Former military officials are cashing in by taking jobs with foreign governments that are hostile to the United States. Plus, progressives are on the hunt for new candidates to replace the very few, but very old, real progressive leaders in Washington. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             Former military officials are cashing in by taking jobs with foreign governments that are hostile to the United States. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins joins me to talk about what’s happening. This is a really, really bothersome story. We’re talking about admirals and generals while they’re still on the job working in the Mid East, actually working for Saudi Arabia, actually working for places like Qatar. It’s, it’s incredible. And we’re talking about big money. We’re talking about these guys are making millions of dollars. They take their training, they take everything we give them, these admirals and these generals. I’m talking about, I’m talking about five star generals, four star generals that are, that are doing this and, and just, it’s a cash, it’s a cash cow for ’em.

Farron Cousins:                  It, it is. You know, the report from the Washington Post shows that some of them are making thousands of dollars a day plus benefits, plus living expenses, all to go over there. And most of them, the majority of them have ended up working for Saudi Arabia. And what they’re doing is they’re basically teaching them how to turn their military into the United States military. And then they come back here, lobby the government, send them more weapons, send them more money, because I get more money if I send them more.

Mike Papantonio:             Any coincidence that these are the same people on MSNBC and CNN churning up war? I mean, it’s the same kind of faces.

Farron Cousins:                  It is.

Mike Papantonio:             They’re working for the Saudis, they’re working for the weapons industry. They’re on MSNBC, they’re on CNN, talking about the glorious nature of war, the glorious nature of Saudi Arabia. These guys are punks. And I mean, for us not to do any, and, and let, let’s call names. I mean, first of all, security advisor James, James Jones, he was the security advisor for Obama. So he’s making, good God, millions advising the Saudis, lobbying for the Saudis, telling the Saudis, if you want our weapons, you gotta come through me. Telling the Saudis, if you want to train your guys to, to fly our F35s, you gotta come to me. This is so wrong for so many standpoints and nobody’s doing anything about it.

Farron Cousins:                  It, it is, And the biggest problem too is that technically these individuals are supposed to report to the military if they’re gonna go work for a foreign government. But if they forget to tell the government.

Mike Papantonio:             It’s okay.

Farron Cousins:                  There, there is no punishment. There’s literally no punishment on the books. They couldn’t punish them if they wanted to. So these retired people who spent 20, 30 years, our tax dollars trained them, made them into what they are. They’re saying, thanks, now I’m gonna go help. I mean, in many cases, literally our enemies learn how to kill other people.

Mike Papantonio:             The, the average pay for a four star general working for Saudi Arabia is $200,000. Okay. And what are they doing? All they’re doing is buying access. They work for the weapons industry. They’re getting money from the weapons industry, and then they’re getting weap, money from Saudi Arabia. And then they’re getting money to go on MSNBC and CNN and to tout how remarkable Saudi Arabia is with their, what is it, $500 billion futuristic city that they’re building. You, you’d think, you’d think it’s just, you’d think it’s heaven there when you watch these guys on the news, even though they know the same thing we do. They know the Saudi Arabia, that, that the Saudis were responsible for killing 3000 Americans on US soil. They know that. They know the royal family participated in that, made it happen. They know Khashoggi, they know the Khashoggi story real well. They know everything about what a freak this dictator is. This punk dictator that’s, that’s absolutely running Saudi Arabia with such an iron fist. It’s okay with them.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. They, they’re perfectly fine working for a government that is killing people for tweeting, literally lopping their heads off, you know, with, with a hundred other people. Killing political prisoners. An American in Saudi Arabia just got sentenced to 16 years in jail for a tweet. And these people say, that is perfectly fine with us because they’re paying me hundreds of thousands of dollars to make sure they get more military equipment.

Mike Papantonio:             Now, okay, this is being done. Last week, the Saudis just absolutely hustled Biden. Okay. Biden did everything he said he was gonna do for them. They asked Biden, can you get us more weapons? He got it for ’em. Said, Biden, if you get us more weapons and you get us more training in the United States, we’re gonna help you with oil. Then they turn around and do absolutely the opposite of what they tell Biden. He was negotiating in good faith, basically trying to help our cause in the United States with, in good faith. These guys knew that went on. And they know that they’re playing an invisible role here. Like nobody’s paying attention. Have you seen this one time on television, one time?

Farron Cousins:                  I have not. No.

Mike Papantonio:             No. I don’t think anybody has because TV, MSNBC, corporate media, they’re the ones these guys appear to talk about the glorious nature of war, the glorious nature of Ukraine, the glorious nature of Saudi Arabia. It’s a disgusting story, and it just, it just makes me sick to my stomach that politicians aren’t paying attention to this.

Mike Papantonio:             Progressives are on the hunt for new candidates to replace the very few, but very old real progressive leaders in Washington. You know, before we came on the set, I said, I can’t think of anybody that I want to replace, that I would want to put in that slot. Give me some names. I mean, we’re talking about, we’re talking about Bernie quality.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             We’re talking about Elizabeth Warren kind of quality candidate. What do you think?

Farron Cousins:                  Well, you know, we, we’ve talked a lot about just the aging problem with the Democratic party, but on the actual progressive side, yeah, we’ve got two people. Bernie’s 81, she’s in her early seventies. They’re kind of aged out and people understand that. They’re not gonna run again in 2024, and honestly they shouldn’t.

Mike Papantonio:             No.

Farron Cousins:                  Bernie Sanders at 83 should not run. Love the guy, but it, it’s not happening. So the question is, who carries the torch? Who is out there actually fighting against corporations, fighting for workers? A couple names to me come to mind. Katie Porter out in California.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins:                  She is.

Mike Papantonio:             You, you really like her.

Farron Cousins:                  I really like Katie Porter.

Mike Papantonio:             Every time you talk about Katie Porter, you light up. Okay.

Farron Cousins:                  I, I am just absolutely loving Katie Porter because you watch her on the House floor during these hearings, taking on these CEOs better than anybody I’ve seen.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. That’s what, she’s smart, isn’t she?

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             I mean, and, and she’s not afraid. She, she’s, you know, obviously when she takes on these big corporations, they dry up money to her, but she doesn’t seem to be afraid of that. Anybody else you can think of?

Farron Cousins:                  Possibly Ro Khanna. He’s actually also from California.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins:                  He actually served as kind of Bernie’s right hand man during his 2020 presidential campaign.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins:                  So he’s very much like Bernie. He’s got baggage. You know, we actually brought him up recently talking about the insider trading stuff.

Mike Papantonio:             Right, right, right.

Farron Cousins:                  His wife, his family. So.

Mike Papantonio:             It’s a pretty ugly story.

Farron Cousins:                  That’s what, that’s what turns me off about him now. But, Katie Porter, I, I’ve, I’ve dug, I’ve dug, I’ve dug, I don’t see the baggage. She’s not somebody that the conservative media’s been out there trashing for years, which is a problem that the squad has.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  They’ve been so tarnished by right wing media, I don’t think they could have broad appeal.

Mike Papantonio:             Whether, you know, I, I, as I watch the squad.

Farron Cousins:                  And, and I like them. I do.

Mike Papantonio:             I do, I, I, they do some good things.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             I don’t know whether they just don’t do it right or whether the media is just so set and, and, and they don’t, you know, corporate media does not like progressives. I mean.

Farron Cousins:                  Right.

Mike Papantonio:             They may act like they do. You may watch MSNBC and you may say they really have kinship with progressives. They don’t.

Farron Cousins:                  We’ve, we’ve.

Mike Papantonio:             There’s no.

Farron Cousins:                  We know firsthand behind the scenes stuff they hate progressives at MSNBC.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. I did MSNBC, as you know, for a long time, you were one of the producers that worked with me when I’d made, I’d make, I’d be on a couple times a week and they’d rarely let you tell the story. So for us to believe that progressives, progressives have an easy run with media and that they’re gonna support, that’ll be the problem with Katie Porter, won’t it?

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. It.

Mike Papantonio:             The problem will be they will do everything they can to dis, to discredit her.

Farron Cousins:                  Right. But actually too, if you look at Katie Porter’s voting record, she does have a very, a moderate coming across voting record.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay.

Farron Cousins:                  So she doesn’t, she’s not super extreme, but the fact that she takes on corporate power and does advocate for workers, the working class, consumers, that’s the kind of thing we need. And, and in her mold, we could bring more people in that way.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Maybe we can ask as people watch this, you send in your comments, give, give us some ideas.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. We need more names.

Mike Papantonio:             We’ll, we will, we need a lot.

Farron Cousins:                  We need more than just Katie Porter.

Mike Papantonio:             We need a lot more names. Farron, thank you for joining me. Okay.

Farron Cousins:                  Thank you.

Mike Papantonio:             That’s all for this week. But all these segments are gonna be available this coming week right here on this channel and you can follow us on Twitter @AmericasLawyer. I’m Mike Papantonio and this has been America’s Lawyer, where every week we tell you the stories that corporate media won’t tell you because their advertisers won’t let ’em and their political connections don’t allow for it. We’ll see you next time.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.