« Verdict with Ted Cruz

Ep. 48 - Fueling Russia's Aggression

2020-09-10

What would happen if Russia gained total control over Europe’s oil supply? Senator Ted Cruz and Michael Knowles come together to warn against the havoc that a new oil pipeline, Nord Stream 2, is poised to wreak on the world if Russia completes their metal monstrosity. Then, the Senator talks about his new legislation aimed at blocking this hostile takeover of Europe’s energy supply chain. Plus, Senator Cruz issues a shocking correction to one of the pair’s previous mailbag segments.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
As tensions ratchet up between Moscow, Russia, the west german is inviting Putin right into the heart of Europe. And the worst part of all is very few people even know that it's happening. Well, we one person who knows it's happening who's been very involved in this now, four years this is verdict was dead group. Welcome back the verdict on Michael Knolls joint as ever by senator had crews. Senator This is a subject which I will just put it out on the table. I know absolutely nothing about. I have heard little rumblings here and there, but there is some called Nord stream to. I know This involves oil going to Europe. I know this involves Germany. I know this involves Russia That's all I know, but it's apparently a very big deal and nobody is talking about. It are at war.
Somebody knows something else, as it can be a very short time. That's up I've gotta, so Nord stream to is is a natural gas pipeline that is being constructed from raw. Shouted. Germany and Russia has massive oil and gas resources. In fact, I remember John Mccain. The Easter referred a Russia, he used to say Russia is a gas station with a cunt. Attached Russia fuels its aggression through the export of oil and gas, and an Nord stream to write now. Europe relies on on Russia for energy resources, but but much of that right now comes through Ukraine. Now, no, this is harking back to it. Each many recall. We talked a lot about Ukraine and how Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union broke off and
Russia and Germany reach an agreement to build a new pipeline, a pipeline that cuts Ukraine completely out an end that carries the natural gas straight to Germany and end the problem is building this pipeline would do, Well, things number one it would enrich. Russia would put billions of a day. Little dollars impudence coffers gee then uses to build their military to be aggressive too, to pressure to date is neighbors to wreak havoc number. Two, though it actually hurt Europe because it makes Europe more dependent on Russia give us prudent, more control over Europe, and so I began over a year ago, last year and twenty nineteen really leaning in aggressively trying to stop Nord stream to from being Dropped so you saw this happening early on, but I guess you sought happening at a time where
the relationship that we have to put in the relationship we have to China is all. In flux, and so, I'm wondering now without having had my head in it. How should the United States even look at Vladimir Putin? Even look at Russia? Are we still in the cold war is a different from the cold war, is still a threat to Europe. Where's where's that relationship potent as a bad guy. He is a KGB. Thug he is not our friend and we should be trying to minimizes power, we should be trying to minimize his ability do damage to America, damage to two to Europe, an end you they recall when, when President Tromp went and spoke to NATO he leaned and hard, and he took on Angela Merkel the Germany, for why are you doing this Nord stream to thing this is terrible: you're hurting Europe and helping helping Potan. So I was in the Senate of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and I said our let's do something about it, and so I teamed up with a Democrat with Jane. She has a Democrat from New Hampshire and
introduce legislation that was was tufts. Sanctions focused on any company, was helping build the Nord Stream gas pipeline and and it was designed to be surgical. There are only five companies in the world that had the technology to be able to build the deep sea pipeline needed. So we were targeting those five to try to cut him off. Well, when I introduce the legislation, it was very interesting. Russia has been aggressive and in their counter propaganda, they were, they were putting out this installation has no chance of passage. It will never pass. It can't go beware. I remember wrecked Perry was energy secretary talking direct at the time who was was in Europe and was saying: look you need to understand crews Legislation is gonna pass. This is gonna pass. These sanctions are going to happen and the russian DIS information was fighting with Rick Perry. Well, Senate's foreign relations, we take up my bill and it passed
the committee by a vote of twenty two two so overwhelming by partisan passage, I then sought to take it up and pass it on the floor of the Senate to use a mechanism called unanimous consent, which is the way a lot of things get past. But you know must consent, as the name suggests. It's gotta be unanimous, which means any senator can object in this instance ran Paul voted against in committee and he'd objected to taking it up on the floor, and one centre can kill unanimous consent. Are you see, is what everyone calls it couldn't? Could I just ask not not asking for you to tell any tales out of school here, but what was the objection to me this seems like a sort of common common sense piece of legislation- lesser out Let ran speak for himself. He he is very sceptical of sanctions. Generally, he doesn't. He often opposes efforts to EU sanctions against foreign country including sometimes our enemies. I actually think
sanctions are a very effective tool and there are tool far far short of warfare look round, and I agree at times and that we're both, as does the president, that we, could be very hesitant to use military power and only use it when equally necessary to defend the nation, but I think sanctions are an effective tool of power. Short a military force. So when Rand objected, I had to find another way to passes and in time Nineteen, the National Defence Authorization ACT, which is the big bill that passes every year, authorizing our military defence that was moving forward, not been an active part of passing the NBA year after year after year, and so we decided are: let's try to attach this built the India now to do that. We had to get a lot
of sign off to do that, I had to get number one: the chairmen Republican and the ranking member, a Democrat of the sun, Armed Services Committee to sign off because the ARM Services Committee passes the India. So we did that To get the chairman and the ranking member of The Senate Foreign Relations Committee to sign off, because since that's the committee that had jurisdiction over my bill foreign relations could could have vetoed it and said no one going to allow it to go onto the India. So what able to do that, got both the chairmen and ranking and then to do the same thing on Senate banking, though the Senate Banking Committee, because sanctions often go, RO banking banking could have vetoed it also, and so I had to do the chairman and ranking member of Senate banking to sign off on and then I'll to get much become on trucks, humour to show off on the majority and minority later, so we To do all of that, it got attacked
did to the NBA and it passed through the Senate. Then Do the exact same thing in the house I'll get the chairman the ranking on armed services on foreign relations, on banking and and majority leadership. So we're talking phone call after foam after phone call, as I'm talking to multiple members- Jeanne she heinous helping with the Democrats she's talking to multiple members in the house. We almost had it derailed from a company Lee undertake related education provision. I remember what it was, but it was brightening to derail the house, so I had to be on the phone the cabin Mccarthy trying to like navigate through? That will stop the objectives December to nineteen we get it passed so so we get it passed then the question is well. Is the pipeline gonna stop because they were building the pie line in the pipeline was
ninety two. Ninety five percent complete. While break his worry. I mean, I think it's easy as we as we think. This legislation going through the Senate and the house. We, as organs like to think that whenever we say goes but it's only getting the american response set, but obviously joy, and I can do whatever it likes and questions- are these sanctions gonna work yet an enemy? pause for a second and and point out what was truly miraculous December twenty nineteen years, can you think of anything else that was going on there You know I seem to recall it was a busy political time. The house, was literally impeaching, the president and in peace being the president over Ukraine. Now mind you stopping nor drink to benefits Ukraine. It is a free being miracle is a Christmas miracle on thirty four street that we got this done, we pay
bipartisan legislation, through both houses of Congress that concern Ukraine. I didn't mention Ukraine at all. Every time I talk to people as a Germany, Russia, Ukraine never heard of it. I don't know where it is. Don't have my map? Don't have Ukraine on it, don't know anything about it like in the myth. Of that partisan mass to get this national security win was miraculous, but then once it happened, there was Company, a swiss company called all seas that was actually building the pipeline. It was almost done, and so they are rushing to just finished. Lines those like. Well, tough, luck, we're done! So what I did then is drafted a letter to the ceo of all things and it is a letter that says this is to put you in formal notice that your company is in direct jeopardy of facing crushing economics sanctions on your shareholders and your senior employees, that with that, that will effectively put your comp company at a business and-
a couple of questions that could arguably be ambiguous number one. The way the statue was written, the state depart had to do a report. I think it was sixty days later and so Could they all we got sixty days to get this done, and virtue. The statute allowed was called a wind down period, so you didn't just stop immediately in and cause environmental damage our letter explained, although the report is due sixty days later. Under the terms of the letter, your life melody attaches instantaneously. Sanctions are mandatory. The executor has no discretion over whether to impose them. And so what I wrote a letter to the sea. I said you, you need to be aware, the instant the press, signs this bill, your company, This exposure in your only right, reasonable option is halt construction. Instantaneously and before the bill assign you now
thousands of Congress of past it there's a big lobbying press, and why shrink and suddenly all seas, hires lobbyists their reaching out. So suddenly that that there is that at the ETA see there may be an effort to try to undercut these sanctions. So so I pick up the and I call Robert O Brien the National Security advisers. A close friend of my Robert was handed to Christmas party. S look Robert. I need you to come out and- and I talked to him about it and said this would be don't listen to this day, ass lobbying effort? This is a huge national security. When for the country Pollyanna see Robert a great guy at at at at at at at at sea, didn't didn't bite. We then had a fight. An inter agency fight between the state depart. The Treasury department in the energy depart so on the phone with Treasury Secretary Stephen manage and I'm on the phone with Energy Secretary Danbury, yet MIKE
Pale was in Europe. I forget where it was, but I'm texting MIKE on my phone all three of them, stayed and energy were in the right place, which is wanting these sanctions to be robust treasury, unfortunately was pushing on the other side? And so it was a big fight. I'm talking about three leaning in hard. At the end of the day, state, and energy and National Security Council, one then interagency battle, and so the the sanctions, remained tough, as an aside that bill. I believe it was a Thursday at seven p m, if I'm remembering the time correctly, but dean minutes. Earlier Thursday, six forty five p m. All seas puts out a press release. We are lifting anchor and leaving, and we have immediately halted all construct should have more stringent, so we
is this? Put. The pipeline now I mean so that, after that is the sort of herculean effort in it. Finally through all the Victoria, the chambers of the Us Congress and then gets through their departments and goes into effect. What, where does that leave the pipeline? So. Fort for several months had just left it stopped. So it it's ninety fibres. Bell, but remember a pipeline that ninety five percent built is zero percent bill? the pipeline done, you're setting, I connect both ends so right now, it's A man along the bottom of the ocean like like it's not do enough. So Russia was then scrambling art had a we build it and they didn't have the technology to do with their trying to do at using a russian ship called the academic Chaskey now to do. They had to get a new environmental permit from Denmark. So I was on the phone to the danish ambassador, pressing on the danish ambassador, saying, don't grant the permit, unfortunately, Merkel and Germany are on the phone with Denmark, leaning on them hard? Please grant the permanent. They ended up
granted by the way their serious environmental risks to how Russia wants to do it. Among other things, one of them is there looking at doing it is dragging an anchor on the sea floor and that that there actually unexploded care chemical munitions on the sea floor from World WAR too. That if you hit, you can have an environmental complete mass loud and It's not like the Russians are very good at this. They dont know how to do this, which is why they had to hire a swiss company to build an initially some of you mentioned the world wars here, and maybe this is a stupid question, but just knowing the little little I do of history, the Germans and the Russians have not always had a wonderful relationship and an unjust wondering why? Germany. So how bent on getting this pipeline in this relationship with Russia. Is it just money it Michael, I don't have a great answer. I think it is not in the german people's best interests. Merkel is leaning in really hard the
appealing union actually voted. I think was about a year ago took damn Nord stream to is harmful to Europe, and the vote was something like four hundred do. A hundred I made was an overwhelmingly lopsided vote condemning Nord stream to and so the Russians have been scrambling to move forward I have been since then, and by the way off of the naysayers, who were trying to stop our legislation. What they kept saying was it'll, never work, it won't actually stopped the pipeline theirs chance of succeeding and of course it worked like a charm, stopped it enemy drags now. The genes are trying to retrofit that their ship. Be able to finish it an end. So what I've done? I've been working very closely with state an energy still and treasury, but I
do stay second set of sanctions. That is even if it's a tougher set of secondary sanctions that basically says anyone else's affiliated with it you're getting sanction to like a view. If you touch this project your screwed and I did it with change behind. It was by partisan republican and democrat and end. We passed past it through the Senate attached. To the next Andy I and so, and so we got that through its pending, it hasn't been signed and the law, but we got it through. The Senate again and I'll tell ya. I recently joined with a couple of other senators and sent a letter to the german port, where Russia is retro, fitting the academic, Turkey and trying to talk to you to lead its efforts to finish this pipeline, the german ports name, I'm I'm sorry, it's a german name along german name that I can't remember it. It had whole lot of continents. They usually do so I
the latter pointing out look under the terms of these sanctions? You, facing serious, sanctions under what Congress Past, I gotta a Germany is, is the german government is flipping out, is losing their minds. They're very upset. Russia's very upset now other players in Europe. Like I spoke two weeks ago to the polish ambassador, Poland thinks you know: Europe has seen. The danger of russian aggression. You know for Poland. Soviet banks in the streets. A real memories. They know what that's like an end. Part of the reason you dont want Europe totally, pending on Russia, for energy is because pollutants demonstrated he'll shut off the energy in the middle of a brutal winner in order to extract concessions. Were people who wants to get concessions from inside uses it yet
it's a little bit like saying you know, I'm I'm gonna, I'm gonna myself dependence. On the mafia, the mob. Yet not yet a euro VI Coralie, only I'm gonna put him in charge of of of air and water. For my house, that's a really bad idea, because veto will come to you some time and ask for a favor the important and has a lot of veto. Coralie only apologies to my Marlon Brando, somewhere he's rolling over his grave is very are about it was. It was like I was watching the film, but So this battle is ongoing. Right now,. Here's the bottom line. I dont believe this pipeline will ever get construct but we are literally fighting both Merkel and Putin right now who billions of dollars are at stake to complete this pipeline. We had managed to keep
a by partisan coalition throughout the government in Congress in the executive branch. Republicans, rats. All the other issues were fighting about. We managed to keep this coalition together. On national security, and if we continue to stop the pipeline, which we have done so far, it hurts while taking billions of dollars out of his pocket. It helps Europe by making it less dependent on Russia and it America, because if Europe, because Europe, it would be better for Europe for them to be importing energy from America, creating jobs in the United States of America rather than enriching Putin. And so this is a win win all around and at its diplomatic battle that that there is ongoing right now and I think that's an important point. First. First of all, it serves american interests. Second of all, it serves european interests and third of all Harkin's back to something that we talked about very early in the podcast during impeachment, which is
think a lot of our focus now is on China. Obviously we're living in this panda can these locked and there were caused by China and so People are saying: ok, China's the real threat. You know Russia was the threat during the cold war, but now China's the real threat it. This doesn't have being either or here. It is not the case that just me China is now a threatening us in a way that we haven't seen before. Then, all of a sudden, Vladimir Putin is our best friend is surely he does not have our interests at heart. Now that that that's exactly right, listen terms of magnitude of threats. China is the far bigger geopolitical thread. I think it's the biggest threat we have over the next century but Putin and Russia remained anchors and we to be vigorous against them and for that matter a nuclear ran would be profoundly dangerous. North Korea's danger. There are lots of dangerous places on earth, China, strict generally, their economic might makes them. I think it four level of magnitude than every other player for the next century, but but Russia
is dangerous and and putting billions of dollars in prudence pockets to use against us. As a really bad idea well from the realm of foreign policy, touch on domestic affairs here in our last few moments wanting into the mail bag rob asks he's. He says I would like, adds thoughts on the recent comments by dams that a trumpet. Slide on election night could be a mirage that, basically, you could get the winning on election night, but then some male imbalance come in weeks later and all of a sudden, the election goes to Joe Biden. Well, I think it is a moment where the Democrats actually set out loud the things that they meant to keep quiet, much weight, which is their there it from a democratic perspective. There There are one or two outcomes: either they win in November or they're gonna scream. The election is illegitimate. They're gonna file, litigation in every state and jurisdiction they can and they're gonna do
We think they can to steal the election than that that they the outcome of Trump winning that that date. There there so much rage at Adam that right and you can see them setting the predicate for them. You can see them already setting the stage to challenge the legitimacy of the election at an end. You know it interesting that there have been prominent Democrats Larry Clinton asking yet would Trump accepted if he lost an end. There's an odd thing that that then a lot of democrats do I mean it's a Friday and projection which is they accuse the other side of doing what they're doing? Look. It's the Democrats that still have an x Did they lost and twenty sixteen you know it's Stacy Abrams, who still thinks she's governed of Georgia, end. I am very concerned that that they are, unless they win, in which case it it will be Hosanna Hosanna, income, the Socialists, but but if they, if there's any
come other than their winning on election night holder tight, because they're gonna do everything they can to dispute the outcome rises, funny, because Hillary Clinton said in twenty sixteen that Donald Trump threatening not to accept the results of the election. This is a threat to democracy. She then went on to dispute the election for four years, and now she sang Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstances. You know if there were self awareness on that side of the Isle, I'm I'm sure we can all laugh about it, but sadly there seems not to be so Michael. Jumpy and actually on Mailbag topic and this is actually a correction from prior Mailbag old aunts and I'm gonna stop you're right there. I I'm shocked. I'm If I'd but shocked that you would correct something on the air, because this, where the New York Times and you Something wrong: you would bury the correction in page three thousand and fifty of some supplemental book that no one would read, but you are going to make a correction right here on the job
I am and were where I'm going to I'm to shine a light on it, which is which several episodes ago, we were doing a mail bag and- and we had a question from from from one listener, whose handle on on twitter you and I referred to as Bay Lambs donkey. Yes at and we talking about what you know. We're sort of weak we made some, why I gotta tell you afterwards a Dear dear friend of mine, Ganem, Willie Langston is one of my closest friends on earth and Willie is, is a a deep devout. Christian no, a godly man and an eight. He know The Bible through and through and I gotta say, Willie had lit, fond making fun of you and me I now. I know where this is guy, for our lack of biblical literacy be what it actually was referring
Who is Belarus donkey and who is Belarus, and I had to be reminded- I didn't remember this in and Willie lie thing lay recounted. So if you look in the book of Numbers chapter, twenty two so ballade he wasn't in Israel light he he was, if the men- and I said the Miller Bites had but but he was someone to whom God spoken and the story and numbers twenty to actual, ought to read the story, because I remembered but I didn't remember what we were talking about it in and in its it's worth, remembering so numbers twenty two starting with verse twenty two, but God was angry because belong was going the aim of the Lord took a stand in the way as an adversary against him. Now he was riding on his donkey. Two servants were with him when the donkey saw the angel of Lord standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand, the donkey turned off the other way and went into the field, but belongs structure
key to turn her back into the way. Then, the angel of the Lord stood the narrow path of the vineyards with a well on the side and a one and a wall on that side when the He saw the angel of the Lord. She pressed her, so into the wall and pressed belongs foot against the wall. So we struck her again the of the Lord went further and stood in a narrow place where there is no place to turn to the right hand of the left when the donkey saw. The angel of Lord she laid down under Balam, so belong was angry and struck the donkey stick and the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey and He said the ballade. What have I done to you that you have struck me these three? Times then belong said to the donkey, because you have made a mockery of me. If I'd had a sword in my hand, I would have killed you by now. It's the guy talkative donkey that, He said of alarm. Am I not donkey on which you have ridden all your life. To this day, I have, I ever been a cost
to do so to you and he said now. Then the Lord open the eyes of alarm and he's All the angel of the Lord standing in the way with the drawn sword in his hand, and he bowed all waited the ground and the angel of the Lord said to him. Why have you struck your donkey three times behold, I have come out as an adversary, because your way was contrary to me with a donkey, saw me turned aside remade these three times. If she had not turned aside from me would surely have killed you just now and let her the donkey live. And so our listener belongs. Donkey was was a wonderful biblical reference. That is a graduate a second Baptist High school. I am embarrassed. I did not recognise immediately, but well, I'm facing up and infesting up for all to hear. You know it's funny. You mention it center. I did have this thought I was thinking about Bay love. What is that and after
episode either. Oh, my gosh, I actually did read number is probably two years ago. I had never read all of numbers store three years ago, and you know it's not so much bit dry. As far as a box of I will go and I thought all gosh. This is very bad and I, unlike belongs donkey. I deserve to be struck three times. Is that what we do on the shop for our biblical ignorance? We really covered a lot of ground. We ve not only gone to modern day Russia. We ve gone to the ancient Middle EAST, we have covered everything in between all the way from having to earth, we'll have to stop air and we will see one another next time and I want to catch up on my Bible in the meantime, who this is verdict with TED crews?
Transcript generated on 2020-09-10.