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EXCLUSIVE — AOC on David Grusch: "The allegations of reprisal and culture is actually a primary concern"
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EXCLUSIVE — AOC on David Grusch: "The allegations of reprisal and culture is actually a primary concern"

Ep. 175 — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (2-1-2024)
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Transcript

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AOC prepares to question UFO whistleblower David Grusch on July 23, 2023. Photo: Matt Laslo

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is a leading voice on the House Oversight Committee. Last July, after questioning UFO whistleblower David Grusch , AOC exclusively told Ask a Pol the public hearing raised more questions — “particularly, around defense contracting and transparency from the Pentagon” — than it answered.

After attending last month’s SCIF briefing on Grusch and his allegations, Ocasio-Cortez refused to answer questions from reporters because the meeting was classified, so we made sure to circle back with her as soon as the opportunity arose.

Who?

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Ask a Pol asked:

“It’s almost like the military industrial complex is now complete, it seems? And that enables them to hide stuff from Congress?”

AOC’s response: 

“I mean, that’s the core question that we must ask,” Ocasio-Cortez exclusively tells Ask a Pol.

Both AOC and the top Democrat on the Oversight Committee, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), told Ask a Pol they had more questions for David Grusch after they found his public testimony credible. Photo: Matt Laslo

Notable: AOC on defense contractors

“I think there’s an enormous amount of open questions here as to what guides, what — where the line is between what falls under direct government operations and what is chosen to be contracted out. I think that there’s an important — I think that there’s potential oversight to be done, and then also, of course, once a contractor is in possession of US resources, how that is deployed and what the information shared,” Ocasio-Cortez exclusively tells Ask a Pol.

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ICYMI — AOC after Grusch testified July 2023

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LISTEN: Laslo & AOC

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Matt Laslo’s a veteran congressional correspondent, new media prof. & founder of Ask a Pol — a new, people-powered press corps.

Ask a Pol — asking your lawmakers your questions at your US Capitol. @Ask_a_Pol or @askpols 

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Below find a rough transcript of Ask a Pol’s exclusive interview with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), slightly edited for clarity.

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TRANSCRIPT: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

SCENE: Lawmakers are walking from their offices across the street to the US Capitol via a long underground tunnel so they can cast their last vote of the week on the floor of the US House of Representatives. Matt Laslo was in the middle of interviewing one lawmaker who already cast her vote when AOC walked past, so he quickly — and as politely as possible — ended the interview and ran-walked to catch up with the New York congresswoman.

Matt Laslo: “Hey how are you congresswoman?”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: “Hi. I’m good how are you?”

ML: “Still standing. I was curious about your thoughts on, like, what questions do you have next for the contracting community in regards to UAPs?”

AOC: “Well, I think there’s an enormous amount of open questions here as to what guides, what — where the line is between what falls under direct government operations and what is chosen to be contracted out. I think that there’s an important — I think that there’s potential oversight to be done, and then also, of course, once a contractor is in possession of US resources, how that is deployed and what the information shared.”

ML: “Yeah? Because it’s almost like the military industrial complex is now complete, it seems? And that enables them to hide stuff from Congress?”

AOC nods in agreement.

AOC: “I mean, that’s the core question that we must ask.”

ML: “Yeah? But it’s kind of what your gut [is telling you]? You don’t have an answer for it yet?”

AOC: “Right, right. It’s where we need to pull the thread.”

ML: “Do you feel like they’re being honest with you when you guys ask questions?”

They arrive at a Member’s Only elevator underneath the Capitol, which they proceed to ride up to the House floor.

AOC: “I think so, but I also think that, you know, government work is highly compartmented and so I don’t think it’s a question of people needlessly withholding, it’s just that the scope of what they are exposing [inaudible]. It’s about figuring out where we actually fit into this.”

ML: “But it could be built like that on purpose?”

AOC: “For sure.”

ML: “Yeah? What do make of Grusch’s…?”

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AOC: “Pardon?” 

ML: “The whistleblower, David Grusch — what do you make of his claims?”

They arrive at the 2nd floor of the Capitol — where throngs of lawmakers and members of the press corps are milling about — while AOC is speaking.

AOC: “Well, you know, in the jurisdiction of the committee, our scope of interest really pertains to the actual whistleblowing allegation. That is really the jurisdiction of that. And so really that is more our responsibility. The allegations of reprisal and culture is actually a primary concern. Secondary, you know — the substance of it non-withstanding, the culture and actual incident allegation is what is (inaudible).”

At the end AOC is walking to the House floor and pointing away from Laslo; pardon the inaudible sections. Please send us what you hear!

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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.