Background Briefing: August 31, 2020


A Convoy of Far Right Trump Supporters Provoke Violence in Portland

We begin with an uptick in civil strife in Portland sparked by a 1,000 car convoy of rural Trump supporters organized by a far-right group Patriot Prayer who drove into Portland on Saturday night firing paintball and BB gun pellets at counter-protestors. Jason Wilson, a reporter for The Guardian based in Portland, Oregon joins us to discuss this provocation which the mayor of Portland has condemned, blaming Trump for the hate and division in America saying, “You’ve tried to divide us more than any other figure in modern history. And now you want me to stop the violence that you helped create”. We examine the Patriot Prayer movement which many times over the last three years, has held pro-Trump demonstrations in Portland which have led to violent clashes with anti-fascist activists. This time a member of Patriot Prayer, who may or may not be Jay Bishop, was shot dead, prompting Trump to tweet out  “Rest in Peace Jay!”  No such tribute was paid by Trump to the two Black Lives Matter protesters recently shot dead by a Trump supporter in Kenosha, Wisconsin.


Trump Loyalists in Charge of Intelligence Hold Back Evidence of Foreign Interference in the Upcoming Election

Then we examine the actions of the unqualified Trump loyalists running the Office of the Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and Kash Patel who ten weeks before the election, have decided to stop giving congress in-person intelligence briefings on foreign interference in our upcoming election. Katrina Mulligan, who served as an attorney advisor in the National Security Division of the DOJ and on the NSC staff and in several roles within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, joins us to discuss how the American people will now have no idea who is meddling in our democracy to help elect Trump and hurt Biden.


Was Biden Effective in Showing How Trump is Inflaming Tensions to Benefit From the Violence he Creates?

Then finally we speak with Geoffrey Kabaservice, the director of political studies at the Niskanen Center and author of Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, from Eisenhower to the Tea Party. He joins us to discuss what kind of a bounce Trump got from the Republican Convention and whether Biden’s remarks today will alert the American people to how Trump is deliberately inflaming civil unrest to scare suburban whites concerned about public safety into voting for him.