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Welcome to an HBO podcast from the HBO series Real Time with Bill Maher. Hey, you played baseball full stop. We got to get this in before curfew. That's right. Big week for us here in L.A. We were upgraded from quarantine to curfew.


Hey, curfew.


How does that even work when you're already on lockdown? Remain even further in your homes?


I mean, last week, we finally reopened stores, this week we burnt them down, you know, that big earthquake that we've been waiting for here forever in L.A., I'm expecting that will hit next week and then the alien invasion. And by the way, if the aliens do come, please take me with you.


Broke my ass all you want. Just get me the fuck out of here. Yeah, it's been quite a week now. The media always says that ninety five percent of the protesters have been peaceful, which is true. True. And of course, I think as all right. Thinking people would agree for a completely just and righteous cause.


But then they show the violence on TV because some individuals will always use protests as an excuse to foment chaos and hate. But enough about the Republicans.


There's also some looters out there, and I tell you, no businesses are really safe now, I've seen targets hit and auto zones, the Apple store, Sears was not looted.


Even the looters were like nothing in there. That's very sad. But yeah, I mean, it pisses me off because we're hearing reports that a lot of the people who were doing the looting are not from here. Police say they're bad actors from out of town. And I may tell you, the last thing Hollywood needs is more bad actors.


It's one thing to come here to break into show business, you get a break and everything else. But no, I noticed the looters very of multiracial, a lot of they say white kids from the suburbs. I saw a kid on the news the other day, walked into an Adidas store and said I at the wrong size, could I get this in a 10?


I saw it up on Hollywood Boulevard. There were two Batman fighting over a fur coat. What the fuck? But now it does seem like there's more of an effort to go after white people stores Forever 21 is now no longer 21.


It's at the mall right next to Bed, Bath and Beyond Recognition. But I don't know, by the time you watch this, who knows what the heck it's going to happen, I mean, the news is happening so fast. Trump had to scramble from moment to moment to make it worse.


Did you see what I mean all week, the first thing you did the beginning of the week had a call group call with governors from around the country to tell them this week that they need to dominate. At least they think that's what he said it was so hard to hear because the signal from his underground bunker was not good.


Yeah, he as soon as some shit started outside the White House, he went right to the bunker five floors below ground. Right. And he says he wasn't hiding. He said, I love this. He said it was more of an inspection I an inspection. And he didn't piss himself. He was watering his shoes.


I tell you, a deranged authoritarians and bunkers, always a winning combination.




Trump is now pitching himself for a new sitcom on NBC called That So Hitler.


Well, the shit he does, I mean, like peaceful protests were going on outside the White House, Americans doing what they were allowed to do, he dispersed them this week with tear gas and then walks across the street.


So we get to hold up a Bible and just see that holding the Bible look like he never held a book before, which is entirely possible.


So they say he's losing support. I don't know. I would like to appeal directly to the Trump fans and just remind them 100000 dead. The economy is collapsing. The soldiers in the street cities are on fire. Girard is guarding the White House with a shotgun. Is America great enough for you yet?


I mean, is there any wonder couldn't we have predicted this? The FDA says there is a shortage of the antidepressant Zoloft.


Yeah, well, you know, combine that with the shortage of toilet paper. This is bad news if you're a sad sack of shit.


All right, we got a great show, we have Michael Steele, Rosa Brooks, Frank Pugliesi and Kelly. Mike, I spoke to them all yesterday. Let's get to it right now. OK.


My first guest is the activist who raps as killer mike of Run the Jackass. You do it.


His latest album, Run the Jewels four, was released for free digitally on Wednesday. Mike Rinder from Atlanta. Killer Mike, how are you, sir?


I'm good, my friend. How you been? I'm so appreciative if you're doing this. I know you had a busy week. You made an amazing speech there in your hometown that everybody saw. And I want to just quote the one thing that you said over and over in this speech, and I'm glad you emphasized that plot, plan, strategize, organize, mobilize. What all those things have in common is it means we're thinking about the future. We're thinking about tomorrow.


And I think when I look at the politics of America, you know, there's a great place for protest and being in the streets. But Republicans are better at voting. And I think that was a big part of your message, that that's what's really going to change stuff. Organizing, voting.


What we do know about this republic is that we know that the ballot box and the ballot box have both changed this country and a lot of ways. And I think at the ballot box is the most easily accessible way on a local level, especially to start to change the fabric of this country. I think that the kids that were outraged and in the streets certainly deserve to be outraged and in the streets. I appreciate the protest. I appreciate destroying property.


When it's the next day, I would be able to organize. And I want kids to know that the righteous anger is certainly permitted. And I would say encourage the white society have to say, hey, this is going on. We have to do it in ninety two. And after we did it, we stopped a lot of jobs programs coming to the community. We saw gang truce happen and after a while we saw relative peace in some of the neighborhoods that have been destructive.


And I think that coming out of this right season, I think we're going to be looking at more organizers. And in terms of voting, the new Georgia project is going on right now. They're registering people to vote as far south as W. Georgia with the onion farms to right here in some of the toughest neighborhoods in Atlanta. So I want to encourage people on the local, regional and state level to make sure they're supporting things like that in Georgia.


So you're saying you are supportive of some destruction of property? I know you're the son of a policeman yourself.


Yes. Yes. And that doesn't mean I want you to go out and burn down everything tomorrow. What that means is property destroyed is in one of my businesses has a bullet hole through the window. I have insurance that windows will be replaced by the young man who died under the knee of a police officer, Mr. Floyd. His life will never be replaced. So I'm talking as a property owner, as a business owner, as a person who all apartment my property has been destroyed before.


I had to clean it up, I had to do it with my own hands and hire people. So I understand that from a property perspective, but from a young person's perspective, so full of rage has been so suppressed that is being currently oppressed. In terms of the duality of policing in this country, I can understand the destruction of property, but destruction of property. I need you to become an organizer. I need you to plot, plan, strategize, organize and mobilize so that we can organize under legislation, under those down legislation to make sure that equal rights of everyone was given in this country for constitutional rights.


We enjoy, enjoy.


So how long do you think the protests I mean, they seem to be dying down here in L.A. We, I think, are not for the first time today. This is Thursday. We're a day earlier. We tape now. Yeah. Then you'll see it on Friday of having a curfew. But, you know, people don't have much to do now. There was a lockdown. Yeah. I've been cooped up. They don't you know, a quarter of the country that was working in February is not working now.


So you have no job. There's no economy to come back to. Why not be in the streets for a lot of people? How long do you think the protests could go on? Should go on? Should it be an indefinite movement?


Well, Hugh Hewitt, Huey Newton said that that's the will of the people to the people ultimately decide the atmosphere and where the revolution goes. My challenge or my camaraderie with the people as we protest, let's make sure we plan, strategize, organize and mobilize. Protesting is the first step. It's when you come in to ask us, you're bleeding. They have to stop the bleeding first. And then how do we stabilize the patient? The stability comes to beating up your local ballot boxes.


Yes. And making sure that you vote in your prosecutor's races, voting in terms of who your mayors and senators are going to be. You have to start. It isn't the only answer in my community, there must be a return to supporting small and mid-level black businesses, because if I don't have an economy of people that look like me, who's going to support my community outside the government if we are ever going to be free of total government control and we can't be beholden on government for everything as well.


So I believe there are legal problems. We should have their legislative goals. We should have the educational goals which you have. So I don't believe protest ever ends as much as it evolves into a way of life that demands just standing in the same place until we all are free. Nobody.


I thought you would be interested to note that a lot more people in Los Angeles now, which is of course a very liberal town, are interested in buying guns because, you know, you you and I are both you and I are both liberals who have taken a lot of shit from liberals because we I mean, I don't know how you feel about guns.


I don't feel them at all because I don't really like guns. But I've said many times I'm a gun owner for just this reason, because people want self-reliance to a degree and police can't always be there. Obviously, someone in a bad neighborhood knows that better than someone who lives in a gated community. And this is something you've you've spoken very eloquently about before, that you are a 2nd Amendment supporter. Absolutely.


I am. I am pro using whatever tool it takes to preserve your life. You have a right to use it. If it's a hatchet, if it's night, it's as if it's a gun. You have an all day, right. Because you are human, you intelligent, you know how to make tools.


So I want people to hold guns. I also want people to grow gardens. So it's not just like I'm simply saying everybody go out. I the loudest I'm saying in matters of protecting yourself in these days and time, my wife and I just came from lunch with my publicist who was not as I know, she now is a gun owner. She now shoots and trying to protect my wife and I had a Glock boarding the Glock not millimeter, and in the middle of the compartment of our truck, we felt safe, went in and got back home safely to anyone, have interrupted to try to interrupt the life of me and my wife, that I gladly will send them home to whoever their God is.


But I don't leave every day with the thought that I have to use my gun, but I don't want to be caught with that. So the same way I keep a battery charge in my pocket for my alcohol at any given time. You see me moving around the state of Georgia, I'm going to be armed. And I hope that more Americans not only embrace arming themselves with training, get outside, don't shoot, form a shooting club, get out and meet your neighbors and shake hands.


So it's more than just I own the gun. And I will tell you, for black people I know the NRA does not have the best track record with us, but he has an organization called neke the National Association of What is the National Association of African American, the National One back in eighty nine.


But, you know, it sounds like. Yeah, we'll look at the National African American Association.


So I want you to join I want you to join that. And I want you to get out of groups. I want you to shoot. I want you to hunt. I want to finish. I want you to go guns, but be a self-sustaining as possible because as we can see, times terrible really quickly and you need to be able to take care of yourself.


Yeah, I always laugh when I see one of those movies that I've seen in a million movies where the, you know, regular suburban guy, he's not a gun owner and he's in bed at night with the wife and they hear an intruder downstairs. Honey, stay in bed. And then what does he do? He grabs either a baseball bat or a golf club. And I'm like, OK, so you're not afraid to use violence and beat somebody said it and kills you just want it a really shitty tool to do it.


A golf club. OK, my my my wife, my wife.


And I want you to stay out of our bed as a property. Oh, a shotgun and one version of a Glock. And that's because we want to be prepared for whatever may come and people take that terrible time for come. But whether it's carjackings at gas stations or home invasions because they find out who you are, let's not forget that ultimately the beauty of this country in the sense amendment is it gives you the right to fight against a tyrannical government if all the measures fail.


So the reason I want to protest and organize in the streets, the reason I want you voting, the reason I want you taking part in the census is if it ever gets to the point where you're just all that water without me, you can say I tried everything else. So take gun ownership seriously, take shooting and trying to seriously in California. I'm glad you guys are catching up with George and that I hope Georgia catches up with you in terms of marijuana legalization.


So. Well, I hope you and your wife are on good terms with all those guns by the bed. That's why I don't talk that much. So we're OK.


You don't want to have a fight about that. Well, you mentioned it's interesting. Marijuana, I know you and I, we both love our pot. And I don't know if you saw, but Attorney General Barr has put DEA.


Thank you, Mike. The ultimate the ultimate respect for our interviews. We're both stoned for it. But Barr has the DEA on the protest, the DEA. This never happened. We have people there on the streets. And I just want to say to some of these protesters, if somebody offers you a joint that might be a narc. Yeah, it's straight up.


Let me tell you that the most ironic thing about that is when Nixon declared the drug war, he declared it on hippies and on on on on black support. Right. You know, what they're essentially doing is a new version of that because hippies were just progressive white people at the time, just being in jail. You know, they were people that were progressive enough to say right is right and wrong is wrong. And why it's not always right. We want to with what's right.


And of course, black people are pushing the lack of having the right. So Nixon's demonizing them is a tactic that we see is still being used today. Why do you need Drug Enforcement Agency to protest? You know, really, you should hope everyone gets down, gets angry and leaves. It doesn't make very much sense to you, but it just shows that the government is willing to use whatever measures they can to suppress the people in their voice.


All right, Mike, I got to leave it there. I thank you for doing this. I just want to put this into your head. You know, many a politician has started because they weren't a politician, but they started making speeches that people found mesmerizing, which you are doing now. So I don't know Vice President Killer Mike. I don't know if something like that's in the future, but I'm putting the bee in your bonnet. All right.


Thank you, my friend. Stay safe. I'll talk.


No respect. We will go back. Thank you, Mike. OK, time for our panel. He is the former chair of the Republican National Committee, an analyst for MSNBC and host of the Michael Steele podcast, my friend Michael Steele. Welcome, Mike. And she's a law professor at Georgetown School of Law and author of How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything Tales from the Pentagon. Rosa Brooks from Alexandria, Virginia.


Thank you for joining me, panelists, and absolutely thanks for having us, Bill. Well, I wish it was really in my home, but it's not some day, some day in Jerusalem. So the fall of the republic seems to be a bit ahead of schedule. I thought that Trump would not be calling for the military to be in the streets until October. But apparently that's what's going on this week. And there is pushback from the military brass, his current defense chief, Caspar.


Is against him using the 18 07 Insurrection Act, which I guess was his pretext, former Secretary of Defense Mattis spoke out against him, Mike Mullen, who used to be the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other former Joint Chiefs, the military, the top military people seem to be against calling out the army as the last step there before we lose who we really are. But I feel like he's just going to fire Esper and then find someone who will do the job.


Would you agree? You bet. I mean, Michael, jump in whenever you want to, but that I actually in some ways, I'm just a little surprised he's waited this long. I wasn't sure he was going to wait till October. Every you know, really, for the last couple of years, he had seemed to be unraveling and the the threats of authoritarianism and becoming more and more open. It is a pretty dire sign, though, that all it took was three days or so of unrest to push him to say we need to send in the US military active duty troops to dominate American cities.


Definitely makes you wonder what else he's got up his sleeve between now and November. You know, I.


I don't know if I agree with that completely in terms of the firing of us. But from what I'm hearing inside the Trump bunker, which was actually the nub of why he did what he did, is that he can't that the politics does not work at this stage, given covid-19 to follow the collapse of the economy as well as the civic unrest of this out on the streets to then on the heels of what everyone panned as one of the worst political stunts in history, even those all of those great pastors that he was talking about who loved it, not they didn't love it, that to make this kind of a move against the secretary now, maybe in October, that's the surprise.


But right now, there is no appetite inside the administration for that. The president's going to sort of swallow this one hard and deal with it, even though he doesn't like the fact that espera is is sort of rebuked his approach and is really giving credence to Mattis and others who are now coming out of the defense side of this conversation, saying that the president has gone too far.


But but who cares? He doesn't care who in the administration is against it. It's only him that many times we've seen people in the administration fire back at him.


He doesn't care that he will always get somebody. Let me quote Tom Cotton. He's a senator. He went to Harvard. He's a real person. He said, let's see how tough these anti for terrorists they're terrorists now are when facing the 101st Airborne. He's running the 101st Airborne out there as a talking point. Matt gets, you know, this guy that congressman from Florida always looks like he's saying, eat it, nerd. He says now that we can clearly see Antifa as terrorists, can we hunt them down like we do those in the Middle East crisis?


And all of that bill feeds the base and it's in it's great fodder for them to chew on. But here's the rub. Trump is now seeing numbers inside of his their their private polling, their internal polling that showing you remember that 97, 98 percent of Republican base that was with Trump. You know what the number is this week? Eighty four. He is losing ground among those very same people, the cotton and others are out there trying to stoke up.


That's why the hesitation. That's why folks inside closer to the president saying we get what you want to do, but you have to understand how this is now being received, not just by the people you want to go after on the left and try to move maybe in the middle, but within your own bunker, if you will. There's some questions about whether or not this is smart. This is the way to go. Now, again, to your point, Bill, I'm not arguing against Republicans.


I think in the end, yeah, he could wind up doing this. But the reality of it is in the heat of the moment we're in right now, within the beginning of the summer before the convention, I just don't hear it. I just don't see it. I don't think it makes sense politically for him to do it. But again, like you said, he's Trump.


So, Michael, I think you're giving him too much credit. You're assuming he's rational. I do agree that, you know, if he was a rational actor, he wouldn't have done half the things that he has done.


He doesn't care what people tell him. He may listen for a couple of days and then he'll his attention span will fade and he'll get mad at the people around him who are saying, oh, Mr. President, maybe we should just stay cool for a little while and he'll either fire them or he'll ignore them. So, no, I agree. I don't think it's for as long for this world. Are you sure, Bill, that Tom Cotton's a real person?


I'm not sure he is. And I think, you know what's to stop Trump from going up. My new secretary of defense is Tom Cotton, because I already know that he's on the page of using the 101st Airborne. He's a senator from America who wants to use American military people to fire on American citizens. He said so anyway. Right, because antifa is this new enemy. Last week it was the post office. Now we've gone to Antifa. They're apparently more dangerous than Joe Scarborough and I don't even know their real name.


Well, when Antifa and the Post Office start conspiring together, it's scary. I've got I've got to go hide in the bunker, so this lockdown that we've been living with. Do you agree with me? Probably not that this has a lot to do with the unrest in the streets, that when you keep people up and they have no hope and no jobs that they really are, why not go out in the streets? And I wonder what America will look like, what what a police departments look like if they have to fight this all the time.


It's like a fire for our firefighters here sometimes have to fight fires four seasons on the end.


I feel like this experiment, this restlessness, reckless experiment of closing down an entire country for months at a time is not going to look good in the future. And this is one reason why.


Yeah, I can see that. But I think, Bill, that positions, for me at least, is a little bit tempered by the circumstances, absent the murder of Mr. Floyd of George Floyd on May twenty fifth.


Yeah, there was restlessness and there were folks out there who egged on by Trump talking about liberate Minnesota, Wisconsin or whatever. But the vast majority of Americans, despite their frustrations with it, saw the rationale approved and agreed that they would rather not risk their health. They would rather not have the country open up to. So now when you layer on top of that the the blatant murder of an individual, what I have found that people have decided, you know what, that's a bridge too far and they're not out there protesting about opening up the economy, are out there protesting about the murder of this man and the impact it has had on our civil society.


And but they're wearing their masks. So there is there's still this consciousness, despite the fact that we're not talking about covid-19, that people are still in the back of their minds as they're marching and protesting, aware that there is a risk involved here. But in this instance, they're willing to take that risk, which they weren't willing to take that risk four weeks ago to go to church or some other event.


But like I said, I see it a little bit differently. I do think no question about it, the pandemic and the economic collapse that resulted from that are sort of the dry tinder that was there already. You know, that meant that when we got the the video that emerged on the killing of Ahmad Obery, when we got that insane lady in Central Park who called police on the black guy was bird watching. Bird watchers are very scary, you know, and then on top of that, the death of George Floyd, et cetera, you know, that that was just like lighting that dry tinder on fire.


But I don't so much think it was the shutdown as such. I think there are a couple of different things going on. One is, is the you know, the fact that the disproportionate number of deaths from covid have been among people of color and the poor. And it does seem to me, and I imagine it seems to many other Americans that if it was a bunch of white GOP voters in the suburbs who are dropping dead from covered in massive numbers, that maybe the White House's response would have been a little bit different.


So I think there's that as a sort of a baseline sense of just distress of so many deaths, so much suffering, so much fear. And then on top of that, the people hit hardest by the economic collapse are not people like us. We're lucky we get to keep our jobs and we get to do some stuff from home. But the people who either got laid off because they worked in the service sector and their jobs just went away or who had to keep going to work, even though they felt like they were risking their lives and their families lives because they couldn't afford to go without those paychecks.


And so you got that level. And that had something to do with deliberate policy choices made by the Trump administration, deliberate policy choices made by this country in terms of the lack of a safety net for people, in terms of lack of health insurance, in terms of lack of paid sick leave. So I don't see it so much as the shutdown as such. But but just the combination of the deaths, the fear, the insecurity, the economic desperation, and then you add the the insult and injury and pain of these killings.


Well, just a little perspective on that. I mean, we've also lost 100000 small businesses already and they have been disproportionately black. It is about who would what in the long run is going to cause more death. The head of the UN said a couple of weeks ago he expects hundreds of thousands of children to die because of what we did to the economy. I know the toll on Americans so they don't count as much to Americans, but I think that matters somewhat.


I know we talked a lot in the media recently about the hundred thousand mark. I wonder if people realize that hospital acquired infections. Kill how many every year? One hundred thousand. No headlines. We seem to have just focused on this one thing, there's a lot of things that can kill you. I wish nothing could, but it wasn't inevitable that the economy be shut down. And we've had pandemics before and there was one in 68 that was one in fifty seven that killed over a hundred thousand.


I never even heard of them because we didn't have social media then and the Internet and the media stoking this and causing this incredible fear. And so we didn't shut down the economy. Yeah, that's that's true, but I also think that time, place circumstances, you're right back in those at those times, you did not have the social media network and the other elements to sort of drive the narrative and hype up the information that people are getting to the point where they respond and act.


But you also have to consider the nature of the diseases involved, the ability of individuals to become infected, to spread that disease. And this is unlike those in that regard, it fundamentally and dynamically changed the way the society would operate and function, and we would be allowed to function in that society with this particular virus out there. And I think that was a major driving consideration for the folks at my alma mater, Johns Hopkins and the CDC and elsewhere.


And looking at this particular virus, they did not know exactly how this train would behave and what it would do. So to that extent, given the fact that it was airborne by droplets and all within six feet. Yeah. Eighty thousand people sitting in a stadium would be a problem. Three hundred people in a in a very intimate restaurant setting would be a problem. And so they had to look at the economic impact as well as the medical impact of this particular virus.


And I think in the end, to your to your broader point, Bill, going forward and looking at a disease like this or a virus like this, I think that is going to be a new consideration, because now we've learned as we started to open that exactly what that frame of reference is for us going forward.


So who do you think should be the vice president, the next president, the vice president for Joe Biden?


I mean, I've heard a lot of talk about it this week because of in light of recent events are saying something like Amy Klobuchar, she's she's through as a OK. And Elizabeth Warren is probably not going to look good to white people over 70 on the ticket that a lot of people are talking again about Kamala Harris, even though she and Joe had that big dustup at the first debate. But she was a prosecutor, Val Demings from Florida, African-American woman who was a police chief herself.


Where are you on this?


I just I just I have no idea. But I just hope to God it's somebody who's really young and healthy.


Yeah, that works well. I've been on the record for over a year now since the week Joe Biden entered the race saying that he would be the nominee and then later on suggesting, based on the nature of the vice presidential choice and the roll out there, that Amy Klobuchar would be probably a very strong pick given what Joe Biden needs to have happen next this November, given her recent issues relative to her role as a prosecutor in in Minneapolis and so forth.


I think the shift, the light certainly is on the governor of Michigan, Governor Wittmer executive leadership, which is going to be very important over the next few years, having governed through coronavirus, had to make some tough decisions and understanding that that relationship, particularly under this administration between the feds and the state and Val Demings is is another one, I think, from my book. The race is probably now down to those two, but I wouldn't give up on Amy.


I think that the Biden team rather like her.


OK, and final question, whoever wins. In November, be it Trump or be it Joe. There's going to be blood in the streets, right? I mean, if Trump wins, I can't imagine the kind of demonstrations we saw the last week not repeating themselves. And if he doesn't win, well, we already know what Trump's statement is. I can read you his statement about the tough people. I love that this is one of my favorite things he's ever said.


I have the support of the police, the military, the bikers, you know, our third branch of government, the bikers.


I have the tough people, but they don't play it tough until they meaning the Democrats, go to a certain point and then it would be very bad. That sounds to me like an invitation for the tough people to get in the streets. I don't see this.


Yeah, it is very bad. It's very bad. Is very scary. I don't think he is correct that he's got the military and the police. I'm a reserve police officer. I'm a military spouse. That's not what I'm saying. You know, I think that those those communities are pretty diverse internally. I also think that and we saw this with Jim, that a step forward. Admiral Mike Mullen stepped forward with statements just just yesterday, the day before this, whatever it was this week, you know, a lot of people in the military and the police take very seriously their oath to the Constitution and take that more seriously than what some guy, some not very stable, not very genius, but very sociopathic guy sitting in the White House happens to tell them.


I do think, though, that he is their commander in chief, really, really scared. And and it should be a call to action and to planning right now, because, you know, anybody who thinks you've been saying this for a long time, anybody who thinks this guy is going to go gently into that good night is out of their mind or has been napping or something. And people, every single viewer of the show needs to be asking themselves, especially if they work for the US government or state government, any capacity whatsoever they need to be save themselves.


What am I going to do when he orders the active duty military and the police into the streets to try to keep himself in office even though he lost? What am I going to do then? Because if you don't start thinking about that right now, when that time comes, you're going to do the wrong thing because that's what people do. Things sneak up on them. By the time there's a crisis, they go, oh, oh, oh, too late.


Missed my moment. You know that now is the moment to be saying, how is that from happening?


How do we make I'm going to get my golf club go out with a golf club. All right. I got to leave it there. Thank you very much. Hope to see you in person very soon. You go all.


All right, my final guest is the former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence and now works as a national security analyst for NBC News Frank. Frank, I've seen him a million times on TV. You were always great. I really appreciate you doing this. My first question to you, sir, is about the unrest we've seen in the streets now. In the 60s, the southern sheriffs and governors were always complaining about outside agitators, outside agitators, meaning people from the north who are part of the civil rights movement who are coming down to peaceably protest.


Seems like here in Los Angeles, they're saying we've had a lot of outside agitators, that it was not mostly people from the area who were looting. We hear sometimes that it's right wing people who are posing as left wing people. We hear a lot about shadowy groups that used to be in chat rooms like Kuhnen that are now in the streets.


You are the kind of guy who would know about this, who is actually out there, do you think, in the streets causing trouble?


Yeah, it's it's important for us to take a really broad look at what's happening, because there's there's a narrative going on that we have to kind of weed through. First, it's essential to understand that all the police agencies are seeing a wide variety of groups, organizations and individuals out there. That's number one.


Number two, it's really important that we not fall into the trap that maybe certain sides are setting for us, that there is a widespread organized attack on America going on. The reality is, Bill, that sometimes a guy who throws a brick through a window is just a guy throwing a brick through a window. The vast majority of the violence and looting is occurring by what I call opportunistic criminals.


But indeed, there are serious groups intent on violence, discord and even civil war out there. And they run the gamut. But so far, even according to what the FBI is seeing and what the FBI is involved in arresting and prosecuting, it's the right wing that seems to be taking the lead right now on the violence and the weapons.


That's what worries me, is that we've seen groups like Kuhnen. If people don't know who Kuhnen is, let me and I'm sure you're very familiar, let me read some of their beliefs. They they believe that a worldwide organization of Satan worshipping pedophiles rule the world. They believe Hillary Clinton ran a pedophile ring out of a pizza parlor in Washington, D.C. They believe Kim Jong un in Korea. North Korea is a puppet planted there by the CIA. They believe Angela Merkel is the granddaughter of Hitler.


They believe all mass shootings are false flag operations. In other words, staged to get people to react against gun ownership. And they believe in a coming storm where the Satan worship worshipers will be exposed and then the military will take over. So I'm sure they're happy about some of the things Trump has been saying this week. What's so disturbing is that in Oregon that the Republicans have nominated for the Senate a Q a non-believer, someone who believes this stuff running for the Senate and America, and John Ratcliffe, who's up for director of National Intelligence, he has talked about Kuhnen in favorable terms.


Now they're in the streets and coming into the government. What do you make of this?


So what we're seeing now is a fascinating phenomenon because the groups that currently truly existed almost entirely within the realm of social media and online have in these protests, they found their real world opportunity. And it's and it's it's really something we've not seen before because they're now hitting the streets and are acting out their bizarre theories and conspiracies. So you combine the element of race, which is what has driven these protests, and now you have a perfect storm of people with bizarre ideas and often very dangerous, violent ideas who now have an opportunity to act out and to confuse things even more for law enforcement.


They're pretending to be each other. So you may have seen the reporting, for example, that a white nationalist group was had actually opened a Facebook account pretending to be an TIFA. So the work of law enforcement right now is incredibly challenging. And for us as consumers of information, we've got to be more intelligent than ever because it's going to get even more chaotic. And you mentioned social media. This is where, of course, they plot with each other and they can just say, like a flash mob, hey, we're going to meet over here on this street and loot that next Thursday.


Or they can just, as you say, pretend there are people that they're not. Is it outrageous to consider if things get horrible to shut down social media, I mean, we shut down the whole country for three months, we've locked down, we've curfewed. Is that a crazy idea?


I get very, very I get very concerned about shutting down a public platform and essentially what has become our public square, particularly when it's in the control of the private sector. I think we are currently looking at a president who would like nothing more. And he's he's demonstrated this than to shut down and control media platforms. So I say, let's look at an alternative bill. Let's look at more of what what Twitter is doing, which is they're not suppressing speech, but rather they're saying with regard to the president, here's some more information.


Click on this link to get the facts about mail in voting and fraud allegations. Right. I wish, for example, that Facebook was taking that lead and again, not suppressing free speech, but rather allowing us to see the president continue to devolve and disintegrate in front of our eyes here, his mindset and intentions, but also give the consumer an opportunity to say, I'm going to click on this and get the truth and get more facts on this.


OK, you know the FBI as well as anybody, you know, the top echelons which you were a part of. And I'm sure you also know the rank and file. I was talking to the panel before about Trump claiming over and over again that he has the tough people. He says he has the military. He has the police. He has the bikers. We've heard before that, of course, he rails against the top echelons and they don't seem to like him in the military, in the police, in the FBI.


But what about the rank and file person? Are they with Trump in these organizations? Are there a lot of FBI agents? When he was running, we heard the FBI was Trump. Landesa, where is that person now?


Yeah, Bill, I got to first respond to that by saying I'm actually deeply saddened that we even have to have this conversation. Here's why. The FBI and in my 25 years there, I can attest to this is deliberately in a political organization. When FBI agents get together around the water cooler, they're talking about sports and their family and what they're doing this weekend, not politics. So the very fact that we've gotten to the point in our society where we're asking about, hey, are the rank and file with this guy or not is deeply troubling to me.


As you know, the FBI director has deliberately been limited to a 10 year term, although Trump has shortened that up for for Jim Comey, a 10 year term because it's supposed to cross over administrations and be that apolitical, nonpartisan entity. So here's what's happening now. When I hear people say, oh, the rank and file is with Trump and the leadership is not, I give these facts. Number one, the leadership of the current FBI has been handpicked by Trump.


Director Christopher Wray is a Trump appointee and he seems to be doing his job no to the rank and file does get tired of getting bashed almost on a daily basis by this president when they come out and stop terror and stop kidnappings and stop organized crime and tend to get little or no credit for it from this White House. So when you say things like, hey, the military rank and file might be with Trump, let's talk about this. Trump has exonerated Naval SEAL Navy SEAL Chief Gallagher for allegations of war crimes.


Who reported those war crimes, the rank and file against their own chief. And we're probably going to see Navy Chief Gallagher's paraded around on campaigns during the campaign season. So I get really, really careful when when I respond to questions about rank and file versus leadership. We know the leadership of the military just this week has come out and said they're deeply troubled about how they're being used and exploited by this president.


All right. Well, that's pretty good to hear. I'll I'll take an optimistic note or I can find one. Thank you for doing this, Frank. Say hi to my friends at MSNBC for me, and I hope to see you in person real soon.


Stay well, Bill. Thank you. Thank you. OK, time for to throw. No one here again. OK, Deyrolle, if you're a looting target, wear a shirt or do you think you are Wal-Mart got to give this guy credit. We may never find a cause that brings everyone together, but smashing the self checkout scanner at Target with a claw hammer is a start.


New companies that include the little fancy spoon in a new set of flatware must stop.


We're a nation that's cracking apart at the seams and eats most of its meals from a greasy bag delivered by a transient, whatever the little fancy spoon was meant for. We've long since forgotten. It just lies there in the drawer, a symbol of a gentler time, silently making us even more depressed.


New the radical left and Tifa leader who justify looting by saying one can understand the pent up feelings that may result from decades of repression, and that looting is the natural result of decades of repression. Needs to. Oh, wait, that was Donald Rumsfeld talking about Iraq. Never mind. New rule.


This isn't a mask. It's a pantie for your face.


I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure that of all the things that can block a virus weighed down on the list is laced, although on the bright side, one less influencer.


Someone has to tell Arizona State University that going online defeats the whole purpose of Arizona State University. No one goes to ask you for the academics. They go for the parties, the drugs, the hookups, the naked cheerleaders. Plus, we already have Arizona State University online. It's called the University of Phoenix.


And finally, new rule Paré for the cracks that have finally emerged in the blue wall of silence.


Yes, eternal optimist that I am, I'm going to look on the bright side of fires and looting and the breakdown of old order in the United States and hail the police chiefs from across the country who knelt and marched with the protesters in Miami-Dade County and New York City and Santa Cruz, California, and Flint, Michigan, and lots of places. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo even said he was outraged at Americans who don't see a problem. This is new wasn't that long ago, police never even admitted they did anything wrong.


Police Sergeant Howard Banks of Omaha said it's all of us versus bad people and bad cops, and we want to get them out of the line of duty and police work.


Well, there I'm going to have to stop you, because, honestly, it's not quite that simple. I mean, forever we've been talking about bad cops, you know, bad apples, and then the vast majority of cops.


Good cops, but the real new rule is you can't anymore get away with this is a bad cop and any cops who aren't actually committing the crime are good. The ones who watch and do crowd control for atrocities, they're not good either. That has to be the new standard. And it goes for all out of line behavior. If your partner is doing something horrendous, you can't just watch and do nothing like the husband in a video. There's a meme that says nobody hates bad cops, worse than good cops.


OK, if you hate them so much, turn them in. Because let's be real, if there wasn't video of that murder, how do you think those other cops would have described that encounter? It could be we found Mr. Floyd unresponsive, so we administered CPR, blah, blah, blah.


Lie, lie, lie. If you see something, say something has to apply to police, too, you can't get away with crimes on account of being the people who are supposed to stop crimes.


And speaking of stopping crimes, we were a little slow to get to that in L.A. this week. I mean, sometimes I feel like we're getting the worst of both worlds, the abusive part of policing. But without the law and order part. I've said many times in discussing the police civilization is a mile wide and an inch deep, so when people say cops are all that stands between civilization and chaos, absolutely. I agree. Cops are the bad asses who deal with the dregs in an ugly business.


But if cops want us to give them a little extra room to be tough because they've got a bad, dangerous job, then they got to do the bad, dangerous job. Which they have also done plenty of this week, to be fair, this is this is tough stuff now, but it was frustrating watching it on TV last Sunday. Car 54, where were you? It looked like Black Friday, but without cash registers. I did see a guy in Santa Monica turning away looters, but it wasn't a cop.


Just a guy invoking a citizen, Dauman. And this young woman. Why, even under these very difficult circumstances for the police, is she having to do this in a country that is teeming with police forces? One thing America does not lack for is police forces, local cops, state county highway, sheriff's department, federal marshals, ATF, DEA, FBI, TSA. We got cops. But this lady had to step up. I try to understand as much as I can without being a cop.


That it's not like the jobs most people have and it's not. When a voice on the radio says Man with machete on 15th in Maine, you have to go to 15th and May. And I'm guessing cops rarely get called out to a redneck's front porch because the guy wants to tell you how well the marriage is going. It's a dangerous job. Yeah, but I think we lose our battle with police misconduct when before a bad cop hits the streets because there's not enough vetting about who becomes a cop in the first place, I swear to God, I think the root of the problem with bad cops isn't always racism.


It's high school. How much of high school did you spend inside a locker? Should be question number one on the psych evaluation. I've known quite a few cops in my day and others I've met for briefer encounters on the side of the road, and they are mostly not that guy.


But that guy is who we have to weed out instead of LAPD making the psych eval the last step in joining the force, make it the first so meatheads with a chip on their shoulder aren't given the license to perform urban executions. Tough guys have to do tough things right now. It's easy to spot the toughest police officers. They're the ones telling their fellow cops, you got to stop this shit. A crack has been made in the blue wall of silence.


Please let it break down even further altogether, or else we're going to be in the streets again and again all the time. And in L.A., that doesn't work because, you know, we're not really a walking town.


OK, that's our show, I want to thank my guests, Michael Steele, Rosa Brooks, Frank for Lucy and Killer Mike will be back next week. Thank you very much. Good night. Catch all new episodes of Real Time with Bill Maher every Friday night at 10:00 or watch him any time on HBO. On demand for more information, log on to HBO Dotcom.