On today's podcast, we assess the cleverness or stupidity of the Trump administration's decision to refuse cooperation with Congressional subpoenas, and its confrontational posture toward Iran, Venezuela, and China. Give a listen.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to the commentary magazine a guest today is Thursday may ninth, two thousand and nineteen. I am John Boards, the ETA commentary with me, as always senior editor, a green wild high, a jump associate ETA nor Rossman, Hallo Noah, hello, John and in Washington, Senor Writer, Christine Rosen high Christine John. We, of course are staffers at the seventy eight year old month, leave intellectual analysis, political probity and cultural criticism.
My conservative perspective. We invite you to join us. A commentary magazine dot com would give you a few free reads. We ask you to subscribe. Ninety. Ninety five four did well subscription and twenty nine ninety five run all access subscription, including our beautiful we magazine in your mailbox eleven times here. We are closing June issue this week, chock a block full of really interesting stuff, including of landmark cover article on the a very interesting question of what we are alone in the universe. What if, in fact the earth is the only place in the universe that has freakish Lee, ah Cream, the conditions under which life and intelligent life could exist and what this, what this might might mean, and so we will be closing the issue. Friday Monday them peaceably
online Tuesday, new contributor named Ethan Siegel, so take a look for that and a lot of other good stuff. So as we are as we convene here, the house is starting to be, there has moved. Ask me, he's moved her hold attorney General Bill bar in contempt for the outrageous crime of. Not allowing them to see two percent of the Mulder report at least two percent. Seven seven different Doubt citations that you can go look at dawn, seem to be very much. This seems to be a bit jammed up more the bridge and absence. In fact, the Mulder report was released him
every time I would say- and this such as somebody pointed out this morning, she'll media Eric holder were refused- was to provide documents to the house today, Jerry Committee on the fast and furious gun buyback programme, the time between the beginning of the subpoena requests for the documents in the town, that he was held in contempt with something like seventeen months, and this was like two and a half weeks just give an example of of putting the cart before the horse. Meanwhile, we have the We have something else going on in relation to the relations between the White House or demonstration and Congress that is potentially much more serious, which is the
our decision by the administration two Stone Wall Congress on the production of documents that they. Why has this basically decided say screw you to the house? They're not gonna, give them the house anything that there, the house hans- and this is what this is a matter of sea evidently more moment so much so by the way that friend, John you of the Bolt Hall, Blah School, famous, aggressive, expostulate or of executive privilege and the unitary executive and other white. How centric order executive branch, centric power seems to be extremely uncomfortable with this simply the grounds that, of course, the Congress has congressional mandate, responsibilities to provide oversight to cabinet departments and therefore has
right to see materials and too asked questions of and be provided with answers about what is going on inside those departments that is part of checks and balances, system of our gum and the checks and balances system. Babies cast by what what what may be a politically canny piece of Jujitsu. That is say. It appears that the Trump White House has decided that it wants to draw. It wants to drive democrats crazy than it is. It is soliciting attack and soliciting hysterical reaction with the idea that Democrats will somehow impeach themselves before they can get a refund to impeaching any administration. Official Noah you I would you can't work, you know what
you can't see us would know, has a kind of a sour expressionless army is not just Democrats at this is frustrating Republicans inferred different reasons. The House Intelligence Committee, Chairman Adam Shift, has requested the annual Democrat, the underlying intelligence from the Mulder report, with the effort, obviously to execute a more partisan, less independent investigation and the Miller Report produced, but he has joined by ranking member Devon newness for precisely the same reason, but in the opposite they all want. One is one thing I M intelligent rightist want to draw a different conclusion, but then one a litigating: the notion that the trumpet restoration had been victimized by the Obama Administration Justice Department. I guess we got word
of the republic and lead how Senate Intelligence Committee that they were subpoena Ing, Don Junior to testify again upon about his conduct and twenty sixteen. What is revealed in the Mulder report, because he would not appear and if he would do so according to the New York Times, who would invoke a fifth amendment right against incrimination Republicans? Are gonna be prosecuted, this very same case, which is why it such a lot and very serious failure of game theory to execute the kind of strategy the White House has been pursuing. So you think this is. This is stupid of the way you think this is a first of all I mean, if there's assumption is that there are going to invite impeachment its wits playing Russian, That would mean the notion here is there's just one in the chamber. You got five out of six chances, but there is still one in the chamber. Ok, so I think based really what right so to go with the highest. Takes game that the programmes are playing in the in this long, IRAN, although from people or play in the long run, the idea is
they want to set up to twenty as a race between crazy and crazier that is to say trot, is an acknowledgement that a lot of people think the trumpets crazy and it may be enough. People thing trumpets crazy that this really jeopardizes his re election prospects. So he wants to drive the Democrats in a condition in which he can say. We think I'm crazy here, look at his eyes and policy stuff that we can talk about four months right, oh borders, you know, kill ice, a green new deal. You know, kill all cows in our eye. There are like Ed's reparations Oliver, so those are the policy things, and now we have the procedural things witches you guys doing like you want humans. I don't want to give you the dark. A big deal but you're like you're gone all nuts in your impeaching impeaching, the attorney general, and you want to teach me.
What's the matter with you, let's run the country, look heavily, look up that the economy is doing, but I think using, I think, as as ok give a second foreseeing the choice between crazy and crazy. I've been saying where I got it, I got it. I apologize been sick, so, but, as always with with trouble, you'd never quite know how much is is actual strategy and how much to do with more sort of immediate impulses. I mean. Don't you think that part of this is just the fact that the president is is saying this is of this? Has the these things have endings? This has to end. I don't you know he, u stumbles his way into new day jurists territory from self all the time as he as easy, as he did with with the rush approach to begin with, I mean come on entirely sure this is well. This is dj, cooked and being jujitsu, but I'm not sure that's, that's that's. The intention guess
was just about the rush. Investigation will be one thing, but it's not. The Justice Department has withheld both arms are the Commerce Department has withheld rubble, Wilbur Ross and Justice Workman his route withheld John Gore in relation to questions about the administrations. Twenty twenty senses questions around citizenship and dumb, there's. A variety of other things are the tax documents which is unrelated to the to the Russia problem. You could make a case there, which John has made before, and it's a pretty persuasive case, but its muddied by the fact that their withholding everything including really legitimate stuff like down again testifying about that which is already public knowledge tickets money at all. I think this is an unprecedented thing that they're up to its not tax returns of everything we have at the fact that you're making the same argument for the tax return document documents that are making for Wilbur Wrought, rightly mother, came right with it, but I'm saying the kit right there. I think there is a there's, a specific legitimate case to be made on the tax documents which
and by the way, which is something that the civil libertarian part of the Democratic Party should be very nervous about, which is apparently there's some long. Nineteen, twenty four that gives Congress the serve the right or can be read to give Congress the right to look at anybody's tax returns. For any reason. At any time, it has been asked. Imagine the United States that your tax return is a deeply personal piece of property and that this you know this has never been invoked before us, for we can tell so little like. There are laws on the book, but the Logan ACT. You could prosecute somebody for doing. Foreign policy without a congressional position if you wanted to, but we have done it and it hasn't been done for them. A good reason that it you know that the law Bad news and Democrats pushing it
are our making mistakes so, but you're right that, rather than go, go, go that way as a constitutional manner, the White House, just basically how people put it it's it's some its reading, the subtext out loud rights. We decided that you're, a bunch of Democrats screw you we're gonna, make it if as hard for you as possible, even if you are in the majority in the house, but I am persuaded by AIDS Point here that this might not be strategy so much as it is just another chapter in this long running story of how trumps entire presidency is. We been a stress test of executive power right he takes it takes every like he has, as we know it, executive privileges. We know president sometimes use it. He uses it to an extreme and then sit back and wait to see what happens and I think you're right that in terms mind I mean it. You can see him imagining. You know Pelosi and now,
learn can go and off a cliff, Thelma, Louise style Unthinking high. Did that, but he's he's, I don't think he's really gaming, this out so. In a way I mean it is ironic that I think it's great, that we talked about fastened furious, because there are a couple of ways to handle these kinds of long term games and strategies in, and there was a story and political today about how the fast and furious subpoena controversy just now being resolved. But seven years later I mean there is a way to run out the clock as a kind of strategy, and I think that's exactly what the Obama administration did in that case. That doesn't seem to be what he's doing. So, let's timing, let's take the stress test, analogy further: a stress test of a bank when you presented with adverse conditions and to find out whether liquid enough to meet them, whether there's enough capital right, so we ve test now this executive authority to the point where we have discovered that it's really liquid with executive authority that there's more better than we ve known, was there previously and it's not gonna, be correct,
filled by any other institution than the Democrat controlled House in Congress, which presents conservatives with particularly awkward position. Ok, so you remember one of trumps earliest press conferences, When he was President elect when he had been given a briefing when he, when the issue then was how'd, you get it do you know how is he gonna separate himself? his businesses, because clearly he had two separate himself from his businesses and then. His lawyer of various other people, given the appear be offered the opinion that no, he didn't have to do anything he was present. I'd states executive authority it hears of his person, Prosecution of him would be something lip is something with them by the executive branch, so he could do whatever he wanted. You could see, as he was added eyes, serve like bring into saucer like
really Rina product. Make me give up my businesses really. They can't make me in a they can't big. I can fire anybody. I want. You know there was all this stuff like Munich and fire prepare our. I can fire James caught like I can fire anybody like this fantastic. Oh, I had no idea that, basically, being president was a four year get out of jail card. You know Anna right, I'm you know and a right on the Redding End M community chest all all it when free parking all in one right, so Part of this has been the slow, his slow disabuse. All of this you now high that he was on during the during the what we call that period the period between the election and leave them on the internet, the transition right, so interregnum spent, but
but, like him, learning that you know what it's not so simple, including when you have the house and the Senate part of your own party still hard to get legislation through it still here had the inestimable advantage of not having a democratic house. It is two years because God knows he would have been impeach seventeen times by June, but the stress test, generally speaking, stress, test star rum experiments right. They don't you do you. And the under controlled conditions so that the world doesn't woke up right is not a drill right. It is not right so so It turns out that them alive one of these conditions, despite all of our he's norm, breaking in an precedent, I'm doing all this new stuff, it turns that they ve held that it's not so easy. Did that, though, that the genius of the our system has in fact impeded his F
efforts as it has Piazza impeded Obama's as it is impeded all presidents who overreach, including all house, member, all all bodies that make laws or try to retain power, retards their ambitions and his ambitions have been retarded and now he he finds himself position where it's gonna be two years? No legislation is gonna, go through of any kind, except maybe continuing resolutions. The keeper you now to keep the government running and so he's decided he's gonna screw with their heads. So that's why I think it's not a store. I wouldn't exactly call that a straw energy- maybe it's a tactic- maybe s like gained it out for a year and a half, but it is clear one of his bluffing and fainting, and you know telling anchors that he's gonna declare bankruptcy, and so their money will be worth two cents on the dollar. So maybe they should let him get all that this is all
of his life playbook and he like a lot serve local people who might be of low affects all that, like he likes to state on the edge she blew his spend his professional your skating on the edge, as we know from a lot of this tax stuff that came out this week, so now he's just doing here. The problem is that we're all hostage to it right Christina were like yes now. I think that's right, and I think any one of the points that John you made when he was interviewed on. Npr was this this and which I think you're corrective remind everyone about how well our system does work. Is that either the reason Nixon got burned for the way he continually invoked executive privilege that invoked in over everything, and so that that's a cautionary tale for Trump? The reason Lincoln could use executive power. The way did as if we were in the midst of a civil war which, as luckily the one thing Americans are no distinctions at the partisan war there
we are in now is a far different beasts than the than an actual armed conflict in the civil war. So we still retain some boundaries. Despite are you know, and we are guilty of this to the hyperbole that that surrounds discussions of of trumpets recognises it is important to remember. Actually our system is is doing well considering the challenges and using that's. Why so you're responsible when you have Democrats like during that learned now knew TAT Lucy, who agrees with him, saying that this is a constitutional crisis. It is nothing of the sort. Is the constitution functioning as it is designed and everyone is operating within its defined parameters, but am you did that scratch? I've been in search of a constitutional crisis right, I mean that's like it that sort of that's the kind of the new overarching we did that now. That's how we're gonna nail on narrative. Why do the problem here? Is that
taken individually, any one of these confrontations could have a lot of power. The perverse he'll be here is that if you go after Menuhin for refusing to turn over the taxes, if you go after bar for redress thing seven sentences and refuse to turn over raw grandeur testimony which, by the way, is a pretty shocking request to be honest, could grand jury. Testimony is again among the most private things that there is the United States if you go after Wilbur ROS. For the same these questions, which, by the way the whole this whole matter is gonna, be adjudicated by Supreme Court, so you know why they're still fighting over that when the cases gonna be hurt, you have every right to do that. Of course they have. To do it. I'm now talking about political strategy
Firstly, if you say that every single person in the administration is a crook, then then nobody's a crook, or you know it's it's it's too much like to simplify the story, wine, so that people can follow it and the as as, as you say, Noah turn take all the stuff together and saying. We are in a constitutional crisis in which the executive branch is acting like the trump as a dictator, which is, of course, fostering trump. Isn't the dictator like what? What what is he? What what is he mandating happen? What why I just can't even get a couple billion dollars for the wall. Activism budget proposal. That was an absolute abuse of executive authority for which he does deserve to be in peace shrank. But that's a double one of these areas is impatient of congressional appropriation. Authority is on the increase, but he could barely do it. That's my point like that's. Not a dictator does that every five minutes like
spend money here, build a damn there. You know, make sure food is cheaper in Nebraska you not having that's what that's what that's what addict it does you know I mean only of many ideas about price control yet well there you go ok, but let's talk about the Democrats, them try to figure out. So they have, they want to satisfy angry constituents and angry interest. They are themselves angry and feel hard done by the administration and they are trying to set the table for the next big political fight in twenty twenty. So, oh, is this gonna go on like this. Or were not made, maybe they got nothing else to do by the way, because, since that, since there is gonna, be no part bring on legislation, what else robot use the house as some kind of all purpose? You know, Sir
Flyer of information for MSNBC shows that no one I go on well, but that's actually very good point. Even if you look at the headlines, there was one there is a CNN headlined either this morning, yes afternoon, that's like finally congresses. Fighting back against Trump mean. Remember the narrative post two thousand eighteen was now we of power. Now we have to really punish this guy, who we still think it was a legitimately. Let you know elected because Sydow we hate the. We hate the the way that our system relax president. So I think in fact, that they are responding to or continuing dad narrative. Now, whether or not that's going to be effect, I don't think so. I don't think it is. I think it's a good idea. I think they risk looking kind of like overly legalistic buffoons awaited that there is no. I said tossing about terms about constitution, crises and whatnot, meaning they don't want to end up being the liberals who cried Wolf so much, but
that does I'm surprised actually by policies turn recently because she had been kind of the the stalwart you know luscious, put our heads down and get our business down. There is important work to be done and she's changing her tune, and I dont know that's a result of looking at the twenty twenty democratic presidential contender list, or it's just she's gotta the political wing, but that that surprised me policies will show you what she could she could I mean she is also defender of institutional prerogatives. So she is now a person at the running the house who has a white house that is saying nope. You know, ask me phrase nope, sorry. So if she doesn't say this is unique, president did, and you know you have to stop there, sir we're gonna kill you just as Alexander Curzio Cortez cut off at the knees on the eleven Omar resolution on the left. Trump is gonna, make her look impotent
the right unless she you know like, takes out daggers and tries to you now Darya Stark with the needle looking too well the dad than king in the side you now and the end, but oversight. The power is largely the power the purse right I mean beyond unless you're talking about impeachment, it's the power, the purse, its power to you no kind of cause trouble. You keep issuing subpoenas stuff like this, which, but barring impeachment, to seem me that that's the game, the Trump playing a game of chicken right, impeach, Miura or you note- morgan- ignore you it's foolish in and on presidential on his part, but how? How do they respond that look much of a cabinet officers, job or cabinet departments. Job in Washington is dealing with the Congress. The enormous amount of time like, oh, my god
want this silence? I gotta go testified next week in front the subcommittee who's gonna prepare the testimony. How many queer can we answer what, if they follow up by than others, a normal amount of head space taken up in the executive branch by trying to satisfy and keep good relations with Congress? So this is the first time practically ever we have a white house. It has decided that it doesn't care about its relationship with with Congress or quite the opposite, that it actually wants to provoke Congress. And we just don't know, I mean it's not the first time I maybe there was obviously thirty six thirty seven thirty eight when the when various you know win when Roosevelt clearly gone too far with her with radicals the legislation and not only this ring court, but the butt
Congress was Saint, go slow down body like you're, making a lot of trouble for us, and Russia was very querulous an angry about that. But this is not the. This is nothing like we ve ever seen and when we dont would never have the idea that the that that the exam a branch does not have to satisfy the questions or answer the questions or speak to the quick Jones posed by Congress acting in its oversight capacity, so stoner how this is gonna play out. So we we spoke as to the White House strategy about were about the Democrats strategy. Do you think idea is overgrew bring with them impeach him or we're gonna, put so much pressure on him and make him that we're gonna make him look so reckless and dangerous by by the time of the of the election. Your or war will take all we can get
Cynthia, just as he may not have a long range strategy. Neither do they. Everything situational Pelosi didn't wanna start talking about impeachment. Now she is starting to talk about impeachment. We know why she's gonna talk about impeachment as Paul show that Independence NOS six close to sixty forty do not want impeachment of o. The Poles also show. Very closely in the same numbers that that independence want Congress to continue investigating the President S where the situation is so dangerous for the Trump Administration and in the balance, is against the Trump administration. In this context, there that they have a fantastic narrative walking from the Mulder report, that Donald Trump could not abide. It made him look weakened dismissal and it would be out of embarrassment alone. He has begun now to invoke exists. So exploited, lay that out what what is that certain, thereby so the facts of the Trump reports are that the Mulder Report, various
Conclusions on obstruction is that they couldn't divine the motives of the president's efforts to obstruct the investigation having whose rainbow struck the investigation they couldn't d, whether or not that was his ultimate conclusion, because in in most instances, underlings and subordinates, just Signoria didn't do upon repeated requests, often and among those instances, was an instance in which than White House cancelled on began was allegedly ordered to dissolve the Mahler probe. Didn't do it and order went away, so converse wants to talk to down again, so he can testify to the fact of what is already in the public report that we have information about that is released. I don't think the reductions of ongoing investigations have anything to do with the part to the obstruction issue. Most almost all of them are in part one right so that written in
dont want to do is not because there was any executive authority that would have been a British there that the executive authority to keep privileged conversations with in close, and this information is already out there. He just didn't want this to be realistic. It is in the public because it would make em look really bad, and so they begun pursue this. What is really an protectionist approach to dealing with Congress? And they had this great narrative, walking away from the Miller Report, which is that we have been completely free and transparent? Didn't invoke executive privileged every authority to do so, but didn't do it another going back on that and now looking much more opaque and we can look, they have something to hide and Nancy policies. Strategy to avoid impeachment was to say, look you can pursue all the oversight you want. These committees and you're gonna have just as much effect is if we were to open up and in Spain impeachment through the house, judiciary, committee you'd have more effect, in fact, because we have all these other committees in you can interview, everybody talked everybody and exercise all your oversight over hope a range of topics of go. Do that don't do impeachment now she has far fewer avenues,
cutting off every avenue but impeachment they are voting the house into pursuing impeachment and their their gas. No that's a winner for them, but I wouldn't be so sure I you'd there's really to outcomes when you ro. The dice on impeachment in one of them is in very good for some for one party, one party will lose okay, so that's pause here. So I can talk to you guys about a new advertiser. We have a new advertiser today: NET sweet, if you don't know your numbers, you know near business, but the problem growing businesses have to keep them from knowing their numbers. Is there such podge business systems? They have one system for accounting, another for sales, another four inventory and so on. It's just a being inefficient mess, taking up how much time and too many resources and that hurts the bottom line. So we're introducing net sweet by Oracle, the business management software, the handles every asked your business and an easy to use cloud platform, giving you visibility and control. You need to grow with nets, we
save time money and unneeded headaches by managing sales, finance and accounting orders and hr instantly right from your desktop or phone. That's why net sweet is the world's number one club business system and right now, nets with us offering new, valuable insights with free guide, seven key strategies to wear your profits at net sweet dotcom, slashed commentary, that's nets. We ve got coms commentary to download your free guide, seven key strategies to grow your profits nets. We ve got com, slash commentary. Can I add, just one brief thought to that last thought before we move on to the next subject layers by cutting off the Democrats, avenues to execute some sort of oversight over this process. Democrats are now making the case for impeachment. They ve been able to now talk to the public about the necessity of impeachment whereas they were just gonna barrel, right ahead into it, without making a publication for knowing that their base was behind them for it. Now there
to actually say, okay. Well, we work, we were gonna, use it as a first resort, but now it's our absolute last opportunity to execute our Congress, our constitutional authority that a much more palatable case that I think the public will be more amenable to. Then they would have been a few ok look here. We are so too things have happened in the last month. One is the release of the Mauro Report which, despite what Democrats continued, say, absolve trump of the idea that the his campaign was in a cool work and having a conspiracy with her whatever with russian twenty sixteen, and these astonishing first quarter, growth numbers and the incredibly low unemployment right. So his approval rating has gone up a point now. So what that tells me is that what is, happened over the last three years. Is we are in this frozen.
Zone in politics trump could today, growth rate could be six percent in the second quarter. It won't be, for something reasons were polio taught by the method to be six percent in the second quarter in his numbers would go up, appoint or something like he's still in the low to lower. Mr forties, you now forty to forty three percent, some like that. His approach, this approvals is over. Fifty these are differ, numbers to get reelected from, but they're not impossible and weed how many independence are in the middle, and we don't know, what's going on, gonna be like in the three or four states that it's the wind nor that retained the presidency. So obviously, somehow everybody is just retreating into their. You know into their happy places so he's in the screw. You I'll do whatever I want to, and people like me, because I'm so combative and the Democrats are
he's a dictator. This is the worst thing ever we're going to impeach him and I don't think their one nessus we give. What we have now seen since Democrats took over is playing a bad ham, given that no better hand to play like what what what what a Democrat supposed to do now, that's the funny part like you're, saying Trump could, if he just sort of semi, cooperated with them through some people. Their way do some investigating down there, now they wouldn't go to the extreme. Sometimes you see glimmers of what would be happening in a normal timeline where we had a normal presidency in in the Andrews Timeline in which there is a normal president, you have Democrats and the president arguing over an infrastructure package rate of investment there and whether or not there's gonna be revenues to sustain that sort of thing, and we will be having a sustained argument about
policy and they would be trotting out members of the illustration to make their case and then the pundits would be fed talking points about, Democrats are being disagreeable and excessive spenders and we would be having a three month conversation about an interesting. Let me give you a better example. I think this may be a better example. What happened last week? The New York Times editorial page said Donald Trump is right: there is a crisis at the border right right. Tom Kramer accounts, Ekdahl dramas right. There is a crisis at the border. What is needed is as a couple billion dollars in you. No extra spending to set up new hearing put Pinocchio it's in higher judges and do all the stuff to process the asylum West at the border. Ok,. In a normal presidency that would done Tuesday. In other words, there is now a sort of Lib conservative consensus that, for humanitarian reasons,
on the liberal side and forlorn order reasons on the conservative side, there is by consensus that you know a hundred thousand people getting arrested every month. Trying to gag trying to cross the border is not healthy. That's just politically and tat. You re also have two fires burning abroad. That could can fly right at any minute right, and we should talk about that too. So, ordinarily, you now because politicians, generally speaking, Wanna put arrows in their quiver and say they got things done. That's like we, got together, even though we hate each other, and we did this because we need to really alleviate the pressure of the border. That cannot happen in this atmosphere in this moment. In this moment of parts of that cannot happen. These parts he's cannot work with each other because to work with each other is to commit treason. You know where the twitter base well, I mean it's enough.
Look. I want you to go back to my Platos cave thing like it doesn't matter whether whether it's just twitter or whether it is in fact the parties, the policy themselves, think their one and the same so perception is. I wrote a bloodless than this while back saying that things with them by partisan appeal, less likely to happen, write anything for one party can soundly defeat the other side. Right then make something happened to let's: let's go to Venezuela right, ok, so, yes, we have three or four may so I M on the far left, who are saying that this is a terrible coup. When you know we're terrible, including our hour by hour, anti semite friends from you know from the MID West, but, generally speaking, it is a general consensus among people who pay attention foreign policy that Madrid, it was terrible than he you know he's in a legitimate president. Fifty six countries have now recognised guy doze,
a claim to the presidency- and you know we could be doing stuff issuing resolutions of support tuna, providing humanitarian aid whatever stuff the Congress and the White House, and so could do together. Zack gonna happen now, oh of course it's not. We have intelligence that suggests that unusually specific intelligence were told that IRAN is directly threatening american assets in in the region. We don't know what that means. We need. My compel secretary of state went to Iraq to brief leaders in Iraq. Maybe it's a threat. Our embassy in our who knows what it is. Can we do something with that? No could we have a resolution,
a resolution saying that IRAN, you know is: it is a unique threat, something that you know would have been no problem. You have no we're not gonna have that either so there you now and then there was the really horrifying fact that you know so under rockets fired in Israel and no Democrats very, you had issued statements of support for Israel and the idea that Israel has the right to defend itself and protect itself against rocket assault. So we're in a very strange position in which things that would ordinarily have been no Brainerd are now Brainerd Battle. So this this does the new political reality that that Trump has Democrats would claim that you know which Mcconnell created this, because he would lead judges through or something like that, but in others
plenty of actually were there. There were still you know: bills were still twenty fifteen and twenty sixteen well- and this is, I think this is a good example of where trumps attention deficit problems become much more high stakes in the foreign policy Irina. I mean if you believe that imposed than his Venezuela policy, which up until now, has been pretty vermin, driven largely by Bolton now he's supposedly antsy and annoyed with Bolton
what's happening. We haven't one yet mean that you know he so Manichaean in his foreign policy outlook that if something doesn't happen where there is a clear winner in a clear loser, he either loses interests or he becomes agitated, and then the agitation leads to confusion among his own aid. So I think we see that happening within as well. I mean they ve. Just then they they owed. Madeira has now detained the vice president of the assembly. There. You know who is quite as rapporteur that there's a lot still going on, but because, There was this public announcement that a military coup has to happen, and it didn't happen now he's board or now he's in a weight or now he's you know, he's moving on and and the result is that there is no foreign policy through line for what how we should be acting in this situation and a lot of confusion even on his own society aside. What what the Democrats or thing I have to say that Washington Post story, that your visit will implicitly referencing here. That Trump is now mad.
Like what happened. It's not a great story but their its weak. You know it is in fact he then went this more though we didn't do the the press is the enemy of the people and they lie. Did say in a tweet this morning he was with Ruth Marker Rubio and he said something like we will do whatever is necessary to support the venezuelan people in their efforts to achieve freedom, so he did actually do so Do a normal presidential thing of how did knock down a weekly, so story on something by contradicting it through work of his own or actions of his own. I don't really know. I can also imagine just about any other president getting irritated with the prospect that they had a plan, and too, and they were in communications with these high ranking officials and supposedly were under the impression that there would be many more defections and there have been the worst. I was a high rank.
The affection, the intelligence, chief, murderers, intelligence. Chief. Yes, took the sanctions off ramps, he got out of there as a big deal, but they expected Two probably be lady would ha less sustained campaign. You would hope that they would have Reno a forensic examination of why that day, which was supposed to be They wasn't the day like that that serious efforts, if, if you're going to continue this, you don't want to get you don't want to get fooled again by bad intelligence or by you want who deceived you are, who change? Who chicken bowed or of how well how it happened? If TAT was doing now the dead? That's it that's a sign, a vague with eight of a good. He could, at the end, dealing with a complicated issue, not not a bad one. You would. You would assume that that was something that was was being done. As for IRAN. So the interesting thing with IRAN is that we have now in part,
due to this intelligence, which we are now classically getting stream, we'll sourced story saying has been overblown. Restoring the daily be saying that trumps intelligence that the that these elegance on the iranian possible attack on America you know was was o is overdrawn, with literally no sourcing and no detail and nothing that would make you believe it was necessarily true, but we do know. We think that this is intelligence came from Israel, but when we're not would seem to be medication, we know that Israel is very good and intelligence about IRAN because of the discovery of the of the nuclear. Well, that's a library of nuclear facts that they broke into and stole. You know that huge palliative of data from, and we know that IRAN is play
in games in Gaza and possibly in the in Lebanon, with Hezbollah. Seemingly trying to read pressure on America for being getting more hard line by may be firing rockets at Israel. It's all very unclear, but you know anyway, I mean the administration just imposed some really serious sanctions on metals industries, domestic and excellent export of metals, which employs well, let's significant portion of the blue color workforce in IRAN. These sanctions before the c p away twenty fifty left to them. These were the sanctions that were responsible, bringing neurons economy to its knees, and we have now realised it was them, and I think, according to something I read that they may be even stronger than they.
So you can see where the mullahs would see this as an existential threat to the regime and respond accordingly. But to Christine this point I mean how: how long is the president's attention span going to hold out in the event of punitive retaliatory strike on iranian targets and what happens when the mission goes bad because it does always does happens when we lose them stuff and starts to hurt where, the present government. What do we know about heat Trump does not want to use military force he has done. As far as we know in the way that we would thank once right, which were the strike against ISIS in in twenty seventy years. Why didn't you ever? Do Sarah get SIRI? Those heads Assyrians excuse me: there was a single, very enormous Afghanistan, Shrike wasn't. There was
a big where policemen and when I had an excellent resolution, randomize a verbal failed yet rate in Yemen that was sending the early in them and restoration. Basically, it does not want to use force. Therefore, it's been a quest, about whether or not might Bumpo Sabre rattling and saying you know everything on the table and we could use force in Venezuela whether you believe it or not, We now have an interesting case of what happens and foreign leaders interpret the president, wrongly your falsely, based on in total the normal thing that you would do it just analyzing his words and trying to forget the theme bind them with what and with China where Trump Pray is China's own approach, a monitor monetary approach in attacking J Powell, the head of the FED and his monetary approach,
the Chinese said: oh well, you know he thinks what now we're going to tighten the screws that, like innocent, like his own, FED and write another that suggested is it is his attack on the interest rate hikes suggested that the president of the economy was weaker than it actually right, so they they looked at what he said they sat around for twelve out. You know like analyzing. It, like you, know, tumbled scholars, which is what people do with financial statements and have them in other countries for ever, and that in turn, have proceeded mean anything by it. So what he wanted was this deal to go through. They decided that they were going to they were. They were going to be no change the terms of the eleventh hour and then he that they unilaterally is unilaterally imposing hundreds of billions of dollars and in tariff Serezana Chinese took him literally not seriously. They were. They took both literally and seriously. That's the problem, and we then take him. They too, they took him. They assume that what he's at this is where Christine's was hope.
Esther aims and Christine Point about trying to discern a long range strategy from anything the trump does, which is really. You know a very weird that the Chinese, though you know well, we can obviously he needs us more than we need him. So we're gonna we're going to make the the deal on trade more advantageous to ourselves and then Bob price of the trade breath goes whoa Buddy, the wii with this is all done. You know what are you talkin about we're walking away from the table and we're going to levy sanctions on you? I suppose Trump is now going to claim. This is some kind of a win, but the fact is his inconstancy mean that nobody look. I believe that there is an argument that the president should that you, to have you need have the outcome, ass, they do unexpected things or the shake things up. But
the world needs constancy from the world leader of the. If the United States, if the ship is turning round and in Reno three dimensions, he has been consistent about still apply steady pressure on IRAN she hasn't. He backed off that weirdly I mean and then, of course, one wonders well how as far as you going to push it and and and and what what will happen the rubber its roadmap. It see it seems that that in Tehran they certainly understand now that this that the deal is really gone right, wealth so, what happens now is that they either the thing that happened that we wanted as part of that as part of the IRAN deal was that they would take their weapons grade uranium, which had been process to twenty percent of its strength and degrade it back to three percent and supposedly that was done. Although we only have samples to prove that and what
Ronnie said yesterday was that they're gonna take it back up to twenty percent, which them narrows the effective timeline for them to go weapon I nuclear to less than a year, by the way, which is one of the concern, the criticisms of the iraqi oil from the very beginning that whenever they wanted to, they could ramp up enrichment. There ain't, whether break out pure became less than a year right. The card, the criticism of the around report, just reiterate, constantly, was not that it wasn't being what it wasn't being followed. It was It was that it was so poorly designed that they could follow it and still have a break out time that was too narrow to do anything about right. Ok, guys talk to you about ancestry, got com for a minute. Ok, apes, favorite advertising, because you know what they prove. They prove that aim. Jewish, but there were just going on my name ever wonder where your
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going back to the IRAN and Trump Point, which is it just always concerns me whenever Trump starts talking about foreign policy as deal making, because I think what what people should forget is that what he means by deal wheeling and dealing is not the way the foreign policy establishment usually means when they mean deal right. I mean he's he's he his has town of themselves, as it is an excellent deal maker, his entire career in these we ran on. That is when he was running for president but nuances, not part of his deal, making strategy right and also changing circumstances aren't so I mean the issue in IRAN. Correct me. If I'm wrong is, is it some of these iranian back militias activities it
that's been going on for a while we're paying more attention to it. Now, because IRAN is shifting its own strategy in the wake of veto, so but the defeat devices in some of what has been going on in terms of the death of IRAN deal so he is Trump is not great. When it comes to shifting circumstances, re he's often he's often reactionary. He hasn't. He strikes me as someone who hasn't thought through all of the possible avenues strategically that he might have to pivot towards that's anticipated. Is it the people working for him? Haven't tried to do that, but I think, as as he's his rhetoric is, is so constantly in your face. Thanks to social media, I do think foreign governments listen to what he sang and the message he sends often more often than not, unfortunately, is a kind of the attic reactionary one rather than a strategic one, where it is important to note that the idea that the arabian militias have been you know,
enemies of the United States in Iraq is not just happening for quite a while. It's eleven twelve years old, I mean in the middle of two thousand and eight the head of central and said that more than six hundred Americans had been killed by uranium forces in Iraq? Six under that was like six hundred out of forty eight hundred, like that's, not a negligible percentage. Extreme IRAN that IRAN, Iraq with Iranian Revolutionary Guard core the militias that they sent into two to Iraq, had directly engaged with american forces and had killed Americans so ten years, eleven years later we met, we have now declared them. We have now declared the urgency of a terrorist organisation. I think Christine makes a great point, and I want to add to it because there's it when you think of trumps, I deal making. There is one sort of school of thought on trumped conduct
that says well when he first says something: bold and outrageous. That's his debts, his deal, making style, that's his first offer you see and then as a counter offer, and then he comes back with something warm middle old road policy there are times when you can't do that. You had when you state that you will do something. If you I'll. Do it. If you do anything short of that thing they will have called your bluff and then a whole series of problems cascades out of that. So that is exactly the problem. With this deal framework and foreign policy, or at least we should we should close by talking all but about this latest near time story about trumps taxes and how he had lost so much money between one thousand nine hundred and eighty seven and one thousand nine hundred and ninety three, based on some kind of a printouts from the eye really figure out what they were safe, wasn't as tax returns, but some
study of certain tax, because certain people going tax them it. He had us more money in one year, but all the three people in the United States are claimed losses larger them all, but three people in the United States struck me that was initially met. This is a trump said. This sum the apprentice. He said at some point that we lost a billion dollars a year, be happen in the wake of the nineteen o six tax reform bill. When I, I have to say a whole bunch of New York, real estate developers and wheels waiver prison general after the closing of various tax shelters, nearly went under item, then we will save those all over. The country Texas went into a gigantic real estate recession and the normal hundreds of people wiped out, wasn't just trumpet three or four people. I know who nearly went belly up and then just as in trumps case Thanks decided to let them survive so that they could try to do. Themselves, out of the hole and make good
and what they had lost, which was what Trump story was. There is a misunderstood trumpets, Trump positioned himself as a deal maker in the art of the deal he's not a deal maker deals are almost always involved overpaying for things, which is not something that a good deal Eccritus right. If there's a deal maker, does it's that he negotiates hard and get something in a good price of men. You know and then, and then profits from it. Trump is a rich person, all term care that was being a rich person, and so he made these deals and branding himself as a rich person, and I didn't matter to him ultimately whether he law with it if he lost money, he could remain rich person, because he was losing it on such a colossal scale if he made money he that was that would that would be good to because he could stay as a rich person and live.
This kind of grandiose lifestyles of the rich and famous life but Basically, this is all about him being read, staying rich and so, and he pulled that off. So. You may look at it and say: is a terrible deal maker may look at and say this is so unfair. Other people couldn't do this, but the fact is that he, you know he now from what we can tell and there's been you now, five thousand journalists on this for five years now, for we can tell he never broke the law. Why I mean there is a word for a person who portrays themself as wealthy in
affluent in excelling in their particular field and convinces you that you to King excel in their particular field. If you were to behave as he does and to consent to the sort of can conduct but he's consenting to, I mean word for lobbying what's that work? It's it's a long caught this comment, but it's not a com, because you know mccone somebody got yet. He may have sorry he'd. He actually made money himself doing that right at me. One of the things in that time story, if I recall, was that a lot of the debt that he was agreed on, one thing would have been worse and unsustainable, except that he was constantly making these public pronouncements that he was going to take over languishing. Corporations and stockholders, believed him and were throwing money is still the problem and bright. Yet I didn't say it was an illegal com. There are plenty appearing aims that are not illegal. Now, then, it scheme is by definition of the well ok. So if hearing engaged in this year of your engaged in this conduct,
which your objective here is to kick up money that you make from getting from other people into that business, it's not legal to do that kind of business. I know people who engage in that sort of thing and they make some money every mailing, let its main relevant fortunes of the of course itself. Reputable I mean that's. The funny part is that he was a disreputable, rich guy and it turned out that he was the disreputable, rich guy, who figured out the secrets ass to translate those riches into the presidency. The United States, there are two ways of people look at Trump as they look at Republicans of all types. One is that they are now give Elliot geniuses of a sort that we have never seen before: controlling people's brains and mines and owner, and then the other is that their Eddie it's an trump, is now the most extreme example of this, because when you read these stories reaction, it's like he was so terribly such an awful business man. He was really really terrible and now became president. They all these people think he was a great business man, but you know how
was kind of a great business man. I mean free to go into a billion dollars of debt and then to turn that around did not pay taxes for twenty years and basically just you know, live hire a hug in your purse, playing with what a weed out whatever buying golf courses are doing whatever the hell. It is that you do that's kind of brilliant. It's not it's! It's it's the way kind of capitalism in some sense because it doesn't rich anybody else. It doesn't grow anybody else. It doesn't it profit anybody else, but you gotta he pulled off, but that's why the em all this like they always a lot of people, don't pull it off. There be no there. They are turning out and people of jail or less, whose have ruined more screw the sodden nobody, but that war or or their worse or their worse at it. But that's completely why all the sort of man and Anna you were. You lost money during those years sort of attitude
towards them. It doesn't really fine purchase because we all saw how we live during this time. You know wasn't like rag ally was set materially, wasn't an allowance from his bankers. He was previous project yeah. I wish I'd just grab and allow. I wish my bank aylward put me in a while. We are what a loser right. Yeah I've been for God's sake, you without an allowance of twenty million dollars a year, something what addressing not defending it. I think that there is this bizarre Christine. I'm sorry interrupt, oh well, I didn't he said during the presidential debate. I love depreciation. He loved writing off. Although these losses- and I think the real the real question about trump- is why he thought his depreciation philosophy would do anything because in trouble once he had presidential power right, I mean this is I think what we're getting at is that you're right? The message doesn't stick when, when people say ha ha. He was a terrible businessmen, he admitted I mean he actually he sees it is as a strategy. Everyone was doing this. This is what you did in real estate.
I was still living well and still have this money, but as a as a leader of a of of the United States of America, the depreciation philosophy doesn't work and there is the sense in which politically, he still practicing philosophy to the detriment of the country. It, sir true and you now, and he is only blessed by the by the relative, short, sightedness and and frankly quest people intelligence of his of his enemies, who we started to show our now exactly charting themselves, a course to do anything but remain in this state of perpetual political stalemate in which we will be up to four o clock in the morning on election night, twenty twenty waiting to see what that you know
one thousand vote margin in Michigan, whether who would fuck ups, who ends up winning the last thousand votes of Michigan and winning the way the election to eighteen, sixty two sixty nine or whatever. So with that, we will bring this to a close word nor Rossman rose and I'm John passports keep the candle burning.
Transcript generated on 2019-12-07.