The Ross Report for Wednesday, February 15: Trump is tested; Murder found me;

At 6:22 AM (and perhaps with a replay at 8:22 AM), we'll talk with Chris Harmer of the Institute for the Study of War to talk about this:

I don't usually start my show notes with the text of my Ross Report for the day, but I think it makes sense to do so today:

With the notable exception of Iran releasing the hostages within moments of Ronald Reagan’s 1981 inauguration, America’s foreign adversaries tend to challenge new presidents, to test their limits and find out what regions and issues they have particular interest in.

If a new president is unlucky, he’ll be tested by more than one country at the same time.

Such is the case with President Donald Trump, less than a month into his presidency, being tested aggressively by both Russia and North Korea, and more subtly by China, all while the resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn has the administration’s foreign policy apparatus in a state of minor chaos.

North Korea’s delusional tyrant, Kim Jong Un, is firing missiles intended to show belligerence against our allies, South Korea and Japan. China, the only nation with a prayer of influencing Kim, is doing nothing, happy to see how the test of Trump goes.

Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin, recently had several Russian airplanes buzz an American guided missile destroyer three times in one day.

But that’s just the warmup from the guy Trump hopes to partner with for our mutual benefit, as if we have one: On Tuesday, we learned that Russia has deployed a new ground-based cruise missile system in violation of one of our oldest arms control agreements with them.

These are among the most difficult decisions a president must make. Typically they are made with the help of an experienced team of professionals in whom the country has at least a modicum of confidence (the Obama foreign policy team being a notable exception.) Four weeks into the Donald Trump presidency, the only thing I’m confident of is that his team is not yet ready for the game that Kim and Putin want to play.

At 7:20 AM, legendary homicide detective Rod Demery joins us to talk about his life, career, and new TV series, "Murder Chose Me," on the Investigation Discovery channel.


Donald Trump apparently knew of Michael Flynn's lies to Mike Pence and others for at least a couple of weeks before Pence knew. I think he should have known that this was an untenable situation and he should have dealt with it much sooner. He let it fester, and now it seems he's blaming others. Trump doesn't realize that he's up against many members of many bureaucracies who loathe him. There are long-term issues here for this presidency.

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