Trump Imposes Additional Sanctions on North Korea
Will Puerto Rico Get the Aid it Urgently Needs?
Was Manafort a Kremlin Asset and a Part of Russia's Active Measures Intelligence Operation?
We begin with the additional sanctions placed on North Korea following Trump’s threat before the UN to “totally destroy” the country. Gilbert Rozman, a Professor of Sociology at Princeton University who specializes in Korea and its neighbors in Northeast Asia, China, Russia and Japan, and is the editor of the Asan Forum, joins us. We discuss whether Trump’s order to ban ships and planes that have visited North Korea from entering the U.S. for 180 days will have any effect and whether Trump’s praise for President Xi and China’s Central Bank that “Their central bank has told their other banks, that’s a massive banking system, to immediately stop doing business with North Korea” is based on reality or wishful thinking since this is a claim that Chinese authorities have yet to confirm.
Then we assess the likelihood that Puerto Rico will get the aid it urgently needs following the devastation from Hurricane Maria which has left the island without water and electricity with the governor estimating that it will take a month or more to get electricity back for the whole island. Charles Venator Santiago, Professor of Latino Politics and Professor of Political Science at the Institute of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies at the University of Connecticut joins us to discuss how Puerto Rico’s fate is in the hands of the Republican Congress following a 2016 Federal Law establishing PROMESA, the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act which has imposed austerity to deal with an extended debt and bankruptcy crisis.
Then finally, as the Special Counsel Robert Mueller zeroes in on Paul Manafort, we investigate whether Trump’s former campaign manager was a Kremlin asset and an important part of an overall Russian Intelligence operation to manipulate the American election to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump. Anders Aslund, a professor at the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies at Georgetown University and a former Swedish diplomat in Moscow who was an economic advisor to the governments of Russia and Ukraine, joins us to discuss the ties between Manafort, the deposed pro-Russian Ukrainian leader Yanukovych and Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs close to Putin.
We begin with an assessment of where the Russia inquiry into possible Russian collusion in Trump’s election is heading and when there will be definitive proof as the various strands of the broad array of continuing revelations are tied together. Jack Blum, a veteran Washington investigator who spent 14 years as a staff attorney with the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and served as the chair of the expert group on international asset recovery who is currently the Chair of the Tax Justice Network, joins us. We will discuss the status of the various inquiries, in particular the Special Counsel’s investigation, and the denial on the political Left as well as the lack of outrage on the Right about the significance of a foreign power manipulating our election, possibly to the point that voters will be demanding a do-over.
Then we will examine Trump’s recent about face in the Oval Office and the Chuck and Nancy romance that might save the DACA program although there have been howls of betrayal from Trump’s base and mixed signals in his tweets and statements about whether or not his wall will be built or be part of a deal to save the “dreamers”. Sarah Binder, a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and a professor of political science at George Washington University joins us to discuss whether Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell were secretly relieved that they did not have to face a showdown with their rebellious Tea Party caucuses threatening to shut down the government over the debt ceiling.
Then finally we will look into another outbreak of unrest in St. Louis following the acquittal of a white police officer who was charged with first-degree murder for shooting a black man following a high-speed chase. Garret Duncan, a Professor of African American Studies at the University of Washington in St. Louis joins us to discuss his article “How to Make Black Lives Matter” and how the shooting, that took place not far from Ferguson where Michael Brown was shot by police in 2014, was captured on dashcam video with the officer who was just acquitted saying “I’m going to kill this (expletive), don’t you know it”.
We begin with an historical perspective on how wars in the past like the Civil War which ended slavery and World War 11 which brought about a social safety net have enhanced American democracy whereas since 9/11 and the war on terror our freedom at home has been restricted and we no longer defend democracy abroad but threaten it. Jeremi Suri, Professor of History and Public Affairs at the University of Texas joins us to discuss his new book “The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America’s Highest Office” and his article at The Washington Post “How 9/11 triggered democracy’s decline”. We look into why the U.S. no longer wins wars and why we are fighting wars against our own democracy.
Then we speak with Mona Krewel, a Professor of Government at Cornell University who is a Fellow of the Mannheim Center for European Research at the University of Mannheim in Germany. She joins us to discuss German Chancellor Merkel’s offer to participate in future nuclear talks with North Korea and her talks with Russia’s President Putin with whom she shares a growing alarm that Donald Trump is escalating the nuclear crisis with the equally unpredictable Kim Jong-un.
Then finally we examine the new round of sanctions on North Korea following a unanimous vote by the U.N. Security Council and speak with Sung Yoon Lee, a Professor of International Affairs at the Fletcher School at Tufts University who has an article at The New York Times “The Way to Make North Korea Back Down” and another at The Los Angeles Times “Why won’t the U.S. use its full sanction power against North Korea”. We discuss China’s dilemma of not wanting to create a failed state on its border at the same time as not wanting Kim’s provocations to bring more U.S., South Korean and Japanese military power introduced into the neighborhood.
We begin with the massive hurricane making landfall on Florida’s southwest coast as we go to air and speak with Dr. Susan McManus, the Distinguished University Professor of Political Science at the University of South Florida. A long-time resident of Florida who has experienced many hurricanes, she is just north of Tampa which is poised to suffer a direct hit from Hurricane Irma but her house is on high ground and she will be hunkering down to ride out the storm. Since Tampa has not seen a direct hit from a major hurricane in almost a century, we discuss how state and local authorities have handled the looming disaster and whether those who evacuated Miami and sought shelter in Tampa, will be in harm’s way as the storm surge is expected to impact Tampa Bay with a wall of water between 10 and 15 feet high.
Then we get an update on the latest revelations about Russia’s active measures campaign to influence the last election which, while it has sown chaos in the United States and could lead to more political paralysis and possibly a constitutional crisis involving the 25th Amendment or even impeachment, this multi-faceted intelligence operation has also impacted politics in Russia with blowback that has Putin on the defensive having over-reached massively while the leader of the far-right New Russia Movement is on state TV threatening to “hit Donald Trump with our Kompromat”. A veteran former CIA officer Robert Baer who is now the national security analyst on CNN, joins us to discuss the growing weight of evidence that a vast Russian intelligence operation targeted U.S. democracy in 2016 and now its architect Vladimir Putin may well have buyer’s remorse.
Then finally we speak with Asha Rangappa, Associate Dean at Yale Law School who teaches National Security Law and served as a Special Agent at the Federal Bureau of Investigation specializing in counter-intelligence operations. She joins us to discuss her article at Politico “How Facebook Changed the Spy Game” and assess at what point will all the dots be connected to reveal the full scope of the Russian active measures operation, as breaking news dribbles out almost daily revealing more incriminating details.
We begin with growing evidence that the Russian influence attack on the election was more widespread and brazen with Facebook announcing that they had shut down several hundred accounts created by a Russian company with ties to the Kremlin who spent $100,000 pushing divisive fake news attacking Hillary Clinton in order to help elect Donald Trump. Dr. Michael Sulmeyer, the Director of the Cyber Security Project at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs who was formerly the Director of Plans and Operations for Cyber Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, joins us to discuss the warning by Senator Warner, the Vice Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, that Facebook’s Russian ads are ”just the tip of the iceberg”.
Then we speak with Hal Roberts, a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University who is the co-author of a new study “Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Online Media and the 2016 Election” which documents how, along with Russian interference, highly partisan right-wing sources like Breitbart helped shape mainstream press coverage and seize the public’s attention in the 18-month period leading up to the election.
Then we speak with Frank Pasquale, Professor of Law at the University of Maryland and author of “The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms that Control Money and Information”. He joins us to discuss Facebook’s decision to get rid of human curation of the news because of bogus Republican charges of bias and the role of Cambridge Analytica’s owner Robert Mercer and Stephen Bannon in flooding social media with fake news, possibly in collusion with the Russians.
Then finally we try to make sense of the Oval Office about face that stunned Republican leaders as President Trump suddenly embraced his new political allies Chuck and Nancy as he agreed with the Democrats on a 3 month extension of the debt limit instead of the 18 month extension that McConnell, Ryan and the Secretary of the Treasury were arguing for. Lawrence Jacobs, the Director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota’s Hubert Humphrey School of Political Affairs, joins us to discuss if there is a savvy strategy here or whether President Trump has gone rogue.
We begin with the latest North Korean nuclear test that appears to indicate they have made a rapid advance in thermonuclear technology with a test explosion at least ten times greater than the last one about a year ago. Sue Mi Terry, the former deputy national intelligence officer for East Asia at the National Intelligence Council and the Director of Japan, Korea and Oceanic Affairs at the National Security Council, joins us. We will discuss whether Kim Jong-un has called President Trump’s bluff following Trump’s earlier threat to rain “fire and fury” down on North Korea. And while condemning the North’s nuclear test as “very hostile and dangerous to the United States”, Trump also had harsh words for our South Korean ally scolding the South’s new leader for “their talk of appeasement” while his top economic advisers threaten to scuttle the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement negotiated by the Obama Administration.
Then we speak with Scott Horton, a professor at Columbia Law School and a contributing editor at Harpers in legal affairs and national security. He joins us to discuss the alarm expressed by Russia’s President Putin that the confrontation between the U.S. and North Korea could lead to nuclear war and the possibility that Putin could reset his image and emerge as the sober, global leader and peacemaker who is a responsible steward of Russia’s vast nuclear arsenal. Drawing a contrast to his counterpart in the White House with HIS hand on the nuclear button as Trump makes America’s allies nervous and has the Republican Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee questioning his own president’s “stability and competence”.
Then finally we examine recent revelations that Russian election hacking efforts were much more widespread and invasive than previously thought and speak with David Jefferson, a computer scientist formerly with the Center for Applied Scientific Computing at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory who is also the chairman of the board of Verified Voting. We will look into the penetration by Russian hackers ahead of voting in 2016 of VR Systems which operates in seven states including the battleground states of North Carolina, Virginia and Florida.
We begin with the storm that has caused unprecedented flooding in Houston now impacting New Orleans. Joining us is Mark Schiefstein a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist with the New Orleans Times Picayune and author of “Path of Destruction: The Devastation of New Orleans and the Coming Age of Superstorms”. On the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina which struck 12 years ago, we discuss whether the city has fully recovered and although more flooding is expected in Houston and considerable less rain is predicted to hit New Orleans, there are questions whether the pumping system, some of which is 100 years-old, will be able to cope with the rainfall. We also look into the politics of recovery since Texas Senator Ted Cruz opposed relief from Hurricane Sandy for New Jersey and New York but now wants it for Texas, and how Louisiana’s U.S. Senators and most of its congressmen who are global warming deniers, can continue to deal with the aftermath of superstorms without recognizing the causes.
Then we get an update on the Russia inquiry following stories in The New York Times and The Washington Post that reveal efforts to contact Putin’s inner circle by Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen and a Russian-born gangster and business partner of Trump’s, Felix Sater who is a childhood friend of Cohen’s. James Henry, an economist, lawyer and investigative journalist who is a Global Justice Fellow at Yale, a co-founder with David Cay Johnston of DCReport.org and the author of “Blood Bankers”, joins us to discuss a rider attached to an appropriations bill by Florida Republican Congressman Ron DeSantis blocking the Mueller investigation and whether or not the special counsel will come up with a “smoking gun” that could convince Trump’s base that he should be impeached.
Then finally we assess what response is likely to come from Japan after a North Korean missile crossed over its territory is a deliberate provocation which Prime Minister Abe called “an unprecedented, serious and grave threat”. Sheila Smith, a senior fellow for Japan Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of “Japan’s New Politics and the U.S.-Japan Alliance” joins us to discuss how Japan and South Korea are likely to increase their defenses and forge close military ties with the U.S. which might cause China to increase its pressure on Kim Jong-un.
We begin with the release of the transcripts of Donald Trump’s calls to foreign leaders early in his Administration that indicate a woeful ignorance of world affairs, a delusional obsession with the greatness of his campaign and election victory, and a child-like temperament when confronted with facts and reality. We speak with two prominent American historians of the presidency and begin with Sean Wilentz, Professor of American History at Princeton University whose latest book is “The Politicians and the Egalitarians”. He joins us to provide an historical context on how much Trump has lowered the bar to the point where comparisons with prior presidents does a disservice to our history since Trump is such a disastrous aberration to the point that no matter how much his predecessors have faced the harsh judgement of history and are held in low esteem, it does a disservice to them and to our history to compare them to Trump.
Then we speak with the American political historian who teaches at American University, Allan Lichtman. He is the author of “The Keys to the White House: A Surefire Way to Predicting the Next President”, a system that has correctly predicted the outcomes of all US presidential elections since 1984 including the last election when, against all odds, he predicted a Trump victory. His latest book is “The Case For Impeachment” and we discuss whether Trump’s alarming lack of qualification for the job of president that the transcripts reveal, could be considered grounds for his impeachment.
Then finally we are joined in the studio by Bryan Fogel, the director of the new Netflix documentary opening nationwide “Icarus”. He sought to investigate the Lance Armstrong story of doping in sports and the science of cheating the tests for doping. But instead, he uncovered a brazen scheme of state-sponsored cheating that resulted in the hero of the film, a brave Russian whistleblower, having to escape Kremlin death threats by taking his family into witness protection, while the villain behind the cheating scandal was promoted by Putin to be his Deputy Prime Minister.
We begin with a potential crisis facing a White House in chaos with yet another staff shake-up as Anthony Scaramucci, the newly-appointed Director of Communications, was shown the door today. In response to the latest North Korean missile test and threats coming from the White House, a bi-partisan group of top American officials who have had high-level dealings with North Korea, William Perry, George Schultz, Robert Gallucci, Sig Hecker, Richard Lugar and Bill Richardson, have written to President Trump urging him to open direct talks with Kim Jong-un. Adam Mount, the former project director of the Council on Foreign Relations’ independent task force chaired by Admiral Mullen and Sam Nunn, joins us to discuss how a dysfunctional White House will deal with a clear and present danger that does not lend itself to military force or rhetorical bluster, but rather requires mature and patient diplomacy.
Then with Putin kicking out American diplomats in a tit-for-tat Cold War-like reprisal, we examine Putin’s comments today that in their recent G-20 meeting, Trump agreed with Putin’s version of whether Russia meddled in our elections. David Halperin, who served on the National Security Council and was counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee, joins us to discuss his article at The Huffington Post “”The Exxon-Treasury Fight and the Roots of Russiagate” which lays out a credible scenario of what the real ties are between Putin and Trump and why it appears that Trump is Putin’s puppet.
Then finally we speak with Katherine Stewart, the author of “The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children” about her article in The New York Times “What the ‘Government Schools’ Critics Really Mean”. She traces the history of attacks on so-called government schools, meaning public education by religious fundamentalist who now have a champion in the new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos who has funded crusades casting public schools as Godless government indoctrination camps.
We begin with the cliffhanger vote in the senate with Vice President Pence casting the tie-breaking vote to proceed to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and speak with Dr. Adam Gaffney, an instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Secretary of Physicians for a National Health Program. He joins us to analyze the three bills that the Republicans will be voting on along with the House bill passed in May and we will discuss the various levels of pain the bills will cause with between 22 million and 32 million Americans suddenly deprived of healthcare which many only recently were able to afford in what is an abomination of the Hippocratic Oath physicians take that begins with the declaration to “first do no harm”.
Then we examine the apparent determination on the part of President Trump to humiliate and force the resignation of the first and only senator to join his presidential campaign, his most loyal and faithful servant the Attorney General of the United States, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions the Third. The author of the new book “Rivals for Power: Presidential – Congressional Relations”, James Thurber, the University Distinguished Professor of Government and Founder and Former Director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University joins us. We discuss the likely constitutional crisis that will erupt if and when Trump proceeds to force Sessions out in order to put in a compliant replacement to fire the Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Then finally, following Trump’s latest insult against who he called “the beleaguered A.G.” and now calls “VERY weak”, we assess how long Jeff Sessions can survive on the job and how Trump can get away with appointing someone to stop the Russia investigation by firing Robert Mueller. Bill Yeomans, a former at Assistant Attorney General who is now the Ronald Goldfarb Fellow for Justice at the Alliance for Justice joins us to discuss how this standoff between Trump and Sessions puts all of us in the unfortunate position of asking whether it is better to have a relic from the Jim Crow South turn back the clock, or have Trump escape justice.
We begin with the revelation that Donald Trump held an hour-long second meeting with Vladimir Putin at the recent G-20 meeting that the White House did not mention at which there was only a Russian interpreter and no notes were taken leaving the U.S. Government to rely on whatever record the Russian Government produces. James Goldgeier, the Dean of the School of International Service at American University who was Director for Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian Affairs on the National Security Council and is the author of “Power and Purpose: U.S. Policy towards Russia after the Cold War”, joins us. We will discuss his article at The Washington Post “There are no notes on Trump’s meeting with Putin. That’s a big deal” and the importance of Memorandums of Conversations known as MemCons which are not only important for the leaders themselves, but are invaluable for scholars and the historical record.
Then we examine why the Republicans are having such a hard time repealing and replacing Obamacare, a seven-year-long mission if not obsession that is in disarray. James Morone, a professor of Political Science at Brown University and editor of “Healthcare Policy in the USA and Germany” whose latest book is “The Heart of Power: Health and Politics in the Oval Office”, joins us to discuss how not just Obamacare is proving to have a powerful political constituency, but also Medicaid is proving durable since it covers the costs of retirement homes for most of the nation’s elderly citizens.
Then finally, with the president hosting Republican senators for lunch at the White House where he issued a not-so-veiled threat to wayward senators urging them to “hammer” out a health plan adding, “We shouldn’t leave town until this is complete”, we look into the conflicted politics of repeal and replace. Jonathan Cohn, a senior correspondent at The Huffington Post and author of “Sick: The Untold Story of America’s Healthcare Crisis – and Who Pays the Price”, joins us to discuss his latest article at The Huffington Post “Republicans Have a Way Out of Their Health Care Mess: Working with Democrats”.
We begin with an attempt to understand why Donald Trump persists in trying to make deals favorable to Russia on Putin’s terms, and speak with Dr. Michael Carpenter, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense with responsibility for Russia who served as a foreign policy advisor to Vice President Biden and as director for Russia at the National Security Council. Now a senior director of the Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania, he joins us to discuss his article at Defense One, “The U.S. Should Steer Clear of Russian Help in Syria”. We look into the folly of working with the Russians to combat ISIS since Putin’s strategy is to support his proxy Assad at all cost without recognizing that Assad is the main reason why Islamic terrorists have a foothold in Syria.
Then we examine the reasons why Trump and the Republicans have sold their souls to Russia following a recent poll that finds 48% of Republicans see nothing wrong with Donald Trump Junior’s meeting with Russian operatives offering help to elect Trump and damage his opponent. James Kirchick, a journalist and foreign correspondent who is a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution and the author of “The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues and the Coming Dark Age”, joins us to discuss his article at Politico “How the GOP Became the Party of Putin”. And since Trump’s core supporters live in a bubble of delusion impervious to facts and evidence, we assess the extent to which Trump’s advisors like Bannon and Gorka have followed the playbook of Putin’s media guru Vladislav Surkov to create a parallel universe of alternative facts in which there is no objective truth, but where only subjective truth matters.
Then finally we speak with Abbe Gluck, a Professor of Law and the Faculty Director of the Solomon Center for Health Law and Policy at Yale Law School. She joins us to try to make sense of the many tweets and statements coming from Donald Trump in the wake of the Republican Senate’s latest failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act which Trump is praising as “a pretty impressive vote by any standard” while declaring he wants Obamacare to fail and that “Republicans are not going to own it”.
We begin with White House plans to privatize the war in Afghanistan following a proposal by Erik Prince the brother of Betsy DeVos and founder of the mercenary army Blackwater along with Stephen Feinberg the billionaire hedge fund owner of the military and intelligence contractor DynCorp, that Stephen Bannon and Jared Kushner are championing. A biographer of Erik Prince, Robert Young Pelton, the author of “License to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror”, joins us to discuss what is called the “Laos option”, to turn over the fate and future of Afghanistan to a CIA shadow army largely made up of foreign mercenaries thus reducing American boots on the ground and providing Trump with an exit strategy from nation-building, a concept that Stephen Bannon abhors.
Then we speak with Alexander Klimburg, a program director at The Hague Center for Strategic Studies about his new book, just out, “The Darkening Web: The War for Cyberspace”. He joins us to discuss the weaponization of information and the global struggle over the future of the Internet with democracies wanting to keep the Internet free and open while autocracies like China and Russia argue for sovereign control of information using appeals to nationalism to control their populations through censorship and propaganda.
Then finally we examine a rare victory in the congress for decency and human rights following a surprise vote in the House to block U.S. participation in the Saudi war on Yemen. Kate Gould, the Legislative Representative for Middle East Policy for the Friends Committee on National Legislation, a Quaker lobby in the public interest fielding the largest team of registered peace lobbyists in Washington D.C., joins us to discuss the two amendments to the NDAA, the National Defense Authorization Act that passed overwhelmingly.
We begin with the unprecedented and alarming possibility that the greatest threat to our national security is the President of the United States, Donald Trump. Joining us is Roger Morris, who served on the National Security Council under presidents Johnson and Nixon and is the author of “Kindred Rivals: America, Russia and their Failed Ideals”. We will discuss the deadly combination of ignorance and arrogance, avarice and amateurism, that characterize this chaotic administration which so far has not had to deal with an international crisis, but in the event that the White House is faced with a serious challenge as is likely to be the case, how will the petulant, childish, insecure and unstable leader we have in the Oval Office deal with it? Particularly if it requires the steady and experienced hands of Generals Mattis and McMaster who Trump apparently does not listen to, but instead, will the fate of the world rest on the advice of a white nationalist nihilist Stephen Bannon, a neophyte reactionary throwback, Stephen Miller, and a Hungarian fascist Sebastian Gorka?
Then we speak with Peter Stone, a special correspondent for McClatchy DC Bureau about his latest article co-authored with Greg Gordon “Trump-Russia investigations probe Jared Kushner-run digital operation”. We investigate Kushner’s relationship with the right wing billionaire Mercers and Jared’s use of their social media data mining company Cambridge Analytica of which Stephen Bannon is a board member. And since Russia deployed armies of bots carrying pro-Trump messages and used human “troll farms” to flood social media and the Internet with anti-Hillary stories, we look into what collusion took place between the Trump campaign and the Russians.
Then finally, on the first anniversary of the botched coup in Turkey, that President Erdogan is celebrating as a victory for democracy as he rolls back democratic rights and jails thousands of teachers, soldiers, judges, lawyers and journalists, in a creeping dictatorship, we assess whether the coup itself was fabricated or manipulated. A former senior advisor and foreign affairs expert to the State Department during the Clinton, Bush and Obama Administrations, David Phillips, joins us to discuss his latest article at The Huffington Post “Was Turkey’s Coup for Real?”
We begin with questions surrounding Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian Attorney who met with Donald Trump Junior, who was the same attorney representing the accused in the civil forfeiture case involving the money laundering of $230 million stolen from the Russian treasury which ended up in Manhattan real estate. Jenna McLaughlin, a reporter and blogger covering surveillance and national security at Foreign Policy magazine, joins us to discuss her latest article at Foreign Policy “DOJ Settled Massive Russian Fraud Case Involving Lawyer Who Met with Trump Jr.” We investigate why President Trump fired the Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara just before he went to trial with this case, after which the Justice Department under Jeff Sessions settled the case for $6 million instead of $230 million. On Wednesday, 17 Democratic Congressmen on the House Judiciary Committee wrote to Sessions expressing their concern that DOJ “may have settled the case at a loss for the United States in order to obscure the underlying facts.”
Then we examine further what looks like a massive cover-up by the Trump Administration of a brazen Russian money laundering scheme that the Attorney General Jeff Sessions settled at a huge loss after Donald Trump had fired the U.S. Attorney prosecuting the case, using the firing of all of the U.S. Attorneys as a cover at the time. Lisa Graves, a former Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department, joins us to discuss how even the Russian attorney representing the Russian crooks who met with Trump Junior, Natalia Veselnitskaya, was surprised at how generous Jeff Sessions’ settlement was.
Then finally we try to figure out why the new French President Emmanuel Macron is giving Donald Trump the red carpet treatment, hosting a leader who is unpopular in France for what looks like an extended photo-op. An expert on French politics and the French Socialist Party, Phillipe Marliere, a professor of French and European politics at University College, London, joins us to discuss the French reaction to Trump’s sexist behavior. With his wife Melania who is 25 years younger than he is at his side, Trump commented crassly on first meeting France’s First Lady who is 25 years older than her husband, “you’re in such great shape”.
We begin with the article of impeachment against President Donald Trump filed today for the first time in the House of Representatives accusing Trump of “high crimes and misdemeanors” for obstructing justice by firing James Comey to stop the Russian investigation and pressuring him to drop the FBI investigation into Michael Flynn. A senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Congressman Brad Sherman, who introduced an article of impeachment, joins us to discuss why he did so and what the grounds are for doing so even though few Democrats in the House are joining in the effort that the Republican majority will not act on and could easily reject the resolution, but in doing so they would put all members on record as to how they feel about impeaching Trump.
Then we speak with the author of an important new book “Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America”. Nancy MacLean, Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University joins us to discuss her latest book, just out which explains how we got to the current situation where just two plutocrats, the Koch brothers appear to have captured the congress and are having their agenda enacted at the expense of the American people. She explains how James Buchanan, an economist out to preserve white privilege in the Jim Crow South, figured out a way to deploy plutocratic power while preventing the majority of Americans from using their voting power to better their lives.
Then finally, with today’s nationwide protests against the Trump-appointed head of the FCC Ajit Pai which has giant corporations like Facebook, Twitter and Google supporting the “Internet-Wide Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality”, we speak with a former FCC Commissioner, Michael Copps. He joins us to discuss what is at stake in preserving Internet freedom and the urgent need to mobilize grassroots action to stop the Trump Administration’s undemocratic putsch by corporate power via their lackey Ajit Pai, to deny the will of the vast majority of Americans who don’t want the Internet “cableized” with telecomm monopolies controlling internet content.
We begin with the revelation that the Mexican government used sophisticated spyware to neutralize the work of a team of international investigators the Mexican government was forced to accept to solve the case of the missing 43 students whose disappearance in 2014 roiled the nation. Laura Carlsen, the Director of the Mexico-based Americas Program of the Center for International Policy, joins us to discuss how the cyberweapon Pegasus, which can only be sold to governments on the condition it is used against terrorists and criminals, was used to stymie an investigation into one of Mexico’s most gruesome human rights atrocities which the Pena Nieto PRI government clearly does not want solved.
Then we will look into who Donald Trump Junior, Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort were meeting with in Trump Tower shortly after Trump became the Republican candidate for president. Bill Browder, who was the largest foreign investor in Russia until his lawyer Sergei Magnitsky was murdered for uncovering government corruption, joins us to discuss who this disgusting, sleazy lawyer the Trump boys met with is. We will examine the role of Natalia Veselnitskaya, who was not only Putin’s point person to go after the Magnitsky Act the congress passed to punish the murderers of Browder’s lawyer, but she defended the Kremlin-connected Russian gangsters who laundered the stolen $230 million of tax money meant for the Russian treasury.
Then finally we will get an update on the state of the resistance and the Democratic opposition now that Vice President Mike Pence is beginning to raise campaign money as the Republicans gather a war chest to buy the 2018 and 2020 elections with overwhelming resources. The co-founder of Mother Jones, Richard Parker, who teaches Economics and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, joins us to discuss how organized people with small donations can compete against the organized money of the Koch brothers network.
We begin with the meteoric fall of the U.S. under Donald Trump from the world power that dominated the G-20 to something of a joke on the world stage where the daughter of a president known for her clothing line sits in between the British and Chinese leaders on an important meeting for her father who has managed to isolate the U.S. from the rest of the G-19 in less than 6 months. Charles Kupchan, who was director of European Affairs on the National Security Council during the Clinton Administration and spent the last 3 years as Special Assistant to President Obama for National Security, joins us to discuss the much anticipated meeting between Putin and Trump that was conducted in secret without Trump’s National Security Advisor or his National Security Council’s Russian-speaking expert present.
Then we will examine the two separate foreign policies the U.S. appears to have, one conducted by the Trump family and the other by a compromised, hamstrung and largely ignored defense, intelligence and diplomatic establishment that fringe ideologues inside the White House close to Trump like Stephen Bannon and Sebastian Gorka refer to as the “deep state”. A CIA Middle East veteran, Robert Baer, who is now the national security affairs analyst on CNN, joins us to discuss the unprecedented nature of having a leader of the United States trash his own intelligence services on foreign soil while defending the actions of an adversary who attacked the United States.
Then finally we will get an update on the latest revelations coming from the many investigations into the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russians following a story in The New York Times that Trump’s son and son-in-law met with a Russian lawyer close to the Kremlin who led the Kremlin’s campaign to destroy the late Sergei Magnitsky’s investigation into high-level corruption. An expert on international money laundering, James Henry, an economist, lawyer and investigative journalist who is the co-founder of DCReport.org, joins us to look into whether Trump’s former mob-connected partner Felix Sater, has ratted him out.
We begin with the latest NPR/PBS/Marist poll that finds 54% of Americans think Trump’s dealings with Russia were unethical or illegal while 73% of Republicans believe Trump did nothing wrong with only 4% saying he has done something illegal. The author of “National Insecurity: American Leadership in an Age of Fear” and “The Great Questions of Tomorrow”, David Rothkopf, a columnist for The Washington Post and a visiting professor at Columbia University and a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, joins us. We discuss Donald Trump’s unprecedented attacks on American political leaders and institutions on foreign soil as he stood next to Poland’s authoritarian leader who is cracking down on his press and was no doubt pleased to hear Trump’s attacks on the American Press, along with his trashing of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and the U.S. Intelligence community.
Then we speak with Timothy McCarthy, a Lecturer on History, Literature and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and author of “”Protest Nation: Words That Inspired a Generation” and “The Indispensable Zinn: The Essential Writings or the People’s Historian”. He joins us to discuss the extent to which Trump has laid the groundwork with his supporters by convincing them that the press propagates “fake news” so that when the real news about Trump’s ties to Putin comes out, 35% of Americans won’t believe it.
Then finally we look into the stark division in U.S. foreign policy between the Trump family and his coterie of right wing fringe ideologues, and the broader U.S. defense, intelligence and diplomatic community otherwise known as the “deep state” that have been laid bare by Saudi Arabia’s attack on Qatar. David Hearst, the Editor of Middle East Eye, joins us from the U.K. to discuss the contentious report on the Saudi role in radicalizing young Muslims in Britain and how Trump and his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared’s financial ties to the Saudi Crown Prince are dictating a dangerous Middle East policy that goes against U.S. interests in the region.
We begin on this 4th of July holiday with an analysis of the foundation of America’s democracy, our electoral system that has been under attack by the Russians and is now being attacked by the Trump Administration in order to prove an outrageous and unsupported claim by Trump that 5 million illegals voted in the last election which was why Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 3 million. Andrew Gumbel, an award-winning investigative reporter and author of “Down For the Count: Dirty Elections and the Rotten History of Democracy in America” joins us to discuss the bogus commission that Donald Trump has set up chaired by Vice President Mike Pence and Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State who is the country’s leading crusader against the imaginary scourge of voter fraud. Needless to say, Trump’s commission which is not looking into the role of the Russian hacking of our election but is comprised of voter-suppression zealots, will be using the specter of voter fraud to deny the votes of minorities who vote Democratic as has already happened in Kobach’s Kansas. We also look into why the majority of the nation’s Secretaries of State have rejected the commission’s demand for personal data on voter’s voting habits, partial social security numbers and other personal data which will be housed on an unsecured website.
Then we examine further Trump’s partisan electoral purge and the abuse of the power of the presidency where the delusions of an insecure narcissist still obsessed with his loss in the popular vote, who championed an earlier witch hunt against Obama based on the lie that Obama did not have a birth certificate, is now commissioning a wild goose chase that could end up a cover for voter suppression. Michael Lewis-Beck, a Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa, whose interests include comparative elections, election forecasting, political economy and quantitative methodology, joins us to investigate the lack of a strategy to counter the Trump disaster on the part of Democrats, too many of whom are invested in the notion that Trump will be impeached. We discuss the lack of an alternative narrative of what the Democrats would replace Trump with in terms of a vision of a better America for all and leadership that could heal the country’s divisions and bring America back to greatness.