Background Briefing: February 7, 2024

Trump’s Successful Scuttling of the Immigration Bill and His Toady Mike Johnson’s Humiliation

We begin with Trump’s successful scuttling of the bipartisan immigration bill with help from his toady Speaker Mike Johnson who was publicly humiliated in the House yesterday with his failure to pass the vote on impeaching the head of DHS then failing to pass a vote for aid to Israel which is almost sacrilegious for the self-described “Christian” given the Christian Right’s devotion to Israel. Joining us is Justin Higgins, who has worked as an immigration policy advisor to a Tea Party, now House Freedom Caucus Member of Congress, and worked on Trump’s 2016 campaign at the RNC, all before becoming a Democrat and an appointed official for the Democratic Governor of Puerto Rico. He now hosts the Politics + Media 101 podcast and we discuss how the “national interest” is no longer a consideration in Trump’s GOP.


As Trump and Tucker Carlson Work For Putin to Kill Aid to Ukraine, Are They Traitors or “Useful Idiots?”

Then with Trump killing aid to Ukraine thanks to the MAGA Republicans in the House and Senate, we speak with Michael Weiss, editor at The Insider, a Russia-focused, independent media outlet, who has reported on international affairs for over ten years with a focus on the Middle East and Russia. He has interviewed ISIS operatives and Russian spies; published and curated a series of still-classified KGB training manuals; reported from rebel-held Syria and war-torn Ukraine; broken major stories about financial corruption; and exposed the Russian intelligence services’ ongoing subversion efforts in the United States and Europe. He is the co-host of the Foreign Office Podcast at New Lines Magazine as well as the author of The Menace of Unreality: How Russia Weaponizes Information, Culture and Money and coauthor of the New York Times Bestseller ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror. He joins us to discuss the extent to which we have Americans in high places from Trump to Tucker Carlson working for Putin, who are at worst traitors or at best “useful idiots.”