Background Briefing: September 30, 2019
Authoritarians Are Never More Dangerous Than When Vulnerable
We begin with Trump’s downward spiral into lunacy as he lashes out at Adam Schiff labeling him a traitor as he brings up the specter of civil war as though welcoming the mass bloodletting of Americans killing their fellow Americans. Ruth Ben Ghiat, a Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University who writes and speaks on fascism, racism, authoritarian rulers and propaganda joins us to discuss her article at CNN “Trump’s authoritarian tendencies come back to bite him” in which she points out that authoritarians are never more dangerous than when they feel vulnerable. Because authoritarian-minded leaders like President Trump who are their own best friends since they usually have few real friends, are also their own worst enemies, especially when things are not going well for them, we will assess whether Trump will continue to dig the hole deeper for himself as he sticks to his absurd conspiracy theories in a pathetic attempt to justify his extortion of Ukraine’s president. As Trump continues to insist that loyalty to him is more important than duty to the country, we will look into whether the mounting evidence against Trump will lead to others coming forward with incriminating revelations. And as Trump’s surrogates like Stephen Miller argue that the whistleblower is a “deep state operative” who is “part of a group of unelected bureaucrats who think they need to take down this president”, we will explore whether the evidence from an impeachment will penetrate the Fox News bubble.
As Trump’s Roy Cohn Barr Gets Him Out of Trouble, Giuliani Gets Him into More Trouble
Then we speak with Casey Michel, a writer and investigative journalist who covers kleptocracy, grand corruption and developments in the post-Soviet space. He joins us to discuss his article at The Daily Beast, “Trump’s Big Lie About Joe Biden, Hunter Biden and Ukraine Falls Apart” and the role of Trump’s Attorney General William Barr who is now Trump’s Roy Cohn and is skilled at getting Trump out of trouble while his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani (who has just been subpoenaed) appears to be constantly getting Trump into trouble.
The Contrast Between Whistleblowers like Reality Winner and the So-Called “Adults in the Room”
Then finally, in contrast to whistleblowers like Reality Winner who is rotting in jail for providing the American public with vital information they need to know, we will examine the enormous disservice the so-called “adults” around Trump; Generals Kelly, Mattis and McMaster along with Gary Cohn and Rex Tillerson have done to the country by not telling the truth about who their former boss is and how reckless, dangerous and disgraceful his actions are to the United States and the world. Will Bunch, an award-winning columnist with the Philadelphia Inquirer joins us to discuss his latest article “History will be cruel to many who saw Trump’s treachery and DIDN’T become whistle-blowers”.