It's been nearly 4 years since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out and we still don't have a consensus on where it came from. But recently, a whistleblower has claimed to Congress that the CIA bribed experts to suggest that COVID-19 didn't come from a lab. Rep. Brad Wenstrup, who chairs one of the subcommittees the whistleblower has spoken to, joins Glenn with the latest. According to the whistleblower, 6 of the 7 people on the CIA's COVID discovery team believed the virus came from a lab, but the CIA only said it was "unable to determine" the truth. And allegedly, there were "performance bonuses" attached to their findings. Did the CIA bribe experts to remain silent? Is the government trying to steer the narrative in one direction for political reasons? What does that mean about the trustworthiness of our intelligence agencies?
TranscriptBelow is a rush transcript that may contain errors
GLENN: Congressman Wenstrup, how are you, sir?
WENSTRUP: I'm hanging in there. How are you, Glenn?
GLENN: I'm good. First of all, I want to let people know. You are a doctor. You're also an Army Reserve officer, and Iraqi war veteran. Thank you for that.
You were on the select subcommittee run by this pandemic. You have served as a doctor. You know, overseas. You also were at Walter Reed for a while.
And you are the medical policy adviser for the chief of Army Reserve. Correct?
WENSTRUP: Yes, actually retired from the Army in December.
But since I was elected to Congress, 11 years ago, I served at Walter Reed and as a medical policy adviser as well.
Obviously as a congressman.
And a congressman on the intelligence committee.
GLENN: Okay. So now, tell the story to the American people, in case they don't know. About what is going on, with the CIA. And this bribe, to the so-called experts.
WENSTRUP: Yeah. A little background. As a physician, ever since the pandemic started. I'm looking into what's going on, physiologically, how do we treat patients?
In the process of doing research, we discovered that we were actually engaging in China, in the lab in Wuhan, to create gain-of-function viruses.
That being said, with Intel committee, involved with this for the past three years, at least.
And what had happened now, is we have somebody coming forward, as the whistle-blower, seeking full whistle-blower protection.
And at this time, he wants to be anonymous. He came to both the intelligence committee, and the select subcommittee on the coronavirus pandemic, which I chair.
And he's made many allegations. Obviously, he summed up a lot of them. But there was the CIA, in trying to figure out, whether this came from a lab. Or from nature. Put together, a COVID discovery team, if you will.
Seven people, as you talked about.
So six of the people, they came to the conclusion with some level of confidence. That this came from a lab. And the senior person, according to these charges, said, it came from nature. Okay. Well, you're entitled to your opinion. What they ended up doing at the end of the day, releasing to the public and to the intelligence community. All they said was, the CIA was unable to determine.
Well, it sounds like they had a pretty high number of people, that were able to determine, as best as they know it. It is our responsibility, on this committee, to follow up on everything to do with the -- with the pandemic.
We take it very seriously. The reaction of the CIA, very serious.
So we're now seeking documents. Communications.
And we also have asked to speak with Andrew McCreedus (phonetic), who the whistle-blower says was the chief operating officer, and had a lot to do with constructing this.
I hope the director of the CIA will be cooperative with us.
But, you know, you hit the big question.
Why? I mean, why would they want to do that?
I mean, this goes back to where Fauci prompted. I'm using their words. Prompted a group of scientists to write what's called proximal origins.
Where in their internal documents, they're saying, oh, yeah. Well, they're doing research. Oh, yeah. They have this capability.
Oh, yeah. This really is something. And then they come out and say, it came from nature. And tried to make that definitive. Why are we not having scientific debate? What is the reason for attempting to steer everything in one direction? And here's one of my concerns, Glenn. And I think you will appreciate this. If this is true, and we have for political reasons. Or whatever.
Changing the -- the notion of changing intelligence. What does that say to our international partners, who rely on us, for intelligence?
Who we work with? Together on intelligence.
If our own intelligence department, is changing things from what people actually did and said. To fit a narrative that they want?
That's a concern I have.
GLENN: Well, not just that.
You know, you would imagine that in some cases, you would say, hey, let's not release that to anybody.
But this is changing things for the intelligence.
The oversight. You guys are -- you guys are engaged with oversight. And they didn't tell you this. A whistle-blower had to come and tell you this.
WENSTRUP: Right. And I would contend if we didn't have Republicans, in terms of the House of Representatives, it would come forward at all. To get an opportunity to somebody, that would seem like would listen. And is a whistle-blower.
And we are. And so we're pursuing this based on letters.
That's the first phase, requesting information. Documents.
You know, when we don't get them. And we dig a little bit deeper.
And we ask a little harder. And sometimes in the form of subpoenas.
GLENN: So they -- do we know if they actually paid these other experts?
These six people out of seven?
WENSTRUP: Yeah. So in the allegations, I would say that the conjecture, is that it may have come in the form of a performance bonus.
Not just out and out, hey, do this, and here's some money, if you are following that. Something to that effect. Right?
GLENN: Right. And do we have any idea how much? This is taxpayer dollars, right?
WENSTRUP: Oh, correct. And, no. We don't know how much. And, again, that's part of the investigation. We're obligated to do it. I mean, we don't really have a choice. This is what we should be doing. You know, keep in mind, I have to remember members of Congress this too. Congress created these agencies. And we fund those agencies. And we have oversight of those agencies. And not only do I have to remind members of Congress. We certainly have to remind the agencies, that this needs to be a working partnership. And you don't get to tell us anything. Especially on the intelligence committee. The intelligence committee is set up, so that there would be oversight over the intelligence committee.
WENSTRUP: And this is a select committee, so the people on this committee, which, by the way, is functioning well now, and is no longer an impeachment committee, but the intelligence committee, people are selected from both sides of the aisle. We also represent the other members of Congress. Because we're in a place where other members don't get to go. So this is an important role that we have. And the cooperation needs to be there. And sometimes, the community -- the intelligence community, thinks they don't have to tell us things. In the same statute that they do. So we will continue to pursue and find the truth. And we have -- we have to suggest or legislate things into law.
It allows us to hold people accountable, within agencies, when they do things.
And I use an example like this, Glenn. The military just served 25 years.
Uniform Code of Military Justice. Unethical is unlawful in the military.
And our agencies, unfortunately, this is across-the-board.
But in our agencies, if you violate some of your tenets, or what you say, or the rules of engagement within your agency, nothing really happens to you.
Oh, you might get fired.
But, you know, there -- this is -- this is a problem, that we have.
And so we are trying, on so many fronts, to put punitive measures in place when violations are occurring.
Such as, with the FISA court. Et cetera.
You know, the IG said 17 times.
Well, what actually happens? Where is the punitive measures? We're trying to implement those.
GLENN: Yeah. So do you -- is there a way out from -- I mean, your Justice Department looks horribly soiled. Your NSA. Your CIA. Your DNI.
All of these things, look like they've been a part of some really bad things, including the State Department. Now the IRS is involved. How are you possibly going to beat this?
I mean, it's like Whac-A-Mole.
WENSTRUP: Yeah. On my particular subcommittee. What I keep saying.
From the beginning. Is honesty and truth is non-negotiable. And we're going to be looking for it.
And if it's not there. We're going to point it out. And hold people accountable.
We have to.
GLENN: But you can't -- excuse me for interrupting.
But you can't really hold people responsible, if you say if they're in contempt for Congress.
Attorney general Garland. Is the one who has to prosecute. And he just came out and said, I'm not the prosecutor, for Congress.
Well, yes, you are.
But he gets to decide, who he prosecutes.
WENSTRUP: Yeah. And obviously what you're seeing, I know I heard Jim Jordan's voice when I came. And obviously you're seeing all kinds of things, where this is just wrong.
And I don't know how we get it all out from the American public. Most people don't know.
Obviously, I have the opportunity right now. To get to your listeners.
And that's important.
But there are things, that are going on today, that should be above the full front page headlines.
Each and every day.
And the mainstream media comes to our challenges, is definitely greater.
And elections matter.
And I hope people understand that. I grow up watching Superman. The beginning show.
Watching for truth, justice, and the American way. And then that's where we have to go.
And Americans have to understand, if that's what they want, or not. Because it's been deviated from, tremendously.
And let me make this suggestion too for our agencies. You know, in the military, you either move up, or you're out.
And you're required to be agnostic politically. And that's what we need in our agencies.
You either move up or you're out.
And when you get to the top, there's a mandatory retirement. You don't get to sit there with mounds of authority. And covert authority, if you will. And we have to make changes like that, within our system.
We started our country, with just three agencies. State Treasury and War.
Look what we have now. They have rule of law. They put out regulations.
We try to get laws to stop them.
It's completely backwards.
So Americans need to understand. To elect people that are willing to make that change, and get us back to the government, that you are Founders set up.
STU: Representative Brad Wenstrup. Thank you very much for what you're doing.
Please keep us informed, if there's any other news that starts to break here about the CIA apparently bribing members of the team.
The experts on COVID. Thank you so much. Appreciate it.
WENSTRUP: Yeah. Thank you so much.
GLENN: You bet.