Trump Shuts Down China's Consulate in Houston, Escalating Confrontation

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Jul 22 2020 117 mins   2
On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by John Ross, Senior Fellow at Chongyang Institute, Renmin University of China, and an award-winning resident columnist with several Chinese media organizations.

The Trump Administration today ordered China to close its consulate in Houston amid deteriorating relations between the two countries. China denounced the move as “an unprecedented escalation.” The State Department said the closure is punishment for the Chinese theft of American intellectual property.

President Trump yesterday reinstated Covid-19 medical briefings from the White House press room. But instead of Drs. Fauci or Birx leading the event, the president appeared by himself. Trump had a moment of clarity when he said that Covid-19 infections would get worse before they get better, and indeed, more than 1,000 people died yesterday for the first time in 50 days. And Trump has begun wearing a mask after saying that they were unpatriotic. Ted Rall, an award-winning columnist and political cartoonist and you can check out his work at, joins the show.

Federal agents wearing military fatigues but no name tags or identifying insignia have been snatching protestors off the streets of Portland in rented black vans, and they are now reported to be in Chicago. President Trump said that he will send these agents, who are apparently from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, and the Bureau of Prisons, to any city in America where protestors are damaging statues or property. But civil libertarians are crying foul and say that there are serious constitutional violations being committed. Brian and John speak with Medea Benjamin, a legendary peace activist and the co-founder of the peace group Code Pink.

The White House and Republicans on Capitol Hill are in disarray over a Covid-19 spending plan just as benefits from the last bill are set to expire. The Washington Post reports that the White House and Congressional Republicans can’t even agree on policy goals, spending parameters, or even deadlines. And there’s not yet even talk about reconciling whatever the Republican bill will look like before it’s reconciled with the Democrats’ bill. Pete Dolack, an activist and writer with Trade Justice New York Metro, who focuses on human rights, social justice, and environmental and trade issues and the author of “It’s Not Over, Learning from the Socialist Experiment,” joins the show.

Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.

Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.