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FCC Chairman: We Don't Need to Preemptively Micromanage Every Business

Ajit Pai, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), joined Glenn on radio to discuss the future of the internet and net neutrality. If a government regulator exists that Glenn likes, it's Ajit Pai, who stood alone in a hostile world at the FCC during the Obama administration. Pai favors light regulation to ensure consumers have a competitive choice and companies have a greater incentive to invest in the internet.

Enjoy the complimentary clip or read the transcript for details.

GLENN: The head of the FCC. The FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, now joins us.

Ajit, I don't know if you are aware of this at all, but we've been watching you for a while. I have -- I have no idea how you got by Obama. But we're glad you did.

AJIT: Thanks so much, Glenn. I really appreciate the kind words. And grateful to you for making time for me today.

GLENN: Oh, you bet. We have a lot of questions for you. And I want to talk to you about net neutrality. I want to talk to you about the cable industry and this cry of fake news and where you think we're going.

Let's start with probably net neutrality.

Net neutrality is -- is in some ways, a -- a nightmare and will limit people. In other ways, people will look at this and say, "Wait. I don't want my cable operator being able to pick and choose winners and slow down, you know, the speeds of YouTube, if they're trying to promote their own YouTube." Can you make the argument?

AJIT: Absolutely. I think the key point here is nothing about the internet was broken. From the dawn of the internet age in the 1990s until 2015, the internet economy in the United States was the envy of the world precisely because President Clinton and a Republican Congress agreed that instead of regulating the heck out of this new technology, we would let it develop and take targeted action as necessary.

And that's, I think, part of the reason why we saw the tremendous explosion and activity online. But in 2015, on the party-line vote, the FCC imposed these heavy-handed rules that were developed for Mondale, the telephone monopoly back in the 1930s.

And as a result, we've seen less investment in networks. We're seeing less competition than ever. And I think that's one of the things we want to address going further, is, you know, light-touch regulation I think is the best calibrated to make sure the consumers have more competitive choice, and the companies have a greater incentive to invest. And that's where we're heading.

GLENN: So how would you address -- I said this to Ray Kurzweil who is part of the Singularity University. Works for Google. And I said, "So, Ray, why wouldn't Google develop an algorithm that would find people who are using the search engine to create a bigger and better Google? Why wouldn't they just -- I mean, that's human nature to protect yourself. If somebody is coming -- you can piece together in advance, "Wait a minute. These people are looking to build a better Google." Why wouldn't you just shut them down? He said, "Oh, that would never happen because we're all good people." I don't necessarily subscribe to that theory.

But, you know, we are now in the internet age, playing devil's advocate, of these gigantic corporations that you're just not going to -- the little guy is not going to compete against Google. They're not going to compete against Apple. They're not -- you can't compete around Comcast.

AJIT: And the point I consistently made is we don't put our faith in people or in companies. What's that saying? If men were angels, no laws would be necessary.

GLENN: Right.

AJIT: Well, we have a system of laws, and interest in competition laws on one hand and consumer protection laws on the other. And those are administered by a -- say the Federal Trade Commission or Justice Department here in Washington, by state agencies across the country. So there's a whole framework of laws to protect against that kind of conduct.

What we don't need is the FCC preemptively micromanaging every single business in the United States, not just the big ones that you mentioned, but even the smaller companies that have told us we're holding back on investment now because of these heavy-handed investments.

GLENN: So we're talking to Ajit Pai, he's the chairman of the FCC. You know, as I look at the most hated services in America -- or service providers, it's your electric company, it's your insurance companies, it's your cable companies. Those are all the ones that are the most heavily regulated.

However, as somebody who has tried, without $200 million behind me, to break in and have a -- a groundswell -- a verified groundswell of -- of support behind me, these -- to break into cable is absolutely impossible if you are a voice that the companies want to block. You just can't do it. How do we balance that and make sure that, you know, the app system -- because that's why we -- that's why we're online. Okay. Well, good. We'll do it online. But how do we make sure that the app system isn't blocked now by a Comcast or an Apple, where you're just not going to get in and break through?

AJIT: That's a terrific question. And two different answers: Number one, the way you do it is by promoting more competition. You make sure that the barriers to entry, so to speak, are low. That people like you can express yourselves over a variety of different platforms. And number two, to the extent that that's a concern, remember that the people who are promoting this Title II regulation through the US government are not the friends of free speech and free expression. These groups are consistently saying that they want government control of the internet, not just for its own sake, but in order to regulate how speech and expression happens online.

GLENN: Right.

AJIT: And they've been very open about this throughout the years.

GLENN: But you can't -- as a person, I can't start my own cable company. It's all regulated. I can't start one.

AJIT: And that's why we've had a very aggressive agenda in the three months that I've been in the chairman's office to make sure that we enable more companies to make that decision, to enter the marketplace, removing some of the barriers that they found, in terms of the rules, and making it easier for them to raise capital and to enter these marketplaces. And we want the smaller companies that are getting squeezed by these regulations to finally enter the market and provide a competitive option.

GLENN: Good for you.

So help me out on this. Ted Koppel, who I have a lot of respect for, has done a lot of great journalism over his lifetime -- I was talking to him, and he was concerned about all this fake news. And I said, at the end of the day, go back to the revolutionary war, there was tons of fake news back then. We're just in a new situation. And we haven't found our way to balance it yet. But you got to trust the people.

And he immediately said, "I think that we need to start, you know, having a license for people to be on the internet and to present news. We have to verify those people who are online."

That's insane.

AJIT: I couldn't agree more. And I have a lot of respect for Ted Koppel's career. But, frankly, his comments are repugnant to the spirit and the letter of the First Amendment. In fact, that's the very reason why John Milton in 1644 wrote his great treaties on free expression, Areopagitica, where he said that, you know, look, the king has no business licensing people to allow them to speak. We -- the entire premise of western civilization is that you don't have a gatekeeper allowing you to speak only at the whim of the king. And that's the same here in the United States. The last thing I think we want is government -- sort of regulators like me deciding who speaks and who doesn't. That's the fantastic thing about the internet age, I think.

STU: Don't you think though, Glenn -- and Ajit Pai -- we're talking to the FCC chairman. You have this situation where it's not about what happened in 1644 or anything. It's about what's coming up on May 30th, which is season five of House of Cards.

JEFFY: Thank you. Thank you.

STU: People want their Netflix. They want it streamed. They don't want their evil cable company slowing it down. Is that something that needs to be regulated, or does the market actually work that stuff out?

AJIT: To me, the market works it out. The best evidence of that is the digital economy that we had, prior to 2015 when we imposed these rules.

Companies were not engaging in the blocking of lawful content. And to the extent that we have concerns about competition, the best way to get there is not by imposing these heavy-handed regulations that slow down infrastructure investment, especially by some of the smaller companies that would give you a competitive option. It's by making sure we have clear-cut rules of the road, that are market-friendly, that incentivize more companies to enter this space.

And so, you know, look, I'm all in favor of the government looking at any competitive problems as they pop up. Preemptively regulating, from the Fortune 500 companies, down to the tiny companies in Little Rock, Arkansas, is not the way to get there.

GLENN: I will tell you, Ajit, I look at this time period -- and I'd love to hear your point of view of this. I look at this time period of American history as a combination of the industrial revolution and heavy emphasis on Tesla and Edison, all in about a 20-year period. I mean, what's coming in -- in technology and communication has already been profound. But it's going to become even more profound.

And, you know, as a student of history -- and you obviously are one as well. When you look back at those days of Tesla and Edison, in many ways, Tesla was right. Edison was just good at playing the game with the government.

And he was a -- excuse my language, but a son of a bitch. And that's not French. That's English.

STU: Can we say that on the air, Mr. FCC Chairman?

GLENN: Oh, yes, I shouldn't have said that with the FCC chairman.

AJIT: I'll give you a pass, don't worry.

GLENN: Okay. Thank you.

PAT: You didn't think that one through. Did you?

GLENN: Yeah, I didn't think that one through. I forgot who we were talking to. Anyway, we never say things like that, by the way. Golly, gee, darn it. I'm sorry.

But we were pushed back because of the collusion with very powerful people like Edison and very powerful politicians. Do you see us -- how do you see what's coming our way?

AJIT: Boy, that's a great question.

I think the first thing is the empowerment of the citizen that the internet allows. It used to be that to do virtually anything, you had to work through some sort of gatekeeper. If you were buying a car, you had to go through a dealer. If you were wanting to stay in a place, you have to go book a room with a hotel.

And now, because of technology, you can do anything, basically by yourself. And that's an incredible amount of empowerment. But, on the other hand, we always have to guard against this instinct of essentially crony capitalism, the phenomenon that you talked about. And to that extent, I think what people need to understand is that heavy-handed regulation is actually the friend of bigger businesses and for those who believe in big government. Because -- the big companies are always going to have the armies of lawyers and accountants to comply with these regulations, to persuade government to do favors on this or that issue. It's the smaller companies that are disproportionately affected. And the second thing is that it's very seductive for a lot of people to think, "Well, the market just leaves consumers at the mercy of these wild and unpredictable forces." When in reality, the market has delivered more value for consumers than preemptive government regulation ever could.

I mean, the fact that we have billions of people who are emerging from poverty now is the result of free market policies. It's not because the governments of these various countries have suddenly decided to bestow largesse upon them. And so it's a case that we consistently have to make that crony capitalism and big government regulation, those are not the friends of the average consumer.

GLENN: So we have -- we have a situation now of fake news. And it's been around forever. But it's at epidemic proportions because the average person has access to everybody. And the average person, you know, unfortunately doesn't think things through and really read everything. They see a headline, they click on it, and they share it.

We have some really nefarious people, some of them in Russia, that are using our own technology against us, using our own freedoms against us. We have the press -- I told you about Ted Koppel. But we also have the president coming out and saying, you know, you're fake news. And maybe we should be able to sue you more.

Does the FCC have a role in the First Amendment in saying to all sides, "Knock it off. The freedom of the press is the freedom of the press, no matter if it's a printing press or the internet. Knock it off?"

AJIT: Well, I've consistently said -- and this goes back to my time as a commissioner up to five years ago, that one of the distinctive features of America is the fact that we have a First Amendment. It's unique in human history for the government to establish in its very founding papers the notion that anybody in this country has the ability to speak, anybody has the ability to write, anybody has the ability to worship as he or she sees fit.

And that's something that requires not just the cold parchment of the Constitution, but it requires a culture that admires that -- those freedoms. And so I've consistently spoken about -- about the need to preserve that culture of freedom for speech and free press. Because it's a slippery slope. Once you lose it, it's very hard to reclaim it.

GLENN: You have a 50 -- what is it? A 50 or 60 percent of so-called conservatives saying that there's a limit to freedom of the press. Is there?

AJIT: Well, the Constitution speaks for itself. And so long as I have the privilege of occupying this office, I'll keep defending that core constitutional freedom. It's one of the things that I think makes America a very unique place across time and across the world.

GLENN: So I think with that answer, I just have to end where I started: How the hell did you get past Barack Obama?

AJIT: That's a good question. I'm not sure how I slipped through the cracks.

GLENN: I don't know either.

AJIT: But maybe it's the -- sort of like the Forrest Gump of the Washington scene. Just kept gamboling on, and here I am.

(laughter)

GLENN: Yeah. Okay. Ajit Pai, thank you so much for talking to us.

PAT: Great.

GLENN: And keep up the good work.

AJIT: Thank you, sir. Thanks for having me on.

GLENN: You bet. Buh-bye.

PAT: And thanks for the shout-out to Areopagitica. That's -- I think that's a first.

JEFFY: Right.

GLENN: Oh, how many times have we talked about -- off the air --

PAT: All the time. All the time.

STU: Talked about all the time.

GLENN: Okay. You know what I love --

PAT: Talked about all the time. Milton's Areopagitica.

JEFFY: Right!

RADIO

THIS bill on marriage may be an ‘EXTRAORDINARILY BAD IDEA’

Democrats in Congress are moving quickly to enact their ‘Respect for Marriage Act,’ which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which denied some government benefits to married, same-sex couples. Glenn says this bill may be an ‘extraordinarily bad idea,’ and Senator Mike Lee joins him to explain why. First, Senator Lee says ‘there’s not a chance in hell’ the Supreme Court would overturn gay marriage rights. So, what then is the point of this bill? In this clip, Senator Lee says the bill may give government the ability to RETALIATE against religious institutions, organizations, or charities who favor a traditional view of marriage…

Transcript

Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors

GLENN: Oh. Mitt Romney's favorite senator. Mike Lee. Hello, Mike.

MIKE: Good to be with you, Glenn.

GLENN: Yeah. Can you tell me, what happened yesterday?

MIKE: Well, a lot happens in the United States. Yesterday, if you're talking about the vote on the motion to proceed to the respect of marriage act. The respect for marriage act.

GLENN: Wait. Can you tell me? I know it's a secret meeting. Can you tell me what happened with the -- because I want to get into that. Can you tell me what happened with the Harry Reid winning again? How? Or not Harry Reid. Mitch McConnell.

MIKE: Yeah, Mitch McConnell. Yeah.

Yeah, so yesterday, we got our leadership elections in the Senate, and some of the Republicans. We debated for several hours. And Mitch McConnell, we elected as the Minority Leader among Senate Republicans. This is -- he's had it for 16 years, and he was reelected yesterday.

We had a lengthy discussion about that. And some of us took a different approach. But at the end of the day, I think the vote was cast. And that's the vote that will carry.

GLENN: What do we have to do, Mike, to get people -- I mean, there's a fight in the Republican Party, of this -- you know I guess 1956 kind of you know view of how things have to be done. And what the government means. Very progressive.

And you know just very docile. And then there's a new group of people who are like, look. I mean, I don't want to go back to the 1800s or the 1700s, but we got a little thing here, that we used to called the Constitution and Bill of Rights. And we need to restore that.

Because this isn't a constitutional republic anymore.

How do we get the G.O.P. out of the way of those people?

Or is it -- is it too late for that.

MIKE: Well, first of all, the decision about whom to elect as floor leader. That doesn't preclude necessarily, our taking any particular action.

Anyway, I've long said that the leadership of the Republican Party tends one way or another to reflect where the center of gravity is among Senate Republicans. But there's something new happening.

We have more Republican senators today, than we ever have before. Who believe, or understand at their core, that there's something fundamentally wrong. We're spending way too much money, on the federal government.

And we've got to turn it around. And so we're moving forward now, with the new core group of leaders, who are pushing harder than ever. Because we don't have time to waste. We're $31 trillion in debt. We've got a federal government that requires people to work months out of every year, just to pay their federal taxes. And months more out of every year, just to pay the back door hidden expenses associate with federal regulations. The American people are demanding that we fight back harder. And you're going to see that.

GLENN: I hope so, Mike. I really -- I think you guys have -- I think the G.O.P. has one more shot. And it's in the next two years. And if you're not doing something. I don't know what's going to happen. I just don't know what's going to happen. But people are tired of it.

So, Mike, tell me about this Defense of Marriage Act. This seems like an extraordinarily bad idea.

MIKE: Yeah. So the respect for Marriage Act is something that purports to be a codification of the Supreme Court's ruling of 2015, of Obergefell v. Hodges, recognizing gay marriage.

GLENN: Okay. Hang on just a second. They put this in, because I think of Clarence Thomas and his dissent.

He kind of hinted that he would be willing to look at this again.

STU: No one joined him in that opinion.

GLENN: Yeah. I know that. That's the excuse they're using.

They want to seal this for all time.

MIKE: Right. Right. A couple of things to keep in mind. You're referring to Justice Thomas' concurring opinion, and the Dobbs decision a few months ago, which dealt with abortion, not marriage.

He's referring to a line of precedent. There's a number of lines of precedent that have evolved under the substantive due process standard in time. Perhaps they should be reviewed to figure out, whether there's a better place for them, or whether they withstand appropriate review.

It was joined by no other justice in that. And he also didn't go through what are called the stare decisis factors.

The stare decisis analysis would determine whether the Supreme Court would continue to defer to that case. Look, gay marriage is not going away. It's not.

The Supreme Court is not up doing that. I can tell you, the former appellate and Supreme Court litigator, there's not a chance in hell the Supreme Court is walking away from that.

And gay marriages that have been legal now for seven years aren't going away. So that begs the question: What's the real purpose for this?

Well, when I look at the bill, when I looked at the will is written, and what it says, and just as importantly, what it doesn't say. And how it would interact with other protections of the federal law. The federal civil rights legislation, as well as Supreme Court precedent interpreting those laws.

I saw a real risk of retaliation by the federal government against religious institutions.

GLENN: They never retaliate.

MIKE: Schools. Charitable organizations. Adoption agencies, with the religious mission purpose. That could lose their tax-exempt status, could lose access to participating in federal programs.

Lose federal status or federal benefits of one sort or another. Unless we put a protection in there, that depriving the government of that power. So I wrote an amendment to do that. I even offered to vote for the bill, as a whole. Necessary to get this bill in there. The sponsors wouldn't do it. They refused to do it.

GLENN: So that should tell you everything.

MIKE: Why would they refuse to do that? Why would they refuse protection saying you can't take away the tax-exempt status of a school or a day care or an adoption agency or whatever it is, with the religious mission on the basis of a religious belief about marriage? Why would they not do that?

It got more devious from there, Glenn. They adopted some amendment texts just in the last few days before bringing this to the floor. And claimed that their text would do essentially the same thing as my amendment.

Only, here's my problem. It wouldn't. It pays lip service to that, but it doesn't do the job.

So they have 12 Republicans to join with. All 50 Democrats. And they've survived the first threshold vote. Now, the good news here, Glenn. We've still got at least two more 60-vote threshold votes to cast on this bill. There's still time for us to convince a handful of those Republican senators, to join with Democrats, that they shouldn't be voting for this. Unless you actually have it out of government's hands, in the way that I've proposed.

I'm hoping they can see the line, between now and whenever this thing is put to bed.

GLENN: Can I ask you a question?

And I don't mean to put you in a difficult situation. But this is a -- this is sometimes described as a Mitt Romney bill. If you Google this bill, and you just add more and more -- what was it? More and more marriage bill, this is what comes up. Where did this bill start?

MIKE: Yeah. So it started in the House of Representatives. It started by a handful of House Democrats, back in July.

The church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints. I assume this is what you're referring to.

Chimed in and supported the recent religious freedom amendment put in place, by Senators Tillis, Collins, and Baldwin, I believe it was.

And said, that it was a maternal improvement with that language. Now, look, to be sure. The text of the bill was marginally better than it would have been without that language. But I emphasize the word marginally there. It still doesn't solve the problem.

This bill, it becomes law, will create a new risk. A new considerable, substantial risk. And that risk is not taken away. It's not adequately dealt with by this language.

We need language that actually does what they claim this one does, in private settings. They're going around touting this as this is the problem. And it doesn't solve the rob. Which should give people added reason to be very suspicious of this legislature.

GLENN: On the same topic, I am about to start a campaign to draft your attorney general to run for Mitt Romney's seat. Because I think he would win in a landslide. And based on your numbers, I think a guy with his record could win.

Now, I know you wouldn't. Because you have friends on both sides. So you wouldn't -- you wouldn't endorse anything like that. But I'm saying -- would you --

MIKE: I do. I do indeed -- I'm friends with both of them. That's an excellent point.

GLENN: Yeah. So what do you think of that idea? Of me just not connected to you?

MIKE: Yeah. So it's an idea, that has been out there. It's an idea that -- and I don't want to take anything away from your thunder here, Glenn.

GLENN: Yeah. No, no, no, no. I'm glad to hear someone is thinking that way.

How can I help them?

I don't know. I don't know what will happen? 2024 seems like a long way from here. I know it will be around in just a moment.

But speaking of marriage and respect of marriage, I am worried about one thing, Glenn. In your Relief Factor plug just a moment ago, you did an imitation for your wife that did not sound at all like your wife.

GLENN: Oh, you are sadly mistaken. You don't know her, Mike. You don't know her. Help me. Help me. I'm being held hostage.

MIKE: Perhaps in that moment, something happens to her vocal cords.

STU: Seems like you're both trying to get each other in trouble right now.

GLENN: Yeah, I know. We can talk about Mitt some more.

So one last thing, you were on our special that aired last night, The Targets of Tyranny. You leaned over to me at one point and said, this is the most frightening thing I think I've ever seen.

MIKE: Yeah. Yeah.

Look, the group of people -- the group of victims of government overreach that you assembled for that show. And for any of your listeners out there, who haven't seen it. I strongly encourage them to do it.

It's the best thing I've seen. The best encapsulation within a short period of time, of why you should be skeptical of Goth. Of why you should be especially concerned about the federal government, right now.

We saw instance after instance of good, solid, law-abiding American citizens, whose rights are being threatened, intimidated, harassed, cajoled, or otherwise beaten out of them.

And we really do have to take up this issue. It's all the more reason why, when you vote for someone for federal elected office, you need to ask them very specific questions about what they will do to dismantle the colossus, brooding omnipresence that the federal government has become. We've got to take this in hand.

There's some of the things that were -- that prompted this leadership election yesterday. We had a good discussion, even though it didn't turn out, the way that many had hoped.

And I was a supporter of delaying the election. And I supported Rick Scott. But the election happened. And we now have to rally behind our leader who was elected. But in that conversation, we had some very good discussions. This was the first time in the 12 years I've been in the Senate, there's even been a discussion like that. Since anyone has stood up. And this is one of the reasons, Glenn. The reasons that we discussed on your show, that just aired last night. This was a fantastic display. And I encourage every one of your radio listeners. And your podcast listeners to go and watch that program tonight. It will scare you. And just the same, it will give you the tools that you need, in order to know how to respond, when something like this happens to you.

GLENN: The most amazing piece of advice we got. With the end -- with the question and answers from the audience.

Most stunning advice coming from you, at least. I felt. You were like, absolutely. Please, come.

No. You don't talk to them. You have a right to remain silent. Exercise it. And the second thing, you shouldn't -- you should have the number of a good defense attorney.

I don't even know. I guess I'm friends with Alan Dershowitz. But I don't know if he will take my case. I am kind of a shady character.

But I don't even know. It's weird.

GLENN: With the right retainer, agreement, Glenn. They'll take it.
(laughter)

GLENN: All right. Mike Lee. Thank you so much.

Congratulations again on your astounding win.

Mike Lee. The great senator from the state of Utah.

RADIO

Did the US just get closer to the Russia, Ukraine war?

The world held its breathe this week when a stray missile crossed into Poland — a NATO country. Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy insisted the missile came from Russia, but other reports claim the opposite. Either way, with a NATO country now directly effected, did the U.S. become close to entering the war? Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT), joins Glenn to explain if America was ever close to joining the danger. Plus, Rep. Stewart explains why it wouldn’t make any sense for Vladimir Putin to involve NATO forces right now.

Transcript

Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors

GLENN: Chris Stewart is a multiple New York Times best-selling author. He is one of the best writers out there. He's a national award-winning author. Also, world record setting Air Force pilot, and the former owner and CEO of a small business. And he is a friend of mine. He is the congressman from Utah's second congressional district. Chris Stewart, welcome to the program.

CHRIS: Hey, Glenn. Nice to see you say, I was a friend of yours. That's great. Thank you.

GLENN: I know. And I expect that check to clear.

Now, listen, here's the thing I want you to talk about. Because you were on the intelligence and the permanent select committee, and you have military background. What the heck happened this week? How close were we to a war with Russia?

CHRIS: Okay. So like often when we speak, Glenn, I have to be careful what I say to you. And I want to speak you know in the realm of information that is publicly available. And there's more than that. It just passes the common sense test. Anyone with average intelligence would be able to conclude, and that is it was very, very dicey in the last ten days or so.

Because one of the most intricate, complicated, and dangerous maneuvers any military force can endeavor to do is an orderly withdrawal.

It's inherently dangerous in the sense, you're weakening your forces as you're trying to hold territory, while the others lead, the -- the area of operations. The fact that you have the river there, which obviously complicates that.

And Vladimir Putin has I think, we conclude there's -- you know there are certain thresholds, that he will not allow to have happen.

One of them is any essential Russian strategic defeat -- one of the results will protect his forces from the humiliating defeat that would alter the outcome of the war, and that's what we were facing this week.

And the good news, ironically, the good news is Russia actually had a very well executed withdrawal, that did not endanger massive numbers to our forces. So Vladimir Putin wasn't faced with that choice.

But it was very, very content, and a moment of uncertainty there, that I think we had our eyes -- our eyes were on it, very carefully.

GLENN: I will tell you, that when I saw the news. Someone came into a studio. I was in between shows. Somebody walked in and said, a missile just landed in Poland. And I said, oh, my gosh.

And we hoped that it was a mistake. And it was a mistake on Ukrainian's side. But Zelinsky is still saying, we don't have the proof that it was us. I mean, is that even possible that he doesn't know?

CHRIS: No. He often says things he has to say, in order to achieve his goals. And you go back to even before the war, he continued to deny, this was ever going to happen. Despite the clear evidence, that it wasn't just possible, it was inevitable. And he had to do that to keep on a brave face for his people. Et cetera. And one of the things we're seeing now, him saying to his people, and his military. You know, we're going to keep going. We're going to defeat every Russian. We're going to chase him out of every region, and Dinesh, Eastern regions of Ukraine, and maybe even Crimea.

So he will say things to rally his people. And rally his military forces. And I think this is an example of that.

Going back to where I started, you apply a common sense test. Becoming increasingly difficult, as we know in the world around us. Because we see that things make no sense at all, and it turns out to be true.

But Vladimir Putin does not want to go to war with NATO right now. I mean, he's in the middle of a catastrophe anyway. And to bring NATO into a war, especially on the western front, around could he have. It would just take a catastrophe, and times it by 100 for him. And not just militarily, but the perception of the world.

So one of the first things you ask yourself. It doesn't make sense. Why would Vladimir Putin do that? And it turns out, he didn't. It turns out, it was almost certainly a Ukrainian missile. And it took us very little time to determine, that it was fired by Ukrainians. It was likely a Russian missile. But it was one provided previous to the war.

And so that's why I think there were some confusion. Again, it just didn't make sense. It turned out not to be true. That Vladimir Putin was actually attacking a NATO country.

GLENN: What do you think of Milley this week saying, we're just going to keep giving them the money?

CHRIS: I don't think Milley is a member of Congress. So Milley doesn't make that decision, does he?

GLENN: Do you think there will be enough of you that will fight for an actual budget and appropriations?

CHRIS: Depends on what you mean by as number of us, as sufficient enough to stop it, I don't know yet. But there's a growing number of us, including those of us with military backgrounds. Those of us who sit on the intelligence in the Armed Services Committee, who will lead on these issues, who have increasing concerns about this.

And I think, Glenn, you and I talked about, an editorial I talked about several months ago. Or several weeks ago. That said, look, have we learned nothing from Iraq or Afghanistan. And if we have learned some of those lessons, we need to apply them here. And the very first thing we need to know, are our goals and Zelinsky's aligned? Because if he says, and he actually means, we're going to continue and press this all the way into Crimea. The United States simply cannot support that goal, without finding ourselves at war with Russia. And offensive operations in Crimea. Vladimir Putin would do that no differently than if we were to attack Moscow.

And Zelinsky certainly knows that. And so we have to first clarify this question.

What are our goals in Ukraine? And if we can agree on those goals, then we will support the effort.

Then second thing, you mentioned, Glenn, where is this money going?

Do we know these weapons are going where they're supposed to be going? By the way, are we funding nonessential military operations, like Ukrainian. The retirement accounts for Ukrainian officials.

I mean, that has simply got to stop as well. We have to identify where this money, and how this money is being spent.

GLENN: Let me switch topics.

The Republicans have laid out the Biden investigation. They were very clear. This is not about Hunter Biden. This is about Joe Biden.

The evidence seems to be overwhelming. You can't -- you can impeach. But you won't -- you won't get the Congress to you know vote for impeachment in the Senate.

And convict him of that. Most likely.

What is -- what do you think is happening here? How is this going to be perceived?

For the first time, Brock, what's his name? David Brock is leaving Media Matters, and he's going into a new Shell company that is going to be coordinating the pushback on the Republicans.

They are -- they are marshaling their forces like crazy. Like only Democrats do. What do you think is coming?

CHRIS: Well, they're marshaling their forces, because they know a catastrophe is coming. And that is, the truth is finally going to be revealed. And it will be revealed in such a way, that it can't be ignored.

You know, Glenn as effective as people like yourself are, in announcing and stating whether it's obviously true, it doesn't have the same weight as when an official committee of Congress, reaches certain conclusions.

It's harder for the media to ignore that. This isn't just about some business dealings with big companies in Ukraine and China.

Of course, China is our primary focus.

These are actual evidence of fraud. There's actual evidence of conspiracy. And with companies that are directly tied to the communist leadership, and Communist Party, in China.

And -- and we're finally going to have a chance, to investigate in that subpoena, and to understand these allegations. There's one thing I would caution. And I actually -- I -- I have a conclusion, that might surprise you. We should caution ourselves, in the sense, we won't necessarily impeach.

What we should say is, we'll investigate and find the truth.

And then if that truth compels, we should proceed with that.

GLENN: I agree.

CHRIS: I think the evidence of this is potentially so overwhelming. That I don't think it's possible, that the Senate doesn't actually convict.

I think it's possible, that the evidence is so overwhelming. That they may have no choice.

Now, again, let's see. Let's do the investigation. And let's see where we are.

But I think it's -- this is opening up a can of words. This is something way more substantial for the administration. Than just an inconvenience for them.

GLENN: Chris, I don't know if you know, anything about this happen.

I haven't looked into it. I haven't had time yet today. The Klamath River. They are getting rid of the four dams, on the Klamath River for the salmon. This is not the same river.
This is Washington, Oregon, California.

This is not the four dams. That they wanted to get rid of, on the Snake River. Right?

I didn't know we were trying to get rid of eight dams. I just know we were trying to get rid of four, apparently.

Do you know anything about the Klamath River Dam?

CHRIS: Well, I know a little bit. I don't know if I know enough to go into national radio.

GLENN: All right.

CHRIS: I will say this though, what you indicated is true. And also, it shows, just the insanity of the radical environmentalists who are in the middle of a drought, in the entire western United States. They think the solution is to drain the dams. They're trying to do the same thing here in Utah with the lake -- it just literally makes no sense in the middle of a drought. When water is precious, anyway, in a region where you know wars are fought over water, as the old saying goes. Yeah. Let's go drain dams. Because we know that will help. Again, it just simply makes no sense.

GLENN: Real quick, the EPA has held up major oil refinery, during the oil crisis. They're -- you know they're shutting everything down.

And they're not letting us redesign or rebuild or anything. According to the EPA.

Can Congress actually get anything done to actually relieve the American people of some of this nonsense, by themselves?

RICHARD: Well, I think there's only one avenue to do that. And that's through the appropriations process. Which you mentioned I sit on the house committee. I also sit on the Appropriations Committee.

And there's good news and bad news there. We can compel some of these things by tying it to government funding.

The bad news is, it's only a one-year solution. It's not a permanent solution. Because it's tied to language, which only funds the government for that year. So that's as long as language can apply.

And the second thing is that you run the risk of having, either the Senate or the president, veto or reject that funding mechanism, because of some of that language. And then you have to fight through the government checkout. So we're going to have some victory on those things, Glenn.

We will be able to insert language, whether it's with the EPA.

Another example, defunding 87,000 IRS agents.

I think that's one of the very first things we're going to take on. But we're going to do it through defunding again, through appropriations. And I challenge the president to shut down the government because he wants to adjust by having 87,000 IRS agents, who are going to come after any small business owner.

You don't need 87,000 agents to go after Jeff Bezos. That's clearly looking at middle-class Americans. Middle income Americans. And business owners.

GLENN: Oh, yeah.

CHRIS: So I think we could have some success. I think we will have some success on some of the EPA and oil and gas businesses. The absurdity of the president shutting down domestic oil production. And then turning to the oil and gas producers, and blaming them, and talking about their greed over the price of gas. I mean, does he gaslight the American people, to the extent that he just assumes every one of them is stupid?

We know what's happened here. And I think we will have a little bit of success on that, but the challenge is you have Schumer still running the Senate. We have to work our language through him.

GLENN: I know. All right. Chris, thank you for everything you do.

Congressman Chris Stewart, and have a great Thanksgiving, sir. God bless.

CHRIS: Thank you, sir. You too.

GLENN: You bet.

RADIO

Glenn: THIS may help President Trump win the White House

On Tuesday, President Trump announced his second run for the White House. And even though Glenn believes Trump had a perfect tone during his announcement — with no attacks, name-calling, or negativity regarding fellow Republicans — Glenn still has some advice for the former president. Listen to this clip to find out what Glenn believes Donald Trump MUST DO in order to reach as many voters as possible before the 2024 election...

Transcript

Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors

GLENN: So I don't know. Did you watch the speech yesterday?

STU: Yeah. A good chunk of it.

GLENN: Okay. So I watched most of it myself. I never have seen him that disciplined. He did everything he needed to do, and none of the other crap. Which would have gotten him in trouble. He did not take on Ron DeSantis or anybody else in the G.O.P. Did not eat his own. He instead, reminded people to vote for Georgia -- vote in Georgia for Walker. He reminded people of his accomplishments, and what America used to be like just two short years ago. And then laid out an agenda to bring it back. He also did not bring up the 2020 election. Which I thought him being focused forward is the biggest thing that he had to do. And he did it, last night.

Now, because I call balls and strikes, there's good things that Trump did. DeSantis, I think stumbled yesterday. Stop it. Stop it. Yesterday, he came out and he said something about Trump. I don't even remember what.

STU: I mean, people asked -- well, people asked him about Trump attacking him. And I think what his quote -- he said -- it wasn't that bad.

He said, eh, you know, incoming fire is part of the gig. I would say look at the scoreboard from last week.

GLENN: Here he is, cut four.

VOICE: What do you think about Trump's big announcement, and some of the comments he's made about you?

RON: Well, one of the things I've learned in this job. When you're leading. When you're getting -- if we go to things done, you know you take incoming fire. That's just the nature of it. I roll out of bed in the morning. I've got corporate media outlets that have a spasm, just the fact I'm getting up in the morning.

And it's constantly attacking. And this is just what's happened. I don't think any governor got attacked more, particularly by corporate media, than me over my four-year term.

And yet, I think what you learn is, all that is just noise. And really, what matters is are you leading? Are you getting in front of issues? Are you delivering results for people, and are you standing up for folks?

And if you do that, then none of that stuff matters. That's what we've done. We focused on results and leadership.

And you know at the end of the day, I would just tell people to check out the scoreboard from last Tuesday night.

It was the greatest Republican victory, in the history of the state of Florida.

STU: I don't know. I think that's the right tone for him.

GLENN: I just would have liked him to say, yeah. Trump helped me out. And I have no problem with Trump. And that's just me, nitpicky. But I would just like somebody to subsidiary here and say, I don't have any enemies in the G.O.P.

I would like someone to play Ronald Reagan. And I thought Trump did the best he could do last night. He didn't fire off any shots, which I thought was amazing. Of course, it wasn't enough for the media. Oh, boy.

Donald Trump announces he's running for president in 2024. This is from the Washington Post.

Donald Trump, the twice impeached former president, who refused to concede defeat. And inspired a failed attempt to overturn the 2020 election, culminating in a deadly attack on the US Capitol. Officially declared on Tuesday night, that he's running to retake the White House in 2024.

Well, I think that was totally fair and balanced, don't you?

So let's look at CNN. Former president, Donald Trump, aiming to become the only second commander-in-chief, ever elected, to -- two none consecutive terms, announced Tuesday night. He will seek the Republican presidential nomination.

Then he goes into -- then it goes into a quote. Trump delivered a relatively subdued speech. Rife with spurious and exaggerated claims about his four years in office. Despite a historically divisive president scene, his own role in inciting an attack in the US.

So at least at CNN, it took him three paragraphs. Where the Washington Post got it all at once.

NPR, Donald Trump, who tried to overthrow the results of the 2020 presidential election, and inspired a deadly riot in the Capitol, in a desperate attempt to keep himself in power, announced he's running again for president in 2024.

STU: Just -- despite the bias. Like, does anyone think that we forgot that he was president of the United States, and that there was this -- like, we all remember the story. You don't need to remind us. They all put us in the headline. Donald Trump, who organized a coup. Wants to be president. We got what he thinks about that story. You have covered it, at length. Several times.

Yeah. But I think there might be a senator from Pennsylvania, who might remember that. So we have NPR.

Let's see. What else do we have?

Los Angeles times. Trump does not want your vote in 2024, just your obedience, while he trashes the US again. So I think it was fair and balanced.

STU: So dumb.

GLENN: So I think it was fair and honest. I think they were open. Then you have from Politico, three major cable news networks, CNN, Fox, and MSNBC, to different extents, limited their airtime of President Donald Trump's speech Tuesday evening, in which he announced his 2024 presidential campaign.

MSNBC did not air the prime time speech at all. Fox and CNN cut away from more than an hour long address.

Trump verbally announced his candidacy. Fox cut away 15 minutes later than CNN, and then switched back to Trump.

I -- this brings up one thing. And I just don't think that Trump is -- he's very comfortable speaking. He is really good at large events like that. But I would have liked to have seen him do it in 20 minutes.

And knowing that he is the best at off the cuff and long format. But to regain independence. And people buying into all the crap. He really -- he needs to have a much shorter thing.

So people will watch it and consume it that would not normally consume these things.

I mean, it could just be left up to his social team. Let's see what he does with his social team tonight. He also needs to get back on to Twitter. And I know he has his own Truth Social. But, Mr. President, please, please take my advice.

I didn't do YouTube up until, what? Two years ago. And that's because we put everything we had, into the Blaze. And it worked, because we did build the Blaze. And the Blaze is stronger now than ever before. It served our core.

But we realized, we have to be wherever people are. So we're on everything. And it's important strategically, to be on everything, no matter where people are.

So I would urge you to try to get back on to social media.

RADIO

Proof Amazon is FAR MORE DANGEROUS than you may have thought

The world knows Amazon is an extraordinarily powerful company, but one family’s terrifying story demonstrates just how dark, dominant, and dishonorable the corporation truly is. Amy’s husband, Carl, was accused of a crime by Amazon — his former employer — in 2020. Even though Carl was never charged for that crime, Amazon still seized nearly ALL the funds Amy and Carl had spent years acquiring. Everything was taken directly from their bank accounts via civil asset forfeiture. But the dangers of Amazon go even further. In this clip, Amy joins Glenn to detail just how menacing the relationship between Amazon and our federal government — specifically the DOJ — truly is.

Transcript

Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors

GLENN: Amy Nelson is somebody who has experienced the collusion between big government and big business, pretty much like no one else that I know.

Amazon made claims that her husband did something illegal. Although, they were never told what -- what that charge was supposed to be.

They met with the Department of Justice over and over and over again. And tried to convince the Department of Justice, to charge him with a crime. They never did.

Yet, the Justice Department, came in and took every penny they had. Took their bank accounts. Went as far as I think taking his father or his father-in-law-'s bank account. Took all her bank accounts that were just in her name.

The family was left penniless. They decided to fight. It's not over yet.

Believe it or not. This began, while COVID was happening.

And it could happen to anyone.

So, you know, these -- all these victims, they're not necessarily you know MAGA people, or even Republicans. Amy, who I find delightful, was a bundler for Barack Obama.

So there wasn't a political reason. There was a reason, and the reason is, Amazon was trying to avoid 100 million-dollar judgment or penalty against them. On something else.

So they cooked the books. And tried to make -- at least, that's what it appears to be. That they cooked the books. And tried to make Amy's husband the scapegoat. Why spend 100 million, when you could destroy this guy for maybe ten? And you spend $90 million.

Amy Nelson. Do I have the story kind of accurate in a summary, Amy?

AMY: You really do. And it's remarkable, Glenn. Because it's a long story.

GLENN: So I so appreciate you coming on the program. And I appreciate the fact that you and your husband with four children, you had to sell anything that you were left with.

You had to sell the house.

Because you couldn't make the mortgage payments.

You didn't even know how you would feed your family. But you moved in with relatives, right?

AMY: We did. I mean, we early on -- you know look, I think when my husband was accused with a crime. It was totally shocking to us, we didn't know where this was coming from. Also, I was a lawyer. But I was a civil lawyer. I must know a lot about criminal law. So we were just in a position where we were trying to learn -- and we were just making decision after decision, to try to stay alive and be able to fight. I didn't even know civil forfeiture was a thing in America, to be honest.

I didn't know the government --

GLENN: Maybe you shouldn't have been bundling for Obama. Because we talked about it on my show.

AMY: Maybe I should have been listening to you.

GLENN: Maybe. I'm just saying.

AMY: Yeah, I know. It is -- it is -- you know it's definitely. I think this is really my own politics.

Yeah. It's been an awakening. Really, it's an awakening. I look at it, why would these prosecutors help Amazon?

But I think the answer isn't that complicated. I think most prosecutors leave -- leave the federal -- leave the Department of Justice. And they go work in private practice. And who is going to hire them?

Me or Amazon? Amazon is. Right?

So I think the revolving door in Washington has really what I've been thinking a lot about.

GLENN: I have not. I didn't know the numbers. The numbers you threw out on the special. Pretty staggering about the number of FBI prosecutors and DOJ officials, that are being hired by Amazon. Why would they need all of those people?

But I think -- because of your experience, we know why they are.

AMY: I think part of it is. I think they want to have a close relationship with the Department of Justice. Because the intelligence community is Amazon's web services. They get clients. The more of a relationship that they have, you know, the more they're likely to continue making a profit from selling products to the government. But I also think, and this is just my opinion.

But if you have a Department of Justice, that is focused on anti-trust. And thinking about breaking Amazon up. Anti-trust falls within the Department of Justice.

So if you're like, no, no. We're your friends. You like us. We're your colleague, that's better than having the Department of Justice come at you for anti-trust.

GLENN: Right.

So did you get your money back yet?

AMY: We did actually. So we got our money back in February of 2020. That said, the government held our money for 20 months. So for 20 months, we had to figure out --

GLENN: Hang on just a second. Closed your bank accounts. Closed your credit card. So you couldn't use your credit cards. Took your money out of your accounts. You had no way to buy anything. Right?

AMY: And we didn't. Other than the fact that we were both still working. So they took everything after a certain date, and we kept working. I will say both Carla and I lost work because of this, because of the very sensational, public allegations.

It's hard for me, right? Because I'm not accused for anything.

GLENN: Right.

AMY: And it's not fair that it impacted my husband either.

GLENN: Did you lose friends?

AMY: We did. And that was really hard too.

I mean, I remember once I had accidentally got a text from a woman, talking about me, that wasn't meant from me.

And it was someone I thought was a business colleague and a friend. But I did lose friends and Carl lost friends. But we also figured out who our friends were. There's nothing good going through something like this. But we have been surrounded by so much love. And we have faith. And so that's really helped to get us through this.

GLENN: Yeah. So you said that -- you've seen the effects, and not just in your story.

But take us down the road of this collusion, between the government and Amazon.


AMY: Yeah. So I -- in my own kind of deep search for how the hell did this happen.

I was figuring out, looking at the relationship between Amazon and the Department of Justice. Like, I just figured out, going on linked in,how many people they were hiring from the Department of Justice.

Then I started looking around, on the Department of Justice website. And I was able to piece together, on a two-year period, Amazon had referred over 36 criminal investigations, to the Department of Justice. And I thought, is that normal?

And I went around and looked. And it was Walmart. One of the other largest companies in America. It was two.

GLENN: Wow.

AMY: And that's just stunning to me.

GLENN: Wow.

And they also have -- I remember in 2008, I had a call from a guy, who was in Amazon, and he was -- he was overseeing some of their -- their server sites.

And if I'm not mistaken, he had something to do with security

And he said, he called me up off the air. And he said, Glenn, whatever our federal government is doing with Amazon. This is not going to work out well.

I said, what are you talking about?

And he said, there's a 10-foot trench just outside our trenches. It's 10 feet down, goes all the way down the fences of our servers.

They're putting in all kinds of monitoring, to make sure that nobody penetrates that. He said, we're starting to partner with the government on information. This can't be good.

AMY: I mean, I don't see how you can't think that they are partnering at this point. You have the FBI, and the CIA, and the NSA.

They hire Amazon web services to hold the government secrets in their data warehouses. And it just seems like governments should be doing on their own. Not relying on a private company. Particularly one that is owned by a billionaire, who owns media companies. You know.

Like, it's weird.

GLENN: Yeah. And isn't the NSA, former NSA director, on their board, or --

AMY: Yes. Yes. The former head of the National Security Agency, is on the corporate board of Amazon.com, as is a lawyer named Jamie Garelles (phonetic), who works for a private law firm, but who previously was the deputy attorney general for the United States as she mentored Merrick Garland. It's all just too close for comfort, for me, personally.

GLENN: Yeah. Honestly, and I don't mean -- I'm not joking about this. I mean this sincerely. Liberals were right about one thing. And conservatives were wrong. You should worry about these giant corporations. I always thought that was crazy. Because who would want to say -- who is out there building the business, going, I want the government more involved in my business? I never thought that would happen. But you know the liberals were absolutely right. I just don't know why they don't see it now.

AMY: It is -- it is something I think about all the time, Glenn. In that, you made a good point, on your show the other night. Talking about how -- about putting someone in prison.

If you put them in prison, for defying Congress. No one has done that in 60 years. I see on the progressive side, people being gleeful about it. So but what I want to say to progressives, this can set a precedent.

So when it's a Republican in charge, they can do the same thing. And you won't be very gleeful about it. You shouldn't look at our constitutional rights as partisan things.

We should hold them dear for all of us, regardless of our politics. And I think we've lost that. I don't know how. Ask I don't know why.

GLENN: Yeah. I do. You should listen to me some more.
(laughter)

AMY: I have been. I have been. I'm a fan now.

GLENN: So, Amy, what is the biggest thing you've learned out of this, that you feel you should pass on to other people? What should they know?

AMY: The thing I want to pass on to other people, is that, you know, if you are accused of something that you didn't do, particularly by people who seem to have more power and more money, a lot of people will tell you to be quiet.

But I think that's wrong. I think the only way to hold power accountable, is to speak out. And I think you're safer when you do speak out too. And so I would encourage people, if they are being deprived of their rights. If they are being accused of something they didn't do. To try to talk about it. To try to get people to listen.

Because that's the only way, I think, to protect yourself. And to drive change. Ask to make sure, it won't happen to other people. Because if Amazon can do this, it's a playbook for every corporation in America. And that is terrifying.

GLENN: Oh, yeah. Amy, are you concerned at all, about retaliation about being on the show, or continuing to speak out on this?

AMY: You know I -- I am. But I also will say, Glenn. That you know Jeff Bezos is out there, publicly saying he hired Gavin de Becker, the former I think -- you know, for his personal security.

GLENN: Oh, yeah. Hang on. Hang on. I've had Gavin de Becker, as my personal security for a while. They're not anymore. Yeah. I know. I know. I know.

AMY: Yeah. You know, it's terrifying.

But I do feel safer, speaking out publicly.

You know, I actually found out last month, because I use social media a lot. And Andy Jassy, he's the CEO of Amazon. We have a number of friends in common. I mean, I personally know Amazon's general counsel David Folky (phonetic), which has made all of this more painful for me.

However, I did find out last night, that Andy Jassy blocked me on Facebook. I'm just a mom in Ohio and the CEO of Amazon. A trillion dollar company personally blocking me on Facebook.

GLENN: That's fantastic. Amy, thank you so much. You go back to court, I think in January. Right?

Or is it --

AMY: So Carl's trial, my husband's civil trial is in May. I'm looking forward to getting this over with.

GLENN: I bet. And we can't wait to talk to you. And celebrate with you, when you win. Thank you so much, Amy. God bless.