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Hi, folks, it's Rick Wilson and welcome to The Daily Beast's 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.
I recall said good evening, my on fast. How are you this fine evening? I'm great. I just love being up late at night. What I've heard is that you ride around Manhattan on a motorcycle clad from head to toe in black leather. That's right. It's my great joy to be up late. Do you fight crime? I fight crime. I crime. You know, just like the president of the United States who also he crimes like a mofo.
He crimes quite a lot.
And we'll get to this further in the later in the broadcast, because America, I have an apology for you. Last night's special Democratic National Convention broadcast lacked the one element for which we are contractually obligated and obliged by state and federal law to provide, which is a segment called Fuck This Guy. We didn't do it last night. We apologize.
We shall make up for it tonight with extra venom.
So so we will. And we have some good people. We have good.
Fuck that, guys. So, Molly, what did you think of the convention this evening?
I actually thought that tonight was somehow a lot better than last night. You know, Michelle Obama is like a once in a lifetime politician who refuses to run for office. But so we didn't have that tonight. But I felt like it seemed more seamless tonight.
I thought that, too. And I thought that they pulled off doing the the the roll call in a weird way that went more smoothly than you would see it in a normally televised production on the floor of a convention center somewhere.
I mean, I actually for the first couple, my friend Mike Madrid said this earlier today. He said, you know, for the first couple, it was kind of weird. And then you're like, oh, this is how it should be done.
And also, the other thing is Democrats have like a decent candidate and Republicans have like insane racism. Russia, the pandemic. I mean, like it just it seems almost unfair to watch Joe Biden in the school. She's teaching it and versus Melania with building a tennis pavilion.
I have made the joke now probably 17 times today, but I'm really excited about Melania doing the same speech that Michelle Obama did last night.
And I thought that I just can't help it. There is no way that Melania will be able to remember all those words. But I would say the point is that Jill Biden is very sort of decent and human and Melania is whatever that is.
Well, I look, I think that what we're going to see, I think that was important was that the Democratic Party for the first time in a lot of ways since John F. Kennedy seized control of the national security narrative again and positioned themselves as the party of strength because they came right out and made it a centerpiece of tonight that Donald Trump laughs off and ignores the fact that Russia is paying bounties to slaughter American soldiers. And they recaptured that with a parade of both line soldiers and general officers who were all saying, you know, they have fought for this country and worked to protect this country and they know Joe Biden can do it.
I thought that was really interesting and especially interesting as it regards the fact that they're targeting independent men in places like Ohio and Pennsylvania and Michigan and Wisconsin in those states where they lean a little more toward wanting somebody who's going to be strong on national security. Those are the people that elected Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush and George W. Bush because their national security instinct is to be with the with the tougher candidate. I think Biden positioned himself as the smart, tough candidate on national security tonight.
I thought that was a really interesting moment for him.
Yeah, no, I thought he did a good job and I thought Sally Yates was good. There were a lot there was a lot of sort of interesting. I thought she was great. Oh, sure. Yeah. And I thought that national security montage was good.
Oh, by the way, Molly, I mean, I think also the importance of the national security stuff in the convention tonight also came at a perfect moment because the House or excuse me, the Senate Republican led Intelligence Committee today came out with their thousand page Russia report. And, you know, did you notice that it totally exonerated the president?
Did you see the same way? I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I had a tab open mind had I had a tab open to Mauga Eagle, Patriot Super Q Forum nine thousand.
That's the wrong page. Sorry. Oh yeah. The report completely says that the Trump campaign was up to their ass and fucking. They call Paul Manafort a grave national security threat, and they also suggested criminal charges against Junior and Clovis.
Remember, yeah, we got here we haven't seen him from since. He's from the way back now.
And of course, Steve Bannon lied. And, oh, I know you'll be shocked to discover that the report that Roger Stone lied. Oh, my goodness.
But then and he also shop for a right, of course. Right. So he did exactly what Phil Barr said he would be would be considered to be a crime.
Correct. So essentially, I'm waiting for this to percolate through the Fox machine because they will try to repurpose this and find like two or three items in it and say, see, it was the deep state of trying to screw the president. But I just I found it a really striking contrast between the Democrats getting serious on national security tonight, taking that high ground back on it. And at the same time, Trump is, you know, the entire no collusion.
You're the puppet line has been completely blown up once again by an investigative report. And it also brings the question of, you know, why didn't Mueller get there?
But I was just about to get there. Is Mueller incompetent? Is Mueller corrupt?
I think it was too much of an institutionalist and too much of a incrementalist. And I think when you're that kind of person, you have trouble understanding sometimes just how fucking wily and corrupt people like this are and just what that's quite like.
I am not disputing you, but I do think that with a Democratic majority in the Senate, next time there's an opportunity to revisit many of these questions and create an extraordinarily painful and expensive legal detail, that it's a real shame.
You don't mean that's a shame. I feel like you're saying that's a shame. But the way you're saying it.
No, I mean, it's a delicious prospect right now in his apartment thinking he's on he's like, I think that you'd better start Duolingo for for Arabic because maybe maybe Jared can get me a condo on the Red Sea somewhere when we have to when we have to flee the country. And he's like, Kimberly, you're coming with the Kimberly Way. What? The new abnormal is going to release a limited run series of bonus interviews over the next few weeks starting in August, we'll release a new one each Sunday.
But listen carefully. Only beast inside members will have access to these. So head over to a new abnormal dot, the Daily Beast dotcom to join. Now your beast inside membership helps support the great reporting at The Beast and podcast like The New Abnormal.
Thanks. Eric Swalwell is the congressman from California's 15th District, a former 20 20 Democratic presidential candidate, a member of Congress Intelligence Committee, and a returning guest to the new abnormal.
It must be weird to be watching this and not to be added and just the weirdness of it. It's weird.
There's no doubt about it. I miss just the emotional moments of being in the convention hall and certainly twenty sixteen the historic nomination of Secretary Clinton and especially Michelle Obama's speech. It's different. It's not to say we haven't adopted, but you just miss looking at how the speeches are affecting the people around you. You don't get to see that nothing can replace that.
And also the schmoozing. I mean, isn't that a big part of it? I'm so low on the totem pole, I don't get invited to those parties.
My fancy congressman, you must like people must be the after party. There's the after parties. Yes, I definitely miss those. And then that's where, of course, everyone really take stock of what happened that night. Know, look, we're adapting and there's only one person to blame that we can't all be in person. Donald Trump.
Yes. I thought that the Democrats I mean, from what we've seen so far, have started to really make a good case that this is the case against Donald Trump and covid. Have you been happy with that?
Yeah, I think that the goal of a convention has to be unity, vision, execution. So certainly the unity in the party. Right. You have two rivals who ran in the primary are united on the ticket. Bernie Sanders last night, I thought, really brought things home and was convincing to his supporters, but then also to have Republicans right from Kasich to Whitman to Molinari and then tonight, Colin Powell. You know, it's unity within the party, unity across party spectrum and then on vision, really focusing last night on covid, because that's the most urgent need is a health care crisis.
But people really want they really want to know what are you going to do? Not in the first hundred days. That's how long a president usually gets. What are you going to do in the first hundred hours? Because that's how urgent the needs are right now.
Can we talk a little bit about where we are right now with the post office? Congress is coming back or the House is coming back, but the Senate won't because of match, right?
Correct. And so we're scared by his corruption, but we're spared by his incompetence. Donald Trump recognizes that while our elections are decentralized, at least county by county, the connective tissue is the postal service. And so if you want to sabotage an election, that is one way to do it, except that he did not realize collaterally. He is sabotaging seniors and veterans who rely on prescription drugs. And some of those are his voters and they're pretty pissed off and this is backfired.
And so we're going to vote this week to pass the Postal Service funding. I think the pressure will mount on McConnell, but at the very least, as we saw with the Ukraine investigation, even though he was not removed from office, once we launched the investigation, Ukraine got the aid. And so here, once we've launched the investigation, it looks like Dejoy is already reversing a lot of what we had done. So that may that may not be completely sufficient, but just shining a light sometimes is the best you can do until you have a new government is Mitsch is never going to bring the Senate back.
Right. Even though people are losing their homes and the post office isn't funded.
You know, Mitch would be what's best for Mitch and Mitch today updated his Twitter profile with a picture of Mitch wearing the mask. So he, at least, I think, recognizes the times that we're in. He's got the best funded Senate candidate running against him. And so I think your listeners should be inspired, that being loud, you know, getting in front of at least on social media or the texting in the postcard writing to Cory Gardner and Martha McSally, Susan Collins, other vulnerable senators to get them to call Mitch, to have him come back into session.
We shouldn't give up on it because it can move them.
OK, so that is something that people who are listening should be doing, is getting the vulnerable Republican senators to talk to you and your listeners caring enough about the issue of the Postal Service being dismantled.
Look, that has brought Congress back to session. Credit to Speaker Pelosi right in the August recess has traditionally been a time when members are in their district office across the world on congressional delegations before a pandemic. And I've seen other instances that were pretty alarming and pressing. And Congress was not called back into session. And the fact that Speaker Pelosi would act so swiftly with the plan, I think shows that she is in tune with what people care about.
So today was an interesting day with everything that happened and it seemed like a lot of shoes dropped and that the Trump campaign was giving Claire. Is to Roger Stone, which got passed to Julian Assange to influence the 2016 election. It seems like Mueller dropped the ball on this. Do you can you explain to me what is going on?
Seems like they colluded, right? Yeah. I mean, I'm no expert, but it sure looks like collusion.
Yeah. But also, if you recall, Bill Barr, when he was in front of the Senate, was asked, hey, Mr. Barr, just giving you a hypothetical president exchanges a pardon for a witness to silence. What do you do? And he, without missing a beat, said, well, that would be a crime. So turns out that was no longer a hypothetical because Roger Stone is telling anyone who listens that I had the opportunity to roll on Donald Trump because he had lied to Mueller about WikiLeaks.
I didn't do that.
Give me my pardon or commutation right from the very day that Stone says that the loudest gets his commutation. And so I had asked Barr in his hearing, why isn't Trump being investigated? And now in Barr, of course, said smugly, why would I? Well, now we know why he should be, because that Senate report makes it pretty clear, draws a straight line between Stone and Trump's knowledge. And it just shows, I think, that the fix is in that bar is the new Michael Cohen with powers that Michael Cohen would have dreamed to have had the way it was government.
We're not helpless. We can remove all of these guys in just a couple of weeks.
What happened with Mueller?
He did not pursue the finances and also he did not put the president's ass in a witness chair. And that, I think, were the two shortcomings. And I don't want to give any equivalence between Mueller and Trump because Mueller, Purple Heart, given the butler for his bravery, presided after September 11. I mean, a man of real integrity. But you have to look at the finances when you are looking at any person who is potentially engaged in money laundering or has compromised over them.
And Donald Trump said that was a red line. And so Mueller did not do that. And also Mueller did not press Trump to sit down and answer questions. And so and so Trump was essentially given the questions ahead of time and was able to respond to them in writing. And he still lied, by the way, as we see now with the Senate report. So those are the two shortcomings. And thankfully, the Senate report, it looks like when a little bit farther with the work they did on Trump's knowledge of Russia and WikiLeaks, that's a bipartisan commission that showed that Trump colluded.
I don't understand why Mueller couldn't read that any at all.
Molly, I think something that Donald Trump does that is so masterful is he gets in your head and gets you to do something that you wouldn't otherwise do because he's created a false strawman. And the example I would I would give to you is in twenty sixteen, as Russia was literally interfering in our elections, Donald Trump was simultaneously saying the election is going to be rigged, the election is going to be rigged. And we learned as we interviewed administration officials after what Russia did, that they didn't want to call Russia out so publicly or respond so aggressively because they feared that it would validate Donald Trump's claims that the election was going to be rigged.
And so even though the rigging was on his behalf, he got administration officials who knew what the right call was to do something differently because they didn't want to validate his bullshit claims. And that's where Donald Trump can be so successful. And that's what he did with Mueller, with the red lines and saying that it was a witch hunt and it was taking too long. Mueller thought if I call him in, he will fight me in court. It could take over a year.
I don't have time to do that. When there was no timeline in any White-Collar investigation, it typically takes two to three years before you would bring an indictment. But again, Trump created artificial timelines in these straw men and got people to do something I don't think they would otherwise do.
But the Senate had recommendations like recommendations for criminal charges against Junior and a bunch of other people. Why did none of those ever see the light of day?
And by the way, the statute of limitations has not yet run in. My hope is that independent prosecutors will look at this. But you know what's interesting, Molly, is that the Senate report comes well, well, well over a year, almost a year and a half after Mueller's report, which is about the amount of time that a White-Collar investigation would take. And so I think Mueller's report was rushed, in a sense, because Trump had every day been saying that this is a witch hunt and it gotten ahead of the special counsel.
And the report came up short on what it looked at, but still 10 different acts of obstruction of justice. That's pretty damning that Mueller found. And you can only imagine what he would have found if he had looked at the money or put the president in the witness chair.
What's happening with Russia and China right now? The continued election interference in Mali?
I think it's conflating the threats to put Russia and China in the same sentence. And actually what Donald Trump wants us to do, and that's what he's had his intel. Officials do, and he has a great interest in doing that because only Russia is using its vast resources to help Donald Trump and hurt Joe Biden, know what the country is trying to carry out a preference in the outcome. Certainly, China has vast resources, but there's only evidence of one country trying to help one candidate and hurt the other, just as they did in twenty sixteen.
And that's Russia. And so but what Trump wants you to believe is that if he was the weather man, he would start the hour by talking about a snowstorm in the Rockies. And then Mitt, our talk about a lightning storm in the Midwest in the last 30 seconds, say, oh, by the way, Category five hurricane, it's going to hit Florida. Have a great night. Like he would conflate all of those events to have you think that they're the same when Russia is the only one that has done this before and is actively trying to do it again.
And there's nothing that the government is going to do against this Russian interference.
But because we have the majority credit to Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Schiff, they have called out the intelligence community to make sure that the public knows that Russia is actively trying to hurt Biden, help Trump. And just a month ago, they were really conflating the threats. And because the speaker and the chairman have been pressing them, a public statement just two weeks ago came out that made it clear what Russia is doing. If we didn't have the majority, we would be in no position to do that.
And we don't have any directives from the president to really counter what Russia is doing. But voters now have an awareness, I believe, that hopefully inoculates Joe Biden from what will continue to be spurious. Attacks by the Russians laundered through Ron Johnson and Lindsey Graham in the Senate is they're trying to do right now.
Do you think there's an October surprise? My fear, Molly, is that if the election is close, that there will be a November surprise after the Election Day where Donald Trump is claiming that the outcome was rigged. Bill bars filing lawsuits for him. Russia is amplifying discord on social media. Armed militiamen in their camo gear are protecting the president at the White House. That's if it's close. But Donald Trump's a coward. And if it's not close, I think he just vanishes and is not going to put up a fight.
So the challenge for us is to not make it close.
Somalia, you know, I know the convention has been another another night of convention news, but I understand you have a special interest in our Fuck that woman segment this evening.
Today was a Tuesday and Tuesdays are primary days. So tonight's what that guy has just recently been endorsed by the president of the United States. You mean she may be banned from Uber, Uber, Twitter, Instagram, Venmo, pretty much all other social media, Chattaway, Laura love the four remaining blockbusters to horse.
That's right. But when the word condom brand new video, you might be Lord Mayor Bloomberg Loony. She won her primary tonight. She beat a Kuhnen candidate and now she's going to take her case to the American people of Florida's twenty one.
Let me just comment on four to twenty one for a second. It is both blue and very liberal and also extremely democratic and also chock full of people who don't vote for Republicans, as well as being solidly in the column for which Nancy Pelosi can expect to have a safe vote for speaker. And Laura Loomer is going to grift her way into probably several million dollars of campaign money from Trump's tweet and from the you know what this president, by the way, let's let's get real here for a second.
I mean, all kidding aside, on the fact that guy thing, she richly deserves it.
Laura is the most prominent Islamophobia in all of America.
But, you know, I mean, when she assembles her staff, when she's elected, I mean, chief of staff, chief of Staff Jacob WOR, communications director Milo Yiannopoulos, legislative director Lauren Southern. I mean, these people are the dream team of Margo world. One third of all the social media platform.
Who is your fuck? That guy, Rick Wilson.
It's the my pillow. Fuck you. Did you see that thing? I saw Anderson Cooper got him. Take Michael Andell out to the barn and slaughter him like an ox. It was so gratifying and so delicious doing the ox's in Florida.
We have oxen in Florida. No, I know, but are they slaughter anyway? Continue. Yeah.
Michael Dell is now pushing an extract from the oleander plant, which if you grow up in Florida, you have a lot of oleander around. And when you grow up learning in Florida, don't touch the fucking oleander, don't burn the oleander because it puts off cyanide fucking gas. It's a it's a tree that produces very nasty things. Darryl is on this board of some flimflam company that is pushing all the ANDRON, which is an extract from the oleander plant.
This is like the science of homeopathic horseshit writ large with the president's besty, one of the few corporate officials in the country that will be seen within a five hundred mile radius of this fuckwit. He's he's now pushing this and the federal government is caving in behind this thing. And all the andron is going to be the new the new hydroxy chloroquine. And and it just blows me away how these fucking skells are able to influence the decisions of the FDA, the CDC and everyone else.
It is. It is. I promise you, there will be a moment soon where Trump says from the podium, Julieanne, many people are telling me it's really good works. Here's the covid. I'm going to take it if I have to fuck that guy.
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 to 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 Historic Wealth, and thanks so much for listening. And we'll see you again on the next episode.