So a crazy Wednesday at the White House occasions kind of a crazy Tuesday podcast in which we go through a) Trump and gun control and what might be too much for his base, b) the agony of working in a White House under investigation, thus requiring the hiring of a lot of lawyers at a high billable rate, and c) so can it really be the case that Jared Kushner gets to have meetings with hedge funds in the White House that then invest in his family business without consequence? Give a listen.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to the commentary magazine. Podcast today is Thursday March first, two thousand and eighteen. I am John Podhoretz, the editor of the seventy three year old, monthly of intellectual analysis, political property and cultural criticism from a conservative, that we invite you to join us. A commentary magazine dot com, where We give you a few free reads and then ask you to subscribe, one thousand nine hundred and ninety five for a digital edition, twenty nine. Twenty five for an all access subscription, including are beautiful, Miller. I've ever are beautiful, monthly magazine in your mailbox.
Eleven times here, which raises an interesting thing. I read somewhere something this morning about, US news at featuring Uso's report which which ceased publishing its magazine last year, so it's now only online except for its college guide or something. And the peace referred to Us News and world report. As a magazine- and I would say, I don't think, Call you us news and World Report magazine anymore. If they don't publish a maggot, When we publish a magazine and with me helping me to publish the magazine every day, is cigarette or a Greenwald High, ape hi, John and Associated know: Rothman HI, Noah, hi, John and senior writer. Sarah Marie Highsaw Rob good morning. John Yes, we put out a magazine, we put out a website and so we're still a magazine and we have a website, and I just don't think that other things should call themselves magazines if they don't publish magazines. But hey. That's just me
So, yes, it was a pretty crazy day. Noah right, I'm still reeling Oh really, we had the president. Packing his attorney general? calling with disgrace in the morning on Twitter Then he brought a bunch of Democrats and a few Republicans into his office in the afternoon and became a charter, member of Handgun Control, INC and then and the communications director resigned, and then the New York Times. You know the story about how Jared Kushner this is son in law and senior advisor, who we The previous day had lost all of his security clearance uh. His uh had had meetings in his office and then his family company had gotten hundreds of millions of dollars in investments directly from the people that he met with directly after the meeting
it was a what else. There was some more. I think there are other things well it which was was a day, that was exactly like what you would have imagined. The Trump presidency day would have looked like back when you were thinking, there's no way. He'd ever be president, but it's not like. It was a day that was unless other days in little presidency. No, it's been pretty much like this. It was just more so there was a period. There was a brief aiming Peary from a just right after Christmas till about the middle of January when things seem to settle down a little bit, and I look back in that period in a speech? of almost at you know, I'm nostalgia, Selja as though once once there had been a time when we were least from this in the intense the of the sound. And fury the period when the tweets settle down to right- or am I mistaken, the other
right around that time when he was tweeting normal things. You know like you. Let me one must take action on Syria, that of that of that, and then I just check back in yesterday, because I too now the trump to account for a little. For various reasons in part, because it seemed to have settled down, and then it was a bunch of crazy. It was struck. Me is that the New York Times described the his the tweets at Jeff sessions as an extraordinary change, I thought, there's absolutely nothing extraordinary about this at all. Actually had the exact same exchange, yeah well every week of the Trump administration is felt like three well. Let us discuss why the sessions tweet was both. Extraordinary, not extraordinary. It's extraordinary, because Trump is tweeting at Jeff sessions, as though Jeff sessions doesn't work for him, an as though he can't simply ask for resignation or fire the guy. If he thinks that he a disgrace, in other words like Noah. If I twitter- and I called you
disgrace, I assume you would be sending out your resume. Would that would that be? While you waited for me to ask you if you wanted to have a little conversation in my office, here's what I would feel pretty bad about myself, because we have a different dynamic if you were do that and you were Trump and I was Jeff sessions? I wouldn't compose a very orderly and aloof olympian statement of response, delineating my responsibilities as a blog editor in demonstrating my my interest in adding capacity. To fulfill that mission as much as I can I believe he said with with distinction and honor right something like that sessions. Response to Trump was a statement saying that as long as he served in his office is a trade journal, he would do so with the section honor that suggesting that President was asking him to behave with this honor and he he would not do so. This is an exchange between two officials in the admin
Actually it's not trump firing at a democratic senator it's not trump firing at greta Governor, it's not trump firing. It guns all Curie well the judge this is a guy who works for him and the only proper response to believing, if you believe that somebody is a disgrace, is to ask for his is to is to dismiss because he is a disgrace. Sanders culminated last night in what was definitely not at the actual design, not at all of solidarity, but not in the after the top three at the justice to now sessions, Steen, nine and of I did a lot of our bill of somebody. Never assume that are always the bad trade yeah he's about trade solicitor, General who's going to be taking over for Rachel Brandon Number three, so the the suggestion there. If there's any coercive signaling going on is that you get rid of one of us get rid of all of us.
So that was fun. Uh. I think we can agree that that was fun, so it was not extraordinary because it's trump right and Trump continues to conduct himself, as though he is The president, I would say his public persona on Twitter is that he is not in fact the United States, there's no distinction in tone between the things that he tweets now the things he tweeted in twenty thirteen when he was just kibitzing. Had Obama from the outside and it all other people added. You know I don't know who Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. Twilight Movie Series when they were having romantic troubles, although sometimes it seems like someone else gets ahold of the twitter account right. Well, that's clear because the two of them only a chance Gallo got jammed, skip email give in on here. Thank you, I'm having a problem. Yes, who I I'm sorry to report has had me blocked for a year. You know so he's great he's a communications person who blocks writers and editors and
you know columnists I. So I don't know what that he does have access to the twitter account he tweets, sometimes in terms voice, but there do sometimes it reads like a press release right right, which is what the service talking to SIRI the Syrian, which is just way too well composed and thoughtful. But you know hold this episode. It reminds me that it's also occasioned one of more insane tweets by the Reverend Jerry Falwell Junior is here Reverend You see that he's not sorry, sorry, Jerry, Falwell, Junior, the president of the family business, the Liberty University, which ordinarily. Universities are not family owned businesses, but I guess this one is and so he said that in fact Jeff session had always been part of the Mccain Romney Bush Establishment Conspiracy and he had only pretended going back to two thousand and five
I mean at the two two endorsed Donald Trump in order, and he said he insinuated Falwell insinuated that he had in order to ingratiate himself and take down Trump, which is I treated that that the crackling noise you hear is the sound of tinfoil hat on your head. Mister fall it's by the way, a Liberty University guess who delivered Seri optim commencement address at Liberty, university, Romney Romney. Ok and Bush, so the established Bush, Senior's hw, but anyway, w ever get a celebrity anyway. So the joke, of course, is that. So what would that suggest? Liberty was part of the establishment conspiracy to solidify their evil, hold on the Republican on the GOP conservative movement totally and Falwell family is just hip deep in the evil. You know, but that's which is simply a way of coming up with some bizarre.
Exculpation of by the grounds that Trump was attacking sessions, for allowing the inspector general of the Justice Department to look into the FISA Matter, rather than appointing a special counsel or doing something like that. That is what the inspector general of the Justice Department is supposed to do. Inspector generals have had an enormously consequential effects on the political, appointees and political events at various Cabinet Department's over the years, including HUD and others, and I you know, I don't see any reason why they expect your general isn't a perfectly good person to look into
the question of whether or not the FISA process was breached improperly and even strategically from Trump's own Should tactical point of view not strategic. At least you do not want another special counsel, goings, dating matters related to Trump Russia or come FISA, or what have you the whole point of the one big problem with religion, cakes on Hannity, the special that was Lord? Then I think it would probably have a pretty good, though that's what they want. I honestly it's it's not as though they they're not talk. They want good governance. They want to muddy the waters. Jerry Falwell Junior doesn't believe that Jeff sessions as part of the deep state conspiracy he thinks you might, and so the that's. Why he's saying these sort of things? It's all talking down to people so as long as they can feed content into fox and friends and keep Donald Trump busy and keep the base busy there happy, I guess so that so that was that that was fun also So, let's we, we have a lot of fun going on here, just to get back to the what's, not what's
it's not extraordinary about this is that we are. We are. Finding The question is: can one imagine, after Trump in twenty twenty one or two thousand and twenty five imagine that this becomes a baseline way in which administrations political organizations but he communicates always that you have a public. A process of pub humiliation or public sort of like distancing that the head of something publicly distances himself from the rest of his own organization and manages it by the using x without public roads is slow. Apps and hit, and- and you know, three stooges- I pokes when pushing some the over somebody else and falling on the ground. So I want to. I want to put forward a theory.
I'm going to say a lot of people think This is the new normal and it might be because it is an effective means of communication, but I don't think any other president could do this kind of job presenting himself as outside his ministration as genuinely as Donald Trump can, because Donald Trump is genuinely outside of his administration. Donald Trump is the power in this administration. What he wants isn't necessarily what's going to happen. We've all come a accustom after hearing Donald Trump talk about things that are walked back by his administration very quickly, because the president just says things being a foreign policy beat domestic policy John Kelly is the power and when the White House macmasters the power in the White House, the president is sort of Looming over everything, influential, but not in control. So yes, You can comment on his own administration as though he's outside of it, because he has a genuine ability to channel emotion
essentially okay as an let's go to the Big NEWS yesterday right, which was the meeting in the White House with on guns with members of the House and Senate. Presided over by the president with everybody kind of in second position in attendance, its his meeting. He gets to run it, he gets to say whatever. He wants right,
so what he does should have delighted and thrilled the Democrats in the room and what he did among sort of honest conservatives should of been horrifying, surprising and nerve wracking, particularly people who believe him to be some kind of a steward of the issues that animated grass roots american conservatism, one of the leading ones of which is. You know, sir, that whole hearted and and dogmatic support for second amendment rights, which he clearly made clear. What was not something of any particular interest to him, since he said kind of called for an assault. Weapons ban said that Senator Pat Toomey, one of the authors of the only piece of legislation in the last twenty five years to be,
crosswise of the interests of gun groups or expressed gun groups, the mansion Toomey Bill of twenty thirteen or two thousand and fourteen? I can't remember which they said that Pat Toomey was scared of the NRA and that's why he wouldn't advance certain pieces of legislation or advanced certain ideas in this legislation. Uh and, of course, most notoriously. Of course, I say because it's been twenty four hours and in the life of you know our our lives here. Twenty four hours is like a you know. Six months called into question. The idea that gun owners had due process rights. I would say he also shutdown concealed carry reciprocity
Right so right, so disagree quickly, explain what that means so can kill concealed carry reciprocity. Is the notion that states in which people are granted a right to consider the concealed carry of a weapon? What, if they're driving, let's say and they cross the border into a state that does not have concealed carry that their right of concealed carry should carry over across the border that that the that icky, you cannot be arrested in I don't know why we can't be arrested in New York. If you drive from Louisiana Louisiana concealed Carry because Steve had the so there's a university if you have a concealed permit on long island and you drive in New York City and you're going to is not in a case in your trunk with the magazine out anyway, but right, but but in this case these are state regulations, so idea that there could be
If you were going to do something that were gun ownership, you might want to throw throw a bone to gun owner by passing this thing, which is concealed, carry reciprocity and Trump said: that's never going pass. We get that you can have that so so he was even he was even making fun. Almost idea that anything had to be done to assuage the concerns of gun owners. At this moment, really what was wanted was some form of national action that would restrict gun ownership in some fashion or other right. It is saving mocking the NRA and then making you know basically painting the target on. Will please go into so he's he goes. He said the now as he was letting it laying out this litany of gun control proposals. Also said that directed himself towards
to me in another Republican, senator blocking on and said what do you guys do about eighteen to twenty one? In other words, do you raise the age limit nationally for the purchase of rifles and I said no, and he said because afraid of the NRA. You don't have to be afraid of the NRA, not afraid of the NRA. Maybe I don't. Maybe I'm you know, I don't have to be afraid of you know. Maybe you don't have to be afraid of it. Don't worry there with us Ann, is right. I mean he's pretty much right. The thing is that the national are, the NRA has made itself ascentia a wing of the Republican Party and knows where its bread is buttered, which is abnormal interest group, but it is no longer all about guns and it's sort of about cultural issues and become a pro trump organization, so they got nowhere else to go and if Trump wants to is that relationship and say, listen you're not going anywhere. We can sort of run afoul of them he's making a pretty simple calculation there he's not going to pay as much of a prices. Republicans are down the ticket. If the NRA really gets. You know, they're up.
Ackles and they want to enforce in a primary, for example, but in general this is pretty simple calculation, but it is striking to hear a Republican be cavalier about an interest group like the NRA as he was well, was it cavalier? Was it a kind of That said, don't be afraid of the NRA. I got your back, you sort of like I got your six. Don't worry if you're going to do this they're, you know they're going to have to bow to me. You don't need to be afraid of them. Because I'm more powerful than that yeah it's an interesting point, because. With a lot of the media is, and it this Esta proposition know that you yourself have expressed, and maybe sorrow, is sort a beauty to get in on. This conversation, which is is, is the Republican movement at a party or the public movement or whatever. Is it.
Does it center on ideas that Trump hooked and fixed himself to or represents, and therefore it's he and and these ideas together. Worship, trade, immigration and all of that, or is it just him? Is it a cult of personality, an wherever he goes, they'll go. So if he doesn't build the wall, that's fine! If he goes against the NRA, that's fine! You know, I don't know if he approved citizenship for the dreamers. That's fine! I think it's. The he's become the idea. He is the idea in the sense that if you support him as as blindly and Abject Lee as say Reverend Falwell
some like it. Presumably he speaks for base out Reverend Falwell the men all right around. Having especially, I should be a should. The vision of the red anyway is very sick, their income and I apologize the dairy sector. But but the point is that did. He has become the idea for them. Support for him is the cultural point, and sometimes that cuts against normal republic, slash, conservative ideological agenda right. He he can, he can come out against that guns in here and add any to be. Quite. The restriction is when it comes to the second amendment and they have to take it to to to go along, they will go along because he's the idea he's the countercultural baton hammer, whatever you think that was supposed to come down on the top of the kind of the head of the left or the liberals, and so worth, but it doesn't matter. Then, if, if the amber lands
the NRA, either. You know it's interesting about this, though I mean I agree that it's not about policies and it's about it's about Trump and the concept of Trump in and- and he is the idea but like this actually messes with the idea I mean this, is it's not just a policy decision he's talking about he's also compromising the cultural appeal that that is the thing that they're into I mean what he said. Yesterday is is very sort of still a Le D. Why do they need while we don't? We don't need so many guns. Why do we have to have these guys? It's it's not just the policy, if they maybe could live with the change, because he's he's behind it's it's also, it has the feel of the kind of thing they wrecked that they resent interesting. That's a vaccine, that's a very interesting and original analysis, and the question is: how much leeway does he have? I was going to do it with this one thing, but not with others,
we've already seen him test the boundaries of this again with the remark that he with the idea that he would support a path to citizenship, or the dreamers as opposed to what he said on the campaign trail, which is that he wanted to deport twelve million people. I guess to me, because I'm committed to this idea that Trumpism is a posture, another set of ideas and the extent to which that would prove true, is the extent to which you individually have sunk costs into Donald Trump success. In other words, your identity. Is bound up in his success and the and to which he What is the right? People if you were only sort of partially committed they're not committed at all, then you really would be getting off the boat at this point, because it is such a betrayal of the ideas to which you normally hold fealty. But if you are, if you were really committed to the maggot Trump Movement and you got a red hat and your you don't gung ho. I don't. I don't think, there's anything you can't rationalize well, if
Please write an one of the things that he does is he annoys the right people. This is it's interesting what happened in that meeting what he was saying, wasn't annoying the right people. According to the calculations of the modern crowd. It was the lighting them. I don't know we are the right people Are we there right yeah? It's not Democrats, you don't think it's Democrats who don't think it's Nancy Pelosi a well. It is Democrats and it is us, so it is long as somebody's annoyed. You can find some joy in that But again, the question is: if what he does is like poor ambrosia, you know porn porn nectar into the into the. Here's. A mouse of the of Diane Feinstein. Does that alien Is that alienating to hit to his core supporters
I don't know this would test the question that's been kicked around ever since he came on the scene. Is that it is that whether or not the Trump base as conservative as it is something else right are they? I don't like Henry Olson- would say that it's a misunderstanding. Tutor frame this in terms of liberal. Single categories of conservatism? They are not conservative that this is white identity, politics or but not white, necessarily in contradiction there contradistinction to black, but in other words the sort of interest of the white Working class or people who feel aggrieved because they're white and they feel like they're country is other people are getting over taking over the country or something like that. And that those issues are cross ideological that they You know. The conservative economics that believes in tax cuts will tend also believe in free trade, on the grounds that it's
in principle of you know getting government out of the way and as or creating you know, let let the market function, so they like tax cuts, but they also like you, know, protectionism, let's say, or you know they they don't mind. Welfare as long as they get more welfare? You know and newcomer newcomers? Don't newcomers don't get it 'cause? What do they deserve it for that kind of thing, so that it's. What somebody like had real center of you know one of these people whose it says that this is a cross ideological movement. I I find that implausible on the grounds that I don't think as no. It says that they are motivated by ideas. It's not policies, it is, It is- and I think this is where storms right to it's it's about what he is as a cultural political figure as a counterpoint so kind of concerned. He, if you lose me for saying so, is an asshole and they
I like that he's an asshole. I don't know how else to say it we have. That is. That is enough with all this yes he's he's are. There's there's not a lot of evidence that there is. This is a cross ideological, and either not in the polls, it suggests that he has a base of support. It's nine tenths of it is republican. And when his support goes up and down in the polls. It's because Republicans jump on or off the boat he's got a set base of support. That's going nowhere and he can do nothing to dislodge the. We don't know that he can do nothing to dislodge them because remember, Here's the almost by set best known for the the the where it fluctuates ISM Republicans, who are soft trump supporters or weren't trump supporters, and on in twenty sixteen and go on and off with their infatuation with the president. But you know there's also the the the point of what university you're talking about. This is, if this is
what he said yesterday is is necessarily going to hold. He could be. He could back away from this very dramatically, in which case the whole question of of how it plays with his bases is moot well Remember we had a crisis on our hands three weeks ago that that we really needed to solve the dreamer problem, because the dreamer problem was today's march. First, the the Daca is is What your sheikh no shaking his head, I always say done. No, I asked I I'm I as stone senator from Washington, Patty Murray, now can't well Maria Cantwell Maybe that was her. I forget who it quite yet the deadlines over. I, the Supreme Court, refused to weigh in on a lower court decision over the week. This march fifth was supposed to be the deadline at which this program would expire. That court decision put that off Paul Ryan
said you know we're kind of relieved. We don't have to really vote on this, we're going to, of course, but we don't have to ask. Well at the center, because I think, legally speaking, it's worse, it's rescinded, but the protections continue and you have and they're they're not accepting new applications. But, as you can argue, fifth, when I can keep applying the ones we know from from general Kelly people were in applying just because they were lazy. Remember that right, the big can keep renewing your doctor yeah. Here's the deal, Doc is not going anywhere. It's going to be kicked into two thousand and nineteen people are going to campaign on it. The end in a campaign- and it Republicans are gonna say you need to bring us back as Democrats was gonna. Give you amnesty it's the same issue. We are you know what, with the terrifying thought is because on the one thing where he's been solid, so far, company is, are the are the social conservative issues this sense that whether it was his obviously nomination of Gorsuch the judges that he's it.
Place. A sensually. Most of them have been confirmed across the sort of federal circuits or the Charlie Gard Kind of cultural statement. I can, really see under a Democrat, controlled legislature of him, either discarding or shifting away from from where he's been on on life issues, for example, and. You know! Is it that hard for for Falwell on Reverend Falwell to make the switch Tommy Laron that the I call her color, a brain, frying type of fox pundit. She's, just suddenly, once she was on the view she said, I actually don't know about abortion restrictions, it should be left up and then lots of I mean and because of this movement is non ideological. I could see a lot of people going on and saying look do we do we need You know as unrestrict abortion regime, as as we have now, maybe not, but would I be okay with, and
russian regime. That's you know, allows you know to be. Permitted up to a certain point in the pregnancy, sure why not in Trump's going along with it so anyway, question. That opposing is. Do you guys think that the social conservatives would hold with him if he were to make a a kind of dramatic? If it from where he's been so far, do you mean social concert? What is what defines social conservatives under that, but the movement or evangelicals, let's say: ok. Well, then Jellicle Base, ok, well, there's who is the dynamic with evangelical base, which is you know? Do you go for him because everything else will be worse? That would be the that would be the dynamic all. We will always be an an explanation that, even if he were to walk away from them or betray them that he would that whatever would follow him or whatever would come from the other side would be worse and therefore you are making a pragmatic. The
and that's a perfectly rational calculation. Lee it's a it's only only when they justify it in terms of rise like king, David or he's like the this way- and you know, He sees things I understand he has his Bible. You know he he he may you know his father like to watch Billy, Graham on TV. All of this supposedly indicates that he's a man, a man of faith is was saying no he's like a cruise disgusting philandering. You know star loving the access Hollywood grab them by the butt would be better than the alternative. That would be something that one could one could actually kind of. I understand that knowledge as a as a hard concession to political reality, but they have to pretend that he
a moral actor and that they see goodness in him and you know, write books called the faith of Donald Trump and stuff. That's a calculation if your political player, if you're further down the chain power wise and you see that I'm not sure the U B, B, sort of making that the that the the an old decision on the sure that would be your calculus. I think you know. I think that the the perfectly realistic social, the the conservative case against making that compromise, that is that, is that your issues with it, which ones that I had I hold very dear marriage life, etcetera, become bound up in the public mind with Trump ISM and Trump which in the long Arm might be toxic to you. I still, I think, if I had to make that, is it a choice between what's coming down the down the pike with with with Democrats and frankly, Trump
that's very difficult because I know would come that's coming down. The Democrats is going to be terrified. It's speech codes and you know very, very liberal regime on on abortion, etcetera and and forcing bakers to bake, cakes and out of that that that, But at some point I mean the cost of associating these causes, which I think very noble with Trump could become very high. I've said envision a scenario seven years down the line in which you have a lot of fatigue with this administration. People start coming to terms with it, as it is a lot of George W Bush when the sort of the right the bloom was off the rose and the public had soured on the mission in Iraq in particular, and conservatives began to say, you know what we spent a lot of money and that really didn't make a whole lot of sense and those were
concessions to political reality that were justified as moral imperatives at the time. Medicare part d and no child left behind, etc, and then we all just sort of came to the realization that it was. It was a compromise that was unnecessary. Well, some people think it was a compromise that was unnecessary. See no evidence that Medicare part D is some kind of moral stain on the republic that definitely get inaugurated the t RT well before the Obama election kind of, but I'm just saying that the Medicare part D is an extraordinarily popular piece of legislation that hasn't been wildly. You know backbreaking Lee, expensive and and it's something that was promised that both candidates promised in two thousand, this kind of retro active red perspective. Notion that it is you know it was. You know it was some kind of a CNN, a monstrous act against the conservative principles, simply because it's an entitlement
the notion that we need to do something to support prescription drug prices was something that literally everybody running for office in two thousand seven created with so anyway. But that's a whole other point I mean, I think, if the ideas that could could the Republican Party, the concert, will we get disenchanted with Trump. You know if he gets a second term, and you know in the seventh or eighth year, of course, of course I mean that would be more more likely than not. I mean that much. I mean the evangelicals who are it's, what is it and who are making a concerted effort not to acknowledge the fact that the president paid off a porn star right, exactly okay, so you know that's a transactions are very complicated. Business will get to Jerry just transactions in a minute, but I want to talk to people about a transaction that we should all consider were off. All four of us are men here at this. And we all know that shaving is a pain and
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and a trimmer blade, rich lathering shave, gel travel blade covers to get your free trial, set, go to Harris DOT, com, slash commentary right now: that's Harris DOT, com, slash commentary! Now stock transactions, because that was the other fun part right. The part fun part of last night's side from the departure of Hope, Hicks, which is very complicated because she was so close to She with the campaign, the beginning and she's a model, and she has long hair and she worked for a vodka and judge of loves her and a like certain, she was a communications director who never communicated with anybody, and you never have never heard her voice and and uh. She knows nothing from nothing and it was the worst communication shop in the history of America, so she's, leaving way a what is sorrow for everybody at the White House. It's very sad so that news for two hours and then the New York Times came out with a big piece and the big piece said Noah what so Jerry takes a lot of meetings,
One of the meanings to the meetings he's taken were with some finance ears, one of whom he was interviewing for a job in the White House didn't materialize. Those meetings were tyvan and fruitful, apparently because unrelated, sold down the line, the organizations us to Jules Representative both donated a combined five hundred million dollars to Jerrod Kushner, who has some real money, troubles, and those donations, not donations. Loans were substantial to the point where the individuals organizations that made them they were some of the biggest sums that they'd ever delivered, and nobody's denying this, and this occurred days a day after we lost security clearance and Jared Kushner spokesperson resigned. Mysteriously, it's hardly the first time in which Jared Kushner has made himself an optical mess, whether or not you think
who is above board, and they say it was, and we have no reason to think otherwise. Necessarily it just looks bad. It's like the fifth time that he has made the president look awful he's revised. His financial disclosure is a hundred times has been fined over it twice, he told campaign interns in a conversation that the campaign was incompetent. He was involved in the and it's got a meeting. He was emailing members of the White House staff on a private email system- I Yes of the major campaign theme against which he ran. A Hillary Clinton at the guy has been a trouble magnet for this White House and if you're interested in Reserving your role as a senior administration official to the principal you preserve the principal you protect the principal. This guy has made it clear that his interest is in himself and that the principal the new administration should tolerate it. Well, it's not normal administration, sorry this stab Liszt and Jericho
there's no business being in the administration of the first place. He's only here. 'cause he's the son in law and You know there are two different things going on here, one of which is, if you hire a dilettante to do something, it doesn't know how anything works he'll screw up because he doesn't know anything works. This is like people who work in politics and want to do this. In here these rules, they learn them over time. They are bathed to them. They paid attention to politics for twenty years, they're terrified of crossing. You know conflict of interest blinds and getting into trouble for stuff like that and they filled out forms before and they've done all this, and he never did anything. It was sort of like when William, William Foster Kane in Citizen Kane says I think it would be fun to run. A newspaper was like hey Well, you know, Donald's won the presidency, I guess I'll uh help run the country.
Sure. Why not you know I bought a building for a billion dollars more than it was worth. I can do that in Washington to I could spend a trillion dollars more than we have. I can fix Middle EAST, I can make peace with Mexico. I can reinvent the government I mean, if you actually look at his portfolio. It's psycho this guy has never done anything except bio, newspaper into the ground and buy a building for a billion dollars more than it was worth somebody job. Twitter at a certain point that he had been cursed by the gods to perform seven labors and there were these herculean tasks, your as the government fix the opioid crisis, peace in the Middle EAST. These things that would be difficult to achieve, because it's popular state business like the one that Trump runs. It's like, ok, so Jared will be the point on that 'cause. I trust him. You know I give a subtle and also you know if you get in trouble legally, he you know maybe they'll be some kind of a family privilege. I don't know Waht or you know. I can trust him not to betray me
or something like that, whatever it is, so we have no business going in, I mean Ivanka has no business being there at either and so Trump should reap what he sowed like. If this is the case- and he wanted to have his idiot son in law run the world, let him seed son in law suffer. I gather people tell me not an idiot I've had three conversations we be able to say is really smart, really smart. He ask good questions, he's really smart if he's really smart he's really smart in small groups, because not really smart. As having a meeting with the guy from APOLLO and then his and then taking and then his family's business takes a hundred and eighty three million dollar investment from APOLLO five days later ten days late, now that we have lost the the security clearance he's only a liability, he can't perform the roles he's been assigned site, that is correct, Noah. That is incorrect. I will tell you why it's incorrect, because Trump can right now grant him a top secret.
It said skiff, Sci clearance by saying Jared gets a clearance. That's all yes do to do. The classification process functions, the name of the well until such time. You will never know that because we don't need to know that it's not our business. What he I his his Clerks was taken away. His interim security clearance was taken away as part of a process under which, like a hundred people, have lost their security clearances in the White House, And only as a result of the fact that a guy who used to beat his wife was expressed to such right, okay, so people have lost security clearance, so Trump will restore with interim security. Clear Kelly said everyone is going to lose. It trump will restore Jared's and that'll. Be that I mean Scott got to decide that he it's fine with him that Jared and Ivanka have to leave, but in the meanwhile world peace hangs in the balance without Jared's intervention.
About reinventing the government. Also, you know people are dying from opiates every day and with Jarrett you know Eve Jared goes the possibility of finding a cure for the opioid crisis, just go right out of the wind joke about this, but Henry Kissinger provided Jerod with a back channel network to Beijing when he was conducting diplomacy for the United States V, Kissinger's scene Soviet split back channel to Beijing. Could I just say that, while I find all of this very peculiar, I wouldn't exactly say that, given what we've seen from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that he would have been much better I mean- I maybe he wouldn't it wouldn't have looked like he was having back channel conversations with big while his sister was trying to get that chinese to bail out the Kushner company on the bill. Ten dollars, XS purchase of six hundred and sixty six fifth avenue by saying to the Chinese you
goodbye into this, because my brother is going to be a big power in the White House, so at least Jara It wasn't the one who said it is sister said it. Then she apologized for it then Jared sold his interest in six hundred and sixty six fifth Ave, so there would be no conflict of interest while he retains a giant interest in the Kushner companies, which you will my might say, looking at, it would suggest a fungibility there. That is so, if you're, not part of this business, you're part of the larger business now very aptly named the address by the way, apparently, now it should be said this two things need to be said. The Kushner companies is a gigantic realestate business. Unlike the Trump organization. They are the largest single landholder in New Jersey. They have twenty five, thirty thirty, five thousand apartments in New Jersey that they rent out. They have interest solid place. It's not just six hundred and sixty six fifth avenue. This is a major in business Worth Billy
then billions and billions of dollars privately held so that they got a three million dollar investment from APOLLO Hedge fund, APOLLO, doesn't in itself mean all that much because the business is worth ten, one thousand two hundred and fifteen billion, or something like that, but it looks terrible, but here's what's interesting about the looks part but the optics is that, with this administration there is rarely a sense of food on the hot seat. For this now there's with this. Is this is going to be how's he going to squirm at you know what she What is one going to do to defend it? There's almost this preemptive indifference to optics. That sort of you know sort of dismisses the question before that. Like yeah, it looks bad, so things look bad. You know it's like it. It's it's it's a it's a strange. I it doesn't work well, but only at larger son in law. It only works with the son in law
now in a lot of places. People don't like in a lot of a lot of families where there are family, owned businesses, people don't like the Son in law. They feel they are very uh. What's unusual, that Trump is that he likes the son of in my experience and the brothers are protective and you could take the the Vanka approach which is to get prickly and you know sort. Of indignant about even being pushed on these issues. That's what she was in an interview with Peter Alexander Embassy and be sees Peter Alexander, asked about the allegations against her out her father, regarding fidelity an impropriety in paying off porn stars. What have you and her response was to get all prickly about the nature of the questions I had dared appropriate to ask me such a question about my father will not believe that Yvonne CO will not be interviewed much after that and by the way, because it is now will be they'll, be incumbent on every interviewer that follows, except if it's some
nope slavish Catamite panjandrum at Fox NEWS who wants to lick the inside of her arch, to ask questions about her father, otherwise, you're just going to look like you're a sell out to her. I don't know how you can All of that but it was a I, I think, a pretty effective tactic because it primed everybody to say well. These questions are not fair questions, you're being a a bad media person, part of the deep state conspiracy to even ask a senior administration official about the allegations against President, the United States. I mean it's so good to us, that's ridiculous, but to the the Trump administration- follow isn't even ten gentle supporters, it's all media bias. My favorite thing is the well do you ask Chelsea Clinton, those questions and, of course, Chelsea Clinton twice during twenty. Was. It was asked these questions and she got all prickly, but she's, not
A senior official of the White House and for is a private citizen working on a mother's campaign and she basically just stopping in as I say of, will not be interviewed again. I mean if she has, If she has any sickle, as we say, Is there a set herself up for any interview being about what she thinks of the latest indiscretions and bad behavior of her father by claiming that she should should be out of bounds the chi? So maybe box can you know, help defend her by cell. This is terrible, and it's mean and Chelsea wasn't asked these questions when she was asked these questions and Chelsea wasn't asked these questions when her parents were in the White House, because she was a t major and Ivanka, is questions because she's thirty seven years old, she has three children and she's a Damn senior White House official who goes
tv and shouldn't act like she. It's illegitimate to ask her a question on a matter of public policy. That's another form in which the dilettante as of now. Maybe it's a hard question for answer. So she went she defaulted to this. You know fake rage, because it's the only way she can deal with the question. But then she better not be interviewed it's all inside sure she could later be interviewed. Let's see what happens go ahead, I mean I mean it just right. I have that's. That's the the hole in the whole discussion is the the president is- is now surrounded with a lot of people who weren't the b team the campaign, maybe even more even trump Supporters- and you this is that this is the team, that's designed to make things work and it slowly coalescing to this core group of people. That's eventually going to resist the end up in
family. Well, the other thing, of course, and then it around trouble they're all in trouble like they're all lawyer to up there all talking to a mall or it may come to nothing. But you think it's not incredibly distracting. You have to go through a deposition processes and go through multiple, like order boards before you have these questions, asked of you by very committees, standing committees, house, committees, Muller, you know it's Actually it's an agony. It's like Ba. You people don't go to sleep at night. They start worrying that they said something wrong and that they're going to be indicted for perjury like it's, not good. It's not a good situation, so and this, I think, is the other problem. So hope PICS goes right and there are these people. That is a job. That anybody in the world would want, except no rational person on earth will want to be the communications director of this White House in the midst of these probes,
less they're. Already working there I mean he's. Gonna have to make Serra Sanders. The communications director and make cold can give leave the you know DR get out of the the guy who's like the cast member from Bob Roberts. Have to make him the press secretary because actually know take those jobs. I would counter that there really is no shortage of people who would want to communications job in this White House, Mercedes Schlapp, that there she works in the White House, she's asking for it publicly. Okay, she okay, but she works in the White House already yeah. So there's no shortage. No I'm saying it has to be someone in the White House like the idea. Ordinarily you'd say we're in a crisis: we better go, everybody inside is kind of comparable. We better go find like a first rate. You know. The head of of you know. I don't know the Knickerbocker the head of some major pr firm, who is that new crisis pr gotta come in here and help us figure this out? you're going to be like. Oh no, I'm not touching this with a ten foot. Pole buddy like what are you crazy
Remember who was communications director in this way? Scaramouche E was communications director for eleven days. Remember that hanging out on that ever since he said on tape tv every morning, throwing mud at the White House in amazing or the the chief of staff, you let someone know, is that the fact that a lot of these people are now having to answer to Muller and and various congressional committees. I don't think it is that's the one thing where I don't think it's at least has not been. Proved yet that it's the administration's fault and that's my fault, I'm talking, but it's a reality is a reality. Being investigated is a horrible. I know horrible thing, even if you're convinced that it's you know and by the way doesn't end. That's the other thing like you can quit. That doesn't mean the investigation into you ends like air stilled you're. Still there and they're still
pursuing leads on possible offenses and you still have to be lawyered up and pay the lawyer yeah. You have to pay the lawyer, because what people don't and is it. Lawyers are not permitted to do this work for you pro bono, because it would be considered an illegal gift to political figure. So that's two three four five hundred dollars an hour I mean Jared Kushner, that's fine for Jared Kushner! There are people for whom, like Sarah Sanders, it wouldn't be so fine or a lot of people wouldn't be so fine. It's insane. You know the amount of money you have to have a meeting for three or four hours with your lawyer and suddenly you're like five thousand dollars in the hole. When you make one hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year like that's, not good and that's one meeting and then, when you have to attend meetings, you know ha. It broke Flynn it
Yes, everybody absurd broke Rick Gates. That's how that's that's. That's part of the fleet alkylation in exactly and it's why you should do it or you should break early rather than late, because you still have to pay the bills and the question goes Is it wise to speak voluntarily with Muller because he's looking? It clearly is looking for like a subpoena you if you asked him right as it goes through this first, I that's I mean I'm not giving out. I I have no idea. All I can say is that you know that we're gates, I'm sure, spent five million dollars. He would need to spend to end up cooperating with smaller, though you can go to mull over the proffer and say I'll. Tell you whatever. I need to know, tell me what you're willing to drop you can do at the beginning, and I have to like spend nine months. You know like trying to defend Paul man a fort who is going to go to jail. Unless yeah I mean there's very little ways are going to go to jail based on what
reading here. They will not that I care they could all go to jail. It don't go to jail whatever don't spend one hundred thousand dollars a month at a cvs. Trying to launder money is my advice: don't don't get into financial? That would be that would I think that is something that all parents should tell their children spoke that we bring this episode of the Commentary magazine podcast to a close for a Greenwald, Noah, Rothman Answerable. Marie I'm John Podhoretz keep the candle. Right.
Transcript generated on 2019-11-15.