Michael Morell, former deputy director of the CIA, testified that Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who at the time was a senior adviser to the Biden campaign, “played a role in the inception” of the Oct. 19, 2020, letter from 51 former intelligence officials suggesting that “the Hunter Biden laptop was part of a Russian disinformation campaign,” Fox News reported.
“It was requested by Antony Blinken, who was working for the Biden campaign, and they were too pleased to do it. So, Michael Morell went out and carried on the effort, and 51 intel agents, or former intel policymakers, were in on it,” Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., says. “And of course they hedged their language there, but they gave rise into the media coverage, which was, it was ‘Russian disinformation.’”
“It took way past the election, and year and a half or whatever, for media outlets ultimately to acknowledge what it was,” the North Carolina lawmaker says.
The October letter was co-signed by more than four dozen former intelligence officials, among them Jim Clapper, former director of national intelligence; Leon Panetta and John Brennan, former directors of the CIA; Rick Ledgett, former deputy director of the National Security Agency; and Morell.
“What happens now? Well, there are a couple other details there that are of considerable interest to the committee that we’re still pursuing. I’ll keep those under my hat for the moment,” Bishop says.
Bishop joins today’s episode of “The Daily Signal Podcast” to also discuss an IRS whistleblower’s allegations relating to Hunter Biden, the long-term impact of the southern border crisis and what’s causing the uptick in illegal immigrant crossings, and the Republicans’ proposed Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023 on the debt ceiling.
Listen to the podcast below or read the lightly edited transcript:
Samantha Aschieris: Joining us today is Rep. Dan Bishop of North Carolina’s 8th Congressional District. Congressman Bishop is on the Homeland Security Committee as well as the Judiciary Committee. Congressman, thanks so much for joining us.
Rep. Dan Bishop: Hi. Glad to be with you.
Aschieris: So, I know you’ve been very busy lately with a lot of committee hearings, but before we get to that, I wanted to discuss former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell.
Now, Fox News reports that Morell “testified that then-Biden campaign senior adviser, now-Secretary of State Antony Blinken ‘played a role in the inception’ of the public statement signed by current and past intelligence officials that claimed the Hunter Biden laptop was part of a Russian disinformation campaign.”
What happens now? What can you tell us?
Bishop: Well, that’s correct. That’s what he said. And also, Marc Polymeropoulos—a transcribed interview I sat in on—he’s a former deputy director of the CIA and it was a political-op. It was requested by Antony Blinken, who was working for the Biden campaign, and they were too pleased to do it.
So Michael Morell went out and carried on the effort and 51 intel agents or former intel policymakers were in on it. And of course, they hedged their language there, but they gave rise into the media coverage, which was it was Russian disinformation. It took way past the election, and year and a half or whatever, for media outlets ultimately to acknowledge what it was.
What happens now? Well, there are a couple other details there that are of considerable interest to the committee that we’re still pursuing. I’ll keep those under my hat for the moment.
But I think the question becomes—the reason there were 51 former intel officials signing that letter is because they were using the authority of their former offices and the revolving door between agencies and outside, not just the CIA, not just the intel community, but, well, I’m about to say the FBI, which of course is an intel agency. But the Global Engagement Center.
We see people revolve through the revolving door moving from there to these nongovernmental organizations, these quasi-academic sort of organizations that are private. They’re attached to some universities in some cases, and the federal government kind of offloads to them some of the censorship activities they then undertake with social media companies.
So these people rotate between those two and then to the social media companies as well. They’re loaded with CIA and other intel folks. I think the American people need to be made aware of it. We might need some reforms. I think there are questions about why retired intel agents need to retain classified clearances.
And so I think all those things, but I think at the end of the day, the American people need to know when all these medias set out to say the election was pristine, nothing was wrong with it—no. There were people who were interfering with the election by means of disinformation. They did do that.
Aschieris: Well, in other Biden-related news, I want to talk about this IRS whistleblower. The New York Post is reporting that this whistleblower has alleged a cover-up in the tax evasion investigation focused on Hunter Biden. Can you tell us a little bit more about this and what we know so far?
Bishop: Well, I can tell you this. One thing, a lot of people talked about the Church Committee in the ’70s and if you read the history of what happened there, that committee started digging into certain things. Other things came out from other sources.
I think this is a development that could ultimately prove to be very significant to the work done by the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government under [Rep.] Jim Jordan, part of the Judiciary Committee.
The Judiciary Committee is one of the committees that has received the communication from the lawyer for the whistleblower. The whistleblower has not specified that it involves Hunter Biden. He simply said it’s concerning a sensitive matter. And so that’s other reporting, perhaps some leak that’s informed that.
Also, that a Cabinet official has testified falsely before Congress. Some people are speculating in media, appears that would be Merrick Garland, the attorney general. I’m looking forward to hearing the details.
I will be, as a member of the Judiciary Committee, a participant in the interviews of that whistleblower. And at this point in time, I’m sure committee staff are having the preliminaries to that, working through them.
But this is what whistleblowers are supposed to do. Back in the Trump administration, remember impeachment No. 1 revolved where they had a whistleblower. That was the Left in a politicized way exploiting the whistleblower protections in order to rile up or spin up a kind of ridiculous scheme that they pursued in order to try to bring impeachment over a phone call, which was fine, and the president called it perfect.
But in this case, you have someone who is emphasized through his lawyer, he is not a partisan, and he wants this communication to go to both Democrats and Republicans. It has.
We’ll have the opportunity to go through the process and if it’s indeed true that political protection is being provided to anyone, whether the president’s son or the president himself, then the American people need to know it. That’s what those processes are for. I’m anxious and ready to get to it.
Aschieris: Yes. And we are anxious and ready to learn more about it, especially from the media perspective.
I wanted to talk about a recent hearing with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. He appeared before the subcommittee on border security facilitation and operations. Now, he was unable to confirm that the southern border is secure. If we look into the future, what is the 50-year, 100-year impact of the border crisis that we’re dealing with right now?
Bishop: What a great question. We are, as Americans, now well aware, seeing persistently over the course of the Biden administration the highest illegal immigration in the history of the country. And it persists month after month after month. You might have a tick down a little bit, then it’ll resume those high numbers.
And as you also said, we also had another hearing in the Homeland Security Committee itself yesterday in which it’s becoming clearer all the time that Mayorkas has lied to Congress and has habitually violated specific concepts in the immigration law.
I mean, then you got to think numbers. And it’s hard to keep them in mind because they shift so often. But 645,000 children have come into the country, unaccompanied minors, been distributed across.
The New York Times, late to the game, but they’ve now illustrated how folks end up in factory labor under false assumed identification and all sorts of activities. They’re not supervised appropriately for children. They’re not with sponsors they can count on.
Looking more broadly, 2-plus million people have come in and been released into the country. Another million and a half got away. And then if you talk to Border Patrol, they say, as a general proposition, 10% to 15% more than that known “gotaway” number have come in. So you’re talking about the population of Utah. And that is having an effect. It is with us until someone acts to correct it.
Now, if a president is elected and if Congress takes steps to seriously secure the border, not only will we see the continued flow reduce, you’ll also see folks turn around and head back to their own countries. Not everybody. And we will see impacts on social services, on schools, fiscal costs to states.
And here’s the thing that worries me the most. If you look, Jan. 5 of this year in Culiacan, a city in Mexico, about a million people, the cartel, agents of the drug cartel Sinaloa Cartel, ended up in a war, an open shooting war with the Mexican army.
They’re firing .50-caliber weapons at helicopters and vice versa. Cars, burning cars. Cartel agents running around on what they call narco tanks—they’re basically improvised gun-mounted vehicles. I mean, … this is a war going on in Mexico.
When you empower the cartel the way Biden policy has, everybody who comes across the cartel, the Border Patrol will tell you, pays a fee. And they really don’t have the money to pay a fee, so they enter into indentured servitude in the United States. And that’s why these kids are working in factories, so that they can pay their smugglers.
That, over the course of time, that provides the recipe, the groundwork for the biggest growth of a criminal syndicate in the history of the country. And that means violence and danger, reckless endangerment of Americans in every city, in every state in the country.
Aside from defunding the police, which was the stupidest political move in the history of the country, this is the most destructive move in terms of trying to promote a society and a culture and a country that is peaceful and prosperous to have uncontrolled immigration and bring people in to live in the shadows and be manipulated by this big criminal organization. It’s going to be with us for years.
Aschieris: I wanted to, just on that, ask you about this uptick in migrant crossings that we saw last month, a 25% increase. What is contributing to this? And do you anticipate we might even surpass that in the months coming up?
Bishop: Well, yes. I mean, we’ve been on the precipice for the last couple years. Even while we’ve been setting records, we’ve always had this issue of what they call Title 42.
So, Title 8 of the United States Code is the immigration law. Title 42 is the public health law. And there’s a provision there that enabled President [Donald] Trump and President [Joe] Biden’s tried to get rid of it. Courts has slowed him up. The United States Supreme Court is getting ready to act on it. And I think everybody anticipates they’ll probably allow it to—but Title 42, which has been the tool through which a lot of folks, even though we’ve let in all the ones I described, others have been removed from the country. That’s going away.
And yes, I think we are seeing an anticipation of that. The caravans, the migrants are lined up coming from the—new word from the Darien Gap about large numbers coming in.
So yes, a problem, as horrible as it has become, is getting ready to become worse. And you still have an administration that is in denial about the damage that they’re doing. And only now, only in the hearings that are occurring now, is it finally breaking down and we’re seeing how Alejandro Mayorkas has encroached a lie to the Congress. So we’re breaking through that. I think the next step is to hold Alejandro Mayorkas accountable.
Aschieris: I just want to shift topics just quickly and discuss the debt ceiling debate that continues right here in Washington.
Aschieris: [House Speaker Kevin] McCarthy recently released a $1.5 trillion package for the debt ceiling called Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023. What are your thoughts on this legislation?
Bishop: And you’ve mentioned the one piece of it. Everybody knows that the debt ceiling limits the amount of debt the United States can incur. And the spending’s been so reckless for so many years that we keep hitting the ceiling and then the Congress has to lift it or else people are saying horrible things will happen in the markets and the economy will go in the tank. So everybody understands that’s got to be dealt with.
You mentioned a $1.5 trillion increase. That’ll take the anticipated amount of debts needed to be issued in coming periods to the first quarter of next year, first quarter of 2024.
But the key was, President Biden and Democrats who’ve spent $6 trillion on a party-line basis, they want us to just sort of give them a license to increase the debt limit without anything else being changed. And we said from the beginning, “We’re not going to do that.”
And so what has emerged, what the speaker has now revealed, and I believe that 218 Republicans will vote to pass on the floor next week, is a robust package that marries the idea of increasing the debt limit with fiscal reform. Change new direction. So limit, save, and grow.
We’re going to rescind or stop a lot of COVID spending that hadn’t been done, about $50 or $60 billion of that. This is the package that we’re sending for and of course it has to be then negotiated with the Senate and with the president. But we’re going to rescind and nullify the forgiveness or the giveaway of student loans. It’s about $550 billion.
We’re going to have an agreement bicamerally to revert our discretionary spending to the fiscal year ’22 levels, which will give some flexibility to our continued strengthening of our defense, but also probably for the rest nondefense discretionary, it’ll take us back to before COVID, fiscal year 2019.
… The grow part or the cap part is to cap growth and discretionary spending to 1% per year over the next decade. That’ll save a trillion, three over that period of time. And finally, grow. That’s the biggest key.
At the end of World War II, when the United States had unprecedented debt levels, Congress did two things. It went to work on a bipartisan basis to try to reduce spending and get that back normalized. And then it also made great efforts to grow the economy very successfully. We can’t solve our debt and fiscal problems unless we have an economy that is growing and strong.
So the main pieces—we have the energy package that we’ve already passed, has been put into this package. We have the REINS Act, … which is designed to get control of the regulatory state, bringing forth all these burdensome regulations that keep business activity from flourishing in the United States.
So if there’s a new regulation that has impacted more than $100 million in the economy, the regulation would have to be affirmatively approved by Congress.
So instead of having all this burgeoning law created in the administrative state, we’ll revert to the Constitution complex, which is that the Congress makes the laws, and that gives opportunity for people to avoid crazy decisions like we’ve seen in the regulatory area and to push back on that. That alone, if that were to pass, would be an immense impact on the United States economy.
It is a very robust package. The fact that we’ve accomplished it, I think, is testament to what occurred in January. You guys have covered that. The 20, the contested speakers race, the agreement to the elements that have come now forth in the debt ceiling package, it is a great manifestation of why that was so important.
We would never have gotten where we are without that having happened first and now I’m very proud of the Republican Conference. I’m proud of the speaker. Speaker McCarthy’s done a fantastic job within the parameters we set in January of putting this together. So we go from here, Republicans show we can put a package out and then we see what the Senate and the president will do.
Aschieris: Well, great. Congressman Bishop, thank you so much for joining us.
Bishop: Thank you very much. Great to be with you guys. Thank you so much for what you do.
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