Background Briefing: February 11, 2019


Elizabeth Warren’s Prediction That Trump Will Soon Be in Jail

We begin with remarks by Senator Elizabeth Warren one day after declaring her candidacy for president at a campaign rally in Iowa on Sunday that “by the time we get to 2020, Donald Trump may not even be President”. She went on to say, “In fact, he may not even be a free person”. Robert Hockett, a Professor of Law at Cornell Law School who recently helped Senator Elizabeth Warren write the Accountable Capitalism Act, joins us to discuss the launch of Elizabeth Warren’s campaign which Trump has greeted with racist distain tweeting his usual insult calling her Pocahontas. But this time Trump added “See you on the campaign TRAIL, Liz” with the word trail in caps which some interpret as an illusion to the genocidal Trail of Tears in the 1800’s carried out against native Americans by Andrew Jackson who Donald Trump has often praised, having placed a portrait of him in the Oval Office as well as making a pilgrimage to Jackson’s tomb in Tennessee after being sworn in. And since Robert Hockett is now an economic advisor to Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, we also talk about the Green New Deal which Robert defended on Fox News in a heated exchange with Tucker Carlson who was quoting passages from an earlier draft which is no longer even a footnote, but has become a key right wing talking point.


Why Trump and Netanyahu Go to the Mat for MBS

Then we speak with an expert on the Middle East Dr. Alon Ben Meir, a Professor and Senior Fellow at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs and a Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute. He joins us to discuss the role of Saudi Arabia which Jeff Bezos pointed to in his recent blog accusing the parent company of the National Enquirer of extortion and its head David Pecker of being “apoplectic” at the mention of Saudi Arabia, writing “For reasons still to be better understood, the Saudi angle seems to hit a particularly sensitive nerve”. We will also discuss why Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu are covering up for the Saudi Crown Prince in spite of international condemnation of MBS’s role in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.


Iran 40 Years After the Revolution

Then finally we get an analysis of the current situation in Iran on today’s 40th anniversary of the Iranian revolution which brought in the theocratic government that is now under increased sanctions from the Trump Administration whose National Security Advisor John Bolton recently ordered the Pentagon to develop a war plan for a future confrontation with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Abbas Milani, the Director of Iranian Studies at Stanford University who taught at Tehran University’s Faculty of Law and Political Science joins us to discuss the gap between the social changes since the revolution and the rigid moral strictures Iran’s leaders still impose.