Background Briefing: August 19, 2018
What Can be Done to Constrain Trump and Avoid a ‘Wag the Dog’ War
We begin with the letter signed by 70 top intelligence officials in support of the former head of the CIA who had his security clearance revoked by Trump, with others on Trump’s enemies list soon to have their clearances yanked too. One of the signatories, Kent Harrington, a former Senior CIA analyst who was National Intelligence Officer for East Asia and a chief of station in Asia, joins us to discuss the damage Trump’s petty and petulant act of trying to silence his critics does to the country by politicizing who gets a security clearance depending on their loyalty to the boss who can kill the messenger’s career if he does not like the message. With the president continually pushing the boundaries of the law and political norms by tampering with the Manafort jury as they deliberate in the hope of forcing a mistrial, we will analyze the extent to which we are all becoming inured to Trump’s bad behavior with outrage fatigue. And with the former head of the CIA John Brennan warning that Trump is “drunk with power”, we will explore what can be done to constrain this besieged and volatile commander-in-chief from going rogue and starting a “wag the dog” war.
Will Intelligence Heads Speak Out if Mueller’s Investigation is Shut Down?
Then we will assess what reaction there might be within the military and Intelligence Community to the letter to Trump from the former SEAL and head of JSOC, Admiral McRaven, who led the operation to kill Osama Bin Laden. He issued the challenge to our “bone spur” president, “I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency.” One of the most accomplished agents in CIA history and winner of the Career Intelligence Medal, Robert Baer joins us to discuss whether the heads of America’s intelligence who briefed Trump on January 6, 2017 about Russian “active measures” against the 2016 campaign, who Trump is trying to silence, will eventually speak out if Mueller’s investigation is shut down.
The “Kompromat” Brennan Suspects Putin has on Trump
Then finally we will speak with Roger Morris who served on the Senior Staff of the National Security Council under presidents Johnson and Nixon until resigning over the invasion of Cambodia. The author of “Kindred Rivals: America, Russia and their Failed Ideals”, he joins us to discuss what the “Kompromat” Brennan suspects Putin has on Trump might be, and whether Putin will meddle in the November elections with cyber mischief to cause chaos at the polls and prevent the Democrats from winning the House and proceeding with impeachment.