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14: Rick Gates, Former Trump Advisor and Author of "Wicked Game: An Insider’s Story"

Guest Name(s): Rick Gates

Rick Gates discusses Biden’s presidency, election integrity, the Capitol riot, and Trump’s influence on the GOP. He calls for bipartisan election reforms and sees the January 6 events as a failure of both Trump and Congress, urging unity. Gates explores U.S. foreign policy challenges, Trump’s enduring party control, and the impact of his Twitter ban.

Additionally, Gates clarifies his and Manafort’s work with foreign entities and addresses the Trump Inaugural Committee’s financial scrutiny. The dialogue covers global threats from China and Russia, advocating for a stronger U.S. stance. Gates promotes his book “The Wicked Game,” reflecting on political polarization and governance challenges.

Wicked Game: An Insider’s Story on How Trump Won, Mueller Failed, and America Lost >>

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In a factual firsthand account of this turbulent period in our nation’s history, Donald Trump’s 2016 deputy campaign chairman takes us deep behind the scenes to examine the truth about how Trump won, why the Mueller investigation failed, and how the current state of presidential politics is tearing apart the very fabric of our democracy.
Rick Gates, author and former Trump Campaign manager.
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This pre-recorded show furnished by Matthew Matern.

This is Unite and Heal America with Matt Matern. My guest today, Rick Gates. Rick has written a book An Insider’s Story on How Trump Won & Muller failed in America. Last I had Rick on the show back on January sixth. And while we were taping the show the capital was being stormed. So it wasn’t quite clear, clear to us at the time what was happening because the events unfolded so quickly.

But during the course of the hour, I’d love to get callers call in and talk and ask Rick some questions. And our number here is 800-222-5222. And that’s KABC-790. Again, I’m here with Rick, how are you, Rick?

Good not doing well. Thanks for having me.

Thanks for being on the show. So what’s what’s new with you? Since we last talked on January 6?

Well, I think the Presidents have changed. That was certainly a big moment. And we’ve been working on a number of things moving forward to 2020. Well, we look at, you know, what the Biden ministration has been doing, you know, and of course of just over the first 50 days, that’s quite a contrast to the way that President Trump, you know, view policies. So there are several, you know, issues that I think are going to weigh heavily in the midterms and 2022. And I think it’s gonna be interesting to see which way America, you know, is leaning.

I mean, there are obviously issues with immigration down along the border. There are, you know, a number of international issues, which have just, you know, raised their head, I think, you know, President Biden is being tested right now, by a number of our adversaries think every president, you know, in their first 100 days kind of goes through this.

And it’ll be interesting to see, you know, the way the Biden administration, you know, deals with it, because the way that we’re perceived internationally means a lot to a number of, you know, emerging democracies, and they’re looking at the US as a model.

So, I want to be optimistic. And I hope, you know, things start turning around for the United States in terms of our international prestige, in the way that we’re viewed. But I think there’s going to be a lot between now and 2022, that will help shape those elections, and then determine you know, what happens next and whether the Republicans take back the House and or Senate?

Certainly a lot going on, I guess I asked you to step back just a minute. And I think, ask you the question in terms of did Joe Biden win the election? Are you are you in that camp? Or are you still questioning the win?

Well, like I’ve always said that I believe that there has been election fraud, not just in the 2020 election, but for decades. And it’s now gotten to the point where all Americans need to pay attention to it. Do I think Joe Biden won? Yes. Do I think there was election fraud? Absolutely. And I think America can do better as a country and as a model of democracy to make sure that our elections are, you know, on point free, fair and transparent. And we all have work to do Republicans and Democrats?

Well, I certainly think that the overwhelming evidence is that the fraud was not sufficient to overturn the election. I think you’ve agreed with that. And, of course, we want an election that is completely free from fraud. I, and we should do everything that we can to ensure our elections are free from fraud obviously, seems as though that President Trump kind of played on the fact that some mischievious acts may have occurred and conflated that to the election was stolen, and there are those are two different things. You can have 10 votes stolen, and that that is fraud, but it’s not going to change the results of the election if he lost Michigan by 100,000 votes, for example.

Absolutely. And look, there are states where I do you believe that fraud impacted the election in a way that it could have gone a different direction. There were clearly states like Arizona, where I don’t believe there was fraud, that was just a outright, you know, number of senior citizens not voting for Donald Trump. And so I think when you look at it as a whole, there were issues with the elections and I think that’s what we need to look at and examine and do better at it.

Sure. President Trump, you know, came out he is very kind of black and white on this issue. We’re pretty him, it’s either fair, it’s not fair. And in his mind, based on what he saw based on the reports that he was getting, and the fact that there was brought in some states, it may not have been systemic fraud, I think get caught in the semantics of some of those definitions sometimes. But I think, again, as a country, we’ve got to do a better job, all around is dead people are voting, it doesn’t matter what state how many people, we can do better if people are voting from other states while living in a different jurisdiction, we can do better.

And I think that’s the message that we need to take away. So we looked at as in 2016, when the president you know, shined a spotlight then as a candidate, on the way that the Republican establishment work the way that the Republican Convention worked in terms of him, you know, having delegates taken away, he shined that spotlight, and he did the same thing on the elections in 2020. So I think we can all agree that we can do a better job.

And, you know, I think we’ll be arguing for years on whether or not you know, it was ultimately stolen. But, you know, there were certainly enough to war. And that’s why you’re seeing all this electoral election law changes in a number of in almost every jurisdiction.

Right, I think there’s over almost 800 pieces of legislation, I believe in different states on electoral reform.

Well, in terms of the responsibility of the chief executive to communicate honestly, with the American public, you had a situation where President Trump was leading rallies saying stop to steal, the election was stolen, yet he didn’t come forward with evidence that it was stolen. And that’s, to me is irresponsible. And I think, you know, led to the events of January 6, and I guess I’d asked you the question of, What do you think Trump’s role was in the events of January 6?

I think words matter. And I think there were a number of people that were, you know, ultimately responsible for what happened on January 6, and I think, again, it’s it’s a measure of our country and our ability to survive and sustain, you know, our democracy. So do I think President Trump had contributed to January 6, on January 6, look, if you take his words, on January 6, it’s really hard to build that case, if you take it over the course of several months, and building up this idea the election was stolen, he looked at 70 or 75 million people vote for him.

So clearly, there were enough people that believed that he was the, you know, the rightful person that was elected. And when you start breaking down different states, like Pennsylvania, with the mail in ballots, there were some absolutely, you know, disingenuous efforts, and in some cases, illegal effort that we now know, and I think, you know, as always, more will unfold in this situation, but I think they’re I look, I think Congress was largely responsible for January 6, to be honest, there was a lot more that Congress could have done, Republicans and Democrats alike, you know, blame does on both sides.

And the fact that it got to that point, the boiling point, is gonna be, you know, something that we’re gonna have to reflect on for quite some time, I understand. They’re taking down the fences, you know, around the Capitol now, I’ve been in the city, you know, over the last several weeks, you know, since the inauguration, it is depressing. It is not the America that I think we all know, and believe in.

And I hope that we can use this to turn back and really start, you know, building the bridges between the parties and the voters, because that’s the only way we’re ever going to be in a situation where we can kind of come back and treat each other with civility and actually then end up with, you know, better and more transparent elections.

Well, I have a big issue with saying Congress was to blame for January 6. I mean, to me, it was clearly the president who inflames the mob that stormed the Capitol. He was the one who was making those statements. He was delivering that rhetoric. I mean, to the extent that there were Republican congressmen that were supporting that effort, maybe they bore some responsibility, as well.

But, you know, it was irresponsible for Trump to be contesting the election without the evidence. I mean, if he had evidence, there were 60 cases that were brought, and none of them were victorious. So that to me, as a lawyer, I say, Where’s where’s the beef here? And they don’t have it. So that to me is irresponsible.

And just beyond irresponsible, it’s just borderline criminal. But well, let me let me just say, We’ve got to go to a break here, but I like the callers to call in if they have any questions or comments please call 1-800-222-5222 That again is 800-222-5222. Call a KABC to ask question to Rick Gates or myself. This is Matt Matern and to Unite and Heal America. We’ll be back in one minute

You’re back with Unite and Heal America with Matt Matern. And I’ve got Rick Gates on the on the line with us today. We’re talking about January 6, then I’ve got a caller, Steve from Torrance. Steve, welcome to the show.

Hey, thanks for having me. It’s really kind of just a basic question. Regardless of how you know how the fraud shook out, whether there’s evidence or not, a lot of people probably mistakenly believe there was a lot of fraud. Is there anything? Where should we do anything to kind of change that perception moving forward? And what what do you think we could do about it, to change the perception?

That’s an excellent question, Steve, and I’ll give my hot take on it now, then I’ll shoot it over to to Rick, I guess. Obviously, we’ve got to be transparent, we’ve got to look at any things that are potential holes in the system, check the data up one wall down the other to make sure that people who are voting have the proper paperwork in and have processed their paperwork and meet the requirements and guidelines. So that we have a transparent process. That’s, that’s my thinking, Rick, what’s yours?

Yeah, no, it’s a great question. And I think what you’re gonna see is a lot of things happening over the next year and a half, two years before the 2022 midterms. And there’s going to be a lot of election reform. And our Constitution, state legislatures have the power to create election laws for their individual states. So part of the issue that we had in 2020, is it was very politicized, obviously.

And it wasn’t just the politicians, it was the judges as well, we had the courts that had to intervene in instances, for example, in Pennsylvania, there was no question that the Pennsylvania electoral law was broken, it was done in an illegal way. Some of the justices admitted it, but the greater good, making sure that people weren’t disenfranchised from voting was the prevailing factor, not according to the law.

So you’ve got to really fine tune these laws in each state. Ideally, you have some set of standards that are applied across all states, because right now we have basically 50 elections going on to us, plus the US territories. So it’s very difficult process to manage. And then that’s where you get into a lot of the fraud.

Well, Rick, I think, to clarify that for the listeners, I think what you’re talking about in Pennsylvania were was that there were some votes that came in after the deadline for the election, and or on day of election. But those votes were insufficient to sway the election one way or the other.

And there was question as whether or not it was proper to accept or not accept those votes, either way, accept them or reject them, Biden still would have won that, that state. So I think that’s the clarification on that front.

Exactly. I’m not contesting the number. I’m contesting the process. By law, if a state has to adhere to a certain process, and it does it, then it’s breaking the law. And when you look at it in a very simplistic way, and I think he’s getting his question to is, how do we go back? And how do we fix instances like this, that was a very specific instance of something that could have been fixed by the courts, by the politicians, if they had done so.

And I think that’s what you’re gonna see moving forward. But more importantly, in that you touched on it, we have got to be able to identify a person is who they say they are, when they vote, we had a number of instances where people were voting both in Nevada and California as an example, that’s got to be cut out. And that can be cut out, we have the technology, we have the means to do it. It’s just that the states have to get behind it and be a position to enforce it. And that’s we’re not there yet.

Well, that’s where it comes in, is having a federal election law. And there is some disagreement on this. But I think there’s some constitutional support with federal standards being applied across the board, which would then address your concerns, which is that we have a fair and clean game.

And that’s part of the problem is having 50 sets of laws, you got 50 different potential sets of problems. So I think that having a uniform set of laws would be very helpful for everybody. Totally agree with you.

So can I ask a quick follow up?

Sure. Sure.

Okay, let’s say for example, and I think this is a great idea of federal guidelines, at least for federal offices, you know, Congress, Senate President, one, how do you enforce it and to where you both add on voter ID laws, and then I’ll just let you answer.

Sure. Thanks.

I’ll let Rick take the first shot at this one since I got the first shot last time.

Yeah, that’s on the second part of your question, Steve, I absolutely agree with voter ID laws, I think that there needs to be some set of a process or standards in place that we identify. I mean, just take example, you know, what’s going on down, you know, south of the border. I mean, we have an influx of illegal immigrants coming across the border, who’s to say in 2022? A lot of those people don’t end up voting. How do you validate people, so we have the technology to do it.

Voter ID is a great way a number of states use their DMV systems. I don’t, you know, I think there’s some issues with those but the best that we’ve got so far, but if we, if we sit down as a group and organize it from a federal or national level, then I think a lot more will get done. There is a kind of a National Election Commission that does exist, it doesn’t have a whole lot of power yet. But my hope is that we see more of it over the next course of the two years.

But the problem is, you got to go back to the Constitution. Right now the Constitution says state legislatures have the power to create and enforce election laws. And until that’s changed, it’s going to be a very hard situation, because of the feds come out with some sort of guidelines. My sense is that some of the states are probably going to sue, saying that’s unconstitutional. And that’ll be an interesting argument for the Supreme Court.

Now, I’m not an election law specialist. So I want to give that caveat going in. But I know that as a voter here in California, they always asked to see my ID when I vote. I mean, that’s what happens every time I voted in election, they look at my driver’s license, they check it and check it off. And it’s, it’s a pretty solid process, from what I can tell that they’re making sure that I cross reference, they send a piece of mail to me that that tells me where to go.

I go there, they have my name, and Id there I sign it. They’ve seen my ID they check it. I mean, it’s pretty solid. Yeah. Is it possible somebody could do some cheating? I, it’s theoretically possible, just like somebody can rob a bank, but it’s doesn’t seem highly likely.

Steve, thanks for your questions and your call. Anybody else? Please call us at 800-222-5222? I’ve got Rick gates on the line, author of Wicked Game, and kind of like to pivot now to some other topics. One question is Rick is Trump’s grip on the Republican Party slipping since January 6 of 2020?

So it’s a really good question. I think a lot of people sense that there is a civil war within the Republican Party. And I disagree with that. And I think this is actually good for the Republican Party and what’s happening, what you’re seeing is a lot of the people that supported Donald Trump in 2016, were people that didn’t, that didn’t support the Republican establishment.

And so you’re seeing that kind of influx of people. And what you’re seeing is kind of a situation where others like Mitch McConnell, and you know, even Kevin McCarthy, to some extent, are really having to work to bridge what people view as Trump supporters and party people. And so I think it’s a good exercise to go through. And not it’s not as if the Democrats aren’t going through it, either.

They have the progresses and the more moderates, and you’re going to see, I think, a lot of, you know, issues within those two party, you know, within that party as well, the two factions. But you know, look, Donald Trump has the basically his command of the party right now. That’s why you saw Kevin McCarthy go down to mar a Lago to meet with him.

That’s why you see a number of candidates that are interested in running for office coming over, you know, and wanting his endorsement. It’s not going to happen across the country, but it’s going to happen, you know, to a great extent. And look, right now, as long as the President Trump says he’s thinking about running for office, it is really stifled anybody from stepping forward and saying, Hey, I might even challenge you know, Donald Trump or one person say that yet.

But what about the straw poll down at the the last convention of the I can’t recall the name of this the Christian and the CPAC coalition, and that he only garnered 55% of the respondents votes in a secret ballot as being the candidate that they are interested in support. And that’s a pretty, pretty substantial fall off of what he was at.

Well, first of all, you got to remember, it’s only the people first that were there. And then those that were there that actually voted, which is not a great percentage. What you need to look at are the more national polls where you see a much higher level of support for the President. I mean, like, using a CPAC poll is not really scientific at all. Yeah, but does it tell you that the leadership of the party is happy, you know, at least a good part of it is happy to kind of move on from from his grip on the party.

Oh, no, absolutely. The leadership of the party absolutely wants to see Donald Trump go away. That’s the whole I mean, look, they never believed that have been 2016 and never thought he had a chance to win it. And now that he has brought his brand of politics to the Republican Party, they have no choice to deal with it even look, I mean, everybody thought there was gonna be a civil war between Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell and what happened a few weeks ago, even Mitch McConnell said, Look, if Donald Trump’s nominee I’ll support him, because Mitch McConnell understands politics.

He understands how much power Donald Trump has right now within the party. And until he actually decides to go away, completely, or you know, does something else and says, I’m just not interested in politics anymore. He’s got a lock on it. And frankly, they give his team credit. He did a great job of realigning a number of the people in key organizations like the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senate Senate Leadership Committee, and the House Committee. A lot of those people in states as well are kind of Donald Trump supporters and loyalists.

So let me ask you a question before we go to break, how serious a blow was it to Trump his loss of his Twitter account?

Oh, I think it was devastating. I think he’ll recover. But you’ve already seen the impact that it’s had. He was always of the opinion that his Twitter account was his ability to communicate directly with the people. And that’s what he loved to do and cut out everybody else in the middle. And when I was taken away, yes, he lost his voice to a large extent.

And I think there would have been a number of tweets on many issues had not been taken away. And obviously that raises all kinds of questions about censorship, etc, which we can get into later. But at the end of the day, it was devastating for him. And I think, you know, he will work to find some form of that moving forward, because that’s his way to communicate directly.

Well, I completely agree with you on that front. And I think that it was kind of an emasculating experience for him, because yes, it was his power and probably worth like a billion dollars to him, that particular mode of communicating to people directly and really being a newsmaker at every moment of the day.

He could shoot out a tweet and get attention now he no longer has that he’s got to go through normal channels and, and those channels are filtered and less people are seeing it. So it’s a it’s a devastating loss to him. I agree on that front. You’re listening to KBC 790. This show is Unite and Heal America. You’ve got Rick gates is our guest here today. Please give us call 800-222-5222 This is Matt Matern. We’ll be back with you in just one minute.

This is Unite and Heal America with Matt Matern. My guest Rick Gates. Rick wrote a book The Wicked Game based upon his experiences being at the top of the campaign as a campaign manager and strategist with his partner boss, Paul Manafort went on to play a leading role in the Moller investigation is one of the key witnesses.

So, you know, this is where we’re at in the interview, I just wanted to ask you a bit about what we had talked about the last time you were on the show was Oleg Deripaska, who was a client of Paul Manafort and yours, who you you had worked with, and I believe he had funded or paid a fair amount of money, I think it was like $10 million. I don’t know if it was a year to Manafort to help, in your words help pro democracy movement in Eastern Europe. Is that correct?

Yeah. And then number of former Soviet countries post Soviet countries. Correct.

Tell me Tell us more about the work that you did for Mr. Deripaska during that time period.

Sure, like it was a scenario where there are a number of emerging market countries, you know, that are looking at the ways that democracy can change their countries, you know, both from a individual representation standpoint and economic standpoint, bringing in, you know, elements of capitalism. And a number of you know, Eastern Europeans and other Europeans see the benefits of a capitalistic style of economics.

And so in order to get there, you need some sort of democracy, a transparent government, a rule of law that, you know, protects that type of system. So the idea was to expand that model into as many countries as possible. And look at what it is now, it’s not just that, you know, Oleg Deripaska was hiring us consultants, and it was more than just Paul Manafort.

But we now know from, you know, a number of documents that have been released that, you know, Oleg Deripaska was working with the FBI to help them in jurisdictions across the pond in the Middle East, and in other Eastern European countries. So interesting, would

I was just gonna ask the question more pointedly which which parties was Oleg Deripaska supporting in Eastern Europe?

Well, it depends. I mean, there were in different countries, it was different political parties, but it was typically ones that were pro capitalist ones that wanted to see a better system of corporate governance when it related to businesses, because regardless of where you are, is somebody in business, you have to make sure that if you make an investment in a country, that that investment is going to be protected.

And in a lot of these countries, that’s not the case. If you have a coup or assets are nationalized, there are a whole number of issues, but we impact which type of investment which, which, specifically, which political parties was he supporting In terms of which country, any other countries that you, you worked with them?

Well, so in Ukraine, for example, we worked with a Party of Regions, he didn’t have a direct involvement from our perspective, we were working with other individuals, but he was supporting parties, not one, but multiple parties, inside of Ukraine, in Montenegro, in Romania, in France, in other countries that he has, this is in Canada, for example.

So in when you say support, remember, a lot of these countries have laws that prohibit foreign individuals foreign donations from contributing. So just like George Soros goes around the world and tries to influence elections, you have people in other countries, whether it’s from China, or Iran, or Russia, trying to do the same thing in order to protect their business.

But I wonder why Oleg Deripaska would be some more supporting democracy in Eastern Europe, as he’s a close friend of Putin’s and Putin certainly wants Eastern Europe under his influence and control not to be kind of pro Western in its views, correct.

I would agree with that. Yeah, I think Putin has a much different approach. But again, I think when you look at the overall business framework, I do think the Russians are savvy and smart enough to realize that they’re going to try vote, they’re going to try to develop a system where the benefit businesses benefit as much as possible, but at the same time, absolutely tear down democracy, I absolutely agree with you.

So I think they’re playing both sides, to some extent, with the intent of, in my view, and what I’ve heard other experts, you know, upon as well as that Putin wants to create the reemergence of the Russian Empire. That’s really what he’s trying to do. And in order to do that, he’s got to tear down American democracy, which he and Gigi ping and China and others around the world as our adversaries are absolutely doing.

Yeah. And well, that’s why I would think that oh, Dara Pasco, who is a close associate of pollutants, and one of his top, you know, you know, friends in in Russia, would not be supportive of real democracy in Eastern Europe, I would think that they would be supportive of parties that would kiss Putin’s ring, as opposed to really being democratic.

Yeah, look, man, I think it’s a great point. I think it’s a very simplistic point. And I think the more that you learn and know about these types of instances, and it’s not just only Deripaska to Russia, it happens all over the world, that it’s much more complex. And certain leaders and business people in those countries try to bring down the way that democracy works in the US.

And they try to do it in other places in the world, but they also support it in other places of the world, because it supports their business interests. So you’re absolutely right, where the US has a very, you know, monolithic approach and saying, Look, we want to see democracy, free democracy, as many countries as possible. Other countries, like Russia may say, hey, we want a version of democracy in Montenegro. But we certainly don’t want it in Ukraine.

And you’ve seen evidence of that where, you know, they’ve taken over Crimea and other instances. So it’s a very complex issue. And I think it needs to be sorted, which is why it’s problematic when you have presidents that come in for years, and they’re out in four years or even eight, they don’t have a very long view toward it. And guys, like Putin and Xi Ping, they’re there for 2030 years.

So they’re able to take a much longer term approach to it. And I think it weakens us democracy overall.

Well, that’s that’s why I questioned, you know, your help for, for the pro Russian government in Ukraine, this Party of Regions that you and Paul Manafort worked for that was funded by Deripaska because essentially, that was a pro Russian government in Ukraine, which was not helping us interests, in my view.

So to be clear, Deripaska never paid any money to Paul Manafort for work in Ukraine. That was completely a different set of business people that had nothing to do with all only Deripaska only their past to help in other states like Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, others that were closed So Ukraine, totally different scenario.

And it’s important to raise that because I think a lot of people just assume that because Paul Manafort had a relationship with only their basket, and Paul worked in Ukraine for 10 years, that Oleg Deripaska was supporting him in Ukraine, it’s completely not accurate.

Well, it’s hard to say that those things don’t cross over lines when he’s paying $10 million to Paul Manafort for doing consulting work, and Manafort just happens to be working for the Party of Regions in the Ukraine that that little too close for comfort, my humble opinion, but maybe I’m naive.

Well, no, it’s not that you’re naive, you just don’t have all the facts. And I think if you actually look at, you know, even within the Muller report and other documents that have now been reported, that was completely a different structure. In fact, you know, or would there passguide struggled in places like Ukraine, because they were so closely aligned, and the business was a lot more competitive.

And there were a lot more, you know, relation among the individuals that controlled a lot of the business. That’s why it was there basket was going out of that kind of pocket of area and going to places like Montenegro, Romania, Bulgaria, and other places, you know, really down in the Balkans and in other parts of the world.

So you’re saying that Deripaska did not give a dime to Manafort to help Deripaska in the Ukraine with a Party of Regions? Absolutely not?

Absolutely. I mean, you if you actually dig into the Muller report, you’ll see that Muller found the same thing. It was a totally different I know, it’s, it may be hard to believe, for somebody that doesn’t have, you know, a kind of day to day basis of it.

But it is absolutely clear that Ollie was not supporting Paul or his efforts in Ukraine, that was completely done through a group of in fact, some nationalistic Ukrainians, from different parts of their country, who, by the way, we’re all very much wanting independence from Russia.

So did you was was any of your work done for like Viktor Orban in Hungary?

No, no, we predominantly did work in different parts of the Balkans. Montenegro, specifically, Ukraine, and a few of the other individual countries, but none of that work was done by their pasca. You know, to mine, I didn’t have any involvement in I don’t believe Paul did either. Most of Paul’s work was focused on Ukraine, and building the party regions, and the primary architect guy that was actually we’re not Akhmetov, not Oleg Deripaska.

Okay. Well, I wanted to switch gears a little bit and talk about the Inaugural Committee investigation and the DC Attorney General, who has been investigating this and alleged misuse of nonprofit funds to overpay the Trump Hotel. That was for the Westerners. The Trump Inaugural Committee raised $107 million, which was kind of a record amount.

And Rick, you personally managed the discussions with the Trump hotels, and at the time, I believe had been quoted as saying you were a bit worried about the optics of the Inaugural Committee paying such a high fee for using the Trump Hotel? Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

Sure, on it very generally, because it’s still an ongoing investigation. I think my lawyers would, you know, have a few words for me if I went into too much depth, but I will tell you what is kind of public record. And that is when you actually look at the context of those emails that you’re referencing, the Trump Hotel did go back and cut its fee.

And what you will see coming out of this case, is that there were different prices for different hotels, and the Trump Hotel was not in the top category. So you’re gonna see more information coming out on that. I’d love to be able to tell you a lot more because I want to share a lot more details about it. But because it’s an ongoing investigation, I think my words would kill me if I say anymore.

Okay. Well, are you? So you’re still talking with the DEA, the DEA or the Attorney General? Who was handling that case?

No, as far as I understand, we’re done with our portion is been publicly reported a number of us do depositions. And now there is a process, I guess that both sides prepare before they go to a judge to determine whether or not there will be a trial. So the process that just occurred was discovery. And that was kind of the latest and I think there’s a period of time where those depositions will be put together and then it’ll go before a judge in DC.

Well, you’re listening to Unite and Heal America with Matt Matern. My guest, Rick Gates, author of Wicked Game, and we’ll be right back in a minute. If you could please give us a call 800-222-5222 and talk to us about what Rick has been sharing with us about the Inaugural Committee investigation or any other topic you’d like to talk about, again 800-222-5222 This is Matt Matern, Unite and Heal America. We’ll be back in one minute.

You’re back with Matt Matern Unite and Heal America. My guest again, Rick Gates. Were talking a little bit about the inaugural investigation. And one of the comments that I had read was that they could have hosted the events at other venues for free or reduced price. And they didn’t even consider those options.

And one example of kind of the overcharge was that the presidential prayer breakfast, they charged $5,000 For the same ballroom, they ended up charging the Inaugural Committee $175,000. That’s almost 37 times more why, why that price differential?

Yeah, but you’re gonna see some of the facts come out of that. And that’s, again, one of those scenarios where a lot of people just don’t have the information. And again, I’d love to tell you all the details, but I will tell you this, the time that the prayer breakfast was the hotel, it was in May of 2016. Well, in advance of when anybody thought Donald Trump was going to win at that time, the hotel wasn’t even open.

And so when you look at where the prices were not just for the inaugural committee, but for other entities and individuals that were staying at the Trump hotel after the election, the price has not only changed the trumpet change in every hotel in Washington, because every four years when an inauguration is held, that’s what the hotels in DC do, irrespective of whether it’s a Republican or Democrat, that when everybody every every hotel, every restaurant, every transportation service raises its prices excessively, because of the inauguration, and you’re going to see more of this come out, you know, after the investigation, you know, comes to a close in the next several months.

So you’re telling me that other hotels were charging $175,000 for a room at around that time?

What No, no, the Trump hotel that you’re talking about a meeting room? Right? Correct. Yeah, no, some hotels. Absolutely. And remember, it was not just one room, it was a blocker, and other hotels, you’ll see we’re actually more expensive than the Trump Hotel. And that’s what nobody is pointing to yet. And again, I think it’s important as in everything that we watch and see when all the facts. Absolutely. And we’re not there yet on this one.

Yeah, I’m just I’m just asking questions about facts that I do know, and things that you might know, and, and we’ll wait and see what the investigation, you know, says at the end of the day, but that’s how that’s how this game is played. So now pivoting to something you said earlier in the in the segment was talking about Putin being or actually Biden being tested by his adversaries right off the gate out of the gate.

And we’ve got Putin kind of challenging Biden to a debate and stuff like that. I kind of take that as Putin being a little nervous, and he’s got, Biden’s kind of got him off his game a little bit that he’s talking about. Let’s have a, you know, an Oprah type debate or something. What’s going on here?

Oh, no, I disagree. You have to look at the context. First, Putin comes out and wishes Biden, good health, that’s clearly a shot over the bow about what everybody believes, you know, or Biden’s you know, medical issue. And then secondly, offering to engage him in a debate, knowing that Biden would never engage him in a debate because Biden doesn’t really debate.

So I think it’s a complete BS. And it’s not just Russia. You have China, Iran, North Korea, North Korea rejecting, you know, the overtures made by the Biden administration. These are all tests to see how strong you know the US is going to be in the international community. Look at the recent meeting with the Chinese delegation in the US Secretary of State Tony Blinken in Alaska. I mean, that that went viral when the Chinese came out with a 20 minute diatribe on why everybody in America thinks there’s problems with its democracy. I mean, who is China to lecture us on democracy.

And there was a two minute rebuttal by the United States government, the Biden administration, and I think they were taken off guard. And so I think it was a test and you’re gonna see more of it. And I think the Biden administration would be smart to start actually following through on some of the threats that it’s making against these nation so that they back off and I do think they’ll back off in the end, but Biden’s got to show a strong position and so far, he hasn’t done that. Well,

I kind of see China has made a very bad tactical or strategic move, which is challenging the US and trying to push the US around. I think that’s just going to get the American people, you know, ready to confront China. I mean, China can do nothing worse than to slap America in its face, they would be much better served with putting us to sleep rather than to, to slap us and get us angry.

They’ve they there’s, so it begs it begs a great question and right, so when Why do it. And so you’re seeing the Chinese try to show their muscle and might just see how the US government reacts, because depending on that reaction, then they’ll calculate their next move. But the fact to your point that they’re willing to do that shows that at this moment, they think the Biden administration in particular, is weak, and they want to see how they’re going to respond.

I would, I would, I would disagree with that, because Gio was being pretty bold and aggressive on the Trump watch already. And he was coming out with bold initiatives, basically, preparing for Chinese dominance, and that was publicly stated that they were planning to dominate, essentially the world. And that was stated on the Trump watch. So this isn’t anything completely new.

But I think the continuation of that strategy is a wrongheaded one because it’s it’s woken the American public out of its lethargy, which had been just letting China run the game, without us really challenging them. And without us having a real strategy of dealing with the Chinese government, which is, does not have our best interests at heart, that’s for sure.

So we’ve got to do a better job and the fact that maybe America will wake up to that will be a good thing for America. Not it’s not a poll. To me, it’s not a partisan issue. We as Americans all need to work to kind of confront China on many different issues. And, unfortunately, we’ve been divided and, and fighting partisan battles versus focusing our energy on the Chinese who are true competitors here.

Well, that’s exactly right. We cannot allow to have issues like this be politicized within our government, whether it’s a Republican or Democrat, Presidential Administration, or congressional administration, we have to be able to come together in moments like this and fight against the Chinese, the Russians, the Iranians, the North Korean, because they are all looking to take us down.

That’s what their goal is. And again, it doesn’t matter who’s president. So to your point, it’s now at this stage is who is in leadership. And the only point I would add to your comment, the only thing that I think Trump did differently than any president in the history was imposed the strong tariffs on China, and I think that will shine up, which is a posture that aggressive, you know, reaction that you, you point out, which is absolutely true.

And it is my hope, too, that the Americans do come together, and that we don’t see this as a partisan issue as a Republican or a Democrat issue. But we actually come together on stuff like this, because that’s where your American is in United. I think that’s where if it does unite, then it can be strong.

Well, I I actually did believe that Trump’s inclinations to confront China, were correct, the methodology of the way that he did, it was ham handed and ineffective. And the tariffs didn’t have their, uh, didn’t have the effect that I think he would have liked to have had. And that would have been best for the country, we did not get the intellectual property protection that we need.

We didn’t get some of the other things we need. The Chinese bringing fentanyl or supporting fentanyl being sent into this country is is absolutely you know, criminal and an attack on this country. Things of that nature, that we need to confront them on the fact that they require American companies to give our technology to Chinese companies when they come and do business in China is wrong.

And we shouldn’t have ever allowed that to happen. And we should have stood up to that on day one. Day one. You know, and things of that nature. I mean, the the stealing of our intellectual property is rampant. And we’ve got to stop that. And unfortunately, little to none of that was accomplished by the tariffs that Trump imposed. And, quite frankly, we’ve got to do a much better job going forward.

Yeah, I absolutely agree with you on that. And I’d say the only other thing I’d add that China gave us was, of course, you know, the COVID virus as well, which we also need to take into account and you’re absolutely right. You know, this is the problem with unfortunately, all politicians in Washington, they talk a lot and they don’t show any, you know, real action.

And we’ve had administrations Republican Democrat that have not taken action against China. And it’s allowed it to be, you know, built into this, you know, massive, you know, kind of empire that they are gunning for the US. And they’re, they’re seeking to take over dominance. And I think soon, if they’re not already there, their economy obviously is, you know, the world’s largest are pretty close to it.

But that all says exactly what you point out that we need to go to, and that is finding ways to combat China and doing it, but to actually not just talking about it, but doing it. And you’re right trumping on the right path. With the tariffs, they didn’t have the overall greatest impact, because China started throwing tariffs, you know, on a bunch of our stuff, which is, of course, their retaliatory measure.

But we’ve got to be more clever, we can’t just take kind of status quo approaches with China, because they are going to come out as hard. And if we don’t do something as a unified country, we’re gonna be continuing to just kind of be weakened, you know, piece by piece. And I think any of us would hate to see that, especially at the, you know, price of, you know, the Chinese coming after us. We can’t allow that.

Well, just I, I would disagree with the one point that you made there about this being kind of a I think the inference being that China weaponized the COVID virus against us. I don’t I don’t buy that.

But I would say before, I’m sorry, I’m not necessarily suggesting weaponized, I’m saying we got it from China. I mean, it came, you know, from that, whether they did it deliberately or accidentally, you know, we’ll let all the, you know, the illustrious who reporters who, you know, investigators, you know, come up with their opinions before we before we sign off here. I just wanted to give you an opportunity to tell the audience about your book, The Wicked Game and inside the story on how Trump won Moeller failed and America lost.

Absolutely, I appreciate it. The the book was published at the end of last year and it really Chronicles you know, what happened during the 2016 why Trump was successful, how he won, how he fought his own Republican Party, and then it chronicles kind of, you know, a behind the scenes look at everything that happened during the election and during the inauguration. Not with really any bias either way, but for people just to see facts because I felt like the most Americans don’t get a chance or opportunity to really see what happens behind the scenes.

Well, I read the book, Rick, and it was entertaining and illuminating in some respects. We were furnished by Matthew Matern.

(Note: this is an automatic transcription and may have errors in formatting and grammar.)

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