Day: September 10, 2019

Background Briefing: September 10, 2019


Will Bolton’s Exit Mean More Trump Photo Ops with Tyrants?

We begin with the firing today by President Trump by Twitter of his third National Security Adviser John Bolton who Trump said he “disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions” and that “I will be naming a new national security adviser next week”. David Rothkopf, the CEO of TRG Media and the former editor of Foreign Policy Magazine and author of “Running the World: The Inside Story of the National Security Council and the Architects of American Power”, joins us to discuss this latest upheaval in Trumpworld which many are interpreting as a sign that a less hawkish foreign policy is about to emerge. We assess whether the collapse of the ill-considered and unprepared meeting with the Taliban at Camp David was the final straw in a relationship that was never close or cordial from the beginning because from the outset Trump did not feel Bolton, with his walrus mustache, looked good on TV.  And since Trump’s biggest donor Sheldon Adelson championed Bolton’s appointment, we will speculate who might be his replacement and whether Trump will be less constrained in the future to pursue photo ops with tyrants like Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin and have terrorists visit Camp David in the hope it will lead to a Nobel Peace Prize for him so that he can get back at his nemesis Obama.


Will Bolton Spill the Beans on White House Dysfunction?

Then we look into the possibility of who might replace Bolton and speak with Jacob Heilbrunn, a Senior Editor at the National Interest and author of “They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons” about his article at The Spectator “John Bolton is Trump’s latest distraction. Could Douglas Macgregor fill the Iran Hawk’s Shoes?” We examine the possibility that unlike his predecessors like General Mattis who have kept quiet about their alarm about Trump’s lack of fitness to be president, Bolton might just spill the beans about the dangerous dysfunction at the top of the U.S. government.


The Loss of the CIA’s Most Valuable Asset Inside the Kremlin

Then finally we  speak with the former Director of Russia Analysis at the CIA, George Beebe, about the top secret asset the CIA had inside the Kremlin, Oleg Smolenkov, who was exfiltrated by the CIA from Russia in 2017 and has been living in Virginia until being exposed in the press and is now presumably in hiding. The author of the new book “The Russia Trap: How Our Shadow War with Russia Could Spiral into Nuclear Catastrophe”, George Beebe joins us to discuss how serious the loss of this valuable source is for U.S. intelligence who was exfiltrated in part because of concerns our own president might reveal his existence to the Russians.