Day: January 13, 2019

Background Briefing: January 13, 2019


Damning Evidence Against Trump Now Being Verified

We begin with the two big stories in The New York Times and Washington Post making headlines. The first in the Times that the FBI began a counterintelligence investigation into Trump’s relationship with the Russians after he fired Comey and the second in the Post that Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to suppress any records and transcripts of his meetings with Putin.  Seth Hettena, an award-winning journalist who was a long-time investigative reporter for the Associated Press whose latest book is “Trump/Russia: A Definitive History”, joins us to discuss the extent to which the walls are closing in on Donald Trump and how the extensive and alarming evidence in his book, along with others, is now beginning to be verified by news reports. And since so much evidence of Trump’s criminality and possibly treasonous behavior has been documented, the assumption is that the Mueller investigation, assuming it is released to the public, has turned this information and other intelligence reports into evidence that will stand up in court. Or at the very least, Mueller is likely to provide a road map if not a guide book that ties the many disparate reports on Trump’s and his associate’s suspicious behavior together with proven malign Russian actions, into a revelation that could be the most shocking, embarrassing and humiliating political event in American if not world history.


Israel’s Covert War in Syria

Then we examine reports emerging from Israel indicating the leadership and the military are opening up about the extent of their military campaign in Syria against the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, the Quds Force and Hezbollah which amounts to a sustained and secret war against Iran in Syria about which Israel’s outgoing military chief General Eisenkot said “Israel has struck thousands of targets without claiming responsibility or asking for credit”.  A specialist on conflict at the Syria, Lebanon, Israel tri-border region, Asher Kaufman, Director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame University, joins us to discuss a covert war which is escalating while Syria’s civil war is winding down.


Why Trump’s Base Sees Him as a Miracle from Heaven

Then finally, with America’s Secretary of State apparently believing in the “rapture”, we examine the shrinking constituency that keeps Trump and his Administration in office, his so-called base, which is heavily influenced by evangelicals who are Christian Nationalists. Katherine Stewart, the author of “The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Assault on America’s Children” who has a recent article at The New York Times, “Why Trump Reigns as King Cyrus”, joins us to explain how Christian Nationalist see Trump as a miracle sent straight from heaven to bring the nation back to the Lord.