March 28 - Did Peter Thiel Play a Far More Important Role in Getting Trump Elected?; Trump's 2020 Census Form is Designed to Undercount Minorities; China Clears the Way for a Summit Between Trump and Kim Jong-un

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Full Program


Part 1

We begin with the latest revelation from the explosive testimony by a whistleblower before a U.K. parliamentary committee looking into Cambridge Analytica and Facebook in which Christopher Wylie mentioned that senior officials from Palentir, a company founded by Peter Thiel that does secret work for the NSA and other intelligence agencies, worked with Cambridge Analytica on both the Brexit and Trump campaigns. Frank Pasquale, a Professor of Law at the University of Maryland and author of “The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms that Control Money and Information”, joins us to discuss how much of a pivotal role Peter Thiel played in getting Trump elected, not in terms of the billionaire founder of PayPal and early investor in Facebook donating money, but in terms of being a key strategist. At the very least Trump thought Thiel was important enough to be given a prominent role as a speaker at the Republican Convention and Thiel was the only member along with David Koch outside of the Trump family, to celebrate the returns on election night in Trump Tower.

Photo of Frank Pasquale

Part 2

Then we speak with Kathay Feng, the Executive Director of California Common Cause who played a leadership role in reforming California’s redistricting process along non-partisan lines. She was in the Supreme Court today as the justices heard arguments in a watershed gerrymandering case and joins us to discuss the new census form for 2020 which appears to be designed by the Trump Administration to make sure that the undocumented, the young and minorities are not counted. In spite of the constitution being clear on counting all persons in the United States, the Republicans seem determined in the face of demographic changes to use voter suppression and a census undercount to reduce the number of Democratic congressional districts and maintain their advantage through gerrymandering.

Part 3

Then finally we discuss the meeting between Kim Jong-un and China’s President Xi Jinping which appears to have cleared the way for a summit between North Korea’s leader and President Trump in May. Stephen Noerper, a professor at Columbia University who was a senior analyst at the State Department, joins us to discuss who is laying the groundwork for this upcoming summit given the hollowing out of expertise at the State Department and whether there will be enough staff work to restrain Trump from agreeing to something to make himself look good rather than act in the interest of the U.S. and its allies.