Former Ambassador to Japan and Tennessee Republican Senate Candidate Bill Hagerty joined The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Thursday morning on the newsmakers line.
During the third hour, Hagerty discussed former Vice President Joe Biden’s involvement in the unmasking of General Michael Flynn and how he has deep ties to the Chinese Communist Party. Hagerty said his campaign is actively laying out a blueprint for bringing much-needed supply chains back to America.
Leahy: We are now joined by our friend former U.S. Ambassador to Japan and GOP Senate Candidate Bill Hagerty. Good morning Bill.
Hagerty: Good morning, it’s great to be back with you!
Leahy: I have to say something about Bill Hagerty, behind the scenes when we set up our interviews we always ask for a backup number just in case the person doesn’t call in. I’m not going to ever use your backup number Bill you know why? Because at 7:15 a.m. every time you are with us, boom! On the dot, there’s a call by Bill Hagerty. One of the traits that we are told often is that you are very punctual and very disciplined. I can attest to that fact because you are always on time.
Hagerty: You want a businessman, right? That’s how we operate. That’s one of the reasons the president has endorsed me for the U.S. Senate.
Leahy: Exactly. You need a businessman. You need that on-time approach. If you aren’t early you are late.
Leahy: Old Vince Lombardi time. Since we booked you big breaking news in Obamagate. It turns out that Vice President at the time Joe Biden was one of the Obama administration officials who asked to unmask Mike Flynn. How about that?
Hagerty: Indeed. Indeed. First Biden denied it. And then earlier this week on Good Morning America he said well maybe he did. Then we read the Wall Street Journal Report yesterday I’m sure that’s why you’re referring to and Biden is one of the 16 Obama officials for Flynn to be unmasked. I tell ya, whichever Obama official leaked Flynn’s name to the media committed a felony. They need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. And I think we need to find out what did Obama and Biden know and when did they know it.
Leahy: Yes. That whole chronology, the thing about Biden is I don’t even know if he remembers that he unmasked. (Chuckles)
Hagerty: Well that’s a point.
Leahy: (Chuckles) He also said something yesterday criticizing President Trump for going after China. He’s seriously said that. Unbelievable!
Hagerty: It is unbelievable. But I’d say that today as we are on this interview today we are releasing my plan to hold China accountable. It will be on my website at www.teamhagerty.com. It lays out our blueprint to hold China accountable for all this. The Chinese Communist Regime is still trying to stall the investigation of the origin of this Wuhan virus. And we’ve laid out a plan to hold them accountable on every measure.
Leahy: Joe Biden does not seem to recognize that China is an adversary. I mean he’s publicly stated that last year oh they are not a problem. And then yesterday he criticized the president for going after China. Plus, of course, Hunter Biden is involved in a business deal funded by the Bank of China which is owned by the Chinese Communist Party. That is awful hard to get over.
Hagerty: It is tough. When you have economic ties that run as deep as the Biden family’s ties do. I call him Beijing Biden. You remember that Hunter flew over with him on Air Force Two a government-funded excursion for Hunter and two weeks later he walks out with a very hard to get a license to do business there and a multi-billion dollar deal with the Chinese Communist-backed entity there.
Leahy: Yes. And it’s like they put a billion-plus into this fund that he was a managing partner of. The way that works is you make money off it just as a managing fee I think. It hasn’t all come out publicly.
Hagerty: There is a management fee and a carried interest on it and the numbers I’ve seen on the range between a billion and two and a half. It depends on who you ask.
Leahy: How can you say anything other than Joe Biden is compromised on China?
Hagerty: Well you’d say the same thing about Ukraine too and as the president has asked, I wonder what other countries they’ve ripped off.
Leahy: You were the former ambassador to Japan and part of being the ambassador has to do with where the embassy is. I note this is a two year anniversary of a very significant embassy movement.
Hagerty: Yes. It’s a very significant movement indeed. It’s the second anniversary of moving our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. President Trump promised to do that like so many before had but in this administration promises made, promises kept.
Leahy: Didn’t every American president for like half a century at some point during their campaign for president make that promise one way or the other?
Hagerty: Yes. That is correct. They did but none of them have been the type of president that we have today. A businessman who thinks outside the box. Again, I think that’s why he endorsed me to become the next U.S. Senator from Tennessee.
He likes my background and that sort of similarity of a business person who thinks outside the box. And with the movement in Israel, I think he demonstrated our support for Israel in a way that we’ve missed before. And I’ll tell you this, if I’m elected to the US Senate I’m going to stand with Israel just like the president has.
Leahy: It’s less than 90 days between now and the Republican primary of the US Senate on August 6. Tell us what you’re going to be doing and what you have been doing on the campaign trail?
Hagerty: The campaign has certainly shifted a tremendous amount. We have a tremendous business plan. When I came back we laid out a great business plan. We were meeting and exceeding every metric and then the shutdown of the economy occurred. I had my team focused on volunteer work.
We have a great field staff who’ve been running errands and helping people that are shut in with pharmacy and supermarket runs. That sort of thing. We spent a lot of time working on the tornado recovery in both down in the Chattanooga area and certainly across Middle Tennessee, Cookeville, and all the way down to Mt. Juliet.
What I’ve been doing with my time the president has appointed me to the White House Economic Recovery Taskforce. I’ve been spending a great deal of time there advising the president on getting our economy back open. One of the most critical aspects of my job there and working with a great team of people to do this is putting in place the plan to get our supply chain back from China.
You can ask anybody on the street today and they would say we should not be dependent on China for critical things like our pharmaceuticals. Do you want to get an antibiotic today that’s not manufactured in China? You are looking pretty far and wide because they have taken over strategic industries. We are very focused on getting those back.
Looking forward though, we have a great plan and a great team in place and we are going to move very very aggressively to win this election. I’ve had Teletownhalls and we have later today. We did one just earlier with Larry Kudlow. And the economy is very much I think is at the forefront of people’s minds.
Jobs and the economy. I’m the only businessperson running in this election and I’m certainly the only person that President Trump has named to the Economic Task Force. That really speaks to my business background. We need somebody who understands the economy and will work very hard with President Trump to get our economy back and reopened.
Leahy: How long will it take us as a country to get the supply chain back from China?
Hagerty: It’s already begun. If you recall back in 2017 when the president came in, he took on a major effort to streamline the regulatory process and make America a more business-friendly environment. Then the 2017 tax reform took our corporate tax rates from the highest in the world from 35% down to something more competitive at 21%.
We’ve already seen companies move back. After the trade war began with China many more companies were beginning to make that move. I tell ya, I can’t imagine a CEO or a corporate board today wanting to allocate more capital to China. The question is how do we accelerate this? And that’s why I’ve been working on with the president and our task force.
We have a plan on our website that takes us through all of that. Again, www.teamhagerty.com. We have a plan in place to accelerate this movement and certainly get our most strategic supply chains out of China. That’s a country that doesn’t have our best interests at heart and back home to American shores.
Leahy: It’s clear they are adversaries. (Whispers) Joe Biden doesn’t quite know that yet, right? (Laughs)
Hagerty: No. I can’t believe he can’t figure that out. But again that’s why we call him Beijing Biden. He is just compromised. He’ll never be able to stand up to China. That’s why you need someone like me a trustworthy conservative businessman that understands the game there and has the strength and courage to stand up to them and will back this president in doing so.
Leahy: Compare the energy levels of President Trump and Joe Biden in the basement of his house in Delaware.
Hagerty: I’ve spent a lot of time with President Trump over the years and volunteered full time for six months back in 2016 during the election and have been working with him ever since. I’ve never seen a person with the level of energy that he has. Even the young staff in their 20s are just exhausted by the end of the day.
The president works very late hours. You may remember the time that he invited Kim Jong-un to meet him at the border of North and South Korea, I was with him then. That happened at about 3:00 a.m. And I asked the staff that used to work with him on the digital stuff and I said, gosh did you guys stay up late last night. They said no. That was the president all by himself. (Leahy chuckles)
He’s working overtime and he’s working when they’re asleep. At the beginning of each day, he’s got a laundry list of what he wants them to do. He’s got an amazing amount of energy. A boundless amount of energy. And that’s the type of person we need to lead in the U.S. Senate here too. I want to be just that type of leader myself.
Leahy: Former ambassador to Japan and senate candidate Bill Hagerty. Thank you so much for joining us. Will you come back as the campaign continues?
Hagerty: I’d love to do that. We got a lot to do. I think our message is carrying well. I’m the only candidate that’s got the complete and total endorsement of President Trump. The only candidate that’s a business person and certainly the only one that’s been named to the Economic Recovery Taskforce.
So we’re taking that message of economy and jobs and we’re going to get Tennessee back roaring. I think we’ll do better than the other states as we come back through this. We just need to get back to work quickly. And that’s where my focus is right now.
Leahy: Bill Hagerty thanks for joining us. Have a great day.
Hagerty: Thanks so much.
Listen to the full third hour here:
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