Background Briefing: November 18, 2018


Trump’s Desperate Defense of the Saudi Murderer-in-Chief

We begin with President Trump’s refusal to listen to the tape of the murder of the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi provided by the Turks and his dismissal of the CIA finding that the Saudi Crown Prince MBS ordered the assassination of the Saudi dissident. David Hearst, the Editor of Middle East Eye, joins us from London to discuss the extraordinary praise for the Saudis as “spectacular allies” coming from Trump in the face of damning evidence that Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader is a violent thug who operates with impunity and with unbridled recklessness. We look into the record of the serial disasters in Yemen and Qatar brought about by MBS’s impetuous misrule and examine what hidden ties might be at play since from day one Trump has operated as a legal adviser for the Saudis crafting cover-ups for them while chiding them that the assassination was a “bad original concept” which was “carried out poorly” rather than an appalling human rights violation carried out under diplomatic immunity on the soil of a NATO ally. We assess whether there are possibly secret financial ties between the Saudis and Trump and his son in law Jared Kushner which might explain why a top White House official responsible for American policy towards Saudi Arabia resigned on Friday evening.


The Constitutionality of Trump’s Hatchet-Man Whitaker on Trial

Then we get an update on the wrangling between the Trump White House and Robert Mueller whose investigation Trump claimed in close to being wrapped up. Scott Horton, a professor at Columbia Law School and a contributing editor at Harper’s in legal affairs and national security joins us to discuss the possibility that Mueller has a number of sealed indictments which may include Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator. We also assess whether Trump’s hatchet-man the unqualified and possibly unconstitutional acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, will block the release of the Mueller report or try to dilute its findings.


US Special Forces Off the Reservation

Then finally with the murder of a Green Beret by Navy SEALs and a decorated Navy SEAL accused of war crimes in Iraq, we will investigate the lawless behavior of some members of the U.S. Special Forces operating under JSOC, the Joint Special Operations Command. Author, filmmaker and journalist Robert Young Pelton, who has been on many operations with U.S. Special Forces, joins us to discuss the lack of supervision over SEAL teams who operate without commanding officers, and the culture of impunity which allows some of these warriors to engage in criminal activity, drug abuse and financial irregularities.