Day: June 17, 2018

Background Briefing: June 17, 2018


The Utility of Psychological Profiles on Kim Jong-Un, Putin and Xi Jinping

We begin with an analysis of why the recent summit in Singapore might be successful now that North Korea’s main propaganda outlet has broadcast a 45 minute documentary full of the requisite praise for Chairman Kim, but with favorable words for President Trump and a mentioning of the goal of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula with images of the gleaming Singapore skyline as a modernistic future for North Korea to aspire towards. We will speak with someone who predicted a successful summit, Ken Dekleva, a clinical psychiatrist who until recently served as a psychiatrist with the U.S. State Department. He has created psychological profiles of foreign leaders ahead of presidential summits having created profiles on North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping among others. Given President Trump’s emphasis on personal engagement as opposed to policy preparation, we discuss the importance of personal chemistry in terms of meetings between heads of state and how understanding who you are dealing with and what makes them tick can be helpful if not crucial.


Trump Denies His Own Cruel Policy

Then we examine the cruel immigration policy underway on the southern border directed by a president who is denying what he is doing, which amounts to child abuse, then blaming it on Democrats. Ruthie Epstein, an immigration policy analyst and lobbyist at the American Civil Liberties Union joins us to discuss the brazen nature of Trump’s cynical denial of his own policy and attempts by the Republicans next week to pass a bill that their so-called moderates and hard-liners can agree on, about which Trump has sent mixed signals.


Can the White House Press Corps Unite to Force Trump and Sanders to Stop Lying and Answer Questions?

Then finally, with President Trump holding an impromptu press gaggle in the White House driveway at which one reporter asked “why are you lying” but was drowned out by other reporters shouting questions, we assess whether it would be possible for the White House press corps to form some sort of solidarity and united front to demand that Trump and Sarah Sanders stop lying and answer questions. The author of “The Press effect”, Paul Waldman, who blogs at the Washington Post’s Plum line and is a senior writer for the American Prospect, joins us.