03:58 GMT18 February 2020
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    Will 2020 Be the Year of Bernie and Progressives or the Demise of Trump?

    The Critical Hour
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    On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Caleb Maupin, journalist and political analyst who focuses his coverage on US foreign policy; and Dr. Jack Rasmus, professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of several books.

    It’s Friday, so that means it's panel time.

    "The third impeachment trial in US history officially began Thursday amid a swirl of new allegations about President [Donald] Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, which several Republicans rushed to downplay as they dismissed Democrats’ calls for further investigation," the Washington Post reported. "Lev Parnas, a former associate of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, has alleged that Trump knew of his role in the effort to dig up dirt in Ukraine that could benefit the president politically." Are these new revelations making it tougher for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to hold his line?

    "[Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth] Warren and [Vermont Sen. Bernie] Sanders remain at odds over whether he told her, during a private dinner in 2018 about the presidential election, that a woman couldn't win -- neither backed off their previous statements," CNN reported Wednesday. "But both of the populist politicians seemed intent on avoiding a debate stage crack-up."

    "Senior administration officials declined Sunday to confirm President Trump’s assertion that four US embassies had been targeted for attack by Iran, while saying that Trump’s 'interpretation' of the threat was consistent with overall intelligence that justified the killing of a senior Iranian general," the Washington Post reported. They are really having a problem getting their lie together. Furthermore, 11 US troops were wounded in the Iranian missile strike on US bases in Iraq last week, though it was initially reported that no Americans were wounded. "The acknowledgment is a departure from initial reports from defense officials and the president, who described as inconsequential the effects of the missile salvos launched in retaliation for a US strike that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad," the Washington Post reported Friday. 

    "Iranian President Hassan Rouhani dismissed on Wednesday a proposal for a new 'Trump deal' aimed at resolving a nuclear row, saying it was a 'strange' offer and criticizing US President Donald Trump for always breaking promises," Reuters reported Wednesday. "British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has praised Trump as a great dealmaker, called on Tuesday for the president to replace Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with major powers with his own new pact to ensure Tehran does not get an atomic weapon. Trump said he agreed with Johnson that a 'Trump deal' should replace the Iran nuclear deal. In a televised speech, Rouhani told Washington to return to the nuclear pact, which Washington abandoned in 2018, under which Tehran curbed its nuclear work in return for the lifting of international sanctions on Iran." There are a few odd things here to me: the first is Johnson making this proposal, and the second is the idea of a “Trump deal,” almost as though Trump just wants his name on the thing, the same way he updated NAFTA and claims it as his own.

    "A week before Germany, France and Britain formally accused Iran of breaching the 2015 nuclear deal, the Trump administration issued a private threat to the Europeans that shocked officials in all three countries," the Washington Post reported Wednesday. "If they refused to call out Tehran and initiate an arcane dispute mechanism in the deal, the United States would impose a 25% tariff on European automobiles, the Trump officials warned, according to European officials familiar with the conversations."

    GUESTS:

    Caleb Maupin — Journalist and political analyst who focuses his coverage on US foreign policy and the global system of monopoly capitalism and imperialism.  

    Dr. Jack Rasmus — Professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of "Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression."        

    Jim Kavanagh — Political analyst and commentator and editor of The Polemicist.

    Daniel Lazare — Journalist and author of three books: "The Frozen Republic," "The Velvet Coup" and "America's Undeclared War."

    We'd love to get your feedback at radio@sputniknews.com

    Tags:
    Progressives, Bernie Sanders, impeachment, Iran, Ukraine, Trump
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