Day: October 12, 2021

Background Briefing: October 12, 2021


Trump on the Stump in Iowa Running for the Presidency He Claims He Never Lost

We begin with Trump’s rally in Iowa on Saturday at which the state’s top Republican politicians and Senator Grassley, who had previously been critical of Trump holding him responsible for the January 6 insurrection, groveled before the leader of the GOP who is clearly making a run for the presidency in 2024. Joining us is Aaron Rupar, who until recently was the associate editor for politics and policy at Vox and is now an independent journalist covering US politics and media. He is the author of Public Notice, a newsletter which you can subscribe to at, and his latest articles there are “Thoughts on Trump’s rally in Des Moines and the value of Trump coverage more broadly” and “What Trump is really saying in his Ashli Babbitt birthday video.” We discuss the more brazen racism Trump is now expressing on the stump against Haitians and Afghan refugees, and the challenge the press has in covering Trump who was given up to $5 billion in free advertising by the press in 2016. Now Trump cannot be seen as a political postscript since his looming presence dominating the Republican party instead is the prelude to the end of American democracy.


Fiona Hill’s Journey From the Coal House to the White House

Then we speak with Fiona Hill, a senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution. She recently served as deputy assistant to the president and senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council from 2017 to 2019, and, from 2006 to 2009, served as national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia at The National Intelligence Council. She is co-author of Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin and The Siberian Curse: How Communist Planners Left Russia Out in the Cold. Her latest book, just out, is There Is Nothing for You Here: Finding Opportunity in the Twenty-First Century and we discuss her concern that we are at a really critical and very dangerous inflection point, and if Trump makes a successful return to the presidency in 2024 on the back of a lie, a fiction, American democracy is done.


Idaho’s Governorship, a Clash Between the Old and the New GOP

Then finally we speak with Justin Vaughn, the Vice President of GS Strategy Group who until recently was a professor of political science at Boise State University, where he also served as director of the Center for Idaho History and Politics. He joins us to discuss how Idaho’s Lieutenant Governor, an avid Trumpster, is grabbing the reins of power to issue edicts whenever the more traditional Republican governor leaves town, setting up a clash between the old and the new GOP.