We break down decades of intertwined corruption in both the US and the UK and urge officials to seek actual accountability, because time is running out. Kleptocracy anywhere is kleptocracy everywhere, and it is ordinary citizens who pay the most painful price.
Sarah Kendzior: I'm Sarah Kendzior, I'm a journalist and anthropologist focusing on authoritarian states in the former Soviet Union and the author of the book, The View from Flyover Country.
Andrea Chalupa: I'm Andrea Chalupa, a journalist, filmmaker, activist, and the writer, producer of Agnieszka Hollands, upcoming journalistic thriller, Mr. Jones.
Sarah Kendzior: And this is Gaslit Nation, a podcast examining corruption in the Trump administration, and the rise of autocracy around the world. And Andrea and I have not actually talked to each other in two weeks. So this is kind of a catch up episode for us, and for all of you. So Andrea, you wanna start just telling us what's new with you?
Andrea Chalupa: Yeah, no, I'm excited to finally talk to you. I've been dying to talk to you. This is exciting. So it's funny 'cause our podcasts are based on our phone calls, right? But we obviously have less swear words, less petty gossip, which is too bad for everyone. And we slow things down 'cause normally you know I speak in a shorthand, so what you're hearing in today's show is me really desperate to get ahold of Sarah and talk to her and catch up. This is as authentic as it gets in terms of listening in on our phone calls. So yeah, Sarah, I'm freaking out 'cause I've been away from America, breathing the air of a relative democracy and that is Germany. Which is struggling to of course keep the western alliance together but doing a phenomenal job I would say as we saw. Because we'll get into it later on in the show with the Munich security conference and Merkel just delivering a massive roast of the Trump regime, which was great, and Ivanka is in the audience acting all bitter about it. We'll get into all that. So I was in Germany for the Berlin Film Festival. It's a beautiful festival known for a lot of politically charged, artistically driven films. And the movie that I've been working on for a million years, 14 years and counting. I've been researching it, writing it, producing it, and it was finally had its world premiere, the opening weekend of the Berlinale as they say. It was a phenomenal weekend. I was so excited. I was so thrilled. I was on cloud nine the entire time, the movie is Mr. Jones directed by Agnieszka Holland, a three time academy award nominee filmmaker from Poland who grew up in Soviet occupied Poland. The story's deeply personal to her because she was the daughter of two journalists, and her father his official cause of death was suicide while under a police interrogation. He was killed of course, by the Soviet regime. And our story is based on a real life story of a young Welsh Journalist, Gareth Jones, who risks his career and his life to expose Stalin's Genocide Famine in Ukraine, at a time when everyone was looking to Stalin to save humankind. Because it's the time of the Great Depression and all that and the rise of Hitler. And so we tell this story of how though he's killed his work lives on in a book by his friend, George Orwell, and that's Animal Farm. So Animal Farm frames the story like this morbid fairy tale, and the reviews were super awesome. We're so excited. If you wanna read my favorite review, that's now my bedtime reading. Go look up Peter Bradshaw and the Guardian, as an audience goer, somebody that loves film, that goes sees movies myself of course, like we all do. Peter Bradshaw is one of those rare critics I've actually heard of as an audience member. So that was a huge thrill to actually recognize a critics name, and have him just write with such generous attention and to all the rich little details in the screenplay. He caught so much. I even asked our sales agents, I'm like, "How many times did Peter Bradshaw see the film? Because, he picked up on so much in the film." And so I was really moved by that. So I'm very, very excited, and I sort of lost my voice, so I have a cough drop that I'm snorting like cocaine throughout this entire recording. Sorry. Because I've lost my voice, and I'm overcoming like my 50th cold this year alone. But yeah. So that was my time enjoying Germany and that great air of democracy.
Sarah Kendzior: Yeah. Yeah. Sounds Nice.
Andrea Chalupa: What did I miss? Anything?
Sarah Kendzior: Oh yeah, yeah. We're under a national emergency.
Andrea Chalupa: Oh yeah. How's that going?
Sarah Kendzior: Which you know is very obvious if you're ... yeah not about climate change, not about a constitutional crisis, not about abuse and imprisonment of migrants.
Andrea Chalupa: Not about income inequality?
Sarah Kendzior: Not about the fact that Trump is a Russian asset. We are under a fake national emergency, a pre-scheduled national emergency. The fact that an aspiring autocrat can pre-schedule a national emergency is the actual national emergency. It is an excuse for Trump to consolidate and abuse executive power. Much as the shutdown was an excuse for him, and the GOP to consolidate power, gut federal programs, steal national resources, and yeah, I mean, people are freaked out. I spent all of last week with people saying in my mentions, what do we do? What do we do? Because apparently they've replaced everyone's congressperson as well as their mama. And you know, I don't mind that people are asking me what to do because I completely understand this sense of fear and desperation. It's a real sign of the times that anyone would resort to that or think that somehow I have the answer and withholding it from all of you for the last few years. Because what we're seeing again is an extension of a systemic breakdown of politics, of society and of the fact that people didn't act earlier. So I'll give you the rundown on what this national emergency means. It's the first national emergency to authorize the use of military actions since 911, and those two are the only national emergencies to ever authorize the US to use military force in its history. So think about what that means and what the Trump administration may be planning. In addition to authorizing the use of military force with the targets of the forest still unknown, Trump's unlawful order gives him powers any dictator would crave. He has access to over a 100 special provisions, including the ability to shut down electronic communications in the US basically using an internet kill switch. The ability to freeze Americans bank accounts for spurious reasons, and the ability to deploy troops inside the US to attack whatever he deems as unlawful protest, or unlawful civic activity. And there's no reason to think he's not gonna do these things. There's no end date for the national emergency because it's tied to his fantasy wall. At a press conference he said in a kind of sing song voice about where this is gonna go, that it's gonna go through the lower courts, which he has not yet sufficiently packed until it reaches the Supreme Court, which he did pack with Brett Kavanaugh, and people should go back and listen to our Kavanaugh episode where we warned everybody that this was going to happen. And you know that eventually Trump will have the permission for his wall. But as we've said many times in the show, the wall is not the point. The emergency is the point. The abuse of power is the point. And so this is the moment that we have dreaded, you and I talked about this I think in the January 9th show. About how this is the Reichstag fire kind of situation that we all saw coming back in 2016. This is why we worked so hard to warn people about encroaching autocracy. And, it's here. And one of the things you and I both know from having lived in or studied autocracies, is that life goes on. You know? It's not an overnight thing. Rights are chipped away, expectations erode, until you do find that moment, until you do reach that moment where masses of people are hurt or killed, or the rights that you have taken for granted are gone entirely. And this is a seminal point for this administration. So, yeah. Yeah. That's what's new.
Andrea Chalupa: Do you know what's so funny is, anytime I come back from being abroad, because I've had to travel a lot to Europe to make the film, I always come back almost like with a Hawaiian shirt on, like everything. And it's totally different energy. And you're like frantic and freaking out and grabbing me and I'm like hey relax, everything's gonna be okay.
Sarah Kendzior: Oh no. I'm jealous.
Andrea Chalupa: This is like our energy levels are a bit off in this episode. I'm like, can we talk about my film? What I wore at the premiere, what we ate? I mean, can't we just do a little bit of a rundown and you're like, "No." I even asked that before the show. Sarah's like, "This isn't about you." I was like, "But can't we just?" But no.
Sarah Kendzior: But you know, we all have to live with this shit though. I mean that's the thing.
Andrea Chalupa: I know. I don't wanna come home, and I'm physically in the United States, but my heart is with Angela Merkel, the mother to us all.
Sarah Kendzior: I mean, my heart's here and my heart is broken in half. And that's one of the things I think that is making people so full of anxiety and apprehension is that the future is so uncertain, and the only kind of certainty we have is that it's very bad, between encroaching autocracy and climate change, and the collusion of the two, it becomes hard to envision the future. And I encourage everyone to envision it anyway. You have to have something to fight for even if it's an ideal or aspiration, you shouldn't just shut down and give up.
Andrea Chalupa: Speaking of that though, I do wanna bring it back to my film because this blew me away and I think this is an important ... no, stop. This is legit.
Sarah Kendzior: This whole podcast today is about the show.
Andrea Chalupa: You need to relax. I'm gonna do you proud with this one, all right? With my Martini in hand, nope. So we had a press conference on the day of the premiere, and I was asked to speak in this press conference. And this is the last thing I wanted to do because as Sarah will tell you, I've been nonstop sick and just, there's been times we've recorded episodes of Gaslight Nation, my eyes have been closed throughout the entire thing and we even had to cancel her Christmas special because my voice just went away and then my body just shut me down. So I did not wanna do this press conference. I was totally expecting some Kremlin plant in the audience. Like 50% of time when I go speak somewhere these Kremlin plants, so I just get up and do ridiculous fun things and I'm like, "Oh, hey Kremlin how you doing?" from the podium. And so I just wanted to like relax and just eat free food. So I went to this press conference, it was me and the stars of the film, Peter Sarsgaard, loveliest human being alive, James Norton, second loveliest human being alive. And of course our fearless leader of Agnieszka Holland, the director. So I was confident that no one would pick on me for any questions. I was just gonna sit there like Baby in the corner, in Dirty Dancing, which was fine by me. But Agnieszka Holland, our director kept throwing me questions. So she would have receive a question and she's like, "I want Andrea to answer this." So I ended up talking, so that was fine. And what really moved me, what really moved me that I want everyone to be reminded of, of why this is so important is, the press conference itself for Mr. Jones, I encourage everyone to look it up. It's on our Facebook page because the entire hour discussion is like an episode of Gaslit Nation. We received the most intelligent questions from the audience. There wasn't unfortunately a single Kremlin plan in the audience, which I was surprised by. Because Germany does have a robust presence of Kremlin propaganda media sites like Ruptly. But some of our most inspiring, fascinating questions came from Russian journalists, independent Russian journalists, and of course there's a tinge of heartbreak to their questions as well. Like one Russian journalist asked Agnieszka Holland, our director, what she thought of the renaissance of Stalin inside Russia today. And Agnieszka answered that Stalin is making Russia great again because Agnieszka is hilarious. Yeah, but what my point is that shame on me for just expecting the worst of Russia, and to be in the audience that day. When in fact there was the best of Russia in the audience that day. And these Russian journalists went on to do a phenomenal, phenomenal segment on the film. And it just goes to show that even in Russia, which is experiencing one of the worst crises of income inequality in the world. Where children are getting dragged and arrested in anti-corruption marches, when you have mass murder, when you done not only of its neighbors, but over the years of journalists and opposition leaders, and you have a crisis of political prisoners just from the Ukraine crisis alone, you have around a 100 political prisoners inside Russia today, including a young teenager who was allegedly baited to go to Belarus and kidnapped in Belarus, and now he's fighting for his life with health issues inside a Russian prison and they refuse to release him. So this is a country that's a failed state under Putin. Anytime we point this out, we're accused of being Russophobic. Nobody's more Russophobic than Putin himself. And so here you have Russians fighting with whatever resources they have, with the independent press that they have, and they're giving voice to projects like ours because we're showing the side of the history that Putin is trying so desperately to whitewash. For instance, there was a historian of the Kremlin who uncovered a mass grave from the 1930s when the Kremlin was murdering it's best and brightest across the Soviet Union. And because this historian unearthed a mass grave, and he's an expert on Stalin's Great Terror, and there's monuments now going up to Stalin under Putin. This historian was hit with trumped up pedophilia charges, and was thrown into prison. So Russians themselves are struggling with trying to free their country's mind. Trying to free themselves and trying to reclaim their history. Reclaim the facts. And I was so heartened to meet these Russian journalists and to be reminded, again, that we can't be afraid of the Kremlin lurking around every corner when there's so many brave Russians out there who we'll come across who are gonna give us strength and help us keep going. And, that was certainly my experience in Berlin at the launch of this film.
Sarah Kendzior: Yeah, that actually it reminds me so much of, on the day of the national emergency declaration, which people were either ... they're either freaking out or they were in denial and they were saying things like, "Ooh, this is actually good for the Democrats. This means then in 20/20 when the Democratic president comes in, they can call national emergencies on all sorts of stuff." Ignoring that one, it's an abuse of power, and two the kind of president who calls a fake national emergency to abuse his power does not gracefully fold after free and fair elections. But the one account I kept turning to, who I felt like really got this is Garry Kasparov, because he's lived this. He lived at in Russia. And it is such a tragedy for him and for other dissidents from Russia and from other authoritarian states who came to the US in search of freedom and free expression, and all the opportunities that were denied, to have to live through this again. You know, there are people in the US for whom this is not the first time round. This is not a novelty. This is reliving a nightmare. And I feel sorry for them. I mean, I don't know. I don't wanna like rank who I feel sorry for, but I very much feel sorry for them. And before Trump came in, I worked as an expert witness in asylum cases for refugees from Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. So I helped people get sanctuary in this country. I don't do that now because I don't feel like they're safe here. Especially with things like the Muslim ban, the general attacks on immigrants and refugees. I don't feel like this is a safe place to come, which is an absolutely horrible thing to feel and say. But yeah people see it. These are our allies in this fight. They're all over the world. You see the rise of autocracy in western states that hadn't previously experienced it, and you see the strengthening of it, and states that have. You know, whether it's Russia or Turkey or Hungary. You know, the worst aspects of their past methods of rule have returned. And we as citizens who oppose this, and who want freedom and who want democracy and human rights, we're in this together, and so, yeah, I can very much relate to what you're saying there.
Andrea Chalupa: And I think it's heartbreaking to see history repeating, especially if you come from a family that came here escaping atrocities like in the former Soviet Union. And my family that escaped Ukraine during the hell of World War II for a better life in America. And it is heartbreaking as what anybody who has this authoritarianism shadow in their family, and thought that, that's all just history and history is over and progress has promised all of us now in this great modernity, this great bloom of modernity. But what we're seeing now is human nature, is human nature. And that's why history so easily repeats. And ultimately we have to understand that autocracy is not innovative. The only innovation they have is really in their weapons. It's much easier to spy on everybody now, in this whole surveillance ... it's not just the surveillance state, but the surveillance world that we live in. We have huge companies like Facebook that are practically the size ... like the financial size of countries that are acting above the law. And that brings us to Brexit where Facebook is under serious fire for its contribution to spreading the Kremlin and the American and British far right's fake news to drive the Brexit vote. So there's a lot that Facebook is being defiant over in terms of owning up to its responsibility to the public, to its customers on how it's contributing to the decline of democracy, and furthering the agendas of bad actors. So one big surprise we have for everybody on today's episode, we finally, finally had the big interview we've been excited to have for some time. We've just been meaning to schedule it and it's been difficult for obvious reasons. And that is the Carole Cadwalladr interview. She is of course the closest thing that the UK has to Robert Mueller. She's holding it down in the UK as an investigative journalist who reports regularly in the Guardian and the Observer. Carole was first in putting the pieces together on the propaganda social media company Cambridge Analytica, looking at how Robert Mercer essentially donated services of Cambridge Analytica for free to the Brexit campaign, and how that would be a violation of UK campaign finance laws. She's been hunting down all the money that's backed the Brexit vote, including the single greatest donor, the British financier, Arron Banks who was involved in all these shady business dealings with Russians and having various meetings and so forth. And so Carole has been on the forensics of the Kremlin and American and British backed right crime that is the Brexit vote, and she like Sarah and myself, she was called crazy, conspiracy theorist. I like to call her a crazy cat lady even though I met her and I met her dog. She actually has a dog. I don't know if she has a cat, but she has an adorable dog that likes to bark. So the dog and Carole and I, we sat in a pub for about an hour. I went to London for a day and saw her and we did an hour long discussion about how Brexit and Trump are the same crime. And it is mind blowing what she breaks down. And we're gonna run this. In the very next episode is gonna be our Brexit special, because there's a lot to go in to there. So it's gonna be a whole separate episode. But one thing I wanna say, as terrible as things are here in the United States, it's not nearly as bad as they are in the UK. And that is simply because at the very least, and Sarah and I will get into this, at the very least we do have the Mueller investigation, which is unearthing a lot of this, because right now it's on ... right now with the Brexit crime, the forensics that's on the shoulders of Carol, and a lot of other underpaid and overworked investigative journalists who are doing this at great risk to themselves, great financial risks where they could just be sued out of intimidate ... you know, intimidated with lawsuits. They're getting hit pieces from jealous petty colleagues in the media. You know, the infamous bitchy British media. It's not easy that, it's all on her shoulders. At least we have the Mueller investigation that is feeding leaks to the American press, putting all this stuff out there. Putting all these indictments and arrests out there. That is something, and that's a major something. They are jealous of us. You know, Carole was like, jealous of us, at least we have a Robert Mueller. So do not take that for granted, it as bad as things are here.
Sarah Kendzior: I mean, in many ways I would prefer if Carole took over this US investigation because at least I have faith in her efforts. I've grown frustrated with the Mueller probe mainly because of the way that it has treated various people in it. Just a very quick rundown of what's happened recently. Roger Stone was given a kind of gag order that's not a gag order. He's allowed to say anything he wanted to, except not in the court house, area. And of course immediately went online and threatened the judge. I went and I said, you know, you need to gag Roger Stone. You need to prevent him from speaking to anybody except for his lawyers. He needs to be under actual house arrest. I mean, if he was just like some kind of random poor criminal from the streets, there's absolutely no way he would be treated with this level of leniency. And this is a guy who's threatened a blood bath. He has threatened people in the past. He is blackmailed them. He has vowed vengeance. Like he is an obvious, obvious threat. Of course, no real gag order. Now the judge is threatened with an attack, and this mirrors all the mistakes that the Mueller probe has made. You know, back, I could think of so many examples with Rick Gates. They nearly let him out on spring vacation and announced where he was going. He immediately got death threats, which I had said don't do that. He's gonna get death threats and then it happened and then they had to rescind that. With Manafort, they believed he was cooperating when he obviously wasn't. They let him out too without GPS tracking and had to bring him back. They had to indict him for crimes he committed post indictment because he's a crime machine. He's not gonna stop committing crimes. I don't know how they don't know these things because these guys have been in the public domain committing crimes for 40 years. I don't know why they weren't arrested, but I definitely don't know why you can't just profile them and predict what their behavior is gonna be. You know, and there are all these people, who are like, "Ooh Mueller's giving them enough rope to hang themselves. It's all part of his master plan." I was like, "What plan?" You know, the plan where a sociopath has nukes, the plan where people get locked up at the Texas border and kids are stolen from their parents. The plan where courts are packed and our agencies are purged, and the very people who have the power to actually do something with the Mueller probe are removed from office. Like what an amazing plan. You know there's an account on Twitter that compared it to Ted Bundy, getting let out of jail and slaughtering more women. So then the prosecutors are like, "Oh yes, part of the plan so I could charge him with additional crimes." It's like these guys have been on a crime spree, a political crime spree for like, since I was born, I do not have a memory of the time before their crimes spree began, and now they actually own my country. So do something, at least with Carol, I'm like, "You actually care. You actually give a shit. You're not an institutionalist. You're not out to maybe protect agencies, which has made very damaging moves in the past." And what I'm saying, just to be very clear, I do not want the Mueller probe stopped. I want it to improve. I support the Mueller probe. I want it to be protected by Congress. It is essential that it continue, but it is also essential that it continue in a way that actually enforces accountability, that protects public safety, that protects national security and that leads to real results. Otherwise, all it has done is wasted our time, made people passive, made them compliant. You know, it's essentially created a messianic cult around Mueller. I do not think Mueller created this cult. He's been very quiet so that people have projected all of this onto him, and just like any kind of a cult, they've got a messiah, they got an end times date and they keep shifting that date when nothing happens. And that is what's happening anyway. Yeah. Yeah. This is what happens when Andrea and I don't talk for two weeks. It all comes out.
Andrea Chalupa: It comes out.
Sarah Kendzior: Comes out like that. The uncensored version. So, yeah, welcome to Gaslit Nation.
Andrea Chalupa: Welcome to our phone calls. I got Gaslit Nation's slash your phone calls. This is what it is.
Sarah Kendzior: This is what it is.
Andrea Chalupa: A lot of yelling. A lot of yelling. That's why I don't think they listen in on our phone calls. Because we're probably really obnoxious and angry and yeah, which I appreciate.
Sarah Kendzior: Yeah. Anyway yeah.
Andrea Chalupa: So I wanna say to your point, this entire stack of Garbage Pail Kids. This entire stack of Garbage Pail Kids should not have been allowed anywhere near the White House in the first place. So I have obviously a lot of respect for the FBI. I think that their jobs are incredibly stressful and dangerous, and there's one agent that I happened to run into and talk to have a very general conversation with. Their work depends on building trust in the community, which is ironic given their history with a lot of black communities especially. But Yanukovych stole an estimated anywhere from like 30 billion to $100 billion from Ukrainian taxpayers. He and his family and their cronies. Manafort was hand to the king of Yanukovych. Yanukovych was under investigation by the FBI. Yanukovych and Manafort were like inseparable essentially, politically speaking. And Tad Devine was up in that too, getting some of that blood money from Yanukovych for advising him. So when you have two advisors connected to Yanukovych, who's a puppet of the Kremlin, and they're both playing instrumental roles in the 2016 election, one is running the campaign of Donald Trump. The soon to be republican nominee, potential republican nominee, then becomes the republican nominee and the other one is the chief strategist for the Democratic candidate, Bernie Sanders, who's making massive waves that could create a big upset in the primary. So he has the chance of going to the White House. When you have two major players who made that Yanukovych blood money abroad in Ukraine, playing instrumental roles in 2016 election, and you have ongoing surge of bots and other fake news circulating. That's been circulating since 2013 where has the FBI had been all this time?
Sarah Kendzior: Yeah, I would like ... And if that is what is bothering me so much about Andrew McCabe. You know, in the very first episodes of Gaslit Nation, we talked about how Harry Reid, who was the Senate minority leader at the time, begged Comey in open public letters and begged the FBI to reveal to the public what they knew about Trump, and his illicit ties to Russia. And I do not think that Harry Reid meant, do it three years later and on a book tour. So, McCabe has this book out. It's very much Comey-esque. Comey and his famous book, A Higher Loyalty. And so this is yet another example of an FBI official who did not do his job of protecting the country from Trump in an organized criminal syndicate, now seeking to profit off of the very public, which he failed to protect. And so I'm not disputing the voracity of McCabe's claims, which include that Trump rules like a mob boss. It's like, "Yes, that that is what you should have been trying to stop." It certainly should have been something you noticed before he took office, or the idea of using the 25th amendment to get rid of him. I think that's completely justified. That's not my problem. My problem is that he did not act earlier, and not just him, but the entire FBI, particularly Comey. If they had acted earlier, maybe he wouldn't have gotten purged. Then there are other things that bother me about this book. You know, there are excerpts of it printed online. He's got this section where he talks about dealing with Trump and having it feel very much like a mafia scenario. He says, "In this moment, I felt the way I'd felt in 1998 in a case involving the Russian mafia, when I sent a man I'll call Big Felix in to meet with a Mafia boss named Dimitri Gufield. The same kind of thing was happening here, in the Oval Office." It's like, wow, you know, what might that be a reference to? Because in Trump's inner circle, one of his business associates was of course Felix Sater, a lifetime member of the Russian mafia who worked as an FBI informant. There is absolutely no way that Andrew McCabe would not know, first of all that Felix Sater exists because he was informing for the FBI, and that he was doing things like bringing the Trump children, Ivanka and Donald Jr. to Russia in 2006 where Ivanka literally sat in Putin's chair, like maybe that should be something you pay attention to. And so he has this little section in there referencing Big Felix, which just feels like this sick in joke. You know like these are people who have killed people. There is a body count from this. We are possibly losing our country because of this. And it's like a little joke to you. It's like a little joke that you didn't bother to do your job and that you couldn't act and that all of this was in the public domain, to the degree that people like me and Andrea and so many others, we're calling it out in real time. You have Hillary Clinton on a stage calling him a Putin puppet. You had Harry Reid begging you to tell the public what is actually happening before they go in and vote so that we have an informed citizenry, and you just don't give a shit. It's all about institutionalism. It's all about protecting yourself until you can be protected no more because Trump has fired you and, to be clear again, I think the firing of Comey was unjust. It was on completely baseless grounds, and it was because he was investigating Trump and Russia. McCabe was fired for the exact same reason. He should not have been fired. No one should be fired for that reason, because that is what happens in an autocratic state. It is unconstitutional. It is immoral, it is dangerous, but they should have seen it coming. It is very frustrating because at this point, so many people have been purged whether from the judiciary, from intelligence agencies, so many people who had the resources, the background, the years, and decades of experience to actually help remedy this situation are now gone. And in some cases, they really dug their own graves, and then are now trying to profit while regular people suffer, while federal workers still haven't gotten paid back from the shutdown. I mean it's unbelievable to me that they say they consider this not information to share, but information to sell. Like it's just grotesque.
Andrea Chalupa: Yup. I think that if you are any prominent figure from the FBI or the Justice Department that's now going to cash in on a book in this crisis, that's fine. That's absolutely your right, and you've been through so much and your family has been through so much, I don't think we know the full extent of the harassment people at that level go through, not even from the mafia tactics alone, but the rabid supporters of Trump. But I do think that given the lack of atonement from 2016 again, Ukraine called the FBI in, in 2014, early 2014 and said, "Please help us find the tens of billions of dollars that Yanukovych, and his cronies stole from Ukrainian taxpayers. The FBI was all over that, doing the forensics on that massive financial holocaust of Ukraine, committed by Yanukovych and his family and their cronies and Manafort was advising Yanukovych throughout this whole period when the FBI was investigating him. So was Tad Devine as we saw. And they're communicating with Kilimnik who Mueller's probe has come out and said is a GRU agent. So all of this was out ... the FBI knew that these same players that had committed a massive financial coup, essentially through association by being involved with Yanukovych, by advising him all of these years. Manafort essentially dressed him up, told him what to say to get elected. And then as soon as he elected, he flipped and turn it into a dictator. And that's why the people overthrew him. So the fact that the writing was so on the wall, and the FBI was just like you said, focused on Hillary and her emails under Comey's leadership and ignoring desperate, desperate pleas from Senator Harry Reid, that was spelling it all out for us as well, saying this is not normal. This is not normal. This is a danger to our country. If you're gonna write to the FBI like McCabe and others, write your books, collect the money that you deserve for all your hard work, and your service to our country through sharing your story, but then go meet with the communities that are now hardest hit from the decisions that your agency made for years in ignoring this rising threat coming into our country. And I think that's only fair. Like go meet with, for instance, trans-children who are under attack by this administration. Go meet with the children on the border who have been separated from their families. If you're not gonna atone for the mistakes you made, then at least atone through public service on the ground to the communities that are most vulnerable right now because of this Trump regime.
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Yeah. And on top of that this just came out today, like stop lying to the public about what happened. You know, there's an interview with McCabe today in the Atlantic. You know, he was asked by Natasha Bertrand, "How do you respond to the criticism over the Russia investigation being kept a secret from voters in 2016 even though the Clinton email investigation was not? Do you regret not disclosing more about what was known before the election?" And so, he says, "No, I see how kind of a headline level there seems to be a fundamental disparity there. I don't deny that, but you have to really get into the circumstances and the context of each investigation. The Clinton investigation was public before we even got it. The referral to the FBI was public, so we initiated our investigation and very quickly thereafter the attorney general and director Comey acknowledged it publicly. The whole world was kind of screaming for that conclusion. Really. As we got closer and closer to the election, the Russia investigation was very different, counter intelligence cases are investigations best pursued quietly, and especially in the lead up to the election, the idea we would have gone forward was something that we didn't know we had, I don't regret handling it the way that we did." I mean down, sorry. That is a clear lie. Like as I just said, Harry Reid wrote open letters to the FBI twice. He knew, they all knew about these elicit Russian ties, and he asked them to share the public, so that information was in the public domain and there was also a demand from the public. It's very interesting to me that McCabe does not recognize this public clamoring to know what was actually going on with Trump, and with Russia and with all of these elicit and criminal connections. It was talked about in the third presidential debate, there was a press conference where Trump asked Russia to get Hillary Clinton's emails and at that moment a lot of people thought, "Okay. You know, now the FBI has to do something or the Obama administration has do something." Like clearly there is something at hand, and the idea that he is putting out again this narrative that we didn't know this before, and that people like Manafort were just these enigmas to the FBI instead of subjects of previous criminal probes or that ... for example we talked about, I think at our third episode Mueller's famous speech about the iron triangles where he warned that a nexus of organized crime and corporate corruption and criminal actors, mobsters basically are going to be inserted into the highest level of government due to these new kinds of transnational alliances. This is literally what they were studying privately. It was also something that was spoken about publicly. It was in the public domain, and so he is not only lacking in regret, but just flat out lying and pushing that narrative yet again, it is gaslighting. It is the same kind of tactics that Trump uses. It's just a different side of the same coin, and it's shameful.
Andrea Chalupa: Without question. And the big takeaway of the FBI missing arguably one of the greatest crimes in certainly American history, is the important urgent reminder that foreign policy is now domestic policy. In the 21st century, there's absolutely no difference between foreign policy and domestic policy. It's all the same thing. So for instance, if you had a candidate like let's back to Brexit because this was an important reminder as well with our interview with Carole and on how Trump and Brexit are the same crime. The massive implosion of the Labour party right now in the UK, that's largely stemming from the fact that Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Labour, has been willfully impotent on Brexit. He was missing in action during the campaign to stop Brexit in the first place, and now despite this growing grassroots effort demanding a people's vote in the UK, all this huge outcry to stop Brexit because of all these horrible potential crimes and shadowy sources of financing from Russia and shadowy help from American oligarchs like know Mercer in the US that all drove this Brexit vote illegally, the people have been risen up and their organizing, they were saying, "How the hell are you going to allow something as destructive as Brexit, which is destroying our jobs?" More jobs are fleeing abroad to the rest of Europe. Amsterdam had to beef up its budget. The government had to beef up its budget just to handle the big influx of the banking sector coming in that was leaving London. You have people that had been employed by the same factory for decades who are now out of a job because of this Brexit disaster, and it gets worse and worse than that. If you go through lifesaving medications may not be delivered to the UK from Europe because there's no Brexit deal, if it's a no deal, Brexit. We might have to ground flights inside the UK because air traffic controllers won't have any sort of guidelines contract of how they're gonna work together if it's no deal Brexit. So the UK is headed off of a cliff because of this, and it was a close vote. There was no mandate there, and it was driven by an international crime syndicate essentially, driven by kleptocracy, driven by American and Russian oligarchs of the far right. And so you cannot, like Jeremy Corbyn, stand against corruption at home. Stand against kleptocracy at home. Stand against income inequality at home, and turn your back on fighting it and standing up against it abroad. So Jeremy Corbyn right now for instance, one of the biggest issues of why there's this massive exodus from Brexit, massive, seven MPs, seven MPs uniting together from the Labour Party, and said, "We've had enough, we can't do this." One of the reasons why they left is because Corbyn for a very long time now has been advised, his chief communications, his chief strategist guy is this trust fund kid name ... trust fund adult named, Seumas Milne who is the child of some big British figure from UK media. So he got his job as an associate editor at the Guardian which he held for a number of years through nepotism. And that nepotism can only do so much because he's only associate editor there. And he abused that position at the Guardian, abused Guardian readers by writing these columns. I kid you not defending Yanukovych in Ukraine, defending Assad in Syria, defending N. Maduro in Venezuela. He even went to Venezuela and did this whole glowing piece on Maduro, who was killing protesters, protesting his corruption, protesting widespread hunger. And he goes over there and whitewashes him, and tries to humanize this horrible tyrant. And so this is who's advising, Seumas Milne is who is in Corbyn's ear. Who's in the ear of leading a British political pundits, pushing this agenda that's not going to put a stop to Brexit. Why? Because Corbyn and Milne are pro-Brexit. They want to see a breakdown of this pesky western alliance, stands up to the Kremlin. Why? Because they just have this weird ... at least in Milne's case as Carole describes in our interview and as I've always observed as a longtime furious reader of Milne's, Kremlin propaganda pieces and the Guardian. There's this tendency on the left that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. And so if you're incredibly rightfully frustrated with the idiotic, murderous, needless, wasteful wars of the US, of course, Afghanistan and Iraq under George W. Bush and then our involvement in Yemen, which is absolutely immoral. If you're frustrated with the US you want a counter to the US to stand up to the US. To give the US a taste of its nastiness that breeds in the world with this horrible foreign policy that always comes back to bite us. And so the answer that the counter has been the Kremlin, never-mind the fact that the Kremlin itself is mass murdering, and keeps it's own people hostage through massive corruption and kleptocracy and murdering opposition leaders and journalists. Nevermind that. And so Milne is very much of that school, and that's why he carries water for the Kremlin in the Guardian. And that's why as the Iago in the ear of Corbyn's Othello, I'm probably fucking up that Shakespeare reference, but I don't care. I'd rather enjoy it. He's really dragged Corbyn down into being completely limp when it comes to trying to stop Brexit. And that's why you have this exodus of Labour MPs because they've had enough. That's extreme. This is what happened with this exodus is extreme. I haven't seen such a big movement like this since the days following the Brexit vote itself. Like this is ... the English especially are famously notoriously polite. And so for this to go down like this, that took a lot of courage, and the seven that left the Labour party, they're taking a lot of heat, a lot of flack for this. And so, as we always do on the show and we cover hotspots in the world, and the UK is very much a hot spot. We're gonna quote actual experts there on the ground who are covering this, and they're the ones that you should be following and paying attention to. So I'm gonna quote an article in the Guardian by Suzanne Moore and she writes, "Politics is broken, we all know that. We are completely stuck. The two-party system strangles any innovation at birth. It has calcified in the last few years into total crisis. Representative democracy is not working in any meaningful way. We sit agog as deals are done, bungs offered and amendments made. Both main parties are in hock to their extremists and to unelected advisors, from Lynton Crosby to Seumas Milne. Those who can watch a heavily pregnant Jewish woman saying that she has been bullied out of the Labour party, that this party is institutionally racist, and think nothing of it, all while she is being abused right now on social media need to take a long, hard look themselves. Don't bleat on about the moral integrity of some future socialism when this is what's happening now. Antisemitism and the leadership's position on Russia and Venezuela are not uppermost on the doorstep. Not even Brexit is. It's housing, jobs and hospitals, all of which are good reason to want a Labour government. But at what price? Sometimes you have to ask who your fellow travelers are, and what they are asking you to go along with. We can all spout on about ending neoliberalism. It's harder to understand how Labour might end the barrage of abuse its women and Jewish MPs face." So what we're looking at here is the ends justify the means for the progressive's. You can be as nasty as you wanna be. You can attack whoever you wanna be, because you're doing it all in the name of fighting income inequality. You can push Kremlin talking points. You could amplify Kremlin propaganda, as some progressive's even in the US have done, as congresswoman Omar did as we covered in a recent episode. You can do all those things in the name of greater equality of environmental justice, all those great things that we all desperately need right now in the world. But what we always say on this show, hell fucking no you can't align yourself with anybody who's part of a mass murdering regime or paid to spread propaganda by a mass murdering regime. Kleptocracy here at home is kleptocracy everywhere. You have to fight the battle on your own turf, and the battle on your own turf is global now because we live in the 21st century. These guys like Deripaska. Deripaska himself gets his golden handcuffs, his money all over British MPs on the conservative side especially, which is making it very difficult to stop Brexit right now. They're much deeper in the Russian oligarch golden handcuffs, and we are much, much more far gone. Our golden handcuffs have just started here relative compared to the UK. In the 21st century, foreign policy, is domestic policy. It's great if a candidate wants to fight income inequality, but where does that candidate stand on holding kleptocrats accountable with sanctions for instance with the Magnitsky Act. That's a vote that Bernie voted against that. Twice he voted against sanctioning Russian oligarchs for their kleptocracy, and then he skipped the third vote to hold Deripaska accountable, and he's trying to convince us that he's gonna fight against kleptocracy here at home when he can't even stand up to some of the most abysmal cases in Russia? Values are values. Kleptocracy anywhere is kleptocracy everywhere. This is the 21st century now. People have to get with it. The isolation is left. They remind me of people that still exists in the world today, who own a Blockbuster Video franchise. That's your foreign policy equivalent right there, is Blockbuster Video. I mean, you don't belong anymore in the 21st century. You're not paying attention to what the threats are and what's happening.
Sarah Kendzior: Yeah. And honestly, like the thing that gets to me the most about how they behave, is just the total lack of empathy. The lack of compassion and the lack of a realization that this affects ordinary people. You know, first of all, like as you said, kleptocracy in the US is the same as kleptocracy abroad. They are a transnational alliance that's also hooked up with organized crime. And so you've seen things like intense income inequality, in a stratification where elites hoard opportunities, they hoard resources, they hoard money and they also hoard accountability. You know, one of the things that's been most frustrating about the UK is that they have never stood up to Russia for about 13 years. Like when Litvinenko was poisoned in the UK in 2006, they basically did nothing. And then Russia went on with their other poisonings and mysterious deaths. And one of the most notable cases of course is last year when they attempted to poison Sergei Skripal with Novichok. But he wasn't the victim. He didn't die. The person who died was a 44 year old woman named Dawn Sturgess who was just a passer-by, like a completely innocent person in this disgusting Mafia war. And you know her parents, you know I'm looking at an article in the independent, it says, "Stan and Caroline Sturgess said the British authorities had still not given them all the facts in the case. They voiced their fears there could still be Novichok in Wiltshire as yet undiscovered by investigators" And then they tell, I guess they're telling the Guardian, the Independent is supporting it. Mr Sturgess says, "If they had targeted Dawn specifically it would be different. I just want justice from our own government. What are they hiding? I don't think they've given us all the facts. If anyone, I blame the government for putting Skripal in Salisbury." And so you see just this loss and this tremendous sense of grief and panic and fear. You know, this is a couple that has lost their child to the actions of a hostile state. They carried out a poisoning on UK soil, and they are turning to the government for information, and for protection and they're not finding it. And it is just mind boggling to me that these actions take place in the open, and agencies that have the capacity to stop them apparently aren't. And I don't know if there's maybe external threats, like as we've talked about many times on this show. Russia has attacked Ukraine used it as basically a testing ground for operations. One of the things they did was shut down the grid, shut down critical infrastructure. We know that Russia has the capacity to do that in the US and very likely in the UK. So maybe they're held back. But the worst thing that they can do is have a lack of transparency, is to not give citizens information they need to be safe, and to not take a moral stand. And so people on any side when they're dealing with Brexit, they need to think about the victims of this which includes Dawn Sturgess. It includes random people who are getting killed, who are losing their jobs, who are being threatened, who are living with intense instability, intense hardship. Like that is who should always be first and foremost. That's why kleptocracy is a danger. This is not like a little game of risk. This is not about winners and losers. We know who is losing here. And it is everyday people. It is families, they're losing their rights, they're losing their futures. And that's something people have to take seriously and fight for, and put aside this pettiness and this elitism and this utter disregard for the sanctity of human life. I mean, I see it here in the US too. It's transnational in that respect as well. And grotesque, and it needs to stop.
Andrea Chalupa: Yeah, you're definitely bringing me back down to earth, and welcoming me back to America in the most fantastic way.
Sarah Kendzior: Welcome back Andrea.
Andrea Chalupa: I'm like, "Oh man." I feel like the gravity of this place totally taking hold now. Because, I wanna share this. I remember when George W. Bush did his totally based on lies with the mainstream media in lockstep including the New York Times, of course, before the invasion of Iraq, which unleashed the apocalypse and gave birth to ISIS, and we're still dealing with the aftermath of course to this day. And I remember at the very start of that when Bush was gonna go into Iraq I had this horrible sense that this is the beginning of the end. This is Pandora's box. And not only that, the war's also not only gonna unleash all this destruction on the planet, but also create a distraction for the Bush regime to pass a all these horrible domestic policies, which they did of course. And now today I have the same sinking feeling, that here in the US, we're not at the end of anything. We're at the start of something, and I look at the UK, and I see how bad it is there. It's just a given that you have Tories, that are just bought and paid for by Russian oligarchs. The capital is a wash with Russian oligarch money. The golden handcuffs are wrapped around the UK, which made Brexit possible in the first place and seemingly impossible to stop now even though it's total self destruction. And so I fear that, that's a preview of where we're headed if we don't hold our own traders accountable. And if we don't elect public officials across the board who understand that in the 21st century foreign policy is domestic policy, and that isolationism just simply does not work. You cannot do it when the oligarchs summer together. When the oligarchs yacht together. When the oligarchs ski together. When the oligarchs are aligned, and share the same interests in terms of pushing this far right agenda that holds the rest of us hostage, in the trap of income inequality. So I feel like here in America, if you wanna see where we could possibly be headed, if more people from this Mueller probe don't end up in prison, that more politicians inside Congress that aided this crime, aren't voted out like Mitch McConnell, we're gonna end up like the UK, where it's gonna be business as usual that you have Republicans bought and paid for by Russian oligarchs. For us naive little Americans, that was a huge revelation, that all this Russian dirty money was being funneled around on the Republican side, not so in the UK. Where I wouldn't say it's essentially become normalized, and it's people like Carole and other investigative journalists started screaming out against this, refusing to normalize it. And so the other fear is we are suffering because of corporate greed, and the digital disruption and it's some really particularly destructive hedge funds where you have newsrooms disappearing. And Sarah and I talk about this a lot. Journalists love to practice journalism. We love to write about interesting topics. Some of us go into think tanks, because we can't get journalism jobs. Or we wanna go into think tanks. What's stopping that Russian money from coming here, and setting up all these think tanks, these media companies and employing all these laid off journalists more and more and more that we're seeing more of these guys let go. Incredible talent that's being wasted. The journalists at Buzzfeed just lost, should stay practicing journalism. We need them to. Our watchdog is shrinking because of corporate greed. But the big fear is you're gonna see more of these Kremlin funded operations being set up in the US to further confuse and divide people and to further amplify and launch media stars and media provocateurs and twist and manipulate the discussion that way. And we're gonna be living with this for decades to come. So I want everybody to take a deep breath and understand that where we are now in this period of time, there is no finish line. We're at the start of a major scary shift where the kleptocrats have successfully peeled away some major players of the western alliance, including the United States, as we saw in the Munich security conference. Where you had Donald Trump's precocious child, Ivanka Trump representing the US at the largest international security conference in the world, bringing together world leaders and defense heads. And here we have like a nepotistic spoiled, zero earned credentials sitting in the audience challenging through her mean girl glare, the leader of the free world, Angela Merkel who was calling out this corruption and kleptocracy in foreign policy being driven by the US right now and how irresponsible and destructive and dangerous it is in the US. And Ivanka Trump, like some mean girl in a Tina Fey script is just glaring at her, making us all look like idiots by representing us. The fact that you could have Ivanka Trump there in the audience trying to act like on the same level of Angela Merkel, there's no end in sight to this. Like Ivanka can stay in politics as long as she pleases because she has the money, she has the political influence. She's aligned herself with kleptocratic regimes who are giving her trademarks like China, abusive authoritarian regimes like China. So I just want people to brace themselves that we're in for a much larger struggle because what we're talking about in the show all the time are, these are the new challenges of 21st century that America's playing serious catch up on.
Sarah Kendzior: Yeah, no, exactly. And I have a news item that speaks to your point that happened as well while you were gone. Which is that William Barr became the attorney general and we had warned in the past that this was a disastrous choice. Trump from the time he's gotten an office has basically been in the position of a criminal who can select his own prosecutors and delay his own trial and the appointment of Barr as attorney general is an example of that. He's a Trump lackey. He has already criticized the Mueller probe. He's now trying to backtrack that. But there's no reason we should believe it. He has in the past called instead for an investigation of Hillary Clinton, and he is part of this GOP Iran-Contra circle that has reemerged. Barr was who pardoned criminals during the Iran-Contra affair in the 1980s and he like Elliot Abrams, a war criminal who has now been dispatched to Venezuela and Oliver North, another convicted felon who is now heading the Russia infiltrated NRA, they are part of this group. You know, another subset of this group of course is Stone and Manafort, these Roy Cohn proteges that have known Trump since the early 1980s. And these little circles overlap. They're very insular. They're very powerful. And they have been basically unaccountable to institutional scrutiny for whatever reasons for decades. But then we have another problem, which is, as you mentioned of nepotism, and we've done previous episodes about the galling amount of nepotism in this government. I mean, there should be none. It is an ethics violation. It is against the law. But you see all these dynamics, whether it's McConnell and Chao. Whether it's Kushner and Ivanka. You know, whether it's sort of Republican progeny like Sarah Huckabee Sanders. It's not just like, "Oh, I think I'll get my son and daughter this cool job." In Kleptocracies, which this undoubtedly is, the installation of children and spouses in government roles, serves as a means of executive control and ways to streamline criminal activity. For example, money laundering, or abuses of executive power to enhance personal wealth. And also to abet outside criminal actors that work in tandem with corrupt state officials. For example, people in the treasury who are cutting Oleg Deripaska and other criminal band oligarchs some slack. This is very advantageous for Trump to have family members in the government. They can be controlled through his usual methods, which include blackmail, bribes and threats. And so now we have not only William Barr in office, but we have his son-in-law, Tyler McGaughey, who will be working directly with Trump advising him on legal issues that intersect with the Trump-Russia investigation. So this is a massive, massive conflict of interest, just as Barr himself is a massive conflict of interest, but no one is there to stop it, because Trump, and his little band of goons are the people who decide what's a conflict of interest. And that's been true from the start. Meanwhile, Barr's daughter, Mary Daly is going to be working in the US treasury, which as we have mentioned since an explosive Buzzfeed article that landed back in December of last year, the Treasury was infiltrated by Russia in 2015. It has essentially been controlled or manipulated by Russia, unimpeded for four years, and Daly is going to be working in the financial crimes enforcement network, the very division that failed to catch criminal infiltrators and in fact abetted them. The only thing they've really done is lock up the whistleblower who came forward with this information and terrify other treasury workers trying to do their patriotic duty from speaking out about it. And I'm still amazed that this story came out, and that this is not like headlining the news. I mean, not only every day, I don't think I've seen it like on television at all. Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier were the authors of that extremely explosive story. They've gotten very little press for it. What did happen of course as we've discussed, is that they were targeted both by their alleged colleagues in the mainstream media for a different story about Michael Cohen and also called out by the special counsel, and I'm sorry, but this treasury shit, like this is one of the most explosive allegations I have seen in the years that I've been studying this. The idea that Russia has a hold of our treasury, that they are working in tandem, that it happened at the tail end of the Obama administration and that they did nothing. FBI did nothing. Other UN agencies did nothing. And of course Trump's not gonna do nothing, he's gonna exploit the situation for maximum benefit, because he is a Russian asset. I mean it's so disastrous and Barr's just one more step, and it seems like they have this unlimited supply of assholes like these relics from Iran-Contra, from Watergate, from the financial crisis, from the elicit wars in Iraq. You know, they all just come back. It's like Celebrity Apprentice of corrupt government officials with Trump once again at the helm of this reality show, which is an endless nightmare rerun for America.
Andrea Chalupa: Best welcome back party ever. Yeah, no and I think we sound like broken records, because we're trying to slow down the news and to remind people, for instance, do you remember just around Christmas time when Buzzfeed unleashed that huge expose saying that there was treason in the treasury, and the patriot whistleblower who tried to warn us did everything to navigate the system to alert people that this was happening and yet she ended up in prison. So yeah. So, if we sound like broken records is because none of this is normal, and we're trying to continually point at all these horrible stories that could easily get swept under, and forgotten about, and just ground people in what we think are some really, really key issues, key stories and not allow them to be forgotten.
Sarah Kendzior: Yeah. I mean better a broken record than a broken country. You know, that is what we are trying to prevent, and it is very frustrating. I think the fact that the 2020 election season has started two years in advance, so now what leads the headlines is like, Kamala Harris used hot sauce and Kirsten Gillibrand ate chicken weird much like Trump, although Trump was praised for it. I mean, you know this nonsense shit. Like there is a serious crisis. I mean there is a actual national emergency in the sense of a constitutional crisis, not in the sense of Trump's bullshit autocratic move. And I know everyone has their coping mechanisms. They have normalcy bias. They assume that if it really is as bad as what we're saying, someone will come in, and intervene. And I think that's been one of the most dangerous assumptions all along. You know, it was what happened in 2016. They were like, "Oh, if it's serious, Obama will make a statement," or, "The FBI will arrest people, "or, "The intelligence agencies will retaliate in some kind." You know, they'll do something back to Russia to show that we understand this is a serious criminal offense and you're not going to be allowed to get away with actions like this in the future. And instead, nothing. I mean, it's interesting to me that ... you know, you talked very accurately about US imperial overreach, which is the whole story of US foreign policy, whether in Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Latin America. You know, we have always overreacted, or invented slights as a justification, a fake justification for issuing violence, for going to war. But when we're actually attacked in the most insidious way, from within on so many levels, our elections, our finances, our power grid, we do nothing. When the UK similarly is attacked, leading to the death of a UK citizen killed on UK soil. Again, nothing, just petty-
Andrea Chalupa: Several on UK soil over the years.
Sarah Kendzior: Yes, yes. Just pettiness and bullshit. And no real hard moral stance against this, very little clarity about what's going on. We see it, like we see these stories like Andrea, and I are not like just making shit up or putting out predictions like we are responding to the information that's in the public domain. It's just severely underplayed because people would prefer to talk about things that remind them of, the before times the long, long ago, before 2016. You know, they'd love to believe that we're having fair and free elections in 2020, and that we can just have insipid squabbles about the various candidates instead of looking at structural problems like either voter suppression, or Russian or other foreign interference again, or I think the very likely possibility that Trump will simply not concede. Some people think that he is gearing up to just not have elections. I actually would be surprised by that because dictatorships don't need to do that. You know, they love to have elections. It's performed fake legitimacy. You know, they'll win with 95% of the vote to show everyone that they're the people's favorite, and the people love them so, it's really hard for me to think that Trump would give up that opportunity, and especially just get off on gas lighting the public as he always does. So I do think we'll have elections. I don't think there'll be free and fair, and I think people are having a terrible time coming to grips with that reality because they're looking for mechanisms that will enforce accountability. They look to the Mueller probe, that clearly is deeply flawed, and at the least is not working at the speed that is necessary. It's not responding to the urgency of the time. And then they look to elections thinking, "Okay, someone else will get in, and then we'll try to steer this ship around." And you know, two things. One, we're already left with incredible permanent damage to our national security. We have a Russian asset in the White House. He is backed by an organized crime syndicate. They have been giving out and selling classified information, state secrets and other very delicate yet powerful things to hostile foreign actors for years. We are not going to recover from this easily, and they are also not just going to pick up and say, "Okay cool. You won, we're done. Let's go back to it." I think if Trump had lost in 2016 if that were possible, he would have immediately contested the election. I think there would have been the blood bath that Roger Stone had promised. Hillary Clinton probably would be the one being impeached by a GOP senate, in a packed Supreme Court. That is the kind of thing that would happen because the issue is so beyond Trump. It is beyond one person. It's beyond one country and folks, they need to deal with it up front. Like as scary and depressing as it is. And believe me, we feel it too. The only anecdote here is to get information out there because transparency is the road to accountability. If people don't know what's going on, they're not going to be able to fight it. They're not going to know to put out as much pressure to fight it, because they assume someone else is taking care of it and they're not. And that's why you should call on your representatives for impeachment hearings, which I don't think will actually result in a conviction or removal of Trump. But will get this vital information to the public on a national level. They need to like OJ trial the shit out of that. They need to make it accessible and visible constantly to the American public because us and our little podcast and you know the other journalists who are trying in good faith to bring this information out there, it's not enough. There needs to be strong institutional force, and the public is owed this. It is, it's right. It is your right to know this. Don't put your faith in a savior, like take matters into your hands in terms of discerning what's going on and then deciding what you as a citizen can do about it.
Andrea Chalupa: A trillion percent. And we are the leaders that we've been waiting for. It starts with us and we just stay organized. We pick our candidates smartly, and again in 2020, the next big election year, Congress and in the presidential race, the number one rule is we have to accept the challenges finally of the 21st century because we're here because too many institutions just were not ready for right now this moment, but now we are because we've been hit by it very hard. And so again, everything Sarah said, plus in the 21st century foreign policy is domestic policy. Kleptocracy anywhere is kleptocracy everywhere. The oligarchs regardless of country of origin, they're all aligned. They share the same interests as the keep the rest of us down. So that's why we have to work and be smart and stop them no matter where they are.
Sarah Kendzior: Gaslit Nation is produced by Andrea Chalupa and Sarah Kendzior. If you like what we do, leave us a review on iTunes. It helps us reach more listeners, and check out our Patreon, it helps keep us going. Our editor for this was Karlyn Daigle. Original music in Gaslit Nation is produced by David Whitehead, Martin Wissenberg, Nick Farr, Demian Arriaga, and Karlyn Daigle. Our phenomenal logo was designed by the genius that is Hamish Smyth at the New York based design firm Porter, thank you so much Hamish. Gaslit Nation would like to thank our supporters at the producer level on Patreon, Page Harrington, AW Nicholson, David Porter, Dominique Degraff, Georgia Ann Colette, Jared Lombardo, Jason Bainbridge, Jody Dewitt, Johanna Markson, John, John Ripley, Kate Cotton, Kevin Garnett, Lorraine Todd, Terry Brady, Andrea Ciannavei, Anjali Khosla, Ann Marshall, Michael Balen, Catherine Anderson Carina, Kathy Kavanaugh, Erina Guardia, Ethan Man, Janet Cox, Jason Rita, Jennifer Slavic, John Dembro, John Keane, Joy Christine, Kevin Christie, Kim Mellon, Lawrence Gram, Luke Stratton, Flynn Sanchez, Margaret Mo, Matthew Coplin, Mike Tripico, Rhonda White, Rich, Sonia Bogdanovic, Stephanie Fulps. Thank you all so much. We could not make the show without you.