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The New York Supreme Court in New York City, USA at twilight.

Packing The Courts And Potential International Influence

Episode #2  |  September 23rd, 2020
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In This Episode:

Trish breaks down the latest Supreme Court fiasco with insight from Tom Del Beccaro, former chairman of the California Republican Party and former U.S. Senate Candidate from California. Is there some sort of international influence affecting U.S. politics? John Catsimatidis, American billionaire businessman and radio talk show host, is here to answer that question. And Hans Humes, president and CIO at Greylock Capital Management joins Trish to discuss financial news from across the global markets. That and more in today’s episode. Stay up-to-date with everything Trish Regan by subscribing to the show on your preferred podcast app.

Guests:

John A. Catsimatidis

Owner, president, chairman, and CEO of Gristedes Foods and the Red Apple Group
John A. Catsimatidis an American billionaire businessman and radio talk show host. He is the owner, president, chairman, and CEO of Gristedes Foods, the largest grocery chain in Manhattan, and the Red Apple Group, a real estate and aviation company with about $2 billion in holdings in New York, Florida and Pennsylvania. He is also the chairman and CEO of the Red Apple Group subsidiary United Refining Company.

Tom Del Beccaro

Former Chairman of the California Republican Party
Tom Del Beccaro -an acclaimed author, speaker as well as currently a columnist for Fox News, Fox Business & the Epoch Times. Tom is the former Chairman of the California Republican Party and former U.S. Senate Candidate from California. Tom is author of two historical perspectives, The Divided Era and The New Conservative Paradigm 1st Ed. & 2Ed, and is publisher of PoliticalVanguard.com, where he publishes daily commentaries along with other columnists.

Hans Humes

President and chief investment officer at Greylock Capital Management
Hans Humes an American investor and commentator on financial markets and sovereign debt restructurings. He is the president and chief investment officer at Greylock Capital Management, an alternative investment adviser. He served as co-chair of the Global Committee of Argentina Bondholders following the 1998–2002 Argentine great depression, and most recently served on the steering committee of investors engaged in the Greek sovereign debt restructuring.

Transcript:

Trish Regan:               They’re threatening to pack the courts. The ramifications of this would be massive. Hello, everyone. Welcome to American Consequences with Trish Regan. I am Trish Regan, and I’m so happy to have a terrific lineup for you today, with Tom Del Beccaro, who’s the former head of the Republican Party. He is an attorney – he’s going to talk to us all about the Supreme Court fiasco that’s going on. Hans Humes, he is the founder and chief investment officer and president Greylock Capital Management. He’s going to talk to us about everything that’s going on right now on the international front. And John Catsimatidis, American billionaire, businessman, radio talk show host, and a big critic of the Left. He has some thoughts on what’s happening right now in our country, and what kind of international influence may be involved. But let’s start today on the Supreme Court because right now, Joe Biden won’t say whether or not he intends to “pack the courts.” This is an idea that has been floated consistently now from the Left, just within hours of Ruth Bader Ginsburg dying. We saw an op-ed piece in the Washington Post calling on the Left to pack the courts. And by that, they would actually add justices, that’s what that means. So you have nine Supreme Court justices – we’ve always had nine Supreme Court justices – and yet, they’d be willing, possibly, to take it to 13… should they win the Oval Office and the Senate and keep the House. Joining me right now is Tom Del Beccaro, an attorney and also the former head chairman of the Republican California Party, and former U.S. Senate candidate from California. Tom, good to have your perspective, as always. Welcome.   Tom Del Beccaro:      Thanks so much. You know, they have been in a tizzy, because the Supreme Court is everything to them. They get their social justice in the courts. They can’t get it through most state houses, they can’t get it through Congress. They need the courts, and this pick would block them for a generation.   Trish Regan:               Yeah I mean, look, the reality is – and you’re the attorney – but the reality, as I understand it, is that the Supreme Court is supposed to move slower, right? Than the rest of the country. And that’s one of the reasons why you have nine, it’s one of the reasons why you don’t get appointments that come up all that often, it’s the reason why a lot of the decisions can really affect an entire generation. And by the way, it’s part of the reason why who you vote for president is so incredibly important, right? And it’s part of what people think about when they cast their ballot.   Tom Del Beccaro:      Yeah absolutely, that’s why packing the court, and they want to  get rid of the filibuster, they want to get rid of the electoral college, all of these things, our founders wanted us to be deliberate and not have a system that allowed government to grow too quickly. By getting rid of the electoral college – if they had their choice – by getting rid of the filibuster, they could do their socialist agenda virtually overnight. The Supreme Court is the big prize when it comes to things like social justice, like I said, gay marriage, on and on and on. And so, they want the courts.   Trish Regan:               Wouldn’t the Supreme Court [crosstalk], can I just jump in and ask that? Because if they were to pack the court, then what’s to stop the next administration from coming in? So, I mean, it would just be a pendulum, depending on who was there, and before you knew it, you’d have a Supreme Court the size of the House of Representatives.   Tom Del Beccaro:      Well, interesting point, because in 1801, John Adams, after he lost the presidency, put through the Judiciary Act, greatly expanded the courts, packed it with his people – not just in the Supreme Court. Then Jefferson came in and swung the pendulum backwards. But right, we’ve had nine since 1860. The point of it is stability – that’s what you were alluding to early – the courts should be stable. They should interpret the law, not be a place where the law is created. That’s the philosophy of a Judge Barrett or a Judge Lagoa, and the Democrats want no part of that.   Trish Regan:               You know, I want to cut to some sound, right now. This is Joe Biden, just last year, saying that, effectively, we’d rue the day if we were to ever try and pack the courts. Let’s go this – I want your reaction on the other side. [Multimedia playing] OK, so, two issues, there, Tom. One, he’s saying he would not pack the court. He, by the way, won’t answer that question, now. He was just asked that in Wisconsin, by a local reporter, “Would you look at adding more justices?” and he refuses to answer the question, so he’s backtracking from that already. But the second part of that is he’s saying, “OK, I want to do what McConnell did to Obama,” and have the Garland treatment, effectively. So, there’s a difference, is there not, Tom, between what happened with McConnell and Obama and what’s going on with McConnell and Trump. And I would point to the fact that the Senate is controlled by Republicans right now, a pretty serious difference, and I would think those Republican senators, as well as the president of the United States, have a responsibility to fill the seat.   Tom Del Beccaro:      Yeah, what bigger responsibility is there in this Senate, than advise and consent? That was the big deal back when the Constitution was adopted, and we’ve had 29 last-year appointments, and 19 of them have been when the Senate and the presidency have been with the same party, and 18 of them went through. [Glitch interferes with audio] Johnson had corruption problems. This is not abnormal, nor is the amount of time. You had John Paul Stevens at 19 days, others in the 30 range, so, this is all doable, but again, the tension’s really high here, because the Supreme Court has become so powerful. Think about Obamacare, if they had chose _____ _____ _____ Obamacare, hundreds of billions of health care dollars would’ve flowed in a different direction. So, the Democrats know the stakes, here, but they really, as I wrote about yesterday [laughs], the Democrats really have no options, here, but to yell and scream and threaten. And I think that hurts them politically. I don’t think independents like that.   Trish Regan:               [Crosstalk] packing the courts, do you think that they would follow through on that? I mean, that’s my concern. Because don’t forget, 1936, FDR talked about this – he had just come off winning the election, he was riding high, he wanted his people on the court. And you know what, his own darn party said, “No way, not happening,” and he was defeated bigtime. What do you think happens if the Democrats were to get the Oval Office, keep the House, and take the Senate?   Tom Del Beccaro:      [Laughs] Well, [crosstalk] I don’t think that’s going to happen, but, look, they are in a frenzy. Once socialism takes a good part of your party – and let’s face it, the Warren-AOC-Bernie Sanders is the largest single segment – I don’t think Biden – certainly, Biden can  control, Nancy Pelosi would be in charge of policy, and anything is possible under those circumstances, for them. This is not FDR’s party, and so, it is really dangerous to consider how fast they would go, on a variety of topics.   Trish Regan:               Extremely dangerous. Listen, I guess, you know, maybe it’s the history major in me, the American colonial history major in me, I just really have such an appreciation for what our Founding Fathers created. And I look at the separation of powers, which is just a beautiful thing, and I worry that if they get in there and they try and pack the courts, you are going to have a situation where we no longer have that beautiful separation of powers. And so, effectively, it really compromises us as a nation, and our entire system of government upon which we have been built. His name is Tom Del Beccaro, he’s the former chairman of the California Republican Party. You can read all of his columns at politicalvanguard.com. You should follow him on Twitter @tomdelbeccaro. Tom, wonderful to have you here, today. Thank you so much for your perspective.   Tom Del Beccaro:      All right, always great to hear your voice. Take care.   Trish Regan:               Coming up: It feels increasingly like the United States of America is some kind of banana republic. The guy who would know is the guy who’s restructured banana republics all over the world. His name is Hans Humes, my good friend and founder of Greylock Capital Management. If there is a government to be restructured, anywhere in the world, I guarantee Hans is somehow involved. He just finished Argentina. What does he think of the United States of America? He is joining us. [Brief silence] I’m so thrilled to have with us as our next guest Hans Humes, American investor, founder president of Greylock Capital Management. As I was saying, if there’s anything going on, anything that needs restructuring anywhere in the world, I guarantee you Hans is somehow probably involved. He was just talking to me about Zambia – I just learned where Zambia was on the map. [Laughs] Anyway, you heard me, earlier, talking about, increasingly, we feel like this kind of banana republic here in the United States, with this sort of chaos, and the Left and the Right always, always, always fighting. You know, I’ve seen economies like this, before. I guarantee you Hans has. He joins us, now, fresh off of the big Argentina deal that he just did. Hans Humes, good to have you here.   Hans Humes:              Hey, Trish. Good to be here.   Trish Regan:               So, I mean, I say this, and I say it a little bit kiddingly, and less so, these days, kiddingly, because it feels like, when you look at the Left and the Right and you see all the infighting, it feels like we’re kind of no better than some of these two-bit emerging-market countries. What’s your sense?   Hans Humes:              Yeah, I think it’s a very legitimate concern. I mean, we’ve read in the papers and heard in the news, and just see it in, you know, ourselves at the Thanksgiving table, that the political divide, here, has gotten more and more acrimonious, and the hostility at the far ends of the spectrum has sort of increased. And you know, we’ve always succeeded, in this country, of making political transition through politics and not through violence. And you know, that’s actually not the case in most countries, where abrupt political change is usually accompanied by a violent revolution or a civil war. So I mean, you don’t have to look much farther than the region that you and I spoke about quite a bit, last year, Venezuela and Colombia. The political divide there has been, historically, very damaging to the countries. I mean, Colombia waged civil war after civil war, between the Right and the Left. So, you know, I do think that we’ve become, you know – [sighs] we’re showing a lot of characteristics [laughs] of being a banana republic. It’s not just the political divide, but it’s the sort of dysfunctionality of how we’re engaging with the world.   Trish Regan:               Listen, I mean, I never thought, Hans, and I may have told you this offline in our conversations, but I never thought I would see the day when, you know, we might not have either party accept the results of the election. I mean, we went through a little mini version of this, right? In 2000, with the hanging chads in Florida. But, you know, growing up as a kid, one of the things that you kind of learn is what distinguishes us from the rest of the countries out there that have all this strife and this violence with each and every changing government is that, in the United States, we accept the results of the election. And we trust our election, and we trust the sanctity of that. And I always get a little, you know, [laughs] I get a little teary-eyed, like, you know, when you hear someone say, “OK, you know, I support this new president of the United States,” and the other party concedes. It’s sort of a special moment that’s very uniquely American and very peaceful. And I don’t think we’re going to have it, this year. I mean, I’m looking at it, going – and I don’t care what side of the aisle you’re on, I think both sides are going to dig in and really, you know, make their case. So where does that leave us, Hans?   Hans Humes:              I don’t know, I mean, it’s interesting you’re talking about 2000, because I don’t know if you remember – well, you’re too young. [Laughter] But Al Gore’s campaign actually was, you know, surreptitiously given some prep video of George Bush, and they returned it, they didn’t use it. So, there was a little, you know, I mean, back then, despite the fact it was a hotly contested election and extremely close, there were sort of rules of the road and rules of engagement that I think are really going out the window. And it’s more of a concern, I mean, you know, again, to sort of go into a part of the world that most of your listeners probably don’t think about, but Guyana, for example, had a very tough election. It was contested by the military strongman who had been the president, looked like the opposition had won. He declared victory. There was a period of months where it was back and forth, and then the opposition candidate was able to take the election and was sworn in. And part of that is, you know, you’ve got the… sort of the Big Brother of the United States really espousing democracy and respecting the results of an election. So if we fail again – we lost a lot of face over 2000 – we’re certainly not viewed as a grown-up in the national arena now. If this sort of devolves into chaos, what does that do for the United States going forward?   Trish Regan:               You know, I don’t know, Hans. I really don’t like it. And it’s just, it’s interesting, because you and I have spent so much time talking about Venezuela and some of these other challenged economies in Latin America. And I’m looking at us right now and saying, “Wow, you know, we really do run some serious risks,” and I don’t know how we quite get over that. Because, look, I understand, and you know sort of my sense of things, I don’t hide the fact that I like lower taxes and less regulation. [Laughs] And I don’t want us to be overly involved in conflicts overseas that maybe, you know, we don’t belong in, because we need to keep our powder dry and think strategically about long-term consequences of being involved in every single thing all over the world. But nonetheless, regardless of where you stand on this, I see both sides really saying, “I’m not going to budge an inch.” And whether it’s we need to count every single mail-in ballot and we don’t care how long it takes, or whether it’s Donald Trump’s team saying, “Wait a second, you know, he won, he won on election night, and that’s what you’ve got to go with,” we’re just going to find ourselves, I think, in a bit of a predicament, which is perhaps all the more reason why you’re going to want some clarity on the Supreme Court front. But let me ask you sort of internationally, from your perspective, what are other countries thinking? Are they, like, looking over here going, “What the heck?” I mean, we’ve talked about the U.S. dollar, certainly, in my writings… And on my other podcast, Trish Intel, I’ve talked about the potential for the U.S. dollar being replaced maybe by the euro – maybe by the yuan, eventually, if China gets its way. I mean, frankly, I don’t think those things are really, you know, “hot to trot,” shall we say, in the near-term. Because I think there’s, you know, it’s still – the dollar is still the prettiest girl of the dance, so to speak. But I’m curious to get your perspective, given all the international sort of incoming you have, and from your perspective, Hans, where does this leave the U.S. in terms of being the world’s reserve currency?   Hans Humes:              Yeah, it’s a very good point, and it’s actually, you know, let’s hope that things aren’t coming to a head too quickly. But, you know, as we’ve talked about before, it’s been impressive how the U.S.’s overreach on sanctions has really put it at odds. And this isn’t anything that started with Trump, by any means, I mean, I think Obama was leaning into sanctions far too aggressively and was not really paying attention to the results of the policies he was implementing. And it just got worse with the Trump administration. By using policies like that to sort of enforce our point of view, regardless of what, you know, other players in the international arena think, you sort of force people’s hand to say, “OK, the reason the U.S. can get away with these secondary sanctions, where if somebody breaks our sanctions we can go after them, is because of the dollar’s role in the clearing system.” So, the clearing system’s being sort of, you know, U.S.-overseen. It’s accelerating. There’s an active effort to bypass the U.S. as a reserve currency. And people kind of don’t remember that the U.S. – trade being denominated in U.S. dollars is not, you know, doesn’t go quite as far back as most people think. It really started getting traction sort of late ’50s, ’60s, and then was kind of culminating in the ’70s and ’80s where people just started doing it for efficiency’s sake. So, it’s not that deeply rooted, other than the sort of the banking systems being overseen by U.S. regulators. So, if another clearing mechanism gets put together by, you know, the ESM, the European Stabilization Mechanism, in cooperation with China, where they start denominating some of their trade in other currencies, you know, we’ll start to have a problem. I mean, we can become a secondary power much more quickly than we think.   Trish Regan:               Back up for a second, because you mentioned China – walk me through that, how you think that they may try and – I mean, because you sort of – it sounds like you’ve bypassed the euro and gone straight to the other big-big-big economy [crosstalk].   Hans Humes:              You know, if the Europeans say, “Listen, China, you know, you guys want to trade with Iran, we want to trade with Iran, you know, we’re not so enthusiastic about the U.S.’s point of view on Cuba or Venezuela or Russia, frankly, so let’s not have our – and we know that you guys aren’t enthusiastic about that, as well, and will trade with whomever. So, let’s figure out a way that we [crosstalk] – ”   Trish Regan:               But do you think Europe would really do that? I’m going to jump in. Because, you know, we’ve got some historical alliances that are pretty meaningful, and some cultural alliances that are pretty meaningful. For Europe to say, “OK, forget about the U.S. We’re going to, you know, jump into bed with China and – ” They’ve got to understand, Hans, right, and they’ve got to know the baggage, right, that would come with that.   Hans Humes:              Yes, and the baggage that they’ve got with us, now. I mean, you know, this started in the Obama administration with the Russia policy, and, you know, at least Obama really worked it on a personal basis with leaders of the European alliance. But if you just look at polling about the U.S. and Donald Trump, in Europe, I mean, it varies, but we’re not – neither the U.S. nor Donald Trump are particularly popular. [Laughs] And they do a lot – there’s a lot of business with China. So, you know, yes, they can – they’re taking risk in doing this, but on the other hand, a number of the people I’ve spoken to feel that they don’t really have any choice. They’ve been under the thumb of U.S. policy and bullied into positions that they don’t want to take, for years, and now there’s not even any sort of lip service to, you know, maintaining alliances. So, this isn’t hypothetical – this is happening. There is work being put into putting together an alternative payment system. Now, it will take some time to implement it and get confidence, but it’s going on.   Trish Regan:               If that actually came to fruition, what would it mean, Hans, for the United States and for the dollar?   Hans Humes:              I mean, you know, if you think about it, central banks won’t have – their hard currency will – you know, they’ll start to rebalance and may not be maintaining dollar reserves in the way they do now, or the amount they do now. Companies won’t have to necessarily, you know, be pegged to the dollar. Which means that there’ll be significantly less demand for dollars, which means that, you know, probability is the dollar will weaken vis-à-vis other currencies.   Trish Regan:               [Crosstalk] Mm-hmm, no, I mean, it’s an important consideration, because there are certain things that come with being the world’s dominant currency. And part of that is, you know, you look at what the Fed’s been doing, they’re trying to get inflation any way they can, [laughs] it’s not really happening in the real economy, but I’ll tell you, it’s certainly happened within the stock markets. But I think part of that is tied to the fact that you’re seeing a weakening dollar and more people are buying into U.S. equities, in part, because of that – I mean, there’s just, there’s a whole lot of ramifications that go with it. But, you know, they need to be in dollars, and if they don’t need to be in dollars anymore, then it totally changes the equation on so many levels. [Laughs]   Hans Humes:              It’s actually, if you look down the line, you can start thinking that that becomes an issue for our debt. Why is U.S. debt not an issue regardless of how much we borrow? It’s because we can just print dollars. That becomes less potent if we have to start maintaining FX reserves in other currencies, as well, because we’re not the dominant currency.   Trish Regan:               Yeah, I mean, listen, it’s a scary proposition, and it really should be a wake-up call, I think, for the U.S. to get its house in order, in terms of its finances, in terms of its relationships, whether it be Europe or some of these other places. You know, there’s a lot to be done, for sure, and what’s your sort of overall sense of how much the president of the United States and the next administration will affect whether or not things are done or not?   Hans Humes:              I think it’s going to be tough regardless of who the president is, because once you start this process, it’ll take a lot of work to sort of reassert things, and, you know, focus on our alliances, and focus – you know, if we want to get – if we see China as the major threat, we need to make sure that we’ve bolstered our alliances with other major economies in such a way that they recognize and they participate with us. That’s not just talking about Europe, but other large economies in Asia. So, it’s –   Trish Regan:               So in other words, a TPP 2.0.   Hans Humes:              Well, possibly, but it’s also, I mean, we need to be seen as keeping our words. And does that mean that, you know, you have to take power away from the executive and make sure that any major accord with a foreign power, you know, another country is voted on by the Senate and the House, to make sure that you’ve got, you know, two legs of government supporting it? Because I think that’s the thing that’s really thrown countries, in the last little while, is that, you know, you can’t take the U.S. at its word. It lasts for four years.   Trish Regan:               Right, I think you’re probably getting at the Iran deal that this administration backed out of, because they really didn’t see it as a good deal. I mean, look, there’s – I don’t have enough time to get into the Iran situation, but I would love to talk with you some more, if we can get you back on American Consequences to do that, because I think that there’s a lot at play, there. I mean, I would love to see a democratic fair regime where women are treated equally, and where we’re not so concerned about, you know, Iran turning into a nuclear power. I know you have a lot of thoughts on it, as well, because you believe that it could be very promising from an economic standpoint.   Hans Humes:              [Crosstalk] [Laughs]   Trish Regan:               But, you know, it’s just a matter of ensuring, I think, that everybody is as comfortable as possible. But I will save that, sir, for another day. Hans, it’s so good to have you, here. We’ve been talking to Hans Humes. He is the guy, as far as international monetary and economic issues go, you cannot beat Hans Humes. He has basically been involved in every sovereign debt restructuring in the last couple decades. In fact, he most recently served as the only American involved in the steering committee for the Greek sovereign debt restructuring. You’ll recall he’s been active in Argentina, in Venezuela, in all kinds of countries all – what is the most obscure place, Hans, that I’m missing? I mean, Zambia is pretty obscure, but –   Hans Humes:              [Laughs] They don’t seem obscure to me – I don’t know – is Liberia obscure? Togo? [Crosstalk]   Trish Regan:               You know, you’ve been some interesting places, you’ve been some very, very interesting places, and we get to tell some of those stories. Because being detained in, what was it, Iran?   Hans Humes:              And in Moscow.   Trish Regan:               Ah, and in Moscow. [Laughter] You’ve got some good stories to tell, so please come back on this show. Hans Humes, from Greylock Capital Management, everyone. [Brief silence] I’m so happy to have with me as my next guest the incredible John Catsimatidis. He is just a phenomenal businessman. He is the owner, president, chairman, and CEO of Gristedes Foods, the largest grocery store in Manhattan – I used to shop there all the time. He’s head of the Red Apple Group, a real estate and aviation company, and he is now head of WABC, as well – he took over with ownership of that station, in 2019. He is the host of the weekly radio show CATS Roundtable, and he is here with us right now. Welcome, sir.   John A. Catsimatidis: Well, thank you for having me on.   Trish Regan:               So, I’m curious, you’re in the New York City area, you got a socialist, a card-carrying member of the socialist party, who actually was on a recent radio program saying, “Help me tax the wealthy. Help me redistribute wealth.” You know, John, so many people have left, they have just fled New York as a result of this whole coronavirus crisis, and that – I’m just wondering what’s going to happen to this tax base if he wants to tax whoever’s left, there, at such an onerous rate. What is happening to New York City?   John A. Catsimatidis: New York is in deep trouble, due to, as I say _____ on the radio, sometimes, the fact that – you know, I’m not a Democrat or a Republican. I’m pro-common-sense. And I believe in common-sense Democrats, and I believe in common-sense Republicans. But what’s happening here is, the common-sense Democrats don’t have the courage to stand up against the crazy Democrats. And there’s a bunch of crazy Democrats, whether they’re socialists, whether they’re communists, whether they’re anarchists, and whether – Trish, what we have to be aware of is somebody may be paying them. There’s a lot of actors _____ that do not have jobs, and I understand some people have been going around hiring actors to act like anarchists. And whether it’s the Chinese paying them or the Russians paying them or the Iranians paying them, Trish, we got to remember one thing, who would the Chinese or the Russians or the Iranians have as the next president? Well, I think Donald Trump is too tough for them, and that’s what I’m looking at. And _____ _____ for Donald Trump, President Trump, you know what I’ve said? I said he is terrorizing the terrorists.   Trish Regan:               Wow. You know, I think it’s true and that they would prefer to see someone who would be a little friendlier to them, shall we say. Whereas, Donald Trump is going in there and he’s saying, “Well, we’re not going to do things the way that we used to.” And so, there was a report, recently – I’m going to quote from the New York Post, here – this report from the New York Post saying that one of the Black Lives Matter founders has launched a new venture with a Chinese community advocacy organization, and it is believed that this organization has some ties to the CCP, although there are some questions about that. An earlier version of this article said Black Futures Lab was affiliated with a pro-Chinese Communist Party organization called the CPA. The BFL, Black Futures Lab, is, in fact, backed by an unaffiliated group by the same name, and both organizations deny being pro-communist. But nonetheless, there still are questions out there as to who is involved, and one could assume that I would think the financing trail would be pretty opaque, but who’s involved in really nurturing and helping these groups. I mean, one of them told us, on record, that she is a trained Marxist.   John A. Catsimatidis: Well, the other thing that happened, in the last few days, in New York, one of the New York City policemen were on the communist party payroll, funneling information on the New York City police to the communist party. And I think he’s been arrested, and let’s see where that takes us, but this happens more often than not. You know, I’m sure we have a great intelligence network of our own in our country, but the question is are we being outranked by the Chinese? The Chinese is – I forget how many students there are, 500,000… 1 million students in the United States, going to colleges, and that have access to sensitive materials. What happens if those Chinese students, their parents still live in China, and they whisper in their kid’s ear, “Your parents will be dead unless you get us certain information”? And stuff like that is happening.   Trish Regan:               I mean, there are serious threats, out there. And I also think about it, John, in terms of, in some ways, it doesn’t even entirely, perhaps, matter. I think it does in the sense that the Chinese would like to see somebody who would be more accommodative, but you think about Russia and some other spots on earth, and they kind of, they like seeing this chaos, do they not? I mean, because the more we’re fighting with each other, the less bandwidth we have to deal with them. And so, whether it was Russia with their, you know, disgusting dossier that they fed to our intelligence community [laughs], effectively, our FBI, and our FBI was too dumb to actually go and actually, you know, vet this stuff, pretty crazy, right? Our own FBI. I mean, no journalist would’ve run with that, other than Buzzfeed, but no journalist would’ve run with that because nothing had been vetted. And yet, they took it and read it as gospel, and launched an entire investigation where they, you know, violated the rights of Carter Page, who was spied upon by the federal government just because he was working on the Trump campaign. I mean, if I’m Russia, I’m, like, “Great, you know, I’ve got them exactly where I need them, they’re all fighting with each other.”   John A. Catsimatidis: Well, our government, our agencies, are only as strong as the weakest link. And, you know, we’ve seen it in the movies, if the Chinese or the Russians or the Iranians… that somebody at a high level that’s corrupt, then he’s certain he corrupts other people. And we have to be smarter than that, Trish, because our country is at stake. And I worry about our city, but I worry about our country.   Trish Regan:               You say you worry about the city – I want to get back to this capitalism versus socialism thing. You know, look, I’m pretty simple: I think if you go down that path of socialism, you destroy, fundamentally, you destroy the United States and its place in the world, because we will not be able to compete as a socialist nation. And so, at that point, you know, we might as well just surrender to China, they will be the world’s largest economy, they will, effectively, be in charge. We were just talking to Hans Humes, who is the founder of Greylock Capital Management, has been involved in debt restructurings all over the world. He is, effectively, the banker to the world. And his point is, you know what, if we’re not careful, we do run the risk of China overtaking us as the world’s biggest superpower, and indeed, even the world’s reserve currency, right? So, John, if we go on this Bill de Blasio, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders, increasingly, Biden and Kamala Harris approach to socialism, what happens to life as we know it?   John A. Catsimatidis: They’re trying to change our way of life. Trish, do you see any country that’s a communist country or a socialist country that they’re breaking the walls down to get in? I don’t see any. _____ _____ those countries, people are – you know what my Russian friends say in New York? “We were breaking the gates to get out of Russia, not to go back in again.” And there’s a set of people, whether somebody is paying them to try to change our way of life. The other thing I said in the last few days or the last week was, are we going to be governed, is our city council, is our Congress going to be governed by the rioters rioting, that they want them to go away? So if you take 100 people and you pay them $1,000 apiece and they riot, there’s a change of _____? Is it on every news network? Is it on every cable network? $1,000 to 100 people creating a riot – think about that. They end up getting, for $100,000, 1,000 times 100 is $100,000, for $100,000, they get millions and millions and millions of dollars in publicity. So, what I’ve said to the FBI, and I’m saying today again – are you ready for this? – that political contributions is done two ways: whether you’re writing a check or you’re paying somebody to create a situation where they get political publicity, whatever you want to call it. You understand what I just said?   Trish Regan:               Say it again, John.   John A. Catsimatidis: You know, we have laws in our country as far as political contributions: we can’t give more than $2,800 to a congressman or a senator. But if somebody out there, a quasi-terrorist, a quasi-anarchist, pays $100,000 and gets 100 actors and gives them  $1,000 apiece to go out and terrorize something, to create a political situation, the FBI should _____ _____ _____ those are political contributions, too.   Trish Regan:               You know, it’s an interesting point you’re making, because think of what Russia, China, and others have been able to do on the social media front. In other words, they’ve tried to gin up some controversy, right, by feeding sort of these ideas, and then they take off on their own. What you could see happen now is that, you know, if this, in fact, is the case and people were paid to be out there, that in and of itself, right, feeds upon itself, and then more people become involved, and you’re creating quite a horrific scenario. I mean, look, I think in some ways, though, John, we should be heartened in that, you know, it calls for more law and order. And the more you see these riots in the streets, the more I think everyday Americans are going to say [laughs], “Wait a second, this is not who we are,” right?   John A. Catsimatidis: We should govern by common-sense, not govern and listen to rioters in the streets.   Trish Regan:               No, common-sense means something, and I agree with you, you know, John, it doesn’t have to be political, I mean, you just need some common-sense. We need to protect people, that’s part of what government is supposed to do, and by protecting them, you protect their safety, their physical safety, and you’ve got to protect their economic safety. And you’ve got to create a level playing field and a meritocracy where everybody has a shot at the American dream.   John A. Catsimatidis: One person, one vote. I believe everybody should get a chance to vote, but it’s one person, one vote, and I believe it should be our citizens voting, not the people that just came over the border ten minutes ago.   Trish Regan:               John Catsimatidis, you’ve got to catch his weekly radio show on WABC, out of New York City, CATS Roundtable is it name. He is a phenomenal success, a businessman, right there in the heart of New York City, and he’s seeing this all right up close. John, it is wonderful to have you here. I thank you so much for joining American Consequences with Trish Regan, today.   John A. Catsimatidis: Well, thank you so much, and I look forward to seeing you in the near future.   Trish Regan:               Sounds good. Thanks, John. [Brief silence] Wow, what a fascinating, fascinating discussion this has been here today, Tom Del Beccaro making the point that we really, we have to treasure, right, our courts, we have to treasure our government, the way it has been set up with this tremendous separation of powers. This is something that is so vital, right, to the United States of America and who we are. Hans Humes making the case that, gosh, if we are not careful, we very well could see a situation where it is the Yuan that becomes the world’s dominant currency, and that would carry with it all kinds of ramifications. We need to be extraordinarily careful on that front. And then, John Catsimatidis making the point that, you know, there are some bad actors involved in some of this looting and some of the riots that we have seen. And he doesn’t believe it’s entirely coming from the United States of America – he thinks that it’s coming from sources abroad. If that’s the case, then that goes a whole lot further, right, than a few Facebook accounts. We’ve got some real challenges here, and unfortunately, I keep saying this, you heard Hans agree with me, I realize that we are looking increasingly like the banana republics that we used to say were nothing but two-bit emerging-market countries, right, that can’t get their act together, and that are willing to throw anybody who’s been in power back in jail. That’s what’s happening right now, and we need to be extraordinarily careful. They’re talking, now, about if they win, they would pack the courts. I mean, this is the article we saw in the Washington Post just hours after Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, we saw Ed Markey, the senator from Massachusetts, come out and threaten to pack the courts, and this is what’s being talked about right now. Joe Biden, being asked by a Wisconsin reporter [laughs], “Would you do this?” and he won’t answer the question, and says he won’t answer the question, despite the fact that he said, most recently – we played the sound earlier in the program for you – you he said, in the debates, that he would never do that, because it would just be disastrous. He’s right, it would, and yet – and yet, remember the political times we are in, and the willingness, shall we say, of certain politicians, including Joe Biden, to forget what they said yesterday, or a year ago, and [laughs] – let’s keep in mind it is Joe Biden, after all – he doesn’t always remember from one minute to the next. Here is Joe Biden talking about the need – remember this? – for masks, an executive order for masks. [Multimedia playing] [Laughs] And then, don’t forget, he actually told a local reporter, in Pennsylvania, that he would put in an executive order for masks. And then, what does he do? He changes his mind. He changes his mind, because apparently somebody told him it’s just not constitutional. [Multimedia playing] Such is Joe Biden: he’s willing to change his mind, effectively, on a dime. He is a political creature, as is Kamala Harris, as is probably Donald Trump, too, although, at least when it comes to Donald Trump, he’s not beholden to any specific party-like stuff. I think that’s one of the interesting things about him as a candidate, he talks about programs that, you know, you consider the coronavirus stimulus – I mean, I’m not necessarily a fan of handing out more stimulus money, because I do think that at some point the country needs to be able to function on its own, and we need to be – we need to be somewhat disciplined when it comes to our financial future. And yet, this president is about, you know, putting more money in the hands of the unemployed, right now. That’s something that traditional republicans and conservatives wouldn’t go for, but he’s not bound, necessarily, by party rules. He’s governed by what he thinks is right, and you’ve got to respect that, in some ways. Anyway, we have a terrific show for you coming up next week, I’m really excited about it. Stay tuned. And in the meantime, I’ll see you on Trish Intel. Thanks so much for listening, everyone. American Consequences with Trish Regan. You can get all of these interviews online.

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