FROM Kurt Eichenwald
Who will police presidential conflicts of interest? The 538 members of the Electoral College cast their votes today for a Commander-in-Chief with the most extensive potential conflicts of interest in the history of the presidency. Watchdogs say the law requires Donald Trump to sell off his holdings, but he's postponed addressing the issue until January, tweeting that his sons will run the business -- the same sons that are deeply involved in the Trump transition team. Democrats, led by Senator Elizabeth Warren, have vowed to hold Trump to the standard of a little known constitutional principle, the Emoluments Clause , claiming it gives grounds for impeachment if Trump doesn't fully divest himself of his holdings. Why are Republican voters seemingly unconcerned with the blurring of the lines between the Trump Organization and the White House? With a Republican controlled Congress who can hold the President accountable?
Are hackers to blame for Trump’s false Blumenthal, Benghazi link? Donald Trump criticized Hillary Clinton’s handling of Benghazi at the second presidential debate, saying that Clinton consulted with her friend Sidney Blumenthal after the incident. Blumenthal’s name actually came up twice during Sunday’s debate, which left a lot of voters outside the Beltway wondering: wait, Sidney who? Blumenthal was a political journalist for years before he joined the Bill Clinton White House as an advisor in 1997. He’s remained a close confidant and unofficial advisor to Hillary Clinton ever since. But Sidney Blumenthal is also the star of some of the alt-right’s favorite conspiracy theories, including a false story Trump has repeated that links Blumenthal to Benghazi, which journalist Kurt Eichenwald says began when Russian hackers attributed his writing to Blumenthal. Are Russian hackers leaking false stories to influence the US presidential election?
The America presidential nominee and the Russian strongman Donald Trump admires Vladimir Putin for what he calls "strong leadership" — especially compared to Barack Obama. The President says "strong leadership" means cronyism, corruption and censorship, while healthcare, education and the economy are in decline. But polls show many Republicans, once warned by Ronald Reagan about an "evil empire," now look more kindly on Russia under Putin’s iron-fisted control. W e talk with a reporter who interviewed Putin for two hours. What did he say about Donald Trump? What about trying to manipulate American voters? As Trump sings praises for Russia's leader, how strong is the appeal of Putin's authoritarian style to American voters?
Could Trump's foreign business ties harm US national security? Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s business dealings are in the spotlight. Kurt Eichenwald, a senior writer for Newsweek, has investigated Trump’s foreign interests and found The Trump Organization has business ties to companies across the globe that could create serious and unprecedented conflicts of interest should he become president.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.