Text-gate. FISA-gate. Mueller-gate. FBI-gate. Unmasking-gate. What's real? What's nutso conspiracy theory? What's to be concerned about? What deserves a fuller investigation? We try to sort this out on the second COMMENTARY podcast of the week. Give a listen.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to the commentary magazine podcast today is Thursday January twenty fifth, twenty eighteen. I am John Podhoretz, the editor of Commentary magazine the seventy three year old, monthly of political, probably intellectual analysis and cultural criticism from a concert, The perspective join us, a commentary magazine dot com. We give you a few free reason: ask you to subscribe, one thousand nine hundred and ninety five for a digital subscription, two thousand nine hundred and ninety five for an all access subscription. You are beautiful monthly magazine in your mailbox eleven times a year. We just got our hands on
February issue of commentary in the office this morning. It is one of the best we've ever produced with a magnificent article by Nick Eberstadt on the method in North Korea's madness or remarkable article by rabbi, Salkin of Florida, on the misuses of sloganeering and liberal Judaism, a great piece by Terry Teachout. On the question of how do we view the art of somebody that we now know to be morally compromised whole bunch of other stuff great pieces by sting rose and their soul of a check. Matt continuity in Anti Ferguson, Michael Lewis, I Assn, Michael J Lewis of Williams College on the by will be the new Bible Museum in Washington DC. So is that the harvest of riches, You can read some of it online, a commentary magazine dot com and you can't read all of it: 'cause we're going to put up that
a wall and you're going to break right through that pay well by paying one thousand nine hundred and ninety five for a digital subscription, and it is worth it cuz. It is really really something we're proud of February issue commentary, so which means always a green wall. There single rider, hi, John and Noah Rothman are associated that are high, no hello, John. So I was not here on on Monday, because I had the flu and apparently people really enjoy the podcast without me. So unfortunately, Soroba Marie appears to have the flu and is not with us. Today. People were seemed very happy that Sorab apparently got more speaking time, because I wasn't talking so I think I'm just not going to talk anymore in this podcast will be twenty.
It's long, because that's as much material as we were able to fill it out here it was thirty three minutes. It was great. It was if you guys, didn't listen to it ads in your feed. It's a really terrific podcast and a bin no and sort of. Don't don't need me, but you know I have a new Roddick need to be heard, and so I'm obviously going to keep doing this. Because without this MIKE, I don't exist, I don't see any of us complaining. You are, your journal, Roddick need to be heard, corresponds beautifully with minor. I need to be yes, that's a yes! We we could but we could do a whole podcast on an abs, many groceries, but we'll leave that one side of this hail chiming every once in a while. Once you feel better, that's more upsetting things. I've heard, since I think your name is ed. Mcmahon, yeah, no you're, like two young Jeezy know who Ed Mcmahon was practically
I mean: what do they look? Man go off. It was like ninety one or something when did when did the hearts of ours yeah you're right in for ninety two, like what were you three like? I I'm aware of things that happened before I was released. It's true we could talk about. The russian revolution is on you to you, too yeah. I am. I am aware that the universe predated my birth right I mean you're right, you're, right, you're, a rare millennial, on that that's as far as I, as far as I could tell okay, so we're going to try to unpack something today the? What? What should we call the texting scandal, the effort to discredit any the effort to investigate Donald Trump, trump campaign the russian matter and by by flipping it
its head and turning this into a question of whether or not the deep state at the F B, I n at the Justice Department and in the Democratic Party you conspired to a tonight from the presidency by illegitimate means be to discredit the presidency during the two transitional period by questionable means or c to create the conditions for his removal from office through politicized means with the evil. Marionette ing of the deep state in the person of, Various senior officials of the Federal Bureau of already been more explicit about the intent of these questions. Just asking questions then the advocates of this thing all because they are, they are not so explicit, they're, really just prison
in themselves as following the evidence where the evidence leads. Okay, so without any sort act, broader object, right, but subjective is is pretty obvious. So we need to back out and try to describe this as succinctly as possible. Okay for people who are not following this in a granular fashion on Twitter, I two F B. I eight two FBI agents are not this text, gate text, gate, two FBI agents, Peter struck and I don't remember LISA paid LISA Page- were having an affair and he is that was the head of our number two person in the Counterintelligence Bureau of the FBI and in the course of their affair, they exchanged text messages over there, publicly owned phones revealing that they didn't like Trump and they didn't like killed, but they do. Also, don't like Hillary, but they didn't like Trump and
they flirted and they didn't like Trump, and they flirted some more and then and that starts somewhere in the middle of twenty sixteen and then their phones go dead, apparently as their phones didn't go dead, but as efforts were being made recover all of the texts that they exchanged. We, we are told that the there was a technical glitch and five months of their texts were not collected and our sense of the F b I's Gov, known: Samsung phones lost their tax. Okay. The first thing we heard was that they lost their texts and Donald Trump had a field day. This and tweeted about it and people were like. Oh ha, you see it's like the rosemary woods missing. Eighteen, one slash two minutes.
The Watergate tapes, and then it turned out that this was a system wide glitch, Samsung phone glitch, apparently which would seem to quell the notion that somehow people went in- and you know specific We got rid of the struck page, but we're getting ahead of the time here. Let me finish one thing: so one thing and then the only reason that we know of the existence of Peter struck and LISA Page and their texts is that we found out months after the fact that when in pending council Robert Muller, discovered that struck who was working for had been having an affair with LISA Page and had been exchanging. These texts
in July of two thousand and seventeen six weeks after he began working the probe he removed, struck from the investigation, fired him off the investigation on the grounds that what he had been doing, what he had been saying and what he had discovered. Was untoward. So this means that the person who, at the center of text. Gate has not worked on the Muller Investigation since early July and worked on the Mahler investigation? Noah correct me if I'm wrong, only six weeks if that I live in four weeks made in six weeks. He was removed, in late July, according to reports, remember. My did not start until June. Mid Mid May was when the appointment, right so Muller didn't actually get going until until June, okay so we are
asked to believe by the people, who are you know horrified by this, that I Noah said said, fits well ahead. We gotta talk about the the text tax and we know about all this stuff, and all of this has to do a lot with the bang on the drum of a memo memo drafted by Devin newness, which is circulating around the intelligence community Devin Newness is a congressman from California who is the head of the house. Just PCI go ahead. How select permanent? How select permanent committee intelligence. I. Who was running the house version of the investigation into Trump and Russia and whether there was possible collusion organs See ended up having to recuse himself in that
station, because he had aligned himself too closely with the White House and got involved in some very hard to explain. Hijinks involving docu men. Send us an and secure contained facility in which he was asked that look at doesn't matter who we had, I don't even want to get into that. The whole point is that, Devin newness suppose Lee. Having worked some himself from the russian creation, then re introduces himself into the Russia investigation. By producing a memo now hold on. We need to I just want to separate the strands out. That's the whole point of this is to separate the strands out. So we have text gate which is yeah. We haven't really fully Ok, I'm just going to say text gate is two FBI, agents having an affair, texting hostilely about Trump, one of them once Mueller covers, is
has been doing. This is removed from the Trump Pro, but it is I've that this happened sometime in December and people on the right who are eager to discredit the Mueller. Investing action go. I the meal investigation is tainted because of these texts, ignoring the fact that MR struck hasn't been on the Mueller probe since the minute that Mueller found out about the text. I'm that the Mueller probably only been going for six weeks and there's another point. I can't remember well here we get into a really what I think is a humiliating debacle for Congressional republic
who got behind this thing, and so we lose a lot of these texts and there some suspicious there, but that being inside it. We what the text that we have do not seem especially nefarious, although they were pretty presented as nefarious. One of these texts involved the discussion of a quote: unquote secret society. That was LISA Pages term and she discussed it along with Peter struck and we had there's of Congress, who went out way in front of this thing and suggested that this was essentially a shadow organization within the FBI dedicated to the destruction, or at least the discrediting of the Trump Presidency This was glad we should name name, so we should say that the person who was out there frontline saying that, because LISA Page made mention of a secret society. This entire investigation was discredit.
Does Senator RON Johnson of Wisconsin, and he actually said that he had an informer that corroborated this because there was a secret society. Presumably then so So what do you mean by secret society said? I I don't know. I just know the free secrets: inside okay, the FBI got our a b c news got a hold of this tax, the text as innocuous, it's just about her being depressed in the secret society, where it apparently was a joke. A reference to they should just get together and have margaritas and cry about Donald Trump and Run Johnson has since been walking it back. Another text that we have with us, you million another text that we have, that is more exculpatory, should try to read that to hold on. I want to read the text because it's important what the actual text was and where hold on. Where is it? Ok, so here is the actual Lang.
Which of the text. Are you even going to give out your calendars? It seems kind of depressing. Maybe it should just be the first meeting of the secret society. Was the day after it is the only reference to the secret society This is the day after the Trump wins the election right. Ok, so so it's clearly a private joke between page and about how they might have a secret society together. That's that's all All we can say remember they were having an affair. So God knows what that is supposed to mean. If there had been, you know like well the secrets. He's meeting, one thousand one hundred and thirty in the Watergate garage. That would be a whole different story right, but this the only reference to it. As far as we know, all right
So now I'm going to outline this other mitigating text, which the advocates of this theory they conveniently ignore. We have a gap from December to May gap unfold in the tax in between page and struck. That's the gap picks up again. May nineteen two thousand and seventeen this text from struck, two page quote you and I both know the odds, are nothing if I thought it was likely I'd. Be there no question. I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concerned that there is no big there there. This is in reference to the Mueller probe, apparently, struck thought the Mueller probe is going to be fruitless. He resigned in late July or he was reassigned rather than July. So this conspiracy, and it is alleged to be a conspiracy that does have a representative- he had okay, but we should say so. He said that is. I don't want to the there's not enough in their but then the actual. Did go work on the Mueller probe and then he was removed from the Mueller probe.
Get it. As I mean this is Bob got Bob Goodlad has said these spots. Black lab is a republican congressman from Virginia who is one of the chief proponents of the evil, He said these texts are very disturbing. They illustrate a conspiracy on the part of some people and we want to know a lot more about that that conspiracy would have had to been conceived and executed, apparently in the space of this two month period that he was on the. Row because he had apparently no interest in a conspiracy before rejoining it. Further Jim Jordan, whose Freedom Caucus member has explicitly gone after FBI, director Ray with the notion that struck was possibly as a counterintelligence member responsible for using the steel dossier to CK a warrant on the Trump campaign. In case now, freeze in place, Free in place. 'cause. You just said you
in the steel dossier, together a FISA document about FISA warrant. Okay, so now That's why we're here we're trying to unpack this? Okay, so there many different things going on here, Mueller- has a probe the probe starts in June of twenty seventeen he is appointed by. But acting Associated Attorney General Debbie Attorney General ROD, Rosenstein to be the independent counsel investigating possible inclusion in the twenty sixteen election. As a result of the fact that attorney General Jeff sessions had recused himself from the russian matter, because he had basically lied to Congress about the fact that he had three contacts with the russian ambassador and had told them that he had had no contacts with our master, okay ROD Rosenstein appoints points. Robert Mueller Robert Mueller has had
has hired a bunch of lawyers and as a bunch of investigators and has been taken testimony and has indicted four people and has at least one cooperating witness in young George Papadopoulos, okay, so that is the Mueller probe started because Donald Trump fire James Comey after he asked James Comi to go eat after demanding combies loyalty and ask him to go easy on the fired National Security advisor Michael Flynn now indicted by Trump and cooperating, apparently um. And when Comey revealed, this rosenstein was forced by the nature of these charges to appointment account so the Mueller probe has Nothing to do with we are now going to discuss.
Which is FISA Warrant gate? Okay, so let's now take a trip to FISA Warrant Gate back in twenty sixteen, no Can you describe FISA Warrant Gate now is looking very puzzled. I will I because I'm trying to talk less a Abe like he was like leaning way back from all of them, like I'm, Professor king's professor, like hogs leave tell me the Please remind me the facts of FISA Warrant gate. Ok, so as understand it. Ok, you want to do it, you gotta, do it remembering it ok, so I had this surveillance of the Trump campaign. This was revealed by Donald Trump himself when they said they tapped my wires at Trump Tower. Everybody set up ha ha ha
they kind of did. There was surveillance of the Trump campaign in twenty. Sixteen was secured as a result of a FISA warrant. The FISA warrant was as we understand that- and we don't really know the public doesn't know the extent to which the evidence used to secure that warrant included the steel dossier, which has some apparently some credible facts, and so, okay, very nice. What is the still Dasi the regular were unpacking still still. Weeds was a document that was financed by both republican and democratic sources. It was designed to collect information and Donald Trump in his ties to Russia, and it included some relatively ban. All accusations about Trump's Doug ties to Russia,
including his twenty thirteen trip to Moscow? It's a great meeting pageant. I think you mean banal banal whatever, and also some rather remarkable and salacious details that are kind of hard to believe, but nevertheless were published by Buzzfeed in January of twenty seventeen at they shouldn't have men, I'm on the record, saying they should have been that was really responsible and yet they're out there now. So nobody knows what hat what extent this piece of opposition research was used to secure this FISA warrant on top of reporting, which suggests that there were sources within the Trump campaign apparatus to blab or who went to the FBI and To demonstrate it enough pc to get this warrant, ok, so just to make this clear, so the steel dossier is commissioned. Chris sales commission by the firm fusion GPS, which you may have heard about.
We hired by our friends at the Washington Free Beacon who then stop paying for the Vesta Gated work and then Democrats and the Dnc hired Steele to continue to pay and field, produced this incendiary very loosely source document, with some disgusting semi pornographic charges against Trump personally and the dossier itself wasn't actually published or made public in any way shape or form until after the election. However, the claim now by people who wish to discredit whatever part of this matter. You want to discredit say that this dossier, which is which was it's not an intelligence
document it's just the collation of rumors that steel collected from a couple of people he knew in Russia uh. It it's partisan, opposition research, yeah with rumors and unverified rumors and stuff, like that that I My throat, thrill, ok, but I'm just thinking is I mean, if we're the people who advocate this line of thinking or very coy about it, we're not being very coy. The intention here is to discredit the Mueller probe Discre. The investigation entirely because it was made of all pro all questions relating to Trump and the question of whether or not there was any collusion with Russia's based on partisan sourcing right now as it, bens I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I am extremely skeptical that there was any collusion with Russia. I am not skeptical. That Paul Manafort. The former campaign chairman was:
is himself some kind of a paid russian agent 'cause. He was a paid russian agent or at least a paid agent of people close to Putin. So I don't think that's pretty, and I think there are a couple of other people in that ambit, who also have are probably have their hand. Dirty. Having said that, I don't think that that means that trump himself blue with Russia, or that there's all that much evidence, and that this famous meeting at Trump Tower produced anything but nonsense because they may have wanted the Trump people may have wanted Russia to hand them dirt on Hillary. If they had it 'cause, they would take, have taken it from anywhere but that the russian lawyer vessel and this guy, who was at this meeting June, two thousand and sixteen of Trump Tower. All she wanted to do- was talk about the tearable damage and monstrous horror being done to her by the enforcement of the so called Magnitsky ACT which
levied sanctions on russian people and institutions who were involved in who have been involved in shutting up anti corruption voices in Russia, so I don't think there's there any there there. So I'm going to for stipulate that when I say that the idea that that. Muller or the Senate or the house, or that this entire line Questioning is illegitimate, because it may not pan out to anything. That's not how we do things in. I, like things are raised. Enough happened that there had to be special prosecutor invoked enough happened that the Republicans as well as Democrats in the House and the Senate set up special investigations on. Committees on the intelligence committees on the, in order to
pursue this and have in have him interviewed dozens of people and Trump's closest associates, and that is how we do fit. Something needs to be made clear. Donald Trump is not a victim of this process. These everything that has happened is a result of his decisions. Decision to fire coming his decision to hire men of fort. It cetera not not not only not just to fire call me, but he taunted call me into leaking the contents of that discussion. Now, in every single little development that could question Ok, so he said I think we should point this out. Trump said I have tapes of my conversation with call me, he better be careful. Right added. The blue. This was before call me, then, which was by the way, a lie. He didn't have any tapes of his conversation with Comi. He was doing some weird intimidation game, and we then leaked what happened.
A friend of his a Columbia law school to the new times, thus triggering the probe breath, thus triggering the yes of the for the Miller Pro. So when we have new details like tax gate or the gps stuff, which we talked about before opponents people who have a partisan interest in discrediting this probe swing at every pitch and they aim for the rafters they go as hard and as intense and as myopic as they possibly can. On these infinitesimal little points lose the plot, get everybody confused, but their interest is clear. People like us, I think, have different interests in unmasking invites abuse, are real issues and people who bring them forward. Art, okay, savaging their own credibility. Now about country. Now we have to talk about I'm asking so in the in the period between the allow Shin and the inauguration. We are told that the bar
administration. Having had intercept, of conversations but being the russian ambassador. An rush and sources and people in the United States sought and requested an and got it the right to find out the identities of the people to whom these russian sources were talking to make them public and they were not supposed to make them. No, no, no, no, but they did right with what okay. So what what what this is? What got Devin newness is because he he was allowed himself to be used by the White House. Getting this okay, yeah, yeah you're good with me for a living, get that second. So I sought to find out. They heard alarming things and they wanted to know who was, on the other end of the telephone with the Russians so basic. Only two names came out of this.
One was Michael Flynn, Trump's closest foreign policy aide and then his name, national security, and the other was Senator Jeff sessions name to be the general. Then the senator it is highly unusual and a regular for, it is not apparently, while the unusual to ask for a mass king in the sense that you were not supposed to be eavesdropping on. The government is not supposed to eavesdrop on Americans right, so Sometimes, Americans are inadvertently caught in a eavesdropping, hub and so special as special requests have to be made to find out who the american identities are. If it is a matter of national security, Susan Rice, the National Security Advisor apparently requested these identities and got
and then what happened was that they were leaked right. So we don't know who leaked them. We don't know. Obviously, the purpose of leaking them was to make missed either to make mischief or as a means of informing the public. Whoever the source was that there seemed to be something untoward going on between the Russians and people close to Trump. A lot of people our Eli, like a Bloomberg and others, and and Mccarthy, at National Review, find the unmasking very troubling, and I the troubling. I don't think that there is any excuse or explanation. That is made it entirely clear. Why either this was necessary, based on how Anna dying from what we now know of the substance of the phone calls, the phone calls were or be vat. This per it with. This was done with the purpose, if
was done with the purpose of leaking the names, then obviously it was in bad faith. Having said that,. Eli, who was a big critic of the unmasking did, in May of last May column, saying that as he understood, it Trump's own, no, actual security advisor the successor to Michael Flynn, Hr Mcmaster, looked into the question of Susan Rice is unmasking and decided that she had done nothing wrong and drop the case. Clearly 'cause. It was apparently his case to make that she had done something wrong. So if, if Trump's are also white House, aide was
link to say that rice did not do anything wrong. I don't know that. I'm in a position to say: oh yes, she did because it was the White House wanted to was then I'm not I'm not either, but it is. It is worth noting that Mcmaster Mcmaster has an institutional interest in preserving the credibility of his premise. Sir IRA yes and no, but it's hard to say I mean I I don't want to. You know that that suggests that he may have had a wrapped in ten to nine. Okay, he's arrived he's at all, but okay. If there was something untoward there, it doesn't necessarily have to a criminal. I can understand why you keep it Okay. So we have basically unmasking gate. We have FISA Gate, we have Comi Gate, we have text gate and we have or gate, and the most interesting thing about all these things is that the effort by the partisans on the right that we're talking about who want to say that there's no there there in these investigations is to is to take them.
Together and roll them up into a ball and say all of this is evidence that the entire effort to pursue Trump is in bad faith that it's an act of an effort to roll back to the results of an election, to discredit the to discredit. Somebody was legitimately present United States to impede his Can you be president and to make it an illegitimate case for his impeachment, and if you get the impression that they're working backwards from that conclusion and making Evidence- that you're not imagining things right, and you know what else you're not doing if you're thinking about this a lot, it's keeping you up at night, 'cause you rolling around your head. You can't go to you can't get enough sleep, and, if that's the case, then you eight one to consider a Casper mattress. Why Casper's casper is asleep that makes expertly designed products to help you get your best rest one night. At a time the expert Casper worked tirelessly to quality. Sleep service that cradles your natural geometry in all the right places
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Mattress is and now they're sleeping in Casper's? And I gotta say it's been a fantastic change and then create incredible improvement in the quality of life. For me and my wife, you know we are not we don't we ourselves, not sleep! On the Casper mattress, I have three people in my household to do so. Three, it's three over to and ever very happy. So here's a special offer listeners a commentary, get fifty dollars off towards select mattresses by by visiting dot com com commentary and using code commentary check out. That's Casper com commentary and use promo code commentary. For fifty dollars off. Select mattresses terms and conditions apply. I'm so have we finished on this or there's a little. We we get to the claims about the newness memo we haven't even got the memo. Ok or the Doj is pushed back on it or Trey Gowdy's involvement
so aim just pulled off a ring and run because he's like calling for information on the newest member on that was going to move way back off the MIKE. Well, I'm I I would do a worse job of explaining, but but but new next week we mentioned already aims to have a memo that we wrote right right. Well, it doesn't claim that you wrote a four page memo. He wrote, you wrote a memo that he claims constraints. The the I don't even know how to put the venality banality of the FBI, handling of the investigation into Trump The memo is based on classified intelligence, so there has been talk. He is, he is talking about making the memo public, but now the the Justice Department is pushing back against that sing, you cannot me
okay memo this memo public it is, it will be a threat to national security, as it contains classified information right trait, which she hasn't reviewed. Now. This is the claim by the Justice Department, a trouble pointing in the Justice Department that this memo was seven in. This is been alluding to, but won't share with the F B, I wheelchair with his Senate colleagues, is just sort of putting it out there and increasing suspicion, which, by the way, is not a very good faith act. They letter public letter sent by the Justice Department says you haven't seen this information you we need to share it with the FBI, it allegedly according to media reports. They don't know they haven't seen. This memo contains allusions and references to classified material. It is therefore a violation in a threat to national security, to simply release it without redactions. Now who has seen the intelligence in this memo, Trey Gowdy, Trey Gowdy reviewed this intelligent, Goudier republican congressman from South Carolina former head of the House Oversight Committee. Now he's not.
Really partisan guy he's a republican congressman, so he's got partisan interests and behaves like a team player, but he's a relatively straight shooter and he seems pretty adamant that impropriety occurred according to the daily beast, which I guess got it. A summary of this memo are one of the reporters got a summary of the metal newness names call me and Mccabe and Rob Rosenstein. Andy Mccabe was the acting FBI director who, by the way, behaved in a rather reckless fashion when he recused himself. He with his his wife, received a lot of money from a Clinton related organization because she was in democratic politics in Virginia. The cape therefore recused himself from all cases involving democratic politics in Virginia, but not Hillary Clinton. He oversaw the Hillary Clinton Investigation and he should have recused himself in the fact that he did not was really reckless on his part in the
administration is more than justified in encouraging his resignation. When he's pension alible, which eligible we should be later this year. Okay, so the newness memo has been read add, as I understand it, by one hundred or more republican members of Congress, supposedly created Byron York who have gone into a secure contained facility to read it. It cannot be removed from said facility, uh and a bunch of them came out and said. This is the most shocking thing I've ever seen, but not all of them. Most of them are not saying anything about it and then a couple of Democrats went in and came out and said it's all nonsense. And we know that there is a letter from somebody that probably just something I remember who that basically says this is silly mess on your part that you are that you that part of what you've I'm here is that your summarizing classic
let's hear classical classified materials. Congressman notice that you haven't even seen. So we don't Oh, who has seen them. We don't know what is being discussed. We don't know what is being talked about, but the issue is weather yeah, whether they There is evidence or information in this to suggest that the FISA Gate happened. That is that it's! This is all goes back to sub. Two thousand and sixteen, and whether or not a FISA, which is the foreign intelligence Surveillance ACT which allows us to Warrantless Lee Wire Tap list
two foreign elements and see what effect they might be having on our own domestic things, going on in the domestic front that this warrant was gotten to to surveil the Trump campaign in some fashion. We don't know who we don't know what we learn know where we know, page who was okay, so Carter page it was an unpaid, lower, level foreign policy adviser guy. I've noticed handing, but remember nobody wanted to sign on to the Trump campaign. So he was put on this committee of twenty people as a as a foreign policy. Will a wise man, the devising the campaign Okay, so this warrant was gotten illegitimately in some
fashion, and therefore the federal government was surveilling, the Trump campaign illegitimately before the election. Ok, so let's and to thirty thousand feet here in step back 'cause. This is the problem with conspiratorial thinking. Ok, so don't tell me that constraint just just to send. I'm ascending the thought. The thought process, I think, on the conspiratorial line, is that if we keep pursuing this, then eventually it discredits the Mueller probe. I don't know how you get two, let's assume that there was face abuse and there was in my twenty sixteen a sixteen and that there was a political effort on the part of members of the Obama administration to use the the apparatus of law enforcement to surveil and possibly to hinder the Trump campaign in the event that the the unthinkable happened, which was at that point unthinkable that Donald Trump would win the presidency. I don't know how
get from proving that to Mueller, probe, resigns and dissolves in disgrace. How does that happen in the minds of these people who are pursuing this line of thinking? Now? I don't think they would ever admit that that is their line of thinking, but all this behavior is indicative of having a political motive. Ok, what are they looking for? Here's, what they're looking for if asked for it Kim Strassel at the Wall Street Journal, is where they want a second independent counsel right probe parallel to the Mueller probe, probing the behave, the Obama, New Stration or the Clinton campaign, or something like that or Comi into abuse, is of the deep state against Trump. That's what they're looking for. So if they can have two pro going on at once. They can say, oh well, so that the Democrats have this probe. We
this probe or this probe, the new probe, is going to discredit the old probe. But of course the real purpose is to kick up a gigantic ball of dust, an in some sense. Politically, it's perfectly savvy. You want to be cynical it's a cynical ploy but a successful ploy to do to quote That is, you say you know what trump yeah it is a russian agent right. So try it. So a Democrat said you know we pietsch with live for that x and lunatics on Twitter, like Trump, is cat's paw of the row of of Putin right and then they go. No, no, no! No! It's Hillary. Who is the cats? Putin it is Hillary who was working for Putin. It is the Use GPS. God got Hillary to work for boot. Now you say it savvy, but the text gate has been humid, no, it's been humiliating to you, you were you, think, they've been humiliated. They happening ability, okay, but is
objective: is a single vote going to change because of it? okay? It's it's about neutering, political, I'm! Sorry! But you cannot you are, Devin Nunos you're not going to be humiliated by text tax. I think it's savvy cancel this following extent. Now whenever any of the sort of the mistakes and slip. Ups that that come to light in this investigation come to light, we will be framed with this larger I look look book what's going on here- is another piece of evidence about this see about about the bad, the the toward motivations of the investigation, here's why I think that's wrong, not not wrong, necessarily because they will do that, but they have been doing that and I mean they've been doing it every week for months the only people listening now are converted. No yeah, but that's fine. That's the whole point of that. If you live hold on ovulation
it is not a small population. Definitely this counter attack on ruler has been some successful. There is a I leave opinion largely Publican voters largely on the right that accepts the notion that Mueller is tainted in that the FBI is compromised. It's not a majority, it's not sufficient to you know impeach Miller or like forces firing or you know, great show a tangible political effect. I just think that silly of you to argue, I think I think you have to say handing the right eight talking point that allows the right not to play on the Trump collusion with Russia playing field, but to create
alternative narrative according to which Trump is being that there is a piercey to delegitimize a legitimate presidency through all sorts of nefarious means enough people in the country believe this to say that it is not a universe that the collusion. Narrative is not universally or even or even overwhelmingly accept. This is crazy to me when you come out, and you say that there's the secret society text and then the next day you say it's not an actual, I kind of heard it from a guy. You look stupid, No, but that's that's anybody with an objective. Well, that's fine, but that's fine! That's a humiliating detail and I completely agree. It also. I think there's something else here that the I'll go I'll go out on a limb. Imagine which is that you also, as I do look all this and say you know, there's actually it's not.
Tremendously squeaky clean the multiple investigations into Trump, there have been mistakes or have been fishy things like unmasking like this? Dealdash and its handling like the like. The disappearance, Actually, even with the explanation can you say I'm, not I'm not a conspiracy theorist at all, but I I'm very skeptical of human motivation, I'm very skeptical of the politicization of of those in power of blues of the blue of the efforts of of communities and and law enforcement officials. Can you there's something that's sort of what that that doesn't smell right here and- and it's and it's worth no
ng that their son, the dozens and all right. What I've been saying- and I will continue to say it if you think that fights that abuse is a real thing and I'm asking is a real thing. You should be living with the members of Congress who have been letting these waters in defense of a political narrative, supportive of Trump, because they are cheapening. That argument, which is a very serious argument, and by the way this is a this is a two- is even say that some of this is legitimate, and some of it not is to the people who buy it. Aids expression of suspect, is your leader. Lack of zeal demonstrates that your a fully on board with the, because if you do not swing at every single pitch as hard as you possibly can, you are not on board was like, and that is I'm not old but get right. Well, I agree. That's called this yeah the end. It demonstrates the extent to which they're not serious about unmasking they're, not serious, about fights abuse. Their efforts are entirely and in in only in defense of this president- and credibility. That is correct, but that's politics. That's why you that you're saying prince, I didn't say
good governance. I said it was politics, and it is politics- and this is one of the things that happens in I think it is important what aid notes it is, working to note that, over the last one thousand five hundred and twenty years, we have ample reason to be sceptical of the investigative purity or the investigative probity of FBI. It has taken numerous bad turns in numerous high profile investigations. Terrible turns the the torture of the moral, personal torture, Steven Hatfill, who was false, the accused of having sent the anthrax letters leaking to Richard Lee checking the identity of Richard Jewell, the the falsely accused Atlanta, Olympics Bomber, Numerous you know the behavior at wake Oh, the behavior, Ruby, Ridge, more
leave the behavior at the Cliven Bundy Compound? We are there is. There are reasons to remain sceptical and two Find yourself sceptical of investigative law enforcement agencies and the way that they are power. Having said that, having said that, I think it's also important to note that what all this reveals is that they are commonly ham handed not that they are dexterous wondrous conspirators who are doing things like get plots in the movie, Michael Clayton, where people mysteriously assassinate people and disappear, and no one ever knows who they are or how it happened. Like these our civil servants summer good summer, bad summer, bumblers they date text each? other they email each other they blunder over each other. They behave there over seeing you know they go too far and they are
So the notion that you were simultaneously going to make the case that these people are, you know out of magical Will Smith Movie, where they can just eliminate your into the in destroy you with you know, with the flick of a wrist? That is not what the record shows and that this is what, because this and think everybody at this table agrees that this probe is going to expand beyond its remit, because that's what independent counsels do and when that happens, I dice. I seriously don't think that the people who are Tate today, barking up the tax gate tree are going to have a willing audience to say, wait a minute wait a minute. This thing wasn't supposed to go to Donald Trump's finances in two thousand six. This is supposed to be a presidential probe about Russia, who's going to be listening. What kind of credibility or the. People going to have beyond with the members of the of the republican base, who willing and able to suspend disbelief in order to defend this present. Okay, let's go to your point. Let's go to your point about good governance and because this is all with this is the dark underbelly of the
Since of independent counsels and special prosecutors, even after the end of the independent counsel act, I'm buddy, who had a family member who got in a buzz, saw at credibly, illegitimately and unjustly tour ended by an independent counsel by Lawrence Walsh and so I am not comfortable with the notion that it's just great if Mahler goes off- and you know totally on some. You know, tangent goes after Trump, for you know a tertiary or you know an eighth order of distance from his initial writ crime, because purpose here, isn't just to sort of get dirt on Donald Trump. If the purpose is to invest whether or not the end of the election of the United States was somehow materially affected by a foreign power. If it was not, then the probe ends, if you want good
rinse. That is where good governance and it's not so that Paul Mana should go to jail for money laundering. That's not white out why Robert Miller has two hundred people working form or whatever is the as working form yeah I mean, I think, if, if if the probe goes beyond its rate, I think that substantiates the paranoid to some degree it says they're they're stopping at nothing. This is unbound. This is this. Is they're not going to stop until they hit paydirt? Well, that's what probe these independent counsels! So that's our governance so in these are reading at Bill Clinton on Whitewater right now, but okay, but can start KEN Starr didn't get well. He got a bunch of other people on white water and then something came up and he actually have to go to court to expand his ripped to look into white water. He didn't have the right to look into white water, get a three judge panel that was overseeing him in the end he had to go to the three judge panel inside of God,
someone's come to me with this evidence. Should I go ahead with it? Didn't have the right to just do it on his own with no, you know, with no oversight, as others arrive by members of Congress are flirting with the idea of imposing a legislative of constraints on this program, and there the I think I again like we say this is probably going to expand beyond that, because right now we know there are looking into dentures finances before he ran for the presidency right. It's part of the thing that I have to work at all. Trump's finances were the presidency, because, if your, if the theory, of the case. Is you need to prove or disprove or collect evidence, find exonerating information to suggest that Trump either had or No financial relationships with anybody in Russia that could have led him to be compromised, then you look into it. If it just turns into like you know he, you know he did a bad real estate deal and
Sylvania. Then it's going to look like. Basically, a rogue prosecutor went nuts and and and just sort of look for anything that he could throw at the guy I really depends on the allegations that are center surfaced. Well. Of course it will be thinking that will already agree that we should be going after Text Kate and what so ok our own universes is about this. Let me let me finish by saying this. One thing: what everybody who is ganging up on Mueller, who is not a nope, you are wonderful. Like all this, you know suddenly he's the saint of all Democrats, which I find hilarious. But you know we don't know that Mueller is going to come out of this and say after doing after spending, we're investigating this. I find no evidence to suggest that the President United States was in any way influenced by or that his election was affected, Mateer really by a foreign power at which point
Trump will be exonerated. He could be exonerated by this pro, but I suspect that his the ease with which he said last night that he would be happy to talk to Miller under oath means that he himself in his own head thinks he can't be gotten on this is, he knows perfectly well. He had no contact with the Russians in any way, shape or form. He was in Moscow in two thousand and thirteen, the stuff that's alleged in the to Steele dossier didn't happen. It's all made up so blah blah blah you know, and so that is a very real possibility. Here I mean Mueller is going to indict in Amalur Miller, assume, is a decent enough. Public servant that his purpose is it too isn't to India overturn the results of a of a of a legitimate election solely and exclusively because you know it's his. He got this job and you know he wants to. You know score a few scalps and you know be the most of
working person ever for all. We know Miller voted for Trump. I mean you know, for all we know, Mueller is, you know, just had a fantastic time, Break. I mean I don't know it's like I don't know where Mueller is coming from and and and You know sometimes the idea of saying people used to say I I welcome an investigation into my actions because I'm will clear me and it might clear Trump. So with that, and with sorrow for the fact that Sarah of could are join us us today. I will bid you a wonderful weekend for Abraham Wald and Noah Rothman on John Podhoretz. Keep the candle burning.
Transcript generated on 2019-11-15.