Tag: grassroots

Background Briefing: June 12, 2019


Trump Sides with North Korea’s Murderous Dictator

We begin with yesterday’s extraordinary remark by President Trump which is reminiscent of his Helsinki press conference when he displayed his fealty to Putin over his loyalty to the United States, and that is Trump’s siding with North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong-un over his own CIA by saying he wouldn’t let our intelligence services spy on Kim’s murderous and secretive regime. Jung H. Pak, a senior fellow and the South Korea Foundation Chair in Korean Studies at the Brooking’s Institution’s Center for East Asia Policy Studies, joins us to discuss the extraordinary lengths Trump is prepared to go to forgive or at least ignore Kim’s ruthless rule and outrageous violations of international law. After all the issue at hand Trump is responding to, is the revelation that Kim’s half-brother who was murdered by VX nerve agent in Kuala Lumpur’s International Airport was a source for the CIA, but the use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction at a civilian airport apparently does not bother Trump. Nor for that matter does murdering family members or countless numbers of North Korean citizens. We will try to assess why Trump gushed over the latest “beautiful letter” he got from Kim and why there is an apparent desperation on Trump’s part to make a deal with the North Korean dictator which goes against Trump’s own advice in “The Art of The Deal”, to not look too hungry for a deal. Never before has the United States had a leader who is so demonstrably loyal to foreign adversaries, prompting former national security adviser Susan Rice to Tweet, “America, this tells you all you need to know about our so-called ‘Commander-in-Chief’”.


A Wake-Up Call for the Grassroots to Get Active While the Democratic Party Plays It Safe

Then Ryan Grim, the D.C. Bureau Chief for The Intercept, joins us in the studio. The former Washington Bureau chief for the Huffington Post, where he led a team that was twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, winning once, his latest book is “We’ve Got People: From Jesse Jackson to AOC, the End of Big Money and the Rise of a Movement”. We will discuss the energy of the insurgent left of the Democratic Party versus the cautious institutionalism of its establishment wing represented by the front-runner in the crowded field of presidential candidates, Joe Biden. With revelations in his book showing how the institutionalist Senator Feinstein stymied the opportunity to prevent Brett Kavanaugh being confirmed to the Supreme Court, “We’ve Got People” serves as a wake-up call to the grassroots to get active while the Democratic Party plays it safe.