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Trump to Make a Case for Border Wall Funding, Dems Set to Respond

Trump to Make a Case for Border Wall Funding, Dems Set to Respond
On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Ray Baker, political analyst and host of the podcast Public Agenda, to preview President Donald Trump's speech on the government shutdown.

President Trump will address the nation Tuesday night about the situation at the US-Mexico border. Trump tweeted out that it is "Humanitarian and National Security crisis." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will deliver the Democratic response to Trump's speech. They are demanding equal time to challenge Trump's claim that there is a national security crisis along the border. The government shutdown is in its 18th day. Will the president use his executive power to get funding for his wall?

The Russian lawyer involved in the infamous Trump Tower meeting in 2016 is being indicted in a separate case. Federal prosecutors in New York are charging Natalia Veselnitskaya [vessel-nit-SKY-ah] with obstruction of justice. She allegedly attempted to prevent an investigation into money laundering that involved an influential Russian businessman and his investment firm. Veselnitskaya was present at the meeting with Trump campaign officials in Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign. The Trump Tower meeting included Donald Trump Jr., then-campaign chief Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law. But, there are some serious holes in this story. The New York Times reports, "The money-laundering case was not directly related to the Trump Tower meeting. But a federal indictment returned in Manhattan seemed to confirm that Ms. Veselnitskaya had deep ties to senior Russian government officials and rekindled questions about whether the Kremlin tried to use her as an intermediary to Donald J. Trump's campaign." The Magnitsky Act is a bipartisan bill passed by the US Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama in December 2012, intending to punish Russian officials responsible for the death of Russian tax accountant Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow prison in 2009. Since 2016, the bill, which applies globally, authorizes the US government to sanction those it sees as human rights offenders, freezing their assets and banning them from entering the US. If the Russian response stating that Magnitsky and other persons defrauded the Russian Treasury is, in fact, true, wouldn't that mean that the basis of the Magnitsky act is wrong?

The Trump administration is attempting to end temporary protected status — known as TPS — for over 50,000 Haitians living in the US. Tens of thousands of Haitians were given TPS after an earthquake devastated their country in 2010. In November 2017, the Trump administration announced it would revoke TPS for Haitians. The move was met with protests and multiple lawsuits, and is now being challenged in court. In October, a federal judge temporarily blocked the Trump effort, which also affects immigrants from Sudan, El Salvador and Nicaragua, citing a "discriminatory" motivation. Haitian TPS recipients and their supporters are expected to rally this morning outside the Brooklyn courthouse where the suit is being argued.

News that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is visiting China is reinforcing rumors that Kim will meet Trump, possibly in Vietnam, in the near future, for a critical second summit. China remains North Korea's closest ally, extending a cross-border economic lifeline to the cash-strapped and heavily sanctioned state, and China has called for economic sanctions on North Korea to be eased. The timing of Kim's trip to China could be highly significant, potentially suggesting an imminent summit with Trump. In 2018, Kim met Xi for discussions prior to his first summits with both South Korean President Moon Jae In in April and with Trump in June. While no date for the second Kim-Trump summit has yet been set, nor has a location been decided, South Korean daily the Munhwa Ilbo reported Monday that the meeting could take place in Hanoi.


Ray Baker — Political analyst and host of the podcast Public Agenda.

Caleb Maupin — Journalist and political analyst who focuses his coverage on US foreign policy and the global system of monopoly capitalism and imperialism.

Dahoud Andre — Haitian activist who works with the Free Haiti Movement.

Lee Stranahan — Co-host of Fault Lines on Sputnik Radio.

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