erik lundegaard

Friday August 24, 2018

Q&A: NPR's David Greene Interviews ... Me

Wednesday morning, the morning after Pres. Trump's former campaign chair was convicted on eight counts of fraud, and his personal lawyer pled guilty to eight counts of violating federal election laws, which implicated Trump, I listened, in disbelief, to NPR's “Morning Edition” as David Greene asked the following questions to Sen. Richard Blumental (D-CT). Here are my answers to those questions. 

GREENE: Two significant moments in the Trump presidency came at about the same time yesterday in courtrooms a few hundred miles apart. Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was convicted of multiple federal crimes. And the president's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to multiple charges, including violating campaign finance law by paying for the silence of two women. Both women said they had affairs with Trump. And Cohen said he was acting on Trump's direction. For more, we spoke a bit earlier this morning with [some schmo with a blog]. Good morning, [schmo].

ME: Yeah, fuck you, too. 

GREENE: So I saw a tweet from you yesterday after Michael Cohen pleaded guilty, saying President Trump is an unindicted criminal co-conspirator. And I just wonder, after months of seeming not to believe Michael Cohen when he denied wrongdoing himself, why are you ready to take his word now?

ME: Really? That's what you lead with? Are you running out of oxygen in this rarefied “objective” air you think you have to breathe? Have you leaned so far right in your attempt to objectify or legitimize a monster that you have BPV? But OK, I‘ll bite. Why didn’t I believe Cohen then? Because all the circumstantial evidence pointed toward wrongdoing. Why do I believe him now? Because all the circumstantial evidence points toward wrongdoing. It's not Cohen I believe or disbelieve, it‘s the evidence. We also know law officials have gathered more evidence, presented it to him, and he and his lawyer thought this was the best course of action. It used to be called “coming clean,” but I doubt this stain will ever be washed away. By the way: You’re part of that stain, David. You helped elect him. If Donald Trump were anyone but the president of the United States, he'd be behind bars.

GREENE: Are you saying that he's being treated differently because he's president because of Department of Justice rules that they cannot indict a sitting president? Because that certainly seems like it could be at play, but couldn't it also be that they just don't have evidence of President Trump doing clear wrongdoing yet?

ME: Let's try and be adults for a second. You‘ve got two main possibilities right now. The possibility that Michael Cohen acted on his own without checking with his boss first; and the fact that he checked with his boss. What do you know about Michael Cohen? Is he the type of person to just take charge? With the presidency on the line? The idea that little Michael Cohen did this all on his own is like claiming Watergate was the responsibility of little Don Segretti. 

GREENE: I want to talk to you about the potential role of Congress because the question of impeachment has started to come up if Democrats were to take control of the House this fall. Given how many Democrats defended Bill Clinton and said lying about a relationship was not something that should be impeachable, would your party be in a pretty tough spot if the party tried this?

ME: Jesus, you suck. Clinton lied about a relationship. Did Trump lie about a relationship? Apparently yes. Did he offer hush money to keep that story from breaking before the election? Apparently yes. Did this violate federal election laws? Yes. That’s the difference. That's the immediate difference. And it doesn't even get into all of the other allegations brought by dozens of women of relationships and/or sexual harassment—which, by the way, correspond exactly with his own attitude about fame and sex and women. Do you remember that, David? “I moved on her like a bitch. But I couldn't get there. And she was married.” Or more infamously: “I'm automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you‘re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.” You‘ve got to put it all together, David. You’re like a man staring at a grease stain, wondering if it's big enough, not realizing you‘re standing in the middle of a vast cesspool.

GREENE: But if you don’t mind addressing my political question, I guess I wonder if the focus of this investigation and if the conversation starts to be these alleged affairs—I guess I just wonder if your party might risk hypocrisy, given what we saw during the Bill Clinton years.

ME: This is why we are where we are. Questions like this. This is how a man who ran for president for a mean-spirited joke won. Because you guys aren't doing your jobs. You‘ve been so conditioned by the right-wing in this country, who keep accusing you of being liberal, that you strive for an idiot “balance” rather than attempt to dig out the truth. That’s all you have to do, David. Dig out the truth and report it. That's it. That's why it's called “reporting.”

GREENE: You keep using the term Watergate moment.

ME: Um...

GREENE: I wonder if we‘re going to be hearing more and more of that type of language from the party heading into the fall. And are you convinced that that’s what American voters want to hear about as they consider who to vote for, or might there be other issues they want to be talking about and hearing from your party?

ME: Do the American people need to hear that their president is corrupt? Yes. Do they want to talk about other issues? Of course. And we‘ll talk about those issues. We’ll talk about how the right-wing is using deep pockets, dark money and incessant propaganda in order to take a bigger portion of their already huge piece or the American pie. They‘re ruthless, greedy sons of bitches, who don’t want you to have health care, who don't want you to make a decent wage, who don't want you to have safe working conditions. They‘ll attack anyone and anything that gets in the way of this. And you’ve helped them, David. Over the years, you and this program have helped the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. You listen to the noise and miss the signal. You've done such a poor job that democracy itself has been subverted. 

GREENE: [Erik Lundegaard], [some schmo with a blog], we always appreciate you giving us the time. Thanks so much.

ME: Yeah, fuck you, too.

Posted at 03:05 AM on Friday August 24, 2018 in category Politics  
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Twitter: @ErikLundegaard