Day: June 16, 2021

Background Briefing: June 16, 2021


The Biden-Putin Summit and the Press Conferences That Followed

We begin with the summit meeting today in Geneva between President Biden and President Putin which both leaders characterized as constructive since they got a lot done then cut it short after a little over half the time allotted having agreed on the need to shore up strategic stability between the two nuclear-armed countries. Joining us to assess the meeting and the two press conferences that followed is Timothy Frye, a Professor of Post-Soviet Foreign Policy at Columbia University and a research director at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow whose latest book is Weak Strongman: The Limits of Power in Putin’s Russia. We discuss the press conferences that followed with Putin taking questions from CNN, the BBC and the Western press even though there is little to no press freedom in Russia while Biden in his avuncular way, explained to the American press why he is positive and upbeat, suggesting they always take a pessimistic approach to covering stories. 


Why is Putin Supporting the Far-Right Rabble Who Stormed the Capitol?

Then we speak with Dr. Lance Dodes, a former clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School about the recent interview he did at Salon “Trump’s psychosis is still an enormous danger.”  We discuss Putin’s shout out to the January 6 far-right rabble as a signal of his support for Trump and how the cult-like grip Trump has over his followers and the GOP could lead to Donald Trump turning America into a police state since the Republican Party is looking like Putin’s United Russia and the GOP is in the process of dismantling American democracy.


The ProPublica Reporter Who Revealed the Secret IRS Files

Then finally we speak with Jesse Eisinger, the Pulitzer Prize-winning senior reporter at ProPublica about his latest investigation at ProPublica, “The Secret IRS Files: Trove of Never-Before-Seen Records Reveal How the Wealthiest Avoid Taxes“. We discuss the astronomical rise in the wealth of the super-rich who pay little to no taxes as is the case with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos whose ex-wife just gave $2.7 billion to community colleges while he plans to take a trip into space.