Ross Kaminsky Show, Cory Gardner, September 13, 2018

Station:    KHOW, 630 am

Show:       Ross Kaminsky Show

Guests:    Gardner, Cory


Date:        September 13, 2018

Topics:           Russia, Sonic Attacks, US Diplomats, Cuba, State Department, State Sponsor of Terror, Western Slope, Grand Junction, LNG Exports, Liquid Natural Gas, Nordstream 2 Pipeline, Germany, Shutting Down Oil and Gas Production, Proposition 112, Setbacks, Ukraine, Poland, Europe, Radical Environmentalist Groups, Brett Kavanaugh, Judiciary Committee, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Susan Collins, Confirmation, American Bar Association, Vladimir Putin, Midterm Elections, National Republican Senatorial Committee, Nevada, Tennessee, Ted Cruz, North Korea, President Trump, Denuclearization

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HOST ROSS KAMINSKY: [00:00:08] All right, 6:34 [a.m.] on this Thursday morning, and I’m very pleased to go to our VIP line where we are joined by Colorado Senator Cory Gardner, who unfortunately for him is still in Washington D.C. but the phone line sounds really good! So, good morning, Cory!


KAMINSKY: [00:00:24] I want to start off with something that we haven’t talked a lot about on the show yet, that was news maybe two days ago, that Russia appears potentially to be behind those kind of sonic attacks on U.S. diplomats. I know you’re way more involved in foreign policy issues than a lot of other folks. [Do you have] any thoughts on this?

GARDNER: [00:00:45] Well, this is yet one more sign that Russia’s aggression is continuing. Their maligned behavior continues to affect Americans. It’s not just illegal invasions or annexations in Ukraine or Georgia, or what they’ve done in Syria, or the murders they’ve carried out in the United Kingdom, their interference attempts to meddle in U.S. elections. They continue to — at least, according to this report — attack — direct attack — on U.S. diplomats. And if that’s true, they must be held accountable. And that’s why I renewed my push for the State Department to consider naming them a state sponsor of terror.

KAMINSKY: [00:01:17] What’s your guess at this point as to the likelihood that it’s true? It was hard for me to tell from news reports how — what the level of confidence that people have in this is.

GARDNER: [00:01:28] You know, I think it’s increasingly narrowing down to a few actors, including Russia. Now, I can’t get into any of the classified reports on this, but I do think through a process of elimination they can look at capabilities and capacities and determine who has it, who doesn’t. And so, we do need to know. And, what’s happened to these diplomats, I mean, they have lost memory, they’ve had concussion-like things. It is actually a physical injury or disablement that they have experienced as a result of these attacks. It’s not just like a temporary hearing loss. Some of these effects are permanent.

KAMINSKY: [00:02:00] Unbelievable. Now, you were recently in Colorado out on the Western Slope discussing some things. And I’m aware that some senior State Department folks were there. Did Russia come up at all there?

GARDNER: [00:02:11] You know, it did, actually. I was in Grand Junction. I hosted the Assistant Secretary of State Frank Fannon who — we talked about energy opportunities and LNG exports. Colorado has a great LNG export path before it, if we can get it out of Colorado and overseas. But one of the things that they brought up — we discussed Russia. We discussed the Nordstream 2 pipeline, which is this Russian pipeline to Germany that’s going to be used to manipulate energy prices and economies in Europe. And unfortunately, it’s going to make greater reliance on Russia there. But he said one of the things that is facing Colorado is this ballot initiative that could shut down oil and gas production. He said, “You know who is cheering for that?” This is the Assistant Secretary State, [who explained that the person] who is cheering for that is Vladimir Putin, because he believes shutting down oil and gas production in the United States will help him control Europe and manipulate energy to Ukraine, Europe, and other places.

KAMINSKY: [00:03:03] Well, I completely believe that. And I’m sure you’ve heard the stories — in fact, I’m sure you heard them before I did — that the Russian government has been involved in funding radical environmentalist groups in the United States that push against energy development here.

GARDNER: [00:03:18] Well, and we know that Russia likes to get people both — on both sides of the issue riled up and fired up, and use that as a way to divide the public. The challenge with this one, though, is if Colorado ends oil and gas production as a result of this radical initiative he actually wins because Colorado — one of the top LNG producers in the country — [correcting himself] excuse me, one of the top natural gas producers in the country — would no longer be producing it like we have been. And he wins. He has more power to strangle Poland or Ukraine or Europe when they become reliant on Russian energy sources. And I think what the Assistant Secretary of State said was Russia uses its gas for power and its oil for money. And I think that’s pretty indicative of what the challenge is in Colorado.

KAMINSKY: [00:04:03] Interesting. All right, let’s switch gears: Brett Kavanaugh. So, I got a couple of questions for you.. First, do you know when there will be– they didn’t vote in the committee yet, did they?

GARDNER: [00:04:14] No, and so, they’re going to line up to vote today in Judiciary Committee. There will be a procedure used to kick it to next week. So sometime around the 20th of September, the committee vote will occur. And then it will go to the floor after that.

KAMINSKY: [00:04:26] Okay, one of the things that I’ve noticed is that even the liberal mainstream media, even the Washington Post, has been calling out people like Kamala Harris for her lies about what Kavanagh has said, calling out Cory Booker for all these shenanigans, “Look at me! I’m breaking the rules!” when he wasn’t, calling out radicals up in Maine for this insane harassment campaign against Susan Collins, including calling her office and swearing at her workers. And I get a feeling that the stuff that the left is doing to fight against Kavanaugh is going to guarantee his confirmation.

GARDNER: [00:05:10] Well, look, I think what we’ve seen throughout this confirmation hearing is Kamala Harris has more Pinocchio’s than Mr. Geppetto. I think what we’ve faced here is a series of lies and mistruths and half truths and untruths that have been told with histrionics and theatrics, carried out by a bullying campaign that we’ve never seen before — the likes of which we’ve never seen before. And so, I hope the American people will cut through the theater and actually see what is at the base of this, and that is a judge who the American Bar Association believes is well qualified, somebody [for whom] The Denver Post has actually written an editorial in support of the nomination, and somebody that actually isn’t going to be making policy. And this is the big shock, I think: there seems to be some who want to check the boxes of where he stands on this issue, that issue, or this issue. It’s not about where he’s going to legislate, because that’s not what a judge does. It’s where he’s going to rule according to the law. And it may be against his own best interests or his own personal interests or beliefs, because that’s what a judge does. They rule according to the law, not according to themselves.

KAMINSKY: [00:06:16] Now, you’re still Chairman of the NRSC, right?

GARDNER: [00:06:19] Yes.

KAMINSKY: [00:06:20] So, — in fact, why don’t you just tell my listeners very briefly what that organization is and what your job is there.

GARDNER: [00:06:26] So, the Senatorial Committee is in charge of the conference and the majority coming forward in November.

KAMINSKY: [00:06:33] So, as the head of NRSC, I’m wondering if you share the concern that the mainstream media clearly wants us to have that Republicans might not do nearly as well in this upcoming election and might even end up losing seats, like Tennessee and Nevada. And by the way, I would point out, while the mainstream media keeps saying — keeps talking about this — I’m looking at betting websites and the betting odds are still very dramatically in [favor of] the Republicans keeping the majority. But they’re talking about it, and they are talking about Ted Cruz, as well. What are your thoughts?

GARDNER: [00:07:08] Well, look, I think one of the amazing things about Washington is one reporter writes a story, and then a whole bunch of people follow and write the same story. And that’s what we’ve seen in this. Look, we knew we were facing incredible, tough incumbents. That’s why they’re here. That’s why they got elected six years ago, some of them getting reelected six years ago, when they probably shouldn’t have been. So,– because they’re they’re very good. But we have very good candidates as well. And there is no new polling that shows an opposite trend, other than the Republican candidates gaining ground, doing what they need to do to win. I’m very confident that we’ll keep and expand the majority. And I think if you look at the American people, they’ve watched where economic growth has occurred. They’ve seen worker productivity increase. They know money is coming back into the United States from overseas, instead of just staying outside of our country. And they realize it’s the policies that we’ve put in place that have allowed that to happen.

KAMINSKY: [00:08:04] How much do you think this election will be a referendum on President Trump, versus each race being its own race about issues in that state and positions held by those candidates?

GARDNER: [00:08:17] You know, you can look at polling to determine this to some degree. But you never know. I mean, I think if you ask a question — I’ve seen it — you know, “Are you voting to send a message to President Trump?” Thirty-one percent say ‘yes,’ 31 percent say no. And so, I don’t know if it’s any different than any other election. Obviously, voter motivation and intensity is important in elections. And if — you know, if more on the radical left get out — or the loony left get out and vote than the right, then that’s a problem.

KAMINSKY: [00:08:44] All right, my last question for you — I want to bring it back to foreign policy and something I ask you about every time you’re on the show — and that’s North Korea. You know, we’ve heard a little about a letter back and forth. are they going to meet again? What’s your take on what North Korea is or isn’t actually doing to meet the kinds of goals that were laid out in that first summit in Singapore?

GARDNER: [00:09:04] Well, in my opinion, North Korea is doing exactly what we thought they would do at this point, which is, they think they’ve done enough to just hang on for a while. And so, they’re not doing anything to make progress toward denuclearization, other than what they have already done, and that is to stop the testing. And that is a good thing. So, it’s a good thing that we don’t have the tests. However, it’s not a good thing that they haven’t done anything more, and that’s why we have to continue to engage more pressure on North Korea — sanctions, more pressure on China and the enablers of North Korea — more sanctions –and we have to continue to keep South Korea Japan close with us so that we can use that trilateral alliance to pressure North Korea. So, am I surprised that we’re not any further down the road than we are? No, because I expected Kim Jong Un to fail at his basic promise. And that’s why we have to continue pushing the pressure to the point where he cannot have any alternative but to comply with the promise he made.

KAMINSKY: [00:09:59] Colorado Senator Cory Gardner, also Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, great to talk to you this morning, as always, Cory! We’ll talk again soon.

GARDNER: [00:10:06] Thanks for having me, Ross! Thank you!

KAMINSKY: [00:10:06] All right-y! Wow! Okay, a lot of stuff […]