Background Briefing: June 14, 2018


The Long-Anticipated DOJ IG’s Report Trump is Seizing On

We begin with the release of the long-anticipated report by the Department of Justice Inspector General who investigated former FBI Director Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email saga which Trump has relentlessly tried to build up as a criminal outrage worse than Watergate in order to distract from the on-going Mueller investigation into him and his family. Lisa Kern Griffin, a professor of law at Duke University who clerked for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner and spent five years as a Federal Prosecutor in the Chicago United States Attorney’s Office, joins us. We will discuss how the report’s main finding is that Comey was “insubordinate” in his handling of the Clinton investigation but it finds there was no “bias” in the FBI’s decision to clear Clinton. However buried in the 568 pages of this report are seven words that Trump and his Fox and friends media allies are blowing up into a smoking gun to proves the “Deep State” is out to get Trump, and that is an exchange of texts between a former Army officer and FBI agent Peter Strzok and his girlfriend FBI lawyer Lisa Page who asked rhetorically “Trump’s not ever going to become president right? Right?” To which Strzok fatefully replied “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”


The First Look Inside a Detention Facility Holding 1500 Immigrant Children

Then we speak with Emma Brown, an investigative reporter at The Washington Post where her latest article is “Inside Casa Padre, the converted Walmart where the U.S. is holding nearly 1,500 immigrant children”. We discuss the first access the press has had to a detention facilities housing some of the 11,200 children now in federal custody. And while the excuse is given that the privacy of children is being protected, the U.S. public knows very little about the fate of children as young as breast-feeding babies who have been ripped from their mother’s arms at the southern border, and the conditions in which they are being detained under what the Trump Administration calls a “zero tolerance policy”.


The Worsening Situation in Yemen

Then finally we get an update on the worsening situation in Yemen which is already a humanitarian catastrophe, as a Saudi-led force moves on the port city of Hudaydah to close off the only access to aid for a country under a merciless blockade which has resulted in a third of the country’s population facing starvation. An expert on YemenDr. Sheila Carapico, a Professor of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Richmond and author of “Arabia Incognita: Dispatches from Yemen and the Gulf”, joins us to discuss the extent to which the U.S. has blood on its hands as a result of supporting and arming the Saudi war now threatening to destroy a city of 600,000.