January 25, 2019
Bardia Honardar, Show Host
Roger Stone, a longtime Republican strategist and an adviser to Donald Trump, who was arrested Friday on charges related to the Russia collusion probe, is freed on bail.
Roger Stones arrest came following an indictment by special counsel Robert Mueller. Stones indictment contains seven counts: One count of obstructing an official proceeding, five counts of false statements and one count of witness tampering. Political Analyst, James Fetzer (MADISON) Author and Journalist, Craig Unger (NEW YORK)
Transcribed by Jeannon Kralj
Bardia Honardar: Hello Everybody.
Roger Stone, a longtime Republican strategist and an advisor to Donald Trump, was arrested Friday in charges related to the Russia collusion probe, is freed on bail.
His arrest came following an indictment by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Stone’s indictment contained seven counts. One count of obstructing an official proceeding, five counts of false statements and one count of witness tampering.
Mueller is investigating Russia’s possible interference in the 2016 election and Trump – Moscow collusion. With Stone’s indictment, Mueller goes deep inside Trump’s inner circle charging a long-standing friend of Trump and one of the first people who promoted him for the White House.
How important is that indictment and what does it mean for President Trump and the collusion probe? Is Mueller tightening the noose on him?
Those are some of the questions that we will be asking in tonight’s debate, but before that let’s go to Washington, D.C. where press correspondent, Colin Campbell, is standing by to share with us his thoughts on Roger Stone’s arrest. Colin?
Colin Campbell: Yes, this was somewhat unexpected on a day like today when Mueller’s investigation doesn’t seem to be winding down even though there have been queries as to when it would wind down since last year. Many people have theorized that it would only be a matter of days or weeks before it would be finally concluded, but it looks like there are still more revelations happening in the investigation of the Trump administration and mainly the president himself, Donald Trump.
Now, of course, Stone has denied all of the allegations against him, saying that there is no collusion, that he really was just …that this might have been something that is more of a misunderstanding than anything.
Of course, the Whitehouse is denying that whatever Stone is being questioned over has to do with implications that are directly connected to the president. They are saying that this is just an individual who may have lied about particulars in the case but nothing that is connected to the president himself.
So we have to wait and see what happens with this investigation. What are the charges that are most likely to apply to Stone? Are these all going to stick or is it just a select few that will actually be substantive enough to actually sentence Stone if that is what is going to happen in the long term?
Meanwhile the president is planning for a conference later today. It is unclear if he is going to answer to the allegations that are surrounding Stone. Many people believe that it has to do with the government shutdown that we are experiencing right now and when people are going to get back to work.
But you have to imagine that reporters who are at the White House right now are preparing for a Rose Garden address are going to be asking the president whether or not Stone has been trying to deflect a lot of the allegations against the president as well.
Bardia Honardar: All right, thanks a lot Colin. That was Press TV Washington correspondent Colin Campbell.
And joining us on tonight’s debate, we have author and journalist, Mr. Craig Unger joining us from New York. Sir, welcome to the program.
Well, there are a lot of twists and turns in this collusion case. As we know the long-time Trump advisor, Roger Stone, has been charged by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. That indictment included evident purporting that Stone had advance knowledge of Wikileaks’ plan to divulge thousands of hacked Democratic Party emails. Give us your views on this latest development.
Craig Unger: Well, I think this is extremely important. This has been expected for some time but if you read Mueller’s indictment, the specificity is just amazing because you see him quoting actual emails back and forth in which Roget Stone is communicating, largely indirectly, with a person who is pretty clearly Julian Assange, and he is talking about Organization One, which is Wikileaks and when are they going to release various emails and should they postpone it and how much impact will they have, and if this isn’t collusion I don’t know what is.
It also seems to implicate another individual who is not name but it appears to be Steve Bannon who of course is very, very close to Donald Trump. So, if we want to know if Trump actually had knowledge of this, I think that is going to be a key place to look in the future.
Bardia Honardar: Also joining us for tonight’s panel is political analyst, Mr. James Fetzer, who is with us now from Madison. Sir, welcome to the program.
Well, the indictment suggests Mr. Trump’s campaign knew about the additional stolen emails before they were released and they asked Mr. Stone to find out about them. After that, the Trump campaign sought more of those emails. What does this spell for president Trump at this point?
05:39 a few seconds pause
James Fetzer: (poor quality audio with static and cut-outs only for James Fetzer’s audio, throughout)
Well this whole event is political theater. Robert Mueller has come up dry with regard to the Russia investigation and with good reason.
There are three tells here. One is having a raid with armed officers on Roger Stone’s home to apprehend his computers and his records for a nonviolent offense and then releasing him on a two-hundred-and-fifty-thousand-dollar recognizance bond. That’s theatrical.
Second, CNN producers acknowledged he was waiting at Roger Stone’s home an hour before the arrest took place, so he was tipped off because this was a public relations stunt.
Third, none of these indictments have anything to do with Russian hacking. In fact, every serious student knows that this was a fabrication, where Robby Mook and John Podesta introduced the Russian hacking meme within 48 hours of Hillary’s concession speech for at least three reasons – to excuse their incompetent campaign, where even Michael Moore had predicted they would lose because they were neglecting the voters in the Rust Belt states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin, which proved to be correct; second, because they wanted to divert attention away from the Wikileak emails, which led directly to Pizza Gate where John Podesta himself is “Pedophile-in-Chief”; and third, to distract from Hillary Clinton’s own entanglements with Russian, where, with the approval of Barack Obama she sold off twenty percent of U.S. uranium reserves to Russia for a 145 million dollar contribution to the Clinton Foundation. If Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were given the electric chair for sharing atomic secrets with the then Soviet Union, what do Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama deserve for selling off twenty percent of U.S. uranium to Russia?
Bardia Honardar: Mr. Unger, our guest in Madison just painted quite a convoluted picture. What do you have to say about those comments?
Craig Unger: It is still conspiratorial nonsense. It doesn’t deal with any of the realities of the Mueller indictment.
Look at the specifics. He is quoting from emails and text messages and, believe me, Robert Mueller has those authenticated or he wouldn’t put them in the indictment and the court will decide, but I mean you you…if you just read through the indictment, which is out there publicly available, it is very, very compelling.
And what you see is a relationship… Roger Stone and Trump go way, way back, nearly forty years and it all ties to Russia. If you go back to 1987 when Donald Trump took his first trip to Moscow, he immediately came back and he met with Roger Stone, among other people, and he took out a full-page ad in the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe under Stone’s tutelage and it put forth — this was his first run for president in 1988 – and he put out a full-page ad that essentially put forth a policy that in terms of American interests was absolutely insane. It attacked NATO and the Western alliance mercilessly. This was still during the Cold War and yet you have Donald Trump putting forth a very, very pro-Russian policy under Roger Stone’s tutelage. And it really raises a question of was Trump turned. Was he recruited as an agent back then in the eighties?
Bardia Honardar: Mr. Fetzer, our guest in New York says that the tangible realities can’t be ignored. If this indictment is valid, it’s definitely passed with details that will make the Trump inner circle sweat, won’t it?
Craig Unger: Oh absolutely. I think this is …
Bardia Honardar: No, that was for Professor Fetzer.
James Fetzer: Well the whole thing is contrived and fabricated, involving corrupt members of the FBI, the Department of Justice, Hillary Clinton and the DNC.
Perhaps your guest didn’t get the memo, but Christopher Steele, who was the author of the so-called Russia dossier, about two weeks ago, left the judge astonished in a UK courtroom when under oath he testified that he had written that as an employee of Hillary Clinton.
We know that it was Seth Rich, who was the IT guy for the DNC and a Bernie Sanders’ supporter, disillusioned by the way in which Debbie Wasserman Schultz was sabotaging the campaign of Bernie Sanders, who downloaded the files directly with the assistance of Kim Dotcom, a well-known Internet personality. They were conveyed to Julian Assange by way of Craig Murray, UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, where Julian Assange proceeded to publish them.
We know that this is the case and, indeed, it appears that John Podesta wanted to set an example of someone who was a leaker and was responsible for having Seth Rich shot, where both Julian Assange and Craig Murray had observed repeatedly that they knew the leaker, that he was not Russian and where, after the shooting, Julian Assange offered a twenty thousand reward for assistance in finding out, tracking down, who offed Seth Rich.
I am sorry to say the propaganda campaign has endured for two and a half years now. It has no foundation. The best cyber security experts in the world, including Bill Binney, have confirmed that the downloads of the files took place in the Eastern time zone at a rate far too fast to be Russian hacking.
I have featured Bill Binney on my own radio show where he confirmed it to me directly. This is outrageous.
And if they pour through the emails of Roger Stone, they’ll find hundreds of correspondence between me and Roger because Roger is a friend of mine and, just as Roger will not bear false witness against Donald Trump, I will not bear false witness against Roger Stone.
Bardia Honardar: Mr. Unger, you were laughing there, do you disagree with Mr. Fetzer?
Craig Unger: To be honest, I can’t figure out what he is trying to say. He is throwing in one irrelevancy after another. The indictment speaks for itself. I mean here you have a sequence of events in which …uh uh…in which the DNC is hacked, their repeated requests from Trump campaign officials ‘can we get more’, Roger Stone reaches out to Julian Assange, directly and indirectly, and it happens again and again. Those weren’t fabrications. You really believe those were fabricated? Believe me, Robert Mueller isn’t going to court with fabricated email and text. Those exist.
Bardia Honardar: Mr. Fetzer, with the US president mired in this debacle of the government shutdown, what else could these allegations amount to? Do you think that the top Democrats will be going all the way and will be aiming for Trump’s resignation or his impeachment?
James Fetzer: Well, there’s nothing to the Russia hoax. There’s a brilliant book, which I recommend, unlike Mr. Unger’s nonsense, entitled The Russia Hoax, where Gregg Jarrett has totally documented the complicity of the elements within the Department of Justice and the FBI who colluded corruptly with Hillary Clinton and the DNC to fabricate this elaborate scam, this scheme about which we’ve heard unrelenting referred to for two and a half years. I am sorry to say that there are individuals who are seeking to benefit financially from all of this political malfeasance, including your other guest.
Vladimir Putin is an honorable man. There is nothing to the Russian hoax. It has even been claimed that there was a discussion between Manafort and Russians about the polls was misinformation, because he was discussing that with the Ukranians, where he was doing business.
This whole thing is a massive fabrication that undermines the legitimacy of the Clinton Foundation (sic, meant to say, Trump administration), where we have Donna Brazile speaking about ‘Nancy Pelosi as Speaker today but president tomorrow’ where they seem to have a covert scheme. They take Trump and Pence out of office to get Pelosi into the presidency, where she would then make Hillary Clinton her Vice President and resign.
It’s all nonsense. It’s all fabrication and any serious student who has been following this knows that what you are hearing from Mueller and from Unger is a fabrication that is fake. It’s one of the great frauds on the American people. I would put it right up there with the claim that Lee Oswald was the lone shooter of JFK or that nineteen Islamic terrorists hit the United States.
We know there is a great video about JFK. Lyndon Johnson was deeply complicit with the CIA, Texas oil men, and the Joint Chiefs to take out Jack Kennedy. And we know that 9/11 was brought to us compliments of the CIA, the neocons, the Department of Defense, and the Mossad to get the United States embroiled in the Middle East and take out the modern Arab states that serve as a counterbalance to Israel’s domination in the entire region and eventually to confront the Persian nation of Iran.
The American people deserve the truth, but the CIA began infiltrating the media in the 1950s in Operation Mockingbird. By 1975, William Colby, then its director, was already testifying to congress that the agency owned everyone of any significance in the media.
That was followed by Carl Bernstein’s article in Rolling Stonein 1977, “The CIA and the Media”, where high officials of the agency were boasting that their greatest successes had been with Time-Life and The New York Timesand CBS.
Today, the situation is much worse. We’re getting unrelenting reports of fake news 24/7. The cable’s CNN and MSNBC are by far the worst. A recent study has shown that in fact ninety percent of the reporting about the Trump administration has been negative. Only Fox came out with a reasonable proportion of fifty-two percent negative, forty-eight percent positive, which is much closer to the truth.
If Donald Trump had done no more than expose the fake media and its massive influence upon the American public in the formation of their attitudes, he would be regarded appropriately as a great champion of the public interests of the United States.
Bardia Honardar: Mr. Unger, it’s definitely tough to follow all that up. (Laughter) What’s your response to our guest in Madison?
Craig Unger: My response is that essentially your guest has no specific information that refutes any of the allegations in Mueller’s report. He just says they’re fabricated and then spouts ten or fifteen other very weird conspiracies that are uh, you know, he’s just spouting them off the top of his head.
There is… you know…my book has over a thousand footnotes. You can go to the original sources if you like if you want to check it out, but this is…I believe very strongly we have a Russian asset in the White House.
And it was not merely Russian meddling in the election. This was an attack on American sovereignty that was successful, and it succeed…it was an intelligence operation done by the Russians in collusion …we can now see through these indictments, in the Mueller indictments of Roger Stone, and they went back and forth with Russia saying when Russia had hacked Hillary’s emails and hacked DNC emails and it was ‘when are you going to release them’ and they did release them. And it did play a role in the election and helped win it for Donald Trump.
Bardia Honardar: Mr. Fetzer, Mr. Unger believes that he not only disagrees with you, but he believes that there is as far as the “Russian asset in the White House.” What are your thoughts on that?
James Fetzer: Well, completely absurd. For crying out loud. John Bolton and Mike Pompeo are hardly Russian assets. In fact, the Chief Executive of Google has testified to Congress that the total sum Russia spent on the election in its attempt to influence was less than 4,750 dollars. Less than five thousand dollars! That’s the amount of money corporate executives spend on an elaborate lunch for their high-ranking officers. This is ridiculous beyond belief.
The Deep State apparatus is very much at work. I am sorry to say that this man Unger is very much a part of it to propagate a false narrative. He knows it’s false. It’s a deliberate effort to subvert the legitimacy of the (man) the American public elected to be president of the United States.
Studies by Boston University and the University of Minnesota reveal that the reason Trump prevailed over Clinton was that voters in rural counties in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin, which had suffered many causalities of the war in the Middle East, judged him, not with certainty,but he would be less likelythan the other candidate to continue those wars. He promised to get us out. Now he is starting to do it. He is pulling us out of Syria. He is reducing our forces in Afghanistan.
The deep state and the military industrial complex is going bananas. The Democratic Party is so tied in to all of this corruption they’re going with it, and many of their propaganda outlets are right there pitching in. Sorry to say but the guest you have with me here today is part and parcel of that effort to undermine the democratically-elected President of the United States in order to preserve the interests of the deep state, where he is going about doing his best to “drain the swamp” on behalf of the American people–and I wish him well.
Bardia Honardar: Mr. Unger, let’s get a little bit of focus on this Mueller report as well and let’s talk about the impact of it. Impeachment, that’s the thing that’s the most dangerous to Donald Trump in the Mueller report that is most deeply damning, isn’t it?
Craig Unger: Well, you know, I think the Democrats are somewhat reluctant to go full-steam ahead with impeachment. They may be forced in to it as the revelations come forth. I mean, I think the next step may be, ‘Will Donald Trump Jr. be indicted?’, ‘Will Jared Kushner be indicted?’ And if it gets to Donald Trump’s family, I think we’re going to see things ratcheted up enormously as it is here.
I’m here in New York and LaGuardia airport is at least partially shut down. Incoming flights are not allowed. That is tremendously costly, that the government shutdown that Donald Trump, your other guest’s hero, has instigated and is costing the city hundreds of millions of dollars a day now; and if those costs proliferate, I think you’re going to see things ramp up, and Mitch McConnell is going to be a position where he’s going to either have to cave in and reopen the government, or otherwise Donald Trump is going to seize emergency powers.
So, the entire crisis is going to be ratcheted up a notch at a time and we’ll see how Trump comes forth. But I think in the end a lot of Republicans who stood by him forever are going to see that once the economy is affected, the way it already is being affected, and we see it in the Stock Market, that their electoral future will be in doubt and maybe they won’t stand so solidly behind Donald Trump anymore.
Bardia Honardar: That’s all the time we have for tonight. Allow me to thank my guests, James Fetzer, political analyst from Madison and also author and journalist, Craig Unger, for joining us from New York; and a special thanks to our viewers for staying with us tonight. Good night.