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And -- questions today about whether the Obama administration went to bat for a wireless company called light squared.
Like British trying to roll out a powerful new wireless system one that might cause problem some say with GPS systems.
Now this story started back in February of 2005 at least.
President Obama puts up to 90000 dollars of his own money into a little known firm at that time called sky -- September of 2009 an investor named Philip Falcone.
Meets his future business partner at the White House.
Six months later Stockholm by sky terra and the company becomes light squared.
January of this year the FCC gives light squared a Green light to expand wireless Internet bandwidth that was an important ruling for light squared.
An earlier this month.
Air force general William Shelton.
Says the White House pressured him to change testimony He was giving congress.
After revealing concerns about light squared interfering with military systems He says the White House wanted him to make his testimony a little bit more favorable.
In essence to light squared.
The White House says that's not exactly right.
Flash for now September 8 a congressional subcommittee holds a hearing light squared executives testify.
Five days later the FCC calls for additional testing.
Of the -- square project and then last Thursday general Shelton testifies before the house armed services subcommittee.
Some -- lawmakers say the White House put national security.
In jeopardy that day.
And that type of attempt to bias.
Testimony on -- -- the goes straight to the issue the heart of our national security is certainly of great concern.
Well Philip Falcone is a majority shareholder in light squared and founder of harbinger capital which is to be the money behind the company -- thank you so much for being here.
I don't even know pirate fighters who have read their myself let me try to boil it -- for yours okay it's a year you are -- gazillion there.
Who put a bunch of money into this company light squared and you are trying to create a highway in the sky for telecommunication.
-- for -- Iraq.
And you've been at this for years and years and years and it's a huge project.
Well now there are allegations by some critics of the White House I guess of -- that.
That that that the FCC gave you a waiver for this project just in January that may have been politically motivated they think maybe the FCC.
Looked the other way.
When the Department of Defense was saying hold on hold on hold while we don't like this project that Philip Falcone has could interfere with military GPS and other things.
And why the FCC do that for you and then there are questions about why the White House stepped in to tell this general who was testifying about his concerns.
To soften it a little -- that that is -- generalized statement of how this story became national news story instead of just Philip Falcone.
Arguing with bureaucrats over whether he's gonna get his network in the sky right correct -- -- So you say this is this is not there are no concerns that there's nothing to worry about with the GPS.
It that -- your wireless competitors the Pentagon that this is just become a political story why.
It it has really become a political battle which is really unfortunate but a couple things and I want to correct.
Opening statement you mention that I went down to see.
The president I never -- I've never met the president can.
And it -- He apparently.
Acquired some stock back in 2002.
And subsequently -- -- so.
That's irrelevant to what we're talking about today I think the important thing to get across is that.
We were granted authorization of the spectrum and to use this spectrum.
To build out a nationwide wireless network in 2005.
Under the bush -- under the bush administration.
And subsequent to that is when night when I became involved I became an investor and the more -- Got to understand or know more understood about this company the more -- realize that that realize that it was a great asset.
Flash fast forward that now -- in 2009.
I made a bid to acquire the company.
And this waiver that people are talking about as -- SEC wavered as fast track it's it's irrelevant quite frankly.
When we first approached the FCC it was more of an interpretation.
Weaver to acquire the company in 2010.
So we didn't apply for a waiver of the -- that that what what everybody's talking about.
There's not -- fact the network it's all about.
The device is that we were trying to deploy.
But let me -- -- I think we've lost our viewers here here's what the critics say.
There's this Republican for example from Georgia Austin Scott.
Who says he's talking about that -- you got in January and He says the White House -- technology policy arm.
That's called the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
Urged that approval by the FCC in January.
And He added quote I have never seen a federal agency -- that's strongly on behalf of any private sector company unless somebody's we'll was getting greased.
And the suggestion is that you or someone affiliated with you was -- somebody's -- in the administration behind the scenes to get that waiver in January from the FCC.
That is that a complete.
Misinformation of facts are -- let me ask you too thanks.
Because of first of all would you be willing to produce all of your communications with the FCC the company's communications -- the FCC to all that.
Well I'm I'm sure that that my communications with the FCC in the company's communications with the FCC.
Which show that there is that that that that any discussions that took place.
Where in the normal course of business -- so would you release in which you make Republicans are gonna call for that.
You know I'd have to check with my counsel but I have no reason to believe that we shouldn't be able to read.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- This is -- nothing -- look what we talked about.
We could very easily do that I I don't I'm not on the board of the company I don't speak for the -- But the money yeah -- I Italian under the.
I -- -- now before right before I say something I need to check with the appropriate people but.
The -- again the reality of it is it's not in the 2010.
Waiver was irrelevant to what.
It's it to the network it's all about it devices in that -- you don't understand that here's what I don't understand -- I'll be quite frank but what I do understand is they're these emails that were released.
By I watch news dot org that suggest.
An urgency in having meetings about this about this waiver prior.
To the waiver and they have for example.
This this is.
-- squared officials who are sending emails to the White House trying to talk.
About this FCC.
Issue in advance of and they ended this I watched news put out the emails including one.
That says I think we've got the full screen says hi and each which is a reference to -- -- -- the president's chief technology advisor back in September.
Who writes I touched base with my client.
Suns -- -- which is the CEO and He expressed an interest in meeting with you he's going to be in DC next week for a fund raising dinner with the president.
And what your critics say is all these attempts to meet.
With the White House officials mentioned.
That there's also going to be some fund raising going on by the CEO on behalf of Democrats or the president -- think it looks bad.
Well people are construing one thing and quite frankly it means something completely different and the reality of it is.
That communication was a function of getting in front of the office and -- office of science and technology to talk about the White House exact executive pretty good to talk about -- As as a business entity that's that's.
About to deploy eight to ten billion dollars to build a network to talk about.
What's happening with the national broadband plan and it and if this makes sense with the national broadband plan why mention enough CEOs going to be there added fund -- for President Obama because it's a function of them telling the individual.
When He will be showing up and in.
This is not you know this is not about people think that we've made contributions to grease the wheels that is so.
Wrong it's it's it's it's using -- needed to both Democrats and Republicans that is correct and so is the CEO.
I don't know about what he's done ruling our information is that he's made 30000 dollars in donations to both sides of the aisle.
And you yourself are made donations both of both sides are you more one -- -- the other.
Well I don't know if I should say this but I am a registered Republican.
So you don't feel any political alignment with this White House now quite frankly I'm I'm.
Kind of taken a step back over the last few years but.
You know again -- it's a function of need trying to deploy a network to build out a plan the FCC's ban.
So challenging as it relates to what we're trying to do here let me.
Cause you were gonna come right back with you after this break and -- ask -- but this general who says He felt pressured on -- customer that's right after.
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