May 20 - Trump Tries to Manufacture a "Spying" Scandal; An Election in Venezuela as the Country Falls Apart; Maybe We Are Not as Polarized and Politically Dysfunctional as We Think

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Part 1

We begin with the outing of an FBI confidential informant who President Trump is claiming was a spy “infiltrated” into his campaign which he is demanding the congress investigate, tweeting out that “this is bigger than Watergate”. Scott Horton, a professor at Columbia Law School and a contributing editor at Harper’s in legal affairs and national security joins us to discuss how Trump is trying to gin up a campaign of phony outrage to get Devon Nunes and the junkyard dogs of the so-called “Freedom Caucus” to yap loudly along with Sean Hannity and the Fox New propagandists in the hope Trump can use this as an excuse to slow or shut down the Mueller investigation. We assess whether the revelation that a 73 year-old American professor at Cambridge University who has been a long-time CIA and FBI informant for the Administrations of Republican Presidents Reagan, Bush and Bush junior and was meeting with Trump campaign officials who the FBI suspected had ties to the Russians, will be seen by the broader public as the “smoking gun” Trump is trying to make it appear to be. We also examine the latest expose from The New York Times on meetings in Trump Tower and the Seychelles brokered by the convicted child molester George Nader who set Donald Trump Jr. up with Erik Prince who was offering his services to the Trump campaign to use his mercenary army in the Emirates to start a war with Iran.  

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Part 2

Then we will go to Venezuela to get an update on today’s elections which are widely seen as a choice between participating in a rigged election or boycotting the vote, thus handing the incompetent ideologue Maduro another term as the country spirals into economic ruin and social disintegration. Caracas-based journalist Virginia Lopez, who covered Latin America and Venezuela for The Guardian and Al Jazeera English joins us to discuss her article at the Toronto Globe and Mail, “In Venezuela, an election where no one wins” and how the oil infrastructure in the once oil-rich country is so neglected and mismanaged that oil exports will soon grind to a halt.

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Part 3

Then finally James and Deborah Fallows join us in the studio to discuss their new book, just out, “Our Towns: A 100,000 mile journey into the heart of America”. James has been a national correspondent for The Atlantic for more than 35 years and Deborah is a linguist and writer and they have traveled into America’s heartland in their small private plane to discover a surprising portrait of the civic and economic reinvention taking place outside of the view of the national media which at a time of polarization and political dysfunction, is both welcome and encouraging.

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