Raw interview audio attached: apologies for scratchy phone tape and our disconnection midway.
Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) didn’t watch last night’s Republican presidential primary debate, but after hearing former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie laughed off ongoing congressional investigations into UFOs, one of his first reactions was to reach out to Christie himself.
“I seriously thought about maybe just calling his people and saying, ‘hey, I'd love to talk to you about the issue and give you a heads up next time, so you don't get popped on it,’ because apparently he's getting raked over the coals pretty good,” Burchett exclusively tells Ask a Pol.
If, like Burchett, you missed the Fox News debate, here’s a bit of the exchange after moderator Martha MacCallum asked Christie about UFOs.
“Do you believe that the recent spike in UFO encounters…” MacCallum started.
“I get the UFO question?” Christie complained. “Come on, man.”
“We’ve been hearing a lot of testimony in Congress and people are taking this a lot more seriously,” MacCallum replied.
Throughout this 118th Congress, there’s been broadly bipartisan congressional intrigue into the question of UAPs, or Unidentified Anomalous Anomalies, according to NASA’s new definition of UFOs.
It started with a Chinese spy balloon invading US airspace before being shot down by the Air Force, but attention quickly pivoted to UFO whistleblower David Grusch.
While Christie wasn’t aware of Grusch, the former US intelligence officer’s allegations were vetted by the intelligence community’s inspector general before being forwarded to Congress labeled “an urgent and credible threat,” according to Senate Intelligence Committee Vice-Chair Marco Rubio (R-FL).
The Senate Intelligence Committee investigation is largely occurring in secret. Over in the House, Burchett and Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) have been spearheading the investigation on behalf of Oversight Committee Chair James Comer.
At the end of July, their investigation culminated with Grusch’s much anticipated public testimony. The hearing was highly publicized, but Christie seems to have missed it.
“It is disheartening, but it just shows their ignorance and they don't have anybody briefing them on that stuff because their heads are all up their butts,” Burchett tells Ask a Pol of Christie’s dismissiveness. “I'm not surprised, but I am disappointed.”
While Burchett’s never been a fan of Christie—”I think he's kind of a bully”—he’s willing to discuss UFOs with the former governor if he’s interested.
Though Burchett seems to have a bigger problem on his hands.
Even after the Grusch hearing was seen as a success—winning over the likes of Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the top Democrat on Oversight, along with more moderate Republicans, like Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC)—rumors are swirling that GOP leaders want to squash all this UFO talk in the House.
Burchett hasn’t heard anything definitive, but he’s braced for House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Turner (R-OH) and Oversight Chair James Comer (R-KY)—at the behest of or, at least, with the blessing of Speaker Kevin McCarthy—denying the bipartisan request to create a select UAP committee.
“Squash it? Yeah, I've heard that. I don't know. It doesn't surprise me. Again, they tried to block—everybody's tried to block everything from this thing. It just got too big,” Burchett says. “They thought they could bring it in and ‘Oh Burchett, he’ll make a joke of this thing. It won’t be anything’ and then it turned into the biggest thing of the year.”
Specifically, we asked if Republican leaders—Chairs Turner, Comer and, thus, Speaker McCarthy—can “bury” their ongoing UFO investigation.