« The Weeds

DACApocalypse in the Senate

2018-02-16

Matt, Dara, and Andrew Prokop talk about the Senate's failed immigration push, and they parse through the many-layered Rob Porter scandal. DACA/Immigration ReferencesThe 8 Republican senators who voted for the bipartisan compromiseMoran, Thune, and Portman’s new DACA proposal statementTara Golshan’s piece about Grassley’s Secure and Succeed Act Rob Porter ReferencesThe ever-shifting White House story on Rob PorterThe Rob Porter scandal, explainedJane Coaston’s piece: The White House had to protect Rob Porter to save Donald Trump

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
I'm new report in college, so he is officially not old, really good. Pinball player a little one to another episode of the weeds and the box media Potass network. I met glaziers with he would dare Lynn and Great Andrew Prakash joining us today. What we want to talk about one by rapporteur, one talk about security clearances in the White House. Multi layered onion of scandal that that exists there. But we have It is a sort of immigration news that happened yesterday I mean news is that nothing happened right, but an important political stand off. I read on Twitter this morning from the present of United States. That Democrats have really let the
where's down Republicans and been working hard on darker and Democrats sister they didn't get it done. Would would you say that's an accurate at the same time, and I think the hilarious thing here is lake. Ok, for one thing, obviously, of the four votes that the Senate took on immigration yesterday, three of them were on bills that included some kind of provision to legal and actually allowed become citizens. People who are currently protected. Underduk people who would be protected, the parameters of that shifted. That kind of does that's kind of in a sideshow and Regrets voted on mass for two of those bills and two of those bills had a majority of votes but didn't hit that sixty both rational. so they are about to discuss of acts and so an end. In both cases there was a few Republicans joining with. Almost all the devil,
I write there were a few democratic defections from the right on the type, the Mccain tunes proposal, which was just in legalise dreamers allow them to becomes Since an exchange will like study the border. it was very, very close to a queen is pretty close to clean dream Acta Enzo terrorism: democratic defections from the right on that in a couple of you know a couple of republican support, but the the Second Democratic proposed amendment had been the product of the Koran court Common Sense coalition. Our group that season collars Collins had been convening after the January shut down where they had that the famous talking stick meetings had. Finally, an agreement it was real. stunned Wednesday night. There were eight Republican. Co sponsors it actually for a brief. Second look like there was a genuinely bipartisan deal,
and it's also failed by fifty. It got fifty four votes had a couple democratic defections from the left, both in New Mexico. Senators didn't like that it appropriate aid, twenty five billion dollars for the wall, Comma Harris of California like that it blocked dreamers who were legalised from becoming citizens and then sponsoring their parents, but they got those eight republican votes and It is only those right, I'm no other would have needed more vets and it not get those three more votes in large part, because immediately after it came out or officials started, saying we're going. everything we can to kill this now. Only did they like go the full court press against any other publicans joining it. They got the age ass, to send a press release, dimension nine eleven and they held an entire press, call just bashing Lindsey Gram. They actually went so far as to threaten they. They were trying to pressure some of the Republicans cosponsor it back.
They told reporters that there were things in bill that Republicans didn't understand were in that bill and that they should be pressed on what are they still supported the bill? They didn't successfully get any of those defection but like in that atmosphere. It is not that surprising. The Republicans who might otherwise have been on the fence decided not to vote for, and it was. It was true nuclear, it it wasn't alike We have the following three concern only about this bill kind of thing. It was like salt. The earth like it and took to be Here too, the White House, I mean the after being very confusing about this topic for months, I would say, for the past few weeks had been very clear that, like The only thing that they would accept was legislation that included radical fundamental changes to how legal immigration to the United States
works and this bill didn't do that. Wasn't he wasn't in his clear, is you're giving them credit, for I think that they have been playing for the last several weeks, a two step where they ve been saying that you know the only things that they have actually expressed support for our things that closely resemble the framework that they themselves proposed. That included those deep cuts to legal family based immigration, but they have also said that they support any that they support a bill that addresses quoting quote chain migration in some form. Have not actually they ve, they ve, never explicitly said. If it doesn't go is Far as our own proposal, we want support it. They ve they ve kind of left the door open for something that could fear radically address those. Things that that would be more moderate, that they could support, but it, but let's back up and be clear about what this deal was yet a bipartisan video with eight republicans I mean Tell me if I'm oversimplifying, but I think of this as basically the Dreamer path to citizenship, plus lots of war, money,
he'll is, if that's not wrong like it definitely didn't. I mean there wasn't. Even an attempt to to kind of test the White House, yes, we have satisfied the things that you wanted there. There was no attempt to in owed screw with their diversity. The lottery. There was no attempt to do anything on family based immigration, the the stuff in there that actually, I found surprisingly dervish in that Think really set the White House into our state of terror. His hair outrage was that in an in I gather was an attempt to make sure that dreamers parents, even though they weren't going to be legalised under this bill, wouldn't be kind of targeted for deportation. The bill required ice to Priori, ties. People who have felonies are a certain number of misdemeanours or people who entered after initially. It was June, two thousand and eighteen they changed it to January, two thousand and eighteen, so it wouldn't be literally after the bill was passed, which would be bad but like that is really surprising to see a bunch of
book signing onto a bill that not only doesn't make any cuts to legal immigration, not only legalise. Is you know and give citizenship to up to one it there one point eight million people, but that like essentially, would have codified, enforcement regime that was in place under the last years of the Obama straight I thought it was an important moment. You know, because I think the the opinions about things of United States senators is often a lot. king to some extent of where political parties are headed and this listening. You often saw in Obama's. First, two years in office, which was that a lot of the Democratic Party as it existed in two thousand nine was sort of the pre Obama demo
a party and part of what you saw on the willingness of a non trivial number of republican senators. To sign on to that codification of the enforcement priority scheme was that, like its clear that they were Publican base, is like really into Donald Trump and two Donald Trump views and immigration and that's part of life, POW Donald Trump became the nominee, the part of why they were so into that is that lots and lots of sort of legacy republican politicians really aren't right. That lay on the merits. It seems there's a half dozen. Or more Senate. Republicans these not like LISA. how Ski Susan Collins they are. My British, but it's not like they have some huge number of latino constituents up in mean that counts is trying to cater to they just like they, I think, have dovish opinions on immigrants
and those opinions are clearly becoming obsolete. In conservative politics, like they as individual human beings, you know still persist. they're, like senators, tend to hang around for a long time. You see people realise their views with rising political forces all the time. You also sometimes see them not doing that and an end. You saw you know both in what that bill said and also in the fact that trumps furred bell? Misunderstood you didn't get sixty votes, it is really quite poor, sixty that's it! That's it you know for sure right. Thirty, nine, yes, votes They have not tromp asthma come close to forging a consensus. among Republican Party elected officials that this is. This is good. Public policy
and that's it's unusual for president too so forcefully put at the top of the legislative agenda, an issue where he doesn't have the clear support of his own party That's I mean it's, it's an odd choice and it too, I think it's part of the reason that trumped public messaging make it seemed like more of a close partisan issue, then that the frenetic activity on the hill- really- created. So I think this is one hundred and ten percent true, and I think it's actually true in terms of both kinds of defections from v. The present the presence preferred bell, because there were definitely. I think it is generally the case that centre Republicans are less interested in cutting legal immigration. Then the president, is then the republican base is our colleague tar goal Shan had at its peace this week, where she went round to a bunch of Republicans, including many of the Republicans in signed on to Co. Sponsor
the gradually build the trumpet endorsed and all of them two of them said: oh, I don't really want to cut legal immigration will fix that. on the right of the Chamber of Commerce said this like last minute press release where they were like. Does it actually terrible build they re. It was, though, so you know, even even some of those yes votes were people who don't actually aren't willing to say yet that they agree with the president and with their part of the know where their party is clearly going on this matter, but is also the case that some of those defections were from the right, Andrew really for pointing this out that you know there, you don't get to sixty no votes just because a lot of Senate Republicans want to keep legal immigration at current levels you get to sixteen over because some of them dont care as much about cutting legal immigration as they do about it.
They don't care enough to sign onto a bill. That would be essentially an amnesty bill, and that is also a kind of and artifact of the older politics of the Republican Party on this, because they're kind of trompe in view, which is not that far off from what a lot of his based believes, is that empty we especially like a limited amnesty for one point: eight million people does matter all that much because their already here, and that is totally worth it in exchange for substantial cuts to legal immigration going forward. That's a trade off that late, a lot more house conservatives are willing to make there aren't house house Republicans were kind of upset about the legalization provisions in the Trump immigration framework when it came out, but they were all on background in you're, not hearing a lot of pressure to like bring them. to the right now, but there Pierre to be more kind of responsive you ve new immigration priorities of this point
didn't than the Senate, isn't what that appears to be moving too. is a world in which, instead of the fight being over on offer, demographic. Currently in the: U S, do you legalised them or not? The fight is over Dewey reduce legal immigration substantially from current levels, or do we keep it where it is? but I think there's really interesting actually, because so this is the grassy bill. It's the official White Whitehouse proposal. It had deep cuts- legal immigration, as your saying in exchange for a path to citizenship for dreamers, and it got fourteen republican senators voted against this bill and three Democrats voted for it and most Republicans voted for it in and must have transferred against it, but but but the real mysteries is sort of why those fourteen Republicans voted against, and I went to all of their website syn interesting to me is that very few of them posted actual
split for why they oppose this bill and- and there are these two possible reasons- they either oppose the amnesty what they call amnesty provisions or they oppose the big cuts to legal immigration. What are really people may really could also be mean that that's without much more in line with what the Republican Party was saying from Lake nineteen, indeed, to two thousand dick fifteen. I think if I were Mitt Romney, I would say like this is a terrible. The right did like that, like does this amnesty. That is ill advised and then cuts. Legal immigration, which is also ill advised, but there now actually saying that just like they're not coming out and giving a statement that explaining why they oppose the White House proposal, and maybe that's just because they don't wanna get.
the blasted with criticism, men, angry phone calls and they think they can sort of fly under the radar with like a sort of vague, no vote. That is kind of a broad shock test could mean what Ever you want it to mean one of the only people who is clear was TED crews. Who, of course, is political strategy, has always been to try to be as far right on immigration as he can far more to the right in any other Republicans in and somehow that failed to get his information Twenty sixteen when somebody else came along, who only issue a little better than him, but I'll Yahoo, who had never propose an amendment to drastically expand work, visas, for example. Could I used to be consistent with being on the re. Also has Trump said you don't find a lot of evangelicals in Cuba Way Sure I understand I was there was that there was a Trump campaign line against crews,
I think I was I think I can do is- will find the trout challenging for Letty no person to become the champion of a hysterical racist freak out about immigration from America, no matter how no matter how much he wants to be. That champion, like there's a there's, a problem, there seems too, but anyway, crews was there. He released his statement opposing amnesty he voted, I believe, used up only we vote voting against bringing this bill even to the floor in the first place and an opening this debate on it because he said he opposes amnesty, so so much, but and there's this Ok, so then you have the eight Republicans who signed on to the rounds our compromise, the ad dreamer path to citizenship, Fer, a Wall money deal and they not to be the only eight Republicans that were willing to vote for it, and then there is another group of
maybe maybe it's ten. Maybe it's twenty Republicans who or early even thirty, who don't really like talking about this issue much at all, and so they were vague on the rounds bill and ended up all voting against it. In the end, this includes some. Some people who had shown inklings of of either deal make hang or immigration specific deal, cutting and passed like Corker of Tennessee elsewhere, The matter of yeah yeah Caroline a length of uncle homer there, actually that either there are a bunch of people who had been involved in various talks that over the last five months, who, at the end of the day, we're not willing to vote for this year and ends
some one of the lines that you hear from some of the people in this group for explaining their thinking like even marker Rubio, can be said as part of this group. In a way, it is that the problem is that they don't want to repeat the failures of the twenty thirteen Senate Immigration bill which, as we remember, passed with mostly democratic votes in and a smaller group of republican votes. Are the sound substantial? I mean this is still systems they sixty seven. Sixty eight vote Bell, youngest. So it's not. You know when we say a small number of republican votes were kind of used to. Thinking of that is exactly as many voters there. You know if it was a nice bipartisan, but most Republicans. Where gets so Rubio until s both said this week that, like the they think the mean actually Rebecca, said earlier that they think the main sort of issue is that
they need a bill that enough conservatives can be happy with they. They really are suspicious. They basically wanted what they want to apply. The logic of that How is it where I preemptively to the Senate I don't understand I've- been thinking about this as you dont- want to take up a hard vote on a bill that won't become law ass, a rule far as we know would be in place in the house. I everyone Margo earlier. The interesting thing about that to me is back Beckett, beckoned. Twenty thirteen right, a big conservative imperative, was to make sure that the house did not have any immigration bill of any kind like regardless of its content, because that would when the door to a conference committee and now the White House seems committed to getting the house to pass this good lad, Mccall Bill that, because they like with the bill, says
technically like changes the legislative dynamic Grady equate situation in which my ground say can go back around to tell us in Rubio, and say what we should take this up, and we should amend it with our ideas and they kick it back to the house. I wanted. I wanna get back to something that Andrew kind of threw out, because I think that it's kind of key to understanding where exactly the White House failed this week like Andrew, when he was talking about the senators who voted against the Republicans, who voted against that gradually build at the White House, endorsed said that maybe they thought you could just fly into the radar instead of having to really suppressed it, seven justifying their vote. If worried that the President of the United States, the de facto leader of your party, who has great report, your parties base and who thinks that, for whom this issue is a signature issue is going to blast you hard for voting against. His prefer for preferred bell
You don't think you can sneak under the radar lake if they were feeling heat from the White House for everything the White House has done over the last few weeks to kill bills that they don't like. They have an apparently been putting the same pressure into making sure that you know and Paul really has to be held accountable for voting against the Grassy Bell there in Odin. M M Hoff has to be held accountable for voting as the grassy, but like there isn't that apparent their eyes, pretending that it's only Democrats who voted against tab by the same time, if you actually, you know The part of that logic actually would could very easily be applied to this kind of find closed doors arm twisting of look. We really need to present Republicans as all supporting some kind of solution, so we can hit Democrats on this. We like this bill. We think it's important. We dont care how you feel about legal immigration. You should vote for it like there hasn't
this White House doesn't tend to have a great understanding of how to get votes in Congress generally, but it's been really striking for how much they claim to like the grassy bill. That did didn't appear too. Who have anybody running scared on the right, and yet it was a pretty pathetic, showing Fer a bill that was a major allegedly major priority of the administration. That day, you know strongly supported. This was the official Why has bill and it only got thirty. Nine votes in the end and thirty six out of the fifty republican senators hooray for measly. It's gonna be really should be really hard, as a just as a matter of how reality worked for trumped up to turn around and blame Democrats for not passing ability couldn't get a third of his own caucus on. a third of his inner. His party's Senate caucus. Unlike this, is, I think, a real it is
It is very patently untrue that the White House has done everything in its power to get to a deal. That is not just because they tried to kill bills that they didn't like four reasons unrelated to what it did for Docker recipients. That is because they had a bill that big named to Lake, because they claim that they wanted to address the issue of what happens to Docker recipients and they did not do everything they could have to get that bill past. Well, We should talk about what happens next, because there are a few. Interesting things that came out in the hour or so after the deal after the votes all failed in the Senate, there's one so so two of those mysterious republican senators who voted against the the grass Lee compromise and also voted against the rounds compromised by partisan one there our Jerry Moran Kansas
and John soon of South Dakota, they joined with also rapporteur of Ohio to to announce a Movement, which basically it sort of reads like more of a pipe they they they were taking the path to citizenship. For you know, what's been on the table for as much as two million one point: eight million or so dreamers off the table and instead what we are proposing as continue doktor to some extent as it is Now details are still vague, but but no Patsy citizenship, but just sort of now just as if Trump had never cancelled ray this is also a track of how many times congresses floated the idea of a dark.
It is notable to me that none of those have ever translated into actual bill text, and I suspect that a lot of the reason for that is that it, no one actually has figured out how this would work as policy its there's. There are a lot of levels on which its freely not easy. To say this thing that isn't executive branch programme is now like just turned legislative. It raises a lot of questions about opening. A second class of you know not not second class citizenship, but like a second sub citizenship class, it totally screws over the trumpet ministries. This attempt to argue the Supreme Court that the Daphne programme was you now in overstep executives. To begin with, I generally tend to think that I will believe that this stuff is real. When I see somebody actually put a bill out, but I do think you're right, it's resting that that even some of the Republicans who were willing to like stick their necks out Anything this week still appear to have some
it signals to me that they were unhappy with. You know that ended up voting, no on the good by partisan compromise of while money for Dreamer Pats citizenship and then they also were not happy with, like their official position being or or the parties official position being. We want these big That's two legal immigration so said this proposal like they're like well, we want, you know, put off illegal immigration issue to the side. A should focus on like like where the reasonable ones. This is not a full path to ship. It's not amnesty. It SAM the pines and- and it also includes the Wall money that the president was seven. I think it may also be the case that a lot of republicans don't particularly want dont, want the blame, if Doc recipients in their states forward like lose their work permits and get apprehend at into and put. Deportation proceedings like. I don't know whether they think they can deal with that just by making pause
noise is or if they actually want to deal with that. Bypassing about this is the problem I mean did so hankering failure of the Republican Party as a whole to exercise some kind of discipline and decision making rationality around this topic for a period of months. Right is just amazing exists where they said last week with a typical Republican. The policy solution that they want for Dhaka is Doc right. It does not give dreamers a path to citizenship, so they do not become voters for the Democratic Party because they do not become citizens. There is no specific chain migration unleashed by dreamers citizen, sweat, because the deportation pipeline is full anyway. It has no impact on the overall pace of apprehensions and removals that takes place in the United States and it keeps the
book focus on the deputation issue off the most absolutely sympathetic cases that you can find, and it doesn't require you to do anything rather give the president had just not cancel their and particularly as a party right if republican members of Congress had started and give you like do, party politics but spend August September October. Talking about Cancelling Dhaka would actually create this unproductive environment. Get a couple of the her knees, general too may be drop off. That lawsuit send a strong signal to Europe's W Bush appointees on the federal court that, like they do not want this lawsuit to prevail, that it will be political trouble. You know they're like ways of taking here also the original trump again too, like cancel darker and then It is a leverage to strike a deal to get border wall money. That also would have made sense strategy like that strategy, work tat, but they kept changing at anything
You actually see the day. The Democrats completely conceded that then Trump said he didn't want it right. But if you had gone back in time, if trumpet gone to a GEO p retreat some in summer. Twenty seventy and said I am going to cancel darker. Poland is. Why are you going to cancel doc and then from it said, I am going to cancel Dhaka, because I believe that will cause Democrats to agree to a fifty percent, in legal immigration programme would have said to him like. Mr President, like that's not a good, we you don't we like that. That outcome is not going to happen so like, let's think like what like? What are we trying to achieve here, and- and this is why I am in your right to read the problem- is, like Congress can't pass a law that says we are not going to discuss this issue because the president rate in the very active legislating right, lighted, a citizen who is already out of his Otto. I like death of reform. Is it fair to have realised too late that late you're right? I actually when, when that statement came out lesson
like. Oh somebody and are important Means office must have been listening to the weeds lie if they can find some legislative language that has this effect. I mean it's, it's challenging. No that would be, but also this this my life out there You can find some legislative language that would have this effect. can smuggle it into the omnibus spell that rules throw in March in March, linked Lincoln, might get away with it because the omnibus is a big enough. It has enough momentum on its own that it does how members to have stated objections, or not to any particular thing. That's in it for it or not like the guy? Doesn't the exact vote count doesn't matter the exact provisions, no matter, I dont know if you can find a legal formula that wall like accomplish what Rob portmanteau, he wants to accomplish, but it if it would be the thing that achieves the most people's like core desire,
here I mean, I think, even find a legal formulating that, probably if it were to happen, would open up a really big debate among Democrats or even just in New York opposition among Democrats, but would open a really big, normative debate on. Is it worth it to protect some people from deeper in exchange for creating in the law going forward a form you for allowing people to stay in the? U S without giving them any. Well that's what I'm saying you put in an omnibus relatives. I do not need to say they think it's a good idea, no right, but I just about the house decided alighted that immigrant aping any of the Democrats, who have been moved to listen to immigrant rights activists into dreamers themselves on this issue be under a lot of pressure and oh yeah anyway, I dont it would mean- and I dont want to draw up this. This reads talking about immigration. Does I want people to explain to me? What the hell is going on in the White House with Y all of their staffers, don't have security clearance yoga
Ok. Ok, I admit that I have been focusing on immigration is can someone explain to me what the hell happened with rapporteur? Ok, well, so the timeline limit? The rapporteur scandal, as I understand this, is a little bit different from the actual timeline vents right, but on February seventh, I guess it is that the daily mail from the UK has a story, and it says that Rapporteur beat his Ex wives and that one of them at least, had a restraining order out against him and the White House. His initial reaction to that was to make supportive statements about porter. Then, the next day They John Kelly called him a man of great integrity and an honour there was there was a hug me centres are so then the net stay. There is a second daily mail story. The second story includes photographs of one of the wives with black eyes and Anne and stuff like that.
photographic. Evidence obviously makes a difference in the in the media and also it did the daily mail. I think, for good reason is sort of like a bad. Air. In U S circles as a source of information, but the photographs were authentic. Also, the scope is, I mean to make advances as a big scoop, so this comes out, and now the tide turns against border. He resigns and the I'll start saying that these were new allegations that had come to light right. and the dead had changed their thinking. But then, the day after that, it becomes clear that, like this is not set Rapporteur was a senior Whitehouse staffer. He was submitted for security clearance of the F B. I did a background check. It does not require linked greatest investigative force in human history to find like to drink
Orders against you, so they had known about this since last summer,. January actual ran in some January. Twenty seventeen so supporter came in he was widely respected and Republicans circles. He was orange, hatches chief of staff and em. He was based viewed as one of the more responsible adults hires for the White House, Socio political profession, yeah. So he he took the job of White House staff Secretary and it's a really important and we dont yet entirely understand exactly how it functions in this particular presidency, because the job involves a lot of paper, and this is president who famously does not like to read much, but basically the White House staff secretary.
Trawls or or sort of runs a process around. What paper to the president may think. A good, a good summers years, name some former staff. Secretaries right, like John Pedestrian, was set staff secretary in the clinic ministration Harry Myers and Bread Cavanaugh, one of whom was almost a supreme court just as one forms an important circuit court judge. Now, where were staff secretaries at under Dredge Bush, Elisa Brow, on was was Obama's first step secretary to eat, innocent resumed, the or in these are these are low profile. You know some of them are famous now by, but at the time it It's a low visibility position, but it's a really important one, because you're really close to the president, and You know a lot of documents get produced in the government and and we're talking about here, both documents in the form of sort of policy.
He papers and decision, memos and and briefings, but also press clippings, that there is an that's important for the trumpet restriction, because There is an issue in the early months of the White House, where random staffers would just kind of you now put printouts from cookie. Websites or whatever, on the president's desk, and he would read them in and get really mad about them and sometimes tweet about them, and this this was viewed as a big problem in the White House, so when Trump five previous and brought in John Kelly as chief of staff, one of Kelly's immediate, Our priorities was to kind of bring more discipline to the way the West Wing functioned and part of that was in getting greater control of the paper
to the president. He wanted to make it clear that you know you can't just walk into the president's office and drop a document on his desk or printout of story, this stuff hast. Go through an orderly process. Otherwise things are just chaotic, so Kelly's ally in this process to gain in his project to gain better control and instability over the white has was rapporteur, the staff secretary and by accounts Porter rose to the occasion he was more and more responsibility here he started travelling with the president. He we took on more and more of a policy role. He played a role in writing the state of the union, his star just kept rising, but the problem is that it turns out that
all along. The White House was at least aware of these domestic violence allegations and the his security clearance for this entire period. Was once known as an interim security clearance, rather than a full one, so based the deal with, that is, that new stuff, first come into the White House in a new presidency, or sometimes in them the presidency and if they're gonna, be handling class information they need a security clearance and sometimes the FBI you know, needs a little more time to check out your background. So they give you an interim security clearance, and you know that is not supposed to last forever. There there's no specific time limit on how long and interim clearance can last, but is very,
unusual, especially for someone who is in such a high level, important job and seeing so many documents as the White House secretary to have an interim security clearance for over so the way it's supposed to work right is this red flag there, like we're, going to have to look into this here's an interim clear and then they look into it and then having looked into it, you either get the permanent security clearance or you get balanced. but there's no actual rule. That's like we, as well as with many things in the Trump era, there's no actual rule to that effect, and it appears that what was going on with porter was the FBI contained to keep it open because they weren't willing to certify that he met the standards for clearance and therefore, and the White House didn't want a fire him, so he just kept operating on the interim clearance.
critically. One reason why the White House wouldn't say that you can't work in the White House. If you can't get a proper security clearance. Is it we ve known forever that the F b I won't give Jared Kirshner a security clearance. right, so it's like the President son in law is like the unfavourable man. He is not clear a ball, and so Therefore, the standard has to be that you don't need to be clear ball to work in the Trump White House. so the interviewer. It goes beyond Kirshner himself. There are reportedly dozens of of staffers and white, but that they like it then we're right what we'd, by emotion or is the big one and at what is happening there could honour down again by about by bringing Kirshner is, is the one trump cares most about, and you know so the white houses response to these security clearance. Issues is largely its plausible that there is
to this greater problem is in large part sort of dictated around. You know this shared Kirshner problem so I don't want wanna be conspiratorial just because I dont have as much information, which I think is a problem that dinner its very easy to fall for that mindset hope for a better time to be convened manoeuvres, but that's like the different. in the two of us in a nutshell by it Is it wrong to think that a wii that the FBI is a very down the line, procedurally correct organization that they value that a lot as it is in their its. Herself concept as an organisation its problem. over valorize, the more than its actually practice. But whatever this is something where they did not. You know they're. There seizures, have a gap in them and the
yeah. I was not willing to take affirmative action too. You know to say: look it's been eight months. You can't actually just keep rapporteur in Jericho. Neuron interim security it is. However, it is also the case. This precedent has been fighting a war with the FBI, since basically, he caught it got into office that he already fired. One FBI director is inevitable. Billy super mad at another FBI director there He now has been going after FBI agents who were detailed to the smaller investigation, yadda yadda yadda. Is it wrong to assume that this? might have gone differently. If the F B, I had not been so worried that the White House was going to respond very negatively. If the F B, I tried to assert itself, I well, I mean, I think, there's a few different ways you can
Look at those I mean, I think it's normal its correct. I mean the the FBI does not have the authority to veto who gets presidential appointments right. I mean I mean we ve said like a million times from error that it's like a real political system runs on our norms rather than law, as it would obviously be. I, it seems reasonable that the F b I sort of can veto who gets like low level jobs that required, security clearances, but like can't really veto who the president chooses dislike for his senior staff can be highly worth mentioning that the President himself pro they couldn't get a security climber. Let it out you could write me. There is no way did Donald Trump We will have to pay off, two people he had had affairs with in the past this week alone ended the volume of the dead semi. He isn't even at the universe of of clear about To an extent like that's normal, like Donald Trump, is also not like qualify diverge.
But the CIA, but like sword, but most president's aren't you know, but by the same token, Right, that's like if you're the President, like you, can hire who who you want? you think, there's a reasonable question to ask. I mean I, I think. nobody has ever quite wonders, but you know it is normally not considered prudent for the present of United States till I pick giant fights with the institutional me. No national security state right. Clearly, people at the FBI were aware months that this situation was obtaining in the White House and were not saying anything about it. There were press report specifically about Kirshner. But now suddenly we have heard you know not just about porter, but about upwards of hundred thirty people operating on interim security clearances I'd, I don't
Oh who journalist sources where for that, but I'd like. I don't think it's crazy. To think that you know you push out the deputy director you'd like lie about agents response to James call me fired the director, their you'd like trash the whole institution. You suggest that the whole national security teams work was like said, by Christopher Steel, like you are encouraging. People to you know, bring information to light that is of interest to the public. That was not previously in the public record and something like that to have happened. You know what I mean is interesting, that what, with the Porter story right, there's there's a question of the classification which is like a technical issue, and it is a question of light. The wife beating per se right, which
you know, I think it's bull, that you would be one thing I think for the Trump administration to take the position. Ok, like the deep state as fucking with us, and not giving our people clearances properly based on who knows what you know there are sanders, doesn't have wetlands warlike, they don't understand the business world and as a driver airing that this is the right that this is a porter rather than Jerry. Like you, can imagine a world where it's like people don't actually care that Jared cautionary kick at a security clearance, because his family is massively in TAT. Lake re were, as in this case, a minute if that is the reason why we don't have a ton of visit. guess we don't know what what exactly tourism is, but I mean it quarters case, it's that you know it is repeatedly is cereal, domestic abuse, air and, apparently by John Kelly, and that began and others were just like they were fine with that. And then they ll think you lied about having been fine with it right and they
I'd say that, like oh, This new information came to light and then they dropped him, but it's now turned out that, like the actually held a background briefing to back him up You know when these stories were first hand, percolate right, so it's it's turned out that they were more supportive of porter. Then they had initially claim. Also that they knew many many months earlier about. All of us had had just decided that, like they were totally fine with it and that to me it's it's important because its women nuisance of the situation with Michael Flynn we're it's not like. All that unusual for a senior official in the government to wind up being fired for some kind of misconduct. I mean there's a lot of people in a presidential administration, Nobody is perfect in their hiring decisions, but would you seem with tromp is now to very senior officials who committed misconduct? The top decision makers knew about the misconduct. They did not consider them
conduct to be worth firing them over and then, when it was exposed to the public. Suddenly they were fire right in that's differently from a distance looks like the situation, which is com which is somebody does something wrong. The media exposes that the person did something wrong. Then the person gets fired. That's like the system working how it should, but these are cases where the misconduct was revealed privately to that decision makers in the White House who chose to do nothing about it and yet the some level acknowledged that the misconduct is serious, because once it became known to the mass public, they go and fired a person does very likely just a profoundly unsound way to run your operation like we think the underlying thing that porter did is really bad, but you can, if it's it's, where its few states it. This is not how you one
it makes sense to me they up as long no one knew about it as long as the public to know about it. They this fine. They can get away with it then, once the public did by raising it doesn't make sense, we're losing the easy. You know. Every time you hear about you know, Scott Proven is first class airfare and and show in his Wimbledon tickets, with their concerns, certainly sending the message down the lie that, like the President of the United States, the chief of staff, the White House Council, all those people, they do not care on the merits about like whether you break the law, about whether you do your job. Well, that like, if you can get away with it, sums up the like. That's the trump ethic. This is where the flint importer thing and what you just said about the common out of a tenth Flynn porters super clarifying from because, unlike the kind of in our plutocrats, milking the government,
thing which, like Donald Trump, has never said he doesn't want Don plutocrats. Mohammed government, like yeah, yeah, drain the swamp during the swap it you never actually defined what room during the swamp meant, and it's become pretty clear that he actually meant. I dont like the deep state, Porter and Flynn we're both cases in which, The White House clearly didn't care about a failing that people that, like the public, thinks a p d, you know is very important right. The lake the public thinks that a prevent a president should not you know of considering the interests of foreign countries in tandem with american interests that are made out like America First means America. First, that there shouldn't be kind of channels or compromised positions or anything like that, and the public tends to believe it. Do violence is bad and domestic abusers are bad. People in both of those says it is
unclear. Whether Donald from himself holds those believe slake, even but worthy Michael Michael one incident. It was not you know their rights, talks about Donald Trump being Putin's Parker. You know he had been obviously very doves, on Russia and had even said publicly. some things about. You know I hoped they find the rest of Hillary Clinton emails and all that there were suspicions that Donald Trump cared about this lesson. The public debt and then the flint thing and their desire to go to the mattresses Flynn, until it was found out publicly appeared to confirm that in this case the White House, makes noise about respecting women in our Sarah Huckabee Sanders gets very happy whenever anyone implies that the president doesn't respect women. John Kerry, you know, got on his high horse in December and said back in my
Today we used to have Revere women, we put them on a pedestal. I can't believe what democratic, during our clear, get anywhere in the course of lying about a young female member of Congress. Yeah I mean be he's young there, the key. Despite all of those noises, the suspicion has persisted that Donald Trump doesnt respect women, much and so for the way how to have gone to the mattresses on Porter too. you know to say that not only you know they weren't defending well, we don't think that Porter is a threat to national security. We think that he's a short mind, but defend his honour and integrity as a person when they knew day well that he pushed his wife is leg. It firms, something that I think a lot of us have known is true of Crop Administration, but that the trumpet Ministration denies, which is they, don't actually give
what about the story was that she injured herself in a struggle over a buzz. I believe both soap at a few points one of the things that Kelly and others have been saying. to sort of defend their lack of action here is, is the hell is that I told them that the allegations were phony and that, like outs, it was just nothing and I guess they just sort of like believed that ever looking into it that's what they claim, and one of the things I departed. Ass, though, is that it turns out that we dont care enough about domestic mile is one of the things there saying answer and, and get a sense of how flimsy this defence is. What matches alluded to? Is that porters, first wife who had the pictures of her I with a black eye. She said he punched him in the face, and now he has told people and those people have led to the press that what actually happened is that they were both fighting and that shit
fell on a wise, and that gave her the black eye, which seems pretty difficult to believe, but I think with porter himself. What when we try to bring you back to Trump, I do it is worth pointing out that it's not clear that Trump ever heard about these or was ever talk about them fair. Until you know the daily mail stuff came out this month in inside the fort or in the case of when we do in fact Gemma. Yet let let's keep when separate for the time being, but but so then, so porter, I think porters longevity in the administration, despite the allegations, I do think yes, John Kelly and and began clear, didn't, feel compelled to take action against an accused domestic abuse.
by it, but also they viewed him like they thought he was indispensable or that they thought that he was you know. The Trump administration is so lacking in qualified competent people- and this was a guy who is already in there, and you know what useful. Crucial to this, main goal of John Kelly, specifically in installing more stability to the White House decision making and and paper flow, and things like that that that they just didn't want to move against him. Then, when it comes to the daily mail, that's where Donald Trump OWN sort of fear of believing women's allegations against himself comes in at damaging coasting wrote a good piece about that grass, but basically I mean you know, Trump seems to be afraid that unless, if a man
is accused of something by women. Trump thinks that he ass, you always stress that you know unless it's democrat that the man could be innocent and that his he sang his innocent, because of course he has been faced with many such allegations himself and his position. Is that he's completely it? and that all these women are lying. So so women allegations allegations from women can be total lies meant to frame up a good guy is, is like a core political position of Donald Trump that he's very interested in defending, and so then too bring us a little bit. Full circle red thing that emerged out of this story. Ways significant into a white House disgruntled meant with John Kerry. Right that there were a lot of fingers anonymous fingers but like fingers from inside the White House staff word pointing at Kelly specific.
clearly as a bad actor here when I visited their liberty when it leads the way things would have worked right. If the White House was told in February about the allegations against porter you logically understand somebody doggedly doing the backtracking and figuring out which person who in the White House in February, might have been responsible, but instead it's going to kill you and be at the White House remind you about a tragedy. This was raised, as people might be interested in getting John Kelly looks bad for something You are seeing now quote in quotas marks from anonymous White has staffers to report, is that are calling John Tele a big fat liar and sang the Kelly cover up is sir, is falling apart, and you know this is an administration that leaks a lot and has a lot of rival factions. But but that's unusual that that that goes back further than what we ve seen and it seems to have exposed something. That's been a bit dormant in the kettle,
ten years so far, which is that whenever a new chief comes in and tries to bring more Rigour to the White House process. That means that a lot of people are left out in the cold and that a lot of people get annoyed and, and people who used to be influential under the more free wheeling old style are have now been locked and and they are mad about it- and they are now- sort of seizing on this porter issue too, because they think Kelly is vulnerable on and their unsheathing their knives and and and hoping there'll be shaken I mean, if you, if you judge John Kelly's ten years, he must have on its own merits. Rightly Kelly said: I cannot control the president. I can control the way his White House works like neutral. What gets to him, if you think about that, is their response to the previous era of like there was. Is chaos, and everyone was our always back fighting in the press and it wasn't clear inner who actually had the president's ear. This episode
made it clear that Kelly no longer has any control over that either right. There is still a lot of inviting it still like theirs. Still alive of Trump running hot and cold on his closest advisers. So, There is an argument that John Kelly should go away because he has failed to do what he wanted to do, and a lot of the people in the White House feel that he what he wanted to do, and a good idea and left, but I would also say I mean it's clear that like Kelly has you that lie in a lot, so the people will stop asking him about Trump and Twitter, but, like Kelly, has been much more effective, then rents previous was I mean it. I would say the biggest difference. Wrinkling previous is a colleague actually has tried to control Trump and has been quite effective at right in that in this whole immigration saga, we're talking about like the key thing that has changed, is the Kelly
Dan using his. We use Annabelle, effective control over the sort of aperture of like who gets into the White House and when and for what purpose to ground tramp in this fairly extreme view on legal immigration as it is, Nations posture right that, like that is a debt, is not like John Kelly imposed. Discipline on the process served us honest broker. We have never heard a story where it's like, Stephen Miller and for other stakeholders with different points of view. Like I came into the White House to do successive briefings with, like Kelly, just making sure that, everybody kept the right time might like Kelly, has worked really aggressively Willie diligently and quite effectively to prevent Trump from making a dream act for Wall Deal.
right did like this is a specific thing that, like Linsey, Graham spent a lot of time, buttering Trump up, but you don't golfing with him Bob I you know, people will be doing this. They were working the different angles in the White House and like Kelly as chief of staff in a knot in a classic chief of staff. As honest, a but in a sort of a little bit of a lake you imagine like up like a reigning monarch right and like the king he's like he's fine, but he's just like not that diligent and then you know the vizier has a lot of power right, Jack Jack handed the king. What exactly awaited Mean get John Kelly very active shape this in a particular way, and I mean one thing: the bureau time it it. It hasn't, work ready me like cats. These internal shaping of the White House dialogue worked, but I dont know what it is exactly he was hoping to achieve, but he said has not achieved. A fifty percent cut in line
immigration and end to treat me like like that stuff is happening and like the strain she doesn't make sense and it goes all the way back to I mean I'm I'm glad to be passing here. What error. Who was an early John Kelly critic? More on the substance, but I just saying I'm on the press is. I always thought this was a crazy idea. John Kelly is not like slightly qualified for this job. It would be like putting rents previous in charge of brigade serving in a foreign war can only mean like it's just isn't, There are good for him, like does she's, trying to micromanage it congressional negotiation. These no fucking idea what he's doing and its land use managing a president who very clearly does not want to be met, and it's it's but like white. What's coming out of the sweet like it's, a disaster like hundreds of thousands of people's lives, might be ruined he's the border
security enhances, like are not going to happen, is bad for the economy. Leakage is really bad. Is it you can't put people who have no idea what they're doing in charge things, and so like, if the knives out for John Kelly and the ideas we should have a chief of staff who, like knows something about the wide range of activities that the presidency headed States is responsible for, like I think I think that would be helpful if we don't have a president who does that it's nothing to also not chief of staff and, as you say, we can't put people in charge of things. You have no idea how things work. What this administration presupposes, is what, if can you get right anyway? The stock markets back up? So I guess it's Very well of all is basically what what matters building two, although not say explicitly, is that trumps should fire. John Kelly, I am I am you know, channeling that here trumpeted fired on Kelly, replace him with Gary cone. Gary cone should make a big
could deal, make everybody happy, and then we can return to regularly scheduled Trump business. Rising to still do smart right. This is, I don't. I don't know what I think go back to doing tweets about the stock market, It has always been strange to me that Trump scene, very allergic to the idea that a president should try to do popular well, received things rather than being super controversial and picking fights all the time- and there was a brief moment in September where is, if we harking back to that, the Chuck and Nancy he had them, over there A glimmer of of hope fur for a big dreamer deal that the ghetto shimmer claimed heap. He basically agreed to it in the White House in September, and you know whether it was Trump himself having cold feet, whether it was
Kelly's structuring of who was talking to him, whether its now Miller. I think another thing that had a million in the transition to Kelly is that you know we went from previous and ban and being that talk to people in the White House on this issue too, being Kelly and Miller on immigration, and that is like a sharp move to write. You know: Bannon was pretty far right Miller may be further right than banning on immigration and play. This was a you know. Beads dream is to have a lovely curtailment of use. Much like congressional Republicans had no desire to touch the issue if at all possible I dont want. I would see the difference between Miller and banning animal gratian. If I can characterize it at all, is it nowhere is much more single mindedly focused on immigration, like burdens, vision of
Could he calls nationalism? Is both hey easy but like also like really big, you know like it has like it creed element like stuff about foreign policy with China. was a Miller's vision is like it's really. Small Miller is also less interested in persecuting. This is a call in prosecuting this is a culture war than he is in actually using the levers of government, which she in that The ways in which this White House has untapped in the executive branch powers tat youths restriction at a restriction s agenda, Dr Immigration policy. I could go on and on forever Donald Trump is whether he realizes it or not. Donald Trump has always been successful because he's tapped into the essential truth of public opinion on immigration, which is that, like, if you make a centrist deal, get love, because the moderates on this issue don't really care. There is a action on the right. The cares of ton and there's a faction on the left. That cares a tonne
lake. There are no parades waiting for you in the streets. If you get you know, sixty seven on it on a Senate Bell. So Donald Trump after a moment in which he appeared to have forgotten that Lesson has now remembered that, like it is to be like the loved by a few, has decided that it's better to be loved by a few than liked by the many, and that I think, is worrying. That's not going to change and the only question is whether ever be politicians were willing to be liked by the man. I really disagree with that. I think that I think that what you said about people who care and people who don't care like a goal- that is a hundred percent true, but I think you know a Mitch Mcconnell idea that he deployed to the opposite fact, but that I think, is really really true. Is it there's a big hazy back of people like Manderson Immigration, Belike in general are aware of like the names of policy problems and they would like
to see political leaders solving those problems, and you see it in the instinctive rhetoric of like the programme control kids out of Florida, and there, like you, guys, should get gather, engineer Wednesday, and I think that you just call it doesn't matter what it would say if there was a bill that Chuck humor and Paul Ryan and Mitch Mcconnell and Donald Trump all did and that they all said like this is a bill that secures the border helps the economy and solves the illegal immigration problem and use this to which you know it's a ever, though the weirdness of immigration Pauling? Is it if you ask me well it's like, should we just do it? and get amnesty for everybody and and the public and integration we deport everybody liked. Let's also do that right, but at the moment we have a good environment at least do it's fine. They do want that, but they don't want it enough to actually lobby for a re like those are the people who are never ever ever ever ever naming immigration is the most family thing. If he, if Trump did the deal
and then the do be all these counter intuitive stories about how like Nixon China right now. I think I think an argument for doing a deal is that from would get like so much love from CNN. And then you know that New York Times in the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post in all of those outlets that he claims is perfectly claims not to crave, but in fact, craves very deeply lake. This present it would be up to his ears in good press and if now he was after checking Nancy, he he noticed it and he commented on it and was telling people out of it after it happen that, oh, my god like, like the coverage, I'm getting, Out of this is some of the best coverage I've ever gotten, and then these sort of that's it
innovative. Maybe you know- maybe this is the argument for keeping John Kelly is a post on quality for staff is almost certainly going to wind back the you know, let's controlled, let's make sure the president never sees any info. Wars are bright, Bart clips and a world in which Donald Trump, you know he's getting that ever he's, sending him in drawers and bright Bart clips, maybe a world in which he feels a little bit differently about getting good press from the New York Times in Washington, Post and getting bad press from. You know the places he person We would prefer it if it is, but I think I think one of the points that net was sort of making here is that you know people have views on policy issues sometimes at around a little vague, but there are a lot of people who just take their cues from the political leaders that they trust. So if Donald Trump opposed an immigration deal that chucks humor and Mitch, Mcconnell and Paul Ryan somehow came up with together
you know. That would be a signal to them that that that deal was not tough enough, but if it could be the exact same deal that Donald Trump supported And- and that would be the queue that that this is a good deal worth supporting and- and so I think, what we ve never really seen tested in. Our trump really believes that he rose to the republican nomination in large part because of the immigration issue In- and I think that's true But you know things have changed since that now he's the most beloved figure by the republican base in the country probably, and that its he's he's the one who can have a lot of influence on how people think about this issue and whether he is willing to where you know. Obviously there will be some people on on the right who will oppose any deal. He caught Sir serve condemn him for supporting
misty or whatever, but the question is how big that group will be if, if he can bring along the vast majority of Republicans on some sort of deal, that I think it's certainly plausible that he could do that. The thing is that he has really tried to do that. I think, if Donald Trump interested in that it develops and interest in doing that, it's not gonna happen before the November MID terms. We have already seen Whitehouse sources saying that the president is not interested in policy anymore. He's gonna, find more excuses. You know, like lunch, your wars, that he sees the attacks and I fell players for kneeling during the national anthem is like the thing, that he is going to keep doing so we couldn't there's no evidence. Maybe what Donald Trump will develop a spine I'm going to hold my breath. And they will just starting with indoors observation. The Trump, somewhat unusually for a president, does not seem to be interested in doing popular cons,
right things now that he is sometimes interested in things that he thinks like fifty one percent of the public, agrees with him on, but like you, he wants to be fighting, and you know I As you say, it's like the real centrepieces mid term campaign will be when and offences and starts in September. I would point out that the vote of ex call themselves, the Bolsheviks, too per cent themselves as the majority and the major x is the minority when in fact the alternative. The other thing was the case. It's kind of that is the a similar strategy to trap is fine in situations in which you have a voice, who minority supporting you and spend the rest of your time, attacking the other side for being ostensibly the minority, but with that anguish wrap up made. Maybe next week we can. We can do indeed dive into the history of the russian Revolution. We're gonna do to Tuesday? Weeds can be infrastructure week at long last. Talk about talk about all that stuff
so thanks to our two Andrew for for joining us and to our producer, Peter Lenin. In our view for listening, joy, joy, life and the weak
Transcript generated on 2021-09-13.