The Megyn Kelly Show

The Megyn Kelly Show is your home for open, honest and provocative conversations with the most interesting and important political, legal and cultural figures today. No BS. No agenda. And no fear.

Trump's Looming Prosecution, and Fired For Not Being

Trump's Looming Prosecution, and Fired For Not Being "Woke" Enough, with Alan Dershowitz, Dr. Tabia Lee, and Michael Cunningham | Ep. 513

Thu, 16 Mar 2023 19:39

Megyn Kelly is joined by Alan Dershowitz, author of "Get Trump," to talk about New York's prosecutor going after former President Trump over the Stormy Daniels payment, if it'll be a misdemeanor or felony charge, Michael Cohen's shady past, other potential criminal charges against Trump in Georgia and D.C., whether Alec Baldwin will be found guilty in movie set shooting death, and more. Then Dr. Tabia Lee joins the show, a former DEI director who was fired by her college for not being "woke" enough, discussing "gender neutral" terms actually being "gender oppressive," being labeled a "right-wing extremist" by her opponents, and more. Finally, we turn to China with Michael Cunningham of The Heritage Foundation, to talk about Xi Jinping getting a third term, the way Jinping is revealing China's plans for the future, how China is growing in influence and power around the world, who China is targeting in theri plan for becoming a superpower, why China is buying up so much farmland in America, ramifications of the Iran-Saudi Arabia peace deal, potential conflict in Taiwan, the future of TikTok in America, the state of America's COVID investigation, and more. Dershowitz's new book: Dr. Lee: Cunningham:

Listen to Episode

Copyright © Copyright 2021 SiriusXM

Read Episode Transcript

Welcome to the Megan Kelly show, your home for open, honest and provocative conversations. Hey everyone, I'm Megan Kelly. Welcome to the Megan Kelly show live from Montana on day four of our spring break. I have yet to ski. Every day after the show, I think I'm going to get out there, but we had this huge blizzard yesterday. And the day before that, my daughters here with the sprained ankle, so I hung out with her for the two days. Anyway, I'm going. Today after the show, I'm going and I'll let you know how it goes. Should be a great day because we had some six six blizzard yesterday, like you can only get in places like this. It's fun being out here and it's fun bringing you the show from out here as well. And we have a packed program for you today. A diversity, equity and inclusion director fired from California College for questioning the campus's anti racism policies. She says, quote, the school wanted a black person to do the job, but apparently I'm the wrong kind of black. We'll talk to her coming up. Plus a deep dive on China, just a bit later in the show. But we begin today with President Trump, Stormy Daniels speaking to prosecutors yesterday in Manhattan about the New York criminal investigation over alleged hush money payments. And now in new reporting out of Georgia, jurors, member of the grand juror who took the, she went on the whirlwind media tour, the four person, well, now some of the other grand jurors are irritated by that woman's behavior who could blame them. And they have quietly spoken out, sharing some new details on the case against Trump down there with one claiming the publication of their final report will be quote, massive. Joining us now to discuss all of this is the perfect person. Alan Dershowitz is a professor emeritus at Harvard Law School and author of the brand new book Get Trump, the threat to civil liberties due process in our constitutional rule of law. Alan so great to have you. Welcome back to the show. Well, thanks. Enjoy skiing. You know, I won't give you the greeting that you usually give actors when they go on the stage. Break the leg. No, break the leg. We don't need that nonsense in our lives. No. So it's almost like they knew your book would be coming out this week and decided to ramp up the two most likely criminal prosecutions against Trump. Your book is the perfectly titled, but missive on this and takes a deep dive under all these perspective criminal prosecutions against them. So let's start with New York, where the case is about an alleged payment of $130,000 made by Trump allegedly was really made by Michael Cohen, his fixer, his lawyer, his conciliary at the time to stormy Daniels, the porn star who allegedly had an affair with Trump or some sort of trist with Trump and they were paying her the allegation is to keep her quiet. Now, if this was so that he wouldn't lose the election, then he could be in legal trouble. That's what happened to John Edwards. If this was a payment that was indeed authorized by Trump because he didn't want Melania to find out or he was just a barris and it didn't have to do with winning the election, that's not really illegal. But this prosecutor in Manhattan, Alan, it seems hell bent on getting Trump. And what have you gleaned from what he's revealed about the grand jury proceedings this week, which are underway right now? I think it's main witness shouldn't be cone. It should be Sigmund Freud trying to analyze what part of Trump's brain motivated this action, whether it was a desire to keep his family from knowing about an alleged affair or a desire to win the election or both. I mean, it's so impossible to make those kinds of distinctions. Look, nobody in their right mind would believe that Bragg would be going after John Smith or even John Edwards on a case like this. Obviously, an example of get Trump and it's so, so dangerous. And it asks the wrong question to ask, is he technically guilty of a violation? I don't know the answer to that question. Maybe he is. Maybe he isn't. I want to tell you how dangerous this is by reading a brief quote from probably the greatest Attorney General in American history, Justice Robert Jackson who served as the Chief Prosecutor at Nernberg and then was the Attorney General of the United States. With the law books filled with a great assortment of crimes, a prosecutor has a fair chance of finding at least a technical violation of some act on the part of almost anybody. In such a case, it's not a question of discovering the commission of a crime. And then looking for the person who committed it, it's a question of picking the man and then searching the law books or putting investigators to work to pin some offense on him. Could there be a better description of what Bragg has done, what is going on in Georgia, what Latisha James did when she ran for office on the campaign promise to get Trump. This is the worst kind of danger to justice. As Leventy Berry once said to Stalin, I don't want to make comparisons to the Soviet Union, but he said, show me the man and I'll find you the crime. And that's what's going on with Trump. People are determined to get Trump. I'm not a Trump supporter. I have a constitutional right to vote against them for the third time. And I don't want to see any prosecutors prevent anybody from voting for him or voting against them. That's something the American public should do in a banana republic. We have former banana republic head once said, for my friends, everything, for my enemies, the law. And that's what we're seeing done today. It's Democrats going after Republican tomorrow. It could be Republicans going after Democrats as they did with Hillary Clinton. So this is a non-partisan problem that America is facing, the weaponization of the criminal justice system against political enemies. Just look at the number of investigations open against him right now and he's out of office. And that's where they intend to keep him. I mean, that's what we believe these are really about. Just to stay on the New York case for a minute. I neglected to mention the second piece of it, which is they're going to allege it looks like then what Trump did after authorizing this $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels, who is going to take the stand and reportedly did so, I think yesterday in front of the grand jury, they're going to say that instead of just recording properly in the Trump books, $130,000 paid by Trump to Michael Cohen as payoff to Stormy Daniels, that would be stupid if you're committing a crime. But they didn't record it like that. What they did was document it as legal expenses because Cohen was Trump's lawyer, legal expenses paid by team Trump to Michael Cohen. And this is the second piece of it that Alvin Bragg may have used to get Trump. My understanding is in most circumstances, you can twist the law in a way to make it a felony. But in most cases, that's a misdemeanor. And it really does require one to ask, Alan, is this what it's come to? The most likely indictment against Trump is going to be a for a misdemeanor on his record keeping? Well, first of all, it's not even a misdemeanor to pay hush money and to try to keep it secret. That's what hush money is. Many prominent people have paid hush money over the years. What turns it into a felony is if this was designed to cover up an unlawful campaign contribution. And this combination of statutes has never previously been used as far as I know. And it's not the job of the criminal law to create new crimes. You're supposed to prosecute people for things that were obvious. Some as Jefferson once said, for something to be a crime, a reasonable man, reading it while running should be able to understand the law, reading it while running. That's a wonderful image. I'm sitting and I can't understand how you can combine these two statutes and turn, turn a noncrime into a misdemeanor. It's not a crime to pay hush money. Then they turn it into a misdemeanor. And then they turn the misdemeanor into a felony simply in an effort to get Trump. And it might work because you can indict a ham sandwich as we know. And so there can be an indictment. In New York, you can probably convict Trump of anything. Or in the district of Columbia where overwhelmingly people don't want Trump to run for election. Now it'll be up there for it to the courts of appeals. And that's probably a prosecutor. Oh, D.C. is a special prosecutor. Okay. So wait, but let me offer this. So just to clarify so that the viewers understand where we are. So they're going to say you misrecorded the reasons why you paid my call in those monies that that was not legal fees. That was to reimburse the $130 hush money. And the hush money itself was illegal. That was a fat. That was the underlying felony that makes your sloppy record keeping go from a misdemeanor to a felony because you were covering up a felony. So in other words, we can get you on the bookkeeping if it was to cover up a felony. And we're going to ledge that you committed a felony by paying hush money to stormy Daniels. And the only way we can get you on that is to prove it wasn't just to avoid embarrassment or getting in trouble with Melania. It was to win you the election. So this is the long logic of Alvin Bragg, the DA in Manhattan. Michael Cohen has already served time. He admitted. This is what he went to jail for. He admitted that he did this because the prosecutors had him and he went to jail. And he's a sour grapes guy. I mean, this is the other problem. He went on the mediator. He's now become a darling. I mean, can I just give you one piece of background on this, Alan? I remember when I went to make up with Trump at Trump tower. You know, he's been coming after me in the whole debates and all that nonsense. So I went to Trump tower and Trump couldn't have been nicer. He was totally gracious. And Michael Cohen saw me outside of the Trump office. And I mean daggers in his eyes toward me. This guy was such a Trump loyalist. If looks could kill, I would have been dead on that floor. And frankly, vice versa, because I'd known what he'd been doing to me behind the scenes as well. Trump, totally magnanimous, let it go. We know, we were over it. But Michael Cohen was such a fixer. He couldn't. Now he's done a 180. Now he wants to kill Trump. He's got the daggers in his eyes for a sold employer who didn't bring him with him to Washington. Who didn't really think that much of Michael Cohen had embarrassed him in a couple of settings. And now he's doing his MSNBC mediator among other places. And here's what he told Nicole Wallace about what's happening at the grand jury and how his case is likely to go yesterday. I met with the DA's office 20 times for interviews and then two times for grand jury. Why are you cooperating so fully? Because that was the pledge that I made when I stood before judge William H. Paulie. And I said that I will cooperate. Democracy is more important than anything. And I know it sounds hokey. But my goal is to ensure that truth comes out. If in fact that Sony is someone that they are going to look at as a substantial witness for this case, I am certain that she will do a fantastic job. The most important thing that needs to be remembered here is that the truth is what will prevail. Not facts, not fiction, not fiction, but merely the facts. And the facts do not benefit the former president. Okay. Just one other piece on Michael Cohen. This is the same guy who said you can't rape your wife. Can't rape your wife. This is Michael Cohen's character. Now he wants to come back in as I'm a man of truth and the law and just I just want to do what's right. I mean, give me a break. Yeah. Well, the worst mistake the prosecution could make would be to use Michael Cohen as an actual witness in front of the jury. That would be the best thing that any defendant could have because then it becomes an issue of do you believe Michael Cohen? Do you like Michael Cohen? He's the main, main witness. They're much better off just trying to prove it through tapes if they can. The biggest mistake the defense would make and the lawyers already said he might make this mistake is if he tries to prove that Trump did not have an affair with stormy Daniels. The way to win a case like this is to persuade the jury that your side has credibility and their side does not. So if I'm the defense in this case, I don't put on Trump. I cross examine both stormy Daniels, but not try to disprove her story and cross examine vigorously a Cohen. But I think there's a temptation by lawyers to put everything on. And I think it would be a big mistake for the prosecution to actually use Cohen as a witness, but they may do that. And in New York, who knows how it, how it will go? They're going to put stormy Daniels on the stand, who is also not a credible person. I mean, let's, let's be real. It's like some porn star. Okay. How is she going to go over not to mention that the other witnesses that they've reportedly talked to include Kelly on Conway, David Pecker of the National Enquirer? I mean, this is going to be quite the cast of characters going in front of this jury. I don't, I don't like the chances of this DA and I don't like the chances of this criminal prosecution at all. Although I do, do think he's very politically motivated, Alan, and he's probably going to bring it. No, he's probably going to bring it and probably help him get reelected. But look, if he brings a case against Donald Trump in the eve of the election, and Donald Trump is either acquitted or wins a reversal on appeal, what this does to the American criminal justice system, it turns it into a political weapon. And that's why any good prosecutor will tell you you don't bring a case against a future presidential candidate unless it's a slam dunk, unless you're going to win, unless you have them on tape, unless you have clear evidence. In this case, just doesn't meet that criteria. So I think it's a terrible prosecutorial decision. And he should listen to Justice Robert Jackson. Again, one of the greatest lawyers in our history who understood this problem. He understood it because he looked at the prostitution that was going on in the Soviet Union in Nazi Germany. And we don't want to ever weaponize our criminal justice system. It's the glory. It's the glory of our constitution that we have a fifth amendment and a fourth amendment and a first amendment. And all these amendments, and I show this in my book, one after the other in the book get Trump that the people on the other side are so anxious to get Trump they're willing to sacrifice the entire constitution. They're willing to do things that they never would previously have done. For example, the espionage act, there are efforts to try to get them under the espionage act. Every liberal has hated the espionage act since was used against all the liberal icons in the 1920s during the civil rights movement, etc. Now these same leftists are saying, let's expand the espionage act. Let's change the law. Let's fit the law onto Donald Trump. That's the thesis of my book. You cannot fit the law and target an individual and that's what's being done. And that's not a danger only to Donald Trump. It's a danger to every Democrat and it's a danger to you and to me because if they can do it to Trump, they can do it to anyone. You know what? Alvin Bragg's never seen a real criminal he wants to indict in Manhattan. But this he's salivating over and it's for exactly the reasons you're stating it's about politics, which is really destructive. Your book posits and I think it's smart that we really should have an understanding that no criminal prosecution would happen of a of a presidential candidate or a former president unless both parties could get entirely behind it. That is definitely not the case in New York City with Stormy Daniels. And even down in Georgia where these grand jurors may be so excited about this alleged phone call that Trump had. Now there's a new testimony today by some of these grand jurors speaking out to I think it's the Atlantic Journal of Constitution saying we have at least three recordings of Trump making these requests to the officials in Georgia saying find me the fraud urging the investigator to look for fraud in the 2020 presidential election telling or she'd be praised for overturning the results that were in favor of Biden. They don't have it there either because this is yet again something that's subject to interpretation the way he spoke on that call. It is not another non slam dunk and it's another one that's moving really close to actually getting filed against Trump. Yeah, and it would require proof and beyond a reasonable doubt that when he said find he didn't mean find he meant invent find means something is there look for it and find it. What Trump was saying at least the most likely interpretation we don't know what he meant but what he was saying was there may be folks that haven't been counted find them. He didn't say invent them. He didn't say concoct them and you cannot prosecute a person based on an ambiguous statement which the dictionary supports his interpretation and you have to be creative the criminal law is not supposed to be creative it's not supposed to be something that you create an event along the way it's supposed to be existing and somebody knowingly did the to be or not to be stood there and said now I'm crossing the line I am becoming a felon unless you can demonstrate that kind of mens rare it is not appropriate to charge somebody with a criminal offense appropriate to use all this to vote against them I intend to do that I don't like that conversation I don't like his January 6th speech I don't like the way he handled classified material I don't like to pay off to Stormy Daniels that's why I'm voting against him and that's why people have the right to make that decision but to turn that into criminal conduct is to destroy protections of our constitution because precedence against the quote jess jess jaxson lie around like loaded guns ready to be used by any politician against their political enemies that's not what we want to see happen in america that's why I wrote get trump people are going to be furious at me because they're going to think based on the title is a pro trump book it's a pro constitution it's an anti violation of civil liberties book trump happens to be the target today but if it were somebody else of the Hillary Clinton I'd have written the same book see how fair he is everybody he's so fair he doesn't like trump he's not a trump voter but he's not blinded he doesn't have trumped arrangement syndrome where all of his principles go out the window because he's so opposed to trump that's what his book argues has happened to the radical left wing in particular um which he Alan posits is even more dangerous right now than the radical right wing for these reasons we're talking about eroding constitutional principles all right let's spend one minute let's spend one minute um yeah go ahead okay one other reason the hard left are young they're in college they're the people who are shutting down Stanford University uh guests to speak they're the future that's why they're more dangerous than the right the right is largely the past and McCarthyism is was largely a thing of the past but these young people these woke people these professors and deans these simple libertarians that want to get trump there are future that's why it's so much more dangerous on the left today than on the right was that not horrifying what happened at Stanford what they did to that fifth circuit judge wasn't horrifying horrifying and what the dean did essentially justifying it by the way it was all organized by the national lawyers guild this was not just uh spontaneous event the national lawyers guild which as you know starters a communist organization and still calls itself Marxist-Lanoness they organize this and they're going to be organizing these around the country so Stanford is only the beginning is coming to a university near you well horrifying um quickly because I don't want to spend too much time with this but do you think the prosecution in DC by the special prosecutor is going anywhere based on January 6th and trump or classified documents down at Mar-a-Lago in Trump well I don't know whether there'll be indictments but there shouldn't be January 6th again I hated the speech but he said obviously peacefully and patriatically the January 6th committee doctored the tape to leave those words out to create a false impression I don't think they have it I think it's protected by the First Amendment and uh as far as classified material is concerned I think that the best thing that ever happened at Trump was Biden Biden and Pence and others having this material makes it impossible even if there are distinctions between the cases the public will see the cases as sufficiently similar so that unless there is an investigation and indictment of others who have done this it will seem like selected prosecution if they only go after Trump even if what Trump did was worse in some respects it was less worse because he does have the ability to declassify well he was president and other respects it was worse that is he didn't cooperate whereas Biden immediately cooperate with the authorities but I do not believe there would be valid prosecutions in the District of Columbia in Florida or in New York although I think they could get convictions in the District of Columbia and perhaps in New York just given the jury pool I agree with every word you just said totally agree with all that analysis last thing I want to ask you about this is not in get Trump but it's interesting is the Alec Baldwin case which I know you've been following too and the latest headline today is that the special prosecutor has resigned this is after Alec Baldwin's lawyers had been going after her saying this is a woman who was assigned to be a special prosecutor as she was brought in they say they may have multiple prosecutions they needed help she was brought in to prosecute me this is Alec Baldwin speaking but she in the meantime ran for the state legislature and won and you can't be both a member of the legislative branch and also as a special prosecutor sort of one foot in the executive branch and one foot in the judiciary so and that was persuasive or at least that she thought it was going to be and so she stepped down in this involuntary manslaughter case against him that doesn't necessarily mean the case is going away they'll replace her there'll be another prosecutor who presumably continues these charges against him and I had a guy who who's opinion I really respect as a lawyer Andrew Bronca who runs a law of self-defense he got Kyle written house totally correct from the beginning on the show a couple weeks ago and he he's always called him like he sees him he likes this case against Alec Baldwin he likes it a lot and let me play the sound bite as to why he likes it and I had started covering this the day after the shooting and pointed out then if you point a gun at another human being without first making sure it's not loaded and at this charges and you kill them that's the dictionary definition of legal recklessness creating an unjustified risk of death to another person and then they die that's reckless manslaughter every day of the week so I so you like the reckless manslaughter charge was was pretty much an open and shut charge from the very beginning wow so what how do you how does that come out if he if he goes to trowel he found guilty on that what happens to him 18 months maximum sentence new mexico so what do he say a tiny thing broader context not a lot of time for having killed somebody your thoughts on that Alan well he didn't kill anybody he was not given he didn't have a gun and he didn't look to see he had a gun which he was given and told by the person responsible had no bullets in it look I consulted on the two previous movie cases the john land is case you remember that we're a helicopter decapitated actor and two young kids and also the brand only case often both that one case and both of those cases did not result in criminal prosecution I think this was an accident if there was negligence it was broadly spread around and I think the last person who can be held responsible is the actor who was told he was told the gun was safe you can point it at somebody somebody else had the job now I would hope in the future no weapons ever would be allowed on a movie set I've argued that since the previous case since the brand in the case we should be using the CGI whatever they call it every gun scene in a movie should be done without real weapons on the set but that's not the responsibility of the actor or even the associate or producer who says look I have somebody whose job it is to tell me the gun is safe and they told him the gun was safe so I don't think I think this case is very much tragically like the case of Kim Potter who pulled the wrong gun and killed somebody with a real gun instead of a taser and she's now serving two years that's not a good precedent obviously for land for I'm sorry for for our actor but it it I think she was improperly convicted and and I think that the current case should be dropped or should result in an acquittal but you never know because once you're in a jury room you're playing Russian Relic particularly when you're a famous person like that fame cuts both ways in this case it could obviously hurt him but yeah I think the main thing is a criminal as a criminal matter is an element of the crime you know if this were a negligence case you could argue yes technically he caused the death of Helena Hutchins because he pulled the trigger or he was handling the gun however you want to look at it when she died but then when you get to the next element of a negligence negligence case which is proximate cause right is it was he really the cause like it without him would it have happened it would fail I think in this case but this is not a negligence case it's sort of a super negligence case because it's recklessness it's involuntary manslaughter so could he get out Alan on the the principle that while yes technically he was the cause in fact of her death if you actually look at what would have happened if Alec Baldwin had opened up the gun and checked to see what the bullets whether it was loaded or what in the perfect world in the world in which this was supposed to go down he would have seen dummy rounds he wasn't expected to see nothing in there the gun was supposed to have dummy rounds is a cult 45 years supposed to see the bullets that's what a dummy round is it's like a model bullet and what the prosecution's really arguing against him is he should have checked and he unlike the armorer and anybody else who looked at this gun should have been able to distinguish between dummies and live rounds which if the armorer failed to make that distinction in looking at these things how would the actor on the set be expected to do it yeah and I think this is not a case that will turn on proximate cause because that's essentially the civil standard even if there was proximate cause here the element that's missing is intent and the element that's missing is the kind of gross negligence that sometimes substitutes for intent the statute if you read it is the worst form of draftsmanship and it would give nobody any kind of fair warning that you can have a criminal prosecution based on this lack of intent and so I think a properly instructed jury will acquit in this case but there's a death and often the way jurors operate is who killed cock robin they first asked the question somebody's dead somebody must be responsible for that you point the finger at the armor person you point the finger at the person who pulled the trigger and a jury might make the mistake of thinking that there was criminal liability here but having taught criminal law now for what over 50 years I think this is a paradigm case that falls on the not guilty side but on the civil side he should be held responsible civilly chair but there are big differences and different standards for civil liability and criminal liability in both previous cases that I did the brand and leak case and the john landis case there was civil liability so that distinction was made but in both cases there was no successful criminal prosecution in the landis case the jury acquitted and in the brand and leak case the prosecutor decided not to bring the case I think in this case they should not have brought the case they should but you raise a good point though because in this case the shooter is a big celebrity star who people will come in with preconceptions about that that wasn't the case in those other two film accidents so you know his celebrity is going away potentially against him potentially for him I mean we'll have to do it the raw void year of the jury pool and I got to leave it at that the book is called get Trump from the one and only Alan Dershowitz the most fair man in America don't believe what the left tells you and it's out right now great to see you thank you all right and we'll be right back with a story on dei that takes an unexpected twist wait until you hear this a diversity equity and inclusion director has been fired from a California college for apparently having a mind of her own dr. tabia lee questioned the campuses anti-racism policies and for that she says she was called derogatory names accused of supporting white supremacy and ultimately fired she joins us now tell her story welcome to the show dr. lee great to have you thank you so much thank you for having me my pleasure there's this unbelievable quote that they said they wanted a black person to do this job apparently I'm the wrong kind of black what do you mean by that what happened well you know soon into my work at the anza college I was being accused of white speaking and white explaining and supporting white supremacy all for the offensive act of attempting to you know set an agenda for my team meetings and to collaborate on identifying projects that we could work on together it was something that I never encountered in my lifelong trek of teaching especially in diversity equity and inclusion spaces and from there I had to unpack and uncover what what they were meaning because I'm from the central valley I was born and stalked and raised in low-dye California and my understanding of white supremacy always had to do with organizations like the kkk and and neo-nazi organizations so to have someone call me a white supremacist was something that I just never encountered in my life as a racialized black woman my goodness I mean this is like the you know this is the the sort of the line that we hear all too often like what they said Larry elder was the black face of white supremacy now even being black does not save you from being called a white supremacist with this sort of crazy leftist group that is so ideologically bent uninjecting race and their beliefs into everything I understand one of the complaints they had against you was you had at one point been critical of Patrice colors one of the founders of BLM who is all over the news for having allegedly done some sketchy things financially when it comes to that group they were mad that you had that you dain't criticize her actually Megan it was oh is Alicia Garza was Alicia Garza yes when I started my position in 2021 at Deanza they were doing this program where the school the president's office purchased hundreds of Alicia Garza's book the purpose of power and so when I came in one of my first tenure track assignments was to in very short order organize students to and to facilitate a fire side chat with Alicia Garza and this would be on zoom and so I very quickly without knowing very much organized and reached out to colleagues who were kind enough to recommend students to me I organized those students we collaborated on how the event would flow the students were very excited that Alicia Garza was going to be visiting and that they would get to you know directly ask her questions we collaborated on those questions and ranked them and we decided you know which student would ask theirs first and there was just a lot of excitement around it at the 11th hour I was informed by the Dean of Equity and Engagement that per Alicia Garza's contract she would not ask any questions answer any questions that her management team did not write and that she did not have the prescripted answers for and this was quite surprising and I had to take this back to the students and we were directed we were given list of questions and we were directed to use those the students were very offended by this they said you know we developed our questions and they're very different than what they're telling us and so I circle back to the Dean of Equity and Engagement and I said hey can I see the contract you know I'm familiar with speaker contracts and I've never heard anything like that and she refused to allow me to see it it actually took a freedom of information act request from the foundation against intolerance and racism who assisted me with that to discover that a the contract didn't say anything about questions that could or could be answered and then b that Alicia Garza was paid $10,000 to come on to zoom and to perform questions that she had written with her management and that she had prescripted her answers for so I'm so thankful to foundation against intolerance and racism for helping me to get to the truth of the matter you know a little after it happened now the disrespect that I was accused of by one of my tenure review members was that during the event the compromise I came to with to the students they said we're not going to do this because it's fake and it's not real I said well maybe we can ask the questions they're giving us and then as follow up questions you can kind of you know work your questions in and so they agreed to do that and because that took place and the tenure review committee member was aware of that taking place I was accused of disrespecting Alicia Garza now during the event there was no sign of it unless you you know notice when Alicia Garza when it did get off script when the students weren't asking the patient she was asked she became visibly uncomfortable if you were looking from a back channel but as the 400 plus participants that were there they thought it was a wonderful event and they didn't see any disrespect and they said wow it was great you know that she came here so I was accused of disrespect because of the back channel things that happened and because I wanted to support the students in their freedom of speech and freedom of expression to engage in author in an authentic way and they were very respectful about it and so was I. That's unbelievable it's not like she was sitting down for an audience at Fox News you know a focus group this would presumably be an audience of fans who are supporting her and yet no she couldn't do it but got the 10,000 bucks anyway in the university running cover for her as you point out because they were misleading you about what was required and what wasn't by contract just to tell the audience again this is Deans a college located just outside of San Jose where Dr. Lee began working as a faculty director for the office of equity social justice and multicultural education in August of 2021 two years later they denied her 10 year and ultimately let her go because she has some more heterodox views about some of these sacred issues which presumably they knew about Dr. Lee when they hired you you're not you're not keeping your views a secret and you weren't hired at this job. Yes that's exactly correct Megan I went through a very rigorous interview process I did teaching demonstrations multiple panel interviews and something that the panelists not all of them but some of them did mention was that the office that I would be potentially serving in was a little too woke and that they had alienated some of the faculty from the office because they would you know call them out and accuse them of being racist and so forth and I assured the panel that you know I did not identify as as woke and that what I do through my work is I try to create spaces where people whether they're woke or not or you know something else whoever they are if they're in the space in the learning community that their perspective is able to be heard and that even amongst these diverse and like divergent viewpoints we could identify points of commonality in order to best serve our students. That's amazing and so and they selected me you know based on that very transparent you know understanding of my teaching approach and of how I approach things. Yeah until they actually saw it and said well what are we doing and of course if you get any complaints as an administrator in today's day and age they bow almost immediately they bend and they break that one of the issues as I understand it was you were asking for definitions of terms like anti-racism what do we really mean by that and you're refusal to use terms such as let tinks and this was a new one to me philipinks Latinx or philipin x you can pronounce it either way from what I understand you also wanted to know why the B in black was being capitalized but not the w in white now I see why they called you a white supremacist this this will do it in today's day and age. Yes and I you know Megan I was not an administrator my role as a faculty role and so and that's why I took this role as a faculty director and so I thought I would be afforded you know all of the academic freedom of protections and freedom of speech and expression you know protections that a tenure track faculty member would be afforded what I found was that my tenure review process was actually obstructed and subverted by ideological extremists and they were very open about it and very biased against me because they did not want me you know creating these spaces I did over 60 hours of needs assessment conversations when I first started and a constant theme was people identifying that you know this the space here isn't one where we really talk about differences of opinion you know there's kind of just one view that that folks push and I didn't give much credence to it but I heard it more and more and then as I started to experience it I knew why I was getting those warnings initially and it's really unfortunate you know the things that have happened around it in terms of those some people are calling them gender neutral terms I call them gender oppressive terms and why I say that Megan is because those words like latinx or philpings or you know however folks want to pronounce it their inventions of the ivory tower I worked for 10 years in East Los Angeles public middle schools not once did any student our community member in the working class communities that I serve ever use those terms to describe themselves and then I was very experienced with the California Department of Education and other state system data dashboards and they do not use those terms so when I came to dianza and I saw those terms being used and to report from our office of research to report on students and perspectives I've seen where is that coming from because it's not from the state of California it's not from anywhere else like where are these terms coming from they're not from communities I grew up in the central valley in stockton and and and load I which has one of the largest Filipino populations in america and nobody had ever told me you know address me as philpings or philipinex or this x in anything and really what my background as a as a professor in helping teacher educators of speakers of other languages you know I knew that the x at the end Latin isn't something that originates from the culture or the language of Spanish speakers so it's definitely something different and when I would ask people why do we rename the data from the data data dashboard and why are we renaming groups of people and telling students they should identify themselves that way we're really shaping identities unfortunately by doing that nobody could give me an answer nobody could give me a coaching answer when this started at the answer why it started I couldn't find an academic senate resolution or a student government resolution it was just a shift a cultural shift that took place so is it true that that they were calling you names I read that you said I was called a bitch I was called dictatorial for well for what you tell me why were they calling you those names and the right wing extremists I was told I was told that in a in a division meeting for one of the largest divisions in on campus you know one of a faculty members stood up and said that I was working with the foundation against intolerance and racism that I was a plant for them and a right wing extremists and that I was on their payroll and that was just so strange to me because it's absolutely you know not the truth but you know once things are said you know people kind of latch on to them and they run with them and so this is the situation at the end is a very toxic environment where there's a lot of duplicitous people and that's what happens in toxic you know organizations and environments you know people who say one thing and then the moment later they're saying something different to another person and unfortunately people who were seated on my tenure review committee you know they openly stated that they were they identified themselves as a third wave anti-racist they said that you know my activities that I designed which didn't push any ideological perspective because that's not what I do and not what my works about they said they were deeply offended by them one workshop in particular I literally make an all I did was I took direct quotes from ebrem kindies book how to be an anti-racist and I put them on the slide with the page number so people could verify you know and I didn't alter them I didn't comment about them I didn't editorialize I didn't give my perspective what I did was I just created space for people to take a look at even kindies perspectives on various issues and then I had discovered on foundation against intolerance and racism's prohuman approach and so I had that on the other side it was a venn diagram and I created space for people to look at that and and to look at the different quotations and the different you know perspectives and then I said you know we have people who are potentially working in one or the other or maybe sometimes in different contexts even using pieces from the other and I said you know can we identify some points of commonality and even though these seem very divergent like what are some common points that we could take away from both to best serve our students and that was deemed deeply offensive and that mean marked as being unable to accept criticism and that that rating stayed with me it was unfounded it was based on you know one person's perspective and that person didn't even talk to me in post observation conversations they actually I'm on the advisory board for fair the group that you've been referring to and that's helping you in this litigation and of course that quote that's a Darrell Davis quote about being pro human pro the human race not this race not that race and of course this is a man who's he's been on the program he's he's turned KKK members the other way he's gotten them out of the KKK so I mean to suggest that affiliation with that group makes you a right-winger is wrong to suggest that quotes from that group are somehow offensive to people who are pro any race is a lie and just shows their ideological bias and and they were they were bent on getting you so then then the ultimate insult right then they let you go now understand who you were and by the way I do want to mention that I know you were one of the founding members and board of directors of free black thought just quickly is that the Twitter is that your Twitter free black thought thought too is that you're part of that so yes I'm on the board of directors for free black thought and that's another group that has been just amazing Megan I love that I've been having a Twitter for a long time you learn a lot of great things yes there's a lot of experts and for folks who are looking for solutions that free black thought is a great resource that I encourage folks to check out because many of the board of director members and the people that we have speaking in the articles and so forth in the journal of free black thought are identifying solutions that you know can help folks to move past you know the current moment where we find ourselves you know it's one thing Megan to like just say oh you know these things are wrong like what can we do and what are some positive things we can engage with and I encourage people to check out both free black thought and foundation against intolerant tolerance I love free black thought I've gotten so many great thoughts and been introduced to so many great people from it last question we only have a short time left you are going to sue them I assume I haven't rolled it out you know I still have this hope that folks are going to do the right thing Megan because I've made a lot of friends at the answer most of the people at the answer are good people they're just cleled into silence by authoritarian extremists who counsel people if they don't agree with them hmm we we know so many people in academia they need to scoop you up this is the kind of diversity equity and inclusion approach everyone can get behind in its nonsense that you lost your job because you really did want a free black thought you really are somebody who's lived it Dr. Lee we're going to continue to follow your story please let us know how this works out and how we can help amplify it thank you all the best you wow unbelievable and infuriating isn't it it's infuriating how does a woman like that wind up fired when she's trying to actually speak to young college minds who want to hear from her because of biased administrators that's the reason when we come back we take a turn to China and there's a lot of news breaking out of there including on TikTok now we shift to China last week Xi Jinping was handed an unprecedented third term as president becoming China's most powerful leader in generations what does this mean for the world and for us we're talking now with Michael Cunningham he's a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation and he's lived in China he knows all about China a true expert now to answer all our questions about what all this means Michael welcome to the show thanks for having me Megan yeah the pleasure's ours all right so let's just talk about what this means because it's basically Xi Jinping for life now he's he's going to be the leader he's the leader of the Communist Party this was just a formality making him a what for a third term president um good thing bad thing concerning from the US perspective well you know different people have different opinions about that I actually am of the opinion that it's not a bad thing for the United States to have Xi as opposed to someone who's a little more likable um and the reason I say this is that for decades uh American uh president sees administrations the government generally and and really civil society as well has viewed China as uh you know it is going to become like us as they develop they are going to and they actually desire to become like us and and the the Communist Party is going to democratize the country eventually as it becomes richer and that has has really been baloney it hasn't been true but we still have many elements in the government and in uh business circles that still want to to bring things back to where they were before Xi Jinping uh to a China uh a US China relationship that is a more cooperative but but what was happening is the US was losing a lot of our advantages to China to a China that is increasingly assertive on the global stage and so with someone like Xi in power I mean our our enemy is not you know it's it's not the Chinese people certainly but it's also not Xi our adversary is the Chinese Communist Party it has always been a Marxist revolutionary party and under Xi the the US as as a whole and also the international community sees that a lot clearer than they did previously I do fear that if we had someone that say the the establishment in Washington and the business community really liked that they thought oh this is this is our type of person that they would want to go back to sort of these softer more dovish uh policies that would would would only buy China additional time uh to surpass the US uh in military and technological capabilities so take us back for those of us who don't know their history uh about China take us back to when when did it start that we started looking at them differently we said we'll open up trade to China we're going to democratize China you know it's a kinder gentler the United States trying to make China in our mirror image and it can be done when did that happen and what's happened since then yeah it essentially happened in the 1970s I mean we we wanted an ally um to oppose the Soviet Union we finally realized that uh that China and the Soviet Union despite both being communist countries they were not on the same page they didn't even like each other and so our government played the China card as as it was called and so we gradually we established diplomatic relations with China by the end of the 1970s and we uh we really uh at the same time China had a change in leadership Mao Zedong ended up passing away and Deng Xiaoping he had this great strategy of let's lay low by our time um not exert leadership um not threaten the international community but let's let's rise through the international system and he he um uh implemented a lot of reforms to China's economy to open it up just enough that it could benefit from uh the the international system and so throughout the the decades there were many reasons to believe that that wasn't actually going to happen but we were told um by thanks to uh academic theories philosophies that well a country cannot become wealthy without democratizing eventually and uh also that you know all democratic countries are uh by definition peaceful and so if we if we have we open up we engage China they are going to democratize and they are going to be uh peaceful um and really what this meant to the the the the CCP the Chinese Communist Party you know we were telling them all we have your best interests in mind and and I think the US was sincere about that and and we want you to become democratic but what that sounds like to a totalitarian party like the CCP is we want a regime change we want to kick you out of power in China and that's what they heard and so everything that we did you know we we welcomed them uh in uh the early 2000s we welcomed them into the world trade organization um and basically what we did was we we said here you can have all of the benefits of the international community but you don't have to keep all of the same rules that everyone else has to and somehow some brilliant people in Washington thought that this was going to that once China became powerful and rich they were going to somehow impose those rules that they weren't being required to keep they were going to impose them on themselves um kind of a crazy idea if you ask me but that was um that that that was was how the thinking went and so all along China was implementing its big plan its master plan the the Lilo period has ended and now this ascension to power we're seeing it in so many different quarters I mean just yesterday I was talking about them creating all sorts of relationships in Latin America their their trade there has just exploded uh down there we we know that they've been buying up US farmland we know that they now control Oliwood and what gets made and what doesn't get made now they're brokering peace deals in the Middle East and potentially even with with respect to Russia and Ukraine I mean China never had this role before but this is I don't know what phase this is of the master plan but we're clearly beyond the keep your head down as we grow and become economically powerful and they are expanding into a true are you tell me could we use the term superpower well it it would be premature to use the term superpower right now but but that is their ambition they do want to develop into a superpower and a lot of people are using that term already to describe them but um I do want to to um uh confirm something you just said actually um I have a quote here so Dung Xiaoping his his period you know that he had uh uh essentially uh like an equation that that he told it was there um um that the strategy the strategic advice was observe calmly secure our position cope with affairs calmly hide our capabilities by our time be good at maintaining a low profile never claim leadership and she actually in this last um legislative session that ended on Monday he actually uh revealed a similar saying um similar length uh similar significance that actually had a half a million uh the the Chinese version of it had like half a million uh search results in in Google the next day and no one is really paying attention to it here but what he said was this is this is China's um uh strategy under him be calm and maintain determination seek progress while maintaining stability actively accomplish things unite and my favorite one dare to struggle that is China under Xi Jinping compared to the Dung Xiaoping lay low by your time era this to me feels like the moment where the Clark Kent is pulling the white shirt off and you're starting to see these s underneath like the revealing of what they hope will be some sort of superpower a next super phase and they've been paying the dividends toward that for decades now and so as you look at what they're doing can you just give us a broad base before we get into the specifics of what they've done recently give us a broad based view a kin to the one I just ticked off of what they are doing globally to grow and expand their influence yeah so uh China actually they hit they view power different from from the United States and most of the world they're obsessed with this concept of power but they're there's they're not only focused on military and economic power they're focused on political leadership throughout the world so they see it very much as a numbers game they see most countries are not uh liberal democratic countries um most countries are not necessarily even aligned with the United States um and what what they're hoping to do is really get the majority of countries slowly to sort of back back them and so um I guess it's um uh one way you could look at it is well well they're you know they're they're rolling out tons of of new initiatives just yesterday um they rolled out what they call the the the global civilization initiative they have the global security initiative the global development initiative and all of these are very vague initiatives we don't really mean what we we don't necessarily know what they mean in practice they're not clear but what they're doing is um they're they're trying to appeal to three types of countries one are the rogue states that detest america's uh leadership just as much as they do the the next type are authoritarian countries that may be aligned with the US like you talk about the Saudi Arabia and countries like that but uh they're not necessarily comfortable with the liberal norms human rights norms and whatnot that the US stands for um and with US um exerting the and and sort of promoting these norms uh internationally and then there's the third type which is the global south or the developing countries that haven't really benefited as much from the global order uh led by the US as north america a much of north east Asia and of course western europe and so way a lot of what china does to us sounds like oh there's no way anyone's going to align with that there's no way anyone's going to see them as a constructive um party uh with regards to ukraine and russia for example but we're not their target their target is actually much more susceptible to their overtures and and their uh their messages and so you can really think of them as almost um uh they're more interested in messaging than they are in substance and and i would say just one last thing about that is it's it's also sort of related to how the communist party took power in china the fern in the first place you know they it was a prolonged struggle they almost were defeated several times but in the end they managed to take power and they did that by appealing to the masses which were the workers and peasants against the um the the the minority landowners and and politically leads and economic unites and so what they're doing on the global stage is really going after the majority of countries trying to to peel them away from the us led system little by little in a uh uh uh international community where one country gets one vote in in most uh international organizations what they manage to do then is as uh use uh political and economic leverage to get individual states to vote according to to their desires as well toward what end exactly that last answer sort of got to it but then what right if they can align these america hating countries or people who are just not that thrilled with you know the way we operate what's the end yeah yeah it's uh well it's it's it's an alternative world order where china is the dominant power um and basically what they say goes i mean you know in substance they don't really have anything um that is different really i mean they talk about common values they reject the the idea of universal values that that that we stand by but they they they talk about common values which are just different names for the same values except the difference is they define them and if they're not obeying those rules well we we have the wrong a misunderstanding of what those rules actually are because they define them could this happen it very well could i mean it's it's it's not something that's going to happen tomorrow but um we need to we need to as the united states the world is actually counting on us to remain the leaders um the global leaders and so you know we have china making incredible inroads in the developing world we should really be worried about that we're not going to compete with them uh when it comes to uh the rogue states that hate america those are basically on china side there's not much we can do unless we can manage to drive a wedge between them but um what we should really be focusing on is the developing world a china has incredible influence in africa and they're they're they're making a lot of progress in latin america in our own backyard um i know you know previously john care you when he was secretary of state said that the monroe doctrine no longer exists i think many of us in america would disagree with that we need to maintain american influence uh and superiority in the western hemisphere for sure hmm why are they buying up so much farmland in america well that's actually a pretty complex issue um i mean the the simple answer is who is buying the farmland and and usually it's it's uh chinese companies or chinese individuals i think mostly companies and you know china has um uh a food security problem they have lots of concerns with that they have 1.4 billion people to feed and so that's one of the reasons what's really concerning though is that some of this farmland happens to be in very sensitive areas close to american military bases and that strikes me as just um well it strikes most people in america apparently as as very dangerous um that that they would buy land close to a sensitive military base here and um we don't really know what they're doing with that land uh we don't have the same processes in place if i wanted to buy farmland in china i'd probably it probably wouldn't be approved but if it would i would have to um fill out a very in-depth application about every single thing i'm going to use that farmland for and and they would you know review it for national security considerations food security um uh all sorts of different policies and if they approved it they would hold me to it but what happens here is i think you know if they get approval to buy this land i mean they might be setting up um technology to to surveil our military sites uh i don't think we have any oversight of what they do once they buy that land so it's a really good to hold up more balloons if we continue to look the other way on this how strong are they not even need balloons right yeah they just use their binoculars or their eyes um how strong are they militarily and economically because i've read some fierce debates on whether we are overstating the threat that in both of those departments they don't hold a candle to us well in both of those departments they don't currently hold a candle to us but here's the problem uh america's military is is declining we are we no longer have the navy that we used to have that's going to be the most important thing if we have a war with china at some point so we have to have we have to maintain the strongest military especially the strongest navy uh in the world and right now china is pretty far behind us but they're they're advancing very rapidly whereas in washington it seems like we're we're sitting on our hands and just just waiting until they've reached parity with us before we panic and and try to do something about it a china is producing ships uh very fast and we no longer have the industrial capacity if we were uh in a worst case scenario if we were in a war with china that we are no no longer able to we used to have you know that the uh workshop for democracy or whatever it was called during a world war two where we just mass produced ships well china's doing that now and it's definitely not for democracy right so um we need to be able to to sustain a war if we were to have one and the concern is that we're not doing that meanwhile uh are are reckless spending uh is not making us safer it's not uh giving confidence to our allies either that we are going to be able to really sustain a conflict if one should break out and so so that's i think one a one of the main concerns here china is facing some pretty serious economic challenges um but uh you know it it's it's coming from a pretty pretty low baseline right now it's still catching up um it's still you know it it just um released an economic target uh growth target for this year which is 5 percent that would be massive in most countries but that's the lowest target they've set in forever so um that's uh you know they uh and they have they're doing a lot to actually suppress their economic growth because they're trying to restructure their economy they're cracking down on a lot of sectors they're trying to eliminate risks and it if push comes to shove they can back off of some of that to stimulate growth and if push really comes to shove um the economy is just a political tool for china uh it's a tool for political for the CCP's political power and so if they have to divert economic resources to the military it's much easier for them to do that than it is for for us in a democratic system. Now you don't have to be an expert like you are to understand that you cannot attain or maintain power without more people coming up your ranks children and teenagers and the next generation and china's one child policy which was in place for most of those last 50 years we've been talking about has really come back to hunt them and especially given the preference for boys and how there was I mean there was infanticide there were abortions there were all sorts of things when it came to birthing baby girls you've got this very weird disproportionate situation of men outnumbering women by I don't know you probably know the ratio but it's something alarming and even the chinese government now is recognizing that this was folly and that there were going to be real penalties as a result of this to their economy to the ability to take care of the aging how is that one china policy or one china one child policy um you know rearing results for them now. Well um I mean basically what you just said I mean they're they're struggling now um but well I should say they're not struggling yet but they do see the writing on the wall um that their workforce is going to decline significantly and at the same time you know they're um at the same time their their economy is going to their growth is declining as well and so yeah they're going to have a lot fewer a working uh age people to support the elderly which is which is a challenge for their their social stability as well. They are very concerned about that. Now they weren't concerned when the rest of the world was warning them saying look you're going to have to do something about this this one china this one child policy but but now you know it is going to have implications for their ability to to fight a war in the future but uh you know there are more chinese people I mean like where are the women you we are still at the point where you need a woman to make a baby. Yes yes and and you know they're they're trying to incentivize now women to have more babies but you know the women really aren't buying it they're saying look you you didn't let us have babies before now you're trying to incentivize to do this or do we just exist to you know reproduce at your whim um and so that you know it's it's that's one of the concerns are going to face. Wow that's so interesting what a bizarre social experiment there they've been in the midst of and now you know as I said reaping not the rewards but the punishments from it. Okay so all of this is very interesting to me and it it does help me see what's what's in the news today and are different like like I don't know about you but this news that they brokered this actually we call it peace with this deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia was big news it went undercover it over here but it's it's huge that they brokered it it's huge that it happened it's huge for our friends in Israel who definitely we're not rooting for that um you know Iran wants to wipe Israel off the face of the mat Iran and and Israel does not want them to get closer to the Saudis who Israel was hoping it would get closer to in in the wake of the Abraham Accords which did not include Saudis in any event so Israel had sort of a hope thanks to the Trump presidency in the Abraham Accords that looks less good today than it did a couple of months ago and so can you speak to that news that China brokered that deal? Yeah I mean that's the interesting thing right China brokered that deal now the US wouldn't have been able to broker a deal like that because we don't have relations with Iran but I think the point here is the US wouldn't have either um I you know I I don't claim to be a Middle East expert but I would say that um you know part of me wonders if if part of this was not Saudi Arabia really sending a message to the Biden administration saying look there's there's another guy in town as well we don't have to just do you know just just align with the US um we do know that the relationship has been struggling between the US and Saudi Arabia especially under this administration but um I would say you know this is really a sign of things to come in China China saw an opportunity to exert itself um in another region of the world to show its leadership um and to present its image as as a great responsible leader of of the international system and it it was able to declare a pretty major victory now how big of a difference will will this deal make in the end I guess it depends on Saudi Arabia and Iran but um right now what we see is China is very active and we're we see them also um um inserting themselves in a little bit more in the uh Russia Ukraine uh crisis where they're trying to say look where the responsible ones we're not selling weapons to anyone we're calling for peace and their peace deal is is a joke to those of us who who who actually actually read it and actually understand um how how international relations works and and how how much that deal would really only benefit Russia but to those countries that are more susceptible to these types of narratives it really bolsters China's image and they are going to be relentless in um in she's third term especially this forgive this question because it's just so tired but I am curious do you think this would be happening if President Trump were in office well that's a really good question um you know I I am I'm not so sure that that what happened uh in the Middle East would be happening if if Trump were in office I do have to say though that what she is doing in China he would be doing that anyway so he didn't have a good second term in office as far as um I mean he had a great second term as far as consolidating his power goes but um as far as the his uh you know what he wanted to do on the international stage he was locked down in China for most of that time China uh China uh was dealing with its own problems um and didn't do as much diplomatically as he would have liked and so now he's really he's he's coming out swinging from his uh you know winning his third term over the party last fall and now over the state winning the presidency again and so that would be happening no matter who's in power a China would be a challenge no matter who the president was but but I am sure we would have um more coherent uh policies if if Trump were still in office and I think some of the huge blunders that that Biden has made that have hurt the US standing like Afghanistan and whatnot I I'm pretty sure would not have gone down the way they did you're an expert on she and China and so on we had somebody on yesterday who used to work at treasury and worked on a George W. Bush um and who said the reason he thinks we need to stay involved actively in Ukraine is if we are to cut and run there if we're gonna abandon that conflict and just sort of say oh well you know just live with the borders as they are and buy it will signal weakness to she and it will be provocative to him in a way we don't want do you agree with that um to an extent I do yes um I you know China only understands um power they don't really understand this whole you know let's all get along they they talk to talk but but they they understand power and um if the US is showing weakness uh it it does sort of open the door for she to do more diplomatically especially uh abroad now China has not been reckless um in using its military like Russia does Russia is the reckless partner in that partnership but um China is much more careful but it's uh it's very active diplomatically and now to an extent that would be happening anyway but there would probably be more pushback um under you know a stronger administration um we haven't talked about Taiwan tick-tack or a number of other things and we'll do that right after this quick quick break this is so interesting Michael thank you so much for being here standby uh more after this Michael Cunningham of the Heritage Foundation is here he is an expert on all things China so let's go through a few of them Russia and China getting closer and closer pretty much everyone is concerned the polls show that while Americans weren't that concerned about she winning a third term the majority in the 60% are worried about this alliance getting tighter and tighter are they right to be yeah absolutely um i mean China China and Russia are not allies um that's for sure they're their partners they're strategic partners and their their partnership is to an end they uh they are both very uncomfortable with US global leadership they both want to see a world order that is not dominated by by America um and so that's what they're really working together on and they're both very much dedicated to that and whereas you know there's question as to how coordinated they are um they and probably not too coordinated except they have similar goals and objectives but uh they do they are sort of complementary to each other Russia tends to be more how are we supposed to disrupt that Michael it's it's quite difficult um we i mean partly um to an extent there's really not anything we can do because they are dedicated to the same um that the same goal but at the same time um you know if if it's possible to somehow drive a wedge between them but that's that's quite difficult i i that would take um people with much more uh brilliant uh intel on the ground in Russia in Russia and China's uh political circles then then most of us have to to decide whether and how that's possible what how does Taiwan play into all this because more and more people predicting with our disasters withdrawal from Afghanistan with what's happening in Ukraine and we're focused over there the odds are higher than ever that conflict will happen between China and Taiwan and we've said already our president explicitly that we would get involved in that if you were to do it yeah i believe we would um and so so Taiwan uh the the likelihood of conflict is uh rising uh and it has risen quite dramatically over the past several years the past seven years uh especially um but that's um that that's that's that's more because of uh China's sort of um that they're well the militarization of the Taiwan straight more than anything China's activities China's military provocations there that um the the the possibility of escalation and miscalculation on either side becomes much higher as far as some plan to take Taiwan goes uh China fully expects to take control of Taiwan at some point but we have to remember they are much smarter about this than a country like Russia is they are very calculating and the way they see it is that the US and the West are declining as powers and China is rising and the time is on China's side and that if they can just stay out of a fight right now then they will be able to take Taiwan without even firing a shot at some point in the future they are playing a long game um and i i do know that you know some in the US are saying well their their window of opportunity is going to close at some point um that may be true i don't subscribe to that idea but the most important thing is Beijing doesn't subscribe to that idea they believe that that um that you know they cannot afford to go after Taiwan and lose it but if if they have 100% certainty that they are going to succeed that is when they would make a move wow i mean this is just like they're so smart and strategic and everything they do and we just don't feel that way i don't mean to underestimate the United States i realize we also have some smart people who are watching this and calculating the risk but it just feels that they are way more cunning than we are yeah absolutely cunning i think is the perfect word to describe them oh so let's talk about tiktok is that something that a hundred million Americans use we do not have it in our house we don't let our kids use any social media um and and that's in part you know the tiktok thing is in part because you don't know who's going to be accessing the data you know they have these parental controls and so on that they try to push or you can try to limit who who's got access to what your kid is doing and so on but it's a much bigger problem than that and today uh it's in the news that the that we may actually be insisting that bite dance the Chinese owner of tiktok sell off the the US arm of it or they were going to ban it in the United States i mean to me it seems impossible that the Biden administration i mean there could be a buy a bipartisan thing uh there's now a bill introduced by uh bipartisan senators to sever the relationship and it like it just seems impossible that they would say to the American people a hundred million of whom want to follow this account it's gone you can't anymore like could that actually happen well it needs to happen hopefully it does but i mean there you know there there are the two two risks here one is just the content and you know that's a social media risk anyway you're very smart mage and not to have not to let your kids use social media i mean we see what happens with with tiktok and and these other really other social media that that kids are on but um two is you mentioned the data issue that's a huge risk it's it's a national security risk it's a data security risk um but i i think you know you're you're right to question it as well you mentioned the the uh uh uh the bill the bipartisan bill that's out there right now it essentially it doesn't force the government to do anything with regards to tiktok it gives them power to it gives the commerce secretary power but the current commerce secretary is on on record saying the politician in me thinks you're gonna literally lose every voter under 35 forever if you uh ban tiktok so you know when when political expediency is is driving policy that really pulls into question whether um such such an act would actually would actually work right would we do it and so that you've got the bipartisan bill in the senate trying to give more power to the administration to make sweeping moves with respect with respect to tiktok and then you've got a report in the Wall Street journal yesterday which now several news outlets have confirmed that the Biden administration is threatening a potential ban on tiktok in the united states right now if the Chinese owners refuse to sell their stakes in the american arm of it um they say that these talks have been going on for years that it was not reportedly a final order by Joe Biden to the Chinese and that um um the the Chinese are denying that tiktok poses any sort of a risk to the national security of the united states how does it how does it if nothing happens and and you know bite dance continues its ownership in this tiktok that we're all using over here what's gonna what is happening to compromise national security yeah so um they are able to access for example um so I say they I mean bite dance people in china are able to access american user data um the news that has come out is really with the click of a button um and who is bite dance really okay bite dance is a privately owned Chinese company but they were so successful and they're in such a sensitive area in china you know they they deal with media um connecting people information uh the the Chinese Communist Party could not not take a piece of that so what they did was they they bought they forced the company to sell them a golden share it's called a golden share it's one percent ownership but they they get a board member they get to appoint someone to sit on the board um and then that that uh with that board seat they also get veto power so they have the the communist party through the government entity that that has a stake they actually wield incredible influence and given that they have um access to american user data as well um they you know bite dance being a Chinese company it is required by law to hand over any data that the communist or that sorry that the government uh demands of them um and so you know any number of things could happen we talk about americans with security clearances now or in the future uh that uh china needs uh the ability they need information so that they can compromise them we're talking uh uh government officials uh in america who we know several of them are are on uh tiktok so lots of risks i do want to say though um would uh a sale of uh tiktok from bite dance to um to an american owner would that make any difference well according to tiktok it wouldn't tiktok actually has come has come out and they said um uh uh they said that well they just said it won't make any difference um it will not fix the national security issue they have their own proposal which seems like a half measure it really made so what should we be rooting for because there isn't some clear solution where we get to use tiktok but we don't have to worry about chinese infiltration of our private data yeah yeah i mean really we should be rooting for banning tiktok i i don't see another way around it and you know i know a lot of young people would be disappointed by that but they probably thank us at some point in the future i mean it's it's rotting their brains it's like a draw well you know what else as some american company would come up with the the identical version that doesn't that's not owned and controlled by the chinese that's how capitalism works for better for worse um let's talk about energy okay because uh there was this bizarre bizarre statement by Jennifer grandholm the other day who suggested that what we really need to do is applaud china and and take a look at at china's example when it comes to cleaning up our energy problem i mean china really um here's what she said and then we can get into it the countries all are susceptible to pressure to peer pressure they don't want to be the outlier i mean there's a couple of countries that we know our outliers and don't care but but i think china has done um has been very sensitive and has actually invested a lot in their solutions of to achieve their goals so we're we're hopeful that you know we can all learn from what china is doing but the amount of money that they're investing in clean energy is actually you know encouraging we can all learn from what china is doing when it comes to green energy china you know what they're doing they're building six times more new cold plants than other countries are there the what what is happening there well um i have to agree that we can learn from what china is doing what is china doing they have an abundance of coal that's that traditionally been how they got a lot of their energy and they started to move towards cleaner energy not necessarily so-called you know not necessarily renewable energy but they started to move towards cleaner solutions like natural gas and whatnot and they found that they were having a problems with their energy security kids in schools in northern china were were having to go to school without heating because they just didn't have the energy resources for it and so what we're seeing is china is recognizing that they have and that the energy security is national security and that they have to use the resources that they have and so they're they're really tapping into those coal resources meanwhile in the u.s. what we're doing is we could be energy independent we have abundant oil and gas resources and instead of using those resources what we're saying is you know uh we have to transition completely away from that and we have to move over to these renewable resources that oh by the way china controls the supply chains for these resources so we're going from being essentially having the capacity to be pretty independent as far as our energy resources go to being dependent on china which which i think is is not something that china would do if they were in our place they're showing us that they take their energy security seriously so from from that perspective yeah we can learn from them yeah you think the energy secretary would know better i'm not sure if that was a pander uh Josh Rogan of the Washington Post had a great piece on how the state department more and more seems to be pandering to china cleaning up its language instead of saying china's doing this on human rights they talk about east aia and saying it's a problem like we we need to stay tough on them and we need to be honest about who they are and what they're doing and not trying to prop them up whether it's when it comes to their not to green energy plan um or what the state department is doing it's kind of interesting i need to ask you about what's happening on the covid investigation because in a pretty extraordinary development you've got the entire us congress voting to declassify the the investigation into the origins of covid and to tell the american people what we know about how this thing started lab leak natural origin whatever it is green jambier was asked whether joe biden is prepared to sign that legislation it's almost not even important other than politically because with these kinds of numbers they'll override his veto if he vetoes it um but it is interesting the position he's in and why they're not saying explicitly of course they'll sign it raises questions too if they do if if we get this if we get this declassification of all documents uh relating to the origins of covid do you think it's going to get us anywhere given how secretive the chinese have been how hard they are for to infiltrate how even the fbi's assessment that it was a lab leak was only moderate the the energy department said um was an energy i'm trying to remember um said low confidence so do you think it matters well um i will say it it matters from the public health standpoint it is very important that we know how the the um the the virus started but from the whole china accountable standpoint i think it's a distraction to be honest um so by all means you know they they should uh pass the spills very important our biden should sign it um but uh will it make a difference as far as uh holding china accountable no because china is not going to be transparent enough whatever we manage to get whatever um evidence we manage to have uh that we don't get directly from china they're going to say all that's falsified that's not true whereas in reality who is responsible for for the pandemic well regardless of the origins it's china it could have come from a bat it could have come from mars but either way china is the one that that clamped down on information that covered it up at the beginning that turned a localized outbreak into a pandemic you know there have been lab leaks in china before stars escaped from chinese labs multiple times and never did it turn into a pandemic the reason is they took it seriously they they clamped down on it they nipped it at they nipped the infection at the bud and what we saw this time was whistleblowers that came out and they just said hey everyone be careful you know just doctors speaking among themselves be careful there's a a new SARS-like virus out there um they were silenced by the the chinese government um that is and then they were not forthcoming to the international community they knew it was transmitted from human to human way before they admitted that and so that's really how we ended up with the pandemic that we have today china is responsible regardless of origins and so i do think we shouldn't be focusing only on the origin of the virus but the origin of the pandemic as well all right tough assignment but in the last 30 40 seconds we have sum it up how should we be thinking about china in america um well we we need to demand that um uh more more action and less talk less tough talk and more effective bipartisan action from our lawmakers do look with that i do not feel hopeful but i am enlightened thanks to you michael thank you so much really appreciate the discussion thanks a lot maigen all right so tomorrow i want to tell you that we are coming back with the guys from the fifth column and we have so much goodness to discuss with them there are so many topics uh that we've been sort of going over with uh over with each other uh and reserved for them so i think you're really going to enjoy tomorrow's show don't forget the tunic thanks for listening to the maigen kelly show no bs no agenda and no fear