Background Briefing: November 21, 2018
More Outrages Which Should Disqualify Whitaker
We begin with the head of a watchdog group which has filed complaints against Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker for violations of the Hatch Act that restricts political activities by federal employees. The former Senior Counsel in the State Department for oversight and transparency, Austin Evers, the Founder and Executive Director of American Oversight, a non-partisan, non-profit ethics watchdog and the top freedom of information litigator investigating the Trump Administration, joins us. We discuss the three complaints filed against Whitaker and recent revelations that Whitaker was paid $1.2 million by undisclosed donors for heading up a charity The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust which had one employee, Whitaker. We will examine the extent to which Whitaker was groomed by powerful conservative donors like the Koch Brothers and championed by the Federalist Society’s Leonard Leo to go on TV spouting right wing pro-Trump and anti-Mueller talking points which got the attention of the nation’s chief television watcher Donald Trump. All the while as head of an organization which existed on paper only that became a lucrative stepping stone for a failed political candidate involved with a patent marketing scam who in a few years, rose from a modest law practice in Iowa to the nation’s top law enforcement job.
Could India and Iran Rescue the US from Afghanistan?
Then we look into the bombing of a religious gathering celebrating the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad in Kabul, Afghanistan which killed over 55 people and speak with Christine Fair the Provost’s Distinguished Professor in the Security Studies Program within Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. She is just back from Afghanistan and we will discuss the escalating attacks on the Afghan Army and police and against civilians by the Taliban and the impact of renewed sanctions against Iran targeting a major customer of Iranian oil India, given that India in cooperating with Iran to provide access to the Iranian port of Chabahar as an alternative to dependence by land-locked Afghanistan on Pakistan which supports the Taliban.
Is Trump Now the Leader of the World’s Tyrants and Kleptocrats?
Then finally Roger Morris, who served on the National Security Council under presidents Johnson and Nixon, joins us to discuss President Trump’s craven capitulation to Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince whose medieval butchery of a Washington Post journalist has shocked the world and Trump’s disgraceful tweet today thanking Saudi Arabia for low gas prices. We assess whether the forces of tyranny, corruption and kleptocracy which are at war with global democracy and the rule of law, now have a new champion and leader, America’s president, Donald Trump.