Background Briefing: July 22, 2018


Like Nixon, Could Tape Recordings Bring Down Trump?

We begin with an update on the Mueller investigation and explore its various threads along with other cases brought by Mueller handed off to the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Manhattan and Washington and the Department of Justice’s national security division. Harry Litman, a former United States Attorney and deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department joins us to discuss his article at CNN, “Indictments of 12 Russians has stunning implications” and the latest revelation that the Mueller team wants to talk to the so-called “Manhattan Madam”. We also look into the possibility that Trump’s mistreatment of his loyal fixer Michael Cohen will come back to haunt him now that Cohen’s lawyers have leaked the existence of a tape recording between Cohen and Trump discussing a payoff of hush money to a Playmate weeks before the 2016 election. Given the history of tape recordings bringing down presidents as was the case with Nixon and Watergate, we will assess the possibility that covering up sexual relations which was the best that Special Counsel Ken Starr could come up with from his witch hunt in pursuit of Clinton, will be Trump’s undoing, in spite of the recent troubling evidence that Putin appears to have an undisclosed malign influence over Trump.


Trump is Becoming Increasingly Unhinged

Then with leaks from inside the White House that President Trump is becoming increasingly unhinged as he desperately tries to keep one step ahead of the sheriff by pulling off reality TV stunts on a daily basis to distract the press and feed his base instead of governing, we speak with Lance Dodes.  A Training and Supervising Analyst Emeritus with the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute who was a clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and is a contributor to the recent book assessing President Trump, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump”, he joins us to discuss the increasing pressure of narcissistic mortification undoing Trump as the reality of his incompetence and amateurism becomes overwhelming.


Ortega’s Dictatorship Resembles the Somoza Regime He Helped Topple in 1979

Then finally we speak with a specialist on Nicaragua, Geoff Thale, the Vice President for Programs at the Washington Office on Latin America who focuses on human rights, citizen security and economic opportunity in Central America. He joins us to discuss the violent repression of student protesters by government vigilante thugs and the irony that Nicaragua under Daniel Ortega’s increasingly brutal dictatorship is beginning to resemble the Somoza regime which Ortega helped topple in 1979.