Background Briefing: August 23, 2018


Trump is Putin’s Asset and In Debt to the Russian “Mafiya”

We begin with the author of the explosive new book which makes the case that the man in the White House, Donald Trump, is an asset of the Putin government and is in debt to the Russian organized crime knows as the “mafiya”. Craig Unger, the author of the New York Times best-seller, “House of Bush, House of Saud” who has written about the Trump-Russia scandal for The New Republic and Vanity Fair, joins us to discuss his latest book, just out, “House of Trump, House of Putin: The Untold Story of Donald Trump and the Russian Mafia”. We will discuss how Trump started doing business with Russian gangsters in 1984 when he sold 5 condos to a Russian mobster David Bogatin for $6 million in cash and how the richer Trump got, the deeper he sank into the Russian criminal underworld, ending up with Trump selling 1,300 condos in the U.S. to Russians in all cash purchases through anonymous sources. We assess why it is difficult for Americans to get their heads around the possibility that their president is a traitor even though the evidence of “kompromat” (compromise) was in plain sight for all the world to see at the press conference that followed the secret meeting between Trump and Putin in Helsinki at which Trump displayed a sickening submissiveness to his case officer in the Kremlin.


Russia Boasts of Deeper Military Involvement in Syria

Then we look into claims by the Russian Ministry of Defense that their military involvement is Syria was much more extensive than previously thought, with the head of the Russian Duma defense committee boasting that Russia deployed 63,012 military personnel who saw combat experience in Syria, with its air force destroying 121,466 “terrorists targets” killing 86,000 so-called “militants” while testing 231 new weapons systems. An expert on Syria, Nicholas Heras, a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, joins us to discuss how Russia has secured a foothold in the Middle East while increasing its arms sales across the region.


Trump Politicizes the Death of Mollie Tibbets Over the Objections of Members of Her Family

Then finally we go to Iowa City to speak with Timothy Hagle, a Professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa who teaches judicial politics and behavior, American politics, and public administration. He joins us to discuss how the death of Mollie Tibbetts, allegedly at the hands of an undocumented Mexican farm-hand who worked for a prominent Republican family, has become politicized by President Trump and Iowa’s governor Kim Reynolds and amplified by Fox News, over the objections of members of the victim’s family.