20 Episode results for "National Enquirer"

The 'Scandalous' History Of The National Enquirer

The Frame

26:27 min | 1 year ago

The 'Scandalous' History Of The National Enquirer

"KPCC PODCASTS are supported by Warner brothers presenting the good liar. A smart suspense Thriller About Secrets. People keep an allies. They live that will keep audiences. This is guessing starring Helen Mirren and Ian mckellen rated R. Only in theaters November fifteenth from the Broadcast Center At KPCC it's the frame. I'm John Horn on today's show. Musician Anna Warner tells us why she revived her nineties band that dog then. A documentary about the National Enquirer reveals how the supermarket tabloid reached a new level of awareness during the O.. J. Simpson murder trial. When in a lot of the mainstream press was looking one way inquire was looking always they were very spherical and very holistic in their look and that was something that couldn't be competed? With and Raphael Sadique deconstructs. His music in an episode of the podcast song exploded all that coming up on the frame ABC podcasts are supported by Warner brothers presenting the good liar. A suspense filled thriller about the secrets. People keep an allies. They live brought to life by two storeyed award-winning actors. Helen Mirren and Ian mckellen. The film offers a clever unpredictable. Game of cat-and-mouse in the vein of a hitchcock thriller imbued with Intrigue Danger and surprising twists on November fifteenth. Read between the lies. The good liar rated R. under seventeen not admitted without apparent only in theaters news November Fifteenth From It's undeniable influence on modern news organizations to its role in the rise of Donald Trump. The national enquirer has made its mark work. A new documentary called scandalous. The true story of the national enquirer reviews the tabloids history and biggest stories and takes us into its cut-throat culture. Our director Mark landsman says the idea for the film came from an eye opening conversation with a family. Friend Malcolm Balfour who is one of the first National Inquirer reporters the stories were just unbelievable. I mean he talked about espionage and disguises and checkbook journalism and unconventional sourcing and all this kind of crazy stuff and it just went on and on and I thought wow that's like that's like the stuff of a great movie but I didn't think anything of it and then Ronan Farrow hit the situation. He had scene with with his article in the New Yorker in April of two thousand eighteen. And that's when I called Mount Malcolm again and I said maybe we should talk again. He said okay. What running Pharaoh lays out is the concept of catch and kill in essentially the inquirer is their stories in order not to publish them? Because there's bad news that would hurt the publisher of the acquirer David Packers friend. Donald trump correct. But it's a bait and switch because the people whose stories are bought signed the rights away to those stories. He's under the assumption that they're going to be getting something in return which is namely publicity. A book A movie deal. TV and none of that ever materializes what ends up happening is that the story gets put into the proverbial vaults never to be seen again to protect the rich and the powerful. There's a precedent for what happens with Donald Trump. And it's about Bob hope and it's about bill cosby the seeds of everything that we are seeing now in our new cycle were planted decades and decades ago when Hollywood had a very well established system of trade routes where a celebrity on the rise would have not only only a publicist but a lawyer working in conjunction with a national enquirer reporter to broker stories in. This was really this was the original quid pro quo the situation. Basically in the case of Bob Hope it was known that he had Mr says it was known that he had a casting couch at universal and so basically an inquirer reporter reporter gathered all of this evidence and proof including tape recordings people very close to to hope the information would then be brought to the celebrity and his team or her team team and say. Hey we've got this information on you but why don't you give us an exclusive Bob. Hope Home Thanksgiving with the hopes of the cruise with the hopes in the Mediterranean. Whatever it is? It's kind of inside story and in exchange this negative story. We'll never see the light of day. And so that started with Bob Hope and it's repeated with bill cosby and repeated with Donald. Well trump correct a lot of your film is about the lengths to which the enquirer went to build circulation but something pivotal happens recently under the leadership of David David Pecker. Let's play a clip. From the film David Peck was known to bump into Donald Trump in the airport and hitch a ride on his private jet back to New York. They were sort of fellow. Travelers attacker liked donald trump style. I think Donald Trump likes the ability to be in a publication. That people were reading. There are so many things that the previous owners and publishers of inquiry will do to increase circulation but under David Pecker. The film suggests a pivot to use the paper for political gain not circulation gain. So so what happens under packers leadership and is it consistent with a history that has brought the inquirer. To this moment. It's not inconsistent with the history. I think you can you see the evolution of it. And that was really the whole impetus for the film was. Let's look at this transformation. The enquirer started with this mad genius. You Know Generoso. The pope in the late fifties sixties. and He created this Frankenstein and we watched this monster transform. By the time the PECKER got involved. The paper was at low point in its circulation and he was a different kind of person. He wasn't journalist he was a businessman and as such he was interested in ensuring that the larger corporation. Am I stayed solvent. And you know how do you do that. Well you need to have access to investment money. How do you do that? You need to have to power. Our and what greater power is there in the world. Then you know what sits in the White House. Donald Trump had a long and interesting history with the National Inquirer long before it became president. What's so interesting as you talk to these inquirer guys who were sort of on trump back in the in the eighties when he first came on the radar and they would say AH? He wasn't inquirer material. He wasn't sort of dig enough for us. We thought he was a New York. Real Estate Guy. Who just was? He was very sort of a provincial regional to New York and and it was only after Marla maples. which you know seems like a very well orchestrated stunt if you look at it on you know? I'm not suggesting that it was but it's almost supervisor to show up with your mistress and your wife on ski slopes in Colorado together together in a photo and have a photo op. You know it was all ridiculous And I think that was at this point. There was a little bit of an epiphany among Inquirer leadership saying oh this guy could sell papers and I think with trump there was a recognition. Ignition like you know. Here's this paper that reaches tens of millions of Americans a week and I think he saw as is stated in the film that the enquirer could help him reach a population that would never have given him second thought coming up more with Mark Lance men director of the new documentary about the national enquirer. And we'll hear from Anna Warner Ker about reviving her nineties. Band that dog. Now let's get back to my conversation with mark landsman. He's the director of the documentary scandalous. The true story of the national enquirer the enquirer a practice a particular and peculiar form of journalism. Here's a clip from the film about a certain criminal trial. That took place in Los Angeles face-to-face mantle minute minor we would beat the hell out of you well okay. OJ Simpson was the test. Inquirer editors say they have been following abuse allegations against the former football superstar superstar since one thousand nine hundred eighty nine when the timpson murders occurred. We knew this was seminal moment for the national wire so what happens during the O.. J. Simpson trial will not only in terms of what the national enquirer does but also how their approach to gathering information and celebrity news kind of spills into mainstream media unlike the mainstream outlets like the La Times The New York Times Washington Post Globe at CETERA. You know who had maybe one or two reporters on this case the enquirer had twenty You can't compete with that kind of money. Inquire had been establishing a spy network in Los Angeles since the early seventies just to recovers select just to cover celebrities in. OJ Simpson was a huge celebrity. So they had already had moles in the Oj camp all over the place so when this thing hit they were ready they had gained the trust of the Brown and the Goldman family. They were inside that family They knew people in the prosecutor's office. They were on the plane. Lean with Marcia Clark they were everywhere literally everywhere and they just couldn't be it couldn't be beat when a lot of the mainstream press was looking one way the inquirer was looking always they were very spherical and very holistic in their look and that was something that couldn't be competed with. It's also important to remember that the three major networks works devoted more time to covering OJ Simpson than they did the Oklahoma City bombing and the Bosnian war combined. So this celebrity pretty trial I think is a tipping point in the tabloid Ization of the news media Dubai by that argument. I absolutely do by people who study media bias. They think this is the point. When the fabric really starts to fray and all of a sudden you have somebody like David Moore Golic and the New York Times? The headline said Inquirer required reading in the Simpson. In case I mean that was astonishing people at the time. This is really a fast this is. This was really sort of one of the core questions we wanted to explore in the film. Is You know how did this happen. How did we get here? And how do we get to a place where as is said in the film. We can't have a civil debate. About what is fact we can have. We can't have consensus on. What is a fact anymore? That's a frightening thing. The circulation of the national enquirer has declined dramatically. What would you say it's impact in? The media is right now and is it possible to make some assumptions about how it has led news organizations to behave. I think Maggie Haberman says it best in our film when she says that people use to look at the inquirer and no just it was true. Ish suddenly this thing that you know got its start with psychic predictions and miracle. Oh cures is endorsing presidential candidates the hopefully the takeaway for us with people with the film is we love to point fingers. Oh it's the big media God out there air. That's kind of pulling the levers and making do all these things but the truth is that the complicity lies with US Brooke latched on wrote this book. The influencing machine and in that book she she says you know we get the media we deserve and it's harsh right. It's really painful because when you wake up one morning and this is the world we're living in You realize is it. That's true so the film sort of attempted to kind of sort of connect dots a little bit. Look like how in the world did this happen. Mark landsman is the director factor of scandalous mark. Thanks for coming in. Thanks John Pleasure in reading about candles. The true story of the National Enquirer is in select theaters. Starting November fifteenth and now Anna Warner. Ker is a guitarist and lead singer of the rock band. That dog she along with Tony Maxwell ax well Petra Haden and Rachel Haden form the band back in the early nineties. They built a dedicated fan base there quirky heartbreak songs many of which featured intricate vocal and string arrangements. That dog dissolved after nineteen ninety seven album retreat from the Sun but reunited in twenty eleven for some shows. Does Warnekar told me how those gigs inspired their first new album in twenty two years called old. LP The idea to do a new album was so driven even by our fans. I you know I don't ever expect to have like a group of like it. It's just a little bit overwhelming to have so so much continued love from people and we played some reunion shows and I saw how it is affecting them. The feeling that I got from them watching US kind of traveled traveled with me throughout the album and still does I mean that's a major driving force for me because I don't like to leave the House that much I I was listening to what I'll call before and after about lyrics and I was trying to find songs that kind of matched up a little bit in terms of a young perspective on relationships a older perspective on relationships. I'm going to play a song from your new album. This is called very subtle Donald. Never want to see your face again many times. How many you have a sacrifice I talk? Aw to only find very selfish by. He's just cut it out at the really like warm and fuzzy with blood and pride that AH okay. I'm sorry so that's part a part B This is from your nineteen ninety five album totally crushed Out this song is called. He's kissing Christian. Is that hard. I'm sorry it's so funny. I love the snow. I actually love this. What do you love about it? I love that you're finding the humor in all of it because it's written with some bit of humor even but it's also guttural so I appreciate it. I appreciate kind of buddy them up like that and seeing how I haven't really changed. It's I would say a a little bit of the perspective has changed and I think that's what goes with age and life experience that you see the world in maybe a different way as everybody does and some of it is. I think when you're younger might be more aspirational when you're older. It's more realistic. Yes you know. When I first started writing songs they were like the end of the night? Try to make me feel better thing. Like I'd get home and be bombed and then I'd write the song and then feel better so they just kind of became these like not to Bradey but sometimes bratty or Venti like diary entries and writing this new album. You know it's twenty years later I didn't want to try to backpedal and pretend that I was still like crushing out on people and pissed that you didn't show up it's like now I mean life is very real and I'm talking about it honestly I wanna ask you about arrangements because from your very early work. It was clear that you cared as a ban. Dan Deeply about arrangements about strengths I want to play part of a song from the new album. This one is called alone again. No no Eh uh-huh I mean it's really beautiful the strings and that song and strings throughout your career. How do they become important to you? Because they're not a lot of people who are playing the kind of music that you're playing in the nineties he would say violin and cello have a place in my music music in my weird punk rock already punk rock band Okay so this is to fold because in the first three that dog records the strings were all Petra. Haden Rachel sister and then we would have Tanya there other sister play cello but That was primarily petro's I domain and The way that that unfolded was I was playing Rachel my songs in her bedroom. 'cause we were like teenagers and I she was like great. Let's have a ban. Let's do this oh my. She was so freaked out and excited. and Petra walked by and was like what are you guys doing. And then we're going to start a band will okay. I want to be in the band. Great what do you play Violin. Okay I mean and then it turns out that it this is what makes band special. You know that there's just something that brings you together like. I didn't know that she'd be so skilled. I didn't know that she would be so off. kilter alter and brilliant about it. I had no idea but then that leads us to the other side of it. which is that? I come from a a musical background. you know being around pretty incredible musicians and my grandfather was a violinist. And you know my dad grew up in on the sound stage and produced a lot of albums particularly with Randy. Newman where it was like very symphonic and so I had that in me I never thought I would be something I could actually get out but you know I just went for it on this album and I'm so happy I did growing up around the business business. Your Dad and Mo- Austin Ran Warner brother records They're they are a business. They are selling records. They have you know corporate overseers. They're I'm trying to sell stuff. How do you make sure that the conversations that you're having not only with your bandmates but with your dad people around you are about the music music and not about the record sales? Okay so that was. I really lucked out on that because my dad is legendary for being all about the art and he somehow managed to make this incredible career staying like that. And so you know I get to go still. I talked to my my dad about you know the music the art. I'm more concerned with business and stuff like that than he is and when I tried to get some business advice he's kind of like you. Maybe you I WANNA call Mo does not my thing your new record is called old LP. I know there's gotta be a reason old is about. I wrote the song after going to Rachel's father Charlie Haden his memorial and at the end of it. They played a song called Shenandoah that he sings. It's stunning long-term And it blew my mind and it made me think of how interesting it is that when you listen to music and a person isn't here anymore they're alive. They're kind of not entirely but in a weird way it's different than when they're acting you know and so and went home and I wrote the song and it became the the like a anchor of our album and also we are older and and I have no problem with that. You're lucky to like let's just roll this. It's okay should've put LB 'cause people gain weight too you and that's great. Let's listen to it as we go out and I WANNA. Kurt's band is called that dog. Their latest album is old and thinks that dog performed Saturday November sixteen th at the Regent Theatre in downtown. La Up next on the frame rain and episode of Song Explorer with musician. Raphael Sadique to you. We're always. I'm glad to have an episode of Song Exploiter on our show. That's the podcast by Rishi case here way in which he deconstructs songs with musicians today. It's the grammy winning songwriter. Producer and artist Raphael's Sadique. He was the lead singer of the influential nineteen nineties. Rb Group Tony Tony Tony. As the producers Sadique has worked with Dangelo Mary. J. Blige Salons Knowles and John Legend. This year he released his fifth solo album. It's called Jimmy League in which is named for his late older brother. Here's the breaks down. The song kings fall which was a family affair. My name is Raphael. Sadique Ashley Actually wrote this song with my nephew. DILLING WIGGINS was up. I'm dealing Wiggins Aka Sir doing from Oakland California. We were in a lot of music together and He actually he brought me to track Kings fall the first idea. They came to me before I made that song. which just this idea of these had on Guitar Eh? Uh I would say Otis redding five something that you sound sound like my grandfather's music or something from back in the time And then ended up recording a solo guitar to it and then reverse the league it gets hard did not create the feeling of like falling After the cords Camden drums. I think they were sampled from vinyl so I chopped his sample love. And then try to make those real as possible and as as human as possible one dylan brought me to track. It was right on my alley. I was very excited. Because my record is a little darker within most records and My records titled Jimmy Lee. So Jimmy Lee is my brother who had drug addiction so my records about addiction in the saw fit because shows like very strong people in the beginning but you know drug addiction is something you can fall from you know no matter how big or strong you are beautiful. You are so I was like yeah I gotTa work with this. We gotTa do something with this Waco love a column man in the maze pay as he comes back in chops it off Selanne. Dan Know How much the pills caused to. Song is really about the diller. The person around you that makes it available. You know to S- like wants to keep you. Hi wants to keep you down. And about the supplier that person that provides supplies Kosor to hide in dark lot and not be mentioned. When everybody's getting high they come in the middle of the night? They're always smiling. Always sneaky so I just wanted to give the attention to that. My play on words was to say I want you to be. But that's what you are anyway but we're just exposing it shows my provider in all those those things my provider in all those things in all those choose in the breaths in the Song Pantene. Is You know waking body asleep in a call sweat and just being scared. You don't know what happened you know. Just what's going on my life so I wanted to put those breasts behind. The dope theme is always trying to sell something. Even when I'm clean I'm still a dope thing. I'm also talking about people who are not on actual chemical drug. Maybe as food maybe a sugar. Maybe his sex. Maybe it's anger. You know just something that you can't get away so we all have addictions after Senate from our just kind of like who knows what's going to happen. And and then one time I come into the studio and he's like I'll play this song and I was like nine and he played affirmative like wow. I wasn't hearing that on there. I was hearing something. Alas after but we came with the energy. I was like Dang this took that super sad song to like a level of emotion. That any need to go to to really be something you know for me talking about about addiction. I've been around it Cohen. Up on my brother Jamie Lee. He was a bit older than me so from the time I knew him he was already addicted to drugs. He was pretty much. Curiosity kills the cat. He tried to chemical he never was able to relieve yourself from spend laced in my music for some time. But this is the first time I went one hundred percent directly to it and you know that was my take declining if you wanna hear a longer version of that episode Goto Song Song Exploiter Dot Com. And that'll do it for today. I'm John Horn at the broadcast center. KPCC we'll see you back here tomorrow. The in the.

National Enquirer Donald Trump Inquirer Raphael Sadique Mark landsman director Anna Warner New York OJ Simpson Anna Warner Ker Warner brothers J. Simpson John Horn O Helen Mirren Bob Hope Ronan Farrow Rachel Haden ABC
Bezos Accuses 'National Enquirer' Owner Of Extortion

NPR's Business Story of the Day

04:15 min | 1 year ago

Bezos Accuses 'National Enquirer' Owner Of Extortion

"Support for this NPR podcast and the following message. Come from Yahoo. Finance live, eight hours of free. Live streaming news without cable or a subscription. Tune in for the news. You need about your money accessible wherever you go. Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos is going punch for punch with the National Enquirer and its parent company. AM I in a post on the blog site medium last night, Basil's accused the inquires owner David pecker of trying to blackmail him. Bazo writes, quote, rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail. I've decided to publish exactly what they sent me despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten and quote now those also implied that he was being targeted because he owns the Washington Post, which has been dogged in its reporting about President Trump. I do just want to note here that Amazon is a funder of NPR. Let's turn out to NPR's early. Berliner hiree David so reminding the Enquirer had already published some personal text messages about Basil's. But I mean, it sounds like the. Had a lot more on him. That's right. They said they had a lot more and these of photos in particular were lewd sexually suggestive pictures of selfies of Jeff Bezos and Lawrence Sanchez. The woman that he was allegedly having an extramarital affair with and bazo said that he was threatened by AM I because of this investigation that he launched into how the National Enquirer came into possession of these personal tax and photos. Okay. So he was investigating with a suspicion that there might have been some political motivations that in this first publication of those tests messages, and he saying the inquirer was saying stop this investigation, or will publish more, and he actually published some emails that he says are from the parent company of of the inquirer. What exactly they say? Yeah. This is quite extraordinary illegit. Bezos, says okay, you're going to publish these photos of me. I have these emails from A M I officials, and here's what they say. And it's clear from these emails if they are from AM, I that they want bazo. They're eager for owes to stop investigating this league. One of them proposes some terms to Basil's that to end the dispute it says, it will agree not to publish any of texts or photos in return basis would have to say that am is coverage of his affair was not politically motivated. The other Email describes the suggestive photos in some graphic detail. This is apparently intended to convince Basil's to back off them. But yeah, as you mentioned basis in his post suggests there's a political motivation here what let's talk about the politics and the possible political motivation was that's what makes this story. Even more extraordinary all the players here. Yeah. Exactly. I mean, these are plot twist reminiscent of John Grisham novel. But in some way, they're more sensational. You have Jeff Bezos the world's richest man, the founder, the CEO of Amazon, and the owner of the Washington Post, and then there's David pecker, the head of am, I and pecker isn't just a publisher. He's been a longtime ally of Donald Trump, you know, as you may remember, the National Enquirer acknowledged paid some. Some hush money to a former playboy model. Karen McDougal who said she had an affair with Trump. Now, she was paid hundred and fifty thousand dollars a right during the two thousand sixteen political campaign so much going on here. I'm including as you mentioned basis ownership of the post, which he says is a complex afire for him. That's not a word. We use it often. What did he mean? Yeah. I don't know. What exactly what that word means by he'd I I don't know if it's any word you use? But but but what he says basically is that? Yes. Owning the Washington Post can be complicated you get into conflicts. But he also says that he is very proud of owning the post and that you know, it's a critical institution with a critical mission. And he says his support of that mission is something that he'll look back on when he's ninety years old and reviewing his life and be very proud of AllState still. We don't want to connect to many dots. That shouldn't be connected, but so many interesting players here with a lot of influence. It's just an extraordinary story. NPR's berliner. Thanks so much. You're welcome David. This message comes from NPR sponsor. Comcast business. Business has always been driven by innovators. That's why Comcast business is helping you with technology that provides better experiences. Comcast business beyond fast.

David pecker Jeff Bezos Washington Post Bazo National Enquirer NPR Basil President Trump Amazon Comcast Berliner hiree David CEO Yahoo John Grisham extortion Karen McDougal Lawrence Sanchez AllState publisher
Jeff Bezos accuses National Enquirer owner of blackmail

The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell

45:59 min | 1 year ago

Jeff Bezos accuses National Enquirer owner of blackmail

"Now, it's time for the last word with Lawrence O'Donnell evening Lawrence. I'm sorry. I took your minute of it was the minute. We wanted to give you rich and good evening. And this is one of those nights where we had a plan and then Jeff Bezos happened. This this statement that he's released an absolutely extraordinary. And I it is a gigantic moment actually in the history of our digital communication, which everyone is known has has been at risk for quite a while at any one of us could be hacked. We could we could have private things revealed through that through stolen, emails stolen, texts that sort of thing, and here's someone who stands up and says, I'm not gonna take it anymore. And maybe it took the richest man in the world to do that. Right. And for him to say, listen, they appear to be freaking out by something that I've been looking into when it comes to them their potential political motivation in pursuing me in this way. Why did that set off AM I into this panic that they're trying to apparently in bays? Us words blackmail or extort the richest man on earth. I mean, did they think they were going to get away with it that they think there would be no consequences? Something drove them to desperation with him though. And it may have been what he was about to turn up about them. Well, you sense that they they must be very nervous about the way. Federal prosecutors see the operations of the National Enquirer, which is already come under investigation in the the Trump Michael Cohen case in Manhattan, exactly. And they had to deal quite fulsomely with prosecutors around those campaign finance felonies in order to enter into that non-prosecution agreement which means prosecutors know allots about AM I and their operations, including their operations that are considered to be federal crimes and for which somebody is about to go to prison and the president himself has been implicated in. So they they are in a spot, and they were desperate enough to try to do this to us. And I have no idea how this is going to end. But boy was this. Surprise, and they might be much worse. Legal trouble tonight. So we're we're gonna get through it. All thank you. Well, we do have a lot to cover tonight. We're going to have a special last word tonight about what is always always these strangest speech that Donald Trump can give and that's the one he gave today at the national prayer breakfast. We're all going to be joined tonight by two fathers to fathers who are Republican congressman tried to get kicked out of a hearing yesterday in the house representatives, those two fathers were at that hearing because their kids were killed in the massacre at Marjory stoneman Douglas high school, and that Florida congressman wanted them thrown out because of their reaction to what he had to say in that hearing, those two fathers will join us tonight. But I. We have crossed a threshold tonight in the history of digital communication and the manipulation and theft of digital communication everything changed tonight because someone who has had his digital communication stolen decided to stand up to the feves and say, you cannot hurt me with what you have stolen from me. And it took the richest man in the world to do that we live in an age where public figures like movie stars have had their digital communication hacked. And private photographs distributed publicly. We have seen North Korea attack a movie studio, steal and publish all of its emails because North Korea didn't like a movie that the studio made we have seen reputable newspapers published the emails that North Korea stole from that movie studio, we have seen reputable newspapers publish emails that we now know were stolen by Russia from Hillary Clinton's campaign. We have seen journalism adrift for years now in an ethics free zone. Presuming that. Stolen digital communication is newsworthy. And none of the victims of these digital thefts have known what to do about it except who suffer the pain of the exposure of their private communications, and then came the National Enquirer, which you've tained stolen communications to and from Jeff visas, and Jeff Bezos said no more Jeff Bezos became the richest man in the world because twenty four years ago, he had an idea that became Amazon he is now the owner of the Washington Post and tonight Jeff Bezos, did the bravest thing you can possibly do when confronted by people who have stolen digital communication instead of surrendering to what he now calls their attempts at extortion and blackmail, Jeff Bezos has published a letter a statement in which he details, what has been stolen from him. The embarrassing material that's been stolen from him. And in the process, he condemns the national income. Fire for its gangster like approach to him and to their coverage in general Jeff Bezos published a statement tonight in which he said rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail. I've decided to publish exactly what they sent me to spite personal cost an embarrassment. They threaten attached to his statement were a series of written exchanges between people working for the national inquirer. And Los Angeles. Attorney Martin singer Dylan Howard, who is an editor of the National Enquirer sent an Email to Marty singer describing every stolen photograph of Jeff Bezos that the National Enquirer and now possesses in the line in the last line of the Email Dylan Howard says I hope commonsense can prevail and quickly the common sense that Dylan Howard and David pecker who runs the National Enquirer. Wanted to prevail. Was the Jeff Bezos team of investigators led by Los Angeles security, expert, Gavin Becker the. Leading security expert in Los Angeles would stop saying that the national inquirer is a politically motivated publication, which the National Enquirer has repeatedly proven itself to be. It is a politically motivated publication also attached to Jeff visas. A statement tonight is a letter from a lawyer in New York named John fine. He's the deputy general counsel of the company that owns the National Enquirer. This is an Email to Martin singer thing lawyer in Los Angeles, and it is an Email that could end John fines career as a lawyer. If it is a judge to be as Jeff Bezos says an attempt at extortion and blackmail, John fines Email to Marty singer demands that Jeff Bezos and his team publicly state that quote, they have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that American media's coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces. Ended and in exchanges for the in exchange for that for that state on pa- letter says the National Enquirer agrees, not to publish distribute share or describe unpublished texts and photos, and then John fines Email says in the case of a breach of the agreement by one or more of the bees owes parties. American media is released from its obligation under the agreement, and may publish the unpublished materials. So that is attorney John fine pudding a threat in writing written in New York sent interstate to a lawyer in Los Angeles, possibly incurring federal criminal liability on the way in an extortion scheme and Jeff visas decided he was not going to take in his statement tonight. Jeff Bezos wrote if in my position, I can't stand up to this kind of. Store. Shen how many people can these communications cement American media's long earned reputation for weaponising journalistic privileges hiding behind important protections and ignoring the tenants and purpose of true journalism. Of course, I don't want personal photos published, but I also won't participate in their well known practice of blackmail, political favors political attacks and corruption. I prefer to stand up roll this log over and see what crawls out we have hurried to assemble the experts on this subject that you really need to hear from tonight from a journalist journalistic and and legal perspective, including someone who spent twenty eight years at the National Enquirer. We have the people who can answer every question about this story as it stands now. And as it is developing at this hour, we're joined by Manuel ROY fron Zeo who has been in the awkward position of covering this story for the wash. Post which is owned by Jeff visas and has been covering it thoroughly and professionally also Tim O'Brien is with us. He's the executive editor of Bloomberg opinion. He has written a book about Donald Trump studied down Trump's relationship to David pecker who runs the National Enquirer and Joyce Vance's here to cover the legal points for us. She's a former federal prosecutor MSNBC legal contributor, and we're joined by Jerry, George who spent twenty eight years at the National Enquirer, including as the Los Angeles bureau chief, and Jerry, George let me start with. You has David pecker ever been up against anyone like Jeff Bezos before. No, I think for the first time David pecker has met his match. We have we have finally gone through the looking glass, and we are way beyond yellow journalism. We are now in the in the area of the Rico act. This is extortion. Jurisprudence? Let me go straight to you on the legal points here because there is so much in here. Jeff visas is very clearly saying this is this is blackmail. I've read that Email from a lawyer in New York too Marty singer in Los Angeles. And I've I've never seen an Email quite like that from lawyer to lawyer. It really looks like our common understanding of what black male is this kind of a threat federal law. There's a family of crimes under this umbrella of extortion and blackmail, but what they consist of sort of their core is this notion that am I would have to try to threaten in this case, Mr. beezus into giving up some property in exchange for am. I not doing damage to his reputation by releasing these photos. The legal fight is over whether what visas is being asked to give up is actually property as the law defines it. But there could well be other crimes here there could be hacking. There could be receiving stolen property. Other crimes. We don't yet know enough to perceive here it really looks. I think is everyone agrees. Is there something here? That's not right. And there's two other jurisdictions involved here. There's New York state law that could have been violated by that lawyer New York state bar procedures could have been. Violated he could risk disbarments in New York state for this. And then there's California criminal liability that can be slightly different from New York's a joy. So there's there's plenty of things to study here legally. That's right. There's federal law their state law their ethical obligations for lawyers. There is a lot that I think will will be looking at over the next few days and weeks, then well, no one's been covering this story. More thoroughly than you have at the Washington Post, and I just want to ask you at the top. What has just Jeff Bezos had to say about your coverage of of him the owner of that of your newspaper. We have no idea we we haven't spoken with Jeff Bezos. And he hasn't been involved at all in our reporting. We have spoken extensively with his security consultant, and he's provided us with some very interesting insights into the back stages of this whole drama, including the investigation that has taken place in which they have begun to believe the bays os camp that this publication by the National Enquirer might have been politically motivated. I would just add one other thing you. You mentioned hacking at the top of the show. Gavin de Becker told us that he does not believe that Jeff Bezos is phone was hacked. He thinks it's possible that a government entity might have gotten hold of his text messages, and Jerry, George let me just go back to you. Because as the Los Angeles bureau chief, I'm sure you know, of Gavin de Becker as I do you may know him as I do there. He is the person who people in Los Angeles turned to forest security for their own personal protection. He has a very large firm. He provides all sorts of services. He's been doing this for a long time. There's no one I'm aware of in the country in the private sector with more experience and resources in knowing how to handle an investigation like this. Well, Gavin has had the reputation of being the best in the business for the past twenty five years. So. His involvement alone. Be speaks a major concern. The Tim O'Brien A you've been studying the Donald Trump's relationship to David pecker who runs a National Enquirer the idea the idea that that they were trying to ineffective as Jeff Bezos says extort out of him a statement that the National Enquirer does not have a political agenda. Right. There's no one there's no one who could possibly sign their name to that statement. It is the most corrupt publication in America. You know, two things I think we're pointing out here. Jeff pays the National Enquirer or ready published. A piece about Jeff Bezos, and his extramarital affair which relied on stolen personal property. Whether it was a federal agency that intercepted it. Where was a hacker information was stolen and put to use Jeff Bezos launched an investigation. To find out what happened then national the national acquire says to him we are going to use more stolen information to prevent you. From continuing investigation of how eased previously stolen information to embarrass you. The second thing going on here is of course, there's politics at work here. David pecker has a long standing relationship with Donald Trump, the National Enquirer has reportedly buried years of different stories about Donald Trump that contain embarrassing information about him. We know more recently, obviously that pecker was involved with Trump's attorney Michael Kohn to bury stories about Trump's relationships and sexual liaisons with stormy Daniels and another woman. Pecker is cooperating with the federal government in that investigation. He weaponized prior to that the national enquirers coverage in aid of Donald Trump's candidacy that in and of itself is political. So when they say to Jeff Bezos, it's time to stop looking into this. And it's also time for you to say there aren't politics involved. They know on the face that both of those things are false fronts and basis has Basil's has the resources and the temerity to say, no, we're not going to do this. And Jeff Bezos is by Donald Trump a declared enemy of Donald Trump. So there is always a political agenda with the Enquirer notches basis, but the Washington Post and the entire newspaper and Manuel to go back to the Washington Post coverage of this, and Jeff baseless makes the point tonight in his statement that there's a Saudi connection to this story. He says the posts essential and unrelated coverage of the murder of its columnist Jamal kashogi is undoubtedly unpopular in certain circles. There is also some reporting indicating that the National Enquirer the company has been trying to obtain Saudi finance, and so that the they have an interest in making life difficult for Jeff Bezos and hoping they can possibly also in. Influence Saudi coverage in the Washington Post. Well, it's quite plain from looking at Jeff bays. As letter that he published tonight that he's interested in what would be described as the Saudi angle whether that ends up developing and becoming a major part of the story. I think it remains to be seen. But at this point, it's still in the formative stages as far as this trajectory of this scandal. Jerry, George knowing David pecker, knowing the company the way they operate. They're in need of money. They're a native of financing. They're looking for Saudi financing. What would they be willing to do to try to help the Saudis in terms of their coverage in say the Washington Post? Well, I I've mentioned earlier that the this special issue that they would out in the spring. Touting Saudi as the new magic kingdom was suspicious in itself in that three months later, they acquired enough money to procure their their biggest competitor. But I might add that you know, as much as the world knows base. Oh, says as the world's richest man, and and and the founder of Amazon, and the editor the owner of the Washington Post to inquirer reader's Jeff Bezos, isn't really a name Jeff basis doesn't really warrant the kind of cover that the inquirer gave him. They splashed the story on this marital affair, and I doubt if ten percent of inquirer, Peter readers even know who he is. So I mean, I think that was suspicious in itself. Well, where does the story go from here? I think we'll keep digging. We'll reporter like we do every other story. We'll ask everybody questions, and we'll find out every piece of information that we can as they say, we'll turn every page every single page, and well Royd FRANZ Lia, Jerry, George, Tim, O'Brien, joy spans. Thank you all for joining us. Really? Appreciate it. And when we come back, the presence attacks on Democrats and the wrestler investigations continue, and they are increasing carbon Sean Patrick Maloney. Who is the newest democratic member of the house intelligence committee will join us, and we now know how Republicans will continue to use Donald Trump's wall in campaigns. They will blame every problem in America on the fact that we do not have a wall on the southern border. And it's nice last word, Donald Trump as preacher is the least. Convincing version of Donald Trump. Our job involves making sure that the policy. The United States is being driven by the national interest. Not by any financial entanglement, financial, leverage or other form of compromise. Was congressman Adam Schiff yesterday. And this is President Trump this morning. So now cars went out. I'm shipping ounces after having zero Russian collusion that he is going to be looking at every aspect of my life. Both financial and personal. Even though there is no reason to be doing. So never happened before. Exclamation point unlimited. Presidential harassment the Dem's in their committees are going nuts. The Republicans never did this to President Obama. There would be no time left to run government. No, President Obama was never under investigation because there was no reason to investigate President Obama, but president Nixon and President Clinton were both investigated in every aspect of their lives, including every aspect of their financial lives and the government continued to function during those investigations, and we know from the recent release of the president's schedules that there are vast tracts of presidential time in which Donald. Trump is apparently doing absolutely nothing. And so the one thing we know the investigations about drugs are not doing is distracting him from the important business of being president. And another tweet the president complained about new hiring. That chairman Adam Schiff has done at the intelligence committee. The president even called one of those hires stealing people who work at the White House chairman Schiff has reportedly hired Abigail grace who worked on the national Security Council in both the Obama and Trump White House. Here's what the chairman had to say about that. We have a long tradition of hiring out of the intelligence community out of the national Security Council. And if the president is worried about our hiring any former administration people, maybe he should work on being a better employer. Our next guest is the newest member of the presidential harassment team on the house intelligence committee, at least, that's the way Donald Trump. Sees it. Joining us now. Is democrat, Sean, Patrick Maloney. The newest democratic member of the house deligence committee, which has been conducting the most in-depth investigations of President Trump and his presidential campaign. Carson out. Thank you for joining us and making your first appearance as a member of the committee. I wanna be again, though by getting your reaction to some breaking news. That's happened in the last hour, and that is the passing of former congressman John Dingell, the longest serving member of congress fifteen nine years of service in the house representatives that's longer than any house member or Senator he entered service at the age of twenty eight taking his father's seat in the house of representatives. I know he was there when you began your career your reflections on the loss of John Dingell tonight. Well, he was a pillar of the congress totally unique in American history. You know, he was on the floor of the house of representatives as a page listening to Franklin Roosevelt ability day of infamy speech, and he was their seventy years later when I started my career in the. House, and I have to tell you he treated me like we were lifelong friends with respect, and and courtesy. He was a great man in our hearts, go out to his wife, Debbie to their family. We've lost a great American. And and it was a measure of his greatness that right until the end he had one of the most clever, and and wittiest Twitter accounts, you're ever gonna find and for someone in his nineties to do that just shows you how nimble an intellect he was. And he of course, was the author of some of the most important pieces of legislation in American history affecting the lives of millions of people their healthcare, their wellbeing, the environment and Michigan in the country. Have lost a great, man. He's a long serving chairman and an expert on many subjects and one thing. He did do was at the beginning of every congress. He introduced a universal coverage healthcare Bill, and it was the very same Bill the very same Bill that his father introduced during Harry Truman's presidency. It was a version of that an updated version of that every congress that he. Served. And so he was always pushing on that issue. But I I need to bring you to to your new position on the intelligence committee. There's the president attacking your committee today and attacking the committee for possibly a new hire of someone who's already worked in the White House. What's your reaction to that? My reaction is that females think all men steal the president cannot imagine that we would do legitimate professional constitutional oversight. You know, I think sometimes the Republicans believe that every nation is like their investigations when they trumped up the Benghazi investigation. Remember fast and furious or those of us who've served in the Clinton administration Clinton ministration certainly remember what that was like. So the idea that we would be actually doing a serious investigation about foreign influence over high government officials, including the president about the influence of money not just from Russia, by the way, but from countries like Saudi Arabia, and that we would finish the important work that was left undone in that disgraceful report. The Republicans issue, you know, whitewashing. The Russia in interference in the election. So chairmanships, a serious, man. We'll get into serious work. And I'll tell you what you judge us by our work. We got started yesterday. So it's a little early for name, Colin. I'm proud to be judged by the work of this committee. It's a fine group. And we're going to do a good job. Let's listen to what congressman Schiff said about investigating the president's finances. The president has gotten used to the idea that congress doesn't do oversight because for the last two years. The Republican majority has essentially been missing in action when it comes to being a co equal branch of government. But that ended with the midterms Carson as we know that previous presidents have had their finances investigated very closely Bill Clinton every penny that he and Hillary Clinton ever made was investigated during his time. But the president seems to think you just can't go near as finances. Well, he should stop whining and start governing. You know, he should he should start doing the work and put down the Twitter account. Look, we have real work to do and we can do that together. And we do that in the course of these. The constitutional oversight activities, you know, the Clinton ministration somehow managed to balance the budget with new Gingrich. Even when all of those investigations were going on in the second term. This president is consumed with self pity, and it's been winding up a storm. He should simply let the congress do its work. And if he's innocent, he should stop acting. So guilty has chairman shift giving you a sense of the timing of the way he expects things to possibly unfold during this year. Well, we just can mean yesterday. The first thing we didn't think is very important is vote to make sure the special counsel had all the transcripts from the work. That's been done up to date, and that they can use those for any purpose, including prosecution of perjury. That's very important. Those will also be released publicly in a rolling basis as soon as possible provided only that they don't interfere with special counsels work or that they don't reveal national security information, but those are going to be made public. I think that's very important. We'll go back and fill in the holes that they left undone. But we'll also we'll also look at the role of foreign money and foreign influence, as I mentioned, I think that's critically important, and we're going to defend the integrity of this committee's work because if people come to this committee in lie, they're gonna pay price your congressman, Sean Maloney. Thank you very much for joining us, and please come back as the committee develops its work this year. Really appreciate thank you Lawrence. And after this break Republicans want to use the president's failure to build a wall to their advantage. And they will now blame every bad thing that happens in this country on the fact that we don't have a wall on the southern border. The wall might be with us forever. The wall has taken a permanent place in our politics. That Trump wall is not going to be built on the southern border. Everyone knows that Republicans in congress are already telling reporters, they know there will be no money for the wall in budget Bill next week that will prevent the next government shutdown and has one Republican Senator said today, he expects the president to be reasonable. That was his word reasonable and sign that Bill with no funding for the wall. But it seems like the wall that will never be built. We'll continue to be used by Republicans to explain every bad thing that happens in America yesterday. The House Judiciary committee had its first hearing on gun safety regulations in ten years the Bill under consideration HR eight would require background checks for all gun sales. Most Republican members of the committee simply boycotted the hearing. But one used his time in the hearing to complain only only about these small percentage of our gun. Violence linked to undocumented residents of this country. I hope we do not forget the pain and anguish insensitive loss felt by those all over the country who have been the victims of violence at the hands of illegal aliens. HR eight would not have stopped many of the circumstances. I raised but I wall a barrier on the southern border may have. And that's what we're fighting for. Well. Gentleman was suspended. The man standing up and protesting there. It has been well all over. He will join us in a moment. The man sitting next to him is his friend. Fred gutenberg. He will also join us, and we'll Oliver lost his son, and Fred Newton. Berg lost his daughter in the mass murderer that killed seventeen people at Marjory stoneman Douglas high school in Florida almost a year ago, the person who has been charged with the murder of those children and all those other people in parked in Florida is an American citizen who was born here in this country and attended that same high school a wall on the southern border would not have kept any of those seventeen people alive. We are joined now by men well over whose son Joaquin was seventeen years old, and Fred Gutenberg whose daughter Jamie was fourteen years old when America's epidemic of mass murder came to their high school, and I wanted to show you both that moment in the hearing that I'm sure you'll never forget where Carson gates. It's pointed at you, and a basically tried to get you thrown out of the hearing room. We're going to show that to the audience now. Is there a process in the committee whereby if the very same people are repeatedly, interrupting the time of the members that those people will be asked to depart the committee or is there. I will excuse me. Fred, what did that feel like to you to have the congressman point at you a wanting you thrown out of that room? You know? That congressman showed who he was. I felt like that was democracy at work, you had many, and I simply not letting him get away with that nonsense. And I want to tell you something about my friend, man. He's sitting next to me because man, he's been in this country for fifteen years. He fled Venezuela because of the violence in Venezuela with his family to give them a safe secure environment in this country. So to have that congressman put his finger out that way, when many son my daughter were killed here by an American male was from my perspective, the lowest form of political performance. But you know, what Lawrence put that sunshine on who these people are because I think it was it was good for America to see that. He is an example of who has been in charge of doing things regarding gun safety or not. Doing things. And now we get to see the nonsense that they put behind it. And democratic chairman Jerry Nadler, of course, didn't go along with this crazy notion of having you thrown out of the room manning. Let me ask you how it how it felt for you. I know Fred has been at other hearings. I don't know if you have we've all we all saw Fred that the supreme court confirmation hearing of Justice Cavanaugh when just as cabinet refused to shake his hand. But many was that was that your first congressional hearing. It was I mean freddy's a problem when he gets to talking to politicians that's not my Cup of tease my field. But I thought that I needed to be there to support Fred and the other parents and the kids that kids are actually fighting for their lives, and and trying to have a better future. So I I don't regret being there. I think that that my presence area. It's it's it's a must I need to be there. However now that I'm there I wanna make sure that we don't waste. I mean there and these person was totally out of any context that was supposed to be discussing that room. And my reaction Fred's reaction is a reaction if a father have to keep in mind that we are still fathom is the fact that they gave me not here. And he's not here doesn't mean that we're not here we are here, and we're going to defend our kids forever. So so that reaction any father. Should be able to understand what we did. And what will keep on doing as low as we are in these life for it's what are you? Imagine. Carson gates would say if the of accused mass murderer at Marjory stoneman Douglas high school was an undocumented residents of this country. Well, if that were true, we would have been guests of the president of the state of the union. But because the killer of our children was an American male. We were not. But I do want to say that what congressman gets did takes the story away from the forty thousand a year who are murdered in this country. The real emergency forty thousand people a year. And the problem is while we're sitting here doing this interview. And I've spoken a bit about this lately. In this timeframe, somebody is getting the news that their loved one was killed somebody right now was planning a funeral for a loved one who was killed that will be happening tomorrow. Somebody just buried a loved one who was killed. It is an epidemic. And when you have a congressman who will put on a political stunt like that rather than dealing with the emergency that is gun violence. It's. Shameful? And I think if he if the killer of our children wasn't undocumented immigrant, which wasn't the case that isn't typically the case he would have been having a political field day with it. But it just would be. But it didn't happen that way. And many. I know that the cars were knows who Fred is Fred has been very prominent out there. And he knows exactly why Fred was at that hearing. I think it'd be pretty easy to figure out even if he'd never seen you before why you were sitting beside Fred the hearings. Like, this always have the parents of victims at these kinds of hearings, the members know that. And so when he's asking to have you thrown out, I know that he knows and ask me to have Fred thrown out. The he I know he knows he's trying to throw out someone who lost his daughter at that at Marjory stoneman Douglas high school, and he should have known that you were in exactly the same situation. But you know, what it doesn't really matter who I am. He he made a mistake regardless who's sitting there. He made a terrible comment about about that the actual see this discussion that we were all planning to half. So let's say he didn't know who I was which doesn't really matter. He made a mistake. He was out of content. And that seems to me that he's totally a wasting time. Those he had five minutes to make a point five minutes. I mean, someone is dying and this is an emergency. And we we have no time extra time to solve it. By the way, I have to say that gamy and Joaquin or not here, and we can bring them back. But we're doing these for the rest of the kids, and he should know that because maybe because of what we're doing his kids will be safe. Absolutely. That's all we're point many, Oliver Berg. I am very sore. For your law. Some sorry. You have to join us under these circumstances on sorry about what you had to go through in that hearing yesterday. Thank you very much for Jerusalem Lawrence. Thank you very much. We'll be right back. As I once wrote in an episode of the west wing this country is supposed to have separation of church and state, but we have never pretended to have separation of church and politics. What about happened to separation of church and state? Giant in there? But I'm afraid that does to she doesn't say anything about the separation of church in politics. You saying that to good thing saying, that's the way it is always has been you think the Votto really needs to know, if I go to church, I don't need to know. But then I'm not going to vote for you. Anyway. I could watch those guys all night. Alan Alda was playing a Republican candidate for president. Who's darkest? Secret was that he did not believe in God. And of course, Martin sheen was playing a democratic president who was a devout Catholic. There is some reason to suspect that the last Republican candidate for president in real life. Who is now the current president in real life. Does not believe in God. Because he says stuff like this. But have you ever asked God for forgiveness? I'm not sure I have I just go and try and do a better job from there. I don't think. So I think I if I do something wrong. I think I just try and make it right? I don't bring God into that picture. I don't. Perfect answer for an atheist. Strange answer for a man who today went to the national prayer breakfast in Washington and read a teleprompter speech about the power of prayer without giving a single example of anything that he himself has ever prayed for at any point in his life. There is nothing stranger than Donald Trump presenting himself as a religious, man. He did it again today, and we have the video and this being Donald Trump. That means we also have the video of Donald Trump contradicting what Donald Trump had to say today when he presented himself as a man of God tonight's last word is next. Dwight Eisenhower was the first president of the United States to attend the national prayer breakfast in Washington, which was a minor entry on the president's schedule at that time and has since become a highly politicized event that every president fields compelled to attend. It is always an attempt by president to demonstrate his religiosity, and no president has ever done a less credible job than Donald Trump. Here. He is today. As president I will always cherish honor and protect the believers who uplift our communities and sustain our nation. Really? Donald J Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on. Here is more from the president's teleprompter today. My administration is also speaking out against religious persecution around the world and polluting against religious minorities. Christians and the Jewish community. Really? Donald J Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on the president created some controversy today when he said this. Since the founding of our nation. Many of our greatest strides from gaining our independence to abolition of civil rights to extending the vote for women. Have been led by people of faith and started in prayer Twitter lit up with people noting that Donald Trump said that one of our greatest accomplishments was quote, abolition of civil rights the White House later released a transcript of the speech that included what the president actually said. And what the White House says he was supposed to have said if he could just read a teleprompter correctly. According to the White House, but wine was supposed to be since the founding of our nation. Many of our greatest strides from gaining our independence to abolition two civil rights to extending the vote for women have been led by people of faith and started in prayer. So you've got a choice to make which I leave to you did Donald Trump deliberately say abolition of civil rights to thrill some or perhaps many or maybe most Trump supporters who liked the sound of that. Or did the worst? East teleprompter reader in the history of the presidency. Simply make a teleprompter mistake. You get to make up your own minds about this. But having made enough teleprompter mistakes myself, I m just going to have to let he or she who has never made a teleprompter mistake cast, the first stone on this one. But. Let's think about what the president just actually said they're all of our great strides, including the abolition of slavery and civil rights were led by people who believed in God in prayed. But slavery was created and run by people who believed in God and prayed and the treasonous war against the United States of America, led by Robert E Lee and other confederate generals was led by people and fought by people who believed in God. And prayed the confederate army prayed for their success in killing anyone who fought against their right to own human beings today. The president found just one passage from the bible in has teleprompter. It was of course from the New Testament. It actually might be the only passage in the bible that Donald Trump has publicly proved that he really believes in and really does try to live by. As Jesus promises in the bible ask and you'll receive and your joy will be complete. It always worked that way for Donald Trump and his father his father made him a millionaire in his own, right? When he was a little boy long before Donald Trump started asking his father for money to bail him out of his losses in Atlantic City. Casinos ask and you will receive seems to have been the golden rule between Donald Trump and his father with other presidents. You could listen to these religion, Phil speeches with a straight face because they had not already publicly proved that they don't believe the religious sentiments, they were delivering. But with Donald Trump. Here was the very last line that the White House speechwriters put in the teleprompter today for Donald Trump. The man of God. And let us always give thanks for the miracle of life the majesty of creation and the grace of almighty God. Really? That's what you always give. Thanks for. Here is that same person answering the question, what are you most thankful four Mr President? For having a great family and for having made a tremendous difference in this country. I've made a tremendous difference in the country. This country is so much stronger now than it was when I took office that you wouldn't believe it. And I mean, you see it, but so much stronger that people can't even believe it. You're absolutely right. Mr president. People can't even believe it. Us. Tonight's last word. Hey, it's Chris Hayes from MSNBC. You don't every day? I come to the office, and we make television show in every day. I think to myself there's so much more. I want to talk about and so this is our podcast. It's called why is this happening and the whole idea behind it is to get to the root of the things that we see Lee out every day. They're driven by big ideas. Each week. I sit down with a person uniquely suited to explain why this is happening new episodes of Weiss this happening every Tuesday. Listen for free wherever you get your podcasts.

President Trump president Jeff Bezos National Enquirer congressman America David pecker Los Angeles Washington Post Jeff President Jerry Nadler congressman Adam Schiff Carson gates Marjory stoneman Douglas high Lawrence O'Donnell chairman Jeff visas President Obama United States
Jeff Bezos Accuses National Enquirer of Extortion And Blackmail; Of Red Lines And White Houses; House Dems Setting Up Showdown Over Pres. Trump's Taxes; The Ridiculist

Anderson Cooper 360

53:01 min | 1 year ago

Jeff Bezos Accuses National Enquirer of Extortion And Blackmail; Of Red Lines And White Houses; House Dems Setting Up Showdown Over Pres. Trump's Taxes; The Ridiculist

"This podcast is brought to you by book dotcom in partnership with the cantata row tourism board, book dot com. The number one site for all inclusive beach vacations tired of spending hundreds of dollars for prescription glasses. Zanny offers thousands of affordable. I wear styles starting at just six ninety five visits any today at Xeni dot com slash CNN. Good evening. We are following a bizarre ugly and potentially very big story. Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos accusing David pecker owner of the National Enquirer an ally of the presidents of extortion and blackmail and paying for an investigation that the National Enquirer certainly appears to be concerned about pecker you'll recall help candidate Trump hush-up his alleged affair with playboy model. Karen mcdougal? The question is what does he up now? CNN Shimon procured joins us now with that. So talk about the allegations that Jeff Bezos is making here. Yeah. Anderson it certainly extrordinary to see this Jeff Bezos publishing emails and writing about how the National Enquirer the top level people at the National Enquirer. He says we're trying to extort him and blackmail him over a Washington Post story that was published concerning now the National Enquirer and some of their relationship and some of their the reason perhaps why they were publishing some of this information and how they were using some. Politically. So the National Enquirer was trying innocence to perhaps maybe killed a story or they wanted them to use a statement from the National Enquirer. So Jeff Bezos here says that essentially the National Enquirer was trying to blackmail, and he has emails in one of the emails that came from the national require I it said, quote that with the Washington Post poised to publish unsubstantiated rumors of the national enquirers initial report I wanted to describe to you the photos obtained during our news gathering in addition to the below the best selfie otherwise colloquially known as and then the they write the Enquirer obtained a further nine images. And of course, this all comes after the National Enquirer had written a story about an affair that Jeff Bezos was having and certainly did not end because the Washington Post started pursuing stories about the national choir. And it seems by these emails that the national choir was trying to get the story. Killed and they're basically saying in these emails describing in great detail, the photographs that they have which you know, might embarrassing for for Jeff Bezos. But he I mean, it's pretty remarkable the strategy. He is taken. He's obviously got a lot of means. He's got a guy named Gavin de Becker who is as rob a security expert who's heading up his investigation and by making these emails public. I mean, he's basically thrown down the gauntlet saying, I'm not going to be blackmailed. I'm not going to be extorted here. That's exactly what he's doing. He's obviously trying to get ahead of it. And he knows you know, and everyone knows what the national car has done in previous cases, and he himself here. Trying to get ahead of it. And you're right. He did hire an investigator. But he says that there are several investigations into this. The big question also Anderson has been how did the National Enquirer get a hold of this information. The tax other information that they initially had reported on and their initial story concerning the affair of. Between Jeff Bezos. And this woman that has always been a question. And now they have all these other photos that were seemed to have come from a cell phone. They were text messages and photos that were shared between Jeff Bezos, and this woman, and now they have all of this information and the big question, I they would Basil's is trying to find out who was behind this. How did the National Enquirer get ahold of this, and obviously David pecker and President Trump have a longstanding relationship as well. Yeah. Very long standing relationship. And as you said, you know, he was involved in the capture and kill the National Enquirer involving Karen McDougal other stories certainly and they've known each other for many many years. However, you know, recently from what I've been told their relationship is kind of soured since the whole SDN y since David pecker and AM I started cooperating in the investigation of those hush payments to Karen McDougal, and stormy Daniels and that their relationship has somewhat soured. Don't know if that is still the case today, but that. Relationship between the president and David pecker, certainly becomes more interesting, given the relationship between the president and Jeff Bezos and the Washington Post and his attacks on the Washington Post there could be motive here. Right. And that's going to be something that I think Basil's investigators are trying to get to the bottom of it's incredible Shimon program as we're going to have more on this story as it continues to unfold throughout the hour right now, though, tonight's other developing story the president's behavior in the face of investigations, just keep hitting closer to home. If you're looking for evidence that House Democrats are getting under President Trump skin with this growing wave. You don't have to go far the president has all but shouting from the rooftops. The president got on Twitter this morning in part to rail against the rush investigation. But also rage about a White House personnel matter the dims and their committees are going nuts. The president tweeted the Republicans never did this to President Obama. There would be no time left to run the government. I hear other committee heads will do the same thing even stealing people who work at Whitehouse. A continuation of which hunt now even. Stealing people who work at White House. He says keeping them honest when reporters asked a White House official what that meant they were told to ask Adam shift, the chairman of the house intelligence committee. So we asked the committee and aid telling us they have hired individuals with experience on the national Security Council staff, but the no recent hire came directly from the White House. So wherever however you define hiring from or stealing from the White House. It's pretty clear. The president is now sweating even the smallest off in the face of a growing investigative effort that House Democrats now say will reach into areas. The president's one said we're off limits. He said that in an interview with the New York Times. Your your family's finances on related to Russia is that a red long. But that'd be a breach of what his actual. I would say is. I would say of by the way, I was I don't I don't. I mean, sponsoring this condo or something. So, you know, sell a lot of Kindel units. Somebody somebody Russia. Vice who knows I don't think when it from Russian. So that was two summers ago. And yes, we've learned since then the president had been less than forthcoming during and after the campaign about the pursuit of business in Russia and other things as well. Which may be why house intelligence chairman Adam Schiff yesterday said his committee now plans to investigate whether and how the president's business dealings affect his decision making whether foreign actors now have influence over him because of it his committee is just one of many now digging into the Trump International hotel in Washington payments to Michael Cohen and on the four side of the rest of red lines. The president's tax returns that's on top of federal and state investigations into the campaign TRAN transition inaugural committee, the Trump organization. The Trump foundation the civil suit over so tells especially in Washington, it's no wonder the president's a little touchy on this lately an economic miracle is taking place in the United States. And the only thing that can stop it. Our fluish wars politics or ridiculous partisan investigations. If there is going to be peace and legislation there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn't work that way. Let's the president Tuesday nights saying essentially dropped the investigations or the economy gets it today he tweeted so now congressman Adam Schiff announces after having found zero Russian collusion that he's going to be looking at every aspect of my life. Both financial personal even though there's no reason to be doing. So never happened before unlimited presidential harassment also presidential harassment. It should never be allowed to happen. Again, late today the target of his ire congressman Schiff answered back in a podcast posted on the website, America, blah. President has had two years of a congress that would simply do no oversight whatsoever. And so the idea of meaningful oversight the idea of Congress's a Coequal branch clearly terrifies the president whether terrifies is the right word or enrages or merely urged Tate's it's on display on Twitter at press availabilities and cabinet meetings. The played out all day in a running battle over testimony tomorrow between the president's acting attorney general in the House Judiciary committee ended late today. But there's no sign the president's larger war on his many investigators is going to come to a close. Now where anytime soon as dig deeper now to the question of red lines congressional oversight Muller probe which a new CNN poll shows an overwhelming majority nearly ninety percents should be made public. Join us. Now is Senate Judiciary committee member Richard Blumenthal. Democrat of Connecticut, Senator do you believe the president is more concerned about congressional investigations that are going on now, and we'll be going on or the molar prob-. I think he seems to be equally concerned he certainly has called both. Which hung and he has denounced both, but both are absolutely necessary. And particularly the claim about harassment congress is simply doing its job. In fact, it has an institutional and constitutional role to play here and the president has lived in a very charmed cocoon. Because all three branches of government have been under Republican control. Is there a risk though in Democrats kind of overplaying their hand launching endless investigations that after a while just may seem to some people just partisan part of a partisan effort to get the president. There would be a risk in abuse or endless investigations. But that is hardly what's contemplated here. In fact, just today, the chairman of the judiciary committee declined at least for now to issue a subpoena to the acting attorney general Matt Whitaker because he's going to appear after giving him questions weeks in advance. So I think that the conduct your has been eminently reasonable, and what we want in transparency on the mullahs report also is eminently reasonable the American people paid for this investigation for the report, they deserve to know. What's in it, the legislation that I've introduced with Senator Grassley is by parson, I've been very encouraged. By the growing receptivity of my Republican colleagues perhaps because they are sensing what that CNN poll so dramatically reveals the American people want the report to be released, and as one of my former colleagues one of my predecessors, Senator Weicker wrote at the very beginning of the Watergate investigation, gut question for the committee in the country is how much truth do we want? I think it was the chairman of the House Ways, and means committee has made it clear he's going to be requesting the president's tax returns. That's obviously something the president does not want people to see does the prison to have any kind of recourse to prevent that. No doubt kill resist the request or even the subpoena for that kind of material, but he has no real defense or recourse under the law. Because clearly the chairman of the committee has the power to obtain it from the Internal Revenue Service despite his. His resisting. And in fact, he's the first president never to provide those tax returns in the past. And we've offered legislation to specifically require that. He make it. No. Is there one of these democratic investigations congressional delegations that you think the president should be most worried about or the most interest you. They are all of interest to the American people and in addition to the special counsel investigation. The congressional oversight investigations are really critically important to congress doing its job for him to resist would be as one constitutional scholar has said anti constitutional because the congress remember is a source for oversight. And until now, I'll be very blunt the real heroes of oversight have been the free press, which is uncovered so many facts and important insights into this administration and the independent judiciary. But congress now is going to be doing its job and that prospect, I think not only enrages and annoys the president. But also, maybe terrifies them a little bit. I was wondering in Jeff. Urban in chief legal analyst also former Nixon White House counsel. And I'm told Warren Harding advocate. Jeff. I know you've got some questions. I saw you wanting for Senator Bloomfield's. Well, I what about the issue of executive privilege because this is I mean, this seems like the fight about Whitaker is really coming down to that. How much do you think the the the concomitants the house of representatives in this case should be allowed to inquire into the conversations between the acting attorney general and the president of the United States well since the acting attorney general has talked about the timing of the conclusion of the motor investigation as special counsels ongoing inquiry. I think congress can ask how he knows about. What that timing? We'll be in effect. Whitaker's waved executive privilege on that point. But I think generally executive privilege has been overused. Excessively abused by witnesses. It has been falsely. Invoked by past witnesses before the intelligence committee of the Senate and Arkady the judiciary. They do. For example. The question did the president ever in discussed the Muller investigation with you as a acting attorney general or previously in his other roles Justice department, you think that question is fair game that is absolutely fair game. And the real question is what is he hiding? What is Whitaker hiding? What is he seeking to conceal? Why is he invoking this executive privilege, and what is the basis for the privileged? I think none John dean, there's so, you know, the molar pro may not have anything more may know may not have anything that shows the president did anything wrong. What do you make of these numerous democratic congressional investigations? Which one are you looking at most interested. I'm watching the Adam Schiff and his intelligence committee most intently right now, he seems to have set a very broad manned. Aid for himself as to what he's going to look into everything from the president's finances to whether he has some ties to Russia that haven't been disclosed cloudiness taxes what they meant show. I'd had that the only person that can really invoke executive privilege in any of these committees is the president himself, the witness cannot he could theoretically defer and say the president may want to invoke privilege on this and I'm gonna although we've seen a ton of witnesses over the last two years invoking kind of imaginary executive no authority whatsoever. It is pure baloney. They're engaging in the Republicans refused to press them on it. And let them get away with that. That's a very important point, particularly Jeff Sessions when he was attorney general he would say in testimony and other witnesses would say I just prefer not to answer that like what is that? I mean, if it, but but when you have a sympathetic chair and no. No pushback on that. They've gotten away with that. Now, we'll see how that changes Jeffey, Pam, right? That we pressed as the minority on these committees on the judiciary committee, for example, when Jeff Sessions or other witnesses have appeared we have pressed this issue to no avail because the chairman ineffective has gaveled us down. And it's extremely important because he's invoked it for example on financial dealings. He's drawn a red line. There is no reason for that red line other than his trying to hide. Meddling by the Russians which somehow benefits him or money laundering by Deutsche Bank, which they have already admitted not involving Trump. But they've admitted to doing it. And I think there are a much broader deeper questions. So I mean with John dean here center Blumenthal. Do you see parallels with Watergate, there are parallels that we could discuss for the next couple of hours in my view? But one of them involves that question that low Weicker ass how much truth does the country want because I think there are clearly facts and evidence that the special counsel has that the American people want. That's the reason that I've introduced this Bill with Senator Grassley, and it should have bipartisan support because the question for the country and for William bar. The attorney general is will he do the president's bidding or will he put the American people for the American people paid for that report? They deserve to see everything and John didn't do see this is a little bit upside down right now as opposed to Watergate where you didn't really get grand juries other than those looking at the Watergate burglars into the cover up until after the Senate had already started, a very detailed select committee investigation of Watergate, where many witnesses in virtually all of the key players would appear sooner or later when the special prosecutor came along he tried to block actually number witnesses, including yours truly didn't thought that would disrupt the grand jury, and and the pre press publicity that could affect trials ultimately, but it was not successful. And I think it educated the American people having the witnesses out explaining what was going on. And that's what hopefully it's going to happen. Now, Jeff, do you think people are aware of what a change this may mean for the president just? For the next two years. Will they're starting to become aware. I mean, just think about how many investigations have already started. You know, I think the public is most aware of things they can actually see on television and the internet and there have not been many major televised hearings. However, tomorrow morning, attorney general Whitaker will will testify in that, and that will be public Michael Kohn will testify although behind closed doors, at least initially, but I think any said tonight, he's going to do a public. That's Moni to also on February twenty eighth four before that figure. All right, good to know center Blumenthal. Thank you, John. Jeff Toobin is going to stick around because I want to get Jeff's taken a moment when we returned the bazo stories one of the richest men in the world accusing a man who has handled from the president's dirty laundry in the past accusing him of trying to blackmail. Jeff Bezos that's coming up and next Maggie Haberman and David Gergen on how the president may react as all these investigations hit closer to home. A book dotcom vacation includes a beautiful all inclusive beach resort with all meals, all drinks, including alcohol activities taxes. Tips all included are most popular destination for all inclusive resorts is Mexico's Caribbean coast, including Cancun Rivera, the people food history. And of course, the beaches make this a great reason to go, and here's one more right now. Save up to seventy percent off all inclusive. Mexico vacations on book dotcom. Imagine yourself relaxing all day on the beach shore by the pool with unlimited food and drinks all included sound good. Head over to book dot com slash podcast to save up to seventy percent off your next all inclusive vacation that's book dot com slash podcast. We're talking about President Trump lashing out in a variety of news, including of course, on Twitter at the growing number of investigations of him, his finances, his businesses and more. Now, I want to dig further into a state of mind what his next moves may be joining us now to CNN political analyst near times, White House, correspondent Haberman and veterans senior presidential adviser, David Gergen, so mega you just interviewed the president last week. Do you believe he's he's fuming about this congressional oversight writ large, or do you think there's specific areas he's concerned about I don't know that he's actually fuming. I think that he has I think there's a steady frustration with all of these investigations. And I think that it is everything mixed together. I think what you were trying seeing him try to do both in the state of the union and with the tweets this morning, and I think the tweets refu- me, but they he's trying to basically say all investigations are the same. He's not separating them out. Everything is a partisan effort against me Muller's is any of them others Republican who was appointed by Republican, you know, SDN why that's all partisan because that's sort of. Of the deep state. This is all part of a broader diligent de-legitimizing effort by the president. He is however frustrated anything that comes near his personal finances is something that worries him in alarms him, and we have heard this from people close to him for a long time. So it's not surprising that you're seeing the reaction. We are. Certainly understandable from the president's perspective, and this perspective of his supporters that if the Muller investigation is winding down if there is no, you know, evidence of collusion between President Trump and Russia as so many people, you know, earlier, and certainly Democrats were kind of expecting or looking for. I mean, it's easy to see why the president would would view this as suspicious that all of a sudden if the molar investigations winding down all of a sudden, the Democrats who are now in power are ramping up all these new investigations. Well, sure, but but these are the results of the fruits of the midterms and for Trump, they're very bitter fruits. But he knew this was coming whole world is known. This is coming that for two years. The congress has not exercised serious oversight of the kind. We normally expect because there's been in largely in the hands of his friends and his allies in the Republican party of control both chambers. And with that passage of with just as the vote able Donald Trump to go to the edges of presidential authority, this midterm election, vote gave the Democrats a chance to exercise a much more much more invasive form of scrutiny. I think the other point this should be made is this is hardly a precedent for a president to be upset and for administration to feel invaded. Just think about what the Obama administration did face you. Remember, they had been Ghazi is is it everybody forgotten Benghazi or the IRS or fast and furious or Celinda those. All became you know, anger Nate's throw into the midst of the Obama administration. This is this is politics is what happens in our politics today, and truly Maggie the president doesn't seem to see that way. Because he's saying this is all unprecedented that that this wasn't done to President Obama what kind of tools, which mechanisms Maggie of the presidency. Do you expect the president to try to deploy to at least slow down the house committees? I think a couple of things that just one thing to your point about how you know, his argument has been that Obama didn't face this as David said Obama faced a different variety. And it's true. Obama didn't face investigation into his his private business ties because he didn't have a big private company and was not coming in as an independently wealthy, man. So it's just a completely different circumstance with businesses in business entanglements that had been going on in Russia or involving Russia potentially during the campaign. So it's it's a little different in terms of what I think the White House might deploy. They have spent a lot of time beefing up the White House counsel's office. I think they are actually looking at try. To d prepared for what could come including having a lawyer serve as a spokesman. I think you're going to see some efforts to try to slow down and grind the gears on releasing tax returns. Which legally, you know, the the congress has a right to request. And I think that you were going to see efforts to throw sand in the gears by any means necessary to just run out the clock as long as possible. I don't know how long that will last. I don't know if there will be some kind of court effort to get them. But I don't think that I think that the the Trump administration has made pretty clear that they're going to be some things they comply with and some things they just won't. And I think obviously the tax returns are going to fall in the latter category. David, do you think the House Democrats are going to end up getting the president's tax returns? I don't know. I I don't with. This has never been challenged before we've never faced situation before. Because all the president previous presidents in modern times have released their tax returns. That's one reason. Barack Obama did not have an investigation of his tax return because he made them all public. And why I'm what's happened here on the on the president's tax return because he refused. Let them go. There is deep suspicion, especially among Democrats, and independents that said there's something in that that is he's holding back for for very good reason that it'd be damaging for him. And that's one of the reasons that people need to know and have a right to know. But I would assume they'll fight it out in the court. I think Maggie is absolutely right. That they will try to, you know, extend this out as far as they can get past the Muller report. And then try to close on everything. But that's been been why it's so important for the president to get man he can trust and William bar is attorney general he thinks he'll fight for mega at some point. If these investigations go on. Long enough heading into twenty twenty. I mean, the the there is a distinct possibility they end up energizing the president's Bates. It's question. I mean, I'm question. More to imagine him, you know, railing against the democrat controlled it's not hard to imagine railing against the democrat controlled house at campaign rallies. And the president was very explicit with people around him heading into the midterms and soon after that he he actually thought that they democratic controlled house would be politically good for him. He likes the idea of divided government. And to be clear he did not have a good relationship with Paul Ryan. So it is not a huge surprise. But this is of course, the reality of divided government. Is it gets? Yes. It gives you an opponent. I agree with you. I do think it will energize his base. The problem is the president's base has contracted a bit that might change when you have a binary and it's him versus another candidate. But his base alone is not enough to reelect him after two years. It's really essentially impossible for him to do some kind of a pivot to the middle in the way that we saw Bill Clinton do at a similar point in his first term. So I think that the cake is pretty baked for the president. He's. Doing what he has to do to get as many people out as he can one thing that I do think is a concern. I think less so on the congressional investigations and the southern district of New York investigation that's going on into the began with Michael Cohen. And that is now touching on the president's business. I think that that will go on for quite some time Muller. I think is a different category. Because I think it gets to a point where it could seem like it is getting a little too close into the reelection territory. I think that is something you will hear the president in the White House, say repeatedly Haberman. Appreciate it. David Gergen as well of next. We're gonna have more of our breaking news from the top of the hour. Jeff Bezos, head of Amazon, the owner of the Washington Post with an extraordinary online post tonight accusing the National Enquirer and his publisher seriously, extortion and blackmail after revealed a text messages revealing affair he was having where the tabloids alleged threats all to help the president, of course on that ahead. Tired of spending hundreds of dollars for prescription glasses. Our friends at Xeni optical offer, a huge variety of high quality stylish frames and state of the art optics starting at just six ninety five. You can get multiple frames with this great pricing for less than one pair. Elsewhere start building your eyewear wardrobe from the comfort of your own home at any dot com. With the latest trends in eyewear available and hundreds of frame styles and materials there isn't a better way to change it up for every season. Plus is any offers prescription sunglasses at incredible prices. Visit Xeni today at Xeni dot com slash CNN. That's Z E N N, I dot com slash CNN. More. Now, our breaking news the top the are jet. Bays owes the founder of Amazon owner of the Washington Post is accusing the National Enquirer and his publisher of extortion and blackmail. He's making his case online in a stunning and very personal post on medium titled. No, thank you, Mr. pecker. Mr. pecker, David pecker is a one time confidante of President Trump's as we mentioned earlier he helped candidate Trump hush-up his alleged affair with play with a playboy model. Who knows what else and keep in mind pecker supposed to be cooperating with federal prosecutors investigating the so-called catch and kill payments that the Enquirer made the stunning claims tonight by Basotho raising questions about that expected cooperation or the details and how he got to this point. Now last month, the national choir made bases affair with a a woman a front page story that came hours after Biswas posted a statement on Twitter from he and his wife of twenty five years announcing their plans to divorce after the tabloid story bays. Those launched his own investigation to find out who leaked photos of him with his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, a former TV news anchor and tonight. He's going after the inquirer and his parent company. AM I because he says they resorted to blackmail to stop his own investigation. Bays. Those rights online, quote, I was made an offer I couldn't refuse or at least. That's what the top people the National Enquirer thought, I'm glad they thought that because it embolden them to put it all in writing rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail of decided to publish exactly what they sent me despite the personal costs and embarrassment they threaten. So what are the folks of the Enquirer allegedly offer him won't bays share several emails. One of them reportedly from AM is chief content officer to the attorney for businesses investigator. Here's the key part, quote with the Washington Post poised to publish unsubstantiated. Rumors the national enquirers initial port. I wanted to describe to you the photos of change during our news gathering in addition to the below the belt selfie otherwise cloak wheel cloak, excuse me, colloquially known as a. I don't know if I should say that as a blink pick the Enquirer obtained a further nine images and the mail goes on to share details of those allegedly racy photos. I guess you play you'd say including some cell fees. We'll even at that. They're they have the claim of blackmail, and extortion is based on that. Now, joining me for more and all this CNN, senior media correspondent, Brian Stelter? Also back with this Jeffrey Toobin joining us chief political analyst, Gloria borger, Jeff I mean basis is calling this blackmail, and extortion, they essentially sent him a letter or sent his his investigators attorney a letter saying, we would these are the photos, we have clearly, you know, where it's going to be embarrassing. We won't publish them. If you make a statement saying that there's nothing to do between the Enquirer and Saudi Arabia, and you stop this investigation. Right. It is it's it's an it's an unusual spin on a familiar part of what the National Enquirer does. Usually. It's about. What's in the National Enquirer here? It's about what's in the Washington Post is that there was a Washington Post investigation going on and the Enquirer the the letter says you write the following in the Washington Post or the implicit threat is we publish these these letters essentially tell these photographs relating to the Washington Post what they should say which bazo says would have been false anyway because he feels apparently that. There. There was political motivation for what the what the inquirer was doing. Your question is is it blackmail is it a crime is it extortion? My answer is I don't know. I think it is worthy of investigation. It's an unusual situation. Because even though it does have a threat involved. It is part of the news gathering process broadly, defined even though it's deeply sleazy, and I could see prosecutors hesitating to sort of get in the middle of this. It's disgraceful journalism. It's disgraceful behavior. Whether it's an actual crime. I am frankly, not prepared to say at this point. What what what are the what is the difference between what they're doing? And what you would think of as extortion black now. Well, they're saying, you publish, you publish something in your paper. I mean, it's like kidnap percent, you publish this or I'm going to release these right? But they they would argue is we're just trying to get the Washington. Oast to to report accurately, and we're using the leverage we have now, you know. It's certainly a deeply shabby way to do that. But that's a little differently from me saying to you give me a million dollars or I'll kill you. That's sort of the classic extortion scenario, the print this or we print these photographs. I just don't know it might be. But I'm not prepared to say, you know, off the top of my head that this is definitely a crime, Gloria, I mean basis, of course, owns the Washington Post. He doesn't control editorial direction the threat appeared to be tied to the papers covers specifically about Saudi Arabia and the National Enquirer. I mean, Jeff Bezos dropped a bunch of breadcrumbs here. And when you read it and reread, it becomes pretty clear number one. He points out, you know, Packers past cooperation with Donald Trump. But number two, he talks about AM. I and Saudi Arabia and then number three he completes them both at. At one point he says, and he points out in a piece from the New York Times he says after Mr. Trump became president. He rewarded Mr. peppers loyalty with the White House dinner to which the media executive brought a guest with important ties to the royals in Saudi Arabia at the time, Mr. pecker was pursuing business there while also hunting for. Financially acquisitions, so he was looking for money, and you know, the post has been relentless in its coverage of kashogi. And so the questions that are out there. And he, you know, he leaves these crumbs the questions that are out there are, you know, are peppers ties to the White House will lated to the Saudis, right? And did the White House help pecker in any way with the Saudis, and he keeps dropping this. You know, dropping this out there just kind of letting it hang out there, and you have to raise these questions Brian CNN's reach out to him. I David Packard have have you heard anything I've been calling and frankly, the calls are going straight to voicemail Henderson, am I National Enquirer pecker, his people have not responded in any way to bazo Zala Gatien's yet. But I think many people who've been following this entire story following this. Scandal about Basil's and the alleged affair he had their cheering for us. Right now. They're saying thank you for standing up to a possible blackmail attempt. Thank you for publishing the emails. So people can see how this sometimes works. Because after all this another first time, am I the National Enquirer have been accused of blackmail. But let's even came up in the early months, the Trump administration when Joe Scarborough Mika Brzezinski at MSNBC so that there was an attempt to use the inquirer to punish them. Basically. The suggestion was that they were supposed to call Trump and apologize for being tough on him and go easy on him on TV or else the Enquirer published nasty things about their personal lives. So there's a history of this here, and whether these details add up to a crime or not there's clearly an unethical action happening and speaking of crimes and legality. We should just keep in mind. AM I- pecker Dylan Howard. They have an immunity deal related. Michael Cohen that immunity deal would be off. If there are other crimes that could be prosecuted. We're Jeff that may be why they haven't commented yet. We'll let me ask you, Jeff. The I in that deal. They basically copped to statement of facts about Karen McDougal, and how that all played out is that is their cooperation only limited to the Karen McDougal case. And Michael Cohen. No, not at all. They would not when you cooperate with the southern district of New York. They have a blanket rule that you cooperate about everything you answer any question. They have now they admit to their involvement in the Karen McDougal story, which remember Michael Cohen plowed plead guilty to a crime in connection with he he said, I was helping an unlawful campaign contribution. As a result of that agreement that Brian referred to AM, I David pecker dealing Howard would not be prosecuted. But the condition of that agreement is always you don't commit any other crimes or the deal is off. So what they have to be concerned about. Is the the prosecutor saying we'll use now committed blackmail us now committed extortion, we're gonna tear up that agreement and prosecute you the same way we prosecuted Michael cone for an illegal campaign contribution. Yeah. I don't know they're going to do that. But it's possible jarring. Let me let me ask you this. Which is if there is a criminal investigation wouldn't everything about Trump his relationship to AM I and the Saudis wouldn't that become discoverable will will shore? I mean, I mean, it would all it would all be potentially relevant assuming the charges are in unlawful campaign contribution. Because the question is why would they make an unlawful campaign contribution? What what what it Trump have have to offer them? You know, I it's the relationship between the the irony here is you know, what I I wrote a profile of pecker in the New Yorker about two years ago. And he couldn't have been more open about the Karen McDougal situation. He said, yeah, we we paid her because we wanted to support President Trump. She was he's a friend of the magazine. Now, he has been less open in recent months because I think he now realizes the potential for a in an unlawful campaign contribution situation now with this. He really could be going after Jeff Bezos. And this, you know, allegations is fair as a favor to don't Trump because the Washington Post reporting, Jeff, thank you, Brian Stelter. Thanks for borders. Well, coming up, we'll the president of a release his tax returns. The question surely been asked for years and House Democrats are making moves that could finally lead to a showdown the latest on that next. Remember to create an ad like this one visit pure winning dot com slash CNN. As we mentioned, the beginning of the program, one of the many aspects of the president's life and business that's under scrutiny is his refusal to release his tax returns going against decades of president precedent today. House. Democrats started the first hearings that could lead to a showdown over the president's taxes. Some of the witnesses at that hearing include attacks in ethics experts. They verts congress demand them the main question being whether the president and his business or benefiting from public office. Joining me now is a prize winning investigative reporter and tax and accounting columnists. David Johnson, author of the making of Donald Trump. Thanks so much for being with us. David you've investigated you've written extensively about President Trump and his business dealings. Why do you think he's fighting so hard to keep his returns private? Oh because they're going to show. The Donald is a tax cheat in one thousand nine hundred eighty four Donald had two trials they were civil trials, but they were tax fraud trials. He lost them both his own witness Jackman, Nick who was his longtime tax lawyer and accountant testified under oath, that's my signature on the tax return. But I didn't prepare that tax return. That's pretty good evidence of fraud. And they will also show if they dig behind the tax returns into what's called tax information. How much money has flowed to Donald from Russians from Saudi Arabia from elsewhere? That may be influencing his judgements as president of the United States. And whether he is a loyal American or not it's interesting because obviously, we know now base because of a lot of organizations reporting about the attempt to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, and the president's interest in that all along the president has kids have said there were there was no business with Russia. I, you know, I think at one point I think it was done junior said or maybe urge from said, you know, we get a lot of money from Russians. I think they were talking about Russians who are buying apartments or buying. I think there was a fancy property in Florida that one Russian oligarch bought from from Trump. We don't really know though. I mean there there's a lot of arms to his business that the public just doesn't really know anything about exactly right and Donald standard business deal has no money in it. Donald number one dollar invested in Atlantic City. It was all other people's money and the Russian mansion deal is particularly important Donald was desperately need for cash by his own filings and a court case, and he got more than double the value of a house from one of the Russian oligarchs and the cover story that was taken up by a lot of gullible reporters. Anderson was well the man was trying to hide money from his wife. He was divorcing want to hide money from your spouse. You don't kill pay two or three times the value of a property you might as well put a match. To it. You called for a thorough professional congressional investigation. Why would a congressional investigation be any different than any scrutiny? He's been under by the state of New York. Well, the state of New York certainly has the capacity, and I was the one who got governor Cuomo to move on this issue of getting a criminal investigation going by the state, the state attorney general only has civil authority unless the governor gives criminal thority, but we need to have an independent look at Donald's finances. The Internal Revenue Service has been stripped down to nothing in fact today, I have a family member who was told to wait twelve weeks to get their questions answered about their simple short tax return. We need to have a congressional investigators who worked for the joint committee on taxation, which has done fabulous work for eighty years. And they will know how to look at these returns. And to find out what needs to be put in the public record. I mean, also the there we know prosecutors are according to latest reporting wanting to talk to Trump organization executives, well and Alan Weisselberg who has been the longtime CFO of the Trump organization is at least. Partially cooperating witness Michael Cohen has given them information and Donald has a long history of cheating lying under oath, presenting false documents, not just in the tax case, but many others. There's a wonderful story of how the city of New York went after him when he tried to cheat the city out of about two and a half million dollars a year, and the auditors wouldn't give up and had just one crazy story after another trying to hide the books and records. David johnson. I appreciate you coming in. And thank you so much. Thank you wanna check it with, Christy. What he's working on for Cuomo primetime. Chris. All right. This news about Paul Manafort and his meeting with a Russian operative being at the heart. Those are the words of the special counsel. Why what was he lying about? Why would he be lying? What does it mean to the overall probe? We have congressman Matt gates on tonight from Florida. He's a staunch defender of the president. And he also got caught up in a really ugly scene at that House Judiciary meeting about guns the other day with one of the parents from the parkland massacre. So we're going to talk to. Him about those things. Very controversial. We're also going to take on Anderson. What we see coming next. And why the president has good reason for word. All right. Chris seven seven minutes or mail out to look for thanks very much. We'll see in a few minutes coming up the president asked for feedback on his state of the union address wants to know was it historic. Great or just good the ridiculous. Isn't it? The right sheets can take your sleep and your style to the next level with Boll and branch. The upgrade has never been more Ford -able every set is crafted from one hundred percent organic cotton. They get softer and softer over time. That's why they have thousands of five star reviews and even three US presidents have Boll and branch sheets. Try them for thirty nights. And if you don't love them, send them back for a full refund. Go to bollandbranch dot com today for fifty dollars off your first set of sheets, plus free shipping with promo code CNN to spelled B O L L, andbranch dot com. That's Boll and branch dot com. Promo code CNN too. Time now for the ridiculous. And I think we can all agree that one trait of an effective and self-aware leader is on his feedback. So what a great sign it was that the Trump campaign sent an Email to their supporters after the state of the union speech asking for just that. No, sure, the Email starts off insulting cry, and Chuck and Democrats labels the president's speech historic twice. But then it asks the president's followers to take the quote officials state of the union approval poll, and it's absolutely official because as you can see right there. It says official eat your heart out Gallup. So from this highly official undeniably scientific poll sent by team Trump to Trump supporters. I now present the first question, quote, how would you rate President Trump state of the union address historic? Great good or other historic. Great good seems like kind of missed opportunity for all of the above option. But look, I'm pollster, gee, I wonder what's going to happen to this data from the super scientific survey. Now, it's true that some people did things stay the union was historic. Great. Or good. In fact, to CNN poll conducted by SRS found that seventy six percent of yours had either very positive or somewhat positive reaction. Of course. There are also some people who thought it was other. That's not the point the point is what's the purpose of gathering. This kind of information in this way, who would want the results of a skewed survey since the president supporters with a loaded question where the answer choices or Olsen and hymns for user are awesome Gwyn sedan the president tweeted this short time ago. So nice. Well, my state of the union speech was received. Thank you to all. Now the world our chances for Trump supporters to make their feelings known on the survey. Here are a few other questions, quote, deeply, President Trump to liberty visionary speech of always chooses American greatness. And do you believe Democrats only say they don't wanna Walter harass? Our great president see these are perfect examples wide Severi important how poll questions are worded. And as we know killing Conway's very concerned about this type of thing. Under the new poll out showing that seventy one percent of the poll. Do you have the whole? I just wanted to see the question. The question was is the wall worth the government shutdown? So why would that be the question? Why? With that. We invite all of you to take the official ridiculous approval. Poll was the president survey embarrassing utterly pointless, shameless exercise in nurses, or other. And that all of the above is what we call it very official and a very good question on the ridiculous. And that's it for us. Not news continues one and handed over Chris Cuomo Cuomo primetime, Chris the Golden State killer, the east coast and the original night stalker, all means for the one suspect responsible for thirteen murders over fifty rapes and hundreds of burglaries. I would certainly hope that if there are other crimes attributed to him that we could figure those out in some way, he terrorized neighborhoods up and down the state of California from Sacramento to Irvine nine hundred seventy six to nine hundred eighty six also offering rewards of up to fifty thousand dollars for information leading to the identification arrest and conviction of the east area rape. This Golden State killer and on April twenty fifth two thousand eighteen law enforcement finally identified and arrested the mandate believe is the Golden State killer Joseph James de ngelo. It is fitting that today is national DNA day. We found the needle in the haystack. And it was right here in Sacramento. The decades long man hunt and did not far from where it started. The quiet. Citrus heights neighborhood, just northeast of Sacramento the same small city where four of the east area rapist attacks occurred yesterday afternoon in a perfectly executed arrest. My detectives arrested Joseph Di Angelo. How lon- forcement finally idea him what led to this arrest? How will this extraordinary case be prosecuted, and what are the survivors and family members of some of the victims saying about the capture and arrest of Joseph James Dangelo accused of being one of the most prolific serial killers in California history part a relief because I don't know this person I've never seen this person. But terrify to see this person did that to me, I'm Biagio Messina. And I'm joke Finn soon. We are the producers behind HSEN television documentary series unmasking killer. Join us as we explored the identification capture and arrest of Joseph James Dangelo, the alleged Golden State killer in a special ten part podcast series unmasking killer, all new episodes premiering Tuesday. February twelfth subscribed today at apple podcasts or wherever you listen. Listen to podcasts. File number d are two nine five seven seven one the unsolved murder of Elizabeth short. The blackout. You may have heard of the black Dahlia it was the name given to Elizabeth short. A woman who is savagely killed in Los Angeles in nineteen forty seven her body was cut in half and pose to horrifying effect. Housing dollars will be paid for information leading to the arrest and conviction of killer. The crime scene photos are out there, but a little warning, you can never unsee them. It's part of the reason that more than seventy years later, it's still the most famous unsolved murder in American history. Black Dahlia stories have been told for decades. My sister. And I have heard them since we were little because we were told that the killer was part of our family. You think you've committed the perfect? Someone listening to this program is going to bring you to Justice. Her body was his canvas and his scalpel was his paintbrush. That's our ankle. And for twenty years. He's been uncovering evidence luring him closer to the devastating truth. It was just like one of these kind of flash moments. This is it this is why he did it. It was the first time. I started thinking like my father. But this isn't just a black Dahlia story, this is the story of a family. Our family and it's terrible past. When I found my birth. Mom. She told me her father, which would be my grandfather had an I q higher than Einstein. And that he had been investigated in the black Dahlia murder so about by about his time. I'm ready to drop dead, the more and more. I learned about growing up. I just thought well, I'm from a really dark family. This got a lot of fucked up things that I don't even know about their cycle pins, and they're sociopaths, and I tried to figure out which one my mother was it turns out that murder is just one of the dark hotel secrets open a couple of closets. Go back a generation or two, and you're gonna find some pretty shocking things for the first time ever all of us are ready to tell our story. The real story of the hotel family rolled crazy. You know? But everybody is my name is Yvette. And I'm Russia, and we're proud to bring you the new podcast documentary series root of evil. The true story of the hotel family and the black Dahlia up a production of c thirteen originals a division of cadence. Thirteen in partnership with TNT coming February thirteenth. Subscribe now wherever you get your podcasts.

president President Trump Jeff Bezos CNN Trump National Enquirer White House Washington Post David pecker Russia Muller President Obama Congress attorney extortion Twitter United States Michael Cohen White House
'National Enquirer' And American Media's Other Tabloids Are For Sale

NPR's Business Story of the Day

04:13 min | 1 year ago

'National Enquirer' And American Media's Other Tabloids Are For Sale

"Support for this podcast and the following message. Come from the almond board of California working with almond farmers to improve water management practices. Learn more about the almond communities efforts to reduce the amount of water. It takes to grow each pound of almonds at almondsustainability dot org. The National Enquirer, you know. It's usually on sale at grocery store checkout stands with its sensational headlines. You might have read some as you've been waiting in line. Will it is now up for sale its parent company. American media Inc. Says it intends to sell several of its tabloids including the Enquirer and this comes after some controversial years for one thing. AM I reportedly tried to help President Trump's campaign by buying and suppressing a story from a former playboy model who claims she had an affair with Trump in February Jeff Bezos, the owner of the Washington Post and CEO of Amazon accused the Enquirer of extortion and blackmail, and now comes this potential sale. Let's talk to NPR's David Folkenflik about it. Hey, david. Hey, david. So there was Karen McDougal former playboy model. There was Jeff Bezos in his accusation. Some I mean, I just remind us about all these controversies the magazine is faced we'll think back to what we now know about the two thousand sixteen race. Karen McDougal had claimed to have a significant relationship. Extra marital affair with the president and were subsequently introduced the phrase catch and kill the the inquirer facilitated one hundred and fifty thousand dollar payout. Two McDougal extensively to paired right column for a sister publication men's journal actually to ensure that store never saw the light of day during the election season separately, Jeff Bezos in January took to medium posted a platform. And basically said, hey, by the way, not only have I been having an extramarital affair with my girlfriend, but the inquirer is all over it. And Furthermore, I became aware that they're all over it. And they have been trying to blackmail me and extort me into issuing a statement saying that no way was this politically motivated because of their ties to President Trump, and they were threatening to publish very intimate. Photographs of me. I'm not. Gonna stand for it. Here's what I have to say. I mean, and it's worth just pausing and reflecting it at at Trump's ties to all of this. I mean, he's close to to the guy runs the magazine right Detroit. This is not in any way, an accident. David pecker, the determine the controlling executive at American media Inc. The parent company has long had ties with Donald Trump. They consider each other friends and Trump grew up in the sort of more. Hey and morass of tabloid news here in New York City doing business with Murdoch's New York Post doing business with the National Enquirer ensuring favorable coverage and trying to tamp down on negative coverage of him. Will you saw that play out on its pages with cover story after cover story reason questions about Hillary Clinton's morality Bill Clinton about her health, and you saw that about positive and sort of glowing coverage of Trump and also the lack of coverage of the kind of scandals that the inquire usually traffics in so the company is saying this is a business decision. But I mean, there's a report in the New Yorker that as recently as twenty seventeen company was thinking about how to actually. Expand its its portfolio of magazines. So I mean is is this the controversies that that really changed fortunes for them. Or is this story more complicated. Well, you could say both, you know, in twenty ten parent company declared, bankruptcy, there's significant debt surrounding and hanging over national enquirers parent company, but you can't separate this from the scandals the Washington Post in its reporting claims that the hedge fund manager who sort of controlling owner. Now of American media says that he's disgusted by what he's learned. The this is not really anything new for the inquirer. But don't forget the legal trouble. The inquirer has been in. You know, it got dragged into the investigation. Michael Cohen and others. It had to essentially negotiate with prosecutors in order to avoid prosecution, and indeed the bazo scandal may raise the legal stakes once more. I mean, we we've probably all joked at the grocery store checkout stand like looking at the health who would ever by the National Enquirer. When now it's like a more serious question. Who would by the national inquirer will you know in a in a straight world, you might say TMZ that digital gossip site. It's hard to. No, it's damage brand. It is a notable brands somebody made by as a play thing. Or there's been speculation. Jeff Bezos would wanna strangle it by it and put it out while different kinds of catch. Another chapter of the story. Yeah. In paris. David folkenflik. Thanks, david. You bet.

President Trump National Enquirer Jeff Bezos inquirer Karen McDougal David Folkenflik david American media Inc Washington Post Murdoch California David pecker president Hillary Clinton Detroit New York Post New York City Amazon playboy NPR
Alexa, disable camera

Today, Explained

21:43 min | 1 year ago

Alexa, disable camera

"I'm not sure many people have purchased your toothbrush over a million people have purchased. A quip electric toothbrushes, certified platinum across the country. It's available. Get clipped dot com slash explained. G E T Q U I P dot com slash E. X P L A N E D. It starts at twenty five dollars. In your first set of refills is F R E E. Peter Kafka, your executive editor of Recode host of the Recode media podcast. Jeff Bezos, kind of broke the internet last night with with a blog post. Why is his blog post so much more than a blog post? You don't usually have the world's richest man writing about as dick pic. But that's what happened last night. He also accused the National Enquirer of trying to extort him with that dick pic photo. It's fun to say dick pic on the air. And also, there's a Donald Trump element. So that that that will break the that will break the internet for you. You can find those elements. That'll do it. So there's a lot of elements to this blog post where where does one begin? If you want to go all the way back. I guess you go back to January when Jeff Bezos announced via Twitter that he was divorcing his wife of many decades. That's followed by National Enquirer story, saying, hey, Jeff basis had a long running affair for its current cover story that hit newsstands today. The tabloid seemingly spared no expenses to expose what they say is face owes is extra marital affair with Lauren Sanchez. We have photos. We have texts. Here's a lot of them that story blew up for a couple of days. Tabloid claims at tracked him across five states and over forty thousand miles according to the Enquirer basis, as lawyer told the publication that it was widely known that he and his wife had been long separated. The texture of the kind of texts you send someone you're having an affair with which are mildly embarrassing. But it makes it clear they're having an affair the Enquirer in its reporting says we have photos, by the way, and some of them are so racy we can't show you them, which the timer. Everyone's sort of ignored. And now as now as much more relevant. Yeah. This story kind of like receded into the background. But I guess we all should have taken note that like you probably don't wanna fuck with the richest man in the world in quite this way. Right. It's pretty interesting. And on the other hand, you might say if you're the richest man in the world, you know, one real you learn early honest, you don't fight with the press. And especially if this is an affair. This is an embarrassing to you just sort of hope it all sort of goes away. And I think that's what people thought was going to happen cut to week or two ago. We start seeing stories I in the Daily Beast, and then the Washington Post saying Jeff Bezos through his private security guy is pursuing possible reasons why the story would have gotten out and suggest. Getting that Donald Trump is somehow involved in this which is something that a lot of us thought initially right away of the national choir is linked to Donald Trump. Maybe this hit job the inquirer said, no, no, no, no. This isn't Trump related. We went after the story because it's about the world's richest man having an affair, which by the way is perfectly logical argument of the Enquirer doesn't have a lot of credibility discuss that. But that seemed fairly reasonable enough. At this point. We know that Jeff Bezos isn't going to let this go. He's hired an investigator to look into it who's the sky that he hired. This is his in-house sky. Gavin de Becker other famous people use them he is running an investigation and telling the press he's running an investigation trying to figure out how this stuff got out to the National Enquirer, which seems both gain both reasonable and conspiratorial because the people you would start with our Jeff Bezos and the woman he's having an affair with. And in most cases, you would expect that the investigation will end up concluding that one of them sent those photos or someone they shouldn't have. And that's how they got out. But at this private investigator is telling people including the Daily Beast and eventually the Washington Post, which Jeff Bezos own see how this gets twisty that he is considering the the idea that maybe someone Trump related as involved. Maybe Roger stone is involved. It gets quite complicated and sort of hard to believe in overly conspiratorial, accept that. Maybe there's some truth to it. Right. Right. And I guess hiring a PI to investigate the National Enquirer sounds kind of like using the national enquirers tactics against it. How does the National Enquirer respond to that? I can't remember if they said anything publicly, but they're line has been this is a great story. We went after it. We went after it because it's a great story. I think it was telling that Dylan Howard who runs the national inquiries chief content officer for American media. He was one of the bylines on the Jeff Bezos story. That's the equivalent of, you know, mardi baron running his by line on a giant Washington Post story, mardi barons, the editor of the Washington Post. That's kind of extraordinary it is assigned sort of like the Enquirer takes this very seriously or is very proud of the story. So then, of course, last night Jeff Bezos post this blog post in response to these threats. He's receiving that the National Enquirer is going to post a dick pic and other picks of him. You know, what in his in his boxer briefs or something like that? What does Basil's exactly? We say in his blog post on medium. So basil says look I've been extorted. The inquirer is parent company. American media run by David pecker have been trying to extort me what they want me to do is to say that. I don't have any reason to believe there's any connection between their story about my affair, and any political influence, I Donald Trump, but I'm not gonna say that. But I am going to publish the text of the emails. They've sent me threatening to release these photos, basically, I have the receipts and I'm going to print them. And what did the Email say? So there's a series of emails threatening emails saying, essentially, we want you to come out and say that you have no idea that that there's any political motivation behind the story. And when you do that will essentially agree to bury these dick picks. And there's a the most incendiary letter is the letter from Dylan Howard chief content officer of American media listing the content of the ten photos, dick Votto or some other photo that suggests oral sex other stuff that's embarrassing to regular people. Let alone billionaires basically like here's here. Here's what we have on u we're sending to you on February fifth. We think the Washington Post is about to write a story about the possible political motivations for this leak you own the Washington Post, and this is the reason we're sending this out today. And by the way, the Washington Post did run that store on February fifth. I mean, this is where it gets kind of conspiracy theory, adjacent, right? You've got like the world's richest man, the world's most powerful, man. One of the best newspapers in the world. One of the most successful tabloids in the world, it's like a movie waiting to happen. How exactly does bays owes make this connection between himself the Washington Post, and then the National Enquirer American media, it's parent company and the president of the United States. So that's that's the tricky part. And Jeff Bezos is smart, and he has Mark people who work with him. And they don't exactly connect the dots. But they lay out the dots. And allow people like you and me to connect them in his medium post, which is quite lengthy. He only mentions Donald Trump by name four times. And basically saying look the National Enquirer and Donald Trump have a relationship. It's documented in court, and that's the relationship between care McDougal. Yes, we're the national. Inquires been sort of acting as both promoter of Donald Trump, and and someone publication that it's explicitly killing stories that portray him in an unflattering light. Right. It's also facts that Donald Trump has had a problem with the Washington Post's coverage and with Amazon general right kind of leaves it out there. And then we have to do the rest of the connecting ourselves. Because again, he doesn't have any early. Sees not presenting any solid proof here that the choir was doing what it did on behalf of Trump or to please Trump, but he certainly allows us to infer that. And so the just the big picture inference is the Enquirer published these texts that Basil's was sending his girlfriend because it would please the president that they were hitting Jeff Bezos that way right bazo does not say that out loud. Here's one of the things he said, my ownership of the Washington Post is a complex financial for me. Right. Great word. It's unavoidable that certain powerful people who experience. Washington Post news coverage will wrongly conclude. I am their enemy Donald Trump is one of those people obvious by his many tweets. Right. So he lays that out. He doesn't say. And thus he has asked the inquirer to do this. He never says that explicitly. So we've heard from like, basically the entire internet about how it feels about this story. But how is the National Enquirer responded since he published his blog posts last night this morning minutes before it came to talk to inquire put out American media. Put out a statement in short. It says we didn't do anything wrong. We're sure of that said we are going to investigate this. It's the kind of statement you put out the gives yourself allude bit of wiggle room. If eventually you want to come out and say mistakes were made, but their position is we're fine. We're good. What do you think happens next on all this good? What? You know, the the traditional model for a scandal. Like, this is lots of people who don't want to write about the story because they find an unseemly or they're worried about invading someone's privacy. Now have reason to go after the story again, right? Jeff Bezos, his essentially giving you permission to write about Jeff basis as dick pic again, which we all did. And so we'll chase the story for a while. And I imagine there is other stuff that will come out that there other emails that will come out. I don't know what the Enquirer can do to sort of attack bays story. But again, the the big sort of looming thing here is this isn't just a fight between a really rich person and a tabloid paper. This involves the president United States, and and intimations that this newspaper was working on behalf of Donald Trump directly or because it thought it would help him to take down someone he's politically opposed to that's potentially a very big deal. We're not there yet. But that's the storyline that I think is gonna most compelling over the next few days. A peek inside the national enquirers vault. That's next on three explained. Hello from Brooklyn to admit. I'm in Manhattan right now. I gotta go. No, come back. This week you joined a million other people and now have a quick toothbrush because I sent you one because you kept asking, but you didn't immediately use it have you used it yet use permit Turkoman with how did it go? It would great did all the work for me. And you do have we should remind listeners who may have missed that. You do have a broken wrist as well to wrinkle. Remember that I have broken wrist in use my non dominant handrail, but you know, the cliff caught a little bit rationing there since it vibrating. Yeah. Was it sensitive like they say, you're and I feel good about it. I'm gonna go to the dentist soon. Again. She's going to be oppressed teeth. I feel like using differently with a little pulses play win. They move sections of your mouth, that's helpful. Probably probably actually my popular refers time in years mother. Happy ending get clip dot com slash explained for anyone who doesn't have a podcast fairy godfather out there. Yeah. I'm gonna try to products and things that I need to works. You probably get a mattress a point. Yeah. I can get another on my car metros. Two X export. I'm Diana Moskovitz. And I'm senior editor with deadspin. And deadspin you written about the national choir. This isn't the first time Trump has been linked with the National Enquirer tabloid, right? Remind me what happened back in December. Right back in December. That was when prosecutors let it be known that American media Inc. Which publishes the national choir headed, mid it had coordinated with Donald Trump's presidential campaign to pay a playboy model one hundred fifty thousand dollars in essentially hush money. And that was Karen McDougal. Yes. And that then is putting trubs inner circle closer to these coordinated hush payments. And what's key in this case is that this is during ongoing presidential campaign. The Enquirer says, they're doing this thing with Jeff Bezos for for journalistic reasons, they wrote to him that will publish these dick picks of you. And. And selfish view. If you don't back off our brand what's the tabloids history with with actual journalism been like through the years? I think here's good to differentiate that we're talking about basically when David pecker has owned the National Enquirer, and at least Packer, we've got documented cases that other. Journalists have uncovered of them doing this thing called the catching kill the catch is where you get something. Very embarrassing could be in this case dick picks. It could be people coming forward saying they've had affairs with you. We've had cases where it's been people talking about crimes or women have come forward and said they've been sexually assaulted by very famous people. And so they get that. And then instead of publishing it we get to the kill which is whether than go to that person. And then some sort of bartering happens or a celebrity has given them access or spoken to them for a story in return for the kill so catch and kill other famous examples of this or doing. Never get to find out what they are because they're killed when the that I know very well involves Bill Cosby with his two trials for sexual assault. in that case. We know what happened was that? When women started to come forward saying they had been drugged and raped by him one of the women who came forward, but farrier went to the national quieter. She told her story, she even took a light detector test for them. I was more concerned for my safety. And for people to believe me since I didn't have photos of Mr. Cosby myself, and then instead of published her story, the national choir goes to Bill Cosby, and they kill the story. Bet story doesn't actually come out. But you have to find other reporters to tell it, but return for them sitting on her story, Bill Cosby gives them this exclusive sit down interview, which he actually uses to bash the first woman who came forward. Andrea Constand just calls her liar accusers were doing all this for money, but National Enquirer doesn't exclusive interview with Bill Cosby on among other things discrediting the alleged victim and top of Bill. Cosby? Also settling with her financially. American media did have to reach a financial settlement with her in regards to what they publish Bill Cosby saying about her. I was trade off worth it to them. I mean, they kill a good story to get what Bill Cosby bashing some women is that kind of calculus that national enquirers making all the time. It's tough to say how often they make it. But even just with this story recently with Jeff Bezos now other reporters, including Ronan Farrow have come forward that they had similar. We could call it a threat made toward them. It's enough that we've seen it come up with Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's been reported that they soft pedaled their coverage of him leading up to his run for governor in return for access it came up with Tiger Woods. They sat on possible early report of what of his affairs in return for him giving access to another one of their locations and speaking of run Farrell, I it came up of his Harvey Weinstein reporting as well Weinstein gathered ammunition, turn to old allies and tried to dispense favors to keep his own dirt out of the headline that isn't insight into that world at its. Very heavily heavily guarded world. So when you do get to see how it works it just overs up your eyes to see. Oh, that's what's going on. That's how this works. Okay. Just to make a distinction here. There's a difference between the straight up blackmail, kind of extortion that you're hearing about with Ronan Farrow, and Jeff Bezos and the kind of catch and kill that. You're talking about with with Bill Cosby and Tiger Woods, right. Like TMZ? Does that kind of thing of her? Right. I mean with TMZ if you read stories all them, you'll see sometimes people talk about this legend, this idea of TMZ vaults, and it's filled with embarrassing things that intern gets celebrities to cooperate with them does the National Enquirer vault to back in August. When reports were first coming out about federal prosecutors were looking into with the national choir and am I they reported that the magazine did have a safe which contain documents about hush money payments at various damaging stories it had killed as part of cozy relationship with Donald Trump as well as catch. Kills with other celebrities as well. It's like you have a pretty good sense of how the National Enquirer works. Did. You learn anything from what happened last night with Jeff Bezos. I really basic level. It's shows how power works, and I also feel like this is really important to talk about especially now where after me to an after the Harvey Weinstein story, and even after you know, there's just refresh reporting with people like Brian singer. You would always people all white people speak out. And I think it's important to show the ways in which there are very powerful mechanisms in place that keep people from speaking out. There are women without a who have got to publications with stories about powerful people and publications this case in the national choir keep them from getting out, you know, how many types don't we know about? That's what I wonder what all the things we know about it's come out years later. Right weinstein. We've found out about years later, Cosby decades later, you know, Schwarzenegger, it came out later after the election. And I think that's why it's easy to oh my gosh, so salacious it's so silly ha dick picks. But this is how powerful people are allowed to operate in this country. You know, you could just pay a certain amount of money. And this really embarrassing story about you will just go away. That's just so wild and has the National Enquirer sort of met its match in Jeff Bezos. Maybe what the richest man in the world who who instead of playing ball with them just published their emails to the entire world. It's basically talking about celebrities businesses at that. And he might arguably be richer and more powerful than just about all of them except for Donald Trump. And that certainly seems to be the case here where he just felt like, you know, I don't have to. Play ball. He felt like he could put it out there and whatever damage it might do his reputation. It would be still worse for the other side that I think he felt like he could do that. With a lot of other people have it. So yeah, it could be that they just finally dealt with what I don't have to put up with this. I think I'm more powerful than you. I'm going to show you people how this works. Diana Moskowitz is a senior editor at deadspin. I'm Sean Rama's firm, and this is today explained. Thanks to toothbrushes for supporting the show this week. And like so many times since we launched almost a year ago. We appreciate that over a million people have shown their appreciation for the quick by purchasing. It you can do. So at get quip dot com slash explained. That's GT Q IP dot com slash explained. The coupe starts to twenty five bucks. I refills is free in another thing before we go for the weekend pivot, a podcast from CARA Swisher, and Scott Galloway to people who know a whole lot about tech is worth checking out this week there, wishing a happy est birthday to Facebook as Facebook celebrates its fifteenth birthday care and Scott invite a couple of their friends over to talk about how they all really feel about the platform. It's funny, and it's inciteful pivot.

National Enquirer Jeff Bezos Donald Trump Washington Post Bill Cosby dick pic president Dylan Howard Lauren Sanchez Basil United States investigator Harvey Weinstein David pecker chief content officer senior editor Twitter Arnold Schwarzenegger Trump
Pecker Pics and Tabloid Tricks

Radio Atlantic

37:13 min | 1 year ago

Pecker Pics and Tabloid Tricks

"Do you want Alex Wagner to just begin this episode of radio Atlantic without waiting for me to give a spiel about our sponsor Oatley the vegan plant based oatmeal originally from Sweden? That's now. Available in the US. Okay. Here's alex. In many ways, President Donald Trump owes his success to tabloid journalism. John Cassidy rates in the New Yorker that during the nineteen eighties. When he was an up and comer on the New York real estate seen. Trump was constantly planting puff stories about himself in the city's tabloids during the nineteen nineties Trump resurrected his career by persuading the bank's not to abandon him and eventually by becoming a star on reality television itself. A bastardized form of tabloid journalism, perhaps know tabloid has been more helpful to Trump than the National Enquirer. We learned last year that the paper purchased and then killed multiple stories that were unflattering to Trump as he campaigned for president. And now we have allegations that the Enquirer sought to blackmail, one of Trump's chief rivals, at least in Trump's is Amazon CEO and owner of the Washington Post Jeff Bezos, we know this because bazo himself posted details last week about what he. Called an extortion and blackmail attempt by the Enquirer, how did a celebrity magazine get into the rough and tumble world of extortion. And why does the president of the United States keep appearing or not appearing in its headlines? This is radio Atlantic. With me now is Jeffrey Toobin staff writer for the New Yorker and chief legal analyst for CNN. What a pleasure Jeff's great to have you on the podcast, Alex. So two years ago, you press the employees profiled am I see oh, David pecker a name. We now have seen in the headlines quite a bit in recent weeks. His company was under scrutiny for a pattern of suppressing negative stories about President Trump for people who don't know the very interesting history of the National Enquirer. It wasn't always a tabloid rag that you pick up at WalMart while you're waiting in the checkout line, right? I it started the the origins of it are sort of more unusual. Can you tell us a little bit about how it first began? Well, it began early in the twentieth century, and it was actually a fairly serious of magazine, you know, a all in the in the same time period. Where time magazine started the time life business began, but it really began to change after World War Two in this really extrordinary character named Generoso pope took it over, and it it began it turned into at least a version of the National Enquirer that that. We know today. That's when we start getting the the blood and gore, photography, the sense of the kind of car crash, you can't look away from right as but, but it's, but it's interesting, I mean, even within the sort of CD supermarket tabloid world, it has gone through several iterations is that it started as you point out in the pope era with the really grotesque horrible car accidents, the deformed babies the, but but no pope had the brilliant idea of starting to sell it and soup. Per markets and supermarkets wouldn't put blood and gore on its checkout lines. So in the fifties and sixties it evolved into the celebrity gossip magazine that more or less it remains. But but the blood and gore were gone, interestingly, the lot of that went to a crazy publication called the weekly world news, which still barely actually doesn't exist at all anymore, but was invented because they still had these black and white presses that they needed to use for something. So they would just sort of make up. Crazy news, call it the weekly world news. And that you know, I in the glory days sold hundreds of thousands of copies a week as well to be a reporter on the weekly world news. I can only imagine those editor all meetings. Yeah. We should note that the, you know, the inquirer as much as it is dismissed as kind of a tabloid rag does have a history of breaking some actual real political news that had implications for national politics in nineteen eighty-seven, the Enquirer family, the Enquirer famously published that photograph of Gary Hart, and Donna rice on the monkey business boat, which was the end of hearts presidential bid. And then two decades later the National Enquirer was first on the story that John Edwards had fathered a child out of wedlock during his presidential race. I wonder Jeff in your research for the story. Did you find any instances of the inquirer taking a Gimblett? I two Republican candidates and Republican politics, or is it always been sort of a right wing leaning populist MAG. I would not describe it as intensely political in particularly, you know, up in. I mean, even even the. Heart and the Edwards scoops. I don't think we're particularly motivated by you know, screwing Democrats, I think they were motivated because they were great scoops. And and and I don't it was really only when David pecker took over and really even during the Trump campaign in very recently that the the inquirer became explicitly political. And you know, for example, two thousand sixteen was the first time the Enquirer ever endorsed a candidate for president that candidate. Of course, was Donald Trump was Trump. Right. But before Trump who has as I'm sure we'll discuss is a long term friend of Packers. There was not a heavy duty political orientation to the inquirer. It was much more gossip driven and driven above all by. By. Newsstand sales. You know, whose face on the on the cover would sell would sell magazines that is really what what drove it and even to a certain extent in the pecker Trump era that that's what drove it at least during the campaign, but that was more. There was not not a heavy duty political orientation through most of the most of the history of the inquire. So the orientation is more scandal than partisan. He right in one of the fascinating things. I learned in in reporting this story and pecker and his colleagues gave me tremendous access is is they have a very scientific way of proving. You know, what sells, and what doesn't even what word cell, and what words don't, you know? Jennifer. I'm kind of blanking. No from friends. Oh, Jennifer Aniston Chashma for Amazon, Jennifer Aniston cells. Jennifer Lopez does not sell. You know words, you often see on the cover of the inquirer tragic last days that cells that is what mostly drives the Enquirer more than politics in at least during the period of two thousand fifteen two thousand sixteen Trump sold. And yes, there was a friendship with pecker. But the fact that Trump sold was also a major factor, and that's not entirely surprising. When you think about the Enquirer's audience, which is largely lower middle class. It sells most of all in WalMart, and you know, the great swath swats of central Pennsylvania, central Ohio, central Wisconsin that that one Trump the election that was prime in car, inquirer territory. Well, yeah. And it so we'll get to that in a second this sort of chicken or the eggs scenario. Right, right. Does Trump just happened to move a lot of national and enquirers or was there a sort of benefit? To giving your friend favorable press. Let's talk a little bit about Dave pecker who becomes the head who the steward of the National Enquirer. He is a fascinating character. He's not a journalist. But he is in a way a kind of throwback to a certain kind of New York City media mogul, isn't he Jeff he he has this kind of old school characteristics. He is I mean, you know, the most of the the news media. I mean, you work youth worked or the MSNBC I work at CNN, you know, their corporations their own by Dinna shareholders and CEO's who are very bottom line driven business school graduates of pecker is a throwback to win newspapers and magazines were owned by individual people and reflected the personalities of the, you know, like the the Henry looses, the the and pecker, you know, has brought this. You know, slightly downmarket swashbuckling mentality to a series of magazines over the years. I you know, I and before Trump was never known as a particularly political person. But. The everything changed with Trump. And he is seems to be very much in the thrall of Donald Trump Trump's sort of brand of New York success, the gilded ceilings in the supermodels on each arm is very it seems like it intoxicated. Dave Packer in terms of what a definition of success. Should look like well, it certainly did. And and there was a long relationship there in part because Donald Trump was a familiar figure in the inquirer. And he used to give pecker and company tips about things to cover. But there was a business relationship between them to when you checked into a. A Trump hotel for many years, and this is true for several different hotel chains. You got a Trump magazine that was produced by American media, which is Packers company the parent company of the Enquirer. So he he did this. What's called custom publishing, which you know, he he did a magazine for Trump's hotels and that built a relationship. You know, the the inquirer was based for many years, very close to Palm Beach, and and he also acquired the star. And now he's acquired all he essentially now has a monopoly on the shrinking universe of supermarket tabloids. But you know, he he was I believe he was a member of mar-a-lago. He was certainly there a lot. And there was definitely a social relationship, and as you point out. Pecker in in a very open way looked up to Trump as the kind of model of success. He would have liked to have had fascinating. So we see that admiration sort of made public in in two thousand sixteen you talked about the fact that Enquirer endorsed Trump. The first time the paper ever endorses the political candidate. They endorsed him for president in two thousand sixteen but in addition to that move there are a number of other ones that indirectly helped the Trump campaign. The inquirer is ruthless in terms of trashing President Trump's rivals then candidate trumps rivals. They were the ones that linked. Ted Cruz is father to the assassination of John F Kennedy which we heard about on the campaign trail from Trump himself, and they were breathtakingly tough on Hillary Clinton and her so-called health issues. I remember you point this out in your in your piece on election eve, the Enquirer offered a special nine page investigation. Under the headline Hillary corrupt racist. Criminal with friend with with journalists like these. I mean, it was it wasn't there. Stunning. The and you you cite twenty sixteen. This really started in twenty fifteen you know, because as I needn't tell you our our presidential campaigns known begin in the year of of the election throughout the campaign twenty twenty twenty fifteen and twenty sixteen. The the magazine was relentlessly cheerleading for Trump and trashing his rivals at you know, as you point out Ted Cruz during the primaries, and then just outrageous stuff, a about Hillary, and, you know, without I mean, I don't wanna sound too much like journalistic Skuld, but you know, we can't have this conversation without saying that they were lies about Hillary, Ken, and and distortions in terrible terrible unfair journalism, and you know, it's easy to roll your eyes about the inquirer. And it is true that the circulation of the Enquirer which was in, you know, three or four million in the sixties is now in the range of three hundred thousand so it's dramatically dramatically smaller, though, the price has increased. So that the. Revenue is not as different as it was. But you know, millions of people see the cover of the inquire in every week. And so so, you know, I when I wrote my New Yorker piece, you know, obviously, I had some fun with the inquirer. And and you know, you can't help. But, you know, get us sort of perverse kick at ahead of how crazy it is. But you also need to say how irresponsible and and damaging the the the kind of journalism they practices. It sort of reminds me of the analogue version of the Russian troll farms that were pumping out this sort of fake news tidbits that were then circulated on social media during the two thousand sixteen campaign, right? This is the sort of supermarket tabloid version of the some of that, I think that's right. And and I can't connect all the dots. But I would not be surprised if there was a feedback loop between. What went on on social media that got into the Enquirer, which fed what was on social media. I mean, the the the troll farms had to had to work from something. And I wouldn't be surprised if they used stuff in the Enquirer and then the Enquirer would amplify. What was on social media anything that they could do to help Trump and damage his rivals? They did fascinating. We are going to take a quick break. But when we come back, we're gonna talk more about the Enquirer's current legal lows involving Dave Packer, the southern district of New York, the world's richest, man. And of course, President Trump stay with us. Oh Lee is the vegan plant based milk originally from Sweden. That's now available in the US. So the people that only had a really cool and funny idea for this commercial. But since their company beliefs include the idea that people don't believe in commercials anymore and just want to hear the truth Oatley has asked me to simply read these unfunny and totally true facts about milk number one vote milk, tastes, really good and your cereal or in your coffee. Number two vote. Milk uses a lot less water less land and creates far less greenhouse gas emissions than cow's milk. For more totally true. Facts about oatmeal can go to open dot com. That's AT L Y dot com. All right. We are back with Jeffrey Toobin, Jeff, you are a legal eagle the National Enquirer got in trouble for a practice last year called catch and kill which your colleague Ronan Farrow wrote about last year, and the New Yorker would it for people who are not familiar with catch and kill. What is it and how did the Enquirer practice it? And how has it landed the paper and hot water with the feds? Well, the the crucial fact you have to understand about the Enquirer's journalism is that it's based on financial transactions. They pay for news. They pay people for interviews. They pay people for photographs they pay people for tips, which respectable news organizations. Don't do the corollary to simply paying people for interviews is paying people for. For a story that someone could do, but you pay them not to talk about it to anyone else. And what happened with Karen McDougal was they paid her hundred fifty thousand dollars. Not to talk about her affair that. She said she had with Donald Trump the colloquial term for what went on. There is catch and kill that. Is you catch the subject of a story? But instead of publishing the story you kill the story. And that's not on what went on with mccoo. There's an anecdote you have in the piece about Tiger Woods and the Enquirer that sheds more light on the practice. Can you tell us that story? Just because it's such a fascinating insight into the way this paper works. Well. And you know, the Tiger Woods story is an example of how complex it can get. The the inquirer was doing investigation of Tiger Woods in. They saw that. He was having this sort of CD affair with some woman in Florida and the involved sex in cars, and there were photographs and it was very incriminating. Well, they confronted woods or his representatives. And instead of running it, they negotiated for woods to appear on the cover of men's fitness magazine. Men's fitness magazine, he had not yet appeared on the cover of. So this was writing they really wanted the they really wanna tiger on the cover so in payment and essentially for not running the photographs of him with this woman in Florida, he agreed to appear on the cover. That's a good example of sort of how these transactions can work. It's not always as simple as here's five. Eight hundred dollars tell us, you know, where you saw John Travolta. It's it's you know, I it can be a much more complex web of transactions as it was in this Tiger Woods store. And indeed as the the contours of the bazo scandal seemed to be a more complicated than your usual catch and kill. But because of the Karen McDougal catch and kill arrangement. The feds have basically crafted a deal with AM. I Dave Packer because they were the inquirer was effectively violating campaign finance laws. They were giving right? Absolutely. Although it's so interesting, you know, how different this looks two years, hence, you know, when I was sitting in a restaurant interviewing David pecker. And he said to me, Donald Trump is a friend of this magazine, we didn't want that story out there. So we paid to kill it. I mean, it was very open about what generous friends. You know, we should all have such friends, although we probably shouldn't engage in the underlying behavior. But he. I mean, very openly said it it didn't occur to me. And it certainly didn't occur to him or the people who were at the lunch that that would be later seen as potentially in a legal campaign contribution. That money that was paid to engineering that transaction was one of the things that Michael Kohn pleaded guilty to of as as an illegal campaign contribution that led to and in that led to the investigation in the southern district of New York as part of that investigation. David pecker and his top deputy Dylan Howard, effectively got immunity and a non-prosecution agreement saying we're not going to prosecute you in connection with this the the payments to Karen McDougal, but you gotta keep your nose clean. You can't commit anymore. Crimes in that sort of where things stood in until the basal story until Jeff Bezos, the world's richest man, the CEO of Amazon, the owner of the Washington Post publishes a week ago, a medium post where he details what he basically alleges is an extortion scheme by the national inquirer wherein, they say, look, we know you're having an affair with this woman. And we have photos, you sent her dick picks, I can say that on this family podcast dick picks that were gonna publish unless you say that our investigation into your private life. Had nothing to do with politics. Well, let me let me just amend. The your your version of the facts a little bit. I the Enquirer through broke the story of their relationship of of Basil's relationship with this with this woman and Basil's announced that that that he was getting divorced then they approached him with the dick picks in the other. You know, embarrassing photographs and said, you know, in less, you either drop your investigation or say that our investigation of you, the why you pays us and in unless you say in the Washington Post, either drop the Washington Post investigation or say, our motives were not political. We will we will publish these photos. The reason I make that correction is that. When they approached Basil's with what he calls a blackmail offer. The the news of his relationship with MS Sanchez was already public. So the the impact of the photographs was probably not gonna be as big. I mean, obviously, it'd be very embarrassing. But the underlying news was out there already. So the leverage that the Enquirer had was somewhat less. Yes. Although I will say who really wants dick pic circulating. I would say no absolutely precisely. No. But but so so let's talk a little bit about this political angle. Jeff Bezos is effectively asserting the National Enquirer is doing someone's bidding by revealing the bazo affair and subsequently the bazo stick picks. And the implication is that it's President Trump spitting. Right. President Trump doesn't like the Washington Post. He's been very public about his feelings about Jeff Bezos. He now calls him. Jeff bozo. What do you think about that angle? Well, you know, I it's it's interesting, and it's probably somewhat more complicated than the simple the Enquirer doing Trump's bidding. Yes, it's true in two thousand seventeen that that David pecker was very happy to say to me. Look, we love Donald Trump. And you know, we were helping them out with this Karen McDougal situation. This has been a nightmare for pay for Packer and for American media has company and for Dylan Howard, the yes, it's true that in two thousand seventeen in two thousand eighteen it was it was all jolly to talk about how how much they like Donald Trump. This has been a problem. And frankly, my sense is and also if you just look at the inquirer as I continue to do they have carried a lot less water for Trump in recent months. They they, you know, Trump is not selling the way he wants did as far as I can tell and, you know, and I think the relationship between them pecker and Trump is somewhat. I is is less cl-. Close probably a lot less close than it. Once was so I think you need to keep that in the background, you know, AVI. And look and Basil's is a good stories the richest man in the world. It is a classic Enquirer story to reveal that. You know, he he was having this affair is it a benefit that it helped Trump and and embarrassed one of his enemies, probably. Yes. But was that the primary motivator? I don't know. Now, I'm sure you're going to get to this. There is also the related Saudi Arabia angle, which may actually be bigger than the Trump angle. Lynch's pas on the Saudis. I because I do want to get to that. You say that this has been a nightmare for Dave pecker? We were just talking about the non-prosecution agreement that AM I and Dave Packer have with the federal prosecutors in the southern district. Do you think that this allegation on the part of Jeff Bezos that this was an extortion scheme on the part of am I and pecker violates the non-prosecution agreement? I mean how much jeopardy or are? They in right now. I'm going to give you a ringing. I don't know to that. Because I don't know. But it is certainly worthy of investigation. You know? You work in TV I work in TV everybody asks you, you know, is someone guilty or not guilty based on like one piece of information. That's not how it works. What is appropriate here is that the southern district dude investigation of whether this was blackmail, look at all the communications between AM I and and Basil's look interview these people talk to people learn all the facts because on its face. It does look like it might be extortion or blackmail, extortion is obtaining a thing of value by threats or force. You know, give me a million dollars or I'll kill you. The question is did Trump did AM? I obtain a thing of value. Certainly there were threats in the photos are we'll release the photos is clearly a threat. But did they get a thing of value? Well, they got or they saw. The news coverage or the absence of news coverage. That's certainly a thing of value, especially to a company in perilous financial shape. Like the like am is. So you could say they did get a thing of value. However, they would say look we were just trying to get the truth published in the Washington Post, and we were using what leverage we could to do it. So it is an unconventional extortion or blackmail case. But it might still be a case. And I think it is worthy of investigation, and I can't say right here. And now whether I think AM is guilty. You mentioned the financial straights that the National Enquirer AM, I is in. I think that bears mentioning an exploration because there's another angle to this entire basis. Lav air base us, we call it that involves a Saudi Arabian government. Right. You can't believe stories isn't bizarre. So let's just just for P for people who haven't been following the the the the highs and lows in the National Enquirer. Basically sales are down ninety percent from their peak in nineteen seventy eight and Bloomberg reported this week that the publisher of the inquirer has been state facing financial losses of more than one billion dollars in debt and a negative net worth. Now. Dave Packer has in the past been a very resourceful manager. He reorganized the company in two thousand ten under bankruptcy laws. There have been various owners, but pecker has always been the chief executive. It sounds like he may have been going overseas for financial assistance or the hope of financial assistance in recent months. Is that accurate to say, Jeff? Well, well, first of all, the financial straights are obvious. The inquirer is even more vulnerable than the most magazines and newspapers to the internet because they have essentially no internet presence, virtually no advertising everything. They get all their revenue pretty much is from newsstand sales. And you know, you don't have to be a big media expert to know that you know, magazines are not selling the way they once did in the inquirer has as you point out circulation is down ninety percent. He has engaged in remarkable financial engineering over the past couple of decades to keep the place afloat. But he he is very much on the lookout for new financing. And it does appear he was looking to Saudi Arabia for for money. You know, he was entertained at the White House dinner with with the president, you know, after the inauguration and one of the people he brought with him was a potential Saudi finance financier. I I mentioned custom publishing earlier. They did this very weird untypical A M I production of a magazine devoted to NBS. The the prince who is affected the run. Earning Saudi Arabia, HAMAs. It's on right? When he visited the United States last year, certainly looked like a cultivation of Saudi contacts. What is the big story about Saudi Arabia? Now, it is about the murder of Jamal kashogi. The Washington Post journalist who was killed in Turkey, and whose murder has been a subject of understandable obsession on the part of the Washington Post. Saudi Arabia is very mad at the Washington Post, which is owned by Jeff Bezos, and that may be part of the motivation for what went on with bazo and the National Enquirer. So you have to people that don't like Jeff Bezos, President Trump and Saudi Arabia for different reasons. President Trump in Saudi Arabia publicly have remained weirdly, aligned even through the kashogi murder to the consternation of even other members of the president's party Republicans in congress are not happy with the way, the White House has handled the kashogi murder, but you haven't alliance there. Right. And then you have beige. Ios effectively having his life turned upside down to some degree by the National Enquirer, which has relationships with both Donald Trump and the Saudi Arabian government. So how do we put the pieces together here? Jeff as we stand this second week of February and Odom immi, well, this is why prosecutors and agents have subpoena power in the in the in the ability to go out and interview people of this is highly highly suspicious that the Enquirer went after in potentially illegal way, an enemy of both Donald Trump and the Saudi government. Bazo 's unlike so many of the Enquirer subjects decided to stand up to them in embarrass them, whether that will lead to a criminal prosecution. I I don't know at this point. But, you know, this whole bizarre episode is I think a fascinating illustration of how this corner of the news media works, which you know, had. Is it's it's not a pretty picture. But it is it is revealing about the transactional nature of tabloid coverage. Ask you just two more big picture questions here. The first is Bob. Our who is a former White House counsel to President Obama wrote in the Atlantic that he does not believe the inquirer is subject to journalistic protections. He basically says they passed over from the pursuit of news to corporate bullying for self interested purposes, or in the campaign finance catch and kill case coordinated political activity with a candidate. And therefore he suggests they forfeited the constitutional protections that normally work in papers favor. Do you agree with that is is the National Enquirer part of the press? Well, I wouldn't I would agree partially. I think when it comes to. Outright payments of money like payments to Karen McDougal. There is nothing. I protected about that I agree with Bob. Our in the sense that that could be seen as an illegal campaign contribution. You know, writing a favorable story about Donald Trump is protected by the first amendment, you know, writing critically about Hillary Clinton is protected by the first amendment, but paying money to do one of Donald Trump's alleged mistresses is not when it comes to these photographs. You know, there is nothing. I amendment protected I think about extortion or blackmail, but what they put in the magazine is first amendment protected. So I I would I would say, you know, I agree about the sort of non non journalistic activities are not protected by the first amendment, but it is still a magazine, and it is. In what it prints, and sells, I do think still is protected by the first amount, and knowing what you know about the the sort of the full the full picture that you have of the Enquirer the man in charge of it the way it's business dealings are done. The more nefarious aspects of its journalistic practices. Do you think the national inquirer will exist in five years? Yeah. That's a great. That's a great question. I mean, I think the National Enquirer has a better chance of surviving than the Hartford current or the Cincinnati Enquirer. You know? I think there will always be a market for down and dirty gossip in this country, and you know, pecker has managed to keep it afloat through the rise of the internet. So I do think the much diminished National Enquirer will be around. But you know, and even in a shadow of its former self which it is we can see how much trouble it can stir whether isn't the two thousand sixteen election or with bazo now, it's as long as it's around. It's going to be making making trouble because it operates by such different rules. Than the rest of us do so. Yeah, I do think it will be around in five years. There's always a market for tawdry and salacious gossip Jeffrey Toobin. It is a pleasure to have you on the podcast. Thank you for telling us, the story of a strange strange place. And thanks for your time. Thanks out. That'll do it for this week of radio Atlantic, thanks to Kevin Townsend for producing and editing. This episode to our podcast, fellow Patricia shakeup, and to Catherine wells, the executive producer for Atlantic podcasts. Our theme music is the battle hymn of the Republic as interpreted by John Batiste, you can find show notes and past episodes at the Atlantic dot com slash radio. If you like the show rate and review us an apple podcasts and subscribe in your preferred podcast app. Thanks for listening.

President Donald Trump National Enquirer the inquirer Trump president Jeff Bezos David pecker Jeff Dave Packer Karen McDougal extortion Washington Post Trump magazine United States Jeffrey Toobin Dave pecker Cincinnati Enquirer New York Saudi Arabia
02 - Scandalous: The Untold Story of the National Enquirer

Hollywood Unscripted

45:20 min | 1 year ago

02 - Scandalous: The Untold Story of the National Enquirer

"From Kirkdale media Welcome to Hollywood unscripted. I'm your host Scott to Lal from the Malibu Film Society and today we're going to do something something a little different. We're going to talk about. This shockingly true untold story of the national enquirer from its earliest days in an association with the Mafia to present day connections to president trump all exposed in a sensational new documentary scandalous with us to talk about it director. Mark landsman Kamarck. Thank you so much Scott. Glad to be here sorry to be so over the top but kind of in keeping with the whole team here. It's a slightly over the top subject. So ooh why national enquirer you know the sort of earliest inception to this project. So the earliest ideas I came from just being a person in a grocery store or in twenty fifteen being aware of what was in my visual. I line and sort of noticing that things were strange and unbelievably imbalanced. And that was just. The first thing was just sort of discomfort. I was feeling with the racks at the front at the counter. At the time have language for I just knew that it was strange. But you've been on Shopping Ping centers before why two thousand fifteen suddenly. Well I think we probably all many of us regardless of where you are in the political spectrum realized that something was different about our grocery grocery stores in two thousand fifteen leading to the election. There was an increasing amount of political propaganda. You could say in your face on the covers of our supermarket tabloids Loyd's and that was unprecedented certainly for me but then in twenty seventeen around the holidays. My wife's best friend called and said Hey my dad is coming into town. And why don't we all go out for dinner. So we went. And after a couple of rounds of drinks at the cheesecake factory. He starts telling us about his early days. As a reporter and articles editor at a rising publication called the national enquirer and stories. were nuts off the wall. I mean espionage checkbook. Journalism resum bribery disguises bottomless expense accounts global. Glamorous travel all kinds of ethically blurred tactics. It sounded like the Ocean's eleven movies to be honest with you so I thought well this is fantastic and think too much of it. And then in April of Twenty Eighteen Ronan Farrow Story Broken The New Yorker her and about about catching kill and about am is relationship with then candidate. Trump once ronin story broke in the New Yorker which I thought was just first of all just just an astonishing piece of journalism. This idea of catch and kill was sort of top of mind but nobody quite understood it. I called my friend's father again in his name is Malcolm Balfour and he said we'll just so happens. I'M GOING TO BE IN LA next week. Why don't you come have some drinks with me in some of my former inquirer buddies and so I of course said absolutely and I you did and I sat very quietly while they regaled each other with stories they talk the way that war buddies talk from the trenches? You know these these unbelievable stories and and it was at that point that I knew that we have film and I talked to Malcolm a little bit more and I said you know. Would you be interested in being the first domino in this project. And he said yes. Yes and that's how that sparked the project. Did you at that first dinner understand. What the film was going to be from beginning to end? No No. That's the amazing thing about. But a documentary is that it's a wave you catch the wave but you don't quite know where it's going to take you and it was impossible that points to know what would happen in terms of current events. I mean no one had a crystal ball. Nobody knew the degree to which anything was going on. And it's only in retrospect that you really see there are some fundamental questions that we wanted to answer namely how the Hell how did we get here. How do we get to a place? where the very notion of a fact in journalism is a debate that? There's a question about that that the public doc is getting their information from such diverse polemic camps. How did we get to that that we had a reality Star who previously had been tabloid darling sitting in the most powerful in the world? How did that happen? And what role if any did this quote Unquote Sleazy supermarket tabloid have in that process so it was really kind of wanting to understand history and wanting to sort of connect the dots. A lot of us were just baffled by what was going on. And so that was the impetus for the film. You've described the film as the Classic Fifties Horror B movie talked to us about that analogy. I love the US that question. So I loved those movies right the creature from the Black Lagoon. Goon Frankenstein the where wolf the mummy. The blob does a great films. King Kong is my ultimate favorite. So what happens in those movies right. Originally there is this creature that in the beginning is fairly. I'M NOT GONNA say docile but is not the terror that's about to eat Manhattan right and so the enquirer. Choir really felt similar that I sort of mad. Scientists was many Generoso Pope Junior and he was quite a genius savant he gone to Mit. She was all he was the son of the most powerful Italian American in New York City generous senior who owned colonial sand and cement which poured the cement for for the empire state building among other places he also was the publisher of Il Progresso which was the most powerful and influential Italian American weekly in the country so so he was incredibly influential. Desai was genius his son and he was the mad inventor who created the national enquirer back in the early seventies. His idea for what what that paper would be was very very different than what it would become many decades later under the current leadership. So that's why like in this whole thing to a B. movie. Initially Shirley Frankenstein is not out to kill small children and terrorized the village but the monster becomes that largely because he becomes agitated and he transforms so we wanted to look at how this publication started in one iteration morphed over time and became something ultimately that was deleterious. You've you've just touched on four points. I want to follow up on First among these generals of pope senior engineer or the rumors true well you know. I don't think they're really rumors as much as historical fact. I mean you know. Look either one of them was quote unquote in the mob. And I want it very much. Respect Italian Americans. Who are? You're listening to this podcast. Because I think it's easy. It's just kind of lowbrow to be like oh well powerful italian-american must be in the mob. But it's indisputable that the money that launched what would become the national enquirer came from Frank Costello who was the head of the Gambino crime family and it's undeniable. The general soap senior was the most powerful or false and politically influential Italian American in New York and possibly the United States at that time. So I don't have any other facts beyond that so I can't substantiate journalistically realistically what people say including General Pope's own son was at the paper was mafia related back in the day. So how did that influence surly content if at all well I don't have influenced early content as much as I think that it inspired pope's unbelievable determination and drive if this is a man who truly had an anything for the stories ethos and he didn't take no for an answer and I think that's because he witnessed his father. They're not taking no for an answer. He didn't have to take financer I. It's not an accident that the call him the godfather of tabloids. He's a corleones character. He straight out of the movies and that was another reason why we wanted to make the movie. Because he's a larger than life American character Vito Corleone and he kind of ruled the enquirer like that people were in off him and they were terrified of him. People felt incredibly fortunate to be in his employment and no one bought a car above like a Pacer because it might not have had a parking space on Monday. There was no job job security. He kept you running. He kept you on your toes. He kept you competing with your desk mate. So you're constantly looking over your shoulder. It was not an easy environment to work again and I think a lot of that might have come from some knowledge of how other organizations work. So what are the key turning points in the publication during the Generoso. Also pope years. I think the first key turning point was going to go. We're talking about headless bodies and topless bars that kind of thing that kind of Gore. So when general pope acquired the New York enquirer in the early fifties. It was a racing rag. It had a circulation of under twenty thousand local news news and bats and basically he was really trying to look for a way to boost circulation. How is he going to get eyeballs to this paper? His is father had been ridiculously successful in publishing and he thought okay. I want to step out of my fathers gigantic shoes and I wanted to make a name for myself. And the story goes that he was driving on one of the New York parkways one day in the late fifties and he came across a head on collision and what he noticed was all on the sides of the road. There were hundreds of rubberneckers Angling to look at the carnage and this was a very bloody car crash. And he had an epiphany in that moment and said that's what I WANNA do. That's what I want for my papers. He basically went to crime photographers. He got access to police reports all of this and he began to publish the most graphic the most most violent really the most disgusting photographs. You can possibly imagine man Dr Spike through head. Women's stops child baby burned a lot like horrible all stuff and it was gross but circulation shot through the roof so that was the first big benchmark. Was He understood the American's psyche and at that time the lowest hanging fruit for him was car collisions and murder scene. There's a big transition from that to winding up at the cash register because that's alright grocery stores don't want that at the cash register. That's exactly right well. He wasn't thinking grocery stores at the time that the circulation pop to a million in the fifties it wasn't until the sixties when Americans were sort of going to the suburbs and the classic newsstand when the newsboy extra extra. That was all going away so he was realized. We've a problem on our hands here. Because where are people going to buy our paper and all of our readership is flocking to the suburbs so he and the enquirer leadership at the time identified defied. The one place where they knew that Americans would be several times a week without a doubt and that was the American supermarket and not only did he identify that it was the supermarket where he can get his captive audience but he identified this very interesting untapped piece of real estate which was at the front of every single supermarket checkout counter so he was a bit of a marketing in Kenya so in some ways like a bit of a nostrum we are the magazines typically your grocery store back in the sixties there all the way back by the toothpaste in some weird. I'll that maybe you don't even go to. But he said why would they be there. I wanted to point to purchase and I wanted to be I level in this guy went to mit briefly and was an engineer. So he basically designed the racks the Brexit you see at the front of the supermarkets. That was generous. Oh pokes idea. And you design the racks. So that you would have family circle Reader's Digest. TV Guide but right in the center her front and Center I level in the largest slot that was the national enquirer. And that's win. It just took off but had this bodies and car crashes were not doc GonNa go over well with Mrs Smith in Kansas City. Buying her milk and Cheerios so he had to drastically change his editorial content in order to cater to exactly exactly what she would want. And that's kind of his second big epiphany and his second big genius was who's my reader and he identified her as this woman in Kansas City called her missy Smith and and she was the average American woman he called and he knew everything about her from a marketing research standpoint. He knew we're she shot. He knew how many times a week she she knew what she bought. He knew what she would want to go home and hand her husband to read he called it. Hey Martha the woman would really give it to her husband. He'd be reading it. Would yell across the Room Room. Hey Martha can you believe that they found another UFO in Roswell. He also knew that she went to the beauty parlor x number of times you know a month and at the beauty parlor. She would want to gossip with with her girlfriends about celebrities psychic phenomenon medical cures miracle cures fad diets. So this was kind of a bit of genius because nobody was doing this and so that was the next big movement was getting to the grocery stores and give Missy Smith in Kansas City. Exactly what she's craving and then the next huge moment was the death of Elvis Presley. That's when they realized that they could not only sell a million copies a week. They could sell seven million copies a week and it was said that for every one copy that was bought. Three people read it. So you're talking about you know. Nearly twenty five million Americans reading this thing. I think that story the story of the Elvis death in the way it was covered by the enquirer's really instructive in terms of hell. This publication operated you gotta remember General. Pope was so rich. This was a one man operation and he was God in that operation and he had an endless bank account at bottomless account and he was not at all verse. Suspending cash. You know at the time people really weren't talking about celebrities deaths. It was considered very macabre and kind of off color. Pope was the opposite of that. You you know his background. He's he was all for that so he instructed these guys he said. I don't care what story you get. I want a shot of Elvis Presley in the coffin. You didn't have the editor editor of The New York Times asking for that. But general support demanded that and the film uncovers how that happened. You know. It's a short leap from the death of Elvis to the O.. J. Simpson trial and that was a ten year time span fifteen timespan. That was twenty year ten so during that time time is when Generoso pope passes newspaper passes into corporate hands. What are the key things that are happening inside the enquirer before during after and getting us to that point You know after pope dies. There's a there's a limbo period in the paper falls into different hands and then really the next sort of big big time period that we focus on is the Steve. 'CAUSE years and Steve is a fascinating character very much departure from generous pope. Pope was kind of a working. Man's mega multimillionaire. You know he wore like sears and roebuck shirts and drove an oldsmobile cutlass and was just kind of a really like a working man's guy 'cause had come from Harvard and was a little bit more you know they call them a schoolboy and it was a different kind of climate and he yesterday for spied the paper he hired hired more women more people of color the stories and the editorial just everything changed under that kind of the blossoming of the inquirer that a lot of associate with glossy photographs of Houston Ganor Oprah or Madonna or whatever was there anything during the course of your investigation. That's maybe not in the movie but that just genuinely floored Lord you we put everything in the movie. Because what's the point you know. We're not doing catching kill. We're doing catching reveal. That's the point of a documentary. Why would we conceal conceal anything? The filmmakers are just kind of on the front lines in service of the viewer. It would be an injustice to the story to kind of shelve stuff certainly. The Inquirer has a a fifty year history so we had to make some decisions. We're not going to go into John Edwards when we're going into Gary Hart that's just redundant you have a very precious amount of real estate in a feature film. You can't waste time and you can't really repeat the same thing twice. If the audience gets the gist. Why bag over the head with something else you know somebody can google the enquirer choir and they can find out that they busted John Edwards? That's fine it didn't feel relevant to our story. Our story was about okay. What are the real benchmark moments the milestones you now that said something about us as a culture? You know that's the thing I mean inquires unusual mirror. That really is just a reflection of who we were at any given moment in time time. One of the things that struck me in watching the film is that you don't come at it with any particular viewpoint or judgment. It's just just very fact based straightforward. This is what's happened over the course of the evolution of this publication. Why did you make that decision not to you? Have that kind of viewpoint. Well I would argue that. We absolutely have that kind of you. Oh you do. Oh absolutely look any filmmaker and I think even any any journalists these days who tells you they don't have a point of view is lying to you. How do you not have a point of view as a human being? Your brain is a filtration device. And you're impacted by your life experience reinsure impacted by all kinds of things impacted by facts but you're impacted as a storyteller in fact the catalysts for telling the story comes normally from a few base emotions for me oftentimes. It's outrage like I can't believe it or astonishment right uh-huh that's why we make films. Why else would we dedicate two years of our lives to a pretty ruffin? Thank goodness pursue. You know documentary. Filmmaking is not a walk in the park and filmmaking periods out of walk in the park it's tough so we absolutely have a point of view. But that's not to say that it's not balanced but even balances tricky Scott like so. The film presents the facts but the facts themselves. Tell a story what we're not interested in being pedantic. I'm not not interested. None of my collaborators were interested in being you over the head with the obvious you know. We like to think that people who are sitting down to watch film have a brain and have their own points of view do so maybe what. You're perceiving is a more nuanced look but in no way does the film shy away from its influence on culture and sort of what the culture trust become. That's why we have people like can let Maggie Haberman Carol Bernstein really giving us some context for what this thing did to journalism because it did have very very damaging effect on the state of journalism today in America you know. I don't even think that inquirer reporters themselves denied that some people even in admitted in the film. Hi this is Jenny. Curtis producer of Hollywood unscripted. We we hope this show is ignited your passion as much as it is hours. Please subscribe rate us and leave a review. It really does matter as we bring you more inspiring conversations nations with the filmmakers. You admire now back to the show. I want to jump forward order a little bit. In time. Generous pope passes away. The publication moves into corporate ownership. And at this point I want to bring in the man behind the curtain. Our CEO of Kirk. Oh Media Bill. Kurtis spent almost forty years in magazine Publishing and knew all of the key players years from that point forward. I'M GONNA ask Bill. Welcome you really want me in. Yeah of course we do come on mark. Hey doing actually. I was listening to a couple of these Chats you were just having which I found to be so interesting. Do you mind if I go back and ask as the role of director for documentary like scandalous. How involved were you you in being in the interviews with the writers and the editors and pulling out all the information that was really remarkable? You've got people to admit things that couldn't eleven easy would there's no writer. It's just me interviewing them. I mean there are editors obviously after the fact but you know we myself. And I had to very amazing producers Kristen Enviro and Jennifer and incredible team of people working together and we did a lot of research months of research and been prepared the interviews and then I conducted adopted the interviews with everybody. So you found these people and knew that they would be somewhat forthcoming or you just worked through the process and you found and yourself in a great spot. You know in documentaries. You never know how forthcoming someone's going to be until you're sitting in the room with them. I think in the case of the national enquirer. It was very tricky gi because everybody is very mistrusting. Hi You're going to screw me. What are you GonNa ask me this that or the other I mean? Initially this whole thing started with my wife's likes best friend's Dad and I had a wonderful rapport with him. So I knew at the very least that Malcolm who had been an old timer at the inquiry in the seventies who didn't have avenue. Da He was just going to chat and just be really open and he introduced me to other people who were legendary reporters who were in the early days. Okay so I knew that some of the old guard would be great. Some the old guard didn't return my calls. Some the old guard actually started to dispersions upon me and the project very early on. They have a facebook book page. And you know like who is this guy. What's he doing? I'm sure you remember this from your publishing days. It's like a domino effect. You get one person and then there are several other people who I agree to do it once. We got Ian Calder. who was the original sort of conciliarity? He was the number two general soap. A number of people said yes. That was an incredible. Get but you go ahead. This remarkable epiphany to bring in one of the most respected writers in the country. You brought him Carl Bernstein to comment about his perspective which which of course lended such credibility to the whole process. Yeah it was really important for us to have context right. You can let these guys wax on and on all day along and then you have no understanding of perspective. It's like an echo chamber so it was really important to us that we brought in people who who had made a career out of pursuing journalism on a ferociously ethical level so Maggie Haberman Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. Carl Bernstein Ornstein. Obviously Professor Emeritus of American Journalism Get Aleta New Yorker writer author and Keith Kelly from the New York Post it was really important just to have that perspective perspective not to sort of do point counterpoint but just to remind the audience that this thing was not happening in a vacuum really also understand the effect it was having and at the time among mainstream journalists they were flipping out because this we came in issue of commerce. This was about money this was about business. This was about the owners of these large media outlets realizing we can't compete with these tablet is so if we can't compete with them. We probably need to start to sort of maybe adopt some of these styles and tactics and if you look at today's media Scott you're absolutely right. There's that aspect of it. You can't deny. The tablet of our media happened and Maggie. Haberman is particularly amazing. Because she cut her teeth at the New York Post she was a New York tabloid writer for years and now she is probably the most respected journalists in America today and I thought it was brilliant to bring in Keith Kelly because frankly the million or two people who are in the publishing field have followed Keith Kelly for thirty years. That's right meteoroid. And he is the guy who knows knows everything about media so either thought. It was brilliant to bring him into the film. Keith was so great you know what I love about. Keith Kelly is. He's a very by the book guy. He's a tabloid guy but but not in a sensationalist way he. He's a New York journalist. He's going to give you the facts. So let's set the stage bill. It's interesting because you and and David Packer who eventually took control of. Am I you work together in CBS magazines. As I'm not I'm not sure you could actually say that David Picker work together with anybody. That wasn't his style but talk to us about who he was. I just want everybody to know who's listening. That A- actually is his last name as well as perhaps his personality one of my favorites. I think it was the New York Daily News. Maybe the New York Post my favorite headline of all was after after all this business with trump came out in huge letters on the front page of a paper was hard times for Pecker. Now I mean it. It was very simple. David came up through the finance side of publishing he was the CFO at CBS magazines. And he worked with a guy named Tom. Writer and the heater diamantis. Both of whom are absolute saints and visionaries in content and running a business of publishing David. Who kept track of of the dollars and cents came in at a time where the value of publications was very high and he was a good financial packager of companies binny's so he helped Dea Mandis fund the purchase of CBS magazines which became demand as communications and then he helped that go to shut and and his shadow made him CEO little different job than CFO? By the time he went to purchase American media he became involved at a level in the editorial decision making at that organization far beyond what the inside of a CFO could bring so. Let's talk about that mark. Mark picking up from American media's acquisition and what happened over the years following and how that changed the ultimate course course of national enquirer. So what I can say you know. Now I'm thinking about your earlier question about sort of what was left on the cutting room floor and one of the things that I guess I'm remiss about is that we didn't include people sort of firsthand accounts of the climate change. That happened when Mr Patrick over in nineteen ninety nine we have many the people in our interviews who described that moment as pretty stark. It was very very different. It was very much like there's a new sheriff in town. And there's a new mandate in town and Steve 'cause who was the editor in chief of the inquirer at the time it was some kind of a visionary brought unprecedented legitimacy to this paper that never had back kind of legitimacy before and caused in the era of the OJ coverage which caused the New York Times and David Margolis to call the enquirer required reading in the Oj. Simpson in case. So this is the kind of brain power and Steve Come from Harvard and he was really interested in like bringing in some integrity to this paper. That people sort of joked about lining their kitty litter with and and win Pecker came in. You know he really wants fire Michaelangelo because he's too expensive and you hire a different artists to finish the project. Yeah there you go jobs. Were slashed budgets. Were slashed and there. Was this idea that paper was going to go to an advertising model that was become more slick which was really into what the national enquirer was the inquirer was Americana mainstream mainstream. And also just I think the way that people felt like they were treated was just very different kind of a a mom and pop kind of vibe. Even the people were terrified there was a lot of camaraderie and stuff. It's just the climate really changed and of course the content changed his stop spending money. They stopped buying stories. He fired all the good writers and editors because they were the most expensive and and he felt that it was a financially driven decision machine. which obviously that wasn't? You made a very clear that they were artists whether you agreed or not with art is another story but certainly as you sat with some of the people that you interviewed and you realized the massive pile of information that you had had one of the things that I think you did so well in this movie is you actually went from interviewed interview logically finding the story and you created this beginning middle end in scandalous that I thought was absolutely brilliant. You were a little bit. Nice to David Pecker because it makes it look like he sold the company for a lot of money at the end. He's still involved. You the interesting thing about this sale about the inquirer is that. How do you find an end to a story? That's unfolding in the news every day. One of the things that we had to do at Orioli Qoryoley was decide fairly early on okay. We're not chasing the news cycle because there is some sort of breaking news about. Am I about David Packer about you know Dylan Howard. Whatever every week I mean sometimes every day and you know we finish the movie in July Ronan? Farrow's book was released in October. This is like this mushroom cloud that never stops mushrooming mink. So how do you tell a story like that. And the other thing was that we wanted this thing really to be a reflection on the evolution origin impact of the paper leading up to the twenty only sixteen elections so we set a framework for it and that helped us tremendously because otherwise you get totally overwhelmed. It's such a huge story that people have so many different associations associations with it so we had to stay incredibly concentrated. We had to focus in on the stories that further the story. It's not that much different than decisions. You make as a narrative filmmaker. How do you continue? Continue to keep unfolding and unfolding. You're wanting people to still more until you kind of come to some sense of like okay. That's all we can tell you for now folks and then to answer your question I love the sort of recourse recourse Roman style of storytelling in documentaries. I always have when you get people who kind of went through an experience together. It's like having a bunch of different colors. I paint what you're making one big campus. All these different colors bring something else out of it. Did you say to yourself okay. These are the stories. I'm going to focus Gazon but I have a pile of other information. I have to sift through. How did you get to the point where you could put together this compilation in a logical order under a lot of research hours and hours days weeks months of really researching this reading the stories themselves reading commentary on the stories and really looking king at the stories? That were seminal. That's really important. Like what were the stories that were really milestones. Because for us when you're making a movie about Out An inanimate object write a newspaper you have to make a decision about who your main character is and for us right off the bat. We knew it was the monster herself. The National Enquirer acquirer was our main character. So you anthropomorphized that character in you kind of think about. How does the audience first encounter that? inanimate object this newspaper origin story right where does the origin urging come from. What's the inciting incident with this character? And then how do you sort of like arc that story over an act structure. And that's the thing that documentarian and narrative film makers alike share in common it is storytelling. You have to engage people and so you use the same kind of tools that you have in your tool kit to do that. and Luckily for us with a story like the national enquirer the stories that were these kind of pivotal moments. They stand out and everybody kind of has consensus on that. So you ask ask people questions. I didn't know anything about wasn't never an inquirer reader growing up I didn't care but I was fascinated with it. I certainly was fascinated when it started. Impacting our world as has director where you are also doing the fact checking you had to kind of decide which we're going to be your important stories and what was going to be the music behind at that moment so I wanted to talk to you just a little bit about the emotion that you got out during different phases of the music behind your facts and figures and interviews. I love that asset questions so first of all worked with an extraordinary composer named Craig de Leon who really understands the power of the music to evoke a tone. I think that we really really also work hard to not have. The music is so heavy handed and I liked the way to crack very minimalistic. We also had moments where we wanted to evoke a period right. This is a story that starts in the fifties and ends in the current day. I had a brilliant music supervisor. A guy named Carter little and we were able to get some really great music that we felt provoked the story the time period. And that's some of the more fun parts of the film making processes how you involve music. The Inquirer is so catchy. And so can't be. You don't really have to work that hard. Take the vocal tone. The paper itself has a tone. You don't have to impose tone upon it which made the search for all of our archival material and our music really fun because we're like okay. What's going to complement this image of you've Burt Reynolds or whatever? It is money Anderson. You wanted to have fun with the papers sort of helped us along with that. The Kitsch the headed added you fact check with the Writers and editors told You well. That's interesting I mean. A lot of it is sort of comparing people's interviews to each other. A reporter might report for example on what went on as she was exploring or investigating an alleged story with bill cosby. And then you have the story from her point of view you and then you also have the story from the editor who actually received material. So that's really great. Documentation is another thing. Reporter's notes did you put any of the editors writers in the same room at the same time we tried actually initially thought. Well maybe Arthur verite opportunities with this film. And there's a gathering of all of the former inquirer employees and Ama employees called the TAB bash every year and we really tried to get our cameras into film it but we were declined also noted that Oh you reached out to David Pecker. Many Times tries to get him to manny's yeah in fact. My producer went to their offices in New York and met with them. and Said we want to offer you this opportunity entity Dan we were inclined and I wasn't surprised but we definitely did due diligence and try to reach out to David. Made offers available to Dylan Howard made offers available to vary the Wien a number of people and people declined for obvious reasons. I'd like to know how you felt during the Times that you discovered our current current day issues the trump issues the catch and kill concept. And what I WANNA know is when you went home at night and you had the real story. How did you feel? I think you feel a sense of application. Your Shepherding Story from obscurity into the light and the intention of this project is to say this is what happened when people are sitting around in journalism. Classes is ten fifteen twenty years from now and they WANNA look back on this bizarre thing that happened in the late twentieth and early twentieth centuries. What happened to our media hopefully this will be something? They can draw upon a time capsule but they'll also draw pond brook. Gladstone's outstanding book the influencing machine. They'll go back to Marshall. McLuhan they'll go back to other publications applications and films and podcasts that tell people look you're a consumer of media and if you're not aware of that then you're a sponge and there's a danger in that because you are basically surrending your ability to process information and make decisions on your own behalf that are for your own good and much in the same way that we need to pay. Pay attention these days to what we eat and drink. We need to pay attention. These days to the media that we consume even the media that we don't overtly consume but in our sphere of influence like tabloid newspaper. That is I level. Every time you go to the grocery store that is having an influence on you whether you know it or not that is tantamount Santa Monica to a billboard on highway that you pass every single day. You don't totally glance at it. 'cause you're going to crash your car but you see it comes into your sphere of influence and then and who knows how that influences you and key. Kelly is the one who says this very succinctly in our film they were subtly influencing opinions. That's what the media does every single day. The whole idea of this film is to really draw attention to our own accountability as media consumers. And when you sit in one of your screenings and people are leaving inevitably they're talking to each other about what they just saw woody. What do you want them to say about scandalous? I want them to be kind of agitated. I want them to kind of Seikoku. We just go somewhere and talk about this. What they say is not concern Martha Graham? Has This really amazing quote that she gave to artists young artists and she said you know your job is to be a channel. No for the story in her case. It was choreography right. But how what's coming through you is received is not your concern so yes. I want people to be entertained. I want them to do you have a good time. I want them to feel like they saw a movie that they were moved. I'm Emma sinophile. I love filmmaking. I love films but I want people to be provoked you know. We live in a culture where so much of our processing of entertainment is just a sedentary passive experience. I'm not into that I want you and your friends to walk Out and like. Let's go to the bar and talk about this or let's go home and talk about this or and then talk about it with other people and get a conversation going because people are just sort of off in their camps talking in America anymore our idea of dialogue and really kind of connecting to each other and exchanging ideas films have an opportunity to do that particular films in a theater you know. I want people to see this movie. In feeder feeder in a collective experience. You hear other people laughing gasping kind of like being exasperated or angry. That's the best part of being in a movie theater. You don't get that in your living room or your bedroom when you're watching watching it on your on your flat screen or your phone your watch as you've finished this movie. How did you end up feeling about the subject picked? Did you end up loving inquirer or did you hate it. You know for me. It's never about the thing it's about the people. The great thing about making movies is that you encounter counter all kinds of people that you may not have encountered. I mean. I don't spend a whole lot of time hanging out with tabloid reporters from the seventies and eighties nineties ladies and what you realize that his people are infinitely more complex than their jobs and they're more complex they're more nuanced and that's a great thing. I'm going to say like this Guy Right now. It has a solid polemics. It's black and white. I mean he's got us off thinking about tabloid headlines. It's just a name. It's not the way that humans are. It's not the way that we are organically cynically as Americans. It's horrible. It's a joke and hopefully it will be fleeting. I'm not seeing that. There's some Halcyon days that we're going to get back to America's deep deep problems. They're deeply deeply divided but any opportunity to get out there and explore who people really are. Which is why I think being a podcast being filmmaker being to host of film society? Adia anything you can do that brings people together from different backgrounds. That's where the real interesting. That's what the juice is staying there. You're staring at a bunch of people who are talking talking about the same thing and and barking at their relatives. who think differently? How boring is that? So tell us mark how to our listeners. See this movie I can go to scandalous film. Home Dot Com. It's a magnolia. Pictures release. Were being released in fifteen theaters around the country on November fifteenth and then eventually the in the spring of two thousand twenty. We'll be on CNN very excited about as CNN films and they were your partner in this process thankfully yes. They're absolutely fantastic. Pini tells a little about that experience. Just wonderful I mean the folks at CNN films. Amien tell US Courtney sexton Alexandra Hannibal they're really filmmaker advocates. They ask the tough questions and they put you through the wringer in the best ways possible. They're really ideal partners and for me. It was a dream to work with them and yobs really really grateful. Hi I'm Jenny. I'm a producer since we're all jumping jumping in on this one. The backgrounds for each of your interview subjects were so beautiful was it just. That was their home. Where were these locations? How did you find them? So the backgrounds grounds to the interviews were really took a lot of time to think about it and it was a collaboration between myself and are excellent. Cinematographer Michael Pessa. WHO HAVE I've known since our days in film school together and our producer Jeniffer Riddick who herself is an extraordinary artist and she is a writer and editor of these? Very beautiful books of beautiful homes really got an eye for architecture and design. We didn't WANNA film somebody with like a bunch of books behind them or a vase with flowers or like do kind of neutral behind the music background or whatever. We wanted it to feel very cinematic so we knew we wanted to shoot very wide. We wanted to be able to. You had the background somehow be a little bit baroque and a little bit over the top because the inquirer is broken over the top but no with the exception of only one person those were not their homes homes but they were really extraordinary locations in New York and Palm Beach in Los Angeles that we that we thought a lot about would really love to know mark are you changed by each of your films. Yeah absolutely near the way people talk about feeling changed after reading a great book. Great Movie Great Museum Exhibition Great Play I mean yeah anytime I have an opportunity. You just dive deep into something. I feel like I'm intrinsically changed by in what ways. Well first of all. It's just so great to be able to just kind of settle in and focus on one thing. I mean look at the culture we live in. It's like how do you focus on anything it's just like we're constantly bombarded with so much stuff so to be able to sink into a story and tell it nothing better. It's like being able to sit down and have a long amazing dinner with your best friends in the world for like a year. You know. That's amazing so yeah you're you're absolutely changed by it and then you also have this whole other group of people and stories and anecdotes and information in your brain. That's that's Kinda cool. Had My wife's best friend not thin a legendary tabloid reporter and Sharma's over drinks at the cheesecake factory. I wouldn't be sitting here. You know as filmmaker. It's like you're sitting there. The ocean is flat. You're sitting hang on your board and then all of a sudden it's like whoa and you have a choice right. It's like I got me. They'RE GONNA stand up an attempt to catch it. I'm going to get crushed by it. I'm just going to dive under and just whatever you hang out. Hope that another one comes in. You can't can't pass up too. Many of them does it make you think differently about how you do your job Given that you've just talked to all of these other reporters and interviewers I think is really important as a storyteller to kind of keep checking your own instrument. I don't think a pilot gets behind the wheel of a plane before. Hopefully she or he checks the instruments before taking off it's like where you at where your biases at. How are you telling the story? What do you want as bill asked that question like? What do you want people to think about talk about when you leave the theater? That's that's really important to think about before you before you take off off in the plane. Look what are you looking for. You don't want to crash through that. Did you have a favorite moment in all of the creating of this film in the year. How long did it take you again? It took just over a year. Is there a moment that stands out. I think about that. Yeah I had a lot of really favorite moments but I think that it's kind of an astonishing moment for me when I'm sitting in an interview with someone who is particularly defensive guarded and turning the interview into a sparring match each and you Kinda have to get very aikido and very into martial arts and just kind of wait them out you really do you just have to wait them out because eventually early their humanity will happen and that for me was really interesting with these guys one person in particular. I won't mention but he was tough. You've really tough. And he just fought me on. Every single question wanted to spin it. I mean these are tablet guys so there's no better spin doctors than and these guys and just to kind of wait them out how he knew he was going to crack eventually and And he did that was a really great lesson and kind of just trusting your instincts. Okay okay in general. How did they feel about the fact that you were telling the story? The feedback from them has been you know you you captured something and We'll see I mean most of them haven't seen it yet. Scott thanks for inviting me in here. It was a pleasure to take part in your interview and Mark landsman. I think scandalous movie uvi is in fact scandalous. And you should be very proud of what you created thank you. I think it's really evident what's been going on if you have a pulse and you've been alive for for the last four years and I think that regardless of where you are on the political spectrum if you're curious about this publication we did our our very very best to present you. The story of how that publication unfolded how it began the critical moments in its history and an attempt to bring you to you how we got to where we are today. And how the particular characters that we're seeing in our politics and our media how they in some ways got there as well so the film really really goes into that in a more granular way for those of you listening. You have to see this movie either in the theater or if not in twenty twenty it'll be on C. N. N. It's worth worse your time. And that's a wrap on our latest edition of Hollywood unscripted. I'm your host Scott to law with the film society. Thanks to all of our guest today. Thanks to our producers and engineers and everyone who participated. And we'll look forward to having you back for an show. Hollywood unscripted is presented in cooperation with the Malibu Film Society. This episode was hosted by Scott Tall with guest. Marc landsman and additional guest. Bill Kurtis the score from scandalous featured as the music in this episode was composed by Craig De Leon and provided courtesy of Magnolia Pictures Hollywood and scripted. It is created by Kirk. Comb media produced and edited by Jenny. Curtis sound engineering by Michael Kennedy recorded at Kirkum. Media's Malibu podcast studios the executive -secutive producer of Hollywood unscripted Stewart Helper. The Hollywood unscripted theme song is by Celeste. And Eric Dick Subscribe to this podcast for more conversations with top industry it professionals discussing the movies. You love Kirk Cow Media The media for your mind

the Times national enquirer New York General Pope Scott Tall editor America The Inquirer producer Hollywood Keith Kelly reporter director Malcolm Balfour United States Ronan Farrow writer New York Post Malibu Film Society
Jeff Bezos takes on the National Enquirer

Post Reports

28:42 min | 1 year ago

Jeff Bezos takes on the National Enquirer

"From the newsroom in Washington. Hi, there is the mayor versa. Lang with the Washington Post or bring on. Jennifer johnson. This is post reports I'm Martine powers. It's Friday February. Jeff Bezos versus the National Enquirer a breakout. Hip hop classic and the job that prepared Nancy Pelosi for the speakership. On Thursday night. Jeff Bezos, the world's wealthiest man published in unusual post on the website medium. It was titled. No, thank you, Mr. pecker. He was calling out businessman. David pecker CEO of the company American media, which owns the National Enquirer and basis claimed in part that the National Enquirer was trying to extort and blackmail him, according to basis the Enquirer claimed to have intimate photos and texts he sent a woman that he was seeing and that pecker would publish those photos unless basis abandoned his claims that the inquires expose about his extramarital affair was politically motivated full disclosure basis is the owner of the Washington Post. And this you'd it first began with that Enquirer story that published last month. It was an unusual national choir story, it was twelve pages jumping off the cover. It had the text of text messages between Jeff Bezos and his girlfriend it had photographs of them in public places at restaurants on tarmacs of the story was essentially pitched as Amazon founder and Washington Post owner caught in secret love nest kind of thing. Mike Fisher has been reporting on the spat between basis and American media. For awhile in retrospect, Jeff Bezos, and his investigators believe that that inquire investigation was not just a simple gossip story. But in fact, was a politically motivated hit job that stems from a long running battle of words between President Trump and Jeff Bezos now all of this has seemed like prime tabloid fodder. It is a shocking if deeply. Personal post just published online with embarrassing pictures. I which are detailed Aaron great detail. He puts it all out there. You saw the news last night. And you thought what? Oh my God. Have these guys note learned anything? Initially. It was a classic gossip story. But then it turned out to have by various accounts, a lot of other strange ramifications. So it brings in not only the richest man in the world. But potentially the president the United States are certainly people around him it brings in the foremost purveyor of gossip journalism in the country, and it brings in some strands of the Russian investigation and the twenty sixteen campaign. So it's a complex and utterly bazaars. Set of circumstances throw. This all started with a National Enquirer story that was published about a month ago and was the result of a month long investigation. What exactly was that story about the national choir spent by their count, four months trailing Jeff Bezos and his mistress Lawrence Sanchez as they met in surprisingly, public ways and places and carried on their affair and the Enquirer in class. Iq tabloid style was running to airports and following them to restaurants and taking surreptitious photos of them. And all the things that tabloids. Do why do they think that it's a political hit job there investigator who is kind of the private eye to the stars guy named Gavin de Becker has been running security for Jeff Bezos for a couple of decades. And he was put on the case. And he rapidly concluded that the intimate texts between bazo sent his mistress were not hacked, but rather had been essentially given or handed over to someone and the someone that they have centered on in their investigation has gone, Michael Sanchez. He's the brother of Lauren sensuous girlfriend and the belief in the base camp is that Sanchez working somehow in cahoots with people who are very close to President Trump or word during the campaign people at Roger stone and Carter page came up with. The idea of having the National Enquirer investigate basis for political reasons. So what has that investigation found so far so Basil's investigation concluded there was no hacking. Michael Sanchez is the subject they're mainly looking at and the expose on the affair was intended to hit back on behalf of Trump or triple in Trump world against bazo who they see as an enemy because of his ownership of the Washington Post, the president has repeatedly conflicted bazo Amazon and the Washington Post three separate entities, but obviously all part of bazo world. I have respect for Jeff Bezos. But he bought the Washington Post to have political influence, and I gotta tell you we have different country that we used to have this is owned as a toy by Jeff as who controls Amazon Amazon is getting away with murder tax was he's using the Washington Post for power he owns Amazon he wants political influence. He bought this paper for practically nothing and believe me, if I become president odu, they have problems. They're gonna have such. Japan out that the reasonable turn it of theory to this promulgated by Michael Sanchez, the mistress's brother. He believes that this is all bazo security. I gained Becker trying to cover for his own failure to keep that affair private. And Becker says that was my job. I never was in charge of that bazo, send girlfriend went wandering around the world on their own and I wasn't involved. And so how how is the National Enquirer responding to all of this? There was an extensive back and forth between the basis camp his investigator and people at the national choir from the very beginning about the inquires plans to write their expose in the first place. So both sides were in deep discussion there were actual negotiations. And if you recall basis, tried to preempt the Enquirer story by putting out his own tweet saying that he was going to be divorcing his wife, and that was his way to try to defuse the rigid Enquirer story. That was in early January and the ensuing weeks in January. There were other news organizations that were hot on the heels of this story about possible political motives for the Enquirer's investigation, and when the Daily Beast website began asking questions about some of these political connections connections between Michael Sanchez and people around the president. That's when the National Enquirer started heavily lobbying against such stories. They sent threatening letters they had their lawyers call they not just the Daily Beast, but other news organizations when we here at the post began reporting a story about this. Similarly, they tried to wave us off from basis explanation of things that why would they be upset about the idea that they were politically motivated well because they're two top executives. David pecker and Dylan Howard had come to a non prosecution agreement with. Federal prosecutors federal prosecutors looking into the twenty sixteen campaign had if recall the whole catch and kill scandal in which the Enquirer would buy stories from women who accused President Trump of having had sexual relationships with them. And they would then kill those stories never run them. And the national choirs executives had come to an agreement where they said they would cooperate with the feds and give over any information and not take part in any criminal activities for three years. And there's a very famous example of that catch and kill tactic. Right. Right. So former playboy playmate Karen McDougal who alleges that she had a sexual relationship with President Trump back before he was president. She sold her story to the National Enquirer, which never printed it on behalf of President Trump, and it has come out in some of the investigative documents that indeed the national choir had a habit a policy of helping out Donald Trump. They had a symbiotic. Relationship where he gave them various stories and they took care of him. So that win some of the women who accused him of misdeeds came along. They would buy the story and keep it quiet. According to the Jeff Bezos theory of what's happened in his case, a similar kind of dynamic was at work where pecker was looking for a way to help the president. The president was also helpful to pecker they have this ongoing relationship, despite the fact that pecker has been talking to federal prosecutors, and this all comes out, and what is really ever marketable blog post that Jeff basis post online like in the first person that essentially accuses the National Enquirer of trying to extort him. Right. So our story appears on Tuesday and right around the same time. There's this back channel that we didn't know about between basis and the executives at the national choir including one of their lawyers. So they were essentially pulling out all the stops trying to put the g. Back in the bottle and stop the story from getting out there and many different places. And so they apparently eventually concluded that rather than fighting this piecemeal as each news organization. Tried to do the story they would go to the source himself basis and try to get him to back away from his own storyline about where their investigation came from that connection between the Basil's case and the previous relationships between the Enquirer and President Trump is something that the Basil's camp is pushing hard as their theory of this case there are alternative theories. And we have circumstantial evidence that backs up the base those case in some fashion. But there is no smoking gun. There is no documentary evidence of any Trump role or even role of the people around the president. So what's going to happen now? Well, any number of things can happen. Certainly deaf basis has now opened himself to a rather miserable. Couple of years in which he could conceivably be a key prosecution witness were there to be a case against either the Enquirer or people around Trump were theoretically involved with this. And so he has not seen the end of this in any way for the inquirer. It means world of trouble for their executives who had made a deal with federal prosecutors. And now, certainly those prosecutors are examining what these executives have done and seeing if there were any violations of that deal. On friday. Packers company said it would launch its own investigation into the allegations from basis in a statement, the company wrote American media believes for vely that it acted lawfully in the reporting of the story of Mr. basis further at the time of the recent allegations made by Mr. basis, it was in good faith negotiations to resolve all matters with him. For the past two years. Jeff edges has been reporting on a song just a single thong. Walk this way, not the rigid version that Aerosmith did in the nineteen seventies. But the version that run DMC recorded with Aerosmith's leader, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry in nineteen eighty six. And that song didn't allot of big things. It was a huge hit it revived Smith's career. And it created a whole new audience wrap. This was the first rap song that was played on mainstream radio that might sound insane today. But until nineteen Eighty-six hip, hop was basically on college radio stations and really not a central part of what was popular culture, and it became the first rap song to crack the top five of the billboard hot one hundred many people say that the idea for the song began in nineteen eighty six with a white kid from New York now, legendary music producer. Rick Rubin will Rick Rubin at that time was just outta NYU and really wasn't famous yet. I had produced ELS stuff and beastie boys stuff at that time and Rueben thought that a crossover between Aerosmith and run DMC could be a way to make rap more commercially successful, and frankly. More palatable for white people. It would illustrate people that rap music is actual music because people who didn't listen to rap music thought it was not music at that time. So it was more of a a learning to people to understand what hip hop was. That was the purpose of it there two reasons why at that time hip, hop wasn't part of our culture, one is cynical view. Which is that it was music. That was created by African American kids in neighborhoods that were very very different from all the folks who were programming radio stations who tended to be either white men or powerful older African Americans who in many ways didn't appreciate the culture. They were saying coming out of those hip hop clubs. So if you had black artists on MTV at the time, they would be people like Billy ocean or Franklin or Michael Jackson. You wouldn't have hip hop because it was considered just a. A completely different format. It wasn't rock. Aerosmith that point was really struggling. They're considered washed up by that point in the nineteen seventies. There was no American rock band bigger than Aerosmith. For Aerosmith walk. This way was a key song. It was on toys in the attic. Their third record which came out in nineteen seventy five. Don. Then shown by the late. Seventies are starting to struggle. And then Joe Perry quits the band in nineteen seventy nine that's when things really follow apart. It's not until they come together again in nineteen Eighty-four that people think they can maybe try to make a comeback. But even then after they put out, you know, their first comeback record that came out nine hundred eighty five it's considered a big failure by nineteen eighty six when they're asked to do this song they needed it way, more than run DMZ it so run DMC was made up of Joey Simmons, and Darryl mcdaniels. They were the seas. And then you had jam master Jay on the turntables run. Dmc was already. The first rap superstars no question. I think what Rick Rubin wanted to do at this point. He wanted to turn them into something else. He wanted to turn them into basically pop superstars instead of selling one or two million records. He wanted them to sell four five six million records will. Run DMC. They really didn't even know who heiress with was. They knew that sample the walk this way sample, which is the drumbeat bump. Back day, we rock on. Beginning punch, scratchy this. Is. That part that was like, a staple of hip hop. Sometimes they would use the Qatar. They'd let that riff come in. You know? No. That was okay. But they never met anyone here Steven Tyler if you as a DJ let it get to Steven Tyler choice, you were a bad DJ. So Rick Rubin said to them. Hey, guys. We're going to do this song by Aerosmith and want you to hear this. And so he gave them the record gave a notepad and a pen. And he said, okay, listen to this go home and write down the lyrics, and let's see where this goes. So they went home, and they listened to it. And they thought this is the worst thing we've ever heard they actually called it hill. Billy can we use that word. We can't you beep it, can you beep it. Each other. Yes. Run dmc. When into that studio, not really knowing who Aerosmith was an Aerosmith went into the studio, not really knowing who run DMC and these guys were professional musicians. Imagine the general public. I mean, there were a whole swats of America suburbia, basically white kids who had no idea. What hip hop was. The day they recorded with unlike any other recording session we had. So there was a tiger there and TV news with their and they had a camera crew there filming it is still. Believable south here. So this was already a little bit weird. You had Tyler Perry coming in and sort of standing around and recording and run and Darryl sitting on a couch. Eating burgers goes on. So it wasn't like they came in the studio and everybody like immediately got to work, but you're watching these guys working, and you see two sides really that don't understand what either of them do. So you see jam master Jay showing Tyler and Perry how he used walk this way. And basically, he's showing them how run DMC would use walk this way in the club. Like when they were recyling live the beat ends. He stops the raccoon and goes onto the other record and Tyler impera just kind of watching which fee. They look kind of stone faith, which is because they're confused a little bit. Why do they keep playing the insure? What's the purpose of? I don't know if they actually clicked in that. Hey, these guys don't care anything about our lyrics or guitar solo whatever they care about the jumpy. And then on the other hand you've got Perry playing. The walkaway lick over and over and over and Tyler again, he's a showman. He's trying to participate. He's wrapping over it. On the other side you run. Indeed. And they are not taking it seriously there at the microphones they're holding their little scribbled copies of the lyrics and their goofing off. Fitted his job. Is the best show? And then you've got Rick Rubin who's trying to keep everything together. And he told me that it was very very uncomfortable. Because what he knew is what nobody else knew he knew that. While everybody was pretending that they knew each other like each other. He knew that both sides had no knowledge of each other. We loved it. Big fans favorite group. You know? DNC? Yeah. We've heard them late this style because electric guitar, and you know, and finally, yeah. Calmer you. So when I found out about this. It was like, you know, really excited. He can tell. The whole. It was very awkward. It was just awkward. People just think about how important the song is in the end. They leave the studio not knowing it's going to come out. But everything that came after it. It's it's incredible. When you think of it, I mean, you MTV wraps was not on the air until after walk this way. Like in living color. Our senio now story fresh principal air. Basically what I'm talking about is suddenly it up was part of everything. So this really was the gateway song to what became our culture. Jeff address is the national arts reporter for the Washington Post, his new book out the ski, and it's called walk this way, run DMC Aerosmith, and the fun that changed American music forever. And now one more thing speaker Nancy Pelosi became an instant Meam at the state of the union when she directed in exaggerated clap at President Trump. We must reject the politics of revenge resistance and retribution and embrace the boundless potential of cooperation compromise and the common good. Arms hands thrust way forward. Head tilted just so even Pelosi's daughter tweeted about it quote. Oh, yes. That clap took me back to the teen years. She knows. And she knows that you know, and frankly, she's disappointed that you thought this would work. But here's a clap hashtag, you tried it. Whenever you see similarities drawn between politicians political tactics. And their parenting style is usually being said about a woman, and that's not fair powerful men are rarely asked to opine about child rearing. But in this case Pelosi embraces, the idea that parenthood forged her as a politician, and she talked about that to post reporter Ellen McCarthy who writes about parenting. She had five children in six years. Boom, boom, boom, boom. And if you can even imagine what that's like it crazy. Right. And so she had to sort of rise to the occasion and turn on this next level of efficiency and time management and organization that really shaped who she was I. So John's and efficient in the use of time and will into delegate to the children responsibilities. I've never somebody saying to me once when I went to congress. I'm usually was going to go someplace Majia this for your children folding laundry in the dryer taking into the room. You know the way that her career developed. She was a stay at home. Mom, more or less for fifteen full years. It wasn't like she was parenting and developing these skills with an eye on leadership. It's just that it was happening simultaneously. And so that when she did get into a position of leadership. She knew what it was like to pull together disparate parties to find consensus among people who aren't inclined to come to consensus. And of course, she learned to do all of it on very little sleep. And one of the things that she told me that she actually gets less sleep now than she did when she had five children under six which I thought was pretty amazing and terrifying. Polisi herself has pointed to her parenting experience as something that helps her deal with opponents, including President Trump Nancy's the situation where it's not easy for her to talk right now. And I understand that. Please don't characterize that. I bring this. Leader of the house. Democrats just wanna big victory when other people in the room with him get flustered or match his level of anger frustration. She seems to be able to keep her cool. And she said that she would tell her own children, ignore it ignored that behavior. Right. If one of them were sort of taunting the other and that that is the tactic. She takes with him says something that is. Events to me or something. Yes. I'd be might Trump. Right. Dr. Dr don't take the ends up. That's his Trump says that we didn't don't the offended by a mort. It's his from Vic the bit of Dante. They never. Yeah. But that's usually too. You know, it's really important to her that we as a society, elevate parenting and see it as what she calls. A plus I now call the house to order on behalf of all of America's children. Not oh, you know, that person has been out of the workforce because they chose to stay home with their children or that person is apparent until they're not going to be as available twenty four hours a day. You know, she really sees it as something that could be instructive to professional. Don't let anybody diminish for one moment. Vented? One of the most challenging things people can do this. You're not babysitting. Raising a child. So this is not just about the care and feeding and the driving and the entertaining into transfer values or showing children at lovingly toward each other. It's a decision decide this is how it's going to be and it is opposite. Opposite. That's how speaker Nancy Pelosi talking to post reporter Ellen McCarthy. That's it for today's show. Our fiftieth episode of post reports, and we'd like to get feedback from you or listeners about what we're doing well and how can improve. So we're asking you to take our survey at post reports dot com slash survey. And should only take about five minutes. Our executive producer is madly Cassica, our senior producer, Matt Kellett. Our producers are Alexis de out Rena Florez, Lena Muhammad, Maggie penman, Jordan, Marie Smith and Ted Muldoon who composes original music and does sound design for the show. The post director of audio is just all I'm Martine powers will be back on Monday with more stories from the Washington Post.

National Enquirer President Trump Jeff Bezos Washington Post Rick Rubin Nancy Pelosi president Aerosmith Steven Tyler Michael Sanchez Trump Trump Amazon reporter investigator Washington Mr. pecker Joe Perry Basil
The Business of Silence

Trump, Inc.

29:22 min | 2 years ago

The Business of Silence

"We're on the record. This is the video takes up position of Donald Trump. Taking the case in two thousand ten Donald Trump sits down for a deposition in a law office in midtown Manhattan. He's being sued by buyers and Trump rounded building. The topic of secrecy comes up gopher. Joe is very important because I don't want my competitors to know my deals. I don't want them to see what deal on making Tampa, what deal I make in Panama, what deal I'm making New York, what deal making throughout the world. So we have confidentiality in many of our deals if not all. I mean, you'd have to ask as we've all come to learn, Donald Trump cares a lot about confidentiality in his business deal in his political life and with women. You've heard of stormy Daniels the adult film actor who says she had an affair with Trump as the two thousand sixteen campaign drew to a close. She was paid to keep quiet. He said that it was great. He had a great evening and it was nothing like he expected that I really surprised earlier this year. Daniels decided to speak to sixty minutes according to the Wall Street Journal, President Trump, personally directed the legal response to stormy Daniels, even got his business and his son, Eric involved the message. If you don't keep his secrets, he'll make you pay. This applies to a lot of people who work for Trump in some capacity, including people who didn't allege intimate relationships like Jessica Denson who worked on his campaign. She wasn't one of the big names. She started in the data department, moved onto Hispanic outreach. We found a teeny recording of her from a local TV station in Colorado. During the campaign Denson Brown eyes, Brown hair dressed. In crisp, business attire is defending Trump against critics and the audience with all due respect to all of them. I think that their presence was not necessarily unbiased. The reason I'm telling you about her. She's in a confidentiality fight with the Trump campaign right now. Not quite a year ago. She files a case in New York state court. She is representing herself saying her co workers on the Trump campaign bullied and harassed her. She says, one of them had referred to her as his sheep and the Trump campaign has an unusual reaction to her lawsuit. It says by making these. Claims and a public court case Denson has breached the confidentiality agreement. She signed the campaign demands. One point, five million dollars. It denies the charges harassment. The five page confidentiality agreement which is now in the public record says, Denson cannot reveal any confidential information about Donald Trump or any of his family, including his five children Don Jr. Ivanka, Eric, Tiffany, and baron. It says she can't demean or disparage publicly the company or anyone in Trump's family. It even says she can't talk if she's legally required to, for example, in another lawsuit without notifying the campaign, if that happens, she has to help Trump prevent any information from getting out. The last paragraph says, this whole agreement lasts forever. It's weird. This is Nancy. Erica Smith who represented former Fox News anchor, Gretchen Carlson in her sexual harassment suit against Roger Ailes. Smith has been handling cases like this for thirty eight. Years, smallest nondisclosure agreements are when we bring a claim of discrimination or harassment, and the employer wants to settle them. But as a condition of settling, they want my client to agree not to describe what happened to her. But she says, having designed them to get a job that is highly unusual, especially in a political campaign. This is the kind of thing you would expect when you bring a nanny into your home to say, you know your most personal life experiences. Smith says they're good business reasons for company. She -ality other companies have property -ality agreements, meaning important things like what's our strategy, trade secrets, competitive information, that sort of thing. Lots of companies and lots of celebrities have them that Trump. He's not just a celebrity. He's not just a businessman. He's those things, and he's the president with a long history of working to keep people silent. Hello and welcome to Trump can open investigation from WNYC and propublica that digs deep into how the president's business works and who might be profiting from the Trump administration. I'm Andrea Bernstein Ilya marritz before we take Trump Inc any further, we have to talk about the thing that makes reporting on Trump different from reporting on other US presidents. It's not just that the Trump organization is a closely held private business or that Trump hasn't released his tax returns. It's that Trump has worked really hard often in hidden ways to protect and shape his reputation. I'm dealing with this right now. I am reporting story, which I hope to bring to you sometime soon where every source who knows anything about this particular matter of public interest and importance. As far as I can tell. All of them have signed a confidentiality agreement. This insistence on confidentiality pervades even the White House. The Washington Post has reported dozens of. Government employees were asked to sign confidentiality agreements, although these ones are particularly questionable a little later. This episode, we'll talk with Ronan Farrow of the New Yorker, a journalist with the black belt and getting past secrecy clauses because obviously they're not airtight, we know a lot of alleged detail about Trump's personal life. But first, let's talk about how Trump got us to this point. Donald Trump failed to come up with a thirty million dollar debt payment on bonds used to finance the Trump castle casino last week in nineteen ninety Trump is buffeted by what his biographer. Wayne Barrett called twin cataclysms won his Atlantic City, casinos face bankruptcy, and his creditors are circling to. He's divorcing his wife of thirteen years. Ivana Trump has been having a secret affair with an actress named Marla Maples. It's a logistical feat Trump security detail has been shuttling Maples in and out of Trump properties. So she innovative don't mean inevitably, they do now the New York tabloids on the story. Headline the New York Post Friday, February sixteen best sex. I've ever had photo Donald with a yougov me smile. It went on like this for months to get a rescue from the banks Trump needs to settle his chaotic in public divorce. His brand depends on the Vonnas deal says. She can't talk about their marriage period. Lesson learnt protect your image and protect your business. After Trump's casino MAG Ramsey big banks don't wanna lend to him anymore. So he starts to shift his business model from building tall towers to licensing his name, controlling how people think of that name matters more than ever or colleague l. Elkin over at propublica told me this extraordinary story about a proposed condo tower Trump got involved with in two thousand five in Tampa, Florida. It was announced initially as a Donald J Trump signature property, and he also spoke of being a partner in the project and it being his project and the message was delivered to prospective buyers was the Trump was developer and a partner and Trump actually said things to the press that conveyed the impression explicitly to local press. He spoke of the deal being so hot and so good that while he has less than an ownership stake at fifty percent. He did have a substantial stake and he wanted to increase it. But as partners would let him do so because units were selling so well. I feel like the next thing you're gonna tell me is that none of that was true. None of that was true. He at Notre ship stake whatsoever. He was simply a licensor, but the people who are buying the units had no idea. So Trump in the developer actually wanted to keep their buyers in the dark. It's an document, the brand licensing agreement, which came to light when unit buyers sued Trump on page fifteen. There's a one paragraph confidentiality agreement that says, without the written consent of the other party, unless report by law, they will not under any circumstances disclose or permit to be disclosed the existence of this agreement or any of its contents Danny persons or entities for any purpose whatsoever. So neither Trump nor the developers can tell people that Trump is not a developer here. It is during this legal dispute that Trump gives a deposition saying, as you heard right of the beginning of this story, quote confidentiality is. Very important to me later. He's asked why the license agreement also describes Trump as quote, wiser a worldwide, renowned builder and developer developer wise that putting these agreements because we want them to know that we have a very important reputation and we don't want them to screw up. And so it's a way of putting in writing with the party who you're going to license, your name to your reputation is important thing in room, want them to do a good job. Okay. Tower in Tampa is never built Trump, eventually settles with the buyers. All of this plays out is Trump staging, an epic comeback on the apprentice playing a successful businessman and now America's Donald Trump. In our first season of trumpeting we got a fascinating tip from someone who worked on the show about catering on the set of the apprentice. We could never confirm it. There was a confidentiality agreement. The White House and the Trump campaign didn't respond to our request for comments. But in an emailed statement, a spokesperson for the Trump organization said, it's common practice for high profile companies such as the Trump organization to require employees and business partners to sign confidentiality agreements as a means of protecting against the unauthorized dissemination of both personal and proprietary information. Now, the people who signed these agreements find themselves limited in their ability to speak publicly about the man who is now president of the United States. There's at least one case we know of where company and she -ality went beyond protecting the value of Trump's brand in had to do with the criminal investigation in Manhattan before Trump was president. It's eight years ago, Donald Trump and his children Ivanka Don Jr. are sued by group of buyers in the Trump SoHo condo hotel in lower Manhattan. The buyers say the Trump's misled them the Trump say, it's a case of buyer's remorse. The civil suit raises a red flag in the Manhattan District attorney's office prosecutors there think they might actually have a criminal case. But before prosecutors can finish the criminal investigation, the buyers settle, and there's a catch as part of the agreement. The buyers affirm that they will no longer willingly cooperate with the district attorney. Here's their lawyer. Adam Lightman Bailey talking with NPR's Kelly mcevers about his settlement with the Trump organization. Obviously, we found other things in stuff. I can't talk about. It when I settle the case, they asked for a confidentiality, right? So they were like, you found some stuff out, but if we're going to settle with you, you can't talk about talk about right. Is that confidentiality agreement forever? Yes, I'm still not. I still haven't talked about it Elliott, and I reported on this case last year you should look it up. Suffice it to say after the civil settlement, Trump's personal lawyer makes a donation to the Manhattan DA. There's a lot of legal back and forth. Trump's argue what they did was puffery not a crime with the buyer silence to the DA drops the case. All this was before the two thousand sixteen election. A lot of stuff that voters might have wanted to know about only came to light after Trump was elected. So he enters the race with all these invisible gags on the people around him. Campaign staff have these confidentiality agreements. So do transition staff and people planning his inauguration and people now working in the White House. Here is Kellyanne Conway. We have confidentiality agreements to the west wing, absolutely we do. And why what you mean by the way, the fact that you're your Washington Post says, new employees at the White House are no longer being asked to sign the commentators who defense Trump on TV. Some of them have these agreements to for a while after he was fired. Former Trump campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski was still being paid by the campaign where he had a non disparagement agreement while also being a paid contributor for CNN and this is still going on and maybe I'll do a Trump translation rob Asterio. Paid CNN contributor was recently called out on this by CNN anchor, poppy Harlow. Okay. I just need to note that you work on the Trump twenty twenty advisory committee and they're for. You have signed an NDA that includes non-disparagement clause, which so you can't. You can't really tell me then if I mean you really don't believe the president's own words, raw Pastorino is still a paid contributor. A number of White House. Ex employees have gone on to be paid by entities that support Trump his campaign or political action committee as is so often the case with Trump. There's a twist in one instance that we know about the offer of job seemed to come with strings attached. I'm Orosa manacled Newman. Yeah, we know released to tape in August. When she was exiting the White House, I'm Orosa had a call with the Trump campaign official Laura Trump wife of Eric daughter-in-law of Donald Roseau recorded the Call Laura Trump said in a paraphrasing. It sounds like you've got something in your back pocket. If you come to work for the next Trump campaign, won't want to keep things positive. Then she makes her. Kind the way now and maybe we can work something out. Where would you bring along? Does mommy. Only the numbers talking now. Running. Dahlie appear. Joel Brandt Omarosa didn't take the offer. Now she has a bestselling book. The Trump campaign is seeking millions in fines for violating her confidentiality agreement. Laura Trump called the tape of fraud. So we've been surveying the landscape of Trump and secrecy. We began with Ivana Marla and Trump sex life. And that's where we are again today in August. I was in a courtroom in lower Manhattan Trump's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen in a charcoal suit and a yellow tie. Frequently, stopping to Cy was pleading guilty. He said he'd committed crimes by keeping information that could be harmful to Trump out of the public eye on or about the summer of two thousand sixteen Cohen said in coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office. I and the CEO of a media company at the request of the candidate worked together to keep an individual with information that would be harmful to the candidate and to the campaign from publicly disclosing disinformation without using any of their names. Cohen explained that number one, he paid stormy Daniels to keep quiet and number two. Two, he got the National Enquirer to pay Karen McDougal for the rights to her story without any intention of running it. The latter practices known as catch and kill Trump denies extramarital affairs with the women. There is audio of Trump and Michael Cohen talking about how to buy McDougal silence. She's the former playboy playmate who says Trump struck up a relationship shortly after his son. Barron was born Cohen. Recorded this conversation in September, twenty. Sixteen I, you'll hear Cohen then Trump. Are you need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend, David, so that I couldn't do that right away. I've actually come up to me and I've spoken to Allen Weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up. David here is David pecker CEO of the national enquirers parent company Allen Weisselberg is the Trump organization's chief financial officer. Cohen is saying the shell company he's setting up, can be used to make payments to the inquirer to suppress McDougal story funding. Yes, and it's all the stuff all the stuff because you know, you never know where that company of know what he's going to be hit by. Correct. It sounds like Trump is saying if something happens to the publisher of the National Enquirer Trump's information may not be saved by correct. So I'm I'm all over that. And I spoke to Alan about it when it comes time for the financing, which will be listen. We'll have to make new soul pave getting old woman on. I got nothing for many years. The National Enquirer kept Donald Trump secrets in a safe. This is not a metaphor, but an actual locked box containing stories that could be harmful to him and records of hush money payments. Five sources confirmed the safe's existence to these Societa d- press all of them spoke anonymously because they to have confidentiality agreements. Despite all these efforts, people are speaking out in a minute. The New Yorker journalist who's challenging the paradigm of secrecy. We'll be right back. Trump Inc is an investigative reporting partnership from WNYC and propublica were following leads talking to people and seeing where the facts take us along the way. We're bringing you what we find. Sometimes the tips come from you. Our story about the Trump golf course t. markers and blazoned with the presidential seal that came from a listener. We've received hundreds of tips like that, and we're working on a bunch of stories based on them. Reporting can take time and we know you don't wanna miss a single Trump Inc story. So good at Trump in podcast dot org slash updates or text Trump Inc. That's t r u m p I n c, two, seven, zero one zero one and make sure you sign up for our periodic updates. We've won't spam. You just give you an update when there's something new for your ears and more stories are on the way. Thanks. Hi podcast. Listeners, pardon the interruption. I'm Catholic too. I'm Tobin low where the host of the podcast, Nancy, and we have thirty seconds to tell you why our show is amazing. Okay, go note you go, okay, fine. We've got stories that make you laugh and cry stories by and about queer people. You ported from all over the world, and we bring our listeners together. Critics love us. Homophobes Pete us, which side do you wanna be on? Listen to Nancy from WNYC studios, whatever you get your podcasts. Confidentiality agreements, legal settlements, catch and kill. All of them create an enormous barrier to truth telling around truck, but it turns out people do wanna talk. There's a journalist at the New Yorker who's made an art of this. He's been kind of busy lately, but we got him on the phone during a break in cavenaugh Senate testimony. Hello? Hello, every high Ronin. How're you? Ronan. Farrow is one of the reporters who's contributed the most to our understanding of the culture of sex power and secrecy, and how prominent people use confidentiality agreements to control information. He went to Pulitzer prize for his reporting on Harvey Weinstein. So then you start looking into President Trump and his use of silence. So can you just tell us a little bit about how you came to do that and what you encountered? I personally doubled in. To this through a very direct route from the reporting. I did on Harvey Weinstein who was using the National Enquirer to acquire damaging information about opponents and also to suppress damaging information about him. And it was through that triple of sources around the National Enquirer that it became apparent very quickly that this wasn't just Harvey Weinstein using tactics. This wasn't just a Hollywood tactic. This was something that Donald Trump did pretty regularly. Now there's an important difference here with Harvey Weinstein. The damaging information was about alleged sexual assault. In the Donald Trump, Karen McDougal case, it's about an alleged consensual affair wouldn't compare the two except to say in this one, specific respect, they were both using the same playbook of working with a tabloid outlets to manipulate ends depress the truth. Have you. Done reporting, or are you aware of reporting about how Donald Trump established this relationship with the inquirer? He and David Hecker have a longstanding relationship. Pecker is the publisher of the Enquirer relationship that Donald Trump had with the gospel of media in general, extend back decades. You know, we, we've obviously heard the accounts of Donald Trump's using fake voices and identities to call reporters. He's a person who for many, many years has been engaged in this game of manipulating the press. You know, both the efforts to suppress items and also the efforts to plant items that were favorable cuff used to use the name John barren when he called reporters, pretending to be his own PR man. But David pecker became one of his closest on in that respect. And you know, in our first story about the efforts of the press Karen McDougal's account for their with Trump through the National Enquirer. We talked to a number of employees who described Trump's very cozy, very close relationship with Packers. When you spoke to her, then she told you, I'm afraid to even say his name. Yes, it was her first on the record interview about the subject in that article, but she remains very fearful of legal retaliation and spoke extremely carefully. At that point. Herron McDougal signed a contract that she felt barred her from talking to the press. And indeed the records of those contracts support that at the time of the elections, Karen McDougal was effectively gagged in legal terms. Subsequently, there was an amendment to her agreements that allowed on paper anyway from exemptions. But our understanding along the way was that behind the scenes, even as am I pointed to that exception and said, hey, we're not gagging anyone, their lawyers worth. Still engaged in an effort to intimidate and silence or it didn't work. McDougal told her story, and you know, I wish I could take credit for that. I think that that really is down to Karen McDougal becoming convinced that this was an issue of national significance as time went on and that the public should be aware after Ronin published his piece. Something important happened McDougal got back the right to tell her story, but she'd been silenced during the campaign. It was not the only way the Enquirer helped shape perceptions of Trump in the eyes of a lot of the sources we talked to from around the National Enquirer. Donald Trump had a profound degree of influence over the coverage that AM I end the Enquirer did in general Maxine page. One of the employees that we talked to talked about the leverage that pecker had over a lot of celebrities. This other employees, Jerry George said, quote, we never printed a word. About Trump without his approval. The political ramifications of that are pretty significant. Have you done any reporting on what else is in that vault at AM? I I have and I cannot comment on any recording. I haven't publish. There may be people in the Trump administration who would keep the president secrets without signing a loyalty. Oh, that is how it's always worked in Washington in this administration. Dozens of White House aides were told to sign nondisclosure agreements NDA's that's according to the Washington Post. These are government employees paid by the tax payers who were asked to sign what the post calls breathtakingly broad agreements. It's very, very rare that you see government agencies or actors requiring people to pledge themselves to secrecy outside of the context of classified information. This is Heidi Koutros her a professor at the university of Minnesota law school and an expert on first amendment and whistleblower law. The supreme court has made quite clear that information about government and politics and policy, what they sometimes some up as matters. Of public concern is really at the core of the first amendment. And for that reason, the notion that somebody might be subject to criminal or civil damages for sharing non-classified information about government is pretty anathema to most of the case. Law could trust. Her says for this reason, non-disparagement agreements made during the campaign may also violate the first amendment because the agreements never expire. And I think the reason for that is that otherwise you'd be driving a huge hole through the first amendment. If you could knowing that one day you might run for office, have people sign, non-disparagement agreements that they'll never say a bad word about you, knowing that those will cover your time in office could trust her says, even if these secrecy clauses are on such shaky legal ground that they'd be bounced out of court if they were challenged. Well, many people are not going to want the hassle or emot-. Shnell strain of being threatened. And instead they'll say, well, you know what? I'll just refrain from saying anything that would be deemed a breach of confidentiality or if there's a non-disparagement clause, I'll just refrain from saying anything that might even come close to being critical because I'm afraid I'll get sued. The framers of the constitution wanted people to be able to criticize the president. It's an important check on presidential power. Nondisclosure agreements can get in the way of that. And I think that these indie as particularly in so far as they would seek to bar not just breaching confidentiality but saying anything that cuts against the official White House line. I think that's deeply concerning it really cuts at the heart of why we protect speech. Coming up. I'm Trump Inc going to drain the swamp. Decades fed. You're in Washington and decades of special interest dealing must and will come to an end. The president is funder of prime minister and a casino. Trump ANC is produced by Meg Kramer. The associate producer is Alice wilder. Bill moths is the technical director original music composed by Hannah's Brown, Charlie, Herman, and Eric, humanity are the editors. We had helped this episode from Peter l. kind captain Sullivan, Jacob, Pearson, and Arianna Tobin at propublica, Robin fields as Republicans managing editor, Jim Schachter as the vice president for news at WNYC and Steve Engelberg is the editor in chief at propublica special. Thanks to Kelly mcevers and NPR's podcast embedded for the type of adamant unveiling. That's fascinating. I know you either do or don't have a nondisclosure agreement which if he didn't have a nondisclosure agreement, do you have a nondisclosure agreement too high? You can't say whether you have a nondisclosure agreement, but if you didn't have a nondisclosure agreement, Hugh most certainly could say, I don't have a nondisclosure agreement. Yes, you're cysts mart. Thank you very much. Okay.

President Trump Trump Trump organization Trump Trump Inc Trump administration Donald Trump Donald J Trump Trump twenty twenty Trump castle National Enquirer Trump president Laura Trump National Enquirer White House Eric Tampa Washington Post Manhattan
Ep. 387: The Green New Deal

Don't Worry About The Government

49:20 min | 1 year ago

Ep. 387: The Green New Deal

"Yeah. Hello again. Welcome back to don't worry about the government. My name is Chris November. No. And today's show we're going to take a look at the green new deal. But before we do that I want to do a little bit news update from the last episode. So I was a bit hesitant to weigh in on the state of play of Virginia politics because my Spidey sense was saying hold fire. Hold fire. Hold fire. The story is gonna move. But I was in the booth owes cutting that commentary it was going. Well, I was flowing. And I just wanted to spit out my two cents on Virginia. And then about twelve hours later after I put out that last episode a second accuser came forward on Justin. Fairfax the Lieutenant governor of Virginia. So at this point, it looks like the top three Democrats all have major problems north them. I mean, he gave that. Zestril press conference. He's already confessed to the crime at hand. Fairfax is in a different predicament. He has acknowledged nothing. He has admitted to nothing. He in fact, disputes all of the claims, he says that they are all uncorroborated unsubstantiated. However in the case of the second accuser, she is claiming that she has a number of contemporary witnesses who can testify that she spoke to this affect. So if they come forward, we'll that's a big difference from what we were talking about in the previous episode. So that would be very notable. Now, it'd be the end of Justin Fairfax, I would suspect here. And then we have the curious case of the attorney general who volunteered that he did black face in order to play Curtis blow at a hip. Hop thing or something in the nineteen eighties. So there's a lot of cool incidences here and a lot of coincidences is important to observe and can be. Observed independent of the subsidy of nature of the claims like there's no disputing that. Ralph Northam did black face. And like, I mean, if you really get into how that yearbook was put together he had to submit an envelope with the pictures in it, so really an order to believe north of story, you'd have to believe that it's someone else, and he was gonna do the facial recognition thing. But that wouldn't help you if you're under the Klan hood, his story makes no sense. He's obviously guilty just in Fairfax on the first story. I'm kind of a question Mark on the second one. If what the cues says is true, and she has other people who can corroborate what she said. Well, that's different than the first story. And I got two of them. That's a big problem. And you know, I would like just in Fairfax to be able to bring some sort of resolution to this. But but I don't think. That's going to be possible. And then we get to the case of the third one where nothing actually ever got produced in and that's eyebrow raising in its own rights and he admitted to doing something wrong. So like, why should that guy resign? If he admitted that he did something wrong seemingly unprompted. So now, let's stop the tape here having gone through all three of them. And can we just acknowledge that there's a bunch of very strange coincidences that are lining up in a way that seems to almost never happen. And is it impossible that all three of these things are unrelated in that this is just the natural order of events. Sure. It's it's it's entirely possible. I it's it's certainly one thing that could be happening. Another thing that I think could be happening. Is that there's a lot of moving pieces behind the scenes and a lot of political intrigue happening on a state level that we as a national audience or seeing in on. I think that there have been some red flags. So that affect I keep highlighting this outlet big league politics, which seems to be a very pivotal player in all of this and has ties back to the Virginia GOP. So there's something fishy going on here with this story, and you can say that and also take everything that has happening in the story. Seriously. I think you can have two separate conversations, and it would be who've us on the left left of center, whatever the listeners of the show to be able to create that point of delineation go I believe that Ralph north did what he did. I think that what's happening with Justin. Fairfax increasingly looks like there's you know smoke and there's fire behind that smoke. And I mean, the third eight the guy he admitted to what he was doing. You can acknowledge all three of those and still say, but I think something fishy is going on at the same time. And that's kind of my thought on that. And speaking of something fishy going on at the same time. Let's talk about Jeff Bezos. So put out a correction after the show because I heard Brian Stelter from reliable sources on CNN explain on another L that perhaps him for NPR the state of play with the beezus thing. And the way Stelter was for trying it is that. They wanted Jeff Bezos to stop the Washington Post reporting on the National Enquirer and to say that the National Enquirer when they were putting out all of those publications those curious publications about Saudi Arabia, calling it the magic kingdom that that was not political in nature. Now, of course, what we found out today from the Wall Street Journal as I'm taping. This was actually Friday. So be Friday February eighth is that. In fact, Saudi Arabia has been spending a lot of money in the form of propaganda. They have been buying spaces in magazines to advertise for Saudi Arabia the nation. And I guess, you know, you could say it sits somewhere in between the line of commercials for tourism and also outright propaganda, and we have freedom of speech here in America. So maybe it's well within the first amendment, and I'm willing to even concede that but. We can also say that what is the point of that speech? The point of that speech is to put out a pro Saudi narrative to the American people to alter American public perception of Saudi Arabia. So feel about that as you would. And if you're confused about how you might feel about that substituting, your least favorite nation state and you'll be able to calibrate fairly easily. But now looks like with the narrative, I I have to add a second correction on this is there's a Trumpy element to this. And I guess there's a few different scenarios here. So as we said in the last episode, Jeff Bezos was carrying on this affair with this woman. This reporter Lawrence Sanchez who lives out in Los Angeles. Now her brother is a big don't Trump fan. Amd being a big Dowd from fan. Well, it certainly the Mark of poor taste. But that's not immediately disqualifying to one's integrity. However, having friendships with Roger stone in Carter page. Well, that's a bit more damning. So that's an interesting little data point this narrative, and certainly my nose is directed towards Michael Sanchez. I believe that's the brothers name as the portal for the leaks because as I sit on the last up Assode one of the things we've found out so far is that beezus phone was not hacked. But obviously the stuff was accessed somehow so a way to get these text messages that bees ascent is not by going into the center but going into the recipients, this is a possible portal in and because this is sitting out there right now, it seems to me that. It is highly unlikely I I've seen this kind of kicked around, you know, hashtag the resistance Twitter. The idea the Donald Trump directed like the NSA or the FBI or something to spy into beezus phone. I don't think that's what's going on here. However, I think it's entirely possible. The Dow Trump directed David pecker and the National Enquirer to do this. So the first scenario that laid out the one where Trump actually uses the government, that'd be immediately impeachable. Right. This what he's doing? I think it's still impeachable. If it's indeed this thing with the National Enquirer, he got a hold the pecker, and he said, you need to go after Jeff visas that is the president going after a private citizen, and he is had a history of doing this. And I we get injured to all the awful things that Trump does. And and there's the outrages of the day the transient outrage. Ages that aren't really meaningful. But a thing that he is done time. And again that really does make him different from Clinton from Bush from Obama, and you can feel about them. However you want, but I think that makes them really different is that he is routinely used the office of the presidency to go after private citizens. And just to name off a few here. He's done it with Colin Kaepernick. He's done it with Djamil hill. He's done it with LeBron James. And now he's doing it with Jeff visas, and I'm sure you can come up with a few more on top of that the point is this is something that no other president does. And this is an abuse of the office, and that would be an impeachable offense. So stay tuned on this National Enquirer thing. And then of course, the last thing is I mentioned on the last episode is now we're gonna find out the true nitty gritty of the National Enquirer and think for a lot of us who grew up with this is just the trash tabloid that was in the supermarket when we were kids in the nineteen nineties. I think we're going to be shot to find out that what David pecker was really running is something much more kin to a crime syndicate. Ah silencing syndicate an extortion. Racket? And we'll be a good day when the National Enquirer is gone, not just for journalism. But because we're gonna find out that they're pretty bad people. So now, I wanna pivot to something that is not related to either of those two things. But I think is something that is important to keep an eye on as we get closer to the twenty twenty election. And this is something that very easily could fall through the cracks because there is no sex in this at all it's tax reform and tax refunds. So the average tax refund is down. And I know guys this is not sexy at all stay with me here. It's at least interesting the average tax refund is down about eight point four percent in the first week of the twenty nine hundred filing season. So let's start off real early. This. This is early. This is the first week. But why are we keeping an eye on this? We're keeping an eye on. This because this is the first year where the Trump tax cut is going to affect this social spending program, the tax refund is actually one of the bigger social spending programs in America a lot of times when you talk about entitlements. You think social security think of Medicare, Medicaid, those sorts of things in those are social programs, but we to a ton of social spending through the tax refund. In fact, some seventy one percent of tax payers received refunds last year worth about three thousand dollars on average, and that represents the single largest financial transaction for bulk of those people in a given year will this year. There's been a dip at least so far in the first week from two thousand thirty five dollars down to eighteen hundred sixty five dollars. And the reason I'm bringing up this dip and why we're going to keep an eye on. It is the way people grade. This program is pretty simple, right? You look at your tax refund. And. Go. Did it go up or did it go down, and if your tax refund went down, then you're not happy about that? And you'll go why that happened and some won't answer you probably are counting. Well, it's the new tax law who passed that the Republicans in Trump it's going to be the Trump tax cut. And so if this continues to be a bit of a debacle and continues to be very low that is going to make a lot of people unhappy, and you're going to search seeing that slowly reflected in the pulse. It's gonna be subtle though. And you just want to keep an eye on this. And I'm going to keep an eye on this. But you might want to to because there will be stories like just in Fairfax sexual accusations. Jeff Bezos in dick pics, but this this is people's wallet. This is real stuff. So we're keep an eye on that. Don't worry about the government is a listener supported podcasts. That means you as we're moving into the campaign season. I will be doing coverage of town halls debates all those sorts of things behind the patriot paywall. So if you go to patriot dot com slash GWA G, you can get signed up their bucket shows all masking, and yes, there are three and five dollar levels. And no those little comments about getting free commercials. Those are not jokes. You can actually get those. So if you sign up at those levels hit me up, I will make you the music, it's it's legit. This show runs on the support of listeners. I don't want money from political parties, certainly I don't know that they'd want to give me money anyways. And in terms of advertisement if I was going to do something like that, it would have to be in line with my values, and I haven't gone out of my way to court that I I like the listener supported model because I think one. Everyone at a dollar becomes a stakeholder and feels like they're invested in the product too. I think a dollar is a reasonable ask. You know, you're getting audio content. You're getting a lot of it. This takes time and energy, but three dollar doesn't actually put too much of a burden on any one person and four if everyone was chipping in a dollar. This is just this has been the truth for a long time if ever was chipping and dollar this would be my job. This would be what I could do for a living. And this is what I want to do for a living in right now. Unfortunately, as I am still surfing in between jobs. This is part of what I am doing for a living until I can do it fulltime. So that's the goal. That's where I'm trying to get to every book helps, and I guess five there is server fees. I have to pay those out every month, and there are website hosting fees. Those come up in February every year, so it's website month. If you want to help out on that front, so. I just want to make sure I plug the patriot. I don't like doing it too often. And if you notice it's very seldom in the middle of the show like this. So if you're skipping ahead, and you're frustrated at me for plugging the patriot right now, just, you know, think about the fact that you very rarely have to do this. And so don't hate me. Too much. I I should hope you won't so with that patriot dot com slash GWA to you get the full on the family series. So it was like six seven. I don't know. I came up with the bunch of reasons there that was pretty good. Let's let's talk about a bunch of reasons. Let's do a big list. Let's talk about the green deal because boy this is a list. So I'm going to start with this upfront because I know that there's a certain level of danger in going after Alexandria Akasa Cortazar being perceived to be going after Alexandria Cossio Cortez. So I will start with this upfront. I think that don't Trump is terribly lucky that I'll. Andrea Cossio Cortes is not running for president against him in twenty twenty. And I believe that if she was the democratic nominee in twenty twenty against Donald Trump. She would what the fourth them. I think those three debates would be the most sound drubbing we have ever seen and if for summers, and she was routed, you would see the generational rift in this country would be like the Grand Canyon. But I don't think that would happen. I think that Alexandria costs of Cortes would wipe doubt Trump off the face of the earth. Electorally speaking. That said the green new deal as it is presently constructed lends itself to the classical political attacks of its unfocused it's overly ambitious. How're you going to pay for it because it is structured in exactly the way, I sort of articulated was my fear on an episode of few episodes back with Sean Frieder in Brian Halverson where we talked about the green deal. I was worried that the green deal was going to be this giant catch all Bill rather than structured like the actual new deal, which was a series of smaller bills that built momentum one after another because you do one thing it was popular you get that pass that Bill momentum to pass another thing and all of them have the brand the stamp of this is part of the green deal. This is also part of the green you deal while you like that first Bill you like the second Bill because that's all. So part of the green new deal. It helps chief the grander vision. This is let's do everything that FDR did over two and a half terms. Let's put that all into one Bill and try to get it passed and on one level. There's an affirmative argument for being super ambitious, and and you go big, and even if you get half alo-, it's such a big piece of bread doesn't matter. That's one school thought another school of thought is what I ticketed the FDR approach. The new deal approach was actually clink the chains. Ford one at a time and more importantly, if you're gonna do big comprehensive reform things lead least do some decoupling. And I think that that's part of the problem you see here. So if you've never read a Bill before like an easy protect one that I had to pick up early on is just disregard the whereas don't worry about them. This is something I picked up from my old job, you just drop the where. Is is and you start by going with whatever the first word is after that. So the play a Bill is structured is it's going to be whereas whereas whereas whereas therefore therefore therefore there for a laundry list of because of this because of this because of this because of this because of this because of this we're gonna do this. And what is doing this mean, it means this it means this it means this means this? It means this. That's how Bill is structured. That's also kind of how the declaration of independence structured, this is kind of a classic format that you see across many different governmental types of documents. So we're to start page five rather than go through all the becauses. I I'm not gonna you know, squabble with the because I mean, look because the ice caps are melting we need to do something about the environment. I think we're all on board with that right or some variation of that because we're finding USB ships. In seals. We need to do something about the environment. That's a story from the guardian this week. Yeah. Okay. I'm completely on board with that. Let's start on page five because I think that's this is where we start getting the problems quotes. It is the duty of the federal government to. It's of fairly normal phrase man, when you're gonna use that phrase that is a very heavy phrase as strong phrase gotta be careful how using that. You don't wanna make it overly broad? Well, this Bill goes on to articulate a few different things that are the duties of the federal government. According to this Bill, I it is the duty of the federal government to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions Nason wad. Okay. That's that's a bishop's. And mean, really if you take that all the way out that means that the government's got to change out cars does the government have to pay to replace those cars does the government have to regulate. It's to the point where those cars are all zero emission discovered in half to build real and infrastructure that that's that's a big burden to put onto the federal government. If you're actually going to take that clause. Seriously, another thing that this Bill articulates is it is the duty of the federal government to create millions of quote good, and quote, high-wage jobs. Okay. I I don't know where that duty is being leaned from at least, constitutionally speaking. So like that. That's just problem. Act me. I don't believe that. It's I believe that we should have millions of good and high which jobs in favor of this. Of course, I'm favor of retraining and all these things, but but to go so far as to say, it is the duty. For the government to create good in high wage jobs. I don't know about that. I certainly all government jobs that you're getting government. They should be good. They should be high wage and have good benefits, but the government's duty to create a bunch of jobs for all of us to have another one is invest in the infrastructure for the twenty first century. I'm in favor of that. Actually, I think that's sort of much less. Controversial Kloss, right? Like the government in the twentieth century did the interstate roads project in and we have had a long discussion going all the way back to the nineteen hundreds. I was doing research for Bruce Carlson, and I was looking at the whig initiatives in the debates with the Jacksonians eighteen forty going all the way back to the nineteenth century. There is this believe that the US federal government should be investing in the infrastructure for the twenty first century well for century at that point the nineteenth century and then the twentieth century. But this is something that has been a long held belief. And then this last clause. It is the duty of the federal government to promote Justice and equality by stopping current preventing future and repairing historic oppressions of indigenous peoples communities of color, migrant communities deindustrialized communities deposited rural areas. The poor low income workers women the elderly the une housed people with disabilities and youth. Wow. That's a lot. And somewhere towards the end of that lists I stopped being able to figure out where the through line is to the green new deal, which is about climate change. And this is the problem. Right. So before we even get into the requirements of the falling projects that is just the articulation of what is the duty of the federal government to do in order to combat the polar ice caps melting. I am in favour of getting rid of greenhouse gases cleaning up the ocean cleaning up the river figuring out what we're doing about animal operations Howard, doing industrialized agriculture all of these things are very complicated things, but to tack on at the end of this promote Justice in quality for all this laundry list of people. I I'm not gonna read it all again, but we got one too. Two three four five six seven eight nine ten eleven different groups in that lodger lists. That are supposed to be connected back to climate change people with disabilities. Should we be doing something for them? Absolutely. What do people with disabilities have to do with climate change? I could go on low income workers. Do I want low income workers to have a livable wage union jobs benefits, be able to support their family? Of course, what do low income workers have to do with climate change directly. So now, we get into the requirements of the Bill what it's looking to do. And that's that's a big goal for the federal government. So it's going to require a lot of projects, and this is part of the problem. Right law should be decoupled. So let's start with the first one. This is just the first bowl point building resiliency against changed related disasters like extreme weather. So here's. The funny thing about whether it comes in many different forms, and this the thing about whether it manifests in many different ways across the country. And so why I being such a jerk because what you need to do if you're going to do something like that. That is one Bill that is like ten bills inside of that one Bill. So that alone would be a standalone because you gotta deal with forest. Fires in California. How are you dealing with drought conditions out there, that's important? What about flooding conditions in the southeast of the country? That is also important. Okay. How about when it freezes really bad in the north midwest? And you need to do things like salt, the roads, that's a whole different part of the country different mechanics. That is Embiid. If you wanna do something on that, we should I'm in favor of that. As in business into throw that in as a line item is naive. And also is ensuring that you will. Won't do a good job. When you just tackle that one issue alone. Because that requires a lot of focus a national focus. Thek st- repairing an upgrading infrastructure. Okay. I'm in favor of that. That's its own set of bills. That's a number of different things right lately. There's not like this thing called infrastructure that we go and take a wrench to cook. The infrastructures ready to go now. No, it's it's a bunch of very specific things all over the country. So what things do you want off grade? What things should we repair? How about the things we need to replace the that'd be its own different list. Right. That's complicated. Saying this third item insure clean water universally. Hey, this thing this is like a big pet issue for me, and we should be doing this one hundred percent. This should one hundred percent be its own Bill. It's an obvious political. Winter is the perfect thing to be item. Number one on the green new deal. You fight for the clean water. And you make the Republicans fight against. Clean water, which one would be very on brand with this batch of Republicans into would be a total political loser for them meeting. One hundred percent of all power needs for the country through zero emission sources, again, this this is the fourth item that we've gone through this is if you thought ObamaCare be hard trying to pass this as a standalone Bill visiby heavy lift now having this buried in his number four. I I have no idea how much that one standalone item would cost, but if we're doing that. And you're talking in saying that it's the duty of the federal government to invest in that she that net zero greenhouse gas emissions other going to be through regulations, which are going to be really tough on the business or it's gonna be through really massive government spending. In a time where we are currently running an annual one trillion dollar budget deficit, and the thing I saw earlier this week is there's a a condoms I wish I could cite her name. I should've prepared this for the segment, but she was basically saying that the way you can do this just by printing money. Everyone knows that the that congress has the power of the purse, we use the term the power of the purse, and somehow we just sort of don't connect the dots. And come to fully appreciate what that means. Which is that they can never run out of money, and we can so people don't really understand. It's hard for me to wrap my mind around to that since the government, the United States government prints our own currency. That's why we can deficit spend when we go into a recession, unlike countries like Greece, and no, you can't just you know, who said that, you know, who said that Trump said that people said I wanna go and buy dead and default on. In debt, and these people are crazy this the United States government. First of all you never have to default because you print the money. I hate to tell you. Okay. So there's never the fall. When you go to that school thought just know that the other person who's sitting in the classroom with you in shooting spitballs, the back of your head is Donald Trump. You can't just print the money. It doesn't work like that. You would inflate the money you destroy the faith in credit in the United States. You would never work would never be allowed to do that you can't just print the money the next item that was just item number four. I remember five upgrading all existing buildings to achieve quote maximum, energy efficiency, safety, avoidability comfort and durability. Whoa. All existing buildings to maximum energy efficiency. Now, you know, this is doc wanted to get. Passed into law, but just stop and suppose that it was how are you going to achieve maximum energy efficiency? How do you define achieving maximum energy efficiency? Does that mean that we get rid of the lights and reduce candle is that the most energy efficient solar panels did to keep upgrading all the time to be maximally energy efficient all the time. Or can there be a little slack in the line all existing buildings? All really all them. Does that make sense, especially when you're talking about not trying to hose depopulated rural areas and other deindustrialized communities, and that's thing like out of the deindustrialized communities can be able to afford to make their buildings maximally energy efficient and also the mo- safe and also the most of forcible. I mean, yes, I I would like the very very fast, very very big very very strong car to that is also very very cheap. But that's not. I'm reminded of that old triangle that you see of the quality trial. Right. You get good fast and cheap pick two. And that is kind of how government tends to work too. You can do you? No good and big IMB issues. But there's no way it's gonna be cheap. And I also don't know how these buildings would exist or may require space age materials that we don't have yet. So that's a problem. And this is another quote from this is bullet point number six spurring massive growth in clean manufacturing in the United States. Okay. But clean factories. Don't just make clean. They they have to make things. So what would be the things that are made in the clean factories? You know, you need an industry to actually do this. This is like supply demand stuff. I'm not sure how that works. Then both point number seven industrial agriculture reform. Now, this one this one's a big one. They actually have slightly different nomenclature in there. But the way I read it is this is about industrial Agra form. So concentrated animal feeding operations they're discussing the vile there unethical. If you knew that your meat came from Cafo, you would probably not want to eat that meat and be looking at doing something that has much more. Humane conditions must more ethical conditions. In addition to being deeply unethical. They also create a lot of environmental impact all around them because there's a lot of excrement when you put a lot of animals in. Cages and keep them on their sides all day and then pumped them full foods. So that they can be really fat. And what happens to all that extra rent is that it all gets run into one sewage Lon sometimes the animals standing it. And then that sewage line goes out of the back of the operation and fills up like a lagoon. It's like a poop. Lagoon sounds nice. Right. Yeah. So these goons are everywhere, and it's not that much better. When we're talking about vegetable and fruit farms, either Monsanto has a pretty heavy hand in though. So we've seen monoculture and we've seen them patent things like roundup resistant crops and those crops encroach onto standard natural crops. There's been just pig mutations in the way, those plants look bananas look completely different than they did one hundred years ago. The average chicken has gone from about one kilogram. Two four kilograms in the last six. Sixty or seventy years. It's pretty intense stuff. If you wanna go down that wormhole this this is not my pet issue. But the reason I'm bringing this up or I guess it is a bit of a Pedic while I care about this. This is important. It's what we eat every day, but doing this. If you want to actually address this. It's complicated is really really complicated. It requires nuance. You have to appreciate where the farmers coming from its appreciate that in certain cases, the former is kind of over the barrel because Monsanto is so predatory. So are you willing to go after Monsanto and five months Santo and fight some of these other big egg companies if you are, hey, I'm right behind you hawse, but that's a serious fight. Those are serious enemies who will be uniting against your green new deal. If that's just but a leg of the green new deal. That that is my problem with this. So you want do industrial agriculture reform. I'm right behind you. But you're opening up a whole flank here without a clear plan of attack on how you tack a pretty formidable. Army the egg army. Yeah. You don't just mess with them next. This is point what number eight ensuring universal access to healthy food. I'm in favor of that. You know, how are we defining that? What are we defining as healthy food healthy is doing a lot of lifting there? Right. I mean, the was which government made catch up a vegetable which was the Clinton government, or is that Bush's government. I don't remember. But you know, what? I mean, the government can change what defines healthy. And then you're not actually doing anything with that. And ensuring universal access really just means that there's stores all over the place. So in most cases, there are stores over the. Place. But there are places where there are desert's. That's a real thing that should be a standalone Bill, especially to address food desert's a lot. We're there are food desert's those are very targeted and localized places. That's actually a really nice way to build together coalition of representatives, especially if you're talking about addressing the food desert in their district. You'll get a lot of Representative support behind that amd by partisan Representative support behind that. If it's about addressing food deserts, and it's not devicive. It's very targeted smaller is better, especially on that thing. And then we get into removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Good, maybe we can get those Harvard and Neo guys who said that they were going to pump other gases into the atmosphere to fix the other gases that are in the atmosphere that seems a good idea and removing greenhouse gases pollution from the air. Yes of we need to do something about that. But removing greenhouse gases from the. Global atmospheres pretty fucking ambitious from one nation. Let alone as item number ten in our green new deal, then we get into the mitigation in management of long term, health, economic and other effects of pollution and climate change. Whoa. Do we just open up a healthcare leg of this? I think we did an economic as well, then we get to cleaning up hazardous waste sites a fine candidate for a standalone Bill like that is one you pass that right after the clean water Bill. That's this Bill number to clean up hazardous waste sites. Developing all this with communities unions worker, co ops academia, and this is nice include businesses. So presumably we get all five of those groups into the room. They figured out after they all get along. Really good. And then we get to the next. Bullet point of higher education for all people of the United States and to make it more divisive with the focus on the laundry list of people from earlier the laundry list being the indigenous peoples communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities depopulated rural areas, the poor the low income workers the women the elderly the anals the people with disabilities and youth all youth all of them. So just be everyone goes to college. Okay. So why would there need to be a focus in the laundry list? And then ensure all green new deal jobs are union jobs that have full benefits and a family sustaining wage. So I'm pro union I in favor of unions. I tried to organize union unions are good things unions. Don't just like pop. Up out of the ground. You have a business the workers there. Meet after the business is long enough established in the workers have been working there long enough. There becomes the need for those workers to have collective bargaining. You know, you have five guys been working together. Ten years they say we wanted to go she with the bosses a collective bargain. The business has been around for ten years. So now, we're at a point where yes, the Bosh ABI solve enough to be able to have that bargain, if he's not then it's about time. These guys sit him down at the table and say, hey, we've been busing R s wisest business solvent enough. Maybe the CBS should have already happened. Point being you don't start with the union. And then find the business you start with the business and then from there the union start forming, so especially with these new businesses, they're not just going to start as union businesses. And I know that there are some businesses that do indeed start like that. But if you're talking about ensuring that all green new deal jobs are union jobs, you'd have to have exclusively those type of union shops. There aren't that. Many of those next we have protecting the right to unionize and collectively bargain, I support that that that's a good thing. What does that have to do with the green new deal? What does that have to do with the environment? The ice caps are melting. What do I need a union? I don't get that. I'm not seeing the one there. Same thing with ban outsourcing. Not interfere with native American tribal sovereignty. I'm actually fun with having that in every single Bill because the US federal government as a really bad history of funding away to fuck with tribal sovereignty. Maybe we should put that into every piece of legislation although again, not necessarily connected to climate change. But Morgan on that one and then last, but not least antitrust legislation to break up big businesses, and that sort of thing again, that's meant to address ice caps melting global climate change that sort of thing. So we've now gone through the Bill that is that gets you pretty much the end of page fourteen there and just want to say as I kind of wrap up this green deal discussion. Look, I am in favor of a law of these initiatives. And as said repeatedly on today's show these are. Fun things to pass a standalone items and a lot of them would have broad support. And I think you would be surprised with how strong the Democratic Left of center. Just the green new deal position would be if each one of these was standalone items and a number of the smaller items would be really great momentum builders for the bigger items. But adding in free college at the tail end of this is nuts. I saw one conservative. Critique that was essentially the planet is dying. So in order to do this. We need to have healthcare and free college for everybody. And you know, obviously, they're conservatives in their concern trolling. But there is something to be said with if the plan is in urgent state, and it is and if we're on an unsustainable course with the environment. And we are we need to actually be talking in very precise ways and not allow secondary conversations to debtor important conversations to step in the way, or in reset with this main issue in this is this Bill right here is my not of the intersectional approach to liberal politics that has become more popular with the younger set. And I think that this is trying to intersect a bunch of things that are important issues that need to be kept separate from one. Another unions. Great issue important issue. Not really the reason why the ice caps are melting college higher education job training important issues. Job retraining matters for coal miners. It matters for people who are oil riggers. We should do something on that front higher education for everyone in the country. That's not why the ice is melting the lack of good healthcare access. The fact that we have in employer based healthcare system sucks ass. It's bad. It's dumb. And the only people were talking about getting rid of the employer based healthcare system are the Democrats and you'll occasionally get Republicans on television saying things like will. You know, nobody would ever just design the system the way we have right now. Okay. So we need to get rid of this damn system and liberals the left they're the only ones who have any answer to how we get rid of the employer based healthcare system. The employer-based healthcare system is now the ice caps are melting though. So there's a bunch of things in this Bill clean water. Great things standalone item. You wanna talk about upgrading all existing buildings. That was crazy. Right. You wanna talk about industrial agriculture reform. That's important. I'm. In favor of that, you need a standalone Bill, and you to Ross you're fighting when you go to fight that fight. You wanna talk about cleaning up hazardous waste sites. That's a great standalone Bill, you should do that. I mean, there's a bunch of things in here that are very very good building resiliency against change related disasters. This be like upgrading the levees, and that sort of thing ten different bills. These are all smaller. These are all initiatives that need to be taken separately and putting them into one Bill and saying it's all because the ice capture melting makes each one of these items seem a little bit silly. And it ends up hurting the total package. So I know I'm opening myself up for critique on this. And I know they're going to be some people who think that this is the right approach. But I I want to put out my thoughts as someone who's not concerned falling on this is someone who. To see I don't know eighty ninety percent of this shit get past this is this is things. I like, I I care a lot about the environment. But I worry in quite seriously. So that when you start talking about things that don't have to do the environment. People will start thinking that you're discussing the environment are Trojan horses for other people's wishlist. And I don't wanna see that happen. That's gonna do it for this episode of don't worry about the government. If you liked this episode, please hit me up at C H R, I S and Lovie EM B R. I know if you didn't like this episode at C O D Y F R O M O H I O. He handles all of my. Hey comments. And you could also hit up at DWA I-love-you, Cody and let him know exactly how you feel about me. Just tell them all of the worst things. Please do it. Don't worry dot TV is our homepage. And you can also go to pitcher on dot com slash DWA TGI and support the show support the therapy sessions for Cody that I'm going to have to purchase for him. Now, he's also the worst behind at DWA if you follow that. And of course, you can check out the all in the family podcast over at the all in the family podcast or you can check out the all in the family podcast over on. The family podcast dot com. And you could also hear me and Jeff Hawkins on shake them ropes. Every week. Don't worry about the government is a listener supported podcasts. That means. You think you guys so much for listening? Thank you so much for supporting new patriot members this week a couple new Pedro members this week. So glad to have you own aboard. And I will have a premium episode out sometime soon along with a quality report. But until then. Phone. The reason I do such great journalism is I don't I don't I'm not afraid of these people because I don't even know who they are to me. They're just like, I don't know how even how to say their names.

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A Tell-All Memoir and an NDA

On The Media

30:04 min | 1 year ago

A Tell-All Memoir and an NDA

"Approach. Listener support W N Y C studios. This week the latest in the Gina of tell all memoirs from former White House staffers bookstores team vipers my five hundred extraordinary days in the Trump White House is by cliff SIMS it was either a key player as director of message strategy or as Trump tweeted this week, quote, nothing more than a gopher the book. Of course is a landfill of trash ender on his full Mukalla licks at one point. Sam says he was called to Kellyanne Conway's office to write a statement to the press defending her against charges of leaking while I'm sitting on her laptop her apple laptop in her office tight trying to type this up. And she forgets that she's sitting at her desk typing on her iphone, which is seat to her computer. And and I'm watching her talk to reporter after reporter and trash colleagues and even not painting the president very favorable light. And basically I'm supposed to be. In writing a statement defending her against exactly what she's doing in very moment. Yielding also, of course, the requisite non denial denials. Conway has already responded. She gave a statement to Vanity Fair. She wrote the real leakers get much more positive press than I do while. It's rare I prefer my people from the front so they can see it coming. Even as SIMS toward the morning shows the late shows and the everything else shows Trump campaign COO Michael Glasner was threatening to sue him for violating a nondisclosure agreement. Sim says he remembers signing some paperwork, but doesn't remember if there was an NDA in there? And anyway, as other lawyers have since chimed in there is a stablishment precedent that would make it very hard for the campaign to silence, a former federal employee the subject of NDA's comes up a lot for people in Trump's orbit, which is why the team at Trump Inc produced here at our station. WNYC did whole episode on the topic. This is the videotape deposition of Donald Trump taking the case in twenty ten. Donald Trump sits down for a deposition in a law office in midtown Manhattan. He's being sued by buyers and Trump branded building the topic of secrecy comes up. Joe's very important because I don't want my competitors to know my deals. I don't want them to see what deal on making Tampa. What deal I making in Panama what deal making a New York what deal making throughout the world. So we have confidentiality in many of our deals if not all I mean, you'd have to ask as we've all come to learn Donald Trump cares. A lot about confidentiality in his business deals in his political life, and with women you've heard of stormy Daniels, the adult film after who says she had an affair with Trump as the twenty sixteen campaign, drew to a close she was paid to keep quiet. He said that it was great. He had a great evening. And it was nothing. Like, he expected that I really surprised earlier this year stormy Daniels. Decided to speak to sixty minutes. According to the Wall Street Journal, President Trump personally directed the legal response to stormy Daniels, even his business and his son Eric involved the message if you don't keep his secrets hill. Make you pay. This applies to a lot of people who work for Trump and some capacity, including people who didn't allege intimate relationships like Jessica Denson who worked on his campaign. She wasn't one of the big names. She started in the data department moved onto Hispanic outreach. We found a teeny recording of her from a local TV station in Colorado during the campaign Denson Brown eyes, Brown hair dressed in crisp business attire is defending Trump against critics and the audience with all due respect to all of them. I think that their presence was not necessarily unbiased the reason I'm telling you about her. She's in a confidentiality fight with the Trump campaign right now, not quite a year ago. She files a case in New York state court. She's representing herself saying her co workers on the Trump campaign bullied and harassed her. She says one of them had referred to her as his sheep. And the Trump campaign has an unusual reaction to her lawsuit. It says by making these. Claims and a public court case Denson has breached the confidentiality agreement. She signed the campaign demands one point five million dollars. It denies the charges harassment the five page confidentiality agreement which is now in the public record says dancing cannot reveal any confidential information about Donald Trump or any of his family including his five children. Don, jR, Ivanka Eric, Tiffany and Barron. It says she can't demean or disparage publicly the company or anyone in Trump's family. It even says, she can't talk. If she's legally required to for example in another lawsuit without notifying the campaign if that happens, she has to help Trump prevent any information from getting out the last paragraph says this whole agreement lasts forever. It's extremely reared. This is Nancy Erica Smith who represented former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson in her sexual harassment suit against Roger Ailes. Smith has been handling cases. Like this for thirty eight. Years most non disclosure agreements are when we bring a claim of discrimination or harassment and the employer wants to settle them. But as a condition of settling they want my client to agree not to describe what happened to her. But she says having to sign them to get a job that is highly unusual, especially in a political campaign. This is the kind of thing you would expect when you bring a nanny into your home to see, you know, your most personal life experiences. Smith says they're good business reasons for company, she -ality other companies have property -ality agreements, meaning important things. Like, what's our strategy trade secrets competitive information that sort of thing lots of companies, lots of celebrities have them Trump. He's not just a celebrity. He's not just a businessman. He's those things and he's the president with a long history of working to keep people silent. Hello. And welcome to Trump can open investigation from WNYC and propublica that digs deep and how the president's business works, and who might be profiting from the Trump administration. I'm Andrea Bernstein merits before we take trumping any further we have to talk about the thing that makes reporting on Trump different from reporting on other US presidents. It's not just that. The Trump organization is a closely held private business or that Trump hasn't released his tax returns. It's that Trump has worked really hard often in hidden ways to protect and shape, his reputation, I'm dealing with this right now, I am reporting story, which I hope to bring to you sometime soon where every source who knows anything about this particular matter of public interest and importance as far as I can tell all of them have signed a confidentiality agreement this insistence uncomfortable. She -ality pervades even the White House. The Washington Post has reported dozens of. Government employees were asked to sign confidentiality agreements, although these ones are particularly questionable a little later this episode, we'll talk with Ronan Farrow of the New Yorker journalist with the black belt and getting past secrecy clauses. Because obviously, they're not airtight. We know a lot of alleged detail about Trump's personal life. But first, let's talk about how Trump got us to this point. Donald Trump fail to come up with a thirty million dollar debt payment on bonds used to finance that some castle casino in nineteen ninety Trump is buffeted by what his refer Wayne Barrett called twin cataclysms won his Atlantic City casinos face bankruptcy and his creditors are circling to. He's divorcing his wife. Thirteen years. Ivana Trump has been having a secret affair with an actress named Marla Maples. It's a logistical feat. Trump security detail has been shuttling Maples in and out of Trump properties. So she innovative don't mean inevitably they do. Now, the New York tabloids on the story headline the New York Post Friday, February sixteen best sex. I've ever had photo. Donald with a you gummy smile. It went on like this for months to get a rescue from the banks Trump needs to settle his chaotic in public divorce. His brand pens on Yvonne deal says. She can't talk about their marriage period lesson. Lert protect your image and protect your business after Trump's casino Maghreb Z big banks don't wanna lend to him anymore. So he starts to shift his business model from building tall towers to licensing his name controlling how people think of that name matters more than ever or colleague pewter Elkins over propublica told me this extraordinary story about a proposed condo tower. Trump got involved with in two thousand five in Tampa, Florida. It was announced initially as a Donald J Trump's signature property. Also spoke of being a partner in the project and it being his project and the message delivered to prospective buyers with Trump was developer and partner and Trump actually said things to the press that conveyed the impression explicitly to local press. He spoke of the deal being so hot and so good that while he has less than an ownership stake of fifty percent. He did have a substantial stake and he wanted to increase it. But as partners would let him do. So because units were selling so well. I feel like the next thing. You're going to tell me is that none of that was true. None of that was true. He at known ship stake whatsoever. He was simply licensor, but the people who are buying the units had no idea so Trump and the developer actually wanted to keep their buyers in the dark. It's an document the brand licensing agreement which came to light when unit buyers sued Trump on page fifteen. There's a one paragraph confidentiality agreement that says without the written consent of the other party unless required by law. They will not under any circumstances disclose or permit to be disclosed the existence of this agreement or any of its contents Danny persons for entities for any purpose whatsoever. So neither Trump nor the developers can tell people that Trump is not a developer here. It is during this legal dispute that Trump gives a deposition saying as you heard right of the beginning of this story, quote confidentiality is. Very important to me later. He's asked why the license agreement? Also describes Trump as quote, wiser worldwide renowned builder and developer developer wise that putting these agreements because we want them to know that we have very important reputation, and we don't want them to screw up. And so it's a way of putting in writing with the party who you're going to license your name to your reputation is important thing. And we want them to do a good job. Okay. Tower in Tampa is never built Trump eventually settles with the buyers all of this plays out. Trump. Staging an epic comeback on the apprentice playing successful businessman, and now America's John. Draw in our first season of trumping. We got a fascinating tip from someone who worked on the show about catering on the set of the apprentice, we could never confirm it. There was a confidentiality agreement. The White House and the Trump campaign didn't respond to our request for comments. But in an Email statement, a spokesperson for the Trump organization said it's common practice for high profile companies, such as the Trump organization to require employees and business partners to sign confidentiality agreements as a means of protecting against the unauthorized dissemination of both personal and proprietary information. Now, the people who signed these agreements find themselves limited in their ability to speak publicly about the man who is now president of the United States. There's at least one case we know of where company, and she -ality went beyond protecting the value of Trump's brand it had to do with the criminal investigation in Manhattan before Trump was president. It's eight years ago, Donald Trump and his children, Ivanka Don, jR, are sued by group of buyers in the Trump, SoHo condo hotel in lower Manhattan. The buyer say that Trump's misled them, the Trump say, it's a case of buyer's remorse. The civil suit raises a red flag in the Manhattan District attorney's office. Prosecutors there think they might actually have a criminal case. But before prosecutors can finish the criminal investigation the buyers settle and there's a catch as part of the agreement. The buyers affirm that they will no longer willingly cooperate with the district attorney. Here's their lawyer. Adam Lightman Bailey talking with NPR's Kelly mcevers about his settlement with the Trump organization. Obviously, we found other things in stuff. I can't talk about. It when I settled the case they asked for confidentiality, right? So they were like you found some stuff out. But if we're going to settle with you, you can't talk about about, right? Is that confidentiality agreement forever? Yes. I'm still not I still haven't talked about it Elliott. And I reported on this case last year. You should look it up. Suffice it to say after the civil settlement Trump's personal lawyer makes a donation to the Manhattan DA there's a lot of legal back and forth. Trump's argue what they did was puffery not a crime with the buyer. Silence to the DA drops the case. All this was before the twenty sixteen election, a lot of stuff that voters might have wanted to know about only came to light after Trump was elected. So he enters the race with all these invisible. Gags on the people around him campaign staff have these confidentiality agreements so do transition staff and people planning his inauguration and people now working in the White House. Here is Kellyanne Conway, we have confidentiality we miss the west wing. Absolutely. We do. And why wouldn't mean, by the way, the fact that you're Washington Post says new employees at the White House are no longer being asked to sign the commentators defense. Trump on TV some of them have these agreements to for a while after he was fired for Trump campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski was still being paid by the campaign where he had a non disparagement agreement also being a paid contributor for CNN, and this is still going on. And maybe I'll do Trump translation, rob Asterio. Paid CNN contributor was recently called out on this CNN anchor. Poppy, Harlow, okay. I just need to note that you work on the Trump twenty twenty advisory committee, and they're for you have signed an NDA that includes non-disparagement clause, which so you can't you can't really tell me. Then if I mean, you really don't believe the president's own worth robusta Reno is still a paid contributor. A number of White House ex employees have gone on to be paid by entities that support Trump like his campaign or political action committee as is so often the case with Trump. There's a twist in one instance, that we know about the offer of job seemed to come with strings attached. I'm Orosa medical Newman. Yeah. We know released to tape in August. When she was exiting the White House. I'm Orosa had a call with the Trump campaign official, Laura tra- wife of Eric daughter-in-law of Donald. I'm Rosa recorded. The Call Laura Trump said in paraphrasing. It sounds like you've got something in your back pocket. If you come to work for the next Trump campaign will wanna keep things positive then she makes her. Hind Dwayne out. We work something out. Where would you rate along does? Mommy. Only the numbers talking about. Rendering? Dahlie, Joel Brandt. Omarosa didn't take the offer. Now, she has a bestselling book. The Trump campaign is seeking millions in fines for violating her confidentiality agreement. Laura Trump called the tape of fraud. So we've been surveying the landscape of Trump and secrecy we began with Ivana Marla and Trump sex life. And that's where we are again today in August. I was in a courtroom in lower Manhattan. Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen in charcoal suit and yellow tie frequently stopping to say was pleading guilty. He said he'd committed crimes by keeping information that could be harmful to Trump out of the public on or about the summer of two thousand sixteen Cohen said in coordination with and at the direction of candidates for federal office by and the CEO of a media company at the request of the candidate worked together to keep an individual with information that would be harmful to the candidate. And to the campaign from publicly disclosing this information without using any of their names Cohen explained that number one he paid stormy Daniels to keep quiet and number two. Two. He got the National Enquirer to pay Karen McDougal for the rights to her story without the intention of running. It the latter practices known as catch and kill. Trump denies extramarital affairs with the women. There is audio of Trump and Michael Cohen talking about how to buy McDougal silence. She's the former playboy playmate who says Trump struck up a relationship shortly after his son Barron was born Cohen recorded this conversation in September twenty sixteen. I you'll hear Cohen then trim. I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding friend, David. So that I couldn't do that right away. I've actually come up and I've spoken to Alan Weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up. David here is David pecker CEO of the national enquirers parent company. Alan Weisselberg is the Trump organization's chief financial officer Cohen is saying the shell company. He's setting up can be used to make payments to the inquirer to suppress McDougal story funding. Yes. And all the stuff all the stuff because you never know where that company what he's going to be correct. It sounds like Trump is saying if something happens to the publisher of the National Enquirer Trump's information may not be safe. Correct. So I'm I'm all over that. And I spoke to Alan about it when it comes to for the finance, which will be listening. We'll have to. I got nothing for many years the National Enquirer kept Donald Trump secrets in a safe. This is not a metaphor. But an actual locked box containing stories that could be harmful to him and records of hush money payments, five sources confirmed the safe's existence these Associated Press all of them spoke anonymously because they too have confidentiality agreements. Despite all these efforts, people are speaking out in a minute. The New Yorker journalist who's challenging the paradigm of secrecy. We'll be right back. Confidentiality agreements legal settlements catch and kill all of them create an enormous barrier to truth telling around Trump, but it turns out people do wanna talk. There's a journalist at the New Yorker who's made an artifice. He's been kinda busy lately. But we got him on the phone during a break in cavenaugh Senate testimony. Hello. Hello. Andrea. Hi ronin. How're you? Ronan Farrow is one of the reporters who's contributed the most to our understanding of the culture of sex, power and secrecy and how prominent people use confidentiality agreements to control information, he wanna poster prize for his reporting on Harvey Weinstein. So then you start looking into President Trump and his use of silence. So can you just tell us a little bit about how you came to do that. And what you encountered I personally. Alie stumbled into this through a very direct route from reporting I did on Harvey Weinstein who was using the National Enquirer to acquire damaging information about opponent. And also to suppress damaging information about him. And it was through that circle of sources around the National Enquirer that it became apparent very quickly that this wasn't just Harvey Weinstein using tactics. This wasn't just a Hollywood tactic. This was something that Donald Trump did pretty regularly. Now, there's an important difference here with Harvey Weinstein. The damaging information was about alleged sexual assault in the Donald Trump. Karen McDougal case, it's about an alleged consensual affair wouldn't compare that to except to say in this one specific respect they were both using the same playbook of working with a tabloid outlets to manipulate ends. Depress. Have you done reporting? Or are you aware of reporting about how Donald Trump established this relationship with the inquirer? He and David Hecker have a longstanding relationship pecker is the publisher of the Enquirer relationship that Donald Trump had the gossip media in general extends back decades. You know, we we've obviously heard the accounts of Donald Trump using fake voices identities to call reporters, he's a person who for many many years has been engaged in this game of manipulating the press. You know, both the efforts to suppress items and also the efforts to plant items that were favorable cuff used to use the name John barren when he called reporters pretending to be his own PR man, but David pecker became one of his closest on in that respect. And you know, in our first story about the efforts of the press Karen McDougal's account for their with Trump. Through the National Enquirer. We talked to a number of employees who described Trump's very cozy very close relationship with Packers. When you spoke to her, then she told you I'm afraid to even say his name. Yes. It was her first on the record interview about the subject in that article, but she remains very fearful of legal retaliation and spoke extremely carefully at that point. Karen McDougal signed a contract that she felt barred her from talking to the press and indeed the records of those contracts support that at the time of the elections, Karen McDougal was effectively Gad in legal terms subsequently. There was an amendment to her agreements that allowed on paper anyways, some exemptions. But our understanding along the way was that behind the scenes, even as am I pointed to that exception and said, hey, we're not gagging. Anyone? Their lawyers were still engaged in an effort to intimidate and silence. It didn't work McDougal told her story. And you know, I wish I could take credit for that. I think that that really is down to Karen McDougal becoming convinced that this was an issue of national significance as time went on. And that the public should be aware after Ronin published his piece something important happened. Mcdougal got back the right to tell her story, but she'd been silenced during the campaign. It was not the only way the Enquirer helped shape perceptions of Trump in the eyes of a lot of sources we talked to from around the National Enquirer, Donald Trump had a profound degree of influence over the coverage that AM I and the Enquirer did in general, Maxine page, one of the employees that we talked to talked about the leverage that pecker had over a lot of celebrities other employees, Jerry, George said quote. We never printed a word about Trump without his approval, the political ramifications of that are pretty significant. Have you done any reporting on what else is in that vault at AM? I I have and I cannot comment on any recording. I haven't published. There may be people in the Trump administration who would keep the president secrets without signing a loyalty. Oh that is how it's always worked in Washington in this administration. Dozens of White House aides were told to sign nondisclosure agreements. NDA's? That's according to the Washington Post, these government employees paid by the tax payers who were asked to sign what the post calls gret picking broad agreements. It's very very rare that you see government agencies or actors requiring people to pledge themselves to secrecy outside of the context of classified information. This is Heidi Cottrer, a professor at the university of Minnesota law school under an expert on first amendment and whistle blower law. The supreme court has made quite clear that information about government and politics and policy. What they sometimes some up as matters. Public concern is really at the core of the first amendment, and for that reason, the notion that somebody might be subject to criminal or civil damages for sharing non classified information about government is pretty anathema to most of the case law could trust her says for this reason non-disparagement agreements made during the campaign may also violate the first amendment because the agreements never expire. And I think the reason for that is that otherwise you'd be driving a huge hole through the first amendment. If you could knowing that one day, you might run for office have people sign non-disparagement agreements that they'll never say a bad word about you know, wing that those will cover your time in office could trust her says, even if these secrecy clauses are on such shaky legal ground that they'd be bounced out of court if they were challenged, well, many people are not going to want the hassle or emot-. Shnell strain of being threatened. And instead, they'll say, well, you know, what I'll just refrain from saying anything that would be deemed a breach of confidentiality or if there's a non-disparagement clause. I'll just refrain from saying anything that might even come close to being critical because I'm afraid I'll get sued. The framers of the constitution wanted people to be able to criticize the president. It's an important check on presidential power, nondisclosure agreements can get in the way of that. And I think that these indie as particularly in so far as they would seek to bar not just breaching confidentiality. But saying anything that cuts against the official White House line. I think that's deeply concerning. It really cuts at the heart of why we protect speech. Coming up on Trump Inc. Going to drain. Soi? Decades value in Washington and decades of special interest, dealing must and will come to an end. The president is under a prime minister and casino. Trump ink is produced by Meg Kramer, the associate producer is Alice wilder Bill moths is the technical director original music. Composed by Hans Brown. Charlie Herman and Eric humanity. Are the editors we had helped episode from Peter L kind captain Sullivan. Jacob Pearson in Arianna Tobin at propublica, Robin fields as Republicans managing editor Jim Schachter as vice president for news at WNYC and Steve Engelberg is the editor in chief at propublica special. Thanks to Kelly mcevers and NPR's podcast embedded the type of adamant unveiling. That's fascinating. I know you either do or don't have a nondisclosure agreement which if he didn't have a nondisclosure agreement. Do you have a nondisclosure agreement to high you can't say whether you have a nondisclosure agreement. But if you didn't have a nondisclosure agreement, Hugh, most certainly could say, I don't have a nondisclosure agreement. Yes. You're SIS mart gem. Thank you very much. Okay.

Donald J Trump Trump Trump Trump organization Trump Inc Trump administration Trump White House president Trump twenty twenty National Enquirer Trump White House Manhattan Karen McDougal National Enquirer stormy Daniels Washington Post Kellyanne Conway reporter Ronan Farrow
Buried Treasure: The extortion files, from Letterman to Bezos

Skullduggery

24:16 min | 1 year ago

Buried Treasure: The extortion files, from Letterman to Bezos

"The the victim nationally known and wealthy American celebrity the crime wack mail. It was late September two thousand nine and David Letterman gets a threatening letter four over two million dollars or be exposed is a serial philanderer who had sexual relations with women who worked for him the threat to extort cash blew up in the blackmailers face when Letterman went public on national television copping to the sex while exposing the criminal scheme to shake him down in so doing Letterman wrote a playbook that was adopted at least in part in recent days when Jeff Bezos super billionaire chief of Amazon when public with an ear -ly similar threat by Amer I the parent company of the National Enquirer to publish embarrassing photos of his sexual dalliance with his girlfriend unless he agreed to the newspapers demands now. Federal prosecutors are reportedly examining the national enquirers conduct to determine if it to was engaged in blackmail. We'll look back at the Letterman episode and explore the similarities and the differences with the base os National Enquirer dust up on this episode of buried treasure. 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 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. Michael Isikoff, chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo news and on Dan Kleinman editor in chief of Yahoo news. You know, everybody has been applauding Jeff Bezos for going public with this am I National Enquirer threat to expose more embarrassing pictures of him. And everybody's forgotten that David Letterman went through something very similar and went to even more public. He did it on national television, not on medium, and basically exposed his blackmailer a guy named Joe Haldeman who had worked for CBS and broke the mold right there. It really seems very similar to what bazo says doing although in somewhat respects on an even larger scale. Yeah. I had completely forgotten about that episode until you dug it up and sent me the clip on YouTube, and it is. Fascinating to watch. I think I actually watched it live when it happened. The weird thing about it is as you're watching it, you don't know and the audience the live audience didn't know what he was going to say. And there's always a built up expectation with David Letterman. Of course, is that he's going to be joking. And this was a really serious issue. Right because not only was exposing a serious crime. But on national television. He was also aknowledging that he had done some pretty sleazy things. I e having sexual affairs with people who worked for him. It's just bizarre in that sense. But of course, there are these parallels. And makes you kinda wonder whether bazo 's was just taking a page from the Letterman playbook, whether he knew about a remembered what Letterman had done well as as I'm going to point out in a minute. There's a lot of similarities, but there is a big difference which will talk about. But yeah, you know, we're gonna play this clip, which is so interesting to listen to or watch you can watch it on YouTube because as you point out the audience, I thinks he's joking that he's telling a funny story that's going on in the more. They listen you can hear the more. The laughter gets nervous. Like exactly is this going, especially when he starts copying to the fact that he's had these sexual affairs and he's engaged in conduct. That is not something anybody would want the world to know about. And that that strange juxtaposition of the audience's reaction thinking, it's funny than realizing it isn't in starting to tittering nervously and a seriousness of what Letterman is saying makes it all the more powerful. But I think we should listen to the clip. And then on the other side talk about. It the similarities in the differences to today's situation. Got it. I'm glad you folks are here tonight. And I'm glad you're in such a pleasant mood because I had a little story that I would like to tell you the home viewers as well. Do you feel like a story? This started three weeks ago yesterday, and I got up early and I come to work early. And I go out, and I get into my car and in the back seat of my car is a package. I don't recognize and have never seen before. And don't usually receive packages six in the morning in the back of my car. I get to looking through it. And there's a letter in the package, and it says that I know that you do some terrible terrible things. And I can prove that you do these terrible things. And sure enough contained in the package was stuff to prove that I do careful things. So I go through it. And I studied and what this is is a guy is going to write a screenplay about me. And he's going to take all of the terrible stuff that he knows about my life. And he seems to in this packet there seems to be quite a lot of terrible stuff. He knows about. And he's going to put it into a movie unless I give him some money. Yeah. I just want to reiterate how terrifying this moment is because there's something very insidious about is. He standing down. There is the hiding under the car and am I going to get a tap on the shoulder immediately because I'm motivated by nothing, but guilt, I get to the office. And I say to myself, I hate doing things like this. But maybe I'll call my attorney. So I call my attorney, and he takes a look at it. And he says, well, let's let's schedule a meeting with the guy just to see what he has. So there's a meeting with the guy, and it turns out. Yes. In fact, he wants a large sum of money or he's going to produce this screenplay of all the terrible things that I do embarrassing terrible things. So then we call an operation called these special prosecution bureau, which is a division of the Manhattan District attorney's office. We've call down there. So we took the stuff down there. And they said, whoa. Hello. This is blackmail. So they said what you wanna do is get another meeting with this guy. Find out if he's serious. So they have the second meeting and the question was posted on you. Are you aware that this is serious? This is a could be a crime. And you know, no, no, it's fine. I'm fine with that. And oh, by the way, not only on my writing screenplay. I'm writing a book. So I thought well, that's nice. You have a companion piece. You have the film, and you have the book. And remember, this guy knows creepy stuff about me. So they had the second meeting, and he was reassured that everything was just fine than a third meeting is arranged. And if there's a light hearted moment in any of this. And I'm not sure there really is the third meeting. The third meeting is arranged whereby he's a given the check. Now, I don't think I've mentioned the amount up till now, but he was asking two million dollars. So the check is turned over. So now this guy is walking around New York City with a phony check for two million dollars. And the idea is now, although he's given no guarantees. He's still saying, you know, you never know. I may just go ahead. And write the books may just go ahead and write the screenplay. So for that guarantee. He's got a phony check for two million dollars. So this this morning. I did something I've never done in my life. And it was a combination of just unusual and scary. This whole thing has been quite scary. I had to go downtown to the testify before the grand jury, and I had to tell them how was disturbed by this. I was worried for myself. I was worried for my family, I felt menaced by this. And I had to tell them all of the creepy things that I have done that. We're going to be. Now, why is that funny? That's I mean. So. So the idea is if they leave in fact, a crime has been committed than the issue a warrant, and that's exactly what happened and a little bit afternoon today. The guy was arrested now. Now. Of course, we get to what was all the creepy stuff. That he was gonna put into the screenplay and the movie and the creepy stuff was that I have had sex with women who work for me on this show. Now, my response to that is yes, I have. Have had sex with women who work in the film. And and would it be embarrassing? If it were made public, perhaps it would perhaps. Especially for the women. But that's a decision for them to make. If they want to come public and talk about the relationships, if I want to go public and talk about the relationships, but what you don't want is a guy, I I know had sex with women saying I would like to million dollars or I'm gonna make trouble for you. So that's where we stand right now. I just want to thank the people that the special prosecution bureau and the Manhattan District attorney's office, Robert Morgan tho- who is head of that. It's it's been a very bizarre experience. I feel like I need to protect these people. I need to certainly protect my family. I need to protect myself hope to protect my job, and the friends everybody that has been very supportive through this. And I don't plan to say much more about this on this particular topic. So thank you for letting me bender. Absolutely fascinating to listen to fascinating at the time. But even more. So now, I should point out that there's a code to the story which is about six months later in March of two thousand ten the blackmailer a guy named Robert Joe Haldeman, a former CBS producer pleads guilty to attempted second degree grand larceny and gets a six month jail sentence and five years location thousand hours of community service. And that does underscore the difference between what Letterman did. And what bazo stood went Letterman is telling that story. And as it goes on. He makes clear that he went to the cops. He went to the district attorney Allred heat by that time he'd already testified before the grand jury, and was helping law enforcement. Apprehend this guy. Right. And they actually set the guy up they had Letterman give a phony two million dollar check. So, you know, they had the guy red handed, and they did make me wonder in recent days in the bazo story is why didn't Basil's do the same thing. Why didn't he go to the FBI and set up? The folks that am I doing Howard the chief content officer who's sending these threatening letters saying we've got these embarrassing photos about you more embarrassing photos. We're gonna publish them unless you do what we want which is not give am I money, but make a public statement exonerating them from having political motives in exposing bazo ses affair in the first place. You know, most legal commentators have looked at this and said, well, it's extortion. Ish. What am I was doing? But they're not quite sure whether it completely fits the crime that it's criminal conduct on its face. It's in the context of a legal the Goshi -ation got the AM. I lawyer Alcon Abramowicz was on one of the Sunday shows over the weekend. Saying, hey, you know, the story was already out there. We'd already published the story. And so this was just a negotiation. We wanted to stop this investigation into AM I-, alleging falsely in their view that this was part of some kind of conspiracy with the Saudi government or with the rump. Trumps the Trump White House and to bring down Jeff Bezos, somehow owner of the Washington, of course, has been both highly critical of Trump and Trump has gone after them in his tweets and gone after basis personally. But also, the Washington Post, of course, is where Jamal kashogi the Saudi columnist who. Who was murdered by the Saudi government? Probably by the proud quints based on the evidence that's out there right now. And so part of this large conspiracy that of course, the AM I and David pecker reject. So this is part of an ago, she -ation this was not extortion. They were not trying to get money. That's their arguments. Question is why didn't Basil's flesh them out because think just play it through for a moment suppose, he did suppose he had gone to the FBI. They could've wired him or they could've wired somebody, you know, his security chief who's been doing the investigation haven't meet with Dylan Howard, the content officer get the get them on tape saying, you know, we demand that you do this or have more explicit comments from them on tape making it clear, they're trying to extort basis, and then they could've arrested arguably David pecker on the spot think of think of the optics of that one. If you really wanted to stick it to AM, I am national require. So the question in my mind is why didn't bays those go that route, you know, we'll look a couple of possibilities. One is Jeff Bezos is at times the richest man in the world is a the ultimate master of the universe. He employs six hundred thousand people his own company is somewhere between the first and fifth most valuable company in the world. And he's bigger than the FBI. And you know, these days, you can publish on a site like medium and have very quick impact. Which which he did he's Chris being praised now for exposing this kind of extortionists behavior as he sees it. And so, you know, maybe that's the motivation. I don't know or maybe, you know, he owns the Washington Post. He doesn't want to get in bed with the government on something like this. Who knows I wonder whether they even thought about it did they when they got these. Letters from AM. I these emails did they think about the David Letterman scenario and going the same route that is another. I mean that is another potential argument here, which is that perhaps what bazo is trying to do is say this isn't just about me. This is about a kind of a culture of tabloid extortion that is out there. And if I possibly have a chance to expose these people, even if that means going public with my own mistakes, or in this case, I guess it wasn't even a stake. This is private behavior. Indiscretions? I don't know what you would call it. I'm gonna do it. And it has more impact if he does it himself as opposed to there being an FBI investigation. And frankly, I think that was part of David Letterman's motivation as well. And I have I saw a funny column. Maybe it's not so funny. I saw Columbine sex columnist named Dan savage who said that he should go even further. He should actually release the pictures that AM I has and was threatening to publish because that would make the world safe for all of those people out there way, more than most people may realize, and I'm older ages who actually engage in this kind of sexting, and and exchanging pictures like this with people that they are having romantically as ons with I think he should make them available to Amazon prime member. You got to pay a little extra to get. You gotta pay the base dick pic, let me that know. Let me be a little politically incorrect here and point out that, you know, the national enquirers behavior here as easy as it seems when cloaked in the mantle of the first amendment may not be totally off the Mark. Let's remember an episode. We've talked about on this show before our, you know, our colleague Matt by wrote a book about Gary Hart and how he was forced to drop out of the presidential race. When he was having an affair with the woman on the monkey business, but remember a part of that and then made into that great movie the front runner, which we talked about. But remember what takes place in the latter part of that movie. The Washington Post is playing catch up on the story after the Miami Herald has broken the story of Donna, Donna rice, and. Gary Hart, and it gets photos of heart having a other sexual trysts or lose to get information about that. And what is Ben bradlee? Do Ben bradlee the editor of the Washington Post? He lets heart. No that and says we will go with this story unless you drop out of the race. And that seems to be a threat that does finally force hearts hand. So you know, how dissimilar was what the Washington Post did in one thousand nine hundred eighty seven with Gary Hart, and what am I the National Enquirer was doing here with Jeff as well. Yeah. I guess I guess the question is an interesting analogy, and I guess the question is what was the Washington Post getting out of a deal like that? I mean, they weren't getting. It was it didn't have the self interest. That clearly David pecker and his people did at am. I, but the actual threat it was there Ryan is you know there. It is similar in in some ways to what am I doing here? Right. I thought you were actually going to go when you were talking about being politically incorrect talking about what other news organizations have done one of the things that I thought was interesting in the medium. Post by bazo 's is he's actually making the case that the inquirer didn't have the legal right to publish those pictures at all that that they're hiding behind the mantle of the first amendment, but that his lawyers concluded that they don't own the rights to those pictures, and that there's no legitimate public interest in publishing them, you know, I don't know for the owner of the Washington Post to say that that might be going step too far ocean. Why he would feel that way? He would wanna mount those kinds of arguments July want to be involved in litigation like that. But you know, Duke it out in court about the rights to the photos of of your private parts. I don't know it seems like that that seemed like an unsavory route for Basil's to do. But I think at this point as we are trying to make sense of the business National Enquirer episode. It really does turn on whether AM I David pecker. And the national choir are telling the truth and saying they didn't have political motives in doing this. They're just being the sleazy supermarket tabloid. That bay always have been and we're trying to run these photographs because they're good copy, and they would sell at the supermarket the checkout counter, or whether there is something to what Basil's people suspect that there's either a political angle in sticking it to Basil's because the baseless lovers brother is a big Trump guy who supposed to is believed to be the person who leads reason. These emails these texts to there's something to the Saudi angle, which would make this story, you know, far bigger than the David Letterman blackmail story would make it, you know, even bigger than it is right now because you get the sort of international geopolitical dimension to it that this was part of a Saudi effort to enhance its image in the United States working with David pecker and David Becker didn't not want that expose. I gotta say I think it raises questions if that's the case raises questionable judgment on the part of the Saudis, if they think they can Hance their image in the United States by working with a guy from a tabloid named David Tekere. But you know, I will say that they did get a one hundred page glossy magazine stolen, the the Saudi Royal family. You know that AM I published which was a little bit weird. And I don't think I would think of selling it for something like thirteen dollars on the newsstand. I doubt it sold. Very well. I'm sure I'm sure it did not grab all those people at the supermarket checkout counters, but in any case, if this was the Saudis, they got a lot more than Joe Haldeman, David Letterman's blackmailer got he got a phony two million dollar check and six months in prison. So on that note, I think we should just remind our listeners that however bizarre the news seems there's always some historical analogy, which is what we hear. It buried treasure are dedicated to showing and telling you about thanks for joining us on this episode of very treasury. Don't forget to subscribe to skulduggery on apple podcasts regulus into your podcast and tell us what you think leave a review sure to follow us on social media and skulduggery pot. We'll talk to you on Friday.

David Letterman Washington Post Jeff Bezos David pecker bazo Joe Haldeman National Enquirer YouTube FBI Basil extortion Amazon attorney Manhattan District os National Enquirer CBS Dylan Howard Michael Isikoff Saudi government Yahoo
Trump, Inc.: The Business of Silence

On The Media

31:36 min | 2 years ago

Trump, Inc.: The Business of Silence

"On the media supported by target, presenting future at heart. A new podcast about change makers who are keeping the future at heart. Each episode presents a cause and explores its importance for the community and future download future at heart on apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Listener supported w NYC studios. I'm Bob Garfield this week. The New York Times published at blockbuster investigative report about Trump family finances, which came to a startling conclusion, Donald Trump, and some of his relatives, including his late real estate tycoon father engaged in fraud to avoid hundreds of millions of dollars in inheritance taxes. It also disproved Trump's claim that he built his empire with no help from his father, but a single one million dollar loan this scoop based largely on leaked tax records is vivid evidence of what happens when secrets slip out into the world Trump and his associates, of course, have tried very hard to keep those secrets closely held. The podcast Trump Inc co produced by propublica and are producing station. WNYC has spent a year untangling the president's finances and in the latest episode from season two documents, the tr-. Trumpian process for buying and enforcing silence in particular, as discussed with New Yorkers Ronan Farrow nondisclosure agreements and the tactic called catch and kill, which requires confederates in the media. Here's WNYC's Andrea Bernstein. This is the vision of Donald Trump. Taking the case in two thousand ten Donald Trump sits down for a deposition in a law office in midtown Manhattan. He's being sued by buyers and Trump ranted building. The topic of secrecy comes up gulford. Joe is very important because I don't want my competitors to know my deals. I don't want them to see what deal on making Tampa, what deal I make in Panama, what deal I'm making New York, what deal making throughout the world. So we have confidentiality in many of our deals if not all. I mean, you'd have to ask as we've all come to learn, Donald Trump cares a lot about confidentiality in his business deals in his political life and with women, you've heard of stormy Daniels the adult film actor who says she had an affair with Trump as the two thousand sixteen campaign drew to a close. She was paid to keep quiet. He said that it was great. He had a great evening and it was nothing like he expected that I really surprised earlier this year. Stormy Daniels decided. To speak to sixty minutes according to the Wall Street Journal, President Trump her saly directed the legal response to stormy Daniels, even got his business and his son, Eric involved the message. If you don't keep his secrets, he'll make you pay. This applies to a lot of people who work for Trump in some capacity, including people who didn't allege intimate relationships like Jessica Denson who worked on his campaign. She wasn't one of the big names. She started in the data department, moved onto Hispanic outreach. We found a teeny recording of her from a local TV station in Colorado. During the campaign Denson Brown eyes, Brown hair dressed. In crisp, business attire is defending Trump against critics and the audience with all due respect to all of them. I think that their presence was not necessarily unbiased. The reason I'm telling you about her. She's in a confidentiality fight with the Trump campaign right now. Not quite a year ago. She files a case in New York state court. She is representing herself saying her co workers on the Trump campaign bullied and harassed her. She says, one of them had referred to her as his sheep and the Trump campaign has an unusual reaction to her lawsuit. It says by making these. Claims and a public court case Denson has breached the confidentiality agreement. She signed the campaign demands. One point, five million dollars. It denies the charges harassment. The five page confidentiality agreement which is now in the public record says, Denson cannot reveal any confidential information about Donald Trump or any of his family, including his five children Don Jr. Ivanka, Eric, Tiffany, and Barron. It says she can't demean or disparage publicly the company or anyone in Trump's family. It even says she can't talk if she's legally required to, for example, in another lawsuit without notifying the campaign, if that happens, she has to help Trump prevent any information from getting out. The last paragraph says, this whole agreement lasts forever. It's extremely reared. This is Nancy. Erica Smith who represented former Fox News anchor, Gretchen Carlson in her sexual harassment suit against Roger Ailes. Smith has been handling cases like this for thirty eight. Years, smallest nondisclosure agreements are when we bring claim of discrimination or harassment, and the employer wants to federal them. But as a condition of settling, they want my client to agree not to describe what happened to her. But she says, having designed them to get a job that is highly unusual, especially in a political campaign that's is the kind of thing you would expect when you bring a nanny into your home to say, you know your most personal life experiences. Smith says they're good business reasons for company. She -ality other companies have property -ality agreements, meaning important things like what's our strategy, trade secrets, competitive information, that sort of thing. Lots of companies and lots of celebrities have them that Trump. He's not just a celebrity. He's not just a businessman. He's those things, and he's the president with a long history of working to keep people silent. Hello and welcome to Trump can open investigation from WNYC and propublica that digs deep into how the president's business works and who might be profiting from the Trump administration. I'm Andrea Bernstein Ilya marritz before we take Trump Inc any further, we have to talk about the thing that makes reporting on Trump different from reporting on other US presidents. It's not just that the Trump organization is a closely held private business or that Trump hasn't released his tax returns. It's that Trump has worked really hard often in hidden ways to protect and shape his reputation. I'm dealing with this right now. I am reporting story, which I hope to bring you sometime soon where every source who knows anything about this particular matter of public interest and importance. As far as I can tell. All of them have signed a confidentiality agreement. This insistence on confidentiality pervades even the White House. The Washington Post has reported dozens of. Government employees were asked to sign confidentiality agreements, although these ones are particularly questionable a little later. This episode, we'll talk with Ronan Farrow of the New Yorker, a journalist with the black belt and getting past secrecy clauses because obviously they're not airtight, we know a lot of alleged detail about Trump's personal life. But first, let's talk about how Trump got us to this point. Donald Trump failed to come up with a thirty million dollar debt payment on bonds used to finance, but some castle casino that's week in nineteen ninety Trump is buffeted by what his biographer. Wayne Barrett called twin cataclysms won his Atlantic City, casinos face bankruptcy, and his creditors are circling to. He's divorcing his wife of thirteen years. Yvonna Trump has been having a secret affair with an actress named Marla Maples. It's a logistical feat Trump security detail has been shuttling Maples in and out of Trump properties. So she innovative don't mean inevitably, they do now the New York tabloids on the story. Headline the New York Post Friday, February sixteen best sex. I've ever had photo Donald with a yougov me smile. It went on like this for months to get a rescue from the banks Trump needs to settle his chaotic in public divorce. His brand depends on the Vonnas deal says. She can't talk about their marriage period. Lesson learned, protect your image and protect your business. After Trump's casino MAG Ramsey big banks don't wanna lend to him anymore. So he starts to shift his business model from building tall towers to licensing his name, controlling how people think of that name matters more than ever or colleague Peter Elkin over at propublica told me this extraordinary story about a proposed condo tower Trump got involved with in two thousand five in Tampa, Florida. It was announced initially as a Donald J Trump's signature property, and he also spoke of being a partner in the project and it being his project and the message was delivered to prospective buyers with Trump was developer and a partner and Trump actually said things to the press that conveyed the impression explicitly to local press. He spoke of the deal being so hot and so good that while he has less than an ownership stake at fifty percent. He did have a substantial stake and he wanted to increase it. But as partners would let him do so because units were selling so well. I feel like the next thing you're going to tell me is that none of that was true. None of that was true. He had no ownership stake whatsoever. He was simply a licensor, but the people who are buying the units had no idea. So Trump in the developer actually wanted to keep their buyers in the dark. It's an document, the brand licensing agreement, which came to light when unit buyers sued Trump on page fifteen. There's a one paragraph confidentiality agreement that says, without the written consent of the other party, unless report by law, they will not under any circumstances disclose or permit to be disclosed the existence of this agreement or any of its contents Danny persons or entities for any purpose whatsoever. So neither Trump nor the developers can tell people that Trump is not a developer here. It is during this legal dispute that Trump gives a deposition saying, as you heard right of the beginning of this story, quote confidentiality is. Very important to me later. He's asked why the license agreement also describes Trump as quote, wiser a worldwide, renowned builder and developer developer wise that putting these agreements because we want them to know that we have a very important reputation and we don't want them to screw up. And so it's a way of putting in writing with the party who you're going to license your name, to screw that your reputation is important thing in room, want them to do a good job. Okay. Tower in Tampa is never built Trump, eventually settles with the buyers. All of this plays out is Trump staging, an epic comeback on the apprentice playing a successful businessman. Donald trump. In our first season of Trump think we got a fascinating tip from someone who worked on the show about catering on the set of the apprentice. We could never confirm it. There was a confidentiality agreement. The White House and the Trump campaign didn't respond to our request for comments. But in an emailed statement, a spokesperson for the Trump organization said, it's common practice for high profile companies such as the Trump organization to require employees and business partners to sign confidentiality agreements as a means of protecting against the unauthorized dissemination of both personal and proprietary information. Now, the people who signed these agreements find themselves limited in their ability to speak publicly about the man who is now president of the United States. There's at least one case we know of where company and she -ality went beyond protecting the value of Trump's brand in had to do with the criminal investigation in Manhattan before Trump was president. It's eight years ago, Donald Trump and his children Ivanka Don Jr. are sued by group of buyers in the Trump SoHo condo hotel in lower Manhattan. The buyers say the Trump's misled them the Trump say, it's a case of buyer's remorse. The civil suit raises a red flag in the Manhattan District attorney's office prosecutors there think they might actually have a criminal case. But before prosecutors can finish the criminal investigation, the buyers settle, and there's a catch as part of the agreement. The buyers affirm that they will no longer willingly cooperate with the district attorney. Here's their lawyer. Adam Lightman Bailey talking with NPR's Kelly mcevers about his settlement with the Trump organization. Obviously, we found other things in stuff. I can't talk about. It when I settle the case, they asked for a confidentiality, right? So they were like, you found some stuff out, but if we're going to settle with you, you can't talk about talk about right. Is that confidentiality agreement forever? Yes, I'm still not. I still haven't talked about it Elliott, and I reported on this case last year you should look it up. Suffice it to say after the civil settlement, Trump's personal lawyer makes a donation to the Manhattan DA. There's a lot of legal back and forth. Trump's argue what they did was puffery not a crime with the buyer silence to the DA drops the case. All this was before the two thousand sixteen election. A lot of stuff that voters might have wanted to know about only came to light after Trump was elected. So he enters the race with all these invisible gags on the people around him. Campaign staff have these confidentiality agreements. So do transition staff and people planning his inauguration and people now working in the White House. Here is Kellyanne Conway. We have confidentiality agreements to the west wing, absolutely we do. And why? What you mean by the way, the fact that you're you're. The Washington Post says, new employees at the White House or no longer being asked to sign the commentators who defend Trump on TV. Some of them have these agreements to for a while after he was fired. Former Trump campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski was still being paid by the campaign where he had a non-disparagement agreement while also being a paid contributor for CNN and this is still going on, and maybe I'll do a Trump translation. Rob Asterio paid. CNN contributor was recently called out on this by CNN anchor, poppy Harlow. Okay. I just need to note that you work on the Trump twenty twenty advisory committee. And therefore for you have signed an NDA that includes non-disparagement clause, which so you can't. You can't really tell me then if you really don't believe the president's own worth rob Basta Renault is still a paid contributor. A number of White House. Ex employees have gone on to be paid by entities that support Trump like his campaign or political action committee as is so often the case with Trump. There's a twist in one instance that we know about the offer of job seemed to come with strings attached maroshek, manacled Newman. Yeah, we know released a tape in August. When she was exiting the White House, I'm Orosa had a call with the Trump campaign official Laura tro wife of Eric daughter-in-law of Donald. I'm so recorded the Call, Laura Trump said a paraphrasing. It sounds like you've got something in your back pocket. If you come to work for the next Trump campaign won't wanna keep things positive. Then she makes her. Kind the White House, and maybe we work something. Where would you bring along those lines? The only the numbers talking about. Rendering of the Dalai. Appear, Joe Brant Omarosa didn't take the offer. Now she has a bestselling book. The Trump campaign is seeking millions in fines for violating her confidentiality agreement. Laura Trump called the tape of fraud. So we've been surveying the landscape of Trump and secrecy. We began with Ivana Marla and Trump sex life. And that's where we are again today in August. I was in a courtroom in lower Manhattan Trump's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen in a charcoal suit and a yellow tie. Frequently, stopping to Cy was pleading guilty. He said he'd committed crimes by keeping information that could be harmful to Trump out of the public eye on or about the summer of two thousand sixteen Cohen said in coordination with and at the direction of candidates for federal office. I and the CEO of a media company at the request of the candidate worked together to keep an individual with information that would be harmful to the candidate and to the campaign from publicly disclosing disinformation without using any of their names. Cohen explained that number one, he paid stormy Daniels to keep quiet and number two. Two, he got the National Enquirer to pay Karen McDougal for the rights to her story without any intention of running it. The latter practices known as catch and kill Trump denies extramarital affairs with the women. There is audio of Trump and Michael Cohen talking about how to buy McDougal silence. She's the former playboy playmate who says Trump struck up a relationship shortly after his son. Barron was born Cohen. Recorded this conversation in September, twenty. Sixteen I, you'll hear Cohen then Trump. Are you need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend, David, so that I couldn't do that right away. I've actually come up on me and I've spoken to Allen Weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up. David here is David pecker CEO of the national enquirers parent company Allen Weisselberg is the Trump organization's chief financial officer. Cohen is saying the shell company he's setting up, can be used to make payments to the inquirer to suppress McDougal story funding. Yes, and it's all the stuff all the stuff because you know, you never know where that company having to what he's going to be hit by. Correct. It sounds like Trump is saying if something happens to the publisher of the National Enquirer Trump's information may not be saved by correct. So I'm I'm all over that. And I spoke to Alan about it when it comes time for the financing, which will be listening. We'll have to make new soul getting old woman on. I got nothing for many years. The National Enquirer kept Donald Trump's secrets in a safe. This is not a metaphor, but an actual locked box containing stories that could be harmful to him and records of hush money payments, five sources confirmed the safe's existence. These Societa d- press all of them spoke anonymously because they too have confidentiality agreements. Despite all these efforts, people are speaking out in a minute. The New Yorker journalist who's challenging the paradigm of secrecy. We'll be right back. WNYC studios is supported by the dream a new podcast about the world of pyramid schemes and multi level marketing across the country. People sell essential oils, beauty products or diet supplements to their friends and family through social media posts and parties host. Jane Marie, former producer of this American life grew up in rural Michigan where it felt like almost everyone was impacted by MLM's. Find out how these businesses worked from the inside and how they can go horribly wrong. Listen to the dream on your favorite podcast app like apple, podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify on the media supported by target, presenting future at heart, a new podcast that highlights the impact of change makers across the country as they work to help their communities move forward together towards a better future future at heart takes you to Miami New York city, Washington DC, and more to hear about the causes happening in those communities and the people behind making change happen because improving tomorrow starts today, download future at heart on apple podcasts or wherever. Get your podcasts. Hi podcast. This nurse, pardon the interruption. I'm Catholic too. I'm Tobin low where the host of the podcast, Nancy, and we have thirty seconds to tell you why our show is amazing. Okay, go note you go, okay, fine. We've got stories that make you laugh and cry stories by and about queer people. You ported from all over the world, and we bring our listeners together. Critics love us. Homophobes pitas which side do you wanna be on? Listen to Nancy from WNYC studios wherever you get your podcasts. Confidentiality agreements, legal settlements, catch and kill. All of them create an enormous barrier to truth telling around Trump, but it turns out people do wanna talk. There's a journalist at the New Yorker who's made an art of this. He's been kinda busy lately, but we got him on the phone during a break in cavenaugh Senate testimony. Hello? Hello, Andrea. How high Ronin how're you? Ronan. Farrow is one of the reporters who's contributed the most to our understanding of the culture of sex power and secrecy, and how prominent people use confidentiality agreements to control information. He went to Pulitzer prize for his reporting on Harvey Weinstein. So then you start looking into President Trump and his use of silence. So can you just tell us a little bit about how you came to do that and what you encountered? I personally stumbled into. To this through a very direct route from the reporting. I did on Harvey Weinstein who was using the National Enquirer to acquire damaging information about opponents and also to suppress damaging information about him. And it was through that triple of sources around the National Enquirer that it became apparent very quickly that this wasn't just Harvey Weinstein using this tactic. This wasn't just a Hollywood tactic. This was something that Donald Trump did pretty regularly. Now there's an important difference here with Harvey Weinstein. The damaging information was about alleged sexual assault. In the Donald Trump, Karen McDougal case, it's about an alleged consensual affair. I wouldn't compare the two except to say in this one, specific respect. They were both using the same playbook of working with a tabloid outlets to manipulate and suppress the true. Have you. Done reporting, or are you aware of reporting about how Donald Trump established this relationship with the inquirer? He and David Hecker have a longstanding relationship. Pecker is the publisher of the Enquirer, the relationship that Donald Trump had the gossip media in general extends back decades. You know, we, we've obviously heard the accounts of Donald Trump using fake voices and identities to call reporters. He's a person who for many, many years has been engaged in this game of manipulating the press. You know, both the efforts to suppress items and also the efforts to plant items that were favorable cuff used to use the name John barren when he called reporters, pretending to be his own PR man. But David pecker became one of his closest on in that respect. And you know, in our first story about the efforts of the press Karen McDougal's account for their with Trump through the National Enquirer. We talked to a number of employees who described Trump's very cozy, very close relationship with Packers. When you spoke to her, then she told you, I'm afraid to even say his name. Yes, it was her first on the record interview about the subject in that article, but she remains very fearful of legal retaliation and spoke extremely carefully. At that point, Karen McDougal signed a contract that she felt barred her from talking to the press. And indeed the records of those contracts support that at the time of the elections, Karen McDougal was effectively gagged in legal terms. Subsequently, there was an amendment to her agreements that allowed on paper anyway, some exemptions, but our understanding along the way was that behind the scenes, even as am I pointed to that exception and said, hey, we're not gagging anyone, their lawyers worth. Still engaged in an effort to intimidate and silence for it, didn't work. McDougal told her story, and you know, I wish I could take credit for that. I think that that really is down to Karen McDougal becoming convinced that this was an issue of national significance as time went on and that the public should be aware after Ronin published his piece. Something important happened McDougal got back the right to tell her story, but she'd been silenced during the campaign. It was not the only way the Enquirer helped shape perceptions of Trump in the eyes of a lot of the sources we talked to from around the National Enquirer. Donald Trump had a profound degree of influence over the coverage that AM I and the Enquirer did in general Maxine page. One of the employees that we talked to talked about the leverage that pecker had over a lot of celebrities than other employees. Jerry George said, quote, we never printed a word. About Trump without his approval. The political ramifications of that are pretty significant. Have you done any reporting on what else is in that vault at AM? I I have and I cannot comment on any recording. I haven't published. There may be people in the Trump administration who would keep the president secrets without signing a loyalty oath. That is how it's always worked in Washington in this administration. Dozens of White House aides were told to sign nondisclosure agreements NDA's that's according to the Washington Post. These are government employees paid by the tax payers who were asked to sign what the post calls breath picking broad agreements. It's very, very rare that you see government agencies were actors requiring people to pledge themselves to secrecy outside of the context of classified information. This is Heidi atrocity a professor at the university of Minnesota law school under an expert on first amendment and whistleblower law. The supreme court has made quite clear that information about government and politics and policy, what they sometimes some up as matters. Of public concern is really at the core of the first amendment. And for that reason, the notion that somebody might be subject to criminal or civil damages for sharing non classified information about government is pretty anathema to most of the case. Law could trust. Her says for this reason, non-disparagement agreements made during the campaign may also violate the first amendment because the agreements never expire. And I think the reason for that is that otherwise you'd be driving a huge hole through the first amendment. If you could knowing that one day you might run for office, have people sign, non-disparagement agreements that they'll never say a bad word about you, knowing that those will cover your time in office could trust your says, even if these secrecy clauses are on such shaky legal ground that they'd be bounced out of court if they were challenged. Well, many people are not going to want the hassle or emot-. Shnell strain of being threatened. And instead they'll say, well, you know what? I'll just refrain from seeing anything that would be deemed to breach confidentiality or if there's a non-disparagement clause, I'll just refrain from saying anything that might even come close to being critical because I'm afraid I'll get sued. The framers of the constitution wanted people to be able to criticize the president. It's an important check on presidential power. Nondisclosure agreements can get in the way of that. And I think that these indie as particularly in so far as they would seek to bar not just breaching confidentiality but saying anything that cuts against the official White House line. I think that's deeply concerning it really cuts at the heart of why we protect speech. Coming up on Trump Inc, going to drain soi. Caja failure in Washington and decades of special interest dealing must and will come to an end. The president, his funder of prime minister and casino. Trump ink is produced by Meg Kramer. The associate producer Alice wilder Bill mom is the technical director, original music composed by Hans Brown, Charlie, Herman, and Eric, humanity are the editors we had helped episode from Peter l. kind captain Sullivan, Jacob, Pearson in Arianna Tobin at propublica, Robin feels is probably because managing editor, Jim Schachter is vice president for news at WNYC and Steve Engelberg is the editor in chief at propublica special. Thanks to Kelly mcevers and NPR's podcast embedded the tape of adamant Bailey. That's fascinating. I know you either do or don't have a nondisclosure agreement, which if didn't have a nondisclosure agreement, do you have a nondisclosure agreement too high? You can't say whether you have nondisclosure agreement bud, if you didn't have a nondisclosure agreement, Hugh most certainly could say I don't have a nondisclosure agreement. Yes, March. Thank you very much. Okay. Go fan, put the Wella here, the host of future at heart, a new podcast by target and WNYC creative about people and organizations who are fighting for a better future on the show. I travel the country and meet people who are doing the work that changes communities like Daniel bender, who with support from the Miami foundation is reimagining what public spaces can look like with her open, excessive beehives to listen to this episode and others download future at heart wherever you find your podcasts.

Donald J Trump Trump Trump Trump organization Trump Inc Trump administration Trump Inc co president Trump twenty twenty National Enquirer Trump Karen McDougal National Enquirer White House WNYC Manhattan Ronan Farrow Eric Washington Post Tampa
Democracy Now! 2019-02-11 Monday

Democracy Now! Audio

59:02 min | 1 year ago

Democracy Now! 2019-02-11 Monday

"Uh-huh. From this is democracy. Now was that not extortion is not extortion. Because all AM I wanted was the truth base os and miss Sanchez knew who the source was any investigator that was going to investigate this new who the source was it was not the White House. It was not Saudi Arabia. The public dispute between the world's richest man and his on CEO Jeff Bezos and the National Enquirer intensifies days after basis accused the paper of extortion blackmail for threatening to publish revealing images of him and his lover, we'll speak with Pulitzer prize winning reporter Glenn Greenwald. His latest piece is headline Jeff as those protests, the invasion of privacy as Amazon builds a sprawling surveillance state for everyone else. Bring wall joins us from Rio de Janeiro where Brazil. Zillion police shot dead at least thirteen people suspected of being drug traffickers Friday is this the beginning of a new wave of state violence under Brazil's new far-right leader, Joerg sonata. We'll get the latest all that and more coming up. Welcome to democracy now democracy now dot org. The Warren piece report, I made me Goodman is another government shutdown imminent, bipartisan talks a government spending. Bill broke down over the weekend as Democrats and Republicans remained in disagreement over the number of immigrants should be allowed to detain Democrats wants to put the cap on the number of beds for immigrant prisoners just over thirty five thousand with around sixteen thousand beds reserved for prisoners all ready living in the country. The bipartisan conference committee must come up with a new spending Bill that both congress and President Trump will approve by Friday this week in order to avoid another government shutdown. Trump has also threatened call a national emergency to bypass congress for his five point seven billion dollars in Boorda wool funding. President Trump is heading to the border town of El Paso, Texas today to hold a rally former candidate for the US Senate impossible twenty twenty presidential hopeful. To a rock will speak at accounta- rally. Meanwhile, California governor Gavin Newsom is expected to withdraw the majority of troops stationed on the California Mexico border following a similar move in New Mexico by governor Michelle Luhan, GRA Shaan in Virginia democratic governor. Ralph north continues to resist mounting Kohl's from within his own party to step down. After claims he posed for racist photo scene in his nineteen Eighty-four medical school yearbook page depicting man, wearing black face next to a man wearing Ku Klux Klan outfit north has denied. He's in the photo. But he did admit to wearing black face on another occasion that same year in an interview with CBS this morning northbound said he thought about resigning, but that he believes he can help Virginia he'll host cow king had to correct north when he referred to slaves brought to Virginia for hundred years ago as indentured servants in sixteen nineteen the first indentured, sir. Servants from Africa landed on our shores and old point comfort. What we call now for Monroe, and while also known as slavery. Yes. Meanwhile, a second woman has come forward. She came forward Friday, accusing Virginia's Lieutenant governor Justin Fairfax of rape Marathe Watson said Fairfax raped her in two thousand while they were both students at Duke University. In a statement. She call the attack premeditated an aggressive. Fairfax has denied the accusations and cold for the FBI to investigate Watson statement also said she was raped on another occasion by Duke basketball player prior to the alleged rate by Fairfax Duke, reportedly dismissed the rape allegation against the basketball player at the time hours after the second sexual assault accusation emerged Friday, Patrick cope, member of the Virginia house of delegates said hill introduce articles of impeachment against Fairfax. If he does not step down by today. The US and Russia have proposed posing draft resolutions at the UN Security Council is leadership crisis in Venezuela. Deepens the US is calling for elections in Venezuela and for international aid deliveries to be allowed to enter Venezuela. The Russians called out international intervention in the affairs Venezuela and the threat of foreign military action. Meanwhile, in Venezuela a standoff over humanitarian deliveries at Venezuela's border with Colombia is pitting the Venezuelan military, which is still loyal to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro against supporters of opposition leader self proclaimed, president one guy dough including the United States than as well. And officials described the aid as a Trojan horse that up with Russ humanitarian aid is a Trojan horse Trojan horse that is trying to quietly invade Venezuela. According to our constitution, we have the right and the duty to defend our borders peacefully. And of course, has always is being done by the boulevard in armed forces on Friday and operation by resilient military. Police in Rio de Janeiro left at least thirteen people dead after a shootout. And the neighborhood of Santa Teresa police say they were there to investigate suspected drug traffickers but encountered gunfire when they entered the area. This comes after Rio's new governor Wilson with cell said last month that city security forces are authorized to shoot to kill suspects. He also said reassured have its own Tana MO bay to house criminals, whom he labeled terrorists in Haiti thousands of and protesting in the capital Port-au-Prince since Thursday at least two people were killed. According to local reports, including a fourteen year old boy protesters are calling for president Giovanelli Moiseyev to step down after a corruption scandal involving the suspected embezzlement of nearly four billion dollars of petro Kary fund. Haiti received as part of Venezuelan oil subsidy program. Protesters are also calling out Haiti's economic situation. People can't take it any longer. We've spoken to the president. But he doesn't understand. There's inflation the price the dollar's going up. We can't stay in this situation decided to see it through to the end. There will surely be a revolution in the country. Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinian teenagers protesting at the separation barrier with Israel, Friday, Gaza health officials identified the victims as fourteen year old Hassan Shalaabi and hums a stay. We who was either seventeen or eighteen it's estimated Isreaeli soldiers killed at least two hundred forty people and wounded twenty three thousand others since the great March of return protests began last March acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan landed in Afghanistan today for surprise. Visit following recent peace talks between the US and the Taliban and has several violent attacks have shaken Afganistan recent weeks Shanahan said he does not have orders to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan. A plan. I announced by President Trump in December as well as a key Taliban demand in the ongoing peace negotiations. American media Inc, which owns the National Enquirer fired back. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Friday after he publicly accused the publication of extortion and blackmail, am I said it stands behind its reporting. And then it acted lawfully Beza suggested a blog post last week that the leak of private text messages to the tabloid might be connected to his ownership of the Washington Post, which has been critical of both President Trump and Saudi leadership following the murder of its columnists your mouth ca Showkey the techs were between bazo sin, Lawrence Sanchez. With whom he was reportedly having an affair. Saudi officials have also responded to the scandal denying any involvement in obtaining or releasing the messages, the Daily Beast is reporting Michael Sanchez. Learn Sanchez's brother is suspected as the source of the leak. Denver public schoolteachers begin strike today after eleventh hour negotiations between the teachers union and the school district failed over the week. End the Denver classroom. Teachers association is demanding an increase in teachers base salary rather than putting money and incentives and bonuses this'll be the city's first teacher strike in twenty five years. Transcanada said Friday, the Keystone Pipeline is likely responsible for an oil spill last week in Saint Charles county, Missouri near the Mississippi River, a new study released Thursday counted one hundred thirty seven oil spills in the US and two thousand eighteen in New York City. Protesters took over the Guggenheim museum Saturday night to call out the museums relationship with the Sackler family whose company Purdue pharma produces the prescription painkiller Oxycontin artists. Nan Goldin who are self became addicted to content has been leading coals for art institutions to stop taking money and dissociate themselves from the Sackler 's golden and other protesters staged a Diane after dropping thousands of fake prescriptions with anti Sackler messages from the museum's famous winding walkway. The action was reference to a quote by a member of the Sackler family who. Who wants claim the launch of Oxycontin would be quote, followed by a blizzard of prescriptions that would bury the competition unquote, a protest also took place at the nearby Metropolitan Museum of art. The Washington Post is reporting Amazon is reconsidering its plan to open sprawling new H Q to campus in New York City due to political opposition and protests from the local community of Long Island city in queens. The New York state Senate recently appointed Michael generis vocal critic of the deal to aboard charged with reviewing the plan. Activists union leaders and other politicians have spoken out against the deal, including New York City. Congress member Alexandra Cossio Cortez. In political news, Massachusetts, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Minnesota Senator Amy klobuchar both formally launched their presidential campaigns over the weekend. There are now an unprecedented. Six women seeking the democratic presidential nomination Globus launched her campaign Sunday with an outdoor rally in Minneapolis during a heavy snowstorm. I don't have a political machine. I don't come from money. But what I do have is this I have grit in her announcement speech Senator klobuchar said, she would tackle climate, change, gun control and money in politics. A third term Senator klobuchar is viewed as one of the more centrist Democrats to enter the twenty twenty race. She's a former prosecutor known for her tough on crime track record, including stricter sentencing in particular for drug offenders more recently Clova shark came into the spotlight after a tense exchange within supreme court nominee Brad Kavanagh after the Senator ask Cavanaugh v ever drank so much that he blacked out. He snapped back. Have you? Meanwhile, Senator Elizabeth Warren, formerly launched her presidential run on Saturday with a rally in the working class city of Lawrence, Massachusetts, Warren, one of the most liberal members of the Senate is a former Harvard professor who's worked trying to rein in Wall Street led to the creation of the consumer financial protection bureau in. Her speech. Warren pledge not to accept any lobbying or super Pac money challenging other Democrats running in the primary to do the same Warren, then traveled to IRA on Sunday. Twenty doll-. Trump may not even be president. In fact, he may not even be a free person. If she began that statement by saying in twenty twenty Donald Trump may not even be president Senator Warren came under fire last year for taking DNA test to demonstrate her native American ancestry. She later apologized for the move last week the Washington Post reported she listed herself as an American Indian on a nineteen eighty six Texas legal bar registration form in response to the backlash. Warren said, quote, I can't go back, but I am sorry for furthering confusion on tribal sovereignty and tribal citizenship and harm that resulted unquote. And entertainment news the Grammy awards made history last night. Celebrating women and wrap six female acts were nominated for best new artists while five women were nominated for album of the year. Alicia Keys was the first woman to host the show and over a decade. Former first lady Michelle Obama also made a surprise. Appearance at the event taking the stage with female artists childish Gambino who did not attend the awards ceremony was the first ever artist to take them both record and song of the year for a rap track for this is America. And North Carolina Republican congress member Walter Jones died Sunday, seventy six birthday originally and ordered supporter of the US invasion of Iraq. Thirteen term lawmaker had a change of heart after witnessing the funeral of the US servicemember in two thousand three after France refused to back, George W Bush's invasion of Iraq Jones, ordered three congressional cafeterias to rename French fries and French toast on the menu to freedom fries and freedom toast, two years later in two thousand five he renounced his vote in support of the war and called for a timeline for throw from Iraq. The US invasion of Iraq killed nearly three hundred thousand people according to Brown university's costs of war project, mostly civilians and displaced millions of others, and those are some of the headlines, this is democracy now democracy now dot org. The Warren peace report, I'm Amy Goodman. We begin today's show looking at the ongoing fight between the world's richest man and the National Enquirer last week Amazon. On CEO Jeff Bezos publicly accused the owner of the tabloid newspaper of extortion and blackmail weeks after the paper revealed details about his extramarital affair bazo had recently hired a private investigator to determine how the tabloid newspaper the national inquirer obtain private text messages between him and his lover. And whether the papers actions were politically motivated, the national enquirers parent company American media Inc. Responded to bazo investigation by threatening to publish revealing photos of bazo if he did not agree to publicly state that the national enquirers coverage is not politically motivated or influenced by political forces the dispute became public Thursday when bazo sroka detailed blog post on the site medium and reprinted AM is threatening letters bazo suggested the leak of his text messages might be connected to his ownership. The Washington Post basis wrote it's unavoidable that certain powerful people who experience Washington Post, news coverage will wrongly conclude. I am their enemy President Trump is one of those people the spy as many tweets also the posts essential and unrelenting coverage of the murder of its columnist Jamaica show, she is undoubtedly unpopular in certain circles. He wrote. In his blog posts basis went on to write for reasons. Still to be better. Understood the Saudi angle seems to hit a particularly sensitive nerve unquote, while the National Enquirer has had a long close relationship with President Trump. The paper is denying its reporting on basis was politically motivated on Sunday Elkin Abramowicz and attorney for National Enquirer editor, David pecker appeared on ABC's this week hosted by George Stephanopoulos, Basil's AM, I had interests in resolving their differences base os didn't want another story written about him. Or those pictures published AM I did not wanna have the libel against them that this was inspired by the White House. Inspired by Saudi Arabia, or this inspired by the Washington Post had nothing to do with it. It was a usual story that that National Enquirer gets from reliable inquires believes that these photos were new. As worthy yet. They're offering. They're not to publish them return for thing. Value from Jeff Bezos, letting go the legal AIA Bility's saying that it wasn't politically motivated. How is that not extortion is not extortion? Because all AM I wanted was the truth base os and miss Sanchez knew who the source was any investigator that was going to investigate this new who the source was it was not the White House. It was not Saudi Arabia, and the liable that was going out there slamming AM, I was that. This was all a political had two jobs sponsored by either foreign nation or somebody politically in this country that was Elkin Bram at sin attorney for former National Enquirer editor, David pecker, the CEO of American media Inc. He was being interviewed by George Stephanopoulos. If ABC while Abramowicz did not name the paper source, the Daily Beast is identifying the source as Michael Sanchez. The brother of bazo says lover Lawrence Sanchez. Michael Sanchez reportedly has ties. Is to several people with connections to Donald Trump, including Roger stone and Carter page, we turn now to the Pulitzer prize winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, co founder of the intercept who joins us from Rio de Janeiro Brazil, his latest pieces headline Jeff Bezos protests, the invasion of privacy as Amazon builds a sprawling surveillance state for everyone to sit for everyone else. Glenn welcome back to democracy now. So if for people who are not following every step of this case, the first part of this in the past few days where Jeff Bezos said he was not going to be intimidated. He would not be blackmailed or or or extorted with the general counsel of AMI American media, which owns national choir or writing a letter to Jeff Bezos is lawyer saying you say, we're not political or we will release this. Trove of texts and photos, some people are calling for bazo to get the Pulitzer prize and others for standing up to National Enquirer threatening them your thoughts on this and take it from there. It's a very complicated story Americans love to venerate billionaires. And so it's not a surprise that. One of the first instincts was to herald Jeff Bezos has some sort of grand hero of free press. And and open transparency, I do think one of the benefits of what he did could be important. And it's perhaps something that takes a billionaire to do which is to kind of remove the stigma that surrounds adult consensual sex in the United States whenever there's a sex scandal. There's this sort of adolescent purry and interest on the part of the media people up to sit in judgement of other people. And he essentially said look at preferred that you not published and they can photos of me and my mistress. But that's what you're going to do. I'm not going to be bullied and intimidated by you. I'm not going to be ashamed. In to the extent that in the future, we can be a little bit more mature about the fact that adults do in fact. Have sexual relations with other adults. And then it's none of our business when they do as long as it's consensual and with other adults, I think this could be a positive aspect to the story. Having said that it is. I think something that seems to be true that Jeff Bezos was trying to imply in a lot of media outlets were using new Endo to support the notion that the National Enquirer was able to obtain these text messages between him and his mistress as a result of abuse by the surveillance state, meaning that Donald Trump used as os as a political enemy because Jeff basis is the owner of the Washington Post that has become very agonised Donald Trump during the Trump presidency, and that either the powers of the NSA or the FBI were abused in order to intercept these messages, and then give them to the National Enquirer to harm Jeff Bezos. And as it turns out that speculation seems to be unfounded as you said, the Daily Beast, and other outlets. The U K or reporting that the source of this material was not the NSA or the FBI. But was the brother of Jeff Bezos is mistress who although he's politically connected to right wing operatives. Nonetheless is a private individual, and seemingly obtained this material not by abusing surveillance state authorities. But instead by using his relationship with his sister to do it the one last point I'll make just on on this initial question. His that, obviously if it were the case that the powers of the NSA or the FBI or the CIA or the surveillance state had been abused against political enemy to collect embarrassing information about Jeff Bezos that would be a really serious scandal that we should all be extremely indignant and concerned about the problem. I have with that is that as part of this note in reporting in twenty fourteen we were able to report with the Huffington Post that one of the programs of the NSA is to. Do exactly this is to collect the browsing histories and sex chats and porn site visits of people typically Muslims at the NSA. Regards, quote, radicalize, not terrorists, not people potting terrorist. Pots just people who the NSA or the us government believes disseminates radical messages and collects their porn site visits and their sex chats in order to leak them ruin their reputation destroy their ability to speak out. This is an actual program. And I think we ought to care about that not just when it's used against white billionaires like Jeff Bezos. But also wanted us to target Muslims that the NSA regards as radical which is an actual thing. The NSA is doing that we revealed in twenty four teen things to this note in documents. So the ladder that before we get to that the letter that John fine the general counsel for. A my for American media wrote. It's quite amazing. He put this on paper a public he that they are demanding public mutually agreed upon acknowledgement from the basis parties release through mutually agreeable, news outlet, affirming. They have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that Amway's coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces and an agreement that they will cease referring to such a possibility. Now, this is particularly significant if this is blackmail or extortion saying that they would release the photos and text if they didn't because of AM is agreement with immunity agreement with southern district of New York that they were granted immunity, and if in fact, they broke the law by being involved with extortion or blackmail. They could lose that immunity. And this is investigating AM is relationship, the national choirs relationship with Donald Trump, and whether this was an unlisted campaign contribution, you know, paying for and suppressing negative stories about Trump, and and instead just printing numerous negative stories about Hillary Clinton in the lead up to the election. Yeah. I think it's really interesting because one of the undercover d- stories of twenty sixteen was how significant of a role the National Enquirer played in that election and think the reason for that is that most major media leads don't pay much attention to the National Enquirer or take it very seriously, but their circulation is really quite large. So the fact that they were covering the Donald Trump campaign in a very positive way in the Hillary Clinton campaign in a very negative way had a much larger fact, and I think most of us include myself here in the national media realized there were a couple of bloggers are member at the time like Digby who were warning looked and asked on choir is every week publishing positive material about Trump negative material about Clinton in their millions of voters take that seriously, even at the national media doesn't so that is a real issue and the National Enquirer now is swept up any criminal investigation where they've essentially admitted. Guilt in participating and hush money payments by agreeing to silence stories of Donald Trump's mistresses in order to help him become elected, which may very well be a campaign violation. So the National Enquirer is the lower the last people I wanted to fend. They're they're the slimy. Est. Most you know, bottom of the barrel scraping. She no operatives and have been for a long time on the question of whether this is actually criminal though, legally it is a bit in big US. Because typically, what does happen is two parties believe that their libeling one another. So I believe that you're saying bad things about me that are false. And you believe I'm saying bad things about you. That are falls. It's common for lawyers to write each other letters saying, look, we'll agree that we'll stop saying this about you as long as you agree that you'll stop saying this about us and the National Enquirer saying, this wasn't extortion. This is a standard settlement offer for two parties. That believed they were extorted that they were black defaming one another to stop doing that. But it certainly looks a lot like extortion. Given the question that George Stephanopoulos assets, actually, a good one, which is look if you believe that these photographs of Jeff Bezos naked with his mistress are newsworthy. How can you Haas? Agree or offer to conceal them and exchange for deaf. Bays owes refusing to investigate your ties to Saudi Arabia or to the Trump administration. So it's at least on the legal line, if not pressing it, and it's obviously something prosecutors will look at very interestingly, if this is true, John fine, the general counsel now for AM, I can medians to which Merican media, which owns National Enquirer. According to the hill reportedly worked at Amazon for nine years before taking on his current job at American media Inc. Worked closely with under the billionaire executive Jeff Faiza says a lawyer director and then vice president Amazon between two thousand six and two thousand fifteen. The lawyer. Old-line from. Yeah. The old line from from George Carlin. I think really fits well here, which is there's a really big powerful club. And you're not in it. And that's one of the part of the story is that ordinarily we would sympathize at the person who was being threatened with exposure of their private life. If they didn't stop making claims about a powerful media outlet. And yet in this case the person who is the quote unquote victim is not just the world's richest person who has gotten extremely rich by virtue of exploiting labor in ways that are wholly horrific. And in all different aspects. But also somebody has used these tactics himself in the past and then most significantly of all as you referred to earlier is somebody whose company has become one of the most valuable in the world by virtue of working hand in hand with the US government and with police departments throughout the west in constructing exactly the kind of sprawling invasive surveillance stayed that he believes himself now to be a victim of we're going to go to break, and we're going to come back to discuss these issues and more. Yes, Trump has been highly critical of basis, and they so Amazon has very close relationship with the NSA with the FBI and other surveillance agencies. We're going to talk more about that and more with Glenn Greenwald. The Pulitzer prize winning journalist one of the founding editors of the intercept stay with us. Living. Slipping? America. Living. Get your slipping. What? Tripping. Live in America. The my. I got the stress. Got to carry them. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Van. Still. Don't. Living slipping. Get your slipping. This is America childish Gambino, aka Donald Glover who last night at the Grammys became the first ever artists to take home both record of the year and song of the year. It was the first rap song of the year to win and a Grammy. He also won for best music video. He did not attend the ceremony. This is democracy. Now, I mean Goodman, Glenn Greenwald is our guest for the hour, the Pulitzer prize winning journalist, one of the founding editors of the intercept is latest article, headlined, Jeff Bezos protests, the invasion of privacy as Amazon builds a sprawling surveillance state for everyone else. So Glenn, let's take it from there. Talk about this sprawling surveillance state as you describe it and bazo says relationship with the national security state. So obviously is a result of the Snowden reporting. A lot of attention was devoted to the sprawling invasive surveillance activities of government agencies like the NSA in the US and the q in the UK and their partners in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and less attention has been paid at at least was paid as part of that story to the private corporations Silicon Valley giants who played a crucial role in partnering with these government agencies to construct that surveillance state and some attention has been devoted in in recent years to the robo Google, and especially Facebook are playing in creating a bit quit surveillance state but much less so for Amazon which has done a really good job of rebranding itself in this very kind of unthreatening and benign way as the liver books and other merchandise when in fact, one of the central components. Amazon's business that has made it one of the most valuable companies in the world are extremely lucrative contracts with the CIA with the Pentagon with the air force with police departments all over the western world. Not just in the US to use technology to enhance the ability of governments and police forces to engage in surveillance. They've created a facial recognition software that they call recognition with the k that can stand millions or thousands of faces and crowds and identify them to enable police to find people they're looking for. They've developed software algorithms to determine rags police forces to. I'm sorry. This is recognition R A K O G. Exactly, exactly. And the ACLU has warned that it's one of the most threatening and potentially menacing privacy invasive technologies yet because it destroys the ability to be anonymous even just on the street that allows the police and the government to just identify every person where you are when you're just walking in public. That's an Amazon product they've developed apps that enable police departments to allow citizens to report suspicious people. So that the information is stored not with the police, but with Amazon cloud services, there's a product called ring that has been wildly successful that is marketed as home security system. That's surveillance the perimeter of your house and records everybody coming in and out of your house, and the inner step last month is reported that they've been incredibly reckless with allowing Ukrainians and other governor. Agencies have access to this vast amount of data that actually ends up spying on your own home. They have a five hundred million dollar contract with the to provide cloud services. They have a six hundred billion dollar contract with the air force to build spying satellites, and they're now vying for and are the leader the favorites to win a ten billion dollar contract with the Pentagon to provide cloud. Servers storage services to put all of the data that the Pentagon stores into Amazon technology, so they have become a central cogburn in the military industrial complex as well. As the invasive surveillance stayed that Jeff did bazo spent a week trying to imply falsely it turns out was misused in order to invade his privacy. Can you talk about a piece you did a while ago, Amazon's accent recognition technology could tell the government where you're from? It's not from you. But from the intercept. Yeah. That's interesting thing is intercept has actually been doing ongoing coverage not necessarily for me. But from our team of technology reporters about all of these innovations that Amazon is is boasting that are incredibly privacy invasive, one of which you just mentioned that allows the technology through Skype through chats through other writing analysts to determine what your accent is. So if you're not native speaker of English, it will be able to identify the original language that you learned as your first language and therefore determine where you're from a tool that the and the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, including the NSA wanna get their hands on in order to start looking for people of specific national origin, or where they came from ISIS, particularly interested in that technology and again the. Oh, you issued a really vehement warning about this particular product saying that it will almost certainly target marginalized groups vulnerable groups, not just people who are here on an undocumented basis. But people that the government are searching for based strictly a national identity. So that you can't even type on your computer or speak on the telephone without Amazon and Ebeling the government to analyze where you're from you also wrote a piece lactobacillus saying that days, oh company, you said just last October basis, this company, blue origin, one a five hundred million dollar contract from the US air force to help develop military rockets and spice satellites basis personally, thank them in a tweet proclaiming. How proud is to serve the national security space community. This is what's really frightening. Amy is that Silicon Valley is producing companies and the billionaires who control them who's wealth and power are unprecedented. Jeff Bezos, and Mark Zuckerberg and the people who control Google have more power than almost every nation state. If not more power than all of and increasingly they're integrating into these nation-states and performing the core functions. The most threatening and dangerous functions of them with almost no transparency. And this is the frightening thing. So if we have for example, NASA or the air force, we at least have congressional oversight. We nominally have laws like foia that enable us to find out what they're doing with Amazon and Google and Facebook of element of artificial intelligence. It's almost entirely Paik. And so you have these people. Of unlimited well, virtually but also sitting on huge amounts of our personal data who now increasingly are buying media outlets as is the owner of the Washington Post. So they have media power as well, consolidating all of that into the military industrial complex, and the fact that you have bazo just openly tweets how happy he is to receive a five hundred million dollar contract in service of the US air force shows, how much this partnership is growing how kind of open they are about a despite how little we know about it. And how much little how little time we spend talking about its implications. Interestingly point Jeff basis as maternal grandfather Lawrence Preston guys worked for DARPA. The defense advanced research projects agency in the nineteen fifties. Yeah. I mean, the ties go back very very far. And again, you know, it's it's one of these things where if you talk to people about what Amazon is most people's interaction with Amazon is very unthreatening. It's the place that you buy books from that. We now download our kindle books from now we order household products from that deliver it to our house, but just like Google, which we only interact with this kind of the free search term that in reality. Every time we use. It's real business is unseen to us which is to analyze how the human brain functions. So that it can replicate and then even improve upon brain functioning order to create artificial intelligence. That's more. Pope how potent than the human brain. That's real business. That's hidden. The real business of Amazon also remains hidden because of the power of their branding and marketing, and Glenn we're gonna break again. And then when we come back, we'll you're in the news today, and it's involves controversy with L hunt. Omar, we're also going to talk about Brazil, hopefully, get to Venezuela Glenn Greenwald Pulitzer prize winning journalist founding editor one of the founding enders to the intercept and we're going to link to his piece Jeff Bezos protests. The invasion of privacy is Amazon builds a sprawling surveillance state for everyone else. Stay with us. Yeah. Coa in. He looked on through. So so much more yeti his thing. GM, but I do say fusses movies say. Moselle? This. Julie brit. Memory. Iraq. In. He looked through. So so much more yeti his face. Genome, but is e say Fassi's movies, lavious Amal and Simone storage performing or remake of villa child, which translates to not him the songs remake of that a talion anti-fascist anthem, this is democracy. Now, I made me Goodman, were speaking to Glenn Greenwald Pulitzer prize winning journalist, one of the founding editors of the intercept in a moment. We're gonna talk about Brazil where you live Glenn. But I wanna I go to one of your recent tweets that's making news today on Sunday. You tweeted quote GOP leader Kevin McCarthy threatens punishment for Ilhan. And then you'll hunt Minnesota, and we're to leave over their criticisms of Israel. It's stunning how much time US political leader spend defending a foreign nation. Even if it means tacking free speech rights of Americans, you wrote well democratic congresswoman Ilhan, Omar of Minnesota re tweeted your post and added the line. It's all about the Benjamins baby. Then and opinion editor from the forward newspaper tweeted. I would love to know who Ilhan thinks paying American politicians to be pro Israel, though, I think I can guess bad form congresswoman, that's the second semitic. Trope? You've tweeted Ilhan, Omar, then responded to that tweet by writing APEC democratic congressman max rose responded to Omar by saying congresswoman, Omar statements are deeply hurtful to Jews including myself. So Glenn, can you respond to all of this? This is also ridiculous. It's all based upon this demand. That we in doled what everybody knows is utter and complete fiction, which is that we're allowed to talk about the power of the NRA in Washington where allowed to talk about the power of the Saudis in Washington where allowed to talk about the power of big pharmaceutical companies and Wall Street and Silicon Valley and the fossil fuel industry in Washington. But we're not allowed to talk about an equally potent well organized, and well financed lobby that ensures a bipartisan consensus in support of US defensive Israel that the minute that you mentioned that lobby you get attacked is being antisemitic, which is what happened to congresswoman, Omar. And I think the context here is really important for a long time. The bipartisan piety was not just that the US has to support Israel. But that in particular the effort to boycott Israel. In protests of its occupation of Palestine is not just misguided. But antisemitic that's the official position of the Democratic Party of Hillary Clinton of Chuck Schumer. Of every leading democrat. And now, suddenly you have these two really exciting dynamic charismatic women of color newly elected to congress. The first two Muslim women elected to congress who both are supporters of the boycott of Israel, which the Democratic Party says is bigotry, and and anti-semitism, and it's created this very awkward moment. So of course, the minute two women arrive in congress they're going to get attacked his antisemitic. If they're critical of Israel, which they are just like Keith Ellison, the first Muslim ever elected to congress got vilified as being an anti Semite by Sabin, the billionaire under the Democratic Party when he tried to be the chairman of the DNC with the congresswoman said is very uncontroversial. Everyone knows APEC is an extremely intimidating lobby. Just like the NRA is there's nothing wrong with pointing that out there. Certainly nothing antisemitic about saying that about criticizing the Israeli government for its aggression. Militarism and anybody who cares about Palestinians and about the ability of Muslims in the United States to be able to speak freely ought to be defending her in the last one. I would add is my point was in saying what we're how weird it is what a priority. It is for US politicians defend Israel was based on the fact that the very first Bill passed by the US Senate was not about helping Americans. It was about empowering states to punish people who support a boycott of Israel a Bill sponsored by Marco Rubio who got more money from sheep, Sheldon Adelson than any other politician in two thousand sixteen and then was supported by half of the Democratic Senate caucus. That's what I was referring to and the congresswoman was saying a big reason for that is the money interest in Washington that demand that and of course, everyone knows that's true into call that antisemitic is just obscene. I'll add Chelsea Clinton. Also tweeted, I will reach out to her tomorrow show at this last night L. Don, Omar, I also think we have to call it anti semitic language, and troops and all sides, particularly our elected officials, and particularly now Chelsea Clinton tweeted. Yeah. When did who who is Chelsea Clinton to become the spokeswoman about what is an isn't permissible debate? When it comes to Israel, her parents are probably the two individuals most responsible for turning the United States into a steadfast offender of an apartheid, murderous and impressive regime in that region. Her two parents are probably the leading politicians most responsible for insuring the ongoing repression of the Palestinian people. So Chelsea Clinton who I don't think has any public status other than being the daughter of famous politicians really has no place in trying to set the boundaries of what isn't isn't permissible debate? Given what her family has done so much harm to ensuring that Palestinians, don't live with the basic minimum dignity. And sovereignty to which every human being is entitled Glen I wanna turn to where you are right now to Brazil Glenn Greenwald. You're speaking to us from Rio de Janeiro on Friday and operation by Brazilian military. Police there and Rio left at least thirteen people dead after a shootout. And they head of Senator police say they were there to investigate suspected drug traffickers but encountered gunfire when they entered the area last month. Rios new governor Wilson with cell said that security city security forces are authorized to shoot to kill suspects. He also said Ryota its own Guantanamo Bay to house criminals, whom he labeled terrorists Brazil's new president j or sonata has vowed to intensify the war on drugs while running for president sonata said a good criminal is a dead criminal in another news from Brazil Brazil's, first elected openly, gay federal lawmaker. The require recently left his post and fled. Brazil, amidst growing homophobic violence coincided with the rise above sonata, and he's now replaced in Brazil's congress by your husband, David Miranda, Rio city council member Glenn can you talk about this latest news and the state of Brazil under Bill sonata. This is what everybody was afraid of when Bolsonaro one he got elected based on his promise to unleash the police and to authorize indiscriminate violence in the fa Velez where the poorest people in Brazil. They have largely black to give the police immunity for when they engage in indiscriminate slaughter. He's talked about this as a war. He's using the motto and the Philippines of just going in indiscriminately killing poor people killing drug dealers and also innocent people and the governor of Rio de Janeiro is on some level. Even more extreme in. This is probably the first overt manifestation of that policy. Where thirteen people were killed fully the largest newspaper in Brazil reported that at least several if not most of the people killed or executed after they surrendered which means it was just summary execution. The police laughed and told this frightened residents that the next time it'll be twenty people who. Dead. This is just the beginning of what is certain to be a very frightening climate as far as congressman John Willis fleeing the country that obviously is very frightening as well, given that the other profitable scenarios appeal was his constant vicious, homophobia, depicting gay people as had a file a threat to children, and John was a really crazy figure. He was for a long time the only openly gay member of the Brazilian congress. He was literally physically bullied they would bash into him in the hallway when they passed him. They would call him fag. It he suffered a lot over the last decade. I know him personally, very well. And he just reached the point where he was getting very specific death threats saying we here's your address. Here's your license played. We're gonna chop your mother up and send her send you her head horrific things. And he decided he just no longer could withstand that level of fear. My husband as. Said ran for congress came in right behind him. And therefore legally took over that position when John Willis renounced it and my husband is now one of two openly gay members of the lower house of the Brazilian congress. His already facing similar kinds of attacks in similar kinds of threats. That's the climate that has been created here in Brazil, quite deliberately by president Bolsonaro. But we'll see how things unfold there's a lot about position in the media. I'm happy to report, there's a vibrant left wing movement coalescing against this. And I have a lot of optimism about the ability to fight against this. How are you going to protect yourselves and your children? You know? I mean, obviously, we are aware of the fact that we're both very very visible gay couple. I have as you know, a media at the intercept Brazil that is grown very very rapidly. That has a very large audience, and it has been very critical Bolsonaro and in the country where there's a lot of hostility towards LGBT's, we as a interracial visible gay couple with two adopted children from the northeastern part of the country are obviously threats where where of that we're taking security precautions. But you know, I look at Brazil is a country that I love that belongs to my husband, and my children and one that we intend to stay in fight for is as well as we come. Well, a former Rio de Janeiro police officer with ties to organized crime has been identified as a likely killer of a prominent human rights, gay rights, activist city councilmember your friend Mariella Franco. Who was shot dead along with her driver and Rio last March, according to a police report reviewed by your media outlet. The intercept six witnesses identified the ex cop as the killer. The officer who hasn't been publicly named have been kicked out of Rio's military force now works as a mercenary for politicians and others. Witnesses say the gunman didn't act alone where have you taken these links from there. Yes. I think it was actually an important context. I left out of this gushing of John, which is the John was part of the same party. The peace all-party that Mario Franko belong to. Mario Elie Franko as you mentioned, the the black woman from the Favila who was also all GT assassinated, ten months ago, her killers are still unapprehended. It's the same party that one of its leaders was just revealed to have been very close to being assassinated by the militia, and these militias, and it's also the party of my husband and the head of this militia had and his wife and his daughter, I'm sorry, his wife and his mother working in the cabinet of floppy. Oh Bolsonaro who was a state Representative? And is now a federal Senator the son of Bolsonaro, which means the Bolsonaro have direct and close ties to the most dangerous and violent militia in Brazil, the one that. Played a critical role the police say in killing Mario Elie Franko. This is something that everybody is extremely interested in investigating. We all knew that the as philosophically supported the militias, but it came as quite a shock to learn how close of ties actual ties, the Bolsonaro family has to the leaders of this militia regard. This is one of the most serious one of the gravest scandals in Brazil. It's something that we as a media outlet and other media outlets are very aggressively investigating, and I hope the police who say they are are doing that as well. And finally, Glenn if you can talk about the latest situation in Venezuela to say, the least president do it under siege. One doe. The opposition leader has named himself president the US deeply overtly involved with this choosing Elliot Abrams as their point person, but secretary of state. Pompeo vice president Pence national security adviser John Bolton the latest controversy centers around US, sending so-called humanitarian aid Venezuela trying to get it through the Colombian border dodo saying no, can you comment on what's happening here. Obviously there's a lot of criticism of nNcholas Maduro including by leftist to our goal to president Shah. It doesn't just come from the Venezuelan right or from capitalist in the west. There's a lot of criticism of president Madero. The question is not though do you like president Dora? The question is do you think that his Wayland people are going to be helped by having Donald Trump John Bolton Mike Pence and Elliot Abrams intervene in their country engineers, gene change, and then prop up whatever leader they like best. And all you have to do is look at not just the history of the US interference in Latin America, but the statements that those people are making about what their real motives are. They're not even pretending their motive is to bring liberation democracy and freedom to the Venezuela, and the people, of course, bottled Trump doesn't care about the Venezuelan people how gullible do you have to be to think that they're admitting openly that their motive is access. Venezuelan oil markets and to capital markets because that would benefit United States, and it's all dark of class. And so to watch the bipartisan media and political class in Washington like Nancy Pelosi and other leaders of the Democratic Party stand behind Donald Trump, someone they're usually calling a racist and a fascist and Zina Phob and amongst her as he tries to engineer regime change in Venezuela using people galley Abrahams who in the past has used the pretext of humanitarian aid to send weapons to the rebels that he wanted to help overtake the government of a country is really kind of stunning. But that's what always happens in American discourse imperialism is always cheered. We always believe we have the right interfere in other countries. And that because we're so intrinsically good only benevolent outcomes will be the result. And it's really disturbing to watch this kind of unanimity with some rare. Exceptions you have row Kahane Tulsi Gabbard some other people. Alexandra Okaz Cortes saying we have no role to play in Venezuela. But by and large, the bipartisan classes, they always do is United behind on Trump Marco Rubio and John Bolton as they try and engineer Jean change in a country that they don't understand don't care about an only one who exploited and the significance of them having as a partner both sonata the new far, right? Former army, captain, the president of Brazil. It's it's I mean, the usually what happens in these kinds of cases, there's at least an attempt made to make liberals feel good about what the real motives are. You know, we're going to change their jiman- Libya, not because we care about the oil. But because we just want to help people be liberated from this bad dictator the same Iraq. You know, pulling babies out of incubators, there's at least an attempt made in here. There's barely an attempt made. It's all very explicit and blatant in the fact that the leading US partner in America to do. This is John you're Bolsonaro should tell you everything you need to know about what the real motives are in terms of what the US government is trying to accomplish in Venezuela. It's nothing. Good for the Venezuelan people. No matter what your view of nNcholas Maduro is. It's all about imposing a far, right? Eighty allergy for the benefit of everybody. But the. Venezuelan people Glenn Greenwald. We want to thank you for being with us Pulitzer prize winning journalist, one of the founding editors of the intercept thanks so much. We will link to your pieces in the intercept that does it for our show. I made me Goodman. Thanks so much for joining.

United States Jeff Bezos Amazon President Trump National Enquirer Glenn Greenwald Brazil president extortion Glenn Pulitzer prize Amy Goodman Washington Post Venezuela congress Jeff NSA FBI Rio de Janeiro
Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker refuses to say Mueller probe - The probe he oversees - isn't a "witch hunt"; Trump refuses to meet Congress' deadline on Khashoggi killing; Federal prosecutors investigating whether National Enquirer violated deal aft

Erin Burnett OutFront

43:33 min | 1 year ago

Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker refuses to say Mueller probe - The probe he oversees - isn't a "witch hunt"; Trump refuses to meet Congress' deadline on Khashoggi killing; Federal prosecutors investigating whether National Enquirer violated deal aft

"Out front next to clash on Capitol Hill, Democrats sparring with acting attorney general President Trump over the Muller probe a congresswoman who led the charge against Matthew Whitaker is out front, plus the White House blowing off a deadline to explain the horrific and brutal murder of Jamal kashogi. What is the connection between President Trump Saudi Arabia and the National Enquirer and federal prosecutors are now investigating the National Enquirer after Jeff Bezos accused the tabloid of explosion could be bad news for Trump. Let's go out front. Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett out front tonight. Sparks flying on Capitol Hill over the Russia probe President Trump's acting attorney general grilled by Democrats and some Republicans on his role overseeing the Muller investigation, and Matt Whitaker refused to defend the Muller probe us to stand up to Trump's ongoing attacks on the probe. Are you overseeing a witch? Congressman as I've mentioned previously the special counsel's investigation is ongoing investigation. And so I think it would be inappropriate for me to you wouldn't oversee a witch out would you you'd stop a witch-hunt? Wouldn't you congressman it would be inappropriate for me to talk about an ongoing investigation. Except for no one was asking him for details about the investigation. They were just asking him a really basic and important question. Frankly, given these attacks. Which on and they know that this is a pure and simple witch-hunt. It's a total witch hunt that been saying it for a long time. And there's about fifty more where those came from to say it, again, the acting attorney general the person in charge of the Muller investigation with fused to say it isn't a witch hunt today, and that is extreme because most respectable Republicans in Washington have taken a clear stand against Trump's which hunt attacks. I wouldn't use the term which I don't bleed this is a witch. I it's not a witch hunt. Okay. Well, Whitaker wouldn't offend Muller's investigation wouldn't say it isn't a witch hunt. Which is a problem on the face of it. And even more of a concern when you consider his public comments on the investigation made before he oversaw it. Why don't these folks? Hurry up. I mean, there is it is not helping this administration offered by Jim Colmey to get this. You know, put in place and have somebody that he's very familiar with and Bob Muller conducting nation. So I, you know, I I think it's multiple fishy. Still continue to wonder if there is any there there. I have not seen a single fact. Laura Jared is out front in Washington. And Laura what else stood out to you in this hearing where Whitaker wouldn't say whether molars probe is a witch hunter not in really baffling there. Aaron Whittaker also really doubled down on his refusal to step aside from the Muller pro saying notwithstanding all of his past criticisms that you just played his criticisms of the rush investigation. He's now been fully briefed on it. And he claims he hasn't really taken any action or interfered in any way with Muller's work yet. He repeatedly dodged questions about his conversations with the president except when he didn't vowing that he never talked to President Trump about the special counsel's investigation, but admitted in the pest actually wanted a job defending Trump in the White House. He also didn't shy away from feeding into unfounded conspiracy theories about CNN's own reporting on Roger stone. President Trump's longtime confidant his arrest saying it was deeply concerning to him. We were there to capture the arrests even though we did it through some old fashioned reporting. And when pressed about the other major investigation. Looming over this presidency. The one into the President Trump's own lawyer and fix Michael Cohen Whitaker, refused to shed any light on what the president may. Or may not have discussed on that front. Aaron right, Laura. Thank you very much, and they want to go now to a member of the House Judiciary committee who is there today, grilling the acting attorney general Matt Whitaker, the democratic congresswoman Matalin dean, and I appreciate your time congresswoman dean, what was your reaction when whatever refused to say. The Muller investigation is not a witch hunt. Well, there were an awful lot of things that the acting attorney general refuse to speak about and deflected and delayed and stalled I was really baffled by all of that. I'm pleased that we had the opportunity to have the acting attorney general in front of us. But you saw in question after question the refusal to answer questions, honestly and openly the attempt to answer a question that was not asked. I tried to focus on the on the issue that you just mentioned which was recusals, and we got very inconsistent answers. Right. As to what why he chose to remain. You know, overseeing it when obviously there were ethical questions raised by the ethics committee. I mean as largest was talking about congresswoman Whitaker contradicted himself. You know, it talked about his conversations with the president right at sometimes he said, oh, they're privileged. I shouldn't have to answer questions about them. And and other times talking about them. And yet, you know, he never the committee was very thoughtful in preparing for today sent the acting attorney general a whole host of questions. So that he would have the absolute opportunity to work with the administration to make sure that he was in the clear answer questions, and he said today under oath, he never bothered to share those questions. So he can't he cannot assume a possible privilege. He never talked to the administration, according to his own testimony. So do you think he was forthcoming with congress today? No. That was what was disappointing. He was not forthcoming I focused in on the area of recusals. And so I asked him I said you actually had. Information from the ethics folks within the department to say, you should recuse. And then he contrasted that with four folks friends of his or teammates of his who said, no you you'll be all right? And he said to us I set the tone for this important department is the honor of my lifetime. And when given the choice when he's given ethics advice recused yourself because of the past statements you have made as a private citizen he chose to set the tone of the conflict of interest and move forward. And and you know, that was a strange moment. And I'm also curious what you make just about his whether he really was forthright and honest in this because one of the other exchanges one of the most bizarre moments. Frankly, I thought congresswoman dean was another one with you. When you asked him, you know, how he got the job of his life. Right. He said, this is the great honor of is like, this is the most important impressive job. He's ever had. And you asked him. How did you find out about it? How did you find out? You got the big job. Did did the president call you? Or did you find out another way? Wanna play the exchange? I can't remember if it was which preceded which, but I believe I received a phone call from the president United States asking me to be the acting attorney general, and I'm gonna go you said you learn by tweet like did. I misunderstand you, I think you did. Okay. So it was learned I buy a phone call from the president. I believe so, but they were very close in time. And so I actually as I sit here right now. I can't remember which preceded which. So this is a job of your life. You can't remember whether the president is the one who called you and told you got it. That's strange. I have to tell you, Erin. I have recently earned the job of a lifetime. I remember exactly how it took place. So that it just stretches credulity that either he was hired by tweet notified by tweet or he actually got a phone call from the president. I would remember a phone call from the president hiring me for a job. So that made no sense. There was another area had hoped to investigate if you don't mind, and I had a chance to speak to the acting attorney general after our conversation after the time within the hearing would it be alright if I talked about that. Yes, of course, the other area, and some of my colleagues, very Abeille talked about the very pressing issue of the child separation policy, something they call it zero tolerance as one of my colleagues calls at zero humanity. I had the opportunity after the hearing to just walk back into the back offices of the judiciary committee and met with. Just spoke briefly with one of his council. But also, then introduce myself I wanted to introduce myself to the acting attorney general to show that respect and I talked to him. And I said, you know, what it is your predecessor who put in place the separation of families at the border. You have five or six days you've said it over and over again, you have five or six days to go. Why not make your legacy ending this inhumane policy? What he say? He thought that was interesting. We'll see what he does one question before we go. I want to ask you just to be clear here on because he has been overseeing the molar investigation. He has all the facts, he knows everything he wants to know about it. Do you think the acting attorney general's interfered in the Miller investigation at all congressman dean? I absolutely have no idea. What I find puzzling is the lack of forthrightness that he was briefed on it. He had no clarity as to whether the information that he learned an another one of his deputies sitting in on that briefing was ever conveyed to the White House that was so unclear so I have no idea. That's why we're asking these questions. Of course, that's exactly what we would have hoped to get that idea from in in a hearing like this. But but some really puzzling moments. Thank you. So very much congressman dean Erin for having me and next the White House. Ignoring a deadline, a really important deadline from congress right balance of powers, they were responsible today for handing over a report saying who killed Jamalpur kashogi. They wouldn't do it. Why there's some troubling possible answers. Plus. Federal prosecutors now investigating the charges that the National Enquirer blackmail. Jeff Bezos, why it may be bad news for Trump and breaking news out of Regina this. 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New tonight Trump define congress flaunting a deadline to explain the killing of American resident Jamal kashogi and Trump's own party leaders are living Republican Senator Lindsey Graham saying, quote, I firmly believed that will be strong bipartisan support for serious sanctions against Saudi Arabia for this barbaric act, which defied all civilized norms. But we lose our moral voice. We lose our strongest asset the president of the United States thumbing his nose again that congress and at his own intelligence chiefs who have made it clear, they know the horrific Shoghi slaughter and that is the right word was personally directed by. The crown prince of Saudi Arabia. I hate the crime. I hate what's done. I hate the cover up, and I will tell you this. The crown prince hates it more than I do. And they have vehemently denied it. Okay. Well in terms of not doing it. I mean, that's false. The president knows that it's false his CIA concluded that m B S the Saudi prince personally directed the murder, but the CIA does not put its conclusions out in the public eye. But the reporters at the Washington Post do 'cause showed you worked for the Washington Post, and the paper has been relentless in reporting on the Saudi Crown prince's direction of the murder enter Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon the richest man in the world, the owner of the Washington Post, Trump routinely slams him and demeans the post. The Washington Post was purchased by the gentleman that runs and has a big stake in Amazon. Right. You know, his name correct basis. You know? So now he uses that as a political weapon it uses the Washington Post as his power tool Washington Post, that's basically the lobbyists for Amazon, you know, he uses that betas got bigger problems than anybody right now. But bazo 's uses that as his lobbyists. Okay. As far as I'm concerned. So it may be no coincidence. Right. But the National Enquirer published by Trump's longtime friend breaks sorted and salacious story about Jeff Bezos. Having an affair a story that Trump quickly celebrates? Here's the tweet quote. So sorry to hear the news about Jeff bozo. Being taken down by a competitor who's reporting. I understand is far more accurate than the lobbying in his reporting in his lobbyists newspaper, the Amazon Washington Post. Okay. Here's where Saudi Arabia comes back in last night base basis posts for the world to see how the National Enquirer threatened to publish hacked graphic images of him and his girlfriend in his now famous blog post Bezos, writes, it's unavoidable that certain powerful people who experience Washington Post news coverage, we'll wrongly conclude. I am their enemy President Trump is one of those people obvious by as many tweets also the posts essential and unrelenting coverage of the murder of its columnist Jamal kashogi is undoubtedly unpopular in certain circles. Certain circles like that one the one accurate by President Trump who is hosted the crown prince of Saudi Arabia at the White House who took his first overseas trip to Saudi Arabia, all this begging the question of who had those salacious pictures of bazo with the intent of hurting him who who got that and David to the National Enquirer. Could it have been Saudi Arabia CNN asked the Saudi foreign minister today and his answer was quote. I doubt it Kaitlan Collins is out front at the White House. I mean, Caitlyn this is a pretty stunning development that we are seeing here. What is the White House saying about why today what's excuse for you know, this deadline? They're supposed to put out what happened to Jamal kashogi. They didn't do it. What's the reason? Yeah. And this is the legal mandate from senators who gave the White House the deadline of today to submit that report telling them whether or not they feel that the crown prince Saudi Crown prince. So you just showed them video in the Oval Office is responsible for the death of this columnist. They didn't do. So they're refusing to do so and we asked the White House. Why? We got this statement from a senior administration official going onto say essentially, quote, the president maintains his discretion to decline to act on congressional committee Kor requests, win appropriate. Now, of course, this is coming one day after that explosive New York Times report that said that the Saudi Crown prince was quoted saying in two thousand seventeen to an aide that he had a bullet for Jamal kashogi. And this comes as the the White House is saying that they're going to continue to investigate this. And in that statement, they also gave us when we asked why they had failed to submit this report to congress. They said the State Department updates congress regularly on the status of the actions related to the killing of Jamal kashogi. Now, Erin, I don't need to remind you, but it's been four months over four months since he was killed in the Saudi council at in Turkey and the White House says they're continuing to investigate that. And we do know that the secretary of state Mike Pompeo Ditz into letter to James risch into Bob Menendez today, but not really offering a ton of information here. Now, this is likely to do with the White House. Failing to meet this deadline that senators. Gave him today to do. It's infuriate not just Democrats. But Republicans to who don't think the White House has done enough to hold the Saudis accountable for this reporters death. All right. Thank you very much Kaitlyn I want to go now, David Gergen and the former assistant secretary for the department of homeland security under President Obama. Julia Kayem, Juliet, let me start with you. Do you have any doubt as as I as I laid that out that the bazo story, you know, that appears in the National Enquirer and all these threats is this payback for the Washington Post and its coverage of democracy. Oh, I think. Absolutely. And I think as those left a bunch of hints in that letter. He has remarkable investigators who are looking into how his phone and his new girlfriend's phone were hacked. How those pictures were hacked. And so there's no question in my mind that basis would drop those clues so to speak in the memo without some some without having some sense of who was responsible for taking and getting that information from his phone. So one way to think about it is that AMA national choir is recently, a repository and they get information from all sorts of sorted sources. The former porn star the, you know, the Saudis whoever else, and they are working to support Donald Trump. So that's essentially we've known that. And that is essentially the the sort of the the world that the Saudis walked into right? They have this information against bazo. They hate him. Trump hates him. And it's just a perfect alliance of really corrupt. Nations and a really corrupt White House going after a man who not going to defend him. But who made a mistake? And that is exactly what we see happening right now. I mean, David Inish pretty stunning when you think about it. Right. You know, it's a sitting president here who, you know, at least, according to Jeff Bezos, she continued in that online post to say for reasons still to be better. Understood the Saudi angle seems to hit a particularly sensitive nerve as Juliet said he is very clearly leading breadcrumbs to to Saudi Arabia. But it's pretty stunning now you're talking about a foreign government. Not russia. This time Saudi Arabia actively trying to help the president of the United States. Well, I think Julia is absolutely right. That basis was leaving breadcrumbs for us to follow in in other organizations in the press to figure out who did it. And whether it is out he's now, I think it's also I think she's right that this Audis had a strong interest and bringing down bays owes in order to protect themselves. But I also think we ought to be a little careful here. You know, this sounds very much like a conspiracy theory too. And we don't have all the facts, you know, we know we know what's tantalizing out there. We know what it looks like it'd be a great story. But we don't yet have the facts. And so I think we have to be a little cautious about making us her. She's on it. I I also think by the way that they're one one other payback was that New York Times story that came out the day yesterday that that was leaked on the on the day before the president had a dead. Line to explain what did happen, and it really brought the kashogi case right back front and center into our conversation that you. Saying that he wanted to put a bullet. Exactly. Yeah. They've known that for a while. Right. And but somehow it just magically appears the day before this deadline. I think that was you know, that was intentional intelligence community. These days does not have a high regard for this president. Now, certainly not Juliet the when you look at the breadcrumbs. I mean, this is it is quite fascinating. Right. Saudi Arabia's where at the president took his first foreign trip. Right. That was unusual. Got a lot of coverage. Right. He teach Saudi Arabia. He has continued to publicly take the side of the Saudi Crown prince against his own intelligence chiefs conclusion when it comes to the murder of democracy. Right. I mean is this pretty blunt, right? He's he's he has refused to do that again. And again. Yeah. And in this way, right? And then this way, it does remind us of the Russia's story. So you haven't intelligence community consistently saying, this is an enemy you, you know, in the Russia case, you have an intelligence community in the Saudi Arabia case saying that, you know, they kill kashogi premeditated. Order. You have the president ignoring it in both instances, and the common theme is of course, the economic interests of not the United States. I mean, we can live. We can more easily live without Saudi Arabia, then they can live without us. But of the Trump in of the Trump family, and the Trump organization and also what's interesting, and I we just can't talk about these stories without mentioning Jared Kushner, who always ends up being the the sort of main player in in both of these cases, either his alliances with the that we're consortium of people around the Russian meetings, or of course, his relationship with the crown prince one final thing, I you know, I get what what David is saying about not putting the pieces together too soon. I think one of the problems though, is that the president's failure to respond back to Republicans and Democrats in the Senate on kashogi either suggest right that he knows that he's lying about the intelligence community or put another wrinkle in here that he cannot get anyone to sign that document. There is someone who has to validate what the White House. House is saying, and you are not going to get the director of the CIA to say, oh, we don't know anything more. She is already made it clear how she how she feels. So I kind of wonder if these press releases, and and and the secretary of state, you know, writing a letter is because they cannot get anyone to validate though, the the Trump's theory of the case, which is you know, he wants to protect his own economic interests. And and of course, it his. Yeah. I don't think there's any quite Julius. Absolutely, right. There's no question that if the president win, and if he does respond to this hundred twenty eight deadline, and I think that ministration has to respond in under his name that he's going to have a real problem because he's gonna wanna say things the see I simply does not believe and the the only way to send a true report up is to have the intelligence agency sign off on it. And I think that's his problem. And why hasn't met the deadline? Thank you, both very much raises a great point. Right. Why would you go against shown intelligence chiefs? Why would you why we do it? It just doesn't make any sense at all as as to why. So as to why that would happen. All right. Thank you both. So very much next. Federal prosecutors are now investigating the national enquirers reporting obeys owes could CEO David Packers immunity deal because he's got one right now the southern district in this whole Trump embroil yo could it be in jeopardy tonight. Plus a second woman coming forward accusing the Lieutenant governor Virginia of sexual assault. Now there's articles of impeachment being drafted for him. The governor next to him in the screen still in place. That's at. Tired of spending hundreds of dollars for prescription glasses. Our friends at Zanny optical offer, a huge variety of high quality stylish frames and state of the art optics starting at just six ninety five. You can get multiple frames with this great pricing for less than one pair. Elsewhere start building your eyewear wardrobe from the comfort of your own home at Xeni dot com. With the latest trends in eyewear available in hundreds of frame styles and materials there isn't a better way to change it up for every season. Plus is any offers prescription sunglasses at incredible prices. Visit any today at Xeni dot com slash CNN. That's Z E N N, I dot com slash CNN. Tonight. One of the president's oldest friends in the crosshairs. Federal prosecutors are now looking at whether the National Enquirer, which is owned by Trump's longtime friend David pecker violated its non-prosecution deal in the Michael Cohen pro that's in the southern district of New York. Michael Cohen, you know, we all know is going to jail for that the company agreed to cooperate with the southern district. But they may have violated that deal because of this whole Jeff Bezos the Bockel out front now, former assistant US attorney for the southern district of New York. Harry Sandik former Nixon White House counsel John dean and the former LA bureau chief app, National Enquirer, Jerry, George. Thanks to all of you, John you're usually out there in LA. But you here with me tonight. So let me start with you. How bad is this for David pecker? It's bad potentially. I it's not crystal clear that he's violated the federal law or state law, but it certainly prime affairs show that he has and if he's done that is immunity deal with the southern district falls apart. And that serious problems because he's already admitted the necessary elements to make a crime there, and he could go right to jail. That's what we're possibly talking about here. It's violated jail. Yeah. Absolutely there to risks here. The first risk is that he's going to be prosecuted conceivably or be investigated for the black male crime. And then the second risk is that he and others at am. I have already admitted to the same campaign fight violations campaign finance violations that Michael Cohen was convicted of and they were going to not be prosecuted under this agreement the agreement can be torn up and now they can be prosecuted, Jerry. It's pretty stunning here. Because you know, as we just laid out, right? The president's you know, has made it very clear he's view of Jeff Bezos and the Washington Post and after the basis news broke the president couldn't contain his excitement. Right. I shared the tweet. So sorry to hear the news about Jeff bozo. Being taken down by a competitor who's reporting. I I understand of sorry is more accurate than the reporting in his lobbyist newspaper, the Amazon Washington Post and then happy to jump in on camera and talk about. Jeff Bezos, who of course, is is going through a divorce, partly as a result of all this coming out. Here's the president. What do you get paid those before? Apparent what I wake up. I wish him luck going to be a beauty. With a smile he could barely contain area. I mean, what do you what do you make of that you at one point you told us, so the president was a Trump was a silent editor of the National Enquirer. Do you think he knew anything about this in advance? Well, Erin, I think this whole bunch of guys brings to mind, the the the old movie the gang that couldn't shoot straight. I mean. The the president can't keep his mouth shut gloating over this this visas story, the story that brought you know, David pecker and Dylan Howard back under the scrutiny of, you know, prosecutors ham, and then they came out with this this incredible salacious story on visas divorce, which was basically written for an audience of one. These are isn't an inquirer name. So I mean, every every everywhere they turn they make a misstep. I mean, that's the thing. John dean, you know, obviously, supposedly David pecker right has been cooperating with southern district of New York. One would think is part of that. I don't know supposedly. We'll think he would not be coordinating with the president of the United States on something like this. But it could have been doing it even without quote, unquote, coordinating with him. He was apparently on the out somewhat because of his cooperation with the southern district. This could be a nice way to get back in the good graces of the president, and he seems terribly attracted to this, man. So that would explain it. And I must say I don't think he intimidated Basil's doing what he is done which was just laid out. Right. I mean, he put all the emails out there all the list of all that the embarrassing humiliating disgusting. Taxed buddy, put out that what he says is extortion, and certainly to allay person looks that way, Harry. But I know obviously, legally we'll we'll see but look the inquirer. There has always done things for Trump. Right. Not just this whole catch and kill like get a story about a woman. Whether it's Karen McDougal, stormy, right? Not just that sort of thing. But also taking on people Trump wants to crush Jeff Bezos being one what about Hillary Clinton? Remember when she had six months to live out. Yeah, there there we go. That was during the campaign, obviously, it's three years later, then Hillary Clinton gained one hundred pounds it Bill Clinton wouldn't make it to election day. Well, guess what? He's still alive and may twenty sixteen member Ted Cruz is father, and you know, in the JFK assassination. These are just a few there were all sorts of other things about various people. But it's very clear. These are all people that Trump wants to take down. Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, it's not, you know, people have said, well, maybe there's a first amendment defense because it's a newspaper to journalistic enterprise. This is not journalism what they're doing. It's extortion, potentially. It's political activity. It's weaponising the. The first amendment to use for the benefit of Trump and his circle, and that's not going to be protected in the same way that a real first amendment newsgathering organization would be protected John you have here a board part of the board going to investigate this. Okay. One of the people of the four on the board investigating. It is David Packer and the other one we understand if someone who also has ties or works for Trump International organization, Trump hotel and casino. It does not look at typically would aboard does in a situation. Like, this is they put together an independent unit or they bring in outside counsel, and they do a legitimate investigation. This is not that this is this is sort of a self examination that you can be sure it's probably going to come out. All right. So this is not what I would say would clear them in in not going to tear the southern district from looking So, Jerry. How does all this end? Well, I think it's you know, it's looking less and less like yellow journalism and more like organized crime. Well, that's a big thing to say. And you think pecker will what go as a result of this is the National Enquirer. I think. I think there's a very strong chance that David pecker may end up doing time. Well, Harry, what's your take on that possible? I think it's possible. I think there's a real risk also to the institution this paper. If it faces an indictment, they may have debt covenants, they may have agreements with investors that would have issues that would be triggered by a an indictment of an institution of a corporation is usually a death sentence. Wow. That's pretty incredible. And of course, never mind that you've got Jeff Bezos own investigators looking and then dangling all those things out there. Thank you, all and next breaking news. Lieutenant governor Virginia being told to step down or face impeachment. A second woman is accusing him with sexual assault and the Indiana mayor hoping to become the first gave president of the United States. I don't have to go on a tour to find out. What's happening in middle America? Just go to target. Remember to create an ad like this one visit pure winning dot com slash CNN. Breaking news tonight impeachment and Virginia a democratic state delegate telling CNN he's drafting articles of impeachment against the Lieutenant governor Justin Fairfax after a second woman has come forward tonight accusing Fairfax of sexual assault. Hey, the hearten is long live from Richmond tonight and Kelly. I'm just stunning how the story is developing. What is the latest that you know? That's right. Well, Aaron, you know, I there were just cold for an investigation by many Democrats. Once the first accuser, Dr Vanessa Tyson accused Justin Fairfax of sexual assault. But following the revelations of a second woman tonight. Meredith Watson a college classmate affair faxes the coast for his resignation or becoming increasingly louder Watson released a statement, by way of her attorney in which she called the attack premeditated and aggressive saying that Fairfax attacked her when they were classmates at Duke University in two thousand and we're just reviewing a twenty sixteen Email exchange that Meredith Watson had with another classmate that mentions this assault. The Email was inviting her to a Duke alumni fundraiser four Justin Fairfax in October of two thousand sixteen her response to the invitation was quote, Justin raped me in college. And I don't want to hear anything more about him. Please please, please remove me from any future. Emails about him. Please. And thank you. And so the number of Democrats lining up and calling for the Lieutenant governor's resignation is long from twenty twenty contenders. To members of the US house of Representative who issued a letter tonight saying that they believe Dr Tyson, and what Watson assaying gives further credence to it. All and you also mentioned Aaron the the drafted articles of impeachment by one member of the house of delegates that he says he will bring forth on Monday. Fairfax doesn't resign before. Then kaley. Thank you very much. And I want to go now to democratic strategist Keith boykin, former Clinton White House apolitical commentator for us here. Okay. This is a debacle. It's an embarrassment. But I I want to go through this on a couple levels. So first of all Fairfax. I it seems at this point. He's he's a gong. Am I right or no? It's looking very difficult to see how he gets out of this best right now. Other two credible. Witnesses have come out against him. Emails incredibly damning, it's. Waved me, I've always believed. And I said this about Cavanaugh said this about other cases as well. I believe it should be due process procedure. We have an investigation it's looking harder and harder to justify waiting for an investigation. When there are more people coming out, I still believe there should be an investigation to find out. What happened if he did this? He should resign. He's he's not helping himself or anybody Democratic Party by staying in office. If he if he knows he's guilty should step down. So it seems like somebody who thinks they can benefit from. This is Ralph Northam still the governor for Chechnya you've called for his resignation as the twenty twenty is is everybody else. Okay. T- just told his cabinet. He has no intention to resign. So what I'm trying to understand here is how you could have a black Lieutenant governor who leaves rightfully so while the white governor who's admitted to to doing these racist things as a full grown adult and handled a terribly could possibly keep his job here. It sending a message that we don't consider racial violence, which is what it is. When you have a clans outfit or or. Black face that you're probably wearing putting on your face on your year. But paid to have that out there that racism is not as offensive as sexism, or or sexual assault or that racial, racial violence is not as bad, and these are all bad things that only to be taken care of seriously north of needs to step down. Herring needs to step down or. It it doesn't. It doesn't seem like there's any justification for him to continue on as long as long as he has put his standard out there as well. There is a possibility for a future though. Democrats don't have to give over the party the government to the Republicans that can be staggered resignations. Just talking to Ravi Perry. And in Virginia political science fact is there about that possibility where one person resigns another person that point to Lieutenant governor who is who is squeaky clean to fill in that position. And then you go from there. Well, that would require these people stepping up and taking responsibility for what they did fax leaves north is leader and says I'm gonna go I'm going to appoint someone. But tonight, he's showing no signs of being that kind of leader saying he has no intention to resign. All right. Thank you very much and next the youngest twenty twenty candidate who could be the first openly gay president. And in exclusive look inside Facebook. There is a bit of a game of thrones culture among the executives. The right sheets can take your sleep and your style to the next level with Boll and branch. The upgrade has never been more Ford -able every set is crafted from one hundred percent organic cotton. They get softer and softer over time. That's why they have thousands of five star reviews and even three US presidents have Boll and branch sheets. Try them for thirty nights. And if you don't love them, send them back for a full refund. Go to bollandbranch dot com today for fifty dollars off your first set of sheets, plus free shipping with promo code CNN to spelled B O L L, andbranch dot com. That's bollandbranch dot com, promo code CNN too. Two powerful, female, senators, Elizabeth Warren and Amy klobuchar are going to lay out their intentions for twenty twenty. There are already nearly a dozen Democrats in the race in. We could look can be looking at fifteen to twenty. I mean, it's crazy. And now there's a mayor looking to make history on the list Kate Baldwin is out front. When you run for office in my age in many ways, your face is your message. Yeah. Welcome to south bend. Hopefully, you find a good place. South bend, Indiana. Mayor Pete Buddha digit knows at thirty seven years old. He's a long shot for the White House. But he's been a long shot before the industrial midwest is ground zero for that. He ran for mayor at twenty nine in a place. Newsweek labeled a dying city he won. And he's on a second term. But is America ready for a little known mayor who'd be the youngest president yet? So fair question. And I think we have a pretty good answer. The question of age was resolved by the founders in the constitution. The question of experience, I think is actually one of the most important questions that I want to answer the background of a mayor of the city of any size is a background. If somebody who on one hand is an executive and on the other hand is very close to to the ground. You know, I don't have to go on a tour to find out what's happening in middle America. Just go to target this thing which was. I was getting ready to blow that thing up that building was vacant. It was in receivership it was in miserable condition. South bend like much of the industrial midwest saw a boom and bust around manufacturing go here. The most powerful symbol of that is the Studebaker auto plant shuttered and sitting vacant since the nineteen sixties. And now there's a code school here that teach middle schoolers coded super cool. We were honest about the fact that nothing ever resembling, for example, the Studebaker car company was ever going to come back to the city that wasn't coming back. But we were booted says that is exactly the message of change Democrats need for twenty twenty if we will click. We're the protectors of the old order if we look like we're here to restore normalcy. Whatever that means then in a way, we're committing the same sin of the Trump campaign, which is to tell people to look for greatness in the wrong places. You know chestnutty? Another major change in the race for the White House that the mayor brings he would be the first gay president. If he won we sat down for the first interview with his husband chest in by his side, married. Just eight months ago when did you realize that Pete was the one? It was pretty early in our relationship. I'd say six seven months in. I wanted to spend every day with Peter. Does he Peter is he? Mostly Peter to me. It depends on the situation. Wherein Peter, Paul. He hasn't done the dishes. Yeah. You represent a historic. I in your candidacy, how much do you want to define the campaign goes part of who I am. And I'm aware of what it represents to to be that kind of I first fischel to try to do this who's out. Ultimately, I want to be evaluated based on the ideas that I bring to the table. It's kind of like being bear. If I'm plowing the snow and filling in potholes good mayor, and if we fail to do that, I'm not, and it's got almost nothing to do with whether when I come home, it's to husband or to life. Now, I asked him how he'd handle any attacks coming from President Trump. And when it comes to the president he was pretty blunt. He says I'm gay man from Indiana. I know how to deal with a bully. And how does he think he stacks up with the as you mentioned the growing field of Democrats? He talked about it with me and we've much more on Monday my show. All right. Well, we will look forward to that. Great to see you and make sure you catch that on Kate show eleven on Monday and next a rare and exclusive look inside baseball. NBA all star in Charlotte when he packed with star stuttered events from the mountain dew ice rising stars at the state farm all star Saturday night to the all star game presented by Keith NBA all star twenty nine thousand nine February fifteenth to seventeen on TNT Facebook just turned fifteen it's a company at the center of hundreds of millions of people's lives and central to American politics, including a big role in the Russia investigation. Here's a clip from Laurie Segel's documentary. There is a bit of a game of thrones culture among the executives and one of the problems about having a really tight knit set of people making all these decisions if you keep the same people in the same places, it's just very difficult to admit you're wrong and Lori is with me. And that's a big part of what they've been facing is admitting. They're wrong and mistakes that were made I want to start though with Mark Zuckerberg. You have I've met with him interviewed in many many times is he worried that people are moved that Facebook could go the way of losing relevance, right as younger people. Choose other platforms that fundamental fear for them fundamental theory of Silicon Valley, right? If battle for time and relevance. I think you know, look Facebook made some very wise decisions. Mark Zuckerberg went out and bought Instagram and bought what's that years ago? And now Facebook, you know, these are the platforms of the future and Facebook owns them. I think that's a big deal. And you know, there's despite all the controversy all the issues with privacy. Facebook's numbers came in. You know, just in the last weeks. And the company's doing incredibly, well, they actually added daily users in Europe and North America. I mean, this is, you know, so I think this narrative around Facebook is interesting, and it's important, and there are a lot of these larger fundamental questions about the platform. But I do think, you know, we're gonna look in the next couple of years and things could change if they do the right things if we see the right type of regulation game of thrones was what we just heard there. And obviously, you know, you think of Facebook, you think of Mark Zuckerberg, and if more Sheryl Sandberg, but when you hear game of thrones. What does that mean is somebody getting killed off? I mean, obviously, I'm using the game of thrones parlance here, but what's happening. I think Mark Zuckerberg is the DNA of Facebook, and you talked to folks behind the scenes he's so incredibly involved in the product. Now, there were the reports that came out in November questioning Sheryl Samba's leadership. I sat down with he defended Sheryl Sandberg said she wasn't going anywhere. I don't think Mark Zuckerberg will be going anywhere. I think the one maybe to look out for in the neck. Years. You know, they're always been rumors about Sheryl Sandberg, cutting political aspirations, but the the complete from doing this documentary and listening to what people have had to say is that there is that very tight knit group of people at the top and Ken Facebook burst its own filter bubble to understand some of these larger issues. All right. Well, thank you very much. And you got to see it. No one knows his company has had more access than Laurie and her Facebook at fifteen premier Sunday at nine o'clock eastern. And thank you all so much for joining us have a great weekend. Don't forget you can watch out front anytime anywhere. Just go to CNN. Go Anderson starts now. Sekou she moved here from the hang time podcast. Join me, and my main man John Shuman every week as we break down, the latest, NBA, news and storylines with. Yes. From around the league, we should subscribe to NBA hang time on apple podcasts. Spotify an NBA dot com slash podcast for new episodes every Monday and Thursday this season.

president President Trump United States White House National Enquirer Jeff Bezos CNN Saudi Arabia Trump dean Erin Washington Post russia assault Saudi Crown acting attorney general Congressman Facebook Jamalpur kashogi congress
Ep. 713 - Bezos Like A Boss

The Ben Shapiro Show

56:31 min | 1 year ago

Ep. 713 - Bezos Like A Boss

"Jeff Bezos of Amazon expose the National Enquirer as a blackmail racket. The democratic green new deal gets off to a bit of a rough start. And we check the mail bag. I'm Ben Shapiro. This is the Ben Shapiro show. Remember like a thousand years ago to remember a thousand years ago, when President Trump gave the state of the union address, you remember that that was awesome. Right. But that was like a thousand years ago because so much has happened since then in the lot happened yesterday as well. We'll get to all of it in just one second first. Let's talk about an uncomfortable. Fact, you're going to die. We're all gonna die. We're all gonna plots. And when we do want to make sure that our families have money left to take care of them the best way to do that is to get some life insurance. But what do you know about buying life insurance? Do you understand life insurance? Well enough to buy it. Well, if you don't you need to check out policy genius. 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Online, the advisers policy genius handle all the red tape for you know, extra fees, no commission sales agents. Go check them out policy genius dot com. Don't be buried in a poppers grave. Check them out policy genius is the easy way to compare and buy life insurance already. So the big news of yesterday is that Jeff Bezos went to war went to war with the National Enquirer now to be perfectly accurate the National Enquirer. I one to war with Jeff visas. Now, you'll recall the Jeff Bezos is the owner of both Amazon and the Washington Post, and he has been running gun battle with President Trump for legitimately three four years now over President Trump's politics, President Trump's belief that the Washington Post is a smear machine against him. And so president from his revelled in all of the allegations about Jeff Bezos. And all of the new information that be was cheating on his wife with his next door neighbor. And now they're gonna get a divorce in his wife is going to walk away with one hundred and seventy billion dollars or something. Well, now it turns out that the National Enquirer was trying to blackmail Bezos. They had obtained photos and text messages of bees owes his crotch, basically. And then they went to those. And they said we'd like for you to stop using the Washington Post to investigate us or these photos might unfortunately leak well bees owes than just basically said, all right? Well, if you wanna play this game here, we go, and he just unzipped and put everything on the table. So yesterday in a very long post for medium dot com. He wrote. No, thank you, Mr. Packer it. There is something unbelievable about the fact that the owner of the national is named Packer which led to the headline in the New York Post as well as the Huffington Post today. B's those exposes pecker, which is a fantastic fantastic. Headline here is what Jeff Bezos to be said. So first of all just word to the wise don't blackmail a guy with one hundred and seventy billion. Dollars who also has the capacity to create today delivery for anything right and has drones like squads of drones the work for him. It's just going to go very poorly, by the way, it turns out the main distributor for the national inquirer owned by Amazon dot com. Okay. So here's what here's what he says Bezos something unusual happened to me yesterday. Actually for me. It wasn't just unusual. It was I I was made an offer I couldn't refuse or at least. That's what the top people at the National Enquirer thought, I'm glad they thought that because it embolden them to put it all in writing rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail. I've decided to publish exactly what they sent me despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten AM, I the owner of the National Enquirer led by David pecker recently entered into an immunity deal with department of Justice related to their role in the so-called catch and kill process on behalf of President Trump and his election campaign, Mr. pecker and his company have also been investigated for various actions, they've taken on behalf of the Saudi government and sometimes mister pecker mixes it altogether after Mr. Trump became president. He rewarded Mr. Packers. Loyalty with the White House Jenner switch the media executive. Brought a guest with important ties to the royals in Saudi Arabia at the time, Mr. pecker was pursuing business. There will also hunting for financing for acquisitions that is from an article from a believed the Washington Post federal investigators in legitimate media. Have of course, expected and proved that Mr. pecker has used the Enquirer and am I for political reasons, and yet AM I keeps claiming otherwise American media emphatically rejects any assertion that it's reporting was instigated dictated or influenced in any manner by external forces political or otherwise, of course, legitimate media have been challenging this assertion for a long time. And then he has a list of sources he says, I didn't know much about most of that a few weeks ago when intimate text messages from me were published in the National Enquirer, I engaged. Investigators to learn how those texts were obtain and to determine the motives for the many unusual actions taken by the inquirer, as it turns out there are now several independent investigations looking into this matter to lead my investigation entertained Gavin de Becker, I've known Mr. tobacco for twenty years. His expertise in this arena is excellent. And he's one of the smarter. And most capable leaders. I know I asked him to prioritize protecting my time since I have other things I prefer to work on to proceed with whatever budget. He needed to pursue the facts in this matter perks of being billionaire. Here's a piece of context. My ownership of the Washington Post is a complex afire for me. It's unavoidable that certain powerful people who experienced Washington Post, news coverage will wrongly conclude. I am their enemy President Trump is one of those people obvious by his many tweets also the posted essential and relents unrelenting coverage of the murder of its columnist. Dramatic shaggy is undoubtedly unpopular in certain circles back to the story several days ago. An M leader advised us that Mr. pecker is apoplectic about our investigation for reasons. Still to be better. Understood the Saudi angles seems to hit a particularly sensitive nerve a few days after hearing about Mr. Packers apoplexy we were approached verbally at first with an offer. They said they had more of my text messages and photos that they would publish if we didn't stop our investigation. My lawyers argued that am I has no right to publish photos since any person holds the copyright to their own photos and since the photos in themselves, don't add anything news. Pretty that is the case, by the way, the Peter Thiel and Hoke HOGAN made against Gawker, and basically bankrupted Gawker am is claim of newsworthiness that the photos are necessary to show Amazon shareholders that my business. Judgment is terrible. I founded Amazon in my garage twenty four years ago and drove all the packages to the post office myself today. Amazon employs more than six hundred thousand people what those results speak for themselves. Okay. Back to the threat to publish intimate photos of me. I guess we me my lawyers and Gavin de Becker didn't react to the generalized start with enough. You're so they sent this. And then the chief content officer he pays an Email from the chief content officer of AM I to the litigation counsel for tobacco about Jeff Bezos. And it says Mari leaving the office for the night. However in the interest of expiating, the situation, and with the Washington Post poised to publish unsubstantiated rumors of the Washington inquirers initial report I wanted to describe to you the photos obtained during your news gathering in addition to the below the belt selfie, otherwise colloquially known as a bleep pack, the Enquirer obtained a further nine images, and then they described the. Images, including the including images from bee's owes to his lover whose name and Sanchez and pictures of his crotch and all the rest Bezos says that got my attention, but not in the way, they likely hoped any personal embarrassment. Am I could cause me takes a back seat because there's a much more important matter involved here if in my position, I can't stand up to this kind of extortion. How many people can on that point numerous people have contacted our investigation team about their similar experiences with 'em. I and how they needed to capitulate because for example, their livelihood were at stake in the AMA letters, I'm making public. You will see the precise. Details of their extortionate proposal. They will publish the personal photos unless Gavin to Becker, and I make specific false public statements in the press that we have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AMA's coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces. If we do not agree to affirmatively publicized that specific y they'll say, they'll publish the photos and quickly and there's an associated threat, they'll keep the photos on hand and published them in the future, if we ever deviate from the UAE assured, no real journalists ever proposed anything like what is happening here. I will not report embarrassing information about you. If you do X for me, and if you don't do X quickly, I will report the embarrassing information. Nothing I'm at right here could tell the National Enquirer story as eloquently as their own words blow, and then he just dumps out all of their emails. So here is why this is relevant number one AM I was being used as a go between by President Trump during the campaign to pay off various women, and that obviously has been reported on the dot that has yet to be connected, and the one the media are jumping on here is the suggestion that President Trump both hates the Washington Post and used AM is a go between. So maybe the reason that AM I was going after bees is because visas was going after Trump. So basically, am I was afraid that Pisa's was going to discover some sort of corrupt relationship between the Saudi government, and am I on the one hand in Saudi government and the Trump administration on the other and his corrupt triangle colluded together to go after Jeff Bezos. And then am I tried to blackmail us to that notion? Apparently Becker has now been telling Rick. Quarters that he thinks that he's those text message. We're actually obtained maybe by a government source meaning that the phone wasn't hacked instead government. Data gathering allowed the Trump administration to grab the text messages. And then hand them off to AM. I obviously if that's true Trump gets impeached. Right. I mean, if that's true, then it's the end of the road for the Trump administration using government resources in order to grab the text messages of your political opposition in the reports Oriole field and then blackmail that would be the end of the line for president. I mean forget about impeachment. He'd go to jail. I mean that that's an actual crime for a variety of reasons. But beyond that, they're trying to now connect us that have not yet been connected. Nobody really understands why am I was going after Bezos? It doesn't make a lot of sense from going after bas make sense in the sense that Trump doesn't like visas he rails about him routinely. He calls it the Amazon Washington Post. He he's been going after zones for years on Twitter. But the idea that AM I was blackmailing Bezos to stop reporting about their connection with the Saudi government were they doing that on their own if they're doing it on their own interests demonstrates. We've already known which the AM I is basically just a payoff organization and is used by various rich people in order to shutdown stories. They don't like also they blackmail people. Right. This is this is pretty well known. All of this is going to come out. We're gonna find all of this out because remember that David pecker and AM I are currently in a plea arrangement with the southern district of New York into the the US district attorney for the southern district of New York. They're in a plea arrangement by which they are obligated to cooperate with the southern district of New York. So if you think that all of this is gonna stay secret. It is not I will say this all credit to be really like, I, you know, I'm a fan of Amazon, I think it's a great company. I was one of the first subscribers to Amazon prime I've been a member of Amazon since nineteen ninety eight but putting aside my own business interest in this journalist blackmailing people people blackmailing people, generally, he's really disgusting and trying to suggest that you're going to reveal personal information about someone unless they do what you want is not only a violation of law. It is a breach of basic human decency. So good for us. I mean the man can't afford to do it. And honestly, what does he have to lose at this point? People are going to see his junk, what does he care? He's the richest man on planet earth. So what really I shouldn't. He has the same junk everybody else does. And he's feeling the same way. So honestly good for bees, though, good for bees. A lot of people today are saying we'll be brought this on himself because he was cheating on his all. That's true. Right. All that's true. In terms of you shouldn't be sending text messages of your junk to other people. You shouldn't be cheating on your wife. All that's true. That is a separate issue from should personal issues be used by journalistic purportedly journalistic organizations to blackmail. You the answer, of course, is no so good for bees for exposing that that's good for the country. And frankly, it's good for it's good for the world. I mean that that is just it's well done by Jeff visas. They're all credited him. All right in the second. I want to get to the botched roll out of the green new deal by the Democrats because it is pretty wonderful. We'll get to that. In just a second. First. Let's talk about the debt you have racked up and how you can solve it. For decades. Credit cards have been telling us to buy now and pay for it later with interest despite your best. Intentions that interests can get out of control pretty quickly with Lyndon club. You can consolidate your debt or pay off credit cards with one fixed monthly payment since two thousand seven lending club's helped millions of people regain control of their finances with affordable fixed rate, personal loans, no trips to a Bank, no high interest credit cards, just go to winning club dot com. Tell them about yourself. How much you wanna borrow pick the terms that are right for you. And if you're approved your is automatically deposited into your Bank account in as little as a few days when club clubs the number one peer to peer lending platform with over thirty five billion dollars in loans issued go to lending club dot com slash Ben check that rate minutes by up to forty grand that his lending club dot com slash Ben. Once again lending club dot com slash Ben all wounds made by web Bank member FDIC, equal housing lender. Check them out lending club dot com slash Ben ensure that you are able to pay off that debt that you've been racking up and you haven't been doing enough about again, check them out at lending club dot com slash Ben. Where you can check your rate in minutes and borrow up to forty ran wants more lending club dot com slash Ben go check them out right now as I say all wounds made by webbank member FDIC, equal housing. All right. So final note on the AMA saga. So AM. I has now announced that they are going to do an investigation of themselves. So Jay's going to search for the real killer. Then that is that is very exciting stuff from AM. I obviously, it means nothing. But there are other shoes that are going to drop here. Here's the statement American media made in response to Jeff Bezos. He said American media believes fervently that it acted lawfully in the reporting of the story of Mr. Bezos further at the time of the recent allegations made by Mr. zones, it was in good faith negotiations to resolve matters with him. Nonetheless in light of the nature of the allegations published by Mr. Bezos, the board has convenient determine that it should promptly and thoroughly investigate the claims upon completion of that investigation. The board will take whatever act appropriate action is necessary. He's not making claims, he literally took her emails, and publish them. That's the whole thing as a claim that's evidence. So AM I has got some serious troubles of its own. Okay. Meanwhile, I am highly amused by the reaction of. Everyone to green new deal. So if you didn't listen to yesterday show, you should go back and listen to yesterday's show where I broke down in full detail AOC's green new deal. There's a resolution put forward on the floor of the house that was basically a series of aspirational motions about what we should do with the energy industry in the United States. And then AFC had the temerity to put online a six page summary of all the things the green new deal stood for this was a very bad things at turns out because it turns out that AOC and her team have the combined brain wattage, become quote. It was I mean, the document is Justice donning, and is one of the worst political documents. I have ever seen put together by human hands. It's it's incredibly stupid in every every aspect and yet and yet it was endorsed by every single top democrat running for president of the United States. Cory Booker Spartacus. He said excited to join AO C and Senator Ed Markey on a historic green new deal. Resolution to address the peril of climate change and worsening inequality. Our history is testimony to the treatment of what some think is impossible. We must take bold action now. And then for some reason people started drumming in the background just like in his campaign videos, row, weird Senator Elizabeth Warren says if we wanna live in a world with clean air and water we have to take real action to combat climate change. Now, I'm proud to join AO see and Senator Markey on a green new deal resolution to fight for our planet, and our kid's futures because I want to paint with all the colors of the wind Senator Elizabeth Warren, and then you had and then you had comma Harris, the brilliant newcomer from from California who spends her days going after the knights of Columbus and Spencer evenings going after gang rape allegations against brecca them shows. I'm proud to cosponsor ASEAN, Ed Markey's green new deal. We must aggressively tackle climate change, which poses an existential threat to our nation. And that wasn't all there's one more. We also had Kirsten gillibrand who said a green deal is ambitious. It's bold. And I'm co sponsoring this resolution. ASEAN Senator Markey. Because exactly the kind of action. It will take to conquer the biggest threat of our lifetime. Also, I'm against the resolution but also for the resolution, but I'm against the resolution and also for the resolution Kirsten gillibrand with her typical savoir-faire and still liberty in support for ideals. So all four senators who are currently running for president on the democratic side endorse. The green new deal Bernie Sanders had nothing to say about it. He was busy presumably eating pudding, so all of them endorse this, and none of them apparently have read anything else he has to say. And what's even more amazing that the media have not asked any of them, do they support? What's in actual statement? Remember AOC sponsored at every single one of those tweets mentions AOC because she is the fresh face so fresh so face. None of them have been asked. None of these senators have been asked about her proposals, for example, replace all air travel by rail including presumably from Hawaii, which led mazy run the Senator from Hawaii. Who was the Democrats say what? Now are he's like. And then the proposal says that we should. Pay for full benefits retirement vacation for anyone unable or unwilling to work. She says we should retrofit or replace every building in the United States in the next ten years. She says that we should get rid of Cal farce by getting rid of the internal combustion engine. All of this was put in writing we went through the entire document yesterday like word for word, and it's funny because then you have the media coverage, which has don't take her seriously. I don't take her literally just take her seriously. We shouldn't take little income on come on. Why would you? Why would you read her words? And then say, she means the words that she re that, you writes, why would you possibly do that? Here's Politico's headline v impossible green dream of Alexandra Akasha Cortez. The green new deal will never happen. The way it's laid out. And that's also kind of the point. What now way since when is somebody proposed legislation like it's not going to work the way, they say it will. But that's exactly the point. Like when you go to a modern art museum, and it's just a blank canvas in what is this? And like, it's nothing you're like, well, then what does it mean? It means nothing that's the point. Hey, this a policy proposal. So Michael run wall is a senior staff writer for political magazine. Let's get real the United States is not going to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions in ten years. The key goal of the green new deal resolution unveiled Thursday more. Real talk Americans won't get one hundred percents of its power from zero mission sources within a decade either. Another audacious green new deal goal, and we're not going to upgrade the energy efficiency of every single building in the country as the resolution proposes if we were getting all our energy from zero mission sources, it wouldn't even make sense to try. But here's one more reality check. None of it matters the official role out of the green new deal on Thursday was met with a barrage of skepticism from well fact, checkers badly intention climate trolls and desperate to save pundits all focusing on logistical and political impossibilities of transforming the economy is rapidly. The green new deal envisions and the right? It's goals really do seem impossible to achieve. But they're all missing the point if anything they're hoping the green new deals backers make their point which is that climate change is an unprecedented emergency. Okay. No. That's that's actually not what happened here. This is basically just issues a version of Republicans pounds. That's all this says it's versions its version of Ailsa put out something so ridiculously stupid that it makes her sound though. She was dropped multiple times on her head is baby. I mean, this is this proposal is so bad. It can only have been written by somebody who is mentally deficient in some way. It is it is it is seriously ridiculous proposal on its face on its face. No sane person could think otherwise. And so the comeback from the media is well, you guys are pouncing because the real point is to open mind. That's the real point is make you think to make you think, you know. It's it's a thought it's a conversation. It wasn't meant. Seriously. You know, like sponsor co-sponsor by six senators and sixty congress people know, it wasn't meant seriously. It was meant to open your mind and broaden your horizons. They I'm sorry. This isn't this isn't some sort of trip to Europe junior year of college. The legislative proposal that envisions redoing the entire United States economy, by the way, if we were to do all the things in this proposal, you noted due to climate presumably nothing seriously, nothing because if you actually spec out the impact on climate if the United States were to achieve full zero emissions, you know, what happened over the course of the next century. It would lower the temp the global temperature according to the IPC by something like zero point two degrees celsius why because it turns out that the real threats to the climate if you believe in climate change man-made climate change, the real threat to the climate is coming from not industrialized countries at this point. But. In countries like China and India who have no interest whatsoever in lowering their emissions. So none of it makes any sense. But that's not the only idiotic media. Take today. There's also the New York Times which can always be counted on to cover for the stupidity of Democrats in the reporting. We'll get to that in just a second. First. Let's talk about how you protect your internet usage. Let's talk about your own security and privacy. So maybe you're one of these people who has things that you don't want people to know about like, you wouldn't want American media international actually coming after you. Well, maybe you actually want to protect your data from hackers and spies. I don't want. My emails compromise for my credit card number online, linebacking, passwords, stolen. I don't even have pictures of my junk out there yet that happens to hundreds of millions of people every year. So how can you protect yourself the company I trust to defend my online security and privacy is expressive VPN express VPN secures. An anonymous is your connection bankrupting one hundred percents of your network data and hiding your IP address? That means nobody can record access your mind activity. Download the express VPN app on your computer or smartphone. And then just. Use the internet the same way. Normally would you click one button in the express VPN app while you're not protected express. VPN? It's great for accessing content from anywhere with VPN locations in ninety four countries and blazing fast speeds as well. Express VPN is consistently rated the world's number one VPN service for internet users. So if you want the best and online protection you want free yourself from worries about hackers and spies just head on over to express. VPN? The nice folks had expressed VPN have now extended special pricing of less than seven bucks per month to all of my fans. So visit express VPN dot com slash Benza. Claim that discount again that is expressive EPSN dot com slash Ben. To learn more. Again, they're consistently rated the world's number one VPN service for a reason and operates in the background of your computer seamlessly. It's not going to slow up your computer because they've got blazing fast speeds and VPN locations in ninety four countries. You have nothing to lose pricing, a less than seven bucks per month. Express VPN dot com slash Benza cleaner discount, again that is express VPN dot com slash Ben. To learn more. Go check it out right now. Okay. So we ready politicos take. Here's the New York Times is take your ready for this. On this idiot. Glenn that legitimately says we're going to pay people not to work, quote, Liberal, Democrats, formerly call for a green new deal giving substance to a rallying cry. Now, you may be wondering did write this piece for the New York Times. No, she didn't actually turns out. It's written by Lisa Freeman and Glenn Thrush both topnotch reporters at the wonderful incredible New York Times, listen, I listened to to have covered Liberal Democrats. Put flesh on their green new deal slogan on Thursday with a sweeping resolution intended to redefine the national debate on climate change by calling for the United States who eliminate additional emissions of carbon by twenty thirty the measure drafted by freshman Representative and Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts is intended to answer the demand by the party's restive base for grand strategy that combats climate change creates jobs and offers an affirmative response to the challenge to core party values posed by President Trump, the resolution has more breadth and detail and is so ambitious that Republicans greeted it with derision. Well, no actually greeted with derision not because jam vicious, but because. Does it legitimately has no plan for cheating anything that says it wants to achieve other than completely destroying the United States army other than that? It's great. It's legislative plus prospects are bleak in the foreseeable future. Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California has no plans to bring the resolution in its current form to the floor for vote, according to democratic leadership eight why because Nancy Pelosi still has to brain cells to rub together. But listen to listen to the New York Times as a blueprint for liberal ambition. It was breathtaking imagine that Republicans said we have a plan. Here's our plan full employment for everyone taxes of zero and abolition of seven eighths of the federal government. No details. Just that. Do you think it would be talking about how it's breathtakingly ambitious? You think that's where that would go? It's breathtakingly embassies. We media bias is. So I mean, this is nauseating, nauseating stuff nauseating. Now. It's Larry's is that the New York Times suggests that miss Pelosi Nancy Pelosi is on the wrong side of history. People online yesterday. It was delicious. I mean, it was so delicious as neon taste. Put it that. It must be fattening people online on the left were suggesting that Nancy Pelosi is now a climate denier because she was not supportive enough of the green new deal. But the New York Times reports miss Pelosi is likely mindful of her own past mistakes a decade ago. She pushed the last major climate change measure hard it ambitious Bill to cap emissions of climate warming pollution. She got a cap and trade measure through the house the next year Democrats were swept from power. So now, she's afraid, but she is letting her critics in on the left know about her own past efforts and saying she's make climate change the flagship issue of her first speakership proponents of the green New Zealand cyst that Democrats are unified Okaz, yo Cortez was said, I think it is a green dream because Pelosi kind of dismiss yesterday Pelosi said, well, you know, I'm enthusiastic here's what Nancy Pelosi had to say because she again, she's not a complete dolt when it comes to running the congress. Here's what she had to say. Yesterday about the green dream. Jio proposal it useful based. I haven't seen it. But I do know that it's enthusiastic and welcome all the enthusiasm that are out there. The green deal points out. The fact that the public is much more aware of the challenge that we face imagine good thing because the public sentiment will help us pass the most bold common denominator, volt initiatives. I'm very excited about it. All and I welcome renew deal, and then the other proposals that people have that. Okay. What she actually means. There is I welcome the green new deal. This is a very stupid thing. But I'm going to pretend to be enthusiastic because I don't want people yelling at me. That's really what she is saying there. Now, what's hilarious about all of this? What's Larry is about all of this is that I can't even keep her herself straight on what exactly this necessitate so yesterday yesterday morning? She was asked whether in fact, this green new deal would necessitate massive government intervention. And again for all the people out there saying that she is savvy and smart, I I don't know what to tell you. I I really don't. I mean, if you are of the view that is some sort of brilliant newcomer, I'm gonna play two clips in a row, and you gotta tell me how exactly she's a genius here. She goes saying that saying that maybe this might necessitate massive government intervention, as you know, congresswoman one reason that people were politically conservative or skeptical of efforts to combat climate change is that it sounds to them. Like it requires massive government intervention, which they just don't like are you prepared to put on the table that. Yes, actually there. Right. What this requires massive government intervention? It does. Yeah. I have no problem saying that fast forward about six hours. Here is A O C with meet the press is Chuck Todd one way that the right? Does try to mischaracterize what we're doing as though it's like some kind of massive government takeover. Obviously what we're trying to do is. Well, obviously, it's not that. Because what we're trying to do is release the investments from the federal government to mobilize those resources across the country. You know in the real world, we call that being a a damned liar. Raymond. We just call that being Aligarh like within six hours. She goes from sure to massive government intervention. And then after the blowback she's like, well, no, these Republicans there pelleting, they keep characterizing it as a massive government takeover, the massive government takeover to massive government intervention. But sorry sorry. I shouldn't say that is that a massive government intervention. It's unleashing investment. It's losing investment. So we're all supposed to take her seriously. We're all supposed to pretend she's not a damn liar. She's a dim liar. Because all you have to do is read the words on her own website, which were so stupid that her own campaign had to take them off website. She memory hold her own six page from Jose yesterday. But we're supposed to believe according to the media, that's an act of genius. And also we are not supposed to ask Corey Booker. Elizabeth Warren, comma, Harris or Kirsten gillibrand about any of the details in proposal. We're not supposed to ask them about that. I very rarely get angry at media bias anymore because it's just a fact of the world. It's just like the sun rising every morning, but it is absolutely stomach-turning. How disgusting the media at their job and the mainstream media who will not ask any one of the top democratic nominees? They feel about things like partial birth abortion. They won't get an answer a straight answer from any of the top democratic nominees about what should happen with sexual assault allegations against Lieutenant governor Justin Fairfax in Virginia. They won't ask anyone of these top democratic nominees if they believe that those unwilling to work should be paid for unwillingness to work, according to plan or why they think he's planning so brilliant. They're not going to be asked about a single detail to abolish air travel. They're not going to be asked about any of those things. Instead, we'll just get the New York Times assuming that it's a breathtakingly ambitious proposal. And if we look at the details, it's because we are not looking closely enough, it's because we're not looking closely enough because if you if you push away all the details, if you push with thickets of details of that six page proposal where you get to a gem a gem of genius. Which is that we should care. What absolute unbelievable horse bleep or Cal fart? I mean, it's just it's unreal. It's unreal. We're gonna get more democratic insanity in in just a second. Plus, I wanna talk about a sad piece of news from the supreme court. We'll get to that. In just one second. I you're going to have to go. Subscribe over daily wire dot com for nine hundred nine month. You can subscribe over a daily wire one you do you got the rest of the show live yet to additional hours of me every single day. I mean, we are working our fingers to the bone everyday to bring you that show in the afternoon, and I will say, it's pretty awesome. We had a lot of good fun with our subscribers yesterday during the breaks. I take questions during some of the wrecks, and it is a blast. You're going to want to be part of that. Also, you could those questions during the daily wire state of the union backstage, we have one coming up for the Oscars as well. That's going to be awesome. And we have our Sunday special which allows you to get the if you're a subscriber you get the last question of the Sunday special. You can't get it. And also you get a day early. So becomes the Saturday special for you are next Sunday special. There's another none other than the Greg Gary Sinise. And if you're a subscriber you and only you can watch that episode of full day early not only that upcoming Sunday, special episodes will be available on Saturday. But only if you are a daily wire subscriber. So what exactly are you waiting for click to subscribe, you will indeed thank me later. And again, get the annual because the annual is better than the monthly because it comes along with this. The very greatest beverage vessels the long sought after rarely obtained leftist yours hot or cold tumbler only one way to get it. And that is to become a subscriber go check that out right now also subscribed to us that youtuber itunes. Leave us a rating. Leave us a review we always appreciate we are the largest fastest growing conservative podcast and radio show in the nation. One of the things that is. So I mean, you feel like you're being gassed by the media. It feels like you're being gasoline. It feels like they the the term gasoline comes from an actual movie called gaslight in which a in which a woman basically is driven mad by her husband. And the reason it's called gas lighting is because what he does to drive crazy is every evening. He lowers the lights on the lamps. And then he tells her that the lighter not actually lower on the lamps. Right. He lowers lights on the lamps. And then she looks around. She. She's like why is it seemed darkened or says, it seems to me and the whole point is to drive for crazy. That's what the media are doing every single day. And they're doing it particularly about a OC because they are declaring her the fresh face. They're giving her twenty minutes on MSNBC this morning. They are pitching her. They literally pitched for all day on MSNBC. They running counter on the bottom of their of their screen, saying eight hours until we interview the brilliant magnificent Tayo say they put her on the covers of magazines how many covers of magazines Malania Trump done recently. But I mean, forget that how many how many covers of magazines. Has at least stuff Anik who is a very young Republican congresswoman how many how many has she done right shoes. First elected at the age of thirty. She's now thirty four she's also from New York have you ever heard of her? Of course, not. But we have been told that ANC is deeply important figure in democratic politics. And then when you come on how dumb she is than it's you're obsessed with her maybe if you guys would I mean, it's just gas lighting and just basic gas lighting, so Democrats are going to have to own. You got you broke it you bought a guys you broke it. It's yours now. So you're going to have to own comments like this. Here's AFC yesterday explaining that ice should be abolished and does not deserve one dime of funding here to say that an agency like ice which repeatedly, and systematically, violates human rights does not deserve time. They do not deserve a dime until they can prove that they are honoring human rights until they can make a good faith effort to expand an embrace immigrants until they can prove good faith to an American ideal. They do not deserve any resources for their radical agenda. Unbelievable. So we're going to abolish. But then she goes even further, and then she says, you know, what forget about abolishing is what if we just didn't have a border, basically, what if it turned out that everybody who is descended from Latinos or from native Americans the can't commit crimes in the United States. Let's just assume everyone in the United States legally is not actually here illegally because their ancestors were here before we were. So here's here. She is legitimately making the argument. We didn't cross the border the border crossed us which full on the Rosza radical argument here. She is making that argument yesterday publicly in front of microphones, but we're all supposed to ignore it because we only pay attention when eo see is on the cover of a magazine smiling. Or when she's dancing on rooftop. We don't pay any attention to the dumb crap that falls out of her mouth on a regular basis. We are standing on native land and Latino people are descendants of native people, and we cannot be told and criminalized simply for our identity or our status. Okay. Quick quick note. Latino people are not all descendants of native people if by native people should means people. Who occupied the continental United States? There are lots of new. There are lots of people by the way who are from, you know, like south and Central America, and whose ancestors came from there. So the notion that everybody coming up from Honduras is actually a descendant of person who's living in Arizona in seventeen twenty two is obviously untrue. But it's also a dumb argument where sovereign nation we've control of our own borders. But according to her no will any of the other Democrats be asked about that any of them. Of course, not one of the one of the great annoyances that I have with the way the media covered these things if a Republican does something bad ever Republicans asked whether they agree or disagree and has asked to own it or disown it when Democrats something bad, then every democrat is asked whether they like cheese right there just random questions that have nothing to do with the topic. And they're never there's never any follow up questions. So yesterday, for example, Kamla Harris who is the Democratic Front runner for the twenty twenty nomination. She was asked about the situation with Justin Fairfax in Virginia who has now been credibly accused of sexual assault. And she says that the accuser is credible. But she does not call for Fairfax's resignation. Now, the natural follow up question would be and should be weird because you've talked to Brett Cavanaugh should be disqualified from the supreme court by an accusation alone. Does that follow up question happen? Of course, not I think that the. The letter written by the woman reads as a credible account. And I think there should be an investigation to get to the bottom of it and determine the fast, certainly her letter reads as is quite detailed and suggested there's credibility there. But there needs to be an investigation to determine what exactly happened? Oh, interesting investigation. Well, I don't remember you saying that an investigation would be enough to exonerate Cavanaugh. In fact, there wasn't FBI investigation and found nothing, and then you still called for him not to be put on the supreme court. So in other words, lady earleir, but nobody asks you a follow up question because that's the way this nonsense works Democrats can say whatever stupid garbage, they want to say six months ago. And then when they say precisely the opposite, no questions can say two opposite things in the course of eight hours, and there will be no follow up questions. She can release a proposal so bad that makes a hamster book like a great legislator. I mean that. Puzzle. Yesterday was so bad that you know, they say that, you know, a thousand monkeys type in front thousand years might eventually be able to type all of Shakespeare interro. No monkeys would ever be able to create that proposal given an infinite amount of time. It is too stupid for the animal kingdom that proposal. It is just dumb, but we're any of the Democrats and the Democrats openly owned it, they openly said, I mean, it's it's so maddening the Democrats openly tweeted we love this proposal. It's great. And then the proposal comes out and do the media even ask them. So how do you feel about like a bashing air travel? How do you how where where are you on the issue of paying people who are unwilling to work where are you on the issue of plant a lot of trees? That's what it actually says. We're are you on Cal farts? What a joke. What a joke. Our media are. I mean, there's no one takes them seriously. And they shouldn't take them seriously. All right. Let's let's get to some mail bag because I need to calm down. So let's let's do some unrelated stuff for a second. Oh, yeah. Yeah. It is. It's it's absolutely frustrating to see some of the dumbest. In the world says some of the dumbest things and then be as the smartest people in the world by some of the dumbest people in the world that that that's a summary of our current political situation. All right. So mailbag time David says, hi, Ben major fan. I really appreciate all the great work. Do I go to UCSD I headed discussion with my professor regarding unconscious bias and discrimination. And I held that affirmative action policies make generalizations based on race that are unnecessary given accessibility to individual information of applicants he's I rented me to a number of sociological studies that seemed to demonstrate racial discrimination in employment. Hiring with the disparities in response to white and black applicants being statistically significant over the last couple of decades. Well, I can think of some alternative explanations that it can explain away some of the relation the data seemed to be reliable. I was wondering what your opinion was on the sociological research. I don't believe in anti-discrimination laws, I'm libertarian, but I'm not sure I can ignore some of the data. Thanks for all you do. Okay. Well, a couple of things first of all since I don't have the exact studies that you are referring to here. It's hard for me to respond. I don't want to give short shrift to sociological studies that I have not I will say this the sociological studies that are most. Often cited things that suggest for example, that people with black first names get hired less often than people with white. I names are ignoring other studies that also suggest that if he's black last names white last names, there is no discrimination. In other words, what people are discriminating against is an assumption that may or may not be justified about culture and not in assumption about race per se. In other words, if you're gonna receive an application from a Jewish person, and it were to say on the application Yuccas go as a first name and then your receive an application from a Jewish person. Just a David you might treat those two applications differently. Because because go probably implies the person keeps Sabbath and is not going to be able to work from Friday night to Saturday night. For example. That's because one is a Hebrew name, and one is named that also applies in English the same thing can apply to first names. So if that's the study you're talking about that's my response to that study as far as antidiscrimination law. My feeling is that if people are being dumb enough not to hire productive black citizens. Then that's a competitive advantage for a lot of businesses. That are willing to hire competitive black citizens. So I'm I'd like to see the sociological studies, frankly before I analyze them again. I don't want to give short shrift to studies that I haven't read that's sort of the basic response. And also again, affirmative action programs would not actually counter man, the unwillingness to use individual data very often people are using generalized data about groups because they're not allowed to ask about individual data. So for example, the Obama administration refused to allow federal contractors to ask about prior criminal status for people. They were hiring this led to less black employment. Why because a lot of companies were simply using group data on prison statistics instead of individualized data about whether this person went to jail in the absence of individual data Melissa's, Mr. Shapiro. My husband, and I have very different opinions on how the twenty twenty election will pan out. I think that the Democrats have been United by such loathing for Trump that they will come out in droves to vote in two thousand twenty my husband thinks that Trump defile Ajit again because that's just what he does. What do you think? Well, I'm not a big fan of the we'll defy odds in spite of data it just. Because there's a seventy thirty shot that Hillary was gonna win the last election that doesn't mean the thirty percent doesn't exist. Seventy percents is not one hundred percent. So it wasn't impossible for Trump to win. It was very unlikely he would win. And in fact, he did buck. The odds by losing by two and a half million votes in the popular vote, and then running an extraordinarily narrow gauntlet twin three separate states by combined total of eighty thousand votes. I think that Trump does have an uphill battle. But that said could Democrats blow it you bet your ass? They could blow it there's a new poll out today from Optimus that shows that in the national race between Donald Trump and comma Harris, it is Trump forty five Harris forty four all Democrats had to do was not be bat bleep insane. And they just couldn't do it. They just can't stop themselves. They are this crazy. And Michael says, greetings, Mr. Schapira. I'm writing essay on common stereotypes of conservatives. And how it is harmful to the group I seek your advice on what you believe are those common stereotypes, there's one that has been put out by Eric from it's been used for now sixty years, basically, suggesting that conservatives are authoritarian that they have too much respect for authority, and therefore they're big fans of governor. Telling people what to do that is a lie. Conservatism is about limited government we ever specked for moral authority. But that does not mean that we have lots of respect for governmental authority, very very different thing. The there also stereotypes about how conservatives are racist and bigoted, and sexist and homophobic, again, those stereotypes are unjustified by the realities, but it is simply a way for the left to suggest that the politics with which disagree are motivated as opposed to simple disagreements Stevens says, hey, Ben, what do you do to decompress when you're frustrated this podcast? Right. This radio show. I yell at people. But but really what do I do? Well, you know, same things everybody else does presumably I I watch TV. I go home. And I practiced violin and play music. Mostly I play with my kids. That's that's the best way to decompress. I put down my phone is. Honestly, the best thing you can do like thank God for Sabbath because Sabbath is necessary over says Hello, Ben have you asked forgiveness from Michael Knowles Yom Kippur for bullying him for years. No, I pay him. No. Why would he should ask forgiveness for me considering that his productivity has significantly? Lacked behind what what exactly we pay him? He owes me a constant apology on a daily basis. Stephanie says, hey, Ben in your opinion. Why do you think African Americans align themselves with Democrats when largely they're socially conservative, especially when it pertains to abortion, transgenderism, etc. Well, I'm not sure that they are socially conservative on abortion, their socially conservative on same sex marriage. And transgenderism is is what I've seen from the poles. Not sure that's the case on abortion African Americans. Historically, speaking started to align with the Democratic Party long before the nineteen sixties Civil Rights Act and welfare programs came into effect. They started to do the FDR administration. And then they continued to do. So over the years as the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act move forward and mainly as a lot of welfare programs began to come on. Because why not I mean, if you're disproportionately receiving government benefits, then why wouldn't you vote for an increase in those government benefits, but to suggest that that is solely due to the politics of the nineteen sixties to ignore the trend lines which began in the nineteen thirties of. Black Americans moving away from the Republican party and the Democratic Party in large numbers. Samuel says Ben how do you suggest young people get involved in local politics, successfully, we'll get involved in local politics. I mean, the here's the nice thing about local politics. No, one cares about them. All you have to do apparently is when fifteen thousand votes in the primary, and you become the most powerful congress person in America, which is what happened AFC. So local politics can matter as long as you also have social media savvy tempers has been huge fan. I'm senior at a private Catholic high school today, we were discussing poverty and its causes. And I being an outspoken person brought up your points for how not to stay in the United States and how cultures in cyclical poverty stricken areas have reinforced these bad habits. My opponents insinuated I was racist. And my generalizations were disrespectful to the poor. And bathing this issue in any good sources, I could reference. Yes. I always referenced the Brookings institute. The census bureau has numbers that prove that this is the case every study ever done his shown that single motherhood is linked to intergenerational, poverty and crime. And again when people suggest a your first response should be. Well, you're jackass because you have no evidence. Racist. You just want to ignore the point of my argument. It's it's really a pathetic move by people to say that when you say, you know, people should make responsible decisions to avoid poverty. And then they respond by calling you racist that that somehow. Okay. It is not okay. It is nasty. It is gross in. It is on justifiable. Racist says, hey, Ben was a seventeen year old conservative from Vermont. I was wondering how you think generation Z will affect voting in the country over time since for our age, we are pretty conservative. I know also many others my HR secretly conservative. I wonder if you think this would affect polling data, I think over time it will. I think there's a backlash to the P C S J W culture, mainly because they're so boring and annoying. Honestly, there are there any less fun people than the s j w class on college campuses. And in the media and people who make you feel like you have to look over your shoulder every minute of every day. So you have not offended. They're shifting moral standards. That apparently do not include killing babies up two point of birth. But do include random microaggressions that they justified in the last two minutes, David says haven, thanks for spending more than six hours of of your state of the union Tuesday in front of a camera for our pleasure. Best ninety nine bucks. I've ever spent. Thank you, David. Appreciate it. I noticed that Trump said in the address his administration was in negotiations with the Taliban. How if at all do we reconcile this with the US's policy? We do not negotiate with terrorists. Thanks. I don't think we can frankly, I think negotiating with Taliban mistake, I think that we should have gone in. And we should have basically installed a dictator and gotten out because democracy is not going to flourish in Afghanistan. Now, you can install a dictator who is friendlier to particular rights that we hold dear. This is the case in for example, Qatar the United Arab Emirates, the those areas of the world are dictatorships that have respect for certain basic rights like freedom of religion in a way that a lot of democracies so called democracy, like HAMAs STAN in the Gaza Strip. Obviously do not does that mean that's the ideal. No, it's not the ideal. But to pretend that every culture and every tribal situation is equally prepared for democracy that will end with a Neo liberal style. Democracy is just foolhardy and untrue. Charles has I'm a first year medical student starts in August. How did you and your wife manage loans from school? Are there any books? Recommend on the subject. Thanks loved the show. I mean, I'll be honest with this. I paid off my wife's medical school loans as we went. I was already earning. I was a little older, and she was so I was already in the workforce. And we spent an awful lot of money as we went through with me like paying off bills. We went so she came out of medical school that free. But that is because we were a couple already as far as taking loans. You know, there's some people like Dave Ramsey who say suggest that you shouldn't take loans even for medical school. You should go out and work for a few years build up. You're you're you're not basically, and then go out and spend that on medical schooling. I'm not of the opinion that that is necessary. But you know, you find the Welsh interest loan you can and then don't get behind on the payments. If you have to take a side job, you take a side job every says, I'm a freshman and James Madison university in multiple classes this year professors have used the two thousand eight financial crisis as evidence that the free market must be regulated. They say the conservative government's leading up to the crisis and the deregulation of financial markets directly caused the recession is this characterization of events. Correct. No is not correct. Hey deregulation of the financial markets combined with. Massive government intervention in the financial markets is what caused this. So the United States does not have a full scale free market system. It has closer to a corporate system in which government policy skews incentives. So to take an example, the subprime mortgage crisis that was caused that melted down beginning in two thousand seven and then extending into two thousand eight that was caused largely by the government, guaranteeing loans from particular from particular companies because they wanted more minority homeowners to get into houses at subprime mortgage rates. Prime mortgages were created for people with poor credit scores who wanted to get into housing, and the government prop this up. The government was happy tobacco out of those loans through Fannie Mae, and Freddie MAC, and then all those went belly up. It turns out a lot of people were going bankrupt. Now, what happened is that while there was still demand that was artificially boosted by the federal government than the basic assumption made by the market forces was, okay. Well, let's say we give alone subprime loan and somebody doesn't pay off. While we go back, and we seize the house, we flip it and the next week. We sell it for more. So we don't actually lose money on the deal. That's only true as long as the market keeps going up. So they were slicing and dicing all these subprime mortgages. And they're creating derivative products where they were combining the subprime mortgages with higher value mortgages, and then grading all of it. A plus basically and selling it on the open market. That's why it had ramifications. When all the subprime mortgages melted down. It took down all these derivatives with them those derivatives have been used in trades by a variety of financial firms and those financial firms went bankrupt off the back end. So when people say that it was really about glass, steagle and hedge funds being able to both invest and also to do banking. It really wasn't about that. It was about the government skewing the incentives in creating a false bubble that eventually burst because people were being told that there was no consequence if they put out a mortgage to a person who could not pay back the mortgage, it was Fannie Mae, and Freddie MAC all the way that was really involved in causing the subprime mortgage crisis. And then as far as government interventionism, it is probably true that absent government interventionism in order to. Save those financial firms the fallout from the meltdown is broader and wider. It is also true that maybe if that fallout had been a little bit broader and wider it would have taken down a lot of the irresponsible financial firms. But again, the problem with government involved systems that the solution very Offerman is very often. Unfortunately to prevent further fallout is more government involvement, which is exactly what happened. Okay. Final question that see Amelia says hi, Ben, I recently got into an argument with someone regarding the gender pay gap. I told her that the statistics, she stated didn't include factors like job, choice, hours, etc. Her about it was that further. Studies were conducted included these factors and have the same determination. I know this is wrong. But I want solid evidence to prove my point. I'm asking for a few good resources. I can turn you for this argument. Well, Heather McDonald's has written extensively about this. Christina have summers has written extensively about this. I do not know of a single study that takes into account gender gender inequities in job taking in number of hours worked in time in the workforce. I I don't really really I don't know of. Single study that takes into account all of those things that suggest that the gender pay gap is for example, Twenty-three cents on the dollar, which is the which is the proposal of many of the folks who are pushing this nonsense. Okay. Time for some things. I like, and then some things that I hate so things that I like today. So sees green new deal proposal is basically the fire festival. It's we're all gonna party it up on a beach. How how are we gonna pay for it? We're not gonna pay for guys all you have to think about is your shared prosperity. That's all that matters. And that was the pitch of the fire festival. So there's a great documentary over a Netflix on the fire festival aptly titled fire. Here's a little bit of the preview. In the Bahamas. The mice insane festival. The world has ever seen island getaway turned disaster became very are bear. This wait until you see what year getting yourselves into. American rappers Yarwood isn't the Bahamas with his business partners. Really McFaul amazing entrepreneur he could convince anyone pretty much anything. They just bought an island hobble Escobar's island. Oh my God. We're going to talk. He didn't forty eight hours a sold out. These guys are either completely full or the smartest guys in the room. Well, then then there you have it the green new deal on an island. Basically, everybody ended up living in tents and beating each other up for bottles of water so worked out just spectacularly over at the fire festival well-done everybody. And I guess we can apply that nationally now. And we will basically ANC is Billy McFarland that right hanging out with all the cool. People genius salesperson also complete fraud, but we're supposed to ignore all that because it's breathtaking in tension. You know, what else was breathtaking emission the fire festival. It ended quite poorly. Okay. Time for a quick thing that I hate. The thing that I hate today. I'm old enough to remember when people like me, meaning me when people like me. Suggested that perhaps John Roberts would be a bad pick for the supreme court because he did not have an established record on key issues. And then there are people like me who suggested the breath Cavanaugh also may not have been the world's best pick for the supreme court because his record was a little bit spotty on certain issues, like for example, abortion. Well, now, it turns out that this court has ruled in favor of left in a key case from Louisiana according to Morrissey over at hot air, he says say weren't five four decisions supposed to go the other way. Now chief Justice John Roberts sided with the four liberals on the supreme court to issue a stay on the tough new abortion law in Louisiana. It's temporary. But it's curious a divided supreme court stopped Louisiana from enforcing new regulations on abortion clinics and a test of the conservative courts views on abortion rights. The justices said by five four vote late Thursday, they will not allow the state to put into effect a law that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Chief Justice John Roberts joined the courts four liberals and putting a hold on the law, pending a full review of the case. And then it turns out that. Brad Kavanagh also wrote in dissent that the situation was not ripe for the courts scrutiny. He said between us the case largely turns on the intensely factual question of whether three doctors can obtain admitting privileges. If we denied the stay the question could be readily and quickly answered without disturbing the status quo or causing harm to the parties or the effective women and without this courts further involvement at this time. So basically, he his logic actually spelled out the same logic as John Roberts. He just dissented. But the bottom line is it looks like Robertson Cavanaugh are the new swing votes on the on the supreme court and that the replacement of Kennedy with cavenaugh and the replacement of I'm trying member who went down for for Roberts to to take over. But in any case, the the putting of John Rao, whose Rehnquist I think it was Rehnquist re rank was going down Roberts taking over that did not result in a new right wing majority on the supreme court or even and constitutionalist majority on the supreme court and ended up with two center moderates who are now a new swim. Block on the court. So well done everybody. Well, done every we'll find out the final result of this. But relying on supreme court to protect all your hopes and dreams when it comes to the pro life position is a fool's errand. All right. Well, we'll be back. Your later today for two more hours. We got a lot coming up on today's radio show. You're gonna wanna subscribes you can listen or listen live on your radio station, depending on where he left go. Check that out. Otherwise, we will see you here next week make sure to tune in for Sunday special and subscribe, so it becomes a Saturday special with Gary Sinise world famous actor and terrific director, go check that out. We'll see you here on Monday. I'm Ben Shapiro. This is the Ben Shapiro show. The Ben Shapiro show is produced by sending Villarreal executive producer, Jeremy boring, senior producer Jonathan. Hey. Our supervising producer is Mathis Glover, and our technical producer is Austin Stevens. Edited by Adam sigh of its audio is mixed by micro Meena Herron makeup is by just over production. Assistant Nik Sheehan. The Ben Shapiro show is the daily wire production copyright, daily wire twenty thousand nine is over on the Matt wall show today. We're gonna talk about of course, the green new deal which was unveiled by Alexandra. Okay, zero Cortez. It is hilarious. It's also terrifying. It's stupid. It's insane. It's childish, it's so many things. And so we'll go through it point by point. Also, speaking of Cortez. She claimed yesterday that all Hispanic people have a natural birthright to enter the US because all of them are really native Americans and that is a completely wrong claim. And it's also ironic coming. From her. And I'll explain why today over on the Matt Welsh show.

President Trump Jeff Bezos United States president Ben Shapiro Amazon New York Times David pecker National Enquirer Washington Post Kamla Harris Nancy Pelosi Saudi government Senator Ed Markey Jeff visas
Ep. 386: The Ugly Center

Don't Worry About The Government

1:18:33 hr | 1 year ago

Ep. 386: The Ugly Center

"Yeah. Hello again. Welcome back to don't worry about the government. My name is Chris November now and joining me on this show in just a little bit will be Brian how sin, but before we get started. Let me do a little bit of updating from the last episode. Let's take a look at Virginia politics. How're things going in Virginia. It appears not well since our last episode the Lieutenant governor has now faced charges of sexual assaults with a sexual encounter from back in two thousand four and the attorney general of the state of Virginia has come forward and said that he also did black face in the nineteen eighties as part of a Curtis blow character. And I I guess going for the Ralph north in defense of if you do a really good impression. It's it's not like the Klan hood thing. Yeah. It's pretty bad. I mean other things that we're starting to see here too. We have another member of booth Virginia Republican party who was editing yearbook that had pictures with black face in it. There was a reporter who was in a waiting room at the university of North Carolina and just thumbing through a yearbook and found black face and esoteric Jeff says on Twitter, this is probably going to be one of these things where they're going to keep going through your books, and they're going to keep fighting really bad and damaging photos from a whole bunch of people in the nineteen eighties and a whole bunch of that boomer generation because as I said on the last episode, this is not a one off thing. I think the weird narrative that you're seeing from like, let's say David French that oh, we all knew the black face was bad, bad, bad bad. Well, you know, sometimes we know that things are bad bad, bad bad. But. We still do them. And that is clearly what was happening with black face in the nineteen eighties. And also why you know would people were like, oh, you know, you can't accuse brick have Nov being that kind of creep in the nineteenth. Well, you know that kinda guy was hanging around the nineteen eighties. As it turns out that kind of guy probably was hanging around in Virginia. Emotive also been doing black face on various weekends. And so let's pivot to the other part of the story Lieutenant governor just in Fairfax. So since then I wanna make sure that I've got all the beats of this. Right. And if I get something wrong, please hit me up at christova Marino on this just in Fairfax face in acusations, what happened with this is the allegation appeared in big league politics that was the publication that also was responsible for the Ralph north photo. And we found out. This would be a real interesting wrinkle if this ends up starring to be a bit of brush. Fire of old yearbooks being trolled up. We found out that the photo for Ralph Northam was produced by a medical school classmate who was aware of the photo and had been sitting on the photo. But was very very upset that Ralph Northam said what he said on abortion. So the photo in and of itself, not really necessarily a problem. But that abortion Bill that horrible horrible borsch Bill. That was a reason to bring out the photo to bring down. Ralph north of this is not profiles in courage, and there's just it appears there's just a lot of sleazy shit going on right now and a lot of sleazy shit that is going on behind the scenes, which is why I think it's a good idea for people to be holding fire right now, there's a lot of moving pieces, and we're not seeing all the pieces in play so back to Fairfax as things. Things are transpiring with Ralph Northam. There is a meeting on Super Bowl Sunday. Shout out to Ralph Northam trying to go for that world's best boss. Calling an emergency meeting during the Super Bowl that involve Fairfax. Apparently, it didn't go very well. And the next day in Corey stewards, publication, big-league, politics or a publication. That course Stewart is affiliated with this Xaver Jin Republican who is also who's run for the governor's office is a lot of dirty politics going on in this all of a sudden, they publish this allegation. It's anonymous, and we find out that at one point this was floated in the Washington Post and the Washington Washington Post decided that they were not going to run the story because they were not able to substantiate it so the person making the allegation made the claim they went to Fairfax. Fairfax denied the claim that went back to the person they said, do you have anything to corroborate this? Claim she had nothing in fairness to her. She has given a specific place in his Pacific time. Fairfax does not deny that they win the room. Actually. In fact, neither of them deny that they had the encounter that they had at least in the beginning as consensual it. There is a dispute over what happened at the tail end of the encounter. I'm not going to get like, hyper graphic with this description. Suffice it to say that is sort of the nitty gritty here in. That's really we're all the the action would be if you were going to do anything on it and barring that and even barring any sort of examples being produced at the time, which is about a year ago when it was approached at the Washington Post of corroborating evidence, you know, for example, with Christine Blasi Ford, you have the psychologist accounts, you have friends who were told about this. I I mean, there are other people along the way who knew about this. Most notably the psychiatrists stuff from when the couple was having trouble six years ago in this came up in was named specifically back then I mean, there's just a lot of contemporaneous stuff that suggests that stands of Christine Blasi Ford story a lot more than this story. Now. Now, this person has come forward she's been named and because the story has to get really weird. And this again goes back to why I say hold fire. Let's just get all the facts. And you don't need to be first to still be right? There's actually no reward for being. I there isn't. This would be a good thing for news to really get down here. No reward for being first on this one. So Fairfax's now hired Kavanagh's, lawyers, and this person has hired Christine Blasi Ford's lawyers. So everything's all over the place. Now. Now, if there are other allegations against Fairfax that could be a problem however for the Cusack. A mean, a big problem is that the Cusack has had a year to get corroborating evidence on this. And the accuser is back. The second time now at a very problematic time with no additional corroborating evidence. I mean, obviously, it wouldn't get convicted in a court of law, but we're in the court of public opinion. Right. Well, I keep doing this in my head and like, sir. The best analogy I've got for. This would be like if I lobbied allegation on Justin Fairfax. And I said something to the effect of Justin. Fairfax came into my house on December twenty third and he took the sixty four and my prized possession, my copy of virtual wrestling to very specific allegation. I joe. Don't have any evidence to back that up though and Fairfax's denying it. Now, if I could prove that I pictures of the sixty four and the cartridge that would move the needle, obviously. But I have no evidence that I ever owned. It's before that I ever had virtual paroling to my friends came forward and could corroborate that they had seen the in sixty four in virtual pool wrestling too. There's nothing there, and I certainly don't fault the Washington Post for not running this. I in fact, I think there have been other outlets that have been fairly irresponsible with the stories. They've been willing to run on this because of shifting journalism standards and wanting to be sensitive on this issue. I completely appreciate that. I think there should be an investigation. I think it's really unfortunate that viewers for Fairfax. And for the accuser. The same lures that were involved with cavenaugh and blahsy Ford, namely because conservatives rhetorically now are scoring points, and Murph Murph Murphy ING at all us left of center because here's like the dirty little thing. So they're like, oh, well the rules going to be sued defensive with Fairfax. Now that you know, we have the same lawyers for Christine Bazi Ford, and the conceit there should be there. Boy Kavanagh's guilty or they should have the courage of conviction to come out and say, they believe Fairfax is innocent. But what the conservatives are trying to do is have it both ways and encourage the liberal semi circular convex firing squad where we all fire at each other here. So don't take the bate from them as their concerned trolling on this thing. Let's wait and see what else comes out with Fairfax right now. I I need more information. I and not enough day. Data is available for me to have an opinion on this. Obviously, if it's true, it's horrible. And if it's not one hundred percent above board. It's also horrible. And we'll just have to see what happens, and then let's just stay on the subject of sex related things here before I go to the conversation between myself, and Brian I would be remiss to leave without talking about what happened tonight with Jeff basis and the National Enquirer in this is a heck of a story and a very complicated one. So as we know our President, Donald Trump, find guy, wonderful guy. Nice guy really doesn't like Jeff basis calls them. Jeff Boza calls the Washington Post, the Amazon Washington Post went to the postmaster general last year and wanted the postmaster general to up the fees on Amazon he was actually trying to use the federal government to try to mess. In the affairs of Amazon, this is wildly inappropriate stuff. And so people go your objections to him or just Orangemen bad stuff. Like that. Like, that's nuts. The president shouldn't be doing this. And I think the reason we don't worry about actions like that more from Trump paradoxically is because we don't take this person seriously enough, which is bizarre. Why would you have him in the White House in the first place? So Trump's at this axe to grind against Amazon for a long time. And Jeff Bezos is now going through this divorce this divorce that in no small part was started. By the fact that the national quieter got very interested in Jeff Jesus's life and was able to get these photos of Jeff Bezos sleeping with a loss. Angeles news reporter, and that's not as wife and she upset she filed for divorce. I mean, you know, the the part of this is he got caught sheeting and the business. Of this is such that if he ever crossed that line and got caught doing it makes all the sense in the world for her to divorce him, even if she still loves him. Maybe they can work it out. But get the money. I get it. I get it. So she's getting the money. And now he's is going through divorce, you know, his Gelman once again, but he's also a little bit on till, you know, holidays when you go through a break up, and you know, if those starts would be dull stars on the with. Well, here we go. We got David pecker. And he started something with him on this. And he started investigating Jeff Bezos and the Washington Post inventive just visas. Not directed by Jeff Jesus at all was looking into the National Enquirer in David Packers role in all of these bizarre Saudi arabi- of puff pieces. A bunch of the magic kingdom not to be confused with this you, and they're putting all this content about Saudi Arabia and how wonder. Careful. Saudi arabia. Wasn't you know, raised a few eyebrows. Like, maybe the Saudis are filtering money into the national choir to get puff pieces on them. That's basically running propaganda. So we're moving into sort of a nebulous legal sort of territory with what the National Enquirer was doing and dishing to catch and kill and over by the way, they have the standing agreement with the southern district of New York that they were going to cooperate. And as we talked about on the show before when you have an agreement with the southern district of New York, you have to come clean on everything ever done. It's it's the confessional. Come to Jesus you can receive forgiveness from your Lord and savior, the southern district of New York. If if only you get on, your knees, genuflect, and tell us everything well pecker apparently met what they were looking for and they got a non-prosecution agreement. But one of the key things inside that non-prosecution agreement was that pecker and his company AM I need to. Not commit any crimes for the next three years. And they also need to be one hundred percent truthful about everything that they have been doing it looks like they have committed a crime and looks like they have not been one hundred percent truthful. And so let's get to that crime. Now. So Jeff Bezos as I was saying, there's the Saudi Arabia article in the Washington Post Jeff visas receives a very interesting piece of written communication from the National Enquirer saying we have a hold of. Let's cut right to the chase dick pics other pictures, well, but dick pics, we're going to publish your Johnson. We're going to put that into the National Enquirer unless unless you kill the story in the Washington Post about American media international and Saudi Arabia, and Jeff Jesus who is not my favorite person in the world. I'd Amazon is a company that I think is a problem at a company. I think we need to break down big banks. We need to. Down big tech. There's a lot of things that need to get broken down. We need some trust bus. We need a little twenty-first-century. Teddy Roosevelt going on here. That's another conversation for another day. But Jeff visas to infinite credit said, oh, you're gonna come after me the hell with that. I'm coming after you. He our team of investigators and his team ultimately decided that the answer was go public with this. Jeff visas puts out this extended medium oracle today, where he talks about what's happening. We get to see the letters. We get to see spelled out the offer too good to refuse apparently. Or at least. That's what American media international thought and peppers people thought. But as it turns out Jeff visas, like, dude, I'm like, really rich. And you know, when you really get down to it's like, my penis. Would you know, how bad is this really, right? Unless it's, you know, horribly deformed it's going to be an average size, and he still. Still Jeff Bezos, the richest guy in the world t looks the way he looks you. Either are good with that. And the money is like, whoa. I like the money or you're not right. I mean, the shot isn't going to change anything. I don't know what the hell they were thinking this. This is very dumb. I mean, you can get into. I don't know what the hell. They were thinking we've told me for continuing to have business relationships with the Ukraine going into twenty eighteen after he had been indicted by molar in he had tried to reach a plea agreement with mower. I mean, it starting to look like now say would be here guys this this is one of my while. There's that Trump and the people use OC with are not as smart as they are urgent just throwing that one out there. So Beeson says no I'm coming after you. We're put this out there. And the Washington Post story is going to continue to click along and where this gets really into. Interesting is there's the insinuation. Although right now, it is just the insinuation that part of this was at the direction of Donald Trump. And if that was the case, I mean. Look we've been talking about impeachment for a while here. But. There are new things all the time that keep adding up and the way things keep playing out in the southern district of New York. He's been so obsessed with Muller. He didn't even really appreciate how out of pocket things were getting in New York state. And now, I think it is too late, and he's already been effectively named an unindicted co-conspirator involving stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal AM, I in the past, and here's AM, I again, you know, at this for the best case scenario for Donald Trump is that it's just all at the direction of Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabia and the Saudi Arabian government was behind the hacking Jesus's phone, oh, this is a really interesting wrinkle in the beezus thing too. So beezus phone, I just said hacked, not hacked. That's where it gets interesting Pisa's team believes that it was a government actor that was involved in this and what I. Hearing bandied about earlier was either m I five or massad and massad. Very interesting twist. We'll see what happens lot moving pieces still here say with this story that's going to be really interesting. I guess one. Last thing we talk about Tulsi Gabbard having technical issues on this episode with her campaign obvious, let that stand, but it's worth noting that Tilson Gabbard also gave what can only be described as a disastrous appearance on morning Joe here this morning, and she got asked about Assad number of times, and her answers were reminiscent of Donald Trump's interview with Jake tapper stayed the union where Donald Trump was getting asked about David Duke and simply couldn't come up with. He's a bad guy. I don't like him Tulsi Gabbard not being willing to say that. Sods Navasero that Assad is not an ally. Deflecting on this multiple multiple times that terse smile that pulled little smile of hers in you can call him, whatever you like. That went really bad, and she'll try to say that she was blindsided on it. And I just think that that's completely ridiculous because it's something that she should all right enough about tells a Gabbard enough about the state of Virginia. Although if you want to send Virginia in Florida packing into the ocean, just carve them out into their own little sovereign nation states. You're not gonna get a whole lot of opposition for me. And let's fit now to the conversation about the twenty field between Brian Halverson and myself. Enjoy the show blitz. Talk about some of the developments in the primaries. So first and foremost Brian tough week for me tough week for team November. Now, Richard Jetta is gone. I really like Richardo Jetta. I thought that he is a tough guy was very excited to see what his feeling was on a debate stage. There is a potential totally flame out. This was kind of a feast or famine guy for me in a little bit of. A lot ticket dude. But I thought he was strong. I like that he's from West Virginia that he's a veteran. I like this is a guy who can come up with a snappy punchy line. It has the ability to be funny and self facing. I mean, even just he zoos actual like strength because he's you know, really guy. And I thought that that'd be an interesting contest Donald Trump along with his veteran status, and the fact that he's from West Virginia and has this interesting wrinkle in his populist bona feed as like he was a part of the teacher's union strike in all of that in West Virginia. But is this interesting wrinkle of he actually gave Trump vote in two thousand sixteen he basically was rolling the dice on Trump and didn't think Hillary Clinton was going to fit, you know, what people in West Virginia. I think that's a very interesting general election campaign AirAsia, unfortunately, richer Jetta is gone. I'm sad that I have to discuss all this in a post mortem of really interested to see what he brought to the stage. Well. You say he was Wockhardt, but he's a wild card that could have paid off in couple different ways is messaging could have could have gained traction with people that may not be nationally appreciated. But if you can regionally reach the he's a good VP choice, dude, especially if you put him on a targeted circuit. Yeah. There there. So I I look at at a lot of this at this point. I really don't see a lot of opportunity or much to be had as far as they can about them in in debates that haven't happened yet. But at this point just thinking about them geographically within the framework of the electoral college of Jeddah had had potential that no one else in the field offered. And I know everyone offers. Like, for instance, Amy for Minnesota, I'm gonna go unless you you're the official announcer on the show Amy klobuchar own thank you of like like, I said before I cry foul of because I read a lot more of my news than I listened to it. I'm generally listening to two things other the news anyhow, Amy Clova shar offers Minnesota, but she doesn't offer the the entire mid west. I would say Wisconsin. I think like she could do some of that central. She like, it's not. Yes, he doesn't deliver that to you in the way that if a jet is messaging caught fire he could deliver so much of the south it like, it's it's very potential that some of yet you could get like there could actually be a legit surpr-. Size. I don't know about Alabama. Although Doug Jones as an incumbent at least gives them a little bit more of a fighting chance. But yeah. Oh, Jettas one of these dudes who you could see have an interesting stroke in Louisiana, right or go down to Mississippi. And all of a sudden, you see that like OJ is actually pulling somewhat competitively Mississippi. I will say in defense of Minnesota as a democratic priority. The last election should have scared. The Democrats on Minnesota. I think Trump loss up by only four percentage points. So that's actually state that the Democrats need to make sure they're putting some effort into holding and not just taking for granted certainly twenty sixty taught the bitty thing. Taking states for granted is a bad thing to do in. Minnesota would be one of those that I think would remain a priority. But sadly Jetta is off of the campaign trail for now. Hopefully, he. We see him again somewhere down the way, but who did enter this week is Comahue and page a little bit to say this Brian. But I feel like she's a definite final four candid her rollout is formidable and more importantly what we're seeing is some of the money machine starting to rally behind her including Hillary's money machine. I think harass her town hall this week, right? Her townhall got incredible ratings. If you watched it. I don't know if you did. But I did. I feel like her answers super politician. But she's smart. I certainly think that she gets politics. I don't know that she gets policy, and you know, kind of a recurring theme. I keep seeing here is Democrats. Yes. Yes. But what is our critique of Donald Trump? And I mean from Howard Schultz all the way to Kamla Harris, even all the way over to Bernie Sanders. I am not seeing an actual critique of the president being fully formed by anyone yet. And I think that that is going to be important for anyone who wants to run against the incumbent. I I don't like the way looks once again, like the Republicans will be the instigator and the enter of setting the tone for that for that sort of messaging and the DNC will be the the the ones constantly reacting to let me go to the chase here. I think the real issue for the Democrats. They refused to talk about corruption which is obviously one of my pet issues. But like it's clearly the issue of our time, whether you're Howard Schultz, or you're Bernie Sanders, you need to be looking at this Trump administration as the swamp. Trump sense. You nailed it. There is you know, a swampy nece let an actual swamping, but like a corruption swap. Bump of money access both foreign and domestic from corporations and also state actors that his existed for a very long time. It didn't just starting toys exceed it's not just Russia. It's former suitable companies the opioid companies that have been lobbying congress to turn a blind eye to the opioid epidemic that has been spreading across the country. It's the way that the Qataris and the Saudis in the Israelis and the Chinese and the Russians have been putting money into campaigns. But I mean, the Russians would actually be kind of low on that list. You're talking about the Saudis in the Israelis and a lot of Middle Eastern players a lot of money and the Qataris who have been getting influence in our elections. And until you do something about that. And then, of course, Trump and his emoluments he is access. We talked about it as Trump Russia. But it's about Trump access until you actually have that framework. You know, he can keep pointing to the economy and go. Yeah. I know I'm doing on Twitter. But it's authentic the economy's tanking. So so then what I think all of these head. It's need to refine a message against Trump. And if it's not corruption that I would love to hear what it is. Well, I think one of the dangers of a lot of the DNC primary field crying corruption is. Other part of the swamp. But this is where Schultz in Sanders, theoretically should be able to make point distinction. Well, yeah, the station is or the the understanding is the candidates who are more progressive will be willing to throw stones in both directions. So if you want to make this a war about who's the most corrupt the progressives are going to have the high ground because they're going to be the ones will into throw the stones and other democrat. And this is also how you sideline people like comma, Harris and Cory Booker, you start making this about who is the least corrupt because if that metric let me tell you Fred Cory Booker couple hairs aren't going to clear that if you're if you're able to get or able to get although I think she's got other able to get the the DNC field at large to start having a conversation about corruption. That's a progressive benefit like the most progressive candidates will benefit. It from that. I mean, they'll throw those and that's also a positive and negative stick policy point as well. Right. Like, it's a critique against Trump. But it's also a thing where you can put together tangible policy around to do meaningful reform of the system. Yes. And it distinguishes you from from the others the the centrists in the field that there there's no there's nowhere for there to go other than explaining themselves because they're going to be explaining themselves from from two different angles because Trump is gonna come back with something. In you know, of his his is much as his is jabs can be personal. I think the things that he can come up with in these times he knows to lean on people to to to to tell him certain angles to hit certain candidates with and he's so lucky Ocasa Cortez's running. But, but I'll tell you what you want to know what's going to kill him is if a candidate can affectively start referring to him as gramps like if we can start getting him into crazy old racist grandpa, and really kind of brand Trump is it you mean, kind of a patronizing tone like all that in that cute. How old racist? You are. Yeah. Racist grandpa. Yeah. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Right, right. You're not a serious your. Him defy his campaign. That's when you would see him, go, rogue and ways that would make him implode. Yes. I this guy. This guy came get put on tilt. I it's just I mean, you know, he's really lucky. He's not running get so cost Cortez not because of our policies, but because of her actual online game and her way of approaching politics. I think like that is the antivirus to Trump is in terms of like, what is his kryptonite? What is the poke him on that beats Trumpy mon- of its Oko Cortez mon-? Yeah. I'm sure I'm now going to get a bunch of Pokemon names involving Alexandra Cossio Cortez. I've just opened up that door. So that's great Lissouba. Howard Schultz are right. I think it's time to talk about him. We'll do Pete Buttigieg here in a minute. But let's about Scholtz. So I've talked about the lack of critique, but man Schultz enters this race, and he's entering as centrist independent, which means. He is supposed to be the alternative to both the Democrats and the Republicans and shelters spent most of the week attacking Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Alexandro costs you'll Cortes and saying why he thinks the Democrats have gotten too liberal a position that seems to really only apply to like him. And then he doesn't really have an attack against Donald Trump. And what I think is very interesting this week. Right. Is you look at who has been giving some degree of rhetorical cover for Howard Schultz. And it's like Hugh Hewitt, and my online could -servative peeps. We're like acute believe Democrats appeared sword reasonable against Howard Scholten. And I wanna like approach all these people go like, okay. So what's the potential that? You're gonna vote for Howard Schultz like like on a scale one to ten how likely is it that you're going to vote for Scholtz, and they'd probably will tell you know, I believe that the reason they like Schultz. Race, theoretically come election day is so that they can lie to their friends and said they voted for Scholtz Scholten, not really don't Trump. But it's totally unclear to me how Howard Schultz the war against Christmas. Starbucks CEO who's also been involved in cultural, sensitivity, trainings, and all these different things all of these culture wars over these many years is ever going to pick up Republican votes. And then might Bloomberg might Bloomberg is dunking on him and saying you've no chance of winning independent because of the electoral college requirements that you have to have a majority rather than a plurality. So Bloomberg is getting is actually something that you and I talked about on the Ross Perot up. So which would have been very interesting to seen litigated back in nineteen Ninety-two, which is that it would go to the house of representatives who would almost certainly elect the democrat and not Howard Schultz. So in a weird way this actually kind of gives the Democrats like two different pass to the presidency. But the second one would. Less legitimate. Yeah. With with Howard Schultz as far as his unwillingness to to go against Trump. The only thing I can think of because I at this point. I think he is come out and kind of said, hey, I'm not going to be making my official announcement until what was at summertime, which is also kind of gopher out yourself. Right. Like, we talked about this. The last episode like what you what you put your foot in the water, you need to tell everyone getting in the fuck, I would respect this. If he thinks sometime between now and summertime. Something happens with Trump to wear now. No one is facing Trump anymore. Now, if that was his strategy in the long run like a, and that's a I mean like look if you're looking at the label and right now, politically speaking legally speaking with with the murmurs of Don, jR, here the idea that come fall, Donald Trump is a figure who might not be seeking reelection. Like that is a real that where he's not there over fifty percent right now, you might try to hang in. But man, let's see what happens on that Moeller front and on the front. Well, I think it was a smart roof move for two reasons. Well, I don't wanna give him credit for any give him credit for his his politics or any of the policies that he's put out there. But I will give him credit for this. Like, we talked about with some some third party politics conversations. It makes sense to get out there. Early in. If you're going to fail you fail fast and fails earliest possible because other people are going to implode in ways to where this may be easily forgotten as long as it's far enough away from the general election. I think that it's been smart for the democrat establishment to go after shirts week, e no, I think, it's it's good politics. And frankly, it's like look dude what he rolled out his fucking thin. He doesn't even have a policy into I'm gonna give him credit for Justice, timing alone. And also going to give. Yes, Devon notes. Smart more time as in ways that other third parties who who is the nominee for the libertarians. You don't even know who who's the nominee for the green party. You don't even know the and let let's I can get sidetracked for nineteen and a half hours on that, you know. But let no it's it's smart for him to get in. But then it's like, and I I'm definitely with you on that caveat of if Scholtz calculus here is that Donald Trump will be a wounded animal by the latter half of this year in a serious way such that his reelect becomes unviable. I think that it's smart I will say that he sort of blew the roll out in the sense of you need to come out again with that clear, critique of Donald Trump and also clear thing that makes you you. And then also he's sort of failing. Let's talk about centrism all right now centrism he sort of failing the traditional morning Joe centrist, doctrine, which is usually about fiscal responsibility. It's concerned with budgetary deficits and national debt, right? It's about fiscal responsibility. Howard Scholtz is against raising taxes, which presumably would pay for things and solve the deficit issues. He is also not really said that the Republican tax cut was irresponsible. His ribs defensive hitters critique of the Republican tax cut has been why would have broadened it out. I would've made it more for the middle class. In the lower class that sort of side sips of the issue. The fact that the techs unpaid for it's a completely unpaid for initiative that has increased deficit and thusly has increased the debt to the point where it's at one trillion dollars. There is no fiscal responsibility in Howard Schultz apparent platform. And you would assume that the business guy approach to centrism would be that. Now. Now, let's talk a little bit more about centrism here. Five thirty eight to really nice episode on Howard Schultz that will plug. I think sometimes they can be out to lunch. And I'm glad that Harry intimate is on his way and doing other things that I don't think very much of him other than his his encyclopedic mind, the incredibly smart. He's just wrong political insights doesn't get things. But one thing that they did on this Howard shows thing was they broke down worthy. Actual quota unquote center of the country is and I'm gonna start referring to it as the Oakley center. But it's the ugly truth. Center of the country and the ugly truth center, it's ugly because it doesn't work really well for the Republicans or the Democrats, the ugly center is people have racial and social conservative views, and they also really like liberal programs. They like the welfare state they like their social security daylight their Medicare on they're also skeptical of things about immigration, and you know, they were skeptical about gay marriage. And that is where the center we're the on captured votes are the stuff that the Democrats and the Republicans are constantly fighting over. And if you think about it, the kinda makes sense, you have the welfare state stuff, and the culture were stuff in these swing voters cut ago, like my social security don't take that away like Medicare don't take that away. And they want that stuff. But then they're also like, oh, I don't know about Mexicans. I think they're taking jobs, and they go. For that. That's the true ugly center. That's the populist core. And that is dead is the reservoir that both don't Trump was able to tap into on one side of the reservoir im- Bernie Sanders and a lot of the progressive stuff in love the social stuff is able to tap to on the other side of the reservoir there sipping from the same. Well, it's just different parts of that. Well, you know, it's no wonder that the largest group of people who are trying to be caught by the centrist movement is also the largest group of people who don't regularly vote like they are rights rights. These are terrible. Like like, if you just politically stereotypes, actually, creating a plot. He's terrible country. These are like natural hypocrites. Right. What else yet? Hold him. I if people with with very very deep tensions that they don't actually check. Because it's, you know, Sean, actually rental this off on the last episodes of statistic that will forever be in my mind and should be in everyone's mind, which is that only about fifteen percent of the country. And this is like hard numbers are ideological voters. People who actually are trying to think about like harmonising stuff into a grand theory of world and the rest of people are like issue by issue moment by moment, and they don't sit there and do that grand reconciliation of the world view. So they are filled with all these intellectual tensions that don't make sense. And then you have people catering to that. And that makes me insane. It's one thing for these people to exist because I understand these you can't make these people go away from society. There's always going to I I would watch to. The drive me day feel like yelling wall. Sometimes you don't have to cater to them. But it's going to happen within. I I just want to. I don't know how until someone like Howard Schultz to to not go after that person win. He doesn't know how to go after that going at the reverse model. Like there isn't as grand frankly, there is not this grand ring hand wringing untapped mass of people thinking about the national debt every moment over day. Like, you don't run into those people. They don't exist. There are people who are traditionally Republican voters, and you know, Wall Street Journal reading types who are investors who think about that shit Howard Scholtz. Starbucks EEO hangs out with all those people. He thinks that's the center of the country. But that's just it's just not where they're at. And it kind of Conversely, I think, you know, Howard Schultz hangs out in New York City in California, and has seen cultural, liberalism and cultural progress at the rate that you tend to see. It on the coasts and coach liberalism and cultural progress, I mean shit, dude. Quick example, Brokeback mountain on the coast people are watching that and going how horrible, you know, that's kind of the live experience out, Wyoming, the whole bread and Tina story the reason Brokeback mountain came out is because that was still happening there in the middle of the country in the late nineteen nineties these two parts of the country culturally progress at different speeds one thing I definitely have to point out about the public's reaction to Howard Schultz. There were a lot of connections instantly, and obviously to Ross Perot, and I can't not exposed just how terrible that is the Ross Perot like really concrete kind of complicated of they were hard to understand. But they were they were tasteful. They were real not only that he normally had tangible plans, but he had a mantra of. Just a quota right now. You have a government who comes at you, not from you. And when you contrast that to the the the platitudes you saw. Actually, I mean that that's a key thing is he was saying this government's corrupt the trying to fuck you. I've got real plans to stop that. And I care about you say, we don't need another Ross Perot. I wanna strangle you because. Yes, we do we you may it may not be convenient in this election because if Ross Perot ran he would be possibly in the center, and that is affecting the Democrats more than it used to. I gotta be honest. I deeply deeply worry about a Trump unimpeded by the threat of not of re-election, you know, that second term Trump actually seems deeply scary at this point. Yes, it does. Yes. It does of. But I I think as far as Howard Schultz being some type of spoiler. I guess this is where I'm going to get some sort of little stay safe state politics plug in there, if you really believe that Howard Schultz is an enemy you convince him some how to get out of the swing states. And the other problem too is he's a win now guy like he's kind of like Bloomberg where you this guy. I don't think is trying to the party or even building ideology if you really want to get to guy who knows Xs and os, and this if you're gonna make the money, you you did and you're gonna turn in you're going to continue Starbucks further. Starbucks lee. You have you know, Xs and os. If you really find him to be threat, you don't shit on him. You help him find different pathway to be just as influential and to give him a better opportunity to have the influence that he wants as opposed to not winning and delivering Trump and that. Yeah. One last thing you should on him. And then you move on what you don't do as you. If you keep shitting on him. If you try to make them the fucking be story newscast. We learned with Trump is the bee's story sometimes becomes the story. That was my painful lesson of fifty and all of a sudden what you think is going to be the beep fought on your podcast turns into the fucking feature segment, and that's out of your hands. Yeah. All right. So let's talk about tells Gavin. Speaking of things that have kind of gotten out of hand tolsey Gabbard is having real issues with her rollout. We talked about her policy stuff in the last episode. I don't want to relitigate that. But there's a story politico. Oh this week that seems to suggest that she's kind of flying by the seat of pants here. And I tend to think that she's going to flame out. So so let me little bit two and a half weeks after the Hawaii democrat told CNN that she had decided to run for the White House and announcement that even her own stuff didn't know was coming after weeks debating, the timing of the roll out. The thirty seven year old congressman has struggled to contain the chaos campaign manager Renita betrays and Gabbard consulting firm revolution messaging are set to depart after this weekend's official kickoff in Hawaii to sources familiar with the situation told politico Gabbard is now leaning on her sister VIN driven to fill the void sorry about that name botch. When Gabbard did finally announce that you make twenty twenty one her team was blindsided, quote, I have decided to run and we'll be making the full announcement within the next week. She said on van Jones's show, the Gabar campaign website was not ready to go live. So. Some media posts were not ready to be sent out and Gabbard had not signed off on the launch video. So if you're looking for tangible evidence is this scuttle, but will those three data points that are very relevant in very tangible in the surprise announcement left. Gabbard aides working frantically on Friday night to get everything up online. Jones himself was surprised by her. Now, it's been did not expect it to come on the show. But here's where I think Gabbard biggest visit was quote, the end of the article I've yet to talk to a single Bernie Sanders supporter who supporting tolsey over Bernie. And I thought that was really interesting, especially in contrast to the Scholtz stuff this week because I was thinking, you know, I haven't talked to a single Republican yet who's going to support Schultz over Trump. And if you can't do that I of think you're zone be candid, you're dead. You don't even know it. There's it seems that Bernie tolsey would have some sort of of good marriage between them if she doesn't get to dinged up in the private the best thing she could do right now. The other thing is she's now facing a primary challenge back home. But. The things you can do right now is sideline yourself and get ready to Seidel up with Bernie if he wins the nomination as VP well in twenty sixteen she compromise a lot of her of professional status in the name of of of championing him, or at least a she threw herself out there. It ended up working in her favor. I think but at that point she was aligned with people with the Bernie campaign, and you have. Just fascinating. Because at the same time. She was going on television in criticizing Barack Obama for not using the word radical Islamic extremism. Like, those were happening concurrently reason, I think that Bernie in his crowd with should be willing to of to to side with tolsey, and they're crowd to some degree is because the metoo era of avoiding is yet to be determined. And based on that they're made tolsey would be handy. Check a lot of is if you know, you don't have to revisit her record on torture. I I gotta be honest. I still find red roses Twitter infatuation with tolsey Gabbard to be like bazaar. I get the AFC thing she actually allies that their values, and she is also young and attractive in the future of their movement. Gabbard she's all of those but she's not his electrically aligned with them. She's not socialists. No, she's not. She's just willing to she says, she's against regime change, which I think people, frankly, I think it's the same thing that red rose Twitter did with Donald Trump's supposed withdrawal from Syria that we've now learned also seems to coincide with a meeting with leading we're Putin. We were speculating if it was Saudi Arabia Turkey. Now, we have another suspect of a meeting that they had been keeping secret between what reporting and Donald Trump red rose Twitter really believed that that Syria. Withdrawal was exactly what Trump said it was. And you kind of let yourself scratching your head going. Why are you believing this guy? And then lo and behold, it hasn't been he got cold feet on it because the military establishment push back on him with Gabbard. It's kind of equally in congress. Like, yeah. Yeah. Okay. She met with Assad, but she's pro war on terror like select the Yemen campaign like Lucia thing red rose. Quitter has been super upset about she'd probably being favor of drone bombing Yemen. The vantage that she has though is once again. If they make if the if the Democrats and the centrist make this a conversation about foreign policy. Bernie is going to have an advantage because he's going to be able to distinguish himself from the herd. Boy, he needs to get more. Coherent, informed, polite. You'd like I don't I don't know. Because like, okay. So the der Pasqua vote, I think that's going to haunt him. I think it looked ill look dumb when he didn't do it. If you ago and the headlines already very clear that only their past dude that need to be sanctioned. I think that's going to haunt him. I think his kind of lack of clarity on what our foreign policy approach is going to be in a lot of these places that that could hurt him. I don't think Sanders talking about foreign policy is the best way for Sanders to get the nomination. I think it's a weak point. Personally. I I think in some ways a progressive as far as talking about the of the military finding the debates antiwar. Yeah. If it's edgy war if it's NT war on terror. Yes. If the argument is we have been doing a war on terror campaign with no clear. Like, I don't know if you saw max boots ridiculous editorial this week where he said that we need to be mentally prepared to be in the Middle East for the next three years. Like, yeah. Like if it's against using the two thousand one a you a meth the authorisation of the usage of military force against Osama bin Laden to justify everything that we've been doing from Iraq to Yemen on out over the last two decades. Absolutely. But that is actually kind of instant like toll sees against Libya, and she's pro war on she's pro Yemen. I guess that would be the best way to typify her in the hot button issues. I guess here's one saying this conversation is a non starter. If you're the centrist of DEA sea who who wants a centrist to win as opposed to progressive. If you are the the the essentials candidate fear, Kamala, Harris, and you throw the bomb at tolsey Gabbard saying will you? Wpro tear. Bernie Sanders is going to go. Yes. And I'm anti-terror in what the hell are you yet to she could be a leash in mechanism for exactly? So I mean, I don't think she's running as a stalking horse though. But she throws monkey wrenches into arguments. That that lead the centrist with less to talk about. And she she does kind of change up of what they're if tolsey Gabbard is a part of it. There's much less likely to four policy is going to be a big talking point as opposed to other things that that triangulation doesn't happen. Well, I don't wanna over prognosticate before we get to these debates here. I mean because the crooks article that we set up with is that her campaign. Yeah. Some serious issues. The problem is I it's not like actually the segue to a centrist before we talk about Marianne Williamson about. Kirsten Joe brand's roll out here. So at the start of the month, she was at one percent in the politico tracking polls and she is beginning February at about one percent. So the role has not been good. And and she's just been all over the place on issue progressive issues centrists, and like the narrative when she did the Rachel Maddow roll out, which is kind of like the informal rollout. Madda was, you know, saying like, look you change record on stuff a lot throughout your career jewelry. It's like, well, you know, I represented people in upper New York when I was appointed Clinton Senate seat. So I needed to have those positions which is weird thing to argue from a position of appointment, especially when you get the added Vange of running as an incumbent it's unclear to me while you would have to super hard, right or supercenter that seems more elective to me. And and I think she's been getting threats, and then she went to IRA and she has been once again saying, no, no, no, I'm. I'm not a progressive. She's been doing these town halls and going back to while. I represented upper New York, which was very rural part of the country. So you don't have to worry about me. I'm actually pretty conservative. So it's like, which Christon Jila brand. Are we going to get? And I mean, look I said she was a political expedient. She is a political expedient. I said that I thought she was super cagey and super smart, I'm re-. I'm reconsidering that because I think it is very dumb in the aero of television with television cameras everywhere. Everyone's go smartphone, and everyone's recording all the time to be saying one thing and doing something else. I'm actually reminded of the one of the first time that I kind of remember doing this on a show. At least was Marco Rubio who got in trouble for saying what thing in Spanish and another thing in English on the campaign trail like when he was speaking to this fish pickings crowd. He it's fish. He had a different policy position or a different particular policy position that lead one to believe something completely different than the way he would speak to English audiences in Florida. Jill brands doing. That only in English in both cracks. Yeah. Well, I I not not to get too much into Kamala Harris, but is far as the the labeling of of Jila grand. You know, Kamala Harris says that label of Kamala Harris za cop. And and that's the thing that, you know, the generality she's going to have to overcome that she's going to have to have a good comeback for. Well. What is the comeback for Chris Agila brand is whatever the hell. She needs to be. Yeah. Due to its her chance to knock that down. In a meaningful way was given to her by Rachel Maddow. And she wasn't mad. I wasn't just going to give it away. But mat L was like, look, this is going to be the critique of you. If you ever hope to kind of get over the starting line, you need to overcome this right now in sort of like the opening of that interview that is what she had a Jill brand. And Jill brand tried to say I've. Reconsidered? I've changed my policy positions. Now, Chris late tabula Rosza and a lot of people who were leaning Jilib random that. I would talk to her like, I like, Jill brand, you know, they maybe they approve of what she was doing last year and everything you compared to Joe Lieberman figure takes actually striking a lot of. That's the first one that comes. I really she's really cut from the cloth of Hillary Clinton. Right. I mean, I think that her getting appointed Hillary Clinton's Senate seat. And being from New York, politics, and you look at a resume. She's frankly, kind of like a Hillary Clinton with less liberal, bona fetus, at least Hillary Clinton in the sixties and seventies was kind of sort of a liberal. I don't really think you can say that about Kirsten gillibrand earlier career, actually vetting her. She wouldn't even say that her narrative is that she was a conservative and became more progressive. But you know, it Isla I also, you know, I was a conservative which one are you going to get? Let's talk about real quickly Booker. Booker is one of these do too. I everyone is very quick to write them off because he's kinda goofy. He can kind of be serious ties. But also be very sort of prone to parody. He's a guy what could see hangs around for a while. Like, he just he does the John McCain thing in two thousand eight where you think this guy's like six Placer, and he still there at six place turns into like fifth-place turns into fourth place, and he's still around. I think he's one of the few of closer to the center that there may be a chance that the very crowd adopts him. If he if he I don't think he's too much of a Wall Street, he directs his anger in a certain way. Like, there's there's a certain bit of rice nece that that he has that I think is is infectious to degree and he's got that like. Whenever he needs it. And it's it's a it's genuine at times. But at other times of yeah, it is far as the the Wall Street side of him. I don't know if if he's able to hate himself, you know, a holistically to to where you know, the the entire crowd is going to adopt. But that is his angle he definitely has the the tone and the the rhetorical contrast to where the nation could fall in love with him at anyone debate. Yeah. Share you know, that whole running into a burning building and saving people from a fire story. I think when people hear that again, he retails that tale that could be very very powerful. Like this the idea that like he's kind of putty dude who has courage deep inside of him. I think he can actually he can he can spill that narrative out, and it means something to ran to a fucking burning Bill that did. Say that that takes courage. Absolutely. So Liz Warren this week in the whizz worn campaign update lose Warren, actually, kind of reached out to the Cherokee nation and made a member of the Cherokee nation. I think the statement from the Cherokee nation was able that. It was very good. It shows that lives worn gets it. Now, I think what she needs. Frankly, I think this is important on ously for her on the campaign trail is she, you know, she needs to have native Americans out there, if they want to do it helping her on the campaign trail saying worn ally, and she gets it. So that when Trump goes to the Pocahontas wheelhouse? You can knock that down pretty easily. I even think there's a little bit of a teachable moment here with the Covington Catholic kids, right? Like not to relitigate that all the way. But one of the reasons why Nathan Phillips was such an easy figure to rally around sympathetic is that he represented native. Americans and the idea of white people yelling at a native American seems pretty fucking ridiculous on any number of levels and is deeply unsympathetic to wide swath of the country like your real real thin ice. When you're yelling at native Americans and saying that they're the takers. Here warn has corrected her campaign. She's she's bedroll out of is not the ideal setting. I don't think she was ever going to be based off of what Howard Schultz is doing and kind of even where the democratic donor money is I don't think she was ever going to be the donors first choice. I think she's going to have to make own way. And I think she's doing a good job getting her ship back on track. She is an I think as far as competing within the primary field. She has a good chance based on where she is politically of the what she can champion what she could defend what she has to defend but of all of the. Figures if Trump is still bringing in votes, she comes off to me as the person most likely to have trouble rhetorically against from. Yeah. I just can't you worry about her in a general election. I met her. There's a goofiness. There's a goofiness about her that is actually kind of unlikable. I hate using that word. I don't have. I could come up with another word to get around. It. Right. Booker has the same thing though. I think the way I use unlikable it's not particularly gendered, but the the nor is goofy. So like, Liz Warren has a certain goofy quality about her that I do worry would wither under the Trump punching us, and that Trump would be able to make a punchline out of. And I want to see how she can actually stand up against that. I would need to see stuff that convinces me that. She's got the chops to stand up against that. Yes. She someone who really has not this road of sorts from her her previous profession, and the and the disposition never again mentioned politicians. Never never give me a better word. You know, what I'm trying to say showed her car? Yes. No. Well, there's a certain disposition that goes with being an academic. And and that she is never really. Accom a politician. She's become a a well thought out academic with decent political of rhetoric and decent messaging. And there's the genuine side is is there she she doesn't need that. But the genuine side is not perfect either. She's she's gonna win some an LUSA based on that that how she is genuine. But as far as her political chops. I just feel like she's the most likely to reveal some weakness at the end and just get Poundstone. And I don't know what that's worth like because I like where where are you saying conservatives without on her? Oh god. Yeah. You say like look she did win of sorts. She won the the the native American conversation as far as the how everything went down with that. But that's looking at it at at the long-term perspective in the short term perspective that did not go well for her and she had to and everything that's going to be happening in the debates is short term reaction and people are going to make long-term conclusions based on how they think she held up short term. And she she is very vulnerable in that way. I there's gotta be a different way to put it in. I can't say disrobed, and I can't come up with this. So undis- gonna gonna fade to black on this on a token. Let's talk about one. The last notable announcement here on this side of the show. And that is Marion Williamson you may not have heard of her. But but I wanted to mention her because Marianne Williamson is Texas native. I'm not doing it protects us bias. But she's written a bunch of bestselling books. So people read her she's kind of like Jordan Peterson type figure she's been a spiritual friend and counselor to Oprah Winfrey for years. She has a decent online presence. She's here. Let me just play a little clip of her some of these policies, not dissimilar Sanders ran on for years ago, and you support him in the democratic primary for years ago. Why haven't you waited to see if he jumps in before declaring your own candidacy? I certainly agree with mini of the things that Bernie Sanders says many of the things that Elizabeth Warren says, I'm simply having more expanding obverse Asian. It's like an integrative model of health and healing you need more than external remedies. You also have to address. Psychological and emotional and spiritual issues that both caused disease and help to ameliorate win it occurs. We need an integrative model of politics the political conversation. We have now is so stuck on the externals. But that that is that is inadequate. We need to talk about the larger panoply of what is actually happening. Otherwise, you do what our political system. Does you water the leaves of our democracy, but you're not watering the roots? And that's what I'm introducing a conversation that I feel is the only one that is adequate to navigating transforming is that president the conversation which are promising as president while first of all well, first of all the bully pulpit of the presidency is not to be undervalued. But even more importantly, it is the consciousness of the president that then drives his or her policy decisions both in our domestic policies, and in our international policies where underlying ways in which we are not addressing our deeper humanitarian. Values and our deeper democratic values, although you know, she's like spiritual type of grew up lifting type of person and actually twenty fourteen. She went for a congressional California. She finished fourth in the primary. So didn't do great. But she got the taste of politics. She's not never run before. She did get two million dollars spent in that. And she got all these celebrity endorsements and even a campaign song written by Lantis more set. So Marion Williamson you may never have heard of her, but she's actually got some connection. So you've got some stroke that said a lot of her rhetoric thus far is kind of and in so far she's gotten specific one of her specific pieces of platform. I think is a political non-serb, and we talked about this before on the show. She's proposing one hundred billion dollars in reparations for slavery ten billion a year to be distributed over ten years or a candidate who believes that African Americans should receive reparations for slavery, specifically one hundred billion. Dollars paid out in ten year annual on live ten billion is this symbolic or do you think this money goes to some practical purpose? This is not symbolic at all at the end of the civil war general to come to Sherman promise to every formerly and slaved person, forty acres and a mule and those forty acres in a mule would have given a formerly slave population an opportunity to re integrate to integrate into free society what happened. Instead, of course, was black code laws were passed in the American South, which ensured subpar, social and political and economic opportunities for the former slave population. This was not address for hundred years until the civil rights movement and while the civil rights movement gave voting right backed. Although that has been tripped away since two thousand thirteen and gave a lot of political opportunities that had not been there for the hundred years previous. It did not address the fact that we have not yet paid that debt. Germany has paid eighty nine billion dollars in reparations to Jewish organizations since World War Two and. Pulled Reagan signed the American Civil Liberties act by which we paid every surviving member who had been intern during the during the World War Two in the Japanese internment camps twenty two thousand dollars. I believe one hundred billion dollars given to accountable that would apply these this money to economic projects and educational projects of renewal for that population is simply a debt to be paid you. So we pay it. We will deal with these issues a noble sentiment. But it terms politics, especially running in the democratic primary. This is the sort of flagship issue that you come to be defined by. I think ends up being a problem for you on the campaign trail. Yes. The thing that distinguishes her politically, it also is also the thing that she has zero crossover with with with congress or just the nation at large never mind, the general election. Can you imagine pitching reparations for sleep to the Republican Trumpian electorate? Yeah. Okay. Yeah. That's that. I feel that you know. Honestly, I don't mind someone in the conversation at least bringing up something like this every four years if if it, you know, here's my problem with it. I it's it's not the concept. Actually, I mean, I if you look at the history, no told there's screw job after fassulo getting around it. But when we're saying this what we're really trying to say is that like we need economic stimulus for urban centers in this country, which I think there's a way to say that and not make it like the south fucked up thing like you can just make it about helping people rather than holding in this case, I don't actually think holding people accountable, especially dead. People countable is particularly useful to getting to help the people who are an alive, right? Where I feel that this candidate's campaign manager doesn't have the wherewithal to redirect her message. And and I think many independence especially in author who was probably so in love with the turn of her own phrase Abed, it's very hard to to manager. And she probably doesn't get managed that much. And this is one of those things where if you turn reparations in into into something of that is framed differently. But the outcome is the same should it matter to you that you had to change the name of it? But I think with this with this candidate, it probably would matter to her or worse. I don't know. I don't think she wants to be to man. And I think that's going to be a problem. But again, that's the liberty factor. The fact that she's already got that built in audience of like real diehard devotes who might actually represent a decent. Volunteer army for her. I think you know, don't sleep on it. And there's a reason why put that on the tail end of this episode. I think a lot of people will be very quick ago who fucking cares about Marianne. Williamson one thing that I learned from twenty fifteen is everything matters everything matters until abundantly clear. It does she's from Texas does she have a certain of potential to where she changes, Texas Pacific -ly or is her independent candidacy more on a national scale. And irrespective of where she's from I feel like it's more national scope anything. She's got I think more of a stroke on the coast, like, Los Angeles and Kelly. It would be the places. I mean jasmine there, although although I will say would she be interesting candidate here in Texas, especially as a Representative or something like the surely there's a seat that especially with her volunteer army, and the fact that you don't actually need all that much money to win a Representative seat. She someone who could actually get herself a seat somewhere. If she wanted to do that. Well, maybe that would be a better usage of for one thing. I can't really let go, and I know this will never happen. And I don't like to dwell and things that are just completely living impossible. But. If Donald Trump and Marianne were able to have a debate one on one, I think it would be one of the most beautiful debate moments of possible of any one on one the debate that could possibly happen in so far with with it would be like peek ABS could have her up there talking about like finding like calm and love and he would look like flummoxed and angry at you to people talking. Yes. Yes. Yes. All every like like that'd be the the ultimate like the burn. It all down of me burnt down side of me wants very badly. The as I said that part of me that is deeply and truly scared about an unchained Donald Trump any second term one who does not have to answer to the electorate, and who is not even like. I don't think he's going to survive the more. We're about to close down. This is the show here. And we'll we'll switch over to the news of the week. I'll get an it'd be but why I think this more stuff has gone from worst to self worse beyond post worse of it's getting really really what when someone named Donald Trump is going to get indicted, and you your name Donald Trump. It's never good day. Right. So we'll talk about all of that. I just I think Williamson would be would be terrible general election candidates, and yeah, I think your time would be better spent at the Texas level running something, but that will wrap us up here on the primary focus in on. This first episode of don't worry about the government. Stay tuned for episode number two Bryant Halverson work and people find you on the interwebs at say politics on Twitter right relentlessly explore. The reason why say stay voters vote like swing state voters. Push that issue. My man, you could find me pushing all sorts of weird issues and sometimes just random using at at christova Renault. 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CAFE Insider: Bezos, AMI, and TMI

Stay Tuned with Preet

25:50 min | 1 year ago

CAFE Insider: Bezos, AMI, and TMI

"Stay tuned listeners as many of you know, we recently launched cafe insider, it's a subscription service. That includes the cafe inside podcast co hosted by an milligram on me each week. We break down the news and make sense of what's happening. We are living through historic times and many people understandably feel disoriented by the whirlwind of headlines. Our goal is to help you filter the noise and get to the core of the issues at the intersection of law and politics from time to time we make portions of our conversations in the cafe insider podcast available free to listeners today. We're bringing you a segment from our most recent episode an-and, I broke down Jeff Bezos claim that the National Enquirer and its parent company. Am I engage in blackmail, and extortion, we also discuss acting AG Matt Whitaker's testimony, then you house Intel committee investigation and more if you'd like to hear the full episode become a member by going to cafe dot com slash insider members get access to the insider podcast bonus clips from stay tuned interviews weekly newsletter and more for many of. You who have chosen to join the inside or community. Thank you for supporting our work, full episodes of stay tuned remained free every Thursday and the subscription allows us to keep doing what we're doing. And now here's a portion of our conversation on cafe insider. From cafe welcome to cafe insider. I'm pre- Berar, Malcolm. I am warning. I'm good. How are you doing you watch the Grammy's dead? I did. Did you watch them? I didn't watch all of it. I have to say I did. And I. I think they should rename it the Alicia key show. Yeah. She's awesome. Someone said she should be hosting everything. Time. And I agree. Also. So the Oscar she should she should basically every show other than other than the caffeine. Cider right. Well, we guessed that'd be that'd be pretty cool. We can make the section of the podcast about, you know, your old win because I will say watching the Grammys I had a couple moments where I was like who's a completely. Well, I had my kids around and they school man's my kid is not old enough yet. But I need I need a little I need either. Older kids. Are you didn't know about more radio? We didn't know about her. I did not there were a few. I was like she's helped me out. All right. We're embarrassing yourselves. So let's get to some things that we know about we have this is a week where we have a lot to talk about. I guess we should start with Jeff Bezos. Yes, am I. I guess to recap Jeff Bezos suddenly posted something on the website medium, where he took the bull by the horns, so to speak and revealed in his words that he was the victim of an extortion attempt from AM, I that's the company headed by David pecker that the National Enquirer that had already published intimate texts between him and someone with whom he was having an affair. And now that looked like they were according to Jeff Bezos. According to some of the texts and the back and forth. Emails that were published threatening him with publishing more pictures, including pictures of his what what is am. I heard another partner other parts, I'm not gonna use it. I never thought we'd be talking about this publicly genitalia. Yes. I think that's what they're called. If he didn't put out a statement saying among other things that Jeff Bezos investigation of how the texts became came into the possession of am. I. He would have to say that. There was no political motivation behind them there. Something very important, and he'd been just to make sure we're clear he'd been he and the investigator. He was using had been out saying that they thought that the original release of those text messages, and in January inquirer publication that that was politically motivated, right? And as we know David pecker is close to the president of the United States and Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post, which is an important newspaper in America that has been critical of the president and the president has attacked Jeff Bezos. So there's there's a lot of you know, back and forth in attacks this way, and that way, so it's not crazy to to worry in wonder whether or not there's some political motivation. But so that that was the state of play last week. So one question that is on the table. I guess we can talk about giving our legal backgrounds is is was that extortion. I mean, Jeff as says flatly, it was extortion blackmail, and the question is was it extortion before we even get there? Just to step back for one second. It is a crazy thing that Jeff Bezos is sending around photos of himself harsh. I just want to pause for because I feel like I've done a huge amount of internet safety. I spent a lot of times when a lot of time when I was a g and even still telling young people don't take a picture of anything that you don't want to see on the front page of the paper. They just don't do. It. Don't do it like just when in doubt, and you know, I've seen cases of sex store. Shen revenge porn. This is a very serious matter. And we tell kids don't do it. We tell young people don't do it. And then you have the richest guy in the world runs. One of the top companies in in the United States of America taking in sending pictures back and forth. So I just want to start by saying is a public service announcement. And so yeah, momentary PSA. It's approach hip. Please. Don't do this. Don't do it. Don't don't do that. Don't take those pictures and send them around now onto the crime. Okay. So so so what what's your view? And then we'll look at the defenses in talk about what am is lawyers are saying David Packers lawyers. You're saying. Open and shut extortion case. I don't think open and shot. I think we should talk about this little it's a little bit of a strange construction. So if you and I were thinking about extortion. The typical extortion would be I'm going to publish these nude pictures of you unless you give me a million dollars. Right. Jeff Bezos or billion dollars that would clearly be extort. That's the typical case, you know, the more typical cases outside of this context is near the mob guy goes to the to the restaurant owner and says, we're gonna break your windows, unless every week you give us a thousand dollars, right? Yep. So there's that's more typical in the sense that there's a threat of violence. Yes. And physical destruction of property in exchange for value in. There's no debate about a thousand dollars being something of value. Right. And so here the question is conversations about reputation reputational harm. Can that be a thing of value is one of the questions? I would argue very strongly. Yes. That the law allows for it doesn't even have to be you know, you just talked about property. It could be something that's tangible or intangible property. And they're plenty of instances in law where we talk about people's reputations issue. I look at it. So we just read the statute quickly since since people may be wondering there's there's a statute on extortions in the federal code eighteen USC eight seventy five which makes it very clear that whoever with intent to extort from any person etcetera etcetera any money or thing avowedly, which will talk about more transmits an interstate or foreign commerce any communication at cetera et cetera any threat to injure the property or reputation of the addressee she'll be fined in this title and imprisoned etcetera. So on the one hand threat to reputation counts under federal law. One defense on this issue of reputation that I heard Elkin Abramowitz who represents David pecker on television over the weekend in Elkin Bromwich. I know friendly with him. He's an alum of the southern district of New York. Very good lawyer, very accomplished lawyer embrace criminals. White-collar let's be clear. He's not a, you know, he's not a bankruptcy lawyer real estate lawyer. He's a Waco criminal defense lawyer. Correct. And he wanted. His arguments was well, the story was already out. It was already known that Jeff Bezos had engaged in extra in an extra affair and intimate Texas already been published, but there's a real difference with photographs and releasing partially naked photos of someone that you've. You don't have a by going forward. Right. There's there's this was going to be another tranche of stuff. And in fact, you know, almost definitional early. It was going to have a more serious effect. Because otherwise, you would think that the the National Enquirer wouldn't be threatening. Yeah. The whole point is if you don't do X, we're going to do why. And why is going to be really harmful to you? Right. So it doesn't really fly not only really harmful to Jeff Bezos. But also probably really profitable for the National Enquirer. So if we think about this like if they publish those picks pictures, they would have obviously would have been credibly embarrassing and harmful to Jeff Bezos, reputation. But also, they basically giving up a financial opportunity because they would have put it front page of, you know, even if they didn't show the full picture people would have bought the paper probably to see that. And so their motivation is something I'm incredibly curious about because they are desperate. You know? They're basically making a deal, we've got all these photos. We're not gonna put out in. Exchange for you to say that our initial story wasn't politically motivated, which basically says to me that it was right? Right. And and that goes to the other side of the equation. So on the one hand the question is was it a threat to reputation. It seems like it was and on the other hand. What is the thing that they were trying to get what is the thing. You know? So they weren't saying give me thousand dollars give me a million dollars. They were asking for a statement to be put out. And so is that a thing of value and seems to me the based on what you just said a second ago along with some other circumstances. The fact that they see the fact that they were willing to forego whatever profit they would have made by selling papers, if they publish these photographs and other emails in exchange for a statement means that they had calculated themselves that the statement itself had was incredibly valid and the fact that they were fighting so hard to prevent this insinuation of political motivation on their own part. I think speaks for itself. Yeah. I mean, what's interesting also as as you're talking about this sort of two sides of this. On the one side. It's the threat to release the pictures which the outcome which have value someone would pay for those probably right pay for access to those either by buying the National Enquirer something else, but also have a reputational harm to bazo himself. So there's reputation associated with that. But then there's reputation on the other side. It's kind of a fascinating case, which is all about AM. I saying look you're out there saying this the stuff about us. We want you to say, it's not true when you know, Basil's writes in his medium post, I would have had to falsely said that I didn't believe that it was politically motivated, and it's pretty clear from bazo says the way he writes it and the references and the lead investigators publicly said they think that the original actions were politically motivated, I mean Elkin Abramowicz says on behalf of David pecker. He doesn't represent name. I I believe it represents only David Becker says, no, it's not a thing of Allieu because all they were seeking was the truth. But putting aside what the truth is or is not I think at this point. We don't fully know, but we can discuss in second. They were asking for specific statement of exoneration on a particular point to be made. They're not they weren't been said publicly. Right. They're they're not just would have shown right, right? One of the things that went through my head. When I first heard this was AM, I David pecker. They are under a nun non-prosecution agreement as part of the Michael Cohen case. And you know, one of the things we should we should just step back and talk about AM is a political organization they did cooperate and they provide information, but remember that they were the conduit for one of the payments to one of Trump's one of the women who had said, I had an affair with Donald Trump. And so the money in order to silence the woman one at least one instance went through a my so they did act politically on at least one occasion where they were supporting a presidential candidate. Yeah. Absolutely. That's terrific point. And also shows that unlike other companies they're in a particularly sensitive new critical posture and that is on September twentieth. Two thousand eighteen AM. I through council signed as you said non-prosecution agreement with these others of New York, and you know, it's publicly. Now, they got a huge like can you talk through? So so non prosecution agreement is a gift to an individual or to a corporation in their various reasons, you might enter into one. And it's when there is the possibility of prosecuting someone in this case campaign finance violation and the attorney's office decides for one reason or a multitude of reasons to give them a little bit of a pass in in that could be because the crime wasn't so significant enough for them to, you know, extract blood. It could be that the cooperation is more important. They get to keep the company in a tight leash. Just give you a sense of of how you know under the barrels under the barrel over the barrel where where in connection with the barrel in the barrel. Not in the over there over the barrel. I think okay. So they're they're over over the I'm I'm an immigrant slurring. Among other things non-prosecution agreement says that am I is not permitted to commit any other crime for three years for three years, and if any point during that period, they commit some crime, and it doesn't have to be a federal crime could be any kind of crock if you could be attacks crime, it could be obstruction it could be extortion, extortion, and it could be a violation of state law or federal law. They can rip up this agreement and go ahead and prosecute them for the crimes for which they for bore before. And by the way, the statue of limitations during the period of this agreement is told meaning it's it's stopped. So that they can bring those those charges later on top of that AM, I has requirement that it shall cooperate fully with this office and any other law enforcement agency designated by this office. In addition AM I shall provide to this office upon request any document record or other tangible evidence relating to matters about which this office for any designated law enforcement agency, inquires of it. So so now so to think about how incredibly stupid it is. Yep. Even if it's the case that there's an argument that it's not slam dunk open and shut extortion. When you're thinking about engaging in this back and forth with the richest man in the world, who obviously has you know, resources and access to counsel himself and investigators, and you, and you know, that you're under the yoke of a non-prosecution agreement. I think you want to avoid the risk of it looking like extortion. So I I don't know. No, they they played a hammer. They just assume probably because they do this frequently and get away with it and intimidate people. They played a hand where they just didn't think that Basil's was going to do what he did. Which is basically say, look, I'm gonna tell you. I'm gonna release to the world. I'm going to get ahead of it until everybody what's out there and tell them that. I think you're trying to extort me. And so they they played a pretty risky game. AM I in my view, generally speaking, because they're you know, they're they're getting to fight with the richest man in the world. And there's the example of Gawker the people have been talking about in connection with with the the tell Cogan made and know Gawker no longer exists in some people have been predicting I'm not making this prediction in the last week that AM is dead is a Walking Dead company, but the other audience intentional or not for Jeff betas post on medium was southern district of New York and their reports. And look if I were the attorney right now, I'd be having people in my office, saying, the what do you think about the law here, we think about the facts here, do you think was extortion or not, and then they have to make a decision about whether they rip up the agreement. Now, there are some times. When you see you have a cooperating witness or cooperating company, and they're valuable enough that you actually don't want to rip it up because there's little providing information about other things, but at a minimum here, they have to be considering very carefully whether they cancel the agreement and there's three things happening. So I is whether they would cancel the non-prosecution agreement which means that they could be prosecuted for their conduct in the catch and kill work with Michael Cohen and Trump that that Michael Cohen has already pleaded guilty to the second is whether or not the federal crime of extortion was committed which I think is pretty possible. And I would make an argument that you could make a case you can make a case for this. Again, you know there needs to be more investigation but on its face. I I would be comfortable saying, I think this would be something. I would probably say let's go to the grand jury on again. There's a lot more information you need to get. But on its face. I'm comfortable saying, you know, yes, there are things value, and that there's an attempt to basically arm someone the last piece is that there's also a possible state law claim of. Store Shen here that could be brought now I don't know if they'll be a state investigation, but for that non-prosecution agreement it does go away if there's either a state or federal prosecution required to cooperate with state authorities. Also, here's the other thing about what you just said, which is important that unlike in the normal scenario where you're investigating something being extortion or not so, you know, some rich person puts out a post and says I've been extorted the southern district of New York like any other prosecutor's office would have to send agents asked for voluntary. Cooperation issue subpoenas do all sorts of things and they could be resisted, and they could be fought in court. These guys are already under no obligation to provide every Email every text every draft. They have no excuse not to provide anything that the us attorney's office wants. So this investigation into whether or not it's extortion can happen more rapidly and can happen more thoroughly. Because as I said, they're already under the Ohka this non-prosecution women, and then up four thing beyond the three already mentioned is now you've awakened investigators to this idea of are there. Other stores. I agree mentions that and says a lot of people told us they had to pay because they didn't have a choice. They had to sort of make a deal with am I because they didn't have a choice for now. The scope of the agreement is at aim. I was not supposed to commit any crimes subsequent to the signing of the agreement which here is September. Twentieth. Two thousand eighteen and also an obviously everything that happened with Jeff Bezos is in the recent time period. So as an initial matter I would not be shocked if the prosecutors and SDN y said, not only do we want all the documents relating to this alleged extortion. We want everything when everything's relating to any possible, extortion or any possible blackmail any since this date, and then maybe start going before that too. And so if more they have text messages or photos that they did not publish it. It's one of the most self destructive business decisions. It seems was made. And then you have to ask the question. Why if you assume people at least, you know, Jeff bazars was was acting in a way presumably for personal reasons and that happens, but this was a business that cared. So. Much about getting a declaration. That political motivations were not at play in publishing these photos and emails that this is what they were prepared to risk makes you wonder I mean, there are a couple of other things for salt dating even they made five months under the non-prosecution agreement. They didn't even make six months. I mean that like if you're sitting in the US attorney's office, you have to be sitting there basically being like these people like what are you possibly thinking? And it's blatant and it's on spray stupid. And when people do when when people do that you then start to think to yourself, they do it all the time. They do it all the time. And what else are they doing? Yeah. Of course, whether or not am I has committed a crime women as we understood. It was not that you could only rip it up after your prosecuted for a crime and convicted of a crime, it's in the estimate of the us attorney's office, and obviously it has to be a good, faith estimation. So if there's flimsy evidence, I suppose AM I could go to court and say, we didn't commit the crime. You have some sort of mini hearing on the issue of whether or not the contract had to be enforced, but if the US attorney's office decides essentially in its descr. Russian and in good faith that there's enough evidence of crime separate apart from whether or not they charge that crime the agreement can be ripped up unless there's talk for saying about how an investigation into the extortion. Here would go, which is that, you know, I think you would open up a grand jury investigation you'd bring in you, obviously have access to a lot of emails. Probably you could get access to the full investigation. That was done by Jeff Bezos investigator. You would you would immediately subpoenaed and asked for for that information, you'd also subpoena AM I or I mean, hopefully, they cooperate. But you get all the emails on all the back and forth as you said not just on this. But an other matters and so on its face at appears to be criminal. But what you would do is go further to make sure that you know, bazo has has he's given one version his version of events. It seems to me very credible based on what we've seen. But as an investigation, you would wanna go out and get everything you possibly could find out who they talk to start interviewing witnesses bringing people into the grand jury and just be really thorough about. That. So I hesitate before I say, yes, I would charge a crime because I want to know sort of the three sixty of something that's happened. You're absolutely the odd thing about this is that I think as of yesterday Sunday, we're according to on Monday morning. Jeff as has indicated that his investigation has concluded that he was not hacked. It doesn't look like the emails on the photographs were obtained by hacking by in a government agency, which was suggested in the medium post, but it came to the attention of AM, I the National Enquirer because the person with whom Jeff bass was having the affair has a brother named Michael Sanchez. And I guess they have concluded in reporting that you, and I both seen that it was the brother who had access to this. Now is he guilty of a crime, right? So yeah. So so there has been public our public reporting that the brother unless you stop on him for one second because he is also something of a fascinating character. And you know, there's no Joe characters I know some of that you just can't make up so close associated Roger stone in communication with Roger stone within days of Roger stone being arrested on charges being brought by Muller's team for for charges of of lying to congress and. Trying to prevent a witness from testifying. He's also associated with car- Carter page who's another character in the sort of. I don't know Trump campaign scandals about coordination with the Russian government. And he's a he's a big pro-trump supporter. And so I think that's where some of the questions about political motivation. Have also come in. Now there I've a lot of questions about how he got access if it's him as has been publicly reported, let's just add one small caveat that he has not acknowledged that it's him like there's there's still some pieces out there. But if it's him I have questions about how he got access to his sister's phone, but yet probably it's a crime. And you know, we need we need to know more information but photos belonged to a private person if for example, he gave his if she'd given him her password and said, you can always be on my phone. You can take any pictures off. That's not going to be criminal. There's going to have to move you forward its own exactly if she folded up, Pinkus, exactly. Completely then it's not a crime. If she did not have knowledge that he was taking them off her phone. That's that's where I think an investigation to him is really warranted. Again, it kind of depends on their relationship and how this came to pass. But it is, you know, can you even imagine? It's her brother. Right. I mean, it's it's one of those moments. I don't know what the name of like one of those Greek plays where like you you almost can't make up. Yeah. It's like a. The relevance in part of whether or not Michael Sanchez is subject to criminal prosecution is as we've been talking about for many, many months now and everyone's getting schooled on this. It makes him amenable to flipping right? So if he has, you know, the hammer on him, maybe has information about other people you said, he's closer Roger stone. He does he's also close to the chief content officer at AM I Dylan Howard, who sent the first Email. He's the guy that sent the first Email to base where he lists. He's sort of characterizes all the pictures that they have. And you know, my favorite part is the last line saying, no editor would want to have to send an Email, basically. Right. It gives me no pleasure to put you over the barrel. But anyway, they also have a personal relationship along Santa personal relationship. It's also crazy that it was an Email. See, you know, one of them was sent by the deputy general counsel of AM. I, and so, you know, they're going to say look this was well Elkin Abramowicz already said, this was a legal negotiation. And so they're going to try to use the lawyers as a way to say. Well, this wasn't extortion. This was a legal negotiation. Now, you can't use a lawyer to commit extortion. Right. I mean, it's sort of you can't do through a back door. In other words, you you can't. But that doesn't mean is it exactly sure you can do it for, but doesn't exactly it doesn't make cleanse it of the still being crime right means a better way to say, it's sort of, you know, a clever way of disguising something if the mob sends a lawyer to the restaurant and says if you don't give my guy thousand dollars a week, I'm going to burn down your restaurant, but in your restaurant be ashamed. Something happened your restaurant still crime still across crime lawyer or not. Lawyer I saw Linders which over the weekend also talking about the first amendment, and you know, the first amendment is important. Yes, it is. But it is not, you know, it's like it's like saying not too oversimplified and to mock it too much, but in the same way that you show up at someone's door, and you say if you don't give me a thousand dollars, I'm going to burn your house down that speech is not protected, so, you know, clear extortion versus mercury extortion is not protected by the first amendment people say could have gone out and said, Jeff Bezos is an idiot. He's a jerk. He treats, people terribly all fine. It's different when you're language actually crosses the line. And the the case is pretty clear on this. And so I'm sure Alan Dershowitz would say I mean, he he sort of said everything is covered by the first amendment. But that's just not the case. I mean words can in fact be criminal. And so I, you know, I think it's worth always keeping in mind, particularly freedom of the press, and I meant issues, but I don't see it here. I hope you have enjoyed the sample of the cafe insider podcast to hear the rest of the episode become a member. Now, a cafe dot com slash insider and get access to all inside or content. That's cafe dot com slash insider.

extortion Jeff Bezos National Enquirer David pecker investigator Jeff us attorney New York Donald Trump United States Grammy Elkin Abramowicz Michael Sanchez America Roger stone Basil Intel bazo
Billionaires Who Love Fleece | Sarah Ellison on Tech Royalty | 1

Even the Rich

35:05 min | 2 months ago

Billionaires Who Love Fleece | Sarah Ellison on Tech Royalty | 1

"From wondering I'm a Risha skidmore Williams and I'm Brooks Ephron and this is even the rich. We've spent the last four episodes hanging in Rome with the getty family. We saw the sights we ate pasta and we drank Cognac, we witnessed a kidnapping. But today we're leaving all that behind US chow. What I've been thinking lately. There's kind of a big difference between being rich and being a billionaire like rich people have boring tiny sailboats by billionaires have mega yachts. Yes. Exactly or like rich people are writing up Corona Virus Pandemic in their mansions. But some billionaires are taking cover in doomsday style bunkers where they have food water and Patagonia Fleece. FESTS to survive the end of the world just the barrels and when we talk about billionaires these days I think one place comes to mind Silicon Valley. It's this magical kingdom were computer nerds can. Become tycoons and that power goes straight to their big brains exactly. I wanted to learn a little bit more about what makes tech billionaires tick. So I called up Sarah Ellison Sarah's been journalists for more than twenty years working for outlets like the Wall Street Journal Vanity. Fair and the Washington Post where she's currently a staff writer and she says that if there's been one constant in her long career, it's this. She writes about the rich people who sometimes act outrageously is fiercely can't wait to hear she has to say, well, you don't have to. Even. The rich partnering with Venturo Watches and we could not be more excited. You know usually finding accessories that are stylish, bold and built to last can cost a pretty penny. Then chair watches is changing that they believe you deserve to look good no matter your budget feeling like the best version of yourself extends all the way down to the way you dress and I. Love that with these watches, you don't have to break the bank to step it up a bit the team over Vincenzo Senator, some watches and let me tell you they are stunning. Yeah I we I should say we right we got the. We got the same watch and it's just rose gold Mash band with a black face and I wear it all the time. It doesn't. It doesn't irritate my skin and it's just so pretty it is i. saw it and I was like Yep. I will take that one. Please I loved immediately no matter who you are what your style is, how old you are or where you live. We all have those moments when we want to look. Our best in sand out Ventura watches are beautiful statement pieces that will last plus they offer free shipping thirty returns, and they guarantee your watch for two years. Exclusively for our listeners venturo offering an extra twenty percents off. They're already affordable watches go to Ventura watches dot com backslash rich, and the code rich will be auto applied at checkout. It's that easy. That's V. I n.. C. E. R. O. WATCHES DOT COM backslash rich for an extra twenty percents off. So Sarah these days you're right primarily about people in power whether in Washington DC or on Wall Street how did that become your focus when I started out I worked for the Wall Street Journal for almost a decade and one of the interesting things you can do for paper like that is your exploring people in power and what they're doing wrong and how they're abusing their power and it it became a kind of expertise that I developed and then I only continued that when I was at vanity fair because vanity, fair's a place that. is also looking for when wealthy and powerful people trip up and do things wrong and you know there's this kind of classic thing. The people say about journalism you're either comforting the afflicted or afflicting the comfortable and I've almost always fallen on the latter portion of that equation and I don't really know how it happened but it is definitely become the thing that I know how to do and it's not always afflicting people but it's just kind of gaining people's trust and talking to them about how they're choosing to use their position. And almost no one sees themselves as a saint. And if you can get inside that a little bit people actually find it kind of Cathartic to talk about that. I haven't thought about it like that. Like every journalist is just a good shrink in the end of. The day as you know, even the rich, the show was about very rich people who sometimes act outrageously Are there any people that you've written about who fit that description I would say if there were a beat description of what my job has essentially been since I started working in journalism like very rich people who sometimes act outrageously with maybe the best description and so I've I've written a lot about Rupert Murdoch in the Murdoch Family I've more recently done. A wider range of things that have much more to do with Washington. Which is, of course, full of I mean this administration in particular people like Steve. MNUCHIN Wilbur Ross. These are incredibly wealthy individuals who are now pulling the levers of government and depending on your opinion of this administration are acting outrageously or not I was doing a lot of reporting for years. Out of London and I was reporting on Tony Blair's post office effort to make the world better. But also by making himself much richer even people like Piers Morgan who you know for a while, you know he had a television show in the United States it was getting a lot of attention. These are all people who have gotten a certain amount of power. Not, all as wealthy as the billionaires that that we're talking about today, but it's interesting to to try to understand people who do have so much power and through their small decisions can have such a huge influence on the world and just one last part of that politics is is something that I've come to relatively late in my career and for years I always thought about business being the thing that really shaped. So much of the real power in the world and even after covering politics. I don't see that any differently the forces of money and influence or so much more powerful than well-meaning lawmakers who are in Washington making relatively modest. I'm curious. Do you think that ridiculous wealth is what leads to acting outrageously and brings out that behavior? It's always there or because you get wealthy, you become outrageous like I've always I've kind of wondered 'cause I mean not all billionaires act the same but it seems to be a common thread amongst them that they behave similarly in do kind of outrageous things and I've always wondered that we all have that ability. It's just we don't have the insane wealth to do it or being riches what causes that? In my experience, you have to have a certain amount of drive and Hubris and certainly a work ethic to amass a certain amount of wealth. So you have people who made a lot of money. When they were involved with pay pal. For instance, there's a sort of pay pal diaspora and some of those people. They have a lot of money, but they didn't continue to amass tremendous amounts of wealth beyond the point where most reasonable people would say that's pretty good. I'm really comfortable. Now, I'm going to just start to do philanthropy or I'm going to engage in a different enterprise. There is a point when you amass so much wealth that you employ. Universe of people to give you advice or to furnish your house or plan your vacations whether it's advise you on business strategy or like your wardrobe that everyone is kind of living off of your of your fortune, and that makes for a very strange existence. Once that starts to happen the I think that's when people really start to go crazy and start to act in these ways that they're either bored of their money or they think will have all this money. Why don't? I do the kinds of things that we see. Engaging in the kinds of projects that whether it's Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk they kind of say well, if I had all the money in the world, this is what I would do with it. I would build a clock that counts until the end of time. Those are the kinds ideas that people get to do when you have billions and billions of dollars and it's easy to poke fun at that. So I would say that, yeah, which came first the chicken or the egg it's hard to say but I would say that there's a level of money after which it's almost impossible to stay sane. Brooke. What's the last thing you ordered from Grub Tacos of course You know besides the obvious delicious food one of my favorite things is that when you order food through the GRUB HUB APP you get a ten dollar perk every time you order from select. It's so easy to find food. You Crave on the GRUB hubbub you just search by cuisine restaurant name or menu item to explore restaurants that deliver near you another perk. You can stay safe and support the restaurants you love with curbside pickup and contact free delivery on Grub. Tell you how much I appreciate that contact free delivery right now same. So you can download the APP today to get ten dollars off your order of thirty dollars or more every day from participating restaurants, breakfast lunch dinner, second dinner snacks, whatever you're craving. That's ten dollars off your order of thirty dollars or more every day from participating restaurants download the GRUB APP today and get ten dollars off your order of thirty dollars or more. It strikes me that's often the money is really just the yardstick by which you measure your power. We're talking about the silicon valley guys at still dressed like college students with their hoodies and they drive on fancy cars but they compete with their peers by how much money they're I pio gates or how much money they can sink into a total moonshot like building a farm in space or whatever. Yes. And also there are people who say you know if you're worth fifty million dollars that's a lot of money that's certainly more money than I would ever have in my lifetime. See but that's a pittance compared to what we're talking about when we talk about bill a billionaire, and so in that world, there's all these hierarchies that are almost invisible. The material possessions almost impossible to measure it through because after a certain point, you can't buy a bigger house or a bigger plane or a bigger boat but there are fine gradations in there and it's the thing that keeps people who have fifty million dollars feeling like. They're falling behind I mean one of the things that's interesting about you. You mentioned these companies and and this is one of the hallmarks of Silicon Valley. and. What makes it so very different from a place You know the the money world of New York I. There's an anecdote that I always think of when I'm. When I'm thinking about the wealth of Silicon Valley and it, it was maybe five years ago I was at lunch with a very high powered investment banker in Manhattan he was talking about how? He was sort of Aaron. His. Suit and tie and you know. We were at the four seasons restaurant so it was. Beautiful and he was talking about his irritation with Silicon Valley and how everyone was just in a Hoodie and Didn't even bother to kind of get dressed and he said at least we admit that we care about the money. They don't even admit that, but that's all they really are interested in it. So I thought that that was such a perfect distillation of the difference between these two worlds and how whether it's Google saying do no harm. Or facebook talks about connecting the world These are people who are very principled and start out with a certain idea of how they want to do business, and then find themselves really hitting the reality of what it means to stay in business, and there are million compromises that are made along the way and worse than compromises when you look at some of the algorithms that these platforms follow in order to keep people engaged. If you were going to write a story about billionaire style like literally their style what would you say? Maybe the headline would simply be fleas just fleas nothing us. That's all you would need to have one word at one word story I mean I can picture like pay said police and immediately my head went all those. Paparazzi shots that you've seen of these billionaires walking around and yet that's exactly right Yep. It would be like how how hard you can work to look like you have no money when you have more money than God. That would be my I mean I don't know what what the second sentence would say but I do think that the aggressiveness with which yeah. billionaires of this this type and this generation and when I say this generation I'm not talking about. Octogenarian Billionaires but the kind of clothing that they wear when people are showing up to. The. Allen Conference, which is the. Media, and Tech Conference that happens around the fourth of July every summer am everyone shows up in their exercise gear and and that's the way to be a billionaire. If you're a man if you're a man if you're woman I, don't think that applies exactly there might be some leisure situation that you can engage in but that is the. Enough. In fact, most of the women who are billionaires don't get to wear athletes, they actually have to wear it kind of corporate outfit. There is a double standard when it comes to female CEOS tech. you know their male counterparts get address exclusively and fleece but then there's the expectation that the female CEOS are dressed to the nines in their professional suits. Whatever that might mean is that changing at all, is there ever going to be gender issues in Silicon Valley? Do you think? Such a good question because this is industry that for all of its making the world better aspirations has seen a real reckoning certainly about gender and we don't even think people have gotten started on like the racial politics inside of a lot of silicon valley companies, and certainly what we've all been watching more recently with the protests were black lives matter in Georgia Floyd some of that out into Silicon Valley I would like to say that it can't stay that way and and there was a really high profile protested walkout. At Google, over the way women were treated inside that company. Obviously, there was the famous memo. And Mujber really pillorying that company's culture and I've seen unfortunately what you still see is the women who stand up for those and make those kinds of public protestations. Certainly Google a lot of them have left the company. And are now doing other things it might it might require building a whole other cultural another place because I do think that there are some really entrenched. Systems in those companies and some of it is because something like programming has been so. Aggressively may for such a long time? That it's taken longer than you would think for that to change. But you know I think that again, silicon valley isn't alone in that. There are a lot of a lot of companies, a lot of industries where that changes long time. Overdue and. And we're seeing the beginnings of movement, but certainly, not enough. So kind of on that tangent you write about Silicon Valley which means you're the perfect person to answer the question I've always been afraid to ask why is it called Silicon Valley that's such a good question that I had to Google it and it has something to do with sand being the original ingredient in the silicon chips that then become you know the thing that drives computers and. Yeah and it goes way way back I mean Silicon Valley there people in tech companies that were operating in that area before it was ever named anything I think that the. Original name dates back to nineteen seventy one it was when people like Intel were. Operating are headquartered in that area and it has to do with the idea that again that they're all, they all start with sand and their sand in that region that they can use to make silicon chips. Well. That'll be helpful if I ever got a trivia night hardy. Right yeah. You can use that in La nobody will know I know everybody in Silicon Valley? Probably Outing knows that answer. But we both learned something in that exercise. Yeah I'm excited for that. I'm glad to know that because it's something here all the time, but I've always been way actually come from. Yeah. So let's talk a little bit about the moment that we're living through. Most people are staying home binging our PODCAST Day but I've read that quite a few billionaires have fled to places like New Zealand where they've built these elaborate doomsday style bunkers. Can you explain what those even are sure. The Doomsday style bunkers for billionaires have existed long before the pandemic they certainly are retreating to those. This is the perfect time to have one. If. You're if you're if you've already built one for yourself, it's is another survivalist mini movement among certain kinds of billionaires where they know that they can survive the end of the world if it comes down to it because they have stockpiled five years of food and enough electricity of their with their own generator and so. All it takes is a moment like this where it does sort of sometimes feel like the end of the world is coming for people to retreat to those kinds of places I mean I remember interviewing billionaire appear amid Er years ago in Hawaii he had two different planes, an entire warehouse for lack of a better term full of food that he and his family could live off of, and that's just one small example of the kinds of preparations that billionaires have made again before the pandemic but. This is the perfect time to. Break out that bunker and. Nick. Nip into your your stockpiled food if you don't feel like going to the grocery store and having to deal with like. This six feet of separation that you're going to need to leave between you and the person in front of you not like these guys are actually shopping for themselves but. We get support from luminescence. That's fun word to say luminous. It really is what's even more fun is using the aluminum silk for and one airbrush system. It blends your foundation flawlessly into the skin combining your moisturizer, your anti-aging Serum, your concealed Andrew Foundation for flawless coverage. Yeah and unlike traditional liquid foundation and powders, which can totally. The signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles by being heavy and Katie the luminous Silk Airbrush system uses ten times lasts makeup. Here's how it works. You find your color, tell them about your current foundation and about Your Skin and upload your photo with over eighteen shades to choose from luminous guarantees a one hundred percent shade match. Yeah. I'm really excited with how well luminescence matching my skin and you know I, don't love to have makeup on my face I very rarely wear it. So it's really nice to have make up. That's not like Kacie doesn't feel like it's coding my skin. Yes. Am I'm not a big makeup where either and I don't know a lot about makeup. I will be honest but this system is super easy to use. It's very comfortable. It doesn't feel like heavy doesn't make me feel hot or warm I like it a lot. Yeah Emma Lumina Silk Foreign One airbrush system is dermatologist recommended and has an over four point four star rating with over fifty thousand consumer reviews and they've got a limited time offer for you right now go to Trysofi dot com forward slash rich to get sixty percents off your luminous silk foreign one airbrush system that's TRYSOFI DOT com slash rich to get smoother fuller and more natural looking foundation coverage visit trysofi dot com slash rich today. I wanted to talk a little bit about Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, which we've touched on a little bit earlier I I. Don't know if you've seen this, there's a meam that's been circling of two pictures of him side by side in one of them. He's young Kinda scrawny definitely looking like the stereotypical nerd and the caption says I sell books, and then on the other votto, he's buffer. It's a more recent picture super intense stare and caption for that one says I sell whatever the Fuck I want Can you talk a little bit about the evolution of Jeff bezos from being messed scrawny kid to the billionaire whatever you WANNA call him play I. Guess this boy you're absolutely right that Bazo started out. Very, much a kind of nerd and an endearing nerd who had this idea to sell books online and you know when I started out it was it was narrow as an idea and something that no one was entirely sure was going to go all that far. And over time I mean this is a perfect example of somebody who was intensely focused and had a real idea and pursued it unstintingly and created a real business out of that that that first line of selling books but that allowed him to expand and obviously his money has come from a massive expansion of that business to sell as you have. So aptly noted whatever the fuck he wants. But but the things that you can look at over his evolution that are real moments of change. One of the biggest ones was when. Amazon created studio. So Amazon Studios when they started to get into the business of making movies in creating entertainment, and there is nothing about that business that is. That is like selling books online. And yet, you know Amazon approached it in a very kind of focused way what what people started to notice then was Jeff Bezos showing up at the Oscars Jeff bezos interacting with La Types that you wouldn't normally have seen him ever be around Norwood have they ever given him the time of Day and so all of a sudden he starts to be invited to those parties and he starts owning some of those studios and some of those parties in having so much more money than anyone else in that in that world, and then you see getting better and better physical shape um so he's working out and the next thing you know there's this. Incredibly shocking story in. The national inquire about an extramarital affair? that. Just, turns everyone's. Impression of him on its head because we're now so far from the nerdy guy selling books online although there is like that nerdy adolescent trapped inside that will never get out know there's still a Shimmer of that on the inside. But you have just such an incredibly different. Figure now, and again by virtue of the amount of money in the size of the empire he has created. He has a seat at not only a seat at the table any where he wants to be he owns the table he's dictating the terms. There's there's not an element of our lives that Amazon doesn't touch in some way and it's pretty stunning achievement. Let's talk a little bit about the national enquirer story you alluded to Can you walk me through what happened there? Sure. So it's over a year ago now that. The national enquirer came out with this blockbuster story that had text messages and some Paparazzi photos of Jeff bezos engaged in an extra-marital affair with a woman. Named Lauren Sanchez and it was shocking for a variety of reasons. The national enquirer isn't really in the business of writing about Silicon Valley. Billionaires but. The surprising thing was that here was this incredibly high profile CEO of a multinational via Meth who's text messages had found their way into this tawdry tabloid how the Hell did they get a hold of those your Outta that happen and that was the question that was immediately on everyone's mind and it was also on phase this mind. So he got his security consultant to start an investigation to try to figure out how that happened and quickly the security consultant who has worked with Basil's for a long time smit's Gavin de Becker. He almost immediately started zeroing in on someone by the name of Michael Sanchez who is Lawrence Sanchez's? Brother to Becker when he was talking to Michael Sanchez about how do you think that Jeff's texts Lauren ended up getting in the hands of the national enquirer the idea was that maybe his phone had been hacked somehow someone had managed to get in the phone and in the course of those conversations Michael Sanchez. Mentioned that he had consulted with two people who he knew whom he thought would know a lot about security and their names were Roger Stone and Carter page. And Roger Stone and Carter Page are both now former advisors to Donald Trump Roger Stone is famously somebody who worked for Richard Nixon early on his self described dirty trickster and politics, and so that raised debec irs antenna to think well, wait if we're talking about these trump advisors and at this point, you have to remember that Jeff Bezos has become a target of Donald Trump's largely because of his ownership of the Washington Post which is my employer it should be noted so. But. At that point, you know decker started to to probe whether or not. This is something that could have been politically motivated and that there were people around Donald Trump who were trying to hurt bezos by getting this information out in the public sphere and using the national enquirer to do it. The national enquirer had just gotten in trouble for campaign finance. Violations where the national enquirer had written story after story about lauding Donald, trump an attacking his rivals on the political trail. Already at this point, the national enquirer David Pecker, the CEO of the company that owns a national enquirer had gotten a lot of trouble and we're we're nearly indicted before Hecker, and his deputy had signed a deal with prosecutors to avoid being indicted. And so this whole circle of activity is is swirling around and do. Stinks it's worth probing weather. This is a political hit job on my boss fast forward. What do Becker says and what the national enquirer eventually does is sort of finger Michael Sanchez as the likely source of. At least some of the information, some of the texts that end up in the national enquirer we have to note that Michael Sanchez has. Denied, this denied it at the time he said that he never supplied. Photos of Basil's and Lauren or photos of bezos himself to the inquirer, and then not that long after Basil's himself publishes a letter in medium where he reveals what looks very much like a letter of or what he says is a letter of blackmail from Dylan Howard, the editorial director of am, which is the company that owns the national enquirer to him saying we have these photos, these photos that have been described to us. Some of them are you wearing only boxers or you in this position? Are you in that position? Some of them are naked etc, and we don't want to do anything with them, but it was sort of a threatening threatening letter. And bezos decided that what he was going to do is instead of being influenced by that letter to providing more information or sort of playing ball or giving them a comment, he was just going to put out the entire back and forth between the national enquirer and himself in a move that was just completely surprising and shocking to anyone who has followed sort of celebrity journalism at all because. A lot of the Times what ends up happening in these stories that a publication like the enquirer's is pursuing is they will say we're pursuing this story about you sleeping with so and so we're doing this thing, and then sometimes what can happen is the person who's being written about can say, well, don't write about that but I've got a different story that I can trade. I'LL GIVE YOU A. Better story than the one that you were about to right and so there's a little bit of jocking that goes into those sorts of calculations. So Silicon Valley has been the center of the Technological Universe for which we've talked about but I'm wondering if the pandemic change that I mean a lot of the big players like twitter and Facebook, they've talked about how they're experimenting with permanent work from home. Policies, following this quarantine and lockdown, which of course went surprise me if this inspired workers to leave the bay area where the cost of living is astronomical, do you think silicon, valley will be the same after this I think this is one area where things really could change and a lot of tech firms were moving to Los Angeles already, which is not the cheapest real estate in the in the countries. But Google, just announced not long ago that it wasn't going to have hit its employees come back to their offices until. At least June of twenty, twenty one and so once you give people that amount of time out of an office and certainly for the people who are programmers and who are doing a lot of their work anyway. In a world that is entirely digital in remote. It makes a lot of sense to let people do that from wherever they are in and we've now gone through a long period of time where everyone has shown that they can have video calls, zoom calls or Google hangouts. This is an area that Silicon Valley is GonNa Change, and so as everybody else. Because I can't tell you how many conversations I've had with people who run businesses who are rethinking office space than rentals in things like that I know a lot of my my friends who had jobs who were who said Oh, we can't can't work remotely because that's always been something that I feel like my peers especially are always pushing for and now. In the midst of everything on in this world, you find ways that you can work remotely. So it's definitely I feel like a wave of changes coming So I'll be curious to see how it plays out. Thank you so much there. This was an amazing talk I really enjoyed talking with you. It was such a pleasure. Thanks again to Ellison. On our next episode, we're bringing you a story that combined sibling rivalry, high fashion and murder Johnny donatella versace built one of the most iconic fashion labels in the world. But when Johnny gets shot, it's up to Donatella to step out from behind her brother's shadow and try to save the brand they built from ruin if you like our show, please give us a five. Star rating and a review, and be sure to tell your friends subscribe on Apple podcasts spotify the wondering APP or wherever you're listening right now, join wondering plus in the wondering APP to listen Ad. Free. In the episode notes, you'll find some links and offers from our sponsors. Please support them another way you can support the show is by filling out a small survey at wondering dot com slash survey. I'm a Risha skidmore. Williams and I'm Brooke Sufferin. This episode was produced by Audrey No Caleb Kissinger our associate producer audio assistance by Jake Gorski are executive producers are Stephanie. Jen's Marshal Louis and Hernan Lopez for wondering. Hey Listener. It's a richest good Moore Williams. You may know me as host of even the rich with Brooks Sufferin. If you have already heard wondering has its own APP now and it has been my saving grace during quarantine. Not only have I been able to listen to some of my staple favorites but I've also been able to explore some wondering classics my current fave Dr Death. I know I'm late to the party but better late than never rake is join wondering plus to check out even the rich and many great wonder shows Ad Free Anti. Listen to exclusive shows, binges and get early access joined before Friday. 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Silicon Valley Jeff Bezos Google national enquirer Sarah Ellison Sarah Michael Sanchez US Amazon Wall Street Journal Washington Post skidmore Williams Venturo Watches Rome Washington Facebook Ventura Brooke Sufferin Lauren Sanchez Patagonia Fleece Gavin de Becker