Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown pinned in
op-ed for the New York Times that ran yesterday where Brown stated that, Republican senators,
you know, his colleagues in the Senate, they talk privately a lot about the fact that Donald
Trump is unfit for office. In fact, this is exactly what Brown said. He said, in private, many of my colleagues
agree that the president is reckless and unfit. They admit his lies and they acknowledge what
he did was wrong. They know this president has done things Richard
Nixon never did, and they know that more damning evidence is likely to come out. Fantastic. So. Don’t get me wrong, I love Sherrod Brown. I think he is a wonderful Democratic Senator
and to be honest, I was a little disappointed he didn’t throw his hat into the presidential
ring. But this op-ed is a big so what? Right? We have seen reports from day one of this
administration that, oh, behind the scenes, Republicans say they don’t like Trump. They vote with him all the time. They just voted to acquit him even though
they admitted he committed crimes publicly, not even just in private, some publicly. So what good do these op-eds do? We know Republicans know that this guy is
unfit, but at the same time he is delivering every part of the Republican agenda that they
have ever wanted. So of course they’re not going to do anything
about it. They’re going to sit there, hand him a new
stack of right-wing judges to nominate. He’ll nominate them, they’ll approve him,
they’ll then hand him the next tax cut that they want, he’ll approve it. Then they’ll hand them the entitlement cuts
they want to make. He’ll approve it and life goes on. They’ll tell him what regulations to cut and
he’ll do it. He is their puppet, not the other way around. And that’s why they tend to defend him so
much because he is a know nothing president. He didn’t come from politics. He doesn’t know how things work. And, you know, we have seen a lot from people
over the years saying that Trump is the one pulling the strings on these Republican senators. But honestly folks, it’s backwards. They’re the ones pulling one over on him. They’re the ones telling him what to do because
he has done nothing different than what any other Republican president would have done
with the possible exception of the trade war. Other than that, why would Republicans buck
the system? We don’t need to hear what they say behind
closed doors, I’m sure behind closed doors, some Democrats were talking bad about Obama
and Republicans were talking about about Bush and Democrats were talking bad about Clinton
and so on and so forth throughout all of history. We don’t need another op-ed telling us and
then Sharrod Brown goes on and makes another horrible point where he says, history does
not look kindly on politicians who cannot fathom a fate worse than losing an upcoming
election. That’s simply not true. That’s simply not true. Members of the George W. Bush administration,
you know, the ones who illegally spied on American citizens. The ones who launched a war based on lies,
killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, thousands of us troops, all based on lies. The ones who illegally tortured detainees
who had not been accused of any crimes. Yeah, remember those folks? Remember how we thought back then, oh, history
is going to torch these folks? They’re doing fine. Every one of them is doing fine. The lawyers who wrote those legal memos justifying
torture, they got cushy huge contracts at multibillion dollar defense law firms. They’re doing fine. Condoleezza Rice is heavily involved in college
football now. So yeah, her career’s just fine. George W. Bush’s image has been rehabilitated
because he gave a Michelle Obama some candy and watched a football game with Ellen. History forgets a lot faster than we think
it does, and it’s a hell of a lot kinder to criminals, including war criminals, than we’d
like it to be. So let’s stop making the argument that history
is not going to be kind to these people because no, if there’s one thing history is capable
of, it’s white washing somebody’s activities to make them look better than they actually
Tech giants like Facebook and Google have
increased their lobbying efforts as they try to avoid any new regulations for their corrupt
industries. And so what’s happening, I mean, you know,
look, would you ever think of Google or Facebook as the term corrupt? You’re seeing it all the time. I mean, that’s just not us saying that, you’re
seeing it in the general media. But 15 years ago you never would have said,
you would have never associated the word corrupt with those two industries, but right now they
feel like they have such a problem that you’ve got, you’ve got them spending $20 million,
$15 million, $8 million, $18 million a year just to lobby to overcome the attack that
they’re under. What’s your take on it? I mean, just to point out, imagine somebody
waking up from a 10 year coma today and turning this on, saying what? What’s wrong with Facebook? But, but it is that and they understand it
as does Google as does Microsoft and Apple. That’s why all of their totals in lobbying
for the last year have gone up. They understand that law makers from both
sides of the aisle, this is a good bipartisan issue that they’re trying to work on here. Yeah, it is. They know that, listen, they’re gonna hit
us with these antitrust laws because, because you know, I’m Facebook. I’m a social media site. I’m a news organization now. I’m an advertising agency. I am everything and that can’t exist under
antitrust laws. And Amazon is a great example of that. Amazon is too, perfect. Where, where you’ve got, you’ve got these,
you’ve got these folks that are putting people out of business all over America right now
for one thing or another. They’re, one thing we’re really seeing is
the, the news industry is going bust. I mean, you’ve got Gannett laying off people
by the hundreds. You’ve got a Buzzfeed great example. You’ve got Yahoo trying to figure out how
are they going to hold on to the industry that they have. They really can’t because you’ve got, you’ve
got Google and Facebook gobbling up and Amazon gobbling up so much of the market out there. So I, you know, as I look at this, there’s
two things they want to accomplish. When I talk about Google, I talk about Facebook
or, or Microsoft. Microsoft, don’t forget Microsoft is, you
know, owns part of MSNBC. So what, what we’re, what we’re looking at
is we’re looking at not just them fighting antitrust, they’re fighting any effort to,
to move towards regulatory at all. They will, they don’t want regulatory to come
in and have anything to do with this. And I thought this is interesting. Maybe you can answer this real quickly. They say we have to spend money lobbying,
lobbying, and the question then becomes what is it that they’re lobbying? What is it that they’re trying to accomplish? And the answer is obvious. We want to be bigger, we want to make more
profits. And the old days of us being something that’s
so integral to social media is quickly disappearing. The Supreme Court has thrown out an appeals
court ruling in favor of a woman’s equal pay claim against a California Superintendent
because the liberal judge who authored the decision died before it was actually issued. RT correspondent Brigida Santos joins me now
with the story. Brigida, tell us more about this unanimous
ninth circuit ruling where they say, well, gee, he died before it came into effect. Therefore we’re, we’re going to reverse it. I, it’s interesting precedent. Go ahead. Very, very interesting Mike. Now on Monday, the Supreme Court tossed out
a 2018 ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals finding that employers cannot use
a worker’s prior salary to justify paying women less than men. That lawsuit was filed by a female teacher
from Fresno against her superintendent after she found out that she was being paid less
than her male counterparts. Now the reason this decision was tossed out
this week is because judge Stephen Reinhardt, who wrote the opinion died 11 days before
the ruling was actually issued. Reinhardt’s vote contributed to the six five
majority to uphold the 1963 equal pay act, which abolished wage discrimination based
on sex. In his opinion, Reinhardt disagreed with the
superintendent’s claims that prior wages aren’t solely based on sex, but in combination with
other factors stating, “allowing employers to capitalize on the persistence of the wage
gap and perpetuate that gap would be contrary to the text and history of the equal pay act. And it would weaken the very purpose for which
the act stands.” Okay, here’s a judge that heard the facts,
listened to all the substantive evidence. Obviously he’s been on the bench awhile. This, you know, he wasn’t just appointed and
died. He’s been there awhile, an experienced judge. A judge and, and the, the, the thing that
bothers me is, is the precedent that’s created in this, first of all, it’s an important decision. This is not a minor decision by some, by some,
judge out in the wilderness. This is an important decision. Is the standard procedure for the court to
throw out a pending ruling when a judge dies? Is that, is that the norm in California? Well, it is now. In fact, prior to this decision, the court
hadn’t yet determined whether a judges vote can count if he or she decides, dies before
a ruling that they participated in is announced. Now, as you said, even though the Ninth Circuit
Court of Appeals said that the 2018 opinion was final and that voting was finished before
Reinhardt’s death, the court is tossing the decision out because it wasn’t endorsed by
a majority of living judges at the time of issuance. Now, since judges can change their opinions
up until the very last minute, the court has determined that opinions issued after death
should not count. So this issue of how to proceed in that manner
has now been settled and as you said, this is very important precedent. It’s a question that’s been on these judges’
minds since 2016 when Justice Antonin Scalia died at that time. The Supreme Court also decided not to issue
rulings in several pending cases that he had been involved in. For just now the economy of justice, now it’s,
we’ve got to hear it again. There has to, this whole process has to take
over again. A new judge has to, new judge has to hear
it. We have to spend the money going through the
same process because of this hyper technical notion that the ninth circuit has in their
head. Where does the equal, more importantly, more
important, where does the equal pay claim go from here? I mean we started, we started back with square
one again on a case that again is extremely important because it has to do with the way
Americans are paid. We don’t treat people different according
to gender. So, so what, what’s your take on where the
where this claim goes now? Well, it does go back to the ninth circuit
to be decided without Reinhardt and as you’ve said, it’s up in the air right now. We have a majority conservative supreme court. Now again, this is in the court of appeals,
so they’re going to have the final word on this, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens. But it is going to be a big deal. The interesting thing to me about this is
you, this is the ninth circuit. This is regarded across the country, as certainly
one of the more liberal circuits in, in America. And I’m interested in seeing this kind of
ruling coming out of them. I guess maybe they’re of the opinion that,
gee, when it’s tried again. When we, when we analyze it again, when the
facts are before substantively again we’re going to, going to come up, we’re going to
come up with the same decision. But it’s interesting. It’ll be interesting to find out. Brigida, thank you. Yeah, it’s interesting because again, it’s
a five to four, so right now without him, it’s four to four, so it really could go either
way. Thanks. Thanks for this report. We’ll keep up with it as it develops.
I GET A LITTLE JEALOUS.
I DO. ALL RIGHT.
THE LAST CZAR OF RUSSIA CAME TO POWER 1894.
HE WAS FORCED TO ABDICATE THE THRONE ABOUT TWO DECADES LATER,
THE BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION. 1917, THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION.
WE’RE NOW A CENTURY ON FROM THAT.
BUT AS IT HAPPENED, IN 1917, THE CZAR AND HIS FAMILY WERE SCARED
OFF THE THRONE THAT YEAR. BUT THEN THE REVOLUTIONARIES
DIDN’T KILL THEM RIGHT AWAY. THEY KEPT THEM ALIVE FOR A
WHILE. THEY KEPT THEM FIRST IN ONE OF
THE RUSSIAN ROYAL PALACES JUST SOUTH OF ST. PETERSBURG.
EVENTUALLY THEY MOVED THE CZAR AND HIS FAMILY TO ANOTHER ROYAL
RESIDENCE IN YAKATARINBURG, NOW THE FOURTH LARGEST CITY IN
RUSSIA. IN THE SUMMER OF 1918, THE
RUSSIAN REVOLUTIONARIES, FIGHTERS HOLDING THE CZAR AND
HIS FAMILY IN THIS RESIDENCE, THEY WERE WORRIED THAT THE
COUNTERREVOLUTIONARIES, THAT THE LOYALISTS OF THE CZAR’S
FAMILIARLY WERE CLOSING IN ON YAKATARINBURG.
THEY WERE WORRIED THE CZAR AND HIS FAMILY MAY SOMEHOW BE
RESCUED BY THOSE COUNTERREVOLUTIONARY FORCES.
THEY WERE WORRIED THE REVOLUTION WOULD BE OVER, THE MONARCHY
WOULD BE RESTOERD AND THE PEOPLE HOLDING THE CZAR AND HIS FAMILY
KIND OF FREAKED OUT. THEY HELD A SECRET MEETING AND
APPARENTLY TOOK A VOTE AND DECIDED TO IMPOSE WHAT AMOUNTED
TO AN EXTRAJUDICIAL DEATH SENTENCE ON THE CZAR, BUT ALSO
ON HIS ENTIRE FAMILY. ON THE NIGHT OF JULY 16th, 1918,
THEY PUT THE CZAR AND HIS WIFE AND THEIR KIDS AND EVEN THEIR
SERVANTS, PUT THEM ALL IN THE BASEMENT OF THE HOUSE WHERE
THEY’D BEEN HOLDING THEM, AND THEY SHOT ALL OF THEM.
THEY KILLED THE WHOLE ROYAL FAMILY AND THE SERVANTS WHO
WORKED FOR THEM. OF DHOIRKS SOVIET UNION IS WHAT
ROSE FROM THE 1917 REVOLUTION BUT THE CZAR AND THE RUSSIAN
MONARCHY STILL HAD ITS FANS, EVEN IN SOVIET DAYS.
AND IT WAS A CONSTANT SOURCE OF WORRYING AND EVEN DISTRESS FOR
THE SOVIET UNION, FOR THE COMMUNIST PARTY DURING SOVIET
DAYS THAT THE SITE WAS A CONSTANT SOURCE OF WORRY FOR THE
COMMUNIST PARTY THAT THAT SITE IN THAT RUSSIAN CITY HAD BECOME
A PLACE OF REVERENCE. IT WASN’T FORMALLY A MEMORIAL OF
ANY KIND BUT IT BECAME A PILGRIMAGE SITE WHERE PEOPLE
WOULD COME TO REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED TO LAMENT WHAT
HAPPENED. AS THE SOVIET UNION AND
COMMUNIST PARTY GOT ANNOYED BY AND WORRIED ABOUT THAT, LOCAL
OFFICIALS IN AND AROUND YAKATARINBURG CAME UNDER
PRESSURE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
HE WAS RELUCTANT TO DO IT AND DIDN’T REALLY WANT TO DO IT, BUT
IN 1977, A LOCAL LEADER IN YEKATERINBURG, A LOCAL LEADER
NAMED BORIS YELTSIN DID WHAT THE PARTY IN MOSCOW TOLD HIM TO DO.
HE BULLDOZED THE HOUSE. HE BULLDOZED THATS NOW
YEKATERINBURG WHERE THE CZAR AND HIS FAMILY AND SERVANTS WERE
MACHINE GUNNED IN THE BASEMENT. THEY RIPPED IT ALL DOWN.
DESTROYED IT AS A SITE. BORIS YELTSIN WOULD LATER GO ON
TO BECOME THE FIRST POST-SOVIET LEADER OF THE NEW RUSSIA AFTER
THE COLLAPSE OF THE SOVIET UNION.
AND HE HAD LONG SAID THAT HE REGRETTED THAT DECISION BACK IN
YEKATERINBURG. IT WEIGHED ON HIM OVER THE
YEARS. HE REGRETTED IT.
ONCE HE BECAME PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA, HE RECTIFIED THAT
DECISION. YOU CAN’T UNBULLDOZE ANYTHING.
YOU CAN’T REBUILD WHAT HAS BEEN DESTROYED.
YOU CAN’T RE-CREATE HISTORY. BUT IN 1998, BORIS YELTSIN, THEN
AS PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA, G GAVE CZAR NICHOLAS II AND HIS FAMILY
A FUNERAL. GAVE THEM A PROPER RELIGIOUS
FUNERAL. AND THEN WITHIN A COUPLE YEARS,
THEY STARTED CONSTRUCTION ON A FAIRLY GRAND CHURCH ON SITE
WHERE THE FAMILY HAD BEEN MURDERED, WHERE YELTSIN HAD
PREVIOUSLY ORDERED THE HOUSE TO BE DESTROYED.
THIS STARTED THE WORK ON THAT CHURCH IN 2000.
IT WAS COMPLETED BY 2003. EVEN TODAY IF YOU GOOGLE
PICTURES OF YEKATERINBURG, WHAT POPS UP ARE PICTURES OF THAT
CHURCH. IT’S VERY GRAND.
IT’S COVERED IN GOLD DOMES, GIANT ORTHODOX CROSSES.
AND BECAUSE IT’S RUSSIA, IT HAS A FITTINGLY DRAMATIC RUSSIAN
NAME. IT’S CALLED THE CATHEDRAL ON THE
BLOOD. SO YEKATERINBURG IS AN
INTERESTING PLACE. THE BIGGEST DRAW IS THE
CATHEDRAL ON THE BLOOD. THAT SUPER DRAMATIC HISTORY.
THE FOURTH LARGEST CITY IN RUSSIA AFTER MOSCOW AND ST.
PETERSBURG AND NOVOSBURSK. IT’S TECHNICALLY IN SIBERIA,
ALTHOUGH THEY DON’T LIKE YOU TO SAY THAT.
THEY DON’T WANT TO SOUND THAT REMOTE.
DON’T SAY SIBERIA. FOR AMERICANS RIGHT NOW,
YEKATERINBURG HAS TURNED OUT TO BE OF INTEREST BECAUSE IT’S HOME
TO THE MAN WHO CLAIMS TO BE THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THEREPUBLIC
OF CALIFORNIA TO RUSSIA. THERE IS NO REPUBLIC OF
CALIFORNIA. THERE’S A STATE OF CALIFORNIA.
IT’S PART OF A LARGER COUNTRY YOU MIGHT HAVE HEARD OF CALLED
THE UNITED STATES. BUT RUSSIA HAS A LITTLE GLEAM IN
ITS EYE THAT IF THEY PLAY THEIR CARDS RIGHT, MAYBE SOME DAY THE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA MIGHT BE SLIGHTLY LESS UNITED AND
SPECIFICALLY, IT MIGHT LOOK MORE LIKE THIS.
RUSSIA HAS A LITTLE GLEAM IN ITS EYE ABOUT THE IDEA THAT THE
UNITED STATES MIGHT SOMEHOW HIVE ITSELF OFF FROM A STATE THAT
REPRESENTS THE SIXTH LARGEST ECONOMY IN THE WORLD.
VLADIMIR PUTIN IS THE FOUNDING PATRON OF THE GENERIC SOUNDING
GROUP CALLED THE NATIONAL CHARITY FOUNDATION IN RUSSIA.
PUTIN’S NATIONAL CHARITY FOUNDATION FUNDS THE
ANTI-GLOBALIST MOVEMENT OF RUSSIA.
AND SOME OF THE THINGS THE ANTI-GLOBALIST MOVEMENT OF
RUSSIA DOES FLASH LIKE RED BEACON DANGER, DANGER FROM AN
AMERICAN PERSPECTIVE. FOR EXAMPLE, THE ANTI-GLOBALIST
MOVEMENT IN RUSSIA NAMED BASHAR AL ASSAD TO BE ONE OF THEIR
HONORARY MEMBERS. OKAY.
THEY ALSO NAMED MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD FROM IRAN.
THEY NAMED HIM TO BE AN HONORARY MEMBER.
THOSE ARE THE KINDS OF THINGS THE ANTI-GLOBALIST MOVEMENT OF
RUSSIA DOES THAT DON’T SIT WELL WITH AN AMERICAN AUDIENCE.
BUT THEY ALSO DO STUFF THAT’ TH DESIGNED TO SEEM MORE BENIGN OR
MAYBE EVEN QUIRKY AND INTRIGUING.
THAT SAME GROUP, THE ANTI-GLOBALIST MOVEMENT OF
RUSSIA RECENTLY LAST YEAR FUNDED SOMETHING CALLED THE DIALOGUE OF
NATIONS. IT WAS A CONFERENCE HOSTED IN
MOSCOW LAST YEAR. AND AT THAT CONFERENCE THEY PUT
DOWN ALL THE SUPPORTING ASSAD, SUPPORTING AHMADINEJAD STUFF TO
INSTEAD HOST THIS QUIRKY GOOD NATURED ASSEMBLAGE OF MINI
NATIONALIST GROUPS. MINI INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENTS FROM
AROUND THE WORLD. AND ONE OF THE GROUPS THEY
HOSTED AT THEIR DIALOGUE OF NATIONS GROUP WAS, YES,
CALIFORNIA. YES, CALIFORNIA.
YOU HEARD ABOUT THIS AFTER THE ELECTION.
THEY GOT A LITTLE FLURRY OF ATTENTION AFTER OUR PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTION. CALIFORNIA’S LEGISLATURE WAS
GETTING A LOT OF ATTENTION FOR HOW THAT STATE MIGHT TAKE AN
AGGRESSIVE, STRATEGIC APPROACH TO OUTFLANK THE NEW TRUMP
ADMINISTRATION ON POLICY STUFF, PARTICULARLY ON IMMIGRATION.
BUT BEYOND THAT, THERE WERE ALSO THESE ALMOST HUMAN INTEREST
POLITICS STORY ABOUT CALIFORNIA SECEDING.
THIS NEW TECH SAVVY SLICK, KIND OF APPEALING, VAGUELY LIBERAL
SOUNDING YES CALIFORNIA MOVEMENT.
THAT WAS CALLING FOR CALIFORNIA TO NOT JUST RESIST THE U.S.
GOVERNMENT UNDER TRUMP BUT FOR CALIFORNIA TO BECOME ITS OWN
COUNTRY. AND, IN FACT, YES CALIFORNIA
SUBMITTED LANGUAGE TO THE CALIFORNIA SECRETARY OF STATE SO
THEY COULD START COLLECTING SIGNATURES TO GET CALIFORNIA
SECESSION ON THE BALLOT FOR THE MIDTERMS FOR NOVEMBER 2018.
THEY MADE YES CALIFORNIA T-SHIRTS.
THEY STARTED GETTING MORE AND MORE MEDIA ATTENTION.
MORE AND MORE SOCIAL MEDIA ATTENTION.
MORE AND MORE SIGN-UPS ON THEIR WEBSITE.
THEN IT GOT WEIRD. OUR ELECTION WAS NOVEMBER.
IN DECEMBER, THIS HAPPENED. THEY OPENED UP AN EMBASSY FOR
THE REPUBLIC OF CALIFORNIA. SEE WHAT IT SAYS RIGHT THERE
UNDER THE WORD CALIFORNIA? AN EMBASSY FOR THE REPUBLIC OF
CALIFORNIA IN MOSCOW. NOW THEY INTERCHANGEABLY CALLED
IT AN EMBASSY OR PEOPLE’S EMBASSY OR CULTURE CENTER.
BUT THEY TOOK THEMSELVES VERY SERIOUSLY ABOUT IT.
THEY PUT OUT THIS STATEMENT. “TOGETHER WITH OUR PARTNERS AT
THE ANTI-GLOBALIZATION MOVEMENT OF RUSSIA, OUR FIRST CULTURE
CENTER WAS OPENED AT THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS.”
AND THEY GIVE YOU THAT ADDRESAD. IF YOU LOOK IT UP ON GOOGLE
EARTH IT’S NOT A SCENIC PLACE BUT IT IS A REAL PLACE.
REALLY IN MOSCOW. THEY ALSO WENT ON TO GIVE SOME
ODD ASSURANCES THAT YOU THINK THEY WOULDN’T HAVE TO REASSURE
PEOPLE ABOUT. LIKE THIS.
QUOTE, CONTRARY TO SOME REPORTS, THE CALIFORNIA CULTURE CENTER
AND PEOPLE’S EMBASSY IN MOSCOW DOES NOT SERVE ANY DIPLOMATIC
FUNCTION AT THIS TIME. OUR OFFICE MAKES CLEAR THAT
RUSSIANS PLANNING TO CALIFORNIA MUST FIRST OBTAIN A VISA THROUGH
THE AMERICAN EMBASSY IN MOSCOW OR ONE OF THEIR CONSULATES.
THEY ALSO WANT TO MAKE CLEAR THEY’RE NOT INSISTING THAT
CALIFORNIA SHOULD JOIN THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION LIKE CRIMEA
DID. OH, IS THAT WHAT CRIMEA DID?
THEY JOINED. THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED WHEN THEY
GOT INVADED BY RUSSIA. FROM THEIR PERCH IN MOSCOW, THE
FOLKS AT YES CALIFORNIA SAID THEY EXPLICITLY SUPPORT AND
ENCOURAGE CALIFORNIANS TO STAND UP AND TAKE DIRECTION ACTION TO
BE BOLD AND TO UNAPOLOGETICALLY DEMAND THE LIBERATION OF THE
PEOPLE OF CALIFORNIA FROM ITS CAPTORS.
ITS CAPTORS BEING AMERICA. BUT AGAIN, THEY WANT TO MAKE
CLEAR BECAUSE THEY THINK IT’S IMPORTANT TO GIVE THIS KIND OF
ASSURANCE. THEY WANT TO BE CLEAR THAT THEY
ARE NOT ASKING FOR CALIFORNIA TO BECOME PART OF THE RUSSIAN
FEDERATION, AND THEY ARE NOT ASKING FOR RUSSIAN MILITARY
HELP. AT LEAST NOT YET.
>>SO WE’RE NOT REQUESTING ANY KIND OF MILITARY ASSISTANCE FROM
RUSSIA. >>TO SEPARATE CALIFORNIA FROM
AMERICA. THAT’S NOT WHAT WE’RE DOING NOW.
SO IS THIS LIKE WEIRD TURN OF EVENTS, RIGHT?
ALL THIS COVERAGE IN THE UNITED STATES HOW THERE’S THIS ODD
SECESSION MOVEMENT IN CALIFORNIA IN RESPONSE TO DONALD TRUMP
GETTING ELECTED WHEN CALIFORNIA VOTED AGAINST HIM SO STRONGLY.
BUT THEN THAT LEADER OF THE YES CALIFORNIA MOVEMENT SAYS HE
HIMSELF VOTED FOR TRUMP. AND HE DOES KEEP TURNING UP IN
RUSSIA. SO PUTIN’S CHARITY — PUTIN’S
CHARITY GROUP FUNDS THIS ANTI-GLOBALIZATION MOVEMENT THAT
FUNDS THIS CONFERENCE AT WHICH THE YES CALIFORNIA GUY SHOWS UP.
SOON AFTER THE ELECTION THAT LEADS TO THE FOUNDING OF A
PHYSICAL CALIFORNIA EMBASSY IN MOSCOW WHERE THEY GO OUT OF
THEIR WAY TO MAKE CLEAR THEY’RE NOT REQUESTING RUSSIAN MILITARY
INTERVENTION TO BREAK CALIFORNIA OFF FROM THE UNITED STATES.
BUT THEN IT BECOMES CLEAR THAT THE YES CALIFORNIA GUY WAS NOT
JUST VISITING RUSSIA WHEN HE WENT TO THE INITIAL DIALOGUE OF
NATIONS CONFERENCE. NOR WAS HE JUST VISITING WHEN HE
APPEARED AT THE OPENING OF THE EMBASSY.
HE ACTUALLY LIVES IN RUSSIA. HE LIVES FULL TIME AND WORKS
FULL TIME IN YEKATERINBURG IN RUSSIA.
AND NOW THE STORY HAS COME FULL CIRCLE.
AT LEAST I HOPE THIS IS FULL CIRCLE AND WON’T TURN INTO A
SPIRAL. THE FOUNDER OF THE YES SECESSION
CALIFORNIA HAS ANNOUNCED HE’S NOT COMING BACK TO THE UNITED
STATES. HE SAYS, QUOTE, I HAVE FOUND IN
RUSSIA A NEW HAPPINESS. HE SAYS, QUOTE, I HAD LONG
PLANNED TO RETURN TO OCCUPIED CALIFORNIA TO STRUGGLE FOR HER
INDEPENDENCE FROM THE UNITED STATES BUT ALAS, NOW HE SAYS,
QUOTE, HE DOES NOT PLAN TO — HE DOES NOT PLAN TO RETURN TO
CALIFORNIA IN THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE.
HE SAYS EVEN THOUGH HE STILL BELIEVES THAT CALIFORNIA WILL
SOME DAY ACHIEVE ITS INDEPENDENCE FROM THE UNITED
STATES, HIS GROUP YES CALIFORNIA IS WITHDRAWING ITS BALLOT
LANGUAGE NOW FROM THE SECRETARY OF STATE’S OFFICE AND SO
BASICALLY, THAT YES CALIFORNIA MOVEMENT, THE CALIFORNIA
SECESSION MOVEMENT UNDER HIM IS NOW JUST THIS KID LIVING IN
YEKATERINBURG, RUSSIA. HAPPILY, AS A RUSSIAN NOW.
BUT NEVERTHELESS SAYING HE PLANS TO CONTINUE TO SERVE AS THE
REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REPUBLIC OF CALIFORNIA TO RUSSIA FROM HIS
PERCH IN YEKATURINBURG. ON THE BLOOD.
SO CONSEQUENCES OF THIS FOR US NOW, NUMBER ONE, SORRY TO
DISAPPOINT. CALIFORNIA SECESSION WILL LIKELY
NOT BE ON THE BALLOT IN NOVEMBER 2018.
BUT THIS IS ALSO A GOOD LITTLE DISPLAY OF HOW RUSSIA FUNDS
STUFF. HOW THEY DO STUFF IN THE WORLD.
RUSSIA IS PLAYING ALL OVER THE WORLD TRYING TO GET ITS WAY
THROUGH ALL SORTS OF DIFFERENT MEANS.
AND SOMETIMES THEY JUST FLAT OUT OPENLY GIVE TONS OF MONEY.
LIKE FOR EXAMPLE, WHAT THEY DID WITH MARINE LE PEN WHO IS NOW IN
THE RUNNING TO BE THE VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY FAR RIGHT
WING PRESIDENT OF FRANCE. PROMISING TO TAKE FRANCE BOTH
OUT OF EUROPE AND NATO WHICH WOULD MAKE PUTIN HAPPY.
THEY’VE BEEN HAPPY TO FUND MARINE LE PEN’S CAMPAIGN TO THE
TUNE OF MILLIONS OF EUROS. AND VLADIMIR PUTIN AND MARINE LE
PEN HAVE BEEN HAPPY TO BE SEEN TOGETHER.
THAT’S ONE TIME THEY DO IT. SOMETIMES IT’S NOT AS OUT IN THE
OPEN. SOMETIMES IT’S MORE LIKE THE
WACKY YES CALIFORNIA THING. PUTIN AS THE PATRON OF A CHARITY
FUNDING AN ORGANIZATION, A CONFERENCE AND SOMETHING THAT
LOOKS LIKE IT’S OTHERWISE A QUIRKY FACEBOOK PAGE OR SIDE BAR
HUMAN INTEREST STORY IN AMERICAN POLITICS ENDS UP OPERATING OUT
OF REAL FREE REAL ESTATE IN MISS
— MOSCOW RUNNING A FAKE EMBASSY.
ANOTHER WAY THAT PUTIN GETS HIS WAY AND SPREADS HIS INFLUENCE
AND USES HIS MONEY IS THROUGH THE OLIGARCH SYSTEM WHICH
BASECALLY ALLOWS PUTIN TO CREATE PROXIES ALL OVER RUSSIA AND
INCREASINGLY ALL OVER THE WORLD. IF YOU ARE A RUSSIAN IN PUTIN’S
FAVOR, OR HE WANTS TO CO-OPT YOU FOR HIS PURPOSES, THE TYPICAL
PATTERN WOULD BE FOR HIM TO DIRECT RESOURCES YOUR WAY.
TO MAKE STATE ASSETS AVAILABLE FOR YOU.
THAT’S WHY WE HAVE LIKE A RUSSIAN FERTILIZER OLIGARCH AND
A RUSSIAN ALUMINUM OLIGARCH. THESE GUYS DIDN’T WORK THEIR WAY
UP IN THE FERTILIZER AND ALUMINUM INDUSTRIES OR INHERIT
THESE FROM THEIR DADS, RIGHT? THIS IS POST-SOVIET RESOURCE
ALLOCATION FROM PREVIOUSLY STATE-RUN ENTERPRISES.
THESE GUYS WERE ALLOWED TO, WERE PROVIDED WITH THE MEANS TO TAKE
OVER BIG CHUNKS OF FORMALLY STATE-RUN INDUSTRIES FROM THE
FORMER SOVIET ERA HAS DIRECTED BY AND APPROVED BY PUTIN
HIMSELF. SO, FOR EXAMPLE, THERE’S A GROUP
CALLED THE SIBERIAN ENERGY GROUP.
THE SIBERIAN ENERGY GROUP HAS OBTAINED MINERAL RIGHTS AND OIL
EXPLORATION LICENSES IN A SPECIFIC PART OF SIBERIA IN
RUSSIA. YOU DON’T GET THAT KIND OF THING
WITHOUT A SPECIFIC KIND OF PERMISSION IN RUSSIA.
AND THAT PERMISSION HAS DIRECT AND INDIRECT CONSEQUENCES.
IT SETS UP, FOR EXAMPLE, THE HEAD OF THE SIBERIAN ENERGY
GROUP IN TERMS OF PROVIDING HIM WITH PERSONAL POWER AND PERSONAL
WEALTH. IT ALSO INDIRECTLY ESTABLISHES
YET ANOTHER MYSTERIOUSLY WEALTHY PUTIN-CONNECTED BUSINESSMAN WHO
SOMETIMES SEEMS TO BE TIED TO THINGS THAT PUTIN WANTS TO
HAPPEN IN THE WORLD. THIS IS SORT OF THE TRACES THE
OLIGARCHS LEAVE ALL OVER THE WORLD, RIGHT?
THE SIBERIAN ENERGY GROUP, I HIGHLIGHT THAT GROUP BECAUSE
THEY PLAY A STARRING ROLE IN A SCOOP AT POLITICO.COM.
THEY’VE DONE A DEEP DIVE INTO THE FINANCES OF THE SIBERIAN
ENERGY GROUP AND CONCLUDED THE SIBERIAN ENERGY GROUP’S DEALINGS
WERE CHARACTERISTIC OF THE KWEETS TRADES OFFSHORE FINANCING
SCHEMES AND CONSULTING AGREEMENTS THAT PUTIN’S ALLIES
HAVE USED TO PROTECT AND HIDE ASSETS.
POLITICO IS REPORTING ON THIS PARTICULAR TRAIL OF PUTIN MONEY
AND PUTIN INFLUENCE BECAUSE IT NOW APPEARS TO RELATE TO THE MAN
YOU SEE ON YOUR SCREEN HERE. IT NOW APPEARS TO RELATE TO THE
TRUMP WHITE HOUSE SPECIFICALLY TO THE FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY
ADVISER MICHAEL FLYNN. YOU REMEMBER THAT AFTER MIKE
FLYNN GOT FIRED AS NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER, ALLEGEDLY FOR
NOT DISCLOSING AND THEN LYING ABOUT THE CONTENT OF HIS
COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT, A FEW WEEKS AFTER HE
GOT FIRED, HE RETROACTIVELY REGISTERED AS A FOREIGN AGENT
WHO HAD BEEN WORKING ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT OF TURKEY.
WHAT POLITICO.COM REPORTS TODAY IS THAT WHILE IT IS CLEAR THAT
MIKE FLYNN TOOK MONEY TO ACT AS A FOREIGN AGENT, IT’S NOT CLEAR
THAT THE ORIGIN OF THOSE FUNDS IS DEFINITELY TURKEY.
THE THAFTD SIBERIAN ENERGY GROUP IS NOT A TURKISH GUY.
HE IS, AS POLITICO PUTS IT, A SOVIET-BORN FORMER EXECUTIVE IN
RUSSIAN ENERGY AND MINING COMPANIES.
ONE WHO HAS TIES TO VLADIMIR PUTIN.
HE’S NOT TURKISH. HE’S NOT A TURKISH CITIZEN.
DOESN’T LIVE IN TURKEY. HE’S NOT TURKISH.
HE HAS NEVERTHELESS FOUNDED A COUPLE OF VERY TURKISH SOUNDING
ORGANIZATIONS THAT OPERATE IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
THE TURKISH HERITAGE ORGANIZATION.
AND THE TURKISH INSTITUTE FOR PROGRESS.
BOTH OF THEM SET UP BY NOBODY TURKISH.
BOTH OF THEM SET UP BY A RUSSIAN ENERGY AND MINING EXECUTIVE WHO
HAS TIES TO PUTIN. THROUGH THOSE ORGANIZATIONS,
POLITICO REPORTS THAT HE HAS COORDINATED WHAT APPEAR TO BE
TURKISH LOBBYING EFFORTS IN D.C. HE APPEARS TO HAVE COORDINATED
THOSE EFFORTS WITH THE GUY WHO PAID FLYNN.
THE GUY WHOSE SHELL COMPANY PAID MIKE FLYNN OVER $600,000.
SO IN ADDITION TO — WE’RE TALKING ABOUT THE GUY WHO PAID
FLYNN. IN ADDITION TO HIS PARTNERSHIPS
WITH THE NOT AT ALL TURKISH GUY WHO IS CLOSE TO PUTIN, WHO IS
RUNNING THESE TURKISH LOBBYING EFFORTS, THE GUY WHO PAID FLYNN
HIMSELF ALSO IT TURNS OUT HAS HIS OWN BUSINESS TIES TO RUSSIA
AND TO PUTIN. INCLUDING PRETTY SIGNIFICANT
SIZED AVIATION DEALS RUN THROUGH A RUSSIAN STATE-RUN BANK.
A RUSSIAN STATE-RUN BANK THAT’S BEEN IMPLICATED IN RUSSIAN
INTELLIGENCE OPERATIONS IN THE PAST, AND HE HAS BEEN INVOLVED
IN DEALS THROUGH THAT BANK THAT HAVE BEEN PROVEN TO BE SIGNED
OFF ON BY PUTIN HIMSELF PERSONALLY.
ACCORDING TO COURT DOCUMENTS REVIEWED BY ISAAC ARNSDORF AT
POLITO COE. THE MULTIPLE CONNECTIONS TO
FLYNN’S LOBBYING CONTRACT RAISE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE AGENDA OF
THE PEOPLE WHO HIRED FLYNN AND, QUOTE, THE SOURCE OF THE FUNDS
USED TO PAY HIM. SO THIS IS A REMARKABLE THING,
RIGHT? AS WE COME UP ON THIS BENCHMARK
ROUND NUMBER OF 100 DAYS, AT WHICH WE ARE SUPPOSED TO ASSESS
HOW THE PRESIDENT AND HIS NEW ADMINISTRATION IS GOING, THERE
REMAINS, ALONGSIDE EVERYTHING ELSE THAT’S GOING ON AND
EVERYTHING ELSE THAT’S WORTH TALKING ABOUT, THERE REMAINS
THIS VERY WEIRD, VERY UNPRECEDENTED THING ABOUT THEM
FIRING THE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER AFTER ONLY 24 DAYS ON
THE JOB. IT’S STILL UNEXPLAINED, AND IT
IS STILL — IT IS ABSOLUTELY UNPRECEDENTED THAT A NATIONAL
SECURITY ADVISER WOULD BE FIRED THAT SOON INTO AN
ADMINISTRATION. THAT HE’D BE FIRED FOR LYING
ABOUT HIS CONTACTS WITH A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT, PARTICULARLY
AFTER THAT FOREIGN GOVERNMENT HAD BEEN PUBLICLY ACCUSED BY THE
U.S. INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY OF ATTACKING OUR PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTION. IT IS AS YET UNEXPLAINED AND
TOTALLY UNPRECEDENTED THAT THE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER WOULD
THEN RETROACTIVELY REGISTER AS HAVING BEEN ON THE PAYROLL OF A
FOREIGN GOVERNMENT DURING THE TIME HE WAS ADVISING THE
PRESIDENT AND SITTING IN ON THE PRESIDENT’S DAILY BRIEF AND
GETTING SUPPOSEDLY VETTED TO BE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER.
THE UNPRECEDENTED AND STRANGE AND STILL UNEXPLAINED NATURE OF
ALL OF THAT GOES TO ANOTHER LEVEL.
IF IT NOW TURBS OUT THAT THE MONEY MIKE FLYNN WAS TAKING FROM
FOREIGN SOURCES WHILE RUSSIA WAS ATTACKING OUR COUNTRY IS, IN
FACT, MONEY THAT CONCEIVABLY COULD HAVE COME FROM RUSSIA, NOT
FROM ANY OTHER GOVERNMENT. SO THAT’S ALL WEIRD AND
UNPRECEDENTED AND AS YET TOTALLY UNEXPLAINED.
PEOPLE TALK ABOUT GETTING TO THE BOTTOM OF THE TRUMP/RUSSIA
CONNECTION. THIS IS A BIG PART OF IT.
IT’S BEEN WEERD FROM THE VERY BEGINNING.
TODAY THE WEIRD WENT PRO THANKS TO AN UNEXPECTED FORMAL INQUIRY.
MOST OF WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE RUSSIAN ATTACK
ON ELECTION AND THE LINKS OF PEOPLE IN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN.
MOST OF WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THAT HAS BEEN LEARNED THROUGH
INVESTIGATE OF JOURNALISM. THE GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATION
INTO WHAT HAPPENED, THEY ARE ONGOING, BUT FOR LOTS OF
DIFFERENT REASONS THEY DON’T PARTICULARLY INSPIRE CONFIDENCE
RIGHT NOW. WE’VE HEARD HIDE NOR HAIR OF THE
HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE INVESTIGATION SINCE THE
REPUBLICAN CHAIRMAN OF THAT COMMITTEE RECUSED HIMSELF FROM
THE INVESTIGATION AND HIMSELF BECAME UNDER INVESTIGATION BY
THE HOUSE ETHSICES COMMITTEE FOR HIS STRANGE BEHAVIOR TOWARD THE
WHITE HOUSE WHILE SUPPORTEDLY RUNNING THIS INVESTIGATION.
THAT’S IN THE HOUSE. ON THE SENATE SIDE, THIS WEEK
WE’VE LEARNED THEY’VE ASSIGNED PRECISELY ZERO FULL-TIME
STAPPERS TO WORK ON THEIR INVESTIGATION.
THEY’VE ISSUED ZERO SUBPOENAS. THEY’VE MADE ZERO REQUESTS FOR
DOCUMENTS AND HAVE CONDUCTED NO MAJOR INTERVIEWS WITH ANYONE
LINKED TO TRUMP. THAT’S WHAT YOU’VE DONE WITH
YOUR MORE THAN THREE MONTHS WORKING ON THIS ALREADY.
AS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND THE FBI INVESTIGATIONS, WE
LEARNED LAST WEEK THE CHIEF OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY DIVISION
AT JUSTICE, A WIDELY RESPECTED CAREER OFFICIAL WHO HAS BEEN
OVERSEEING THOSE MATTERS IS NOW STEPPING DOWN.
WE DO NOT KNOW WHO WILL REPLACE HER BUT IT WILL BE A CHOICE OF
THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION. WHOEVER IT IS.
TONIGHT THE SENATE CONFIRMED A NEW DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR
THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AS A WHOLE.
HE WILL NOW OVERSEE THE INVESTIGATIONS AT EVEN A HIGHER
LEVEL, AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL BECAUSE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
HIMSELF IS RECUSED FROM THIS MATTER THANKS TO HIS OWN
UNDISCLOSED TIES TO THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT.
DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL ROD ROSENSTEIN WAS CONFIRMED BY THE
SENATE TONIGHT AS A TRUMP ADMINISTRATION APPOINTEE.
HE’LL BE THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF OVERSIGHT OVER THE TRUMP RUSSIA
INVESTIGATIONS INCLUDING THOSE AT THE FBI, AND IT WILL BE HIS
CALL AND HIS CALL ALONE AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THERE SHOULD
INSTEAD BE A SPECIAL COUNSEL CONDUBTING SOME OF THIS
INVESTIGATION INSTEAD OF KEEPING IT IN HOUSE UNDER HIS PURVIEW.
SO WHEN THOSE ARE THE THREE LEVELS OF INVESTIGATION GOING ON
INSIDE THE GOVERNMENT, YOU CAN SEE WHY PEOPLE WHO CARE VERY
MUCH ABOUT THIS STORY START TO FEEL A LITTLE WOBBLY, RIGHT,
ABOUT WHETHER WE’LL EVER GET TO THE BOTTOM OF IT.
BUT NOW A WHOLE DIFFERENT GROUP, THE HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE,
THEY JUMPED IN. THEY HAVE REQUESTED THAT THEY’D
LIKE TO SEE THE DOCUMENTS THAT MIKE FLYNN FILED TO UP HIS
SECURITY CLEARANCE WHEN HE CAME ON BOARD AS NATIONAL SECURITY
ADVISER. WHAT THEY FOUND IS ABSOLUTELY
FASCINATING AND MAY EXPLAIN WHY MIKE FLYNN IS ASKING FOR
IMMUNITY AS WELL ON HIS TESTIMONY ABOUT RUSSIA.
BUT THE MOST AMAZING THING THEY FOUND WAS A TOTAL SHOCK.
TOTALLY UNEXPECTED AND SOMETHING THAT I CANNOT BELIEVE WILL BE
ALLOWED TO STAND. BUT THAT CAME DIRECTLY FROM THE
Defense contractors working for the US military
had been accused of paying off members of the Taliban to protect them in the Middle
East. But a new lawsuit says that this money has
been used to kill US soldiers. I have Farron Cousins from the trial lawyer
magazine to talk about this and other stories. Farron, first of all, we’ve seen the same
type of, I brought a similar lawsuit against the against banks, US all the banks that were
washing money for terrorists, knowing that they were washing money. Pled guilty, actually nobody was, nobody was
really punished, but they admitted that yes, we were washing money for terrorists. We understood that the money was going to
be used in directly or indirectly to kill Americans and of course our justice department
under Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch prosecuted nobody. So here we have a different scenario of that,
don’t we? We, we do. What we’re finding out, in fact, actually,
let me back that up. What we found out 10 years ago in 2010 the
summer of 2010 this story broke all over in US media. That these contractors that we are paying
to be over there in the Middle East had been paying protection money to the Taliban. They understood, and they even said this in
interviews, if we give them money, they “don’t F with us at all.” So they know that we just give them a little
money. It’s like the mafia. We give them a little money, they do not mess
with our operations. We make tons of profit. The Taliban gets their money and we go on. But this story actually broke in the summer
of 2010. So just as you said, Eric Holder did nothing
about the banks doing this. He did nothing with this information at the
time. We could have gone after and immediately started
prosecuting these people because these kinds of payments are illegal. We’ve seen prosecutions for it in the past
with Chiquita Banana, down in South America. But holder said, no, I’m not going to touch
these guys either. Okay, well here’s what Holder knew. Here’s what Loretta Lynch knew. This is why this is so disgusting to me. This is the most inept department of justice
maybe we’ve had in a long, long time. And that was Loretta Lynch knew in the bank
case that HSBC had been washing money. They had the whole thing laid out for them. It was all the evidence was there. All the moving parts were right in front of
the department of justice, HSBC and other banks even signed off and admitted, yes, we
did these things and not one of them was prosecuted. So given that, the only question is now, so
this has been going on, this was also going on during the, during the Eric Holder years,
but we’re not seeing any, anything different out of the Trump years, are we? Right. And to be honest, this began, this process
began during the Bush administration. Yeah. So we’re talking about three different administrations
and their DOJ’s, you know, Trump’s entering his fourth year now. They knew about this the entire time he has
been in office and we get absolutely nothing, possibly because of part of the revolving
door carousel of administration officials. Okay. So, to distill it, here it is. We’re a corporation. We only care about our shareholders. So yes, we’re willing to give money to people
that we know are killing American soldiers and other American contractors, by the way. Right. But what’s important to us is that we report
to our shareholders that we weren’t closed down by Taliban activity. That’s how ugly the story is. Right. So as the CEO, who makes that decision, obviously
the CEO’s making a decision for himself or herself. I get a bigger bonus. We didn’t close down. Yes, we paid off these, these murderous thugs
who are killing Americans. But it’s okay. It’s all right because they don’t shut us
down. And the department of justice says, looks
at it and they say, yeah, it looks like good business in America. Well, and part of the way they got away with
this for so long is the fact that they were actually using their subcontractors to make
the payments. So it wouldn’t look like these corporations
were directly handing cash, which is what happened in some instances, to members of
the Taliban. So they write it off. We had to pay a subcontractor to come and
do this job, but instead it’s not actually a job. It is go deliver this bag of money to these
warlords over here so that we can keep doing business. Yeah. American capitalism gets really sketchy sometimes. This is a good example of them.