In this week’s quarantine episode of our Useful Idiots podcast, hosts Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper are joined by Aaron Maté, host of Push Back, to talk about the resurfacing of the Russiagate story and how it’s helped Trump.
Matt rants about the recent “leak” of Barack Obama talking to former members of his administration about the disposition of the Michael Flynn case. “The premise that this is some kind of scoop is so transparent and ridiculous,” says Matt, who argues it was intentionally leaked. “The other thing is, this idea that the dropping of a false-statements case, not a perjury case as [Obama] says, that this is some kind of threat to the rule of law — has he ever been to Washington? Perjury happens routinely there, it’s routinely excused, and you can find it on both sides of the aisle let off constantly.”
Matt and Katie continue to explore Stupid Bay of Pigs, the monumental coup failure in Venezuela, led by the Rambo-esque Justin Goudreau. Katie digs into Goudreau’s background relating to Parkland, concert security, and a parachute crash. “It’s a little 21 Jump Street-ish,” she says. “It’s 21 Jump Street meets Kindergarten Cop,” replies Matt. The duo then debate the overall merits of Canada, Goudreau’s homeland.
Katie and Matt speak with journalist Aaron Maté about the flaws in the Russiagate story and its parallels to WMD’s in Iraq, complete with a thorough dunking on Rep. Adam Schiff.
“All of the available evidence showed just how baseless [Russiagate] was, and it was pretty clear that once it collapsed, it would hand Trump two gifts. First of all, it would give him the gift of throughout however long it took this thing to end, Trump’s resistance being distracted into this dumb conspiracy theory that he conspired with or was blackmailed by Russia. And two, when it collapsed, it would give him the gift of vindication. And then, as more and more evidence came out as to how this whole thing started, Trump would be able to exploit it and use it for his re-election campaign, and say, ‘Look at how these people tried to stop me and how they tried to take me down.’ And basically use it as an excuse for being so awful on everything else. And now we’re seeing that third phase,” says Maté.