Media Blows up Over Trump & Latest Insider Whistleblower Saga
An intelligence agency whistleblower apparently reported in the past months to the Inspector General that President Trump, during a call with an unnamed foreign leader, promised that leader something that was in direct violation of US law. The Inspector General then reported the complaint to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, but the ODNI allegedly covered it up. Now speculation is rampant in the media and among political figures about the content of Trump’s phone call and the promises that were made -- is this controversy about foreign policy decisions that the intelligence agencies object to, or is it a clear cut issue of legality?
Iran’s Foreign Minister is warning of “all-out war” in the event that Iran is attacked by the United States or Saudi Arabia. He also asked rhetorically in an interview with CNN whether Saudi Arabia was prepared to fight to the last American soldier. President Trump, meanwhile, said that he is considering all options and has not decided on a military response. The Saudis are adamant that it was Iran, and not Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who attacked Saudi oil installations over the weekend. Massoud Shadjareh, founder of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, joins the show.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz are jostling over the terms of a unity government as neither the right-wing coalition nor the center left coalition won enough seats to govern the country. Meanwhile, former Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, the leader of the Israel Our Home Party, said that he would enter into a government of national unity, but only if it is NOT led by Benjamin Netanyahu. Brian and John speak with Richard Becker, an anti-war organizer and author of the book “Palestine, Israel and the U.S. Empire”.
The Venezuelan government announced a deal with four small opposition parties and has released opposition leader Edgar Zambrano from prison, where he had been held for four months after being arrested for treason. Coup leader Juan Guaido, meanwhile, was furious with the announcement of the deal and said that he would not engage in any further talks with the government of President Nicolas Maduro. Paul Dobson, a writer for VenezuelAnalysis.com, joins the show.
In a very provocative move today, General Motors abruptly canceled the health benefits of all 50,000 striking members of the United Auto Workers Union. That means that the union will now have to cover the costs of all health benefits for all union members, while at the same time, its members have no income. And this comes as the company made $8.1 billion in profits last year, and the CEO is being paid $22 million. Dr. Jack Rasmus, a professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of “The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US Policy from Reagan to Trump”, joins Brian and John.
We continue our weekly series “Criminal Injustice,” where we talk about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and Executive Director of the Human Rights Defense Center, joins the show.
We continue our weekly segment dealing with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, author of six books and the host of a nationally-aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and by Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.