Brexit and Trump are the Same Crime: The Carole Cadwalladr Interview

We are thrilled to welcome Carole Cadwalladr to Gaslit Nation. Carole is an investigative journalist who breaks major stories on the Kremlin and Mercer-backed Brexit vote, revealing a cast of nefarious characters that were also behind the election of Donald Trump. Her brave reporting, which won her the Orwell Prize and makes her a target of hit pieces, has uncovered the growing vulnerability of elections in a time of kleptocracy. 

Sarah: 00:10 I'm Sarah Kendzior. I'm a journalist and the author of the book The View From Flyover Country.

Andrea: 00:15 I'm Andrea Chalupa a journalist filmmaker activist and the screenwriter and producer of the upcoming journalistic thriller, Mr. Jones, starring James Norton, Peter Sarsgaard and Vanessa Kirby. Welcome to the Gaslit Nation Brexit special. Today we have a very dear guest that our listeners have asked us for a while now to bring on this show and that is Carole Cadwalladr, an independent journalist who broke several major stories looking at the corporate fascist and international crime syndicate that illegally drove the very close Brexit vote. Carol was early in uncovering the illicit dealings behind Brexit and has paid the price for it. She has been attacked by ridiculous hit pieces calling her a conspiracy theorist, but ultimately she won the Orwell prize for her brave reporting and has been vindicated, which is of course no consolation to her because the UK leadership is doing nothing to stop Brexit, which continues to drive the UK economy off a cliff.

Andrea: 01:15 There's an exodus of jobs going to the EU, a decline in the value of the pound and widespread anxiety and instability that's growing. Should there be a no deal Brexit giving them the British government is in a stalemate over finalizing any sort of deal with the EU. We discussed the June, 2016 Brexit vote and the far right violence and propaganda surrounding it, in our very first three episodes looking at the 2016 US election, like a crime scene. That included a discussion of the murder of British MP Jo Cox, driven by fake news, hate news, hysteria. The same we've seen in the U.S. under Trump, which has also led to violence and murders. Brexit is only a recommendation by the voters. The referendum is not legally binding, but apparently too many people in positions of power and those politically influencing them can cash in on it or furthers their ideology on the right.

Andrea: 02:09 That ideology is Britain first and on the left, that's isolationism that ends up serving the Kremlin's interest. Brexit and Trump mean less watchdogs in the world to hold the Kremlin's aggression and funding of Europe's far right accountable. A divided and crumbling western alliance is what the Kremlin wants and works hard to achieve. So in today's discussion with Carol recorded in a pub in London, when I happened to be in town for my film, Mr. Jones, which had just premiered at the Berlin film festival, I joined Carol and her adorable dog and we sat and talked in a pub about the nefarious cast of characters behind Brexit, which she has worked very hard under great personal risk to expose. They include British insurance business man Arron Banks, the single largest donor in British history of any political campaign. That's over 8 million pounds to the Brexit campaign that he donated.

Andrea: 03:06 It's since been discovered that Banks had several meetings with Kremlin officials and a Russian oligarch and discussions included lucrative business deals like investing in Russian gold mines. You'll also hear about the UK based militarized propaganda firm Cambridge Analytica founded by American oligarch, Robert Mercer and Steve Bannon. For the 2016 election, Jared Kushner brought Cambridge Analytica into the Trump campaign. It relied on harvesting private Facebook data unknowingly from users. The chief executive Alexander Nix allegedly reached out to Julian Assange in the hopes of obtaining Hillary Clinton's emails who Cambridge Analytica is under investigation of both the US and UK. Facebook itself is under fire for Brexit like it is in the US for dark money, political ads, and failing to protect users' privacy. One big takeaway from my interview with Carol is that no matter how messed up things are in America, at least we have a Robert Mueller bringing to light a sweeping investigation into a transnational crime syndicate and its corporate enablers like Facebook.

Andrea: 04:09 Carol is the closest thing that UK has to Robert Mueller, which isn't right or fair. British leaders clearly are betraying the people they were elected to protect by allowing the Brexit destruction to move forward, even though it's not a binding vote and a great deal of illegality has already been discovered, driven in part by the Kremlin, a hostile regime that has killed several people on British soil. We hope the British people stay strong and continue to demand a people's vote. A second referendum on Brexit. And if your leaders refuse to protect you against transnational corruption that threatens your sovereignty, then replace them, run for office, and replace them as many are doing here in the US. As Carol always says, Brexit and Trump are the same crime. We must stop corruption, hold it accountable or it only gets worse. And Kleptocracy thrives. Sarah, do you have anything to add?

Sarah: 04:58 Yeah, well, you know, as you were saying, Brexit and the Trump campaign are the same crime. And you know, I saw Carol speak in the UK. I was a speaker at the byline festival and she was there along with Luke Harding. And you know who, of course he's a journalist. He was one of the first to also cover the Trump Russia crimes. He's been covering Russia for a very long time. And you know, there's this enormous sense of frustration from both of them as they were trying to get this point across. This is not just a shared crime in terms of the goals they wanted to accomplish or shared ideology. It is literally the same people, you know, working in a transnational alliance for two similar goals that took place. You know, in the same year. Like if you look back at 2016, you know, you see a number of incidences of world collapse, you know, you have Brexit, you have the 2016 US election, you have the coup in Turkey, and then just sort of this sense, this collective sense of alliances shifting.

Sarah: 05:59 And I think, you know, a lot of people chalked it up to like systemic change, you know, afterwards for both Brexit and the US it was all about economic anxiety and you know, people have had enough. And I think there's some truth in that obviously because you know, the economy has been in tatters for the last at least 10 years, uh, as you know, from the recession. But there really were, you know, people pulling strings. There really was a transnational criminal enterprise that was attempting to both, you know, avoid the law and avoid being stopped by occupying positions of power and law and also attempting to build a kleptocracy that, you know, abused social media, that shared white nationalists ties. And, and it's, it's frightening. It's uh extremely frightening that we don't have a traditional ally in the UK and that they do not have a corollary to Mueller, to any kind of investigative body at all. You know, as you said, um, you know, and as Carol says, it's, it's Carol, you know, and a few others who have her back.

Carole: 07:02 Ah.

Andrea: 07:03 How's it going?

Carole: 07:05 Um, I don't know. It's depressing.

Andrea: 07:08 Isn't it though?

Carole: 07:09 It is depressing. It's very depressing, here in Britain because, um, you've got all these investigators and all these journalists and all sorts of things happening. We've got nothing.

Andrea: 07:21 Well, the country has you,

Carole: 07:24 I don't think that's really equivalent to an entire department of the FBI, but it's very kind of you.

Andrea: 07:29 So I describe you the closest thing that UK has to Robert Mueller.

Carole: 07:34 Well that's very kind. But if that is the case, then that is really, really, really depressing.

Andrea: 07:39 I know that's how Sarah and I felt in the very early weeks of 2016 when no one's seemed to be doing anything.

Carole: 07:45 Yeah. Yeah. It's really interesting that because we were in the same position really in Britain and America, but you know, but then it all geared up and started happening in the States and it hasn't in Britain. And um, so it's really striking how much worse, our total kind of capture of so many institutions in Britain by Russian money thinks that that's the thing, which becomes really evident.

Andrea: 08:07 Or what do you mean by that exactly?

Carole: 08:09 Well, Bill Browder gave, you know, who's the, uh Anglo American businessman. He's been campaigning for Magnitsky Act gave evidence in parliament yesterday for example. And you know, he pointed the finger at, he didn't name them, but a whole load of different lords. He named one actually, so people who sit in parliaments as lawmakers but who are being paid by Russian oligarchs refusing to answer questions about what they do for them. So one example is this guy called Lord Barker who works for Deripaska, he's his chairman of the En+ group and he's refused to answer questions about, you know, what he does for Deripaska and that's just like one example, there's actually multiple ones. And I like, I was doing this sort of Twitter thread last night and it's just sort of like you just scratched the surface and you discover like massive payments from, we were looking at this person who's very closely associated to Dimitrio Firtash who the FBI describes as a Russian mobster. This person is very closely associated with them, who's given like loads of money to the Conservative Party, and one of the ministers is in the foreign office at the moment. So it's like when you think about the fact that there is nothing happening here, there is nothing being investigated. You see that chain, you know the trail of money. And you say, well that sort of explains it.

Andrea: 09:32 We have that going on obviously in the US and all the darker money going around on the GOP side. And that's also the same sort of golden handcuffs formula that worked in Ukraine and keeping politicians in the Kremlin's pocket. It's just the same playbook.

Carole: 09:45 That's right. But I think what is different is in the United States, your infrastructure, your kind of constitution and the sorts of, you know, the legal institutions that you have, have proved to be sort of robust and strong and to be at least trying to get answers. Whereas in Britain it feels much more like state capture and which sort of sounds dramatic, but when you look at the fact that you know, we have revealed all these problems, these illegalities that happened in the referendum. We know that there was sort of both domestic subversion of the vote and potentially foreign subversion. None of that is being taken remotely seriously. And we just have politicians on our news programs every single day talking about the will of the people and a kind of counter narrative of well the will of what people is just not being heard.

Andrea: 10:45 Right. And the Brexit vote was so incredibly close. So it's not like there's any mandate there by any means.

Carole: 10:51 Well it's 600,000 people. I think that's what I think that's what it comes down to. So one of the chief strategists of it, they found extra voters. That's what they did in Brexit particularly. It was one of the things they turned out people who don't normally vote. Yes there's a tiny, tiny, tiny sliver of people who, you know, we know that in the last days of the campaign this fire hose of disinformation was bombarded at them. And one of the things we've been trying to do here, which this parliamentary committee led by Damian Collins has been really good about trying to do is to get answers from Facebook about who that was targeted at. You know, what did they see? And we haven't yet got those answers and in Britain, we really, really tightly control our electoral finances. And Facebook knows how much was overspent by whom, who was targeted. It has all of those answers and it's refused to give them to us. I love your facial expressions.

Andrea: 11:49 Too bad it's not a video podcast.

Carole: 11:51 It's really annoying because I was hoping to talk to you about stuff and I'd forgotten that actually that was what you wanted to do was to come and talk to me. It's like damn it, I thought you were gonna tell me stuff

Andrea: 12:02 Next time we'll switch off. We'll have like a friendship through podcasting because you have a great podcast, for Mueller.

Carole: 12:10 We really, we really need to do another episode. It's just that things are like so little resource. So, um, anyway, we might try and do one this weekend I think. Yeah.

Andrea: 12:19 So you have said that Brexit and Trump are the same crime. In what ways are they the same crime?

Carole: 12:25 Well, it's just that we see the same companies working in both and the same individuals and the same dodgy data. And there's very clearly these transatlantic links and we know that the campaigns learn from each other and use similar techniques. And we know that the source of, you know, one of the key strategists behind it, Steve Bannon, the chief strategist for Trump and very, you know, a very good friend of Nigel Farage who was the vice president of Cambridge Analytica, which you know, worked for the Trump campaign. And although it's still contested, worked for the Brexit campaign. And you know, we know his aims, you know, globalists. And he very deliberately courted the far right in Britain. And as he's now courting the far right across Europe. I mean this is a sort of deliberate project.

Andrea: 13:21 And also you have Mercer money in the form of donating Cambridge Analytica has helped to Brexit.

Carole: 13:27 Yeah, exactly. And that's just, that's just been really frustrating because the electoral commission here looked at that and then decided that there was nothing to see, but they haven't considered half the evidence. And then we have this really bizarre complication, which was one of the things which sort of fueled my investigation from the beginning was that there's this other data firm Aggregate IQ which is based in Canada that also worked for Trump super PACs and that's had very clear ownership links to Cambridge Analytica and they were the main firm that worked for four different leave campaigns and this link between them and Cambridge Analytica was covert and hidden until a reader in Canada like spotted it for me. So it's just so murky. Everything is so murky. I mean the one thing it we do have, which is good, is that we have the ICO here, which is the Information Commissioner's Office and they're the people who sees Cambridge Analytica's service. They're working with the FBI Mueller's inquiry and they're trying to figure out, you know, various things about the data. So we do have that.

Andrea: 14:43 All these beer trucks going by. It's great. Right? Very London.

Carole: 14:46 Very it's atmospheric. You should paint the scene.

Andrea: 14:49 We're in a gorgeous pub sitting outside. There's dogs everywhere and pints of beer. What evidence is there that Russian money directly what into funding Brexit? Just around Arron Banks. And that whole issue.

Carole: 15:02 There's been all this suggestive stuff about Arron Banks and his links to Russia and you know, we know all across Europe, that Russia funds the far right, but we had no hard evidence until last summer. And Arron Banks, he'd always said that he had some contact with the Russian ambassador in London, but that it was one boozy lunch. And you know, he talks about, oh it's so great. We had vodka and so, but this is all, this is their only contact you had. Now what was really fascinating about this is in those first indictments that Mueller unsealed a year ago, last November, he identified the Russian ambassador in London as they sort of key conduit between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. So in the Papadopoulos indictments, he came up and then what happened is in the summer, myself and another journalist, Peter Jukes got hold of these emails.

Carole: 16:01 Which had originated with Arron Banks and it had all this stuff about like multiple meetings with the Russian ambassador. And not just meetings, but the Russian ambassador had introduced him to this oligarch who offered him these two hot deals, one for diamonds and one for gold. And it was just, the timing of it was so extraordinary because, you know, I just sort of, I recognized the date immediately on the emails because it was the same day. It was the day before or day after leave EU, which was the campaign that's Arron Banks whose, who was supporting Nigel Farage. That was his campaign. And it was the day that they had their press launch. So the day they had their press launch, they were inside the Russian embassy being offered special gold and diamonds deals. So it's just, it's just, and then we see, you know, we see from the emails that they were pursuing the deals for ages and we see from Arron Banks’ Twitter, he's saying things like, I really recommend investing in gold mines at the moment. That's what I'm doing. And then it was literally, I think a week after the Brexit votes that the gold deal went through. But we don't know. We've got no evidence that Arron, um, was involved with it. But equally we've got no evidence that he hadn't. We've just got no evidence and we've got absolutely zero investigation going on here into it.

Andrea: 17:26 And Arron Banks, he is a big investor, a financier a far right sort of figure.

Carole: 17:33 He's the sort of low rent version of Robert Mercer. So Robert Mercer is, you know, the incredibly successful businessman who bankrolled Trump. Banks purports to be a very successful businessman who bankrolls Nigel Farage. So he gave the, the estimates are between 8 and 12 million that he gave to Farage's campaign, which makes him the biggest donor ever in British political history. He's got no history of, of donating to political campaigns before. Anyway. He turns up, he becomes the biggest donor in political history. And what has happened finally in November is that our version of the FBI, which is called the National Crime Agency, has opened an investigation into where that money came from. And it's because they weren't able to satisfy themselves. Um, it was a year long investigation by the electoral commission that this money came from British sources. So in Britain you can't accept foreign donations.

Carole: 18:37 That's illegal. And Arron banks hasn't been able to prove that this money originated in Britain.

Andrea: 18:44 So that investigation is ongoing.

Carole: 18:46 That investigation is ongoing and it's fascinating because you know, this is all out in the open. So Arron banks is in the Panama papers, you know, he's got a network of offshore interests. This was all known beforehand and this is all known now. Meanwhile we're something like 40 something days before Britain leaves the European Union, we have no deal. It feels like the entire country is having a nervous breakdown. All of our, this financial institute, every day, if a financial institution announce that it's moving to Europe. Once a week, we get an announcement of a car factory or an airplane manufacturer that is moving to Europe. I mean the, the, the impacts from the country's enormous. Meanwhile, we don't even know who paid for the referendum. We just do not have those answers and it's being totally ignored. This is why I'm going mad.

Andrea: 19:42 You and the rest of the country. And there's so many people that regret their votes.

Carole: 19:47 This is totally, I mean, it's just one of the things. Yeah. I mean, there's no figures on it. It's, and it's seen as what we have in Britain, our problem is that we have both hard right and hard left MPs who are very determined to carry out Brexit all costs. So it, at least in America, you have the Democrats who've stepped up as an opposition to the Republicans and to Trump. Whereas here we haven't. Our opposition is missing in action and our opposition is not asking questions about Russian money. It's not asking questions about the legitimacy of the referendum. Um, it is truly, truly hopeless. And um, and that's why I get terribly annoyed and do late night tweeting.

Andrea: 20:34 That's because your opposition is led by Jeremy Corbyn, who's advised by Seamus Milne, who is, who is

Carole: 20:40 So good.

Andrea: 20:40 Who has published several articles that sound like they're straight out of Kremlin propaganda, defending Yanukovych, defending Hugo Chavez, and basically just towing the Kremlin line all the way through.

Carole: 20:52 I love your mastery of detail of the arcane bits of British political scene, but that is exactly right.

Andrea: 21:00 Well that's because Seamus Milne has kept me up late night with some angry Twitter threads.

Carole: 21:05 Yeah. Actually Seamus Milne is an ex colleague of mine. He was at the Guardian for many years

Andrea: 21:10 And he's, he's nepotism essentially. His father was a big deal in British media.

Carole: 21:14 I love it. You know it all. Oh yeah. His father was director general of the BBC.

Andrea: 21:18 He's a champagne communist basically.

Carole: 21:20 Yeah. He went to a very expensive private school here and he's had this sort of very privileged position in the British media to expound his views. And one of the views, which is that that very clearly in black and white, is that he thinks that Russia was kind of in the right when it invaded Ukraine and he thinks it was in the right when it invaded Crimea and it was after Russia had invaded Crimea and after the Jet MH17 had been shot from the skies that Seamus Milne accepted an invitation from the Kremlin think tank the Valdai Club to go and speak on the same panel as Vladimir Putin. And he is now the man who is advising Jeremy Corbyn on Brexit. Yeah, I know. It's crazy.

Andrea: 22:17 It's a perfect storm. The Kremlin knows how to play chess. I know, I hate that metaphor, but they really do know how to get their pieces in place and leave nothing to chance. And um, so Seamus was also instrumental in the campaign itself. Amazingly, I watched the results come in of the 2016 election from a gay bar in South Beach, Miami with a couple of MPs from London. And one was absolutely, they were there to try to help avoid an American Brexit, so to speak, by stopping Trump. And they were going around and campaigning, knocking on doors for Hillary, which you're allowed to do. And, and so they were telling me all about Seamus Milne and how he just made sure that Corbyn was mia during the Brexit referendum and just completely took the teeth out of it. So there's no real opposition except for, I guess David Cameron just struggling to try to stop it.

Carole: 23:06 Yes, that's right. In terms of, so sort of leadership from the left, it was missing. And what was so striking to me, the thing which like absolutely stuck in my craw was on the morning of the results on the 24th of June. I'd been up really, really late. And then when the first voices I heard on the radio when I put it on in the morning was Jeremy Corbyn saying, we must trigger article 50, which is the mechanism for leaving the European Union. And he was like, well that's it. The people have spoken, we must trigger article 50 immediately, which is kind of, I mean we're in this mess at the moment cause we triggered article 50 without a plan. And it was just, it was just so extraordinary. It was his, his, you know, his heart was never in that campaign. The thing I find amazing, I don't know how you found it, but if I tweet about Seamus Milke that's some of the most virulent, um, push back I get.

Andrea: 24:01 Oh, probably a lot of bots.

Carole: 24:02 I don't know. I mean there's just sort of, there's a lot of people, and I can completely understand it. You know, Jeremy Corbyn was the Bernie Sanders candidate on the last, he was this authentic voice of resistance and he offered hope for lots of people, but he surrounded himself with a number of advisors who hold views, which I would say are completely untenable. And you know, that just does seem to have had an impact. Jeremy Corbyn has never spoken about Russia. I think he might have made one remark about Sergei Skripal in parliament. He's made one remark about the kind of massive criminality, overspending and, and otherwise it's just Brexit as usual.

Andrea: 24:51 The Seamus Milne of America, it's this Stephen F. Cohen. If you look up Stephen F. Cohen there's several articles calling him a Putin apologist, he's basically said that Ukraine is not a country. That's it. You know, so that's why Russia can have it. And Bernie Sanders himself has conveniently avoided three big votes in Russian sanctions. Well, he's voted against Russian sanctions twice and then avoided the third vote against Deripaska.

Carole: 25:17 And what's so interesting about it is I don't necessarily think it's because Seamus Milne loves Putin, although frankly, there's no evidence to suggest that he doesn't. But I think it’s the key thing you can see from his writing is this, my enemy's enemy is my friend.

Andrea: 25:29 Exactly.

Carole: 25:30 And Seamus hates American. Um, you know, the American

Andrea: 25:34 Illuminati.

Carole: 25:35 Yeah. But he just, he just, you know, he hates everything about the sort of aggressive American, um, you know, sort of role in the world and he sees Russia is offering a counterweight. I think he probably used that word and it's something, it's something so very like, oh, I don't know. Insular. Shortsighted.

Andrea: 26:01 Childish.

Carole: 26:03 Childish. This is great. I don't think it seems to be, it's interesting because in Britain you don't get to talk about Seamus Milne.

Andrea: 26:09 Really.

Carole: 26:09 No.

Andrea: 26:10 That's the nepotism.

Carole: 26:11 Well the BBC, I don't if you followed it, has been like really problematic in their coverage of Brexit. And also we have this, we are, our political coverage in Britain is really, really, really quite dire at times because it, it's this little group who um, they're called the lobby and they follow lobby rules and their lobby rules is that they take briefings, from advisors and they don't attribute them. So Seamus is kind of briefs journalists all the time, but his name never appears in articles. He is like the sort of dark Lord. His name must not be spoken apart from occasionally when I put it on Twitter and then I get, you know, huge amounts of shit coming at me.

Andrea: 26:54 Yeah. The establishment has had it out for you. You've had hit pieces. Welcome to the club on that one.

Carole: 27:00 Okay. Wait, really?

Andrea: 27:01 Oh yes.

Carole: 27:02 Oh, special friends.

Andrea: 27:04 We had Kushner's Observer, then an RT contributor, then the Kremlin itself and then the New Republic came after us. None of them aged well like all of our, all of our hit pieces read like it makes us looks like psychics.

Carole: 27:18 I really, these women with their views on Russian collusion. Yeah. No, it's really weird. I mean, it's kind of, it's the, the one is my colleague says, you know, judge a woman by the quality of her enemies. And it's like my God, it's like I just have so many of them and they're so diverse and it's just amazing. I unite both like establishment politics presenters and Tech Bros who write for Buzzfeed and the hard left in Britain and the hard right. And um, yeah, they all, I mean, it's very equal opportunities that way. I annoy them all and they all, um, uh, kind of come after me in their different ways.

Andrea: 28:03 No, that, I love it. The 360 degree enemy, it's like, Sarah and I are in the middle of that as well. So the reason why, Cambridge Analytica and Facebook are so significant in Brexit and of course in the US as well is because this is how they psychologically deeply targeted voters with propaganda. Not only like targeting, um, one narrative saying, you know, vote for Brexit, but also really dividing the opposition as well.

Carole: 28:31 Well, the whole thing is, with Cambridge Analytica is we still don't actually have any answers about more or less anything. So for example, we know almost nothing about what they did for the Trump campaign still, that just hasn't come out. There's a Twitter researcher who found a stash of Cambridge Analytica dark ads about some months or so ago. And that's the first ones we've seen. And similarly in Britain, we just know so little. So we had this evidence, this Cambridge Analytica whistleblower, Brittany Kaiser, she actually brought forward really interesting evidence about what Cambridge Analytica had done for the leave campaign. And it was very foundational. It was this fundamental research that they'd done at the beginning and they'd hand it over to Leave EU and then it looks like Leave EU used their own personnel in Arron Banks’ own insurance company. So he has all sorts of data. And Brittany Kaiser said that she had seen them using, she had seen people in his call center using insurance data to target people politically for political purposes, which is hugely illegal in the UK.

Carole: 29:53 And Arron banks has been fined over that well over contamination of data by the ICO and they're investigating that further. But we haven't, even if there's no, we have, for example, we don't even know, Facebook haven't handed over the adverts that he used. We know that he used millions of different ones, but we don't know what they are. There was huge pressure on Facebook and they eventually handed over some of the other campaigns vote leaves, but we still don't have the leave EU ones. As I say, it's, you know, sort of relies on self reporting and the one thing we've seen from the campaigns repeatedly is they just lie. Yeah, I really don't have any confidence that we've got to any of the many of the fundamental facts yet.

Andrea: 30:42 Who is financially benefiting from Brexit?

Carole: 30:46 Some of the main donors to the Brexit campaign were hedge fund financiers. So there's a whole group of people who all gave a hundred thousand pounds. So about what's not in dollars, maybe $130,000 or something to the campaign who made millions on the night of the vote because there was such enormous shifts in the currency. And this really fascinating, there was this amazing article which came out last year by Bloomberg. There's this really compelling evidence that Nigel Farage helped to manipulate the currency movements on the nights to make more money for his friends, the financiers. And I can say that because the allegations that are all in the article, because what happened is at 10:00 PM on the night of the vote, so just as the polls closed, Nigel Farage gave an interview and he said, that's it. We've lost, we tried our best, nevermind. And the pound shot up in value. And then two hours later or something, we had the first results and it came in. It was obvious that it was like leave, you know, had got this massive vote and the currency markets plunged spectacularly. And that was when this entire group of people made shit loads of money. And it's the same thing now is that this chaos, which is happening and leading is leading to currency movements and will lead to more like there's the no deal Brexit is, is you know, this terrifying disaster, which may be visited upon the country, but the people who will benefit from that, are the financiers, who can, you know, big currency swings are just like an absolute betting opportunity.

Andrea: 32:42 So the financiers of Brexit betted against the British pound.

Carole: 32:45 Yeah. They bet against the pound. Exactly. And they won. And then so they stand to make a whole load of money. And then the other people who stand to make a whole load of money, you can see sort of circulating around Arron Banks and Nigel Farage and they're the sort of, you know, because it was disaster capitalists, but if there were certain things in Britain, which there's a lot of American businessmen who liked to get their hands on. And one thing is our health service. So because we have the NHS,

Andrea: 33:16 oh no, Americans are going to give you our healthcare. I'm sorry. We have, you have to stop that.

Carole: 33:23 Well it was one of the things when Theresa May visited Donald Trump and they started talking about deals post-Brexit, the NHS wasn't safeguarded from, the house wasn't safeguarded from those negotiations. And then the other thing we see is like, you know, the EU's got really, really, it's got the best regulations in the world in terms of environmental regulations and food standards. And so if we lower, at the moment you can't do things like import American meat because it's so shit. So rubbish. Your terrible chickens, which are like washed in chlorine and like stuffed full of chemicals. You can't bring those into Britain at the moment. But post breaks that we can, you know, the idea is is that all those regulations will get lowered, so that's good. More chlorine chlorinated chicken is a sort of big thing in the British press.

Andrea: 34:12 So America can benefit financially off of Brexit by exporting our trash.

Carole: 34:18 Yeah, you can export your trash and we will take it off your hands.

Andrea: 34:23 Yeah. So you'll have a lower standard here in the UK which will come in and be like, oh well Americans know that quite well.

Carole: 34:30 That's right. It was just a barrier. You see this huge, there is this trade barrier between the US and the EU because you know

Andrea: 34:37 On the same regulation,

Carole: 34:38 Because of your capitalism is so much stronger and fiercer than it is in in a collective of European countries which have helped to make things safer for the little guy.

Carole: 34:51 Safer healthier, more balanced, protecting the environment yet, and my husband's French so when I go into a supermarket in France it's like, oh.

Carole: 34:58 Oh my God, yeah. American supermarkets are just like, it never fails to astound me how appalling they are. It really is like that thing of like how you have to walk right to the back of the store to find anything fresh. It's just all this like massive. Like this is terrible. This is gonna sound really snobby of me, but there's just, it just that's what struck me when I was a, and even your fresh food doesn't look fresh. It looks like it's been irradiated. So perfect. And like under policy and wrapping and

Andrea: 35:25 Yeah. So you've got that to look forward to.

Carole: 35:28 Yeah. That's great. Thanks so much.

Andrea: 35:30 Um, so question on uh Theresa May. How was she complicit in Brexit?

Carole: 35:34 There's really interesting questions about Theresa May, but there's about five different ways that you can see that she is absolutely doesn't want to have questions asked. So I'll run through them. Her political secretary, so that's her closest political advisor is somebody called Steven Parkinson. He was very involved and oversaw this massive overspending that one of the campaigns vote leave did. He um, was directly responsible for elements of that and there's been absolutely no come back on him. One of the ministers in her government this guy called Michael Gobe,

Carole: 36:16 Michael Gobe of course.

Carole: 36:17 He, he led the vote leave campaign and he hasn't answered questions on it. She was asked in parliament, she was home secretary before she became prime minister. So she had direct oversight of MI5 our domestic intelligence services. So if there was issues around Russian potential subversion, that was her remit. And if there were questions around Arron Banks and Nigel Farage, that again was her remit. Now she was asked in parliament and a few months ago by an MP called Ben Bradshaw. Theresa May did you, when you were home secretary block an investigation by MI5 into Arron Banks. She refused to answer the question and she refused to answer the question in such a way that it's kind of like quite obvious that she must have. And then thirdly, you look at the amount of money that the conservative party has taken from these dodgy Russian oligarchs, many of whom are really, really intimately connected to the Trump Russia investigation. And it's just, you can see there's just a complete can of worms there. So no, she really doesn't want to get answers. And she's failed to. So we've had this committee in parliament, which has been pressing Facebook for answers on all of this stuff and the government has completely failed to backup parliament and get those answers from Zuckerberg.

Carole: 37:46 So you can see this alignment essentially between, you know, this sort of the authoritarian powers essentially of the silicon valley companies. And this sort of like authoritarians silence of our government. They're not necessarily colluding together of course in any way, but they've just got aligned interests in the truth, not coming out.

Andrea: 38:07 Much like with the Republicans in the US who have tried to stop investigations. It's certainly in the House side of our Congress because they're complicit and their own ways.

Carole: 38:16 Cause I mean it's kind of amazing in that way. There's not been more pressure on Facebook in the states in terms of what went on during the election. How was data used? What exactly were the Russians doing. Zuckerberg should be appearing every week before Congress to answer those questions, frankly.

Andrea: 38:34 There were rumors that he might run for president. Like he was taking a US tour and he's dead now. I mean people see him for what he is.

Carole: 38:42 I know. It is just amazing cause that really was not long ago when you look at the dates on the, I was, I was, I mean it was two years or something ago. That was, he was going for dinner in the Midwest, wasn't he? With an official photographer

Andrea: 38:55 Taking photos with cows. David Cameron, I can't help but think that he didn't have to resign. I mean he chose to resign. He could have stuck it out a little bit longer. I mean, he certainly had access to the intelligence of Russian meddling. And so I feel like if he had just stayed as Prime Minister, then he could have seen the writing on the wall and, and maybe have done something, you know, had investigations with serious teeth or call another referendum due to that meddling.

Carole: 39:26 I mean, the thing about David Cameron is he's just, he's held in contempt by pretty much the entire country these days. And you know, he got us into this mess and then he said he would see it through and then he just like buggered off. That's the sort of, um, popular actor here who captured the nation's the hearts. When he talked about, he said he's off with his trotters up. Do you know that expression. Yeah. And it's, I mean, I, I really, I mean, I just think he's like feckless and has no real sense of responsibility. And, and he, you know, he was questioned the other day about whether he felt regret and he sort of said, no, I don't feel regrets. No, no, no. I mean, uh, I regretted the way it sort of turned up, but no, I don't regret calling the referendum.

Andrea: 40:16 It wasn't just calling the referendum. It's also abandoning the country. When he, as Prime Minister, who was very strong on Kremlin aggression, he must've had an inkling of what the Russians were doing. Certainly I mean, that would be his job as Prime Minister. The security of the country, the intelligence. I mean, it was UK intelligence that tried to warn us very early on about Trump and Russia. And it was of course, Christopher Steele, UK intelligence, who was a hero of America. And so David Cameron had access to this incredible intelligence. You think he would have understood the core of the issue and stuck it out to right the ship.

Carole: 40:53 I'm not sure though how much, I mean, so there's an associate of Christopher Steele who I spoke to who said that Christopher Steele had desperately tried to warn individuals in the government about the fact that Russian money had captured more or less every institution in Britain, every sort of political party, every institution in the city. And those warnings were ignored. And I can kind of see that because Russian money was so in the ascendent here. I mean it's really funny if you go five minutes up the road from here, you'll find the houses of the oligarchs. There's one Mikhail Friedman's house, he's renovating is just up the road. You can run through his garden. The entire city is awash with it. And you know, as I say, the Conservative Party took so much money from it, I think. And you know, the artistic institutions, universities took so much money.

Carole: 41:51 So I think there was a source of hear no evil, see no evil aspect to it. And I think now that's why the problem is, is in acknowledging that that there was, you know, the British authorities essentially were asleep at the wheel and a lot of that in Britain as well is because the security threat was very much seen to come from the Middle East and returning to Jihadis and that took all the heat and light. So I think that as I say, they kind of entire country and security apparatus was missing in action perhaps. And it was, only laterally when these issues with Trump came up. It was a kind of an oh shit moment.

Andrea: 42:33 Right? I mean it's almost like they're trying to make up for Brexit by warning us.

Carole: 42:38 Yeah. Well I guess it was like all around the same time, wasn't it? I mean, one of the questions that I have for example, so it's, I'm furious that our Labour opposition doesn't ask questions about is that we know that Mueller is looking very closely at who had communications with Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy and we also know as I said, that the Russian ambassador to London is very central in that early indictment. And we know that British intelligence must monitor both of those embassies. So for example, British intelligence must have known about Arron Banks visits to the Russian embassy. It must have known that he was in there on the day that, uh, Steve Bannon took over as campaign manager and that that was days before they went out to visit to campaign with Trump. And they must have known that Banks's associates Andy Wigmore sent an email containing the federal indictment of one of their aides to the Russian embassy. I mean, all this was known and ministers were being briefed on. But yeah, we just, you know, nobody gives a shit here.

Andrea: 44:02 Well, Carole, you do. And that, and that is making a difference. And I have to close by saying, I just had an in Berlin at the Berlin film festival of the world premiere of a film. I spent a million years researching and writing and producing and it's called Mr. Jones. It's directed by Agnieszka Holland, uh, phenomenal auteur European director out of Poland whose parents were journalists and her father's official cause of death was suicide while under police interrogation. So this film was very personal to her. It’s the story of a young Welsh journalist who risks his life and career to be the first who expose Stalin as a mass murderer for his genocide famine in Ukraine. And that was at the time when Stalin was a hero of the left cause he was, you know, the answer to the great depression and that was crippling the rest of the world. And the anecdote against Hitler of course. And so this young Gareth Jones from Wales like, no, that's not who Stalin is actually. And he was widely discredited by powerful people in the press as a result. And the British political establishment blackballed him, wanted nothing to do with him. And ultimately the Kremlin caught up to him and, and um, research.

Carole: 45:11 They killed him.

Andrea: 45:12 Yeah. Oh yeah.

Carole: 45:16 This example, Andrea, this is a fun example

Andrea: 45:16 It's a beautiful film because we show in the film how George Orwell comes in and saves the day. And it's a, it's actually a powerful film about how the truth can never die no matter how hard they try or how much money they have. But what was very touching is that the great nephew of Gareth Jones came to the world premiere of this family, Graham Coley, and he's a tremendous fan of yours and he really wanted you at the premiere cause he's like, you don't understand. She's like Gareth Jones. She's like, Mr. Jones. Carole is doing the work today that needs to be done and risking everything to do it.

Carole: 45:49 Well. That was very kind and flattering and I'm gagging to see the film. So that's very exciting. I know, it's funny that there's not that many like Welsh people if you discover in world history

Andrea: 46:03 Is your last name Welsh?

Carole: 46:04 Yes very much. Cadwalladr in fact it means “battle leader” is the last king of Wales, King Cadwalladr who lost to the English by the way. And, um, you know the country was overrun but he tried.

Andrea: 46:18 Perfect

Carole: 46:19 Not a great example.

Andrea: 46:21 Well, you know, round two, Carole, you're onto round two, so that's good. Yeah.

Carole: 46:26 I know as the fight goes on, the fight goes on.

Andrea: 46:37 Gaslit Nation is produced by Sarah Kendzior, and Andrea Chalupa. If you like what we do, leave us a review on iTunes. It helps us reach more listeners. And check out our Patreon, it keeps us going.

Sarah: 46:46 Our editors are Karlyn Daigle and Nicholas Torres. This episode was edited by Nicholas Torres.

Andrea: 46:52 Original music in Gaslit nation was produced by David Whitehead, Martin Visenberg, Nick Farr, Damien Ariaga and Karlyn Daigle.

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Andrea Chalupa