How did US politics become so polarised? With Nick Bryant


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On Monday 8 August the FBI launched an unprecedented search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. Agents were reportedly searching for classified documents, including those related to nuclear weapons. The raid has prompted Republican officials to condemn the Department of Justice and fuelled speculation that Trump will pursue a presidential run in 2024.

Emily Tamkin speaks to Nick Bryant, the former BBC New York correspondent and author of When America Stopped Being Great: A History of the Present, which is released in paperback by Bloomsbury on 18 August.

They talk about the reaction to the raid from the US right, as well as what paved the way for Trump’s political rise, covering post-Cold War optimism and the scandal-wracked Nineties, and how the billionaire became a working-class hero. They also discuss whether Ronald Reagan was the “godfather of polarisation”, and if this division is here to stay after these recent dramatic events.

Further reading:

Emily Tamkin argues that the FBI raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort was the rule of law in action.

Emily Tamkin asks is everything coming up good for Joe Biden?

Emily Tamkin writes Republicans, this is why you wait for more information.

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