Day: September 1, 2020

Background Briefing: September 1, 2020


Trump’s Unwelcome Visit to Kenosha

We begin and go to Wisconsin where President Trump showed up with Attorney General Barr today in spite of entreaties from the Governor not to visit the site of recent demonstration at which two Black Lives Matter protestors were shot dead and another wounded by a young pro-Trump vigilante who Trump suggested was more of a victim than a perpetrator. Although the mayor of Kenosha made clear Trump was not welcome, Trump inspected property damage and held meetings with the Kenosha police chiefs who have colluded with local militias and allowed the killer of the protestors to wander away from the crime scene past the police who had earlier praised his efforts at confronting the demonstrators. Ruth Conniff, the Editor-in-Chief of the Wisconsin Examiner who was previously Editor-in-Chief of The Progressive Magazine, joins us to discuss the dishonest, distorted and dangerous narrative Trump continues to feed his base portraying cities on fire and rampant looting by anarchists while condoning vigilante violence and racist policing.


John Dean on His New Book Authoritarian Nightmare: Trump and His Followers

Then we speak with John Dean, who was legal counsel to President Nixon whose Watergate testimony led to Nixon’s resignation. He joins us to discuss his article at The New York Times, “Trump Has Been Comparing Himself to Nixon. That’s Hooey” and his new book, just out Authoritarian Nightmare: Trump and His Followers, and how in spite of appropriating the “law and order” mantle, Trump could not be more different from the extremely qualified and competent president Nixon was. And even though John Dean describes Nixon as a closeted authoritarian, Trump is well on the way to taking America on a path towards fascism.


A Former U.S. Ambassador on the Kind of People Trump Sends Abroad to Represent Us

Then finally we examine the death of American diplomacy at the hands of Trump and his Secretary of State Pompeo who is angling to become the next president and speak with Ambassador Cynthia Schneider, a professor in the practice of diplomacy at Georgetown University who served as U.S. Ambassador to The Netherlands. She joins us to discuss the kind of people Trump is sending abroad to represent the United States and the extent of the damage the ambitious bully Pompeo is inflicting on the Foreign Service.