Stories We’re Watching
Putin to US: Come at me bro! I’m ready for another Cuban Missile Crisis if you want one.
Yesterday, President Putin doubled down and clarified his previous threats to the US, warning that Russia was ready for another Cuban Missile Crisis if the US really wanted one. The remarks followed Putin’s state-of-the-nation address. Speaking to reporters, Putin explained how Russia could easily put hypersonic missiles on long-range submarines or warships in neutral waters. According to a transcript from the Kremlin, Putin warned: “Let them count the speed and the range of the weapons systems we are developing. […] You work it out. Mach nine (the speed of the missiles) and over 1,000 km (their range).”
- Business Day: Putin tells the US he is ready for another Cuban Missile Crisis
- The Independent: What Putin’s state of the nation address really tells us
- Reuters: Putin to US: I’m ready for another Cuban Missile crisis if you want
- Business Insider: Despite Putin’s swagger, Russia’s military is struggling
Trump Calls for “6G” Networks As Germany & UK Consider Using Huawei 5G Equipment
German lawmakers and British intelligence agencies have publicly broken with the US over use of Huawei equipment in developing 5G networks. The Trump administration has pressured European countries to ban Huawei over concerns that the equipment could be used to intercept internet data on behalf of the Chinese government. Citing lack of evidence of espionage capabilities, German ministers are considering whether or not to use Huawei equipment, and British intelligence agents claim that any security risks posed by Huawei equipment were “manageable”. Meanwhile, President Trump has urged US companies to step up 5G network rollouts and to just, like develop 6G networks.
- The Economist: America and its allies disagree on Huawei
- BBC: Could Huawei threaten the Five Eyes alliance?
- WSJ: In Rebuke to US, Germany Considers Letting Huawei In
- NYT: Huawei Risks to Britain Can Be Blunted, UK Official Says, in a Rebuff
- The Verge: Trump wants 6G internet ‘as soon as possible’
Netanyahu Strikes Deal with Extreme Hard-Right Parties ahead of Elections
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has struck multiple deals with extreme far-right political parties ahead of April’s elections. In response, two of Netanyahu’s strongest challengers, the Israel Resilience Party and the Yesh Atid Party, have announced a party merger and have agreed to run on a joint ticket. In the US, Jewish leaders have increasingly condemned Netanyahu’s rhetoric, accusing him of ‘Jewish fascism’, outright racism, and base political tactics. Despite widespread international criticism, polls still indicate a lead for Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party.
- The Guardian: Benjamin Netanyahu strikes deal with hardline parties
- Reuters: Netanyahu’s strongest challengers form alliance in Israeli election
- Haaretz: US Jewish Leaders Slam Netanyahu for Promoting Kahanists
- Forward: Did Israel Just Lose American Jews?
Mueller Updates: Cohen to Testify to Congress Next Week, Special Counsel Expected to ‘Wrap up’ Investigation Soon
Michael Cohen, the President’s former personal lawyer, is scheduled to testify before the House Oversight committee next week. The much-anticipated, voluntary testimony is expected to shed light on the president’s possible contacts with Russia. Legal analysts have raised concerns over the timing of William Barr’s confirmation as Attorney General and the sudden announcement that the Special Counsel’s investigation was concluding as soon as next week. Others have questioned Barr’s willingness to publish the Special Counsel’s findings.
- WIRED: 7 Scenarios for How the Mueller Probe Might ‘Wrap Up’
- Vox: These are the Trump associates who’ve pleaded guilty in the Mueller
- CNN: Senate investigators pursue Moscow-based former Trump associate
- CNBC: Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen to testify before US House oversight panel
- VICE: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TRUMP’S PICK TO REPLACE ROD ROSENSTEIN AT THE DOJ
North Korea Accused of Abducting Former Ambassador’s Daughter Ahead of Kim-Trump Summit
North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un has exiled, detained, or executed numerous high-ranking officials ahead of next week’s second Kim-Trump Summit. In an attempt to silence critics, Kim has also gone after bureaucrats from his father’s and his grandfather’s administrations. North Korean prosecutors have charged many of the former bureaucrats with espionage following last year’s high-profile defection of Jo Song Gil, North Korea’s ambassador in Rome. Reports this week indicate that the ambassador’s 17-year-old daughter has been kidnapped by North Korean intelligence agents.
- The Guardian: North Korea accused of abducting its former ambassador’s daughter
- NPR: What’s Changed Between US And North Korea Since First Summit
- VICE: Kim prepares for the big Trump summit by removing several top diplomats
- WSJ: Kim Jong Un Purges Wealthy Elite and Opponents of Outreach to U.S.
- Slate: Trump’s bargaining position with Kim Jong-un is unbelievably weak.
From Deep State Radio
PODCAST: TRAITORS IN PLAIN SIGHT
In America today we face the shocking reality that there are traitors at the highest level of our government selling out our country. What makes this more shocking is that depending on which party you are in, you see a different group of traitors. Incivility is so five years ago. We’re at the point where the goal is to send your opponents to jail. That said—the case against one set of traitors is pretty evident on its face and the case against the other is pretty cuckoo. But where does it all lead? Will it get worse? Is Mueller the answer? Or is focusing on fixing what really is broke in America the key? Join Edward Luce of the Financial Times, Rosa Brooks of Georgetown University and journalist Sarah Kendzior of the Gaslit Nation podcast for a rousing discussion of our unsettled moment in history. Tune in!
PODCAST: WHAT’S WORSE THAN AMERICA FAILING ITS ALLIES?
Donald Trump’s America has so alienated our traditional allies that when Mike Pence and Ivanka Trump went to the Munich Security Conference this past week, they were humiliated on more than one occasion by a clearly hostile crowd. But our problem is not just that America is rejecting principles on which it has built its security for decades. Our allies are faltering and facing deep problems of their own. Brexit is the worst example. But everywhere you look there are others. That means we won’t just be able to hit reset when Trump leaves office (if he ever does). We may need to start from scratch with new ideas about new alliances for a much changed world. Rosa Brooks of Georgetown Law and Ed Luce of the FT discuss whether there are any signs of those new ideas being cooked up now…anywhere. The answer is…well, let’s not spoil it for you. But bring a stiff drink (or several) for this one. Join us!
WASHINGTON FOR BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE: THAT TIME MY FRIEND TURNED OUT TO BE A RUSSIAN SPY: A CONVERSATION WITH ELENA NICOLAOU
Everyone has a story to tell and Elena Nicolaou has a helluva one. For years Elena and her family were close friends with Paul Erickson and his girlfriend Maria Butina…yes that Maria Butina. (The “alleged” Russian spy.) Elena details the relationship her family had with Paul and this red headed Russian girlfriend (who was half his age, but no judgement). Maria and Paul went to Disney World with Elena, Maria read Elena’s palm and Paul texted Elena about Ariana Grande & Pete Davidson’s relationship. If this story seems crazy, wait until you hear it ALL. Tune in for the absolutely crazy and unbelievably true story of the family that befriended the Russian (ahem “alleged”) spy. Tune in!