Plain English with Derek Thompson - Donald Trump vs. the FBI Everything We Know About the Investigation So Far

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I’m Matt Bellamy founding partner of Puck news and I’m covering the inside conversation about money and power in Hollywood, with my new show, the town I’m going to take you inside Hollywood with exclusive inside on what people in Show, Business are actually talking about multiple times a week.


I’ll talk to some of the smartest people I know journalists insiders, all of whom can break down the hottest topics and entertainment.

Tell you what’s really going on.

Listen now, Today we have to talk about Donald Trump.


So every month is a chaotic month in the world of our former president and careful listeners of this podcast will know that we’ve never done a trump specific episode, because I’ve generally been holding out for the chaos that constantly swirls around him to surpassed extremely high bar of freaky nonsense.


And this week, I am forced to conclude that that bar has been surpassed and it’s been surpassed because of not Two.

But three coinciding investigations, number one in Washington.

The January 6, committee is still uncovering evidence that Trump cheered, the invasion of the capital and refused please to condemn the riots even as his own vice president feared for his life.


Number two, in New York, Trump declined, repeatedly to answer questions in a New York state investigation into possible.

Corrupt business practices at the Trump organization, and number three, with a bullet.

In Florida.

Last week, federal agents descended on Mar-A-Lago Trump’s private club in Florida home and they came away with a trove of top secret documents and papers.


That the president was not supposed to have as his private residence.

And these are papers, that could implicate him as an agent of law-breaking Espionage or, you know, lead to nothing at all as.

So often seems to be the case with his investigations.


Today’s episode focus is pretty exclusively on this latest investigation, the FBI versus the president in Mar-A-Lago.

And I think it’s useful to begin as we sometimes do here with a fax with a story of the facts.


So let’s review the timeline.

Want to rewind the tape to January 2021.

So Trump loses the election and he is required by law under the presidential records act to return several top secret.

Commence to the National Archives.


Within a few months, the National Archives realizes that Trump actually hasn’t delivered these documents.

He’s actually taken a slew of them with him, down to Florida.

They say, hey mr.

President, we need, we need these records sir.

So one year, later, January of this year, Trump returns 15, boxes material.


Except when the archivists look over the material, they realize a lot of it has classified markings all over it, right?

This guy hasn’t exactly, just taking the shampoo from the hotel.

He’s taken something far more valuable.

So we refer the matter to the justice department, which begins investigation.

This spring, the spring of 2022, the justice department starts talking to Trump and his legal team about these boxes of material.


These taken down to Florida with him.

They subpoena surveillance footage of Trumps, Florida home Mar-A-Lago and they see Sing a little fishy boxes of top secret and supposedly classified.

Information are being moved in and out of a basement near.


A commonly used pool.

This is at the very least, let’s just be fair here.

A pretty crummy way to store sensitive information, The head of the Department of Justice Merrick.

Garland signs off on a plan to search and seize, whatever documents are remaining at Mar-A-Lago and a Florida judge, approves this search and that is the story of how Mar-A-Lago.


Got a surprise visit from the feds this month.

Now, as with everything related to Trump, the story immediately goes meta in the most lurid of possible ways.

Some Trump haters jump to the conclusion that the ex president is clearly a proven Trader.


Some Trump supporters And to defund the FBI for the sin of investigating a former president, some Maniacs even threatened to kill the magistrate who approved the search.

But what do we know for certain from the search warrant?


What do we know for certain from the search inventory?

And what do the things that we actually know for certain tell us about the future of this case?

Today’s guest is Juliette, khayyam.

She is an author, a writer for the Atlantic, and the former assistant, secretary for intergovernmental Affairs, in the US Department of Homeland Security, she knows the do something about classified information.


Top secret documents and how they should be treated Juliet guides us through the extraordinary Mar-A-Lago, search.

She helps us separate fact from fiction.

Real analysis from Pure.

Empty speculation.

And That we imagine several ways.


This latest chapter of the Trump Saga could unfold.

As always, please send any questions and episode ideas that you have to plain English at

I’m Derek Thompson.

This is plain English.



Welcome to the podcast.

Thank you for having me.

So there is so much heat around everything that Donald Trump does.

And every way that he seems to violate the law, but I want to start by pointing out how much we do not know.

We do not know exactly.


What documents Trump had at Mar-A-Lago.

We do not know why he had them.

We do not know what he was doing with them.

We don’t know what the FBI, even thinks he was doing with them.

So I want to begin on a solid piece of land here.

I think there are three things we can say we know for certain we have a timeline of events.


Number one, number two, we have a warrant that authorized this FBI searched.

And number three, we have a partial inventory, a partial list of things seized from our log.


I’ve already covered the timeline in my introduction, so let’s get to number two which is the warrant the warrant list.


Three criminal laws is the basis of this investigation, the Espionage Act obstruction of justice and a statute that bars, the unlawful taking or destruction of government records or documents, okay?

What is the most striking part of this warrant to you?


So the most amazing, the most sexy of you put it of course is espionage because he’s a former president and they’re making a choice.

Of Espionage, which is the dissemination of what they call publication of information.

To doesn’t say to whom that would, that would impact America’s national security.


And you and we know that this is relevant because the division within the Department of Justice who issues who requested the Warren is, the National Security Division and a part of the National Security division that deals specifically with sort of Espionage and and other issues like this.


So we know that this is sort of a focus of There’s what’s important when you hear on cable news and the legal analysis but we don’t have to get into why this is is that these three charges are unrelated to the classification status, that everyone’s getting all worked up about that of of the documents that Trump retained and so.


So the lay person may think how can that be how can you do Espionage without classified information?

So here’s I was trying to think what’s a good example for you in plain English so so I’m Um, I’m on a train and I see a US.

Troop deployment in a country where we might invade.


Let’s just say that and I see details of the Weaponry, I’m a US citizen and I call the araki’s immediately in 2002 and tell them what I’m what I happened to see or what I happen to her, that is not classified information to me.


I I’m not a part of government, but even the mirror, Publication of that to say an enemy would be viewed as Espionage.

So that’s a way to think about that.

The status doesn’t really matter and of course he’s the former president of the status is relevant to him in some ways because he should be more careful than the average American citizen.


So that’s the Espionage one is a big deal because it suggests that there’s some evidence and we’re hearing rumors of it about videos and others that it was the publication of these documents to others.

Business people, foreign governments.

We don’t know yet that is that is of key concern to the to the National Security division.


So, the Espionage Act statute that is in the warrant is about publication.

How could you possibly prove publication by looking at a box of documents, right?

Like if I take a photograph of this troop movement in whatever country, let’s just call it Ukraine.


And I have that photograph of that troop movement and I’m holding It in my basement and the FBI comes by and they check it out and they look at the photograph and they’re like oh my God why could I be charged on the Espionage Act for just having that photograph in my basement.

So what we do know is that Mar-A-Lago has been a site in which the sharing of classified information has gone on willy-nilly and public tables that to Trump sort of likes doing this.


He shows people things.

We already knew that before and presumably there for so did investigators.

But the second piece is is that is that if there Is evidence of the dissemination of this in a way that would have harmed, The Uso, you know it, there’s pictures that have been taken, there’s video surveillance that have been taken.


Those are the things that will add onto to the potential charges.

Remember the Warren is just for one thing related to a much larger cases.

We don’t know what else they have.

That would let them put pieces together and so I do think that it’s it’s I think it’s like this.


Sir, scariest deepest part of the Warren is the SPSS, but I don’t want to forget the obstruction charge.


We got from reporting this weekend and this is where I think others are in big trouble is that the that the Trump lawyers had made representations to law enforcement, don’t write a law enforcement to law enforcement, that that everything everything had been scrubbed and that they They had the the FBI or the the archives had.


All classified information is based on your timeline, as people know, there has been an attempt to get a lot of this stuff back and the archives thought they had everything.

What we’re looking at now, is a realization that Trump for reasons we don’t know yet retained just these documents to just review from here.


The statute under the Espionage Act that’s really important is about Any national security information that could harm the us or a 24 and adversary.

And it’s this fear that he might have shared that information with people that he shouldn’t have.

So for it’s not just having the information, but it’s also sharing with people that might have been caught under the surveillance footage.


For example, that the FBI subpoenaed from our law, go under obstruction, just to put some meat on the bones here.

The New York Times reported that at least one lawyer for Trump signed a written statement in June asserting that all the material marked as classified and held in boxes.


In this Mar-A-Lago, storage area had been returned to the government.

We now know that was incorrect because an inventory of the material, taken from Mar-A-Lago, showed all of these documents that were marked top secret or super top secret as well.

Discuss in a second, you wrote today that presidents are typically consumers of intelligence information, not collectors of intelligence information.


Like, it seems like Trump is like going to the museum and he’s It like a gift shop like, you know, like he looks at the Mona Lisa.

That’s nice.

I’ll take it.

Like, hey, neat, sarcophagus, put it in the bag.

So it’s so a part of this, is that this is we’ve never just had a situation like this where the president is taking home to a private residence of bunch of documents that are classified returning, only some of them to the National Archive and they requested all back, allegedly lying to the FBI, the Department of Justice about returning all of it and then having this This search and seizure like in the big picture here.


Like, putting all of that together.

What is the kind of behavior that it is reasonable to think Trump is being investigated for by the FBI?

Where do they most concerned about their guys want to pick up on one point before I answer that.

So I think that that is so key.

At this stage has given some of the, as you said, the drama surrounding this.


That, at some stage, Donald Trump was willing to give up some documents so that’s why there’s like this particular focus on these boxes and And their security status, and then what’s in, what’s in the inventory.

So there’s a range of possibilities when it comes to Donald Trump.


And in some ways, I think the article today was trying to say is just forget the range, right?

Another was just the act of it.

The act of this recklessness has National Security implications because we have a reckless at best former president.


Who’s treating what really are the gems of National Security?

A ssci being the classification.

A lot of people are hearing about in a way in which he’s either destroying them or publishing them, we just don’t know yet.

So you know there’s a lot to Trump’s personality is it or their personal things that been the classified stuff that’s got whipped into we just don’t know we’ve heard earlier in the week about nuclear information nuclear secrets which of course or even nuclear inventory which is of course something you just want to share.


So here’s another example that I think it’s important because I think we just use these words and we don’t know what is.

So here’s an example that I was thinking about like okay so there’s you know, there’s a nuclear codes.

I’m not worried about those as get changed all the time.

So the former presidents not going to have access to it.

But like there’s there’s let’s say that there was a classified inventory of our of our nuclear Arsenal and it was a, it was an honest inventory.


By the Pentagon, this happens all the time where they say, look of the of the 10,000 Warheads that We have, we actually only think about 7200 or operational.

I see these kinds.

I saw these kinds of documents and government all the time, you don’t want to advertise to everyone enemy or Ally, right?


Because the Allies also have a defense says that you’re a little bit worried about 2,800 of those Warheads.

So this is like an example where it’s not like everyone’s going to die tomorrow.


Nuclear warheads, but it is like it’s about our are sort of long-term investments in our national security.


So, The nuclear issue which got everyone worked out, maybe a little bit too much, could have implications for both our allies confidence, in our capabilities as we look at China and Taiwan let alone Ukraine and Russia.

But but also our enemies.



My big picture fear.

And again, I want to bracket this by saying, this is utter speculation.

And I’m doing my best here to separate that which is speculation.

And how could you not speculate?

By the way, I mean, so this is, Accusation and and it is not fact.


But what do we know about Donald Trump?

We know he’s an incredibly consistent person.

He’s been who he is for the seven, eight Decades of his life.

We know that he’s someone who loves to make money.

We know who someone would even after he was elected president, still use the office of the presidency in order to make a lot of money.


Look at the dealings of his son-in-law, and his family in parts of the world.

Look at Trump Hotel, when you’re a president who is offered all sorts of See pieces of information in the Oval Office and now you finally lost the election.


And Congress has decided, they’re not going to overturn the results in Arizona and Georgia, and you have to leave office.

You’re looking around at all these juicy morsels and what do you see as someone who is fundamentally a businessman?

You see the opportunity it seems to me to make money so I’m not suggesting exactly how he’s going to use any of these bets information to make money, but these pieces of information are valuable, they are valuable Abel and it seems inevitable that someone might offer a certain thing of value in exchange for them.


And so that’s what makes me particularly nervous about him.

Holding these things in this trunk.

Space off the pool area of Mar-A-Lago, let’s move, right?

And then, Derek can I say you mentioned a point that I think people aren’t picking up on.

I mean I think as I do think when we look at liability, you know, how it, how are we going to figure out what’s in them?


Will clearly in my mind clearly speculation again but but it does appear that someone In Camp Trump is speaking or they have some access to information to know that this is happening.

One of the vulnerabilities, is also going to be.


How, did, how did stuff move from d.c. to Mar-A-Lago?

So there’s a from point, A to point B.

So because the classified information, when it’s transported, has to be transported in a certain way and we have all sorts of rules and regulations around them.


There’s a group of people, presumably political people who knew I knew that those boxes were moving and whatever kind of capacity they were moving in.

So I do think that the transfer issue is going to be an issue.

How did those boxes get down?


Presumably down to, Mark our logo with their tsfc.

I stand Attis, which is, which I think will be an issue in the future as well.

Let’s go back to things that we actually know for sure, rather than just might sort of random historical personalities.


Test speculation.

In addition to the warrant, we also have a partial manifest, a partial inventory of the items taken by the FBI in their search and seizure of Mar-A-Lago.

We know that some of these items were classified, top secret, and at some of them were classified, top secret, sensitive compartmentalized information, TS SC.


I what is T ssci and what are the kind of documents that would be labeled tssaa.

So once again, I’ll try to do this.


So there’s lots of Secrets and classified information.

Just things that you don’t want no.

So the difference between tsst tsst, I of which I had been in government as a consumer of intelligence, I had been in at the Department of Homeland Security.


So I am just reading this stuff.

So, TS would tell me, for example, that there’s fears of eminence have by an Al-Qaeda group in New York, and we’re going to Surge resources to try to prevent them.

So, someone like me and Homeland Security, would know that or would want to know that in a leadership role.


Okay, and then and then and also because there would be a surge of resources.

What is T?


Telling me tsst.

I is telling me that Joe Schmo.

I’m just making up a name, the leader of the terrorist cell was last seen in New York City at XYZ talking to these four people.


All five of them are under surveillance me, it would be the nitty-gritty details of what we knew.

And then you could, that’s, that’s a counter terrorism investigation.

That’s where I come from.

But you can think about this in terms of nuclear capabilities or in terms of Of as you know what we don’t know or know about foreign leaders and and and what they’re doing in their spare time or not.


And he all of these things are sort of the nitty-gritty details that are show the extent of our knowledge and then the extent of our ignorance, right?

Because they will also say we have no idea where these five guy that’s always our and we’re scared, you know, we’re completely scared and we’re searching for them.


So knowing that that tsse I can only be viewed at the top sir were On the agency.

Something to be very careful.

So tsse I would only be seen in what’s called a skiff.

So scif the F stands for facility.

So you just to give people flavor of it.


So you go into a room, you give up your phone because your phone would have access to the outside world.

You don’t want to do that, you put your phone in depending on the level.

You might, you know, you’d have to go through a credential program or a fingerprinting depending on how intense it is.


The skiff is literally a closet, you know.

And they Travel, by the way, skips travel.

So, if I go abroad and need to have a ski mask, if will travel with me, the military will set it up.

Background noise, white noise to keep the noise out and something is presented the documents about what that information is.


So this is how serious it takes and there’s an entire apparatus that that exists for the reading and consumption as you described the consumption of tea ssci.

So, just to say that it’s that things are in this.



There’s all different narratives forming but one is like that you know, too much stuff is classified, tsst.

I that could be true.

This doesn’t seem to me to be to be a very good debate around me.

Most of the time when we debate classification status.

It’s because there’s a better countervailing.

Interest like, transparency or abuse that you want exposed is not because Trump wanted it.


So and these classifications are done by the classifying agency.

So the CIA would do their intelligence side, let’s say from DHS we would do border stuff, And generally is chosen at different levels, depending on the extent of it and then the reader just so the reader different readers will have access to different levels.


So just to be clear how sensitive tsst is my boss.

Janet Napolitano Secretary of Homeland Security, would not get access to T ssci on everything because they wouldn’t view her as relevant to say in action in Afghanistan.

So it’s not like you it sound like you as the individual.


Ree, tee.

Ssci capability.

It’s depends on what the issue is, so good.

So in other words, this is much more sophisticated than a former president.

Being able to say, well, I showed up at Mar-A-Lago and Declassified everything interesting.

And so just to connect this back to the warrant with the discovery of SEI documents, be most relevant to the Espionage Act aspects of the warrant, or the statute that bars, the unlawful taking or destruction of government.



I think the Espionage at this stage because the tsst I guess there was what 4/5 of sorry I’m forgetting.

How many boxes at T.

Ssci materials and we the inventory is very vague about sort of what quantity is in there to me the tea ssci issue, while not while, not a precondition for the Espionage charge as we know because you can commit Espionage without classified information.


It seems to me to be the the Sort of most damn name for a trump defense because it’s not just some generic Espionage charges.

Like, actually, he had access to a lot of stuff, and he was showing a person X Y, or Z and to remind people, you know, the carelessness, obviously was in the white house, right?


I mean, he showed the Russians information about Israelis counterterrorism efforts so much so that the Israelis had to essentially withdraw a human assets within some of the terrorist organizations because He just does he think it’s cool or whatever it is just his once again his recklessness at best that’s the best you can say with about him so far.


Well let’s let’s let’s assume the best for whatever reasons this, let’s assume the best.

You know, this is not the first time that Trump has played fast and loose with intelligence, is you just alluded to, he revealed information in 2017 about Israeli intelligence sources in Syria, to Russia’s Defence leaders.


And, again, in the interest of, just assuming the best about Donald Trump, He’s just a blabbermouth, he’s just a guy who loves gossip.

He was right.

He, he came up in New York, where gossip was a currency, and I was got access to all this classified information tops.


You top secret?

Information SC?

I don’t so many acronyms who can even keep count.

So, he just talks about it, right?

And he sees an interesting piece of information and he wants to hold onto it.

And let’s say that at the end of the day, the FBI ends up a little bit embarrassed because it turns out they did this search and seizure and Trump had a lot of nation.


But they couldn’t really bring a significant charge against him and the substance of the papers that were taken out of Mar-A-Lago.

Proves insignificant, let’s assume all of that.

Why would it still pose a challenge to the u.s. in your opinion?


And you know, it’s a great setup because we have been sort of spinning around in circles trying to figure out the content.


This is the point of the Atlantic piece today, where I say in one line, you know, our brains, I’m as gossipy as the next person.

So I am curious about why one of the documents has to do with French president, Mark hunt for chronic.

But, and what exactly are the details in there is, I’m sure he’s curious too, but we’re spending around trying to figure out the content of his as if the content is relevant to our national security.


So in some ways of course it is, right?

I mean if he’s giving away nuclear secrets, I don’t need to make that case.

But what I was trying to say is that there’s something else going on that we should think about so that we’re not completely dependent on, you know, once again the AHA.

Aha moment.


That every critic of trump is constantly waiting for, like this one’s, he’s going to be in jail, which is to take a step back and say, okay, whoa, who’s interested in our national security.

So we are, of course, and so he may have written that.

But there’s two other parties, there’s our allies and our enemies.


So it’s obvious reasons why our enemies like his recklessness.

They the Chinese can send a female spy there with malware whatever she was trying to do a couple years ago.

Tomorrow Lago and get information but there’s a third party to think about in terms of our Halogens Gathering capabilities.


And that’s our allies intelligence is not a singular Lane singular Nation phenomenon.

And we as I said we collect intelligence and then we consume in and we disseminate it.

So the collection part of which again, I’ve never been a part of always been a consumer is not just our human assets or our signal intelligence, all the wonky words that you hear.


It’s it’s either given to us by other countries, through bilateral efforts.

So the British may say, look, we’re worried about this person or we’re seeing this kind of activity or through actually formalize mechanisms in NATO EU and something called five eyes, which is a World War Two Legacy framework.


And, which is a very serious.

Intelligence-sharing framework, those are all dependent on some sense of maturity, by member nations.

That they will not willy-nilly exploit the intelligence resources, or the until intelligence gathering Alone sources and methods of other of their allies.


And I just what I want to do in that article that is just to be like me.

We’re constantly aware the United States of America, but maybe we’re not, but like we are, we once were amateur nation in which these mechanisms Were Meant to protect allies together because information and a global in a world with global threats has to be shared.


And so that to not think about about this information as about past classified materials but relevant today.

So this is where the mark on the prawns thing comes in.

I don’t want to be everyone’s making speculation but let’s just say it is scurrilous materials, let’s just say that.


Okay, and I don’t know that but let’s just say that.

So Trump is sharing that summer macron.

Just wins re-election, he’s got a right wing front on his gaining ground in France.

He is a weird, but nonetheless helpful.

Partner in the war against Ukraine.


We have NATO and enlargement going on.

Now of which we need a stabilized France and we’re going to start, we we are going to start a scandal and once again, I’m making this up is just the scenario that I worry about in in in in France.


Like this is like not how friends behave.

So part of it is, it’s just the very existence of the lack of the papers creates a lack of Confidence in our capabilities.

Now, that’s a lack of confidence that these countries had in US during Trump Biden, right.


Sizes at not just by having a pretty sophisticated team in our intelligence agencies but by depriving Trump of the daily presidential briefing, which was a, which was a protocol.

We did allow former presidents Biden said, no, freaking way.

Am I giving this guy new intelligence, which was the right thing to do?


And then that those things, you know, now like Trump never goes away that trumps.

Your continues to have present-day challenges about confidence, trust maturity sophistication and secrets secrets.

I want to ask you a question about media analysis.


I heard you on the Slate political gabfest last week and David Plots, the host of that podcast who’s very smart said, he was afraid that this search and seizure would help Donald Trump.

And that was reminiscent of a David Brooks column published in the New York Times.

That said that this event might be the single thing that real Lex Donald Trump in 2024 and I’m not sure I agree with those interpretations, but it is a reminder of this Bizarre, an important phenomenon of negative polarization which is that attempts by the government and the news media to hold Donald Trump to account.


Tend to incur a backlash among Donald Trump supporters.

That make him seem even more powerful than before, he violated the alleged law or allegedly violated the law.

What do you say to your liberal friends who are always trying to balance?


Hence, the need to apply national law, fairly to all Americans, including ex-presidents.

And this fear that any attempt to hold that on Trump to the law is going to lead to his re-election.

I always say this to my liberal friends, you’re not going to get a Moment of clarity.


You’re just going to get a sizzling down, breaking down of this of this of this capturing.

And I, I said, in one of my lines for the alone’s, then, you know, we tend to we both his enemies and we, The View him as Baltimore, right?

Like is this somehow he’s Untouchable.


We can’t say his name.

Don’t do that.

Thou will get him really mad and that your Voldemort eventually did Parish over the course of eight books, right?

He’s okay, so it may take a while, but we cannot possibly think that the strategy that his people will be whipped up, no matter what his people are whipped up by, you know, the words, you know, the words happy holidays, right.


I mean, I like to say today, like, they actually overturn Roe v– Wade in They’re still pissed off.

Like, how does that happen?

You know, like everything they’re never happy.

And so you have to take a step back as I did.

What is the goal here, the goal is to break the, for me, at least is to break the casualness by which violence that Trump has Unleashed in this nation.


You know, Reigns as a democratic tool and I do believe what happened at Mar-A-Lago.

Is part of it that it is that it is about about You know, D platforming him from from, you know, the most important information, whatever the content is that America’s intelligence agents have captured and collected for the sake of all of our benefit.


I know that there are lots of trump voters who are fundamentally decent people.

I absolutely know that to be a fact but what concerns me is that we are nearing a point where there’s this connection between Trump and law.

Honest and violence.

It’s becoming utterly undeniable.

So you take two different sequence of events, Trump loses the election, then lawlessness.


He encourages the state secretaries to violate the constitution and overthrow the election.

When that doesn’t work.

He encourages a mob to march on the capitol with guns violence, right?

So, Trump lawlessness violence.

Look again here, he loses the election.

It’s finally certified.


What does he do?

He he bends the law.

He takes classified documents.

Occupancy definitely should still be in possession of and brings them tomorrow.

Lago and misleads the FBI about their possession, right?

That is the bending and breaking of the law.

What happens after violence, the FBI search isn’t seized his the documents and his followers threatened to kill the magistrate who approved the search.


And this is the, this is like the Unholy Trinity, right?

The dark Triad of trump and lawlessness and violence, that really scares me that we’ve reached this really bizarre dark equilibrium.

Where Laws can continue to be broken.

And people moderates are afraid to use the law to keep Trump from doing these things because they’re afraid of violence.


That is not a stable democracy.

That is something else it isn’t.

And that’s why it’s amazing centrally important to ignore the hand-wringing by alleged moderates to worry, that this is going to help that any of these investigations are going to help Trump.


You know that Hear from David Brooks in New York Times and others that somehow this this, we just made the next president, right?

So, so part of what we’re looking at because I totally agree with you that, that what we need to do is then think about this as sort of the largest and most public counterinsurgency campaign.


This country has ever waged and the only one domestically, and how do you think about counterterrorism and counterinsurgency?

So, There’s there’s there’s, there’s two ways you have others to ways and one is you you have to show the organization so Trump in particular, but the organization writ large as losing.


So that is where things like these cases.

This this sort of Madness that he shows me.

I think I think most people do get the nuclear issue and classified information.

They don’t like it.

The polling supporting the January 6 committee and some of their findings and what he was doing was exceptionally sort of anti-trump behaviors.


You have to Isolate him in all sorts of ways, monetarily social media, wise, and that, that has happened.

The other is that you have to provide an off-ramp, for those who might be able in their minds to separate the violence from the ideology, right?


So, David French had a really good piece in the bowl work, which essentially, he’s saying you just can’t separate these things before.

It’s really important for conservatives to begin to acknowledge that.

Violence is at the core of Trumps mag is, MM, it’s not that it’s not at the core of Trumps supporters and then you give those supporters and off ramps.


So how do you do that?

So the generous 6 committee was doing, it is here are Republicans, who are offer amping, you do not want to be the last off that off-ramp.

And I think there is evidence to suggest that’s working because they keep talking about, all sorts of people coming forward, but you’re also seeing other Republicans come forward talking about Alternatives in the in the new year.


I don’t want Return.

I don’t want to be Pollyanna, she has tremendous influence.

Look at Arizona on the on these primaries in the future of the Republican party, but we have, but but that doesn’t go away by ignoring it that does not go away by simply saying what we can’t make him angrier.


There’s no end to his potential to be angry, but they’re so that you don’t you don’t, you don’t even factor that in when you factor in is is is success or failure and How do I measure success is someone and says, it’s not him in a jumpsuit.


I’m not I could care less honestly.

At this stage, I careless of his job.

It is weather.

You know, he dies alone and Mar-A-Lago.

Rich with his grifters and his kids making money off of him of no relevance to the United States and its democracy that that to me is also success, right?



Him him being Kim, being carved out of power by proper enforcement of the law rather than hoping for this sort of, you know, liberal fantasy where he’s marched out in the orange jumpsuit.

My feeling here is, and this is the point where I go way past speculation, I’m just fully putting on the pundit hat.


I just feel like you apply the law without bias or fear you apply the law because it’s the law and it doesn’t matter that he’s the ex-president.

It doesn’t matter that he’s kind of scary to a lot of liberals.

The law is the law seek it and apply it.

This idea that he’s like Voldemort just seems completely insane.

To me, there’s been three elections in which Donald Trump was a figure in American politics, the first, he lost the popular vote.


The second he got smashed in the midterms and the third, he lost out, right?

There’s this idea that he’s Voldemort.

In fact, he serves as an extraordinary motivation to moderate liberal, college educated suburbanite Stu come out and vote for Democrats.

I agree with you.


I think people like like David Brooks like it’s a very, you know, sort of annoying editorial.

I have a book out about disaster management.

I was thinking the first chapter is called, get your head around it, right.

In other words is the best way to deal with the crisis actually accept that you’re in it.

And there’s just this denial about, what?



What Trump is doing to America and particular this, this this sort of natural extension of violence or from politics, that we naturally go from politics to violence, which he does quite naturally.

And I just keep thinking, like, what is it going to take for people to realize like, this is, this is, you know, this is not just a fight for our lives, but it’s a, it’s a, this it cannot maintain itself without confrontation with out.


Getting our head around it, and saying violence is at the core of the threat of mine, is at the core of trump strategy at this stage and we need to bring it, you know, we need to, you know, and not be afraid of it yet.

He represents the majority of a minority and laws are designed to protect a majority Juliet.


Thank you so, so much for doing this, I really appreciate it.

Thank you so much here.

I’m Jerry Thompson.

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