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Listening to lawmakers with Laslo, UAPs
EXCLUSIVE — Top Dem on House Intel on gutting of Schumer UAP in NDAA: "I don’t think it was us"
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EXCLUSIVE — Top Dem on House Intel on gutting of Schumer UAP in NDAA: "I don’t think it was us"

Ep. 176 — Rep. Jim Himes (2-7-2024)
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Transcript

No transcript...

US Capitol. Photo: Andrey Beregovskiy

Who?

Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) — Ranking Member of House Intelligence Committee

Ask a Pol asked:

“With the NDAA [National Defense Authorization Act], how did Schumer’s UAP amendment get stripped? Was that you all [on Intel]? Was that [Intel Chair Mike] Turner?”

Key Himes: 

“I know this is sort of a cause célèbre online. I don’t think it was us all. You should ask Turner about it,” Himes exclusively tells Ask a Pol.

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“Put it this way,” Himes continues. “I certainly wasn’t in any meaningful way a part of it, but sometimes negotiation shit gets done. But I’ll ask [my aide] to call you.”*

*Himes’ aide called Ask a Pol founder Matt Laslo and said their office has no direct knowledge of the House Intel Committee actively working to gut Schumer’s amendment.

Caught our ear:

“Any number of us have boiled the ocean for any evidence that we are hiding aliens or have spacecraft or whatever, and the answer is always: ‘No. No. No. No.” — [from] all kinds of people. So a lot of this is just an effort to do yet another comprehensive deep dive. You saw the Scientific American article, right? I mean, this is getting bananas,” Himes tells Ask a Pol.

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LISTEN: Laslo & Himes

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Below find a rough transcript of Ask a Pol’s exclusive interview with Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT), slightly edited for clarity.

TRANSCRIPT: Rep. Jim Himes

Matt Laslo: “Hey, how are you, congressman?”

Jim Himes: “Hey, how is it going?”

ML: “Living the dream.”

Laughter.

JH: “Like all of us.”

ML: “I was curious, with the NDAA [National Defense Authorization Act], how did Schumer’s UAP amendment get stripped? Was that you all [on Intel]? Was that [Intel Chair Mike] Turner?”

JH: “You know, I know this is sort of a cause célèbre online. I don’t think it was us all. You should ask [Intel Chair Mike] Turner about it.”

ML: “He won’t talk to me, he only talks to Fox.”

Both laugh.

ML: “He used to when I was Dayton’s NPR station.” 

JH: “Give me a card just to remind me, and I’ll have [my aide] call you. Because I, like, I know the accusation is that me and Turner spiked it. I don’t think that’s accurate. But I’ll have [my aide] call you on it.”

ML: “But you would know if you were a part of it.”

JH: “Well, it’s possible, you know. I don’t know.”

ML: “Yeah?” 

JH: “Put it this way: I certainly wasn’t in any meaningful way a part of it, but sometimes negotiation shit gets done. But I’ll ask [my aide] to call you.”

ML: “Well, that’s interesting, because [House Armed Services Committee — or HASC — Chair Mike] Rogers did know about it, where Turner seemed more aloof. But, like, Senate Armed Services Committee didn’t care about it. It was led by Intel over there.”

JH: “All of this is — I mean, I’ll give you some context, which is any number of us have boiled the ocean for any evidence that we are hiding aliens or have spacecraft or whatever, and the answer is always: ‘No. No. No. No.” — [from] all kinds of people. So a lot of this is just an effort to do yet another comprehensive deep dive. You saw the Scientific American article, right? I mean, It’s getting bananas. But I’ll ask the staff to call you.”

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ML: “But have your questions been answered about — this time last year — the Chinese spy balloon incident?”

JH: “Have my questions been answered?”

ML: “Yeah?”

JH: “Yeah. Yeah. No”

ML: “Oh, really?”

JH: “I mean, no, I think we know forwards and backwards what that balloon was all about.”

ML: “Yeah, but we didn’t detect it until it was already in US airspace.”

JH: “Well…”

ML: “That was technically a UFO in the beginning.”

Himes laughs.

ML: “Right?”

JH: “I think you know the story there, right? You know, we learned that we have a lot of eyes in the skies, but they are looking for fast metal things. That’s always been the threat. So when you start looking for other stuff, you see it. But yeah, that was definitely a — we didn’t have the eyes looking for balloons.”

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ML: “Have they recalibrated? Like, do you think the American airspace is secure from intrusions like that?”

JH: “I don’t know. You have to ask somebody — you’d have to ask a DOD person on that.”

ML: “Yeah? But they wisely won’t talk to me.”

JH: “I can tell you this, I don’t know if we’ve done anything that makes it more likely that an ICBM is coming through.”

ML: “Yeah?”

JH: “I just don’t know what the tradeoffs are. Like, if you start looking at a thousand feet for slow moving balloons, do you sacrifice some ability to see an ICBM. My guess is that we have not sacrificed our ability to detect ICBMs. But I just don’t know.”

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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.