In a prime-time address on Monday, President Trump vowed to step up the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan which began nearly 16 years ago, extending the longest war in U.S. history. Earlier this month, the New York Times reported that Trump may have found a reason to prolong the nearly 16-year war: Afghanistan’s untapped mineral deposits, which could be worth nearly a trillion dollars. Shortly after the Times piece came out, we spoke with Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, a campaign to end U.S. military and economic warfare. We also spoke with Jodi Vittori, senior policy adviser for Global Witness on Afghanistan policy. Vittori spent 20 years in the U.S. military, where she served in several countries, including Afghanistan. She has received numerous military awards, including two Bronze Stars.
Earlier this week, we sat down with award-winning actor Alec Baldwin, the acclaimed Donald Trump impersonator on Saturday Night Live. Baldwin’s performances have been seen by millions—including President Trump himself. Baldwin is currently preparing for another run of Trump impersonations on the upcoming season of Saturday Night Live. We spoke with Baldwin on Monday at Guild Hall, in East Hampton, New York.
Ahead of Trump’s speech in Phoenix on Tuesday, there was much speculation that Trump would pardon Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of contempt of court for defying an order to stop his deputies from detaining people on suspicion of being undocumented. While he didn’t pardon Arpaio on Tuesday, Trump hinted during his speech that a pardon would be coming soon. For more we speak with Francisca Porchas, organizing director of Puente Arizona, a grassroots human rights movement for migrant justice.
In a campaign rally in Phoenix on Tuesday night, President Donald Trump repeatedly defended his response to the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville as thousands of protesters who had gathered outside were attacked by police with tear gas and pepper balls. During his speech, Trump blasted the corporate media and also threatened a government shutdown if he didn’t get Congressional approval to build a wall along the southern border.
On Friday billionaire investor Carl Icahn left his role as regulatory adviser to Donald Trump, just before the New Yorker published an article entitled "Carl Icahn’s Failed Raid on Washington." The article detailed Carl Icahn’s potential conflicts of interest, including his heavy lobbying for a rule change about blending ethanol into gasoline, a rule which affects the profits of Icahn’s Texas-based petroleum refining company, CVR. According to the New Yorker, in the months after Trump’s election, the stock price of CVR nearly doubled, which meant Icahn’s own wealth surged, at least on paper, by a half a billion dollars. For more we speak with Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program. In March Public Citizen asked lawmakers to investigate Carl Icahn’s actions.
Watch extended interview with Tyson Slocum
White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon has left the White House and rejoined the far-right-wing website Breitbart News as the executive chairman. Bannon has been one of Trump’s closest and most trusted advisers. After departing the White House, he said, "In many ways I think I can be more effective fighting from the outside for the agenda President Trump ran on. And anyone who stands in our way, we will go to war with.” Before his departure, Bannon granted an extraordinary interview to Robert Kuttner, co-founder and co-editor of the liberal magazine The American Prospect. For more on Bannon’s departure and his interview, we speak with Robert Kuttner, co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect.
On Monday night, President Trump announced that the U.S. would continue the ongoing war in Afghanistan, which is already the longest war in U.S. history. The Pentagon is likely to deploy about 4,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan in the coming months. This summer, the U.S. already began intensifying its air war in Afghanistan. During the month of June, the U.S. carried out 389 airstrikes in Afghanistan—the highest monthly total in five years. For more we speak with award-winning journalist Azmat Khan, who has reported extensively from Afghanistan.
President Trump has announced plans to escalate the U.S. war in Afghanistan—already the longest war in U.S. history. While Trump offered few specifics during his prime-time address Monday night, he has reportedly already signed off on a plan to send about 4,000 more troops to Afghanistan. For more we speak with Matthew Hoh, who resigned from the State Department in 2009 over the Obama administration’s escalation of the war in Afghanistan. Prior to his assignment in Afghanistan, he served in Iraq and Afghanistan including time as a Marine Corps company commander in Anbar Province.
In a special broadcast today, we remember legendary comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory, who passed away on Saturday in Washington, D.C. at the age of 84. Gregory became one of the most popular comedians in the country, paving the way for generations of African-American comedians. On Sunday Chris Rock wrote on Instagram, "We lost a king. They’ll never be another. Read his books. Look him up you won’t be disappointed. Unfortunately the America that produced Dick Gregory still exists." Dick Gregory was the first African-American comedian to sit on the couch of The Tonight Show, then hosted by Jack Parr. As his popularity grew, so did his activism. In 1967, Dick Gregory ran for mayor of Chicago against the infamous Richard Daley. He was a close friend of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and in 1968 he ran for president against Richard Nixon. Dr. Greg Carr, chair of Afro-American Studies at Howard University and a friend of Gregory, described him as a perpetual student. “His intellectual capacity was honed to precision with a lifetime of deep study,” Carr told Diverse Magazine. We feature Dick Gregory in his own words in our 2002 interview with the comedian in our old firehouse studio. We first interviewed Gregory just months after Democracy Now! went on television.
The Justice Department is demanding web hosting provider DreamHost turn over 1.3 million IP addresses of people who visited the website DisruptJ20.org, which was used to organize the protests against President Trump’s inauguration. The Justice Department is also seeking names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses and other information about the owners and subscribers of the website. More than 200 protesters were arrested during the Inauguration Day protests and are now facing decades in prison on trumped-up charges. We are joined by Nate Cardozo, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. His group is assisting DreamHost in its opposition to the government’s search warrant.
We feature Part 2 of our discussion with a former neo-Nazi and the nephew of a white supremacist who marched in the Charlottesville, Virginia, protest. Christian Picciolini is co-founder of Life After Hate, a nonprofit helping people disengage from hate and violent extremism. He was a leading neo-Nazi skinhead gang member and far-right extremist in the 1980s and 1990s. We also speak with Jacob Scott, the nephew of Peter Tefft, who was disowned by his father, Pearce Tefft, in a letter published in a local newspaper. Scott discusses what it means for the family to speak out.
President Donald Trump continues to face outrage over his response to last weekend’s deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where racism and anti-Semitism were on clear display. We speak with Steven Goldstein, executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, which is calling on Twitter to suspend Trump’s personal account, after branding him an accomplice to domestic terrorism.
One of the participants in the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville was a man named Peter Tefft. He was outed by the Twitter group "Yes, You’re Racist," which had been posting screenshots of participants in an effort to expose them. His father, Pearce Tefft, has come out and publicly denounced his white supremacist son in an open letter published in The Forum, a newspaper in Fargo. The letter read, in part, "I, along with all of his siblings and his entire family, wish to loudly repudiate my son’s vile, hateful and racist rhetoric and actions. We do not know specifically where he learned these beliefs. He did not learn them at home." We speak with Jacob Scott, the nephew of Peter Tefft.
Heather Heyer is the latest casualty in a number of deaths at the hands of white nationalists. Foreign Policy recently published an FBI and Department of Homeland Security bulletin that concluded white supremacist groups were "responsible for 49 homicides in 26 attacks from 2000 to 2016...more than any other domestic extremist movement." Despite these findings, the Trump administration recently slashed funds to organizations dedicated to fighting right-wing violence. One group, Life After Hate, which works to help white nationalists and neo-Nazis disengage from hate and violent extremism, was set to receive a grant under the DHS’s Countering Violent Extremism program, approved by the Obama administration. When Trump DHS policy adviser Katharine Gorka released the final list of grantees in June, Life After Hate had been eliminated. Gorka is the wife of Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka, who has been linked to a Hungarian far-right, Nazi-allied group. We speak with Christian Picciolini, co-founder of Life After Hate and former neo-Nazi skinhead gang member.
As President Trump faces growing outrage over his response to the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, we bring you an exclusive: an interview with the great-great-grandsons of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson. At least 1,500 symbols of the Confederacy can be found in public spaces across the country. But now a number of the monuments are coming down. Calls for the removal of the statues are even coming from the descendants of the leaders of the Confederacy. We speak with two of the great-great-grandsons of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson. Jack and Warren Christian have just written an open letter to the mayor of Richmond calling for the removal of the Stonewall Jackson statue in Richmond. They write, "Our sense of justice leads us to believe that removing the Stonewall statue and other monuments should be part of a larger project of actively mending the racial disparities that hundreds of years of white supremacy have wrought."