Background Briefing: July 24, 2019
Today’s Monosyllabic Mueller Hearings
We begin with the Mueller hearings today first before the House Judiciary Committee then later the House Intelligence Committee and speak with Harry Litman, a former United States Attorney and deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department and the Creator and Executive Producer of the Talking Feds podcast who has an article at The Washington Post “5 takeaways from Mueller’s first round of testimony”. He joins us to assess whether the Democrats undid the damage Attorney General Barr’s interception of the Mueller Report has done to the public’s perception of what is actually in the report. And we speculate whether enough of the 448 page report’s content and conclusions were clarified to be sufficient in laying the groundwork for a move towards impeachment. Although for the first time the American people were able to learn about the report straight from the horse’s mouth, the reticent and monosyllabic Mueller barely said a word, forcing the Democrats to read from the report in the hope its damaging content would clear the air and cut through Trump’s misleading mantra of “no collusion, no obstruction.” Meanwhile the Republicans on both committees continued their obfuscation offensive presenting an alternative reality as they conjured a surreal scenario of fevered fiction that had the Democrats colluding with the Russians. Since the taciturn Mueller barely delivered a full sentence, the Democrats clearly did not get the TV sound bite nailing the truth Barr buried and partisan propaganda obscured, the truth that Trump is guilty.
A Profile of the UK’s New PM Boris Johnson
Then we speak with James Cronin, a professor of history at Boston College and an associate of the Center for European Studies at Harvard University where he chairs the British Study Group. The author of “Global Rules: America, Britain and a Disordered World”, he joins us to profile the U.K’s new Prime Minister Boris Johnson who was chosen by a fraction of one percent of the British people and faces growing tensions with Iran over their hijacking of a British tanker in the Gulf along with the intractable Brexit mess he helped create which has a do or die deadline looming of October the 31st.
The Filmmakers of the Explosive New Documentary “The Great Hack”
Then finally we speak with the filmmakers behind the explosive new documentary “The Great Hack” which the biggest funder of Brexit is threatening to sue although he has not seen the film which opens worldwide on Netflix today, July 24. Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim, Oscar nominated filmmakers best known for their documentary on the Egyptian revolution, The Square, join us to discuss their new film which presents the opposite of The Square’s hopeful vision of the internet as a tool to promote freedom as they explore the dark side of the hacking of democracy by Cambridge Analytica, Russia, Wikileaks and Trump.