Day: November 21, 2019

Background Briefing: November 21, 2019


Fiona Hill Nails Trump’s Pursuit of “A Domestic Political Errand”

We begin with an analysis to today’s impeachment testimony from the NSC’s top Russia expert Fiona Hill and the Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, David Holmes, and speak with James Goldgeier, Dean of the School of International Service at American University who was Director for Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council and author of ”Not Whether But When: The U.S. Decision to Enlarge NATO”. He joins us to discuss the stunning clarity of Fiona Hill’s testimony in which she encapsulated the impeachment hearings by describing the whole scandal as being about President Trump’s pursuit of a “domestic political errand” at the expense of American national security policy she and her colleagues were trying to carry out. We will also examine the extent to which David Holmes undercut the Republican’s defense that there was no pressure on Ukraine from the Trump Administration when Holmes made clear that President Zelensky felt pressure to move ahead to announce the probes into the Biden’s and the debunked 2016 “Crowdstrike” conspiracy theory because the Ukrainians wanted to keep the White House happy since “they still need us now”.


Netanyahu Charged with Bribery, Fraud and Breach of Trust

Then, with yesterday’s announcement that Benny Gantz, the head of Israel’s Blue and White Coalition, could not form a government, followed by today’s bombshell that Israel’s Attorney General has charged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate cases, we speak with Israel’s foremost expert on political reform, Dr. Arye Carmon. He joins us to discuss how Israel’s lack of a Constitution or a Bill of Rights for that matter, has led to the tyranny of minority parties having disproportionate influence over forming coalitions, hampering the ability of major parties to govern.


Last Night’s Lowest-Rated Democratic Presidential Candidates’ Debate

Then finally we assess last night’s fifth Democratic presidential candidates’ debate and speak with Ryan Cooper, a national correspondent at The Week where he has an article “Democrat’s need to stop saying ‘no we can’t’”. He joins us to discuss the lowest-rated debate so far which only attracted 6.5 million TV viewers according to the Nielson’s, and judge who stood out on the stage which is still crowded and could be even more so with the recent entry of Mayor Bloomberg and former Governor Deval Patrick into the race.