Day: March 7, 2022

Background Briefing: March 7, 2022


The Consequences Today of Trump’s 40-Year-Long Effort to Help Russia by Getting the U.S. Out of NATO

We begin with a recent poll that has 62% of Americans believing that if Trump were president, the war in Ukraine would not have happened. This is a sad illustration of how little the public understands about the treasonous relationship Trump has with Putin who controls him like a KGB officer controls an asset. For 40 years since the Soviets first supported Trump, he has been calling for the U.S. to get out of NATO and had he been reelected, that is what Trump had promised to do. Joining us to discuss how Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is happening in part because Trump was not able to neuter NATO in a second term is Craig Unger, the author of seven books, including the New York Times bestsellers House of Bush, House of Saud and House of Trump, House of Putin. He has written about the Trump-Russia scandal for The New Republic, Vanity Fair, and The Washington Post, and his latest book is American Kompromat: How the KGB Cultivated Donald Trump, and Related: Tales of Sex, Greed, Power, and Treachery and we discuss his article at The New Republic, “Donald Trump Was Everything Vladimir Putin Could Have Wished For.”


The Impact of the War in Ukraine on Global Food Supply

Then, with Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau visiting Queen Elizabeth today, posing before a floral display of blue and yellow, the colors of Ukraine’s flag, we speak with Thomas Homer-Dixon, who holds a University Research Chair in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo, in Ontario, Canada, and is director of the Cascade Institute at Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia. His books include The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilization; The Ingenuity Gap: Can We Solve the Problems of the Future?; and Environment, Scarcity, and Violence. His latest book is Commanding Hope: The Power We Have to Renew a World in Peril and we discuss the impact of the war in Ukraine on the global food supply.


Replacing Russian Oil With Venezuelan Oil in a Global Ban on Putin’s Oil and Gas Exports

Then finally, with Biden desperately trying to reduce the cost of gas at the pump while at the same time sanctioning Russian oil in order to punish Russia which raises the price of oil, we speak withDavid Smilde, a Professor of Human Relations at Tulane University and a senior fellow at the Washington Office of Latin America where he specializes in Venezuela and moderates their Venezuela Politics and Human Rights blog. We discuss the trip over the weekend by a top Biden National Security team to Venezuela hoping to replace Russian oil with Venezuelan oil as the U.S. and its allies put together a global ban on Russian oil and gas imports.