Transcript for Jack Abramoff: The System Has Not Changed
So so we have a very big guest here on -- right here in the studio with us Jack Abramoff. The author of capital punishment -- -- most powerful lobbyist in Washington. Of course somebody who. It's now... See More
So so we have a very big guest here on -- right here in the studio with us Jack Abramoff. The author of capital punishment -- -- most powerful lobbyist in Washington. Of course somebody who. It's now often called disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Thank you for joining us on top line thanks for having me. -- I want I want it get to your -- -- your experience also a little bit of what it was like you actually Spence. He actually spent time in jail wanna find out what that was like but -- don't -- the current situation here. Newt Gingrich. Involved in this controversy over what he did for Freddie Mac in -- and it and other clients he had he tells us he never lobbied he was never a lobbyist. That we. Well -- getting -- pass on any of us influence peddling charge. I mean obviously if he'd gone up to the hill and met with members it's one thing but the truth is lobbying is not just meeting with people on the hill -- is a package and part of the package is strategic -- Companies need to know how to what to do we're direction to go in and I think that those who come off the hill. And take advantage of the revolving door in cash and to give strategic advice is the same sort of area that I talked about -- -- the book that it's a problem. Presented as that was it was it was it was Newt Gingrich getting to almost two million dollars from Freddie Mac just just one of his client was what was this offer for strategic advice apparently. Apparently was also for history lesson let's hope examining other very expensive issue lesson but. -- apparently was strategic advice giving them sort of global perspective or whatever he did -- Nevertheless it's it's cashing in -- public service since the kind of thing that I write about that I think -- -- be addressed. Obviously the failure of the super committee is to be the big news event of the week how. Does this fit into the message in your book -- Washington gotten any better has it changed at all as -- fix some of the problems that you identify your -- the lessons that you learn. Well in terms of the actual corruption stuff -- it's not better at all hasn't really done anything meaningful. I think the failure of the super committee so called in the dysfunction in general the government of the budgetary processes. A consequence of years and decades of overspending in decades of special interest and other interest coming -- it to take what they can out of the treasury and finally nothing's left. And Dave these guys want to fix it but it's not so executive. -- If you're able to. Exert. Incredible influence on the hill with. Taking care of the members taking care of the staff you talk about how you -- basically own a member if you could. You know talk about a big job down the line for chief of staff for a key staff -- a lot of changes were were put in place largely because of what happened -- view. To fix the system. So is fixed. Now it's not fixed I think that the things that they do they rearrange the chairs on the deck of the ship doesn't change course could you still do what you were doing absolutely. I think what I was doing people are doing I think the two things first of all. What I -- it was like pushed over lines and I -- crimes and unfortunately that that was stupid me and I regret it obviously Adams comes forward. The problem isn't the people breaking the law the problem of the people keeping the -- what's legal hope there is the problem. The way they set the lines -- the problem and that's what's really got to be addressed and whether it's going to be or not it's going to be at the American people pushed us. As you know there's another new book out that talks about insider trading right in Washington -- interviewed on this a little bit earlier on your book tour patent or who specifically are we talking about here -- trading on inside information -- -- people be outraged at at that allegation. Well. Who specifically names. Try not to get into -- thing but here's another example of the kind of abuse from Capitol Hill. The -- my book is capital punishment about -- -- capital publishes this country. With these laws and what they do as they create laws for the rest of us -- to unplug themselves and in this case it's particularly egregious. Where they have this no insider trading problem. But it's worse than insider trading insider trading -- get information from a company that within the company these people -- welcome to the company doesn't know about them. And or able likely go up and trade and make money off -- -- wrong. You know we need some I mean. That that this book came out with some fanfare I have not seen any real specific examples here is congressman acts. Who had this information bought this stock. Was able to I think said Peter crutches book does do that you absolutely they give -- he gives example after example on that was his study his grad students worked with him to. Actually analyze the stock portfolio -- on communities like -- -- -- the big examples Nancy Pelosi would this. Bill was coming up meet with -- in the credit card companies in the vis a public offering but -- -- argues that -- itself for Washington very tough on credit card companies. And it you know this is not an example of that. Well sure and Santa Claus will be coming in December for burial and are not an April yes -- complete -- out there I don't know why any of us are complaining about -- just this is as -- ridiculous of course there of course of course I mentioned and one of the interviews I did that I heard the staffers and members bragging about their capacities to treat the market these people aren't trained. In that area and -- -- Precise figures in stocks -- frankly I ignored what they said it would seem silly at the time the me. But as a look back that's exactly what they're doing and look at the information they have available to them and worse. They can actually do things to companies. Take a positive actions up there and a whole hearing for example hearing for a company is devastating. And could actually move the stock so. The power that they had his extraordinary they -- to seem laws apply to them that are applied to us and frankly they take those jobs that stock should -- into a blind trust. And be dealt with all people work on the hill absolutely.
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