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Listening to lawmakers with Laslo, UAPs
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin laughs off UFO inquiries: “Phone home”
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Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin laughs off UFO inquiries: “Phone home”

Ep. 10—Durbin also remembers Harry Reid talking about UFOs “all the time” as well as discussing “this fellow named Bigelow in New Mexico…”
Senate side of the United States Capitol. Photo: Matt Laslo

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin—Democrat’s second in command in the Senate—says he’s never discussed UFOs (or UAPs) with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Though Durbin says Schumer’s predecessor, Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, discussed them “all the time.” 

“There's this fellow named Bigelow in New Mexico who Harry used to always talk about,” Durbin recounts, as him and his security detail are catching a tram underneath the US Capitol. “‘Mr. Bigelow has all the information.’ I never met Mr. Bigelow.” 

While Durbin says he’s a “skeptic,” he also laughingly dismisses whistleblower David Grusch’s allegations of a federal government cover up before ending by mocking the query altogether. 

“Phone home,” Durbin quips before the unforgiving tram doors slam shut. 

Below find a rough transcript of Ask a Pol’s interview with Durbin, slightly edited for clarity.

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Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (7-19-2023) 

Matt Laslo: “Have you looked into these claims of UAP whistleblower David Grusch?”  

Dick Durbin: “No.”

ML: “No?” 

DD: “No. I’ve funded work in the area in years gone by, but I've not personally looked into it.”

ML: “Have you ever talked to Schumer about it?”

DD: “Flying saucers?”

ML: “Reid?” 

DD: “Reid? All the time.”

ML: “Right?” 

DD: “He was very concerned about this phenomenon.” 

ML: “I just saw Max Baucus upstairs, and he remembers talking to Reid about it.” 

DD: “There's this fellow named Bigelow in New Mexico who Harry used to always talk about.” 

ML: “Yeah?”  

DD: “‘Mr. Bigelow has all the information.’ I never met Mr. Bigelow.” 

Reporter 2: “Do you think he exists?” 

DD: “Yeah. I know he exists. People in New Mexico know him.” 

Reporter 2: “There's this disclosure in the bill—in the NDAA—now that says collect all the documents from the National Archives that say anything about UAPs.” 

DD: “Is there a question there?” 

Reporter 2: “Are we gonna learn anything new from these?” 

DD: “I don’t know.” 

Reporter 2: “You’re not a believer?” 

DD: “Well—a skeptic.” 

ML: “Have a good one.”

DD: “‘Phone home.’” 

Reporter 2: “You’re the only other person I’ve seen...” 

ML: “Phone home.” 

Reporter 2: “...asking UFO questions today.” 

ML: “Durbin said, ‘Phone home.’’”

*Per the audio: When Matt Laslo repeats a quote into his mic, it’s because he confirmed what was said, while also knowing his mic likely missed the nuance of what was said from a distance or the lawmaker was speaking in the opposite direction of his recorder.

That said, at the end of the uncut raw interview, you’ll hear three versions of Durbin saying “phone home.” They’re each uniquely boosted and slightly polished—well, stripped down of some background noise—though it’s still hard to make out. As always, take complaints up with Congress.

Upending Washington one UFO question at a time. Join the fun already!

Matt Laslo is a veteran congressional correspondent and founder of Ask a Pol—a people-powered press corps. Find him on most social media @MattLaslo

We’re @Ask_a_Pol or @askpols on Insta. Take typos up with Congress (or ping us, please! Our apologies in advance).

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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.