Ask a Pol
Listening to lawmakers with Laslo, UAPs
EXCLUSIVE — Sen. Ernst: "Of course I’m curious” about Grusch, but never follows up
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EXCLUSIVE — Sen. Ernst: "Of course I’m curious” about Grusch, but never follows up

Ep. 110 — Sen. Joni Ernst (7-26-2023 & 11-29-2023)
Transcript

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Sen. Joni Ernst, Senate Republican Conference vice chair, next to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Photo: Matt Laslo

As the top Republican on the Armed Services Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) sits across from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) who chairs the panel and has used it to conduct some oversight of the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO).

We actually caught up with Ernst this summer on July 26, 2023 — the day UFO whistleblower David Grusch testified on the other side of the Capitol in front of the House Oversight Committee.

“Of course I’m curious,” Ernst exclusively told Ask a Pol. “So I’m anxious to see what comes out of that. And maybe there will be more follow-up?”

It doesn’t seem there was much follow-up though.

Ernst also served on the conference committee for the National Defense Authorization Act — or NDAA.

At the end of November, Ask a Pol caught up with Ernst outside the group’s one meeting, even as the measure was being crafted behind closed-doors by party leaders — a process that eventually gutted Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s own UAP amendment.

While she was not tracking Schumer’s UAP amendment, like members of the Congressional UAP Caucus, Ernst was frustrated by the secretive process.

“I think that has always been a frustration that the members don't have as much input as they would like,” Ernst said. “But bottom line, what we need to do is focus on what our warfighters need. And that's it. All the extraneous stuff should not be included.”

Ernst and other GOP leaders address the press corps. Photo: Matt Laslo

Below find rough, partial transcripts of Ask a Pol’s interview with Sen. Joni Ernst, slightly edited for clarity.

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Ernst Transcript I (7-26-2023)

Matt Laslo: “Sen. Ernst, Have you been able to look into UAP or UFO whistleblower David Grusch at all?”

Joni Ernst: “No. Well, we had the hearing — we had the subcommittee hearing a while back, but I haven’t talked to anybody further about it.”

ML: “Are you curious?”

JE: “Of course I’m curious. Yeah.”

ML: “He testified in the House today.”

JE: “So I’m anxious to see what comes out of that. And maybe there will be more follow-up?”

ML: “Thank yo, ma’am.”

Sen. Joni Ernst during NDAA (11-29-2023)

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Ernst Transcript II (11-29-2023 )

Joni Ernst: “I think that’s always — well, for the years we've been engaged in conference — I think that has always been a frustration that the members don't have as much input as they would like. But bottom line, what we need to do is focus on what our warfighters need. And that's it. All the extraneous stuff should not be included.”

Matt Laslo: “I heard the UAP issue came up?”

JE: ”I was not there when it came up.”

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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.