Useful Idiots Podcast: Taibbi on Donald Trump and Bob Woodward - Rolling Stone
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Useful Idiots: Donald Trump and the Bob Woodward Bombshell

Plus, filmmaker Juan Passarelli on the Julian Assange trial

In this week’s quarantine episode of our Useful Idiots podcast, hosts Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper are joined by Juan Passarelli, a documentary filmmaker who recently released The War on Journalism: The Case of Julian Assange.

For this week’s Democrats Suck, Matt offers a clip of Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris saying on CNN that she would not trust a Donald Trump COVID-19 vaccine.

“One assumes that if a vaccine becomes available, it’s going to have to actually go through the entire process of being approved by the FDA, and it’s going to have to go through trials,” says Matt. “They’re going to have a hard time already getting people to take this vaccine. And isn’t this exactly what Democrats have criticized Republicans about in the past?”

For Republicans Suck, our hosts delve into the news around the forthcoming Bob Woodward book Rage, and Woodward’s tapes published by The Washington Post that showed Trump’s awareness of the severity of Covid-19 as early as February of this year.

“A more responsible president, you could imagine them figuring out a way to not cause a panic, but also alert people to how dangerous it was,” says Katie. “There’s a difference between putting it in perspective and urging people to keep their heads while following guidelines, there’s a difference between that and just downplaying it and encouraging dangerous behavior.”

Juan Passarelli joins our hosts to discuss his new film about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

“This is a case of a publisher who acquired very important material that showed war crimes, showed torture, showed widespread corruption on the biggest levels of government, and that created a repercussion,” says Passarelli, who breaks down the issues around Assange’s indictment.

Passarelli also discusses the condition of Assange after being detained in the U.K., and the United Nations’ claim that Assange was arbitrarily detained. “They are torturing him to make an example out of him,” says Passarelli, who also pontificates on why Trump has been aggressive in pursuing Assange’s extradition. “This is not a new position for Trump. I think he is also extremely opportunistic, and decided to play along with leaks that were favorable to him at the time.”

 

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