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Listening to lawmakers with Laslo, UAPs
EXCLUSIVE — Cosponsors of Schumer's UAP bill say David Grusch never came up
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EXCLUSIVE — Cosponsors of Schumer's UAP bill say David Grusch never came up

Ep. 9 — Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Mike Rounds, Todd Young, Marco Rubio, Martin Heinrich (interviews between 7-13-2023 and 7-19-2023)
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Rough transcripts of exclusive interviews with 5 of the 6 original sponsors of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s new UAP amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act are attached.

A senior aide of Sen. Schumer tells Ask a Pol: “It’s not related to Grusch.”

They then sent along this quote (which we believe is the same one they released in the initial announcement, but we have to run and ask lawmakers questions so you tell us, fam!):

“For decades, many Americans have been fascinated by objects mysterious and unexplained and it’s long past time they get some answers,” said Leader Schumer. “The American public has a right to learn about technologies of unknown origins, non-human intelligence, and unexplainable phenomena. We are not only working to declassify what the government has previously learned about these phenomena but to create a pipeline for future research to be made public. I am honored to carry on the legacy of my mentor and dear friend, Harry Reid and fight for the transparency that the public has long demanded surround these unexplained phenomena.”

Below are rough transcripts of five exclusive interviews with Schumer’s five cosponsors.

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Sen. Todd Young (7-19-2023) 

Matt Laslo: “Hey, how are you, sir?”

Todd Young: “I’m alright.” 

ML: “I have to ask a follow up for folks. Did your UAP measure with Schumer had anything to do with whistleblower David Grusch?”

TY: “I don't really have any visibility into that. I didn't draft it. It was Schumer working with Rounds, so I'm not sure what their motivation was.”

ML: “Has he come up at all, that whistleblower?”

TY: “In my conversations with Rounds or Schumer?”

ML: “Yeah.” 

TY: “No.”

ML: “Not at all?”

TY: “No.”

ML: “No? Interesting.”

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Sen. Marco Rubio (7-19-2023)--starts at :40 secs 

Matt Laslo: “I’m curious, this UAP whistleblower David Grusch, what role did he play in this UAP amendment with Schumer?” 

Marco Rubio: “I don’t know. You’ll have to ask Schumer. I haven’t talked to him about that in particular.” 

ML: “Well, that's interesting that he didn't come up in talks about this bill.”  

MR: “I don't know if he did. I mean, Schumer's office reached out to us, asked us if we'd be interested in coming on that amendment with them. We said we would. It sort of aligns with what we've been talking about.”

ML: “It doesn’t seem like there were forma;l talks between the six of you?” 

MR: “No, through our staffs. I think they said, ‘We're gonna file this thing, do you want to be a part of it?’ I said, ‘Sure.’ I mean, it's something—I don't know who can be against it.” 

ML: “Yeah, right?”

MR: “Or what the rationale to be against it is.”  

ML: “Because this is more focused on transparency in the government, right?” 

MR: “Correct.” 

ML: “Yeah? Preciate ya. Thank you sir!” 

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Sen. Mike Rounds (7-13-2023) — starts at 1:30mins

Matt Laslo: “Have you looked into this UAP / UFO whistleblower David Grusch?” 

Mike Rounds: “Who?”

ML: “There's a whistleblower…”

MR: “I don’t know the name, but I know the stuff you're talking about.”

ML: “He went through—Rubio tells me—he was vetted by the inspector general and found credible enough to get sent to Congress, which he said, that hadn't happened. He's like, ‘We get whistleblowers a lot, so this one stands out for that.’ But you haven't?” 

MR: “I haven’t.”

ML: “It's not on your radar?”

MR: “No. I haven’t talked to him [Rubio] about it.” 

ML: “Yeah? Because the really intriguing thing is he claims that there are these SAPs—Special Access Programs—hidden from Congress, and so Gillibrand has language in NDAA to kind of smoke out any that are in the government. It would cut off funding for it, so intriguing, especially because it's a constitutional question of the executive branch.”

MR: “We'll find out.”

ML: “Right?”

Sen. Martin Heinrich (7-19-2023) — starts at 2:25mins

Matt Laslo: “Hey, I’m curious, on your guy’s UAP amendment, did David Grusch come up in the talks around that amendment?”

Martin Heinrich: “Not in the ones I had.”

ML: “No?”

MH: “Yeah.” 

ML: “How do you see that—separate from the UAP investigation?” 

MH: “From my point of view, this is just part of a long-term effort to have both transparency and some sort of data based approach to all this stuff.”

ML: “Yeah. Do you always walk around with fish?”

MH: “Quite often…Pop up.” 

Laslo and another reporter hop on his elevator. 

ML: “Yes, sir.”

MH: “What happened was I accidentally—I was smoking trout at my house, because I caught a bunch of trout this weekend—and I accidentally sent a picture to the wrong text string and it went to my colleagues. And they were like, ‘So you’re bringing this to our [weekly] lunch, right?’ I was like, I guess now I have to.” 

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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (7-18-2023) – starts at 3:45mins

Partial transcript. Full audio. Post here

Matt Laslo: “This feels a little bit more general?”

Kirsten Gillibrand: “It is. You have to ask Sen. Schumer the genesis of his interest, but I think it was because he kind of took the mantle from Sen. Harry Reid and wanted to just continue the rights of the public to know information. Very similar to the JFK requirements of revealing information over time.”

ML: “So it’s transparency focused?” 

KG: “It's a transparency focus. It’s not the same work we're doing in the Armed Services Committee…but this is a good measure that very much dovetails with the work that we do with both Intel. and Department of Defense.”

Matt Laslo is a veteran congressional correspondent and founder of Ask a Pol—a people-powered press corps. Find him on most social media @MattLaslo

We’re@Ask_a_Pol or@askpols on Insta.

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Ask a Pol
Listening to lawmakers with Laslo, UAPs
I cover Congress different. I listen. Learning daily. Even while throwing stones at all the glass houses. This will be a stream of my noteworthy interviews. They're conducted at the US Capitol, if not otherwise noted. Matt Laslo is a veteran congressional reporter, Johns Hopkins University lecturer, fmr. Vice News Tonight/HBO correspondent, etc.