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“Ru-dy! Ru-dy! Ru-dy!”


Rudy Giuliani potentially incriminates Donald Trump during his first television appearance as the President's new lawyer, Mueller has many questions about crimes of collusion, and Marco Rubio and Tom Price cut a few very effective ads for Democratic campaigns. Then Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ronan Farrow joins Tommy Vietor to talk about his new book, “War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence."

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
The presenting sponsor of pod? Save America is zip recruiter, Quest So for our listeners, do you enjoy being submerged in water for long periods of time. Do you consider yourself a solid fish keeper? Do you have a minimum three years of aquatic animal experience I'm doing love it. I have like seven fission there named bond it and in panel and tapper and wolf date and time of year? Hey, hey, I'm talking door, mat mat, mat, mat speaking is the Caddo, so you get the card about Boston, I'm so straight, Eight hundred am one time I saw patriot hey if so, there's a job on Ziprecruiter. Just for you, squarest, Aquarius, Aquarius, him yeah the clearest. Okay, that's cool. I love you and then we're gonna query. Ms Unbeliever cram school. Go that check out some fish. Quite a I well. Zip recruiter has millions of different jobs they connected with the jobs that match your skills and experience, not just any jobs, the right ones, riff, even those they require you to deal with sharks and seahorses,
and they let you know the minute they pose if you're ready to find the right job. For you just download the top rated Ziprecruiter APP, it's the app it's top rated. You get rather battle a million sea horse. I sharks or one sharks icy horse, one sharks, as I think that's right. I don't think you want to do with it. I don't want to deal with, although it's not experience yeah anyway, you're going to get the zip recruiter app on Iphone or Android for free, that's right! It's free at the app store, so just go to your mobile apps store in search is a precursor to start. Finding great job now get the app there's a recruiter at see. For yourself as a burger is the smartest way to hire and get higher down. The zipper could wrap on Iphone or Android for free search, zip, recruiter, any mobile, apps store and start finding great jobs right now get the app welcome to POD save America. I'm Jon Favreau, I'm Dan Pfeiffer later in the pod, we're going to hear a selection from Tommy's pod, save the World Interview with Pulitzer
Prize Winning Writer, Ronan Farrow, who has a new book out the war on peace, the end of diplomacy and the decline of american influence. Running and Tommy had a great event right here in LA on Sunday, and you can also hear the full interview on Tommy's pod. Save the world episode this week so check it out. You can also listen to keep it KERA Ann Lewis Aneira had a great episode this week, where they talk about this entire Connie, w situation, as well as the Michelle Wolf Kerfuffle, which I think both things happened three or four years ago, that right, I think, was president yes, but today, Dan we begin with, an update on the United States versus the Trump family crime syndicate last night last night, America's mayor, who turned into a raving lunatic Rudy Giuliani, decided to sit for an
you with Sean Hannity as President Trump's new outside counsel and boy. Did he knock it out of the park? What we put a clip, a clip from the the interview with shot- I think rich has one for us. Is there that money was not campaign money. Sorry, I'm giving you a fact now that you don't know it's not campaign money, no campaign, finance violation, so they funneled through the law firm funnel through ever and the president repeated Oh, I didn't know what he did is no campaign finance for zero, so the press, like every Sean. So with this decision was made by. Everybody Everybody- was nervous about this. From the very beginning. I wasn't. I knew how much money Donald Trump put into that campaign. I said one hundred and thirty thousand it going to do a couple of checks for 103Rd, Rudy Rudy, so rude
Giuliani admitted on national television that the president personally repaid Michael Cohen for one hundred and thirty thousand dollars he paid to keep stormy Daniels quiet about their alleged affair. For those who haven't been paying attention, the president previously told reporters he knew nothing about the payment Dan. What was he thinking here? He wasn't thinking I mean it is so I was watch in the basketball game that I went to dinner, so I was not unlike, my usual practice, I was not watching. Hannity live and we sort of following the tweets and so, as I saw what he said, I assumed he was answering a question about this very topic question as simple, as did the president. Now that's not what happened. It was a question on an entirely different subject, which then calls Rudy Giuliani to just take a sharp right, turn and admit a bunch of crimes and tell the american people that the President,
his press secretary, his attorneys, have all been lying for months, and I mean it's truly my migraine. Like we made jokes about how OBS sort. It was that Trump is high, Rudy Giuliani, to be part of his legal team. But the reality is so much more absurd than the jokes, I mean it's really mind back lane. Thank you do interviews, Rugina that if you're listening we Let you live stream from the Turkey meat headquarters for six straight hours. If you want to just talk, just keep, don't stop talking, keep doing what you're doing. Someone pointed out a couple. People pointed out that the last time that Rudy Giuliani tried to explain a complicated legal matter on behalf of the president. It was when he said, Donald Trump called him up. Said: hey, we gotta do this muslim ban, but how do we do it in a way? So it doesn't seem like muslim Band, basically and Rudy's
Comments were then used by lawyers in court to argue that muslim band was religiously discriminate. Tori, and so he did such a good job with that, he was brought back and then just stepped on many rakes starting last night on Sean Hannity's program until today, on Fox and friends. So in response to all this Rudy talk to a couple different reporters and tried to say that this whole thing was planned out. He said the president was very pleased we discussed this revelation in advance does not expect to be fired with. Private cost of reported after talking to him does not expect to be fired? My favorite phrase What more job security can you help for them to not to be expect to be fired? So I guess the question is Is there a world where you see that Rudy
the president did talk about this in advance that he was going to bring this up at some point and why? What is the upside to Rudy Giuliani, disclosing the information to the public, there is no world where they plan this out. This is idiotic. It's a bad idea. It's poorly executed every part. It drips in stupidity,
it's? I mean it's just it's so, but there is that the claim has been some rationale in Rudy's head for what you do this, which I and I think it goes to the legality of, or at least how they interpret the campaign finance laws which is yeah. It seems quite different than how the laws are actually written. They believe that the problem with Michael calling paying a hundred thirty thousand dollars for this was that he's not supposed to make an in kind contribution that large, because their campaign contribution limits and the US if they announced that Trump himself actually made the payment. That's okay, Ok, because Trump is allowed to contribute unlimited funds to his own campaign. What they have not realized is that, on the campaign limits contribution limits, that may be true, but even if you contribute money to your own campaign, you still have to report that money and, if
you, don't that's a violation, an if you willfully and knowingly don't report that then that could be a felony and they don't seem to have grasped that part of the law. Yeah Rudy may have read the first page of the legal memo prepared by an attorney, but he did not read the second page, and so it is so, the something much bigger than then campaign finance law which we can get to buy. Right, if you were to reverse engineer a strategy to this like There's no strategy. He does not seem to be particularly sharp. He. The reason he was talking is because there is a camera in front of him, which has long been his habit, and he this verbal diarrhea is not a legal strategy, and if you do were a strategy, it is it within the car check the colon investigation or the Muller Muller's investigation into Trump. They know the truth.
The truth is eventually going to come out. So you want to put it out on your terms that if there were competent people working on this complicated problem That would be a way. Much would happen. This is not how you would do it. You would do it. You would come out with this plus a well organized well thought out legal argument as to why it was not a crime. They did not do that. They mumbled some things and then had no answers to the next. Seventeen questions, but eventually, I think they know that Muller knows this and they know that from the questions and therefore, eventually it's going to come out. So you put it on your own terms, but on your own terms. Is not Rudy Giuliani, babbling on Sean Hannity, that's not away any company communications professional would do this well and there's also plenty of evidence that they did not plan this for at least the Hannity interview, because Hannity, as you all heard, on that clip clearly caught off guard
oh, oh, the only my only real disappointment is that the camera was not on Hannity when he reacted, so we can't see his face 'cause. It's on Julie honey, but you just hear offscreen handed it. Oh, oh, I didn't know that so handy, surprise, which normally that would be you'd, expect the journalist asking the questions to be surprised. But since Hannity is a shadow chief of staff of the White House, you that he would have been probably read in on the strategy before Giuliani went on and also a number. Of White House aides are all telling reporters this morning that they had no idea. This was going to happen so clearly they also lied about it being a strategy to do that. Last night, the Hannity thing is so great because Hannity sitting there going I'm here, I'm doing my I am doing propaganda for the president and then all the sudden he stumbles into journalism, is like holy fuck. What do I do? Cut the cameras so good, so so after
that he wakes up this morning and thanks, why don't I go? Do fox and friends, let's go back and try to just step on another few wrecks, so he goes back on Fox and friends, and I think we actually, we have a great of of what he said there too you're saying that Stephanie Clifford made these allegations, told Donald Trump's lawyer, hello and denied them, and they said it wasn't true. However, yes, I came out on October fifteenth June, sixteenth in the middle of the in our last debate, with the workload sort of making it all way. They they made this home. We don't even ask cone made it go away. He did his job. This is what the fucking mob talks like also so here's the important thing about that, revelation the entire law whether they broke. The law now hinges on whether this payment was made in a way to influence the
action and Rudy on Fox and friends is trying to say this had nothing to do with politics. It had to do with. You know protecting the first lady and the president's own reputation at cetera, etcetera, and then he says that imagine if this came out during the debate, which shows that, of course, the payment was meant to influence the election. It was meant to protect Donald Trump's reputation in the last days of the twenty sixteen election. Therefore it was an in kind contribution. Therefore it should have been reported to the Fec. It was not. Therefore it is a felony, if only but now, Michael Michael Cohen, and possibly the president, I states and also we know Michael Cohen, believes that he's probably in legal trouble over this because a couple days ago he pled the fifth in the
flood the very thing that he did not want to speak about the stormy day this thing, because he did not want to incriminate himself because he committed crimes. I mean it. We should note, as many people on legal trigger point out, the pleading. The fifth does not mean you're guilty. It is your legal right. This course, but you can do it- we have to analyze this in the context of right. Everything else right, which is this is attorney for the President knighted states. This is this is a legal context. I also political context. And then there was also just the rank hypocrisy of everyone in the Trump orbit making claiming that anyone who pleaded the fifth was guilty, which was their argument about various people related to the Hillary Clinton email. So everyone is full of these. People do not get the benefit of the doubt, at least in the court of public opinion. You know what the court of walking figured out.
There are some other l legal elements here too, that are worth noting, which is it's not just campaign finance law, because the president then also according to this, I'm I get this from the twitter feed of Walter Shop. Who was the and at the office of government ethics before he was ceremoniously, pushed out by the Trump administration due to their anti ethics position. It is Is that also if this was part of a deal with Co. Then he owed money. Which is a liability that should have been reported on his financial disclosure form, something that you sign under penalty of perjury, that your test Did you know to be true to the best of your abilities? Then Trump also lied on his on his financial disclosure form. So there are multiple potential crimes here there is all of which, because
usually I did interview that we are not aware of so. Thank you Johnny for your first piece of public service in seventeen years and then this morning, Trump had three tweets that all look. They were written by lawyers, except he spelled the word roll like Giuliani's, Australian as role as r O, which is pretty funny. So even even his lawyers have typos, but it's it is very lawyerly statement where he talked about how Colin was paid out of his retainer and this agreement it was made because Stormy Daniels was leveling, false accusations about Trump and blah blah blah blah blah. It all seemed fairly confusing and, like it didn't fix anything whatsoever. It's I mean the twitter just so great, because there's no like random they'd never says which shined there's no exclamation point, there's no random parentheses. It's like it is this. Did they realize that they truly fuck this up and that someone who had practice law
in the last seventeen years had to do something to try to right. The ship here, like Giuliani, did not write those tweets. He was too busy talking to Bob Cost of the Washington Post at three hundred in the morning. So the question is like what happen now. I guess on the legal front, Muller and whatever prosecutors are dealing with calling Cohen case may or may move forward on. Additional charges are certainly they got some new information last night and then I guess in the court public opinion I mean this morning. Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked about this. Why did the president lied to us for so long and now she's using the
Yes, I can't comment on ongoing litigation, even though that was not the case a few weeks ago when she said that the president knew nothing about these payments, so she's a straight shooter. As we always know, I mean it's just. It seems as though the White House has now been caught in some pretty huge lies over this last week. In addition to lying about knowing about the payments to Stormy Daniels, we also had the story this week about Trump's, Dr President, Trump's long time, personal doctor, Harold born steam this week, said, the Trump dictated to him. What to write in a twenty fifteen letter that stated he'd be quote the healthiest individual ever elected to the president, which is the Let me tell you a lot funnier when you have in your mind that Trump actually dictated the entire thing. Boards also said:
Trump's bodyguard, raided his office and retrieve trumps medical records. This is pretty serious allegations here right, but I'm not allegations that the truth. I guess that the letter was phony about Trump's health, the trumps entire medical records and then hold the clean bill of health, but his doctor gave him was completely bullshit during the campaign at the in time? His entire campaign was trying to tell everyone that Hillary Clinton was on her deathbed. So two pretty big lies this week. Let's talk about Sarah Huckabee Sanders for a second, because some people refer to her. As the press secretary, I refer to her as the murder of american comedy She has gone out. She is the spokesperson. The President states in the entire government. The is you and I know from traveling with our press secretary friends, Jay Carney, Robert Gibbs and Josh Earnest. They are very prominent family people that everyone recognizes they are supposed to speak to
country in times of great crisis in need to brief the country on with the president doing respond to this crisis easy needs. And she is gone out in lied for months about this Now there are two ways to think about this: one is: she is telling the american public what the president told her and I'm willing to believe that interpretation, and if that is the case, two things. She is dangerously naive to believe someone with a long history of lying and would not have given sell some wiggle room here and just repeating his lies, but if she, even if she did believe it, then should resign today in protest because he made. Absolute full of her in front of the nation in the world by telling her, by sending her out to lie about this in any press secretary worth their salt would resign over this.
Or which is also believable is that she knew she was lying. It didn't give a shit because she does not believe the truth is a thing that matters truth is an obstacle to a political means, not an end in of itself, and this is We should not cross over this as a political media culture like death, the New York Times, who is done great journalism, so this is not in it. It Pulitzer Prize winning Journalism, I'm told, but there. What account today said in announcing and breaking the news that Rudy Giuliani is now informed the people that Trump has been lying. They said based off Trump's, ST, that President Trump reversed his position on whether he paid Michael coming back your position on cutting Medicaid. You reverse your position on tax deductions. This is a lie. There is a debate. I have strong feelings on other people for the other way about weather. Reporters call out lies like. Is it a lie when Paul Ryan says that the tax cuts could pay for self? I
Yes, others would say. I know yes, others are wrong, but he would say well. He believes a different view than you do, but this is a lie. This just a trump knew he paid Michael Cohen, and he told the people that he did full stop and don't be a like. There are some ways that have to be called out and we're treating this like it's a policy disagreement. We can't do that hi, I didn't rob the bank Really really there's video of you actually robbing the bank. I reverse my position on whether I robbed the bank have courage, tool. So they're all I guess you're trying, then your chances afraid that match lap we get in a limo and tweeted them or something I don't know yeah. No. I sure the White House Correspondents Association will release a new statement. How about how upset they are that the administration has been lying to them about the President's health and whether he paid off former mistresses hush money for the last year? That's probably something they're gonna be very upset about. I don't know if that's it, maybe that maybe it still is in the spirit of unity.
With, if they dinner, I have been sitting on my White House Correspondents Association dinner takes for a week now and I'm I'm going let them out now, because there are more things to discuss, but I will make one point: yeah is the last: The lesson here in always is do not associate yourself with Trump and his men. Yes, you will always end up being embarrassed. All those people who Rosa Sarah Huckabee Sanders defense, because Michelle office mean to her now, look polish, because she has been lying to that, which was at the crux of ninety eight percent of Michelle Wolfs Riff on Sarah Huckabee Sanders with she's a liar. Proved yet again that she is a liar, don't tweet, don't feel the need to appease them to just keep your mouth shut and you will find out once again that they did something wrong. Well, look I'm sure, because they rose to her defense that the White House isn't gonna, call them fake news anymore, I'm sure they've. You know their embrace now by the way
S and they're all going to be friendly, okay, so this whole Giuliani story happened right after the news, the Trump scrambled his legal aim hiring Clinton, impeachment lawyer, Emmet Flood to replace Ty Cobb, who reportedly was an advocate for cooperating with special counsel Robert Muller. This happened the same week that the New York Times reported on the of questions that Trump's lawyers wrote down after talking to special counsel, Robert Muller, about a potential interview with Trump. So this important cuz. Originally the report was where is this a list of questions that Mueller had for Trump and reality in order to try to convince Trump's lawyers to have Trump's it down, for the interview trump flyers were invited to Mueller's office and then Mueller and his prosecutors talk to trump lawyers about some of the topics that they wanted to discuss with Trump in an interview, and then the lawyers tried to write down
all those questions, and then those questions were leaked to the New York Times, probably either by the lawyers are by someone outside the legal team. With ties to the White House, then what did you think of the questions? The forty? nine hundred and forty eight, whatever they were questions. Who would say the fact that Ty Cobb, quote retired so funny I have. I have done my job. My work is done here. It is time for me to ride off into the sunset my client is protected. We have solved the mystery. It's so good, Matlock, another one yeah it's hard to spend more time with their families. Others first retire to spend less time with their dangerously unfit client, it's so good Alright, let's not. Let's talk the questions. The questions are a reminder that for all of the ink and tweets
and air time that is spilled on on ANA Collusion and and the Trump campaign, and all of that we only know or fraction of what Bob Muller knows. He knows so much more about everything than we do, and you can see hints of that in the questions where he wants to at for months now feels like years we've been saying the argument from the Trump propagandists staffers he's been Paul. Man, a fort is been charged with crimes that are unrelated to his time with Trump, but now we get a hint. That is not true, not true. That is not true that, in a shocking turn of events, the
political consultant with close ties to Putin under massive amounts of debt may potentially I've reached out to his friends in Russia to trade acts for money and help the Trump campaign. There is a hint there. We don't know to be the case, but there suggestion that Mullah knows a lot more about what Paul Manafort is done and that be very worrisome to the Trump people yeah and the question that you're? Referring to that and now this is a question raised by now we know by Trump's own lawyers wrote this. Down after sitting down with with Robert Miller and his people. The question is: what knowledge did you have you being What knowledge did you have any outreach by your presidential campaign, including your former, Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort to Russia about possible assistance to the campaign. I saw that question I was like who boy that to me is that's a big one, because it has now
been reported a lot most of the questions have been reported in some form or fashion by you know the New York Times or the Washington Post in one of their many actual investigative stories about this. But that question about Manta, for actually reaching out to Russia about possible assistance and potentially other members of the Trump campaign as well that tell you that they are very much focused on collusion as the heart of this investigation and- and we also heard that yesterday when Michael Caputo remember him, he came out of an interview with the special counsel office and obviously talk to reporters, because that's how he rolls and told them that, yes, the special counsel is very focused on version of the House and Senate committees that they were sort of all over the map, but the special counsel. They know exactly what they're doing, and this is from a former advisor Michael Computer such interesting, historical footnote, because he's the only person who was fired from Trump's orbit for doing the
sort thing that would get you know for like a normal workplace violation, because if I remember correctly, he was fired that on the day, Lou ask you was fired, he tweeted, Ding Dong, the witch is dead or it's so they taught them for that. Well, everyone else is just lying. Committing crimes double dealing and getting to keep their jobs are like you. He got fired from the Trump campaign for sending in temperate sweetness his stress. It's like any part of campaign for being too hopeful, some of the other questions that caught my eye where Russia questions about the real estate deal Michael Cohen, in a real estate deal with Russia during the campaign, or during two thousand and thirteen questions about Jared Kushner and his setting up a possible backchannel to Russia during transition, the Don Junior meeting in Trump Tower. No one point on the Jerry Christian thing: Fruity Johnny in his interview with Sean Hannity, they also
Sean Hannity, one point gets very outrage and he's like you know. I read this thing that they're going to go after a vanka trump. Next, how could they do that? and Giuliani, said I don't think mother would ever go after a fine woman like the you know and and Hannity's they're going after his son in law they gonna to Jared and they yeah. Well, some people are expendable men expendable and it I will tell you. It certainly seems like from the questions that they believe Miller wants to ask Trump that Jerry red and done. Junior could be in some serious shit. It does seem that way. Sure it's the work in the White House. It's been very quiet, Yeah very quiet because he's the target of federal investigation, probably
yeah, oh, and he he solve the Middle EAST peace thing so he's probably just did Brent example. She did solve the Middle EAST peace thing but yeah. So the questions were in a couple of categories: questions about Michael Flynn, questions about the firing of Jim Comi questions, about trying to fire Jeff sessions multiple times and being mad about Jeff sessions, recusal from the case, and then questions about campaign coordination with Russia, so Do you think the Trump people would leak these questions Dan? What was the strategy here see my earlier comment? There is no strategy, yeah, the true attorneys- and I attorneys. If this was an audio medium you'd see that I was recording attorneys because, like jewel I went to law school as far as can he was once an attorney. But he is not a practicing attorney. He has been the access under the guise of, Our firm since the day he walked out the mayor's office he's not trying cases the weeks at the most like Michael there likes exactly like Michael come, and he
it's been a fixer, mostly for sketchy foreign interests for more than a decade now, and they are not loyal to Trump. Like that's, not the thing to think like. How does this help trump suggest that, like Rudy Giuliani, have Trump's interest at heart? They do not. They have their own like bridge I've joining the Trump legal team is basically the equivalent of signing a tv country This is like a guaranteed way to get on tv for the next six months, twelve months, eighteen months and that's why he's doing because he likes being on tv being on tv and fighting for trouble him to the republican base, which will endear him two more clients, so he can get richer off of it and think that's going to help you with your name like these are the things that are going through mud. That's amazing,. Disgusting they like
is there doing the relationships with the New York Times as much as they're doing the relationship with Trump here, and so they can't stop themselves. They cannot stop talking. What do you think about Emmet Flood is the new? Is the new lawyer norm? Eisen was on Twitter, saying he's one of the best, and this is going to be a fight for the age. Now I mean I assume he must have a very angle relationship with his own reputation like I don't know why the fuck would you do this? This is crazy. How do you like looking into his background like so he was the impeachment lawyer for Bill Clinton, and then he was Dick Cheney's law. During those investigations in the Bush years, and now he's trumps guy, I'm like what, of course, like typical washer, different low, very respected Washington lawyer yeah. I guess I guess that earns you respect, I guess that's like bi partisan in unifying that you can be impeachment lawyer for Bill Clinton and Donald Trump very mean no idea, don't
know what he's doing I don't know why he would get involved. I mean if you look at all the other well respected. Attorneys is gone to work for Trump and have left as shells of their former selves, John Dowd Ty Cobb Don Mcgann maybe he doesn't have access to the internet. I talked to told, don't know why you would do this. It seems like a. Really bad idea. It is a really dies. I can't I can't even possibly fathom that maybe once up his twitter followers, no idea, perhaps so Trump responded to all those news this week by freaking out on twitter and threatening his own justice department, which you know again how he rolls you know so he's treated usual bullshit about the special counsel investigation being a witch hunt, a hoax he threw in there. There was quote no obstruction of justice in parentheses. That is a setup and a trap later he tweeted,
It would seem very hard to obstruct justice for a crime that never happened, which hunt did. He seems confused about. Have structure of justice works? Yes, then, perhaps that's why he admitted this crime in the first place yes, unlike Rudy Giuliani you, I are not a steamed legal scholars who tried, who have written law, review articles and try cases from the Supreme Court. We're just people. Lou Twitter and watch it legal, a on television but trump, assuming repeating something that probably some of the factors that actually not is not a dirty. He is wrong. You can obstruct justice, there's not have to be underlying crime struck justice that is in and of itself illegal, and so it does seem, though, like a pretty big cell phone. If you have obstructed justice, when there isn't a crime I'll tell you that I committed, I committed a crime to stop an investigation into time. I never did fuck shouldn't have done that. Yes, it it is,
you know they say it's the cover up the crime. This is what they mean. So I don't up and there was no crime oops. Yes, I mean like here's the thing this is what this all truly boils down to is maybe Trump didn't collude. Maybe he to detach to just not competent enough to he himself. We know others on his team. We're engaged in collusion and Robert and theoretically jury will find out if they that was a crime. But we know that people wanted to collude with Russia. Maybe Trump didn't, but Trump is definitely obstructing justice in the Russia Investigation to prevent people looking into other criminal activity of his, which is why he is panicked about the Michael Cohan investigation. So much to the point that in the New York Times and the Washington Post, it was reported
Trump's own attorneys do not know how to respond to the Cohen investigation, because Trump will not tell them what might be in Michael Cohen's papers. That is suspicious, that is quite suspicious, so may have obstructed the collusion investigation to cover up other criminal activity? The criminal sort of connectivity that was outlined by in that Adam David's piece in the new Yorker a few weeks ago yeah, I mean every once in a while. I try to think to myself. You know what, if this investigation ends and it's clear that Trump, tried to obstruct justice, maybe not enough that it's an actual crime who knows, but it's clear, he tried to obstruct justice, but there is no other crime. Hardest mother doesn't find anything else, and I just keep every once in a while. I'm like, why would could be doing all this if he was actually innocent, and I guess the only thing I can come up with is like.
Is it possible he so paranoid and conspiratorial that he believes that the Justice Department and the FBI and Muller and Coman all these people would get him even if he's innocent all. He does. He has no choice but to fight back and to try to shut this whole thing down Is there going to get him even if he hasn't done anything like? I wonder if, like that's in his head, then I realize no he's probably just guilty, like the only way that you would act like this. Tommy brought this up last night. He was like you know, is trump strategy that this is all just a little fight that everyone's against them, that everyone is biased and what molar fine it doesn't matter. Is that really working is that his best strategy- and I thought about this- and I was like it's his best strategy if he is indeed guilty if he is committed a crime and he thinks he's committed a crime, then the best strategy here is to try to fight this, invest
and try to shut it down and in the court of public opinion, try to get people to believe that molar Comi the FBI, the Doj that they're all biased against him. That Are all liberals are Obama holdovers that it's all fake news and that this is just a plot to takedown the president? That probably is his best strategy? Yeah, I think that's right. It is, I mean who knows what is in Trump's head because it seems to be like he lives in one. The most dangerous filter bubbles that any american little in the presidents could live in. You add that to the fact that he has a long history of believing pretty kooky conspiracy theories, and then you add the fact that he is incontrovertible narcissist like hard to divine what he's actually thinking there is never stray. There is no white anywhere in trumpworld with a plan. There is just what comes out of his mouth next, but His strategy is not not working
like we are every day we get more information. That makes it more clear that Trump is at least crime adjacent, if not committing crimes and the in the poll it doesn't change it's exactly the same. It is a fucking straight line from the day after the election today on all these things and the people of the american people hold a certain set of views. They think that Bob Marley able to finish his investigation. They have faith and Bob Muller. Many of them think that Trump, it was involved in collusion and trump supporters and give a shit and trump has a different approach to presidential communications than any previous president in that Trump isn't talking to anyone, but thirty, eight percent.
And people he just wants to convince them the truth, and so, if he thought about other people beyond that, then you would take a different strategy. But that's not. He just cares about that group of people and If the end of the day, the consequence for whatever actions is the United States Congress, which Weather Democr they are in charge or not, will still contain nearly fifty percent Republicans if the today Congress has to act to impose a legal penalty and political penalty for Trump's actions. Then Trump strategy is working because it is dead. Fucking silent from the rest of these people was starting. To really worry me is what happens when we get towards a genuine constitutional crisis, and to me
the that's not just though it could include molar issuing report that seems like Trump has committed. Impeachable offenses in Congress doesn't act because they're all a bunch of republican hacks, but it could also be this whole issue around whether Trump sits for an interview with Muller and the way they was framed in the press right now, it's like you know, should trump say yes to mother. Should he not? Will he sit with them? Won't he sit with them, and it's really not up to Trump here, like Trump, is probably going to refuse an end to sit with an interview with smaller. It seems like that the strategy right now or you know Giuliani saying well, maybe if he does, it will be an hour or two and will limit the questions and all that shit and mother is not going to go for that model is going to say. I want to do what I want to do here if Trump refuses that Muller's next move is to subpoena trump. So then he gets a subpoena, then Trump has to decide. Do I accept the subpoena and sit with
him or not Bill Clinton initially didn't want to accept the subpoena, but then finally said. Ok now I agree and I'm going to sit down and I'm going to do a videotaped testimony for a grand jury. So if Trump says no fuck it, I still don't want to accept the subpoena I'm going to ignore the subpoena. Then mother takes it to the courts and it goes all the way to the Supreme Court. Presumably now what happens if the Supreme Court rules that Trump needs to sit down for an interview with Muller and Trump says, fuck it. I'm not going to abide by what the Supreme Court does then we're in a real constitutional crisis. That's the one that I'm I'm like thinking down the road here now, maybe before that at some point someone gets to trump and tries to get him to cooperate with Mahler and sit down and they figure out the contours of an interview. But it does seem like this
escalate rather quickly, and I don't know how that ends. I think that is it your. Your point is right that that is a larger constitutional crisis than the question of whether they are there. Any consequences for the president firing Mahler and everything comes back to the unprecedented act of constitutional staffed. When Mcconnell stole the Supreme Court, see for Merrick Garland and gives you know, research because you're looking at a five four court with a Trump appointee being the potential deciding vote on whether the president is subject to a subpoena or not. Now, look, there is a legitimate, I don't understand it, but there is a legitimate legal debate about what the founders intended in terms of the ability to criminal prosecutor president outside of the context of impeachment- and I understand the fear of all the sudden we're going to start criminal like if you're going to have a political process too,
so essentially reversing election writer nullifying election and that there is a slippery slope there. The problem is with, and so much else in our politics is that it assumes a functioning political process that there are actually checks and balances, and there aren't because Trump is currently operating under immunity by congressional majority, and there is no crime that will be punished. All of this goes back to the thing we say all the time, which is, if you do. I want to be president. If you want him too, if you want there to be sentence, is political or otherwise, for his offense is legal, medical and policy wise on the country over the last fifteen months or so then, Bob Muller is not going to solve the problem. The supreme Court is not going to. Prime sure, as Hell Paul Ryan image of colors on the problem. The only thing to do is vote. Democrats into office- that is the only thing to do, is the only way that there will be any so
of true congressional oversight, true checks and balances, and it's defeat trump like we can't wait around for my mother to do our job for us look in the other possibility that Jeffrey Toobin noted in the new Yorker is that Trump could eventually decide to sit down for an interview with Muller and plead the fifth now, certainly in the court of public opinion outside the thirty five percent of the country, that would you know be with Trump, even if he shot someone in the middle of fifth avenue. You know people would say. Oh, he's pleading the fifth. He doesn't want to incriminate himself he's probably guilty of something, but in Trumpworld he's just going to say whatever fake news witch Hunt take a day of bad press and then move on, and then, where are we we're right back? Where we are, which is? We need a democratic majority in the House and Senate to do any so anyway. This ends trump can eventually plead to the court of public opinion and protect himself at least the court of public opinion in Trumpworld and then protect him
like you said, because he has immunity by congressional majority, not great Dan. Now we are. We are in dangerous times the founders and not anticipate this level of breakdown in our system. And it's not irreversible, but if we wait too long, Maybe- this is brought you by upside being and astronaut was a pretty cool job. I mean you saying that from experience you have something you want to tell us flying through space, walking on the moon, nice parade when you get home. That's a pretty successful business trip, get there. I want to go to the moon. That seems cool the parade. The parade got him to finally say that you wanted to do it. I probably easier to get a parade in other ways: ticker tape, but don't forget these astronauts. I have been able to do it without the great folks back at mission control. Can you
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Two other people in the Republican Party have made Democrats jobs a bit easier in the past to take over Congress, Marco Rubio in corrupt Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, both scrambled this week to undo candid comments they made admitting admitting the repeat. Recent republican tax plan is actually screwed working people. Let's start with our friend Orca Rubio Rubio gave an interview to the economist in which he said. There's quote no evidence whatsoever that the money from the tax cut have been massively poured back into the american worker. It's also worth noting that the economist actually used to sub headline in, piece. That said big moment for little Marco in the very serious economists which I very much appreciate. Rubio then tried to do damage control by writing a piece for the national review about how great the tax cut is. He also tweeted a political article about how he was walking back his
comments that, for no reason whatsoever took a dig at an intern reporter at politico, which is very classy. He although written by intern at politico. This article is a reminder of how difficult it can be to discuss public policy in the political Prez not only did I not back down on tax cut. I double down at a detail for rationale: okay, poor Margot, taken to task by an intern. If you, Marco Rubio, it spent one tense, the energy making a coherent and aggressive k case against Donald Trump that he has in trying to defend, try to walk back his comments we might not be in this mess is a country I mean it is. I mean Rubio is just he's always Marco Rubio can it is always feels that need he feel most. The need, inside in his guy that just he's uncomfortable the way things are going. He is going to speak truth because in Mark
Rubio's mind Marco Rubio is the guy who speaks truth to power, and he does it and there's something true and honest and should be applauded for that for the fourteen milliseconds. While it remains operative until under the slightest tiniest bit of oil pressure, he reverses himself so far back from what he said, negating everything he said and further. It always ends with Marco Rubio, embarrassing himself, like Marco Rubio ends every exchange interaction moment in public life, a little bit smaller than when he began with Marco Rubio is trying to say. If you get inside Marco Rubio's sad mind is ok. Well, I do think that the tax cut helped working people because cutting the individual rates for people doubling the deduction that help some people, but the trillion dollars the trillion dollars we gave away to core Oraciones didn't do anything so the task it was about trillion and a half dollars. So
the large majority of the tax cut was for corporation, so basically in Marco Rubio's walk back, he is still admitting that they basically way he said a trillion dollars on companies and the wealthiest people in this country and that they could have done better, which, of course, everyone knew when they pass the tax cut. But no one wanted to look up about it because they're all fucking liars and they wanted to. They wanted their donors to contribute to their campaigns in twenty eighteen and that's not a conspiracy, that's what they said out loud. It's all a lie. The entire republican party ideology to the extent one still exists, is a lie. They want to give tax breaks to corporations and wealthy people under an economic theory. One that's been disproven. Everytime he's been tried that such money will trickle down, but they
can't say that so they lie about it and then, after it happens, it is a constant mess because they are true why they can remember what lies they've told and the same thing is true of of health care, and everything else is that they they are unwilling to publicly discuss their actual positions. So they must lie about them, no matter how ridiculous that lie is, and then they must adhere to that lie whenever you can and if you bro, take from that lie for one. Second, if you just slip up until the truth, then you must quickly rever. Is that position or you will be drummed out of the tribe for Time Memorial and Tom Price had a similar situation. He said this week that the tax law would raise the cost of insurance for some Americans, because it removes the affordable care act, individual mandate again something that everyone said before Trump included, the repeal of the end. It will mandate in the tax reform. That's uh
and Susan Collins, worried about, even though she voted for tax reform that something that a lot of Republicans worried about before they all fucking voted for tax reform, because all they wanted was the tax cuts for the rich people. Now to me like this is why Emma Kratz should be running on in all these races. You know, like forget, all the the Muller stuff we talked about at the beginning here right. This is it's clear from all these special elections that was driving people to the polls and these races. What's having Democrats to the polls or independence and some Republicans to vote Democrat is number one. Health care and number two that tax law in the economy writ large and we've talked about this million times on this podcast, but this idea that for the last year when they've been in power, Republicans have done everything they can to enrich and protect their very rich friends and the biggest exam rules of that or tax cut. That gave a trillion dollars to the biggest companies in richest people in this country, while at the
same time, raising the cost of healthcare, raising premiums on people who desperately need it and definitely can't pay for their health care that's what they did while they were in power and that's going to piss a lot of people off, because that actually effects their lives, because people are d and with higher premiums and they're dealing with not being able to say on their insurance when they have pre existing conditions and all the other shit and they watching Wall Street banks say that oh, we just saved three billion dollars in three months from the fucking tax cut. Well, I can't even fucking pay my rent, so that's that's the campaign. I mean it is 'cause, it's also it's how it affects people, but it's also so, even if, like the Republicans and Paul Ryan and others will point too well, these some people got more money in their paychecks, and that is true, but there is an underlying unfairness to the policy that bothers people, which is there are experiments in psychology and sociology where people refuse twenty
five dollars. If they find out, the other person is getting seventy five dollars in a two person exchange and what is wrong in mind boggling to people, and we have to explain it to him and sell it with the relentless discipline that wins campaigns is that Donald Trump and the Republican Congress believe that the wealthiest Americans should have huge tax cuts paid for by cutting social security and raising insurance premiums on working class Americans? It's that simple! Just! Do that don't stop! The news will cover Russia, this pod. It cover Russia. People will talk about Russia, you can. We cannot change net, nor should we frankly it's a real, legitimate news story, but in your ads on the campaign trail in conversations with voters at the doors on the phones do that nonstop, the Russia stuff will take care of itself, and now you can add, don't take my word for it. Listen to repay will. Can Senator Marco Rubio listen to Donald Trump's former.
I think human Services Secretary Tom Price- they agree with the Democrats, devastated it's so great that is so good. Thank you, Marco Q. Little Marco thanks Little Marco Thanks Tom Price go treat yourself to some first class flight that you have to pay for yourself. Instead of charging it to the taxpayers we had so much content today, there's so much to discuss that. I'm just going to table the Paul Ryan Rant that I had tied up for today. So just everyone know would happen to my head. There will be further opportunities in the future. For more on Paul Ryan from Dan Pfeiffer check out twitter. Yes, yes, please see my tweets of the last year and a half right when we come back a portion of Tommy's conversation with Ronan on Sunday about Ronan's new book, will be back. Did you buy frame bridge if you listen to the
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it's better Megan. I don't have any reason to be in this ad because I'm so faithfully represented by my colleagues download the cash up today you put in the code pod save that's five dollars. Do you five dollars goes to moms demand action. It's a great cause, it's gray donated thousands of dollars already thanks to you, but go grab your friends that don't have the cash app just walk around, find a phone today that doesn't have to catch up on it. Download down. That's all get someone's permission. I think that's probably good idea link their bank. So you get their permission, don't their commit wire fraud, yeah, don't don't be like Michael Colon, but do download the cash app. It's the only payment app we're using it's the only payment app. You should be using two 'cause, it's easy for. You
which try to make life easy for you. That's a positive is cut five dollars the politics around piece it around to go. She shins! Has it gotten easier? You look at the IRAN deal Trump's on sector defense, Jim Mattis, who is known as being very hawkish against IRAN, believes it's in our interests, but support for the deal as a partisan issue. Trump wants to get rid of it. How do we fix that wire, the politics of peace, so much harder than the politics of war? Why do politicians have an easier time rallying the country rally in Congress to invade places than they do to pass an imperfect peace deal for exam things going boom is easier to understand, and and we have a very deeply entrenched correctly culture
of celebrating here with some of you know our war heroes, but not as much of a cultural understanding of what our peacemakers and negotiators do and one of the things I hope people understand when they read this book, which is told through the lens of the personal stories of these brave men and women who strive year after year with shitty pay in dangerous places to make our world safer and american influence more robust. I hope people see those stories and understand that it's incorrect when people on the campaign trail to denigrate them as dusty bureaucrats. You don't get anything done to be sure that the State Department, like a lot of government bureaucracies, is out of date and needs reform. And you know: we've been there before and successfully reform that that happened
round after World WAR two, and it was very effective that we pored new resources into the state department and fixed it and cut a lot of the fat and created new offices that adapted to the changing world that needs to happen again and instead we are throwing it out. There is this purge of the department under Trump and this profound misunderstanding you allude to where people don't really get with these guys do, and so we are giving up what they do and it is critically important right. So I mean you worked inside the state department and several roles. You know where works well or where does not? In for the book you interviewed every living secretary of State, including Rex Teller, sin insert joke about, Wrestlers in there I was struck by a few things about the Tillerson interview. First of all, just how naive he was about the budget process in the basics of how Washington works. I thought he was just competent business guy who might come in and figure stuff out. He did not second, how little time it seems like he spent actually doing the job
as opposed to fighting with, say, Jerrod Kushner one example in the book is. I couldn't believe this trump decide it's along strikes on Syria, the first time without telling our allies and the State Department Op Center, which all have run and explain what that is, got a flood of calls from countries asking what is going on. Instead of answering them Rex decided to go home for a long weekend. What did you think of wrecks your time with him and his brief, but pathetic tenured state department, not that I have an opinion on those subjects. To Rex tellers and credit? He give a fair amount of access and was pretty candid I mean, I think, the most candid we've ever seen him here in this. I agree very you know late in his tenure interview, and I think he knew at this point that the end was coming, although he was still furiously denying that it the case, and so there is a bit of an opening of the books here. You know he does say that he was naive. He doesn't
That word and I don't think he would to give you an example of the kind of personality we're dealing with here ice, that doesn't make you anxious that there are all these ambassadorships that are unfilled and all these jobs across your department that there's no one in them things things are not getting run because it's an empty building and he sort of puffed up his chest and said I don't get anxious. And I'm like: oh well, that's one of us. I wish that were true for me. But but he you know, he does admit that he was inexperienced. He said when I first started defending these thirty percent cuts to the State Department budget. I was a month or two into the job, and I didn't really know that when you run a government agency you're supposed to ask for more money, not less, which you know, every living secretary of state is on the record in this book and not once that yeah that ring straight budget advocacy yeah, I mean
We interviewed all these former secretary of states, these diplomats, their responses tend, to be surprise, surprise, diplomatic. That was not the case when you started asking them about Tillerson's decision to gut the State Department budget. Why does that worry them more than seemingly anything else he did over there? Well, so for any leader of our diplomatic core that cared about people write these men and women doing a very brave and important thing. This is a moment of heartbreak Powell is the example that we've talked about before and really leaps to mind 'cause. He was so candid and he said we are ripping the guts out of the state Department. We are mortgaging your future and for like him, who, I think, really believed in that workforce to see them so sidelined and so denigrated and the state Norman so empty. The can.
It is not just the effect that that has now it's that we have hobbled the the foreign service and when you do that the flow of talent into it dries up to suit Right John Kerry talks about this at length. The problem is not the short term. You know you can get a next administration that comes in and as the Obama administration kind of did. In the second term there there was a core correction and they spent a few good years. Saying: okay, diplomacy matters. You wind up with the IRAN deal for all its controversies. It is a substantive diplomatic accomplishment. You know the foreign relations with Cuba, the Paris climate change accord, all of which is under threat now, but that's another matter and the the the fact is. You can spend a few years investing in diplomacy and get large scale accomplishments. The the problem, though, is you, won't have anyone to affect those goals if, in twenty years the people who should be becoming ambassadors, then just don't exist, and if you look at the numbers that
What's happening. No one is joining the foreign service, let alone the best and the brightest, which is what we need. I think about this. A lot which is the military, does big flashy branding right. They have fly overs at NFL games. Despite the current presidents, takes on the NFL, the CIA is difficult as the intelligence community jobs. Are. They end up getting serve lionized in in movies and tv is they're portrayed as cool and smart sometimes crazy in homeland, but at least you know it's like it seems like an excel. Getting job diplomats, state department officials are kind of absent from that convo. What you don't watch, Madam Secretary, I literally just found out that that show is still an incredibly so so running your cool you're young, like how do we make this? You tell me you too, you decided you.
The school, you went to college when you were like eight years old and you graduated you could've done whatever the hell you want me. I was one thousand one hundred and eleven and he went to the state department. Why did you do that? How do we get the best and the brightest? As you said, the history of that term notwithstanding to go into government? I hope that there is an understanding, as we exist in a more and more militarized world, that we all suffer if our first resort is military action. And we all suffer if the entire conversation about solutions to problems is affected by people who only know military solutions, that's not a knock on our brave servicemen and women. I think effective diplomacy requires military might, but there is a universe in which these two important tools that the United States has at its disposal counter balance each other, and all I can say is. I hope that the upshot
of it getting so bad of it becoming a real crisis right now that it will get more and more difficult to pull out of is that we start realizing we've too far and pull out of the nose dive in MIKE Pompeii. I think you know, despite the track record as a dyed in the wool hawk, despite the fact that he, by the president's own retelling, has been selected because he's much more lock step with the president then Rex Tillerson was hope, Springs eternal. When you ask any whistleblower in this book, I think they're all praying. That he pulls out of the nose dive, can't teach someone arabic in a couple months: yeah, sometime, yeah, that's a building up capacity is a hard thing and
restoring the integrity and prestige of a profession is a hard thing, and that requires real leadership. So there is this, seemingly he real diplomatic effort happening right now with North Korea. The recent actions in comments by Kim Jong UN seem unequivocally hopeful of they could be trying to plan a state on before, but you know, I think we all want to lean into this they're. Probably meetings happening right now with John Bolton, National Security adviser Michael Pale, Sigur, St New Jim Mattis Sector Defense, about what to do. What do you think Richard Holbrooke would tell them to do if you were in those meetings right now? How would he attack this negotiation and get it over the finish line? I'm not gonna speak for the ghost of Richard Holbrooke, the legacy of what he achieved in Bosnia and what he tried to achieve in Afghanistan would be apt for the challenges we face in
in the korean peninsula. So, yes, is it possible that this leader to leader, meeting pays off and is a great thing and nothing but sure it's a complete gamble and that's the problem we are flying blind because that meeting is not embedded in any kind of expertise or strategy, so it could pay off or we could get played terribly and North Korea could get validated as a nuclear power, which is their fondest ambition. This is one of the wiliest diplomatic opponents in the world. They have lied to us before about these very same points that they're making sunny promises about. Now. I profoundly hope that we don't get played, but the way to prevent getting played is to have the infrastructure we had set up around N Korea during the Bush administration, when we last tried, where you have a unit of experts who are still
in the region and go back and forth all the time and no the pressure points no the long term ramifications when you say something you know these are conversations where you deal with coded language. That has to be very very precise, where you have to know what they've deceived us on before so you're aware of the pitfalls. All of that every expert I talk to about Korea in this book says is absent and we need it now more than ever, yeah we good evident bassador to South Korea. I mean I said Tom Countryman. One of the people who is in the beginning in the very end of the book book ends the book sort of speak. It was an expert on nonproliferation. It would be nice to have some of those folks in the room yeah. It would be better than this. I think it's essential and then like a guide at our peril, then the guy who, like flips condos, what I get that in the mix. One of the great surprises is that you know the art of the deal. Ethos doesn't lead to this administration to value the deal makers know what why
we firing all the deal makers if your whole brand is making deals John Kerry has a spicy line in this book about how you don't hear that alot. What is it is, like you know, getting into an assistant while windsurfing, where, where he says you know the sort of deal he's given up all the dealmakers. This is a guy who did the bankruptcy x number of times yeah. I guess now. We know why, right when you look at the State Department in the condition it's in I mean I took 'em, I poke fun at Secretary Kerry, but I mean you- have an amazing chapter in the book about the frenetic unrelenting pace of the IRAN deal talks. This was not easy this was seven years of sanctions and then what sixteen days locked in a hotel in Vienna and care. He started screaming at the Iranians so badly that people were hearing him in the lobby. I mean this was intense stuff. It was intense stuff, I explain you know why many of the
turns around the IRAN deal are very justified. It is by design and imperfect deal, and this goes back to the theme we've been talking about. Diplomatic accomplishment often looks imperfect in the case of iran- we decided yeah, it's a rogue state yeah they non nuclear missile tests going on and that's bad. You know. Yes, there are kidnap citizens from all around the world there, but none of those get better if you also have them as a full fledged nuclear power. So, let's just take that one thing off the table for a while and as in perfect, it is by all of it's from our allies. It has done that. So I hope when people read the story of you know John Kerry breaking a femur and when Sherman breaking like for bones and not really sure why. But you know they understand how much sweat and blood literally blood went into that deal and goes into deals like that and how we need more of that. Not less
thanks to Ronan for sitting down with Tommy to talk about the new book, go check it out in bookstores now and we'll see again next week go Sixers. Fuck you go
Transcript generated on 2019-10-13.