In a major new story, the New York Times reported today that President Trump decided last June to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller because his investigation had moved beyond Russia and collusion. White House Counsel Dan McGahn, however, said he would resign, and Trump backed off. Many observers say that firing Mueller would have led to a constitutional crisis.
President Trump spoke in Davos, Switzerland, today at the World Economic Forum. He emphasized his "America First" policy, and also softened his previously strong anti-globalization stance that has earned him support from workers around the country. Patrick Lawrence, the author of "Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century" and a columnist at The Nation, joins the show.
In the last 24 hours, Turkey has unleashed some aggressive threats against the United States. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said pointedly that if the United States wants to "avoid a confrontation with Turkey-which neither they nor Turkey want-the way to this is clear: they must cut support given to terrorists." Meanwhile, the Kurds in Afrin have taken a big hit from Turkish forces. What is Turkey's goal in threatening the United States, and will it make good on its threats to "cleanse" Afrin of Kurds? Brian and John speak with Peter Ford, the former UK Ambassador to Syria, and Stephen Gowans, a journalist and author of "Washington's Long War on Syria."
House Speaker Paul Ryan met yesterday with senior officials of the United Arab Emirates, despite the fact that the UAE is running a torture program in Yemen's secret prisons. US forces have interrogated detainees in the same facilities. Additionally, just today, the UN reported a mass drowning of at least 30 African refugees off the coast of Yemen. Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Non-Violence, joins the show.
As protests continue to rage in Honduras against the Inauguration of US-ally Juan Orlando Hernandez, a report has emerged that the newly appointed police chief of Honduras, long supported by the US military as helping prevent cocaine movement into the US, is implicated in a security report that shows he helped a cartel move a truckload of cocaine. Vicki Cervantes, the North America coordinator of the Honduras Solidarity Network, joins Brian and John.
Albuquerque has tried to criminalize homelessness with an ordinance passed in November 2017 that prohibits interactions between drivers and pedestrians who are on medians and freeway entrances, including panhandling. The New Mexico ACLU has filed a lawsuit against Albuquerque in federal court. Marissa Sanchez, an activist with Act Now to Stop War and End Racism and a plaintiff in the case, joins the show.
Vast inequality is on the rise in the nation's capital, as longtime residents are forced out, overpoliced, and denied a decent education. What are the city's priorities? And what does it say about the state of the country? Brian and John speak with Bob Schlehuber, a DC resident and the producer of Radio Sputnik's By Any Means Necessary, which you can listen to every weekday from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
In a weekly segment with Steve Patt, journalist at lefti.blogspot.com, the hosts and Steve take a look at the worst and most misleading headlines of the week.
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