#2021 - Mike Baker

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Mike Baker

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Mike Baker is a former CIA covert operations officer and current CEO of Portman Square Group, a global intelligence and security firm. He’s also the host of the popular "President’s Daily Brief" podcast: a twice daily news report on critical events happening around the globe available on all podcast platforms. www.portmansquaregroup.com

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holy shit this guy doesnt beat around the bush he moves to a new state and beats around someone elses bush maybe 1 straight awser in 98

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...Failed mutiny in Russia, four indictments of Trump. Now, last night it was the fourth. Bank account records showing the Biden family took over $20 million. Pee Wee Herman died. You got that in your notes. I got that. I actually got it. It's right there. And it's right before the two year anniversary of the Afghan withdrawal. I probably should have put that above Pee Wee Herman. Why did you put Pee Wee Herman in there? You know what? Because I did. When I found out that Paul Rubens died, I was sad. I mean, it was like I'm old enough. I actually went to a show that Paul did when he was kind of working out his Pee Wee character. Oh really? And it was fantastic. It was a great show. What was this? Oh fuck, it was years ago. So it would have been before I... It was probably like 80... Shit, 82, 83, 81? Somewhere in that time frame. It was a long time ago. It was at Georgetown University in D.C. And it was a great show. Anyway, point of view. And I always thought he didn't get enough credit for Pee Wee's playhouse. I know that people are like, what the fuck is he talking about? But he was really... He was a good guy. He kind of got off the rails with the... A little bit for a period of time with that. He was wanking in a porn theater. Yeah, but isn't that what they do in those things? Especially a gay porn theater? I guess, yeah. It's gotta sound weird, right? The kids though? Yeah. Like porn theater. What? I know. They used to have to go to places. You had to... I don't know if you had to. Back when he was doing it, I don't think there was a law. But I think back when he was doing it, VHS tapes were out. And I think DVDs were out back then too. Because this was like... I want to say he got busted in like 90 something? Yeah, yeah. It was easily 91. 91, yeah. So definitely VHS tapes were. That was back when you had to go through the curtains. Or laser discs or something. Remember there's beads? Yeah. These kids today, they don't know jack shit. They're getting their porn off of a phone. Well, that's just it. They don't have an appreciation for how hard you had to work back in certainly the 70s and 80s. I mean, it got easier by the time the 1990s rolled around. But it was... You had to go on like a quest or something. Yeah, you had to be shamed. Yeah. What is it that you seek? Simple facts of what happened Friday night in Ruben's hometown of Sarasota, Florida, familiar by now. According to the county sheriff's office, three detectives. They said it three guys. They catch people jerking off at the XXX South Trail Cinema to watch the audience that was watching a triple bill of Catalina 5-0 Tiger Shark, Nurse Nancy, and turn up the heat. After the sting operation had hauled in three men on charges of violating Florida State Statute 800.03, exposure of sexual organs. Chief William Walters allegedly saw a man masturbate in quotes. That's how the rap sheet spells it. Spells it wrong. Instead of er, it says E. In the darkened theater at 8.25 PM and again at 8.35. Twice. He caught him twice. Yeah. The first sighting wasn't enough. You had to go back together. Meanwhile, the guy's got amazing recovery powers. 8.25, he blasts off and then he's back at it at 8.35. That's a fucking stud right there. Yeah, and that was before Viagra. Police under, I don't know if that's true, when did Viagra come around? Placed under arrest upon leaving the theater, the alleged offender quietly told the detectives his famous pseudonym and according to the police made a novel, Pee-Wee-esque attempt at a buy-off. He offered a performer the children's benefit for the sheriff's office if the charges were dropped. A department spokesperson said that the deputies did not feel at the time they had enough probable cause to charge Rubens with attempted bribery. Is that bribery really when you say you're going to perform at an event? Isn't it money only borrowing? No, it's, you're bartering. Anything? Yeah. Like if someone says I'll suck your cock. That's bribery. A local reporter recognized Rubens name on the arrest sheet the next day within hours. The scandal machinery was roaring at full throttle. Oh boy. Yeah. Yeah. But anyway, you know what he did? Everybody makes mistakes. But then he recovered and you know, he went on to. It's a fairly harmless crime. First of all, if you're in a porn theater, I think you should assume that those dudes with raincoats on are beaten off. Yeah. You know, I mean, just you're wearing rubber gloves in there and like those things are disgusting. And to be fair. People don't recognize, like I never went into one of those. So I'm just on anecdotes, but I would imagine like porn theaters are fucking gross. You'd have to think so. Right. I mean, a regular theater is bad enough. Your feet stick to the floor. And that's just from the Pepsi. Yeah. Yeah. A porn theater. I got to tell you. And honestly, the nurse Nancy was an underrated film, I think. So there was that. So that's Paul Rubens. That's Pee-Wee Herman. He died. I just made a note because I thought. My friend Phil Hartman worked with him. That's how he kind of got his start in show business on Pee-Wee's Playhouse. That's interesting. Yeah. He was one of the writers for Pee-Wee's Playhouse. I'll be damned. Yeah. He always spoke very highly of Pee-Wee. Yeah. Oh. I fucking loved that show when I was a kid. Yeah. It was hilarious. And Pee-Wee's Big Adventure is a fucking amazing movie. Yes. Exactly. And that was when did that come out? That was, I want to say 80. Yeah. 89 must be. Yeah. Yeah. While I was dating this girl, I remember specifically the girl that I was dating at the time that I was dating like right around I was graduating high school because we were kar-ry-an laughing. It was so funny. Like back then it was so unique. Don't forget to tell him large Marge sent you. Fun fucking movies. Yeah. I remember I took a date to Pee-Wee's show, his comedy show. I mean the place was rolling, right? He really was. It was an interesting cat but anyway. I like that I'm seeing that side of you Mike Baker. Yeah. The Pee-Wee Herman family. We still have a pair of his, this is going to sound weird, signed big underpants. I kept them all these years because they're so fucking funny. And yeah, I'll give them to one of my boys. I'm not sure which one. Yeah. Maybe put it in a museum somewhere. Probably worth a lot of money one day. Yeah. I don't even know where we go from Pee-Wee Herman. We go from that to whatever notes you got. Oh yeah. Everything else crazy? Yeah. We're going to unfreeze a lot of money for the Iran prisoner swap. That's another story. But we could start with the Chinese spy balloon since I started there first. So what is your take on the Chinese spy balloon? They said that Trump, that there was a bunch of those that were happening while Trump was in office but they didn't tell him about it because they were worried he was going to shoot him down, which I thought was fucking amazing. You know what? At this stage of the game, I'm not going to say anything doesn't sound plausible. Everything sounds plausible nowadays. So the Chinese regime continues just like with the fucking Wuhan lab. The Chinese regime continues to just say it was a weather balloon. Got blown off course. It was a weather balloon. Well, A, it didn't get blown off course. It had a massive array of propellers. It had a rudder. It had solar panels to keep those propellers churning. They knew exactly what they were doing and where they were going. And it shows up over whatever, Alaska, the end of January, whenever, and proceeds to travel across the country in a path that is clearly designed to collect intelligence from sensitive facilities. It flies over Montana. What's in Montana? A lot. Malmstrom Air Force Base. And that's part of where we put our land-based nukes. What part of Montana is that in? The northern part, if you stir it up. Close to Canada? Yeah. Not, well, a little further south than Canada, but it's like the top quarter, I guess. I think that's right. And it is 150 or so silo-based nukes there. There it is. So that's the base? Yeah. And so it was flying over that? Flying over Malmstrom. And so they were aware of it? The Air Force Base was aware of it? They, by the time, yeah. And look, it's not as if we're not taking measures or countermeasures to prevent surveillance because the Chinese have spy satellites. Very technical, very advanced. So we know how to protect communications. We know how to protect, and we also know what's available, right? So satellite imagery is going to give you a fair amount of information anyway. So the question is, okay, well, why the hell was this thing, which was as tall as the Statue of Liberty, why was it floating around up there with an array of antennas, obviously there to collect? But it went over there, went over Omaha, near Omaha, where we've got US Strategic Command and OFIT Air Force Base. And the US government, the military was like, well, we don't believe after the fact, after we shot it down, we don't believe that it was collecting. And we took measures to prevent it from collecting. And not only that, we didn't shoot it down at the beginning because we were monitoring its capabilities and learning from that. Now part of that is true, right? If you've got a target, you identify a target, unlike with law enforcement and the intelligence world, you let that run, right? Because you want to learn everything you can about that target. Who's there to support it? What's that look like? How do they learn? How do they know that? Can they figure out what it's transmitting? Can they tune into it? Yes. Most of it's signals intelligence and capabilities. It's not really imagery that you're getting from it, although that's part of it. But so I have no doubt that... Because everyone was saying, well, why wouldn't you just shoot the fucker down when it showed up over Alaska on the 28th of January? Or when we became aware of it initially. And because we live in this highly partisan world, everybody was saying, well, because Biden's inept and they didn't know what they were doing and they let it float all the way across the states. So you can't discount the argument that says, well, part of it is we let it go because we were gathering intelligence ourselves from their capabilities. It's always interesting to know. It's just like when we... Here, I go disappearing down a rabbit hole. When we lost that platform, that air asset during the Abbottabad raid, and we had to leave it behind, and they destroyed, to the degree they could, everything that was in it of interest. But the platform itself was of interest. The two things that are important nowadays are stealth and speed. There was a stealth design involved there, and there's also material science. It's interesting. So left it behind after they bagged Bin Laden, literally. And then three days later, the Pakistanis had invited the Chinese to come in. And they were swarming all over that helicopter, gathering intelligence. So if you have the opportunity to observe a target, like I said, then you do. You can gain intelligence from... So I'm not one of those people who said, I should have shot it down immediately because I don't know what they were getting from it. But I do know that the purpose of the balloon was to gather intelligence on us, on our sensitive facilities to some degree. So anyway, and then they sent all the remains after they recovered them off the coast of South Carolina to wherever Quantico. And that was kind of the last we ever heard of it, right? Because we've all got attention deficit disorder. Nobody wants to think, okay, what did we learn? Can we do a hot wash on it and figure out? And to what degree can you tell the public what the hell was going on? Because honestly, I don't know that we ever would have learned about it if it hadn't been so large and members of the public hadn't seen it or spotted it. What else too was it hovering around at? It cut a path through a couple of other bases, Minot and I forget where else it was to the south of there. But the fact that it hovered over a period of time, over Malmstrom, is really all you need to know. Because if it's a weather balloon, so it doesn't, I guess, at one point being, we never really pushed the Chinese regime under Xi for anything. We haven't forced the hand on the pandemic. And we're going to have another pandemic. So it would be nice to know what the fuck actually happened, not to just spirit our own. Why do you think we're going to have another pandemic? Everybody keeps saying that. Yeah, well, because- It's very disconcert. We haven't had one in 100 years, not a legitimate one. Well, not to toot my own horn, which I guess that would be an interesting thing if you could do that. It was a few years back when we were talking and I said, the next big thing will be a pandemic. And someone had pointed that out to me. I'd forgotten about it, but they sent it to me. And so my point back then and the point now is that it's bound to happen. We're an increasingly shrinking globe. There's more people. We're in contact with everything that goes on, whether it's in the natural based or just what we're doing in biotech and pharma. It's bound to happen. And so I guess you'd think that if we were serious minded, we would demand answers and we wouldn't just allow the Xi regime to just shrug it off constantly. You know that there would be a massive debrief on this whole situation if it happened in the US or the UK or started in Australia or wherever. The rest of the world wouldn't let it go. But there's something about it. We never push the Chinese regime to the degree that we need to to get an answer. So the point being, it's the same with the damn balloon. Is it because we don't think we'll ever get an answer and it's kind of a waste of time? Because it's not like they're transparent. Yeah. They would just not tell us the truth. Yeah, I think that's part of it. It's like doing business in China. If you're investing in a pseudo state owned enterprise or whatever, you always know there's going to be three or four or five sets of books. They're just very good at obfuscating. And they also think they don't need to answer. We don't care. They don't care. And Xi believes that they are still on, despite some problems in their economy, they're still on the slow march to the top of the food chain. So he certainly doesn't care. Anyway. Do you think anything would be different if someone else was in office? No, I don't think so. I don't think so. I'm not going to say that. I'm not going to say if we got Trump or a Republican was in office that we'd get a different result. I don't think so. We've had sort of an unsatisfactory relationship related to China for decades. We haven't ... No administration has really pushed back appropriately against their theft of economic intelligence or research and development or whatever. So all those things keep happening and we never make the effort. Some of the things they're doing now, I've gotten bizarrely focused on the issue of, we've talked about this before, critical minerals. Because one of the things that I find really interesting is this push towards net zero, carbon production and getting rid of fossil fuels, stopping fossil fuels. Well, you can't stop fossil fuels and regulate mining out of existence at the same time. You've got to do one or the other to fuel production, to fuel manufacturing, to heat people's homes, to produce whatever you're going to produce. And so if we want to get rid of fossil fuels, by definition you have to increase mining of critical minerals. There's just no way around it. If you do both, which the Biden administration is basically trying to do, I think they're placating their base by, now we're going to get rid of fossil fuels. And they're also making decisions that are over regulating the permitting process for mining. And we have a lot of critical minerals available in this country. We've got lithium, phosphate, which should be on the critical minerals list. We've got all these things that we need if we're going to continue to march away from fossil fuels. But the current administration just keeps under this theory of keeping it in the ground. And that's a big push by environmentalists. Keep it all on the ground. Lock it up. But how do they... The only way to do that is to keep allowing what's essentially slave labor to extract cobalt and things from the Congo. Right. And you've talked about this. Absolutely. Siddharth Kara's book is insane. And the videos that he got when he risked his life to get footage of the stuff in the Congo, it's horrendous. And anybody thinks that in any way that that's a good solution to our problems is fucking insane. But that's where this is going. If the US continues, and this is where I'll bring China in, and by the way, China, they own or operate, I think it's like 15 of the 19 cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. So it doesn't matter whether they're leading the way, and China controls 30 of the 50 critical minerals anyway. They produce more than anybody else. They certainly control the refining process for most of the critical minerals. But it doesn't matter whether they're mining it in their own country. They've also been busy locking up opportunities elsewhere to control these things. And so there's very little pushback. But if you look at one case, because we've talked about cobalt, we've talked about lithium, which is here we could be mining, but the government's shutting down opportunities to do that, either by declaring things off limits in terms of the land area or just making the permitting process so damn difficult. But phosphate, I'd mentioned that as an example. I got disappeared down some rabbit hole looking at all of this. It's not on the critical minerals list. There's 50 critical minerals. Now phosphate, along with two other things, nitrogen and potassium, are the key nutrients that you use for fertilizers, to feed the world, not just the US. You can't do mass farming. Everybody wants to grow local, but the reality is, it's a lot of people. And if you want the least privileged people around the globe to eat, you've got to do large scale farming. You can't do that without phosphate. And so China is the number one producer of phosphate in the world. And I think Russia is fourth. And they produce five times more combined, five times more than we do in the US. And yet there is significant pushback here in the US, in part because it fits a Chinese narrative and the Chinese have decided, the regime has, again, not the people, the Chinese regime has decided that one of the best ways to get what they want in terms of US behavior is not to try to influence the White House, but it's to reach out to local and state officials. So here's where I'm going with this. When you look at decisions made at state level or local level, the Chinese regime and the ODNI, the Director of National Intelligence released a report and they talked about this. They said that the Chinese are doubling down on their efforts to exert influence through a variety of means, environmental groups, encouraging litigation against mining operations or whatever it may be, social influencers to try to get a message out that influences local and state regulators to do things such as saying, no, got to keep it in the ground. No, we don't want phosphate mining as an example. And that serves the purpose, whether an environmental group or whether a group that's out there that focuses on these things and files lawsuits constantly for environmental purposes. And then by the way, those lawyers usually recoup their funds from what is called the Endangered Species Act that allows them to get their money back. So you think, oh, wow, these lawyers are fighting and it's pro bono. No, it's not. They're getting paid. But they're doing it, whether they do it knowingly or whether they do it unwittingly, it still serves the purpose of the Chinese regime, which is looking to say, keep it in the ground because we want to control all of this. And again, whether it's cobalt, whether it's lithium, whether it's phosphate, whatever it may be, it's a fascinating thing. But the point being that we can't pursue a green future and at the same time over-regulate the mining process. And it just doesn't work. China has so much influence on America. It's crazy how different the playing field is between what we're allowed to do. Like Americans can't own businesses in China, they can't own land in China, they can't buy property, but China can do all those things here. And they can influence our universities, they bring their students over here, their students siphon up data and information and oftentimes get caught. I mean, it's kind of crazy. Possibly. Yeah, they get caught, right? Yeah. There's been quite a few of those cases. There have been. But you think about that, that's the tip of the iceberg, right? It's a small number because it's an incredibly heavy lift. The counterintelligence operation is really tough. And so I look at that and I think, yeah, thank God we caught that person. But then you think, how many more are there out there? Right. That's the thing. It's like how many of them are just more careful? Yeah. Yeah. It is interesting in a way. We used to talk about during when we were on the war on terror, right? Everybody's forgotten about that for the most part, although we probably should talk about that. We're on the back burner. Yeah. And it's bubbling away in Afghanistan, which we should also talk about. But we used to talk about war on terror and how the terrorists were using our open society against us, right? And the Chinese regime does the same thing, right? They understand and they look at how we operate and they say, okay, where's the weaknesses, right? Where are the leverage points that we can use to turn that against them? And this idea... I mean, look, China produces more carbon than all the developed nations combined. Which is very important to talk about when people are talking about going green, because the amount of impact that would happen, even if United States went to zero, went to zero carbon output, you're not going to put a dent in what's happening to the world. No. Because most of it is coming from China and India. India. That's most of it. So all this shit about don't eat meat because we're going to save the world, you're not saving jack shit. I don't understand where that message is coming from or why there's not a nuanced perspective where people are taking into account all these other variables. Well, in part, again... It doesn't fit the narrative. It doesn't fit the narrative, but also there is this effort. Look, I mean, we talked, you know, there's... You remember the... What was it called? Internet Research Agency, right? And so the potential for influence on the elections back in the day, which wasn't that long ago. And the Chinese regime actually does it better than the Russians, right? They've got way more resources. They've got a much longer view. Frankly, they're more sophisticated, right? So sometimes you look at things and you think, well, that doesn't make any sense. Why are we acting in this way? And then you think, well, because you've got a local or a grassroots community activist group, right? And they're not Chinese spies. They're not working. But the Chinese regime identifies them and says, you know what? If we can influence them, it's just pure propaganda or covert action campaign. If I can influence that activist group to go out and tell those whomever, the city officials or the county commissioners or whatever, that this is bad, right? And this is... We need to stop this, right? We shouldn't be mining for lithium in Nevada or wherever. We shouldn't be pursuing logical steps to get control over the critical mineral supply chain issue, right? Why wouldn't you do that? It's smart activity on the part of the Chinese regime and the Intel service there. So that part of it to me makes sense. The problem we have is that there's a lack of awareness, right? Now there was a... Again, this shows you I've been spending too much time reading on the ship, but I'm fascinated by this idea that we're trying to do two things that are completely opposed to each other. Start fossil fuels and also keep critical minerals from the ground that we're going to need to pursue green energy. That part is amazing, but I did actually write down... But that is part of the problem with green energy is that it's not really green because you do have to mine. And when you do mine, there is consequences. There's consequences. And that's... But as you pointed out, I mean, look, we mine cleaner and safer than anybody else. And that's why there was a... I'm going to actually read a quote. This shows you... I feel like I'm maturing. I've gotten more organized. You're so prepared, Mike. I'm so proud of you. I know. Look, see? I know. There have been times when you've been staring at me thinking, where the fuck is he talking about? Or is he going... Is he taking a nap? So they had a hearing in Arizona not too long ago about critical minerals, the issue of critical minerals and the importance of them and the importance of speeding up the permitting process. Again, if we want to pursue a green future, you got to do it. And this guy, Congressman... I know I've got a note here. Gozar, Paul Gozar from wherever, Arizona said, and this is a quote, the anti-mining actions by the Biden administration hurt America's economy, threaten our national security and push mineral production abroad, where environmental and labor standards pale in comparison with our own. Right? And that's absolutely correct. And again, all you have to do is look at what goes on in the Democratic Republic of the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. and the U.S. But you're right. People are so emotive, right? And they stole, you can say Three Mile Island, and everybody knows, right? And most people can't retain a lot of information about historical facts. Chernobyl, Fukushima. Chernobyl, yeah. And so, and we've gotten better at safety systems and redundancies, right? So, absolutely. But, you know, people talk about why we've got to expend nuclear energy. When you look at the deaths from nuclear, they're so small, just in comparison to the chronic illness that comes from coal. I mean, we watched this documentary on this one town, was it, is it Indiana, Jamie, that one town? Yeah. Where there's multiple coal plants near the area, and these people have like a fine dusting of particulate in their cars every day. So they're breathing this air that has this coal particulate, and there's a host of chronic illnesses that are coming with this. So many people have respiratory conditions. Yeah, but, and we have been, we've been busy trying to shut down, you know, use of coal and fine. But you've got to replace it with something that's pragmatic, right? And right now, solar and wind isn't going to cut it, right? It seems to be exaggerated about the efficiency and efficacy of solar and wind. They really do love to sort of exaggerate how effective it is, and also how much energy it takes to generate a windmill, just to build one and maintain it. Right. And also what going green is going to mean to the grid system, right? And the demand for electricity. Right, all the cars. Yes. That was the thing in California. They said by 2035, we're not going to sell any internal combustion engines. Also, don't charge your car because it's hot out. What the fuck? Everybody stay home. California. Stay home. Yeah. Oh, God. It is the test case for stupidity. Yeah. Well, you know, who knows? Maybe the current governor is going to, you know, throw his hat in the ring. I think he is. You think so? Yeah. I think, I mean, I'm an armchair conspiracy theorist, but if I had to guess, I would say that all this stuff that's coming out slowly but surely about Biden is on purpose, and they want to get rid of him. I think he wants to run again, and I don't think the Democrats think that he can win. I think they're right. And I think they're going to slowly but surely expose more of these, like, very clear pieces of evidence of corruption. Yeah. Yeah. The $20 million is fucking bananas. The fact that this isn't all over the New York Times and the Washington Post and mainstream news, that they're not blaring it from the rooftops because you know they would be if it was Trump. Oh, absolutely. Or really, you know, it wouldn't matter, Trump or whomever would be on the GOP side. No, look, I've got an intelligence and investigations firm. You may have heard of them. I do. I've heard of them. Yeah, Borman Square Group for all your information and security needs. You've changed the name a couple of times, huh? Just avoiding bill collectors. But I've got investigators, great people. That's the most rewarding thing about building a business is just the wonderful people that you eventually get to work with, and they raise families and they stick with you. And so I've got some investigators that I guess the point is they could have wrapped this puppy up some time ago, right? It's an asset tracing exercise is what they're engaged in. And, you know, maybe they'll stay focused. Maybe they'll keep going. But when you've got an asset tracing exercise, you've got a myriad of single purpose companies set up around there. First of all, when you look at a case and you say we've got 20 plus single purpose companies set up here for pass through of funds, that's what we would call a clue about money laundering. That's why you do that, right? To hide beneficial ownership, to hide the flow of funds and transactions that are involved, to obfuscate and make it difficult for the obvious because their feeling is that most people will maybe dig once or twice, but then they'll get bored and they'll move on. Let's make this as complicated as possible. And so you start to see there's always fraud indicators. You start to see certain things in an investigation. And the great thing about asset tracing also is that there are records, right? And that's what they're finding out now. And I'm glad because whether it's Biden, whether it's Trump, it wouldn't matter if you've got an asshole who's in office and is engaged in pay for play, right? And there's no way, frankly, that this president didn't know that he was being used as the dog in the dog and pony show, right? And so they've got these records available to them. And with the power of the government, their ability to disappear and do all these things they can do, they will have the case figured out at some point. The problem with Washington is do they have the grit to stick with it, right? And then the next question is, does anything happen as a result? But it is, in my mind anyway, for what that's worth, there's no doubt. This is money laundering. And it is pathetic, as you pointed out, that there's so little interest, right? From a completely incurious, well, not incurious, but just a completely partisan, significant majority of the media. It's not that they don't care. It's that they do care and they're taking every effort and they're now having to contort themselves into certain ways because it's getting more and more difficult to provide top cover for the Biden administration. But they've been trying. And they're just at some point, maybe the dam breaks and there's so much paper evidence that they can't ignore it anymore. But you would have thought that some enterprising young journalists who understand the importance of objectivity, whether it's a Democrat or Republican, would have gotten off their ass and really pursued this story. Because that's a Pulitzer Prize winning story at the end of the day. Yeah, but the question is, what kind of pushback do they get in pursuing that story? How dangerous is it for them to pursue that story? Because it seems like it would be fairly dangerous. I mean, you're talking about extraordinary amounts of money and this is just what's been uncovered, right? So we've only gone back to what, like 2013 or 2014 or something like that? Yeah, back to the VP days. Right. So what about before that? When did this start? Did this only start when he was VP? Did he get his son involved to give him some sort of meaningful business? It seems like he was the bag man, right? And that's another part of this story that's fascinating. It's not like he was producing anything. It's not like Hunter Biden was producing something. He was producing some good videos. Yeah. Made some great photos. He was fine, yeah. He seems like the kind of guy that you would expect to be involved in that kind of behavior. I mean, he's a wild boy. And he's also the sort of guy that you would identify immediately. If you were on the Chinese side of things, as an example. Oh, yeah. Whatever, $8 million, whatever. He's the target. That's the guy. Look at that. That's your weekly next to, with the greatest access possible to the second most powerful person, theoretically, in the country. That's a fantastic target, right? Yeah. There's all sorts of weaknesses there that you can play off of. And for them, 20 million over a few years, that's a fucking minor drop in the bucket. It's literally nothing. And that's a great payday for them. And whether it's Burisma and look, there is no reason he was being placed on boards other than access to his father. I mean, even if somebody who's highly partisan on the Democratic side has got to at least be honest enough to admit that. So then the question becomes, all right, was the, at the time, vice president and then after that, was he aware? Did he know that Hunter was out there doing all these things and using access? And at first it was like, I had no idea. It wasn't talking. And then suddenly it's like, well, you know, I was on some phone calls, but it wasn't important. And now the media has got to spin that narrative. Well, he wasn't talking about anything of substance. Well, there's a new photo that just got released of him on a plane to Ukraine in 2015. Yeah. I think this is to my point that I think they're slowly releasing this stuff because they plan on getting rid of them. Yeah. Well, if they do, then what happens to Kamala Harris? She's gone. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. There's no way. You can't keep her. She's got the lowest approval rating of any vice president ever, including Dan Quill. Oh, God. There's a good filter of fault. Oh, yeah. Yeah. He was what they used to, comics used to joke to that guy was assassination insurance. Nobody wants to kill the president and have that fucking guy take over. I forgot about that. But no, but you're right. And I think if, yeah, they can't move Kamala Harris out as long as Biden's the candidate, right? Right. Because they wouldn't weather that optic. But if he has to step aside, then obviously it's a brand new ticket. It's a brand new day and they'll come up with something. So, you know, I guess the question is, do they firmly believe that Biden can't win again if it's Trump or whomever? The only way Biden's going to win again is never Trump. These never Trump people. Yeah. There are people that will vote for a fucking box of hammers before they would vote for Trump. Yeah. And that's a real segment of our population. I don't know what percentage is, but it's probably fairly high. They have enough trust in the Democratic establishment that they think that the Democrats would figure out a way to run the country better, even with a puppet, than they would with Donald Trump in office. Yeah. And I think there's also the independence. Don't forget, you know, independence or sort of the moderates that, you know, previously had voted for Trump and then got tired of the chaos. Yeah. And then the last election said, no, I'm not going to do that again. I don't think they walk it back and say, yeah, actually give me, you know, because I don't, people, again, very emotive. So, yeah. Well, there's also the indictments. Now, what is your take on this Georgia thing? Because the Georgia thing is interesting because I was just watching this video today that was detailing what they were claiming was evidence of fraud in the Georgia election. Yeah. And there's apparently some videos of people moving boxes around and doing some things that seem a little, at least on the surface, suspicious without an adequate explanation. Yeah. I think it's, I think they don't care whether they win or not. And I think they brought a fairly massive racketeering or RICO, you know, charge at the top of this sort of a criminal conspiracy. And counts, right? Yeah. And I think they can't be stupid. So they probably understand that it falls apart in appeal, right? And I don't think that that's going to hold up, but I don't think they care because last night, I mean, again, that shows you how bizarre this is. They held a press conference, right? They rushed this thing through. First of all, here's an interesting fact. First of all, the indictment showed up on the county website, right? In the afternoon, before the grand jury had voted, right? Before they had come across with what the charges would be. And so all of a sudden, that comes across on the public domain. And I think it was Reuters that snapped it and kind of ran with it as a story. But then it was taken down off the county's website, right? And they were asked about it later on. And they said, ah, it was fictitious or some bullshit, right? So you wonder, okay, how did that get leaked? Because then those charges that showed up earlier in the day matched what ended up being voted on by the grand jury. So that's a little odd. And it's, as far as I can remember, I think it's illegal to leak that sort of information, right, ahead of time. But also, how would they know? How would they know how the grand jury was going to decide at the end of the day what indictments to throw out there or to put out there in this charge? So that's something that probably should be looked at, but in today's world may not. But I think really, she was pushing last night at whatever, 1130, 12 o'clock at night. Who holds this press conference at this point at that time of night? But she was saying she wants it out there to start this trial in six months. And so, you know, six months from now is whatever, February. So right in the middle of all the caucuses and all the campaigning that goes on. And whether it's that one or whether it's the one from DC or it doesn't matter. They just, they're creating a very lasting narrative that's going to go through the election season. And I think that's really what they want. And whether any of this actually holds, I don't think they give a rat's ass. Some people do. Can you imagine if this was happening in the other direction? Oh. And by the way, if Trump was in office and Biden was running against him and this evidence was available, this evidence of all the corruption with his son, I mean, that's far clearer. This is like real clear stuff. Well, but they always come back with it. Well, look, it was, you know, the Trump kids were working and doing business. And they had a business. Right. They were real estate developers. There's there's tangible activity there. Now, you know, that's that's part of the problem. That's how it gets muddied is is that people in the media or people who are supportive of an administration will say, yeah, but everybody does it. And everybody's engaged in pay for play. Everybody's engaged in influence peddling. And there's some truth in that. But not everybody's engaged in money laundering. That might be worth some investigation. But again, I don't think that the point of this exercise on the part of the various DAs and that's another thing. The DA down in Georgia is that's an elected position. And she's running for office again and she's campaigning based on getting Trump. And she's raising money off of this is what I'm going to do. I'm going to get Trump. Right. That seems a little odd, too. Right. I mean, I don't know this. It's no surprise that people are losing confidence in in the government. Have you looked at any of the evidence of election manipulation? Some, but I'll be honest with you, I haven't disappeared fully down that rabbit hole yet. I don't I you know, I seems like I really suck in. Yeah, I think it would. And there's you know, there's a lot of communities at the time that I have looked. There's a lot of there's a lot of shit out there and trying to trying to decipher what is just crazy ass bullshit from what is legitimate and deserves investigation. Right. I'll be honest with you. I just like I run out of time and I'm just like, I'm sorry. I got to go, you know, watch one of the kids games. So which, by the way, one of my kids, the middle boy, Slugo, is heading to Florida to go to boarding school at the end of the month. Oh, boy. Yeah, he's going to go play basketball at IMG, which is an amazing academy, amazing, amazing place. Is that going to be hard for you? Have you go to boarding school? Yeah, we couldn't wait to get him out of the house. No, he's a great guy. He's a great kid. He's all the all the boys are fantastic. But but he's very focused. He's very competitive. He's been this is all he wants to do is and he's been down there before and they do a great job academically and sports wise. It's it's very much a sports focused program. Does he want to play professionally? Yeah, I guess any kid that you know is serious about what they do. How tall is he? Oh, he's about three foot two. He's a white kid from Idaho. He's got a big future. He's he's growing. He's making his way towards, you know, he's just turned just turned whatever 14 and and he's making his way towards six foot. And he'll get he'll get as tall as he needs to be for a point guard. But he's a he's a focused. He's a focused people are doing all kinds of shit to their kids now. Yeah, they're juicing him up with human growth. It's crazy. And they're, you know, they're reclassing them three or four times. Right. Happy repeat. Great. Right. Richard. He's played some kids that are, you know, honestly got it. You know, like they they show up with a baby and you know, and well, it's a it's a fucking business. I mean, if you your kid can become a legit professional athlete. I mean, there is extraordinary amounts of money in that. Yeah. If the kids are good. Yeah. You know, it's, you know, for us, you look at that and he's very realistic. He understands that, you know, and and but he loves the game. He's super into sort of the the the you know, the intricacies of it. Right. And he's he's a selfless kid. He you know, he's he's all about, you know, getting the ball passed properly, getting the assist. Right. He's not he's not a he's not a selfish player, but but he's also realistic about the tiny, tiny statistics in terms of who gets to even play D3 or D2 ball. Right. And then certainly going on to to to professional sports. But it teaches a lot of other things. Right. And so boarding school for the right kid can be a great experience, could be a terrible experience for the wrong kid. But for the right kid, it can be a great experience. You know, teaches him independence and discipline and motivation and and the value of of of hard work and and, you know, just not taking shit for granted. How often are you going to see him? Probably quite frequently because, you know, we you know, he's again, he's only he's he's young. So we'll be down there as often as possible. But at the same time, you want to let him run. Right. Right. You don't want to get to give him room. Right. And we've never been those sort of parents for any of the kids where we sit on the sidelines and watch their practices. That drives me fucking crazy. You know, when you've got parents or in every practice sitting in their lawns, terror, just, you know, watch it. And you think, just let the kids do well or not. Yeah. But yeah. Yeah. So I think he's he again, he's very independent. And I think I think he'll be just fine. But I forget how I jumped onto that boarding school boarding school. Yeah. Anyway. Yeah. But it's it was a bit of a it was a struggle to get to the point where we thought, OK, let's do it. Right. The other two boys were like, now get him out of the house. It'll be fine. Yeah, be fine. The youngest one was like, do I get his room and all his stuff? But yeah. Yeah. Anyway. And the oldest one was just out at the Naval Academy. There's there's a fantastic place. God. He was out there for a visit and had a chance to play some lacrosse and and, you know, whether he applies or not. Again, it's the experience of seeing what's out there and what's possible. And, you know, if you leave all the doors open for the kids and you try to get them to understand the importance of not shutting doors by stupid behavior or poor academics or whatever it is, that's all you can do as a parent. And then at some point they run and they do their thing. But, you know, from our perspective, you just you got to keep every door open for the kids. So they don't get there and think, oh, God, I should not have done that because now I can't go there or I can't do this. Right. So we'll see. But it was that was a great experience. Yeah. Yeah. Anyway. So how we went from election meddling. No, we went from Pee Wee Herman to election meddling to to my kids. Yeah. You know what? Because I've got my list, I'm going to stick with my fucking list. Yeah. There was one other thing I wanted to mention about how fascinating the the the our relationship with China is. And that is also since the last time we met the Chinese a Chinese company pseudo independent supposedly. But there's very few of those. Right. They've got some level of state sponsorship or cooperation. They bought like three hundred and some odd acres in near Grand Forks. And there's a Grand Forks Air Force Base, which is home to whatever the three nineteenth fighter wing or air wing. And one of the things the base does is it oversees in part the satellite systems that we run, right? Overseas surveillance drone operations to some degree. And so it's a very sensitive base. So I'll be damned if this Chinese group didn't buy up hundreds of acres of land about 12 miles from from this base. And they worked with the local officials, the local folks there to say, we want to build a milling plant, a corn milling plant. Right. The company was a food company. And it's going to be great. It's going to give you like 200 local jobs. Let's build it. And so the local officials were like, yeah, that sounds like a great idea. Well, it ran through the investment. CFIUS, the investment operation that looks at foreign investment to make sure that it's it's above board and kosher. And CFIUS said, yeah, we don't have any opinion. It's not really our domain. We don't see anything wrong with this. So we can't cancel the potential purchase. And the Air Force had another thought. And they said, screw it. That's no. This is a threat to national security. You can't allow this to happen. You can't allow them to build this plant. And so I'll be damned in one of those rare moments of common sense. They shut it down. They said, you can't do this. And so and then that become a bit of an issue and then started to see in Congress, you started to see all these talk about, well, oh, my God, the Chinese are buying up farmland all across America. So it's Bill Gates. So it's Bill Gates. Bill Gates and the Chinese. Now, the largest, to be fair, the largest landowners in terms of a foreign country is Canada. So Canada owns by far the most U.S. farmland. But it was nice to see that there was some reaction, some common sense here and that they don't do that. And that's happening. It's increasing. So I think the bright spot here is that people are becoming more aware of the problem and that not every time is nefarious, not every time. I'm not saying that, you know, it's not always going to be nefarious, but you should at least be smart enough to look and see. It's like when we talk about Chinese equipment being put on regional telecoms all over the world or the country. Yeah. Yeah. Little things like that we should probably pay attention to. I was watching this video where this guy was talking about these Chinese devices like a Roomba. Like it was one of those type of deals. It was like one of those robots that runs around your house in vacuums. Yeah, sure. Yeah. Yeah, we got two of them. And he said that it connects to a Chinese server and it says when the thing is loading up, it's connecting to this Chinese server and that it connects to your network. And this Chinese server has potentially has access to your network and could choose to shut your network off, siphon information, do anything it wants. It's like the Internet of Things, right? So these things are connected via your network and connected to all the devices that are on your network. So if your cell phones on it, Wi-Fi, whatever. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. And that's been going on for some time, right? I mean, that's been the capabilities, the ability to gather intelligence from seemingly innocuous things. Your fridge that talks to you or whatever. Certainly, obviously, and you've talked about this a lot, that, you know, the cell phones and how hard you have to work to turn off applications that will do that. And most people just don't have the patience, right? You've got to really dig, right? If you want to prevent your, you know, 80 inch TV in your home from being switched on remotely as a monitor, what's going on your home. You've got to really dig through the layers on that TV to get to the point where you can switch that off. Right? And I mean, who's got the time nowadays? Does that even work? Yeah, it does it even work. Exactly. Robot vacuums can use by hackers to spy on conversations Singapore researchers say. Lidar phone attack can take advantage of the device's built-in sensor to gather potentially sensitive data. NUS computer scientists discovered to prevent misuse. Team advised owners not to connect the robot vacuums to the internet. Wow. Yeah. Yeah. Jesus Christ. Can you use a spy on private conversations? University said on Monday, the method called Lidar Phone repurposes the Lidar sensors that a robot vacuum cleaner normally uses for navigating around a home into laser-based microphone. The eavesdrop on private conversations. Oh, terrific. Yeah. Yeah. Pretty wild. And I read something about the use of Wi-Fi to see things in a home and that there's the ability that Wi-Fi has to gather 3D images. Yeah. Which is fucking crazy. Yes. I mean, a couple of things. Yeah. Scientists now use Wi-Fi to see through people's walls. What the fuck? Carnegie Mellon University can map human bodies through walls using Wi-Fi signals. That's super creepy. But I've read that you can do that with ethernet cables. Ethernet cables. Yeah. They can at least use it to hear. Yeah. Anything that emanates. Anything. I mean, there's the ability to... Yeah. It does start to look like a Tom Clancy movie where, remember, they used to... In the old days, you'd see this movie and they could like use it and they could identify people moving through the building. Right? Yeah. That was all bullshit back in the day. I mean, that was imagined. Right? Right. And people were thinking, like, wouldn't that be great? And it is great. Right? If you roll up on a target site now and you're wearing the old, you know, highly advanced super soldier Google glasses, right? You're getting all that data fed into you, right? And you're getting heat signatures and you're, you know, I got four people on the other side of this structure. I mean, that's fantastic intelligence. Or you can, you know, again, the battlefield has changed completely now. I mean, you're the drone capability and be able to look downfield and know what you've got. Yeah. To be able to reach out and touch a target without getting your guys in harm's way. I mean, it's an amazing world, but it's also pretty... What's the word? I don't want to say frightening necessarily, but it's alarming, right? For just the average citizen in terms of, again, information that's being gathered on you. And I think most people just at this stage of the game, certainly, I think maybe younger folks just don't care. Yeah. They're on TikTok. Yeah. You know, I was talking to my friend Cam's son and I was like, do you know that thing's fucking siphoning date off? Cause he's on TikTok. He's like, I don't care. It's fun. I'm like, okay. Well, I guess, you know, he's just a 24 year old kid. He's got nothing to worry about. Yeah. Yeah. Well, that's why I stopped doing my TikTok dances, you know, cause I used to post all the time. You were very good. I think you should bring them back. I was doing the, whatever the flossing and the, the rumba, or I don't even know what the dances are anymore. But anyway, today, today, this is, look at me segue. Today is the two year anniversary of the Afghan withdrawal. And I was, I forget how I got started on that one, but I was, I was looking at total costs of what we spent so far in Ukraine. And not only is it a two year anniversary of the withdrawal from, from Afghanistan, but other comparisons we've spent in Ukraine since whenever January, 2022. So, you know, a little over a year, obviously year and a half. We've dropped about upwards north of $80 billion there, right? More than that in all honesty, cause I don't think we actually know what the full number is. I don't think the state department knows. I don't think the Pentagon actually knows. They certainly don't know necessarily what all the money is going to, but we've dropped at 80 billion say, let's call it that. From 2001 to 2020 in Afghanistan, we spent about 73, $74 billion. So think about that. Wow. Almost 20 years in Afghanistan, we spent about 73 billion dollars. About a year and a half in Ukraine, we've spent $80 billion plus. I'm not saying it's, you know, that we shouldn't be doing it or that we should, you know, we should not be supporting the Ukrainian military. I'm just saying it's a fascinating fact as far as I'm concerned. It just shows the level of support. You know, Ukraine is, is, is at the top of our, obviously we don't give that much money to anybody by far, right? And the last time that, last time a European was country, it was at the top of the, of the, of the aid list was, you know, the Marshall plan, maybe the Truman administration. So it's pretty significant, but the Afghanistan thing, two years after the withdrawal, we've spent since then, since, since the withdrawal, we've spent, or the US governments allocated about $8 billion. Now, the interesting point there is who's been in control there in Afghanistan since, you know, the withdrawal, it's a Taliban. So we have allocated $8 billion to various humanitarian groups, charities into Afghanistan. And no real, no real controls over whether the vast majority of that money or half of that money or whatever is going to the Taliban and really, yeah. And you can guarantee that it's being siphoned off. How does that work? Well, I'm glad you asked that. It wasn't that long ago. There was a, because there, there is an inspector general, they call him, the special, the special intelligence, the general. General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, CIGAR. And he testified before Congress, I think, much earlier this year, it might have been the January, February timeframe, about Afghanistan. And he said, I cannot sit here and tell the committee or the American taxpayer that we are not funding the Taliban through this money that is being allocated for Afghanistan. Whoa. Okay. There you go. Unfortunately, as I sit here today, I cannot assure this committee that the American taxpayer or the American taxpayer that we are not currently funding the Taliban. He continued, nor can I assure you that the Taliban are not diverting the money we are sending to the intended recipients, which are the poor Afghan people. Wow. Yeah. But 20 years in Afghanistan, we leave in a fucking mess of a withdrawal, which never should have taken place the way it did. And we've still got, there's maybe 150, 155,000 special immigrant visa applicants trapped in Afghanistan waiting to get out. We have no idea how many of our former Afghan allies, right, whomever it may be, are still there trapped, trying to get out. How many have been killed? Exactly. How many have been killed? And in the meantime, now, again, the idea at the top level, the theory, we want to help the Afghan people. We can't just abandon all those poor people. So we're going to use the money to give it to humanitarian groups and they're going to try to feed them and everything. And yet there's no control over this fucking thing. And so that's a problem that, again, should be talked about. We get lost in these issues of the day that aren't really impactful. I guess at the end of the day, maybe they're impactful to people's individual lives, I guess, whatever, what the hell. But it is stunning that then the inspector general will come out and say, he can't get sufficient information from State Department and from USAID that's responsible in part for allocating these funds. And in pure, typical Washington DC bullshit, the reason is because the State Department says, well, we withdrew from Afghanistan, so therefore the inspector general doesn't have the same job. We're not reconstructing Afghanistan anymore, so we don't have to respond to his request for information. So it's like this bizarre, but we're going to continue to give money out. Meanwhile, the Taliban is just shitting all over the people. Forget about women's rights anymore. They've shut down secondary schools. They've shut down, there's certainly no universities. They've restricted them basically to women and girls sitting at home. They have very restrictive movement outside. They have to be fully covered, obviously. They just shut down all beauty salons, which was one of the few places women could work and only women could go into. Women can't go into parks. It's insane when you think about it that way and you think about, but we're giving them money, again, not for a bad reason. We want to help the people that are suffering most. How does that money- But we have no control. What happens to that money? How could that money possibly get to the Taliban? What's going on? Well, it has to go through humanitarian groups, NGOs, charities. At some point, the idea is it's either funds or goods that have to be in the country, that have to get to the country to be dispersed. The Taliban controls everything. By the way, we also allocated a handful of billions of dollars to recapitalize the central bank there in Afghanistan. Well, that would seem to be, maybe I'm wrong, but that would seem to be basically putting money directly into the hands of the Taliban. It's a problem. They're looking into it. There's so many weird ... If you spend too much time looking at the way the government sometimes operates and switching back to Ukraine and saying, okay, as an example, one of the things we're not doing is we're not fully sanctioning Russian oil because why? It's a political reason. We don't want the Russian oil taken off the market and driving gas prices up, which is bad for politics. Meanwhile, one of the few real significant sources of revenue for the Russians is oil. That allows them to keep going. We're spending, what, $80 billion on Ukraine? At the same time, we're not doing everything we can to shut down the ability of the Russian government to make money by sanctioning the oil the way we should. Therefore, they continue marching on. I don't know. I just find it all ... Going back to that original thought, it's like we're going to stop fossil fuels, but we're also going to keep all the minerals on the ground. How about that? The Russia thing seems to be ... The Russia-Ukraine thing seems to be even crazier than the Afghanistan thing in terms of long-term cost and in terms of not having any solution of how this could ever possibly end. Yeah, no, 100% I agree with that. We don't have a ... We don't have a whatever they want to call it, an exit ramp, an end game. There is talk about a peace settlement, primarily from Zelensky. He's been making a real effort. He's been going out and trying to garner support from a variety of countries for the Ukraine government's peace plan, which basically calls for return of all their lands, including Crimea, and obviously the exit of all Russian forces. He's out there talking and saying, this is what needs to happen. We need to gather international support for this peace plan if it's going to work, which is not incorrect. Meanwhile, the Chinese are trying to play top dog in the world stage by proposing their own peace plan. Saudis are making an effort, but there is no exit strategy really to speak of. But hasn't Zelensky openly stated that he wants Putin to step down? Well, yeah, he's expressed that desire, but you also think about they've declared him a war criminal. What's Putin's motivation for stopping if he reaches a peace settlement and then is ... Basically, that's it. Okay, we're done. There's peace. We've given back all the land, and I'm a war criminal. Now at some point, if I step outside the country, I'll be arrested. That's a thought process. I don't think, unless Zelensky budges a little bit, which, again, from an emotive standpoint, why should he? But unless he budges to some degree, I don't see that they're going to get a settlement where the two sides agree. Because Putin, I don't ... Still, I've said this before, but I don't imagine the Russian government giving back Crimea. Right. Right. It's too important from their perspective, from a military perspective. When did they take over Crimea? Wasn't that 2014, I think? Maybe eight, maybe 2014. I don't know. It's ancient history now, and nobody cared back then. Really. Really. There were some angry memos written. Obama talked about it at the time, but nobody did anything. Just like when the troops moved into eastern Ukraine, nobody really cared. Nobody did anything. They're planting flags in their gardens and saying, we stand with Ukraine. In fact, Ukraine was viewed as a highly corrupt place where a Ukrainian energy company would hire the son of the vice president. Yeah. Oh. But at the same time, we can't allow Putin's adventurism to stand. I do believe we have to support. Without our support, without our NATO allies' support and others, they wouldn't have been able to accomplish what they've done. And now whether they can make the counter offensive a significant victory or not still remains to be seen because the Russians, they used the opportunity during the lull to really dig in. They've created almost their own Maginot Line, although it's more effective than the old Maginot Line. So they've created that along their perimeter. And it's been a real tough slog. The Ukrainian counter offensive has gone much slower than people thought. And everybody was all very emotive. Oh, it's going to be a counter offensive. They're going to sweep through. It's going to be done here soon. And I don't think people still have their heads around the fact that there's no exit out there yet. So what are we going to do? Are we going to continue to just allocate every couple of months? We say, well, we're putting another $800 million in there. We've already approved F-16s, Abrams tanks, Patriot missile system. High marks. We're doing everything possible, intelligence support, satellite support. And again, rightly so. Putin needs to be driven out of there if possible. But at the same time, they need a logical thought process about how you have a settlement if there's going to be one. What are your feelings about NATO's encroaching on Russian territory, like getting closer and closer? Like the treaty at the end of the Soviet Union stated that NATO would not move any closer to Russia, but yet they have. And yet they have. Yeah. And it's had just the opposite effect, right? I mean, what Putin did, because he's, you know, I think he imagined and he had bad intel, but he imagined that this incursion, this invasion was going to show the cracks in NATO, right? And it had the opposite. It grew NATO. And so, look, he legitimately believes you have to understand the motivations of whoever's on the other side of the table. And with Putin, he legitimately believed that, you know, the collapse of the Soviet Union was a terrible, terrible tragedy. Right. And he's been trying to recreate in some fashion the whole thing. So he looks at that and that's just further that reinforces his mindset, which is in his mind. I don't think he's, you know, I don't think he's making this up in his mind. He believes, you know, this is an attack on the motherland. Now, it's bullshit. It's not. But that's how he pitches it. And that's how he tries to keep the population behind him by saying this is this is the West against us. And there's no argument for that, you don't think, with NATO encroaching? Well, I think every country has got the right to, you know, take actions to protect their own national security. Right. Like if Russia started moving military bases into Mexico. Which is kind of similar to what NATO has done. Oh, the Cuban Missile Crisis. I mean, that was the same concept. There was no difference. Right. So yes, I mean, that's and so we. You have to be pragmatic about the world that you live in and you have to understand and that requires good intelligence. You have to understand the plans and intentions and motivations of whoever, again, is on the other side of the table or whatever dictator or whatever leader you're dealing with. And I think that is it helpful in reaching a peace settlement? Look, if all your goal is and maybe we know maybe we need to say that, OK, is the US goal to drive Russia completely out and reclaim all the lands that they had taken since 2000? Right. Then fine. That's our stated goal. And we just keep doing everything possible to make that happen short of boots on the ground. But it would seem to me that our goal should also be instead of that, maybe we find a way to end the war. Typically you get into a war and you want to end it. You know, I wanted to go on for 20 years. So unless you are supplying weapons and making billions of dollars. Well, I want to keep going for a while. There is that. And and look, but look, there's this you get two bites of the apple, right? You get to supply all the weaponry and then you get the reconstruction. And I'll tell you right now, there is an undercurrent in Washington, D.C. amongst contractors that are just there. They're just super gleeful. That's the wrong word. But they're they're enthusiastic and anticipatory. I don't know if that's a word about this potential. And I saw this back during the Iraq days when we went in to reconstruct Iraq, which went on for several years, produced massive amounts of fraud, created all sorts of bullshit eight companies. Right. Everybody suddenly everybody was looking for women owned or Native American owned or Eskimo owned companies that they could set up. So that would allow them to get those government contracts to go in and do some piece of a reconstruction, whether they had experience to do it or not. And there was a God, the amount of energy that was involved in D.C. at the time of companies just shooting up out of nowhere. Right. I remember people walking through the door. We had an office in D.C. for the business and and and people walking through the door with, you know, looking for security and saying, well, we're going to start this company. We're going to go out there. And I was like, well, how much experience do you have? And we don't have any, you know, they didn't care. So I sense that same level of excitement in the idea of the Ukraine reconstruction, because that's going to be a talk about the next sinkhole of again, I think you got to support them. Right. So maybe I'm using the wrong terminology, but the next black hole of cost of money spent will be on the reconstruction effort. And if we think that it's currently expensive, wait till that hits. And it's going to make this 80 billion dollars so far look like nothing, I think. That's just my opinion. But so I don't know. There's no you know, you keep talking. I keep talking in circles about this because I don't see any any way out of it. Right. It's both sides are not going to budge, at least in the short term, mid term, on what they want. Are you concerned at all about the possible use of nukes? Now, I don't think so. I don't think I mean, you know, Medvedev has thrown that out every now and then. Right. He's kind of alluded to it. Nothing's off the table. And but Putin is still a rational player. Right. He may seem like he's irrational at times or he's you know, this was an incredibly stupid move. But I don't think he's off the rails. He understands that's not that's that can't be on the table as an option. So I'm not really worried about that. I'm more worried about the the long, slow slog that we find. But nobody nobody ever anticipated we'd be in Afghanistan for 20 years. Right. And look at this. I mean, it's a it's a perfect case study of you probably should have an end in mind. Right. Otherwise, it just keeps going because in part. Because, you know, some people unfortunately do benefit from it. Some, you know, major players out there who benefit from that sort of thing and. You know, other people trying to do the right thing for sure, of course. But I you would think that Afghanistan, you would have a perfect case study, but we didn't have a case study. Sorry, take that back. We had a case study in what the Soviets did in Afghanistan and we we didn't learn shit from that. Right. When we went in, we ended up making the same mistakes, you know, make the same hubris. Look, there were years where we knew. During that 20 years that there were immense weaknesses and corruption inside the government, the Afghan government and the military. We knew for years that the Afghan military was problematic. And so this idea that we were surprised or shocked that they fell apart in in a matter of hours, basically, as the withdrawal was taking place. Is it's just bullshit. We just ignored it. We didn't want to hear it. We didn't want to tell the truth about it. And so if we had been truthful, you know, we would have said, no, this isn't going to work. And by the way, we never looked at that. Withdrawal was a disaster. We gave up Bagram Air Base. What the fuck are we doing? If we're going to withdraw and pull everybody out and get all our allies and contacts and people who had supported us for those years out, we had the perfect resource to do that and we didn't. They shut it down and then they, you know, they used Hamid Karzai Airport. Now is a day just from a simple security process. I mean, we do security assessments on large, you know, facilities and it's not rocket science. You see the same things over and over again in terms of how you protect your assets and how you protect your people and how you move things. That's a part of a logistical exercise. And they just fucking ignored it. And they ended up using this airport. People died as a result, didn't have to. Should never have. And yet, you know, and then they come out with a bullshit assessment earlier this year, the White House does, and basically blames the Trump administration for, you know, cutting a deal with the Taliban with a timeline that had conditions which the Taliban never met and which we didn't have to stick with, frankly. And yet, you know, we thought politically the optic would be bad if we didn't. And so they decided to withdraw and they did it in a disgustingly, you know, insecure fashion. And, you know, they blame that. They blame the intel community. And yes, you know, the way that we characterized the ability of the Afghan military and government to hold together was abysmal. So that was a serious mistake. But the steps that were then taken in terms of leading up to that and the speed with which they tried to do it was, you know, that's on them. So anyway, that's a that's a cheery little conversation. Yeah. Yeah. That doesn't sound fun. It doesn't sound like there's a good solution here. Well, no. And then so so we got that. You know, I have no idea where with with with Ukraine, because it's sure there's diplomatic efforts underway that we don't see that aren't on the radar. Right. So aside from Zielinski trying to garner support for his deal, you know, obviously we've got the U.S. is doing other things, but the public wouldn't know it. And I think the government and the military government in particular, the White House needs to be better at explaining things. What's going on and why we're doing this. Because you don't want aid, military aid in particular, to dry up to the Ukraine government. But, you know, if they don't do a better job of explaining why we're spending this money, people are going to get fed up or they're going to start questioning, is this really something that we should be worried about? Right. And, you know, it's tough when you've got problems at home. It's tough to get people to focus on something as large as, you know, you don't want the recreation of the Soviet Union because and that might encourage China on Taiwan. And then, you know, anyway. Yeah. Are you concerned about that? About Taiwan? Yeah. Yes, is the answer. Because I think Xi looks at what's happening in Ukraine and he probably thinks, all right, that's Russia, you know, small GDP equal to a European country, small European country. He looks at China and says, OK, is the West really going to, you know, go into a proxy war over Taiwan? And I think their calculation is probably no. So I think from their perspective, it's a matter of time. And they're probably calculating, can we do this in a slow sort of soft war way, you know, where we just cede the ground that eventually we have Taiwan, much like, you know, with Hong Kong, where we we, you know, eventually we look and go, oh, Hong Kong. Right. It used to be a bastion of democracy in that spot. And they put the squash on that. So, yeah, I think that that's a real problem. And I think Xi views this as important to do during his time. Right. I don't think he's going to want to leave that on the table and not have that as part of his legacy. So I think the timeline has been accelerated and it may well be that the timeline is essentially how long does Xi view himself in power? So I think that's a problem. But, you know, do we honestly believe that we're going to put boots on the ground in Taiwan to fight the Chinese regime? I don't I don't think so. So what does that mean? Do we just it's it's it's a problem, you know, but, you know, I don't know that we're I don't know that we're overly focused right now. We tend to we tend to do one thing at a time, you know, as a government. Right now, the thing is Ukraine. What is the difference between the way that Taiwan operates or government and the way China would operate if they took over? Well, part of its access, right. And given Taiwan's importance in sort of in the tech sector, you know, their their chip manufacturing and and that would that would create potentially another real bind in the supply chain system, right, for for future use. You have to think about down the road. If if we got into a major conflict with China at some point, what are they going to do? Well, they're going to they're they're going to stop anything they can. Right. That that would help us. Right. So their ability to restrict the importation of chips necessary for much of our economy now in terms of running. That's a that's a sort of a key point. That's that's more of a practical economic issue. Right. Then you've got the issue of, well, look, it's a democracy. Right. And we're just going to let another democracy get rolled by the communist government. That sounds like an old 1960s Cold War theory. But yeah, I I the reality is our values and our and what we think important. Right. Say one thing, the realities of how that would play out, say something else. Right. So again, it's it's hard to marry those up. Are we going to how far would we go down the road to protect Taiwan? And so maybe what that means is, you know, down the road, we need to be better at, you know, manufacturing on our own. We've got to bring things back, which is part of what's all that talk about onshoring and bringing manufacturing back. That's part of it. Underlying that is our concern over national security issues. Should they get, you know, control of, you know, more commodities, whatever. Well, that was one of the more shocking things about the pandemic was when you realize how dependent we are on China for medicine, for chips, for so many different things that they produce that we don't produce over here. And like, how did we allow that to happen? And did we just allow that to happen because there's higher profit margins? And we put the entire country at risk because of that? I think it was. Yeah, we got addicted to cheap stuff. Yeah. Right. And both, you know, cheap, cheap stuff and, you know, high tech, cheap stuff. So it's going to be well, that's a smart fellow there. And so I think that was part of it was was it just it at the time it made sense. Right. And we didn't imagine at the time, look, we had we had the opening of our relationship with China and it was going to be a new day. Right. We went through that with the Cold War. Right. And we finished the Cold War. The wall fell and suddenly we're all like, oh, there's got to be a peace dividend here. Right. We keep repeating the same mistakes. We came out of World War Two as an example. This may not be the best example, but we came out of World War Two at the time we had the Office of Strategic Services, which was the predecessor to the CIA. So World War Two ends and like the next day, you know, Truman says, thanks very much. You know, now close the doors on the OSS, right. Sent Bill Donovan home. Don't let the screen door hit your ass on the way out. And they shut it down because they imagined that's it. Why do we possibly need this organization that's out there doing special operations and gathering intelligence? And, you know, we won. And so they stopped it. And then the Soviets went on the march and suddenly they were like, OK, fuck it. Maybe we need it. So they started the CIA. And that's that's the that's the lesson that should have been learned from there. Was he always going to need an intel apparatus that helps support national security concerns? So there was that. Then we had the opening of a relationship again with China. And I think there was this imagining that suddenly things were different. Right. We were going to we're going to grow. And that really the entire interconnecting this of our economies just blew up at that point. It really expanded. And so, you know, we maybe didn't see exactly what their plans and intentions motivations were. And we always mirror our values. Right. So, you know, we imagine everybody's marching towards democracy and that's not how it works. So I think we you know, that's that's in part how we ended up in this situation. But now there again, there's more effort and more understanding, I think, to go ahead and you know, onshore and be more concerned about the supply chain. And you're right. The pandemic pointed that out pretty clearly. And I think maybe that helped accelerate the process. But it's going to take years. Look, it takes it takes years just to do the simple things. Right. We talked about the mining issue and critical minerals and the things that we need to lessen our dependence on China's control over critical minerals. You're talking about six, eight, nine, ten years to get a mine open in the U.S. So, you know, you think down the road, we better. I guess my point is we better accelerate our ability to do this. Just to be pragmatic. Maybe hopefully one day we're all holding hands and everybody's singing kumbaya on, you know, unicorns are flying on our ass. But I think it's probably not going to happen. So we just need to be a little more aware. Yeah. Yeah. I sound very cynical. Well, with good reason, it seems like a good time to be a little bit cynical. Yeah. Yeah, I suppose. I mean. Yeah, I remember my wife told me yesterday when I was leaving, she says, try to be try to be more positive, more optimistic. Yeah. She said she said, I worry you always sound like you're really negative and you're always informed. Yeah. Yeah. That's the problem. Yeah. I think I've spent enough time. I've just been I've been I've gotten very cynical about the way that countries interact with each other and in our ability to to be realistic about that rather than just design strategies based on what we'd hope for, what we feel like would be good to happen. Right. So maybe that's maybe that's part of it. What's your take on all this UAP disclosure shit? I'm shocked that you would ask that. Yeah, that was that was that was a fascinating hearing. That was a fascinating hearing. Yeah. And was it shocking at all to you? No, no, I think it was it was I loved listening and but I can't say that anything came out of it even with with Dave Grush's testimony. I mean, he kind of come out there before, but I think a couple of things. I think it's it's it's excellent that we're actually having these hearings and that there's a subcommittee and that they're actually looking at this issue because I think the more transparency the problem the government's had in the past is not being transparent enough. And so I think that was great. I think David Fravor, I've had a chance to sit with him in the past and what was your impression? He's I think he's very credible. I think he's very credible. I was talking with Jamie earlier. You don't get you know, you don't get to that point, right? Yeah, you're not a commanding officer on a carrier. He was on the Nimitz at the time when he in 2004. You don't get to that point by being irrational or hallucinating up in the air or, you know, just being whimsical. And the same with the other fell of Ryan Graves, the other pilot. He was flying Hornets out of at a Virginia beach about 10 years later when they were he reported on some of these incidents. So that to me is is very credible. And I have not seen anything from the Pentagon, from the government that as an example, explains Fravor's encounter. And also, I mean, look, he had a wingman. Her name was Alex Dietrich. She was a lieutenant commander at the time. She observed the same thing and they have radar lock right down on the carrier. They knew what they were. There wasn't just one person looking up in the sky and saying, all right, see a light, you know, I see something. This was a very legit sighting. And there's no there's been no explanation as to what it is. So it is a legitimate UAP, unidentified, you know, anomalous or anomaly phenomena. And so I think that's that's one thing I find David Fravor extremely credible. I've never met Ryan Graves. But again, given his experience and given the fact that you know, they weren't he wasn't the only person seeing this right off of Virginia Beach back in 2014. And with Ryan Graves, when they upgraded their sensors, they upgraded the capabilities of these jets. That's when they started seeing all these things. And he said it was shocking. Yeah. They were encountering them all the time. Yeah. And some of those fine. You can you know, whatever they may be, just, you know, you've got a, you know, a more sophisticated system on board. You're just seeing things out there that you wouldn't have picked up before. OK. And so some of those things then become maybe sightings that then are explained. Right. What is it? Is it a balloon? Is it a drone? Whatever it may be. But, you know, when you when you get a an experienced pilot flying by and saying, hey, I saw something, it was a cube inside a sphere. Well, OK. Well, let's let's at least log it, record it without any criticism or pushback. Right. Have a way to investigate. And that's been their problem. And that's what they talked about during the hearing. Also, again, they've talked about this before. But if you if you stigmatize, you know, the pilots that are seeing these things, then, yeah, of course, you want to get it. And what did what did Graves say? He said like five percent get reported. Right. So and that's because nobody wants to, you know, get back on deck or land and say, yeah, I saw so. Yeah, I saw you. I saw you. I saw back in the day. So you have to make the system more accessible for the sightings. And then you have to have a way for national security purposes to investigate them. What do you think these things are? I don't know. Yeah. Yeah, I think. I think, A, the the logic of saying that we're doing this because if you have something out there that you observe that you can't identify propulsion or any sort of, you know, known to us systems. Then, yeah, that's a problem. So, A, is it is it a hostile element? Is there first of all, is it is it just something that is showing up on the radar and it's a natural phenomena and it's whatever, parallax, whatever they call it, then fine. Or is it something from a foreign government, that new technology being developed, propulsion systems, material science, whatever it may be. And they are working on these things all the time. Hypersonics is the perfect example. The Chinese and the Russians are, frankly, still ahead of us in hypersonic capabilities, right? Because they've invested longer and more effort into developing hypersonic systems. So, you have to figure out is it a hostile foreign government doing this? And then the other part is, all right, well, is it non, whatever Dave Gresher says, non-human or is it, you know, legitimately from not from Earth. That can't be taken off the table, right? I mean, look, it's, you know, we've said this before, I'm not smart enough to know what I don't know, right? I mean, well, maybe I am. But we've explored such a tiny, tiny part of space, right, that it would be ridiculous for us to think that we don't, you know, that we can write it off, right? That it's not there. No idea, right? But I do know that you can't discount anything because, again, going back to the reason why you do it, it's in our national security interest to figure out what the hell it might be. And at some point, if you end up, if you start with like right now, the new office, the new office is whatever it's called, typical government, the all domain anomaly resolution office, right? That's what they came up with, the Pentagon. Yeah. So this guy or this person, Dr. Karpakter, runs it, I think he's the director. They've said they've got, what, upwards of 800 cases that they're investigating. So, yeah, and it's growing. I mean, you know, some reports say it's growing by like 100, 150 cases a month, right, in terms of sightings. They then get logged in and now they've got to investigate. Well, that's a smart thing, right? They do that. And maybe you take off 90 percent of them or even more, but you end up with this short list of things, perhaps like the Tic Tac in 2004 with David Fravor, where you just don't have an explanation. Okay, fine. Then, you know, be more transparent about it, right? And Ryan Graves said something interesting during the hearings. And he said that if the general public or if Congress could see the sensor and video data that he's seen, then it would change the national conversation. Right. That's a really interesting statement from an experienced former pilot from the F-18 pilot. So that deserves more scrutiny. Right. And that also means, well, maybe the government should release a few more videos that they may have. Maybe they should release some of the, because they haven't released radar data. They haven't really been open about that. And so there's still information or data points on the Tic Tac, for instance, that hasn't been released. It's considered still classified. You know what? What the fuck? You know, tell us why not. I mean, what is it? I mean, if you honestly haven't figured out whether it's foreign technology or not, then maybe you should put it out there and maybe the commercial sector will help you in that investigation. Right. Because what would be the motivation to not be transparent about it? And is there any possibility that any of this stuff is ours? Like the Tic Tac? Is it possible that there's some black ops thing going on where they've developed some advanced system of propulsion that is completely independent from burning fossil fuels and shooting them out the back to propel something to go forward? Yeah. Yeah. Yes, is the answer. I think there is that possibility. And one thing that Dave Greshe said, look, I don't know, I don't know about his comments about because he was speaking from, look, I haven't seen any of this. You know, I've gotten it from interviewing, you know, dozens of witnesses. This is what I know. This is what I believe now. But one thing that he did say was that he believes and he's seen, he says, evidence that the government is misappropriating funds, right, in order to prevent government oversight of certain programs. Now, is that true? I don't know. But is it a practice that has occurred in the past where they will bury a program inside another budget? And the answer is yes. They've done that repeatedly for secrecy reasons. Right. And as a matter of fact, that was the premise for America's favorite show, Black Files Declassified. That is America's favorite show. It is America's favorite, yes. I think you're the host of it. I was. That is America's TV sweetheart for a while. And so the premise of that show was follow the money. Right. And it's a great premise, right? I mean, look, because at some point, just like with the Biden administration situation and they're looking at their bank records, there will be a trail somewhere. That money has to eventually show up somewhere. And usually it's a line item that's not easily explained, usually in some mundane terms, whatever it might be. So Graves is absolutely correct in the sense that that's something worth looking at. Right. And if there are programs like that, then the reason is, OK, we're keeping it secret because we don't want the Chinese regime to know or we don't want the Russians to know. And so, you know, again, having come from where I come from, I get it. Sources and methods. There are reasons for secrets at times. But if that's not the case, then I see no reason not to be more open and transparent about some of the other information that they may have in the sightings they have. You know, I know Graves was talking about they've got biologics and, you know, those things. Did Graves say that? I know that. Oh, not Graves. No, no. Grush said that. Yeah, I'm sorry. Yeah, not. Yeah, that was not Grush. Yeah, Grush said there's frozen bodies. Yeah. Yeah. And that there's a crash retrieval program. Crash retrieval. That was a big one. That caused a big stir. Been running for decades, he said. I think he said that the government in his opinion, based on his interviews, as he was working, I think, with the National Reconnaissance Office and he was tasked with going around and, you know, identifying the programs related to UAPs, he said that the US government was likely aware of non-human activities since like the 1930s. Now, what I would say is based on my years of experience with the government, it's really hard for them to keep a secret, right? And that's a monumental secret. And at some point, you know, it's human activity and human nature. Someone's going to open up their pie hole. Wasn't that what Bob Lazar did? Yeah. Yeah. And now when you pay attention to some of the video footage that has been released about these unidentified objects and when you listen to what Bob Lazar said about how these things operate, it mimics that. Not only that, like the way he described the propulsion method. Whoa. That's a good save. Yeah, thank you very much. Set the whole studio on fire. It mimics what he said. He also talked about, you know, that there was some possibility that there was this crash retrieval program is what he was working on. But he said there was some talk about biological entities. Yeah. Yeah. And there's mixed, mixed feelings about how, you know, how reliable Bob Lazar, you know, is, was, I mean, sorry. Yeah. So, but, and it's not a new assertion, right? I mean, there's been talk about this before. So. But that's my point about secrecy. Yeah. And, and, and I think, but if that's, I guess, yeah, my point on that is not only that people can't keep their pilot show, but there would have been more detailed information. There's something would have come out. That, again, that's, that's my own feeling. I just have a hard time believing the government is that good at keeping a secret, right? Sometimes it just seems like they can't organize panic in a doomed submarine. So I think that that's, from my perspective, that's a question mark, right? Could they keep this secret that they've got frozen bodies of aliens sitting somewhere? Wouldn't you imagine though, that if there was something like that, that the level of attention to detail to protect secrecy would be significantly ramped up? This wouldn't be something as simple as developing a new fighter jet where, you know, you have these, you know, you, you essentially have these corporations that are, that design these vehicles for the US government. You have defense contractors. And one of the assertions was that these are the people that have access to these things because they're trying to back engineer it. And if you were going to back engineer it, you would do so under the guise of someone who makes those things. It's not like the government themselves are the, the engineers and the people that are involved. It's people that work for the government and often defense contractors. Well, yeah, contractors, government entities, agencies, I mean, look, you know, the, the, I mean, the CIA was responsible for locating the ground of where area 51 sits, right? All those years ago. So they would have a role to play. You're right. Um, the commercial world would have a role to play the subcon or the defense contractors, um, others, I'm sure. I mean, it's so the, it becomes a growing circle of people who would be involved in, in an effort like that. But it'd be a fun secret to keep. It'd be a hell of a secret to keep, but I'd be a fun one. If you're working on something like that, boy, could I tell you some shit. You go home, you know, the kids say, what'd you do today, dad? And you're like, uh, I touched metal. That's from another planet. I dissected an alien. Um, they probably printed model designed to house three foot tall creatures from another galaxy. But it's, but I think there's a, look, I, we do also tend to imagine, look, we can only, like when we look at the, or when, uh, when Fraver, it was interesting. Fraver looks at the tic-tac, right? They, in the, in the, you know, in Dietrich, they're looking at this and, and they're trying to interpret it based on what we know right now. Right. So our technological limitations, right? Kind of define how we imagine if things could go, right? But, you know, we only know physics in the way that we know it. Right. So that, so it is interesting to, to think about how we put it, which is how you ended up with little green men, right? Well, if they're aliens, they might, they probably look like us sort of, but let's make them a little different, you know, make them three foot tall. But who knows what the hell it looks like out there? Right. And it's just, but I guess, you know, again, we've explored so little of space, right? I mean, we still don't know what's, you know, in, in all the oceans, right? We're still surprised when we find something in the oceans. Well, that's what's fascinating also about these stories that there seems to be these, uh, vehicles that can travel into the water as well. Yeah. And this is, this has been documented by video as well. Yeah. And that's what, I mean, that's what they first noticed, right? I mean, with, with the TIC DAC was they noticed a disturbance in the water, right? The water was roiling and they said the weather was perfect, right? There was no, there were no white caps. There was nothing. There was just this one area of disturbance and that was the first thing they noticed. And then they saw the, the whatever it was. Um, but again, I go back to like, okay, I'm, I'm buying what Freya was selling, right? It's just that you, then we don't have what's at the end of that dotted line. We don't know what it is, but I'm glad that we're, we're exploring it in a more serious way now. I'm glad that the Pentagon to at least, and, and maybe it happens incrementally, right? But at least they've come out now, you know, they said, okay, we have ATIP or the, whatever it was, the advanced aeronautical threat identification program, which supposedly shut down in 2012 or so, or two. Yeah. 2012, I think it was. Of course they didn't shut it down. Right. They just put it into a different program. Um, and because the threat was still there, right? There's still concern over, okay, what is flying over particularly sensitive facilities, right? There was that, um, it was that, uh, swarming, right? Are there the, the swarm that went around the, uh, the, uh, what USS Omaha? Right. The ones that look like pyramids. Yeah. Yeah. And so there were like nine of them or I think at the maximum there were nine of them and, um, you know, they, they still haven't figured out what, what the hell that is. But did those things exhibit in any sort of capabilities that are beyond our imagination? Um, I don't think they operated an insane movement. Not, not necessarily, um, they disappeared in a way that couldn't be explained. Right. And a couple of them appeared to just go into the water, uh, to your point about, you know, there's been those incidents. Trans medium devices. So, um, you know, and they did have, they did have radar imagery on these, on these items, but, you know, and, and I think. Um, so anyway, I, what they might be, you know, again, it's, it's, nothing was solved as a result of the hearing, right? Obviously. And I think people were excited and they're always excited when there's going to be something like this in the previous hearing and the, you know, this, this world, this UAP world starts talking and the, but. You know, every hearing ends up the same way in a sense, because we don't get a resolution, which then leads to more suspicion that the government's hiding something. Which has always been the case, right? For decades now, that's, that's where it tends to end up while the government's hiding something. They're just not telling us. There is the possibility that they just don't fucking know. Right. And rather than holding onto evidence and trying to keep it a secret, which, uh, again, I don't, you know, it's, it's, it's tough. But do you think that if it's ours, like say the tic-tac is ours, is it possible that the government could create some advanced propulsion system? And do so in complete secrecy as well? Well, that's what, that's, uh, 19 years ago. Yes. And, you know, 19 years, we hold onto, you know, that sort of capability and technology and, um, and for whatever reason, don't deploy it. Right. Um, yeah, look, I mean, yeah, as, as in the side, uh, the CIA, we've got a, uh, there's a, used to be called science and technology, right? It's where they create all the gear, all the amazing things. The science and technology directorate at the agency over the years has, has developed incredible things, right? Responsible for the U2, responsible for satellite capabilities, uh, battery technology, right? All the things that they've done over the years. Um, and oftentimes they'd create just sort of gadgetry, right? And I, and I don't want to simplify it and minimize it, but it's important stuff, but you know, for lack of a better word. And oftentimes there was a concern. We don't want to release this. We don't want to put it out in the field to be used because we don't want it to fall into, you know, into the wrong hands, right? And then they realize that we've got this capability. Right. So it's much like we talked about before, if you get a target in your sites, maybe you want to watch that target for a period of time to understand what it's capable of doing, what it's doing. You don't want to just let out, you know, okay, we're going to, so yeah, is it possible we developed a new propulsion system and you know, we're just playing a game where we're saying, okay, we're still working on hypersonics, you know, when air breathing engines, and we're trying to see what we can do here. And, you know, and meanwhile, we've got this in our back pocket, right? Waiting for some day. Yeah, it's a possibility in my mind. I think, Hey, if that's the case, good on them for being smart enough to, to be that clever and also to be able to keep a secret. Is that more plausible than it coming from another planet in your opinion or another dimension or whatever the explanation is? You know what, that's a great question. You should have your own podcast. Yeah, you know what, is it more plausible? But I mean, you know, what I'm saying is like, it's so revolutionary. Yeah. If they do have this thing that is the ability to go from 50,000 feet above sea level to 50 feet in a second, something that defies our current understanding. Of at least assuming there's a biological entity inside that thing. Let's assume there is, you know, one of the examinations of the video footage that they got from the jets, they said the way that thing took off any biological being would be turned into jello. Yeah. Which is, yeah. You would be pink missed. Yeah. It's not the speed, it's the acceleration of the stopping that kills you. Yeah. Yeah. So I think, yeah, I would assume it's unmanned if that's the case. There's no windows in that thing. Right. It was completely... So I guess the answer to your question is, I don't know. It seems a long time. Is it more plausible than being from outside this world? Yeah. That's a good question. Because I don't want to deny the fact that, I mean, I think it's incredible hubris to say we don't, that there's nothing else out there. Of course. And so I don't want to lock myself into that corner of the room. But at the same time, that would represent a massive leap in material science as at least we're aware of it. Right. And, oh, look, I have a call. And it's Paul Rubens calling me from beyond. So too soon. Yeah. It's a great question. I don't know. I mean, it speaks to, again, one of my points that I owe it because I'm so cynical. I just have a hard time believing that the US government could keep secrets like that for that period of time. Right. I just have a really hard time believing that. Yeah. Right. So what would have to take place in order for the government to be developing something that's so superior to what we understand in terms of what's possible with propulsion systems? Like how would they fund that? How would they hide that? How would they get the scientists involved and the engineers? What would they have to do in order to develop something like this? Well, it would be similar. I mean, there's nothing new under the sun when it comes to a program. Right. So inside the government and the military, you know, you develop a program, you come up with an idea, okay, this is what we want to do. Right. I think this is possible. Or we're going to work to make this happen. And there has been some discussion of magnetic propulsion systems. Yes. And gravity propulsion systems, something that defies what we understand is possible today. Way back in the sixties, they were talking about this. Yeah. And theoretically. And more recently too. I mean, there's been some, you know, although theoretically they looked at it in the recent past and said, it's not worth pursuing. But to your question, the program concept would be the same. You have that and then you say, okay, now we got to allocate a budget to it. Right. We got to do that. Obviously it's so sensitive. It has to be an enormous budget. It has to be an enormous budget. Look at me, but the known US defense budget now roughly is $800 billion a year or so. A little over probably. Give or take. So you should siphon some of that off? You would move something. Yeah. Program. You would you would put it as a line item in some other innocuous program. And then that, again, that has happened when we're talking about developing something as, you know, sort of not say pedestrian, but it's straightforward. It's like surveillance aircraft. Right. Then we would you put that money somewhere else. You develop the program, you get the team that's going to be working on it, whether it's at Skunk Works or somewhere. Right. And but you sometimes have to turn to the same usual suspects, right, which is why I bring up Skunk Works. Right. And you have to do these, you know, because there's, you know, at the end of the day, there's not that many material scientists with that capability, a level of intelligence and experience. And so then you go from there and you, you know, you work like hell to keep it secret, which, again, that if they've done that, you know, I consider that a that'd be a great win. Because right now we're still trying to play a little bit of catch up on hypersonics. And that's the next theater. Right. I mean, aside from, you know, cyber warfare and warfare and space, you know, space has already been weaponized. Hypersonics is it. Right. And so, you know, we're already seeing deployment of hypersonic. Look, to be fair, you know, ballistic missiles, you know, you know, that it's it's all, you know, the difference between a hypersonic and a ballistic missile is a maneuver of capability, right, which creates at the speed, it creates this this this you keep shortening the gap for response time. Right. So if you fire an ICBM, you know, with a trajectory is, you know, a hypersonic, you know, glide vehicle, you don't know. Right. It comes at you so fast and it comes from different directions and you can't predict. So it defeats air defense systems, which is why it's so important. We're still playing catch up there. So. Is this what we're saying publicly that we're playing catch up and is it possible that we aren't playing catch up? It's possible. Sure. Again, I would hope so. That'd be great if that's the case. But would it be possible that they would keep that a secret? Sure. I mean, if I was, you know, if I was in charge of that program, I would say, why would we give up our capabilities? Right. So yes, to go back to the original, if they developed this alternative propulsion system, it's okay. And they and again, part of this is the material science, right? Because you're punching through the air, you know, at such a speed that it's it's changing everything. Right. It's changing the dynamics of flight. It says it and and it's it is a massive hurdle to overcome. And but that's what everybody's working on. So, you know, were they capable of working on this and they developed something like that or were testing it back 19 years ago when Fraver saw whatever you saw. Yeah, it's a it's a great sort of theoretical exercise to think about that. And because the reason why I say this is I don't know why I have these instincts, but because you know, I'm in the UFO nut. Right. I clearly not heard that. Look, nobody says that. They should. I'm full. I'm on board. Yeah. But I feel like it's bullshit. I don't feel like it's real. And I don't know why I feel like it's fake. I wonder what's what do you mean by that? All the grush stuff, all the disclosure stuff, all the biological entities, the recovered vehicles, the recovery program, the back engineering program. There's something about it to me that just seems like bullshit. And I don't know why I have this overwhelming instinct that's bullshit. So do you think Rush is like part of the I don't think he's I think he's probably what they would call a useful idiot. I mean, this is a guess. I mean, I'm not discouraged disparaging him in any way. And I'm if he's telling the truth, I'm very happy that he came forward. I think what he does very courageous. But I'm saying that if I wanted to release some bullshit and I wanted to put out a fake narrative to obscure something that we're working on, that's how I would do it. I would get some information to a guy and encourage him to leak it and then encourage him to have these hearings and talk about all this stuff and put all this weirdness out there where it kind of confuses the narrative like what is real and what's not real. I just something about it to me. And this is again. But here's part of my feeling on it too. If disclosure was real, if they are if they we really are visited and we have been being visited since the beginning of time, wouldn't that maybe my feeling is that that would seem so alien that that would seem fake anyway. Because I always felt like if there was a moment of disclosure, if there was a moment where the president got on television and gave a press conference and said we are not alone. And we know this for a fact now and this is what we and this is our concern. This is what we have to worry about in terms of national security in terms of whether or not they're malevolent. I feel like that by itself would be so alien, even if it was true, that it would seem fake. And so that's my conflict. My conflict is I'm wondering, does it seem like bullshit to me because if it is real, it would be so bizarre that it would necessarily seem like bullshit or is it just too tidy for me? Does it just not seem right? Because it just doesn't. It just doesn't seem right. And this is again, I'm not calling anyone a liar. I'm not. It just seems like bullshit and I don't know why. Yeah, I think part of it is we're kind of conditioned to assume that the government hides information from us. Right. Oftentimes not for any necessary national security reasons, just because it's such a large operation and they just it can sometimes seem very whimsical or capricious why they don't provide some level of disclosure about things. But I think with with Grush, I think here's my take on it. I think he believes what he's saying. Right. I think he has gone out there. I think I'm legit like he was a whatever 14 year veteran of military and the national reconnaissance office. And I think he went out and he talked to enough people and he he believes it. I don't think he's out there like spinning a yarn and is worried that now he's gotten over his skis and he's said too many things. And now he's but I don't I don't know. I don't I don't feel like it's tidy. And maybe the difference between us is I spent a lot of time with the government and the government is is sometimes can be really, really dysfunctional. And I just it goes back to keeping a secret. The idea that they could have this this what essentially is a covert action campaign to spread this information about what they actually know. When the easier thing to do is just to have the program. If if if it's it's the US government's development of technology and we're doing this to have the program and just keep your app shut about it. Not go for disinformation can not try to muddy the waters by doing this because in a sense you're just creating more conversation around it. You're creating you know now there's a little bit of a you know movement within Congress to say we have to do this now we have to. So they're going to look perhaps for a misappropriation of funds right because they're not going to pursue like the UAP issue necessarily right. But but they might be interested in pursuing misappropriation of funds. So if you're running a program if it if it didn't again going back to the idea that it's a US government thing if you're running a program that's the last thing you want to do. Is because you're doing this program to avoid government oversight you're not going to create you know this alternative narrative that you know could generate the sort of publicity or the conversation particularly up on Capitol Hill that causes them to then start looking and saying where is money being spent right right because there is a trail there and that could cause a problem. So yeah. What so what are your instincts when you look at it if I'm I'm looking at I'm saying something's wrong it seems like bullshit what what what are your instincts. Yeah I think I would like to say you know I don't think we're going to get there my instinct is to say how do we solve the how do we solve this or how do we how do we come to some sort of logical resolution as opposed to saying what is it right off the bat my instinct is to say all right if the all domain anomalous or anomaly resolution office has 800 cases. Then tell us what is it on the cases are let's work our way through them or have a little bit more transparency about working through those cases again you'll probably whittle them down right to. We're doing black files we were going around talking to people about you know various sightings and things you basically just crossing things off okay that was this that was this is this you know you find some pretty mundane answers. You know but you whittle it down to maybe one or two things that you can't explain and then you can investigate those and say okay all right let's let's dig further on these but right now it's just like all over the map and they've got so many cases and they just got a lump it all together. Are they doing that to obfuscate and create you know this this this this situation where it does seem like bullshit and. I again I don't know but I think. I'm not willing to shut the door on saying that that those handful of those few sightings that where we do have technical data we get video we get you know radar like we get a gun camera footage whatever it may be that can't be explained. I'm not willing to close the door and saying well it's you know. You know is it because who knows maybe China's doing the same thing you know we're leading the hypersonic race right now great but they've got another program you know and they're responsible for the tick. Right so we have to pursue it and if that leads us to the doorstep that says oh that's a US government program and they've developed technology okay you know fine but you know I realize that you know I just I'm not willing to close the door and saying it could be something else could be otherworldly right because I just. Could be it could be I just there's that problem with the infinite nature of space which seems to actually be getting bigger. Yeah there was a good way of putting it that that my wife who's hell of a lot smarter than I am. Try to explain it to me I kept looking at like this and but she had heard of she had heard a program at one point where the person explained it like okay imagine how vast the ocean is right. And you know how you we've explored the ocean but then you look at space and how immense it is right compared to the ocean right right the amount that we've explored in space right is equivalent to like a wine glass full of ocean water. Right so you take a wine glass full ocean water you look at it you go it's nothing there right you know there's all those life forms there's all those all those fish in the sea. It's kind of like that and then you know you think about space and you think about what we know what we don't know and how we imagine like our limited capacity to imagine what life outside of us could look like right so it's yeah. But when you hear talk of like crashed retrieval programs. Yeah that that keeps taking me back and is you know to this this whole idea of. If there was a crash retrieval and reverse engineering program like they've addressed talked about and have been in existence for decades. Somebody would have like an open their yap and talked about it I think I didn't bob Lazar other than bob Lazar and they would have had some better specifics right I mean that's always the thing that's it's worse way it falls down well I haven't seen it. But I talk to somebody who knows that it exists right and I think maybe it's because we're human were programmed to actually want physical evidence yeah right we want to actually see it before we believe it. But you know that that really hasn't happened yet what's one of the things that's fascinating is the narrative is shifted so wildly from it's completely preposterous to credible people like David favor and Ryan graves and. All these different people that are talking about multiple sightings things that completely defy our understanding of what a vehicle is capable of doing hovering completely motionless and 120 knot wins. All the the whole you know whatever that thing is the the cube inside of sphere that they can sing over and over again right almost hit one of the aircraft yeah. I'm what the fuck is that yeah and then they land so I think you know one of the good developments out of all of this and one of the things that may eventually lead the transparency right because it will. It will provide an avenue for these sightings whether it's commercial military pilots as an example to report it right and to be more and for the government to take it perhaps you know again depends on what. It's a big conspiracy or not to to investigate them in a more logical manner and in a more detailed manner so I think just again the sheer act that we're talking about it. Which then takes me back to the idea that you know if you're running a secret program you don't want people talking about it so you're not going to muddy the waters with a false narrative if you don't have to. Right now if your concern is that someone's getting close to the truth and you got to do okay then maybe so but. You know do you think it's also possible that there are patriots that do think that the American public deserves to know about this information and they have been sitting on it for a long time. The people you have a grudge and all these various people that are coming out and more apparently are wanting to come out yeah well. Well interesting thing with grushes look he said so during the hearing right he said I can't talk about that I could talk about it in a skiff right in a sense of secure environment. All right well if I'm you know one of the people on on that subcommittee I'm gonna say you know what to my staff schedule you know a skiff meeting with grudge get him in here and let's you know haven't talked classified shit. So that would be the next logical step in all of this. I don't know I mean it's you know. When he said I could talk to you about it in a skiff have people taken him up on that. Well I you have to ask him I wouldn't right and they wouldn't tell him and they wouldn't tell him in there therein lies part of the problem because if he sits there and but if he sits in the skiff and and continues to kind of say well I can okay I know you guys aren't clear to hear this and I can't. I can't. All right then you got to start questioning you know what he's actually got or what he what he knows for sure rather than just having this this you know witness interviews and sort of secondhand information but I am I'm much more I guess the point is I'm much more interested in the direct sightings than witness interviews right. And the thing about him is he's not really a witness where he hasn't had any personal encounters with anything right as that personal encounter with a craft he hasn't seen a retrieved craft hasn't seen the biological entities these are all just programs that he's been made aware of that he felt like people needed to know about. Yeah and that's the narrative and I again not to disparage anybody right I mean he's you know if in fact you know somebody leaked his medical records which it looks like you know did happen. And that's that you know that's that's pretty bullshit right. Somebody needs to figure out what the hell is. How does this the information from Grush who said he was unable to discuss specifics on what he told the Pentagon's watchdog arm lawmakers want to sit down with the former official in the sensitive compartmented information facility a skiff to get additional information from him the group has been blocked however by officials that have informed them that Grush doesn't currently have security clearance discuss the issues. In a skiff according to Bert Chett we think that we'll get there eventually it's just frustrating I'm ready to go in the American public are ready to go he said Luna argued that the skiff with Grush could help lawmakers better understand the type of legislation they need to write regarding UAP's. She said she supports legislation that would declassify information on the phenomenon so there seems to be some issue secrecy and what what's possible to discuss or what's legal to discuss. Well but yeah the government casts a very wide net when you talk about classified information. The government is over classified information for decades and decades right and you've got secret top secret code word you know. And. You know they they tend to just. Hoover everything up and classify it right and and then it takes fucking forever right to go through that process of declassification and because nobody wants to put their neck out at that point say yeah let's be classified as right once it's once it's in that pot. So but the question is great you know you're saying you know you can talk about in a skiff well damn it then that's the next that that's what the subcommittee should be doing that that's their job right if they're curious right and if they're sincere about it. And if they're not sure about trying to get to the bottom of this and that's theoretically their job then they should because again going back to the main thing and people can say well why are you wasting your time on this but you can always circle back to the top line which is it's for national security purposes we want to know what the hell is going on right and and you know if so. Yeah we'll see I guess that's the that's the question that should be thrown at at grusher should be thrown at the subcommittee members. I'm also shocked at how few people care. I feel like people are so overloaded with information today because of social media and because of the news cycle you're just so people are so overloaded with information that this barely registered on people other than UFO nuts. Yeah yeah I mean there was a there was a surprising amount I thought anyway of sort of mainstream media coverage it wasn't particularly. Deep right it just kind of covered okay it was a hearing and I think they did it because it's like it's UFOs or uaps right and so you know they knew they get some clicks on it if they were putting it online or whatever and and. They didn't pursue it you know like as Benny I haven't seen any stories that talked about the follow up with grush. There were a couple of stories talking about the you know the fact that perhaps his medical records were leaked you know so. And the medical records showed what that he had some sort of a psychiatric condition. That he had an event or something like that PTSD I think you know some suicidal depression issues standing stuff with military veterans yeah yeah yeah he'd been he'd done his time in Afghanistan yeah and so. That doesn't it means nothing and I have the fact that it shouldn't be out there right those records should be damn well private well not only that isn't that what we want don't you shut your little dinger off there for is that is that me going to. Yeah that's why your phone right now. Gotta learn how to use a little switch on the side. Thank you for my idea isn't that what you want from I mean that's the whole purpose of providing these services for veterans. That when they do have suicidal suicidal suicidal thoughts and they are struggling with PTSD that they get help I mean the the idea that they're shaming him and saying that his report is not credible because of this seems. Bullshit yes totally bullshit yeah and and and he said he's come out since it said look I did seek help I you know I'm in a better place. And he was happy that people were talking about they should be talking about yeah look it's we lose a shocking number of veterans to suicide right and it's disgusting that we don't you know that the government doesn't. Work harder at this right and more effort you know I don't I know a couple of people who. Do amazingly good work at the via in terms of counselors right they're not managers and not executives they work with the veterans every day right and it's incredible what they do but overall as a as a government are. Our assistance right to veterans I mean look at the number of homeless situation it's it's it's pathetic and so when he talks about it. It's it's good that he's talking about it right I think that that transparency helps and he clearly views it that way too and he said okay I don't have any problem with with discussing it but. We should be concerned by the fact that you know somehow his medical records were were put out there and then you know some people look at that and go well is that the government's effort to discredit him. You know or is that or is that somebody's effort to discredit them I don't know why anybody else would why would you do that where would you put them out there so. You know I feel for the guy in that sense I just can't evaluate or assess the veracity of what he's saying right now so particularly the sort of the biologics thing that we were holding on to. Dead aliens I'm not sure about that part yeah that's the that's the old story the old legend about Nixon. Nixon and Jackie Gleason do you know that story no no i'm glad you i'm glad you were able to bring Nixon into this. Yeah Nixon apparently was drinking buddies with Jackie Gleason and they were tying one on and and Nixon was like you want to see some fucking shit. Apparently they jumped in Air Force One he took him to a base and the legend goes that they showed him this retrieved UFO and they showed him alien bodies. And the legend also goes that Jackie Gleason became a UFO nut after that and one of the things that points that is actually had a home built in New York state that was in the shape of a UFO. And there's a I mean you could see the home yeah it's like a circular flying disc looking home that he had built in New York state. But supposedly he had it built that's that's this is the house supposedly had this thing built because it you know it was a representation of what he had seen. Good God yeah pretty wild shit and that and someone said well yeah it's Westchester County so someone paid 12 million for it. Yeah I wish it was for sale oh god I don't want to live there but well it's listed seriously is it that little corner things that it was listed for 12 million. CIA snatched it up oh yeah we had to get that out of control we got to shut this up right now. Yeah Norton. It's a great legend I don't know if it's true there's been some dispute of whether or not it's true because the source was his ex-wife is that what it was. That was yeah they looked up I remember I just looked at stuff the other day they looked up at that source and it was like from an interview that was in a magazine and Esquire maybe. Esquire can't be found anywhere. But that's possible with today the disappearing Esquire talking about an Esquire from 1970 whatever. Yeah yeah yeah I had no idea I did you ever see that it was not that long ago the Elvis and Nixon movie. No I see that. I see the Nixon movie. Yeah I forget what it was called it might have just been called Nixon and Elvis or something but it was it was a great movie it's great watch it's worth watching it was only it was a short relatively short movie. It wasn't a documentary it was a movie and it was it was fantastic. But I can't I can't remember the name of it. Well we have that photo of Elvis look at that. Oh okay that's it yeah it's Kevin Spacey. Yeah and it'll be like old times you better go and watch Kevin Spacey back before he got you know. Come on man. It was a dude who played Elvis it looks like Johnny Knoxville. I don't know the actor's name off top of my head. Is it Michael Shannon? Yeah I think so. Yeah yeah yeah. Wow. No it was it's well. He's quite handsome enough to play Elvis. I didn't realize that Colin Hanks was in that Johnny Knoxville wasn't there yeah. So that's a crap movie. Yeah. The movie sounds like it was lacking in a casting budget. You should watch it though it was actually it had its moments it was actually very funny. Kevin Spacey as Nixon. Yeah that guy disappeared off the map didn't he Kevin Spacey. He was just exonerated. Yeah. Like some of those charges but it seems like there was a lot of dick grabbing going on. A lot of dick grabbing but it was he was also right in the fire like he was at that that perfect moment of the storm right remember that that old me too thing. He does have a reputation for dick grabbing though. Yeah yeah well I don't know about that but he played a good Nixon. Yeah. He was a damn fine Nixon. He played a good president too. Yeah. That fucking. Oh. Yeah the Netflix show what was it called? House of Cards. House of Cards. Fucking great show. That was good. He's he played such a good creep. Oh my. Although they kind of jumped the shark when he started like they started it was a threesome with the secret service officer. Yeah. No where they went to that far. Yeah. That okay it's time to switch and find a new series to watch but yeah anyway. Hey do you mind if I if I do promote something? Sure. Promote something. We've been doing this a while. I have agreed to take over a podcast. Really? Take over a podcast. And here it is. Here it is. This is your podcast? It's coming up September 5th. Now this is something that someone else started and you're taking over? Yeah yeah let's see if we can make this play. What if you had your own spy? Would you use them to keep tabs on the most important events happening around the world? Update you on exactly what you needed to know each morning so you could be smarter, more prepared ahead of the curve. Meet CIA veteran Mike Baker. Every day he'll be your personal intelligence officer delivering insights and analysis once reserved for the president of the United States. The president's daily brief with Mike Baker. Get briefed. Stay ahead. Your briefings begin on September 5th. Damn right. Who put this together? Uh first TV. So it's available on all podcast platforms including Spotify. Is it video as well? No it's just going to be an audio. Okay we may go to video at some point but it's 20 minutes a day. It uh. Oh okay. It starts on the 5th of September. Every morning at 6 a.m. about 20 minutes and all we're going to do the reason I love this project is because like with the president's daily brief right it drops in the Oval Office every morning. It's very as his name implies it's very brief covers the top issues around the globe uh and provides a bit of context and then that's it and that's all the president gets right just every morning to kind of get that okay here are the things going on that I need to pay attention to. They said that Trump wouldn't read unless his name was in it. Yeah. So they would inject his name and stuff. Yeah he's going to put this in here. Yeah basically yeah you always get these different you know uh takes from the president from every administration as to how they receive these things. But the idea is yeah 6 a.m. every morning September 5th. President's daily brief all podcast platforms including Spotify and the idea is we're just going to cover the top stories or concerns of the day provide a little analysis of context. I'm not going to tell people how to think about it right there's enough you know folks out there all the pundits doing that and then wrap it up get on and then and it allows people but but every day so I'm really excited about it starts out it's you know it'll be an audio cast who knows where it'll go from there but it took a brief hiatus uh went off the air back and I think in February and I agreed to start hosting it so. That's great. It should be fun yeah I mean it you know again it's informative it's not opinion driven. Have you spoken to any presidents? Uh I have yes uh Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton I will and I will say this um I always had a an event um I forget where it was it wasn't here it wasn't in Austin it might have been in Little Rock it was a large gathering and it was a dinner and um at the end of it uh and and also George Bush was there too um had a brief chance to talk with with him but with Bill Clinton the the striking thing was he came through the room and and I was just standing there talking to my wife and a couple others and he came up and he uh he stood there and he looked at me and he started talking to me about something that we had done when I was with the agency and and he was president an operation that we had done and you know I don't I don't think he knew I was going to be there or anything but he stood there and started talking about this operation in in real detail I mean no sources of methods or things but the recall was was surprising and he was and he was adding context about why they had made you know some decisions from the White House they did about what we were doing and he kind of stood there he had his hands on my arm he was just really focused on talking to the point where the Secret Service at a certain point were kind of like you know getting Nancy and saying can we move on you know can we can we leave but he kept talking and I was I always thought that the you know uh Clinton was a smart right and politics aside right he's a smart guy but he had this ability to uh zero in on people right and the thing that he had as a politician was not only could he make you feel like you were the only person in the room but he he had this recall the ability to talk about things in detail that um you know left you realizing okay he was a smart dude he was you know he's a bit of a wanderer right and you know and he had his own issues but uh well that's the case with a lot of smart dudes yeah there's a motivation for their success and a lot of times it's women yeah power and women right you know I mean that has traditionally been the motivation of leaders yeah burlescony sorry okay maybe that's a different funga-bunga um but uh yeah so that was that was that was a striking conversation uh that I thought um and uh I've actually got a photo of that was someone snapped a photo he was talking and he was just kind of really focused and I and I was like what the hell are we talking about this for but right I realized he was basically kind of bringing it back around to why they did something from the white house and he wanted to discuss it with you yeah and and I thought okay that's you know that that was that was after he's out of office uh yes yeah out of office yeah I would love to talk to a president about what that experience I mean it's my main if I had a question for Trump that that's one of the big ones like what is it like when you get in there like what is it what's the difference between perception and reality what is the difference between your ideas of what what it's like when you get into the Oval Office what it's like when you get debriefed yeah because pretty much every politician has these plans they all have these these things that they say they're going to do and then they get into office and very little of it happens yeah like why is that and what is it like I think they're fighting against the machine yeah first of all and you know maybe they show up and they they imagine I mean that you know they're going to accomplish whatever it is going to be that they're going to accomplish but then I think the reality is Washington DC set in and I think that it's tougher now than it used to be I mean I think you you and not to romanticize the past but I think it used to be easier to get people into a room from you know both sides of the aisle and hammer out you know a platform or an idea or a bill or whatever it may be and I think that's much more difficult now for people to do because it's so damn partisan but yeah it is it's it's a you know we had the good fortune of being in the White House a few times and it's I can't imagine that it's not this overwhelming feeling when you go if you're just elected right and you walk into the Oval Office this overwhelming feeling of of of responsibility you know and and even for somebody like Trump you know who probably you know I mean you know he probably sat down and thought of course I'm here you know and why wouldn't I be here but but um and then you're you know you're you're your number one job is essentially to take a lot of shit that's happening distill it down to you know the it's key points and delegate right because there is such a machine around you right that that tries to plan every moment of your day I think and it is you know it's not unlike being a CEO of a fortune 50 company you know where you've got a lot of plate spinning and you can't focus on all of them so which is part of the you know look at me part of the President's Daily Brief the purpose of that that goes into the Oval Office is to try to keep a focus on sort of the national security issues that are at the top of the hit parade in very short order right because no matter how interested the President is and look Bush as an example used to go through those things with a fine-tooth comb and ask question after question after question right clearly that I don't think that was Trump style I don't know what Biden does right in terms of that but you know every President's a little bit different in how they receive information and process it and then prioritize in their mind what's important but behind you is a machine that regardless of what you're thinking is prioritizing concerns of the day national security issues and military concerns and the economy and all the rest of it so at the end of the day we maybe we we put too much we imagine the President's got more ability right to do things or to change things or to shape things than they actually do so not again not in any way to minimize the importance of the the stress of that job right but yeah the stress of the job is unprecedented yeah you watch the way it ages people except him except Trump that motherfucker just like a duck to water so what do you think is he is he is he getting the nomination is he going to be the guy yeah I think yes yeah I was I was wrong before when we talked about this a while back I don't think they could stop them yeah I think the people that want Trump in office they view the hypocrisy of this administration the corruption the open borders the economy collapsing the open checkbook to Ukraine they view all this shit they view all the clamping down and internal combustion engines the the the green shit what they think that is going to kill the economy and centralize money into a few very powerful hands yeah they they don't buy it at all and they think that he's their only solution does anybody from from the GOP side any of the candidates have a chance to take the nomination instead of Trump I don't think so yeah I mean I agree I don't I don't see I don't see unless something horrible happens to him that Vivek guy is very interesting yeah he's very and she's very rational and very smart he does seem to talk directly about the issues yeah unlike some of the folks who are speaking more aspirational and talking about you know direction of the country he does seem to focus more on these are the things we need to do specifically he's also clearly very very intelligent like superior intelligence like when when you hear him discuss nuanced issues he also has very good emotional intelligence because I've seen him not just challenged but disparaged on radio shows and podcasts and he handles things very very well and that discussion with him was what got Don Lemon removed from CNN yeah because Don Lemon and him went at it I think he's uh but he's very young too like would people want a 37 year old guy running the entire country even if it's a truly exceptional mind and truly exceptional person which which I think he is well this may be this may be the cycle right meaning sort of this this Biden I mean if Biden ends up is do you think that's the second part of the question do you think Biden's gonna be the guy I don't think so yeah no I think it's probably gonna be fucking Mr. California really yeah I think it's probably gonna be Gavin Newsom I think they're probably gonna try to whitewash all the failures of California and all the disastrous policies and just view him as the most uh presidential of the leftist progressive candidates and keep Kamala Harris as the VP no way no not a chance in hell I think she steps down I think uh if I had to guess something comes up yeah yeah she doesn't want to do it anymore he has a better choice they find her another position you know she decides that she would better serve somewhere else something some I just don't imagine that they wouldn't see her as a massive liability yeah oh I think they do I mean I think that yeah but she as long as Biden's the candidate right she's the VP on the ticket unless something horrible happens with her right some sort of scandal or some sort of thing or you know look they removed Andrew Cuomo when just a couple months before he was the darling of the Democratic Party yeah yeah they decided that he was too much of a liability and so they they went after him yeah but I'm not sure how I don't know that the party's got what it takes to come out without without an incident right without something and you know yeah you hate to say anything about anybody's health but you know without something on a health perspective happening with Biden well the the health perspective has already happened yeah yeah yeah it's super clear at this point I mean people are giving me shit about saying it in 2020 it's super clear that he's got like real mental problems like whatever they are whether it's dementia which is pure old age whatever it is like there's he's got I mean when he closes his eyes that's when everybody goes no panic we're like no I know but look but look at what we've got we've got him doing that right and then he whispers the part with his presentation is always trying to christen's when he whispers get vaccinated it's Bidenomics it's working yeah and you think okay stop doing that it's well he's just a goof he's always been a goofy guy but but you've got that you got Mitch McConnell you know kind of fading out you know falling apart almost having a mini stroke during a speech the one time in front of the press and then you're so old yeah have you seen feinstein is still there yeah feinstein's still there she's handed over control she's you know like said my daughter has control of my you know business and everything and conservatorship or whatever but i'm staying here until 2025 it's nuts yeah it's nuts so and yeah it's just it's such a fucking strange time it's so strange and so so maybe somebody like Vivek says i'm gonna sit this one out i mean that that would be the to me that would be the smart thing if you've got aspirations and you've got the ability but you're young you think maybe i'll just let the whole system reboot right now because this biden trump thing is just so well trump could choose him as a vp and i think he would be a formidable vp if trump runs with him as a vp i think that's a massive asset i really do yeah i think because that guy you could see him in four years being the president he's so rational and intelligent when i listen to him talk i'm like that's what i want from a president i want a level-headed super intelligent rational person who has had a massive amount of success in the real world who decides to enter into politics because he thinks that he can serve in a meaningful way and he thinks that he can part change in a meaningful way at least that's what i'm getting from him yeah in my most rose colored glasses view of the world but does that would i don't know if that's what the voters want right because well he would balance out what people don't like about trump yeah with this bombastic personality but but also like you got to give credit to the guy because that bombastic personality really did expose the deep state it really did expose all this corruption and that's gear all the fucking russia collusion the fact that the media was completely on board with that there's been no apologies this is all bullshit there's so much of that that he exposed because of the fact that he fights tooth claw and nail the fact that he won't back down and then he gets it and he you know literally goes after the intelligence community which is you know obviously from your perspective is a terrible idea well no it's not a terrible idea if you're going after for you know for for certain individuals politicizing because that can never happen that's a death knell for any intelligence organization as far as i'm with or a federal law enforcement organization like the bureau right you so you should always you should always be on the lookout for that i have no problems with with with that at all but i you know my point is always with with at least with the organization that i know it's not the it's not the body of the organization right you get individuals yeah are become enamored of their their access or you know their their their the power or the closeness to the policies or they let their personal agenda take over that's a real danger and you can never let that happen and and and so that's what i think people need to understand when they talk disparagingly about the intelligence community and that my opinion my personal opinion is is most these people are patriots and that there are people that get into positions of power in every single organization no matter what it is where they abuse that power and those people become corrupt yeah and this has happened in every business i'm sure every branch of government it's i'm sure it happens everywhere but that doesn't mean that the intelligence communities are unnecessary no you don't yeah that would be like saying okay uh you know the ceo of a company has got a certain political agenda and so like with black rock you know i mean maybe you know the the head of it is like enamored with um you know whatever it was equity and inclusion inclusion governance i can't remember yeah and governance and um and so the whole organization is bad right well okay probably not everybody there thinks that way right but you know all it takes is a as a handful at the top level on the seventh floor wherever the organization is and and that's a problem so you you defeat that in part by having a very proactive curious um uh you know uh government right with the proper committees and the intel you know committees that are up on capitol hill as an example that ask all those important questions and that demand answers and that aren't so hyper partisan that they refuse to you know pursue the obvious right and you know look the lack of self-awareness is is shocking when you get people like adam schiff and jamie raskin you know saying things like well this this look at the biden finances is you know it's bullshit it's purely political and raskin and schiff and and others spent years right getting in front of the cameras and just spewing bullshit about the russian collusion story and and yet the fact that they don't see it because they're so partisan and they don't understand look the important thing here is it doesn't matter we are republican democrat you know everybody should be subject to the same concerns and behavior and scrutiny right uh but you know it's it's not going to happen i don't know how you walk it back i don't know how we get back to some level of normal right and i don't think we're going to see that during the course of this election cycle right this is going to be this is going to be a shit show yeah so it's going to be a shit show especially with the indictments yeah oh yeah and and i don't think there's any more coming down the pike so i think these four are it but you know that dc indictment is that's definitely a political document right i haven't had a chance to go through the the the georgia indictment in in full um but the race that they all have right in trying to get these things out there in the time frame that they are you know would seem to indicate that they've got a political motivation here make this last through the election cycle you know screw over to the degree they can what they view as the top challenger um and and let it go and they don't seem to care about the public's perception of how that looks right and that's a dangerous precedent to set because if that happens what's to stop some authoritarian republican from utilizing the same methods to go after people in your group right once the precedent's been set yeah no there is there's nothing and that's you know and then you get you get into banana you know republic territory so yeah uh but again i think you know yeah i would be hard pressed to imagine biden's going to end up uh going all the way through the whole process you know securing all the delegates you know running winning i mean i just i don't think they want him to i really don't think they want him to but they've got another option is michelle obama that keeps getting bandied around i'm not sure if she even wants to have anything to do with that i you know she's in one of those positions right it's like opa wintry people say well opa wintry should run well the fuck she should yeah i mean well i know but what i mean is when they say that you think well she's kind of she enjoys this position of being loved by lots of people and why wouldn't so michelle obama she's in sort of that sweet spot right everyone is oh my god it's michelle obama you know as soon as you put yourself in that that arena right and the hate comes out yeah shit comes at you fast and you don't need it no i mean they've made enough money yeah how are they all doing that how would how are all these people making this money crazy mic it's crazy i don't get it either seems weird on a 400 000 a year salary yeah or you're worth hundreds of millions oh you look at the senators right yeah how's that working and and so crazy because the fucking just the insider trading how is that still legal well and and what is it senator salaries in like the i think the low 200 000 or something like that maybe i i forget but um yeah my my experience has been you don't become a multi-millionaire you know doing that unless you've got you're really savvy shenanigans picking stocks right and i'm sitting in a committee and i hear somebody talk about a new program that's going to be developed to develop a new type of propulsion system right yeah that's right that's how it goes that's right that's how it goes yeah hey i want you to have this man this is this is the easiest simplest lighter you'll ever find it's a zippo um thank you and uh it's a cia lighter it's a cia i could bring this around my paranoid friends i'd already think that i'm a cia and it's not a transmitter in that i don't want you to affect any bravo okay they'll fucking bury it in the ground yeah there's no transmitter in that light thank you very much i appreciate you let's do it again in a few months and hopefully the world's not glowing i hope so and uh tell us uh