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'Give Me a Billion Dollars': Naomi & Mehdi on Trump’s Latest Corruption Scandal

Big oil, the climate crisis, and Gaza on the latest episode of 'Unshocked'
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Earlier this month, former President Donald Trump put his brazen corruption on full display for America’s top oil executives, promising to rollback the Biden administration’s environmental policies as he asked for a small campaign donation of $1 billion. 

“It's almost a caricature of big oil. It's like a scene out of Hollywood movies,” Mehdi says, in this latest episode of ‘Unshocked.’ “You've got the presidential candidate sitting in his wedding holiday resort in Florida eating chopped steak with 20 big oil executives saying, ‘Give me $1 billion and I'll make you $100 billion.’ ”

Since that first meeting was reported, Trump has only doubled down on his quest for big oil money, visiting Houston last week to meet with fossil-fuel execs, just days after the city suffered their own climate disaster

“The oil companies must have been just so stunned because they're not hurting. They are posting record profits. All of these wars are fantastic for their bottom lines,” Naomi Klein tells Mehdi. 

In their latest conversation, Mehdi and Naomi explore what’s really behind Trump’s “drill baby drill” obsession, and what it says not only about our future, but also about the right’s preoccupation with brute force, masculinity, and of course, climate denial.

“You are here on this planet, and you do have to navigate and negotiate with the force of nature, which is actually stronger than us,” Naomi said. “I think that is perceived by people like Trump as an insult to their masculinity, like the idea that nature is speaking back to them and that their worldview really is about a hierarchy where you have white men at the top.”

Later in the conversation, Naomi went on to explain how the genocide in Gaza ties into America’s apathy towards climate disasters, a point made by Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro in the wake of Israel’s war on Gaza. 

“In October, Gustavo Petro said, this is global 1933. And he said that what they were seeing in Gaza was a glimpse of their future in the Global South,” Naomi said. “They see Gaza as part of a process of normalizing mass death, of habituating the planet to just allowing people to die.” 

‘Unshocked’ is a monthly conversation between Zeteo Editor-in-Chief Mehdi Hasan and author and activist Naomi Klein, where they pull viewers ‘out of shock’ through analysis, facts, and history. 

Friendly reminder: All of our content is currently available to all subscribers, free or paid. But this will only be for a limited, promotional period. Building and sustaining an independent media company like this requires, above all else, money. If you appreciate the work our team is doing, and want to be a part of this effort, please consider supporting us by becoming a paid subscriber.

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Unshocked with Naomi Klein
A monthly conversation on the world around us and the history that informs it with Naomi and Mehdi.
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Mehdi Hasan
Naomi Klein