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Listening to lawmakers with Laslo, UAPs
Tim Burchett says Oversight Chair Comer’s "open" to new UAP Subcommittee
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Tim Burchett says Oversight Chair Comer’s "open" to new UAP Subcommittee

Ep. 217 — Rep. Tim Burchett (3-22-2024)
Burchett speaks with congressional press corps after casting his last vote ahead of Congress’ 2 week Easter recess on March 22, 2024. Photo: Matt Laslo

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Who?

Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) — Co-chair, Congressional UAP Caucus; Oversight Committee

LISTEN: Laslo & Burchett

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-3:02

Ask a Pol asks:

Were you able to see that Joint Chiefs of Staff UAP measure that someone FOIA’d?

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Key Burchett: 

“I follow up with Comer,” Burchett exclusively tells Ask a Pol.

Have you talked to him about it?”

“Yeah,” Burchett says. “He’s open. But, you know, right now they’re trying to get through all this [Biden impeachment]…”

Burchett fields reporter’s questions while walking back to his office on March 22, 2024. Photo: Matt Laslo

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Below find a rough transcript of Ask a Pol’s exclusive interview with Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN), slightly edited for clarity.

TRANSCRIPT: Rep. Tim Burchett

SCENE: After casting his last vote before Congress took 2 weeks off for Easter, Burchett slowly walks across the Capitol grounds — and through a pro-Palestine protest — back to his office across the street.

Matt Laslo: “Were you able to see that Pentagon — or no, the Joint Chiefs of Staff UAP measure that someone FOIA’d?”

Tim Burchett: “Yeah, heard about it. The one that said we’re a bunch of idiots?”

ML: “Well, no, this was Joint Chiefs last May. But basically, the UAP issue is definitely on their radar, is what it seems.”

TB: “You know, I think, honestly, what I think it is, I think they see funding.”

ML: “Yeah? How…”

TB: “That’s what I think. That’s my thought.”

ML: “So is your hunch that this is the military contracting industry that’s kinda doing this?”

The crowd near the Capitol yelling “Palestinian people deserve human rights!”, “Fund UNRWA!” and “Stop genocide!”

Rep. Maxwell Frost and other lawmakers walk through a pro-Palestinian protest after casting their last votes in March (2024). Photo: Matt Laslo

ML: “Do you — where do you guys go from here? What’s your big — man, thing is, seems like it’s always a holding pattern, but I guess MTG [Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene] (R-GA) just filed the motion to vacate.”

TB: “Everybody’s trying to, everybody’s trying to…”

Protesters keep yelling “Fund UNRWA now!” and “Stop genocide!” and Burchett and Laslo can barely hear each other.

ML: “Stop yelling in our ears.”

TB: “Fund what? What is she saying? Fund what?”

ML: “UNWRA…”

TB: “What’s UNWRA?”

ICYMI: UNRWA — the United Nations Relief and Works Administration for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East — was recently defunded by the Biden administration.

ML: “UN — it was the one that had Palestinians — or Hamas, infiltrate it.”

Burchett says hello to a visitor with a pup.

Pro-Palestine protest outside US Capitol March 22, 2024. Photo: Matt Laslo

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TB: “Ohh. Good baby.”

Man: “Yeah. Of course.”

TB: “Appreciate you, man.”

ML: “Of course.”

TB: “What’s your dog’s name?”

Man: “Bingo.”

TB: “Bingo. Hey, buddy. Good-looking dog.”

ML: “So, have you guys got any word on the Select [UAP] Subcommittee?”

TB: “No, we ain’t heard nothin about it, but I think everything’s up and running.”

ML: “But if the Speaker is getting challenged right now, maybe it’s a good time to bring it up, ‘cause he needs your vote.”

Laslo laughs.

TB: “He needs our vote, yeah. I don’t know if it could hinge on that though, honestly.”

ML: “Yeah?”

TB: “You know, I mean, he needs more than mine.”

ML: “So what’s — I’m not going to see you for two weeks. What’s next with this?”

TB: “We just wait until we get a response, and we need to get the UAP Caucus...”

Burchett holds the door for a group of visitors outside of the Longworth House Office Building.

TB:C’mon, guys. You’re the only ones in here working. I’m in Congress, you know I ain’t working.”

Man: “Oh, I’m not gonna believe that. I know you’re working.”

TB: “Ehh, not hardly.”

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Burchett greets a Capitol Police officer.

TB: “Hey brother.”

Burchett turns back to Laslo.

TB: You good?”

ML: “So how big of a player are these government shutdowns hanging over this Congress, because that just kind of feels like every other week?”

TB: “For the UAP issue?”

ML: “No. It just feels like this Congress just lurching from one crisis to another.”

TB: “Yeah, you know, it gives people an excuse not to do anything and to blame why they can’t do anything — which they haven’t done anything for years — it blames it on that. And that’s just ridiculous.”

ML: “Who do you follow up with on the Select UAP Caucus? Is that [Oversight Chair James] Comer? Or is that Speaker Johnson?”

TB: “Yeah, I follow up with Comer.”

ML: “Yeah? Have you talked to him about it?”

TB: “Yeah. Yeah, yeah. He, um…”

ML: “He’s open?”

TB: “He’s open. But, you know, right now they’re trying to get through all this. I think he’d like to see us get…”

ML: “All the Biden stuff?”

TB: “Yeah. But that’s the way it works. Holler if you need anything. Have a good Easter.”

ML: “But hey, hey, they’re fumbling with the Biden stuff, so maybe they’re going to want to move this to the top?”

TB: “Yeah — diversions, maybe.”

ML: “Have a good one.”

Burchett enters his office building, Laslo heads back to Capitol repeating, “Diversions.”

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