What the CIA tells the President | Andrew Bustamante and Lex Fridman

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Andrew Bustamante is a former CIA covert intelligence officer. Check out his work and podcast at

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Written by Lex Clips


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  1. We are all defined by our limitations. So figure that out. And we know who we are. As a people. And as members of any community. Or country. Which calls into question our belief in our American exceptionalism. Why do we believe we are superior to any other country. Seems to me a blind spot we all need to explore. As others are probably not only mining it but using it to their advantage.

  2. Wow, actually having somebody who well-versed to explain the circumstances like this an such a great format, this makes me more capable to understand what the role of a president really is. This is great information for people who need to hear how things actually work in the system that we all live in.

  3. Who is REALLY controlling the people who assemble the PDB? Who controls what information and what the narratives are around each issue? The CIA would know better than anyone of how to frame an issue to capture the presidents attention… The fact that many presidents have been told no on the Area 51 question serves as absolute proof that there is in fact a "shadow government".

  4. when those with power get too powerful, they'll purposely cripple the government. This isn't by accident and is by design. Yet voters keep letting the two parties divide and conquer. We saw this happen with the roman empire and the USA is repeating history.

  5. There is a good possibility the US will one day fall behind in the super power category for several different reasons. Like many other powers throughout human history. Eventually they will fall.

  6. Five former heads of CIA claimed, in writing, the Biden laptop wasn’t real. That means either they are painfully bad at their job, or they’re lying. In either case, the best person to run CIA almost certainly is not a product of CIA.

  7. He has stated that the President is a "customer". Scary that the CIA thinks itself a private entity, even though it is funded by tax-payers. The president is the Commander and Chief, not a customer.

  8. When you get a perspective, albeit a miniscule perspective to the way nations really operate, you quickly realize how the average Joe doesn't know Jack about what's happening around the world, how media of all sort is designed to manipulate desire deceive, how the U.S. is falling behind as the superpower to China, and perhaps most importantly and dangerously how the average Joe doesn't know Jack but believes they have the world figured out.

  9. This was one of the most interesting and best podcasts I’ve seen by Lex, perhaps by every one I have watched by anyone. This entire thing had me sucked in, almost 4 hours? But Lex kills all of them and they are all really good with impressive people.

  10. The alternative maybe having a CIA director based on merit staying in their post for over 20 years secretly subverting or even sabotaging the elected government, you know the conspiracies about "deep state" will actually hold some merit then. The reason certain national security positions are basically filled by the "winner takes the spoils" system is because of their potential for abuse. Fill them up like anyother job based on merit then yeah sure you'll have long term strategic coherence and can be more effective but then what if an individual decides he wants to emulate the praetorian guard in the last centuries of the roman empire? What if they decide they can make better choices for the country than the idiot that the public elected? or what if they just want more? what's to stop them? people in positions like these have the potential to grow immensely powerful and it is better to compromise effectiveness and efficiency to ensure democracy prevails and besides, no one has ever claimed that a democracy is the most efficient form of government.

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