Day: January 4, 2021

Background Briefing: January 4, 2020


Trump’s Shakedown of Georgia’s Election Officials Offers a Glimpse of the Mob Boss in the Oval Office

We begin with the revelations in an hour-long call made public by The Washington Post that Trump had on Saturday, after eighteen previous attempts, with Georgia’s Secretary of State which shows what a stupid thug we have had running this country like a mob boss runs a criminal enterprise. And when you consider that Howard Dean’s political career ended because he let out a yell the press considered too exuberant, while Trump has been caught on tape with his crude misogyny on Access Hollywood, his deliberate downplaying of the Covid crisis in recordings with Bob Woodward, and now the Brad Raffensberger shakedown, you are left to wonder how the bar has been lowered so far. Clearly this delusional sick man in the Oval Office has been given so much leeway in the toleration of his outrages and now his seditious attack on American democracy, in spite of the ridiculous belief among his followers that the press and the Democrats have mistreated him. David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer prize-winning investigative reporter and best-selling author of The Making of Donald Trump who is the co-founder of, joins us to discuss whether this latest glimpse at who Trump really is will be the wake up call for most Americans to recognize the need to pay more attention to who we elect to high office in this land.


The Bunker Mentality of an Increasingly Desperate and Delusional Trump

Then we look into the bunker mentality exhibited by an increasingly desperate Trump who is so deeply immersed in conspiracy theories and delusions to the point he clearly believes his own alternative reality. Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University whose latest book is Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present, joins us to discuss her article at NBC News, “Trump’s call to Georgia election officials highlights White House bunker mentality.”


What is Behind the Warnings Issued by All 10 Living Secretaries of Defense?

Then finally we assess what is behind the warnings in the op-ed in The Washington Post from all ten living Secretaries of Defense which was organized by Dick Cheney, expressing alarm at Trump involving the military in domestic politics and not allowing a presidential transition at the Pentagon. Mark Perry, an author and historian and senior analyst at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft whose latest book is The Pentagon’s Wars: The Military’s Undeclared War Against America’s President, joins us to discuss whether the unstated concern is that Trump might try to launch a war against Iran in his last days as Commander-in-Chief.