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Hi, folks, it's Rick Wilson and welcome to The Daily Beast, the new abnormal. Hi, I'm Molly John Fast, a left wing pundit and editor at large at The Daily Beast.


I'm also an editor at The Daily Beast, a former Republican political strategist, best selling author and full time troublemaker. We're here to have fun, sharp conversations with some of the smartest people in media, politics, business and science that help make what's happening in the country and the world clearer.


I'll try to keep Rick to the minimum number of F bombs and try to keep our kids, pets and other wildlife sounds from invading our respective bunkers. Hi, Rick Wilson.


Good afternoon, Mojang for us. Tell me what the fuck is going on. Let's go.


The world is spinning on an axis for which we have previously anticipated, and the beginning of the post electoral thuggery is on.


So we hear that Bill Barr has been cited. Bill Barr has been cited going into the Senate majority leader's office, which is also typically considered an omen of the apocalypse. Know if there was a rain of blood or ravens carrying the bones of children in their mouths spelling out words. They dropped them into the St. Peter's Square. You know, any number of other things, esoteric elements would be quite remarkable.


What kind of fakery is happening now? I'm not sure, but I suspect he may be trying to softly inform Mitch McConnell that Donald Trump is going to fight to the death.


Right. And do you think Mitch McConnell is going to go along with it or now?


This is an open question right now, and I'm not sure what happens next, but we're going to see a very interesting outcome here no matter what, because no matter what Bill Barr does, he cannot overcome the fact that Donald Trump lost in the Electoral College and short of some set of concatenating miracles, he is going to still be the loser. He will go to his grave as the loser, the losing loser who lost.


How would he even not be the loser? Well, it would require multiple miracles in multiple states of actual factual evidence of voter fraud. And then it would require courts to assess those and say we have to reorder the count or what have you. It's not going to happen.


The question is, does Bill Barr convince Mitch McConnell to go along with that anyway?


I think it's entirely possible right now that Bill bars saying to Mitch McConnell, hey, listen, Donald is going to fight this all the way down. I just have to give you a heads up now. There are other possibilities, of course, is that Borris telling McConnell, you know, Trump will leave quietly if we'll just load some gold bars onto the car and let him flee to Saudi Arabia in peace.


But it's definitely going to get get very testy in Washington because Trump is going to continue to drive on this angle of one. It's fake. Who knows what news Mitch McConnell is or bulbar whispering to Mitch McConnell, who knows? It could be something completely innocuous or it could be him saying basically Trump's going to duct tape himself or hogtie himself to the Golden Throne and we're going to drag him out of the White House kicking and screaming, which, by the way, if that does become the case, it's really important that we do pay per view for that.


It will cover the national debt.


Either way, I think we can agree there will be Fakhoury. Oh, yes. And great quantities of it. Huge quantities of Yukari. So T.J. is now saying.


That's right. It is his name, as he is referred to in the church. That's right.


So far, so no one has been saying that it is nefarious that the vaccine has been released just two days after his father's humiliating defeat. And of course, Pfizer doing this proved them right when Mike Pence tried to take credit for it. You guys have any thoughts on this?


Well, I have a thought on it. And my thought is that Don Jr. is having a very bad day and he can't get he can't get his friend on the line. You know, the guy with the delivery, you can't get him on the line. He's getting really nervous. And why are these ants under my skin? I feel weird. I feel weird. I can't stop talking. I feel weird. I'm itching everywhere. Oh, I'm sorry.


That's that's not me.


That's my favorite DJ of the day, is that he's saying, well, maybe we'll run as independents in twenty, twenty four if you don't do what we want. I'm like dumbest threat ever.


My favorite is his girlfriend delivering a lap dance or striptease to a Republican donor. Did you see that in Politico?


I saw it and I've been awake since then. Fearing, fearing what dreams may come and if I shut my eyes and the thought of Kimberly Guilfoyle performing an act, she calls. Oh, now our first you are going to have to believe that, yeah, that's getting big fans out, that hiring your kids to fundraise for your presidential re-election is not a great move.


Who could have seen it coming? Oh, wait. OK, everyone. So another really fun news. It seems that even though the electorate has closed in on Donald Trump, the virus is yet again circling again with Matt Gaetz getting it. Mark Meadows and Ben Carson.


Now, if I may quote the political philosopher Depeche Mode, I don't want to start any blasphemous rumors, but I think that God's got a sense of humor.


These guys getting covid are absolutely so fucking on brand for the dumb asseri of this. It's astounding. Yeah, it is kind of amazing. Astounding.


Well, I don't know about you, but Ben Carson coming down with it, the famous Dr. Ben Carson, who weirdly has had nothing to say on the on the covid except to praise the glories of hydroxyl chloroquine. I think the guy is it's just so fitting that these guys are all getting this.


It's like it's like on the day that it's like they did on Election Day. Today, Biden's got a task force of people who are who are scientists, doctors, epidemiologists, health care specialists, pharma, distribution specialists, etc. And the White House has has infected Dr. Ben and, of course, Scott Atlas, our our long time, our long time friend, Scott Atlas. Has he gotten it yet? Not yet, but I'm sure he's looking forward to it.


I mean, it is just an amazing thing. It really is.


And I think the contrast is going to open up faster than people think in their heads. Oh, David Bossie has it, too. Oh, that's nice for David.


David really is a sort of member of the grifter Trump demimonde who got thrown out of court back then, got thrown out, got back and got thrown out, got back in. And a lot of these guys right now, since we spoke last, I've had a couple of conversations with people who have confirmed for me that no one in Trump World, no one except Donald Trump himself, believes there's a path out of this. Right. When I say no one, I mean including Jared and Ivanka Meadow's, they all know it's over.


Right. But guys like Bossy and Lewandowsky and bad.


And for as long as you can stay out of jail, they're all preparing these epic fundraising plans that will go in three phases. They will go in phase one, help us get this election back on track. We won and they lost. And we all we have to do is find Hunter's fourth laptop to prove that the second wave of that is they betrayed him.


They betrayed him. Now they must pay.


We must take this to the Supreme Court so Amy Komy Barack can vote against us because it's all ludicrously short of the truth. No, it's kind of amazing. Yeah. And it is utterly certain that the stab in the back myth is now the central part of the Trump folklore. That's why T.J. is threatening to run as an independent. You either stand with us or we'll blow everything up.


It's like it's do what I want or the dog gets my ass day. T.J., I don't think he's the future of the Republican Party. I'm going to go out on a limb here.


Why not? Because he's so dumb.


I mean, even I just think he doesn't have the charisma of his father or I mean, I just don't see that playing out. But I'm curious. I disagree with you on that. And here's what you think, T.J. He speaks fluent asshole.


He loves it. And and that what is the Trump base want? They don't want policy. They don't want any of that stuff. All they want is anger. And they want somebody to say or the avatar. You were the avatar of our anger. And he will play that role to the hilt. He will play that role to the nth degree.


Right. It's certainly true. That is certainly true. And I don't think Ivanka is the future.


No, Iraq is not the future. What do we think from Fonkoze?


Future is reality television channel. She's already shopping. Mall is right. She's right. She hates it. She hates that.


She really wanted to spend the rest of her life going to Davos and Aspen South by Sundance and everything else and being the intellectual trump that feels like an oxymoron because it is because it happens to be impossible to be the intellectual trump.


There is no intellectual trump.


Well, let me push back to you guys. Do we really think those polite society people are going to be impolite to them? Like, I don't see the pig's blood getting dumped on her head like Carrie. Right. I could. I could say I think people are real mad. Listen, when Anna Wintour is scheming the list of the meatball, she's not going to take one iota of shit for the Trumps.


What I would say is this in a world where and this is a old world, as someone who knows this world a little bit, but not as much as you are. You're the rich whisperer. I would say this. People like that get forgiven because they have billions of dollars and they can like you know, they can fill out a charity like someone, for example, like Woody Johnson, who's given millions and millions of dollars to Trump and who has been a real Republican piece of shit will get forgiven because he has millions and millions of dollars and he can donate to staff and write someone like Ivonka, who is so clearly an eyesore and hard to obfuscate for and then isn't so rich.


Ultimately, it's not going to get for anything.


I just like to think of her. Her her photograph on the real estate snipe signs in front of houses in a suburb of Orlando, Florida. Trump Kushner Realty.


You can move in today to some three to two hundred and fifty thousand dollar beta.


I think she is going to end up being the one who ends up who is got the reality television life. And then Joe runs for some elected office. Right. Or maybe he doesn't. Maybe he does.


Well, he won't run for it in New York. And it's impossible. Right. So he'll move to Montana or Pennsylvania or somewhere else or Wyoming and try his little celebrity candidacy and we'll see what happens.


Yeah, the problem is he is not as charismatic as his father. Oh, no. And he's an asshole. But remember, Donald Trump is a specific flavor. No one ever thought, well, not no one. Most people never thought this guy's a genius man of God. Right. This guy, he's just so brilliant.


But at the end of the day, he was able to sort of pull the wool over people's eyes. Yes, exactly. Briefly and had a reality show to do. So I think there's a lot of reality television in store for the Trumps all.


But what network takes it without getting repercussions? Oh, I want to. Fox already has no ads on it for the primetime line. Right.


But remember, Fox doesn't depend on ads. What does Fox depend on?


Fox is paid by the head on cable, by cable systems. I don't understand. So if you're Comcast and you know, ass crack Florida, you have a thousand households. You pay Fox seven dollars per household. If you're if you're that cable provider, if you want to have them on your network.


I don't understand. That's how they really make their money. It's it's a boring show for it, but it's a real thing. And etiquette, they do not depend on the address of the is nice. They need it. They would they would like to have it but they're not depend on it.


To keep the network of what you're saying is if people want to get rid of Fox as they have to protest their cable companies, that is correct in trying. So if you want to put some paint on Fox, you go to the Comcast board and you say, by the way, we're going to make your lives a living hell of a total desperation. You don't even have to throw Fox off their air. Used to pay Fox what other networks with comparable ratings get because they get a premium on their rating?


Well, they're great negotiators. They own a specific part of the audience that no one else really has access to. It's an artifact in some ways, the hardball style that Ailes and Rupert brought in to Fox. And it's and it's a creation. But, you know, that's about that's about where it's at.


So speaking of other ways that the Trump may be losing their audience, Twitter has reportedly said that Donald Trump will lose his banning privilege, that he's avoided for all this time when he is no longer in office.


Have you looked at his Twitter page lately? It's always like false information, false information, false information.


So overunder on how long it takes him to get kicked off Twitter post inauguration, seven o'clock that night I.


What do you think happens now? You think Trump will ever accept the result?


No, he will never accept the results. It will always be cheated. Lied. Fake news. Fake election. I won. He lost. They just stole it from me. It was George Soros. It was the deep state. It was blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.


Do we have a hypothesis of why Esper was fired or Eric Trump needs a job for the next 60 days?


Don't we think that really what's happening is this is just like the Festivus massacre where Trump is firing everyone he has grievances against? Absolutely.


You can expect those things to start in the intelligence agencies tomorrow. From what I hear, there is about to be a bloodbath over.


So Jean-Pascal is not. Call me crazy, but crippling our intelligence services is a goal that many of our enemies have have enjoyed for countless decades. I wonder why he's doing it now.


So we think this is less vengeance and more to clear way for fucker.


Yeah, I think it's I think it's all about thuggery. So what do you mean, Fekri? I talked to someone today who in a security related government agency who does a lot of continuity of government stuff which is obscure and and creepy and worst case scenario planning. And this person indicated to me that the folks have been trying to burrow in to their government jobs, like convert their political appointments into permanent positions, even though you're not supposed to be. They're they're working very hard on that.


And I asked this person like, well, what's being done about it? And they replied, names are being kept, but it's going to be it's going to be interesting to see how much they manage to accomplish in that regard because they're going to try to install, like little Grinnell's into a whole bunch of of other parts of the government and into the security apparatus of the government.


That's really scary. A bit. Yeah.


Biden's going to have to sweep out that whole fucker, as I would like to say, to quote from the sacred text, I volunteer as tribute.


Dr. Topol is the best selling author and the founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute. Eric Topol, my like guy in the world, who I called you up before I did this vaccine trial, if you remember.


I remember. Well, you were very worried. I know.


Talk to me about what you see happening now.


Well, I guess the best way I don't use this term often, BFD, but that's what this looks like. This. This is really fun because we were hoping for 60 percent efficacy and this is 90 percent with ninety four events, which is, you know, not one hundred and sixty four. That's the complete trial. Right. Awfully good.


This shows that we have a vaccine that really works and it may wind up being, you know, 80 percent, but it's going to be very powerful. That changes the whole landscape in a very positive way.


Can you explain to us, first of all, what ninety four events means for those keeping track at home and also what that means about the landscape?


Yeah, well, so the trial has forty four thousand participants. That's the Pfizer trials. It's the second largest. The largest is a JMJ at sixty thousand.


Is this the largest medical trial in history? It isn't the largest, but it's in that rarified group. Yes. You know, the Johnson and Johnson is sixty thousand, but it's these numbers of people in a trial. You know, these are way high end now. The fifth forty four thousand people in order to show efficacy, it was set up that you had to show that at least 60 percent benefit of less infections in one in one hundred and sixty four events at the end of the trial.


And so there were interim looks that were planned when the independent group, the Data and Safety Monitoring Committee, review the data. And that occurred apparently yesterday. And they were ninety four events, not quite more than halfway, but, you know, not one hundred and sixty four.


Can you explain what events are? Yeah. So the events are an infection that's confirmed by virus testing, the PCR testing and symptoms. It could be Koff, it could be, you know, any of the symptoms that are associated with covid. And so this marked suppression of infections was even more than we had hoped for. And the implications for that, if it holds up at the end of the trial and for other vaccines, will be extraordinary because not only does it look safe, but highly effective, but also that will speed up when we get to this population level, herd immunity.


Everybody's been talking about that. You only can get that with a vaccine, but you get it much faster, much easier with the vaccine that has high efficacy.


People have described this as closer to the measles vaccine than the flu vaccine. Do you think that's accurate?


Well, there's a lot of differences that are beyond just the high level of efficacy. It's high levels of these neutralizing antibodies.


And so what we talk about is a super human vaccine, which just looks like it might be superhuman, meaning that the vaccine for measles is even more powerful than the typical human response. That is, when you naturally have an infection and you respond to it for measles, it isn't as good as the vaccine.


We knew from the neutralizing antibodies that were very high in virtually all these programs, you know, five or seven of these phase three programs, it look really encouraging. But when you get to the levels of 90 percent, assuming that holds up, that's really good, because if you go out in the in the in the real world and see how many people develop protection, it's not 90 percent likely. So it gets into this. There aren't many vaccines that are superhuman, but tetanus, measles, herpes, after he did only a few that really qualify in that in this may wind up being in that category.


So is it fair to say that so far and we're speaking in hypotheticals because it hasn't happened yet, but so far this is the best possible outcome for a vaccine we could have hoped for?


I think that's really true, Molly. I mean, you never going to get to 100 percent, but, you know, over 90, that's damn good. So, yeah, this is this is far better than expected. And, you know, when the 50 to 60 percent criteria that Pfizer was hoping for, 60 percent efficacy, the FDA threshold was 50 percent. So you just give you a sense of how much better this is than what was expected or the minimal threshold for getting approval.


It's amazing. I'm curious to know in your mind what happens now. Yeah, so it's going to go fast. Pfizer has to fulfill the safety timetable, which gives them a couple more weeks before they can file the emergency authorization application. That probably is already in the works, has been in the works, and they're going to get that in, you know, in the next couple of weeks, certainly before Thanksgiving. What'll happen then is that there's an internal review at FDA.


There's also an external review of experts that were recently assembled. They will likely, if the data holds up as expected in the safety, which also looks very good, they will recommend UAI emergency authorization that will occur in December. And the moment that hit the moment that EOA is granted, vaccines will be shipped out throughout the country to start with the rollout of health care workers.


So you're thinking December health care workers start getting vaccinated unless something happens that's unexpected at this point?


Yes, we will see the rollout in medical centers throughout the country, probably mid December, but certainly before the end of the year.


Do you have any other projections for what else we could see in that timeline for the rest of the people?


We will likely see the Moderna vaccine, which is just behind Fizer. It also will go through the process. It may not be quite as fast, but I wouldn't be surprised if it also gets approval by the end of the calendar year or early January.


So what is the use and having two vaccines then?


Oh, gosh, we need five really for everybody, right? Yeah, we got to get three hundred million people. Yeah, yeah.


But so why not just have the most effective one dispersed. We don't know yet. I mean it turns out most likely this virus is not going to be that hard to override with the vaccine. Thank God. Yeah. Most likely all the vaccines are going to be pretty darn effective. This is an indicator that we're going to see high efficacy probably across the board. But I mean, if we have vaccines that are not quite 90 and let's say another one turned out to be 70, well, people will flock to the one that has high efficacy.


We'll have to see. But my guess is they're all going to be pretty darn good.


Maternal will be close to Pfizer, right. Because it's the same tomorrow night. Yeah. Yeah.


Those are the two messenger RNA vaccines, which have never been and, you know, at scale, but have tremendous promise. Yeah. So Moderna will probably it'd be surprising if it isn't very similar just because it's a you know, if the different types of vaccines, it's, it's in the same category and I suspect it'll be very high efficacy. But we need multiple vaccine programs to get you know, we got to get a couple hundred million people in this country vaccinated.


Actually, the good news of today, if this 90 percent hold up, we don't need as many people because that was assuming 60 percent efficacy. This that's going to bring down all those problems with trust and hesitancy and anti vaccine. I mean, those are still issues, but they're not going to be as big an issue if this efficacy holds up.


Can you explain why that is? Just for people. Just for laymen. Right.


So the virus needs to find people to to survive, to thrive. And the more people that are getting protection, the less chance it can find hosts to accommodate it. And so what we're going to see, assuming this 90 percent holds up, is and the vaccine distribution goes as planned, which is really that's the good part. It's been very well planned by the military. This operation, warp speed, it's going to the day the hits. He goes all over the country, it shipped and and every every dose is tracked.


So assuming we get high level uptake people and again, we don't need as high as initially forecasted, we could see the virus having a hard time finding people to infect by midyear start with population immunity means the more difficult it is.


I mean, this virus will probably be endemic. It'll be here for years, but it's just going to have harder times to find people to do. In fact. Yes, exactly. You know, that's why this is this is has a very astute Molly, as usual. It's more of a measles look than it does of a flu vaccine.


Thank God. Right here. Yeah.


Flu vaccines are notoriously weak. This one looks potent. And it also means all of them will likely follow suit.


Is that because the flu mutates so much? That's one big part of it. Yes. The flu is a very rapidly evolving virus.


And the only good thing about this virus, there's so few good things is that this one is a damn slow and it hasn't changed really any significance throughout the entire pandemic. So that is really important in terms of that. Vaccine efficacy, but it's also the way targeting the spike protein turns out, you know, it's really an easy target. The flu vaccine just isn't as easy a target. This was kind of ideal. This one had a flashing sign.


You can vaccinate against me, you will prevail.


I think that's what we're getting here. Yeah.


Do you think can you talk? There's been a lot of Internet discussion this morning about whether or not Pfizer was part of Operation Warp Speed. And the answer seems to be yes.


And now, yes, it wasn't part of Operation WHARFIE, which gave it kind of free rein to do as it pleased in the in this part, the clinical trial, you know, studying it and point setting its interim analysis. You know, basically they weren't taking funding to be part of this operation more feet and they want to roll on their own. They were the only large trial in the US rolling on their own. But in terms of distribution, they are part of operation warp speed.


So the day that emergency authorization goes forward, the U.S. is responsible for getting the vaccine out. So they're they're kind of in and out. But up to this point, they're not part of the government wharfie program.


But they did benefit from some of the public private partnership stuff, right?


Oh, absolutely. And there's been lots of cross talk with with that group. So, no, there is no question they just didn't. They were the kind of running solo which gave them more, you know, kind of freedom to operate all the other trials, to have a single data and safety monitoring committee. They have more kind of alignment. And how they're proceeding with Pfizer really was rolling on their own.


Right. That's so interesting.


Ericsson, one of the most disturbing things I've been seeing on social media this morning is people are saying, oh, wow, it's so effective.


So I won't have to get it from the virus if I knew that would happen. Folks, you know, people will want to get this vaccine. You know, when you have the trust, when you have you know, when get all the data which will have in the weeks ahead, it'll be all transparent. You know, all the people you can trust will will, you know, weigh in and and we'll have new leadership that you can trust.


Coronavirus task force who you can trust will start to turn around that hesitancy, that reluctance, the antibodies to a vaccine, I hope. But the good part, though, I think it's essential is we won't have to get nearly as high of the population of vaccinated. But those who don't, those who stay in the I'm not going to have this thing, they will be at risk. And that's not good because there's going to be this vaccine. The virus will still be out there.


It just won't be as easy to spread.


You've seen some of the Biden administration's new covid task force. First of all, what do you think of the task force? And second of all, what do you think they should be doing now?


Well, I know of the thirteen. I know six of them really well. They're excellent. I think they have in their plans, you know, all the right things are in there. You know, obviously, we've got to get this testing right. We've got to get home. Rapid testing. Right, ASEP? We've got to get a digital dashboard, a real time to track everything that's going on in this country. You know, there's so many things that we have we should have done, you know, back in March.


Right. We're going to get those done. The plans are good. Obviously, the challenges are more than formidable with the one hundred and twenty thousand per day of new infections.


So, you know, I think the task force was essential. We haven't had one. Basically, we were flying blind, right? Yeah. I mean, it's just incredible. So this is what we needed. We have some very qualified people in that group. I have talked to Vivek Murthy. You know, I've consulted with him. He's one of the chairs. I think I'm very impressed with them. And they have the right ideas going forward.


One thing I to add, I think this is important for your listeners mask. They're going to be really important in twenty, twenty one. Tell us why you don't realize that. There's two real reasons why masks are going to be essential. And I wish they wouldn't be, but it's the case that they will be. First of all, the vaccines, when we talk about 90 percent efficacy, that's of getting pneumonia or getting, you know, a your body infected with illness.


It doesn't sterilize the upper respiratory tract. That is the nose. And so you can be a carrier of the virus. And so we're going to have to wear a mask because you won't know if you're if the virus is sitting in your nasal mucosa. The second thing is you may not form the neutralizing antibodies at the really high level. That is, you may not be protected. Most people will, of course. But so because we don't know these things, until we get this virus almost squashed, we got to wear masks.


And I think a lot of people don't realize that. So the good news is we got. Really potent vaccine likely the other news is keep those mass, you know, by the way, that task force they should be organizing to get surgical masks to every household in the United States, a large supply.


That's what they should be doing right now. That's not on their list, but that's what they should be doing. They're better than cloth masks. They're cheap, and we should have gazillion of them out there for the public.


So good. Thank you so much, Eric.


Oh, yeah. Great to talk to you folks. Before we get into things, we have a fun little treat. There are so many insane things happening in the world right now and two episodes a week just aren't enough to cover it all. So the new abnormal is going to release a limited run series of bonus interviews over the next few weeks for beast inside members only. We'll release a new one each Sunday. But listen carefully. Only beast inside members will have access to these.


So head over to the new abnormal DOT, The Daily Beast dot com to become a beast inside. No, now that's new abnormal dot the Daily Beast dot com. Mary Trump is the author of Too Much and Never Enough, as well as having the unfortunate distinction of being the lame duck president, Donald Trump's niece.


I'm so excited to have you back. It's so good to be back. It seems like it's been several decades.


It's been a long time. So first of all, what is going on? What do you think is happening right now?


Basically, what I anticipated with the caveat that I never cease to underestimate the cravenness of the Republican leadership. But, you know, that's because I don't know what are the odds on that. So, you know, Donald is being completely true to form. It's unacceptable. It's impossible for him to wrap your head around. He's surrounded by a bunch of cowards and, yes, men who will not do what's required. And honestly, even at this point, even if somebody like Jarrard or Ivonka, I guess that would be the end of the very short list.


I don't even think he would listen to anybody right now because he's too consumed with rage and terror, which is basically the bookends that is defined as the dialogue.


What do you think happens now? Oh, it's interesting. Well, I think the more likely is really a better word. I think yesterday that somebody claimed anyway that he's willing to concede under certain conditions.


What does that even what condition? Free ice cream forever. I think Big Mac.


So what what does that mean? What stage of the recording is bargaining? Yeah, usually I think it's going to be denial for the rest of his life, but he cannot stay there. Right. So, you know, we've been assured by people in the position to know that he should not be allowed to stay there. So the question is then, will the people around him figure out a way to make the idea of leaving, if not attractive, at least a better alternative than staying?


Because he certainly doesn't realize and what they may not and in this I include Republican leadership, is that every second he continues to stay there with his stupid tweets that get keep getting flagged and removed and firing people via tweet like Afir and either strongarming or I'm not sure what he's doing with the people, like the woman at the GSA who's refusing to write the letter to allow the transition to begin. Every minute he's doing that, he's humiliating herself. He's revealing himself to be the total infantile loser.


He is in sharp contrast to an actual president who actually starting to roll to place and do the work, even though he doesn't have the job yet, president, by them and how Republicans will have to get this job. They don't have to, but they should get to the point where they realize that every second they allowed this to happen and they are the ones allowing this to happen. As you know, they increase our chances in Georgia, right?


It's true. Is there no one around him who can, like, speak to him gingerly? And I mean, you've seen over the last two days Rupert Murdoch tried to do it. I mean, is there no one in his world? First of all, no, he's for different reasons.


I think Rupert Murdoch by Fox News has at least as Donald, you've been going rogue a little bit between the Chris Wallace performance at the debate, which was objectively terrible. But Donald thought it was terrible for completely delusional reasons to the fact that Fox News called Arizona before everybody else. And then Fox News actually called the whole lecture based on verifiable data. So Rupert Murdoch has delegitimized himself and double those. And then the people who could a guardian of our got what?


Because when they're cowards, you know, what was in The New York Times very have these close advisers to go speak them, but declined to accommodate this pretty much.


So it's like, you know, it was sort of, you know, he'll he'll he'll consider the next round. What is it? This joke, like the dogs on the roof, you get a lump on the roof. This is something that is allowed to happen in phases. You can see there you go. Right. You are allowed the transition or you don't. And it needs to happen now because as lovely as it is, but it's increasing our presence in Georgia, it's also undermining our democracy.


So the bad thing. So I think the other thing that we cannot discount is it's how psychologically invested at a very deep, unconscious level. Donald is never acknowledging this. Right. I don't want to say impossible, but it is psychologically. Be devastating for him, and he's a weak person who has no meaningful support system and the people in his inner circle, as I mentioned, not only the cowards, they also have a lot at stake here.


So getting on his bedside at a crucial time, in their view, won't work out well for them because it's all transactional, which is true, certainly.


I think the interesting thing that I would try to grapple with this is that we're all talking about how he's not going to accept failure yet. He's had so much failure in his life. Do you have any insight on how that psychologically plays out?


Yeah, I mean, it's a great question because you're absolutely right. You know, it's amazing that on the one hand, losing is the thing that is the worst thing to do. But he's never won it. Exactly right. Ever. Yeah. This is the difference, though. He's never won anything legitimately. And legitimacy means nothing to him because his ego is such that if he gets the win just by virtue of, you know, cheating, lying, stealing, he knows he deserves to win.


Right. So it's OK for him to cheat and steal. And he's always had somebody else are looking the other way or enabling him. You know, there's always been my grandfather bail him out with money and political connections. The banks have done the same thing. The media have done the same thing by, you know, ignoring the real story in order to focus on the Trump story.


Yeah. You know, the slimy details, the salacious stuff. Mark Burnett did that for him. The Republican Party did that for him as soon as he got the nomination. And he has literally never been in a position like this before in his life where there are absolutely no options. There is no way for him to get out of this. One is crap and it cannot be undone. It cannot be rebranded. It's a loss. It's an enormous loss.


And not only this is this is something else that we need to keep in mind, because it is fueling his rage and his unwillingness to accept the loss even further. He lost the Republican Party, did not was big.


They actually did. Well, yeah. I mean, certainly better than expected. So nobody can say even him that it's that he would have won if it hadn't been for the Republican Party dragging him down. I mean, he'll try to say that because clearly he doesn't understand how coattails work. Even if that were the case. You can't say that because they picked up houses, they picked up seats in the House and they should have gotten trounced in the Senate.


And there's a possibility they might keep the Senate, which, again, this is just a sad testament to America is this country, but it's all on him. So, you know, it's so that diagram earlier, it's president, one term president, impeach president and presidents who lost the popular vote. He's the only one in the middle of that that Venn diagram circle that the three overlapping circles. It's just, you know, he's lost the popular vote twice more this time than the last time.


And he's never been, as I've been saying, been legitimate.


So you are someone who really understands the psychology of the situation. How worried should we be about him firing Asper? Like, is he firing Ashboro because he's going to war with North Korea? Or is he I mean, he wouldn't go to war with North Korea because he loves them, but because he's going to bomb Canada, or is he doing it just because he's mad at people?


Well, you know, Trudeau is better looking all the way. Yeah. Malatya.


So I guess you're right. That's irrelevant, right? Yeah, of course we should be worried. We should be worried because one, it's just another way in which is eroding our norms right now. The question then becomes, though, is this is this ineffectual abuse of power because he's just flexing to try to convince people that he's still he's still strong and he still has power? Or is he planning something? I think at the moment he is he's emotionally incapable of having any kind of strategy.


I mean, not that he's usually capable of strategizing, but, you know, I think it's I think it's just lashing out more than anything else. Because the other you know, the question is like, what purpose does the serve? We might see? We get fired. We might see how people get fired for what? I mean, who is he going to replace in what are we down to 72 days? Right. By the way, that this needs to change.


It's, you know, the elections on November 3rd. The new president gets sworn in on November 4th. Give me a break. We should be worried and are the way I'm in terms of the damage you can do, though, I'm more worried about. Kinds of pardons he's going to start issuing. I'm more worried about the possibility of signing more executive orders, although I mean, that will be a short term thing to do. It would be demoralizing.


Right. But much more. I'm worried about the extent to which he throws a spanner. One of my brothers.


What the hell, friends. You might need better batteries, the gear.


All right. But seriously, with the 70 million people who need a lot of therapy, you know, the extent to which he can he has the power to legitimize the incoming administration. That's the thing that most worries me. Yeah, but.


So you don't think he's going to war with Canada? I mean, that's the country I'd pick, but. Right.


But I feel and you know, so I'm curious to know your hot take on this. I feel like he's actually quite weak and he won't do something scary. So. OK, good. All right.


But honestly, even if you were considering it, I wouldn't bet on this with my wife, certainly. But at that point, I don't think the Republicans have a choice but to step in because it would be so obvious and craven. Right. It doesn't change the outcome of the election. What does it do that. Right. You know, so I think even they at that point would have to admit that it's over and they've got it. They have got to stop the bleeding.


All right.


That's interesting. Mary, where were you when you found out the news? I was here in Chicago. I can't remember. What was I doing? I think I was working and I was toggling between MSNBC and CNN, and it was just just me and Sebastian. Sebastian was very happy when he heard the news. And it was the weirdest feeling because, like, we've all been waiting so long and, you know, so there wasn't this moment of euphoria.


It was just like, OK, so it took a while to for a decision. I think then, you know, the the I keep banging up against the 70 million that's keeping me from being, you know, unreservedly happy. Right.


One. It's also I feel like it's very scary. It is. You know, what still could happen.


That's why the Republicans can never be allowed to recover from this. What they're doing now. I mean, forget about what they've done in the last four years, which is horrific enough. But what they're doing now is unforgivable because what's the point?


Are you going to change your last name? I actually I'm I'm hoping that they're going to have to change their weapons.


Yeah, I may, but I'm pretty sure I am going to have to. Yeah.


Wow. I think people know who you are and what you've done, so.


Yeah, just make my life easier. I don't know what it totally depends on how it plays out. So interesting. I mean, if he if he had stolen another election I absolutely would have had to change.


Well I said it. Who do you think runs in twenty twenty four. Trump or you or Volke or do they all run.


I want, I want all of them to run. I think the whole bottle 2024 thing is just a way to assuage his wounded ego. Yeah. Granted Joe Biden is seventy eight, Donald will be seventy eight. However, he's like the least healthy person on the planet between his diet, his failure to exercise ever and his untreated mental illnesses. I mean, there's absolutely no way, like somebody said to me is like, well, even, you know, will he be psychologically competent for you, Mickey?


Is it? No. So, you know, and this will just be the coup de grace.


You know, he doesn't recover from this ever. And I think if the states, particularly in New York State, do their jobs and let's just stick with New York, because I think that's our best bet. If it's a short drive in who might have much more faith than I do, it's like they do their jobs and I'm pretty sure that they want to. Could you run a presidential campaign from Riker's Island?




If we were fortunate enough to have this happen, I think it would be Donny. Yeah, Donny, he's the dumbest. He's my favorite on this.


And the base here, Leon Natha is the cocreator of the amazing podcast Slow Burn and the host of Fiasco, a podcast on the 2000 election recount. Tell us a little bit about this podcast that you have, this new one. Yeah. So Yasko is a podcasts anthology series, I guess you could say, where each season is about a different major historical event in American politics that we revisit by going back and interviewing everyone that we could find. Who was the.


And so I pull up close and find archival footage from news coverage that was that was aired at the time, and just try to basically retell the story in a way that makes the listener feel like they know what it was like to live through in real time before anyone had the benefit of hindsight. And so with this season, Bush v. Gore, we took on the 2000 election and the recount in Florida that took place over the next 36 days, followed Election Day in 2000.


So Trump World is really pretty hot on the idea that this is two thousand normal people who can process reality. Don't agree with that. Tell me what your take on this is.


I don't think it's 20, and I'm actually kind of surprised not to hear more like over comparisons from the Trump people, because you would think like they would want they would want this to look as much like two thousand as possible just because, like, whatever you think about the final outcome, the Supreme Court decision, everyone was sort of on the same page that there were some issues to figure out. I think right now there the consensus among reasonable people who are not trying to be president is there are no things to figure out.


Obviously, he's trying to convince everyone that there are that there are issues with the but with the vote count or which votes are counted, which ones were not supposed to be counted. There is an attempt, obviously a group effort by Trump and his allies to kind of create the impression of ambiguity or lurking problems that we need to put under a microscope. And that was actually true in 2000. I mean, there are a number of issues all over the state that needed to be worked through.


The most famous example is the butterfly ballot in which a ballot design decision in Palm Beach County resulted in ballots that misled or confuse voters who wanted to vote for Al Gore, but accidentally ended up voting for Buchanan just based on how the ballot was designed. I look back at it because we worked through this kind of tangle of of of storylines that came up after Election Day. You just find that there were so many little arenas in which this fight was being waged.


So you had the butterfly ballot and one ended up actually not being legally significant because there's no way to undo it. But there are other issues in other counties where ballots that used a punch hole had resulted in people not punching their hole in all the way through. And so you had hanging chads and pregnant chads and dimpled chads. I don't know if those terms ring a bell. And then separately from that, you had a controversy over military ballots or overseas absentee ballots.


Both campaigns are sort of trying to find these small, I guess like fights to pick. Maybe you could say that everyone wanted an excuse to to to get an edge over the other side. And so and obviously, the Gore team was especially incentivized to find issues because they were behind. And the reason, like any old little story line, like little Palm Beach mattered so much was that the margin was just so tiny that anything that you could change about the vote count could end up being decisive.


Wow. But that's not what's happening here. What's happening here. They would have overturned numerous state. Yeah.


Margins that are way bigger than what you saw in Florida. I mean, recounts don't generally move the vote count all that much. I don't know what the average is and how much you can calculate it, but I was sort of surprised to learn that the first thing the Gore team did when when it was clear this was going into overtime was bring in a guy who specialized in recounts like you was a Democratic consultant who in literally a book about how recounts work and how you should approach them when you're on whichever side you're on, whether you're losing or whether you're winning.


The standards are different. There are specialists on this because this is a thing that happens fairly frequently. I just don't think there's any there's not really a precedent for the kinds of margins we're seeing in these states, like Pennsylvania, for example, where recounts would really be expected to make a dent. So I don't know. I just feel like Trump and his legal team, such as it is, are like looking back to two thousand and thinking, oh, well, they succeeded at kind of dragging things out and sowing doubt just by filing lawsuits to do that, too.


And I do think people have taken it more serious than they might have if we hadn't seen what happened in two thousand playout. There is there is some sort of been a very general sense of precedent for this. But I just think as soon as you drill down the particulars of what they're alleging and the numbers, they're trying to overcome it just like have much in common. One of my favorite podcasts ever is Slow Burn.


You're welcome. It's amazing. And it's all about the few people who haven't heard it. I'm sure everyone has. It's all about Watergate. And you were doing this right at the same time as the impeachment. So I'm curious to know, were you I mean, were you shocked that it didn't have Watergate like outcome or now do you mean the Mueller investigation and all that?


Yes. No, I really wasn't, because I was really clear, even as we were making that season, that Trump's support among his fellow Republicans was just like somehow, seemingly, we call it like immune to laws of gravity. Like whatever laws of gravity were revealed through the Watergate story was just it was just obvious that something was different about how people were making calculations of. Whether it was worth it to stay by its side, something was different because, you know, and you can see this from like even putting aside his fellow politicians, like his approval ratings among Republicans, or maybe it's just like his his approval ratings among Republicans are just like totally stable across the four years.


Like nothing nothing seems to make a difference. The kinds of scandals that would have obviously taken down people in the past just didn't seem to stick them him. I'm saying things everyone knows at this point. But like, yeah, I would say it was clear to me kind of retracing the kind, of course, that Watergate took, that a lot of things had to go a certain way for that. I've come to to come about like we sort of think of it now in retrospect as inevitable.


But I think there were so many forks in the road and Watergate, ultimately, we kind of illustrated where someone decided they made a decision, right? Yeah. Or someone or some kind of kind of like in a situation with like with the tapes came in and kind of just changed the course of the entire story. It just seemed clear to me at the end of that season that we got pretty lucky as a country in terms of the story of Watergate.


And so it didn't seem like, oh, well, it ended that way. And want to get back into this way from the.


So that's so interesting. Do you think that conservatives may get in trouble for are stupid or how do they have just less of a commitment to democracy and the rule of law?


I don't know. I would be hesitant to say anything as broad as all that. But I guess I suspect that has more to do with, like media consumption and changes in how people's loyalties form and dissolve. Like, I don't know. I guess when I look at the people who have stood by Trump, including like Marco Rubio, you know, you would think or Mitt Romney even frankly, it's not like a Trump supporter, but it's not taken should know better.


Even when he came back, like on his white horse into the Senate, you still didn't distinguish himself by being the kind of aggressive anti Trump Republican that you might have expected him to be. And I just like I don't know, I'm not smart enough, I think myself to know what is what calculus these guys are making. The X Factor. Yeah, I just don't get it. I don't know. I have to assume that these people are going to go home at night and know that they've been they've been silent in the face of outrageous misconduct and they have in many cases defended Olsson's.


And I don't know how to explain that to themselves. That's like something we try to do on the podcast, which fiasco is like figure out how people convince themselves of their own virtue or their own righteousness, like it just it's an amazing power of self-delusion that people use to protect themselves.


I don't know who were the worst actors so that I can shame them in the 2000 recount.


Well, I think the best example of sort of a brazen act of hypocrisy that was clearly, clearly undertaken because nothing mattered. But winning was when the Republicans were trying to get a looser standard, looser accounting standard applied to overseas absentee ballots, which are understood to favor Bush because they were often coming from military bases. The Bush team found out that the Gore lawyers were going around to local election boards and telling them, like, look, if you get overseas absentee ballots without a postmark or the pajamas after the election or without a signature, you can't count those.


And that's an example of the Gore people being arguably like the kind of ruthless that people often want them to be where they say, yeah, like we're going to take a stretch however we can, if we can if we can discount certain ballots that we think are likely to go for Bush, we will. We will. But the Republicans still outmaneuvered them, despite despite the Democrats seemingly being aggressive in that way. They usually aren't. The Republicans still outmaneuvered them by branding these ballots as military ballots all over TV, all over Fox News.


They were talking about military ballots and how Gore wanted to disenfranchise our men and women in uniform because he was unwilling to take the looser standard or executing it because he was not willing to encourage local officials to apply looser standards to to military ballots. Meanwhile, the same Republicans were arguing in Miami-Dade and Broward County and Palm Beach that if a ballot had an error on it of some kind or someone didn't sign their name, or if they didn't push through the to the punch hole far enough all the way in.


Sorry. Rules are rules. You can't count it. And so they were simultaneously advocating for looser standards would have benefited them. Stricter standard would have benefited the other side. And so it's just like they just didn't care. They just didn't care about looking like Democrats and they just wanted to win. I think there's a lesson in that. Yeah, no.


And I mean, I wish Democrats would act like that more, but it's so interesting since you've covered Watergate so heavily.


And do you have a feeling on if Joe Biden is going to be president number forty six or forty seven, is that what he is convinced that Trump will like, go to Mar a Lago? I'm convinced PED's is going to part of that he he'll resign and he's going to resign and let pense pardon him. That's interesting. And Pens will become president and then. Yeah. For for January 20th.


That's a really clever idea. I hope they don't. I it's Jesse suggested shopping it for Trump. Put it out there like give it the daily pundit. They'll say like before saying watch it, watch him zoom to the Twitter feed. Well, think said that it seems like obviously it's going to happen. I will cop to being blasted with regard to what's going to happen if it feels as though one was just decided to ignore Trump and decided it doesn't matter if he is going to concede.


But I don't know. I mean, I will be honest and say I don't think I'll be able to really say, although I think we all need permission to believe it. I don't know. Do you ever think before the election, before Election Day, like people on Twitter would be grabbing on to any instance of Trump talking about his presidency in the past tense or like saying something that betrayed his parents like that he was capable of imagining himself, losing like I felt like so important that, like, Trump was willing to concede that he might lose.


I feel like in the same way we all, like, are waiting for permission to really believe that you will insist on staying in the White House. But it seems more and more like it being drowned out.


So, yeah, that is kind of exciting. Rick Wilson. Yeah.


Welcome to our one segment, the one segment required by state, federal law and international treaty. Who is your fuck? That guy. I don't even know my fuck. That guy is Bill Barr, the king of fucker who just walked into Mitch McConnell's office and who is going to do something beyond the fucking pale. We'll know next episode what it is he does, but he is my fuck that guy, because we know wherever criminality goes, Bill Barr is there and he is my guy for his work.


Crimen, on behalf of the crime enterprise. That is the crime. Yes.


My fucked that guy today is on a day that should be a day of of, frankly, joy and celebration in this country, not only because Donald Trump has lost the election and will forever be a one term loser president who was impeached and humiliated.


But it is his vice president today who receives the coveted thought.


That guy micropenis. Yes, micropenis, as he's known as Warat says because he came out and immediately claimed credit for the Pfizer vaccine.


Yes, the Pfizer vaccine that was created not in operation warp speed.


The Pfizer vaccine was not developed under operation warp speed, though they did benefit in some ways from it.


But yes, well, look, they later signed a separate deal if the vaccine worked, but it was not Mike Pence is doing it. Was that Donald Trump's doing?


And it was certainly not a Vanka Stewart. No, it was a bunch of incredibly dedicated researchers and scientists who buckled down and put the pedal to the metal to develop a successful vaccine. But it's so on brand for these skills to try to claim credit for it. Donald Trump is going to create a brand called the Trump vaccine, I promise you.


And Penn's doing that was so on Brand.


You know, don't make any mistake that Mike Pence is a completely a part of this scuzzy underworld of Trump ism.


On that note, we'll wrap up this episode of The New Abnormal from The Daily Beast. In future episodes, we'll be talking with smart folks from The Daily Beast and beyond, from media, culture, politics and science to help us understand what's happening to our country and the world.


We hope you'll subscribe to us on your favorite podcast app and share the show on social media. We're just getting started and don't want you to miss an episode if you'd like to follow us on Twitter. I'm Molly Chang, Fast and Historic Wealth, and thanks so much for listening. And we'll see you again on the next episode.


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