Background Briefing: July 12, 2018


Anxiety Ahead of Trump’s Bromance Meeting with Putin

We begin with analysis of the forthcoming summit between Trump and Putin on Monday in Helsinki, Finland which has European allies and even Republican senators concerned about the apparent undue influence Putin has over Trump. Former National Intelligence Officer for Russia and Eurasia, Angela Stent, the Director of the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Affairs and a professor of Government and Foreign Affairs at Georgetown University who is the author of The Limits of Partnership: U.S.-Russian Relations in the Twenty-First Century, joins us. We assess the extent to which the Trump/Putin summit might be a combination of mendacity and incompetence, given how the much-ballyhooed summit with Kim Jong-un turned out to be nothing more than a gift to a brutal dictator. And since our president is looking forward to a meeting he expects to be “the easiest of them”, after having trashed the two women who are leaders of our most important allies Germany and the U.K., we will look into Trump’s bromance with Putin, the leader of a hostile country which meddled in the 2016 presidential elections to help elect Donald J. Trump.


Consequences of an End to Asylum

Then with today’s unveiling of a new asylum policy by the Trump Administration announcing that claims by immigrants fleeing from gang violence and domestic abuse will now be immediately rejected, we turn to the fate of the thousands of migrants and refugees appealing for asylum. Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the bestseller “Enrique’s Journey”, Sonia Nazario, a board member of KIND, Kids in Need of Defense, and contributing opinion writer to the New York Times where she has an article “The End of Asylum”, joins us. We examine the Trump Administration’s illegal efforts in denying the recent wave of migrants “credible fear interviews” and well-considered trials, and assess the chances migrants and refugees have of filing successful asylum claims in the future.


Ties Between the Trump Family and Deutsche Bank

Then finally we speak with James Henry, an economist, lawyer and investigative journalist and co-founder of the investigative reporting news service who has written extensively about global banking and tax havens and is the author of Blood Bankers. He joins us to discuss Deutsche Bank’s $10 billion fine for money laundering and the role it played in rescuing Trump’s business and the possible influence of former Deutsche Bank managing director Justin Kennedy, in getting his father Justice Anthony Kennedy to retire from the Supreme Court before the November elections.