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EXCLUSIVE: Oversight Chair James Comer believes UFO testimony, exploring next steps
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EXCLUSIVE: Oversight Chair James Comer believes UFO testimony, exploring next steps

Ep. 14 — Oversight Chair James Comer can shutdown further UAP investigations, but his interest seems piqued after this week's UAP hearing (7-26-2023)
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Oversight Chair James Comer sitting on the far end of the dais during UFO whistleblower David Grusch’s first public hearing. Photo: Matt Laslo

On the eve of the UFO hearing, House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer angered #UFOTwitter and frustrated Reps. Tim Burchett (R-TN) and Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) when he alerted the pair they wouldn’t be chairing the hearing—even after he charged them with leading his committee’s investigation into UFO whistleblower David Grusch. 

That was old news by Wednesday morning. 

“I don’t care about all that chairmanship, let’s just get to the issue. That’s a distraction,” Burchett exclusively told Ask a Pol outside the hearing room right before it kicked off. 

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Ahead of the hearing, Burchett walked the length of two long congressional hallways shaking hands, fistbumping and clicking selfies with the throngs of people waiting in line, trying to get one of the limited supply of coveted seats inside the hearing room.

Rep. Tim Burchett is known as one of the funniest, friendliest and genuine lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Photo: Matt Laslo

“Obviously there’s more interest in this issue. I was out this morning at 4:30am, when I was on Fox, and there were people already out there at 4:30,” Burchett gushed. 

While Comer ruffled the proverbial feathers of members of his own party in the lead up to the high-profile hearing, the chair of the powerful committee says in the coming days he’s looking to meet with members of the committee to see what the next steps are. 

“I really don’t know. We’ll huddle up after the committee and decide,” Comer said as he was catching a Black SUV about an hour into the hearing. “We want transparency.” 

The Black SUV whisking House Oversight Chair James Comer away from his committee’s UFO hearing for an hour or so. Photo: Matt Laslo

Below find a rough transcript of Ask a Pol’s interview with House Oversight Chair James Comer, slightly edited for clarity.

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Matt Laslo: “How you doing, boss?””

James Comer: “You’re not covering the hearing?”

ML: “Oh I am, I’m here listening on C-SPAN, cause I always do my interviews in the halls.”

JC: “Okay.”

ML: “I’ve been here 17 years. I’m a feature writer. That’s how I do it.” 

JC: “Alright.”

ML: “What do you make of it?”

JC: “I think there's a lot of curiosity out there from people. They want to know if in fact there are UFOs, and if in fact our government is part of a cover-up. So I share their curiosity. I don't know much about it. I'm learning just like everyone else. We'll take the information we learned today and see which direction to proceed moving forward.”

ML: “Did you feel like you learned anything?” 

JC: “Yeah, I mean, I do. It's interesting to hear people who have actually seen it, and who have actually tried to blow the whistle on the federal government. So what we want to do on this committee is bring transparency to the government, and I wish that we had confidence in the government to kind of tell us exactly what's going on. And right now, I don't think there's much confidence in the government on anything, especially with the UFOs.”

ML: “Would you want—cause when Grusch was being questioned by your Florida colleague, Moskowitz, I believe…”

JC: “Yeah.”

ML: “He was saying he can’t tell us in public—it needs to be a classified setting, and he hasn't seen it firsthand. Did you maybe want to subpoena some of those folks or hear from more? Where do you see this going?”

JC: “I really don’t know. We’ll huddle up after the committee and decide. We want transparency.” 

Comer turns to his staffer as he points to a big Black SUV idling. 

JC: “Is this ours?”

Comer turns back to Ask a Pol.

JC: Sorry, I’ve got to leave.”  

ML: “You got a day job.”

JC: ““We’re keeping up with it, and we’ll be back in about an hour.”

ML: “Cool. ‘Preciate ya.”

As Comer’s big Black SUV Laslo then runs into Ask a Pol fan Casey. 

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

We’re @Ask_a_Pol or @askpols on Insta.

Camila Aponte and Noah Kolenda contributed to the production of this transcript. Take typos up with Congress (and ping us, please! Our apologies in advance).

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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.