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