Background Briefing: October 22, 2019


The Russians Are Using Gabbard, but That Does Not Make Her Their Asset

We  begin with the increasingly active Russian trolls and propaganda networks who are amplifying Trump’s conspiracy theories, particularly the one that serves both their interests, the absurd fiction that “Crowdstrike”, not the GRU, was behind the hacking of the DNC server. And with the electoral interference monitoring group the Alliance for Securing Democracy having found Russian State media has given Tulsi Gabbard disproportionate coverage and Russian Twitter bots are active on her behalf, we will look into Hillary Clinton’s unsubstantiated charges that Gabbard is a Russian “asset”. Naveed Jamali, who was a double agent with the FBI and a former Naval Intelligence officer and co-author of “How to Catch a Russian Spy: The True Story of an American Civilian Turned Double Agent”, joins us. He is a columnist at Newsweek where he has an article “Tulsi Gabbard in Being Used By the Russians, and to a Former U.S. Double Agent, the Evidence is Clear”, and we  discuss how the Russians will use whoever they want to further their strategy of dividing Americans and undermining American democracy. But that does not mean Gabbard is actively conspiring with the Russians. And while they are meddling in our political campaigns now, as they did in 2016, Naveed does not believe the Russians will go so far as to attack the actual machinery of our elections in 2020 which has been designated as critical infrastructure, because doing so would be an act of war.


With Evidence Mounting, Will the House Get Impeachment Done by Thanksgiving?

Then we speak with John Lawrence who worked in the House of Representatives for 38 years and was the Chief of Staff to Nancy Pelosi as both Speaker and Minority Leader of the House. The author of “The Class of ’74: Congress after Watergate and the Roots of Partisanship”, he joins us to discuss the mountains of evidence piling up against Trump as more State Department and NSC officials testify and whistleblowers come out of the woodwork. We assess whether the House Committees will be able to keep up with the mounting evidence and be able to keep to the impeachment timetable of building the case against Trump in the House by Thanksgiving.


The Villains Who Suckered Millions out of Their Homes

Then finally we speak with Aaron Glantz about his new book, just out, “Homewreckers: How a Gang of Wall Street Kingpins, Hedge Fund Magnates, Crooked Banks, and Vulture Capitalists Sucked Millions Out of Their Homes and Demolished the American Dream”. We examine the list of villains, most of whom comprise Trump’s cabinet and his Wall Street backers, as well as the victims, and investigate the on-going legal racket of reverse mortgages in which older Americans a suckered out of their homes by avuncular TV pitchmen promising money for nothing.