Background Briefing: November 17, 2019


Trump’s Actions in Ukraine Serve Putin’s Interest, Not America’s

We begin with an overview of last week’s testimony in the House impeachment inquiry and focus on the broader impact of Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, all of which were in service of Vladimir Putin’s agenda to weaken Ukraine economically and stymie its transition to democracy and the rule of law. Malcolm Nance, a career counterterrorism and intelligence officer with over 33 years in Special Operations, Homeland Security and intelligence operation combating terrorism, joins us to discuss his latest book, just out, “The Plot to Betray America: How Team Trump Embraced Our Enemies, Compromised Our Security, and How We Can Fix It”. With Ronald Reagan turning over in his grave since for decades the GOP accused the Democrats to being soft on Communism and now Trump’s Republican Party is being soft on Vladimir Putin, we discuss Trump’s deep financial ties to Russia through his family’s investments, including those of Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Jared Kushner. And we also look into the corrupt behavior of his other double-crossing pro-Moscow associates Paul Manafort, Rudy Giuliani, Roger Stone and a supporting cast of bagmen and grifters. In untangling the spider web of personal and financial relationships linking the White House to the Kremlin, we will examine how we can free ourselves from the constricting clutches of our foreign adversaries and work to rebuild our fractured nation.

The Plot to Betray America


 AG Barr’s Opus Dei Agenda Threatens the US Constitution’s Separation of Church and State

Then, following Attorney General William Barr’s outrageous and injudicious speech before the Federalist Society in Washington on Friday in which he espoused the ultra-conservative views of the secretive Catholic cult Opus Dei, we look into the need to remove the head of the Justice Department who is on a crusade to tear down the U.S. Constitution’s wall between church and state. Philip Shenon, a former reporter for The New York Times for more than 20 years who covered the Pentagon and the Justice Department and has an article at The Guardian “A threat to democracy: William Barr’s speech on religious freedom alarms liberal Catholics”, joins us. We discuss Barr’s twisted belief that “radical secularists” on the left are hamstringing the most power-hungry president in our history who is recklessly wielding presidential authority while, contrary to Barr’s claim the Democrats are stymieing his appointment, stacking the federal courts with Federalist Society judges with more seated so far than his three predecessors, who all served for two terms.


An Analysis of Mayor Pete’s Surge in Iowa

Then finally we go to Iowa to speak with David Redlawsk, a visiting professor at the University of Iowa and co-author of “Why Iowa?: How Caucuses and Sequential Elections Improve the Presidential Nominating Process. He joins us to analyze the surge of Mayor Pete Buttigieg who is now ahead of the crowded field of Democratic presidential hopefuls in the polls in Iowa which holds the first presidential primary election in less than three months.