These are my continuing highlights from the American Conservative Union’s (ACU) Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). I am capturing as many cogent remarks by the speakers as possible in order to convey the highlights to readers. I previously posted my notes from the early morning Thursday session here, here, and here and Day 2 Part I here and Part II here.
From “The Coup: Spygate” session, with Dan Bongino and Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA):
- Bongino: An interesting new development with Joseph Mifsud. George Papadopoulos actually offered to help the FBI [to locate Mifsud], according to his 302s (FBI investigation summaries).
- Nunes: The sentencing memorandum lied to the court, saying P-dop wasn’t helping the FBI.
- Bongino: Isn’t it interesting that Mifsud was the guy who started the whole Russian collusion thing has been out of the country and never seen again?
- Nunes: They used the Mifsud incident to open up surveillance on the entire Trump campaign but weren’t looking for him before the Crossfire Hurricane counterintelligence investigation began even though he was is the US until 31 July 2016.
- Bongino: Mifsud had connections to other Western intelligence agencies. No official channels were used to open up the investigation (they used back channels – FVEY).
- Nunes: There are tried and true FVEY processes in place for information-sharing and coordination. They used FVEY processes for rumors, not for intelligence information for which the system was designed.
- Bongino: Was the case isolated to HQ so that the FVEY channel would not be exposed to others who would have questioned its use? Quite possibly.
- Bongino: LTG Flynn had warned about the threat of rogue intelligence operations.
- Nunes: One of the important things we wanted to do during the transition was to get rid of the intelligence community swamp. Flynn wanted to downsize the NSC and push people out to the field.
- Bongino: Is anybody going to be locked up for this?
- Nunes: I get this question every single day. The person who really wants people held accountable is the president. The second person who wants them accountable is me. We’re doing what we can in the House to provide referrals to the Justice Dept. I have faith that John Durham is going to get to the bottom of this.
From the “A Conversation with Director Larry Kudlow (WH National Economic Council) and Ivanka Trump (advisor to the President), moderated by Matt Schlapp (ACU Chairman):
- Kudlow: The world is not coming to an end. The highest priority for the President is the safety and security of Americans. The objective is to make the coronavirus a low-risk, not a high-risk proposition. So far, the numbers coming in on the economy. Personal investment and other economic numbers are up even today. The virus is not going to seek the American economy. What will sink it is the socialism coming from the Democrats. That’s my biggest fear. President Trump is prepared to show why the American model of free enterprise will whip socialism every time.
- Ivanka: The last three years have shown the benefits of capitalism. Our economy is the envy of the world.
- Kudlow: If you think massive tax hikes and a return to high regulations is going to help the economy, you are dead wrong. The Democrats are claiming the middle class is getting killed; they are exactly wrong. The greatest example of cognitive dissonance that I have ever seen. We are in the midst of a great blue-collar boom, with income equality being reduced. Presidnet Trump believes that success should be rewarded not punished.
- There is a snowflake boom. More millennials are working today than ever before.
- Ivanka: For the first time in history, there are more women in the workforce than men. Out of all of the new jobs added last year, 70% were jobs filled by women. We have incredibly low unemployment rates across every demographic. Low unemployment is leading businesses to pull the chronically unemployed into the workforce, and they’re implementing programs to train new workers. Over 400 companies have committed to retraining opportunities for 15,000,000 workers. Our goal is to reduce dependence and increase self-reliance.
- Kudlow: We have 6,000,000 more Americans who are chronically under-employed who need to be brought back into the workforce (before we reach out people for new legal immigrants). The stakes are high to retain the President’s pro-business policies, which would all be reversed by a Democrat administration. Growth solves a lot of problems. Growth makes people happier. We may be on the verge of the biggest export boom in the last 40-50 years. You’re not going to get there with a $100 trillion spending program and with massively increased taxes across the board.
- Ivanka: These new trade deals were the Trump vision. USMCA is the largest trade deal in history.
- Kudlow: Capitalism is a winner, and President Trump is going to show that fact during the campaign ahead. When you’re strong at home, you’re strong abroad. No matter what the newspapers might say, America is restored as the world’s leader.
- Ivanka: We are blessed to live in this country. Many have sacrificed so that we can enjoy that privilege. And the best is yet to come.
From the “What’s Mine is Mine and What’s Yours is Mine: Does IP Matter?” session, with Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA), Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), and Laura Peter (US Patent and Trademark Office), moderated by Dan Schneider (ACU):
- Peter: Intellectual property is a key right akin to real property that empowers growth in jobs and the economy into global markets. Intellectual property development supports 45 million jobs in the United States.
- McClintock: You have a right to the fruit of your own labor – that is what Abraham Lincoln, the founder of the Republican Party believed. There needs to be protection for intellectual property that is balanced with economic growth, which is why IP rights are granted for a period of time not in perpetuity.
- Schneider: Only authors and inventors have rights to their work – this is in the Constitution.
- Perry: The Chinese will use any means possible to steal intellectual property. They don’t have personal intellectual property rights. We spent $40B in developing the C-17 aircraft; the Chinese spent about $400,000 to steal the plans and the associated intellectual property. Also the F-22, the rail gun, hypersonic technology, etc., to the tune of over $600 billion worth of technology.
- Perry: Chinese does not respect our property rights. They are prepared to obtain our intellectual property via any means possible – legally or illegally. 5G is the first step, but we won’t get to 6G if you let Huawei capture the 5G infrastructure. They wish to interdict our military weapons capability “left of launch” by controlling the networks.
- McClintock: President Trump is right to incorporate intellectual property protections in Phase I of the China trade deal.
- Peter: We are bringing more clarity into the patenting process to make applying for patents easer to achieve.
- Perry: The Chinese view us as the enemy. There should be reciprocity. If the Chinese won’t allow American students to study in China, we shouldn’t allow Chinese students to study here (as one example). China is not a reliable actor and cannot be trusted. They get to participate in our financial markets, but we’re not allowed to participate in theirs.
- McClintock: Our respect for intellectual property rights has provided the framework for the most innovative and successful economy that the world has ever seen.
This ends Day 2, Part III. Tomorrow will be a big day, as President Trump is scheduled to speak in the afternoon (the final day of CPAC 2020).