Day: December 18, 2018

Background Briefing: December 18, 2018


How Russia Won with Brexit and Trump Weakening the West Without Firing a Shot

We begin with a broader context for the just-released reports from the Senate Intelligence Committee on the extent of Russian influence on the 2016 election via social media and discuss how the Russians perfected hybrid warfare and were able to inflict enormous and continuing damage on the United States turning Americans against Americans without firing a shot. Malcolm Nance a 33 year career U.S. counter-terrorism and intelligence officer who is the author of “The Plot to Destroy Democracy: How Putin and His Spies Are Undermining America and Dismantling the West” and the forthcoming “The Plot to Commit Treason”, joins us to discuss the delay in sentencing and the scolding of Michael Flynn by a federal judge today who asked whether undermining sanctions on Russia could be considered treason, telling Flynn that “arguably, you sold your country out”. We look into how for a very small investment the payoff for Russia in pushing Brexit and Trump’s election has been extraordinary in terms of undermining the West with the U.K. now politically paralyzed and economically isolated, and, having their “useful idiot” in the White House is a gift that keeps on giving as Trump continues to divide, corrupt and weaken America, its democratic institutions and its standing in the world.


How Russia’s Promotion of Jill Stein Paid Off

Then we speak with Casey Michel, a reporter with ThinkProgress who has worked as a journalist in both the U.S. and the former Soviet Union and has written on Russian disinformation in Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, The Atlantic and Politico. He joins us to assess how much the damage to the integrity of the 2016 election outlined in the two Senate intel reports effected the outcome just in terms of one strand which is how successfully the Russians pushed the candidacy of the Green Party’s Jill Stein who go more votes in the three key states Trump won than Hillary Clinton narrowly lost by.


Zinke’s Exit Leaves an Even Worse Fox in Charge of the Hen House

Then finally we assess the lasting damage to the country’s environment by the outgoing Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke who left under a cloud of scandal but his departure has only elevated his deputy David Bernhardt, a former lobbyist for the coal, oil and gas industries who has been effectively running the Department of the Interior all along. Joel Clement, a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School who served as Director of the Office of Policy Analysis at DOI until he was fired by Zinke for blowing the whistle of politically motivated reassignments of personnel, joins us.