Ex CIA: Iran's Next Move & Exposing The Deep State | Bryan Dean Wright | POLITICS | Rubin Report
01:33 "... Before we get into Iran, before we get into the deep state , ..."
20:23 "... The administrative state or the deep state ..."
20:28 "... - [Bryan] Deep state works. ..."
20:57 "... 'Cause this is the type of thing, you hear deep state , ..."
24:00 "... So, it's a tiny little example of how the deep state ..."

Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report talks to Bryan Dean Wright (former CIA ops officer) about Iran and the current escalation of conflict with the US. Bryan has a unique perspective being a former CIA agent and a lifelong Democrat. He shares his thoughts on how the recent death of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani ordered by Donald Trump could play out. Bryan lays out the most likely ways that Iran could respond and what he believes Iran really wants. He discusses why a US presence in the Middle East is vital and not changing anytime soon, unless we radically rethink our energy policy as it pertains to oil. Bryan gives an insider’s take on what exactly the “deep state” is and how they use leaks to the media like the New York Times and the Washington Post to steer the narrative in a direction more favorable to their interests. Bryan gives his feelings on the abuses of power of John Brennan, James Clapper, and James Comey. And Bryan discusses how a Trump victory against a progressive candidate like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren could actually help save the Democratic party and return it to it’s roots of supporting the working class voter.

About Dave Rubin: http://rubinreport.com/- It's important for all of us to know that at the end of the day, if they were to choose to activate some of their sleeper cells in places like Los Angeles, because they are here, or in places like in Michigan, et cetera, then it's game over. They know that the United States, either alone or with a coalition, will go into Tehran. We'll be there within 12 to 24 hours. (upbeat music) - This is The Rubin Report and I'm Dave Rubin. Here's quick reminder that the Rubin Report community is here. We've got ad-free video and audio podcast and newsfeed. You can communicate with me directly, as well as other fans and much more. Oh, and it's totally troll and bot-free, believe it or not. Sign up at rubinreport.com or search The Rubin Report in the Apple App store or on Google Play. And now, more importantly, joining me today is a former CIA Ops Officer, a political analyst, and a national security expert, Bryan Dean Wright. Welcome back to The Rubin Report. - Pleasure, brother. I had you on here about four years ago. It's like 18 studios ago, feels like 27 lives ago. - Yeah. - Here we are, we gotta lot to do. - And you've become an alt-right, gay Nazi, which congratulations. Very exciting. - Thank you, please. My mother is so proud. - No, I'm honored. I do wonder though, at the Klan meetings, do you and your husband wear like the rainbow hats, do the rainbow? - Well, they make you wear the rainbow hat as a gay. - Okay, okay. Well, incredible. (Dave laughing) Great, great development for you and your family. - Little did you know four years ago when we sat down that so much was gonna happen. - Yeah, here we are. - All right, I'm really glad to have you here for many reasons. Before we get into Iran, before we get into the deep state, before we get into the split of the Democrats, the rise of the socialists, and the whole thing, former CIA Ops. Just give me a little recap of what got ya into it, what does that actually mean, and then we'll take it away on current events. - So, back in early 2000, just before 9/11, I was interested in national security and the State Department and CIA were both options. I decided that after looking at each, the CIA made the most sense for me. It was a little bit more cowboy, which coming from a farm and a ranch in the western part of this country, it fit me better. So I applied, moved forward through the application process, took a couple years, and ended up working up as a what they call the Clandestine Service Trainee Program, was there for a couple years, and then sent out into the field. - So, what was it like being in the field as a CIA guy? - You know, just after 9/11, it was an incredibly difficult and challenging time. You know, we didn't know how many more threats were going to be actualized, you know, how many more people were going to be killed. And so, it became a very intense time to be in the Intelligence Community but it was also thrilling. You know, at a very young age, I was 24 or 25, and you're out in the field, doing incredible stuff, meeting with the bad guys who are good for you, and it was an incredible opportunity that what you were doing every day helped ensure that people back home didn't die. - How do you figure out which bad guys are good for you? (Bryan laughing) (Dave laughing) - Oh dear, yeah. - Is that a question you can answer? - Yeah. So, there's a vetting process, right? You first start with, what do you need to know in a particular part of the world on a particular issue, right? So, once you do that, you go through a target analysis and you figure out who has the information in that organization or that piece of knowledge that you need and then you target that individual and then you approach them in some capacity and then you build a relationship and you not only ensure that they are who you thought that they were to be, you then make sure that they're compatible in terms of living a clandestine life with you as an Intelligence Officer. So, that is a very long process, or it can be, but in those early days, we were recruiting people to be informants for us with not a lot of scrutiny because we just had so little information and the threat was so profound and it was so immediate. - All right, so we could do CIA 101 the whole time here and for people that want that, we'll link to our old interview because I wanna catch up, because we hadn't had you on in awhile and when we booked this, this was before this Iran World War III thing happened. - Oh, it's happening? World War 3, okay. - Well, apparently if you listen to Rose McGowan on Twitter, not only that but World War Four has also begun. There's a lotta wars coming - Oh my gosh. - Well, that's exactly why I wanted to start with this because it seems to me that if you're paying attention to social media, as it does to most things, we've ramped everything up to crazy levels beyond imagination. It is so hard to find sort of clear, sane, non-extremist voices in the midst of all this. I consider you one of those people. So can you talk to me about what's going on with Iran and are we in World War III? Are we going down the path? - We are not. - We're not in World War III. - No, whew! - All right, well now we have the quote for this interview. - Yes, all right. - Okay, good So, to understand what's happening, I think you have to step back and ask yourself the question, you know, what does Iran want ultimately, right? In general, what this regime wants is both stability and survival, more than anything else. So whatever it does in terms of international affairs, domestic affairs, it's all designed to make sure that the regime continues. So, they have red lines. They have red lines internally, in terms of how far they will let the populace go in terms of demanding certain things, and then abroad, you know, they'll push as far as they can, knowing full well that the United States and the West and Israel at some point will say, that's a bridge too far, and they will pound the living hell out of Tehran. So, they're always poking the bear. They're always challenging that red line. So, it's important for all of us to know that at the end of the day, you know, if they were to choose to activate some of their sleeper cells in places like Los Angeles, because they are here, or in places like in Michigan, et cetera, then it's game over. They know that the United States, either alone or with a coalition, will go into Tehran and we'll be there within, you know, 12 to 24 hours. - Okay, so let's pause there for a moment because that was a bit of knowledge. So, Iran basically has sleeper cells-- - Sure. In Western cities, you just said Los Angeles. - Correct. - We're in Los Angeles, Michigan, I'm sure in European cities. So, if we know these things exist, what are we doing to actually disrupt these cells? - So, both the FBI and the CIA have long known that Hezbollah and Iran have operated these sleeper cells and so they've kept a pretty good pulse on these folks but the issue is, do you know about all of them, right? Because you have to be perfect 100% of the time and they only have to be perfect or executable once, right to implement something horrific in the U.S. homeland. So, we have a good pulse of what they're doing and where they are, who they are, but do we know all of them? I can almost assure you that the answer is no. - So, as they sort of push what that red line is, we've had a policy of what, maybe the last 10 or 15 years, at least the Obama policy, we kinda let them do what they wanted to do, right? And so now Trump has kind of flipped this thing on it's head. so what do you make about the strike and what is Trump doing here? - Yeah, so the Supreme Leader never saw this attack coming. He had buffaloed, as I say, or my family says on a ranch in Oregon, right? They buffaloed Bush and Obama for many, many years that we had certain red lines, that we didn't want to start this World War III, so we allowed them, that is the Iranians, to do all kinds of poor, terrible, horrific activities throughout the Middle East and indeed the world. We would give them enough leash to attack us through this Soleimani and the Quds force and Hezbollah and what not. - What were our red lines, actually? Like, what would have been the thing that would've changed the equation on our side? - Well, that really is the question. I don't think any of us really knew, certainly with inside the Intelligence Community because we had the infamous Obama red line in Syria that, of course, we just erased that one and moved to somewhere different. So I don't think that the Iranian leadership ever quite knew where the United States would, the switch would flip, other than an attack in the homeland. Certainly they learned that after the 9/11 attacks, when we immediately went into Afghanistan. We started making noise elsewhere. I think most of this is public knowledge but the Iranian government very quietly reached out and said, look, we will stay on the good boy list, just don't invade. So the upshot is that they know that we will hit a point where we say, enough, and I don't think that they thought Soleimani would be the, in all of his shenanigans, would be it but here we are. - Right, so what do you make of what Trump did here? 'Cause it's like, if you listen to the critics, it's like, "Oh, Trump doesn't know what he's doing. "There's no plan for after," et cetera, et cetera. And I'm starting to think, if this guy doesn't know what he's doing and he has no plans, what does that say about the experts? - Right. - 'Cause he keeps one-upping the experts, (Bryan laughing) so what's going on here? - Yeah, so I think he did the right thing, right? So, I have friends who work in the Special Forces community and they were all universally thrilled at what happened. Soleimani has so much blood on his hands, has maimed and killed more people, not just Americans but Iraqis and others, so the man earned his death. The question is, so what comes next? And I think people could rightfully and should be asking that question, right? And is this gonna cause World War III? Some of that is hyperbole but some of it's appropriate to at least ask. So, the answer is no, we're not gonna be going into World War III. The only thing that would change that calculus would be whether Moscow and Beijing suddenly started moving troops into and, or backed Iran, basically wanted to use them as some sort of forcing function, this incident, to create World War III. - Right. - I don't think-- - You mean, they would move their troops into Iran? - Precisely, I mean, something grandiose like that. Now suddenly we're looking at a very different prospect of conflict on a global level if Russia and China moved into Iran, right? - Right. - So, they have a degree of relationship but I'm talking about physical assets into Iran to make clear that this is the equivalent of that World War I assassination of the prince in Sarajevo, right, that people keep talking about. - Just to be clear, that's a pretty far off, crazy thing, although-- - Correct. - If you're just listening to the pundits these days, it's like anything's on the table, like, the Martians are landing and you know-- - In the Intelligence Community, we talk about low, medium, and high degrees of confidence that something could happen, all right? I think that most of us would say that we have high degree of confidence that it is extraordinarily unlikely that Russia and China would ever get involved in this kind of conflict. One, because Russia's economy's the size of Italy. I mean, they have a lot of internal struggles themselves. And China, fundamentally President Xi is concerned about making sure that his stability of his country remains the most important priority and then they continue to grow economically. Because of the number of people in that country, they need to have continued economic growth so that is their focus and their goal, and that's why they want stability. So for them to step into this conflict and create some sort of horrific outcome like World War III is just extraordinarily unlikely, right? In terms of degrees of confidence, I would say we have degree of confidence that's not going to happen. So, the question is, what will Iran do next, right? So you're going to see, and folks are talking about this, absolutely a degree of pushback, whether it's from cyber attacks, the usage of Hezbollah. They're already talking about, that is, the Iranian leadership talking about, targeting military personnel in locations throughout the Middle East in particular. We expect that, the administration expected that, the Pentagon, when they authorized the strike, expected that. That's why you're seeing this flood of personnel, a lot of my friends, going into the Middle East right now. And that is to make the price of any kind of retribution or any kind of attack by Iran, the price will go up dramatically. - How do we send that message beyond bombs and killing people? Like, do we actually go on the ground and talk to contacts and say, "Guys, okay, you saw what we did. "We know you're planning "to do a couple things here and there." But do we really give the hint like, well, I guess Trump sorta did it with this tweet, right? His tweet about 52 sites that we've got. I mean, is that really how it works? Like, we get down there and talk to them about that sorta thing? - Well, I think that the talking that was-- - Like your house is on a list, basically. - Right (laughing). Well, I think the talking that was done was a missile going into Soleimani's head, right? And so I think that the Trump administration very wisely has said, look, we have tried diplomacy with these clowns and they've continually lied to us about, say, their nuclear program. If you recall, in January of 2017, Israel did an incredible operation where they went into Tehran, they grabbed a bunch of nuclear material, that is, I should say documentary-based material, from this warehouse in Tehran, they took it back to Israel, that basically showed that Iran was playing a game. They wanted to make sure that they held on to their nuclear program and the ability to move forward very, very quickly. So there's no ever real intention by the regime to give up that nuclear capability. - What do you make of sort of the set of people that think that just 'cause you sign something, it has meaning? So, like the Iran nuclear deal, just any deal. The Climate Paris Accord or the Paris Climate Accords, like we sign something and that inherently means that it's real but that's really not how the world works, is it? - If you have a document, an agreement, a treaty that is signed, it is only as effective as the parties engaged or involved intend to carry it forward, right? Particularly with some degree of some hammer if people fall short. I mean, this what we've experienced with Russia with the START treaties, et cetera, right? They were constantly cheating because they believed that the United States wouldn't respond in any kind of intense or retaliatory way, whether it be sanctions beyond what we've already done to something more kinetic, right, a military strike. So everybody who signs any kind of document is always sitting back and making the calculus or asking, can we push this further? Can we do more? Can we sneak, right? North Korea with this nuclear program is a great example of doing exactly that and it's gotten away with lying to the world and continuing to march forward, irrespective of the silly sanctions that we apply. - That's what you were talking about earlier about, you just keep pushing the red line. - Correct. - Because if you know the guy on the other side isn't gonna ever gonna push back, you can move that thing pretty signficantly. - But I think it's important and I think you and I have spoken about it previously, we hear a lot right now in the media. Folks are talking about, you know, get us out of the Middle East. Get us out of Iran and Iraq and all these places, we shouldn't be there. And that's true, we shouldn't be there. - Yeah. - Why are we there, right? - You're giving me a lot of my good Libertarian side, right? - So, let's have that conversation. - Yeah. - So, it's good that we killed Soleimani, that the government in Iran is bad, but why in the hell are we there to begin with, right? We are there because Iran and Iraq and the Middle East have oil, right? All these countries have oil. The global economy is built on oil so it's great the United States has become a net exporter of oil, super, but the rest of the world continues to be net importers. So, as long as these folks, whether it be Iran or Iraq, either control the oil or, through the Strait of Hormuz, they control the ability of that oil to get to market, we are stuck in the sandbox, right? So, if we want to change this conversation, if we want to basically make the Middle East the equivalent of what, you know, happened in the '90s in Rwanda where the Hutus and the Tutsis were killing each other, if we want to let the Sunnis and Shias slaughter each other and really, the world doesn't care, then we have to remove the impetus for us to be there in the first place. Why do we care? We have to change our energy policy. So, if you're angry about the fact that we're in the Middle East and we have troops there, then you have to be onboard with changing our energy policy. - So, what do you make of the argument, so you can do it two ways. So, the Libertarian argument is just get the hell out of there, these aren't our wars, these are sectarian conflicts that have existed forever, they're gonna last longer than we're ever gonna exist. That's one side of it. The other side is, well, you broke it, you fix it, sort of. So, it's like, Iraq, we actually were turning it around, you know? Regardless of whether you thought it was a good idea to go in or not, weapons of mass destruction, the rest of it, they were having free and fair elections basically and then we just left. You know, we announced the date. Obama said we're getting out on this day. We left and then it fell apart. How do we negotiate that? - So, you have to sit back and ask the question, from a foreign policy perspective, why the hell are we involved in the world? What is our ultimate goal? And most smart people will say that we want the world to be more democratic, because the more democratic the world is, the less likely that the nations who are democracies will get involved in conflict and war, right? So, this is sort of foreign policy 101. So, the question is, how do you move nations from being autocratic or anything less than a full democracy to some shade or variation of a healthy democracy? You know, President Bush's idea, the neoconservative belief was we can do it via the barrel of a gun. Well, oops. That didn't work out right? Not only did they view us ultimately as outsiders invading the nation but they weren't really ready for a true commitment to democracy, which requires a degree of education of the people, right, to understand what their obligations are, right? - But that's what I'm saying. If we had stayed longer, and I'm not saying we should have, but have we stayed longer, once they had some elections, had we stayed longer to build some institutions and that sort of thing, it's almost like it could've worked. There were signs that it could've worked. - But what is the ultimate benefit for the American people to go in and nation build in a place like Iraq or any nation, right? So, we have to ask ourselves the questions, as there are hundreds and hundreds of nations around the world, many of which are not democratic, why are we gonna get involved in that one? And one of things that I actually think that President Trump does correctly, perhaps in his New York braggadocious way, is he says, "Well, what are they giving us?" Like, what do we get in exchange? And that's actually a good and important thing to ask, right? Because we shouldn't be going into Zimbabwe, right, and trying to correct all of the ills of Mugabe and all his shenanigans, right? Because what are they giving us? Nothing. We would invest our time and treasure into a place like Zimbabwe and we would be getting very little to nothing in return, other than a commitment to the world and to ourselves and the Zimbabwean people that we're creating a democracy there, and more democracy means less global war, right? So, we have to rack and stack or prioritize where we're involved in the world. So, Iraq and Iran, the reason that we want to be there, why we give two bits about the place, is because of this commitment, not only just to democracy but because they have something we need, they have, and not just we but the global economy. So, if you were to withdraw, right, and just completely let the place go and be as it is, you better have a back up in terms of a global energy policy that doesn't require that stuff, because if that price of oil quadruples or goes up by 10, 20%, or at times, whatever number it might be and you start having global recessions and depressions, now we understand the cost of our inaction, right? So, there is a cost to just completely pulling out. - Are you kind of surprised that Trump seems to understand all this? - No. - In a weird way. - No, I have had concerns about his temperament. I have-- - By the way, wait, we should pause for a moment and say, you are a lifelong Democrat. - Yeah, here we are. - I know the feeling, my friend. (Men laughing) Here we are so. - Although I don't know what that means anymore. - Yeah. - What does it even mean to be a Democrat anymore? - We'll get to that in a sec, 'cause you wrote a great-- - We'll get there, yeah. It's a disaster. - You wrote a great piece on foxnews.com about the split of the Democrats and I've been screaming about this for years. But why do you think Trump gets this? Like, he's not a politician, he wasn't a foreign policy guy. If you asked him five years ago to put his finger on a map, who knows what he would have found? I mean, what is it about him that you think understands this or is he listening to better generals than the guys before were listening to? Like, what's going on here? - Well, a couple things. How do we diagnose why President Trump is the way that he is and indeed that he's effective. I think we could probably (Dave laughing) have a three hour program on that but the upshot is, I think the American people recognize that something was important in that man, that he could serve an important role, and that is the fact that he is basically a walking human firecracker, right? And he went to Washington to just blow stuff up because most of us were sick and tired of the way that Washington was working. And we might talk about, all right, can we have him a little bit more Presidential? Well, when you elect a firecracker, you're gonna get what you get, right? So, what I think that he is doing well is he's asking really important questions that Washington has always assumed that we've asked and answered. Like, well, of course, we're gonna be absolutely committed to NATO at all times. Well, wait a minute. These a-holes aren't contributing, you know, their dues. So what, are we gonna continue to pay for it? Like, go F yourself. I mean, that's basically Trump's attitude. And it's like yeah, yeah, that's exactly what should be happening, right? There should be nothing so sacred on the table that we can't ask a question as to, well, why are we doing it that way? So, I think that that is a good thing that the President is bringing to the table and I think that he is bringing that outsider's perspective and asking really good questions that might seem to be crazy to the New York and Washington elite but I should think most people in middle America are like, yeah, we agree with you. That makes sense, right? - All right, so with that in mind, so Trump comes in basically as the firecracker to throw the chessboard up, the whole thing. The administrative state or the deep state or maybe you have a different phrase for it. - [Bryan] Deep state works. - This idea of a constant group of people that stay, no matter what administration comes and goes. Can you just explain a little bit about what that actually is? (Bryan inhaling) - Lord have mercy. All right. (Dave laughing) So, folks who get their, those jobs, you are there for 20, 25, 30 years, and it's true that you outlast all administrations. - So, what are these jobs? Like, let's really do like the most base level here. - Yeah. 'Cause this is the type of thing, you hear deep state, and everyone online, you're either a conspiracy theorist or an Alex Jones guy or give me something like, what are these people actually doing? - All right, so, when you, let's just take the CIA, right? So, someone like me who went in as an Operations Officer, so somebody who basically goes out in the field and recruits spies and steals secrets, right? You have a tremendous amount of power, right? A tremendous number of tools to read people's emails, listen to people's phone calls, I mean, you can call up surveillance teams, you have a lot of power to do or accomplish the mission and through that, some people have this mistaken belief that they are now anointed to make decisions writ large in terms of foreign policy. That is, they are the ones that have the knowledge to decide what the nation should or shouldn't do on a particular issue, instead of simply informing a policy maker, to say, "Here's what I know to be true. "Here's what I think we ought to do "but here are a slew of different options "and you make the choice or the call "because you are a representative of the people "and I am simply a tool." - So basically, they sort of have access to all of this information and then after years of it, you start thinking you're bigger-- - [Bryan] That's right. - Than the people that are coming and going. - So, one of the most infamous spies, Aldrich Ames, worked for the CIA but indeed worked for the Russians secretly, was eventually found out. It led to over 100 individuals, assets, being killed. When he was asked why he did it, he said, "I know what's best for the nation's foreign policy "and I'm gonna act on that." So, that degree of hubris... Right, you go in loving your country, embracing the flag, you're there at the CIA for the right reasons but now suddenly, you've come to this belief that you are anointed, that you are somehow the guardian of the republic, beyond the defensive nature that the people, your government has anointed on you to actually do good things, to support the constitution, and support policymakers. Now you think that you're actually a king or a queen behind the scenes and you will move the levers of power and you will decide who gets briefed on what pieces of information or you don't brief certain pieces of information. Let me give you an example So, I worked an issue that I can't talk a ton about but an Asia-related concern, and what we were briefing the White House was that what we as the CIA were doing, in terms of covert action operations, were incredibly successful. But I actually knewthat that wasn't true, so I sat down with the analysts and I said, "Help me understand why "you all make this judgment." They're like, "We don't make that judgment. "We don't believe that's true." So, I collated all this information, I presented it to our, what we call the 7th floor, and I said, "Sirs, what we are presenting "to the White House as effective isn't," and they said, "Well, you know," this song and dance, and then they said, "Look, why don't you brief that downtown," right? Knowing that I had absolutely no ability to do that, right? So, they just sort of, it took an issue that they knew would be problematic for the agency, for themselves, they lied about it to the NSC and to the White House, and they decided what was best for America's foreign policy as it relates to that particular country and that particular issue around weapons of mass destruction. So, it's a tiny little example of how the deep state can decide what a nation should or shouldn't do. The rubric that I think has been crossed, that kind of stuff is more typical Washington. What hasn't happened, certainly in my lifetime or my recollection, is a guy like Brennan and Clapper deciding that a politician or someone running as one, President Trump in this case, candidate Trump in this case, was not good enough to assume the presidency. So, they were doing things to kneecap his administration before, I should say, his election, his ability to become an elected official. - Yeah, can you explain a little bit about what these guys were doing? - So, let's just start with the dossier. - Yeah. - All right because to me-- - You've had tweets deleted over this. - Yeah. - I mean, Twitter tried to boot you and ban you-- - Twice. Because you started, as a former CIA guy, you started talking about what Brennan was up to, what these guys were doing, and they were gonna boot you off Twitter and then eventually there was enough of a outcry. I tried to help as much as I could-- - And you did, thank you. - to get you back on there. - Yeah. - Yeah. So, all right, if we just look at the dossier we knew for a considerable amount of time that this information was unvetted and uncorroborated. It was internet rumor, I think, is what was in the IG report, right? So, it was well known that this was garbage but yet, it was utilized by the FBI to continue surveillance of a Trump campaign official. - So this is before the election, this dossier, which is basically an internet rumor, is now used so the CIA can use spying techniques. - Let me just tell you how absolutely crazy this was. - I'm just trying to dumb it down, yeah. - We had a foreign spy that was hired by a domestic political opponent inject this garbage into the system, which if you work in intelligence field, you know that any Russian sources are oftentimes controlled by Vladimir Putin, the SVR, right? So, unless you really vet the information-- - They're smart enough to have double agents? - Oh, amazing, isn't it? - Jesus, these Russians. - So, we're pumping this fake garbage that we haven't vetted into the political system, we're using it for surveillance purposes, and now, and here's the kicker, in early January of 2017, they, Clapper and Comey and Brennan, leaked this dossier to the press, which it had already been circulating out there but giving it their stamp of, we know it exists and we're gonna brief this, right? So, they briefed it to President-elect Trump and the very act of doing that and saying, "Hey, you should be aware that this exists," suddenly gave the hook for the press to run with this story that we have a Russian agent sitting in the White House. The FBI and the CIA, you know, they believed enough in this document to brief it, and then of course, the fire was set, right? The brush fire took off. - Yeah. - The hysteria was launched. But what's amazing is the next number of days and the next couple of weeks, every one of those bastards, Comey and Clapper, Brennan, all of them said, "Oh, but you know, the dossier, we don't believe it. "It's just rumors." Well, then why'd you brief it? Why did you spread it around Washington? Because you knew that it would cause a brush fire. You knew it would set this nation on fire and you knew that the Trump presidency would likely never recover from it. And in fact, John Brennan told a crowd here in Los Angeles that President Trump would no longer be in office, an interview he gave, by the end of

About Dave Rubin: http://rubinreport.com/- It's important for all of us to know that at the end of the day, if they were to choose to activate some of their sleeper cells in places like Los Angeles, because they are here, or in places like in Michigan, et cetera, then it's game over. They know that the United States, either alone or with a coalition, will go into Tehran. We'll be there within 12 to 24 hours. (upbeat music) - This is The Rubin Report and I'm Dave Rubin. Here's quick reminder that the Rubin Report community is here. We've got ad-free video and audio podcast and newsfeed. You can communicate with me directly, as well as other fans and much more. Oh, and it's totally troll and bot-free, believe it or not. Sign up at rubinreport.com or search The Rubin Report in the Apple App store or on Google Play. And now, more importantly, joining me today is a former CIA Ops Officer, a political analyst, and a national security expert, Bryan Dean Wright. Welcome back to The Rubin Report. - Pleasure, brother. I had you on here about four years ago. It's like 18 studios ago, feels like 27 lives ago. - Yeah. - Here we are, we gotta lot to do. - And you've become an alt-right, gay Nazi, which congratulations. Very exciting. - Thank you, please. My mother is so proud. - No, I'm honored. I do wonder though, at the Klan meetings, do you and your husband wear like the rainbow hats, do the rainbow? - Well, they make you wear the rainbow hat as a gay. - Okay, okay. Well, incredible. (Dave laughing) Great, great development for you and your family. - Little did you know four years ago when we sat down that so much was gonna happen. - Yeah, here we are. - All right, I'm really glad to have you here for many reasons. Before we get into Iran, before we get into the deep state, before we get into the split of the Democrats, the rise of the socialists, and the whole thing, former CIA Ops. Just give me a little recap of what got ya into it, what does that actually mean, and then we'll take it away on current events. - So, back in early 2000, just before 9/11, I was interested in national security and the State Department and CIA were both options. I decided that after looking at each, the CIA made the most sense for me. It was a little bit more cowboy, which coming from a farm and a ranch in the western part of this country, it fit me better. So I applied, moved forward through the application process, took a couple years, and ended up working up as a what they call the Clandestine Service Trainee Program, was there for a couple years, and then sent out into the field. - So, what was it like being in the field as a CIA guy? - You know, just after 9/11, it was an incredibly difficult and challenging time. You know, we didn't know how many more threats were going to be actualized, you know, how many more people were going to be killed. And so, it became a very intense time to be in the Intelligence Community but it was also thrilling. You know, at a very young age, I was 24 or 25, and you're out in the field, doing incredible stuff, meeting with the bad guys who are good for you, and it was an incredible opportunity that what you were doing every day helped ensure that people back home didn't die. - How do you figure out which bad guys are good for you? (Bryan laughing) (Dave laughing) - Oh dear, yeah. - Is that a question you can answer? - Yeah. So, there's a vetting process, right? You first start with, what do you need to know in a particular part of the world on a particular issue, right? So, once you do that, you go through a target analysis and you figure out who has the information in that organization or that piece of knowledge that you need and then you target that individual and then you approach them in some capacity and then you build a relationship and you not only ensure that they are who you thought that they were to be, you then make sure that they're compatible in terms of living a clandestine life with you as an Intelligence Officer. So, that is a very long process, or it can be, but in those early days, we were recruiting people to be informants for us with not a lot of scrutiny because we just had so little information and the threat was so profound and it was so immediate. - All right, so we could do CIA 101 the whole time here and for people that want that, we'll link to our old interview because I wanna catch up, because we hadn't had you on in awhile and when we booked this, this was before this Iran World War III thing happened. - Oh, it's happening? World War 3, okay. - Well, apparently if you listen to Rose McGowan on Twitter, not only that but World War Four has also begun. There's a lotta wars coming - Oh my gosh. - Well, that's exactly why I wanted to start with this because it seems to me that if you're paying attention to social media, as it does to most things, we've ramped everything up to crazy levels beyond imagination. It is so hard to find sort of clear, sane, non-extremist voices in the midst of all this. I consider you one of those people. So can you talk to me about what's going on with Iran and are we in World War III? Are we going down the path? - We are not. - We're not in World War III. - No, whew! - All right, well now we have the quote for this interview. - Yes, all right. - Okay, good So, to understand what's happening, I think you have to step back and ask yourself the question, you know, what does Iran want ultimately, right? In general, what this regime wants is both stability and survival, more than anything else. So whatever it does in terms of international affairs, domestic affairs, it's all designed to make sure that the regime continues. So, they have red lines. They have red lines internally, in terms of how far they will let the populace go in terms of demanding certain things, and then abroad, you know, they'll push as far as they can, knowing full well that the United States and the West and Israel at some point will say, that's a bridge too far, and they will pound the living hell out of Tehran. So, they're always poking the bear. They're always challenging that red line. So, it's important for all of us to know that at the end of the day, you know, if they were to choose to activate some of their sleeper cells in places like Los Angeles, because they are here, or in places like in Michigan, et cetera, then it's game over. They know that the United States, either alone or with a coalition, will go into Tehran and we'll be there within, you know, 12 to 24 hours. - Okay, so let's pause there for a moment because that was a bit of knowledge. So, Iran basically has sleeper cells-- - Sure. In Western cities, you just said Los Angeles. - Correct. - We're in Los Angeles, Michigan, I'm sure in European cities. So, if we know these things exist, what are we doing to actually disrupt these cells? - So, both the FBI and the CIA have long known that Hezbollah and Iran have operated these sleeper cells and so they've kept a pretty good pulse on these folks but the issue is, do you know about all of them, right? Because you have to be perfect 100% of the time and they only have to be perfect or executable once, right to implement something horrific in the U.S. homeland. So, we have a good pulse of what they're doing and where they are, who they are, but do we know all of them? I can almost assure you that the answer is no. - So, as they sort of push what that red line is, we've had a policy of what, maybe the last 10 or 15 years, at least the Obama policy, we kinda let them do what they wanted to do, right? And so now Trump has kind of flipped this thing on it's head. so what do you make about the strike and what is Trump doing here? - Yeah, so the Supreme Leader never saw this attack coming. He had buffaloed, as I say, or my family says on a ranch in Oregon, right? They buffaloed Bush and Obama for many, many years that we had certain red lines, that we didn't want to start this World War III, so we allowed them, that is the Iranians, to do all kinds of poor, terrible, horrific activities throughout the Middle East and indeed the world. We would give them enough leash to attack us through this Soleimani and the Quds force and Hezbollah and what not. - What were our red lines, actually? Like, what would have been the thing that would've changed the equation on our side? - Well, that really is the question. I don't think any of us really knew, certainly with inside the Intelligence Community because we had the infamous Obama red line in Syria that, of course, we just erased that one and moved to somewhere different. So I don't think that the Iranian leadership ever quite knew where the United States would, the switch would flip, other than an attack in the homeland. Certainly they learned that after the 9/11 attacks, when we immediately went into Afghanistan. We started making noise elsewhere. I think most of this is public knowledge but the Iranian government very quietly reached out and said, look, we will stay on the good boy list, just don't invade. So the upshot is that they know that we will hit a point where we say, enough, and I don't think that they thought Soleimani would be the, in all of his shenanigans, would be it but here we are. - Right, so what do you make of what Trump did here? 'Cause it's like, if you listen to the critics, it's like, "Oh, Trump doesn't know what he's doing. "There's no plan for after," et cetera, et cetera. And I'm starting to think, if this guy doesn't know what he's doing and he has no plans, what does that say about the experts? - Right. - 'Cause he keeps one-upping the experts, (Bryan laughing) so what's going on here? - Yeah, so I think he did the right thing, right? So, I have friends who work in the Special Forces community and they were all universally thrilled at what happened. Soleimani has so much blood on his hands, has maimed and killed more people, not just Americans but Iraqis and others, so the man earned his death. The question is, so what comes next? And I think people could rightfully and should be asking that question, right? And is this gonna cause World War III? Some of that is hyperbole but some of it's appropriate to at least ask. So, the answer is no, we're not gonna be going into World War III. The only thing that would change that calculus would be whether Moscow and Beijing suddenly started moving troops into and, or backed Iran, basically wanted to use them as some sort of forcing function, this incident, to create World War III. - Right. - I don't think-- - You mean, they would move their troops into Iran? - Precisely, I mean, something grandiose like that. Now suddenly we're looking at a very different prospect of conflict on a global level if Russia and China moved into Iran, right? - Right. - So, they have a degree of relationship but I'm talking about physical assets into Iran to make clear that this is the equivalent of that World War I assassination of the prince in Sarajevo, right, that people keep talking about. - Just to be clear, that's a pretty far off, crazy thing, although-- - Correct. - If you're just listening to the pundits these days, it's like anything's on the table, like, the Martians are landing and you know-- - In the Intelligence Community, we talk about low, medium, and high degrees of confidence that something could happen, all right? I think that most of us would say that we have high degree of confidence that it is extraordinarily unlikely that Russia and China would ever get involved in this kind of conflict. One, because Russia's economy's the size of Italy. I mean, they have a lot of internal struggles themselves. And China, fundamentally President Xi is concerned about making sure that his stability of his country remains the most important priority and then they continue to grow economically. Because of the number of people in that country, they need to have continued economic growth so that is their focus and their goal, and that's why they want stability. So for them to step into this conflict and create some sort of horrific outcome like World War III is just extraordinarily unlikely, right? In terms of degrees of confidence, I would say we have degree of confidence that's not going to happen. So, the question is, what will Iran do next, right? So you're going to see, and folks are talking about this, absolutely a degree of pushback, whether it's from cyber attacks, the usage of Hezbollah. They're already talking about, that is, the Iranian leadership talking about, targeting military personnel in locations throughout the Middle East in particular. We expect that, the administration expected that, the Pentagon, when they authorized the strike, expected that. That's why you're seeing this flood of personnel, a lot of my friends, going into the Middle East right now. And that is to make the price of any kind of retribution or any kind of attack by Iran, the price will go up dramatically. - How do we send that message beyond bombs and killing people? Like, do we actually go on the ground and talk to contacts and say, "Guys, okay, you saw what we did. "We know you're planning "to do a couple things here and there." But do we really give the hint like, well, I guess Trump sorta did it with this tweet, right? His tweet about 52 sites that we've got. I mean, is that really how it works? Like, we get down there and talk to them about that sorta thing? - Well, I think that the talking that was-- - Like your house is on a list, basically. - Right (laughing). Well, I think the talking that was done was a missile going into Soleimani's head, right? And so I think that the Trump administration very wisely has said, look, we have tried diplomacy with these clowns and they've continually lied to us about, say, their nuclear program. If you recall, in January of 2017, Israel did an incredible operation where they went into Tehran, they grabbed a bunch of nuclear material, that is, I should say documentary-based material, from this warehouse in Tehran, they took it back to Israel, that basically showed that Iran was playing a game. They wanted to make sure that they held on to their nuclear program and the ability to move forward very, very quickly. So there's no ever real intention by the regime to give up that nuclear capability. - What do you make of sort of the set of people that think that just 'cause you sign something, it has meaning? So, like the Iran nuclear deal, just any deal. The Climate Paris Accord or the Paris Climate Accords, like we sign something and that inherently means that it's real but that's really not how the world works, is it? - If you have a document, an agreement, a treaty that is signed, it is only as effective as the parties engaged or involved intend to carry it forward, right? Particularly with some degree of some hammer if people fall short. I mean, this what we've experienced with Russia with the START treaties, et cetera, right? They were constantly cheating because they believed that the United States wouldn't respond in any kind of intense or retaliatory way, whether it be sanctions beyond what we've already done to something more kinetic, right, a military strike. So everybody who signs any kind of document is always sitting back and making the calculus or asking, can we push this further? Can we do more? Can we sneak, right? North Korea with this nuclear program is a great example of doing exactly that and it's gotten away with lying to the world and continuing to march forward, irrespective of the silly sanctions that we apply. - That's what you were talking about earlier about, you just keep pushing the red line. - Correct. - Because if you know the guy on the other side isn't gonna ever gonna push back, you can move that thing pretty signficantly. - But I think it's important and I think you and I have spoken about it previously, we hear a lot right now in the media. Folks are talking about, you know, get us out of the Middle East. Get us out of Iran and Iraq and all these places, we shouldn't be there. And that's true, we shouldn't be there. - Yeah. - Why are we there, right? - You're giving me a lot of my good Libertarian side, right? - So, let's have that conversation. - Yeah. - So, it's good that we killed Soleimani, that the government in Iran is bad, but why in the hell are we there to begin with, right? We are there because Iran and Iraq and the Middle East have oil, right? All these countries have oil. The global economy is built on oil so it's great the United States has become a net exporter of oil, super, but the rest of the world continues to be net importers. So, as long as these folks, whether it be Iran or Iraq, either control the oil or, through the Strait of Hormuz, they control the ability of that oil to get to market, we are stuck in the sandbox, right? So, if we want to change this conversation, if we want to basically make the Middle East the equivalent of what, you know, happened in the '90s in Rwanda where the Hutus and the Tutsis were killing each other, if we want to let the Sunnis and Shias slaughter each other and really, the world doesn't care, then we have to remove the impetus for us to be there in the first place. Why do we care? We have to change our energy policy. So, if you're angry about the fact that we're in the Middle East and we have troops there, then you have to be onboard with changing our energy policy. - So, what do you make of the argument, so you can do it two ways. So, the Libertarian argument is just get the hell out of there, these aren't our wars, these are sectarian conflicts that have existed forever, they're gonna last longer than we're ever gonna exist. That's one side of it. The other side is, well, you broke it, you fix it, sort of. So, it's like, Iraq, we actually were turning it around, you know? Regardless of whether you thought it was a good idea to go in or not, weapons of mass destruction, the rest of it, they were having free and fair elections basically and then we just left. You know, we announced the date. Obama said we're getting out on this day. We left and then it fell apart. How do we negotiate that? - So, you have to sit back and ask the question, from a foreign policy perspective, why the hell are we involved in the world? What is our ultimate goal? And most smart people will say that we want the world to be more democratic, because the more democratic the world is, the less likely that the nations who are democracies will get involved in conflict and war, right? So, this is sort of foreign policy 101. So, the question is, how do you move nations from being autocratic or anything less than a full democracy to some shade or variation of a healthy democracy? You know, President Bush's idea, the neoconservative belief was we can do it via the barrel of a gun. Well, oops. That didn't work out right? Not only did they view us ultimately as outsiders invading the nation but they weren't really ready for a true commitment to democracy, which requires a degree of education of the people, right, to understand what their obligations are, right? - But that's what I'm saying. If we had stayed longer, and I'm not saying we should have, but have we stayed longer, once they had some elections, had we stayed longer to build some institutions and that sort of thing, it's almost like it could've worked. There were signs that it could've worked. - But what is the ultimate benefit for the American people to go in and nation build in a place like Iraq or any nation, right? So, we have to ask ourselves the questions, as there are hundreds and hundreds of nations around the world, many of which are not democratic, why are we gonna get involved in that one? And one of things that I actually think that President Trump does correctly, perhaps in his New York braggadocious way, is he says, "Well, what are they giving us?" Like, what do we get in exchange? And that's actually a good and important thing to ask, right? Because we shouldn't be going into Zimbabwe, right, and trying to correct all of the ills of Mugabe and all his shenanigans, right? Because what are they giving us? Nothing. We would invest our time and treasure into a place like Zimbabwe and we would be getting very little to nothing in return, other than a commitment to the world and to ourselves and the Zimbabwean people that we're creating a democracy there, and more democracy means less global war, right? So, we have to rack and stack or prioritize where we're involved in the world. So, Iraq and Iran, the reason that we want to be there, why we give two bits about the place, is because of this commitment, not only just to democracy but because they have something we need, they have, and not just we but the global economy. So, if you were to withdraw, right, and just completely let the place go and be as it is, you better have a back up in terms of a global energy policy that doesn't require that stuff, because if that price of oil quadruples or goes up by 10, 20%, or at times, whatever number it might be and you start having global recessions and depressions, now we understand the cost of our inaction, right? So, there is a cost to just completely pulling out. - Are you kind of surprised that Trump seems to understand all this? - No. - In a weird way. - No, I have had concerns about his temperament. I have-- - By the way, wait, we should pause for a moment and say, you are a lifelong Democrat. - Yeah, here we are. - I know the feeling, my friend. (Men laughing) Here we are so. - Although I don't know what that means anymore. - Yeah. - What does it even mean to be a Democrat anymore? - We'll get to that in a sec, 'cause you wrote a great-- - We'll get there, yeah. It's a disaster. - You wrote a great piece on foxnews.com about the split of the Democrats and I've been screaming about this for years. But why do you think Trump gets this? Like, he's not a politician, he wasn't a foreign policy guy. If you asked him five years ago to put his finger on a map, who knows what he would have found? I mean, what is it about him that you think understands this or is he listening to better generals than the guys before were listening to? Like, what's going on here? - Well, a couple things. How do we diagnose why President Trump is the way that he is and indeed that he's effective. I think we could probably (Dave laughing) have a three hour program on that but the upshot is, I think the American people recognize that something was important in that man, that he could serve an important role, and that is the fact that he is basically a walking human firecracker, right? And he went to Washington to just blow stuff up because most of us were sick and tired of the way that Washington was working. And we might talk about, all right, can we have him a little bit more Presidential? Well, when you elect a firecracker, you're gonna get what you get, right? So, what I think that he is doing well is he's asking really important questions that Washington has always assumed that we've asked and answered. Like, well, of course, we're gonna be absolutely committed to NATO at all times. Well, wait a minute. These a-holes aren't contributing, you know, their dues. So what, are we gonna continue to pay for it? Like, go F yourself. I mean, that's basically Trump's attitude. And it's like yeah, yeah, that's exactly what should be happening, right? There should be nothing so sacred on the table that we can't ask a question as to, well, why are we doing it that way? So, I think that that is a good thing that the President is bringing to the table and I think that he is bringing that outsider's perspective and asking really good questions that might seem to be crazy to the New York and Washington elite but I should think most people in middle America are like, yeah, we agree with you. That makes sense, right? - All right, so with that in mind, so Trump comes in basically as the firecracker to throw the chessboard up, the whole thing. The administrative state or the deep state or maybe you have a different phrase for it. - [Bryan] Deep state works. - This idea of a constant group of people that stay, no matter what administration comes and goes. Can you just explain a little bit about what that actually is? (Bryan inhaling) - Lord have mercy. All right. (Dave laughing) So, folks who get their, those jobs, you are there for 20, 25, 30 years, and it's true that you outlast all administrations. - So, what are these jobs? Like, let's really do like the most base level here. - Yeah. 'Cause this is the type of thing, you hear deep state, and everyone online, you're either a conspiracy theorist or an Alex Jones guy or give me something like, what are these people actually doing? - All right, so, when you, let's just take the CIA, right? So, someone like me who went in as an Operations Officer, so somebody who basically goes out in the field and recruits spies and steals secrets, right? You have a tremendous amount of power, right? A tremendous number of tools to read people's emails, listen to people's phone calls, I mean, you can call up surveillance teams, you have a lot of power to do or accomplish the mission and through that, some people have this mistaken belief that they are now anointed to make decisions writ large in terms of foreign policy. That is, they are the ones that have the knowledge to decide what the nation should or shouldn't do on a particular issue, instead of simply informing a policy maker, to say, "Here's what I know to be true. "Here's what I think we ought to do "but here are a slew of different options "and you make the choice or the call "because you are a representative of the people "and I am simply a tool." - So basically, they sort of have access to all of this information and then after years of it, you start thinking you're bigger-- - [Bryan] That's right. - Than the people that are coming and going. - So, one of the most infamous spies, Aldrich Ames, worked for the CIA but indeed worked for the Russians secretly, was eventually found out. It led to over 100 individuals, assets, being killed. When he was asked why he did it, he said, "I know what's best for the nation's foreign policy "and I'm gonna act on that." So, that degree of hubris... Right, you go in loving your country, embracing the flag, you're there at the CIA for the right reasons but now suddenly, you've come to this belief that you are anointed, that you are somehow the guardian of the republic, beyond the defensive nature that the people, your government has anointed on you to actually do good things, to support the constitution, and support policymakers. Now you think that you're actually a king or a queen behind the scenes and you will move the levers of power and you will decide who gets briefed on what pieces of information or you don't brief certain pieces of information. Let me give you an example So, I worked an issue that I can't talk a ton about but an Asia-related concern, and what we were briefing the White House was that what we as the CIA were doing, in terms of covert action operations, were incredibly successful. But I actually knewthat that wasn't true, so I sat down with the analysts and I said, "Help me understand why "you all make this judgment." They're like, "We don't make that judgment. "We don't believe that's true." So, I collated all this information, I presented it to our, what we call the 7th floor, and I said, "Sirs, what we are presenting "to the White House as effective isn't," and they said, "Well, you know," this song and dance, and then they said, "Look, why don't you brief that downtown," right? Knowing that I had absolutely no ability to do that, right? So, they just sort of, it took an issue that they knew would be problematic for the agency, for themselves, they lied about it to the NSC and to the White House, and they decided what was best for America's foreign policy as it relates to that particular country and that particular issue around weapons of mass destruction. So, it's a tiny little example of how the deep state can decide what a nation should or shouldn't do. The rubric that I think has been crossed, that kind of stuff is more typical Washington. What hasn't happened, certainly in my lifetime or my recollection, is a guy like Brennan and Clapper deciding that a politician or someone running as one, President Trump in this case, candidate Trump in this case, was not good enough to assume the presidency. So, they were doing things to kneecap his administration before, I should say, his election, his ability to become an elected official. - Yeah, can you explain a little bit about what these guys were doing? - So, let's just start with the dossier. - Yeah. - All right because to me-- - You've had tweets deleted over this. - Yeah. - I mean, Twitter tried to boot you and ban you-- - Twice. Because you started, as a former CIA guy, you started talking about what Brennan was up to, what these guys were doing, and they were gonna boot you off Twitter and then eventually there was enough of a outcry. I tried to help as much as I could-- - And you did, thank you. - to get you back on there. - Yeah. - Yeah. So, all right, if we just look at the dossier we knew for a considerable amount of time that this information was unvetted and uncorroborated. It was internet rumor, I think, is what was in the IG report, right? So, it was well known that this was garbage but yet, it was utilized by the FBI to continue surveillance of a Trump campaign official. - So this is before the election, this dossier, which is basically an internet rumor, is now used so the CIA can use spying techniques. - Let me just tell you how absolutely crazy this was. - I'm just trying to dumb it down, yeah. - We had a foreign spy that was hired by a domestic political opponent inject this garbage into the system, which if you work in intelligence field, you know that any Russian sources are oftentimes controlled by Vladimir Putin, the SVR, right? So, unless you really vet the information-- - They're smart enough to have double agents? - Oh, amazing, isn't it? - Jesus, these Russians. - So, we're pumping this fake garbage that we haven't vetted into the political system, we're using it for surveillance purposes, and now, and here's the kicker, in early January of 2017, they, Clapper and Comey and Brennan, leaked this dossier to the press, which it had already been circulating out there but giving it their stamp of, we know it exists and we're gonna brief this, right? So, they briefed it to President-elect Trump and the very act of doing that and saying, "Hey, you should be aware that this exists," suddenly gave the hook for the press to run with this story that we have a Russian agent sitting in the White House. The FBI and the CIA, you know, they believed enough in this document to brief it, and then of course, the fire was set, right? The brush fire took off. - Yeah. - The hysteria was launched. But what's amazing is the next number of days and the next couple of weeks, every one of those bastards, Comey and Clapper, Brennan, all of them said, "Oh, but you know, the dossier, we don't believe it. "It's just rumors." Well, then why'd you brief it? Why did you spread it around Washington? Because you knew that it would cause a brush fire. You knew it would set this nation on fire and you knew that the Trump presidency would likely never recover from it. And in fact, John Brennan told a crowd here in Los Angeles that President Trump would no longer be in office, an interview he gave, by the end of

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