Background Briefing: November 8, 2021


The Latest Twist in the Tangled Tale of Trump’s Ties to Putin

We begin with the investigation into the investigators led by the DOJ’s Barr-appointed Special Counsel John Durham who after years of coming up with nothing, has recently arrested a former Russia analyst at the Brookings Institution Igor Danchenko. Also implicated in the indictment of Danchenko is Charles Dolan, who worked for the Clinton’s as well as for Putin’s inner circle where he was a Kremlin spin doctor for eight years. Joining us to shed light on the mysteries surrounding the infamous Steele dossier is Robert Baer, one of the most accomplished agents in CIA history, and a winner of the Career Intelligence Medal. He is the author of four New York Times bestsellers and is considered one of the world’s foremost authorities on the Middle East and is an intelligence and national security affairs analyst for CNN. We discuss the difference between opposition research and intelligence gathering and the extent to which Republican efforts to obscure Trump’s ties to Putin and Russia are likely to get a boost from the latest twists and turns in the tangled tale of how Putin skillfully sows disinformation in the United States while dividing Americans against each other.


Are Republicans Killing Americans For Political Gain?

Then we examine the possibility that Republicans are killing Americans for political gain as Trump and the governors of Texas and Florida along with the right wing media machine of Fox and Sinclair and others encourage Americans not to get vaccinated, wear masks or socially distance, thus extending the Covid pandemic indefinitely to hurt Biden and help Trump. Joining us is a co-founder and board member of Physicians for a National Health Program, Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, a practicing primary care physician, distinguished professor of public health and health policy in the City University of New York’s School of Public Health at Hunter College, as well as a clinical professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and lecturer in medicine at Harvard Medical School.


The Covid Death Toll Between Red and Blue America Grows Wider and Faster

Then finally we look into an article in today’s New York Times by David Leonhardt, “U.S. Covid Deaths Get Even Redder” which shows the Covid death toll between red and blue America growing wider and faster as 40% of Republican adults remain unvaccinated compared to 10% of Democratic adults. Joining us to explain the data in the New York Times article is Charles Gaba, the founder of, which has been live-tracking Obamacare enrollments since the exchanges launched in October 2013 and is seen as the most reliable source available for up-to-date, accurate ACA enrollment data in the country.