1000 protesters demand an independent investigation into Trump’s alleged ties to Russia
CROWD: Investigate Trump! Investigate Trump! Investigate Trump! Investigate Trump! Investigate Trump! Investigate Trump! Investigate Trump! Investigate Trump! MAX BLUMENTHAL: With panic about Russian connections to the Trump administration rising, and Trump’s approval ratings at an all time low, a thousand Democrats gathered on the National Mall to demand an independent investigation into allegations of Trump’s collusion with Russia. REP. JAMIE RASKIN: If you read the intelligence agency report prepared by 17 of our own intelligence agencies, you know the truth. Donald Trump is the hoax, perpetrated on the Americans by the Russians. JORDAN UHL: It was a group of former congressional staffers who created a guide. Using their expertise they gained when the Tea Party movement was happening. So they said, “This what we saw the Tea Party doing, and this is how you can do a grassroots movement.” MAX BLUMENTHAL: And this is like the liberal Tea Party. JORDAN UHL: I don’t know if they actually have a stance, but sure, yeah. They put out the guide, showing people how to organize. MAX BLUMENTHAL: Do you think we’re under attack by Russia? SPEAKER 5: Yes! Yes, we’re under attack by Russia. The whole world is under attack by Russia. MAX BLUMENTHAL: Really? SPEAKER 5: Yes! MAX BLUMENTHAL: How so? SPEAKER 5: In every country, in every way. They are using our social media. Russia is no longer hiring human beings in army. They’re hiring social or computer organizers, and they’re doing it through the internet. MAX BLUMENTHAL: You got a sign that specifically focused on Russia. What does it say? SPEAKER 5: It says, “Putin’s Puppet.” And then it says, “Assclown.” MAX BLUMENTHAL: What does that sign say? SPEAKER 6: “No.” “Pence.” “Trump.” MAX BLUMENTHAL: So you’re against full communism? SPEAKER 6: Pardon? MAX BLUMENTHAL: Pence and Trump are … Are you saying they’re communists? SPEAKER 6: I’m making the metaphorical association with their [inaudible 00:02:03] tied to Russia. MAX BLUMENTHAL: Oh, okay. I see. SPEAKER: Thank you. MAX BLUMENTHAL: I’m kind of new around here. Are you a communist? SPEAKER 7: No, I’m not. MAX BLUMENTHAL: You’re not for full communism? SPEAKER 7: No, not at all. This is more ironic than anything. MAX BLUMENTHAL: Oh, okay. What does it say? SPEAKER 7: It’s Russian. It says “Make America Great Again.” MAX BLUMENTHAL: Oh, okay. So Trump is a communist, then, is what you’re saying? SPEAKER 7: Yes, exactly. MAX BLUMENTHAL: Did you see the senator who alleged that 57 members of the state department were communists? SPEAKER 7: No, I did not. When did this happen? MAX BLUMENTHAL: In 1950, it was Senator McCarthy. SPEAKER 7: Oh, oh, yeah, yeah, of course. Yes, I’m aware of that. MAX BLUMENTHAL: But this is different. SPEAKER 7: Yeah. Basically. REP. JAMIE RASKIN: Duterte’s Philippines, Assad’s Syria, the recent chaos in Venezuela. All the despots, dictators and kleptocrats have found each other and Vladimir Putin is the ringleader of the unfree world. MAX BLUMENTHAL: Do you support regime change in those countries? REP. JAMIE RASKIN: Absolutely. From the people. Democratic revolution. I can’t … MAX BLUMENTHAL: Who do you think would come into power … REP. JAMIE RASKIN: Duterte’s a killer, let’s talk about Duterte … MAX BLUMENTHAL: He was democratically elected. REP. JAMIE RASKIN: Well, he is a killer who has assassinated people in the … MAX BLUMENTHAL: He was elected. He has 80 percent approval. You support regime change? REP. JAMIE RASKIN: Well, Hitler was elected too, then, you may as well say. MAX BLUMENTHAL: He wasn’t elected. REP. JAMIE RASKIN: There’s massive … MAX BLUMENTHAL: Hitler won power through a coalition with the conservatives. REP. JAMIE RASKIN: Well, but there was a democratic government, so, I mean it was, the Weimar regime was a democratic government. SPEAKER 9: Just say “Nyet!” Just say “Nyet!” Just say “Nyet!” CROWD: Just say “Nyet!” SPEAKER 9: Beautiful! CROWD: Just say “Nyet!” MAX BLUMENTHAL: I was searching for some concrete facts that could back up the rhetoric I was hearing at the rally. But when I asked protestors for the evidence about Trump and Russia, it turned out, they were still searching too. SPEAKER 10: You don’t just go doing back channels. That’s not consistent with defending our country. It’s not consistent with our policies. And it’s a coverup. MAX BLUMENTHAL: What do you think he’s covering up? SPEAKER 10: She’s more eloquent than I am. MAX BLUMENTHAL: What do you think the evidence is? Like, what’s the most disturbing piece of evidence you’ve seen? SPEAKER 11: My girlfriend follows the news a lot more than I do, so if you want to … MAX BLUMENTHAL: I just would think … SPEAKER 11: … Details, you get them from her. MAX BLUMENTHAL: But you’re calling him a traitor. SPEAKER 10: Sometimes you have to do that in order to get the investigation moving. MAX BLUMENTHAL: But you know that penalty for treason is the death penalty? Are you calling for the death penalty? SPEAKER 10: Not until you know what the evidence is. MAX BLUMENTHAL: What do you think the evidence is that there was either a Russian collusion or Russian interference? JORDAN UHL: Well, that remains to be seen. I think if there is none, we’ll find that in an investigation. If there is some, we’ll also find that. I mean, I’m not making any claims that he’s guilty or innocent. I think that’s not my job. That’s an independent commission to determine. MAX BLUMENTHAL: What is the evidence that you know from your legitimate news sources that Trump colluded with Russia, or that Russia has interfered in our political process? Like what is the best evidence that people can look to? SPEAKER 12: Okay. Are you looking at specific documents or, are you referring to news sources, or are you referring to actions? MAX BLUMENTHAL: Whatever, whatever. Where you get your … When you make your case to your fellow Americans. SPEAKER 12: Okay. One … CROWD: We want testimony from Comey! MAX BLUMENTHAL: It’s all right we can hear you. SPEAKER 12: Okay, I can’t. CROWD: … Was phony. We want testimony from Comey! MAX BLUMENTHAL: Where do you see the evidence that there is collusion? SPEAKER 13: Oh, Kushner, former national security director Flynn. It rises to the heights. Trump … MAX BLUMENTHAL: Do you think there are like … SPEAKER 13: I can’t think of the other … MAX BLUMENTHAL: So you think that Russia is interfering in our political system. SPEAKER 14: Absolutely. I absolutely believe it. MAX BLUMENTHAL: What is the evidence that you’ve gotten for that? SPEAKER 14: I’m not an investigator, man. I … MAX BLUMENTHAL: No evidence. It’s just like a feeling you get. SPEAKER 14: Read the news. MAX BLUMENTHAL: What do you think the crime might be? SPEAKER 15: I think there’s a lot going on, frankly. MAX BLUMENTHAL: The crime, though. SPEAKER 15: The crime would be colluding with a foreign power to influence the election. The crime would be corruption through … I really, I don’t have a definite answer. MAX BLUMENTHAL: Where do you see the evidence that the DNC was hacked? Because I’m still, I mean, I look into, I’m obsessed with this, so I’m still, like, looking into it. SPEAKER 16: Well, WikiLeaks release all of this information and, so, I mean, how would that be released otherwise? REP. JAMIE RASKIN: In France, they hacked and trashed Macron in a bid to elect the right-wing, immigrant-bashing Marine Le Pen. MAX BLUMENTHAL: You said that Russia attempted to hack Macron in the French elections. REP. JAMIE RASKIN: Yeah, but we know that. I mean, I … MAX BLUMENTHAL: The Washington Post has reported that the French cyber-intelligence agency has said that it’s not true. REP. JAMIE RASKIN: Well, I mean, I haven’t read this article, but it certainly Macron is convinced that … MAX BLUMENTHAL It’s not true. REP. JAMIE RASKIN: Yeah. Well certainly if Macron is convinced of it, and everything that we read before was that there … MAX BLUMENTHAL: It was reported days ago. The Associated Press. REP. JAMIE RASKIN: Well, but all the information I’ve seen is that there was a hacking and a data dump. SPEAKER 17: Show us your Schedule C! SPEAKER 9: What do we all want to see? CROWD: Show us your Schedule C! SPEAKER 9: What do we all want to see? CROWD: Show us your Schedule C! MAX BLUMENTHAL: How do you know I’m not a Russian bot? SPEAKER 5: I don’t! MAX BLUMENTHAL: [foreign language 00:07:17]. Oh sorry, I malfunctioned. SPEAKER 5: You could be a Russian bot. I don’t care. I don’t like you either. SPEAKER 7: Honestly, I think he’s a spy. I think he’s colluding with Russia, and it’s been going on since last April. I mean, if you’ve been reading the reports that are coming out of CNN right now. MAX BLUMENTHAL: The people I met at the rally for truth were well-educated and well-read. They had formed their views on Trump and Russia through accredited reporters working for highly respected news outlets, not through fake news. SPEAKER 17: On this US soil. SPEAKER 12: The New York Times, Washington Post, and then, in addition, I’ll go to look at the different posts that have been put on Huffington Post, CNN. I actually get my news from real journalists as opposed to propaganda. And I do think that what the Right reads is pure propaganda, and I don’t know why we call it fake news. It’s propaganda, pure and simple. SPEAKER 16: I read the Washington Post, the New York Times. SPEAKER 18: I find that with print news, I can decide what I want to … MAX BLUMENTHAL: You trust the print news? SPEAKER 18: Well, I read the New York Times, and I have for many, many years, and that’s my primary source of information. MAX BLUMENTHAL: Iraqi WMDs, like, when Judith Miller was pushing that at the New York Times? SPEAKER 12: I think that when you put out incorrect information, even good journalists can pick it up. MAX BLUMENTHAL: What do you say to people, including people on the Left who say that this is, kind of like a liberal Benghazi, and that people are being propagandized into a narrative that’s leading us to tensions with a nuclear-powered country? JORDAN UHL: Certainly. MAX BLUMENTHAL: Nuclear-armed country? JORDAN UHL: Yeah, yeah. I do think there are people out there who are just telling people what they want to hear. I really wish they would reign it in. Because we don’t know. We don’t know if all of these things have happened. CROWD: Lock him up! Lock him up! Lock him up! Lock him up! Lock him up!