GLENN: Hello, America. Welcome to the program. Glad you're here. Last night I turn on the TV. I'm in Los Angeles. And thank you so much for listening today.
But I got in last night, I don't even know what time it is. And turn on the television, and Donald Trump had just fired the interim attorney general. And they were calling it the Monday Night Massacre.
Now, in case you don't know what the Monday Night Massacre is referring to -- which, by the way, is crazy, crazy to compare it to the Saturday Night Massacre. This comes from the Nixon administration. It is absolutely amazing to me how the press is so out of control. They are hurting themselves even more.
To refer to what happened last night as the Monday Night Massacre, to immediately -- within minutes, within minutes, compare it to what Richard Nixon did is obscene.
What happened on the Saturday Night Massacre is Richard Nixon was being investigated for Watergate. His appointees would not fire the special investigator. They had a special investigator to look in to see if Nixon was indeed a crook. And he said to his Justice Department, "You have to fire the independent investigator." And they said, "No." And he said, "I'm telling you, I'm the president of the United States. You'll fire them." And they said, "Mr. President, it is independent. We will not fire them."
Now, what's the difference?
Here's what happened last night: The Muslim ban goes into effect, and the Justice Department is the one that has to police the ban. Are you doing it? Are you doing the right thing? Are you following the law? Which, by the way, the problem is, the law is an executive order.
Are you following the law? The interim attorney general says no. Now, not on legal reasons. The Saturday Night Massacre, it was on legal reasons. This wasn't a legal reason. She said her morals told her she couldn't do that, not the law. Her morals.
What else is the difference? The difference between the Saturday Night Massacre and the Monday Night Massacre was that she wasn't appointed by the president. Here's a woman who was appointed by Barack Obama.
Here's the temptation: A lot of people -- a lot of people like to make a name for themselves when they are -- when they have the opportunity at the very end of an administration, to go out in flames, to go out as the hero. And I think that's what she did. She saw an opportunity -- and I guarantee you, she is going to be a hero of the left.
This was a purely political and career move. That's all this was. There was nothing legal about it.
Her job is to enforce the law. Now, if she wants to have some sort of moral reason to do that, she can do that. But don't confuse that with something that happened in the 1970s that was about deep corruption and legal reasons.
So last night, I tweeted something -- I don't even remember. Stu, maybe you can look up my tweet. Because I was talking to Stu this morning, and we haven't even had a chance to talk about this yet. He said, "I gather you're against him firing the attorney general last night?" And I said, "No." And he said, "Oh, I read your tweet."
STU: Yeah, it was the one about you talked about them being betrayed.
GLENN: Read the tweet.
STU: You were betrayed? This PR is unlike anything I've ever seen from the White House before. Principles over parties. Return to the balance of constitutional powers.
GLENN: Yes. Okay. This is the problem with the 144 characters.
STU: Yeah, yeah.
GLENN: The problem I had was -- read this PR -- this press release. Read it from start to finish. The entire government is now starting to speak and reflect the actual language of Donald Trump. Either that, or he's writing the press releases, which I hope to God he has other things to do.
But listen to the language of this. Do you have it, Stu?
STU: I can get it.
GLENN: I'm sorry. I thought it was connected to the tweet.
STU: Yeah. Hold on one second. Yeah, White House statement here. It's loading. There we go. All right.
White House statement: The acting Attorney General Sally Yates betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States. This order was approved as to form legality by the Department of Justice office and legal counsel. Ms. Yates is an Obama administration appointee who was weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration. It's time to get serious about protecting our country. Calling for -- it does sound like Trump.
JEFFY: It sure does.
GLENN: It does.
STU: Calling for tougher vetting for individuals traveling from seven dangerous places is not extreme. It is reasonable and necessary to protect our country.
GLENN: Okay. Stop. So I agree with him. This is reasonable. This is not a ban.
However, the problem is, he wants both sides. When he signed it, he said it was a ban. As he was signing it, he said, "I'm doing the Muslim ban." He used the word "ban." So why? Why would you do that?
Because everyone is playing populist politics. Why did she refuse to move and put herself in a position where she knew she had to be fired? Because she knew she would be popular with her side.
Why did he use the word "ban" when it is a pause? If you don't want to enflame things, what you do, as you're signing this, you say, "Look, this is -- I want to make it clear, this is not a ban, this is a pause. All I'm doing is pausing so we can look into how we're vetting people and make sure we're safe." That's what you do.
But everyone is playing into populism. And so he immediately said, "It's a ban." But then he later said, "It's not a ban." Well, which one is it? And he knows which one it is: It's not a ban. But he wants to play into his crew that wants the ban, that want that tough stand. He's no longer playing -- or he hasn't ever -- but the president is no longer playing into the center. He's continuing to do what Barack Obama did. He's not trying to embrace the entire American public, he's embracing the people that think like him. She was embracing the people who look like her or think like her.
That's what happened. And that's -- I heard last night on CNN -- I watched -- oh. I watched all the networks last night, and I could not take it. You can see if you read my tweets by the end. I'm just -- I'm losing my mind.
But I actually heard -- who was it? Who is the guy that does that globalist thing on CNN? It's hard to narrow that down.
STU: Oh, Fareed Zakaria, yeah.
GLENN: Zakaria. Zakaria and Alan Dershowitz were going back and forth and yelling at each other. I shouldn't say that. Dershowitz wasn't. But Dershowitz was saying, "I'm not a fan of Donald Trump, but what he did here was legal. It was right. She was -- yada, yada, yada.
Zakaria, at one point, in the middle of Dershowitz just explaining, said, "I'm not even listening to you, Alan. I'm not listening to your explanation anymore. I'm just not listening to you, Alan."
I'm like, what -- Alan Dershowitz is one of the brightest attorneys on the planet. And I don't agree with him all the time, but he's proven himself to be fairly reasonable on almost every topic. Again, I don't agree with him, but he's reasonable. For someone like Fareed to interrupt and just say, "I'm not listening to you," that's when I turned the TV off. I'm like, "Nobody is listening to each other anymore." I was watching Fox, what did Fox do?
The language of Fox made me or people like me feel pretty good. I'm like, "Yeah, get 'em." I had to turn it off because I'm like, "This is not helpful. This is not helpful."
Honestly, I looked at my wife last night, I said, "Is it just us? Is it just us that sees how close to the edge we are?"
And if we don't start listening to each other, if we don't start calming things down and not saying that it was a massacre last night -- it was not a massacre.
Let me give you this: Let's see if I can find -- try this on for size.
In an article published Sunday on Medium -- if you don't know what Medium is, Medium is a really very smart blog site. It's like -- it's Facebook for people who have patience. Okay?
You can go and you can write posts, but it's not designed for clicks. It's designed for reading time. So it will tell you: This is a five-minute read. This is a ten-minute read. And instead of tracking clicks and shares and everything else, what they track is how long you've spent on that article. And so if people read the entire article and spend time with that article, that article is moved up. It shows that it's -- it's engaging people and they're thinking and reading it.
So it's a very different website. But it is -- it's -- it's much more geared toward I think a Silicon Valley kind of mindset. So it's -- it has very interesting points of view.
Article published Sunday on Medium.
Google privacy engineer, Yonatan Zunger, examined the details of what he believed was a sordid conspiracy among President Trump and his inner circle, which will lead to an eventual coup d'état.
Now, listen to this. First he cited CNN, writing: It's notable that this -- that the DHS lawyers objected to this ban, this Muslim order, specifically the exclusion of green card holders, as illegal, and also pressed that there would be a grace period so people currently out of the country wouldn't be stranded. And they were personally overruled by Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller. Also notable is that career DHS staff, up to and including the head of customs and border patrol, were kept entirely out of the loop, until the order was signed.
Next, he cites the Guardian, writing: The mass resignations of nearly all senior staff at the State Department on Thursday were not, in fact, resignations, but a purge ordered by the White House. This leaves almost no one in the entire senior staff of the State Department at this point. It leaves the State Department entirely unstaffed during these critical first weeks, when orders like the Muslim ban, which they would resist normally, are coming down.
He then added: The DHS agents were still detaining and still deporting individuals, even after two major court rulings that said they can't do that.
Some of what Zunger writes is true, the story goes on. Insomuch as it comes from CNN and other reputable outlets, but it appears to be an extrapolation or an interpretation of the news. However, in the end, Zunger seems to believe that all the chaos means one thing: Quote, the administration is testing the extent to which the DHS and other executive agencies can act and ignore orders from other branches of the government. This is as serious as it can possibly get. All of the arguments about whether order X or Y is unconstitutional means nothing if elements of the government are executing them and the courts are being ignored.
Yesterday was a trial balloon for a coup d'état against the United States. It gave them useful information. He also wrote that the orders are being made via the inner circle of Trump, Bannon, Miller, Priebus, Kushner, and possibly Flynn, and that the gutting of agencies and the shuffling of the National Security Council represents something nefarious.
He speculated that Trump will want his personal security to take a higher position, writing: Keith Schiller should continue to run the personal security force which would take over an increasing fraction of the Secret Service's job.
He concluded, especially if combined with the DHS and the FBI, which appears to have remained loyal to the president throughout the recent transition, this creates an armature of a shadow government. Intelligence and police services, which are not accountable through any normal means, answerable only to the president.
Zunger has chosen to view the absolute chaos of the last 72 hours as a trial balloon for a coup d'état against the United States. Nothing is out of the realm of possibility, and Trump's rhetoric suggests he views governing with a more centralized eye than most. However, there is another possibility that bears mentioning.