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Interview With Aaron Maté: The Collective Freakout Over Trump-Putin Summit In Helsinki

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Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola are joined by Aaron Maté to counter the media frenzy around President Donald Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

Aaron Maté is a producer for The Real News and a contributor to The Nation.

During the show, Maté describes what from the summit does matter and then breaks down what led up to the summit and why the media coverage has become so unhinged.

Later, Khalek and Gosztola read multiple tweets and share quotes from liberal Democrats, who have totally lost it. They also wonder what it will take to defeat Trump if this is where Democrats continue to focus.

“We are at risk of a national security crisis because we are actually in the midst of an elite insecurity crisis,” Maté argues. “Elites are so insecure by Trump’s victory and still can’t process it—can’t process the implications for them in rejecting this neoliberal cosmopolitan model that they’ve all stood for—that they remain freaked out and are willing to escalate tensions with a nuclear armed power as a result.”

Maté continues, “That crisis of theirs intersects with a long-held way to handle their insecurity, which is to demonize foreign powers as a way to shore up domestic support and deflect attention from problems at home and also serve the interests of people who benefit from warmongering with places like Russia.”

On a recent indictment of 12 Russian intelligence agents by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Maté points out Mueller is alleging WikiLeaks received Democratic Party emails way after its editor-in-chief, Julian Assange, talked about having them.

“It’s worth asking Julian Assange, were you announcing something that you didn’t have yet? Or did you already have the emails? And if you already had the emails, then that negates Mueller’s timeline.”

“And, of course, we can’t ask Julian Assange that because he’s been cut off from the world right now in the Ecuadorean embassy under pressure from the U.S. and Britain,” Maté adds.

Of most importance from the summit is the issue of nuclear weapons, including the new START treaty. Trump previously rejected this agreement.

Both Trump and Putin spoke admirably of fossil fuel production in their countries. “That got totally ignored because obviously we’ve learned over the past year that existential issues like nuclear weapons and climate change are secondary to whether or not there’s a pee tape of Trump from 2013.”

The issue of Syria came up as well. Khalek mentions the Syria policy for the U.S. has shifted from tolerance under President Barack Obama to a recognition that the current regime is there to stay. In fact, the policy is now primarily driven by the interests of Jordan and Israel.

How can elites and pundits openly assert that the United States has promoted some world order that has been based on non-interference and the respecting of sovereignty of other countries? The U.S. government has overthrown the governments of dozens of countries, especially in the past century.

“They believe it because their privilege depends on it. Their privilege depends on them being myopic state-worshiping sycophants,” Maté declares. “Being in these positions of privilege and power must give meaning to their lives so much so that it justifies embarrassing themselves with comments like that. That’s something that someone in a totalitarian state would say if they wanted to impress their government leader, their head of state.”

To listen to the full interview click on the above player or go here.

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."