Background Briefing: July 3, 2018


Is Trump Putin’s Manchurian Candidate?

We begin with the upcoming summit in Helsinki, Finland on July 16 between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in which an ignorant, insecure and possibly compromised American president will be sitting down with an extremely clever and utterly ruthless former KGB thug, who, if he does not already control Trump, will surely have him wrapped around his finger in Helsinki.  A veteran CIA officer Robert Baer who is now the national security affairs analyst at CNN, joins us to discuss why our president who has trashed, ignored and belittled America’s intelligence agencies, appears to defer to Russia’s leader who has built an undemocratic kleptocracy regulated by former intelligence officials and cronies. We will explore the possibility that Trump is some kind of “Manchurian Candidate” who either was recruited by the Kremlin or who bought into their worldview and is now doing the bidding of Moscow while sitting in the Oval Office.  And how as the Mueller inquiry investigates Trump’s financial ties, it appears the wannabe billionaire Trump, was rescued by cash from real billionaires in Russia close to Putin. Having incessantly praised Putin while insulting America’s allies at every opportunity, we will look into what it will take in terms of “smoking guns” to convince Republicans in Congress to stop enabling the destruction of America and for Trump’s base locked inside the Fox News bubble to realize their hero is a traitor.


What to Expect From the Putin/Trump Summit in Helsinki

Then we speak with Ambassador Derek Shearer, a former U.S. Ambassador to Finland who is currently a Professor of Diplomacy and World affairs at Occidental College where he serves as Director of the McKinnon Center for Global Affairs. He joins us to discuss the summit he arranged in Helsinki in 1997 between President Clinton and President Yeltsin and what is likely to emerge from a meeting with an adversarial leader who helped elect the American president he is conducting secret talks with. Our leader who will be coming to Helsinki from a NATO summit of America’s allies who are likely to have been as rattled by Trump’s hostility and rudeness towards them as the participants at the recent G-7 summit in Canada were.