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Listening to lawmakers with Laslo, UAPs
EXCLUSIVE — Governor Roundup: Executives-turned-Senators weigh in on David Grusch
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EXCLUSIVE — Governor Roundup: Executives-turned-Senators weigh in on David Grusch

Ep. 125 — Sens. Mitt Romney, John Hickenlooper, Tom Carper, John Hoeven, Maggie Hassan and Pete Ricketts
Transcript

No transcript...

Stairwell in Capitol leading up to the Senate chamber. Photo: Matt Laslo

Many lawmakers get fed up with being one of 535 federal lawmakers on Capitol Hill, so they head back home and run for governor based on their record in Washington. Still, many others reverse that, and run for Senate based on their record in the governor’s mansion.

Portrait taken in 1919 of former “governors of states when elected to the Senate: Arthur Capper of KS; Henry Wilder of NH; Walter Evans Edge of NJ; Stanley of KY; Walsh of MA.” Source: Library of Congress

But it doesn’t seem the nation’s governors — or former ones — are too worried about the objects flying over our heads that even the Pentagon and NASA can’t identify.

In this post you’ll find our exclusives with Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Tom Carper (D-DE), John Hoeven (R-ND), Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Pete Ricketts (R-NE).

NEWS FLASH: None were familiar with UFO whistleblower David Grusch. While Sen. Hickenlooper had heard of him, he hadn’t looked into his claims.

But Hickenlooper perked up our ears when we asked about the Chinese spy balloon incident, especially the three objects the Air Force down, including the mysterious one over Alaska.

“Well, I asked them that,” Hickenlooper told Ask a Pol. “Answer was that they were being safe, because they had not calibrated properly their technology for recognition. So I don’t think anyone’s trying to pretend like they somehow were defending the country.”

Other governor’s already published on Ask a Pol include Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Jim “I don’t read UFO stories” Risch and Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Mark Warner (D-VA).

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ICYMI: Exclusives w/ Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA) & Rick Scott (R-FL)

Below, please find audio and rough transcripts of Ask a Pol’s exclusive interviews, slightly edited for clarity.

LISTEN: Laslo & Romney

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TRANSCRIPT: Sen. Mitt Romney (7-12-2023)

Matt Laslo: “Random question.”

Mitt Romney: “Yeah.”

ML: “Have you heard of this UAP-UFO whistleblower, David Grusch?”

MR: “I'm not familiar with this. What, the UAP whistleblower?”

ML: “It’s interesting, because last week Schumer, Young and Rounds introduced an amendment on UAPs or UFOs.”

MR: “Oh, haven’t seen it. Sorry.”

ML: “No?”

MR: “Sorry.”

ML: “I figured. You got a day job.”

MR: “Pardon?”

ML: “You got a day job. Appreciate you, sir.”

They laugh.

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LISTEN: Laslo & Hickenlooper

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TRANSCRIPT: Sen. Hickenlooper (7-11-2023)

Matt Laslo: “I was curious, have you guys gotten a satisfactory update on the balloons? The spy balloons?”

John Hickenlooper: “I’m not doing an investigation, so I haven’t been trying to follow up on exactly when did we know and what did we know.”

ML: “Remember the Air Force started shooting down all these objects?”

JH: “Well, three of them, yeah.”

ML: “Yeah, what’d you make of that? Because they still haven’t ID-ed the one in Alaska.”

JH: “Well, I asked them that. Answer was that they were being safe, because they had not calibrated properly their technology for recognition. So I don’t think anyone’s trying to pretend like they somehow were defending the country.”

ML: “Have you heard about this whistleblower, UAP/UFO whistleblower David Gursch?” 

JH: “Well, I’ve heard something. I had someone mention something to me last week about it. I don’t know anything about it.”

ML: “Yeah. I guess Gillibrand’s going to try to have hearings, but Rubio told me this was the first time the Inspector General vetted a whistleblower like this and then sent it to Congress as urgent.”

JH: “Wow.”

ML: “Right? Yeah.”

JH: “Well, that sounds provocative.”

ML: “Exactly.”

JH: “Have you checked that out? Is that…”

ML: “I’m not allowed to. It’s classified still.” 

They laugh. 

JH: “Oh, it is. I see.”

ML: “Seemingly. I think parts of it are gonna be able to be public, because the House is also gonna have some hearings.”

JH: “Oh, we’ll check it out.”

ML: “I know, it’s a lot of question marks around it.”

JH: “Yeah, really. I don’t know enough about it to be useful, but I will check it out.”

Camila Aponte and Noah Kolenda contributed to the production of this transcript.

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LISTEN: Laslo & Carper

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TRANSCRIPT: Sen. Tom Carper (7-27-2023)

Matt Laslo: “Sir, I did a rookie mistake and this was off when I asked you about your UFOs. So, you haven't heard of this David Grusch guy?”

Tom Carper: “No. I have not.”

Carper turns to his aide.

TC: “But she has. She used to date him!”

Laughing.

Aide: “Yes. Yeah. Right. Yeah.”

ML: “Have a good one!”

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LISTEN: Laslo & Hoeven

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TRANSCRIPT: Sen. John Hoeven (7-25-2023)

Matt Laslo: “Have you heard of this UAP whistleblower David Grusch?”

John Hoeven: “No. I hadn’t heard about it, no.”

ML: “He’s testifying in the House. Preciate ya! Have a good one.”

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LISTEN: Laslo & Ricketts

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TRANSCRIPT: Sen. Pete Ricketts (7-19-2023)

Matt Laslo: “Pretty good Cubs win last night.”

Ricketts is part owner of my hometown Chicago Cubs.

Pete Ricketts: “Oh, I didn’t see it.”

ML: “Forget how many runs they got. Hi, I’m Matt Laslo.”

Our first meeting, so shake his hand.

Ricketts Aide: “17.”

ML: “17!”

Chatter with elevator attendant.

ML: “I’m originally from Chicago.”

PR: “Oh, what part?”

ML: “Western burbs.”

We get on elevator.

ML: “That’s me.”

I hand Ricketts a business card.

ML: “Have you heard of this UAP-UFO whistleblower David Grusch?”

PR: “I have not.”

ML: “Ask Rubio. He’s looking into it.”

PR: “Okay. Alright.”

ML: “It’s good to meet you, sir!”

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LISTEN: Laslo & Hassan

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TRANSCRIPT I — Sen. Hassan* (7-27-2023)

*We actually ran her down twice the day after Grusch testified — because that was also the last day Congress was scheduled to be in before lawmakers took the entire month of August off.

Matt Laslo: “Hey ma’am, can I ask you...”

Maggie Hassan: “I’m going on in. If you want, I’m happy to coordinate with our office.”

ML: “Yes ma’am.”

Then silence for 10 or seconds as I wait for perfect moment to interject.

TRANSCRIPT II — Sen. Hassan (7-27-2023)

This time no niceties: I just rudely launch into my question, cause she already backhanded me to her office.

Matt Laslo: “Have you ever heard of this whistleblower David Grusch?”

Maggie Hassan: “Sorry?”

ML: “Have you heard of this whistleblower David Grusch?”

Hassan Aide: “We’re so sorry…”

Maggie Hassan: “So, it’s always helpful to me when you tell me who you are, and I recognize you but I don’t know your name.”

ML: “Matt Laslo. I used to be the correspondent for NHPR. Now I’m a WIRED magazine contributor and a professor at Johns Hopkins.”

MH: “We’re happy to get back to you on that.”

ML: “We’re happy to get back to you on that. Liar.”

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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, asking your questions at the Capitol. @Ask_a_Pol (or @askpols).

Ask a Pol is a new, people-powered press corps, asking your lawmakers your questions at your US Capitol. Follow us on the socials @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.