Gohmert on Bachmann: ‘Friends can disagree’

Glenn spoke with Rep Louis Gohmert on radio today about the Amash amendment and why many Republicans including Bachmann voted against it. How does Gohmert explain so many of his colleagues siding with the NSA? Gohmert explains in the clip above.

Transcript of interview is below:

GLENN: Let's go to Louie Gohmert who is ‑‑ I would imagine, Louie, that you are as disappointed as I am to see the House reject the amendment to defund the NSA last night. Michele Bachmann surprised the heck out of me by giving a impassioned speech on the floor saying, "Well, you know, they are not actually saving any of your records. They are not saving any of your phone calls or your e‑mails." That's an out‑and‑out lie, is it not, Louie?

GOHMERT: Well, my understanding ‑‑ you know, Michele is a very dear friend of mine.

GLENN: Mine too.

GOHMERT: And I was hearing you earlier this morning. You were talking very glowingly and appropriately about Michele, but friends can disagree. And they are retaining the metadata, which is just a list of every phone number that everyone calls in the United States, calling inside or outside the United States. And when I say the leaked document from the FISA court where a judge would actually order that every single call made to every person, every phone outside the U.S. and inside the U.S., Glenn, you know, I've been a judge. I've been a chief justice. I couldn't believe that a judge would sign an order like that because there's this little problem with the Constitution. You have to specifically name a place, a person, what exactly is to be seized. And for a judge to just sign a sweeping order that says "Get everything from everybody." And we had a hearing last week and we had some people from the government there and I asked the question, you know, because they have the defense, "Look, it's just data. We don't know whose phone number is whose. And all ‑‑ we run these algorithms and look for patterns." Glenn, when they have every phone number and every phone number that's calls, I asked these guys, "Well, isn't it true that the other government, whether it's CIA, you have the right and the ability to use sources that the public can use to gather information? There's nothing wrong with you doing that, right?" "Yes." "That means you can go to the white pages for phone numbers, who has what phone number, and you can also do what anybody can do. You can go online, pay a fee and find out everybody's cell number if you want to. I mean, that data is available." And they said, "Well, you know, I guess we could." Yes, Glenn, they can get everybody's phone number. They can know who did what. And so if your government ‑‑ let's just say there was somebody that was a little paranoid and wanted to look at what they could do. Say they wanted to make a case against you after the fact of things that are completely untrue. Well, they can go back and say, "Well, you talked to this person and this." Yeah, but it had nothing to do with that. They can make a case against you. I mean, it becomes so much like a Kafka novel where you can't really fight this big spider that's just ‑‑ or octopus that's just taken over everything.

GLENN: So here are the names of some of the people that we respect, that voted on the, I think the wrong side. Michele Bachmann is one of them. Here are some of the others.

STU: Yeah, Darrell Issa.

GLENN: These are all good people.

STU: Yeah. Culberson was another one we were talking about earlier today. Paul Ryan was on the wrong side of this one, I think. Steve King on the wrong side of it.

GLENN: So how did that happen, Louie? What are they saying behind the scenes? What was their reasoning?

GOHMERT: Well, they are saying ‑‑ when you talk about people like Michele and Steve ‑‑ they are two of my best friends ‑‑ they will tell you behind the scenes what they say in front, that they were concerned that ‑‑ and I didn't realize ‑‑ actually I didn't realize Steve had voted against the Amash amendment.

GLENN: Yeah.

GOHMERT: But it is this fear that has been put in place, "Gee, we're finding out who terrorists are by this information." But Glenn, I have to go back to our debate over the law. I wasn't there when the PATRIOT Act passed and I wasn't there when FISA courts were created. They've been around for a long time. But I was there for the renewal, the extension. And I battled tooth and nail with my own Republican chairman who had put ‑‑ he had actually put Sunsets in the original PATRIOT Act so that, you know, we'd always have leverage to get information about what they were doing. And even under the Bush administration, getting information from the justice department was really tough. And that's how I ended up being able to convince a majority of the Republicans to put Sunsets on something in the PATRIOT Act extension because the chairman had bought into the Bush administration position that we don't need Sunsets anymore. And so we debated this and we got into the business about what is the purpose of having ‑‑ of their ability to surveil telephone calls and who you're calling, whether it's actually getting content or whether it's actually just getting what they call the metadata, the logs of who you called. And what we were told and the testimony all was to the effect that the only people who would have their phone information pulled were those who either made a call to a known foreign terrorist or somebody who's affiliated with a known terrorist group, or they got a call from one of those people. In fact, Glenn, I made the statement at one of our debates that, look, to my friends across the aisle that are so worried about the administration, you know, getting your phone records, under the bill it's very clear: If you don't want your phone records to be pulled, that data as to who you're calling, then when you call your foreign terrorist friends, use somebody else's phone. I thought that was pretty funny, cute, and a lot of people laughed.

GLENN: But they lied to you, did they not, Louie?

GOHMERT: Well, it turned out, no, you don't have a to call a foreign terrorist.

GLENN: Right.

GOHMERT: They are getting your phone information. And another thing that has really bothered me ‑‑

GLENN: Hang on just a second. Hold on. Hold on just a second. I want everybody coast to coast that is listening to understand that this man has so much credibility, that Louie Gohmert, a congressman who believes in many of the same things I do just went on national airwaves and said, "Look, the Bush administration lied to me. I was making the wrong case. I was told one thing and they lied to me about it, and the left was right about it and I was wrong." That's significant.

GOHMERT: Well, they weren't right about it, but the Bush administration was actually arguing that they would not do anything more than what the law provided and you had to have that Nexus with a foreign terrorist or someone associated ‑‑

GLENN: That's not true.

GOHMERT: ‑‑ with a terrorist group. And so I don't know, I haven't seen information, I don't know if the Bush administration, their NSA was gathering every single person's phone information, but ‑‑

GLENN: But it doesn't matter. I'm in a moment blaming it ‑‑

GOHMERT: ‑‑ what some of us talked about back in those debates was, gee, I remember them saying we do not have the capability to gather every single person's phone calls to everybody they call.

GLENN: And they do.

GOHMERT: But even if we did, they wouldn't do it. And this law does not authorize us to do that. And so you got Republicans to vote for it. I was just talking to John Conyers here on the floor. I'm in our cloakroom just off the House floor and we just finished voting and, you know, I was ‑‑ I gave you and Nadler and you guys so much grief over your positions and, son of a gun, you were right, except your administration that's pulling off this information that you thought the Bush administration would be doing.

GLENN: I don't think ‑‑ you know what, I don't ‑‑

PAT: Amazing.

GOHMERT: Something else, too, Glenn: I've come up with some Democrats over the last two days who voted against the Amash amendment who I was surprised voted against it because they were against giving the NSA any of this kind of power to start with. And they said, well, look ‑‑ one of them said, "Louie, let me just show you what we got from our leadership in the Democratic Party and that's why I voted no on the Amash amendment. It says right here very clearly the law does not allow us currently to gather anybody's phone information unless they have talked to some foreign terrorist or some member of a foreign terrorist group."

GLENN: So Louie ‑‑

GOHMERT: And I said, well, that is true, that is what the law says, but they are not following the law.

GLENN: Can I ask you a question? What ‑‑

GOHMERT: And so that's why some of the left who argued against, that said this kind of thing might happen voted against the Amash amendment. They were given the wrong information.

GLENN: So tell me this, Louie: Then why is it, what are they storing in the Utah data storage facility? What is it they are storing? Are they crisping lettuce in that?

GOHMERT: I don't know.

GLENN: I mean ‑‑

GOHMERT: It's huge, isn't it?

GLENN: It's ‑‑

GOHMERT: And I don't know, and probably if I did, it would be classified, but I really don't know it all, but I know apparently they are going to be gathering ‑‑

GLENN: Yes.

GOHMERT: ‑‑ every phone call that everyone has made.

GLENN: Exactly right.

GOHMERT: The logs for those things, and that is dangerous. But let me point out something else, Glenn and, you know, we talked about our open borders. And I'm telling you, for the amount of liberty we have to give up to have security is in direct proportion to how open our borders are. The more open our borders are, then the more we have to give up liberty to have security. And as you quoted Franklin, you know. He said those that give up safety for liberty don't deserve either one. That's ‑‑

GLENN: But I mean ‑‑

GOHMERT: That's where we are. We need to secure our border. We need to kick out people that overstay visas. And I still contend we should do nothing on immigration except pass a resolution. Mr. President, you secure the border as confirmed by the border states and then we'll take up a comprehensive bill, but not until then.

Now, back to Benghazi, back to the NSA spying, back to a total throw‑out of the Internal Revenue Code and revamping that system. Back to the things that are 60 to 70% popular with the American people.

GLENN: All right, Louis ‑‑ Louie Gohmert from Texas, congressman, I appreciate it and thank you so much. I'm running a little bit late but God bless you, man, and keep up the fight.

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.