Trump Is Blaming Puerto Ricans for Having Hurricanes

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Aug 28 2019 114 mins  
On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Aurora Santiago-Ortiz, Research Enhancement and Leadership (REAL) Fellow and a Doctoral Student in Social Justice Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Tropical Storm Dorian is expected to hit hurricane strength today and to make landfall in Puerto Rico. And this is as the island still hasn’t recovered from a devastating 2017 hurricane season. But what is the Trump Administration doing? The White House announced yesterday that it would divert $271 million in funds earmarked to help those affected by hurricanes and instead spend the money to add 1600 beds in immigrant detention facilities.

Deutsche Bank confirmed yesterday that it has a copy of Donald Trump’s tax returns responsive to Congressional subpoenas. But MSNBC commentator Lawrence O’Donnell went further than that and made some brash accusations on his show yesterday. He said that other Deutsche Bank loan documents show that Donald Trump’s cosigners are “Russian billionaires close to Vladimir Putin.” O’Donnell repeated the words “if true” multiple times. Even if it’s not true, he and MSNBC are doing what they can to keep the fake Russiagate narrative alive. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of, whose latest article is “Dead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment Gambit” on Counterpunch and The Polemicist, joins the show.

It seems that CNN and the Democratic National Committee are working hard to decide who should be the next president. The media outlet and the party apparatus will allow only 10 candidates on the debate stage for the next Democratic debate, scheduled for September 12. The cutoff to add candidates was today, and those candidates have to meet polling and fundraising thresholds. As of today, billionaire Tom Steyer and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard are out. Brian and John speak with Dave Lindorff, an investigative reporter, a columnist for CounterPunch, and a contributor to Businessweek, The Nation, Extra! and And you can find his writings at

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced this morning that he has asked Queen Elizabeth II to suspend parliament days after it returns from its summer recess next week and just weeks before the Brexit deadline. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has written to the Queen asking her to deny the request. A suspension would drastically shorten the amount of time parliamentarians would have to attempt to block a no-deal Brexit. Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, joins the show.

Earlier this week, where a state judge in Oklahoma ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay the state $572 million for intentionally playing down the dangers and overselling the benefits of opioids. The decision fell short of the $17 billion that Oklahoma was seeking as reimbursement addiction treatment, drug courts, and other costs of the epidemic. But it opens the company to similar suits in every other state in America. Meanwhile, Purdue Pharma, the makers of OxyContyn offered $10-12 billion to settle more than 2,000 lawsuits against it. There are lessons to be learned here, and those lessons began with the lawsuits 20 years ago against Big Tobacco. Dr. Louis Kyriakoudes, a professor at Middle Tennessee State University, director of the Albert Gore Research Center, and one of only three experts who has testified against Big Tobacco, according to The Nation magazine, joins Brian and John.

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.