Seth and Thomas offer an up-to-the minute analysis of the pre-election turmoil dominating the American news cycle in the final days of the 2020 general election, from a second major coronavirus outbreak in the White House to the dramatic collapse of Trump?s would-be game-changing narrative about Joe and Hunter Biden, from the fallout of the third presidential debate in Tennessee to dramatic developments in voting trends across the United States, including historic turnout among Black voters in Georgia and voters of several key demographics in Texas. This discussion of transient breaking news ultimately turns to a broader consideration of the future of Trumpism and various figures in Trumpworld and a spirited rumination on the lessons that Americans?and American journalists in particular?should be taking from the political, legal, and cultural upheavals of the Trump era.
Seth and Thomas take listeners on a bracing, globe-hopping tour of Trump?s most egregious clandestine international dealings?all of them threatening to U.S. national security and undertaken under color of Trump?s authority as President of the United States. Included in the tour are harrowing new details about the actions of Trump and his aides, allies, advisers, agents, and associates in Egypt, Venezuela, Sudan, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey. The wide-ranging, fast-paced discussion in this episode also includes new details and developments related to Trump?s collusive activities in Russia, Ukraine, China, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Seth and Thomas unpack the geopolitical conspiracy at the heart of Seth?s 2019 New York Times-bestselling book Proof of Conspiracy?a pre- and post-election course of collusion between Donald Trump and his political team and the governments of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Egypt, and Bahrain. Drawing solely from major-media investigative reporting, this episode explains in stunning detail how Trump replaced U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East with a transnational ?grand bargain? aimed at benefiting exclusively the Trump Organization, the 2016 and 2020 Trump campaigns, and foreign nations with geopolitical ambitions hostile to America and its allies? long-term national security.
Seth and Thomas unpack, in excruciating detail, the stunningly plausible yet still somehow unthinkable nightmare scenario: an incumbent president who loses his re-election bid in November but finds a way to stay in power with the implicit blessing of partisan state elections officials, a conveniently hands-off 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court, and a compliant network of state congressional delegations in the House of Representatives. The first stages of this scheme have already been fully and successfully executed, and the whole of the plot is not just legal but has already been telegraphed as palatable to those who?d be responsible for carrying it out, so hold onto your hats?this may be exactly where we?re headed.
Seth and Thomas discuss the ?October surprises? Trump hopes will hand him victory in November 2020, including those would-be game-changers that turned out to be duds (e.g., the Durham Report and the Trump-Biden debate); those we now know to be scams (e.g., a tranche of declassified ODNI documents involving Clinton and Obama, an imminent Saudi-Israeli ?peace deal,? and Mike Pompeo?s attempted reigniting of the 2016 Clinton email case); and those that are exactly the sort of surprises Trump may have been hoping to avoid (among them, his own contraction of COVID-19 and the publication of a slew of stories about his tax returns). Few general election campaigns have seen this many dramatic attempts to entirely redraw the political landscape.
Seth and Thomas explore the real story of the COVID-19 pandemic, revealing, exclusively through the use of major-media reporting that slipped through the cracks, that nearly everything we thought we knew about the coronavirus death and infection toll in the United States?even the timeline of the virus?s spread and the Trump administration?s response to it?is wrong. You will be shocked to learn how criminally negligent Trump was in responding to 2019 military intelligence on the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and how he thereafter sought to turn American deaths to his political and financial advantage in 2020.
Seth and Thomas discuss how Trump's thirst for a U.S.-China trade-deal photo op, lucrative Chinese trademarks, and dirt from Beijing on Hunter Biden; his administration's unprecedented rejection of fall 2019 U.S. military intelligence on the SARS-CoV-2 virus; and his desire to protect his European golf-course investments all combined to kill more than 200,000 Americans. Also discussed: how in 2016 Donald Trump amassed a digital army of trolls and white supremacists?largely on once-anime-oriented websites like 4chan and 8chan?to aid him during his first presidential campaign; how certain of Trump's collusive plots have been successfully thwarted by pushback in Congress, the intelligence community, publishing, and the courts; how Trump's collusion extends beyond Russia and Ukraine to pre- and post-2016 energy-market quid pro quos involving the United Arab Emirates, Israel, and Saudi Arabia; and how Trumpism persists within the GOP because the alternative is unthinkable to the party's leaders in Washington?the end of the Republican Party.
Seth and Thomas discuss Trump's years of failed business dealings in Ukraine, his rising animosity toward anti-corruption crusaders there, and his comity with Putin's puppets in both Ukraine's government and energy market?especially Kremlin agent and Russian mafia associate Dmitry Firtash and Kremlin agent and Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Seth also introduces the broad strokes of Trump's harrowing collusion with the Chinese government, which involves highly lucrative trademarks, a dodgy trade deal, and a global pandemic that has killed over 200,000 Americans.
Seth begins unraveling the tangled tale of Donald Trump's business endeavors over the last three decades, identifying the rogues? gallery of shady characters he associated with along the way. From his dealings with already-convicted felon Felix Sater in the early 2000s to his dealings with now-convicted felon Paul Manafort in the late 2000s to his dealings with now-convicted felon and disbarred lawyer Michael Cohen in the 2010s to his indirect dealings with international fugitive Dmitry Firtash over the last 48 months, Trump has a made a practice of dealing with career criminals who are also first- and second-order Kremlin agents with ties to Russian mafia. Luckily for keeping the story straight?albeit less lucky for America's national security and federal jurisprudence?the metanarrative that these and other interrelationships, data-points, and key news items tell couldn't be clearer.
Where do we start? It?s an essential question. Unpacking the Trump political saga ultimately means unpacking the Trump business saga, which takes us back to well before the dirty tricks of the 2016 election. Following the story also requires a new understanding of American media?how and why it packages information and news the way it does?and how our post-postmodern (?metamodern?) age requires new journalistic skills and dedicated curatorial journalists to properly navigate the surfeit of excellent investigative journalism across the digital landscape. We also discuss the dirty tricks that gave Trump the win in the 2016 election, and how these tricks unleashed the force now known as QAnon onto the internet and into our culture.