Many Americans embrace the idea of a businessman — not a politician — as president of the United States. But can you imagine George Washington standing up at a press conference and talking about his holdings?
Co-host Pat Gray gave his best voice impression of America’s first president.
“Martha and I have incredible holdings, as you know. We’ve got a massive business, as you know,” Pat said jokingly. “Martha and I have been running this — we own most of Virginia, as I think you know. My holdings, inflation adjusted, would be around a billion dollars. I’m the richest president there’s ever been.”
That’s exactly what President-elect Trump did at a presser to address the unsubstantiated dossier on his connections to Russia, unethically published by BuzzFeed on Tuesday.
“You know, you’re not the CEO of America. You don’t run America,” Glenn said.
Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:
Image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors:
GLENN: It does not fill me with confidence. It did not fill me with confidence.
JEFFY: Well, him running the business and the country didn’t fill me. So I’m glad he’s giving up one of them.
PAT: Yeah. Because there’s no way you could do both.
JEFFY: No. Well, he said he could. He could.
PAT: He says he can. But…
GLENN: Also, you know, you’re not the CEO of America. You don’t run America. I could run both.
GLENN: The president doesn’t run both. He doesn’t run the country. That’s the problem.
STU: Yeah. We need to stop thinking about it that way.
GLENN: Right. And if we as conservatives allow others to believe that’s what happens, well, then this is — I don’t mean to use this — I want to use this word the way it was used in the 1920s: That’s fascism. That is a government helping companies run the company. They collude openly with privately held companies, and they go and say, “You guys — we are going to go this way as a country, so you should develop as much as you can of these things.” And they work together. That was the idea behind fascism. Fascism wasn’t always a dirty word.
It was a CEO — it was the country run as a company by a leader. That’s not what we are.
PAT: Can you imagine George Washington standing up at a press conference and talking about his holdings?
Martha and I have incredible holdings, as you know. We’ve got a massive business, as you know. Martha and I have been running this — we own most of Virginia, as I think you know. My holdings, inflation adjusted, would be around a billion dollars. I’m the richest president there’s ever been.
I mean, it’s just the weirdest thing to sit and listen to.
GLENN: No. No.
STU: And that is true. Weird.
PAT: And it’s true. Washington was by far the richest president we’ve ever had.
GLENN: And by far, one of the most humble presidents we’ve ever had.
GLENN: He would not be saying, “And I’ve got dealings in the slave trade from — at all points of the compass, and it’s a beautiful, beautiful — my sons are going to be at the portico. It’s beautiful. And we’re going to be — because I can. I could with the — and expansion and the slaves.”
PAT: And as you know —
GLENN: And it’s wonderful.
PAT: — I could be king if I wanted to. I’ve been offered that. And I’ve said no. I’ve said, no, I’m not going to be king. And don’t bring that up to me again. But, as you know, I could be king if I wanted to.
GLENN: Look, they were putting together the Constitution, and they couldn’t get it done, and so they came to me. And they said, “George.” And I said — I was there in my beautiful lobby of my house. It’s more of a lobby than an entranceway.
PAT: It’s more of a mansion, of course, than a house, an estate, if you will.
GLENN: It’s beautiful. It’s wonderful. My son — my daughter was upstairs. And she’s wonderful. She has some beautiful friends. And she was with us out on a vacation a few weeks ago. In fact, let me bring her up. She can talk — she’s beautiful. Here she is.
What the hell did you just say?
GLENN: That’s what he just did on that press conference. I don’t know what the hell he — I want to know what your stance is with Russia.
STU: Well, one question about Russia did say that he believes — Donald Trump believes Russians were responsible for the hacking. That’s a pretty big headline.
GLENN: That’s a big headline.
PAT: Yeah, that is. Because that’s the opposite of what he’s been saying, right?
STU: Yeah. He says he thinks. So it doesn’t mean he’s sure. But he believes the — the intelligence briefing, I guess, he received indicates that, yes, that is probably the source of these hacks. That is a big deal. And he has not talked about that at all.
GLENN: Nor will he again, probably.
STU: During our — our interlude into the George Washington press conference, you have not missed anything from Donald Trump.
His attorney is still standing up there, I guess explaining all the conflict of interest laws and how he’s getting around those and not bringing —
PAT: And nobody is asking about that. I don’t know that we even care about that.
GLENN: We should.
PAT: I mean, we do. But that’s not the current issue.
GLENN: Okay. If I said to you — if it’s to you, “Look, I’m not going to run — Pat, I am going to completely focus — I am going to completely focus on other things, and — and my — my son will be doing everything on my primary business that I’ve — identify staked my entire life on and is my life fortune. My sons are going to do that. But I promise you for the next four to eight years, not a word.” I’ve got a whole bucket coming his way. I mean, that’s — he’s asking us to do the impossible. His — and not because it’s nefarious. His son comes to — there’s a crisis. Let’s say the world goes into a crisis. And his — his son is looking at their financial empire starting to crumble. You don’t think the son goes to dad and says, “Dad, I got to have your help on this.”
STU: It’s ridiculous.
GLENN: It’s ridiculous.
STU: Jared Kushner is a good example of this. It’s his son-in-law. He’s going to be named an official, senior adviser to the president of the United States.
And everyone is like, “Wow, we have to see what’s going to go on with these nepotism laws.” Because he would be affected by these things. He has to divest all of his interests. It’s a big deal for Jared Kushner to go through this.
However, what — you’re telling me that you’re going to enforce these laws. And then instead of him being a senior adviser, they’re just going to talk about it around dinner. Like, they’re going to call and text each other these things anyway. All of this is going to go on. It’s better that we know.
GLENN: Didn’t we learn this from Hillary Clinton? You just don’t — you use the HRC email, you don’t use @state.
STU: Right. But there’s nothing to prevent them from talking to each other. It’s just that his title of senior adviser —
GLENN: Correct. All they’re doing is circumventing the law.
STU: But it’s a ridiculous standard.
GLENN: It’s ridiculous. I know.
STU: Of course, he’s going to talk to his son-in-law.
GLENN: I know. But isn’t it the same that we just saw, just a different — I mean, they were doing the same thing, they just said, oh, you know what, just don’t use the server. Use this server, and we’ll be okay.
Okay. So that’s what they did to get around it. And everybody yawned. Now he’s just saying to his son-in-law, you know what, we can’t talk about it here. More soup, son.
And they’re going to talk about it then.
STU: You’re not going to prevent a person from talking to his family members about important things in their lives when they’re trusted confidants.
GLENN: No. And especially a family that is business. That is their family relationship.
STU: And that’s not being critical of Donald Trump.
STU: I mean, Jared Kushner, while a big Democrat and much more liberal than anybody probably in the audience, has been a trusted adviser of Trump throughout the entire process. And that’s not going to be a huge surprise that they’re together. He’s a big businessman and well versed in his own right. And, of course, they’re going to be together. But I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anything like this in this press conference, however, where you’re getting someone, essentially a spokesperson for the president of the United States. In the — giving us an intermission.
GLENN: Yeah. Never seen it.
STU: We’re getting an intermission of this, where she explains all of this.
STU: It is kind of an interesting turn.
GLENN: It’s also really interesting to me that this is where they’re turning. And I guess, you know, they want to turn the news cycle.
But everybody wants to know about Russia. The big news out of this is, quite honestly, I think, that Donald Trump came out blaming the US spy agencies for planting this story about him.
That is remarkable. Because let’s just take it at face value, that that’s true. They were sending you a message.
GLENN: Don’t screw with us. It’s not going to get better. If that were true and the spooks are evil spooks that are sitting behind their desk, and they’re like, “We taught him a lesson,” and he came out and he said, “That was very wrong, the spy agencies, you know, we’re going to see how that shapes up,” you don’t think that that big evil spook that’s in the movie isn’t going, “That rat bastard. Now it’s war!”
I mean, that’s crazy. It’s crazy. Some battles you fight behind the curtain.