How Drs. Fauci and Birx Negotiate With Trump

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S1: We are still in a very difficult situation. We hope and I believe it will happen that we may start seeing a turnaround, but we haven’t seen it yet. We’re just pushing on the mitigation to hope that we do see that turnaround.

S2: To the president, I would join those, whether it’s the governors, mayors, people across the country who are saying we need the equipment, the personal protective equipment.

S3: I don’t care how smart, how rich, how powerful you think you are.

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S4: I don’t care how young, how old. This virus is the great equalizer.

S5: Hello and welcome to Trump Cast. I’m Virginia Heffernan. So this virus is exposing all the mortal failings in our immune systems, both the tendency of our bodies to under react to novel pathogens, to novelty itself and the tendency to overreact to those pathogens till the body burns itself out. That much I’ve learned from doctors returning from the so-called frontlines at bedsides with the sick and dying. The vagaries of the immune system are also something, if I may push this metaphor that has challenged America ever since 2016, when someone, someone let’s call him new, came to rack the body politic to afflict us. Those of us whose immunities kicked in immediately and who began running a fever almost the day he was elected, have had our all kinds of adrenal fatigue and even despair.

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S6: And then those whose immunity was compromised. And in my view, often by influence operations on Fox and on the Internet saw the disease of Trumpism sort of settle into their bones. They began to talk the talk of Trump and normalize the unthinkable. Now, I don’t like to use disease metaphors to talk about thought and language and votes, but I think the idea of immunity applies to artifacts of the mind as well as challenges to the body. A healthy cognitive immune system here’s coronavirus is a hoax by CNN and rejects it as one would reject poison. It’s just not right. A virus, a hoax by a television channel. This just smells bad. Tastes bad. It’s in disharmony with sensory evidence to let oneself be fed something like that.

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S5: Corona virus is a hoax by CNN is kind of to cognitively collapse. And I really do see the dangers of a hyperactive immune system like my own people who see pathogens everywhere and work to shut down any entity with a slightly new odor calling it toxic. This might be something like cancel culture. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Get out. You’re not coming anywhere near me. Is immune system eating itself on Twitter to fight off every person who wasn’t critical of Trump beginning the year he was born or didn’t detect coronavirus as a coming plague by at least late October. But the lowered immune system and I mean sitting on Facebook near photos and news of aunts and cousins that make one lower one’s guard amid headlines from mainstream newspapers that make it seem as though Trump has a point that should be reasonably addressed about, say, nurses being the real enemy in our time. And as usual, these newspapers claim there’s just partisan squabbling in Washington. And all of that lulls one into a sense that there’s nothing too bad about this world, that our brains can relax and we can leave the mental and biological doors unlocked, the keys in the ignition.

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S6: And while cancer culture and the hyperactive immune system that you see on Twitter can absolutely be exhausting. I think the immune system that just gives up is far sadder. So we’ve got to do what it takes to balance these things, to move in harmony with the bugs and pathogens in our information ecosystem and our ecosystem ecosystem. Because as we adjust to this new virus and slowly but surely move to acquire our immunities without being defeated first, remember, that’s what we’re up to right now. We need to be both relaxed and alert. I always think of that phrase. It was what my pediatrician told me to look for in my my newborn, my first child. This expression of relaxed alertness, serenity and awareness. Think of how a curious baby looks and let’s try to be like that.

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S5: My guest today is Frank Floozie. He’s a former FBI assistant director and an NBC News national security contributor. He has a recent piece in Vanity Fair that opened my eyes to a new way of seeing the commitments of doctors Bourke’s and Foushee, the members of Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force. He argues, intriguingly, that Bourke’s and Foushee are in some ways hostages to Trump that they must, he says, draw out their tenure on the task force. Keep themselves from being fired. Keep themselves enough in Trump’s good graces that they can stay on and do service to their nation. They’ve got to draw this out the same way. We’re all trying to flatten the curve in order to save lives before Trump fires them. Or worse, rejects all their research and projections and opens fire on the rest of us by denying us care in a time of pandemic. I was a little skeptical of this argument, but I must say I think Frank brought me around. See what you think. Welcome to Trump Castle, Frank.

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S7: I’m thrilled to be here. Thanks for having me.

S8: First off, for listeners who don’t know about your past. Maybe you can talk about especially your work on hostage negotiations and. Dealing with kidnappings, this was as you were part of this FBI squad. Talk us through that just so we get some context for the recent piece.

S7: Yeah, sure. For those who who don’t know, I spent 25 years in the FBI and actually retired several years ago as assistant director for counterintelligence, then that means that I headed up all espionage investigations for the U.S. government.

S9: And throughout my career I’ve had some diverse experience. But but two of them that are pertinent to the Vanity Fair piece that I just had published in and our discussions today relate to kidnap and ransom. And and one was when I was in FBI Miami, an incredibly active FBI field office. As you can imagine, we had we were what’s called an extraterritorial field office, meaning we were one of five officers in the FBI that had responsibility overseas in Miami. No surprise that responsibility for all of Latin America. And so we would we had a squad that did nothing but respond to kidnapping and abduction of Americans throughout Latin America. And so you become when you oversee that kind of program, you become adept at watching the hostage negotiators who are highly trained, skilled folks and negotiate down a ransom. And you learn those techniques. But I also earlier in my career had run a one of the few crimes against children squads. And I did that in the San Francisco FBI division. And that meant that we responded not only just some horrific child sexual exploitation cases, but we responded to all kidnappings we could, became very adept at not just child kidnappings, but we eventually responded to all kidnappings in Northern California. And again, my exposure to the outstanding hostage negotiators in the FBI was there.

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S10: And then even when I retired from the FBI, I went with a Fortune 10 company as a corporate security executive and a very huge global well-known company.

S9: And that company had people exposed throughout the world in places like Africa and Latin America. And kidnap and ransom was something that we had to deal with in the corporate world. Wow. So I’ve become knowledgeable on what it looks like to get your way through a hostage scenario. And that’s what led me to the Vanity Fair piece.

S8: It’s an amazing route. What interests me most about this time is how many different fields of expertise people have brought to bear on this catastrophic period. And I mean, the last four years, not just the last three months of the coronavirus. You always bring something new to it. And especially in this Vanity Fair piece. So what is hostage negotiation and FBI work have to do with the current period of handling this pandemic at the level of the federal government?

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S5: You say something extraordinarily interesting and kind of wild. You take some chances in this piece. And I really like that you offer advice to the two public health medical doctors who are closest to Donald Trump and advising him. That’s Deborah Bourke’s and Anthony Foushee. And the the article is addressed to that like a letter. Tell us about it.

S7: So a couple of things. One is having held various leadership positions in the FBI. I became a student of leadership, not not, of course, because I ever perfected it, but rather because I was trying to constantly learn what a good leader is.

S10: And so I am a student of leadership in a crisis, crisis management. So I’ve been watching Trump throughout this as I studied Trump try to lead in a crisis and struggle with that. I actually started focusing more on Dr. Bourke’s and Dr. Foushee and their predicament. And when I say predicament, I mean that I saw an uncanny similarity between what they were dealing with and what I’ve seen in terms of a hostage or captive scenario and what hostage negotiators do to survive their captor. Now, here’s what I mean by that. I saw a lot of people recently get all over Dr. Burk’s when she came out in press statements praising Trump, saying that he was using his business acumen to focus on data and understand the scientific details. And a lot of people said, oh, she has drink the Kool-Aid.

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S8: I am the one of the people who said it. I thought she had gone the way of that. At least three other M.D. who have travelled to Trump have subordinated themselves to Trump over the history of his life, starting with the doctor in Queens, the podiatrist who helped him dodge the draft by diagnosing bone spurs through his two doctors as president. The first, he said, you know, he would be the most the healthiest president in history. And then the second Ronnie Jackson, so-called Candy Man for distributing Ambien and Xanax and so forth, also called the president superhuman with genetics that would, you know, astound us all. And I thought there is a. Whether he gets professionals in his pocket.

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S6: And here goes Dr. Parks. We wouldn’t have seen it. She was in the army. But here she goes. We’ve seen this before. You did not read it that way?

S11: No. And I’m not saying that she isn’t on the cusp of going over the edge, because, as you said. Who can forget? We’ll never forget. Dr. Jackson, the Navy doctor at the White House, just perspiring heavily through that press conference where he was just spinning the physical exam results for the president. But, yeah, so the president’s a very strong personality. He does he can subsume professional experts around him. And so the article I wrote was an open letter to the two doctors saying, look, you you’re in a critical position, in a sense, very figuratively. You are kind of being held hostage right now. And you’ve got to negotiate your way to all of our safety, our our safety and health. Not to overexaggerate is in the hands of these two doctors who are trying to convince Trump every single day to do the right thing. Just as someone who’s being held captive may have to every day negotiate for their survival and convince their captors not to kill them. So showing them figuratively would be knocking them off of the task force. We can’t have that at the minute these two experts get kicked out because they pissed off the president. We are all in jeopardy. So I saw Dr. Bourke’s as eduation public adulation of the president as a technique to survive. And I wanted to call that out and put that in there in my open letter gives them basic tips. Hostage negotiation 1 0 1 4 Birks.

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S8: And thank you for staying alive and buying time that will help save all of us because life and death of a career. You know, we’ve had people who first deputized themselves to trump it like Anthony Scarum Luchi on the show, and then came around realizing that, you know, telling the truth would be better for his career than falling under the spell of Trump. Same with Rex Tillerson and others. But this isn’t just a case of the careers of Devon, Burke said in Anthony Foushee. They don’t seem like careerists going forward. This is a life or death situation.

S5: And, you know, disinformation and denial do kill in this case.

S7: Yeah. It’s funny because while many people commented on my Vanity Fair piece of saying, oh, this is satire, this is funny. Well, well done.

S11: Hey, I have to tell you, it was only partially tongue in cheek. I’m not kidding when I say I do see similarities between life and death. Hostage negotiation and what’s going on right now. And it gives us not only insights into Dr. Foushee and Bourke’s as they try to work him masterfully to do the right thing. It gives us even more insight into President Trump, because look at the look at the adulation he requires of the governors that he’s on a call with almost every day. Look at the comments he’s made at press conference about you have to be nice to me all. You have to appreciate me. They don’t sufficiently appreciate me. You know, I don’t like this governor. He you know. So if they have learned quickly these two doctors and know perhaps every governor of every state, that if you don’t press the right buttons and stroke the president’s ego in the governor’s case, you might not get the ventilators you need in the doctor’s case. You might not get the president ordering the public health mandates that we require to survive. One of the things that’s critical in surviving a hostage scenario is convincing your captor that he needs you as much as you need him. And so the value in somebody like Bourke’s and Foushee convincing the president and I think he’s got it now. I think he’s got it that the public wants to see them. The public needs to hear from them.

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S10: And if he gets so upset with them, pushing back on him that he dismisses them and the public loses sight of them, he’s going to ultimately lose himself. So they’ve they seem to have convinced him that you need us. You need us because the public wants you to win. The public needs to stay healthy. And the public needs to believe that you’re consulting with experts. Now, he doesn’t like it because you can see it when he keeps referring to them as they become stars. Right. Hey, Tony, you’ve become a big star, but that’s OK. Look, I’m struggling with our stardom because it either outshine me. But that’s OK.

S8: You know, it is interesting also that Trump thinks in terms of fame at a time like this. I mean, no one seems less eager for fame to me than Anthony Foushee. I mean, he just he just just does not seem like he’s looking for it. This is a bid for a Dancing with the Stars appearance. He seems pretty eager to get back to Madison. You know, same with perks. I mean, it’s funny because these are almost the equivalent of the public servants we saw civil servants we saw during the impeachment. Just add a whole different kind of person focused on the integrity of their work and their career and their sense of service.

S5: It just it’s just a whole different animal.

S12: You’re welcome. And it’s an animal that Trump is lacks the ability to understand because he’s in it.

S13: Transactionally for everything he does. And the notion of a public servant or a physician who simply is there to heal is foreign to him. And the irony of this is that those of us who served in the intelligence community saw this day coming, the day where Trump’s disdain for the intelligence professionals disdained for career professionals, damaging attributions of our government would catch up to him and it would hurt all of us. And here we are with a president who now has to rely almost solely on career professionals, whether it’s the Army Corps of Engineers or FEMA or the folks at HHS or DHS. And now to doctors who simply want to save people’s lives. He now has no choice but to rely on those deep state career professionals that, yes, he castigated for three years and also told said we’re lying in the intelligence community.

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S8: And, you know, he went after the FBI. You know, just savagely after the FBI, CIA, Justice Department to see how much he needs them now, because we’re finally to what he recognizes on some part of his brain as a life or death issue and certainly a critical to his re-election. And maybe it doesn’t matter how he sees it. Maybe it doesn’t matter. You know what he actually believes about the virus? Whether he’s in denial about it or whether he thinks that, you know, nurses are hoarding PPE, know whatever his private demons are about this thing.

S5: The fact that those doctors are still there is a credit to it was you say a credit to how they’re playing it. And I’ve really come around to this idea that in this particular case, not Lindsey Graham, not Mike Pence, not, you know, everyone is bowing and scraping before the Dear Leader so they can keep their jobs or maybe get their tax cuts. But this is a case where their own oath, professional oath, the Hippocratic oath and everything else that doctors commit themselves to is what they’re loyal to first. And that seems quite clear. And the rest of the language, the adulation, it’s like you say, buying time. So tell us about buying time. Because that is an interesting idea that seems to have implications both for kidnapers and for this flattening the curve idea that we’re trying to trying to accomplish with the virus.

S9: Absolutely. In a Vanity Fair piece, I talk about what hostage negotiators refer to as a reasonable delay. So when you’re negotiating for a ransom or a return of hostages, you want to slow the process down because people do very emotional rash things that are often the wrong things when they do it too quickly.

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S14: So a great example of this now with with Trump is the fact that he initially came out and said we’re all going to be back up and run. But Easter Sunday, the hostage scenario, that would be that horrible call that a family gets when a family members kidnapped and the guy on the other end says, if I don’t have money, by the end of the day, I’m going the hostages. OK, so now you’ve got to buy time. You have to buy time. And it’s about survival. And so what you things you would say to that captor are, I have to call my bank. I don’t have that much money on hand.

S11: The banks are closed today. I’m going to get it. But let’s talk about how you’re going to receive the money. All of this. And I have to get back to you. I have to talk to my team. All of this buys time and calms your captors down. Same thing for Easter Sunday. They likely behind the scenes said, look, I understand. And then they did have an amazing save face saving move. Right. They said, sir, I am. I’m sure that what you’re talking about is aspirational. We love your vision. We love your. Your hope for the future. We get it. But the data indicates that people could die if we pack churches on Easter Sunday.

S5: Yeah. You point out and I think you’re absolutely right that Foushee saying not saying about the Easter claim. Not saying that this is a lie. Right. Temple bash back at anything that sounds like it’s critical of him. As we see we’ve seen him deal with reporters. I mean, you know, bash bash back like playground taunts, like beauty by wise guy. You’re mean, but not saying it’s a lie, but not backing it up and saying, you know, it trumps. Absolutely right. We’ll be back at Easter. But aspirational. What is that? That’s somewhere between. It was a spin on you call it masterful by Foushee. And I think you’re right, it was a way to take Trump. I think this is the second time that Trump. Has tried to make the claim that the word hope when he uses it is simply an expression of hope. So remember, I hope you can see your way clear to letting Mike Flynn go. That’s right. Call me right. Except you know that when a thug says, I hope he’s saying you better do this. But Foushee, if managed to turn it into aspirational and Trump likes to be aspirational. Right. Like he’s rich and whatever.

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S9: Well, I’m not I’m not sure he understands the definition of aspirational. It’s a it’s a big word for him. But but it sounded good to him because it saved face for him. And even Pence has been using that phrase aspirational. He’s also in a trick bag.

S11: The reporters every day who are hammering him on. Hey. That you said this three weeks ago. You said this two days ago and it was wrong. Well, OK. But is that helping us all survive? Is ticking him off, helping us survive? And I hate that we’re in this position, but that’s where we are.

S8: So he partly I mean, the way the kind of terror and since you’ve dealt I mean, hostage taking seems like an act, potentially an act of terror. But the kind of his caprice is the thing that from the beginning I’ve thought was one of the worst things about his tyranny that he studies on The Apprentice, act like he was going to fire one person and then a last minute point over there and say he’s gonna fire this other person.

S5: It’s like, you know, like a like it good in Goodfellas, the you know, the like, do I amuse you? Do you think I’m funny? You’re like, is this guy get to shoot me in the head or is he joking? And Trump doing that all the time means that really does have to be neutralized. You know, he it seems like at any minute like a kidnapper, he could just decide, I’m sick of these hostages and I’m going to shoot all of them and withhold all the ventilators. I don’t know if you heard the podcast about the snipers in DC, but there they were negotiating. Probably people, you know, were negotiating with the D.C. sniper. And on the phone, they were doing exactly what you advise. You know, just they knew that these guys were threatening to kill again at the drop of a hat. So they cannot be seen drawing a line line in the sand saying, no, you’re not going to do it. Go all right, do it. Yeah, a lot of just kind of slowing you down. Some of the language is a little bit bullshit.

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S10: Absolutely. And so that gets me to what Foushee and Bergs have to be doing separate and apart from their interface with Trump. And that is what hostage negotiators do is they hold himself away in a quiet place with whiteboards on the wall and they start planning for the next question or ransom demand. And the one after that and the one after that. And they have to anticipate what’s coming and they have to have a ready response for it. So as I say in the article, yeah, look, the Easter thing came and went, yes, you succeeded. But there’s another demand coming. It could be April 30th. Right. And are you planning have you planned your response or how you convinced him that if the data is is bad for April 30th, then how you talk him out of that and how you save face for him and what’s the next ridiculous thing he’ll propose? And do you have a response for that? And then I talk about having a single communicator in any kidnap ransom. We always tell the family or the company, the victim company, pick one person to do all the communicating, will coach that person behind the scenes. And by the way, that person should not be the final decision maker, because if you put the CEO of, let’s say, a company executives been kidnapped and you put the CEO of the company on the line with the negotiator, well, he is the final decision maker. And that’s a problem because you can no longer build in reasonable delay. You can’t get back to you. I’m the guy. You don’t want it. So I suggest that Bourke’s who seems to be a favorite right now. BNZ threatening.

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S11: Yeah. Yeah. Less threatening. And that’s the one who talks to the president. And you can even have a good cop. Bad cop.

S8: I see that going on with Foushee and Bourke’s to frame this as a letter to Bourke’s and Foushee advice to them about how to handle their captor in order to create a reasonable delay.

S5: I’m also persuaded, by the way, that this reasonable delay language is so much like flattening the curve, you know, kicking the can down the road. How can we how can we stop this thing from escalating to a place where we don’t have the resources to address it? And so build up the resources. That’s Cuomos always telling us and aim to flatten the number of cases and fatalities and that kind of what? It’s sort of it’s just such a fragile balance. But doing that, thinking Trump, you know, our resources as a nation and Bourke’s and Fouchier’s, as you know, just just mortals who have a lot of. Nation that we desperately need are also trying to do that, trying just to draw this out so we can save lives, you know. So Trump doesn’t lose it. Keep making him feel appreciated on some kind of trivial level while also pursuing the need for more resources to the states.

S14: You’re absolutely right that flattening the curve is the equivalent of buying time. And that’s what we need to do now. I will tell you, yesterday’s press conference, we saw nobody but Trump speak. He got upset with Michelle Synder and he stormed off. And I don’t know if that was planned or unplanned, but I if I’m if I was running an FBI hostage scenario and I saw the captor hang up the phone, essentially on on the negotiators, which is what happened yesterday, we didn’t get to hear from Felcher and Birks.

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S10: I would become concerned about where that relationship’s going. So we have to watch that very, very carefully.

S5: Like many of us I’ve been in, I don’t I wouldn’t go so far as enchanted, impressed by Governor Andrew Cuomo s leadership in this time. And I know I’m not alone, but one of the things he does and one of the things that used to impress me until I read your read your article is how what a hard line he draws with Trump. Trump is calling him out, wiseguy, talking about making basically a leper colony of the state of New York and is clearly addled by Cuomo. And yet he continues to mostly call out Trump’s deceptions. He you know, he gives. I don’t know exactly if it’s gratitude where it’s due, but more like he will note when the president has done something to help the country and the state of New York. But he. But mostly, you know. Keyes, he said the other day, you know, the truth can be can be disconcerting. It can be depressing in so many ways. But the worst thing is the feeling you’re being deceived. And he sort of thought that feeling your being being deceived would be bad for our public health. You know that we’re being lied to. All right. That said, you’re saying a little bit of this kind of flattery and managing up by Deborah Burk’s could be a good thing.

S7: Yeah, I think our survival depends on it. You mentioned Governor Cuomo first from a leadership and crisis management perspective. He’s doing virtually everything right. I mean, it is absolutely all of my training and experience in my FBI crisis management experiences reflect that Cuomo’s doing the right thing.

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S5: And how is he so good at this? I mean, just maybe take a little detour before we get back to Bourke’s and Foushee. What do you notice about him as a leader? That is that is so powerful, because since I don’t know the tricks of the trade, I’m just watching saying this is exactly the information I need to feel. He says, empowered in my own life, empowered to ideally do service, to make good decisions about my health and to see what’s ahead.

S10: Yeah. So there’s three basic tenets of crisis management that good leaders really exercise. One is they tell their people, I’m never going to lie to you, even when the truth is unpleasant, you’re always going to get the truth from me. Number two, we’re gonna have to make some very hard calls and I’m going to need all of us to pitch in and implement those hard to see number three. I don’t have all the answers, but when I don’t have the answers, I’m going to consult with the experts. And they’re going to shape my decisions. And Cuomo’s doing every single one of those. And Trump has really not been doing any of those and continues to put out disinformation.

S8: The last thing you say in the piece is pretty much the only thing that the lay person really comes to mind when we think about hostages, the Stockholm Syndrome. And you caution against it. If Foushee and Bourke’s aren’t allowed on the stage when they do something to displease their captor, or are they? They seem to be taking too much attention or the captor just gets in a bad mood like Trump does. They might start craving his approval and it would look less like they’re managing him and more like they’re identifying with him to try to survive. And you say don’t let that happen to you. How does a hostage not let that happen to them when they’re trying very much to manage him? You know, you see this sometimes in a spouse married to someone abusive that, you know, on the one hand, they’re trying to manage him or her on the other. They’re still have so much empathy for them that they’re identified with their abuser.

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S9: So they have some good news in this regard. And first of all, the Stockholm Syndrome is absolutely a valid survival mechanism of the human side. When someone is totally responsible for every morsel of food that comes through your mouth, I mean, imagine think back to the Patty Hearst kidnapping where the SLA kidnapped her. They were responsible for every spoonful of food that went into her mouth. They were brainwashing her. The air that she. Breeze, the sunlight that she saw.

S10: And when that happens, it’s the natural human tendency to say, I have to survive. I am going to come over to your side. You almost can’t help it from happening. The good news here is that Foushee and Bourke’s go home at night. They don’t you emphasized earlier they don’t need this job. They’re perfectly fine without this job. They’ve got their own lives and families, and they can provide distance, critical, important distance from their captor every single day. They get to talk on TV. So I don’t see that kind of utter reliance to two to literally survive. That kicks it triggers Stockholm syndrome. I don’t see that happening. A lot of people accused Dr. Bourke’s of that when she was praising the president. But I don’t see it that way now. I will say they understand their role is linked to the safety and in life and death of the public. And they they understand what they’ve got to get done and that a technique might be to align yourself with him on a on a very superficial way. But I don’t see the true danger of Stockholm in that they are not physically reliant on him to live for a very rigorous model and an alarming one, because you’re talking about hostages and captors and the present United States.

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S5: This is actually an optimistic one that Foushee and Bourke’s still have their sovereignty as doctors, as medical professionals, professionals, as researchers, and have a life outside of Trump. They don’t depend on him entirely for survival. And so ideally, they can keep their heads clear another day. Right. If that’s all we can hope for another day.

S7: Yeah. I think there’s room for optimism here.

S10: The other and again, on a national and even geopolitical level, there’s room for optimism, because the more Trump gets pressured by the public, the public polling, there’s some reporting out of The New York Times, for example, that his decision to extend the Easter Sunday thing was about some private polling that was going on from his team where they found out the public thought, hey, this is not the best idea in the world. And as he hears hears it from other leaders, we’ve heard that in Russia, Putin’s ordered stay at home throughout his nation as he sees that going on. He’s going to go he’s going to feel that kind of peer pressure to do what needs ever needs to be done for whatever reason. The other cause for hope here. And I know this is going to sound twisted is when you’re in a real life hostage negotiation sometimes. And it’s really a desperate, desperate measure because it could go horribly wrong. But you if if you’ve lost that captor in that dialogue with him, you might bring in a trusted person from his life that can talk to him. You know, TV and movies, you’ll see get his mother, get his wife, get his priest in here. It’s really dangerous and it’s frowned upon because you just lose control at that point sometimes. But we’re beginning to see him reference. We’ve seen it twice now. The president referenced, quote, unquote. I have a friend who’s very sick from this. And that person yesterday he referred to this guy now being in a coma. We are male or female. I don’t know. I think it was a male reference. It means that this is beginning to touch him personally. And I’m not saying, again, I don’t think he has any signs of empathy, but rather, holy cow, somebody I know is dying from this. And if that makes it more personal, it’s the equivalent of bringing mom in to talk to you. I hate to say this, but the fact that he’s got a personal acquaintance that’s dying from this makes it more likely that he may do the right thing.

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S15: My guest today has been Frank LOUSIE. He’s a former FBI assistant director and contributor to NBC News. Thanks so much for being here, Frank. My pleasure. Thanks for having me. That’s it for today’s show. Hey, what did you think? Say hi to us on Twitter from your backyard to ours. I’m page 88. We’re parting from my bedroom. The show is at Real Comcast. Thank you so much for joining us, Slate Plus members. Our show today was produced by Melissa Kaplan with engineering help from Richard Stanozolol. I’m Virginia Heffernan. Thanks for listening to Trump Cast.