Day: May 5, 2019

Background Briefing: May 5, 2019


Is Trump Naive or Compromised by Putin?

We begin with President Trump’s long phone chat with Vladimir Putin last Friday in which Donald Trump did not bring up the issue of Russian interference in our past and future elections and instead celebrated with Putin what Trump is calling the end of the “Russia hoax”, that is the way that the Attorney General Barr and the Republicans have managed to obscure what is actually in the Mueller report, as well as accepting Putin’s assurances that Russia has no interest in Venezuela. Dr. Michael Carpenter, a foreign policy advisor to Vice President Joe Biden who also served as director for Russia at the National Security Council and is now a senior director at the Biden Center for diplomacy and Global Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania, joins us. We will assess whether Trump is naïve or compromised and although he is claiming exoneration and chanting “no collusion”, there is plenty of evidence in the Mueller report of Russian efforts at coordination and conspiracy in helping elect Trump and defeat Hillary Clinton which the Republicans are willfully ignoring and we will speculate why.


Our Conspiracy Theorist-In-Chief

Then, with Trump coming to the defense of conspiracy theorists who have been banned from Facebook, we will speak with Anna Merlan, a reporter at the Special Projects Desk, the investigative division of Gizmodo Media Group, and author of the new book just out, “Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power”. She joins us to discuss how much the conspiracy theorist-in-chief, Donald Trump, is helping propagate sick lies while defending disinformation hucksters like Alex Jones and Paul Joseph Watson who perpetuate the Sandy Hook, Seth Rich, 9/11 and chemtrails conspiracies.


Brexiteers Polling Ahead of May 23rd EU Election

Then finally we  look into the elections for the EU parliament coming up on May the 23rd and examine the rise of Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party in the polls which is running ahead of Labour and the governing Conservatives. Harold Clarke, the co-investigator of the British Election Study at the University of Manchester and author of “Brexit: Why Britain Voted to Leave the European Union”, joins us to discuss how the EU election will likely put an end to Theresa May’s government but also could give far–right parties veto power if they reach a one third threshold of votes.