Background Briefing: June 3, 2019


The Trump Family Outing to Buckingham Palace

We begin with the state visit of President Trump to the U.K. and his furious tweeting of insults at the Mayor of London and CNN before lunch and a banquet with the Royal Family at Buckingham Palace which appeared to be a Trump family outing with his four children minus the youngest in attendance. Notably absent from the dinner was Prince Harry and the Queen’s granddaughter-in-law Meghan Markle who Trump insulted in a recent interview with Murdoch’s Sun newspaper, calling her “nasty”, which he later denied even though Trump is on tape saying it. One of the world’s leading analysts of popular culture and media, Toby Miller, a Professor of Media and Creative Industries at Loughborough University in London joins us to discuss how Trump has complicated matters for his British hosts by meddling in British politics in praising the Brexiteer Nigel Farage as his favorite member of parliament even though Farage is not a member of the British parliament and promoting Boris Johnson as his choice to succeed outgoing British PM Theresa May. Protesters set up a giant screen on Big Ben next to Parliament House and projected a video of Boris Johnson criticizing Trump as unfit for office, but the main protests are scheduled for tomorrow with over 250,000 Londoners expected to voice their disapproval of the American president. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who will address the crowd Tweeted “stand in solidarity with those Trump has attacked in America, around the world and in our own country – including, just this morning Mayor Sadiq Khan.”


The Constitutional Remedy Robert Mueller Obscured with His Impenetrable Legalese

Then we speak with Corey Brettschneider, a professor of political science at Brown University where he teaches constitutional law and politics who is the author of the new book “The Oath and the Office: A Guide to the Constitution for Future Presidents”. He joins us to discuss the constitutional crisis a lawless president has provoked and the need for the House Democrats to proceed with impeachment and follow the constitutional remedy Robert Mueller referred to in impenetrable legalese in his recent brief and painfully oblique final ten minute address to the media


Elaine Chao’s Alarmingly Inappropriate Conflicts of Interest

Then finally we examine the major investigative article in Monday’s New York Times outlining the alarmingly inappropriate conflicts of interest Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao brings to her job of overseeing shipping since her family’s shipping company has such close ties to top Chinese leaders. And as it happens, she is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who has received generous campaign donations from the Chao family. Kathleen Clark, Professor of Law at Washington University in St. Louis who works in the areas of legal ethics, the law of whistleblowing and national security law, joins us to discuss the swampyness of Trump’s cabinet.