Day: July 12, 2020

Background Briefing: July 12, 2020


Did the Dirty Trickster of The Mob Boss-in-Chief Threaten to Rat Him Out If he Goes to Jail?

We begin with the latest brazen act by the mob boss-in-chief who commuted the sentence of his long-time advisor Roger Stone who inherited his job from Roy Cohn and like all lowlifes in Trump’s orbit, had lots of dirt on the boss which is why his sentence was commuted. As Stone admitted to NBC’s Howard Fineman, Trump “knows I was under enormous pressure to turn on him. It would have eased my situation considerably. But I didn’t.”  Adam Klasfeld, a reporter for Courthouse News Service where his latest articles are “If I Did Not Resign, I Would Be Fired: Ex-Prosecutor Relates AG’s Warning and “New Friday Night Justice Department Shakeup Installs Barr’s Deputy in Brooklyn“.  Now that Barr has installed his loyal lieutenants in charge of D.C. and the Eastern District of New York, having tried but temporarily failed to take over the Southern District of New York, we examine the AG’s attempt to control all the cases against Trump and the role of his investigator of the investigators John Durham who has been coordinating with the newly installed U.S. Attorneys to build cases that would add some credence to Trump’s counter narrative that the Russia probe was a “hoax”. The concern is that since it has been said that a prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich, Barr might pull off an “October Surprise” to help Trump by indicting James Comey just before the election only to have the case fall apart after the election. With Barr having said that Stone’s 40 month sentence which he was about to serve next Tuesday “was fair” (because his loyal lieutenant he installed in DC got it reduced down from 7 to 9 years), and that Stone’s was “a righteous prosecution”, we are left to ponder what will be left of law and order in America after Barr and Trump are gone.


The Global Growth of the Extreme Right and the Radical Right

Then we speak with Cas Mudde, a Professor in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia as well as a Professor at the Center for Research on Extremism at the University of Oslo. A columnist at The Guardian and the host of the podcast RADIKAAL, his latest book is The Far Right Today, and he joins us to discuss the global growth of the extreme right and the radical right with the world’s three largest democracies Brazil, India and the United States having radical right leaders, and with Trump having managed to mainstream white nationalism and neo-Nazism to an alarming degree in this country.


Why the West is Losing the Information War

Then finally, with the Voice of America being turned into a pro-Trump propaganda outfit by a right wing hack, we assess the information wars which five Western governments are losing in their response to Russian information warfare tactics. Nina Jankowicz, a D.C.-based writer and analyst on Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union who is currently a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Kennan Institute, joins us to discuss her new book How to Lose the Information War: Russia, Fake News, and the Future of Conflict.