December 22 - Trump Tweets Out a New Nuclear Posture; The Deals That Trump and Tillerson Plan to Make; The Emolument Clause and Trump's Conflicts of Interest

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Part 1

We begin with Donald Trump’s strange tweet on the most important issue he faces as Commander-in-Chief and that is the use of the nuclear arsenal that will be at his fingertip. Hans Kristensen, the Director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists and lead author of their new report “United States Nuclear Forces 2017”, joins us to try to figure out what Trump meant when he tweeted “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capabilities until such time as the world comes to its senses about nukes”.  We discuss whether we are entering a new nuclear arms race with the Russians since, earlier in the day on Thursday, Putin announced that “we need to strengthen the military potential of our strategic nuclear forces”.

Hans M. Kristensen

Part 2

Then we examine whether Trump’s earlier announcements that he’d like the U.S. and Russia to work together and get along better were just campaign rhetoric, given today’s tweet that suggests Trump is prepared to go along with the trillion dollar nuclear “modernization” plan for new bombers, submarines and land-based missiles. Michael Klare, a Five College Professor of Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College and author of “Rogue States and Nuclear Outlaws”, joins us to discuss the reversal of course from President Obama, who in Hiroshima last May called for “a world without nuclear weapons”, and what kinds of deals the Putin-friendly Trump/Tillerson team plan to make with Putin.

Michael Klare

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Fred Wertheimer, the Founder and President of Democracy 21, who has spent 35 years working on government integrity issues and is a national leader on ethics reform and government transparency. He joins us to discuss the emolument clause in the U.S. Constitution and the unprecedented nature of Donald Trump’s global business ventures and the potential for conflicts of interest unless Trump really divests himself from his companies and does not treat the White House as another acquisition. 

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