October 2, 2018

Exposing the Fraud of Trump as the Self-Made Billionaire
“What Happened to Lindsey Graham?”
Is USMCA an Improvement over NAFTA?

Program Notes

We begin with the massive New York Times investigation into the extent to which Trump is the self-made man he claims to be and speak with the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston, the co-founder of DCReport.org and the author of “It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America”. He joins us to discuss how Trump, thanks to his father, became a millionaire at the age of 8 and through his 40’s and 50’s received more than $5 million a year from Fred Trump, but more importantly Trump received the equivalent today of $413 million from his father to get started in real estate even though Trump repeatedly claims that he built what he built himself without any help from his dad. We also look into how much Fred Trump bailed out his son from big bets that went bust like Trump Shuttle, the Plaza Hotel and the Atlantic City Casinos to the tune of $140 million in today’s dollars, much of which was never repaid.

Then we speak with Julian Zelizer, a Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University about his article at The Atlantic, “What Happened to Lindsey Graham?”. We discuss how since the death of Senator Graham’s close friend and moral conscience, John McCain, the senator has gone overboard embracing Trump to the point where he has become the most outspoken champion of Trump’s embattled nominee to the Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh. It is no small irony that when Congressman Lindsey Graham was one of the most zealous member of the House Judiciary Committee in pursuing the impeachment of President Clinton, he worked closely with Brett Kavanaugh. Back then Graham made the case that the main issue was Clinton’s perjury, not the extra-marital sex he lied about, and now that perjury is the main issue at hand with Kavanaugh, not sexual assault or a weakness for “brewskis”, Graham is Kavanaugh’s most ardent defender.

Then finally we assess what kind of an improvement over NAFTA the new USMCA agreement is now that President Trump is singing its praises and claiming that his slapping tariffs on Mexico and Canada and getting tough with them are the reasons why he got the agreement. Matt Gold, a Professor of Law at Fordham University who held an appointment in the Executive Office of the President as the Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for North America, joins us to discuss how the modest gains in the new agreement are not worth the rancor and resentment Trump has stirred up with our neighbors.

David Cay Johnston | Julian Zelizer | Matt Gold