As Krystal says in today’s interview, Ken Klippenstein is the person who we’ve wanted to hear from most as the sensational saga of Trump’s document stash continues to roll out. Ken introduces us to the world of Special Access Programs, where the highest-clearance documents receive the utmost protection and secrecy. SAP documents were allegedly part of the materials the Feds sought in their Mar-a-Lago raid — leaving us asking why keeping those documents on hand was part of the former president’s agenda. We’ve got our own theories — from Trump’s mission to maintain Saudi connections to potential 2024 bids and more — so we’re glad to have Ken on the show as an expert to help us make sense of this wild security breach and what (if anything) it means for the release of our government’s top secrets.
Before we get to the latest from Mar-a-Lago, though, a word on the last days of Liz Cheney in office — and what it reveals about the revolving door of employment for establishment politicians. We’ll be the first to say that you never have to hand it to a Republican, one who’s voted for seemingly every war she had a chance to vote for. It also bears saying that the one thing she did right, as Krystal puts it, got her kicked out of office. Now, Cheney’s departing the House, but by no means will she be exiting the political sphere. Whatever gestures at partisanship the Democrats may make from time to time, no doubt she’ll receive a warm welcome from the #resistance liberals when she rebrands as a talking head on MSNBC or CNN, or a lobbyist, or a defense contractor. Kyle floats the idea that, despite their external protests, the Republicans do want Cheney on the 2024 debate stage — maybe that’s her next big move.
From an assessment of the motives behind Trump’s retention of classified info to explainers on the Espionage Act, Special Access Programs, and everything else that’s further complicating the debacle at Mar-a-Lago, our guest demystifies the raid on Trump’s property and gives us some insight into what comes next. This discussion of how Trump went rogue with top-secret government intel fits into a longer timeline of Trump’s challenges to classified info — like his Twitter calls to declassify Russiagate info, which his administration later nullified. With Ken leading the way, we put it all in context, adding our own ideas about Trump’s future plans for presidential races, strengthening Saudi ties, and more. We hope you’ll enjoy the conversation, and as always, we’re grateful to you for supporting the show!