March 15 -The Dangerous Symmetry of Sycophants, Hardliners and Hawks in Both the Kremlin and the White House; Has Mueller Crossed Trump's Red Line?; A Trump Cheerleader as the New Economic Adviser

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Part 1

We begin with sanctions against Russia announced today by the Secretary of the Treasury in response to their meddling in the U.S. election which do not target oligarchs and government officials close to Putin or in any way effect Russia’s intelligence services or impact its economy. Dr. Michael Carpenter, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense with responsibility for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia who was Director for Russia on the National Security Council, joins us to discuss Trump’s peculiar reluctance to criticize Putin even in the face of the apparent attack on a NATO member’s soil using a WMD, Novichok, a Soviet-era military nerve agent. We assess the dangerous symmetry of Putin surrounding himself with sycophants, hardliners and hawks in the Kremlin, while Trump does the same in the White House as he fires those that try to restrain his reckless impulses while bringing aboard sycophants and hardliners like his new Secretary of State and hawks like John Bolton who is apparently poised to replace General McMaster.

 

carpenter michael

Part 2

Then we examine the speculation in the press that Trump is about to fire his Attorney General Sessions and replace him with the EPA head Scott Pruitt using the Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 to limit special council Mueller’s probe. Jack Blum, an expert on white-collar financial crime and international tax evasion who was a staff attorney with the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a consultant to the United Nations Center of Transnational Corporations, joins us to discuss if such a move is possible and whether in subpoenaing the Trump Organization, Mueller has crossed a red line laid down by Trump.

Jack Blum

Part 3

 
Then finally we speak with economist Dean Baker, the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, about Trump’s choice of a TV pitchman Lawrence Kudlow as his new head of the National Economic Council, a supply-side cheerleader who advised the governor of Kansas to implement a sweeping tax cut plan to produce bountiful growth that instead has crippled the state to the point of bankruptcy. We also discuss Dean Baker’s article in the Los Angeles Times “If Trump wants to get reelected, he should rethink his Federal Reserve picks”.
 
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