Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Trump, Islamophobia, and His Presidential Bid
Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is not a traditional candidate for the nation’s highest office. But recently, he’s turned heads with a slate of radical political reform proposals, including expanding the Supreme Court and eliminating the Electoral College, that may help differentiate him from the crowd. He also earned plaudits for a statement addressed to the South Bend Muslim community issued in the wake of the Christchurch, New Zealand mosque shootings, which contrasted sharply with President Trump’s equivocations on the subject of Islamophobia and white nationalism. “Mayor Pete” joins Mehdi Hasan on this week’s Deconstructed to talk about his path to the White House. Intercept D.C. bureau chief Ryan Grim follows with thoughts on an increasingly crowded Democratic field.
Erik Prince, Perjury, and the Secret Trump Tower Meeting
Erik Prince, the founder and CEO of the world’s most notorious mercenary company, Blackwater, landed in hot water during an interview with Mehdi Hasan at the Oxford Union in the U.K. Prince repeatedly claimed to have disclosed an August 2016 meeting at Trump Tower to the House Intelligence Committee—a claim not backed up by the official transcripts of his testimony before congress. On this week’s show, Mehdi Hasan speaks with Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army , and to Congressman Joaquin Castro, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, about the possible fallout from Prince’s contradictory statements.
Cornel West on Bernie, Trump, and Racism
Many have attributed Bernie Sanders’ loss to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primaries to a poor showing among black voters. Bernie has since worked hard to make inroads there, incorporating theme racial discrimination and inequality into his campaign message. Yet questions persist about whether or not Bernie Sanders has a “race problem”. One of Sanders’ most prominent African American surrogates in his last run for the white house was philosopher and political activist Cornel West, who continues to argue that black America should embrace "Brother Bernie". On this week’s show, Mehdi Hasan and Dr. West discuss Bernie Sanders’ presidential chances and how he has progressed on race issues.
Ilhan Omar Speaks Out On Her Twitter Scandal, Anti-Semitism, and a Progressive Foreign Policy
Earlier this month, Rep. Ilhan Omar, freshman House Democrat and one of the first two Muslim American women ever elected to Congress, found herself mired in controversy over tweets about the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, and the influence of money on congressional support for the Israeli government. Omar apologized after condemnation from right and left alike, saying she would step back and think through the criticism that she received from Jewish figures. Nevertheless, her tweets kicked off a massive debate about the limits on public criticism of Israel and the role of money in politics.
Why Won’t the Media Discuss Trump’s Mental Instability?
Donald Trump’s rose garden speech last week announcing his emergency declaration over the “crisis” at the southern border was rambling, incoherent, and unhinged: in short, everything we’ve come to expect from the 45th president of the United States. And yet journalists treat him like a normal politician instead of stating the obvious: Donald Trump is mentally unfit for the presidency. Almost half the country agrees, and plenty of republicans, including Sen. Bob Corker and Jeb Bush, have expressed concern about his mental stability. To discuss the situation and where we go from here, Mehdi Hasan is joined by Dr. Bandy X. Lee, a psychiatrist at the Yale School of Medicine, and by Trump’s biographer, David Cay Johnston.