Background Briefing: January 14, 2019
Trump Vilifies Those Tasked with Investigating Him
We begin with the president finally answering the question today of whether he worked for Russia where instead he attacked the FBI agents assigned by the Acting FBI Director to do the investigation into him following Trump’s firing of Comey. With Trump calling these FBI agents “known scoundrels” and “dirty cops”, we investigate what seems more than a coincidence that along with McCabe, it has been Peter Strozk, Lisa Page and Bruce Orr who Trump has hounded and purged in concert with Fox News’s vilification of them. A former 16 year veteran of the FBI who specialized in domestic terrorism and covert operations, Michael German, a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program, joins us to discuss whether Trump’s desperate efforts to shoot the messengers in the hope of stopping the message will end up being futile since the Mueller investigation appears close to issuing a report. And since Comey did not act in a more timely and transparent manner in 2015 and 2016 as the FBI learned of Russian meddling in our election, together with raising last-minute pre-election doubts about Hilary Clinton, we will look into the current credibility competition as the American people are asked to contrast the integrity of the Boy Scout above reproach public servant with the lying, money-grubbing, amoral grifter who Comey, along with the Russians, helped elect.
Payback for Russia’s Meddling Could Be Increased Sanctions That Work
Then with the increasingly likely possibility that the American people will soon be faced with evidence that their president is both a criminal and a traitor, we will examine the expectation that there will be a clamoring for payback against Russia for hacking our democracy with a call to increase sanctions. Michael Carpenter, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense who previously served as a foreign policy advisor to Vice President Joe Biden and as Director for Russia at the National Security Council, joins us to discuss mounting evidence of Trump’s guilt and his article at The American Interest, “How to Make Sanctions on Russia Work”.
The Nation’s Latest Teachers’ Strike Begins Today in Los Angeles
Then finally with teachers in the nation’s second largest school district Los Angeles going on strike today, we will explore this nationwide battle against the encroachment of charter schools and the underfunding of public education following earlier strikes in Arizona, West Virginia, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Kentucky. Eric Blanc, a former high school teacher and author of “Red State Revolt: The Teacher’s Strike Wave and Working Class Politics”, joins us to discuss his article at The Guardian “LA’s teachers can teach the working class about the power of labor strikes” and another at The Nation “LA’s Teachers’ Strike Will Be the Toughest Yet”.