February 16 - Trump's Paranoid and Petulant Press Conference; A Psychiatrist on Trump as a Person, Not a Patient; Trump's Plans to "Review" the Intelligence Community

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We begin with the combative presidential press conference today that has prompted a lot of headlines and talking heads questioning Donald Trump’s mental state. The Pulitzer prize-winning author of “The Making of Donald Trump, veteran investigative journalist and founder of DCReport.org David Cay Johnston, joins us to discuss Trump’s paranoid and petulant attacks on the two institutions that could hold him responsible and accountable, the press and the intelligence community, who are investigating his ties to the Russians. We look into a White House careening off the rails while the Republicans in Congress are poised to steamroller through a radical right wing agenda that may be slowed down by executive branch dysfunction, and the irony that most of leaks are coming from inside the White House from people appalled by what is going on, as opposed to the Republican establishment, who remain shamefully silent.

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Part 2

Then we examine further the psychiatric opinions about Trump that are proliferating as more of the real person who is president is put on display as was the case in today’s press conference. Dr. Allen Frances, professor emeritus of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University who was chairman of the task force that wrote the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the author of the forthcoming book “Trump’s Not Crazy But We Are”, joins us. We will look into NPD, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which has been ascribed to Trump and has motivated 23,000 mental health professionals and others to sign a petition asking for Trump’s removal, and discuss how mentally ill people are by and large good and decent folk and should not be compared to Trump who is a nasty, horrible person who should be held to account politically, not let off the hook psychologically.

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Part 3

The finally we look into reports that Trump is considering a “review” of the Intelligence Community conducted by Stephen Bannon’s friend Stephen Feinberg, a hedge fund billionaire who own DynCorp, a defense and intelligence contactor. Melvin Goodman, a former CIA analyst whose forthcoming book is “The Path to Dissent: A Whistleblower at CIA”, joins us to discuss the pending Feinberg “review” as a purge of the CIA to stop them from building an impeachment case against Trump who today appeared increasingly desperate and unhinged as he attacked the press and the Intelligence Community. 

Melvin Goodman

 

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February 15 - The White House's Dangerous Dysfunction; Institutionalized Lying in the White House; Trump's "Burgers and Boobs" Bully Bows Out as Labor Secretary

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We begin with the dangerously dysfunctional White House that prompted a high ranking serving senior officer, General Tony Thomas, the head of JSOC, the Joint Special Operations Command, to warn that “our Government continues to be in unbelievable turmoil. I hope they sort it out soon because we are a nation at war”. A veteran observer of Washington politics, Norman Ornstein, a contributing writer and editor for The Atlantic and co-author of “It’s Even Worse Than it Was”, joins us to discuss how the White House’s chaotic first month undercuts Trump’s appeal to the electorate that he is a successful businessman who will get things done. But in spite of this it, the Republican leadership, who are busy enacting an aggressive agenda as they implement their right wing wish list, appear to be quite happy with the situation and don’t see the need for any investigations.

 

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Part 2

Then we speak with Lawrence Douglas, a Professor of Law, Jurisprudence & Social Thought at Amherst College. He joins us to discuss his article at The Guardian “Lying got Michael Flynn fired. But that’s what the Trump White House does best” and the extent to which lying has become institutionalized in the Trump Administration whose use of “fake news” plays well with their core constituency inside the Fox News bubble. The roughly 30% of Americans Trump talks directly to via Twitter, who are in an alternative universe to the readers of what Trump calls the “failing” New York Times

Part 3

Then finally we examine the downfall of Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Labor, Andy Puzder, who withdrew his nomination amid mounting concerns about his record of alleged domestic violence and spousal abuse. Judith Conti, the Federal Advocacy Coordinator for the National Employment Law Project joins us to discuss the other factors that cast doubt on the nominee such as his repeated failure to provide documents leading to five separate delays of his confirmation and the opposition to Puzder’s hostility towards workers by the “Fight For $15” movement.

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February 14 - The Firing of Trump's National Security Advisor; The North Korean Dictator's Brazen Assassination of His Older Brother; Venezuela's Vice President Sanctioned as a Drug Kingpin

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We begin with the resignation of the embattled National Security Advisor Michael Flynn who during the transition, made phone calls to the Russian Ambassador that were intercepted by the NSA, prompting then Acting Attorney General Sally Yates to alert the White House that Flynn was exposed to potential Russian blackmail and had lied to Vice President Pence, all of which President Trump was informed about more than two weeks ago. The former director of European Affairs on the National Security Council in the Clinton Administration who for the last three years was a special assistant to President Obama for national security, Charles Kupchan, joins us. He just left the White House on January 19, and discuss the disarray and dysfunction in the Trump White House’s National Security Council and how the Russian story that the White House and the Republicans were hoping would go away, has come back into the headlines, adding weight and urgency to growing calls for an independent commission to investigate Russian involvement in our election.

 

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Part 2

Then we look into the public assassination of the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s older half-brother who was killed at the airport in Malaysia’s capitol by two female operatives who placed a poison-laced cloth over the victim’s face then escaped in a taxi. Sung Yoon Lee, a Professor of International Affairs at the Fletcher School at Tufts University, joins us to discuss the ruling Kim family dynasty’s ruthless purges of relatives and their long history of conducting brazen political killings on foreign soil.

Part 3

Then finally we go to Caracas, Venezuela and speak with David Smilde, a senior fellow at the Washington Office of Latin America who has researched Venezuela for the past 22 years and lived there for a total of 12 years. He joins us to discuss the sanctions announced today at a White House press briefing by the new Treasury Secretary against Venezuela’s Vice President Tareck El Aissami, who is accused of being a drug kingpin with tens of millions in frozen assets, as well as a supplier of Venezuelan passports to Hezbollah operatives. 

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February 13 - "Survivor: The West Wing"; The Knives Are Out in the White House; The Meeting Between Canada's PM and America's President

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We begin with a White House in chaos with a torrent of leaks fanning the flames of intramural fighting amongst top officials blaming each other for the dysfunction. David Grahama staff writer at The Atlantic, joins us to discuss his latest article “Who Will Be the First Victim of White House Chaos” and the tenuous fates of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn who appears to have lied to the Vice President, Press Secretary Sean Spicer who has been mercilessly lampooned by Melissa McCarthy, Reince Priebus who is increasingly isolated from Trump’s inner circle and Kellyanne Conway who has managed to provoke the slavishly friendly Republican Congress into questioning her ethics. We look into how the real world is colliding with reality TV inside the White House as it emerges that Trump is running the U.S. government like  “The Apprentice” in what is becoming “Survivor: The West Wing”.

 

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Part 2

Then we look further into the fate of General Michael Flynn who Press Secretary Sean Spicer said today is being “evaluated” by Donald Trump. William Danvers, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, who served as a special assistant to President Clinton for National Security Affairs and worked for Leon Panetta at the CIA and the Pentagon in the Obama Administration, joins us. We will discuss the extent to which the knives are out in a White House in a state of turmoil that could soon be thrown into even more chaos.

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Part 3

Then finally Rodrigue Tremblay, professor emeritus of economics and international finance at the University of Montreal, who was a member of the Committee of Dispute Settlements of the North America Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, joins us to examine the discussions that took place today in the White House between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Trump as well as the women’s business forum that Trump’s daughter Ivanka presided over to set up a cross-border council to advance women into executive positions and encourage entrepreneurship.    

 

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February 12 - Corroboration of the Intel Dossier on Trump; Rumors of War with Iran; A North Korean Missile Upstages the Abe-Trump Meeting

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We begin with the corroboration by U.S. investigators of details in the controversial intelligence dossier of compromising information the Russians have on Trump and suspected links the Trump campaign had with the Kremlin. Dr. Rachel Kleinfeld, a senior associate in the Democracy and Rule of Law Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a former member of the Foreign Affairs Policy Board, the advisory body to the U.S. Department of State, joins us to discuss the countervailing efforts of the Republicans to slow walk the Senate Intelligence Committee Inquiry and shut down the Justice Department Inspector General’s investigation into the alleged Russian interference in our recent election and calls by Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats for an independent and thorough investigation to clear the air and come to a complete understanding of what was an apparent attack on American democracy itself.

Part 2

Then Middle East expert and veteran former CIA officer Robert Baer joins us. He is now the National Security Analyst for CNN and we will look into rumors of war with Iran as the Trump Administration, working closely with Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu, are recruiting Sunni Arab allies like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States in what appears to be a coming confrontation with Iran. We also investigate off-the-books intelligence and paramilitary private armies that General Flynn, Stephen Bannon and Erik Prince are reported to be setting up that would appear to be a fulfillment of Oliver North’s dream team from a previous disastrous era of White House covert action against Iran.

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Part 3

Then finally Ellis Krauss, professor emeritus of Japanese politics and policy-making at the University of California, San Diego, joins us to discuss North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile which occurred during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s weekend retreat to Florida where he met with President Trump for a round of golf and some male bonding. We also discuss the hawkish responses from both leaders and Trump’s reassurance to our ally that the U.S. “stands behind Japan, its great ally, 100 percent”.

Ellis Krauss

 

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