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With the Iowa caucuses less than two weeks away, the Democratic primary increasingly seems like a two-way contest between former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. The latest polls show Biden leading in Iowa and Sanders leading nationally, and calls are getting louder for the lower-tier candidates to drop out and allow support to coalesce around the leaders. Despite failing to poll above 4 percent nationally, California billionaire and philanthropist Tom Steyer insists that he still has a path to the nomination, citing relatively strong recent polls in Nevada and South Carolina. Analysts estimate that Steyer’s campaign has already spent over $100 million on radio, TV, and digital advertising since launching back in July. Mehdi Hasan talks to the candidate about what he’s getting for all that money, and whether it might be better spent on House and Senate races around the country.

Mehdi Hasan: Is there an upper limit to how much you’re willing to spend on this presidential race before you give up?

Tom Steyer: I will give up if I don’t think I can win. And I think I can —

MH: How much are you willing to spend?

TS: I think that I’m the person who can take on Mr. Trump on the economy which is what he’s running on.

MH: I appreciate that. I’m asking how much you’re willing to spend, Tom?

TS: I’m the person who can get on the stage with him, and take him down.

MH: Got it, how much are you willing to spend, Tom? Tom, we’re going to run out of time. Tom, how much are you willing to spend? Is there an upper limit?

[Music interlude.]

MH: Welcome to Deconstructed. I’m Mehdi Hasan. Is a billionaire the right person to take on Donald Trump in November and beat him? My guest today certainly thinks so.

TS: We have a broken government in Washington D.C. It’s been bought by corporations and that’s the question, can we break the corporate stranglehold on our government and take back government of by and for the people?

MH: That’s Democratic presidential candidate, liberal billionaire and philanthropist Tom Steyer, who’s made fighting climate change and corporate control of Washington his signature issues, but given he’s polling at 2% nationally and 3% in Iowa, is this anything other than a vanity campaign? I’ll ask him.

Newscaster: Seventeen days to the Iowa caucuses.

Newscaster: Today we’re just two weeks away from the Iowa caucuses and tensions between the Democratic candidates are broiling.

Newscaster: Just 13 days to the Iowa caucuses.

Newscaster: Iowa caucuses are really right around the corner at this point…

MH: We are, as of right now, 12 days away from the Iowa caucuses, the first real contest of the Democratic primary season.

And a new CNN poll out this week has Bernie Sanders surging nationally – he’s now leading, with 27% of registered voters who are Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents, compared to Joe Biden’s 24%. He even leads Biden among non-white voters, too. Diverse and growing support for the socialist senator from Vermont. So much for that tired “Bernie Bros” narrative that much of the mainstream media has been obsessed with for the past five years.

Sanders’ staffers and surrogates online have been going after Joe Biden’s awful record on Social Security in recent days; his clear history of supporting cuts, and trims, and freezes, to the Social Security Budget, but, as I said to one of them on Twitter, wouldn’t it have been better if their candidate himself had gone after Biden over this at the last debate? I mean, I don’t know about you but I am so annoyed and frustrated that Biden has managed to get through the past six months of debates without any of his rivals or any of the moderators bringing up his support for cutting Social Security, or his pushing of the bankruptcy bill or his sponsorship of the crime bill. No mention of it.

And when Bernie surrogate Zephyr Teachout, the anti-corruption expert and lawyer, earlier this week wrote a Guardian op-ed rightly pointing out how corrupt it was for Biden to push that bankruptcy bill through the Senate while he was getting money from the credit card industry and while his son Hunter was working for the credit card industry, Bernie went and apologized to Biden on her behalf. Why? Why?

Oh, and this is is how Biden repaid Bernie for that apology, by putting out this online ad:

Announcer: As Democrats, we can’t launch dishonest attacks against fellow Democrats. We have to beat Donald Trump. Now Bernie’s campaign has unleashed a barrage of negative attacks on Joe Biden.

MH: This is madness. It’s an election campaign. Democrats need to be less afraid of their own shadows. Stop being big babies. Stop the apologizing and the pearl-clutching. Take the gloves off and start taking each other on. I mean, do these people who are urging civility and refusing to critique each other’s records realize that one of them has to go up against Donald Trump in a few months, assuming Trump isn’t convicted and removed in the Senate — yeah, right — they have to go up against Trump, when civility won’t help them and when Trump and the GOP will definitely use their political records against them? Why not get ready for it now? Make sure that the candidates, especially Biden, have been battle-tested, have been fully examined and vetted in these primaries?

My guest today is one of those candidates. He was on stage last week in Iowa, one of the six Democratic presidential candidates making their case there. Although you might remember him for what happened after the debate, when he unknowingly walked into the middle of Sanders and Warren rowing on stage on open mics.

Elizabeth Warren: I think you called me a liar on national TV.

Bernie Sanders: Let’s not do it right now. You want to have that discussion, we’ll have that discussion.

EW: Anytime.

BS: You called me, you told me — Alright, let’s not do it now.

TS: I don’t want to get in the middle, I just want to say hi, Bernie.

BS: Yeah, good. Okay.

MH: I just want to say hi, Bernie. That still cracks me up. And of course, that moment instantly turned Tom Steyer into a viral meme on social media. Yes, candidate Tom Steyer, billionaire, former finance guy, environmentalist, philanthropist, a big donor to both liberal and progressive causes, and to the Democratic Party over the years. A nice guy. So why is he spending millions and millions of dollars on a quixotic, I think it’s fair to say, presidential campaign when he could be better spending that money on anti-malaria campaigns in Africa, or on anti-Republican Senate campaigns here in the U.S.? Since declaring his candidacy for President last July, according to advertising analytics, which tracks political commercials, Steyer has burned through more than $128 million dollars on television, cable, radio, and digital ad buys more than any other candidate in the field, with the exception of his fellow billionaire Michael Bloomberg. $128 million on ads, which I find astonishing, and I’ll be honest, pretty horrific. I don’t think I’d be able to sleep at night if I had $128 million to spare, and I just wasted that much money on a pointless pipe dream rather than putting it to good use.

But maybe that’s just me. Tom thinks he can win, don’t laugh. And he has to be fair to him a very ambitious political and economic and above all else, climate agenda that he wants us all to get behind. He’s been on the show before, you remember last May, talking impeachment, because Tom’s also the founder of the Need to Impeach online advocacy group and petition. But I thought this week, it’d be worth having him back on Deconstructed to deconstruct his candidacy, why he’s running. What’s the point? How can he justify spending so much? And is he really the best candidate on climate change, as he so often claims?

[Music interlude.]

MH: Tom Steyer, thanks for joining me on Deconstructed.

TS: Mehdi, it’s a pleasure to be with you.

MH: Great to have you back on the show. Tom, I mentioned to a few friends, colleagues, listeners of the podcast that you were coming on the show this week. And almost every single one of them said to me ask Tom why he stares down the barrel of the cameras while he’s talking on TV during the debates? Someone on Twitter said you look like you’re in a hostage video when you do that. Why do you do that, Tom?

TS: The audience is the American people. In fact, those debates are really a chance to talk directly to millions of Americans. So that’s exactly why I do it. I want to be as direct as possible to explain what I stand for, who I am and why I’m different from everybody else who’s running for president.

MH: Fair enough.

TS: So, that’s what you have to do is look somebody in the eye and be straightforward —

MH: And the ever present plaid tie, is there some story to that? Is it good luck? A gift from your grandmother?

TS: Well, there’s a series of them actually, Mehdi, and I’ve been wearing them for 25 years because when I get up in the morning, I’d like to be wearing something cheerful, bright, and remind myself that this is a fantastic place to go out in the world and have some fun.

MH: Fair enough. So Tom, you’re in these debates, you made the final cut on stage of six candidates last week in Iowa. A big deal, I think, and yet you told me last year when you were on the podcast, back in May, I think that you had no plans to run for president. Why are you running for president now?

TS: Mehdi, I was listening to those early debates when I wasn’t running for president and I felt very upset because I felt nobody was leveling with the American people. I felt like nobody was saying that it’s not a question of which health care plan, which Green New Deal, which anti-gun violence program and on and on that you’re for. The question is, how are you going to get any of it done? And basically, we have a broken government in Washington, D.C. It’s been bought by corporations. And that’s the question, can we break the corporate stranglehold of our government and take back government of, by and for the people. I’ve been fighting on that for 10 years, organizing Americans to take on unchecked corporate power and winning, and I was listening to people discuss it as if, you know, the nuances of policy are actually the question here. The question here is, who will take on the corporations and win, and as an outsider who’s been doing it for 10 years, I feel like I’m someone who can do that.

MH: So, I totally agree with your analysis and I think a lot of listeners of this podcast would too. You’ve said that line before about the government being broken. You said it in the debate last week that it’s been bought by corporations. You said a moment ago, there’s a corporate stranglehold on the government. It’s something Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren often say, as well. But they don’t just say corporations have bought the government. They say billionaires have as well, billionaires. Is the reason you don’t say that you only mention corporations and not billionaires, because you’re a billionaire yourself?

TS: No, it’s not. In fact, if you go around and see who is sending lobbyists every single day into elected officials offices, it’s actually corporations. It’s not, you know, if you go —

MH: It’s not the Koch brothers.

TS: The Koch brothers are a corporation. They’re fighting for corporate, you know, for their corporate bottom line in every single way they can. It really, that’s a perfect example. There are people but obviously there are people in corporations like — By the way, there’s only one surviving Koch brother. But, you know, that’s a perfect example. They’re fighting for their corporate rights against people. And so I do think that it really does come down to these corporate interests that are taking over the government and that — Look, if you look at the other people were talking about this. I’m the only person who will talk about term limits of 12 years for senators and congresspeople. I’m willing to restructure Washington, D.C. I have no allegiance to the power structure. I’ve been an outsider. I’ve been, you know, fighting politically for 10 years as an outsider.

MH: But this line about wanting to restructure D.C. and being an outsider, it was a line that Trump used in 2016. He did run as a kind of outsider billionaire. Why do you think the American people want to swap one anti-establishment billionaire in the White House for another?

TS: Because actually, I’m completely different from Donald Trump. The fact that he said something, he was really saying drain the swamp, as you’ll remember, Mehdi.

MH: Yes, he’s filled it.

TS: And you want to know something, he was saying basically the government’s broken. It’s corrupt. It doesn’t care about the people of the United States. He was right. The difference is, he turned out to be the biggest swamp rat. He didn’t drain the swamp.

MH: Indeed.

TS: He deepened the swamp. If you look, I have a history —

MH: But given what he did —

[Crosstalk.]

TS: — Actually fighting corruption and beating corporations.

MH: I get that. But given what he did, I’m just wondering, you must surely see that it’s problematic for you and your candidacy, that a lot of Americans rightly or wrongly, will say, “Okay, we had this billionaire. He came in. He didn’t make things better. He made things worse. Why would we want another billionaire to take on what you rightly call the corporate stranglehold on the government?” Why not go with a non-billionaire to do that?

TS: Because if you want someone to change Washington, D.C., you have to ask, who actually will do it? Is it someone from the outside who has no allegiance to it? Or is it somebody from inside the beltway? But if you talk about actual change, and the example I use is 12-year term limits for congresspeople and senators. There’s no one. No career politician will even say they’re against that, let alone being for it. It’s people —

MH: That’s a fair point.

TS: It’s absolutely true. I’m also talking about direct democracy, Mehdi, the idea that the people of the United States can pass our own laws if the Congress refused to. No one will even comment on that.

MH: Yeah and you also, to be fair to you while I had you on the show almost a year ago, you were also pushing for impeachment long before any of the D.C. Democrats were. I have a lot of respect for you on that.

TS: I started the Need to Impeach movement and they said it is not only wrong, it’s destructive.

MH: So here’s the thing, I like you, Tom. I get why your fellow billionaire — This is an important point here, important point. I really want to see if we can kind of meet some middle ground here. I get why your fellow billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York is running for president. I get his logic, his calculations. I don’t think he’s a nice guy. I think he’s an egomaniac, a megalomaniac, pretty awful record in New York, but I kind of get his calculation. You seem like a good guy. You have a record of donating to good causes, of backing, you know, the Democrats for much longer than Bloomberg has. How can you justify though dropping $128 million on television, radio, and digital ads when that money could be spent to end poverty or disease or hunger and you’re wasting it, Tom? You might as well pile up mountains of cash in your backyard and set them on fire.

TS: Well, I think I’m gonna win. That’s the difference. I’m the only person, Mehdi, who will make climate his number one priority. I’m the only person in this race who saying I will —

MH: I want to talk climate with you in a moment. Why do you think you can win, Tom Come on. You’re a smart guy. You’re polling at what 2% in today’s CNN poll nationally? you’re polling at what 3% in Iowa, New Hampshire? You can’t win. You’re not going to win and you’re wasting $128 million. Do you know that you could pay for what? We did a little study just before this interview: 25 million mosquito nets, 23 million cholera vaccinations, 16,000 water wells in Africa. I don’t know about you, Tom, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I knew I could do all that good around the world and I decided to spend that money on TV ads.

TS: Well, actually, I think that the issue here is politics. That in fact, I’m doing all of the grassroots work that I’ve always done in politics at the same time, that in fact, I think the issue here is a broken political system that’s threatening the whole world and the United States, the people of the United States, for sure. And if you look at before —

MH: I get all that, Tom, and I appreciate you’re sincere…

TS: Let me finish, Mehdi, I let you finish…

MH: I’m not a billionaire. I’m not a billionaire, Tom, like you.

[Crosstalk.]

TS: In the four early primary states I’m averaging 15%. I’m in third place, and I’ve been going up every week.

MH: Yeah, in South Carolina you’re doing very well but everywhere else you’re doing very badly. Come on.

[Crosstalk.]

MH: Tom, 2% nationally, you’ve been running for six months. Tom, you’ve been running for six months, you’re at 2% nationally. Let’s be real about your chances.

TS: I believe this is a series of state polls, Mehdi. Of state elections.

MH: Okay, in Iowa and New Hampshire, you’re at 3%.

TS: So, go through the first four states. Take a look at the numbers and understand that that’s those numbers — I’m in second place in South Carolina and third place in Nevada. That is actually what’s going on.

MH: Okay, let’s talk politics. Let’s talk politics, you would be a hero to the Democrats if you pulled out of this race and spent that $128 million on crucial Senate races in swing states that are so important to a future Democratic legislative agenda. Why not do that to make your impact in American politics?

TS: I am doing that. I started one of the largest grassroots organizations in the United States, Mehdi. Next Gen America in 2018 did the largest youth voter mobilization in American history. It’s still going. I’m still supporting it. We’re on campuses all over the United States of America, organizing young people to be registered and turn out. I’ve been doing that for years. In fact, Next Gen has a partnership with seven national labor unions and we’ve knocked on over 25 million doors over the last two election cycles, something called For Our Future. That’s still going on. I’m still supporting it. In fact, the things that you’re suggesting that I do, I am doing.

MH: I’m suggesting that your money could be either better spent globally helping poor people or domestically helping Senate races. I’m just wondering, is there an upper limit to how much you’re willing to spend on this presidential race before you give up?

TS: I will give up if I don’t think I can win. And I think I can —

MH: How much are you willing to spend?

TS: I think that I’m the person who can take on Mr. Trump on the economy which is what he’s running on.

MH: I appreciate that. I’m asking how much you’re willing to spend, Tom?

TS: I’m the person who can get on the stage with him, and take him down.

MH: I appreciate that. How much are you willing to spend on this race? Got it, how much are you willing to spend, Tom? Tom, we’re going to run out of time? Tom, how much are you willing to spend? Is there an upper limit?

TS: Mehdi, let me put it to you this way. I’m running because I think there’s something desperately wrong threatening Americans.

MH: So can I take that as there’s no upper limit to your spending?

TS: And I didn’t think anybody was saying things that would actually address it.

[Crosstalk.]

MH: I’m going to move on because we’re running out of time but I’m going to assume there’s no upper limit to your spending.

TS: Unlimited amount is how much I care about that.

MH: Fine.

TS: And so to me, the question is, what is the most effective thing I can do to address that? That’s the question I’ve asked myself for the last 10 years and that’s the question I’m asking now.

MH: Let’s talk about climate change. You often say in the debates, “I’m the only person on this stage who says climate is my number one priority.” But is that true, Tom? Bernie Sanders, for example, has said he’ll treat climate change, not just as a priority, but as a national emergency. He’s endorsed the Green New Deal very early on. He talks about climate change all the time. Why do you say you’re the only one?

TS: He will not say it’s his number one priority.

MH: Because he doesn’t have a number one. He says he’s not going to pick one. He’s going to do multiple things.

TS: He does have a number one priority. He has said that, in fact, Medicare for All is his number one priority.

MH: I believe he’s said that he doesn’t play that game and he’s going to do multiple things.

TS: And if you look at the Green New Deal, the Green New Deal is actually something that has to be passed by Congress. I’ve said I’d declare a state of emergency and use the emergency powers of the president.

MH: Okay.

TS: He was asked in Iowa last week, would you declare a state of emergency and he said “I would push for a congressional declaration.”

MH: That’s a good point.

TS: I’m saying I would do it using the emergency powers of the presidency and start going in on day one.

[Crosstalk.]

TS: It’s not his top priority and he won’t get going on it on day one. And in fact, it isn’t his top priority. And I don’t think if it’s not your top priority, you’re going to get it done. And that’s been my point.

MH: I think a great point that you’re making about the emergency powers and really trying to use the government to take on what is a real national emergency, not the Trump fake national emergency. Is it a problem for you, though, Tom, that Greenpeace USA recently ranked the Democratic presidential candidates on climate change, on their climate plans. You got an A minus congratulations. But Elizabeth Warren got A and Bernie Sanders came top with an A plus. So, in the eyes of the top environmental groups, you’re not the best guy on this issue. Bernie is. Even Warren’s better than you.

TS: But actually, if you can explain how somebody who’s going to make it his number one priority and declare a state of emergency on day one is not as good as someone for whom it’s not their top priority, and they’re going to take congressional license. The Congress has never passed a climate bill in 30 years. Let’s be clear, Mehdi.

MH: Yeah.

TS: So when you’re talking about, we’re going to pass the Green New Deal. Excuse me, really? That’s your point.

MH: So, Greenpeace USA is wrong to say Bernie and Warren have better plans than you?

TS: The Green New Deal could not be — I think that, in fact, what I’m talking about is the real world. What you’re talking about is a fantasy.

MH: I’m not talking about anything. I’m just citing — I’m not an environmental expert at all. I defer to you on this. I’m just telling you, Greenpeace USA have ranked Bernie and Warren higher than you.

TS: But if you want to actually deal with this, I have a policy that actually will deal with it effectively on day one, as the emergency it is, and what you’re talking about is something that in the real world is not going to meet the timing that Mother Nature is dictating to us. And I think if you go back and check, you will see that actually, I’m right. I’ve worked on this for 12 years.

MH: You have. You have and you’ve earned a lot of respect from people for your work on climate change.

TS: Go back and see which of these people has passed anything ever on climate and you’ve —

MH: Let me throw in a question, Tom. You made that point. Let me throw in a question. You have earned a lot of respect from people for your climate record, as I say you got an A minus grade from Greenpeace. But what about your own history as a hedge fund guy? A lot of people listen to the show know about your background in finance, investment in fossil fuel industries. You said at the debate last week that you had divested from fossil fuels a while ago. In September, though, you told reporters that you still had some holdings in fossil fuel industries, dregs, you called it. What’s the exact situation with you and fossil fuel investments as of right now, just to clarify for everyone listening?

TS: Look, I divested from it years and years ago. But in some places, if I have through a partnership that I don’t control have some residual, I promised that I would give that away. So, I’ve divested from it years ago, and if there’s some legal reason that I haven’t been able to I’ve said, I will give that away. So, I’ve done this, literally, almost a decade ago. I’m asking other Americans to come to the same conclusion I came to about 12 years ago, which is we need to move from a fossil fuel economy to a clean energy economy. And in fact, that’s exactly what I’ve been pushing for very successfully. And if you look at my record on this compared to anyone on that stage, and then tell me that oh, in fact, that they have a strong record, I challenge you to do that. And I challenge you to tell me exactly in real time, when you talk about clean energy and you talk about actually cleaning up the environment and actually saving the world, what we’re actually going to do, not what somebody is going to say, what’s actually going to happen to make things, to actually move to something that will affect greenhouse gas emissions.

MH: Tom, I agree with you. I’m glad you’re making these arguments.

TS: That actually does it.

MH: Tom, I agree with you. I’m glad you’re making these arguments on climate change. I just wish you didn’t have to spend $128 million to do that. We’re about to run out of time. But before we do, we’re in the middle of a Senate trial.

TS: Let me ask you a question, Mehdi. What is it worth it to you to save the world? Let me ask you that? What number do you put on that?

MH: Oh, I wouldn’t put a price tag on it, but I wouldn’t run for president myself knowing I couldn’t — I wouldn’t spend $128 million on a pointless presidential bid, Tom. That’s all I’m saying. You don’t think your bid is pointless. I respect that. But I think you and I both know deep down it is.

TS: You’re wrong on that, Mehdi, and let me ask you this —

MH: You’re at 2%, Tom and Iowa is a couple of weeks away.

TS: I have an actual plan to do this —

MH: I get that you have a plan, but you’re not polling at a level that you can win.

TS: — Tell me who has an actual plan that will really work in the real world in the time that we needed it to. Tell me. I’d love to hear it.

MH: So why don’t you take that plan and get behind one of the front runners and make them adopt it as their plan?

TS: Mehdi, you’re funny.

MH: Just a thought. Before we run out of time, Tom, impeachment, impeachment, Tom. You were one of the big driving forces behind impeachment on the left in Democratic circles in recent years. We had you on the show in May last year. You were making the case for impeachment. You set up Need to Impeach very early on. A couple of quick questions. Number one, do you take some credit for Trump getting impeached in the House? And number two, you told me last year on the show that you believed he would indeed be convicted and removed by the Senate. Do you still believe that will happen? Because I see no evidence at all 20 Republican Senator are about to turn on him. They won’t even agree to witnesses.

TS: I think eight and a half million people signed our petition, Need to Impeach. They didn’t just sign a petition. They also called their Congresspeople emailed their Congresspeople, texted their Congresspeople demanding that they call this most corrupt president in history to account. Do I give them credit? Yes, I do. Because I think that’s what really happened is that they, there were so many of them, that Congresspeople had to listen to their own constituents. And why do I think, why did I think he was going to get convicted? Because if in fact, they hold a trial, and put on the evidence in front of the American people, the American people are going to change their mind, and they’re going to say to Republican senators, get rid of him or we’ll get rid of you. And that’s the kind of language the Republican senators understand.

MH: But as of now, you don’t believe he’s gonna be convicted given this trial is so skewed in his favor?

TS: I want to see exactly what evidence gets in front of the American people because to me, it’s not a question about objective truth. Mr. Trump said, I can shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and it doesn’t matter. And that may be true with regards to Republican senators, but it isn’t true with regard to the American people. And if he shoots somebody on Fifth Avenue in New York, and the American people get evidence of it, they’re going to tell Republicans, Get rid of him.” And that’s the real question.

MH: I hope you’re right. I’m skeptical, but I hope you’re right before we finish, you went viral last week after the debate when you got stuck trying to say hi to Bernie as he and Elizabeth Warren were having it out live on TV at the end of that debate. Then you went viral on Monday, again, at an MLK event in South Carolina, where had this kind of awkward exchange with Bernie while you were dancing next to each other. What were you trying to say to him? And do you consider Bernie Sanders to be a friend?

TS: I like Bernie and both times I was just being polite to somebody who I’ve spent time with and who I agree with on some things and disagree, but always think, but I admire for what he’s trying to do. And so, sometimes these situations are a little awkward. That’s the way it goes. Both times I was really just being friendly to somebody I know.

MH: Bernie, of course things billionaires shouldn’t exist. Do you worry that he thinks that applies to you too?

TS: I think Bernie and I get along fine. I really do.

MH: Tom Steyer, thank you for coming on Deconstructed again. Appreciate you taking time out to answer my questions. Good luck with the campaign.

TS: Thank you, Mehdi, nice to talk to you.

[Music interlude.]

MH: That was Tom Steyer, billionaire environmentalist and philanthropist and Democratic presidential candidate, making the case for aggressively prioritizing and tackling the fight against runaway climate change. I think he’s right that the Green New Deal will struggle to get through Congress and the next Democratic president will have to take much stronger, much more outside the box executive action to tackle it. I just don’t think Tom’s going to be the Democratic president, nice guy that he is, and I don’t understand why he’s spending hundreds of million dollars on what will end up, let’s be honest, a failed campaign. But good luck to him.

That’s our show! Deconstructed is a production of First Look Media and The Intercept. Our producer is Zach Young. The show was mixed by Bryan Pugh. Our theme music was composed by Bart Warshaw. Betsy Reed is The Intercept’s editor in chief.

And I’m Mehdi Hasan. You can follow me on Twitter @mehdirhasan. If you haven’t already, please do subscribe to the show so you can hear it every week. Go to theintercept.com/deconstructed to subscribe from your podcast platform of choice, iPhone, Android, whatever. If you’re subscribed already, please do leave us a rating or review. It helps people find the show. And if you want to give us feedback, email us at [email protected] Thanks so much! See you next week.