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Bill Press Reports from Washington

Bill Press reports from Washington, back again on The Drive with Steve Jaxon, to talk about the most recent assertions made by the new president and his spokespeople, including the absurd suggestion that a microwave oven could have been part of a spying operation directed at him.


Bill Press reports from Washington

Bill Press

Steve Jaxon:
Joining us right now, our dear friend, longtime Drive Hall of Famer, syndicated radio host and great political commentator and author, Mr. Bill Press. Bill, how are you?

Bill Press:
Well, I’m looking at my microwave too and wondering who planted a camera in there. I think it might have been Pat Buchannan. I’m not really sure.

SJ:
Pat and you probably don’t get along very well.

BP:
Actually we do.

SJ:
Oh yeah, we talked about that.

BP:
But you know, this is ridiculous, I mean it’s absurd, and they keep saying this nonsense, this crap, right? And they get away with it, right? So Kellyanne Conway puts out this nonsense then Trump tweets, “...now everyone’s being rude to my people. You have to be nice to them. Why are you so rude to them?” Well if you stopped saying such crap, you know, maybe we’d respect them a little more.

SJ:
Conway quickly clarified her microwave remark, saying that she was not in fact accusing Barack Obama of spying via a kitchen appliance.

BP:
(laughs) That in itself, right, says volumes.

SJ:
I’m afraid to use my dishwasher, Bill.

BP:
Don’t flush your toilet, whatever you do. The worst was today, at the briefing. I mean, reporters were getting into this and somebody asked, I think it was Peter Alexander from NBC said, no, this is a serious question. You know, when the President tweets, right, or says something like this, does he mean it, or doesn’t he mean it? What are we to think? And Spicer’s answer was, No, he’s telling the truth, except when he’s kidding.

SJ:
Right. And when he said “wiretap” he didn’t mean “wiretap.”

BP:
Yeah, he meant some kind of surveillance. I mean, the room broke out in laughter. It’s just like Friday, about the job numbers, he said, well before, you know, Trump said these were phony numbers and we should not believe them. And Spicer’s answer was, well they were phony then but they’re real now. What a bunch of clowns! How did this guy get to the White House? God!

SJ:
I also love it when Kellyanne said, “I’m not Inspector Gadget, for God sakes!”

BP:
Oh yeah, right!

SJ:
In fact, Mike’s got the clip. Let’s listen to some of this.

Kellyanne Conway (sound clip):

Chris, I’m not Inspector Gadget, I don’t believe people are using the microwave to spy on the Trump campaign.”

SJ:
OK, well… What happened to her? Because she was missing for the last three weeks, it seems like it, and now suddenly she’s all over the place again.

BP:
Well, it’s sort of, you know, they put her in hiding for a while, after, I forget what outrage...

SJ:
The last one, the last one, I don’t remember either.

BP:
Oh, that was when she was hawking Ivanka’s jewelry, remember?

SJ:
Oh, right.

BP:
But look, the deal is, she should not be, she does not do him any good. Every time she’s out there, she says something outrageous. And then there are two or three days of just trying to clean up. It’s like the elephant in the circus, right? There’s somebody behind them just sweeping up the crap.

SJ:
Why would they let her keep going?

BP:
Exactly, they should not do it. And let me tell you, that’s not the role of a Presidential counselor, right? First, A, she’s not good at it, B, that’s not her job. Whatever you thought of him, you didn’t see Karl Rove on every cable show, every freaking day, right? If you’re a counselor to the president, you give your advice privately and you just shut up. That’s what she ought to do. Get out of sight and shut up, or they ought to shut her up. And I don’t mean that in any sexist way, I don’t care who it is. Steve Bannon, you don’t see Steve Bannon out there.

SJ:
Exactly.

BP:
He’s smarter than she is.

SJ:”
You’d think Reince Priebus would put a stop to this but maybe he can’t.

BP:
He can’t because nobody can control Trump. Trump is calling the shots and he likes here. He thinks she’s great. So, I mean, to the extent that Trump is controlling the shots... So today at the briefing, twice at the briefing today, somebody ran into the briefing room and handed Sean Spicer a note, of something Trump wanted him to say.

SJ:
Oh my god!

BP:
And Trump watches the briefing and then he either tweets to somebody or texts somebody who’s sitting there, right, or sends a runner down from the Oval Office.

SJ:
Unbelievable. When was the last time they let you ask a question in a briefing?

BP:
Um, well, I haven’t asked one under Sean Spicer. I don’t always raise my hand. I did today, he didn’t call on me, I understand that. You don’t always get called on. But look, put it this way. I’m not complaining. If somebody else asks the question I was going to ask, then I’ll just not raise my hand. I’m not like the guys in the front row who always have to be seen on TV. Let me tell you this, they haven’t taken away my press pass yet, right? So I consider that good news.

SJ:
If anyone out there missed it, let me just quote Kellyanne Conway this morning. “Surveillance can be carried out with microwaves that turn into cameras. We know this is a fact of modern life.” (pause) I think there’s a camera in my burrito that I put in the microwave. I don’t know.

BP:
I mean, do we know that’s a fact of modern life, right? Seriously.

SJ:
No, it’s not! She knows it but…

BP:
Although, I was wondering why some of those microwaves that I saw at Best Buy were so expensive. I guess, now I know, there was a built-in camera.

SJ: You can text video of your burrito warming up in the microwave, with the camera.

BP:
By the way, if this were a Saturday Night Live skit, it would be hilarious...

SJ:
Oh, it will be.

BP:
...if that’s all it were. But this is the president of the United States, God forbid!

SJ:
I also like the fact that she said, “I’m not in the job of having evidence.” What?

BP:
No, no. And by the way, I was just writing a column about this when you called. I really think it is outrageous, and you’ve talked about this, we all have. You can’t forget that the president of the United States accused former President Barack Obama of tapping his phones, of ordering a phone tap of his phones. They can try to wiggle out, but he did and that was 10 days ago and to this point, he has provided not one shred of evidence. And when we were pushing Sean (we meaning, not me personally, but I was there in the briefing, I would have if nobody else had) pushing Sean Spicer today to for, OK, the President’s got to do what John McCain said, either present his evidence or apologize, or retract it. And their response is, no, ask the Justice Dept. That’s their job, not our job. No. Jeff Sessions did not accuse Barack Obama of spying on him. With free speech comes some responsibility. You and I can’t accuse just anybody of murder and then just not present any evidence. It’s outrageous! And people are letting him get away with it. I hope the Congress doesn’t. I hope they do look into this and then come out and say Donald Trump’s lying through his teeth. There is zero evidence of this. Somewhere it’s got to stop. Somewhere it has to stop.

SJ:
I agree, and there are so many other people who agree, I think. You know, this could be the beginning of the quick downfall. I don’t know, whether he’s, I don’t know, I don’t even want to go there at this point.

BP:
Well, it could be to this extent. I think it has backfired in a way that Trump did not – of course, he doesn’t think about it, he just does it, right, he doesn’t think through the consequences. But what has happened is, people say, "oh well if there was any surveillance going on, Barack Obama didn’t order it." In fact, he cannot order it. It must have been somebody else like the FBI and the only reason they would have been doing it is because they suspected Trump of colluding with the Russians, and they wanted to find out. So this could come back and bite them in the ass.

SJ:
That’s what Mel Goodman said. You know Mel Goodman, he’s on with us all the time like you are. He was on earlier today and at one point I said, Mel, please explain for our listeners how wiretapping works, when it’s, you know, the federal government and Obama couldn’t have done anything anyway.

BP:
No. You have to go to the FISA court. I’m sure he explained that. And if they did, they would have to prove to the FISA court that there’s a reasonable suspicion that that person whose phone they wanted to tap, was committing a federal crime.

SJ:
Right, so Trump just screwed himself.

BP:
If that turns out to be the case, then Trump is in, as former President Bush used to say, deep doo-doo.

SJ:
How’s everything in DC, buddy?

BP:
Well, we are, you know, it’s March Madness. We’re getting ready for the first snowstorm.

SJ:
Yeah, snow madness, man.

BP:
We haven’t had, not an inch, we haven’t had a flake of snow all Winter and suddenly they’re telling us we could get 4 inches to a foot overnight tonight. We had Lanny Davis and Mel Goodman on today and they’re all battening down the hatches and I’m sure you are too.

BP:
Well, we’ll be on the air, show biz, right? The show’s got to go on.

SJ:
Well, Bill, let me just wrap with this: It’s 78 and sunny here in Northern California today.

BP:
Oh, shut up! (laughs) All right.

SJ:
Always a pleasure, my dear friend, and we will talk soon.

BP:
All right. Greetings to Sonoma and Marin of course!

SJ:
Right on. Thanks, Bill.

(end)

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