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. So today we have a very special, exciting guest who's one of our favorite guests. Is that fair, Rick?
It is more than fair. One of could I get a ranking like in my own grunter where we've had to change our rankings after the Miles Taylor situation? I was behind Miles before I could never have gone by.
Miles, played by Tim Miller, Republican strategist, member of Republicans The Rule of Law, BOLLWORM columnist and not Miss Arbat. Yeah, one of our favorites is joining us today.
As you're listening to this, people across this great country of ours are voting. We thought we would talk today about my interest in Tuvan throat singing, long distance equestrian sports and the Galapagos Islands. Or we could talk about the election. Rafalca. Oh, yeah.
I think it's fair to say that some people are listening to this while waiting online to vote, which I love for you.
And I hope that if you're listening to this while you're waiting to vote, we are bringing you at least some amusement and enlightenment. There are many other podcasts, but ours is here for you today on this most important and solemn of days. Do you know what happened this weekend? Well, I know that Bulbar had to step forth from his den like a badger, having been baited out to greet a group of antifa, far left super progressive protesters. Oh, I'm sorry.
It was actually a group of Q Sitrick Trump fans agree with Bulbar for not arresting Joe and.
I want to point out this very important detail because I was actually sent photos from someone who was there. These people brought a white horse with them as one does any protest these days.
What is the symbolism of that? This is I don't know. I haven't been I haven't been watching, like, dewdrops closely enough. Apparently. I don't it feels like there must be some symbolism about a white horse in front of Barr's house.
I will point out the Book of Revelations. I would say there, tell some Christian stuff.
I'm not I'm not even going to Google this, but I believe the White Horse in the Book of Revelations was the writer who was built on conquest and war. If I'm not mistaken, I went to a Jesuit high school.
I wasn't into the Opus Day Bilbo shit. So I don't know that I don't know that all the tongue is speaking here.
We're not we're not from that Opus Day thing, are we? There are some of the stuff that I wrote about this for The Bulloch yesterday.
If you want to check out the full the full read, there was one little note about this that really stood out to me, and that is that bar went outside to greet them and he did selfies. He did selfies with these folks.
So so we've got like these insane lepers that are fantasizing about pedophile rings deep inside our government going to his home. And I mean, you would think that this might be concerned. This is a security risk, but no bar goes outside. Does he know how to do selfies? I guess you're one of them was doing selfies with him. Right. And this is the same guy that you don't recall just a few months ago, like ordered the gassing of ministers outside of the White House who were peacefully handing out water to Black Lives Matter protesters.
So it doesn't seem like the scales of justice are balanced for me on who gets the selfie treatment and who gets the rubber bullet.
Grynet, Jesse and I, our producer, did this very dorky live election integrity live stream earlier today, which was like reading the encyclopedia, but sort of fascinating. And in it, they talked about this Mark, where these parents and children marched to the polls and and were gassed. Yeah, for sure.
These kids are crying, as in Graham, North Carolina, and they're young black kids who were going with their parents this March, George Floyds. And this was going to speak against the reports from the ground are they had a moment of silence in front of the courthouse. Now, this wasn't in front of the attorney general's private home. This was in front of the courthouse Friday and the white horse protest site.
And there are these guys that are in fatigues and gas masks. It's like for a small town civil rights parade and start indiscriminately firing pepper spray into the crowd. I mean, it's just the contrast between that and glass house and the truck nuts is a very, very stark and it is not a it's not a fucking accident about who is being targeted. Can we talk about the truck nuts for a second, because the Texas guys from Texas guys were one second, I want to revisit that a second, but the Jerseyite are the Garden State Parkway shut down by the truckers yesterday.
I'm thinking if you're Bill Stepien, who runs the Trump campaign and you see this on TV after you shut down the fucking George Washington Bridge one time, he had to be thinking. That's right. He was involved in Bristol. I'm going to declare I think goosestepping must have ordered this. If he hasn't, he hasn't said anything. So therefore, he must have. But if you see that on TV in your best effort, you got to be thinking, seriously, how could I have agreed to shilly Siiri Extradition Treaty Thailand?
I love that Rick Wilson like devote some amount of the pod to whoever in the Trump campaign is listening to it.
Oh, I think you are though. It's so much bigger. Like my message to Bill Stepien.
If you're listening, a friend of mine should a picture of a Trump car rally there from a couple of weeks ago and there were more Confederate flags than you would have seen in the average Alabama football game on the weekend. I mean, it was crazy thinking. Do you guys know what side New Jersey in? Was that you briefed on how you briefed on that one? Apparently you are.
Yeah, my husband's from West Virginia, and I know there are a lot of Confederate flags in West Virginia.
And I'm like, you're aware while you're West Virginia and we're going right back to the truck. Nuts. Did you see the statement that the sheriff put out in defense of the truck? That's because this was this was actually the highlight of my weekend.
You said that the Brady Campaign should have alerted him that they were coming through his jurisdiction so that he could have protected up by saying, look, we're all like one in the old West, right. And you need to call the sheriff before you come in through town just so the angry hordes don't come and attack you either. Get a bit get a bit of joy out of that.
That's like Blazing Saddles with new. So Trump World has had some really unsuccessful events lately where more than once, I think twice now, they've had the buses not taking the people back to their cars and leaving the followers stranded. Correct. And once they had the older people getting hypothermia and then this time this weekend and I'm curious to know, do you guys think these people will still vote for Trump even though he gave them hypothermia? Yes, he is.
He has tested them. He's tested he's tested their faith, and he's giving them the high, high treatment, which is therapeutic for Convit. It's hypothermia and hydroxy chloroquine.
Right. You know, as our friend as our friend Hillary Loro said, come for the covid. Stay for that for me.
I actually I mean, I have know I have all these people recovering, et cetera. But I do worry about, like, the gal at Starbucks or at the McDonald's across from the Israelis who didn't know didn't do anything. She just went to her job and voted for Joe Biden responsibly and that she's getting the coronavirus because these numb nuts all just packed in. Ten thousand people strong into a freezing cold Donald Trump rally. It is outrageous and totally unconscionable, truly.
And the doctors who are going to have to treat these people, you know, and I mean, this is what it is like. You know, it's a it's a highly contagious virus, so it's never going to stop with the magazine.
And, Rick, I saw this video of our old friend Marco yesterday at this rally. He's shouting and shouting. All these people are shouting, it's late at night.
They're all packed in there together. I'm just like, does he really think this is going to hold up? Well, like four years from now, he wants to run for president when people are showing videos of him, like at a death cult rally attacking Sleepy Joe. I know. Maybe he does. Maybe I think so. But like, you know, there'll be a half million people dead by the time the next election comes around. Like, what are they why is he doing that?
My favorite text about that, a guy who's raised a seven figure sum for Marco over his campaign to the presidential texted me and said, oh, God, you're getting all this video down, aren't you? And my response was, oh, not just for Marco.
They're all doing well.
But it was it was a clownish performance. And it was he cheered on the Texas truck guys. Yeah, it's like it's like what are you thinking? What do you think people are going to look at this like in a couple of years or a couple months? Right. It's not just bell bottoms, Marco, OK? It's not just parachute pants. It's not just something you get like, oh, that was a fad. You went out and you basically bow down to Donald Trump at a moment where a pandemic is spiking across this country.
I guess the part of it that really strikes me is that these guys, he's surrounded by people who are not stupid, but they are telling him like, well, we've got to keep this base. The base will never change. This will always be what it's like. And so, you know, we can't get primaried someday by someone saying you weren't sufficiently loyal to Donald Trump.
Speaking of which. Primary is Marco in twenty twenty four. Well, that would be your boyfriend, Rick Gates. I mean, Matt Gates. Excuse me, do you think it's Matt Gates or you think it's Junior in Florida? Yeah.
Are we sure that Junior isn't going to be slugging Marco in the presidential primary in twenty twenty four? Oh no.
I think Junior and Tucker Carlson and Marco may be fighting it out of the presidential and eventually, of course, the deal will be made. And you know, Vice President Carlson will rule with an iron fist for a thousand years.
You know, you think this is funny. Some of us just find this very stressful.
To quote my late and beloved grandmother, gallows humor is still here.
Hey, Molly, if you were going to pick like a very popular figure in the country who is one of the few shining lights in the darkness that is covered, who would that be?
Right after I killed Santa. I might fire Foushee. Hold on. Before I fire you, I want to warm up by setting this bucket of kittens on fire under fire. And it's like chillout. Remember, Joe? Yes. In that Senate race when he like in I'm sorry, there's a race, right? When he's like, I would kill the kittens, I would run them over with the subway train. I would not stop the subway train.
That's what this is like.
I mean, this is also the big thing on this. It's like, you know, these seniors, he's tanking with seniors.
It's likely to be the death knell of them. And there are all these seniors out there that like, I think just like really want to vote for him kind of. Right. They agree with him on most things. And but he's just so crazy and he's been so irresponsible in the virus. And if he just behaved for the last week, just kind of just a little bit, sort of like you did in twenty sixteen, you know, maybe the magnet, the partisan magnet pulls some of these people back.
And rather than do that twenty four days before the election, it's like no fire vashi. I'm going to get rid of douchy. I'm just going to rub your face in the novel coronavirus and you're going to vote for me anyway. You're going to like it.
It's like it's just a it's just an unbelievable threat. And the thing is, it was not a strategic move. He's just such a baby that the crowd started chanting Fire, Foushee, fire Foushee. And he can't help himself, but wanting to fill that hole, that black hole in his heart and so and give the people what they want.
Yeah, I think that's right. I mean, I feel like it's important to remember he is never playing three dimensional chess. He's always just eating a checker.
No, it's always impulse. It's always whatever brain fart. Is that at that moment occurring to him, he's he's like an animal that chases a butterfly through the force and runs into things while he's doing it. Oh, yeah. There's no chess. There's no strategy. There's just there's just the moment. Pure impulse.
It is sort of amazing. I'm just sort of shocked that he's still closed in some of these states.
Well, look, there is a natural tightening of the race at this point where the partisan numbers have come home. A lot of voters who voted early have now sort of, you know, had until they switched off. But they're not there's not, as you know, in your face on social media everywhere else. And the Trump folks are feeling a little bit desperate. They're feeling a little bit they're feeling like the world is coming down around them and they're not wrong.
You also have the epistemically closed information loop that the people are in. I mean, it, Mully, if you just want just to let your blood blood pressure spike, but also get a sense for what's happening, go, go watch a tape of yet last night's Mark Levine show on the Fox News Network that he runs about.
He literally spent five minutes playing Trump's Mount Rushmore speech to like patriotic music in the background on the eve of an election year.
I mean, it's like it is the people these people are not getting this information that you find to be disqualifying. And if it slightly breaks through the cracks, their defenses have built up such they're not letting it sink. Yeah, they're completely rejecting it as being the fake news mongers.
That is so nuts to me. I mean, and I know it's happening. And we saw like Eric and Junior, I mean, they're you know, what I think is an interesting shift is that in 2016, those guys, the Trump crew, shared misinformation and disinformation, but they did it inadvertently. Now, four years later, it's like their campaign is doing ad four years later, all the whole last four years they've been doing it.
That's just the deal. Now, they don't even attempt to try to engage in a debate of ideas. Right. That is not what is happening in this campaign. What Donald Trump is out there when he's talking about a fantasy, Joe Biden, that wants to send Cory Booker to rape your wife and. Allow third to run rampant over the country and bring in the Syrian regime, Sharia. Yeah, exactly. And then online, you've just got Trump Junior and Rick Grenell and all of these clowns like tweeting names that are either altered or disinformation or whatever, bubbles up out of Champ.
Like, that's it. That's the campaign that has been the entire and it's been the president doesn't recur now.
No. Like crazy national security staff. Yeah, it's disturbing.
Yeah. It should scare the shit out of you. What, he knows it to scare the shit out of you because when he walked in as, as DNI, he got the briefings and he got the sources and methods stuff that I'm sure the intelligence community probably spent the last four years thinking. Let's just not mention the source here in this country, because you never know you never know whether the president will just blurt it out on an open fucking cell phone, which he would.
The good news is Rick actually doesn't care about learning about the information about the Middle Eastern threats, because what he really cares about is how hard you can own Suyin and what is like a grenade.
Well, I mean, when he was getting those reports, that's what he was focused on. How can I have a nephew like this court to own some liberal Twitter like that? That was the main focus. So that was the national security you speak of.
I'm here to own the lives. I mean, but that's the thing, though. What has saved American democracy are what will hopefully save American democracy is how stupid these people are. Next time. We may not be so lucky.
I don't know. That's why I worry about, you know, the Tom Cotton's of the Josh Holism, the world. Josh Hawley and Tom Cotton will come into that same thing and say, how do I keep these these people that work from space pissed off, paranoid, freaked out, angry and ready to burn themselves alive for me. And they'll do it when sitting by sitting in a room with pollsters and data guys and analysts and psychologists, and they'll build something more frightening that looks less crazy and less, you know, clownish than Trump.
It'll be just as scary of a nationalist populist thing and the authoritarian and waiting thing. So that's why you don't take these guys lightly.
But it's true. We talk about Texas for a minute. Sure. Because David Wasserman has Texas as a toss up and I'm seeing a lot of polling that has it like one point away. That's humongous.
We resisted Texas this whole year. We kept saying, oh, data is moving, but it's not enough. It's not enough. It's not enough. This early vote in Texas is so cataclysmically large that we're going to watch it on election night. It's not going to be. And you can't just put it to bed and say, screw it. I still think it's a tough left, but it's closer now than it's ever been in our lifetimes. And it really what Texas does is what makes the decision between whether or not this is a 1980 race or 1964 race.
If Texas goes to 1964 and that's the ballgame and Trump ism is on the ash heap of history. Yeah, that might it'll still have its devotees, you know, it'll still have its versions of like the the Bircher style guys. But if if if Texas blows out Georgia, I agree with Wasserman. I now think I'm going to call Georgia for Biden by a close. No, but if Georgia and Texas go, even if Florida stays red, it is the political cataclysm of the century for the Republican Party.
But it does seem like in places like North Carolina, I mean, Cal Cunningham is winning and Tillis is dying.
Yeah, well, there is this other demo, too, in certain states, depending on the thing, can counteract it. But there are still some like blue collar former Democrat types that like Trump that are culturally conservative but don't like the Chamber of Commerce, Republican types like tell us. So it's quite possible that it can work the other way, too, in certain places. And I think that is happening to tell us where. I think that he'll run slightly behind Trump.
It's weird because Cunningham and Biden both and I want to dig into this at some point after we finish this election.
The October surprise is in the last minute oppo hits this year. Yeah. Have all just fallen completely flat.
How many laptop? Cal Cunningham. Cal Cunningham took a beating on this affair story and within ten days his numbers were back.
Trump just overshadows all that shit. It just doesn't work with the virus and Trump, it's just too much to break through.
Yeah, I think that's exactly right term. It's just there's just this infinite amount of overhang from Trump and covid and everything else. And people just go, OK, yeah. So he screwed around. OK, here we go. Yeah, I think it's true.
I think it's also interesting though, that these weren't just like the last minute oppo dump on Hunter Biden's laptop. They knew it wasn't picking up and they just kept going with it, they were like, but what's really on the laptop? Like nobody gives a shit. I mean, the guy lives in California. He doesn't work in the government. It's I mean, meanwhile, Ivanka Trump made how many millions of dollars last year. I mean.
Oh, you mean the blind computer repair man story wasn't it wasn't the silver bullet. You know that on the phone making money. And you have Jared Kushner doing deals with NBC while his channelize chopping up journalists that didn't break right on WhatsApp.
Call me crazy. Well, and the other the other part of it that just this idea inside the the Trump media sphere that if only someone would say the name Tony Bellucci the world, but would pay attention to all the little stupid Belinski, it's like Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice.
So it's Election Day.
And Rick, Molly, you two are going to be doing a Q and A for beast inside members or is today with Don Imus. So I wanted to ask all the questions I saw from your listeners that I thought was interesting, which is ignoring majorities that you can't answer. Senator, Congress, what's the seat you'd most like to see flipped in this election? For the three of you to answer?
I'd like to get rid of Dan Crenshaw and I'd like to see him in Texas beat him. He's just the funniest of all. Well, you know, it's a competitive category. So these are the top of felonies. And I think that's a surprisingly close race. It's a bit of a stretch. I don't want to pick an easy one, but the Democrats are going to win anyway, so it's a little bit of a stretch. I'd like to see same snake.
Good choice. Rick Wilson. If I could flip one. If I could just flip one of these people, it would be Mensa candidate. Definitely. Yes.
Just because he is part of this interlocking directorate of Phuket's who have promoted every goddamn conspiracy theory just because he is Derek Harvey, you know, sugar daddy and spreading these ridiculous conspiracy things and completely turning the elements and arms of government into weapons for Donald Trump. But unfortunately, I don't think we're going to get that one.
So mind I want to say, Mitch McConnell, that I want even though I know that's not happening because he's just so destructive. Actually, you know what? I'm changing it. It's my guess. My candidate is Mike Esmie. I'm sorry. I get very involved. CASBY because he's grew up in Mississippi. He lived through Jim Crow. He is like back and he's just awesome. And the idea of sending I mean, if we if Democrats could send three African-American senators to the Senate, that would be incredible and it would change.
You know, we've only ever had 10. So Mike Hesp is my pick is amazing.
My husband doesn't make us stand. So he'll be so happy to hear that he got the shout out umble.
I mean, he's just so, so great. We did a little bit of work down there and, you know, there's a possibility of runoff. That'll be something. That would be something.
Aaron Benko is a national security reporter for The Daily Beast, and today she's going to talk to us about two completely insane Trump myths. One is Hunter Biden's laptop and two is a Trump has done a great job managing the pandemic.
And how many laptops did Hunter Biden have for a long time?
When I say a long time, it felt like eons. But I guess it was really only like a week or two. We were paying attention to what the computer repair shop guy, Wilmington, Delaware, was saying.
Didn't you go down there?
So I did not personally go down there, but I kind of badgered the editors saying we need to go or let's send somebody who is a stringer, because I was so from the very beginning, so fascinated in how this random guy from Trolley Square, Wilmington, Delaware, got involved in this major political story, one of the biggest political stories of twenty twenty. And so we ended up sending a freelancer down there to chat with him and cut him a little bit off guard.
And so what he ends up telling us is that who he thinks is Hunter Biden comes in and gives him three laptops. Oh, God, there are three. Well, that's what he says. And then then we really kind of whittle that story down to find out that there's really only one that the FBI has and is working with for whatever reason, which we don't really fully understand why the FBI has that and what they're doing with it. But my colleague Lauchlan Mark, reported a couple of weeks ago, I think it's actually a week ago now that there is a second laptop.
So I think we're a little unclear still whether it's definitely one might to I got into trouble with an opinion piece I wrote this weekend where I said that because The Washington Examiner took a snippet of that piece and said, there's a second laptop. And I said that the Washington Examiner had discovered a second laptop when in fact, again, it's not even clear there is a second laptop. But if it is, it was actually broken by. Yes.
Yes. It's important to get your Hunter Biden laptop stories, correct?
Yeah, I guess, you know, it's it's looking back now on the origins of this story, it's really interesting to see the trajectory of it. Right, that it goes from this this guy in Wilmington saying that he was given three to him saying, well, I don't really know how many I actually gave over. And then I copied the hard drive of one, but not the others. And then and then the FBI confirms they do have one of Joe Biden's laptops.
Mark says no, there's actually two. So who knows, really? I think there's at least one.
So the thing that I find fascinating about this story is it has not ever caught fire. No one is interested in Hunter Biden's laptop for any number of reasons, perhaps mostly because of Onchi works on the White House and Hunter lives in California and seems to have no connection to a Biden White House. Why do you think they're so stuck on at The Daily Beast?
We really tried to do our due diligence at the beginning in trying to run down who was behind the operation but who had these laptops? Who was this guy? John Paul McIsaac, Delaware. What was his story? And so we spent about a week really trying to get the nitty gritty and granular details on how this laptop came into the news. And so what we ended up finding out was that Rudy Giuliani, when he would talk to the press, really wanted nothing to do with the press, a story he would always steer clear of saying how he got the materials.
He was always more interested in pushing the press to look at what the terrorists actually said. But, of course, the process is is the story is part of a large part of it. And so what ended up happening is that I think Giuliani and others along the way started to either not trust mainstream media outlets with the documents that they had had, that they would tell the story they wanted. And so what ended up happening is that these materials made their way only to a couple of outlets that Giuliani or his other colleagues and people that were working with him were attached to.
And of course, we broke the story that former Fox News, if that camera caught, was behind a large push and trying to get these materials out to the conservative media. But it just never ended up taking off the way I think Giuliani had hoped. And I think that's in large part because he really pushed back against anybody who wanted to ask questions about how he got the materials in the first place.
That's so interesting, since we've always heard that a fox runs with a story, that it's just going to become part of the conservative media and that they run the show. But you really think it's just because there were so many holes in the story that it did not catch on? I think that that was part of it. But I also think that there was very public skepticism about this computer repair guy in Delaware from Republicans like Ron Johnson and other people working these materials from Capitol Hill.
I think very early on there were doubts about how Julian got the materials and who he relied on to get them pushed out to the press. And so from that point, once you have people raising questions about them, it's really hard to continue pushing them out in a way that you want. I believe a reporter, an anchor or TV personality on Fox News, even I forget who it was exactly questioned the authenticity of this computer repairman and the materials themselves.
And I think Johnson went on several TV outlets saying, look, we're doing our due diligence. We're not sure this is real. We have no idea yet. And at that point, the story, I think, was sort of dead in the water.
Yeah, it's such an amazing story. And also, Steve Bannon figures into this, too, right?
So according to Steve who not technically isn't he technically out on bail right now?
I think so. But we tend not to think that often, given his unreliability. But he did appear on YouTube with Rudy and on other news outlets talking about his involvement. And he says that he came in at the very end as Rudy pulled a man because apparently he knew best how to get these materials out into the ether. But even Bannon kind of dropped off.
That's not good. Yeah. And he just he I think his role was always supposed to be behind the scenes. And Rudy was supposed to be the one that went on TV and talked about it. But the problem with Rudy, as we all know, is that he got himself caught up in the Ukraine madness and working with Dirk had to be designated as a Russian agent. And so, you know, there were credibility problems from the beginning with Giuliani, which I think is part of the reason why this story never kicked off the way he wanted.
I also think that the Borat stuff did not help him. Is that fair?
I don't know. I don't I really don't know how much the stuff played in all of this.
I think it definitely made him turn off his cell phone for a few doors for him, which, of course, is always how this goes with Giuliani. Any reporter who talks to him knows that, you know, you catch him when you catch him and he's really hard to get a hold of. And when you do get him on the line, there could be usually always the story in that conversation. But if you don't get him on the line, then there's no story.
And so when when he kind of went back there for a couple of days, that's when it started to slow down, I think.
So we have this situation now where we have Eric and Kernow and a lot of Trump surrogates sharing disinformation and really going hard core, no rules kind of stuff, which we see in Trump, too, this weekend, his like lies and rhetoric. What is going on?
So I think from an intelligence and national security story standpoint, this is what officials have been worried about for quite a while. Right. Is that 20, 20 would be the election of disinformation and misinformation and that, you know, officials in in DHS and other corners of the government would have to work to sort of combat not only disinformation from foreign adversaries, but just domestically as well from within the White House. And so I think we've already started to see that disinformation story kick off today, or I guess it was last night.
And the administration officials have already paid close attention to the tweet. They viewed this as a launching point for for this disinformation. Twenty twenty election story.
Can you say which one? That one that was so that Latinos there were two photos that you tweeted out, but there was a photo of Biden apparently wearing a mask on a plane. And then, of course, that that photo of him on the left of him not wearing a mask was from two thousand nineteen and had nothing before the pandemic hit, had nothing to do with his election bid. And so, you know, the fact that you have our former acting DNI director tweeting out photos that are inaccurate raises all sorts of alarm bells or Nasdaq and Intel officials who are closely monitoring the election.
And so it's it's ironic now that we're four years past twenty sixteen and that our twenty twenty disinfo stories coming from within the house and. Certainly never expected that it would get this way. Yeah, that's right. I mean, you never thought you'd see that.
So, Erin, speaking of totally ridiculous things that I couldn't believe, I saw a headline from you today that after all these years of paying attention to Trump, that it is Trump's undoing and he truly thinks he nailed it. This is a hard one for me to believe that he actually, deep down does believe he thinks he nailed it. Could you talk to us about the story a little bit?
So I think the rhetoric coming from inside the West Wing is that the president does believe he crushed the virus.
You think he really believes that? Who knows what Trump really believes, right? I mean, when he gets out on the campaign trail, he tends to exaggerate things. But I do think there's a good chance that Trump thinks that there's nothing more he could have done and that he did the best of any other world leader. And that's certainly been the conversation inside the White House. And when the president talks about it to his advisers, he's he's reinforced by the people around him believing in the fact that they just killed it, that they did an awesome job, they did kill it.
Of course, that is just wildly inaccurate. And we have a worrying amount of positive cases throughout the country and mainly in the Midwest. And the death rate is going to spike in the next few weeks, according to our nation's top health officials like Dr. Anthony Fauci. It's curious to me, and I, too, am flummoxed by this idea that Trump thinks he can get up on the campaign stage and campaign on the idea that he saved the country. We have two hundred and how many thousand dead and more coming.
And it's almost like we're living in this sort of warped reality where all the scientists and doctors working around him are screaming at him, metaphorically saying, wake up. There is there is so much more we need to be doing here. And the White House now just simply believes, like, listen, we're not going to get anything done before there's a viable vaccine. So we're just going to let this play out and see what happens. And so the calculation they've made is that taking that stance is is OK, because as long as the economy is open to the best of its ability, then then Trump has done his job.
It's a pretty bleak situation on the task force right now. I've had the pleasure of talking to a number of top officials who work with that task force who say even they have thrown their hands up in the air at this point. And they're the ones that are supposed to be pushing back on Trump and and helping the rest of the country, even if they're sort of down and out right now. That's alarming.
Is there just no task force anymore? I mean, there is technically a task force. There are a number of officials, doctors, scientists, statisticians working on the federal government's response to the coronavirus. And they work within this sort of group, which you could call a task force. But the main task force is not meeting anymore. Those meetings happen. I guess there are one off chances where officials will meet with the vice president or Azara will meet with Derra or what have you.
But the formal task force really isn't meeting much.
I mean, what do you think that if Biden wins, which again, we don't know, that he can start taking over coronavirus or not? Really, nothing can happen until January. Right.
If Biden wins, he can start forming relationships with governors across the country, with local and state health officials. You can start sort of a grassroots movement to regain the trust of the states. But from a realistic standpoint, he's not going to be inaugurated and in government until January. And by that point, that'll be right around the time. Maybe we have a vaccine or a vaccine, at least for for some people. We could have many, many more deaths in cases by that point.
So I'm not sure what world he'll be stepping into if he does. When he did get to talk to the Biden campaign about their plans for when and if he enters office. And it sounds like they're going to try to revamp the entire infrastructure within the federal government, who's charge, who's leading the response. And they're going to try to ramp up testing and then make sure vaccine distribution is set. But even that might not be enough at that point.
It depends on what kind of fall we have. Erin, thank you so much for joining us. This was a time, guys.
I really appreciate you having me on. Hi there, we have a special surprise from Beest inside the Daily Beast membership program on Election Day.
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Joined DCED inside today and then join us on Election Day. When we pull back the curtain, new abnormal style again. This is only for beast inside members to hear this, along with the rest of our upcoming bonus episodes. Head to new abnormal DOT The Daily Beast dot com. That's New Abnormal Dot. The Daily Beast dot com. Adrian Perkins is the mayor of Shreveport, Louisiana, and is running for the Senate, challenging incumbent Republican Bill Cassidy. Welcome, Mayor Perkins.
Super happy to be here. Molly, thanks so much for having me on. So talk to me about your race.
OK, our race is actually doing very, very well and we are shattering expectations. We were late to the game where we announced in July I had no plans of running at the beginning of this year. I'm in my second year as mayor of my hometown of Shreveport. But this year, covid-19 changed the circumstances in Shreveport and Louisiana and all around the country. And when trying to figure out how I can better serve and better protect my community, I decided to run for the United States Senate and things have been going well.
People told us we could raise money. We actually have outraised the incumbent. We've raised over two and a half million dollars, over seventy thousand contributions, averaging about 30 dollars per contribution. All polls are suggesting right now that we are going to go into a runoff. People said that we couldn't even consolidate the Democratic base, let alone make it into a runoff with Senator Cassidy. So we're breaking all expectations that we're going to continue to do so, even in a runoff so that we can be successful in December.
And that adds another element to this that's very important for people to know is that in Louisiana, our primary is on the day of the presidential election. Our runoff is in December, on December 5th.
How are you having a runoff against an incumbent?
Yes, our Louisiana we have a jungle primary. So there is no Democratic nominee, our Republican nominee. Everybody jumps into the jungle primary, the top two vote getters. If no one exceeds 50 percent plus one vote goes into a runoff general election that will be held on December 5th.
Wow. To the naysayers like 538, don't talk to me about why things could change, because this could be a crazy election. We don't know.
Five thirty eight actually had it as a high probability that there would be a runoff. It had me, I think, as the fourth or fifth, fifth most likely person to make the runoff. So we had to submit our own polling data from a reputable source to 538 to show that we were not only in second place, but we were in second place by quite a bit of a margin. And we've already closed the gap even more between me and Senator Cassidy.
So they've changed their evaluation to put us in that number one spot. They have not yet changed their evaluations on how winnable the seat is, but we're confident that in a runoff they will do so because Louisiana just saw a Democrat versus a Republican last year when our governor ran against Republican candidate Eddie Rispoli. And he was successful.
As you well know, the Senate has not had a lot of African-American men in it or women.
Now it's ten, ten total men or women don't count them out in total in the history.
So there's a movement of African-Americans coming back to the south, running for office. What's the feeling there like? Do you think we can get the African-American Democratic base to really, like, be represented and the Democratic Party? Absolutely.
Absolutely. I think this is a bit of an evolution that we're seeing down here. I think the old frame of mind was that you need to get a moderate Democrat in the South and oftentimes that correlated with a white Democrat in the South so that you can get these undecided voters. But what we're seeing now, that if you actually get a true Democrat, black or white, and in this case, we are seeing a lot of black candidates that you're able to galvanize your base, get them out to vote in order to keep these races close and for us to be successful.
So I think we're turning that old understanding or the old assumptions on its head right now in a major way. And it's all coming together. It's all coming to a head kind of at once, because I believe this is the most black Democratic Senate candidates in history wrestled with nominations for major parties.
Yeah, I think it's very exciting and that that's how Democrats are going to win it. And it's also riding a lot of the many wrongs that have happened in the South. I'm curious to know you're young and you have you know, I mean, Molly, I'm old, Molly.
I turned thirty five on Friday last night. Yeah. Yeah.
I'm curious to know, like a mike s.b one when I talk to my Glaspie. We talked about growing up in the Jim Crow South and how hard it was to go back to Mississippi. And as you know, Mississippi is a primarily African-American or it has a much higher percentage of African-Americans and much of any of the other states. And so it's very exciting, the idea of having leadership that reflects the population. You know, you're so young and just I'm curious to know what it feels like in the south and in Shreveport.
Yeah, I'll tell you this. So, you know, Louisiana is right behind Mississippi, an African-American population. We have. Thirty three percent of our population is African. And fun fact, four out of every 10 registered voters is African-American here as well, but yeah, I'm a little bit younger than Mike, so the South that I grew up in is a bit different than him. But that's not to say it was without the racial transgressions. You know, I had incidents where, you know, me and my family had bad run ins with law enforcement.
You know, I was discriminated against and when I was a student for various instances. So, you know, I was aware that I was an African-American growing up in the South at a young age. Fortunately, you know, they're way more positive incidences in my community to really allow me to to live this life that I've been able to live. So, you know, it's not the same as mine. But I will say this. I am still the grandson of a sharecropper.
My grandfather was a sharecropper in a parish adjacent to Caddo Parish. We have parishes, not counties. So even though I'm younger, I still understand how quickly times have changed. And it would be my grandfather's wildest dream to think that in just a generation that he could have a grandson running for the United States Senate. So it's still that perspective that Mike has. And having lived it, my perspective isn't too far off. And I understand the gravity of what I'm doing in this moment.
You know, I think that's the only way we're going to get any kind of justice. You have to come in second now and then and then mobilize in December. Yes.
Yes, we have to we have to get in second and then we have to mobilize. And that's what I'm telling people right now, that we need their support because we are the clear second. But we have to keep Senator Cassidy under 50 percent and we have to close that gap between me and him because we don't want to create a GOTV problem in the runoff and we're mobilizing. And that GOTV problem will be people not believing we could close the gap if it's too large.
So that's why it's important that we invest in this race now so that we don't have an insurmountable obstacle in front of us in the runoff.
Right. OK, yeah. Talk to me about the difference between you and Cassidy. Nobody really hears about Cassidy, but I mean, he's not.
Yeah, I was going to say that's a huge list on the differences between me and me and Cassidy. And you say nobody has really heard about him. You're absolutely right. He stayed under the radar. But people probably remember him from three years ago when he tried to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act that would have stripped away health care from half a million Louisianans, but over 20 million Americans. So, yeah, after that failed attempt, when Senator McCain did the famous thumbs down, he's laid pretty low because that's an embarrassing thing to that's an embarrassing record to have, you know, not only where you've got to push this disastrous health care bill, but it failed.
So, no, you know, people might know him for that. But I can tell you, he has been harmful to not just Louisiana, but the country, you know, and his voting record and not moving to make sure we get sufficient covid-19 relief, pushing right now to say, oh, I'm fighting to fight against surprized medical billing. But really, he's just siding with private equity companies and making it seem like he's fighting for patients. So he's he's a pretty bad character.
And I would say another difference between the two of us is I believe in a functional government. You know, I believe in and actually acting on those bills, those hundreds of bills that the House have passed that are sitting at the Senate door and Mitch McConnell and and Republicans refuse to act on them, not just the Copan 19 bills that they have refused to act on, but there's a voting rights bill, there's an infrastructure bill. There's a lot of other bills that need to be passed so that our country can move forward.
And he is no just right in line with his political party, even if it's against the interests of Louisianans or the interests of Americans.
Thank you so much, Mayor Parkin's. I hope you win your runoff. Absolutely. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for the support. All right. You guys have a good day. For our last shot, that guy, before the selection, I would like to nominate the Trump War Room. Oh, yeah, that's a good one. These are people who have spent their closing hours of this campaign pretending that Joe Biden wants to tear down the Washington Monument and attacking Lady Gaga.
You guys are done pretending that you understand these two fundamental American institutions. I want you to start practicing. Would you like double meat on that pizza? Because that is about where you fuckers are going to end up. Would you like that in a loafer or a pump?
Don't you think they'll end up working for, like the Heritage Foundation?
You know, here's the thing. There are only so many jobs in D.C. for pudgy 35 year old and souls who work in the Trump War Room.
They're unfortunately more of those jobs than there were. Take everybody's joy away. You know, that's kind of my thinking and my fuck that guy is South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. You know, her state is being ravaged by coronavirus. She's out posing with guns and Bibles. And Laura Schloemer, so you are my fuck that guy.
Governor, can I get a bonus? Fuck that guy to this episode? Of course. I would also like to give a bonus. Fuck that guy. Shout out to the Kentucky State Police, the Kentucky State Police in their training program for their Kentucky State Police Academy. The PowerPoint for their incoming students includes quotes from Adolf Hitler and Robert E. Lee about pursuing violence at all costs. Six years. Shit.
Kentucky State Police achievement. Yeah, who could have seen that out of Kentucky?
I would like to give a fuck that guy to every Republican media consultant who is building their beach house in Bethanie off of Sheldon Adelson and all of these other assholes Super PAC money.
And who can say you can say Crestline. They know better. Chris, I promise you, I want to just take a slice of it because it's all because it's also Bradstock, all these Alder's, it's all of them.
And to a person they know better, you know, and it's like we had to hear from all the assholes that went into the administration and how they were saving us from Donald Trump's worst impulses. And that from the start. But guess who's definitely not saving us from Donald Trump said the people that are raking the fucking Colin Kaepernick ads and paying for their, you know, getting their kid's college fund filled out of it.
OK, so we need jobs. Not there. I'm just I'm really I've really had enough of that crowd. And and today is Election Day for folks. And I hope that they have a very, very sad night. And I hope that they're, you know, again, sit alone in their new beach house and Bethanie with the Donald Trump wing and know that they paid for it with the blood of immigrants and refugees and all of the people have died of the coronavirus.
Hey, hey, Tuptim, I'm sure you've heard this one. You guys are just different to the people. Yeah. Jesus Christ, could I do my first one ever? Yes. Jesse is going to bring back that guy. Let's go bump up. Oh, sick of the sidebar I did. Watching you too. Gleefully get out your fuck. That guy's for 60 plus episodes. I want to get out my fuck that guy rage instead of putting it on Instagram story at the end of the night.
Thank you for allowing me this cathartic moment. One of the things we do on this podcast is to put thought every day into the implications of the questions we ask our guests, how they inform our listeners, because one of the ways we got Donald Trump is people who are terrible at exploiting the world, other people. And one of the reasons I'm most proud of this podcast is that you guys do an incredible job of bringing perspectives that most people won't hear to people's ears.
So I really am proud of the work we've done with that. So my fuck, that guy is one. Chuck Todd, the political director of NBC News and the host of two different shows, other networks was a highly influential platform, despite doing a terrible job at doing everything I just described this weekend, he asked the panel if the criticism that Biden is taking the virus too seriously is valid. He has access to so many resources and yet launders the dumbest Republican talking points is valid in the name of both sides ism.
And I really think that the media needs to learn this week, particularly when we're going to see an onslaught of the stupid mistakes to justify the worst actions that both sides ism needs to die today before it gets really, really, really, really bad. So after years of him doing this and wondering the stupidest thoughts I've ever seen on television, up to Chris Cillizza.
I say, oh, your tax dollars for you, a cillizza to a knife fight.
I just want the record to show that I'm not laughing. And I stayed out of this one. I made enough enemies on the media consultant. Fuck that guy, OK? I think for the record on that note, we'll wrap up this episode of The New Abnormal for 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 who help us understand what's happening to our country and the world.
We hope you'll subscribe to us on your favourite 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 he is the Rick Wilson. Thanks so much for listening and we'll see you again on the next episode.