Day: January 8, 2019

Background Briefing: January 8, 2019


Trump Gratuitous and Childish Insult to the EU

We begin with President Trump’s latest insult to allies with the Administration downgrading the diplomatic status of the E.U. without notifying the European Union as heightened trade tensions between the E.U. and the U.S. have European leaders trying to persuade Trump not to slap a 20% tariff on all cars imported from the E.U. Charles Kupchan, who spent the last three years of the Obama Administration as Special Assistant to the President for National Security and was director for European Affairs on the National Security Council during the Clinton Administration, joins us to discuss the possibility that the E.U. and NATO could be the next deliberately created crisis after the border crisis Trump has manufactured has died down. Recently Secretary of State Pompeo questioned the E.U.’s role in a speech in Brussels saying “Brexit – if nothing else – was a political wake up call. Is the E.U. ensuring that the interests of countries and their citizens are placed before those of the bureaucrats here in Brussels.” With that and Trump’s remarks to the troops in Iraq vowing the U.S. was no longer going to be the “sucker”, we will assess what is behind Trump’s penchant for trashing allies while gushing over enemies and the gratuitous childish insult to the European Union delegation in Washington.


Will the Trump Administration’s Lies to Justify a Border Crisis Catch up on Them?

Then we assess whether the lies and distortions of data and statistics to generate a border crisis issuing forth from Trump, Pence and the DHS Secretary Nielsen will catch up on the Administration. Mae Ngai, a Professor of History at Columbia University who studies immigration, citizenship, and nationalism joins us to discuss the racist underpinning of focusing on a wall to keep brown people out claiming the threat of terrorism when of the 3,755 suspected terrorists who tried to enter the U.S. cited by the Administration to Congress as their justification for a wall, only 6 were stopped on the Mexican border while 41 tried to enter from Canada.


Will Trump’s Border Crisis Continue as Long as It Takes to Build His Wall?

Then finally we speak with Ryan Devereaux, a journalist who covers national security and criminal justice for The Intercept where he has an article “How The Trump Administration is Manufacturing a New Border Crisis”. He joins us to look into how much the far-right leaders of the Border Patrol union are fueling Trump’s hostility towards immigrants from Mexico and Central America and the absurdity of staging a crisis to justify a military response when the solution being offered is to build a wall that will take years to complete making it an open-ended crisis requiring the diversion of a large part of our military to a permanent deployment on the border.