It seems the defense industry is in on House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Turner’s secrets, because, while he refuses to take questions from the congressional press corps these days, he’s now a magnet for military industrial complex cash.
Washington has a way of changing—many say, corrupting—people. That seems to be the case with Turner who’s now on his 11th term in Congress.
While Turner’s never been viewed as an interesting, thoughtful or particularly smart politician—thus most reporters have never shown any interest in talking to him—the Ohio Republican used to not be afraid of his own thoughts.
That was more than a decade ago, when I interviewed him for local Ohio NPR member stations. These days, even as he’s supposedly a powerful politician, he’s somehow grown afraid of my mic.
Ask a Pol’s BRIEFEST TRANSCRIPT TO DATE:
Matt Laslo: “How are you, sir?”
Mike Turner: “Hey.”
ML: “Curious, any update on UAP investigations and stuff?”
MT: “I don’t do ambush interviews. Call my office.”
ML: “You used to talk to me when I was Ohio NPR.”
Turner awkwardly laughs—reminiscent of a pubescent teenager.
MT: “Now you’re not Ohio.”
“Ambush”? WTF is this kid in a poorly fitting clown suit hiding in his closets!?!?! It seems a lot, actually.
Let’s play some of the tape:
Funny Turner should dismiss Ask a Pol—and our subscribers spread nationwide—as “not Ohio.” It’s actually his critics who say he stopped being Ohio long ago. Just look at who owns, we mean, funds him.
But don’t let one local address atop his donor list fool you. It seems lobbyists have put their money where Turner’s mouth used to be.
Turner’s campaign coffers are overflowing with defense and aerospace cash—a recycling of US taxpayer’s money after getting washed in the eternal spring of Washington contractor graft.
Over his career, Turner’s next top three donors are, in order, Lockheed Martin (with roots in California, before a merger left it headquartered right outside of Washington in the suburbs of Maryland), Raytheon Technologies (founded in Massachusetts, now headquartered right outside of Washington in the burbs of northern Virginia) and General Dynamics (founded in New York, now headquartered right outside of Washington in suburban northern Virginia).
While Turner’s been laughing off UAP questions on the friendly confines of Fox News, his district includes Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB), which houses the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC).
When not being dismissive, Turner’s been eerily quiet of late—even in the face of Wright-Patterson and NASIC playing prominent corroborating roles in Leslie Kean and Ralph Blumenthal’s first, earth-moving exclusive with UFO whistleblower David Grusch that dropped in The Debrief back in June.
The House Intel chair has also been closed-lipped in the face of bipartisan calls from members of the Congressional UAP Caucus to simply let them peek inside the historic base.
“If there’s nothing to conceal, let Congress go to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the Dugway Proving Ground or even Groom Lake in Nevada,” Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL) said in the House Oversight Committee on July 26, 2023, right before Grusch and two Navy pilots testified. “We should have disclosure today, we should have disclosure tomorrow. The time has come.”
When it comes to his colleague’s cries for transparency, Turner seems to have also rendered himself mute.
After escorting House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) on a secret tour of Wright-Patterson on June 28th, Turner’s refused to extend a similar tour to Moskowitz or others investigating Grusch’s claims.
That’s in spite of the base being a fairly open secret.
“Congressional leaders and members visit Wright-Patterson quite often,” according to Turner’s local paper, Dayton Daily News.
“In April, members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence visited the base for a closed meeting and discussion on funding and priorities,” writes Thomas Gnau of Dayton Daily News. “Leaders of major intelligence agencies, such as CIA director Williams Burns, Avril Haines, director of national intelligence; and Gen. Paul Nakasone, director of the National Security Agency, and others were part of that gathering.”
Guess Turner has as much disdain for his fellow members of Congress as he does for the press corps.
It’s no secret Turner’s been propped up by defense and aerospace dollars throughout his political career. Those industries are his top PAC contributors (and remember, super PACs provide a smokescreen for political big donor daddy’s).
The financial service industry has remained Turner’s main sugar daddy over his decades long evolution into an unrecognizable swamp creature. But defense and aerospace firms are a close second, according to Open Secrets.
It seems Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) knows his colleagues better than us outsiders.
This summer, the kindly southern gentleman dismissed Turner and top Democrat on the House Intel Committee, Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT), as little more than Pentagon, aerospace and military contractor puppets.
We know Turner loves a free meal—allegedly $70,000 worth of them between 2017 and 2020, according to Politico—and that he’s allegedly fine steering hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars (to the tune of some $400,000) into his, well, his-then wife’s pockets.
“Everybody in this community at one time or another lobbies my husband for money,” his first wife Lori Turner told the Dayton Daily News. “I don’t. That’s not my venue.”
Doesn’t seem the defense and aerospace industries have to do much lobbying these days either, because, how’s that go, “Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.”
And all the defense lobbyists said, “Amen!”
Should we tell the lobbyists about his two failed marriages?
Actually, they likely know. His second wife was an energy lobbyist, and after Turner slapped a restraining order on her, she’s likely already told Washington’s lobbyist class all his deepest secrets—even ones the intelligence community may not know.
Here, all we’re asking for is to be let in on America’s biggest secrets. We just wish the House Intelligence chair was a big boy, unafraid of his own shadow—or is he afraid of a different shadow?
We’ll ask him, if he ever mans up—well, if his donors ever give him his alleged manhood back.
Oh, for the curious and acute reader: Turner’s 5th top donor? The International Union of Operating Engineers.
Sound blue collar. Like they’d naturally be located in the Rust Belt, closer to the workers it purports to represent. Nope.
You guessed it, the union is also headquartered in Washington—a mere four blocks from the White House.