly believes he's above the law. Then how are we supposed to get anything done in this chamber? How are we going to have the respect of the people, and let me tell you character flaws aside, people focus so much on that? And it's distracting and all of us are getting distracted on his character flaws. Look at his actions. That's what I want the committee process to do is look at these fences that are impeachable and they're serious. Do you sense any momentum that you're when you, you know, it's very interesting media focus on people not the members in this chamber. Let me tell you why. They don't drive what happens in this country, the people outside of the halls of congress do in ten million signatures is the most signatures that move on has ever collected in history. This is a size of twelve of our smallest states in the country. Good. But as million people put. No matter you need, the support from your fellow Democrats house with ten million more people signing on in ten million more after that saying their members do something about this president that does the truly is acting above the law. Do something about the fact that he's an obstructionist he will not allow us to move anything that actually impact helps American people because to him. This is about his Trump organization not about the American people. So what is it that that your leadership that leader Pelosi doesn't get and do you think she and other members of the leadership just being overly cautious here? Now, look, I think speaker Pelosi has a viewpoint of some people in the country that believe what she's saying is to be true, and I have to respect that. But I also have to respect the fact that in this is something she's told me personally represent your district. She's told all of us knew members represent your district. If you represent your district, you're doing your job. So I am representing my district here. And I'm doing it in a way, that's not. Respectful to her or trying to undermine what I think she truly believes in regards to how this should to proceed, but it is going to be up to the American people whether or not we're going to be at the point where we need to look at impeaching president. Look, the judiciary committee has voted to hold the attorney general as you mentioned in contempt for not turning over the full Muller report is that a big issue for you. I mean, you've you've read the Muller report ninety more than ninety percent of it. We know where he came down volume two is the most interesting what to you leaps out there. And what what more do you need to know? What more do you think your colleagues need to know to reach a judgment as to whether the president is committed obstruction of Justice. Look, I think my colleagues are trying to do to their best to create a transparent, honest and fair process. They just want him to come before the committee. They want to ask the questions that are needed. Which is why did you mislead the American people and say there? Wasn't obstruction of Justice, but bore. Yes, they need to ask a little bit could have had him except that got bogged down on us silly issue of wedding, fade out soul could ask questions members could've asked all those questions. But we're getting bogged down to the fact that he is the US attorney general, did you just share chairs asking you to come before the body to answer these questions you work for the people you don't work for him? So that means coming before this congress having open honest process. Put those details aside, the fact of the matter is you are public servant attorney general bar has to answer to the American people not just to Trump. Let me ask you about. How you see the people in your caucus who are with you on this who support impeachment are thinking about it. Because I hear what you say. When you say, you know, ten million signatures, and we'll get ten million more that may move a lot more Democrats into your corner. But at the end of the day there's impeachment, but there's also the trial and convey. Action the Senate to remove the president. I assume as your your end goal, and that seems unlikely to happen with ten. Bad. But they said the same thing when richer when president Nixon came about with no Republican tell that last moment until that last moment, it may have been the last recording. Whatever it was. But the fact that matters they did their they did their job, they they put country first, I guess, I just want us to look back at this moment, a pretty dark time in our country right now where we do have a president that is acting above the law. It's pretty dangerous precedent to not hold them accountable to not say, you're not allowed to do that. This is the United States of America. This is how we do the work of the people you have rule of law when I look back in my sixties or seventies. I'm gonna at least say that I put country first before party before leadership before anybody. I spoke up when it was probably, you know, many people are like, well, you know, it's not that. Oh, I got to look at the polling, and I'm not going to do that. Because you know in my core in every American out there. It's because they. Got to win against hate. They want to win against injustice. They want to win against a big bully that thinks that they can violate the United States constitution and get away with it. Because they can't neither cannot and they just want to be able to feel like they're being heard and seen in this chamber. I want to look back and say that I hear them, and I see them, and it's not just the ten million signatures that we got. But it's all the ten million that I know is out there that looks at this administration and said, our country's going are even the people that voted for him are now feeling the pain of the fact that we now have a kirksey in the oval Oval Office that thinks he's running a business and not a government. You mentioned the policies of the border. If something is a big issue for you. And I want to ask you a question. I asked your colleague congresswoman Cossio Cortez when she was on skulduggery a few weeks ago. The u. Like, her worry, Bernie Sanders supporter and Bernie Sanders was asked recently, whether he supported open borders, and what he said is what we need is comprehensive immigration reform. If you open the borders my God, there's a lot of poverty in this world. And you're going to have people from all over the world. And I don't think that's something we can do at this point. Can't do it. Do you agree with them? Not fully the one thing. I know is this we're creating a whole generation of children that are small young teenagers a whole generation of children that are going to remember what we did to them where they're going to remember that we tore them away from their parents. But it's important to say this that we injected him with medicine to make them stop crying for their mothers for their fathers that we're creating this whole generation that will remember exactly what we did to them. But the press when we look at these policies the immigration system. I practice immigration law. We look at the system in how it is. Now the sense of off. It's all like open borders so forth. I look at our relationship with Canada. I look at the fact that people from candidate can come in for ninety days they can come out easily work and then go back to Canada, we have three thousand nurses, alone in Detroit that come across that border to work in our hospitals because we have a shortage. But do you do you understand that to me is a process that's fair and just in its global in its humane. And so when I look at the relationship we have with Canada. I think about the fact that, you know, we're always uplifting their economy, we're always trying to I mean, they're one of our number one trade partners. We at twenty seven percent of trade comes across from Windsor into Detroit. And I I look at that. And, you know, people want to call it, whatever labels. They want to call it. But I like humane fair just partnerships with our border communities, and if that means. Means us trying to be equal in the way, we treat some of the Canadians that come in. They have a ninety day waiver. They come in and tour they come in a visit their families news should the immigration laws be enforced at the border. When we have these family laws, but you're not listening people. There is no immigration laws because let me tell you. Let me there is no lines for asylum, and they're not even following that. But during the following right now, it is legal to apply for asylum in our country, and we're not abiding by our own laws. This is what the president of the United States. Again. This is not a dictatorship. We have these laws in place that we are a safe haven been people that are fearing persecution that are fearing whatever they have every right to go through that legal process. So when people say to me trying to give these labels, and what I understand my relationship with my huge. I mean, twenty different ethnicities in my district alone. I look at the fact that we're not being fair. Just to our border communities and our relationship with candidate is healthy and fair and so forth. But you look at the relationship we have with our other border communities, and I think it's really to me that is what we need to be looking at and saying we need to adjust that we need to look at that. And do it in a way that again supports our humanity. And the fact that people deserve human dignity, and we're not following immigration laws right now every single immigration attorney, you ask in this country to the now I can guarantee we'll tell you the immigration system is completely deteriorated broken which move onto foreign policy. Yes, you're the first Palestinian American woman to serve in congress. And you're organizing a trip to the West Bank during the summer recess. I believe first of all how many members do you have who? And what do you want to show them? Some of your grandmother lives in the West Bank. Humpty Dumpty institute is organizing the trip I'm going to be on the trip. I. I'm eager to be part of the trip and being able to engage Palestinians. What I call community members without titles. I'm hoping that we engage in also Isreaeli again, not government officials not appointees, but actual people that live day to day with increasing inequality with any government is really government officials. Remember parliament of NASA, stinian or Israel. I think we want to actually look at the human impact when I think about a town hall. You know, you don't get elected official. You wanna talk to the people? And that's what I'm hoping. This journalism is a massive townhall where we talk to a woman that is is working and integration of schools. I wanna talk to the other organization that literally is about entrepreneurship, but between Israelis and Palestinians. I grew up in a city that is the most beautiful black city in the country in the city of Detroit and every corner is a reminder of the civil rights movement. I saw water pressure. Aiming quality looks like I saw that separate but equal doesn't work. And so for me, I want my colleagues to see aside that they can relate to that. They can see that this is not about choosing size, but truth values. So if you start with that, then you might actually be able to look at this in the lens that is really truly fair. So congresswoman you've created something of a stir by coming out in favor of a one state solution in Israel and Palestine when I think you may be the only democrat who's publicly supported a one state solution. So what is your vision for a one state solution that meets both Palestinian and Israeli Jewish national aspirants. Absolutely. And let me tell you. I mean for me just think two weeks ago, or so we celebrated or just took a moment. I think in our country to remember the holocaust. And there's this kind of a calming feeling I always tell folks when I think of the holocaust and the tragedy of the holocaust in the fact that it was my ancestors Palestinians who. Their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood human dignity their existence in many ways have been wiped out and some people's passport. I mean, just all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews post the holocaust post the tragedy in her thick persecution of Jews across the world at that time. And I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that right in many ways, but they did it in a way that took their human dignity away. Right. And it was forced on them. And so when I think about one St. I think about the fact that why can't we do it in a better way where I don't want people to do in the name of Judaism, just like I don't want people to use Islam in that way has to be done in a way of values, Iran equality and around the fact that you should impress others. So that you can feel free and safe. Why can we all be safe together? But a one state solution with the right of return. I mean, just the math. Suggests that use would become a minority in that stood Dan. That's not up to us to decide. What it looks like? Right. Just like when I have my African American teachers taught me about neighborhoods. They couldn't live in taught me about places they couldn't work, but it's important to understand that separate but equal didn't work here. Right. And we have to low the self-determination happened there. But for me, that's the lens. I bring to it. But I'm not a leader. There isn't giving up to say we're just going to be idea of a two-state solution with two independent states that are sovereign and independent. I didn't I didn't give it up Netanyahu and his party gave it up in these rarely government gave it up because we're fighting for. It's it's it's not me to decide. We're just to be clear that people if Netanyahu got up yesterday tomorrow morning and decides you know, what I'm going to take down the walls. I'm going to I'm going to set them. I'm not going to expand settlements enough is enough. I really wanna push towards two state solution. He has every power every power to do that. And then people like myself and others which really believe in that, but up uprooting people all over again to to say that that's going to have because you understand when you look at the landscape and just map it out. It is almost absolutely impossible with how he has proceeded to divide how he's proceeded to dissect and segregate communities that is impossible for me to see a two-state solution without more people would hurt the Palestinian Authority itself is still at least rhetorically supports a. A two state solution HAMAs does not how do you distinguish your position from HAMAs? Well, I don't come from a place of violence. I come from a place of love and equality and Justice. You know, this is for many of these organizations it's about power struggle. But that's why it's important in this trip that we talked to real people that are living at every day. Not the people in power that obviously want to continue to fight and they may feel in their own right? That it's justified and you hear them, and you you you can see the sincerity from from those that have supported the kind of approach that Netanyahu's taken towards Palestinians and then vice versa. But you know, I can hear this kind of tension. And the thing is I'm one person that grew up in a black community that saw what any quality in oppression. Looks like general to me. That's how I was raised. And now, I'm a Palestinian American Congress member, and you're telling me to wipe that. Out and change it and look at it from a different lens. And how can I do that? How can I say to my grandmother and her face that she doesn't deserve human dignity that she is less than because she's not of Jewish faith that she grew. She was born a different of Mississippi, a different faith, whatever it is that people want to label her as and I keep saying to people how is that not wrong. How is it that we're not saying to ourselves? When are we going to create a place that's safe for everybody in the state of Israel in the Palestinian? Territories. I I just I just really think it's important for people to understand that. I can't dissect herb completely take that lens off when I look at the two lines and look at the different color license plates in the fact that Palestinians can't get on the same buses Israelis. It's ridiculous. There are extremists on both sides who also are in favor of a once one say solution, which would be expelling the Arabs or expelling the Jews. So why don't you playing with fire? By say solution. I'm coming from a place of love, free quality injustice. I truly am. I wanna safe haven for Jews who doesn't want to be safe. I am humbled by the fact that it was my ancestors that had to suffer for that to happen. But I will not turn my back in allow others to hijack it and say that some extremism, I because they're coming from a place of whatever it is of division inequality. But you know, if you look at Nettie now, he is the first person to come out and support President Trump's wall that is not the kind of leadership when I when I look it people pushing back and saying what about this. And I said until I actually see people moving towards that moving towards desegregating moving towards like this type of oppression and making people feel less than than maybe they would have some sort of credibility with somebody like myself there grew up in Detroit where we can smell it from faraway that. No, you don't want. To look at my grandmother in the eye Netanyahu and say you are equal to me. You are human as I am to you. And yes, you deserve to die with human dignity. We're all here on skulduggery. We'd like to end on notes of love. Thank you for your time. Congressman appreciate it. Thank you. We now have with us the esteemed Peter Baker chief White House correspondent for the New York Times. Peter welcome to skulduggery. Thanks. I think esteem cinema for old. Season been around been around too long. Smell the just hold up the book. Talk about your new expanded dated version of Obama the call of history. But before we get to that. I just want to ask you about this new White House press pass Alyce apparently a lot of people have had their press credentials put into question. Yeah. So what's going on? So they do is they put a new policy in this is averaging Mukasa some CNN had his credential polled, and the court say way, you can't do that you have to have a system. So they put in a system and the system, of course, is one that's not advantageous to the reporters surprise surprise. And their system is if you don't go to the White House ninety days out of every hundred eighty days and includes weekends includes holidays, then you don't qualify. You're no longer title to have a White House press patch. Well, the truth is most newspaper reporters, most newsmagazine Puerto most supported other than the TV, and why are people who work physically on the premises? Everyday. Don't tend to go as often typically now there's not briefings, but we still need access to the building. So we don't qualify under this thing. But they have been giving exceptions, basically. To everybody who they think is a is a regular Navio reporter and not a fake news reprise and to their credit. They've given exceptions from everybody that I know of except for Daniel Bank for the most part who are in fact, genuinely White House Puertas they've not picked and chosen for the problem is that they could it means that because all of us are in violations policy. We live on the sufferings of the press office. So I gotta say Damocles hanging. Counter productive strategy. I think they should want you there all the time because then you wouldn't be out doing actual reporting. No, that's right. Everyone knows these days is first of all they don't have briefings. Right. There's effectively ended when they do all it is is spinning oxidation and darrow's eight lying. So that's I mean, I think that is the bigger issue. Well, you can't focus you guys know this you don't walk around the White House and just sort of see something on somebody's desk. Right. You can't just run into sources and find out secret information, you're literally only getting the stuff that they want to put out if you're physically at the White House, and yet, you know, as reported. That's something you need to be there for times. And did not have that access would be a real problem and be able to ask the question. Astle count. It is an important part of the Josh let's talk about Obama the call of history, which is a book you came out with last year right with the photographer. It was a pitcher bucket was a coffee table book that the New York Times put out as a book end to one we had the beginning of his presidency. And it was filled with terrific pictures by our great staff, but it has some text in it, and let's face it who reads the text of a picture book. So we signed to take that taxed we basically doubled in size made it into a regular book. So we have a different start out particularly the last couple of chapters in the afterward where you talk about the last months of the Obama presidency the scene where he meets with Trump a few days after the election. That's so fascinating. They came out of the meeting. Talking owes a great meeting, but Obama then goes back and tells his aides what took place during that meeting. Yeah. And it's interesting. They had never met before. Right. Really the entire time. They had never one time. Did they'd been in the same room? They were closer together. White House courts. Auditing of makes fun of him from the podium. Trump is seething in the audience until then they had never met and yet obviously their lives. Their politics have been now kind of intertwined particularly in the last few years. One of them calling the other one the birther movement. And so to sit down there in the Oval Office. President Obama was trying to do the same thing that had done that doors Bush had done for him, which is to have a gracious transition, despite the fact that they had different points of view. But here in this meeting that just the two of them he found this this perplexing figure in front of him. Who was more interested in talking about the crowd size? You know, Hillary couldn't get a crowd you and I get a crowd. But that Hillary she couldn't do it. And you know on a scratching his head. He said he wants talked about North Korea. He wants to talk about these really initiatives his the line that you quote him saying coming out of the beating was interested in. I don't know how to place him in history. Yeah. I don't have a place in history. Right. And then then roads his as says, well, he's like, you know, we've seen this character through throughout American history. It's like in Huckleberry Finn. You see this kind of you know. This fraudster and a con man is the way calls them a cartoon figure cartoon figure, and you can imagine. I mean Obama's profoundly serious person. There's lots you can agree on her disagree on about Obama. But he takes this stuff seriously. And he sees in Trump somebody who is all about the show and all about the theatrics and the stuff that that Obama thinks is fake and false about Washington anyway. And so for him to sit down with Donald Trump as his successor is a profoundly, you know. Well, he's a mirror image. And so I mean, I guess that happens off in this the president who follows two term presidents end up being the opposite. But so Obama. Kind of maintains his respectful silence for a period of time in the way that George W Bush did, but then he goes through something of an evolution. And he comes out swinging in two thousand eighteen what was that ever Lucien like, and what are you? What does he ended up doing? I think there are two one. He wanted to he liked George W Bush didn't make his life more difficult by speaking out as an ex president he'd liked that as a model, and so he tried to respect that. And Secondly, I think he thought that if he had spoken out much before then he made himself into the issue, and he made himself a target for Trump and Trump likes a target. And so rather than being about the issue of health care about the issue of tax cuts, or whatever the issue would be Barack Obama. He didn't want that. But by the time, the midterm comes around. You just felt like I think that he had to he just couldn't hold any longer. And there was no democratic leader. Right. Who is the leader the Democrats right now who get out there and take that fight him in the midterm elections. There really isn't anybody? It wasn't anybody who's sort of consensus figure, and so he decided to get out then he did it in a way that no other foreign president really has done since I think around. Herbert hoover. Herbert Hoover was very vocal after he left office. But he took it to him. He said that the president was lying. He said that he criticized him for his policies very specific policies. He said that he represented a lot of the worst elements of American life and way that you don't really see among the sort of presidents club, very often. Well, I assume that almost saw what a lot of us have seen which is that Trump seem singularly focused on undoing everything that Obama did. Yeah. Both on foreign policy and domestic policy healthcare, Iran deal. You name it. If Obama did it he was going to undo it. And do the, you know, the other part of your reporting here. That's so fascinating is in that post election period how much Obama and his folks blamed Hillary for them defeat. Not just going to read a few lines from the book to Obama and his team. However, the real blame for Trump's election lay squarely with Clinton, she was the one who could not trans. Slate his strong record and healthy economy into a winning message never mind, the Trump essentially ran the same playbook against Clinton that Obama did eight years earlier portraying her as a corrupt exemplary of the status quo. She brought many of her troubles on herself. No one forced to underestimate the danger in the midwest states of Wisconsin. And Michigan no one forced her to set up a private Email server that would come back to haunt her. Yeah. Part of defensive right? They're feeling defensive. We're why would the country elect this guy Donald Trump if you're so good, right? And what happened with Russia? Why is it? You guys didn't do more on Russia's. So part of this is defensive part of this is like, hey, don't blame us. And then I think there is a genuine critique in genuine sourness about the way Hillary Clinton run her campaign. Not unusual, right? Bill. Clinton, vile gore. Ran a terrible campaign to succeed him. I mean, that's this goes with territory, but they thought that she ran a scripted Solis campaign. Remember, she came up with that slogan stronger together, they had eighty five slogans. They tested by a focus group. Before they came up with that. Right. I don't know how many slogans that Trump tested before make America great. But he actually worked for him. It works for him. And it seemed authentic to him. And in Hillary's case Clinton's case it felt like it was just, you know, one more mass avenue, you know, focus group rather than something. So the a little contradictory in the way, Obama talks about some of these things I wanted to ask you about in terms of laying the foundation for the rise of Trump because on the one hand, you suggest that he doesn't really take any responsibility for it. But on the other hand, he does seem to admit to some self doubt and sort of asked himself. Did we push too far? Did we not realize that people would just revert back to their tribes? And you know, the whole kind of identity issue so talk about that a little bit. I mean, look it's not itself out to some extent. But it's not self doubt. In the sense that we made the wrong choices is that we were too good. And people didn't understand how good we were. Right. There is something to that argument. Obama self. That's bound version of self doubt. We came along too soon. We pushed too hard meeting. We pushed you hard for good things. And people didn't really get what we do. I was ten to twenty years ahead of my head. Yeah. Exactly. And it reminds me I interviewed him once before the midterms and twenty ten when they were about take their lacking. And his interpretation to the problem. His diagnosis was we were bad at communicating all the great things we're doing and Robert Gibbs. I asked him. He was here is this. Yeah, I've been to a lot of communication problems meeting. I've never been to a policy problem in eating. It's always when a politician gets in trouble that they just didn't tell everybody how great they were. And so there's something, you know, it's hard. I think for a president to look back and think well, did we actually do the right thing. And I think probably in the heart of hearts, he he thinks that there are some things he did wrong. But it's. Largely. I think he believes in what he did. And his people think he has good reason to how much self doubt about the way they responded or didn't respond to the Russian interference in the election. I mean, you notice probably better than I there's a lot of self doubt. I think among his people there's there are people who at the time very vocally said, we need to be more active. We need to get out. There. We need to put statements out we need to be more assertive in exposing what's going on. And Obama's reasoning is understandable in some sense. He thought that that would only play into Trump's hand by looking like he was putting his finger on the vice more. He'll just say it's rigs, but there's another maith anti-god she was going to win. But there's another dynamic here, which I think you write about elsewhere in the book in I wrote about in my book about his decision making. And there is this kind of the professorial very thoughtful and kind of cautious instincts. I think the line in your book is, you know, something about don't. I do stupid shit rule. Right. Which kind of drives him in a lot of ways. And there is a kind of a dithering quality to how we ran the government, isn't that an element here. Just that cautiousness it's maddening to some of his own aides who wanted to kinda like sit up and actually be decisive from time to time. And it's not that he wasn't bold. Obviously there were moments when he was clearly very bold in his presidency, but it's bin Laden Osama bin Laden, but even there it took six months, we just didn't see this. Right. Right. Right. So it seemed boulder I think us because suddenly we're presented with the end of the story rather than the six months that led up to it. He takes his time. He doesn't want to make mistakes heave used George W Bush's presidency. As the ops of what he wanted to do where in his view was all quick itchy trigger finger kind of stuff pobably again too cartoonish version of that. But his version was is very possible that whatever action we take will make things worse. Not better. So not jumping into things is the safer course. Right. But you know. From the perspective of today where we realize just how wide ranging and massive the Russian attack. Was it doesn't look good from the eyes of history inaction is a choice as well. Right. Choosing. Not to do something is choice, and and he waning in on well, Mitchell, Mitch McConnell wouldn't go along that seems like understand why that would be frustrating to them. And it's true Mitch McConnell wouldn't go along. But then, but you're the president of sure the president exact grant at some point. Do you have responsibility. That's not hostage to congressional opposition. And he didn't I mean he did a couple of days. He talked to Putin about it. He warned him in private, right? They they did put out a statement on October seventh in the name of some the lower level people not the president. But you know, all the reporting I've are read on this. You wrote about it in your book and your account Peter actually who supported him on on this. I mean, it seems to me that just about everybody thought that he should come out. I think most people thought he should come out. And he was really it was him. I think you know, you can't blame other people in other people. Around who are able his instincts. Right. Who don't push very hard? It's it's it's hard to get in the Oval Office and put your finger in the president's phase and say you're wrong, you know, get off the pot. But I think broadly, this is him. So his vice president Joe Biden is now running for president something he didn't want him to do last time around. That's very interesting. Tell us about that. And tell us what you think he's going to do a woman's gonna do this time with Biden seeming to sort of take a commanding lead right now. Yeah. So interesting, right. What if game has been played by Democrats for two and a half years? Now, what if Joe had been the nominee, the president thought two things one he'd already made the calculation and his mind that Hillary Clinton was the strongest candidate to succeed him, and he already basically gone all in on her. I mean, his people were starting to work for her. He had publicly embraced her without a formal endorsement, so by the time Biden comes along kind of belatedly, in his view, we've already set the table here. Why are we moving? Dishes around. Secondly, I think he really genuinely thought that Biden was not in the right place. Emotionally, bovin exactly. And he was just so consumed with grief that he what has an Obama saw in front of him was a vice president who was not up for the ordeals of a national marathon. And that ain't and that became a genuine friendship, right? Because when it started, you know, I think Obama was irritated at Biden for running his mouth in meeting and being to Gary list. But it sounds like that did evolve into a genuine friendship. I think it did actually which is interesting, right. Because they're so different. We talk about differences is not Trump Obama difference. But it's pretty different right? And I think that they did eventually grow into a friendship and win. In fact, Bo Biden was dying. Obama was one of the very few people that Joe Biden confided in at the funeral Barack Obama famous mister spock's stoic. Robotic figures is really very emotional himself and calls to abide, and my brother, and I think that bonded them a little bit. You see an end. -dorsements? I don't I mean, what Obama's told people as he's not gonna do that that having a healthy having a fight in the primary is healthy thing for the party. He did put a statement say nice things about Biden on the day of his announcement, pointedly not endorsing him. And look there are other Obama's out. There is Joe Biden really the natural inheritor of Brock Obama. Maybe maybe not people look at Pete jai. And Beto Rohr can say these new generation guys seem more like Obama, and I don't get the sense that Obama world that they're all lining up tobacco by most of them are drifting off to other candidates, right? And they they like and respect you. Sure. Mostly not all the mostly. I just think that they don't think that it's the right time for him you've covered. How many presidents for presidents? What is it like to cover the Trump president? I used to think that all presents actually were more like the not that with a few exceptions here there. They there was more similarities than than not and Trump broke that for me. I think that is so different on every level. But I mean, how do you do it? I mean, you know, here we have a president who says things that by any standard are preposterous as do his aides just day to day sorting through the bullshit and figuring out what you can put in the New York Times. I'm just we now use the word bullshit in the New York Times. We have never done this fondue. Levels of whatever, right. Usually in quotes. I hope to. We don't use the use it ourselves. Yeah. It's different. And it's a challenge because it's our job is journalists to hold people in power accountable. But it's not our job to be the opposition right and treading that line is really hard. And if you sit there and call them out on every single ride, and he says, that's challengeable. Then you gotta be careful about looks like your neon. Yeah. Like, you know at the same time, you can't let them get away with it. Untrue. Seems to be the challenge is there's this danger of him being graded on a curve. Yeah. And that a certain point if he doesn't say something, you know, he has to keep saying things like more outrageous and going to eleven before it becomes news because news by definition is what's new? So that's a challenge got every single day. He does things every single day. He does things that no other president that I've covered would have done and had they done. It would have been big front page stories for a week, and we sometimes cover it. And sometimes we don't because as you say he does so many of them. Do you think he wants to get impeached? I don't think he wants to get impeached. But I don't think he minds the battle. I don't think he minds about. I mean, I think the battle is what he thrives on. And so in that sense. Yeah. Go ahead impeachment. Yeah. I do. I think here I think his strategy right now is to dare them in a way to do it put up or shut up in peach or move on. And because he knows he's got the votes. It's easy to say that in the sense that you know, you have the votes in the Senate. There's no sign that twenty Republican senators are ready to break with them. I could change. I'm not saying it couldn't. But let's face it at the moment. I can't name one whose probable vote for conviction. So he has a certain security enduring them to do it and his calculation is it would work against them and for him. And what else do you want to tell your base? You wanna tell your base that they're coming to get me, the deep state the establishment, the Democrats FBI guys all these guys don't want me there because I'm for you. And it's a pretty salient message for the people who like him. I got one last question. So he's been out of office for two and a half years. Now, you're a historian now. The question. You don't wanna be asked at this point. What do you think his legacy is going to be well, look, we're going to rewrite it multiple times? I hate on many many other books. No question. The first line is oh bit. It's still going to be first African American president. It's still the most extraordinary thing about him in a in the large context of a two hundred twenty five year history. But it will also be that he, you know, came along at time extrordinary crisis and brought the country back from the economic abyss that he tried to do things with health care and climate change and immigration, and so forth, some of which were successful some of which were reversed by his successor. And I think that his I think it will be seen as a corrective in some ways to what happened with George W Bush just like some people look at Trump is a corrective for Obama. But I think broadly speaking Trump makes him look better in terms of his numbers are higher. He's much more popular today than he ever was not ever than most of the time. He was in office people think of him and say, well, gosh, you know, I might not have agreed. Them with everything. But he was you know, he's a decent person. That would have scandal wasn't trying to profit off of his office. He wasn't this in that. So I think that that has helped him on some on some level. We'll see where this this FBI gay kind of stuff goes if the country becomes convinced that he was somehow behind something political in this investigation that might change. The Justice department inspector general report is going to be really important really important and setting setting the baseline Howard Trump's narrative or it's going to undercut it. Exactly. But anyway, Peter, thanks for joining us. Congratulations on the book. Thank you very much, by the way. There are no pictures. No, not we're going. By them. Both got a mind on earth their companions. Expedient? Thanks for having me. Thanks did. We see the to leave and Peter Baker for joining us on this episode of skulduggery. Don't forget to subscribe to skullduggery on apple podcasts. Wherever you listen to your pocket and tell us what you think leave a review. The latest episode is also on Sirius XM on the weekend. 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