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FROM THIS EPISODE

Photo: A deserted Abu Samra border crossing to Saudi Arabia, in Qatar June 12, 2017. (Tom Finn/Reuters)

Producers:
Yael Even Or
Devan Schwartz
Katie Cooper

Trump claims DOJ investigating him 6 MIN, 32 SEC

In October, candidate Donald Trump said, "If Hillary [Clinton] is elected she would be under protracted criminal investigation, likely followed by the trial of a sitting president. Hey, this is just what we need. Just what we need." Last week, after fired FBI Director James Comey testified before Congress, President Trump insisted he was not under investigation, declaring, "No collusion. No obstruction. He's a leaker."

But today, the President tweeted a very different message: "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director. Witch Hunt." That's his first acknowledgement that he's under investigation. Peter Nicholas, White House reporter for the Wall Street Journal, says the investigation is likely to expand to include several members of the White House over the firing of Comey.

Guests:
Peter Nicholas, Wall Street Journal (@PeterWSJ)

Flip-flops and confusion from the White House on the Middle East 33 MIN, 5 SEC

Qatar is a small branch of the Arabian Peninsula. Oil has made its few hundred thousand citizens wealthy, and the US uses its airbase to launch airstrikes against ISIS.  But Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other nearby countries have now cut off contact and diplomatic relations — claiming that Qatar has funded terrorism. President Trump agrees, but his Secretary of State calls for calm -- and the US is selling Qatar $12 billion worth of jet fighters. 

Correction: In today's show we incorrectly said that Qatar sticks out into the Red Sea. It's located on the Persian Gulf.

Guests:
Tom Finn, Reuters (@tomfinn2)
Gregg Carlstrom, Tel Aviv-based reporter (@glcarlstrom)
Mohammed Alyahya, Atlantic Council (@7yhy)
Dalia Dassa Kaye, RAND Corporation (@dassakaye)

More:
Finn on the Qatar border blockade
Finn on Qatar saying fighter jets deal shows deep US support
Alyahya on the Gulf rift
Kaye on need for quiet diplomacy, not taking sides
Carlstrom on the Qatar crisis pushing Hamas back to Iran

Trump takes harder line on travel to Cuba 10 MIN, 10 SEC

Florida's Republican Senator, Marco Rubio, flew to Miami today with President Trump and introduced him, "A year a half ago an American president landed in Havana to outstretch his hand to the regime. Today an American president lands in Miami and reached out his hand to the people of Cuba." The President claimed he's fulfilled his campaign promise to reverse Obama's diplomatic re-engagement.

Julia Sweig, senior researcher at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas-Austin and author of Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know, discusses how the new changes will affect Americans, Cubans and the hospitality industry – including the Trump Organization.

 

Guests:
Julia Sweig, University of Texas-Austin (@JuliaSweig)

More:
Trump memorandum on strengthening the policy of the US toward Cuba

Cuba

Julia E. Sweig

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