Day: May 13, 2024

Background Briefing: May 13, 2024

In Paying Off A Porn Star for Her Silence Trump Tells Cohen to “Just do it!”

We begin with Trump’s former fixer, Michael Cohen, testifying against Trump today in a Manhattan courtroom, recounting how Trump told him to “just do it” when it came to paying off a porn star to shut up about an affair at a time when the Access Hollywood tape had shaken Trump’s 2016 campaign. Joining us is Adele Stan, an independent journalist who is a longtime chronicler of the right wing of U.S. politics. A winner of the Hillman Prize in Opinion & Analysis Journalism, she has an article at The New Republic, “How FreedomWorks Paved the Way for Trumpism—and for Its Own Demise” and we discuss today’s testimony. 


Georgia’s Billionaire-Owned Government Passes a Kremlin-Style Law Although the Vast Majority Want to Join the EU

Then we look into massive protests in the former Soviet state of Georgia as a Kremlin-style bill known as the Foreign Agents Law is about to pass in parliament in spite of the vast majority of Georgians wanting closer ties with the EU. Joining us is Lincoln Mitchell, who teaches in the School of International and Public Affairs and the Department of Political Science at Columbia University. An expert on the former Soviet states, he is the author of the popular Substack Kibitzing with Lincoln where his latest article which we discuss, is “Tbilisi and the 2024 Elections: An authoritarian turn by the Georgian government could help Putin and Trump.”


Neo-Nazis, Christian Nationalists and Proud Boys Were in the Pro-Israel Mob at UCLA Claiming to Fight Anti-semitism

Then finally we get an update on the investigation into the outside mob that stormed the pro-Palestinian encampment at UCLA which finds some of the counter-demonstrators were neo-Nazis, Christian nationalists, Proud Boys and Three Percenters which is ironic given that the pro-Israel mob claimed they were combating anti-semitism. Joining us is John Branstetter, a political science lecturer at the University of California Los Angeles, who was manhandled and arrested by the LAPD who were firing rubber bullets at students as they routed the encampment, having stood by earlier as they watched thugs attack the students.