Background Briefing: July 17, 2018


Allied Countries No Longer Want to Share Intelligence Because They Don’t Trust Trump

We begin with the contrast between Putin unleashing his intelligence services to attack the United States while our president attacks our intelligence services, criticizing and undermining them at every turn. Dr. Mark Lowenthal, President of the Intelligence & Security Academy and a professor at Johns Hopkins University who served as Assistant Director of Central Intelligence for Analysis and Production, Vice Chairman for Evaluation on the National intelligence Council, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Staff Director of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, joins us. We discuss the alarm felt not just here at home about Trump’s press conference with Putin, but abroad, particularly with allied countries with whom the U.S. shares intelligence who no longer trust the U.S. with vital secrets because our commander-in-chief could be compromised by the Russians and cannot be trusted to keep secrets from them.  And while our intelligence professionals might be wondering why they should risk their lives for a leader who neither trusts them or believes what they tell him, we will assess how easy it is for a trained KGB officer like Putin to exploit Trump’s ego and ignorance as Putin plays a weak hand strongly while our weak leader plays a strong hand weakly.


Will Republicans Start Deserting Their Compromised Leader

Then we speak with Heather Hurlburt the Director of the New Models of Policy Change project at the New America Foundation’s Political Reform Program. She served in the White House, State Department and Congress and was Special Assistant and Speechwriter to President Clinton and a member of the State Department’s Policy Planning staff. We will discuss her article at New York Magazine “7 Takeaways From Trump’s Catastrophic Meeting With Putin” and whether the apparent hold that Putin has over Trump will begin to erode the lockstep support Republicans have afforded their leader so far.


By the Year 2040, 30% Will Choose 70 Out of 100 Senators

Then finally we examine the present challenge the Democrats have of overcoming a baseline deficit of having to win 8% more votes than the Republicans just to break even and the even greater challenge they have into the future because by the year 2040, 70% of Americans will live in 15 mostly blue states, meaning that 30% of the population in red states who will be older, whiter, more rural, more male and less educated, will choose 70 out of 100 senators. Norman Ornstein a contributing writer to The Atlantic and the author of numerous bestsellers, the latest of which is “One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported”, joins us to discuss the growing tyranny of the minority in America.