« Pod Save America

“Crime after crime.”

2018-12-20

A judge’s shock over Michael Flynn’s crimes destroys right-wing conspiracy theories, Trump is forced to shut down his fraudulent charity, Trump may get his government shutdown after all, and a criminal justice reform bill just may become law. Then CNN’s Van Jones talks to Jon and Dan about what’s in the First Step Act, and how a bipartisan coalition got it done.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
The presenting sponsor pod. Save America is zip, recruiter is two thousand and eighteen wraps up. Let's take a look back, shall we tell me No! We won the house yeah okay, but was like until November it was pretty bad. He has to fear Halia, that's a squeaky toy, but we may have to move you to a non squeaky leave it in never heard. I was with us from the start back. We were just four guys of four microphones in a dream. I've got is being a sponsor. We actually- and we actually use zip recruiter to hire some of our staff here, quick, immediate media, that's true, very true! If you look at higher, go to ziprecruiter dot com, slash cricket to get qualified candidates fast, they scan thousands of resumes
powerful matching technology to identify people with just the right skills, the right education in the right experience for your job and then actively invite them to apply. They don't wait for can't define use a broker to find them for you, it's a more proactive approach means you can find cat. It's fast that fit your specific needs like the NSA for recruiting job candidates. That's right, I would have been as a user. I they do actually like this casting a wide net for them yeah. Well, there you know had some challenges The smartest way to hire try Ziprecruiter for free, go to ziprecruiter dot com, slash cricket, we even get credit. That's super dot com, crooked river dot, com, slash cricket. Welcome to POD save America on Jon Favreau Dan Pfeiffer, talk to ends Van Jones about the criminal justice reform Bill. That looks like it's heading to President Trump's desk, other quick announcements going on tour again, and you can now get tickets for our
very swing in New Orleans Charleston in Durham that durhamthatcricket dot com, slash events the February tour dates. There will be plenty more plenty of other cities in the months ahead, good times, here's my question for you is someone I ii love it overlaying our days off with the NBA schedule to make sure that everywhere we go, however, we are. There is not an NBA game on the night, where there a lot of we're going be in Orleans for night, we'll check out Anthony Davis. Now they're on the road happen for two years now We did not. We did not look at the NBA schedule. Basically, what I just trying to do is make sure that the really sun city in each swing is our day off like I appreciate that, don't get me wrong, but I'd like to have a little bit of my cake and eat it too, We do have our day off in New Orleans on Saturday, which is great. Also our holiday schedule, I have a great mailbag episode that will be out on Christmas Eve December 24th.
Tommy and I host a special new year's resolutions, episode that will be out on December 27th, and then we will back to our regular schedule on Thursday January. Third, fine, over the holidays, catch up on some cricket podcasts, and may I especially in the wilderness, which now you can live, to realizing that it has a pretty happy ending. Least happy two thousand and eighteen and more importantly, some great lessons for Democrats in twenty twenty that they listen to in twenty eighteen. So check out the wilderness, while your home trying to catch up on on podcasts ok to the news in a segment that you have titled and crime after crime. That's very good! Thank you. On Tuesday, a federal judge delayed sentencing for former Trump National Security advisor Michael Flynn who's pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, about his contacts with Russia's former ambassador to the United States and has been cooperating with Robert Muller's investigation. So
in the days leading up to the hearing. The right wing media had peddled the conspiracy theory that the FBI had tricked Flynn into lying to them, and many predicted the judge Emmet. Even would take it easy on Flynn. Fox news is judge, Jeanine Pray, Sullivan as a quote jurist unafraid of the swamp. Eiji who has a track record of calling out prosecutorial misconduct, and who does not tolerate injustice or abuse of power, and she to suggest that he might throw out Flynn's guilty plea altogether. Then we got, Street from Donald Trump quote. Good luck today in court to General Michael Flynn will be interesting. See what he has to say. Despite tremendous pressure being put on him about russian in in our great and obviously highly successful political campaign, then think our mega friends were a bit disappointed by the outcome.
Yes and no I mean if they contained a modicum of pride or shame that they would be extremely embarrassed and disappointed by but because they can find a conspiracy theory in anything, they have somehow taken this set of facts that was very red and very counter to the right wing wish casting that they had put forward for the last few days and somehow There is evidence that they were actually right. So I also it seems like a president under federal investigation using Twitter to send messages to his former national security advisor on the day, he's being sentence for his crimes might be a bit of an ethical gray area. Now I mean like we say this all the time, but if Trump emailed the things he tweeted did he brought up on obstruction of justice charges tomorrow, if like, if he said email, Jeff sessions, pressuring him to investigate if he
messages threatening my send an email threatening, Michael Cohen, all these It's because he does them in the in public. We don't really as a political legal. Understand how to deal with someone who does their crimes out in the open it was. I now they just happened so often that were sir just like oh yeah, okay, another crazy tree, but it's like no dude your under investigation yourself. What do you it'll be interesting to see what he has to say? He sounds like a mob boss. You know that's sort of what is don't miss Abbas, yeah. So let's talk about how this went down, because it's a pretty extraordinary story so mall submits a sentencing memo to the judge proposing little to no jail time for Flynn, because he was such a good, cooperating witness then Flynn's lawyers submit a sentencing memo that basically pair the right wing conspiracy, that the FBI tricked Flint into lying, because you know, I guess the
it, doesn't have anything better to do than go to the White House and trick the National Security Advisor into committing perjury. They do that all the time I mean, don't you think they end up. This defense strategy was a bit flawed from the start, like you have Muller saying he's been a great, cooperating witness and I would give them much jail time. So then, why do you get a memo from Flynn's people sort of thing? I always you know it's not his fault. It was the f b I's fall for treatment, a line. Well, it's it's. Also, Jim Cummins fought for deciding to once again unburden himself with our helpful information of the absolute worst time by saying that by indicating that that they they are intended to trek Flynn because it was in you know not sure, but it was in a normal. Well, the administration. If you called up and said as the effect of us any to speak, an Oscar adviser, they would come with an attorney, but because the Trump administration, were much that Flynn just sat down without without the White House counsel and lied repeatedly, but the
what I think was going on here- and I can't take credit for this Derek as you seen it for much of the sort of best legal Miller Twitter accounts. Is that trying to do two things. At the same time, he is trying to cut the best deal he possibly can with Mahler and stand in jail for his for his stay out of jail for as much as possible, but also continue to raise money for his legal defense front from Trump's base and so he's trying to on one hand I get the best deal account from all the other hand, feed into the right Wing Fox NEWS, conspiracy theories that went to this moment in this odd moment, our politics right. So he tries to do this as defense lawyers trying to do this and then here's what happens next before the hearing starts, the judge orders the government to release the FBI summary of the agents interview with Flynn, which makes it pretty fucking clear that they weren't trying to trick Flynn and Flynn knew exactly what the situation was. And then
Time Flynn said something that wasn't true with the FBI. Agents basically gave him the opportunity to correct himself, which he chose not to take. So it's a pretty damning summary of the interview. So then, when the hearing starts, Judge Sullivan says you know, he's concerned about Flynn's allegations in his defense. And then he calmly asked Flynn if he wants to reconsider his guilty plea and, of course says no and then the starts asking Flynn's lawyers questions like do you believe FBI had a legal obligation to warn Mister Flynn that lying to the FBI was a federal crime. Is it your contention that Mister Flynn was by the FBI and, of course, The attorneys say no, because it's a bullshit conspiracy, theory and that's when Sullivan gets pretty pissed and says you can't hide his disgust for funds actions. Here's the quote, this is A serious offense, our
Billy. You sold your country out, and he pointed to the american flag behind his bench. He also as prosecutors. Whether Flynn could have been charged with treason for interfering in the russian sanctions imposed by the Obama administration. Later the judge says he was not accusing flood of treason, but he was actually wondering if there had been other charges that Miller's team had consider because he believed these tribes were so serious Dan. What was your reaction to all of this? Do you agree or disagree with some of the legal folks who thought that the judge might have gone too far? Well, he definitely got the time line wrong. As I understand it, by saying that Flynn was acting as an agent of the trade under the stage of the turkish government, while he was now secured adviser and that the evidence, I believe, does not support that he was actually just acting as unread, Asian for the turkish government, while serving as the chief foreign policy adviser for the republican nominee for President states. So, and it's interesting Marcy Wheeler pointed out that she said there was some problem with that with verbiage there right, but what's interesting is that, yes, he absolutely wasn't doing work for the
government, while he was National Security advisor, but he became National security advisor so the world, knowing that he was an unregistered agent for the for it, for the turkish government, because he had never registered ever had never discussed it ever so that information without the while he was being hired National security Visor, he just didn't disclose it, but anyway yeah it was in the Turkey the being an unregistered age of the turkish government, is a very important backdrop to all of this as tweeting about him and Republicans are saying that you know Eli Bloomberg. Is writing why we all owe Michael Flynn an apology which is right at this time, based, we believe Ivan information that Michael Flynn gave the FBI. My for business partner was indicted for serving as an unregistered agent the turkish government involved in discussions around a plot to kidnap a US resident in return them to Turkey because they were political opponent of one
there are very serious there's a very serious backs up or the other important point which Marcy Wheeler also made. Is that judge red knows a lot more than we do about what Robert Muller notice yeah. That's a really important point is this tirade came after being briefed on the unredacted parts of Muller investigation involving flint, and so there are like it is, worth being curious, even if he got the timeline wrong about what led to the outrage. Yeah, I mean that's, that's very. And and and as much support out all is now the only person not on team, which has not leaked, who has read about who is read the full story of, crimes in wrongdoing. That Flynn has committed- and you know how Trump is connected to them as well and after having read all those redacted parts and
also by the way, another memo that the judge got about. What Flynn about Flynn's cooperation that Flynn himself hasn't even read? Flynn's lawyers have the he was angry that he came out there. Tired, saying all this stuff so clearly the is read something that was that didn't sit with him. Well so Dan big of a blow. Is this to all the molar conspiracy, theorists and Flynn stands out there. We had I'm stressful of the Wallstreet Journal had praise. Solomon is a judge who is wise to the tricks of prosecutors. As you mentioned you I like published a column. That said the FBI was fun, an apology need, of them back down after the hearing, neither did any of the other bowler conspiracy theorists what's up with these people. Then they they really. They really just not understand this. Just they just willfully obtuse. What's what's going on, I think At everything. That's happening here is like a meta comment free on the right wing media bubble and
politics in the era of Trump, which are sort of the same conversation, a lot of ways and like these people are absolute charlatans right. They are theory. They have access here at their sites directly smart enough to know that what they are say. Unadulterated bullshit, but I found a role. They have found a way to monetize their trumpism they if they get acts yes from it, they get retweets. And so there is this incentive structure that hasn't be full of shit, but there a lot of people who believe it because they're only talking to each other right. Reading the same stories. They're watching the same shows on Fox. They are, following the same twitter account and they are living in this unpenetrated bubble where you are forced, there's a psychological exercise that place to try to justify your support of trump and like it's causing the sliding scale where originally was collisions. Bulshit there are no crimes. Now there are there were there were crimes, but they
no collusion related to this is bullshit. Then it's like, oh well. There was a lot of potential collusion, so the only way that we're going to have like the most specific, like defense this lawyer from the their strategy? If we're going to argue that it's all fruit from a poison tree, so that yeah, we discover these crimes, but we never even should have been looking because led to the investigation was how wrong, even though that is complete, bullshit and there's this term that exists that was used to describe the media bubble witch called Kipkay Lism like named after Pauline Kael, who was a new Yorker film critic, who wants a exclaimed after Nixon one that she? How is that possible? She had she did meet a single person who voted for Nixon and that is sort of how the republic, that is, that it's constantly live in a Pauline Kael style, right wing media bubble where they, the actual facts.
Contradict arguments are not put before them and therefore they can We continue that even be proof of the the receive their arguments. Can be seen as actual proof of the accuracy of their arguments, because they to do otherwise to either and they are wrong, would either cause them to just melt into the ground or you know, be evicted from Mega Island, yeah, and- and you saw this the other day in a poll that showed an alarming percentage of Republicans who believe that the Republicans won the midterms. I mean Just because that's what Trump said, that's at the right Media said there now seeing any soul searching on Fox. I mean it is an impenetrable bubble that a lot of these people are living in which also says something by the way to Democrats, because it's
you know. Is it really worth trying to penetrate this bubble and argue with these go on twitter or go As I saw you know, some Democrats suggest, and I like a daily beast story from a couple weeks ago. Democrats should go on Fox more and debate these people, like none of that is going to work. I mean it's and I I'm a believer that yes, democratic politician should like go out into the country. Talk to looking in in a republican, leaning, voters, independent republican voters- and to bring them over to our side. Like I think you know, we obviously had a lot of success with that and twenty eighteen, but as far as the pundits themselves in the republican politicians themselves, it is not worth it. It's not worth arguing with them yeah. I think that The problem we have is that there are a lot of there's some people. At least it's not a majority of people. It's not
morality of people. There are some people who are trapped in the Fox NEWS: Facebook, fueled filter who are reachable, and we just we have to find ways to to get get for may shun into that bubble to at least some set of people that we have to try to convince Kim Strassel that she's not full of shit right we have to. But there are some good people in there and I agree with you that going on Fox's, basically a massive waste of time you might as well do a video with the are, you know hosted by the Rnc, but like there are there are, it is made it. It is a bit high. I already have my measuring Super PAC to find ways to get to those voters through this opportunity, yeah that that I completely agree with so what happens next for Flynn. He chose to delay sentencing, presumably so he could potentially coop great more either on the larger Russia Conspiracy or in the case against his former business partners.
Even then, the Judge Sullivan said he can't guarantee that Flynn won't get jail time when he finally sentences them, presumably in March so clearly. This is about more than the fact that Flynn lied to the FBI. It's about the content of those lies that make it so serious that got Judge Sullivan so upset. He lied to the FBI about what he said to the russian ambassador an election where Russia attacked us. He, What about working as an unregistered foreign agent on behalf of the turkish government, while he was, you know he was from foreign policy adviser during the campaign and also for an agent on behalf of the turkish government, and is it the broader question? What did down don't know about all of this, and was he also doing the bidding of countries like Russia either for financial gain or to repay them for helping him when the presidential campaign isn't that the heart of what's at stake here, yeah one hundred percent like Flynn's conduct, was absolutely shame
all add. There is a lot of smoke around Trump, his ass. It's doing. Very similar activity either. For, as you point out, ical benefit in the form of the should release of hacked Dnc and John Podesta emails or the as well the building of a massive trump. In Moscow or or just you know, investments in Jerrod Kushner's real estate, like we just don't know, and we have to get to the bottom of it and the argument that Flynn crimes are, I guess this is an important thing that is come become crystal clear, last few weeks. If we've gone through the flint process and the Manafort processes, the argument for longtime believe by a lot of people. Was it Manafort was a crook in Flynn was a crook, but their crimes were separate than Trump Trump just hung out with a lot of crooks, but he, but they were not being crooks on his behalf,
what we have learned is there is a lot the dots between what Manafort did and Flynn funded are much more connected to what is what was going on with Trump his family he's keeping his organization. Then we were led to believe last year, or so and here's one way you really know this is it's at some point in that Judge Sullivan's asking the prosecutors, the government, you know, isn't, doesn't it seem like you could have charged Flynn with more serious crimes and basically the prosecutors like say yes, obviously don't say yes that reason or anything like that, but it's clear that you know he never got charged with not ready bring as a foreign agent. He never got charged for other things that clearly you know crimes the judge Eleven has a that he potentially committed, and so, if Miller chose to only charge Flynn
with a single count of lying to the FBI, it is very clear that he must have cooperated a lot and and then some substantial information and it's not just on, business partners either has to be Donald Trump or would be someone in the Trump orbit right yeah. When who is higher up on the food chain than Michael Flynn yeah so also CNN this week obtained a copy of a letter of intent that Donald Trump signed in October, two thousand and fifteen, to move forward with talks to build a trump tower in Russia contradict claims made by Trump TV lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who, just days ago said Trump never sign such a document. Do you think this is a big deal? Yes, obviously, the percent a big deal, because it try like we immediately ignore Trump's is because he just pretend, like he never told them, and he said over over and over again that he had no business dealings with Russia and you could ready make an argument that
his organization it. Despite the fact it's like eat people or his signed, despite the fact that his son wants nothing more than prove from his father. Could have engaged down this path without ever involving trump in? Maybe he was too busy spouting racist bromides on the campaign trail to engage in this, but now we've discovered he actually sign, The document, so it is like it is the looking gun that Trump was lying to everyone, to the voters your maybe possibly someone say conspiring to defraud the american people as part of the like tall process of actual information about what he was doing is related to Russia and again, the problem with this is and of course, Rudy let this slip during his interview last Sunday like if, if they were in talks with Russia, about a financial deal, but a deal to build Trump Tower in Moscow through no member of two thousand and sixteen, which is possible based on Rudy Giuliani's comments on Sunday? That means that any of the
foreign policy moves that Trump made any of, proposals to you know: lift sanctions on Russia to have friendly relations with Russia I don't know if he making those moves, because he thought they were the right thing to do or because it would pull it Financially benefit him personally It's also worth mentioning that Trump gave Vladimir Putin. Two big wins yesterday, The president surprised his entire national security team by announcing via tweet that he'd been with be withdrawing US forces from, area, immediately clearing, wrongly that we've defeated ISIS in Syria, Vladimir Putin, well, and this move said that Trump did the right thing. Trump's administer and also announced on Wednesday, the even though they were imposing new sanctions on certain russian actors who meddled in the election. They were lifting sanctions on russian firms run by an oligarch friend of Putin who used to work Paul Manafort so
real problem is. I was going ask like where either of these actions because of russian influence on Trump, we don't know, but isn't the real problem that we aren't totally sure of that question and we be sure when it has to do with the President of the United States. Yes, we are constantly asking. We like to set it's actually worth noting. We never assume the Trump is doing something for the right, because he has never done anything for the right reasons. We I always wonder whether there's like two paths in each in the horrible choose your own adventure. That is the Trump era. Is he enter rich himself or doing it too out of loyalty to some authoritarian despot somewhere else in the world. Like those those are the only two options. There's not like a considered view of the policy or a call call to patriotism or something larger than himself. It's easy lining is right, pocket right now, the line is left pocket down the line by kissing up to oligarchs in in rich people, rich r
yeah. It will see their financial benefit or political benefit, because it there's a whole slew of things. He does because he thinks it's going to keep manpower too. So it's either like make yourself money. Keep yourself in power. Those are basically the options with most of the things is Roger by Rockstar games. Creators of the acclaimed in record breaking grand theft, auto series their back blockbuster red dead redemption. Two, an epic tale of honor and loyalty, set the dying days of America's outlaw era and told across the deepest and most expensive, rockstar world world. Hell does the game of a generation by the Hollywood reporter game of a generation. It's really it's not something! That's accomplish lot. It is a triumph by game. Informer called absolutely gorgeous by Newsweek and with the greatest games by Ign red dead redemption, two is now the highest rated game of all time on Playstation, four and Xbox one AR magazine called it. How do you turn this on? It sitting eight
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hey like if you're being fair, you would say he has talked about this. A lot over the exactly the same randomly announced at a rally like a year ago, I think yeah just like ignore it? It's just the president's about off again. Other reason is he's he is in he's having a shitty month. Among so many things right. The economy is, had a lot of turbulence. You know it the DOW, which is paid his measuring stick for the economy from the beginning is way found in recent months, but basically, ever since Paul Ryan's massive tax cuts to corporations, the I was like every day is another bit of bad Muller NEWS and he's getting beat about the head by the right over. Have you, too, bye, theoretically backed down from his promise to fund the wall, and so I think, maybe his simplistic mind. It's like we
here is a promise I made here is a promise I can keep, but it always sort of comes back to just lashing out because of some segment. He saw on Fox NEWS at some point: yeah look, I think there is a way to have made this decision that, whether you agree with the ultimate decision or not, you could at least say. Oh, it was thoughtful, and that and that in that process is, I don't know built in with anyone in the Defense Department, the State Department, national security team. You know Chris Murphy tweeted this morning. You know things can be true one. The way trump is pulling out of Syria with no notice and no new plan is dangerous and makes America weaker to the NEO cons, vastly oversold the impact of two thousand troops and pretended it was an actual strategy. But, of course, pulling out so fast without consulting anyone. You know there's like there's kurdish fighters that we're fighting alongside who learned that we were withdrawing from twitter and, according to the
times are now considering releasing three thousand two hundred ISIS prisoners, because the United States are going. Pick up and leave. So like you can very easily say, yeah. Was never an authorized intervention into Syria and US troops are going to make a difference in that war anyway, but you have to show your work. You have to other people have to and just doing it via tweet. You have administration officials all over the place on background, of course, because all they can do is talk on background, saying that Everyone in the administration. The national security team is passed with Trump for doing this, without warning yeah I mean it's like that's the right. I We agree. This is the right thing to do he's just doing it in the most ass backwards way possible. There are you there is a process to run. There is a in which you work to get the your government, the military here, allies around the world. On the same page for this announcement, you try to do it in the most
the way possible, but when you're sowing chaos by policy making by tweet, and so we agree on the merits of the decision, but it is impossible to agree that this was done with any measure of basic competence. So just when you thought we were done with all the crimes. For the week we forgot to talk about the Trump Foundation New York Attorney General Barbara, Underwood, announced the Trump Foundation would be dissolving this week. She said investigation. Her office is leading his found quote a shocking pattern of illegality involving the Trump Foundation, including unlawful. Coordination with the Trump presidential campaign repeated in willful self dealing in much more Underwood still seeking more than two point: eight million dollars in restitution, her lawsuit targets, the charity Trump's three oldest children and trump himself Dan. How important is this one and why it is you know when I write the outline every week, there is some new at
that's a prime mission and I always right make a deal with this. So the answer is sort of always the same, which is in a normal world to be a gigantic. Dylan Trump would be run out of office in the next five minutes, but we live in a world He continues to have immunity. Republican majority in the Senate at least now, but I do think for the public that you know collusion this- become sort of this- just this issue of either you care passionately, you believe, bull or or you think It is something that you don't care that much as long as yes and with the investigation too much that's sort of how you divide Republic, Democrats, Republicans and independents on this yeah, but I do think that there is something a little more tangible about using. A charity to line your own pockets. That is just seems a little more real. They some of this other stuff, which is pretty absence of smoking, gun that says Trump and the russian
hatched a plan to steal, he couldn't emails and steal the election. A lot of it is esoteric. It's circumstantial, and it's like a wide, ranging conspiracy that may car people understand that this is a Morse at least potentially more simple concept, if message correctly to the right number of the right people, regular people, so donated to this foundation. All kinds of people doing this addition, and then he used the money to pay legal settlements for his for profit businesses by portraits of himself and boost his presidential campaign by paying for giveaways at his Iowa rallies. These are also is that the New York attorney General accused the foundation of doing so. It is a pretty picture to draw of Donald Trump. Just like money for charity and then using it to just, as we said, line his pockets and bilzen an you know: settle his fuckin' legal disputes, yeah, it's a it's tax fraud yeah he's giving money to get a tattoo is particularly in his right pocket and putting in his left pocket to avoid
taxes on it, then using the money in his left pocket to solve all this political legal problems. That is a that should be much more easy to explain to people than a of the uh things. Like the you know, the famous was actually not famous known, remembers it near time story to use Trump of tax fraud Those are complicated tax avoidance schemes that I think a lot of Americans All rich people do, and there are sort of right about that drug just goes. A lot and cried because area to obviously illegal, but this is a that's where it is easier to understand, and so there are some potential for it to have some political impact that some of the other stuff may not have just potential. One might think: ok, let's about the shutdown that I thought we certain avoided before I, drove into the studio today and now, who knows we're recording this Thursday ten am pacific time and I was sort of monitoring twitter to see what's happening here, but
So on Wednesday, Senator Majority leader Mitch Mcconnell announced a deal for a stopgap spending bill that will keep the government open until February. Eighth, that bill would not include, does not include the five billion dollars that Trump has demanded for his wall, and people thought. Ok, that's what's going to happen. You know everyone just one go home and then it's like the White House. Well, you was going to be all will live to fight this again in February, but now morning, you know we're told that Trump is, I don't know, he's up He's angry forget the words they use, one of the insiders, a the White House in a tailspin tails up and tells the tale there. We go trumps in a tailspin because he's so- and he's not getting his fucking and now might not sign the bill in the house. Republicans had a press conference scheduled to talk about how they avoided the shutdown they the at and now Paul Ryan is dragging his sad face to the White House. Along with
Jim Jordan Mark Meadows, the to Freedom caucus loonies, and they are now. I guess, they're talking to Donald Trump and they're, probably all spinning each other up and who knows going to happen now. What do you think is going to happen? No idea we do this almost all the time which is is about to be a deal, there's a Fox news segment or a drudge headline sends word through twitter or some of his minions to a reporter that he going to sign the bill. People who at least play the role of adults in the public and party called him and eventually signs the bill. So I think, CALL Ryan says can be relevant to Trump, because Trump is an American. As far as I and therefore it's ipso facto irrelevant the what will What Mcconnell tells him, I think I think I'm going to tell him like this or the shot you're, not getting five billion dollars or anything for either a wall or
steel slats that he seems to What is a more rebranding of the wall, which is the weirdest thing? That's happened in a long time. When did that happen? I saw him tweet about the steel slats today. Is that a new thing now he's steel slats are instead of the law? Did he did it like? I mean a flat circle, but it sometime this week he said some tweet. Quickly saying arguing in some way that Democrats I think the wall is made of ugly brick. These are not his words, but like that sort of that supposition, is it's not an ugly brick wall? it's actually in that beautiful steel slats that you can see through it like to see through picture of the walls when this weird hobby horse of Trump's for years now. And I don't he doesn't really get why he why people oppose? oppose the wall and that it's not an aesthetic point of view like we just going a pretty while we before it
and so now, like he even said this way. I think it was like steel, slacks, parens wall. Just in case we were not following the thread on the re branding. It's! It is really bizarre and then Sarah Huckabee Sanders in her statement today. I think announcing this meeting had use, the term steel slats to describe the wall. The thing is so stupid all the time. Yes, exactly right, like we per usual in a way I'm a very serious challenges. We are talking about the dumbest aspect of it in the dumbest way possible. I mean, I guess, here's what happens either Trump caves and signs the stopgap spending government stays open, and then I guess he fights this again. On February, eighth or Trump says it I've I'm staying standing firm. I won't sign this. I want my steel slats, and so we have a government shutdown either way. Congress comes
back in January. Democrats control the house. You got imagine that at that point the first thing they had to close he does is pass a spending bill to continuing resolution that funds all these agencies at the same level goes to the Senate. Chuck Schumer tries to bring it up. Connell says no, I won't bring it up and then and it still on Republicans and Trump to open the government at that point, I don't see how they win this one I mean no, they don't I think the way this this may end is Mcconnell or someone tells trump that if the government shuts down he can't go tomorrow, I go right. He's got like a sixteen day morning. Well or people do it anyway, he doesn't fucking care I'll, go to him. I think he's. I think if he does, that the Republicans Wall just passed. The continuing resolution yeah they're like I we you know
I work for a while, and we had a government shutdown and we had a very important trip to Asia that was planned and the Democrats were We are with you on the shut we stand, stand fight, Obama care, but if you get all that fucking for opening the government, that was felt like an actual job. He wasn't going to vacation. That was for an axe diplomatic purpose. So if you want to go play golf and hang out with the richest billionaires he's letting Vaii. I think you will see a revolt in the ranks, particularly for these men. All lost their jobs have nowhere to stay because they lived in their offices. I just want to begin their lobbying career So how do you think the Democrats have have played this so far? Schumer in policy, specifically, I mean it does seem like they are at least so far standing firm. You know one Mcconnell gave them some kind of compromise where he said? Ok. Well, if you give us just a billion dollars for image
in priorities for Trump the can't be used for the wall itself, but could be used for other stuff like maybe we can call it a day, and you know I was happy the trimmer employees and now that what we are your you get nothing yeah I think they've done, they've done a great job and they know they have leverage and they're using it and yeah. I mean it's This is this- is how you do this right was we have we have power now? We get it, we have it. We have s, say in what happens in Washington, and we need to for all, we possibly had an so good for that, but like this is a slightly fight in the sense that other than the Jim caucus types the overwhelming majority of republican Center, prison house members think the wall Concrete Steel, slats brick is stupid in I care about it, so that sort of help when you, when Trump, is most isolated on this issue, it will be a different way. When we get into battles around attempts
Medicare or more tax cuts, or things like that, but on this one, the demo I believe have a strong hand. Both in Congress and politically, with the public in are playing it very well, and we should give them credit for that uh. Ok, let's talk about criminal justice reform we're going to talk about with Van as well the Senate on Tuesday Pastor Criminal Justice Reform Bill, backed by a bipartisan coalition that included everyone from Jerry russian air to the ACLU to the Coke brothers. The first step act would next mandatory minimum sentence, is reduced. Some three strike laws from life sentence to twenty five years and require inmates to be located within five miles with their families, it will also expand early release. Grams, and allow the twenty ten law that reduced the sentencing. Disparity between crack and powder cocaine apply retroactively. It's important to note that this legislation affects the federal prison system, which only includes a fraction of the country's prison.
Population about one hundred and eighty thousand people out of two million incarcerated total justice reform advocates have been careful to note how even if they're happy about it being a good first step, it's very much, as the name suggests, only a first step Dan we're going to take the Van Jones about all this in a bit. But what do you think? Good first step, yeah, so will they have it's cute? You know congratulations to everyone involved for making progress on an important issue that has been lingering for way too long So just a couple of general take aways on this. It it your age I mean we can stop with the puns if you well, but it's a very important it is. It is, It's a very important first step, but it is just a first step. The vast majority of America's prison population are at the state level, and so this goes to the importance of similar bipartisan coalitions. Passing criminal justice reform. At the state level, as well as electing progressive district attorney.
Attorney generals who will have a progressive view of how to deal with crime in this country, as opposed to just locking everyone up for even smallest offense, I would also say, while we can be glad Jared Kushner supported this and fought for it maybe just for a second take a pause on the dianic profiles of him because it's like the most classic white Savior trope, all of writing, which is there are all these people who work, like Van, for instance, have been working on this issue for decades to get it done, and then we required to give credit to the dilettante son of a rich person who happened to go to jail an it's. So I think that that has been frustrating to be in the coverage is he gets credit for it, but the idea- he somehow. A single handly responsible for criminal justice reform is a pretty,
structurally prejudice notion that ignores the history of the of the battles on this from a lot of grassroots activists all across this country Yes, that that is annoying in the coverage in the other, the answering the coverages. I do think some of the coverage is going a little bit overboard, describing how sweeping this is because, yes, it's it's a pretty it's a it's a it's a step, but you know it's a small step. I think boxes over the german Lopez, a box called it meaningful tweaks to the criminal justice system, and you know what they estimate Box estimates that six to seven thousand of the hundred eighty thousand federally incarcerated Americans could be released early, so even of the federal population. They think it's early really could happen with for six to seven thousand. I think the Cbo scored something like fifty thousand would get out over the, however many years, but that's not just early release, that's other other stuff, as well
what the bill doesn't do it doesn't end the war on drugs or mass incarceration. It won't stop law enforcement from locking up nonviolent drug offenders; it doesn't Marijuana, and It doesn't even end mandatory minimums, a reduced prison sentences across the board to things that a twenty fifteen bill There was also bipartisan called the sentencing. Reform and Corrections ACT would have done is important that had a bunch of republican support. The Senate as well MIKE Lee Chuck Grassley people like that. So this bill is a a bit of a watered down version of that bill and the reason it is probably is because Donald Trump is in the White House. So as much as Word Krishna had poll on Donald Trump to finally get this signed. He didn't quite have the pole to put a bipartisan bill on his desk. That would have been stronger that had been introduced in the last congress yeah. I mean all of that is true. I think we should at least be grey fall that remember. We had former attorney general Eric there are the podcasts
last year earlier this year, and we talked a little bit reform, because that was a big part of what he wanted his I see to be as attorney general and you're in this world where we'd, like you, have the you. Have this comprehensive bill that could have passed? You know you had around the country around a bipartisan coalition, formal justice reform, sort of everyone from black lives matter to the Coke brothers. That Don when's Jeff sessions as attorney general, and it feels like all those lost. So we haven't gotten back to where we were to the national tragedy that is down Trump's election, but at least we can grasp onto some glimmers of hope that we can continue moving in the right direction on what is an important and hopefully bipartisan issue, as our old boss always says,
better is good, and this is better. This is it's. It's all right. I think you know, as long as we understand that it is it's progress, it's small progress and this isn't something to just celebrate and then say: okay work is done here. There is a ton more work to do on criminal justice reform. It is work that is unlikely to succeed under this President even though he's signing this small step and so and and a lot of that work has to happen on the state level, because that's where most people are incarcerated- and you know, but it's a it's a good first step, but it's good to see that there is a bipartisan coalition that exists in Congress, even in this Congress to get something done, and hopefully that moves the debate towards bolder proposals for criminal justice reform. But we will talk about all of this with our next guest see
Van Jones, who had a big role to play in this legislation and we'll talk to Van right after the break parts of America is brought to you by indigenous talk about your personal experience with into Tina. Well, I think we have many times John got all suited and booted for is whether in the indochino gear, and so did all of you were in my wedding. We looked great. We looked fantastic, the blue, was not heteronormative. It was just a great blue, nice color blue love. It was forced to admit he was wrong yeah. I can say that now enter GINO is North America's leading made to measure menswear company they make suits and shirts to your exact measurements for an unparalleled fit and comfort. Guys love the wide selection of high quality fabrics and colors to choose from it, love it and the option of personalized the details, including your lapel, pin lining pockets buttons. Even writing your own monogram yeah. You know you can be a little Narcisse
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every second of your day when you already have a weather app on your phone, delete it delete it and replace it with the cash app get the cash out put in the code, pod save or put in the code Spencer. You know why we say that as well. I don't think that's a weird reason yeah. We don't need to talk. It's not here to tell us a pointless story about somebody paid back. The cash app is great for switching to the cash app and the story. Thank you and abet. Thank you. Merry Christmas, on the pod today, CNN's Van Jones, who is also part of cut fifty you've, been working really hard on getting the first Step act passed and now it is close to to being passed Van? Welcome to the show a good what's the weather, visitor center on the capital and it really really big day. It feels like Yeah, the nineteen, fifty nine civil rights?
which nobody remembers now, but it broke the logjam on civil rights votes and that made when sixty four and sixty five, the big x came. Congress is ready to move and after forty years of Willie Horton Politics, where I think we finally finally you're going to be able to do something on criminal justice reform so Van. What what do you feel is the most important parts of the legislation? just passed by the Senate by the the the first UP act. Well, I mean the the. I think. The thing that I'm most excited about is in the congressional Budget Office scored this diagram thing and this one bill if it passes today out I also get signed by the president- will mean a fifty thousand person, action in the federal prison population yeah. This is in the federal system, which is about ten percent of the overall system. But talk about one hundred and eighty thousand. Two hundred and thirty thousand people locked up. A fifty thousand person I'm over the next ten years, with one bill,
you're. Also one hundred percent of the people behind bars are going to be able to come. Sooner if they stay out of trouble about half the people behind bars will be able to take classes and earn way home? Even sooner percent of the women behind bars, will no longer be shackled are pregnant having babies We do not a hundred percent of the juveniles will be, out of saw confinement. Also, we're cleaning up the whole crack: cocaine, crack versus powder, cocaine, disparity, As you remember, Obama was able to get it cleaned up a lot of but it wasn't retroactive. We couldn't get it done retroactively. We going to retroactively clean up some of that stuff, some those racial disparities, Anna whole bunch of more stuff, but honestly, as it is that is for all the people behind bars. It's also good politics. For Democrats, we had a lot of people saying you're going to give Trump a victory. How can you work with Trump on? This will be we've done as we pull Trump away from his initial lock,
law and order Jeff sessions position and have him embracing criminal justice reform, which makes it safer for Democrats to keep pushing ahead, now you have both parties more healthy on the issue. We could have been running no matter what the Democrats do are not is going to be pro criminal justice if you left, situation where there was a year ago, they would be running into a buzz saw of Donald Trump's mouth running that issue down a bit the Horton ads as far as the eye can see. Instead, the the chance now the Donald I've also runs on criminal justice, which means you know. Like when Mccain Obama ran in climate change was not an issue. They both agreed we may have actually d weaponized this issue for the first time since one thousand nine hundred and eighty eight, if not at Lee, We have a chance that more publicans and in more democrats, can be smart on this issue going forward. Then I take
it in your initial comments that you're optimistic that this is the beginning of a series of potential legislative actions on justice reform where Where does this go next? Well, we've already had like three governors contact, the White House and contact us from different states, saying hey what they want to do. First, step acts in their state I think, you're going to have a lot of copycat and going on at the state level, which will be great in car I think you going to have a lot of Democrats, especially a for a lot of bills. I doubt if, in the next Congress we're anything major done because of the impeachment talks and the elections, but you're going to have a lot of debate allowed discussion and some of those bills will probably get combined into a second step act which, if it doesn't the in the next Congress will certainly pass in the next one like I said you, the first of all rights act. If four hundred years you couldn't vote for civil rights, because you're either going to be called a negro lover or a communist and people just scared of the issue. Fifty nine,
modest. Bill people said we didn't go far enough, but it broke the logjam and I think that's what you just saw happen in the Senate. We thought if we got Seventy three votes. We would be the jumping up and down that thing past eighty seven to eleven. And if Lindsey Graham had been in town have been eighty eight to eleven it's an unbelievable breakthrough. We have lady doctor, King's family and and Sean Hannity on the page of something extraordinary happened. You cannot tell you if you just look at the quotes. You can't tell sometimes the republican senator talking or black lives matter talking about criminal justice, because we just moved that issue that much so Van yes, we don't talk about how this bill get passed. Obviously this version of the bill doesn't go nearly as far as the sentencing or Norman Corrections ACT, which was introduced in twenty fifty which also had strong bipartisan support in the Senate and into the Brennan Center says, would have put a much more significant dent in the FED.
Prison population by limiting the reach of other mandatory minimum provisions? What how did you guys decide what to push for what to include in here? And why is it that you know the the version of the bill can be quite as strong as the as the one entry? is by Republicans and Democrats couple years ago. Well, because the Donald Trump, and because of the you know, just the the the you know, you're talking about somebody who I went with Donald Trump came in office. He was a private prison stocks went through the roof. The assumption was he was about law and order, an american carnage and you put Jeff sessions in. So it's almost like Yeah I have a guy who gets in a car crash in doctors say this guy is probably dead- he's really never going to walk. Again, I can be a paraplegic in two years later, the guys running the New York City Marathon, you wouldn't how come you didn't win the marathon? How can we break the world record. You say you're not even supposed to be here supposed to be in hospital bit. Criminal justice was to be dead. The day on was elected. The fact that we're passing anything, especially something that's going to reduce the federal
where the population by fifty thousand people over ten year period and help and then help juveniles and all the other stuff, I think, is pretty markable. It shows something about the power of this idea. It shows something the power of progressive of fighting for this for decades, including myself, it also shows something about. What's happening, the republican side, where you know they're, tired of raising taxes to pay for prisons, the don't work, and that some christian, who are tired of having no redemption and chances they got. Some for over there, though, tired of the government eating up more rights and liberties, and so this is an idea, this time is come the fact that we could get a build this significant. Even under Donald Trump. Snow know that going forward. To be able to do much much more. We had to get through house with an even smaller bill at first and people, were really upset. ACLU attack. The smaller version of this build NAACP Cory, Booker Kamala Harris even John Lewis, the Washington Post all said that the first step act that way
through the house with a tragedy. Travesty, we say you know you can't get a camel through a keyhole. You got to get something. Get the conversation going. We got three, sixty votes to fifty nine in the house the spring that started this debate in the Senate, Well, they much stronger bill in the Senate and then that Bill Gates and again, eighty seven votes now we're back in the house. The house will pass the stronger version Trump may sign tonight or tomorrow and you're going to have with the New York Times called the biggest great breakthrough in criminal justice. Generation because, frankly, formally incarcerated people directly impacted families just refused to give up on this thing and fought and fought, and ironically, one of those impacted family members Jared Kushner whose dad went to and he was one of the people who refuse to let in die. Along with the Jackson. Read in Topeka, SAM from cut fifty and other people who
went to prison in the family. Members went to prison and just refuse to let this thing die. So no we're not to a. We would write one that the marathon and got a world record that any possible, but at least we ran a race and we're proud, then You spend a lot of the last four years, worse, being a very passionate voiced against all Trump dividing Americans along racial lines and that has your interaction with the Trump Administration and what happened here. The first act change your opinion of Donald Trump. In any way, not, if in that he still incredibly tough horrifically tough unforgivable. You tough on the immigrant population, and he's attacking the weakest among them of dispatching babies from their mothers. He's still very tough on Muslims on
very tough on african Americans, though with african Americans. Increasingly, he attacks like football players. He attacks reporters, you know, frankly, the he is the most visible of our committee. Not the week is he's not going after the folks at the at the street level as much, which makes it more possible for us to move forward criminal justice reform. I think his base demands. I think he is a big part of his base. That is, is white. Nationalist is white. Nativist is a white supremacist, so it's it's not as a whole base, but there's a part of his base, and that does have that those politics and I think that instinctively or sometimes deliberately he throws red meat to that, but that part of the base- and you know that it's for respect for a country that is more racial multicultural, undemocratic, democratic. We have to fight that tooth and nail but this ideology is flexible enough that the other parts of that base that have other commit
it concerns the fiscal hawks. The libertarians, a christian evangelicals can prevail, If you like this- and I think we gotta take those winds, can get them and also use that win to extend, know more of a sensibility that we to be working together and not dividing folks, but I think incurably a bad case of White nativism in his Coalition I think the only real solution to that is for him to leave and be replaced by the next version of the Obama coalition actually the Justice Department under Trump and the bureaucracy that deals with sentencing and prisons has been very tough Donald Trump. There was a sessions memo that required. You know the US attorneys to seek the harshest possible punishment for many. Times. Are you worried at all that the bureaucracy will sort of drag its feet on some of performs- or do you think this sends a message very
much worried and we've got. Some oversight visions and some sunshine provisions in there. There is a new oversight commission that so called Ferc. That has been stab lish to help with some of this stuff? so there will be. I am one hundred percent sure some foot dragging and and and implementation battles, but we're ready those battles and we're going to keep fighting forward in Van you see is the next step in this fight on the state level, where, obviously you know incarceration, happens on a state level. Look I mean, I think, the But there is a green light now for everybody when Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi agree that we need to do so think. It's safer for Republicans and Democrats to run on this to vote on this and to implement this in the various different places. And so you, every state different in the cut fifty campaign cut. Fifty. By the way, if you want more information, first step dot, Org more information but the cut fifty camp now, in all fifty states a campaign past
bills in eight states this year. In addition to this, all staff, with more to come, You know anybody wants to get involved going to be like listen. It took both political parties that got us into this. Ditch is going to take both political parties to get us out if, political parties for it in the other ones against it, you get a bunch of Willie Horton ads. We don't want that People who work with Republicans Republicans it. How can you not work with Republicans because, if you leave them out, if you leave up in the sniper tower, they kill you, so you got to go the Republicans are. The sniper tower down on the field with the rest of us to solve the problem. We did that eight thousand seven hundred and eighty seven senators voting that we do something so now it's up to us and we it's back to the grass roots back to the fight, but you know. I think I think we got real momentum now. Van thanks for all your great work on this and and keep up the fight. Let us know if we can do any and we are and will talk to you later. Please come back Thank you so much to be continue. Bye, bye!
thanks to Van Jones for joining us today- and you know we'll have our specials next week and then we'll talk to you next year by everyone back.
Transcript generated on 2019-11-11.