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Pod Save the World

English, Political, 1 season, 415 episodes, 4 days, 29 minutes
About
“Pod Save America” cohost Tommy Vietor thought foreign policy was boring and complicated until he got the education of a lifetime working for President Obama’s National Security Council. On “Pod Save the World,” he and former deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes break down the latest developments and bring you behind the scenes with the people who were there. New episodes every Wednesday.
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Hamas and Netanyahu Accused of War Crimes

Ben and guest host Alyona Minkovski discuss the ICC’s application for arrest warrants against both Hamas and Netanyahu for war crimes, the mass exodus of civilians from Rafah, a US-Saudi pact supposedly being days away from being agreed to, and public rebukes against Netanyahu from members of his own war cabinet. They also talk about the Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi’s death in a helicopter crash, Zelensky putting hopes into Xi Jinping to pressure Putin on negotiations, an assassination attempt against the Slovakian Prime Minister, the latest in the trial of Julian Assange, a failed coup involving Americans in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Anthony Blinken “Rockin’ in the Free World”. Then, Ben speaks with Tamara Chergoleishvili, who is running for office in Georgia in this October’s elections in the European Georgia party.  For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
5/22/20241 hour, 20 minutes, 34 seconds
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Biden Punishes China

Ben is joined by guest hosts Daniel Kurtz-Phelan, Editor of Foreign Affairs magazine and Rana Ayyub, global opinion columnist for the Washington Post. Ben and Dan discuss a regrouped Hamas in northern Gaza, Secretary Blinken calling out the Israelis for not having a long term plan, Biden’s new tariffs on Chinese goods, the struggle to define America’s relationship with China, Russia’s new offensive in Kharkiv, and protests in Georgia over a foreign agent law. Then Ben and Rana talk about the Indian election, what a third Modi term would mean for India’s democracy, and attacks on Muslims and journalists in the country.
5/15/20241 hour, 21 minutes, 47 seconds
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Israel Begins Rafah Offensive (feat. Ali Velshi)

Ben and guest host Ali Velshi discuss the latest developments on ceasefire negotiations between Israel and Hamas, the beginning of a military offensive in Rafah, the shutdown of Al Jazeera in Israel, and plans to ban TikTok in the United States. They also discuss Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first visit to Europe in 5 years, Putin’s inauguration and an alleged assignation plot against President Zelensky, and Canadian police bringing charges in the assassination of a Sikh separatist on their soil. Then, Ben speaks with Ali about his new book, “Small Acts of Courage: A Legacy of Endurance and the Fight for Democracy”, and interviews Slovenian activist Nika Kovač about the “My Voice, My Choice” campaign to fight for abortion rights in Europe.
5/8/20241 hour, 15 minutes, 31 seconds
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Tucker Carlson Interviews "Putin's Brain"

Ben and Tommy discuss reports that a temporary ceasefire and hostage release deal between Israel and Hamas may be imminent, that Saudi Arabia has decided to normalize relations with Israel, and that the ICC may issue an arrest warrant for Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu. They also hear from campus protestors in New York, discuss leaked intelligence reports about whether Putin ordered opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s death, Tucker Carlson’s interview with a far-right ultranationalist close with Putin, Secretary of State Tony Blinken’s trip to China, why an Iranian rapper got a death sentence, major leadership changes in Scotland, and a dramatic reading care of Scotland. Then Tommy speaks to John McDermott, Chief Africa Correspondent for the Economist about South Africa’s upcoming election, waning western influence in the western Sahel, and the 30th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
5/1/20241 hour, 25 minutes, 29 seconds
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Gaza Protests Roil College Campuses

Ben and Tommy discuss the House approving $26 billion in military aid to Israel despite strikes on Rafah and a continuously deteriorating humanitarian situation, the resignation of Israel’s intelligence chief, a report concluding that there’s no evidence for UNRWA having broad terrorist ties, and student protests over the war in Gaza at American universities. They also discuss supplemental funding for the war in Ukraine, angry reactions from Russian officials, Trump’s personal aide saying he was promised a pardon if he lied to the FBI, Elon Musk’s battle with a Brazilian judge, the US agreeing to withdraw all troops from Niger, and why Biden should stop talking about cannibalism. Then Ben speaks to Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal about her “no” vote on offensive weapons to Israel and her recent trip to Cuba. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
4/24/20241 hour, 23 minutes, 45 seconds
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Breaking: Israel Strikes Back at Iran

In a bonus episode, Tommy and Ben talk about the reports that Israel launched a retaliatory strike deep inside Iran, why Iranian leaders are downplaying what happened, why the logic of deterrence is stupid, and the Biden administration’s muted response. They also talk about supplemental funding bills for Israel and Ukraine that the House will vote on this weekend, the messaging incoherence of the US calling for a ceasefire in Gaza while sending Israel more weapons, the US vetoing a UN resolution on Palestinian statehood, and then they take audience questions from the Discord.
4/19/202450 minutes, 42 seconds
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Iran Attacks Israel

Tommy and Ben discuss Iran’s missile and drone attack on Israel and whether Israel will retaliate, Biden’s message of restraint to Prime Minister Netanyahu, the republicans calling for all out war with Iran, and what Iran’s strike means for efforts to end the war in Gaza and pass additional funding for Israel and Ukraine. They also talk about Ukrainian President Zelensky’s criticism of other countries’ willingness to shoot down Iranian missiles but not those from Russia, a grim anniversary for the civil war in Sudan, a mass stabbing in Australia, former US Ambassador Manuel Rocha pleading guilty to being a Cuban spy, and the arrival of Meghan Markle’s strawberry jam. Then Tommy talks with Middle East expert Khaled Elgindy about post-war reconstruction in Gaza, and what kind of political path forward could actually create a Palestinian state.Don't forget to vote for Pod Save the World for a Webby Award!
4/17/20241 hour, 21 minutes, 35 seconds
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Biden Gives Israel An Ultimatum on Gaza

Tommy and Ben discuss Biden’s call with Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu and threat to cut off US support for the war in Gaza, Israel’s announcement that it would open more aid corridors into Gaza, and the head spinning change in political support for the war in Washington. They also explain why Ecuadorian police raided Mexico’s embassy and sparked a global diplomatic crisis, Trump’s “secret plan” to end the war in Ukraine, the election of a pro-Russian president in Slovakia, the Japanese Prime Minister’s State Visit with Biden, how a trillion-dollar Saudi infrastructure project has already become a disaster, and the world’s saddest political tweet via the Tory Party in the UK. Then Ben speaks to David Miliband, the President of the International Rescue Committee, about the moral and legal imperative to try to save lives in Gaza.Pod Save the World is nominated for a Webby award for Best News & Politics podcast! Vote for us if you can. 
4/10/20241 hour, 22 minutes, 28 seconds
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Can Saudi Money Whitewash a Murder?: World Corrupt Season 2, Episode 4

In the final episode of this four-part series, Rog and Tommy trace the massive flow of Saudi money into Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Wall Street, and how the biggest venture capitalists and A-list celebrities seem to no longer care about Saudi Arabia’s human rights record. They also look back at the history of the US-Saudi relationship, and how President Biden went from pleading to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” to traveling there to fist bump Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah. And finally, they dive into the possible motivations behind Saudi Arabia’s investments, from the need to diversify the Saudi economy, to whitewashing the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and changing the subject from other human rights violations. Despite all the depressing news, Rog and Tommy try to find glimmers of hope where grassroots activism and football can lead the way in creating a more just world. All of this and more, on the final episode of World Corrupt, Season 2.
4/6/202459 minutes, 51 seconds
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Israeli Strike Kills World Central Kitchen Staff in Gaza

Ben and Tommy discuss an Israeli airstrike on an Iranian embassy building in Syria that killed several top Iranian generals, Israeli drone strikes that killed seven World Central Kitchen humanitarian relief workers in Gaza and what they tell us about Israel’s lack of concern about civilian causalities, and growing protests in Israel against Netanyahu. Then they talk about Trump’s “shadow Secretary of State” Ric Grenell, the Qataris investing in Newsmax, a 60 Minutes report blaming Russia for “Havana Syndrome”, and one year since Russia arrested WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich. Finally, they cover a new anti-hate speech law in Scotland, the barring of an opposition candidate in Venezuela, Chinese disinformation promoting Trump in the US, a big loss for Erdogan’s party in Turkey’s local elections, and Reagan’s almost assassin complaining about cancel culture. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
4/3/20241 hour, 2 minutes
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Saudi Arabia: The New Home of Global Football: World Corrupt Season 2, Episode 3

In episode three of this four part series, Rog and Tommy explore the rise of Saudi Arabia’s domestic football league and why superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar are flocking there. iNews’s chief football writer Daniel Storey joins the show to tell the tale of one of those players, former Liverpool captain and one-time “moral center” of English football Jordan Henderson, whose move to the Saudi pro-league led to one of the starkest falls from grace in recent sporting history. Plus, Saudi Arabia has all but secured hosting rights for the 2034 Men’s World Cup....but did football’s global governing body FIFA rig the bidding process years in advance? And with Saudi Arabia also eyeing hosting duties for the 2035 Women's World Cup, former US Women’s National Team legend Megan Rapinoe gives her thoughts on what it would mean to play football's crown jewel tournament in a country where women are assigned a male guardian and homosexuality is illegal. All of this and more on the latest episode of World Corrupt. 
3/30/202459 minutes, 20 seconds
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How Will Putin Respond to an ISIS Attack? (feat. Bernie Sanders)

Tommy and Ben discuss the deteriorating relations between the White House and Bibi Netanyahu's government after the UN Security Council calls for a ceasefire in Gaza, the stalling hostage negotiations in Qatar, and Trump's PR advice to Israel. Then, they talk about the ISIS attack at a Moscow concert hall and Putin's response. They also discuss Hong Kong's new national security law, two surprising political resignations, a democratic election in Senegal, why the former president of Brazil was hiding in a foreign embassy, and Kate Middleton's cancer diagnosis. Plus, Senator Bernie Sanders and Ben discuss the looming famine in Gaza, conditioning aid to Israel, and changing US foreign policy for the better. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
3/27/20241 hour, 22 minutes, 1 second
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Saudi Arabia’s Despotic Ruler: World Corrupt Season 2, Episode 2

Roger Bennett and Tommy Vietor take a look at the history of Saudi Arabia, US-Saudi relations, and the Kingdom’s path to becoming a geopolitical force. They trace the unlikely rise of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman from a lowly place in the royal hierarchy to de facto leader of the country, and examine his record of enacting major social reforms while brutally cracking down on critics and rivals. Guests Ben Hubbard, Sarah Leah Whitson, and Khalid Al Jabri provide insight through stories about the infamous lock-up at the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh, the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and the disappearance of even the family members of MBS’ political rivals. And finally, they unpack what MBS’ massive investment into soccer means for the global game. Listen to the second episode of this four-part series to find out.
3/23/202449 minutes, 6 seconds
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Trump Says Jewish Democrats “Hate Israel”

Tommy and Ben discuss the looming famine in Gaza, reactions to Senator Chuck Schumer’s call for new elections in Israel, Trump’s claim that Jewish Democrats “hate Israel”, secret talks between the US and Iran over attacks in the Red Sea by Houthis. They also talk about Jared Kushner’s luxury real estate developments in Serbia and Albania, Putin’s overwhelming election “victory”, Senator Lindsey Graham’s visit to Ukraine, a new study on Havana Syndrome, Niger ending counterterrorism cooperation with the US, dates announced for the Indian election, and Trump suggesting action should be taken against Prince Harry if he lied about drug use on his visa application. Then Tommy speaks to Josh Geltzer, Deputy Homeland Security Advisor for the White House National Security Council, about the debate over reauthorizing Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
3/20/20241 hour, 23 minutes, 33 seconds
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Football in the House of Saud

Roger Bennet and Tommy Vietor are back for Season 2 of World Corrupt! And this time, Rog and Tommy are diving into how Saudi Arabia, the biggest exporter of oil in the world and a nation in the news for human rights abuses, became the latest geopolitical power player sweeping global soccer. The Saudis have poured billions of dollars into the world’s most popular sport, including signing superstar players like Cristiano Ronaldo to eye-popping contracts. But the crown jewel in the Saudi investment portfolio? That would be the take over of one of England’s most historic football clubs, Newcastle United. A team with a rich history from an impoverished corner of the country, Newcastle had fallen upon hard times…and they welcomed the Saudis with open arms. But at what cost? Listen to the first episode of this four part series to find out.
3/16/202448 minutes, 2 seconds
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Trump’s TikTok Flip Flop

Tommy and Ben discuss plans for delivering aid to Gaza through a maritime route and floating pier, US “red lines” over an Israeli invasion of Rafah and the public war of words between Biden and Netanyahu in weekend interviews. They they talk about Viktor Orban’s visit to Mar-a-Lago, concerns from the intelligence community about giving Trump classified briefings during the election, the debate over banning TikTok, election news in Portugal and Turkey, a mass kidnaping in Nigeria, a failed constitutional amendment vote in Ireland, and the photoshop scandal that is fueling even more rumors about the Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton. Then Ben does a deep dive on the deteriorating situation in Haiti, which has become overrun by gangs, with Renatta Segura, Deputy Program Director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the International Crisis Group. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
3/13/20241 hour, 24 minutes, 48 seconds
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World Corrupt Season 2: Trailer

And, we're back! Join Roger Bennet and Tommy Vietor for another season of World Corrupt, with a focus on why Saudi Arabia is investing billions in football. Episode 1 coming March 16.   
3/9/20242 minutes, 20 seconds
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Why is the US air dropping aid to Gaza?

Tommy and Ben discuss the futility of aerial aid drops by the US in Gaza, Kamala Harris’ speech calling for an immediate ceasefire, Netanyahu rival Benny Gantz’s visit to Washington, and do a preview of President Biden’s State of the Union address. Then they discuss the breakdown of order in Haiti as gangs overrun prisons, a German audio leak about long range missiles for Ukraine posted by Russian state media, France enshrining abortion into their constitution, the thousands of Russians who came out for Alexei Navalny’s funeral, repercussions for multiple US leakers of classified intelligence, and Tucker Carlson’s about face on Putin. Then Tommy speaks with Kholood Khair, a Sudanese political analyst and founder of the Confluence Advisory think tank about the civil war in Sudan. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
3/6/20241 hour, 25 minutes, 42 seconds
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CPAC Doubles Down on Creepy Autocrats

Ben and Tommy discuss President Biden’s claim that a ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas may be imminent, the domestic political problems the war is creating for Biden, the latest on efforts to defer attacks by Iran’s proxy groups in the Middle East, and some rare good news about Iran’s nuclear program. They also discuss the staggering casualty numbers from the war in Ukraine, claims that a prisoner exchange involving Alexei Navalny was in final stages before his death, new reports about extensive Russian efforts to interfere in our elections, right-wing autocratic creeps at CPAC, an investigation into the Mexican president’s ties with drug cartels, Saudi Arabia dumping money on celebrities and CEOs in Miami, and why Taylor Swift’s dad was throwing punches in Australia. Then Ben talks with Wai Wai Nu, a human rights activist and founder of the Women’s Peace Network about the civil war in Myanmar. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
2/28/20241 hour, 20 minutes, 54 seconds
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Dissident at the Doorstep Episode 8: The Shit In The Frame

Guangcheng has put his life on the line to stand up for noble causes and principles. He has also thrown his support behind Trump and, more recently, a range of intolerant ideas. There are so many things to admire about him, but there are others that are hard to excuse. We thought with this series that we could show how all these things could be true at once. But as we got closer to the end of the story, we learned just how hard that really is. 
2/24/202434 minutes, 43 seconds
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Can Ukraine Outlast Putin?

Tommy and Ben discuss the two-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the military defeat of Avdiivka, panic at the Munich Security Conference over Republicans blocking more aid to Ukraine, and how Ukrainians have adapted to living in a state of war. Then they talk about calls for accountability for Alexei Navalny’s death and his wife Yulia’s promise to continue Alexei’s work, the arrest of an American dual national in Russia, Tucker Carlson’s Moscow metro propaganda videos, and an update on Russia’s space nukes. They also look at Netanyahu’s insistence on invading Rafah, a pro-Israel group’s attack on a Washington Post reporter, the Indonesian elections, why Jared Kushner is still a sniveling little prick, and a very Australian mankini scandal. Then Tommy talks with Mstyslav Chernov about his incredible documentary, 20 Days in Mariupol.
2/21/20241 hour, 29 minutes, 8 seconds
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Dissident at the Doorstep Episode 7: Lost And Found In Translation

With a new position at the Catholic University of America and funding from a rightwing think tank, Guangcheng takes on a new challenge: strengthening his English. We examine why this became such a top priority for Guangcheng and his patrons, what it means to traverse borders and negotiate between languages, and how Guangcheng’s political beliefs are translated by different audiences in a country that elected Donald Trump. 
2/17/202438 minutes, 27 seconds
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Breaking: Putin Kills Alexei Navalny

Tommy and Ben discuss the breaking news that Russia’s most prominent opposition figure, Alexei Navalny, has died while in prison. The only information available so far is coming from prison officials and Russian government-run news channels, who claim that Navalny collapsed. Tommy and Ben talk about Navalny’s legacy, nearly universal blame being put on Putin for his death, Biden’s response, and what this means for Russia’s opposition and political future.
2/17/202450 minutes, 14 seconds
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Trump Tells Putin to Invade NATO Nations

Tommy and Max Fisher talk about the disastrous humanitarian implications of Israel’s impending offensive in Rafah, the Biden administration’s shifting tone towards Israel, and efforts to reach out to the Muslim American community in Michigan. They also talk about Trump’s comments encouraging Russia to invade NATO members who don’t spend enough on defense, react to Tucker Carlson’s (boring) interview with Vladimir Putin, Pakistan’s shocking election results, the chances of Irish reunification, and King Charles’s quirky views on modern medicine. Then Ben speaks with New Jersey Congressman Andy Kim about his campaign to oust Senator Bob Menendez, and how corruption impacts America’s foreign policy. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
2/14/20241 hour, 20 minutes, 18 seconds
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Dissident at the Doorstep Episode 6: The Great Moving Right Show

Almost one year after arriving in the US, the New York Post publishes a story suggesting NYU is trying to sever ties with Guangcheng. Guangcheng alleges the university is bowing to pressure from the Chinese Communist Party. Guangcheng’s hosts at NYU accuse right wing political forces of misleading him. Things get very messy. Where Guangcheng lands next sets him on a path that eventually leads to throwing his support behind Trump for reelection in 2020.
2/10/202442 minutes, 37 seconds
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Tucker Carlson Goes to Moscow

Tommy and Ben talk about US strikes against facilities in Iraq and Syria used by Iran-backed militia groups, White House denials that the conflict in Gaza has drawn America into a regional war, haunting statistics for children in Gaza, souring public opinion on the war, and dehumanizing commentary about the Middle East. They also discuss how Biden’s foreign policy agenda is being held up by Congress, Zelensky’s potential government and military shake-up, Tucker Carlson’s interview with Vladimir Putin, El Salvador’s election and Bukele’s rising popularity, polling in Europe that forecasts momentum for far right parties, a historic first in Northern Ireland, King Charles’ cancer diagnosis, Rishi Sunak’s insane fasting regimen, and Liz Truss’ plans to attend CPAC. Then Tommy speaks to Alex Ward, national security reporter at Politico about his new book “The Internationalists”. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
2/7/20241 hour, 33 minutes, 20 seconds
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Dissident at the Doorstep Episode 5: Guangcheng’s Year of Living Famously

Following a tense negotiation between the US and China, Guangcheng arrives in the United States. He is greeted with a hero’s welcome. He gives speeches. He wins awards. And he tries to adjust to life in New York, hosted by NYU. But quickly cracks start to emerge beneath the glamorous facade.
2/3/202450 minutes, 50 seconds
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Will Biden Bomb Iran?

Tommy and Ben talk about the drone strike by an Iranian-backed group on a US base in Jordan that killed three US service members, the pressure on Biden to retaliate against Iran directly, and the muddled politics of war. They also cover allegations that UN employees in Gaza participated in the October 7th Hamas attack, the International Court of Justice’s ruling about genocide charges against Israel, and Nancy Pelosi’s odd criticism of activists calling for a ceasefire. They also discuss NATO member fears about Russia, Trump floating major tariffs on China, a Kenyan court blocking the deployment of police to Haiti, and French farmers laying siege to Paris. Then, Tommy speaks with Ali Vaez, Iran Project Director at the International Crisis Group, about Iranian proxy groups, why Iran funds them, and the US conventional wisdom that Iran can only be deterred through military action.
1/31/20241 hour, 27 minutes, 41 seconds
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Dissident at the Doorstep Episode 4: Coming To America

Guangcheng escapes house arrest, but he’s not free yet. Without a real plan or a place to hide, he turns to the US embassy in Beijing. His moves set in motion a diplomatic maelstrom, where top officials from the two most powerful countries in the world negotiate over his fate – and their own.
1/27/202447 minutes, 12 seconds
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Netanyahu Rejects a Two-State Solution (again)

Tommy and Ben discuss the latest news out of Gaza, including a potential ceasefire deal that would include a two month stop in fighting in exchange for hostages, a look back at Bibi’s rejection of a two-state solution throughout his political career, and the news that the Biden administration is preparing for a sustained military campaign in Yemen. They also talk about the UAE funneling weapons to Sudan, mass protests in Germany against the far-right ADF party, British conservative’s continuing attempts to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, Elon Musk’s visit to Auschwitz, and an odd auction item belonging to Winston Churchill. Then Ben speaks with Ricardo Zuniga, the former US Special Envoy to the Northern Triangle and Senior Advisor at the US Institute of Peace about the spiraling gang violence in Ecuador. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
1/24/20241 hour, 17 minutes, 16 seconds
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Dissident at the Doorstep Episode 3: A Dissident Is Born

Guangcheng is kidnapped by Chinese authorities and thrown in jail. By keeping him under lock and key, the government hopes to take away his power. But his imprisonment transforms him into a cause and a symbol of dissent in China and across the world. Then after years of detention, Guangcheng decides to try to make an escape. But how and who can he turn to?
1/20/202436 minutes, 57 seconds
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Biden Launches Airstrikes Against Houthis in Yemen

Ben and Tommy discuss US airstrikes on the Houthi rebels in Yemen and why they are unlikely to deter them, and provide background and context on the Houthi’s origins and motivations. They also cover the latest in Gaza and frustration with the administration’s refusal to change course after 100 days. Then they discuss the recent spike in gang violence in Ecuador, efforts to prevent Guatemala’s new President from being sworn in, Taiwan’s election results and North Korea announcing the end of efforts to reunify the Korean peninsula. Then Tommy speaks with Oona Hathaway, Director of the Center for Global Legal Challenges at Yale Law School, about South Africa’s charges of genocide against Israel at the International Court of Justice. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
1/17/20241 hour, 21 minutes, 3 seconds
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Dissident at the Doorstep Episode 2: The Barefoot Lawyer

Guangcheng fights his biggest case in China – exposing the brutality of the One Child Policy. This, and a series of public and legal victories in the early 2000s, makes him into an icon in the US and an enemy of the state in China, an unlikely place for a blind man who grew up in a poor village. So how did it all begin? We talk to Guangcheng himself to find out.
1/13/202447 minutes, 8 seconds
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Dissident at the Doorstep Episode 1: Batman Gets Punched

It’s 2011. Hollywood A-lister Christian Bale is in China and gets punched in the face by security guards for trying to visit Chen Guangcheng, a local human rights activist under house arrest. It’s all captured by a CNN crew and broadcast across the world. A few months later Guangcheng would escape to the United States. But after you arrive in America as a hero, what happens next? 
1/13/202428 minutes, 14 seconds
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How Israel’s War with Hamas Could Escalate Into a Regional Conflict

Ben and Tommy cover the major developments in the war between Israel and Hamas, including the widening difference between Netanyahu and Biden on post-war planning, increasing criticism of the Israeli war effort within the Democratic Party, and the escalating risks of a regional war with Iranian-back proxy groups like the Houthi rebels and militia groups in Iraq and Syria. Then they discuss Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s secret hospitalization, foreign governments funneling money to Donald Trump and NJ Senator Bob Menendez, reports that US objectives in Ukraine are changing, and the fallout from an “almost naked” party in Moscow, the stabbing of an opposition leader in South Korea, protests in Germany, and a new Prime Minister in France. Finally, Ben speaks with Taiwanese journalist and podcaster Emily Wu about Taiwan’s upcoming election on January 13th. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
1/10/20241 hour, 20 minutes, 39 seconds
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Introducing “Dissident At The Doorstep”

What happens when someone becomes a human-rights icon – but then turns out to stand for something else entirely? Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng was locked up for fighting against China’s One Child Policy and suffered years of unlawful imprisonment. In 2012, following a daring midnight escape, he landed in the United States a hero. But that’s only the beginning of his story. Just a few years later, he would re-enter the spotlight as an avid Trump supporter and a “Stop the Steal” rally-goer. How did this happen? Alison Klayman, Colin Jones, and Yangyang Cheng set out on a journey to find out – did Guangcheng change, or was he totally misunderstood from the beginning? From Crooked Media, This is Dissident At The Doorstep.
1/6/20243 minutes, 19 seconds
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Zelensky's Plea To Congress

Tommy and Ben discuss the dire humanitarian situation on the ground in Gaza and the disconnect between the Biden administration’s words and deeds when it comes to protecting civilians in Gaza, including the veto of a UN Security resolution calling for a ceasefire and additional weapons sales to Israel. They also discuss Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to Washington and plea for more security assistance, and republican efforts to tie Ukraine funding to border security, the mess at the UN’s climate summit, a territorial dispute between Venezuela and Guyana, a masked mystery candidate running for president in Ghana and Elijah Wood’s Russian propaganda blunder on Cameo. Then, Max Fisher joins the show to discuss trends in global elections in 2023, and how 2024 may be the biggest election year in history.
12/13/20231 hour, 4 minutes, 33 seconds
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Henry Kissinger’s Complicated Legacy

Tommy and Ben discuss the latest news from Gaza, including Israeli forces moving into southern Gaza, the Biden administration’s shift from a “hug Bibi” strategy to publicly criticizing Israel, and the ongoing skirmishes between the US military and Iranian proxy forces. They also talk about the latest controversies and accomplishments at the COP28 climate summit, how the UAE is fueling the civil war in Sudan, a US ambassador turned Cuban spy and the complicated, but mostly terrible, legacy of Henry Kissinger. Then Tommy interviews Vermont Senator Peter Welch about why he’s calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and what’s going on with Biden’s supplemental funding bill for Israel and Ukraine.
12/6/20231 hour, 15 minutes, 20 seconds
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How Long Will The Ceasefire In Gaza Hold?

Ben and Tommy discuss the ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas and how the US and Qatar helped broker it, Qatar’s unique role in international diplomacy, the debate over conditioning US aid to Israel, what we know about the Palestinians being released from Israeli prisons, and Elon Musk’s cynical trip to Israel. Then they cover right-wing populist election victories in the Netherlands and Argentina, reports that the US thwarted an attack on a Sikh separatist on American soil, leaked documents exposing the UAE’s plans to use COP28 to sell more oil and gas, and former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s run-in with a whale. Then Ben talks to Juliette Touma, Communications Director for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, about humanitarian efforts in Gaza and what she witnessed on her recent visit there. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
11/29/20231 hour, 27 minutes, 51 seconds
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Climate Special: A Look Ahead At COP28

In a special episode, Tommy and Ben discuss the upcoming COP28 conference in the United Arab Emirates. They speak about the climate summit’s importance, hear from activists from the Pacific Asian community, break down the science behind a 1.5 degree celsius warming, and the cynicism around the large presence of fossil fuel lobbyists and the host country’s oil rich economy. Then, Ben speaks with John Kerry, the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate from the US, about what’s on the agenda this year and the challenges of securing funding to follow through on the global commitments made towards mitigating climate change.We end the show with a Q&A segment for subscribers. To hear that segment in future episodes, and to get ad-free Pod Save The World, subscribe to Crooked's Friend of the Pod service at crooked.com/friends  For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
11/22/20231 hour, 7 minutes, 10 seconds
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Hospitals Under Siege In Gaza

Tommy and Ben discuss the latest news out of Israel and Gaza, including the legality of targeting hospitals, French President Emmanuel Macron’s call for a ceasefire, the growing divide between the US and Israel on long-term governance of Gaza, efforts to rescue the 240 hostages held by Hamas and militant groups, and first-hand accounts from two innocent people caught in the middle of this war. They also discuss the UK’s cabinet shakeup and the return of David Cameron, the nightmare facing Afghans expelled from Pakistan, and the APEC Summit in California where Biden and Xi Jinping will meet. Then Tommy speaks with historian, professor and author Yuval Noah Harari about what it would take for Israel and Palestinians to reach a peace agreement, and there’s a special surprise for Ben at the end.To support people in Afghanistan go to Uplift Afghanistan: https://www.upliftafghanistan.org/To support Oxfam's humanitarian efforts go to https://www.oxfamamerica.org
11/15/20231 hour, 13 minutes, 25 seconds
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One Month of War Between Israel and Hamas

Tommy and Ben talk about where the world stands one month after Hamas’ attack on Israel, including the declaration from Gaza’s health ministry that 10,000 civilians have been killed, Netanyahu’s statement about Israel taking “indefinite” security responsibility in Gaza, Biden’s push for a pause in fighting, and the successes and fails of American diplomacy thus far. They also discuss growing calls in Congress for a ceasefire, dismal approval ratings for Biden from Muslim voters and anti-war feelings from younger Americans, and reactions to Obama’s comments on Israel and Gaza. Then they touch on Zelensky’s attempts to keep the war in Ukraine on the world’s radar, Pakistan’s plan to deport up to 1.7 million Afghan migrants, and Boris Johnson’s alleged offer to get injected with COVID-19 on television. Finally, Ben speaks with Jewish American author Nathan Thrall about his new book, “A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy”, which documents the realities of life for Palestinians in the West Bank. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
11/8/20231 hour, 19 minutes, 6 seconds
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The Israeli Ground Invasion Begins

Tommy and Ben talk about the latest news out of Israel and Gaza, including the Israeli ground offensive, the death of over 3,000 children in Gaza, a rise in anti-semitic incidents around the world, and what a temporary ceasefire could achieve. Then they define some of the terminology being used to describe what’s happening in this current conflict, the need for long-term thinking about what happens to the people in Gaza, blood thirsty and misguided solutions from GOP Presidential candidates, extremist attacks in Niger, and a lifetime ban for Luis Rubiales from FIFA. Then Tommy speaks with Ayman Mohyeldin, the host of Ayman on MSNBC, who spent years reporting in Gaza, to give context on what life was like there before the war and how Hamas controls all aspects of social and professional life.
11/1/20231 hour, 16 minutes, 3 seconds
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America's Warning To Israel

Tommy and Ben discuss the latest news from Israel and Gaza including the staggering figures of over 5,000 civilians dead in Gaza, the slow pace of aid arrival, the release of four hostages, and they hear the experiences of a woman with five family members kidnapped by Hamas. They also talk about the emotional impact of Biden’s visit to Israel compared to Netanyahu’s response, media organizations correcting the record on the Gaza hospital strike, and the sanitization of war through language. In other news around the world, they touch on new audio from an Australian Billionaire who Trump leaked secrets to, elections in Argentina and Venezuela, a strike for gender equality in Iceland, and an update on the war in Ukraine. Then Ben speaks to Democratic Senator Chris Murphy about America’s involvement in Israel and Gaza, public opinion in the US towards the conflict, and Senator Bob Mendendez. We end the show with a new bi-weekly Q&A segment for subscribers. To hear that segment in future episodes, and to get ad-free Pod Save The World, subscribe to Crooked's Friend of the Pod service at crooked.com/friends For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
10/25/20231 hour, 31 minutes, 16 seconds
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Biden Heads To Israel

Tommy and Ben talk about the breaking news of an airstrike hitting a hospital in Gaza, killing hundreds of staff, patients, and civilians. They also discuss Biden’s upcoming visit to Israel and negotiations around hostage rescue and aid packages, Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s meetings with regional leaders and resistance to taking in Palestinian refugees, new reports on Hamas’ lengthy, detailed planning for the attack on Israel, and thoughts on alternatives to a massive Israeli military response. Then they cover Senator Bob Menendez being charged as a foreign agent, hopeful election results in Poland, a deal that could relieve US sanctions on Venezuela, Pakistan’s deportation order affecting Afghan refugees, and Australia’s failed Indigenous Voice referendum. Then Tommy speaks with Melanie Ward, CEO of Medical Aid for Palestinians (https://www.map.org.uk/ (https://www.map.org.uk/)), about the dire situation on the ground in Gaza for those needing medical attention.Get your virtual tickets to Pod Save America live from DC now at MOMENT.CO/PSA
10/18/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 58 seconds
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Breaking: Israel Tells Civilians In Gaza To Evacuate

Tommy and Ben talk about the developing situation in Gaza where 1.1 million people have been told to evacuate northern Gaza in advance of an anticipated ground invasion by Israel. Two people on the ground in Gaza explain the logistical obstacles to evacuation and why many civilians have refused to leave. Then Ben and Tommy discuss how Republicans are losing their minds talking about Israel, pro-Palestine protests around the world, growing anger towards the Netanyahu government, and they take questions from the Pod Save the world Discord channel. Subscribe to Friends of the Pod to join: crooked.com/friends
10/14/202349 minutes, 2 seconds
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What’s next for Israel and Gaza?

Tommy and Ben talk about the latest from Israel and Gaza, including the Netanyahu government’s policy and intelligence failures, the devastating toll on civilians in Israel and Gaza, questions about hostages and reports that Israel may launch a ground offensive into Gaza. They also cover the varied international response to the attack, the history of Hamas, and conflicting reports about Iranian culpability. Then Ben talks to Gregg Carlstrom, the Middle East correspondent for The Economist, about political dynamics within Israel, the timing of the attack, and the unprecedented nature of this developing conflict. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. To help those affected by the Afghanistan earthquake: Uplift Afghanistan Fund--https://www.upliftafghanistan.org/
10/11/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 20 seconds
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Hamas Goes To War With Israel

In a special episode, Ben and Tommy talk about the deadly terrorist attack by Hamas on Israel, how Israel’s intelligence community failed to detect it, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declaration that his country is “at war” and what comes next, President Biden’s response, and what this all means for Israel’s political future.
10/8/202348 minutes, 58 seconds
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Will Republicans Kill Support For Ukraine?

Tommy and Ben talk about the waning support for financing the war in Ukraine, both in the US Congress and in Europe, Elon Musk’s visit to the southern border, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley responds to Trump’s threats, Trump’s former Chief of Staff John Kelly tells CNN about Trump’s disrespect towards veterans, the UN authorizes a mission to Haiti, Canada and India continue their war of words, and the end of “Panda Diplomacy.” Then Tommy speaks with Sue Mi Terry, a former CIA officer and producer of the documentary “Beyond Utopia” that profiles the harrowing reality of life in North Korea and the lengths people will go to escape it. The documentary will be in theaters at the end of October.
10/4/20231 hour, 13 minutes, 22 seconds
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Don’t Clap For Nazis

Tommy and Ben talk about the foreign policy implications of Senator Menendez’s corruption charges, the Biden administration’s move to grant temporary protected status to Venezuelan migrants and the role of US sanctions in fueling migration, and updates from Ukraine, including attacks on Russia’s Black Sea fleet and Ukraine’s grain supplies. They also discuss Ron DeSantis’s time working at Guantanamo Bay, reports that the U.S. supplied Canada with intelligence about the assassination of a Sikh separatist on Canadian soil, a vetting disaster at the Canadian parliament, Saudi Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Fox News interview, and Rahm Emanuel’s shit posting. Then Ben speaks with Olesya Vartanyan, the Crisis Group’s Senior Analyst for the Caucasus Region, about Azerbaijan’s seizure of Nagorno-Karabakh and the tens of thousands of ethnic Armenians now fleeing their homes. 
9/27/20231 hour, 18 minutes, 40 seconds
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Canada Accuses India of Assassination

Tommy and Ben talk about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s accusation that India may have been behind the murder of a Sikh Canadian citizen, the prisoner swap between the U.S. and Iran, the one year anniversary of Mahsa Amini’s death, the United Nations General Assembly and lack of world leaders in attendance, and the latest updates on Russia/Ukraine, including rumors of Ramzan Kadyrov’s death. They also discuss Benjamin Netanyahu’s trip to the US, China’s disappearing public officials, stories about increasing espionage activities between the US and China, a missing F-35, and an Australian man who was fined for taking his pet Python surfing. Then Tommy speaks with Rory Stewart, former British politician and author of the new book, “How Not To Be A Politician”.  For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
9/20/20231 hour, 11 minutes, 47 seconds
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Secretary of State Antony Blinken

Tommy and Ben talk about Kim Jong Un’s trip to meet with Vladimir Putin, Viktor Bout’s entrance into local Russian politics, Armenia’s diplomatic shift away from Russia, and a positive development in Nagorno-Kabarakh region. They also dig into an escalation into the economic war between the US and China, allegations about an undercover Chinese spy in the UK parliament, Biden’s trip the Vietnam and political value of foreign trips, Mexico’s future female president, the resignation of Spain’s head soccer official, a Florida man trying to cross the Atlantic in a hamster wheel and a red wine flood. Then US Secretary of State Antony Blinken joins to discuss the war in Ukraine, the G20, a reported Saudi Arabia-Israel normalization deal and more. Help those affected by the Morocco earthquake:USAID Center for International Disaster Information-- https://www.cidi.org/disaster-responses/morocco-earthquake/Give Directly-- https://www.givedirectly.org/morocco-earthquake/Banque Alimentaire (The Food Bank) -- https://banquealimentaire.ma/en/
9/13/202359 minutes, 2 seconds
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Kim Jong Un and Putin’s Budding Bromance

Ben and guest host Max Fisher talk about the latest headlines on the Russia/Ukraine war, including Putin’s refusal to sign a new grain deal with Turkey’s Erdogan, a rumored visit by Kim Jong Un, more drones in Russian airspace, and a rise in pro-Russian disinformation in Europe. They also discuss the rise in military coups in Africa, the G20 in India, including calls for India to change its name, tensions with China, Biden’s potential meeting with MBS, and upcoming trip to Vietnam. Then, they dig into China’s economic slowdown. Finally, Ben is joined by Janti Soeripto, President and CEO of Save the Children, to discuss the organization’s work in Ukraine and how children in the country are gearing up to go back to school despite the conflict. 
9/6/20231 hour, 25 minutes, 36 seconds
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Spain’s #MeToo moment?

Ben and Tommy talk about the fallout after Spain’s head soccer official kissed star player Jennifer Hermoso, BRICS announcing the addition of six countries, Donald Trump’s musings on the Panama Canal, and a report that the US was aware of Saudi Arabia’s torture and killing of African migrants. They also discuss France’s ban on students wearing the Abaya in schools, former French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s memoir and defense of Russia, Zimbabwe’s disputed election, far right Israeli politician Ben-Gvir’s racist statement, and India’s lunar landing. Then Ben is joined by Joshua Yaffa, contributing writer for The New Yorker, to discuss his profile of Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin and what his rise and fall tell us about Russia. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
8/30/20231 hour, 11 minutes, 42 seconds
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Wagner Leader Prigozhin Killed?

In a special episode, Tommy and Ben talk about the developing story of the alleged deaths of Wagner Group leaders Yevgeny Prigozhin and Dmitry Utkin in a plane crash not far from Moscow. All ten people on the private plane were killed and Russian state news agencies reported that both men were on the passenger list – however, there hasn’t yet been confirmation they were onboard. From speculation about air defense missiles shooting down the plane, to claims that Prigozhin was on a different aircraft, Ben and Tommy analyze what this could mean for Wagner forces around the world, Putin’s inner circle, and more.
8/24/202336 minutes, 6 seconds
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Has Ukraine’s counteroffensive stalled?

Tommy and Ben talk about negative headlines surrounding Ukraine’s counteroffensive, Russian warlord Yevgeny Prigozhin’s re-emergence in Africa, a Human Rights Watch Report about Saudi Arabia’s horrendous abuse of Ethiopian migrants, a fun twist in the Mar-a-Lago documents case, and rare good news for climate change from voters rejecting oil drilling in Ecuador and a drop in deforestation in Brazil. They also discuss Canada’s unprecedented wildfires, Ecuador’s election runoff a week after the assassination of a presidential candidate, the rise of a far-right political party in Germany, GOP candidate Vivek Ramaswamy’s remarks on America’s commitment to Israel, and the crash of a Russian lunar probe. Then Tommy is joined by Kurt Campbell, President Biden’s Coordinator for Indo-Pacific Affairs, to break down the historic summit at Camp David the US hosted between Japan and South Korea’s leaders.
8/23/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 8 seconds
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Tripping Balls with Janet Yellen

 Tommy and Ben talk about a US hostage deal with Iran, a far-right frontrunner in the Argentina presidential election, a presidential candidate murdered in Ecuador, updates on the coup in Niger, and aid to Sudan. They also discuss Vivek Ramaswamy’s bizarre views on Taiwan, President Biden’s critical comments about China’s economy, Biden’s meeting with the presidents of South Korea and Japan at Camp David, the latest from Ukraine, Russia’s deteriorating economy and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s magic mushroom meal. Then Ben talks to Bobi Wine, a member of parliament in Uganda, a former pop-star and opposition leader about his presidential challenge to long-time authoritarian Uganda leader Yoweri Museveni. His wife, Barbie Kyagulanyi also joined the pod to discuss the National Geographic documentary about their campaign, Bobi Wine: The People’s President. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
8/16/20231 hour, 18 minutes, 47 seconds
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Ukraine Sea Drones and Peace Talks

Tommy and Ben talk about the global response to the coup in Niger, Ukraine’s sea drone attacks and peace talks in Saudi Arabia, new polling about approval Biden’s foreign policy and support for Ukraine, a quick look at some foreign policy debates in the 2024 GOP primary, and reports that US Marines will defend ships in the Persian gulf. Then updates from Colombia, Pakistan, ISIS, Chinese information operations, crypto scams, and why Rishi Sunak is the Prime Minister of Soul Cycle. Then Crooked Contributor Max Fisher joins to talk about the health of democracy around the world.  For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
8/9/20231 hour, 20 minutes, 22 seconds
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Russian War Crimes and a Coup in Niger

Tommy and Ben talk about a coup in Niger, progress on the Ukrainian counteroffensive, drone attacks on Moscow, Yevgeny Prigozhin attends a summit of African leaders in Russia, prospects for a US-Saudi Arabia-Israel diplomatic deal, the eroding democratic process in Thailand, and an ISIS attack in Pakistan. They also discuss how to inspire action on climate change. Then Tommy talks to Ambassador-At-Large For Global Criminal Justice Beth Van Schaack about prosecuting Russian war crimes.
8/2/20231 hour, 15 minutes
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Israel’s Judicial Coup, and Samantha Power on Ukraine

Tommy and Ben talk about the gutting of Israel’s judicial system, and the (lack of) response from the US. They also discuss good-ish news from the elections in Spain, a US soldier who fled to North Korea, Putin’s crackdown on a far-right blogger, how Ron DeSantis and Senator Tommy Tuberville are hurting military recruiting, the UK’s fight with Apple, Saudi Arabia’s $1.1 billion soccer star, and doggie DNA passports in France. Then Ben talks to best friend of the pod Samantha Power, administrator of the US Agency for International Development about her recent visit to Ukraine, and the impacts of Russia pulling out of a vital grain initiative.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.Listen to a past Pod Save the World bonus episode on Israel, with Crooked Contributor Max Fisher.
7/26/20231 hour, 23 minutes, 46 seconds
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Ukraine and the 2024 Presidential Campaign

Tommy and Ben talk about Russia pulling out of a vital grain initiative with Ukraine, 2024 Republican primary candidate views on Ukraine, Trump and Taiwan, the culture war amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act, John Kerry’s visit to China and climate change, the strange disappearance of China’s foreign minister, renewed fears of a second genocide in Darfur, the EU’s deal with Tunisia to curb migration, Iran’s morality police are back, and how a typo caused a massive military security leak. Then Tommy talks to Amir Tibon, the diplomatic correspondent for Haaretz Newspaper, about Biden inviting Israel PM Bibi Netanyahu to Washington as Bibi is trying to gut the Israeli supreme court. Crooked Media Reads' first book, Mobility by Lydia Kiesling, is out now! Get your copy at www.crooked.com/mobility For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
7/19/20231 hour, 24 minutes
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NATO Grows on Russia’s Borders

Max Fisher joins Ben to discuss the ever-weirder Prigozhin circus, the last-second drama over bringing Sweden into NATO, whether Ukraine should join, the U.S. sending controversial cluster bombs to Ukraine, a seismic shift in European politics and what it means for the future of the far-right, an American reckoning over Israel following the raid in Jenin, an attempt to deescalate China, and why Vietnam banned the new Barbie movie. Then Ben talks to Ambassador Julianne Smith, U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO, about Ukraine and Sweden’s NATO membership bid and her work in Vilnius this week.
7/12/20231 hour, 20 minutes, 21 seconds
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Trump’s Self-incriminating Audio

Ben and Tommy talk about the fallout from Wagner Group’s aborted mutiny in Russia, the status of Ukraine’s counteroffensive, new audio of Trump knowingly leaking classified information, why supporters of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are harassing a White House reporter, the fallout from Biden calling Chinese President Xi Jinping a dictator, a horrific tragedy that killed hundreds of migrants near Greece and right-wing politics, Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu on trial for corruption, violence in the West Bank, and Republican presidential candidate Francis Suarez fails a foreign policy pop quiz. Then Tommy talks to Eben Novy-Williams, a sports business reporter at Sportico, about foreign investment in US sports teams and human rights. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
6/28/20231 hour, 13 minutes, 43 seconds
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A Russian Coup Against Putin? (Bonus Pod!)

Ben and Tommy talk about the extraordinary failed coup attempt against Vladimir Putin by Yevgeny Prigozhin and the Wagner mercenary group in Russia. They cover the infighting that got Russia to this point, what it means for Putin’s image and power, the amnesty deal that ended the insurrection and why Belarus was involved, and what it’s like at the White House when a crisis like this happens.Thanks to our listeners for sending in questions over our subscriber Discord. Sign up for it and more benefits at crooked.com/friends
6/25/202335 minutes, 4 seconds
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Tony Blinken goes to China

Today’s episode covers: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US, Trump’s interview on Fox News about the Mar-a-Lago document indictment, new details about Trump’s real estate deal with the Saudis in Oman, Secretary of State Tony Blinken’s visit to China, how Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is still meddling with Israel’s courts and inflaming relations with the US, the latest from Ukraine, reports that Russia tried to assassinate a CIA informant on US soil, Facebook’s stifling of free speech in Vietnam, and why it’s been a rough week for Boris Johnson and Liz Truss. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
6/21/202355 minutes, 10 seconds
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How Trump’s Mar-a-lago Docs Endanger National Security

Tommy and Ben talk about the national security implications of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago document indictment, China’s eavesdropping base in Cuba, Ukraine’s military counteroffensive and critics of US policy, USAID’s suspension of food aid to Ethiopia following an investigation into theft, how Sudan’s civil war is getting worse, how crypto currency is funding North Korea’s ballistic missile programs, the death of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, protests in Senegal and executions in Iran. Then Ben talks to friend of the pod David Lammy, Britain’s Shadow Secretary of State, about Boris Johnson’s resignation from parliament and the arrest of Scotland’s former leader Nicola Sturgeon. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
6/14/20231 hour, 23 minutes, 10 seconds
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Did Ukraine bomb the Nord Stream pipeline?

Ben and Tommy talk about a blockbuster report that Ukraine bombed the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines, the bombing of a dam in Ukraine, accountability for the assassination of Haiti’s president, CIA Director Bill Burns goes to China, Saudi Arabia and sportswashing, Henry Kissinger’s human rights record and accountability in Washington, Trump’s classified documents woes, media restrictions in Pakistan, nukes in Iran, reports that school girls were poisoned in Afghanistan, and British PM Rishi Sunak goes to a baseball game. Then Ben talks with Tim Mak, founder of The Counteroffensive and a Crooked Contributor, about life in Ukraine
6/7/20231 hour, 27 minutes, 43 seconds
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Lindsey Graham’s Russian Arrest Warrant

Tommy and Ben talk about an anti-LGBTQ law in Uganda, violent protests in Kosovo and more reports on Trump’s handling of classified documents. They also discuss US-China relations, Elon Musk’s visit to China, heavy attacks in Kyiv, drone strikes in Moscow, Russia’s arrest warrant for Lindsey Graham, a new law in Poland cracking down on Russian political interference and Brazilian President Lula Da Silva’s relationship with Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro. Then Tommy talks to Turkish journalist and author Ece Temelkuran about the election in Turkey and the erosion of democracy. For all the Succession fans out there, spoiler alert! Ben and Tommy talk about the series finale at the end of the episode. You’ve been warned! For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
5/31/20231 hour, 33 minutes, 14 seconds
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The War Goes to Russia

Tommy and Ben talk about President Zelensky’s travel to the Arab League and G7 summits, Biden’s policy change on training Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16s, mysterious attacks inside Russia and outcomes from the G-7 summit. They also discuss the foreign policy fallout from Biden cutting his foreign trip short, how the Air Force failed to stop the Discord leaker, a leadership change in Iran, another tragic mistaken Pentagon drone strike mistake, an AI generated attack on the Pentagon and Dubai’s $5 billion man-made moon. Then Ben talks to Mark Malloch-Brown, president of Open Society Foundations, the biggest global foundation promoting human rights, about the effect authoritarian governments have on their efforts and the debt crisis that many countries are facing.
5/24/20231 hour, 20 minutes, 24 seconds
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Zelensky’s Secret War Plan

On today’s episode, Max Fisher and Tommy discuss reports that a close Putin ally betrayed the Russian military and that President Zelensky secretly proposed bombing Russia, why elections in Turkey and Thailand could be the most important of this year, the United States’ war of words with South Africa, Senator Tommy Tuberville’s bizarre defense of white nationalists, updates on immigration, Gaza, US-China relations, and five stories that will make you feel hopeful. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.Join Friends of the Pod for bonus content, exclusive access and more: crooked.com/friends
5/17/20231 hour, 9 minutes, 4 seconds
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Defining Victory for Ukraine

Ben and Tommy talk about Iran using Syrian earthquake aid to smuggle weapons, Syria being readmitted to the Arab League, the drone strikes on the Kremlin, Title 42 and Biden’s immigration policy, the arrest of Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan, gun control in Serbia, the treatment of women in the UAE and some wild stories out of Australia. Then Ben interviews The Atlantic’s Editor-in-Chief Jeffrey Goldberg about defining victory in Ukraine. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
5/10/20231 hour, 23 minutes, 24 seconds
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Israel on the Brink

Ben and Tommy are joined by Max Fisher for a special episode on the roots of the judicial crisis in Israel that has brought millions of protestors out into the streets and still threatens to tear the country apart. They dig into the unresolved constitutional questions from Israel’s founding, why Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is a uniquely dangerous figure, and how the US-Israel relationship has pushed Israel to the far-right.
5/5/202355 minutes, 33 seconds
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The Pope’s peace talks

Tommy and Ben talk about the ongoing crisis in Sudan, the Pope’s visit to Hungary, the upcoming coronation of King Charles and Prince Harry’s lawsuits against Rupert Murdoch. Then Ben and Tommy discuss the approaching elections in Turkey, the UAE’s influence in the US, the South Korean President’s karaoke moment at the White House and Ron DeSantis’s embarrassing trip abroad. Then Tommy talks to Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics Mike Pyle on securing technological advances domestically, investments in green energy and the need for a unified approach to China with US allies. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
5/3/20231 hour, 13 minutes, 43 seconds
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Crisis in Sudan

Ben and Tommy talk about the evacuation of American employees from Sudan, expectations for Ukraine’s spring military offensive and Ron DeSantis’s trip abroad. Then they cover new intelligence about Russian influence in Africa and the ISIS threat in Afghanistan, Chile’s plans to nationalize its lithium industry, how former British PM Boris Johnson nearly gave Queen Elizabeth covid, and how the war on beer spread to Europe. Then Ben interviews Reuter’s Sudan and Egypt Correspondent Nafisa Eltahir about what’s behind the conflict in Sudan and the experiences of people left in Khartom. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
4/26/20231 hour, 20 minutes, 58 seconds
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21-year-old Pentagon leaker exposed

Tommy and Ben talk about the latest news about the Pentagon leaks and leaker, and what it tells us about the effectiveness of the security clearance process. Then Ben and Tommy discuss Chinese agents harassing dissidents in the US, the war in Sudan, extrajudicial violence in India on live television, Lula’s message about the rise of far-right extremists, Trump’s interview on Tucker Carlson, and a shakeup in the South Korean government stemming from K-pop and Lady Gaga. Then Tommy interviews Washington Post reporter Shane Harris about his reporting on the leaked documents and what it could mean for national security going forward. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
4/19/20231 hour, 31 minutes, 14 seconds
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The Pentagon documents leak

Tommy and Ben discuss the massive leak of US intelligence documents and the potential global implications, a new White House report on what went wrong with the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, the potential repeal of the Iraq war authorization for use of military force, President Macron’s controversial visit to China, Biden’s visit to Ireland, Israeli forces attacking worshippers inside the al-Aqsa Mosque, Lionel Messi’s potential move to Saudi Arabia, and Twitter’s idiotic understanding of state-run media. Then, Ben is joined by New York Times international correspondent Valerie Hopkins to discuss the imprisonment of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich and the dangers facing journalists and critics of Putin in Russia today. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
4/12/20231 hour, 35 minutes, 40 seconds
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The world watches Trump’s arrest

Tommy and Ben talk about Donald Trump’s historic arrest and arraignment, Finland PM Sanna Marin’s election loss, Taiwan’s president visits America, a potential interim Iran nuclear deal, the Washington Post’s tone deaf op-ed on veterans rights, the arrest of an American journalist in Russia, new propaganda tactics from Russian state media, Montenegro’s long-standing president loses his re-election bid, more shady business dealings between Jared Kushner and Gulf states, and Mussolini’s granddaughter chugs wine in protest.  For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
4/5/20231 hour, 8 minutes, 4 seconds
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Netanyahu backs down

Tommy and Ben talk about protests in Israel and Netanyahu’s persistent attack on Israel’s democracy, a drone strike in Syria, reignited fears of a nuclear attack from Putin, a new deal between Biden and Canadian PM Trudeau, VP Harris’ visit to Africa, North Korea’s “nuclear tsunami”, French President Macron’s expensive watch, and Lebanon entering the daylight savings debate. Then, Ben is joined by China expert Evan Medeiros to talk about a potential US TikTok ban, Xi’s meeting with Putin, and where US relations with China stand today. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
3/29/20231 hour, 25 minutes, 22 seconds
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Is prosecuting presidents a good idea?

Tommy and Ben are joined by Crooked contributor Max Fisher for a segment to discuss a possible Trump indictment and how common presidential prosecutions are around the world. Then Ben and Tommy cover Chinese President Xi Jinping’s trip to Moscow, the retirement age in France, the global implications of the SVB collapse, new reporting on Ron DeSantis and his involvement in  Guantanamo Bay, and the latest coronavirus origin theory. Then Tommy is joined by Ethiopian journalist and activist Meaza Mohammed to discuss Ethiopia’s ongoing civil war and the lack of freedom of the press. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
3/22/20231 hour, 21 minutes, 27 seconds
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20 years after the invasion of Iraq

Ben and Tommy record a bonus episode to mark the 20-year anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq to try and answer the question: how did the Iraq war change America and the world? They’re joined by journalist and Iraq war supporter turned vocal opponent Peter Beinart, and Congressman and Iraq war veteran Ruben Gallego. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
3/17/20231 hour, 30 minutes, 25 seconds
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China’s Iran Deal

Tommy and Ben talk about China brokering a deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Saudi Arabia’s wish list to “normalize” relations with Israel, protests of Netanyahu’s changes to Israel’s judicial system, the BBC, soccer and free speech, new reports about who sabotaged the Nord Steam gas pipeline, the president of Mexico’s bizarre press conference, the momentum behind banning TikTok, and Canada’s stance on flipping the bird. Then, Tommy interviews Welcome.US CEO Nazanin Ash about the global refugee crisis and how ordinary citizens can help. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.  
3/15/20231 hour, 24 minutes, 15 seconds
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Who is poisoning girls in Iran?

Tommy and Ben discuss the suspected poisoning of Iranian schoolgirls, new intel on Havana syndrome, the case for dismantling the DHS, potential Chinese election interference in Canada, South Korea’s plan to end their forced labor dispute with Japan, the deadly battle for Bakhmut in Ukraine, the worlds greatest wine heist in Spain, and another questionable summit in the UAE. Then, US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo joins Ben in the studio to discuss sanctions and their role in the Russia-Ukraine war. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
3/8/20231 hour, 26 minutes, 17 seconds
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Will China arm Putin?

Tommy and Ben discuss changes to Mexico’s electoral system, the botched presidential election in Nigeria, Jill Biden’s trip to Africa, new intelligence about the covid lab leak theory, a Brexit breakthrough, more detail on China potentially selling arms to Russia and Europe’s pitch for a potential defense pact and peace deal, the World Bank, and Biden’s immigration policy. Then Tommy is joined by Israel’s Labor Party Leader Merav Michaeli to discuss recent violence the region, Netanyahu’s proposed judicial changes, and the fate of Israeli politics with Netanyahu at the helm.
3/1/20231 hour, 22 minutes, 42 seconds
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One year of war in Ukraine

Tommy and Ben look back on a year of war in Ukraine and discuss what people got wrong, lessons learned, and where things stand today. Then, Ben and Tommy talk to reporters and Ukrainians about the war including FT reporter and longtime Ukraine resident Christopher Miller, 18-year-old Ukrainian student and artist Assia Vlasenko who escaped Ukraine AFTER SIX MONTHS OF OCCUPATION, Research Director at the European Expert Association Maria Avdeeva who has been documenting Russian war crimes, and FT reporter and Putin expert Max Seddon.View Assia's art here For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
2/24/20231 hour, 40 minutes, 44 seconds
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Biden goes to Ukraine

Tommy and Ben discuss Biden’s surprise trip to Ukraine, Putin’s decision to suspend participation in the New START treaty, the administration’s warnings against providing military support to Russia, the latest on spy balloons, Scotland’s First Minister resigns, near weapons-grade uranium found in Iran, Israeli hackers  exposed for meddling in dozens of elections, another deadly earthquake in Turkey and Syria, Mike Pompeo’s embarrassing “best seller”, and AI bots going off the rails. Then, Ben talks with Rep. Ro Khanna about his trip to Taiwan, China’s relationship with the United States, and how to advance progressive politics abroad.  For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
2/22/20231 hour, 25 minutes, 11 seconds
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Alien Balloon Invasion

Ben and Tommy talk about Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu’s attack on Israel’s judicial system, the ongoing US war against Chinese balloons and UFOs, Kim Jong Un’s likely successor, Saudi influence peddling, the latest in Ukraine as we approach the one year anniversary of Russia’s invasion, potential Cuba policy changes, India’s Prime Minister Modi raiding the BBC, and Melania Trump’s unexpected visit to the Situation Room. Then Tommy talks to USAID Disaster Response Lead Stephen Allen who is on the ground in Turkey about the earthquake devastation and how people can help. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
2/15/20231 hour, 20 minutes, 32 seconds
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InflateGate: Biden vs Balloon

Tommy and Ben talk about Balloon-gate, Biden’s State of the Union address, the latest in Ukraine, the deadly earthquake in Turkey and Syria and how to help, Pope Francis denouncing anti-gay laws, and gang violence in Haiti. Then, Ben talks with Rep. Ilhan Omar about her recent removal from the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the message it sends globally.  For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
2/8/20231 hour, 18 minutes, 41 seconds
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Israel attacks Iran

Tommy and Ben talk about an Israeli drone attack in Iran, Tony Blinken’s meeting with Bibi Netanyahu, Ukraine’s requests for F-16 fighter jets, Putin’s bizarre threat towards Boris Johnson, the latest on Biden’s documents, deadly protests in Peru, Bolsonaro’s request for a US visa, and the Saudi LIV tour’s deal with Trump. Then, Tommy is joined by Save the Children CEO Janti Soeripto to talk about her nine meetings with the Taliban last week in response to the education bans on women and children in Afghanistan. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
2/1/20231 hour, 23 minutes, 52 seconds
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Tanks for Nothing

Tommy and Ben discuss a corruption scandal in Ukraine, the debate over sending tanks to Kyiv, Mike Pence gets in on the classified hoarding game, the worst parts of Mike Pompeo’s trash new book, protests in France, Jacinda Ardern’s legacy, Kenneth Roth’s Harvard saga, and the State Department’s war on fonts. Then, Ben is joined by Olesya Vartanyan, a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group to talk about the escalating Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
1/25/20231 hour, 24 minutes, 29 seconds
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How to handle the Biden docs

Tommy and Ben discuss the Davos summit, the latest round of Biden documents, the U.K. blocking a Scottish law that would make gender change easier, more Russian attacks in Ukraine, the new climate spotlight on the UAE, protests in Israel, China’s population on the decline, and Italy’s biggest mob boss finally getting caught.  Then, Tommy is joined by The New York Times Brazil bureau chief Jack Nicas to discuss the fallout from the riots, the comparison to January 6th, and what it all means for Brazil’s new president Lula. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
1/18/20231 hour, 25 minutes, 19 seconds
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Brazil's January 6th?

Tommy and Ben discuss the riots in Brazil, Biden’s trip to Mexico AND IMMIGRATION POLICY, what a Republican House majority means for defense spending, why you should care about Nigeria’s next election, Iran sentencing protesters to death, MIKE POMPEO’S SAD BOOK and Prince Harry letting it rip on the Royal family. Then Ben is joined by the cast of the documentary “Navalny” to discuss Alexei Navalny’s poisoning, his imprisonment, and Putin’s murderous reign. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
1/11/20231 hour, 36 minutes, 40 seconds
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New year, old problems

Tommy and Ben recap all of the world news you missed over the holidays, including the latest on the war in Ukraine, Zelensky’s visit to DC, Bibi Netanyahu’s new government, the end of China’s zero-Covid policy, the new ban from the Taliban against Afghan women, and Bolsonaro’s hideout in Florida. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
1/4/20231 hour, 5 minutes, 36 seconds
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“Can language be more inclusive?”

Tommy introduces Worldos to Radiolingo, a new limited season podcast from Crooked Media and Duolingo. Radiolingo investigates all the ways language shapes our world and how our world shapes language. Hosted by Ahmed Ali Akbar, an audio journalist and James Beard Award-winning writer, each episode introduces a new way of looking at the impact of language across our lives, our relationships, our culture and much more. Radiolingo is a Crooked Media and Duolingo production. In this episode, Ahmed asks if language can reflect and reinforce gender expectations. And are there ways to make language more inclusive? Listen to and follow RADIOLINGO for free, wherever you get your podcasts. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
12/28/202223 minutes, 6 seconds
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Understanding Iran

Yeganeh and Jason Rezaian join Ben to answer all of your burning questions about Iran: what life is like for girls and women, why this movement is different than any before it, the risk of civil war or wider conflict, and why we should all care about the future of Iran and its people. Then President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee David Milliband joins to discuss what the IRC is most concerned about in 2023, how to better prevent humanitarian crises and what we can all do to help. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
12/21/20221 hour, 33 minutes, 33 seconds
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Brittney Griner is Home (with Jen Psaki)

Former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki subs in as cohost, talking with Ben about Brittney Griner’s release, what a Republican House means for Ukraine, executions and risks of escalation in Iran, Morocco’s Cinderella story at the World Cup, and Jen recounts some highlights from traveling the world with Barack Obama, John Kerry and Joe Biden. Then Brittney Griner’s agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas joins to recount Brittney’s first moments back on US soil, the journey to get her home and what comes next for the basketball star.  For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
12/14/20221 hour, 13 minutes, 1 second
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Standing up to autocrats (and royals)

Tommy and Ben talk about the ongoing protests in China, Ukrainian strikes into Russia, speculation over Putin’s health, Iran sending mixed messages on the morality police, and Bostonians greeting the royals as warmly as expected. Then, Ben interviews Maria Ressa about the evolution of disinformation spread and how to combat it in the face of autocratic regimes. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
12/7/20221 hour, 29 minutes, 28 seconds
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World Corrupt Episode 7: Stoppage Time!

Tommy and Rog examine a tournament in which politics, sport and humanity have all been laid bare; USMNT captain Tyler Adams' leadership and poise when answering questions from Iran's state-run media; and what political and social scrutiny the United States could face as co-host for the 2026 World Cup.
12/2/202259 minutes, 8 seconds
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Covid protests rock China

Tommy and Ben discuss the anti-covid lockdown protests sweeping across China, soccer and politics at the World Cup, including the US win over Iran, Biden’s steady effort to thaw relations with Venezuela, updates from Ukraine, Belarus and Malaysia, news about the royal family and a victory for a boring French man. Then Ben is joined by Emma Belcher, President of the Ploughshares Fund to discuss how credible Russia’s nuclear threat really is. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
11/30/20221 hour, 7 minutes, 19 seconds
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World Corrupt Episode 6: A Dystopian World Cup

Tommy and Rog discuss what has been a surreal tournament thus far, from FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s astoundingly tone-deaf first-person speech, to a crackdown on armbands, to which countries have had the courage to stand up against injustice. 
11/25/20221 hour, 13 minutes, 22 seconds
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Thanksgiving Mailbag!

Tommy and Ben answer all of your burning foreign policy questions and give recommendations for what to read and watch over the holidays. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
11/23/20221 hour, 1 minute, 19 seconds
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Did Russia bomb Poland?

Tommy and Ben cover the latest news out of Russia and Ukraine including reports that a Russian missile struck Poland, President Biden’s trip overseas, why this was a terrible week for Cryptocurrency, the UAE’s efforts to influence US politics, news about foreign corruption and influence peddling in Washington, the Iranian regime cracking down on teenage protests, a deadly attack in Turkey, and why an FBI investigation has angered the Israeli government. Then Tommy talks with US special envoy for Climate John Kerry about the COP27 UN climate summit in Egypt. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
11/16/20221 hour, 6 minutes, 25 seconds
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Hope from Brazil

Ben and Tommy cover the ongoing debate about whether the US should be having talks with Russia about the war in Ukraine, and how Republican control of Congress might impact US military support, rare candor from a Russian oligarch, disgraced Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is back, a racist lawmaker is condemned in France, the climate change summit in Egypt and more. Then Ben is joined by Brazilian politician Tabata Amaral to discuss Bolsonaro's defeat, what it means for Brazil's future, and how to protect democracy globally.  For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
11/9/20221 hour, 7 minutes, 28 seconds
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World Corrupt Episode 5: A Call to Action

With the beginning of the tournament just over two weeks away, Tommy and Roger dig into the significance of athlete activism as they learn more about the dangerous and abusive living situations faced by migrant workers. Formerly imprisoned migrant worker Malcolm Bidali recounts the abuses he suffered in Qatar. Human rights activists Nick McGeehan and May Ramanos also join to articulate how and why athletes and fans alike need to keep the pressure on FIFA even after the World Cup concludes.
11/5/202240 minutes, 43 seconds
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Bye Bye Bolsonaro

Tommy and Ben rejoice over Jair Bolsonaro’s defeat in Brazil and stress over early exit polls from Israel’s election that suggest Bibi Netanyahu might get back into power. Then they cover the latest in Ukraine, tragedies in South Korea and India, the potential national security implications of Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, and some unexpected good news on climate change. Then Tommy is joined by USAID Administrator Samantha Power to discuss the worsening global food crisis, the Black Sea Grain Initiative and why it matters, and the protests in Iran. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
11/2/20221 hour, 10 minutes, 37 seconds
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World Corrupt Episode 4: The Dark Side of the 2022 World Cup

Tommy and Roger consider the complexities and deadly consequences of Qatar hosting the World Cup. You’ll hear from human rights activists and experts about what life is like in Qatar for migrant workers, and from Norwegian FIFA president Lise Klaveness and pro footballers Megan Rapinoe and Tim Sparv about the power of sports activism in the fight for justice.
10/29/202237 minutes, 46 seconds
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The newest new British PM, with David Lammy

Tommy and Ben cover the wild week in British politics, the push for diplomacy in Ukraine from progressive Democrats, why former Chinese President Hu Jintao was dragged off stage at China’s party conference meeting, the US-Saudi relationship, former Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu’s right-wing comeback bid, Brazil’s upcoming election and more. Then Ben is joined by British Labour MP David Lammy to talk about new British PM Rishi Sunak and the future of the Labour Party. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
10/26/20221 hour, 11 minutes, 41 seconds
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World Corrupt Episode 3: Qatar’s path to the World Cup

Tommy and Roger look at how a country roughly the size of Connecticut with documented human rights violations was awarded the World Cup bid. They’re joined by Tariq Panja of the New York Times to discuss FIFA’s corrupt history, and global sports expert Simon Chadwick to explain the concept of sportswashing and why Qatar would want hosting duties in the first place.
10/22/202240 minutes, 10 seconds
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The British PM vs a head of lettuce

Ben and Tommy cover the latest from Ukraine, the ongoing disaster that is the Liz Truss-led Tory government in the UK, how former US military officials are making big money in Saudi Arabia, China’s party congress, the Iran protests, BTS joins the military, Biden’s surprising new proposals on Venezuela and Haiti, and some comedy via Bob Woodward and Jared Kushner. Then Tommy talks with the New York Times Magazine’s Robert Draper about his new book, Weapons of Mass Delusion: When the Republican Party Lost its Mind, and about the Iraq war. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
10/19/20221 hour, 9 minutes, 11 seconds
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World Corrupt Episode 2: “The Most Corrupt Thing I’ve Ever Seen”

Roger and Tommy dig into the history of FIFA, the governing body of international football, and trace FIFA's long history of corruption up to the moment they awarded the World Cup tournaments to Russia and Qatar. Tariq Panja of The New York Times shares insight into how FIFA operates and former Justice Department official Matt Miller recounts the misconduct he witnessed firsthand at a World Cup bid.
10/15/202240 minutes, 51 seconds
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Chinese Communist Party Coachella

Tommy and Ben cover the latest from the war in Ukraine, including the bombing of a Russian bridge to Crimea and Russia’s response, the latest on the protests in Iran, why an OPEC decision is leading the US to rethink the US-Saudi partnership, how British PM Liz Truss is making history and waging war on podcasters, why Elon Musk will not shut up and some scandal updates. Then Ben talks with former Australian PM Kevin Rudd about the upcoming Chinese Communist Party leadership conference. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
10/12/20221 hour, 14 minutes, 9 seconds
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World Corrupt Episode 1: A Toxic Love Affair between Politics and Sports

This fall, when the eyes of the world turn towards Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, a shadow looms over the tournament, which is one of the most watched events in the world. The sports landscape being co-opted for geo-political and corporate gain is nothing new, but this year's iteration of football's biggest competition may be the most expensive example to date. Pod Save the World’s Tommy Vietor and Roger Bennett of Men in Blazers join forces to unravel the riddle of how to enjoy the game we love while holding the powers that control it accountable for their corruptive policies and practices. On this inaugural episode of World Corrupt, a collaboration from Men in Blazers Media Network and Crooked Media, the two hosts share the memories that helped them first fall in love with soccer, while also looking back into the annals of history at past instances of a phenomenon known as "sportswashing.”
10/8/202246 minutes, 37 seconds
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Fighting for freedom in Iran

Tommy and Ben discuss the latest news out of Ukraine, including the increasingly vocal criticism of the war effort from Putin’s allies and talk of nuclear weapons use. Then they cover the election results in Brazil, prisoner releases, trickle down economics get humiliated in the UK, a coup in Burkina Faso, and shorter updates from around the world. Then Tommy speaks with Yeganeh Rezaian from the Committee to Protect Journalists about the protests in Iran, her experience with Iran’s brutal morality police, and what Americans and the US government should do to support this movement.  For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
10/5/20221 hour, 15 minutes, 1 second
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World Corrupt: Coming October 8th

Soccer is a game which has often been called “the world’s most important least important thing.” However this November’s World Cup, the most-watched sporting competition on the planet, forces fans to grapple with the complexities of a tournament which has been twisted into a public relations exercise for Qatar, a country smaller than the state of Connecticut, with a shocking human rights record, that has built the tournament’s infrastructure with migrant labor practices that have been likened to modern slavery. This dilemma is at the core of World Corrupt, a six-episode collaboration from Men in Blazers Media Network and Crooked Media. Starting October 8, Men in Blazers’ Roger Bennett and Pod Save the World’s Tommy Vietor will join forces to explore what it means to be a fan and a responsible citizen of the world while navigating a sports landscape that is increasingly being co-opted for geo-political and corporate gain.
9/30/20223 minutes, 3 seconds
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Fighting fascists with Bernie Sanders

Ben and Tommy talk about the new right-wing government in Italy, the growing protests in Iran, Russia’s troop mobilization and sham referendums in eastern Ukraine, new British PM Liz Truss nearly tanks global markets, Jared Kushner gets a big boy award, the latest on the Mar-a-Lago documents saga, Cuba, NASA and the CIA starts a podcast. Then Ben talks with Senator Bernie Sanders about the upcoming elections in Brazil.  For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
9/28/20221 hour, 6 minutes, 20 seconds
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How Russia could lose the war

Tommy and Ben talk about reports about Russian intelligence and misinformation operations abroad, Biden on Taiwan, El Salvador and US policy towards Central America, the Queen’s funeral, Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Armenia, protests in Iran, how the EU might punish Hungary, the Saudi golf tour hires a lobbyist, and the scandal rocking the international chess world. Then Ben interviews Kyiv Independent defense reporter Illia Ponomarenko about why Russia is losing their grip and Ukraine's pathway to success. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
9/21/20221 hour, 13 minutes, 12 seconds
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Ukraine's shocking counteroffensive

Tommy and Ben cover the successful Ukrainian military counteroffensive, what it means for Zelensky and Putin and the next phase of the war. They also discuss the rise of a far-right party in Sweden, the latest news about the Queen of England’s funeral, famine in east Africa, Biden and refugees and why Obama yelled at Steph Curry about the moon landing. Then Tommy interviews US Trade Representative Katherine Tai about China, Taiwan, and how to make voters believe free trade will help them. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
9/14/20221 hour, 8 minutes, 34 seconds
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The life and legacy of Queen Elizabeth II

In this bonus episode, Tommy and Ben discuss the life and legacy of Queen Elizabeth II. Then Ben is joined by historian Dan Snow to dig deeper into the Queen’s place in British history.  For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
9/9/202256 minutes, 16 seconds
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The new British Prime Minister

This week, Ben and Tommy talk about the new British Prime Minister Liz Truss, Israel’s bizarre rules for visitors to the West Bank, Chileans vote down a new constitution, an assassination attempt in Argentina, updates on Ukraine, Politico’s new owner, China’s covid lockdowns, Kenya’s election, Nigel Farage gets a new product line and a BBQ row roils France. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
9/7/202257 minutes, 9 seconds
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Who is winning the war in Ukraine?

Tommy and Ben talk about reports that Ukraine launched a new offensive against Russian troop and ask the question, who is winning the war? They also cover the impending European energy crisis, the death of former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, reports that Trump brags about having intelligence on the French President’s sex life, floods in Pakistan, new pentagon rules to prevent civilian casualties and more. Then Ben talks with Associated Press reporter Samya Kullab about the political crisis in Iraq. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
8/31/20221 hour, 4 minutes, 11 seconds
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Let Sanna Marin dance!

Ben and Tommy cover the latest on the FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago, the dumb controversy over Sanna Marin - the PM of Finland - dancing, Colombia considers decriminalizing cocaine, forced labor in China, Brazil’s upcoming election, Imran Khan in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia gives the west the finger, Dennis Rodman goes to Russia and more. Then Max Seddon from the Financial Times joins to discuss a recent car bomb attack near Moscow that killed a far-right propagandist and daughter of a right-wing Russian philosopher. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
8/24/20221 hour, 14 minutes, 11 seconds
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Adam Schiff on Trump's classified cache

Ben and Tommy cover the latest on the classified information seized at Mar-a-Lago, the one year anniversary of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, assassination attempts connected to Iran, Austin Tice, the former Australian PM’s secret jobs, Kenya’s presidential election, Ukraine, Myanmar, TikTok and disinformation and bears tripping balls. Then Ben talks with Congressman Adam Schiff about possible ramifications of the FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago, potential national security fallout, and what this tells us about what Trump would do if he won in 2024. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
8/17/20221 hour, 12 minutes, 44 seconds
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The FBI raids Mar-a-Lago

Tommy and Ben cover the national security implications of the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago, Israel bombs targets in Gaza, good news about the Iran deal and climate change, a historic first for the Marine Corps, Trump and his generals, Viktor Orban attends fascist CPAC Coachella, and a verdict for Brittney Griner. Then Tommy talks with podcaster Emily Y. Wu about Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan and the Chinese response. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
8/10/20221 hour, 14 minutes, 26 seconds
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Zawahiri is dead, Pelosi's in Taiwan

Tommy and Ben cover the drone strike against Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, Speaker Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan, the latest news from Ukraine, including the debate over adding Russia to the State Sponsor of Terrorism list, news about Russian intelligence operations in the US, Trump weighs in on Brittney Griner’s case, excerpts from a wild profile of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, why there’s tensions between Kosovo and Serbia and the first ever international take appreciators. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
8/3/20221 hour, 2 minutes, 17 seconds
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Introducing: Another Russia

In 2015 Putin’s number one public enemy, Boris Nemtsov, was shot and killed in front of the Kremlin. He was a relentless critic of Putin, corruption, and war in Ukraine. Then, he was assassinated. His daughter, journalist Zhanna Nemtsova, and co-host Ben Rhodes tell his story to find out what happened to an entire country – and what happens next. Is another Russia possible? Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/another-russia/id1634279839 Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/1edslXTCkkMFeN8htn1iAy?si=1G14a5slQ-uURxuxsTmbpA Crooked: https://crooked.com/podcast-series/another-russia/ For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
8/1/202237 minutes, 3 seconds
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China picks a fight with Pelosi

This week, Ben and Tommy explain why the Chinese government is freaking out about Speaker Pelosi visiting Taiwan, the latest news from Ukraine, the climate change bomb that might go off in Congo, Viktor Orban’s latest racist rant, Pope Francis’s trip to Canada, and why 9/11 families are doubling down on their criticism of Trump while the Saudi government plans a monument to stupidity in the desert, and much more. Then Ben talks with Zhanna Nemtsova about their new podcast Another Russia, which explores the murder of Zhanna's father and what it tells us about Russia today. Listen to Another Russia here or wherever you get your podcasts. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
7/27/20221 hour, 22 minutes, 59 seconds
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A fist bump to remember

Tommy and Ben cover President Biden’s trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia, explain why 9/11 families are furious at Donald Trump, discuss what can happen internationally on climate change without US action, the latest from Sri Lanka, why the Prime Minister of Italy may resign, then we laugh at Fox News’s foreign coverage, Mike Pompeo’s presidential ambitions, a French mustard shortage and what Boris Johnson’s successors think about him. Finally, Tommy is joined by Politico’s Christopher Miller to discuss the latest news from Ukraine. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
7/20/20221 hour, 10 minutes, 33 seconds
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Japanese PM Shinzo Abe’s assassination

Tommy and Ben discuss the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, protest in Sri Lanka, President Biden’s trip to the Middle East, the latest news from Ukraine and Brittney Griner’s prosecution in Russia, Condoleezza Rice’s new job and John Bolton weighs in on coups. Then Ben talks with long-time diplomat and Asia expert Danny Russel about the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, politics in Japan, and Abe's legacy. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
7/13/20221 hour, 21 minutes, 53 seconds
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Boris Johnson Brexits

Ben and Tommy record a bonus episode on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s resignation with special guest and friend of the pod David Lammy, Labour MP and shadow Foreign Secretary of State.
7/8/202252 minutes, 54 seconds
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Why Brexit still sucks

Ben and Tommy answer your questions about the Labour Party’s leadership, Brexit and the UK’s refugee policies, “Russification” in Ukraine, Latin America, the risk from and rise of China, Yemen, Sri Lanka, climate change, favorite simple pleasures, pet peeves, favorite places to visit, and book recommendations. Crooked Coffee is now available at crooked.com/coffee! For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
7/6/20221 hour, 1 minute, 48 seconds
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Jesus take the wheel (before Trump does)

Tommy and Ben talk about abortion rights globally, President Biden’s trip to Europe for G7 and NATO meetings about Ukraine, WNBA star Brittney Griner’s detention in Russia, Afghanistan, free speech in India and the national security implications of Tuesday’s explosive January 6th committee hearing. Then Tommy talks with journalist Peter Beinart about the human rights issues swirling around President Biden’s upcoming visit to the Middle East. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
6/29/20221 hour, 9 minutes, 25 seconds
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Inside Navalny’s operation

Ben lays out the significance of the elections and governmental shakeups in Israel, Colombia, and France and talks through the latest on the war in Ukraine. Then Ben talks with Alexei Navalny’s chief of staff Leonid Volkov in Copenhagen about Navalny’s fate, his media operation, and Putin’s propaganda machine. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
6/22/20221 hour, 4 minutes, 7 seconds
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Worldo Mailbag!

In this special mailbag episode, Tommy and Ben answer listener questions on topics including framing climate change as a national security interest, how both artificial intelligence and migration are going to become headline issues in the years to come, why Democrats are better at foreign policy, Myanmar, their top Pearl Jam albums, career advice for those who want to work in foreign policy, and more. Plus, they offer their takes on the NBA Finals, Taylor Swift, Jared Kushner taking James Patterson's masterclass, and the Saudi golf league.  For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
6/15/20221 hour, 5 minutes, 2 seconds
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Justin Trudeau is in studio!

Tommy and Ben interview Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the state of democracy, gun control, Ukraine and the best comedians in Canada. Then they cover the Summit of the Americas, the latest from Ukraine, President Biden’s upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia, why Jared Kushner could be in trouble, how Poland is showing what a post Roe America might look like, why confidence is waning in British PM Boris Johnson, lasers and the Platinum Jubilee got weird. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
6/8/20221 hour, 20 minutes, 40 seconds
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Ukraine and the global food crisis with Samantha Power

Tommy and Ben cover the latest news from Ukraine, including the EU’s plan to ban most imports of Russian oil, reports that Iran has enough nuclear material to make a bomb, how other countries have prevented gun violence, a major election in Colombia, President Biden meets BTS, the Queen’s Jubilee controversy, and climate activists say let the Mona Lisa eat cake. Then Ben speaks with USAID Administrator Samantha Power about how the war in Ukraine is creating a global food shortage and what we can do to help. Crooked Coffee launches 6/21. Sign-up to be the first to sip: http://go.crooked.com/coffee-pstw For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
6/1/20221 hour, 6 minutes, 3 seconds
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Biden (sort of?) pledges to defend Taiwan

Tommy and Ben talk about President Biden’s trip to Asia, whether the US would defend Taiwan in a war with China, the latest news from Ukraine, including calls for Ukraine to cut a deal with Russia and the growing food crisis. They also cover a plot to assassinate George W Bush, fascism in Hungary, charges of anti-semitism against progressives and US policy towards Israel, MAGA grifters and Boris Johnson’s party pics. Then Ben talks to Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield about her efforts at the UN to help Ukraine and tackle the international food crisis.
5/25/20221 hour, 16 minutes, 24 seconds
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The Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh

Ben and Tommy talk about the latest news from Ukraine, including the latest from Mariupol, Finland and Sweden’s application to join NATO, and Mitch McConnell’s visit to Kyiv. Then they explain why countries are threatening to boycott the Summit of the Americas, changes to Biden’s Cuba policy, news of a major covid outbreak in North Korea, the upcoming elections in Australia, Eurovision and rocking out at the Queen’s Jubilee. Then Tommy talks with Palestinian writer Jalal Abukhater about the killing of al Jazeera journalist  Shireen Abu Akleh in the occupied West Bank. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
5/18/20221 hour, 14 minutes, 56 seconds
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Raining on Putin's Victory Day parade

Tommy and Ben cover the latest news from Ukraine, including more money and weapons from the US, the First Lady’s visit to Ukraine, intelligence leaks and Vladimir Putin’s underwhelming Victory Day speech. Then they cover the historic election in Northern Ireland, more dumb scandals in the UK, protests and violence in Sri Lanka, a depressing election result in the Philippines, the CIA’s message for Brazil and more Trump officials write books. And then Ben talks with Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo about sanctions against Russia and the global economic impact of the war in Ukraine. With our constitutionally protected right to abortion under attack, abortion funds are working nonstop to make sure people can still access (and afford) abortion.Visit votesaveamerica.com/roe to learn more, donate, and take action. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
5/11/20221 hour, 20 minutes, 36 seconds
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Bill Gates on preventing the next pandemic

Tommy and Ben talk about the latest in Ukraine, including Ukrainian attacks on targets in Russia, Biden’s $33 billion aid request, and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov’s insane attempt to blame the Jews for the Holocaust. Then they cover the upcoming election in the Philippines, France’s resurgent left, Saudi Arabia, a former CIA agent turned life coach, QAnon runs for congress and more humiliation for Tory party MPs. Finally, Tommy talks with Bill Gates about his new book, How to Prevent the Next Pandemic.With our constitutionally protected right to abortion under attack, abortion funds are working nonstop to make sure people can still access (and afford) abortion.Visit votesaveamerica.com/roe to learn more, donate, and take action.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
5/4/20221 hour, 6 minutes, 59 seconds
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Au revoir Le Pen (for now)

Ben and Tommy cover the latest from Ukraine, including the Secretary of Defense and State’s visit to Kyiv and concerns that both the US and Russian mission in Ukraine might be expanding. Then they talk about major defeats for far-right candidates in elections in France and Slovenia, what Elon buying Twitter could mean for international users, worrisome news in Darfur and Trump musings on the royal family. Then Ben talks with reporters Christopher Miller and Max Seddon about the war in Ukraine and what's changed since it began two months ago.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
4/27/20221 hour, 17 minutes, 29 seconds
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The digital war in Ukraine

Ben and Tommy cover the latest from Ukraine, including how the fighting has moved east, the sinking of a Russian battleship, and how the war is evolving on the digital battlefield. They also discuss how fighting between Israeli police and Palestinian worshippers could break up Israel's government coalition, Ronan Farrow's new report about spyware for profit, Jared Kushner's $2 billion kickback from the Saudis, and the economic impact of the lockdowns in China. Then Ben is joined by award-winning journalist Louisa Lim to discuss her new book, Indelible City: Dispossession and Defiance in Hong Kong.How to Help in Ukraine Come Back Alive Ukrainian Congress Committee of America: donate to humanitarian efforts United Help Ukraine: donate to the life-saving medical supplies to Ukraine’s front lines Revived Soldiers Ukraine: donate to treatment of the wounded and the provision of hospitals Razom for Ukraine: donate to tactical medical training and emergency response in Ukraine Nova Ukraine: donate to humanitarian aid for Ukraine Vox: How you can help Ukrainians For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
4/20/20221 hour, 15 minutes, 33 seconds
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A chemical weapons attack in Ukraine?

On today’s episode, Tommy talks with Oleksiy Sorokin from the Kyiv Independent about the latest news from Ukraine, including reports of a Russian chemical weapons attack, Russian war crimes, British PM Boris Johnson’s visit to Kyiv and preparations for the next phase of fighting in eastern Ukraine. Then Tommy walks through some additional Ukraine news out of Washington, what happened in the French elections, Pakistan’s Prime Minister receiving a vote of no confidence, and the covid lockdown in Shanghai. Finally, Ben interviews London Mayor Sadiq Khan.How to Help in Ukraine Come Back Alive Ukrainian Congress Committee of America: donate to humanitarian efforts United Help Ukraine: donate to the life-saving medical supplies to Ukraine’s front lines Revived Soldiers Ukraine: donate to treatment of the wounded and the provision of hospitals Razom for Ukraine: donate to tactical medical training and emergency response in Ukraine Nova Ukraine: donate to humanitarian aid for Ukraine Vox: How you can help UkrainiansFor a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
4/13/20221 hour, 2 minutes, 45 seconds
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War crimes in Ukraine

Tommy and Ben discuss the horrifying images of war crimes against civilians in Ukraine, the growing support for far-right candidates in the upcoming French elections, Viktor Orban’s depressing victory in Hungary, political turmoil in Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the fragile ceasefire in Yemen and covid funding. Then Tommy talks with Anastasiia Lapatina from the Kyiv Independent about what it’s like covering the Russian invasion as it impacts her life and family in such a personal way.How to Help in UkraineUkrainian Congress Committee of America: donate to humanitarian effortsUnited Help Ukraine: donate to the life-saving medical supplies to Ukraine’s front linesRevived Soldiers Ukraine: donate to treatment of the wounded and the provision of hospitalsRazom for Ukraine: donate to tactical medical training and emergency response in UkraineNova Ukraine: donate to humanitarian aid for UkraineVox: How you can help UkrainiansFor a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
4/6/20221 hour, 3 minutes, 35 seconds
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A Peace Deal in Ukraine?

Tommy and Ben talk about the latest in Ukraine including reports of progress towards a peace deal, President Biden's visit to Poland, the apparent poisoning of Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, and Trump's (second) plea to Putin for (more) dirt on Biden. Tommy and Ben also discuss other international news, including China's latest covid lockdown, missiles in North Korea, and the Taliban reversing their decision to re-open schools for girls. Then Ben talks with European Parliament member Katalin Cseh about the upcoming elections in Hungary and why they are so consequential.How to Help in UkraineUkrainian Congress Committee of America: donate to humanitarian effortsUnited Help Ukraine: donate to the life-saving medical supplies to Ukraine’s front linesRevived Soldiers Ukraine: donate to treatment of the wounded and the provision of hospitalsRazom for Ukraine: donate to tactical medical training and emergency response in UkraineNova Ukraine: donate to humanitarian aid for UkraineVox: How you can help UkrainiansFor a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
3/30/20221 hour, 15 minutes, 54 seconds
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Biden goes to NATO

Tommy and Ben cover the latest in Ukraine, including Biden’s visit to Brussels for a NATO summit and trip to Poland. They also explore how China is viewing the Russian invasion, how the war can create a global food shortage, the latest on the military effort and peace talks, the reaction to President Zelensky’s address to the Israeli Knesset, why the Russians are making prank calls, and President Trump weighs in with more strategic genius. Then Tommy interviews former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch about what Zelensky was like before the war and her time at the State Department under Trump. How to Help in Ukraine Ukrainian Congress Committee of America: donate to humanitarian efforts United Help Ukraine: donate to the life-saving medical supplies to Ukraine’s front lines Revived Soldiers Ukraine: donate to treatment of the wounded and the provision of hospitals Razom for Ukraine: donate to tactical medical training and emergency response in Ukraine Nova Ukraine: donate to humanitarian aid for Ukraine Vox: How you can help Ukrainians For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
3/23/20221 hour, 5 minutes, 53 seconds
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Putin and Zelensky deliver messages to the world

Tommy and Ben record a second episode this week on Ukraine to discuss President Zelensky’s speech to Congress, the latest on US weapons transfers to Ukraine, Vladimir Putin’s terrifying authoritarian speech, Russian attacks on civilians, hope for peace talks, bad faith attacks on Biden by Republicans and the frustrating way Ukraine is being covered in the US. Then Ben speaks with Sviatoslav Yurash, the youngest member of Ukraine's Parliament about the post-Maidan generation and his close friend, journalist Oleksandra Kuvshynova who was killed while covering the war. How to Help in Ukraine Ukrainian Congress Committee of America: donate to humanitarian efforts United Help Ukraine: donate to the life-saving medical supplies to Ukraine’s front lines Revived Soldiers Ukraine: donate to treatment of the wounded and the provision of hospitals Razom for Ukraine: donate to tactical medical training and emergency response in Ukraine Nova Ukraine: donate to humanitarian aid for Ukraine Vox: How you can help Ukrainians For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.  
3/18/202256 minutes, 16 seconds
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How to be a Russian Oligarch

Tommy and Ben discuss the debate about whether the US and NATO should help supply MiG fighter jets to Ukraine, reports that Russia may be preparing to use chemical weapons, the growing risk to journalists covering the war, what President Biden and the US are doing to support Ukraine and how people in Russia are reacting to the invasion. They also cover China’s reaction to the war, the major covid outbreak in parts of China, and how the war is complicating the Iran nuclear deal negotiations. Then Ben talks with author Tom Burgis about the rise and influence of Russian oligarchs. How to Help in Ukraine Ukrainian Congress Committee of America: donate to humanitarian efforts United Help Ukraine: donate to the life-saving medical supplies to Ukraine’s front lines Revived Soldiers Ukraine: donate to treatment of the wounded and the provision of hospitals Razom for Ukraine: donate to tactical medical training and emergency response in Ukraine Nova Ukraine: donate to humanitarian aid for Ukraine Vox: How you can help Ukrainians   
3/18/20221 hour, 23 minutes, 33 seconds
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The rising cost of Putin’s war

Tommy and Ben talk about Biden’s decision to ban Russian oil and gas imports, Congress’s proposed $12 billion package for Ukraine, the latest military movements, diplomatic efforts to end the war and Russia’s detention of WNBA star Brittany Griner, the treatment of refugees, Donald Trump’s creative plans for Ukraine and how Republicans are annoying President Zelensky. Then Tommy talks with State Department Counselor about how the US is getting arms to the Ukrainian military, how sanctions work, and what the US government thinks will come next.How to Help in Ukraine Ukrainian Congress Committee of America: donate to humanitarian efforts United Help Ukraine: donate to the life-saving medical supplies to Ukraine’s front lines Revived Soldiers Ukraine: donate to treatment of the wounded and the provision of hospitals Razom for Ukraine: donate to tactical medical training and emergency response in Ukraine Nova Ukraine: donate to humanitarian aid for Ukraine Vox: How you can help Ukrainians For more reporting:Tanya Kozyreva - @TanyaKozyrevaAnastasiia Lapatina - @lapatina_For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
3/9/20221 hour, 17 minutes, 7 seconds
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Russia attacks civilians & a nuclear plant

In this bonus episode, Tommy and Ben talk about the escalating attacks by Russian forces on Ukrainian civilians, the shocking Russian attack on a nuclear power plant, Russian military progress in southern Ukraine, the latest on western energy sanctions, intelligence sharing and how the war could lead to a global food shortage. You will also hear from a 29-year-old mother of two on the ground in Odessa, Ukraine, as the city is preparing for an attack, and from Buzzfeed’s Christopher Miller who is reporting from the ground in Kyiv. 
3/5/20221 hour, 11 minutes, 6 seconds
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Russia escalates the war in Ukraine

Tommy and Ben walk through the latest news from Ukraine, including how Russia has conducted the military campaign so far and why many experts are concerned that the risk to civilians will increase, the impact of sanctions, the strong response from Europe, which countries have refused to condemn Russia and why, the private sector response and how sports leagues have shown solidarity for Ukraine. Then Tommy interviews a 29-year-old Ukrainian refugee named Kseniia Putiatina about her three-day journey from Ukraine to Istanbul and how she made the decision to flee.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
3/2/20221 hour, 14 minutes, 47 seconds
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Special Report: On the Ground in Ukraine and Russia

As the worst case scenario unfolds in Ukraine, Ben runs through the latest on Russia’s invasion, how this attack marks a new phase of history, and what to expect in the coming weeks and months. Then Ben is joined by Ukrainian investigative reporter Tanya Kozyreva from Kyiv as it is under siege. During the interview, Tanya describes the dire situation in Kyiv, the Ukrainian peoples’ commitment to resist, and has to seek shelter after hearing explosions. Ben is also joined again by Max Seddon, Bureau Chief of the Financial Times in Moscow who shares how Russians feel about the invasion, and if sanctions could actually cause President Putin to stand down.
2/26/20221 hour, 6 minutes, 27 seconds
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Putin invades Ukraine

Ben assesses the escalating situation in Ukraine, from Putin’s recognition of separatist regions and his deployment of troops as peacekeepers to the first wave of sanctions against Russia. Then, he chats with Max Seddon, bureau chief of The Financial Times in Moscow, about Putin’s state of mind and the current political mood in Russia. And USAID Administrator Samantha Power drops by to share her perspective on what’s at stake in Ukraine, as well as a few encouraging updates on the global COVID vaccination effort.
2/23/20221 hour, 21 minutes, 35 seconds
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Emergency Pod: Brink of War in Ukraine

In an emergency pod, Ben gives an update on the rapidly unfolding situation in Ukraine, the unfolding of Putin’s potential pretext for war, and how the world is preparing for a likely and looming invasion. Then Ben is joined by BuzzFeed correspondent Christopher Miller, who has been reporting from the frontlines in eastern Ukraine, for an on-the-ground perspective on what’s happening, what war could look like, and how Ukrainians are preparing.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.    
2/19/202245 minutes, 31 seconds
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Putin’s Choice: War or Peace

Ben reviews the latest developments in Ukraine, including President Putin’s shifting tone and President Biden’s warning of the risk of war. Then he chats with the New Yorker's Moscow correspondent Joshua Yaffa on the ground in Kyiv amid fears of an imminent Russian invasion. Ben also talks with radicalization and extremism expert Amarnath Amarasingam about Canada's trucker protests, how American right-wing media helped fuel their momentum, and how they could impact Canada's politics longterm.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
2/16/20221 hour, 9 minutes, 58 seconds
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Russia and China’s new world order

Ben and guest host Alex Wagner discuss the latest diplomacy on Ukraine, Russia and China’s pact against the West, the politics of a return to the Iran Deal, right-wing truckers protesting in Canada, Boris Johnson singing I Will Survive, censorship at the Beijing Olympics, and Kim Jong Un’s new look. Then Ben is joined by Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas to talk about her views on Ukraine and what it’s like to be a NATO ally bordering Russia.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
2/9/20221 hour, 18 minutes, 41 seconds
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Understanding Putin

Ben does a deep dive on President Vladimir Putin’s history and how he has arrived on the brink of war with Ukraine with help from Putin expert and special Reuters correspondent Catherine Belton, and Russian journalist and activist Zhanna Nemtsova. Where to Donate:Baby to Baby, an LA non profit that provides children living in poverty with diapers, clothing, and basic living necessities.Star Legacy Foundation, a non profit organization dedicated to reducing pregnancy loss and neonatal death.Baby Quest Grants, a non profit providing fertility grants to those who can’t afford costly procedures like IVF and egg freezing.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
2/2/20221 hour, 13 minutes, 17 seconds
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WTF is happening with Ukraine?

Tommy and Ben cover the latest news about a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine, a coup in Burkina Faso, fighting in Yemen and the UAE, why the clock is ticking for the Iran deal, a new cabinet in Chile, New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern cancels her wedding, news about Havana syndrome, more trouble for party enthusiast and British PM Boris Johnson, buying the bitcoin dip in El Salvador, and Mike Pompeo seeks help. Then Tommy talks with Peter Beinart about the history of NATO expansion and how it may have made Putin more aggressive.Pod Save America is vaxxed, boosted, and headed back on the road! Join Tommy, Jon, Jon, and Dan on the road for Pod Save America (A)live And On Tour. Get tickets & learn more: crooked.com/events.Listener presales: January 25 at 10 am local time through January 27 (code CROOKED)General onsale: January 28 at 10 am local timeFor a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
1/26/20221 hour, 20 minutes, 33 seconds
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Pod Save America's Going On Tour!

Pod Save America is vaxxed, boosted, and headed back on the road! Get tickets & learn more: crooked.com/eventsJoin Jon, Lovett, Tommy, Dan, and special guests this spring and summer as they travel across the country for conversations about politics, the press, and the impending threats to our democracy (but in a fun way!)Listener presales: January 25 at 10 am local time through January 27 with code CROOKEDGeneral onsale: January 28 at 10 am local timecrooked.com/events
1/24/20221 minute
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Secretary of State Tony Blinken

On today’s episode, Tommy and Ben interview Secretary of State Tony Blinken about the threat of Russia invading Ukraine, the Iran deal, combatting antisemitism and promoting democracy. They also discuss how silicon valley views human rights in China, why Boris Johnson could party his way into retirement, how Novak Djokovic got the boot from Australia, the eruption in Tonga and why Twitter is back in Nigeria.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
1/19/20221 hour, 21 minutes, 52 seconds
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Putin invades (but not where you thought)

Ben and Tommy talk about protests and power struggles in Kazakhstan, Boris Johnson’s garden party problems, an update on the assassination of the Haitian president, how Novak Djokovic's vaccination status caused a diplomatic crisis in Australia, when North Korea invented the burrito (huh?) a heroic bomb sniffing rat and much more. Then Ben talks with former Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk about tensions with Russia and how Ukraine plans to maintain democracy despite Putin's efforts to destroy it. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
1/12/20221 hour, 24 minutes, 38 seconds
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Trump endorses a dictator

Tommy and Ben talk about Trump’s endorsement of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and what it says about the future of democracy, the latest on Biden’s efforts to prevent Russia from invading Ukraine, China and Lithuania, a major election in Chile, and a look ahead at some of the world’s most important elections in 2022. Then Ben talks with author Howard French about his new book “Born in Blackness: Africa, Africans, and the Making of the Modern World.”For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
1/5/20221 hour, 9 minutes, 46 seconds
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China 101

Tommy and Ben are joined by Asia policy expert Danny Russel for a special episode that is entirely focused on China. They discuss Chinese President Xi Jinping’s background and worldview, Wolf Warrior diplomacy, China’s human rights record and suppression of the Uyghurs, and the fear that war between the US and China is inevitable and could start over Taiwan.
12/29/20211 hour, 4 minutes, 20 seconds
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The Trump-Bibi Netanyahu bromance is dead

Tommy and Ben discuss why a holiday party is causing big problems for British PM Boris Johnson, why the Trump – Netanyahu bromance is officially dead, partying in Finland, an update on the assassination of the president of Haiti, a confusing choice to be US ambassador to Kenya, updates on Russia and Ukraine, the Iran deal, accountability at the Pentagon, a debate over whether progressives are getting rolled on defense policy, a court ruling on Julian Assange’s extradition, and camel influencers.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
12/15/202159 minutes, 54 seconds
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Biden’s Olympic Boycott

Tommy and Ben cover the US diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics, Biden's call with Putin and rising tensions in Ukraine, Myanmar's ousted leader being unjustifiably sentenced to prison time, Justin Bieber's shady concert for the Saudis, El Salvador's crypto game, UK Parliament's cocaine problem, and a "Mambo No. 5" performance amid Poland's deadly migrant crisis. Then Ben talks with New Yorker reporter Ian Urbina about Libya's secret migrant prisons and his time detained in one.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
12/8/202155 minutes, 57 seconds
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Rihanna replaces the Queen

Tommy and Ben cover the Omicron variant, a history making Prime Minister in Sweden, the Nordstream 2 pipeline and tensions in Ukraine, corruption and spies in international soccer, Jared Kushner goes hunting for gulf oil kickbacks, a historic election in Honduras, the Iran deal talks on life support, maple syrup cartels and Oasis. Then Tommy talks with Pashtana Durrani about her work educating women and girls in Afghanistan.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
12/1/20211 hour, 12 minutes, 54 seconds
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What happened to Peng Shuai?

Tommy and Ben talk about the allegations by and disappearance of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai, calls to boycott the Beijing winter Olympics, British PM Boris Johnson’s rough couple of weeks, economic woes in Turkey, democratic backsliding, asteroid killing satellites, what human rights advocates are demanding from Justin Bieber, how Popeyes is taking Britain storm and much more. Then Ben talks with President Biden’s Special Envoy to Iran Rob Malley about next week's nuclear talks with Iran, and where U.S.-Iranian relations stand going into them.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
11/24/20211 hour, 18 minutes, 13 seconds
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The case for invading Australia

Ben and Tommy talk about reports of a potential war crime by the US military in Syria, tensions on the border of Belarus and Poland, increased concern that Russia might invade Ukraine, Biden’s (virtual) summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, how Trump sycophants are seeding election lies in Brazil, a hostage is freed in Myanmar, space debris, how Trump’s coup attempt spread to the Pentagon, and the case for invading Australia. Then CNN’s Nima Elbagir joins to discuss the ongoing civil war in Ethiopia and the coup in Sudan.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
11/17/20211 hour, 18 minutes, 25 seconds
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Rhodes goes to Glasgow

This week, Ben calls in from the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow where he’s traveling with President Obama. In this episode Ben and Tommy cover the latest news from COP26, the increasingly dire civil war in Ethiopia, recent Biden administrations actions against ransomware hackers and the spyware for profit industry, a drone attack in Iraq, the US reopening its borders, and the #Fartghazi scandal lingering in the UK. Then Ben speaks to climate activists Hannah Martin and Luisa Neubauer, and former Secretary of State John Kerry about the intense climate negotiations in Glasgow.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
11/10/20211 hour, 11 minutes, 47 seconds
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The world gathers to fight climate change

Tommy and Ben talk about the big news out of the climate change summit in Glasgow, the news out of the G20, the latest on the coup in Sudan and civil war in Ethiopia, a GITMO detainee details CIA torture, morally bankrupt billionaires flock to Saudi Arabia, the skeptical take on Havana Syndrome, Real Housewives of Dubai, Facebook is dead, and the JFK assassination. Then former Australian PM Kevin Rudd joins to talk about COP26, Australian politics and Evergrande.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
11/3/20211 hour, 15 minutes, 11 seconds
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Cocaine Hippos

Tommy and Ben discuss the military coup in Sudan, how Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter is making waves in China, Israel’s designation of six Palestinian human rights groups as terrorist organizations, Facebook’s global impact, Trump officials get kickbacks from the Saudis, Russia, climate change and cocaine hippos. Then British Member of Parliament David Lammy joins to discuss the recent murder of a British lawmaker and the danger of online hate speech.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
10/27/20211 hour, 10 minutes, 11 seconds
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We booked a Nobel Prize winner

Tommy and Ben discuss the murder of a British member of parliament, Colin Powell’s legacy, missiles, climate change, the fight against Viktor Orban, kidnappings in Haiti, democracy in Sudan, covid in Brazil, her majesty’s cocktails, why Australia hates Ted Cruz, and wizards. Then Nobel Peace Prize winning journalist Maria Ressa joins to talk about her battles against President Rodrigo Duterte and Facebook. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
10/20/20211 hour, 20 minutes, 14 seconds
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Ted Lasso with a bone saw

Tommy and Ben talk about why US special forces were on a training mission in Taiwan, the Saudi government buys a soccer team, Biden’s Syria policy, stealing US Navy secrets, a breakthrough in the fight against Malaria, what a $20 million home in Beverly Hills tells us about Afghanistan, Iraq’s election results, Ted Cruz and the far-right in Spain, an Ethiopia update and gift giving in the Trump era.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
10/13/20211 hour, 12 minutes, 46 seconds
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Decoding the Pandora Papers

Tommy and Ben discuss a new, massive leak of financial documents that expose how billionaires and powerful politicians hide their money, the global impact of Facebook going offline, the CIA sounds the alarm about protecting sources, Biden’s team tries to fix relations with France, news about China and Ethiopia, and then Ben gets an update on the current situation in Afghanistan from activist and senior fellow at the Atlantic Council Sahar Halaimzai.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
10/6/20211 hour, 18 minutes, 22 seconds
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Jared Kushner is “Rasputin in a slim-fitting suit”

Tommy and Ben talk about the results of the German elections, Senate hearings on Afghanistan, a report about a Trump administration plan to arrest Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, votes on Israel and Yemen on Capitol Hill, an update on Burma, and funny Trump foreign policy stories. Then Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian joins to talk about his new podcast 544 Days, which details his time being held hostage in Iran’s notorious Evin prison.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
9/29/20211 hour, 24 minutes, 59 seconds
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France is not amused

Tommy and Ben explain why a security agreement between the US, UK and Australia has enraged the French, the latest on elections in Canada and Russia, the assassination of an Iranian scientist, Biden addresses the UN General Assembly, and the Space Force debuts its dress uniform. Then Senator Chris Murphy joins Ben to discuss the withdrawal from Afghanistan and the urgency for filling critical diplomatic positions that Republicans are blocking.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
9/22/20211 hour, 21 minutes, 7 seconds
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Who hid the nukes from Trump?

Tommy and Ben talk about the national security news in Bob Woodward’s new book, some rare progress in nuclear talks with Iran, the latest on efforts to get the world vaccinated, why national security jobs are stalled in the Senate and an assessment of the global threat from terrorism, for-profit spyware, and Kim Jong Un’s weight loss. Then CNN’s senior international correspondent Nima Elbagir joins to talk about her reporting on the war in Ethiopia.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
9/15/20211 hour, 7 minutes, 2 seconds
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20 years after 9/11

Tommy and Ben cover the latest from Afghanistan, right-wing protests in Brazil, a coup in Guinea, bitcoin in El Salvador, Biden’s immigration policy, big elections in Germany, Japan and Canada, and tough times for celebrities in China. Then Ben talks to former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul about the Ukrainian President’s visit to America.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
9/8/20211 hour, 27 minutes, 29 seconds
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What comes next for Afghanistan

Tommy and Ben talk about the United States ending its war in Afghanistan as both countries navigate what comes next, what a visit from Israel’s prime minister can tell us about the future of the U.S.-Israel relationship, and where things stand with Russia’s opposition movement weeks away from parliamentary elections.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
9/1/202156 minutes, 50 seconds
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The lessons we should learn from Afghanistan

Tommy and Ben cover the latest news from Afghanistan, including an update on the evacuation efforts, the threat from ISIS, the coming US political fight over refugees, the media coverage of the war and what lessons they hope that the country will learn from it. They also explain why the Vice President’s trip to Asia was temporarily delayed by reports of “Havana Syndrome” in Vietnam, and discuss updates on the earthquake in Haiti. Then Tommy is joined by Ali Latifi, Al Jazeera English’s online correspondent in Kabul, to discuss what life is like in Kabul a little more than a week after the Taliban takeover.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
8/25/20211 hour, 32 minutes
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A tragic end to 20 years in Afghanistan

Today’s episode is all about Afghanistan. Tommy and Ben cover President Biden’s decision to withdraw troops, the failure to process visas and get refugees out of the country, why the Afghan security forces didn’t fight back, the history of the war effort under four US presidents, Trump’s role in what happened and the broader political implications.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
8/18/20211 hour, 8 minutes, 45 seconds
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Tucker’s all Orban has left

Tommy and Ben talk about the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, Mike Pompeo and the missing whisky, Sudan and Ethiopia, big climate change news, the US military’s new covid vaccine rule, China’s Olympic lies, and some dystopian space idiocy.Then, Ben interviews Hungarian journalist Szabolcs Panyi about Viktor Orban’s star turn with American right wing media and the Chinese Communist Party, and Orban’s standing at home heading into next year’s elections.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
8/11/20211 hour, 6 minutes, 31 seconds
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Tucker Carlson makes a fascist friend

Tommy and Ben discuss the latest news from Afghanistan, Tucker Carlson’s adventures with fascists in Hungary, the state of US-Iran relations, the shortcomings of the global coronavirus vaccination campaign, updates from Myanmar, the defection of a Belarusian sprinter at the Tokyo Olympics and more. Then Ben talks to German climate activist Luisa Neubauer about how Germany's summer of intense weather has impacted the politics of climate action there.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
8/4/20211 hour, 10 minutes, 1 second
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Trump vs Team USA

Tommy and Ben discuss the criminal charges against Trump’s inaugural committee chair Tom Barrack, President Biden's meeting with the prime minister of Iraq, why the Israeli government is attacking Ben and Jerry's, Xi Jinping's visit to Tibet and tons of Olympic news. Then Tommy talks to journalist Fadil Aliriza about why the Tunisian president dismissed the prime minister and Parliament.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
7/28/20211 hour, 10 minutes, 3 seconds
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Spyware for profit

Tommy and Ben discuss unrest and inequality in South Africa, the spyware for profit industry in Israel, Chinese cyberattacks, climate change news, updates from Haiti and Cuba, Jeff Bezos' trip to space, whether the Australian prime minister pooped his pants and more. Then Mohamed Soltan joins Ben to talk about claims the US government pledged to incarcerate him after he was released from Egyptian prison and why it is so critical that the Biden administration rethink American policy towards Egypt.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
7/21/20211 hour, 14 minutes, 34 seconds
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An assassination in Haiti and protests in Cuba

Tommy and Ben discuss the assassination of Haitian president Jovenel Moïse, the ongoing protests in Cuba, how President Biden should respond to ransomware attacks, new US ambassador nominations, the impact of heat waves on marine life, a new dating app in Iran, and soccer and Olympics news. Then Haitian journalist Widlore Meráncourt talks to Tommy about the political situation in Haiti and the context for American intervention in the country.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
7/14/20211 hour, 9 minutes
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World’s worst space race

Tommy and Ben discuss the US withdrawal from Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, why billionaires are racing to ride rockets, Xi Jinping’s speech celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party, potential updates to American sanctions policy, the financial crisis in Lebanon, a meeting between Saudi and American government officials and more. Then Ben talks to journalist Rana Ayyub about why the Indian government is targeting her over a tweet and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s larger crackdown on free speech. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
7/7/20211 hour, 13 minutes, 47 seconds
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Private mercenaries and naked sunbathers

Tommy and Ben discuss updates on the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, the discovery of hundreds of bodies at former residential schools for Indigenous children in Canada, Saudi mercenaries getting trained in the US, Russian war crimes in the Central African Republic, the ongoing civil war in Ethiopia, Hungary’s latest attack on LGBTQ rights, Boris Johnson’s big boat boondoggle, a helicopter rescue of naked sunbathers in Australia and more. Then former US ambassador to the UK and Sweden joins Tommy to tell some of his best stories from his time abroad and talk about his approach to leadership.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
6/30/20211 hour, 36 minutes
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Iranian elections and Justin Bieber’s state visit

Tommy and Ben discuss the results of the presidential election in Iran, regional elections in France and why Justin Bieber went to visit the French president, the impact of the Putin-Biden summit, Bitcoin use in El Salvador, the latest from Afghanistan and Hong Kong, and rumors about a Chinese spy. Then Tommy talks to Congresswoman Norma Torres about how to make foreign aid programs more effective in Northern Triangle countries.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
6/23/20211 hour, 9 minutes, 58 seconds
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Bye bye Bibi!

Tommy and Ben discuss President Biden’s first foreign trip and meeting with Vladimir Putin, the end of Bibi Netanyahu’s 15 year hold on power, a Twitter ban in Nigeria, a breakthrough in the fight against dengue fever, why Kim Jong-Un is railing against K-Pop and more. Then writer Yair Rosenberg joins Tommy for a deep-dive on Israel’s new coalition government.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
6/16/20211 hour, 13 minutes, 26 seconds
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Joe's Eurovision 2021

Tommy and Ben discuss how Bibi Netanyahu has gone full Trump in an attempt to break up the opposition coalition in Israel, presidential elections in Nicaragua and Peru, crackdowns on journalists in Myanmar, how the US government seized money back from hackers, AI drones, controversial Ukrainian soccer jerseys and more. Then Ben talks to Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer about President Joe Biden's first international trip and why he is meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
6/9/20211 hour, 10 minutes, 3 seconds
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Boris elopes, Bibi on the ropes (with Afua Hirsch)

Ben and guest co-host journalist Afua Hirsch do a deep dive into the biggest stories in British politics including Dominic Cummings' damning testimony, Boris Johnson's secret wedding, why Viktor Orbán was at Number 10 Downing Street, and where the Labour party goes from its most recent defeat. They also talk about the latest deal that might oust Bibi Netanyahu from office, the coup in Mali, the humanitarian crisis in Tigray, German acknowledgment of a genocide in what is now Namibia, the new three-child policy in China, updates from Hong Kong, and Naomi Osaka's decision to withdraw from the French Open. Then Ben interviews the mayor of Budapest Gergely Karácsony about his run for Hungarian prime minister and how he plans to defeat Viktor Orbán.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsaveamerica. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
6/2/20211 hour, 26 minutes, 9 seconds
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Belarus hijacks a plane (and Samantha Power)

Tommy and Ben discuss how the Belarusian president forced a plan to land so he could arrest a journalist, the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, a spike in coronavirus cases in Japan ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, more theories about the origins of coronavirus, a coup in Samoa, why John Cena had to apologize for calling Taiwan a country and more. Then USAID Administrator Samantha Power joins Ben to talk about her development agenda and how the agency can actually help get coronavirus vaccines into arms around the world.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
5/26/20211 hour, 32 minutes, 48 seconds
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Time to call for a ceasefire in Gaza

Tommy and Ben do a deep dive into the latest news on the fighting between Israel and Hamas and what the Biden administration has said about it. They also talk about proposed changes to how the military handles sexual assault case, the bourgeoning film industry in outer space, coercive birth control policies in Xinjiang and a prank pulled on those perpetuating the Big Lie. Then Congresswoman Betty McCollum joins Tommy to discuss her bill to condition military aid to Israel.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
5/19/20211 hour, 20 minutes, 43 seconds
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Clashes in Israel and Gaza

Tommy and Ben talk about the escalating violence in Israel and Gaza, cyberattacks on American infrastructure, a deadly police raid in Brazil, updates on Alexey Navalny’s situation, President Biden’s decision to back coronavirus vaccine patent waivers and more. Then, foreign policy analyst Rula Jebreal joins Ben to discuss the context for the latest outbreak of fighting in Israel and Gaza and how we should be thinking about asymmetries of power.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
5/12/20211 hour, 10 minutes, 19 seconds
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Talks with Iran and covid in India

Tommy and Ben discuss all the latest news out of Iran and the Iran deal negotiations, reports about mysterious directed energy attacks against Americans, the Biden administration’s North Korea policy, a deadly stampede in Israel, fighting on the border of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, the fury of Manchester United Fans and more. Then journalist Rana Ayyub joins Tommy to talk about the devastating wave of coronavirus cases in India and how Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is making it worse.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
5/5/20211 hour, 28 minutes, 17 seconds
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Fighting climate change, coronavirus, and capitalism

Tommy and Ben discuss President Biden’s ambitious new climate goals, the coronavirus outbreak in India, American recognition of the Armenian genocide, Chloé Zhao’s Oscar win and censorship in China, leaked audio from the Iranian foreign minister and more. Then Ben talks to Pulitzer Prize winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen about cultural depictions of the Vietnam War and the links between colonialism and capitalism.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
4/28/20211 hour, 28 minutes, 45 seconds
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Putin's Power Plays

Tommy and Ben discuss the president of Chad’s mysterious death, Vladimir Putin's imprisonment of Alexei Navalny, the devastating coronavirus outbreak in India, updates on what actually happened at the Natanz nuclear facility, SPACE HELICOPTERS!!, a not so super idea for a soccer league and more. Then Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer joins Tommy for a conversation on the Biden administration's Russia policy and the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
4/21/20211 hour, 11 minutes, 18 seconds
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Biden ends one war, will Israel and Iran start another?

Tommy and Ben discuss the cyberattack on an Iranian nuclear facility, Biden's plans to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by September 11th, whether MBS spent almost half a billion on a forged painting, violence in Northern Ireland, escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine, sports nationalism and more. Then Ben talks to journalist Afua Hirsch about how Boris Johnson's government has embraced racism and the complicated legacy of Prince Philip. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
4/14/20211 hour, 29 minutes, 6 seconds
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Should America boycott the 2022 Olympics?

Nearly two dozen people are arrested in Jordan as confusion swirls about whether a coup was being plotted there. Calls to boycott the 2022 Olympics in Beijing pick up momentum, including from within the United States. New reporting sheds light on violence taking place in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. And more. Then, Tommy talks with Washington Post reporter Joby Warrick about his book, “Red Line: The Unraveling of Syria and America's Race to Destroy the Most Dangerous Arsenal in the World.”For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
4/7/20211 hour, 21 minutes, 5 seconds
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Israel Deadlocked, Suez Unblocked

Tommy and Ben walk through the inconclusive results of the latest Israeli election, how Covid and bad political leadership is devastating Brazil, the Suez Canal, news from Biden on Afghanistan, more military violence in Myanmar, plans for a Chinese-Russian moon base, pan-European progressivism, US-Bolivia policy, and whether Prince William is actually the sexiest bald man alive. Then, Ben talks to Ricardo Herrero, head of the Cuba Study Group, about how the Biden administration should reengage with Cuba.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
3/31/20211 hour, 16 minutes, 44 seconds
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Biden versus Putin

Tommy and Ben talk about what they are watching for in the Israeli elections, why Republicans are stalling the confirmation of a key Department of Defense official, the race for global vaccine distribution, Vladimir Putin challenging Joe Biden to a debate, a dramatic US-China summit in Alaska, proposed restrictions on protest in the UK, President Biden's position on drug eradication in Latin America and marijuana use in DC. Then Tommy talks to Canadian Member of Parliament and the leader of the New Democratic Party Jagmeet Singh about progressive politics in Canada and the US-Canada relationship.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
3/24/20211 hour, 25 minutes, 50 seconds
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Vaccine diplomacy and Kushner bashing

Tommy and Ben discuss the intelligence community's new report on foreign interference in the 2020 election, America's role in getting the whole world vaccinated, why Jared Kushner's new op-ed is a joke, the Biden administration's posture towards North Korea and China, crackdowns on dissent in Uganda and Myanmar, the fight for women's safety in the UK and Australia, the surge of unaccompanied minors arriving at the southern border of the US, and more. Then Ben talks to Merav Michaeli, a member of the Knesset and leader of the Israeli Labor party, about how she's building back the Israeli left and the politics of Israel's upcoming election.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include which podcast you would like.
3/17/20211 hour, 21 minutes, 43 seconds
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Oprah upends the British Empire

Tommy and Ben discuss the latest massive state-sponsored hack on American businesses and government email servers, Biden’s efforts to end the war in Afghanistan, the need to rethink counterterrorism policies, protests in Senegal, why pineapple is patriotic in Taiwan, Russian efforts to undermine confidence in American Covid vaccines, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s sit-down with Oprah, and more. Then, Tommy interviews Verónica Gago, a professor and a leader of Argentina’s Ni Una Menos movement that helped legalize abortion.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include which podcast you would like.
3/10/20211 hour, 16 minutes, 57 seconds
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President Biden, Saudi Arabia and human rights

Tommy and Ben talk about the newly released report on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and how President Joe Biden is approaching the US-Saudi relationship, US airstrikes on Syria, how Iran has responded to outreach from the Biden administration, why another French President is going to jail, Salvadoran elections, India and Pakistan reaching a ceasefire in Kashmir, Mike Pompeo’s bad stand up at CPAC and more. Then Ben talks to historian and author Thant Myint-U about where Myanmar goes from here and whether the US actually has a role to play in bringing democracy back to the country.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
3/3/20211 hour, 11 minutes, 25 seconds
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Bobi Wine’s fight against a military dictatorship

Tommy and Ben discuss the line between legitimate criticism of Israel and antisemitism, and how people like Mike Pompeo lie and blur that line to shut down policy debates, a former Trump aide’s claims about the origin of Covid-19, Biden’s moves to re-enter the Iran nuclear deal, US-Egypt policy, Australia’s attempts to regulate big tech, allegations that a Trump supporting mercenary-for-hire named Erik Prince violated an arms embargo on Libya, and more. Then Tommy interviews Uganda politician, former presidential candidate, and musician Bobi Wine about his brave fight against a military dictator and how US assistance can prop up anti-democratic leaders.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected].
2/24/20211 hour, 15 minutes, 2 seconds
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Biden confronts the war in Afghanistan

Tommy and Ben talk through Biden’s options in Afghanistan, updates on the coup in Myanmar, censorship in China, the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine in Israel, government transparency in Mexico, LGBTQ+ rights in the UK, crackdowns on activists in India and Egypt, and royal baby updates. Then Ben interviews Congresswoman Ilhan Omar about the dangers of reflexively tightening domestic terrorism laws.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected].
2/17/20211 hour, 19 minutes, 2 seconds
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Why Rihanna cares about the farmers' protests in India (and you should too)

Tommy and Ben discuss the farmers’ protests in India, updates on the situation in Myanmar, Biden’s big foreign policy speech, Canada’s classification of the Proud Boys as a terrorist organization, debate over definitions of anti-Semitism and the double standards when critiquing Israel, and the political situation in Haiti.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected].
2/10/202151 minutes, 24 seconds
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The coup in Myanmar, explained

Tommy and Ben discuss the military takeover in Myanmar and how President Biden should respond, Alexey Navalny's sentencing in Russia, Poland's near-total abortion ban, the Biden administration's pause on arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, textbook revisions in Saudi Arabia, and disparities in Israel's mass vaccination campaign. Then Ben talks to journalist and host of the Black Diplomats podcast Terrell Jermaine Starr about how domestic activism fits into American foreign policy.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast.
2/3/20211 hour, 16 minutes, 41 seconds
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Putin's plush palace

Tommy and Ben discuss President Biden’s first call with Vladimir Putin as President and the US-Russia relationship, Rob Malley and the fight over Biden’s Iran policy, Biden’s approach to Venezuela, Chinese sanctions on former Trump officials, why Google might be leaving Australia, chaos in the Italian government and more. Then Russian journalist Alexey Kovalev joins to talk about the mass protests in support of Alexey Navalny and how the Kremlin is reacting
1/27/20211 hour, 10 minutes, 21 seconds
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The world Biden inherits

On the final Pod Save the World of the Trump presidency, Ben and Tommy talk about Joe Biden’s day-one foreign policy agenda, the arrest of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, why the US dropped charges against a Mexican general accused of working with a drug cartel, how Trump is trying to keep his loyalists in the government after he leaves office, elections in Uganda, a State Department designation of genocide in Xinjiang, and more. Then activist Nathan Law joins Ben to talk about where the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong goes from here.For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email [email protected] and include the name of the podcast. 
1/20/20211 hour, 11 minutes, 30 seconds
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Samantha Power’s point

Tommy and Ben discuss last week’s violent coup attempt and the call for new domestic terrorism laws, how world leaders are reacting to Trump’s Twitter ban, Netanyahu’s announcement of new Israeli settlements and how Biden should handle it, and all the things Mike Pompeo is trying to screw up for the incoming Biden administration. Then former US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power joins to talk about how to restore American credibility at international organizations, Bill Burns as CIA director, last week’s mass arrests in Hong Kong and refugee policy.
1/13/20211 hour, 20 minutes, 12 seconds
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New year, new strain

Tommy and Ben discuss Joe Biden’s latest foreign policy staffing decisions, the huge (likely) Russian hack of American government and private networks, Iran’s latest moves on uranium enrichment, a big win for abortion-rights in Argentina, Jack Ma mysteriously disappearing from public view, the latest coronavirus lockdown in the UK, the anticlimactic finalization of Brexit, and more.
1/6/20211 hour, 9 minutes, 1 second
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Barack Obama, Worldo-in-Chief

Tommy and Ben talk with former President and current Worldo Barack Obama about some of the biggest foreign policy challenges and accomplishments addressed in his book, A Promised Land. Those include the financial crisis and the rise of nationalism, the decision to send more troops to Afghanistan and tensions with the Pentagon leadership, the Cairo speech, dealing with Russia and Vladimir Putin, the politics of terrorism, including GITMO and the drone program, the rise of China and climate change, and some of the absurdities of traveling abroad as President.For a transcript of this interview, visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld.
12/16/20201 hour, 11 minutes, 34 seconds
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Biden's controversial pick to run the Pentagon

Tommy and Ben talk through Joe Biden’s decision to nominate General Lloyd Austin for Secretary of Defense, a new wealth tax in Argentina, the mass vaccination campaign underway in the UK, reporting on how a Chinese spy developed ties to California politicians, a former Israeli official’s disclosures about space aliens, new Olympic sports, and more. Then Ben interviews French activist Assa Traoré about the fight for racial justice and changes to policing in France and her work as the leader of the Committee for Justice and Truth for Adama.
12/9/20201 hour, 26 minutes, 5 seconds
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Assassinations in Iran & Biden’s foreign policy team

Tommy and Ben talk about the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist, what Biden’s national security team tells us about his foreign policy, protests over police brutality in France, infighting at the UN Human Rights Council, China picking (Twitter) fights, a soccer legend dying and Cher helping a lonely elephant find friends. Then Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy joins to talk Iran, Biden’s cabinet and how to make a more progressive foreign policy.
12/2/20201 hour, 9 minutes, 30 seconds
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A very Worldo mailbag

In the inaugural Pod Save the World Thanksgiving mailbag episode, Tommy and Ben take your foreign policy questions, and a trip down memory lane.
11/25/20201 hour, 28 seconds
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One last war for the road?

Tommy and Ben talk about reports that Trump asked his national security team for options to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities and has accelerated the drawdown of troops from Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia. They also discuss the spiraling civil war in Ethiopia, reports that al Qaeda’s number two in command was assassinated in Iran, why Peru had three Presidents in a week, China pulling together a big trade deal, another blow for pro-democracy advocates in Hong Kong, and Biden transition news. Then HuffPost’s Rowaida Abdelaziz joins to talk about reports that data from a Muslim prayer app was being sold to the US military and Islamophobia in the US and France post 9/11.
11/18/20201 hour, 8 minutes, 27 seconds
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Trump lost, the world won

Tommy and Ben talk about President-elect Biden’s win, Trump’s refusal to start the transition, how world leaders reacted and who Biden should talk with first, why British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is a shapeshifting creep, some bizarre 11th hour Trump admin personnel moves and weapons sales, good news for science, civil war in Ethiopia, a peace deal between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Iran and elections in Burma. Then former Mexican Ambassador to the US Arturo Sarukhan talks to Ben about the future of US-Mexico relations under a Biden administration.
11/11/20201 hour, 23 minutes, 26 seconds
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How the world sees our election

Tommy and Ben talk with British Member of Parliament David Lammy about how the world views the US election. Then they talk about protests over abortion rights in Poland, fears of civil war in Ethiopia, reports about US cyber attacks against hackers to prevent election interference, how social media companies handled election disinformation and reports of a Royal covid coverup.
11/4/20201 hour, 8 minutes, 27 seconds
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A Biden foreign policy

On the final Pod Save the World before the election, Tommy and Ben talk to Biden foreign policy advisor Tony Blinken about what Joe Biden’s foreign policy will look like, and how he will approach everything from getting America back in the Iran nuclear deal to how Biden will build momentum in the global fight against climate change. Then, they dig into the latest failed ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the latest wave of coronavirus in Europe, protests over police brutality in Nigeria, Chile’s vote to write a new constitution, Trump’s failed Venezuela policy, the normalization of relations between Sudan and Israel, and how Trump is making tensions between Ethiopia and Egypt worse.
10/28/20201 hour, 13 minutes, 57 seconds
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Rudy Giuliani's disinformation expo

Tommy and Ben break down what we know about the connection between foreign disinformation and the latest allegations about Hunter Biden, Russia’s proposal to extend the New START treaty, Sudan getting taken off the state sponsored terrorism list, and a win for Evo Morales’ party in Bolivia. They also talk about the future of escalation between China and Taiwan, attacks on American diplomats, the White House sending officials to negotiate with the Assad regime in Syria, and a blowout electoral win for Jacinda Ardern in New Zealand. Then Belarusian journalist Hanna Liubakova joins Ben to talk about what she has seen when reporting on the anti-Lukashenko protests in Belarus and why people have been so willing to stay in the streets.
10/21/20201 hour, 17 minutes, 40 seconds
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North Korea debuts a massive new missile

The Trump administration argues with itself about troop withdrawal timelines in Afghanistan, Trump’s covid drug cocktail restarts a debate about the president’s unchecked nuclear authorities, K-pop stars BTS are criticized by China, questions about the New York Times’s reporting on terrorism, refugee policy, corruption in Angola, Facebook (finally) bans Holocaust denial, a Belarus update and new marijuana laws in Mexico. Then nuclear nonproliferation expert Jeff Lewis joins to explain what we should make of the gigantic new missile North Korea debuted over the weekend.
10/14/20201 hour, 17 minutes, 24 seconds
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COVID Commander-in-Chief

The foreign policy implications of Trump catching Covid, erosion of democracy in India, a possible coup in Kyrgyzstan, an update on fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan, a major dam project in Ethiopia, then weird military music videos, Subway subs and soccer. Then former CIA Director John Brennan joins to talk about Russia’s 2016 election interference, Saudi Arabia, the CIA’s darker history and his new book, Undaunted.
10/7/20201 hour, 17 minutes, 54 seconds
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Trump’s foreign IOUs

Trump’s taxes reveal foreign income and liabilities, why Armenia and Azerbaijan are at war, the White House’s efforts to bribe Sudan, politically-charged corruption charges in Pakistan, Europe’s Covid spike, the US threatens to close its embassy in Baghdad, new sanctions on Iran and Cuba, Bibi Netanyahu’s dirty laundry, why Yelp reviews are dangerous in Thailand and the story of a heroic rat. Then Ben’s interview with Ayad Akhtar, Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and author of the new novel Homeland Elegies, about what it means to be an American, and how global attitudes about the United States are affected by its foreign policy.
9/30/20201 hour, 17 minutes, 34 seconds
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Assassin-in-Chief

Tommy and Ben discuss the latest on Russian election interference, the case for dismantling DHS, a setback for LGBTQ+ rights and US military accountability in the Philippines, domestic terrorism in Australia, the new interim government in Mali, reports that Trump considered assassinating Bashar al-Assad, and much more. Then, Washington Post Afghanistan and Pakistan bureau chief Susannah George joins to break down the latest on the Afghan Republic-Taliban peace talks.
9/23/20201 hour, 17 minutes, 54 seconds
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The Missing Peace

Tommy and Ben discuss the so-called “peace” deals between the UAE and Israel and Bahrain, the US/Taliban/Afghan peace talks, disturbing allegations from a whistleblower at the Department of Homeland Security, what needs to be done globally to combat climate change, the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe and an Iranian assassination plot. Then former US Ambassador to Russia Mike McFaul joins to talk about the protests in Belarus and how Biden should approach Russia if he wins.
9/16/20201 hour, 11 minutes, 13 seconds
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Trump’s military complex

Tommy and Ben discuss reports that Trump routinely denigrates American servicemembers and veterans, including those killed in battle, an update on the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, trouble for Brexit, the BLOB biting back, another Mulan controversy, a Twitter troll briefing the WH press corps, updates on Belarus and the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, why German nationalists and conspiracy theorists are rallying behind Trump, and a climate change scandal.
9/9/202059 minutes, 22 seconds
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From Putin to pandas with Karen Attiah

Ben and guest co-host Karen Attiah, the Global Opinions editor for The Washington Post, talk about Jared Kushner’s coddling of dictators and his trip to the United Arab Emirates, human rights in Egypt, the latest on the crackdown in Belarus and its implications for journalists, far-right protestors in Germany who threatened to storm the Reichstag, and the global impact of the late Chadwick Boseman.
9/2/20201 hour, 11 minutes, 23 seconds
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The RNC live from Jerusalem

Tommy and Ben talk about the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the foreign-policy focused elements of the Republican National Convention, including Mike Pompeo’s speech from Israel, great news about efforts to eradicate polio, an update on protests in Belarus, why the State Department is wasting money promoting anti-LGBT bigotry, a military coup in Mali, police brutality in the US and India and news from China. Then Ben talks with Brazilian politician Tabata Amaral about Bolsonaro’s response to COVID, his authoritarianism, and how she’s trying to engage women in Brazilian politics.
8/26/20201 hour, 21 minutes, 9 seconds
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Blockbuster Senate report on Russian election interference

Foreign policy analyst and author Rula Jebreal joins to discuss the US-Israel-UAE diplomatic agreement announced last week. Tommy and Ben talk about the major Senate intelligence committee’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, the latest in Belarus, why thousands are protesting in Thailand, a US diplomatic humiliation at the UN, reports that Iran was also paying the Taliban bounties to kill US troops, and updates out of Lebanon, Portugal and Spain.
8/19/20201 hour, 13 minutes, 39 seconds
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Kamala Harris on the world stage

Now that Senator Kamala Harris is Joe Biden’s running mate, Ben and Tommy examine her foreign policy record. They also discuss growing concerns about foreign election interference, the disputed election and crackdown in Belarus, how the press is under attack in Hong Kong, Trump’s escalating fight with Chinese tech companies, allegations that Saudi Arabia tried to murder (another) critic abroad, an oil spill in Mauritius, protests in Zimbabwe, eruptions in Indonesia, Putin’s claim he has a Covid vaccine, more ambassadors gone wild and General (???) Bill Belichick. Then Tommy talks with Washington Post Beirut Bureau Chief Liz Sly about the massive explosion that rocked the city and the political and economic crisis in Lebanon before the blast.
8/12/20201 hour, 12 minutes, 6 seconds
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Explosions in Beirut

Tommy and Ben talk about the enormous explosions in Beirut, why Cuba has become an issue for Congresswoman Karen Bass in Biden’s VP selection process, Biden’s 2000(!?!) campaign foreign policy advisors, why US troops are leaving Germany, the upcoming election in Belarus, why the Department of Homeland Security was collecting “intelligence” on activists and journalists, why Spain’s former king is in trouble, how schools are coping with COVID, climate change and Bangladesh, Afghanistan and TikTok.
8/5/20201 hour, 3 minutes, 14 seconds
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Ambassadors Gone Wild

Tommy and Ben make the case for Susan Rice as Vice President, the latest on escalating tensions between the US and China, US plans to sell advanced armed drones abroad, two Trump donors turned ambassadors are engulfed in scandal, anti-corruption protests threaten the government in Bulgaria, Bob Gates writes a book and we’re confused, the truth about TikTok and things aren’t looking good for Major League Baseball. Then Ben interviews Israeli news anchor Yonit Levi about the massive anti-Netanyahu protests in Israel.
7/29/20201 hour, 16 minutes, 21 seconds
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Everything Mike Pompeo touches turns to sh*t

Democrats sound the alarm about foreign election interference. Experts say Israel and the US are responsible for mysterious explosions across Iran. Mike Pompeo uses taxpayer dollars to run for President. A fire on a US Navy ship has major implications. Lebanon’s economy nears collapse. The UAE launched a space craft. The White House threatens to prevent 92 million Chinese citizens from entering the US. A coronavirus update and some baseball news. Then Bernie Sanders’s foreign policy advisor Matt Duss joins to talk about lessons from the 2020 campaign and how to push for a smarter, more progressive foreign policy.
7/22/20201 hour, 11 minutes, 20 seconds
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Dems in Congress push for a more progressive foreign policy

A leadership fight in Congress that could help make the Democratic Party’s foreign policy more progressive. A far-right nationalist wins reelection in Poland. How other countries are reopening schools during COVID. Egypt cracks down on press freedom. China, the NBA and why ESPN suspended a reporter. Turkey tries to silence critics abroad. China sanctions Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and may sign a strategic deal with Iran. And the US keeps its border closed.
7/15/20201 hour, 33 seconds
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Trump’s cruel immigration policies

Literally no one is surprised that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has contracted COVID, and how Sweden’s terrible response could help us move past the broken debate about reopening our economy. Mysterious explosions at military sites in Iran. Garbage right-wing outlets publish fake news by fake people. Joe Biden’s diplomatic style. China’s legal crackdown on Hong Kong. Neo-Nazis infiltrate the German military. And then Ben talks to Cecila Muñoz, former head of the White House Domestic Policy Council, about Trump's latest heinous efforts to restrict immigration and what the next administration will have to do to change course - and about her new book, "More than Ready."
7/8/20201 hour, 11 minutes, 2 seconds
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Russian bounties with Rep Adam Schiff

Explosive reports that the Russia military has been paying Taliban-linked militants to kill US forces in Afghanistan. Tommy and Ben try to figure out why Russia would do this and how the US should respond. China ends Hong Kong’s independence. The LGBT community is under attack in Chechnya. Social media platforms crack down on hate speech. A new strain of pig flu worries scientists. A reexamination of Belgium’s racist, colonial history. Congress tries to weaken encryption. The humanitarian situation in Yemen worsens, and progressive Democrats call out Israeli annexation of the West Bank. Then Congressman Adam Schiff joins to discuss reports of Russian bounties against US troops and the politicization of the US intelligence community.
7/1/20201 hour, 10 minutes, 29 seconds
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John Bolton’s sh*tty book

Tommy and Ben talk through some of the explosive revelations in John Bolton’s book, from supporting the construction of concentration camps in China, to thinking it would be “cool” to invade Venezuela to his approach to North Korea and Iran. They also cover news about climate change, Chinese cyberattacks, the ongoing saga of Capt Crozier, the latest with the Coronavirus and an update out of Afghanistan. Then Tommy is joined by Hamed Sinno, the lead singer of one of the biggest bands in the Middle East, Mashrou’ Leila, and an influential LGBTQ rights activist.
6/24/20201 hour, 9 minutes, 59 seconds
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Assault on the press and democracy in the Philippines

An attack on press freedom in the Philippines and what it could mean for the future of their democracy. The two year anniversary of the US-North Korea Singapore summit. Right-wing zealots take over the Voice of America. Fighting between China and India and updates out of Russia. The US threatens to sanction the International Criminal Court (huh?), how right-wing news outlets are being used by foreign intelligence, and Bob Gates and John Bolton sell books. Then Ben talks to Rokhaya Diallo, a French journalist and activist, about the protests against systemic racism and police brutality in France and what's next for President Emmanuel Macron. 
6/17/20201 hour, 13 minutes, 55 seconds
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Why policing is better abroad

Tommy and Ben examine how other countries structure and run their police forces to see if there are policies or tactics the US can adopt to improve outcomes. New data suggests that claims of election fraud in Bolivia were wrong. Why the possibility of creating a Palestinian state is in jeopardy. The international movement to get rid of racist statues and monuments. Trump orders US troops out of Germany. Honor killings in Iran. Why John Bolton is sad. And then the Washington Post’s David Ignatius joins to talk about his new spy novel The Paladin, why Generals are abandoning Trump, General Flynn’s call with Russia and more.
6/10/20201 hour, 9 minutes, 1 second
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The world is watching

The global reaction to the protests in the United States and the scary and inappropriate way the US military is being asked to police them. Trump’s latest fight with the G-7, an update on the war in Libya, why Ted Cruz is threatening Twitter, and locusts. Then Washington Post Global Opinions Editor Karen Attiah joins to talk about how Western media would be covering the protests in the US if they were happening in another country.
6/3/20201 hour, 14 minutes, 5 seconds
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False START

China tries to crush dissent in Hong Kong. Tommy and Ben discuss what the White House, Congress and the Biden campaign can do to stop them. Failed diplomacy with North Korea and why the US is walking away from bipartisan arms control agreements. Facebook leadership ignored evidence that the platform was polarizing users and driving them to extremism, the US bans travel from Brazil, scandal erupts in the UK, and Iran and Venezuela increase cooperation. Then Ben talks to Aidan Eyakuze, a Tanzanian activist, about the Tanzanian government's failure to take coronavirus seriously.
5/27/20201 hour, 25 minutes, 4 seconds
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The corruption of Mike Pompeo

Al Qaeda stages its first successful attack on American soil since 9/11, exposing America’s broken relationship with Saudi Arabia. Mike Pompeo fires the man investigating his corruption. Israel accelerates plans to annex West Bank settlements and engages in cyber warfare with Iran. French President Emmanuel Macron loses his majority, a typhoon barrels down on India, and a financier of the Rwandan genocide is apprehended. Marco Rubio takes over the Senate Intelligence Committee as concern grows about foreign interference in the upcoming election, Trump’s war of words with the WHO continues, and we got a super duper missile in the house.
5/20/20201 hour, 3 minutes, 1 second
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Flynnocent After Proven Guilty

The political fallout from the failed coup attempt in Venezuela. General Flynn and the administration’s attempt to undercut the Mueller probe and punish Trump’s political enemies. The coronavirus weakens Putin’s strongman image. Peace slips further away in Afghanistan. The ongoing, escalating war of words between the US and China and much more. Then Wind of Change host Patrick Radden Keefe joins to discuss spies, propaganda, and how music and culture became weapons in the Cold War.Follow Wind of Change on Spotify to binge all 8 episodes now: https://spoti.fi/WindOfChange
5/13/20201 hour, 31 minutes, 11 seconds
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Mercenaries invade Venezuela

Why the Trump administration is directing the intelligence community to prove their claims about China and the coronavirus is so dangerous. A truly unbelievable story about a ragtag group of mercenaries who attempted to invade and stage a coup in Venezuela. Trump’s nominee to be Director of National Intelligence gets a hearing. Then Asia expert Danny Russel joins to talk about White House plans to punish China over the coronavirus, how Beijing might respond, and what the hell we should make of Kim Jong Un’s reemergence after weeks of rumors about his health.
5/6/20201 hour, 17 minutes, 56 seconds
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TMZ at the DMZ

The latest rumors and news about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s health, and what we know about a possible succession process. Iran launches a military satellite and Trump tries to use the Iran nuclear deal to put in place more sanctions. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro could face legal trouble. New Zealand eliminates the coronavirus while doctors in the UK race to produce a vaccine and major countries come together to discuss how to accelerate work on treatments. The latest in Afghanistan and Navy Capt. Brett Crozier might get his job back. Then journalist Rana Ayyub talks with Ben about life in India during COVID.
4/29/20201 hour, 16 minutes, 40 seconds
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Kim Jong Un-healthy?

Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu cuts a deal that allows him to stay in charge. We explain how the price of a barrel of oil briefly becomes negative. Rumors about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s health and who might come next. Hong Kong leaders face more attacks on democracy and heavy-handed tactics from China. Parliaments around the world figure out how to meet virtually, and new polling on Trump’s handling of national security. Then former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright joins.
4/22/20201 hour, 16 minutes, 51 seconds
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Samantha Power Hour

Former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus talks about Capt Crozier, the USS Theodore Roosevelt and how the coronavirus created a crisis in the Navy. Former US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power explains why a successful US coronavirus response has to be global. And Tommy and Ben talk about how a Chinese lab is raising questions about the origin of the coronavirus, Vladimir Putin’s disinformation campaigns against science and his muddy political future, why the UK has reacted to the pandemic in a more united and less partisan fashion and how China is using water to squeeze its neighbors.
4/15/20201 hour, 30 minutes, 6 seconds
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The Navy’s coronavirus clusterf*ck

A coronavirus clusterf*ck in the Navy leads the Acting Secretary of the Navy to resign. The virus sends British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to the ICU while the Queen of England releases a message to the British people. Trump retaliates against an impeachment enemy by firing the Intelligence Community Inspector General. The White House has a new press secretary (sort of) while press freedom is under assault in India. Good news about efforts to stop the coronavirus in Austria, Denmark and New Zealand. And then Tommy connects with some Americans stranded abroad because of the coronavirus.
4/8/20201 hour, 9 minutes, 58 seconds
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How a virus can threaten democracy

Today’s show is a little different. We skip the update on the spread of the coronavirus itself and instead focus on the impact it’s having on governments and people. For example, 2019 was the year of the protestor, but how do protestors continue if they can’t gather safely or legally? How can we stop leaders from using the coronavirus to consolidate power, stifle the press or jettison privacy protections? And with the news that the virus has temporarily sidelined a US aircraft carrier, how do we refocus defense policy and spending for the future? Then Tommy talks with former US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro about the shocking news that Blue and White Party chief Benny Gantz is forming a coalition with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. And Ben talks with British Labour Party MP David Lammy about the UK’s response to the coronavirus.*Crooked has started a Coronavirus Relief Fund for organizations supporting food banks, health care workers, restaurant workers, seniors, kids who depend on school lunches, and others in need. Donate: crooked.com/coronavirus
4/1/20201 hour, 30 minutes, 33 seconds
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A criminally negligent coronavirus response

Tommy and Ben go through the latest news on the international response to the coronavirus, including nationwide lockdowns in the UK and India and signs of hope in Italy. Then they look at how the virus is impacting US relations with North Korea, how US sanctions are impeding health care workers in Iran and Venezuela, and how authoritarian leaders are using the pandemic to grab more power. They also cover Mike Pompeo’s trip to Afghanistan and how China is trying to turn the coronavirus into a propaganda win. Then Ambassador Susan Rice joins and does not mince words about her assessment of Trump’s performance.
3/25/20201 hour, 7 minutes, 6 seconds
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Our new coronavirus reality

Tommy and Ben talk about the new normal as the world combats the coronavirus. They cover how South Korea has successfully reduced cases, how the Trump administration was warned about this threat, how a functioning White House should respond, Trump’s war of words with China and much more. In non-coronavirus news, they discuss the possibility of a new Prime Minister in Israel. Then Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy joins to discuss the latest on the COVID-19 relief package in Congress.
3/18/20201 hour, 13 minutes, 34 seconds
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Coronavirus and oil shocks rock the global economy

Coronavirus update and explanation of why an oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia is rocking the global economy. More crackdowns in Saudi Arabia, why Putin might be the Russian President for life, more holes in the US/Taliban troop withdrawal plan, and hopeful progress for abortion rights in Argentina. Then Zarlasht Halaimzai from the Refugee Trauma Initiative joins to offer an Afghan perspective on Trump’s troop withdrawal deal with the Taliban.
3/11/202059 minutes, 41 seconds
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A fragile peace deal in Afghanistan

Tommy and Ben talk about the fragile peace agreement between the US and the Taliban, the Israeli elections, the escalating fighting between Turkey and Syria, the coronavirus, Iran, Putin’s political weakness and Boris Johnson is having a baby. Then Tommy is joined by Jomana Qaddour from the Syria Relief and Development organization to talk about what people can do to help ease the suffering in north west Syria.
3/4/20201 hour, 3 minutes, 2 seconds
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Bernie Sanders’ foreign policy record comes under attack

First, Trump’s trip to India, his new and unqualified Director of National Intelligence, and should Democrats attend AIPAC? Then updates on Sudan and South Sudan, the coronavirus, a fragile peace agreement in Afghanistan, and John Bolton. Finally, Tommy and Ben discuss attacks on Bernie Sanders’ views on Cuba, former leftist leaders in Latin America, and criticism of the CIA, before reflecting on the death of former Egypt President Hosni Mubarak, and the nine years since the Arab Spring began. Then Politico’s Natasha Bertrand joins to explain why new intel chief Richard Grenell has become an issue in Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s extradition case.
2/26/20201 hour, 12 minutes, 4 seconds
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Bloomberg’s foreign policy and the global economy gets the coronavirus

Mike Bloomberg’s foreign policy record and platform. How some 2020 candidates failed a foreign policy quiz. The humanitarian crisis in northwest Syria. The latest on the coronavirus and how Senator Tom Cotton is spreading disinformation. The Koch brothers funding foreign policy think tanks…for good? Mike Pompeo speaks at the Munich Security Summit and headlines about Afghanistan, Iran and John Bolton. Then Ben talks with Paris Climate Accords architect Christiana Figueres.
2/19/20201 hour, 24 minutes, 35 seconds
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How the CIA broke the world’s encryption

Tommy and Ben tell some stories about the New Hampshire primary in 2008, walk through a report on a decades-long CIA/German effort to crack encrypted communications, talk through several major data breaches, and explain why the QAnon conspiracy theory is a national security issue. Then they cover: good news from Sudan, North Korea’s nukes, a dustup between the US and the Philippines, the Wall Street Journal’s attempt to Swift Boat Mayor Pete, and Bernie Sanders' foreign policy doctrine and how the 2020 candidates differ. Then former White House Ebola Response Coordinator Ron Klain joins to talk about efforts to contain the Coronavirus.
2/12/20201 hour, 15 minutes, 32 seconds
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Jared still sucks

Today’s topics include: Brexit, updates on the Coronavirus, why Trump made Venezuela a focus of his State of the Union speech, the list of countries subject to Trump’s muslim ban gets bigger, Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s allies attack Jared Kushner, and Trump’s inexcusable land mine policy decision. We also complain about the Iowa caucuses and wonder aloud if they’re more democratic than politics in Hungary, so that’s depressing.
2/6/202046 minutes, 52 seconds
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Trump kills the Middle East peace process

First, Tommy and Ben talk about Trump’s plan to help Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu win reelection and how it essentially means the death of the middle east peace process. Then they discuss how Trump’s cruel immigration policies could lead to the murder of an Iraqi refugee and the mistreatment of pregnant women. Also, why John Bolton and Mike Pompeo are terrible, the Saudi hacking of Jeff Bezos, more fallout from the Iran strike, updates on Burma and Kashmir and why Putin loves puppies. Then, Tommy is joined by public health expert Abdul El-Sayed to discuss the risk from the coronavirus and the public health infrastructure in the US and China.
1/29/20201 hour, 7 minutes, 58 seconds
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That’s President Sh*thole to you

Will new facial recognition technology end privacy as we know it? Can Trump scare the Intelligence Community out of testifying before Congress? Why did Putin’s entire cabinet resign and what does it mean for the future of Russia? Then...Russian spies are sneaking around Davos. Anti-war groups are gaining strength in Washington. Press freedom is under attack in Brazil. Hilarious translation errors anger China. How a mustache is exacerbating tensions in Asia, and why Tommy thinks the new Space Force uniforms are genius. Then, Ben talks with New Yorker staff writer Masha Gessen about Putin, the latest developments in Russia and her upcoming book about surviving autocracy.
1/22/20201 hour, 16 minutes, 6 seconds
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Iran and the lies we told along the way

Tommy and Ben cover the latest developments in the Iran crisis, including why the intelligence and legal case for assassinating Soleimani keeps changing, the horrific shootdown of a commercial airliner, and Iran resuming uranium enrichment. Then they discuss Attorney General Barr’s fight with Apple over encryption, and why Obama also got this issue wrong. Finally, they explain why Taiwan’s recent election was good for democracy, the latest on the China trade war, how the Russians are STILL trying to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, and why 2020 Democrats are fighting about Iraq. Also Megxit. Then the Washington Post’s Jason Rezaian joins to discuss protests in Iran and what we actually know about what the Iranian people think.
1/15/20201 hour, 13 minutes, 49 seconds
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Iran retaliates to the Soleimani strike

Tommy and Ben talk about the fallout from Trump’s decision to assassinate Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. What do we know about Iran’s ballistic missile strikes on bases hosting U.S. troops in Iraq? How are the Iranian people responding? Why is Trump threatening to commit war crimes? Why does the rationale for the strike keep changing and what can Congress do to stop the war from escalating? Then they discuss Kim Jong Un’s announcement that North Korea will abandon constraints on its nuclear program and how climate change has led to catastrophic fires across Australia. Then Middle East expert and former Bush, Obama and Trump aide Brett McGurk joins to discuss when the Soleimani assassination means for our relationship with Iraq and our efforts to fight ISIS.
1/8/20201 hour, 16 minutes, 36 seconds
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Trump goes to war with Iran

In a bonus episode, Tommy and Ben discuss Trump’s decision to assassinate a top Iranian official named Qassem Soleimani. What happened? How did we get here? Who is Soleimani and why is he so influential? What happens next and how should the 2020 Democrats respond? 
1/3/202036 minutes, 42 seconds
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UK election aftermath

British MP David Lammy joins to talk about the UK elections and what they mean for Brexit and the future of the Labour Party. Then Ben and Tommy talk about India’s ongoing slide into Hindu nationalism, the China trade war, and a troubling investigation into problems with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) process. Plus, Biden’s record on Iraq, unfair charges of antisemitism against Bernie Sanders, and a proposal from Elizabeth Warren to fight global financial corruption.
12/18/20191 hour, 3 minutes, 5 seconds
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A history of failure in Afghanistan

Tommy and Ben explain why the Russian foreign minister is in Washington and why Vladimir Putin is in Paris, the media and political reaction to the Saudi flight student who murdered his classmates in Florida, updates out of North Korea, an exciting leadership change in Finland, and a troubling religious law in India. Then Afghanistan policy expert Jeff Eggers joins to talk about some extraordinary reporting by the Washington Post about the (somewhat) secret history of policy failures in Afghanistan, which is based on documents that the Post is comparing to The Pentagon Papers.
12/11/20191 hour, 6 minutes, 12 seconds
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NATO’s “brain death”

Tommy and Ben talk about Trump’s trip to London for the NATO summit, including his dustup with the French President and the health of NATO in 2019. Then they discuss the Iranian government’s crackdown on protestors, Trump’s visit to Afghanistan, Ben’s trip to Hong Kong, the expanding trade war, amazing reporting about India’s Prime Minister, and why US foreign aid keeps getting mysteriously frozen. Then The Intercept’s Mehdi Hasan joins to talk about the upcoming British parliamentary elections, the London Bridge attack, and Brexit.
12/4/20191 hour, 5 minutes, 12 seconds
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Panic at the Pentagon

First, Tommy talks with former DOD official and national security expert Kelly Magsamen about Trump’s meddling in the military justice system and the firing of the Secretary of the Navy. They also discuss the impeachment hearings, whether former National Security Advisor John Bolton should testify, Hong Kong’s democracy-affirming elections, why Trump is extorting Japan for money and the latest on the US military mission in Syria. Then Tablet Magazine’s Yair Rosenberg joins to discuss the corruption charges against Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu and what it means for his political future.
11/27/201957 minutes, 1 second
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Impeachmentpalooza

First, Tommy and Ben discuss the increasingly violent protests in Hong Kong, the impeachment hearings, Trump’s new policy on Israeli settlements, and protests and leaked documents in Iran. Then they talk China, an update on Lebanon, Bolivia becomes a 2020 issue, why Trump is pardoning war criminals, and bad news out of Korea. Then Politico’s Nahal Toosi joins to talk impeachment, Mike Pompeo, and why spies are getting bored.
11/20/20191 hour, 5 minutes, 1 second
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President Erdogan crashes the impeachment hearings

Tommy and Ben talk about Fmr President Evo Morales's abrupt departure from Bolivia and whether to call it a coup, the latest Brexit news, Turkish President Erdogan's post-ethnic cleansing visit to DC, Russian interference in Africa, the White Helmets, why businesses just can't quit Saudi Arabia and some wild White House personnel news. Then former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd joins to talk about China and the toxic influence of the Murdoch media empire.
11/13/20191 hour, 17 minutes, 6 seconds
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Breaking down the Baghdadi raid

Tommy and Ben discuss what the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi means for ISIS as well as Trump's strange lie about Baghdadi's "whimpering" demise. Then they cover the Paris Climate Agreement and the future of climate activism, Iran's increased nuclear activity and use of hostages as a foreign policy strategy, and protests in Chile and Iraq. Later they shout about Mike Pompeo, discuss the House resolution on Armenian Genocide, the Uighurs, bad guys hacking WhatsApp, and Rudy Giuliani, butt dialing cyber security czar. Then America Dissected host Dr. Abdul El-Sayed joins to discuss Ebola, superbugs, and how trust in government is key to global public health. 
11/6/20191 hour, 17 minutes, 58 seconds
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Announcing: What A Day

“What A Day,” Crooked Media’s new daily news podcast, is here! Hosted by comedian Akilah Hughes and politics reporter Gideon Resnick, “What A Day” cuts through the chaos and crimes to break down the biggest news of the day, help you understand what matters, and how you can fix it—all in 15 minutes or less. New episodes come out every morning, Monday through Friday, at 5 a.m. Eastern. Subscribe and listen wherever you get your podcasts.
11/1/20192 minutes, 14 seconds
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LIVE from J Street

Tommy and Ben record a special episode from D.C. at the national conference hosted by the progressive Jewish organization J Street. They run through news from around the globe and from the Middle East with Michelle Goldberg of the New York Times - and chat with two activists, Maisam Jaljuli and Mikhael Manekin, about progressive solutions for the Arab-Israeli peace process. The episode also includes selections from interviews Tommy and Ben recorded at the conference with five presidential candidates: Michael Bennet, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, Amy Klobuchar and Bernie Sanders. Full videos for all interviews are available at jstreet.org.
10/30/20191 hour, 33 minutes, 30 seconds
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Bill Taylor’s got the Ukraine receipts

Tommy and Ben talk about the latest on impeachment and about Turkey’s invasion of Syria. Then they run through a whirlwind week of news that included Brexit updates, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s narrow election victory, and Israel’s ongoing government formation process. They also discuss the treatment of US diplomats in China, Facebook’s handling of disinformation campaigns, protest movements in Haiti and Lebanon and some great reporting about the war in Afghanistan. And in this week’s interview, National Security Advisor Susan Rice joins the pod to talk about Trump and Syria, General Mattis, Benghazi and leading Bill Clinton’s Africa policy.
10/23/20191 hour, 54 minutes, 56 seconds
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Send Rudy Giuliani to Syria

Tommy and Ben talk about disaster unfolding in Syria, fact check Trump’s claim that he’s ending wars, explain who the Kurds are and why they’re US allies, survey the international reaction to Turkey’s offensive in Syria and explain why nuclear weapons make everything more complicated. Then they talk through the latest on impeachment and the corruption of US foreign policy, evaluate the détente in the trade war with China, highlight some good news out of Ethiopia, and talk about the latest in the dispute between the NBA and China. They end with a discussion of soccer diplomacy and how Senator Lindsey Graham got prank called. Then Vice News’s Isobel Yeung joins to talk about her reporting on the ground in Syria, Hong Kong and Xinjiang, China.
10/16/20191 hour, 18 minutes, 54 seconds
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Abandoning our allies in Syria

Tommy and Ben discuss Trump’s decision to pull US troops out of Syria and let Turkey begin a military campaign against the Kurds, a key US ally in the fight against ISIS. Then they try to understand why Republicans are only willing to criticize Trump’s Syria policy, explain why the NBA and Chinese government are fighting, and try to understand why Gordon Sondland, the US Ambassador to the European Union, was part of the quid pro quo with Ukraine. Finally they cover the latest on North Korea, Russia and Boris Johnson’s Brexit. Then Washington Post Beirut bureau chief Liz Sly calls in to talk about protests in Iraq and the view from the ground in Syria.
10/9/20191 hour, 11 minutes, 31 seconds
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Ukraine, corruption, and partners in crime

First, Tommy and Ben discuss Trump’s quid pro quo with Ukraine, that country’s history with corruption, why Joe Biden was pushing to fire a Ukrainian prosecutor, and how this controversy could destabilize the Ukrainian government. Then they cover Trump’s call to pressure Australia, the shady ways the White House is restricting access to information, and how Mike Pompeo is complicit in all of it. Finally, they discuss China’s 70th anniversary celebration, the protests in Hong Kong, the latest with Iran, Brexit, and why John Bolton is criticizing Trump’s North Korea policy. Then former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron joins to discuss his new book For the Record, Brexit, and the future of democracy.
10/2/20191 hour, 18 minutes, 24 seconds
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Impeach the mofo

Tommy talks with national security expert Kelly Magsamen about Trump’s attempt to extort Ukraine for manufactured dirt on Joe Biden, Trump’s UN speech, Iran, the Israeli elections and the protests in Egypt. Later, Tommy is joined by Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, a former CIA officer who joined six of her colleagues with national security backgrounds to say the allegations against Trump on Ukraine would be an impeachable offense. Then, Tommy speaks with former US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power about Syria, national security decision making and her new book, The Education of an Idealist.​
9/25/20191 hour, 34 minutes, 53 seconds
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Trump on Iran: Locked and Bloated

Tommy and Ben talk about the growing risk of war with Iran in the wake of the attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure, the Israeli elections, Rep. Adam Schiff’s claim that the Director of National Intelligence is suppressing a whistleblower, Trump’s favorite dictator, the death of Hamza bin Laden, Indian Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the US, how to build an international coalition to fight climate change, and storm Area 51 gets cancelled. Then Tommy talks with Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) about why he thinks a military attack on Iran is insane and the humanitarian disaster in Yemen. 
9/18/20191 hour, 8 minutes, 51 seconds
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Bye Bye Bolton

Tommy and Ben bid farewell to Trump’s former National Security Advisor, John Bolton. Then they discuss Trump’s proposed sleepover party with the Taliban at Camp David and reports that the US had to extract a spy from Russia. After updates about Brexit and the Hong Kong protests, they dig into the upcoming Israeli elections and Trump’s new child Middle East peace negotiator. They end with the latest on Iran and thoughts about the death of Robert Mugabe and the 18th anniversary of 9/11. Then Senator and presidential candidate Michael Bennet joins to discuss how to protect our elections from Russian interference.
9/11/20191 hour, 22 minutes, 19 seconds
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Don’t look back in Brexit

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s wild decision to suspend parliament and try to force a Brexit. The latest on the protests in Hong Kong. Can the US finalize a peace deal in Afghanistan and is John Bolton cut out of that process? Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu pulls out all the stop in advance of the Israeli elections. North Korea’s missile launches look dangerous. Will France sweep in to save the Iran deal? Trump’s former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis refuses to criticize a president not named Obama and Trump has a message for Poland.
9/4/20191 hour, 2 minutes, 1 second
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What Worldos wanna know (Mailbag episode!)

Tommy and Ben answer listener questions in a special mailbag episode. Then, Ben chats with Congressman Ro Khanna about Donald Trump’s misadventures at the G-7, Yemen, Iran, and what a progressive foreign policy platform should look like.
8/28/20191 hour, 31 minutes, 37 seconds
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Massive, global problems and the idiots trying to solve them

Tommy and Ben talk about the ongoing controversy over Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib being barred from visiting Israel and the West Bank. The collapse of Italy’s government. How social media companies are fighting Chinese propaganda about Hong Kong. Why the Russians are hiding data about a secret nuclear explosion. The corruption of US foreign policy. A call to action for California wine lovers and an ISIS blooper reel. Then Yaqiu Wang, a China expert with Human Rights Watch, joins to talk with Tommy about the latest on the protests in Hong Kong.
8/21/20191 hour, 4 minutes, 55 seconds
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Dunking on Erdogan with Enes Kanter

Police crack down as protests escalate to new heights in Hong Kong. An explosion involving a nuclear reactor in Russia kills at least a half dozen people.  Boris Johnson tries to negotiate a U.S.-U.K. trade deal ahead of Britain’s exit from the European Union. A scary report in the New York Times sheds light on what’s driving the spread of right wing extremism around the globe. And Ben Rhodes shares the story behind his recent reporting for The Atlantic on Aung San Suu Kyi. Then Enes Kanter, a professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics, joins Ben in the studio to talk about human rights and the politics of his home country, Turkey - and why President Recep Tayyip Erdogan put out a warrant for his arrest and banned him from coming home. 
8/14/20191 hour, 5 minutes, 40 seconds
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Stopping domestic terrorism

First, Tommy and Ben talk about the threat from domestic terrorism, the escalating trade war with China, the protests in Hong Kong, tensions with Iran, and the war in Afghanistan. Then they discuss changes to Trump’s national security team, why tensions are increasing between Japan and South Korea, a major announcement from India about Kashmir, more sanctions on Venezuela, why arms control treaties are dying, and what the hell Lindsay Lohan is doing with the Saudi Crown Prince. Then former National Counterterrorism Center Director Nicholas Rasmussen joins to discuss what policy changes are needed to stop rightwing domestic terrorists. 
8/7/20191 hour, 15 minutes, 22 seconds
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Paging Moscow Mitch McConnell

First, Tommy and Ben discuss President Trump’s choice to be his Director of National Intelligence. Then, GQ’s Julia Ioffe joins to discuss the brutal crackdown on protestors in Russia. Then Tommy and Ben discuss Bibi Netanyahu’s new campaign strategy, Bernie Sander’s policy towards Israel, our policy in Afghanistan and the bizarre role Secretary Pompeo is playing overseeing the military. Finally, they check in on Boris Johnson and Trump’s global corruption network. Then Tommy talks with The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald about some why his reporting led the President of Brazil to threaten him with jail time. 
7/31/20191 hour, 6 minutes, 43 seconds
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A$AP Trumpy

Tommy and Ben discuss the new UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Hong Kong protests turn violent, Trump’s bizarre pool spray with the Pakistani PM, updates from Iran, Israel and Russia, Trump plays good cop, bad cop with John Bolton, China’s military moves, a new Defense Secretary and maybe intelligence chief, FaceApp hysteria, storming Area 51 and A$AP Rocky. Then Labour Party MP David Lammy joins to discuss Boris Johnson and Brexit.
7/24/20191 hour, 7 minutes, 59 seconds
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Pour one out for the Iran deal

First, Tommy and Ben talk about Trump's new asylum rules, an Iran update, the global response to Trump's racism - including China seeming to echo him, Biden's foreign policy speech, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's health and legacy, a North Korea update and if a deranged conspiracy theorist will lead the US intelligence community. Then Tommy speaks Army veteran and US Senator Tammy Duckworth. 
7/17/201957 minutes, 49 seconds
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Ivanka the diplomat

Trump picks a Twitter fight with the British Ambassador to the US. Iran revs up its uranium enrichment. New polling about the Iran deal. High five diplomacy with the North Koreans. Updates on protest movements in Sudan and Hong Kong. Russia’s role in peddling the Seth Rich conspiracy. Introducing America’s chief diplomat, Ivanka Trump, and a 2020 foreign policy update. Then Turkish journalist Ece Temelkuran joins to discuss Turkey’s slow descent into authoritarianism and the parallels around the world. 
7/10/20191 hour, 7 minutes, 48 seconds
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Former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter

Tommy sits down with former Defense Secretary Ash Carter to chat about his book “Inside the Five-Sided Box”, and some of the most complex challenges facing our national security community today, including the war in Afghanistan and closing the prison in Guantanamo Bay.
7/3/20191 hour, 4 minutes, 44 seconds
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Iran and a hard place

Tommy and Ben talk through Trump's bizarre on again, off again war with Iran. They explain how the targeting process is supposed to work, try to divine the broader strategy, and do some self reflection about the terrible government euphemisms that mask the cost of war. Then a quick update on Saudi Arabia, Jared's rehashed Middle East Peace plan, Beto O'Rourke's "war tax", Bernie Sanders' foreign affairs article, some good news out of Turkey and then wtf is wrong with Boris Johnson? Then, First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon joins talks with Tommy about Scottish Independence 
6/26/201952 minutes, 21 seconds
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Trump’s torched credibility on Iran

First, Tommy and Ben talk about the rapidly escalating tensions with Iran, some good news for the protestors in Hong Kong, Mohamed Morsi's death in Egypt, a new Secretary of Defense, a trade war update, why Facebook is still being used for incitement, a 2020 update about Mayor Pete and Tulsi Gabbard, and whether Snapchat filters are the future of government press conferences. Then Avril Haines joins to discuss what it was like going from NSC lawyer to Deputy CIA Director and the legal basis (or lack thereof) for war with Iran.
6/19/201956 minutes, 48 seconds
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Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s foreign policy speech

First, Tommy and Ben discuss Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s foreign policy speech and Trump’s ongoing and bizarre coddling of noted relative murderer Kim Jong Un. Then they discuss the brave activists and journalists protesting in Hong Kong and Russia, the tariff fight with Mexico, Venezuela, wonder again why we do business with Saudi Arabia, LGBT pride at the State Department, how a fake Iranian author got published, and how a dead tree is a metaphor for our alliances. Then Sudanese activist Wafa May Elamin joins to discuss the crackdown on protestors in Sudan.
6/12/201955 minutes, 30 seconds
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A Kingdom United against Trump

Tommy and Ben Rhodes are joined by former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Danny Russel. They discuss Trump’s trip to the UK, what Bibi Netanyahu’s failure to form a government means for his political future, Jared Kushner’s disastrous interview with Axios and the political influence of Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates. Then they do a deep dive on US-China policy, the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, and updates on North Korea, Cuba, India’s elections, Iran and why hiding the USS John S. McCain is actually a real problem.
6/5/20191 hour, 4 minutes, 14 seconds
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Low IQ President visits Japan

First, Tommy and Ben discuss the European parliament election results, Trump’s trip to Japan and the major US/Japan split on North Korea, the ongoing political disaster in the UK, more arms sales to Saudi Arabia, Turkey’s slide to dictatorship, NSA hacking tools in the wild and Trump micromanaging aircraft carrier designs (seriously). Then Ron Klain joins to discuss his work coordinating the global response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak and why the outbreak happening currently is so frightening.
5/29/20191 hour, 1 minute, 26 seconds
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Fox News loves war crimes

This week Tommy and Ben check their anxiety levels when it comes to potential war with Iran, try to understand why a Fox News host is lobbying to protect men accused of war crimes, discuss Bernie's foreign policy record as mayor of Burlington, get an update on far-right parties in Australia and Austria and explain why milkshakes are Britain's hottest new protest. Then Noura Erakat joins to talk about Trump’s middle east peace plan and what it will take to create a Palestinian state.
5/22/20191 hour, 2 minutes, 33 seconds
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Please don’t bomb Iran

Tommy and Ben talk about the escalating trade war with China, the drumbeat for real war with Iran, how the Pentagon is hiding how badly things are going in Afghanistan, and (an)other  fascist visits the White House. Then Tommy talks with author and historian Michael Beschloss about his book Presidents of War.
5/15/20191 hour, 3 minutes, 16 seconds
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Threats from Iran and the time Ben met the Queen

First, Tommy and Ben discuss the US sending an aircraft carrier to the Middle East in response to threats from Iran, fighting between Palestinian militants and Israel, North Korea, Venezuela, our escalating trade war with China and Viktor Orban coming to the White House. Then Ben shocks us with his excitement about the royal baby and shares unforgettable story about the time he met the Queen of England. Then The New Yorker's Dexter Filkins dials in to talk about his piece on National Security Advisor John Bolton.
5/8/20191 hour, 3 minutes, 13 seconds
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Venezuela, Libya and the Russian navy's beluga whale

First, Tommy and Ben talk about violent clashes in Venezuela, Trump pouring gas on Libya's civil war, designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, the Russian navy's beluga whale, good news out of Spain and GITMO becomes a retirement home. Then the Washington Post's Beirut bureau chief Liz Sly joins to discuss the new video from ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
5/1/201941 minutes, 57 seconds
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ISIS in Sri Lanka, cruelty to Cuba, Ukrainian elections

First, Tommy and Ben discuss the horrific Easter Sunday terrorist attack in Sri Lanka, North Korea's weapons test, China's ascendance, Trump's UK state visit, elections in Ukraine, the foreign policy impact of the Mueller report and the Armenian genocide. Then, Cuba expert Marguerite Rose Jiménez joins to discuss Trump's cruel rollback of Cuba policy. 
4/24/201954 minutes, 40 seconds
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Assange arrested, Bernie's foreign policy, Bowe Bergdahl and Afghanistan

Tommy and Ben discuss the arrest of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Bernie's foreign policy, potential war with Iran and the arrest of Chinese scholars. Then J Street's Yael Patir explains the state of liberal political parties in Israel. Then author and Army veteran Matt Farwell joins to discuss Bowe Bergdahl and the war in Afghanistan.
4/17/20191 hour, 25 minutes, 15 seconds
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Israeli elections, Iran under fire and the IRA's history

Iran expert Kelly Magsamen joins Tommy and Ben to discuss Trump's decision to designate the IRGC a terrorist organization. Then, Tommy and Ben discuss the Israeli elections, spies at Mar-a-Lago, Egypt's President at the White House, protests in Sudan, fighting in Libya and Brexit. Then, author Patrick Radden Keefe joins to discuss his new book SAY NOTHING and the history of the IRA and the Troubles in Northern Ireland. 
4/10/201955 minutes, 44 seconds
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Democracy resurgent in Europe(?) and Israeli elections

First, Tommy and Ben discuss Trump's decision to cut off aid to central America, whether recent elections in Turkey and Slovakia mean that Democracy is resurgent in Europe, and the Algerian President's resignation. Then Khaled Elgindy joins to discuss protests in Gaza, the middle east peace process, Palestinian politics and the upcoming Israeli elections.
4/3/201959 minutes, 44 seconds
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Brexit, fighting in Gaza, ISIS defeated(?) and eliminating nukes

First, Tommy, Ben Rhodes and former Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken discuss Brexit, tensions flaring in Gaza, Israeli PM Netanyahu's visit to DC, ISIS loses its territory, Russians in Venezuela and reporting on Russian's collusion charges. Then, Tommy is joined by Yasmeen Silva and Joe Cirincione to discuss their efforts to prevent nuclear war.
3/27/20191 hour, 14 minutes, 26 seconds
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White supremacists radicalized online

First, Tommy and Ben talk about the New Zealand terrorist attack and the rise of right-wing extremist groups and nationalist political parties, Huawei and Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro visiting Trump. Then the New York Times's Charlie Warzel joins to discuss how radicalization happens online, how we can stop it and how journalists should cover these communities. 
3/20/201944 minutes, 31 seconds
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Brexit and is Dick Cheney good now? (no)

First, Tommy and Ben talk about the ongoing Brexit disaster, Dick Cheney's surprisingly accurate criticisms of Trump's foreign policy, the rollback of Obama-era rules about disclosing civilian casualties, and important updates from Venezuela. Then, Tommy talks with immigration and human rights activist Enrique Morones about his work on the US-Mexico border.
3/13/201950 minutes, 44 seconds
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Antisemitism, the NSA, Khashoggi, then Fmr Dep Secretary of State Bill Burns

First, Tommy and Ben Rhodes talk about the NSA shutting down its controversial metadata program, more accusations of antisemitism against Ilhan Omar, Trump's stonewalling of Congress about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and his flipflop (again) on keeping troops in Afghanistan and Syria. Then, former Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns joins to discuss his new book The Back Channel. 
3/6/20191 hour, 18 seconds
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BONUS POD: North Korea summit

Tommy and Ben explain why Trump's second North Korea summit was a total disaster. Then they discuss escalating tensions between India and Pakistan, Justin Trudeau's troubles in Canada, a can't-miss rant about Jared Kushner and Netanyahu's indictment.
3/1/201942 minutes, 12 seconds
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Trump's North Korea summit v.2, Venezuela, international LGBT rights

First, Tommy and Ben Rhodes talk about India bombing Pakistan, Trump's second meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong Un, the ongoing turmoil in Venezuela and Netanyahu's latest hard-right turn. Then, Jessica Stern from Outright International joins to discuss her work advocating for human rights for LGBTIQ people globally. 
2/27/20191 hour, 51 seconds
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How former National Security Advisor Tom Donilon views the world

First, Ben Rhodes calls in from Europe to talk about the Munich Security Summit, Steve Bannon running around Europe, and Trump selling nuclear power plants to Saudi Arabia. Then, former National Security Advisor Tom Donilon joins Tommy for a ranging discussion of how he got the job, best and worst days, relations with China, Russia, Trump's second North Korea summit and more.
2/20/20191 hour, 4 minutes, 20 seconds
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Ilhan Omar’s tweets spark a debate about anti-semitism

First, Tommy talks with author Peter Beinart about the controversy around Congresswoman Ilhan Omar's tweets, which many viewed as anti-semitic. Then, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman joins to talk with Tommy and Ben about the time she spent negotiating with Iran and North Korea.
2/13/201952 minutes, 50 seconds
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544 days in an Iranian prison

Tommy and Ben talk with the Washington Post's Jason Rezaian about his book Prisoner, which details the 544 days he spent in an Iran's notoriously brutal Evin Prison. Jason was held hostage by the Iranian regime and held as leverage in the nuclear negotiations. Jason details his experience while Ben explains what the negotiations were like from his perch in the White House. It is a hell of a good episode.
2/6/201951 minutes, 17 seconds
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Who is President of Venezuela?

Tommy talks with Anthony Faiola, the Washington Post bureau chief for South America and the Caribbean, about the dire situation in Venezuela. Then Ben Rhodes joins to discuss the Trump administration's approach to Venezuela's leadership struggle, the Worldwide Threat Assessment hearings in Congress, a potential peace deal in Afghanistan, Ebola, Jared's security clearance (again) and bumbling spies.
1/30/201956 minutes, 29 seconds
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Brexit breakdown

First, Tommy and Ben talk with David Lammy, a member of parliament from the UK, about the slow-rolling disaster that is Brexit. Then they discuss Trump's announcement of a second meeting with Kim Jong Un, recent Israeli strikes on Iranian targets in Syria, and the latest from Afghanistan. 
1/23/201952 minutes
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Owned by Russia but itching to bomb Iran

First, Tommy and Ben discuss two stories about the Trump administration agitating to attack Iran. Then they discuss several unnerving reports about Trump potentially being compromised by Russia, followed by Brexit, the World Bank, and our Twitter troll ambassador to Germany. Then a Sudanese-American activist named Wafa May Elamin joins to discuss the ongoing protests in Sudan.
1/16/201947 minutes, 19 seconds
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New year, same problems

First, Tommy talks with Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin about Trump's Syria flip flops and how he's demoralizing the intel community. Then, Ben Rhodes joins to talk about Secretary Pompeo's middle east trip and Cairo speech, the new authoritarian President in Brazil, and the anti-BDS bill going through Congress. 
1/9/201937 minutes, 28 seconds
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Foreign policy in 2019

Tommy and Ben Rhodes talk about Trump pulling US troops out of Syria, the MLB and Cuba, and then talk about how US policy towards Israel, North Korea and Russia could change in 2019.
12/26/201846 minutes, 55 seconds
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The French President and General Flynn had a bad, bad week

Tommy and Ben Rhodes discuss General Flynn's trial and what the hell he was doing for the Turkish government. Then they discuss new Senate reports about Russia's propaganda efforts, China's muslim internment camps, and updates from Syria and Afghanistan. Then French journalist and activist Rokhaya Diallo joins to discuss the Yellow Vest protests in France.
12/19/201847 minutes, 56 seconds
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U.S. policy towards Israel

Tommy and Ben Rhodes talk with former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro about his time in Israel, why the Middle East Peace process failed, Trump's approach to Israel, the BDS movement, whether support for Israel is getting politicized, Netanyahu's legal jeopardy, and Jared Kushner managing our relationship with Saudi Arabia.
12/12/201849 minutes, 11 seconds
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The 2020 Democrats and foreign policy

First, Tommy and Ben talk through George H.W. Bush's foreign policy record, the good the bad and the ugly. Then they discuss the news out of the G20, the latest on Saudi Arabia, and the Democrats' foreign policy messaging. Then Tommy is joined by Kelly Magsamen to discuss Elizabeth Warren's foreign policy speech and what issues 2020 democrats should be talking about.
12/5/201853 minutes, 31 seconds
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War between Russia and Ukraine, Wikileaks, Brexit and more

First, Tommy talks with former US Ambassador to Russia Mike McFaul about fighting between Russia and Ukraine. Then Ben Rhodes dials in to discuss the latest with Brexit, a reported meeting between Wikileaks’ Julian Assange and Trump stooge Paul Manafort, protests in France and the climate report, Saudi Arabia, and how the US caused instability in some Latin American countries.
11/28/201840 minutes, 9 seconds
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Update on Jamal Khashoggi and monitoring right-wing extremism

First, Tommy talks with Karen Attiah, the Washington Post Global Opinions Editor who used to edit Jamal Khashoggi’s work, about Trump’s statement Tuesday about Jamal's murder that essentially absolves Saudi Arabia. Then he talks with Jared Holt from Right Wing Watch about his work monitoring right-wing extremist groups.
11/21/201847 minutes, 45 seconds
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Global news roundup and North Korea

First, Tommy talks with Ben Rhodes about some major foreign policy news out of Israel, Trump's visit to France and the Russia investigation. Then Tommy talks with North Korea expert Lisa Collins about a new report detailing North Korea's ongoing development of its missile program.
11/14/201837 minutes, 36 seconds
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We won the House! What does it that mean for the world?

Tommy talks with foreign policy expert Jake Sullivan about what Democratic control of the House means for US foreign policy, including US relations with Saudi Arabia, the Iran deal, Trump's ties with Russia, trade and North Korea.
11/9/201835 minutes, 51 seconds
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Saudi murders and the war in Yemen

Tommy talks with The Intercept's Mehdi Hasan about the international community's response to murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the catastrophic Saudi-led civil war in Yemen.
10/31/201828 minutes, 41 seconds
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Democrats Not Dictators

Tommy's in Philadelphia for HBO! So Ben Rhodes reviews the latest on Trump’s refusal to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for brutally murdering a journalist. Then he talks to three candidates who could hold Trump accountable if Democrats take back the House: Rep. Stephanie Murphy, Minnesota's Dan Feehan, and New Jersey's Andy Kim. All of them have national security backgrounds. All of them are among the very best people. All of them (and America) need you to vote this election: votesaveamerica.com 
10/24/201847 minutes, 44 seconds
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The Great British Breakdown Show

Tommy is in Austin with Beto O'Rourke for Pod Save America on HBO! So this week, Crooked contributor Ben Rhodes travels across the pond to sit down with David Lammy, a trail blazing long time Member of Parliament, to break down the looming catastrophe of Brexit, why Trump is as accepted in the UK as well as "a cold bucket of sick," and what progressives need to do to change course in Britain, the U.S. and across the West. There are 20 days until the election: votesaveamerica.com
10/17/201841 minutes, 47 seconds
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National security candidates

First, Tommy ticks through some major news about UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, Saudi Arabia and Brazil. Then he interviews three candidates (Jesse Colvin, Abigail Spanberger, Lauren Baer) who have different national security backgrounds that all made them decide to run for Congress this cycle. They are inspiring and brilliant. You won't want to miss it.
10/10/201852 minutes, 50 seconds
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Kim Jong-Un found love in a hopeless place

Tommy talks with the Washington Post's David Ignatius about Trump's visit to the UN general assembly, including potentially explosive claims by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu about Iran's nuclear program, Trump's love affair with North Korea and some legitimately hopeful signs, and escalating tensions with China.
10/3/201830 minutes, 43 seconds
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Is the Mueller investigation doomed?

Tommy talks with The Atlantic's Natasha Bertrand about how the potential departure of Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein would impact the Mueller investigation and operations at DOJ. Then they discuss what we've learned about Russia's efforts to influence our elections over the past two years, and the shady right-wing characters that link Trump to Wikileaks.
9/26/201832 minutes, 57 seconds
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John Kerry: Recording for Duty

Tommy (with an assist from Jon Favreau) talks with former Secretary of State John Kerry about Iran, Israel, Trump's attacks and what he learned from the 2004 presidential campaign about how to respond to fake news.
9/19/201835 minutes, 39 seconds
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War in Venezuela and Al Qaeda 17 years after 9/11

Tommy talks with new LA resident Ben Rhodes about the bizarre Trump NSC memo naming him leader of the Echo Chamber, the state of al Qaeda and the war in Afghanistan, talk of war in Venezuela and weird old John Bolton.
9/12/201835 minutes, 56 seconds
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Foreign lobbying and what Bob Woodward taught us about Trump's foreign policy

Two part show this week! First, Tommy talks with the Wall Street Journal's Julie Bykowicz about new and insidious ways foreign countries are lobbying the Trump administration. Then, Tommy is joined by Vox's Alex Ward to discuss North Korea, revelations in Bob Woodward's book, new theories about what harmed diplomats in Cuba, and Burma.
9/5/201839 minutes, 26 seconds
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Trump's racist South Africa conspiracy theory

Last week, President Trump tweeted about a segment on Tucker Carlson's Fox News show that claimed white farmers in South Africa are being murdered and that the government is taking away their land. The Economist's Africa bureau chief John McDermott joins to explain what the hell he's talking about and what he got wrong.
8/29/201826 minutes
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Revoking John Brennan's security clearance

Tommy talks with former acting CIA director Michael Morell about President Trump's decision to revoke his opponents' security clearances. They discuss why the politicization of intelligence is so dangerous and why many former spy chiefs decided to speak out on Brennan's behalf. 
8/22/201829 minutes, 12 seconds
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"Space Force all the way!"

Tommy talks with defense expert Katherine Charlet from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace about President Trump's plan to create a Space Force!!! How much is the military currently operating in space? Is this proposal smart, necessary or a gigantic waste of taxpayer money. Listen to this episode (which includes lasers) to find out!
8/15/201831 minutes, 13 seconds
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Devastation in Syria and Yemen

Tommy talks with VICE on HBO correspondent Isobel Yeung about her recent reporting trips to Raqqa, Syria and Yemen. Isobel talks about what it was like to interview two of ISIS's most brutal foreign fighters and to witness heroic efforts by average citizens to rebuild the city and find loved ones taken by ISIS.
8/8/201825 minutes, 50 seconds
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Bassem Youssef: doctor, comedian, enemy of the Egyptian state

Tommy talks with Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef about his improbable path to comedy, fame, and becoming an enemy of the Egyptian state.
8/1/201839 minutes, 49 seconds
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Wanted by Putin and rage tweeting at Iran

Two part show today! First, Tommy talks with Ambassador Michael McFaul about Vladimir Putin's request to interrogate him and Trump's shocking refusal to immediately rule it out. Then Tommy talks with the Washington Post's Jason Rezaian about Trump's late-night rage tweet at Iran and the future of US/Iranian relations. 
7/25/201851 minutes, 51 seconds
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Trump's disastrous European vacation

Tommy talks with Julianne Smith, a former Pentagon official and advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, about Donald Trump’s truly awful trip to Europe, and why his terrifying press conference with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki is only a piece of the lasting damage it might cause to some of America’s most critical relationships.
7/18/201832 minutes, 45 seconds
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The politics of the World Cup with Roger Bennett

Today's episode is two parts. First, Tommy talks with Politico's Nahal Toosi about North Korea, NATO and Trump's Putin meeting. Then, Roger Bennett from Men in Blazers joins to talk about the agony, ecstasy and politics of the World Cup.
7/11/201855 minutes, 35 seconds
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“Abdi American”

Tommy talks with Abdi Nor Iftin, the author of “Call Me American,” about his incredible story of survival in war-ravaged Somalia and literally winning the lottery to make it to America. 
7/5/201843 minutes, 3 seconds
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Cyber war

Tommy talks with New York Times reporter David Sanger about the new world of cyber warfare. From North Korea's attack on Sony to targeting of Iran's nuclear program and Russia's invasion of Ukraine, cyber attacks are increasingly used first in war even though there's no rules of engagement and little public debate.
6/29/201845 minutes, 17 seconds
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Hunting terrorists

Tommy talks with the outgoing National Counterterrorism Center chief Nick Rasmussen. Nick worked in senior counterterrorism roles for Presidents Bush, Obama and Trump, and they discussed how weird the transition from Obama to Trump was, how you hunt terrorists, how you fight ISIS propaganda, Trump's North Korea summit and more. 
6/19/201844 minutes, 43 seconds
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North Korea nothingburger?

Tommy talks with defense and Asia policy expert Kelly Magsamen about Trump's just-completed summit with North Korea's Kim Jong-un. What did they accomplish? Are we safer? Should we worry about the optics of meeting with a dictator? 
6/13/201831 minutes, 28 seconds
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Obama's legacy after Trump

Tommy talks with Ben Rhodes, author of the new book "The World as It Is", which documents Ben's eight years working in the White House. They talk about Ben's criticisms of Obama, leading talks with Cuba and going to dinner with Raul Castro, becoming a target of right-wing attacks and more.
6/6/201847 minutes, 57 seconds
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White House extremists

Tommy talks with journalist Mehdi Hasan about a troubling series of hires on Trump's National Security Council staff of individuals with far-right, paranoid, Islamaphobic views. Then they talk about the situation in Gaza now that the protests have ended and TV cameras have left.
6/1/201843 minutes, 48 seconds
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Trump's hostage policy

Tommy talks with NewYorker.com executive editor David Rohde about the way Trump is handling - and showcasing - hostage negotiations as President. Rohde was held hostage by the Taliban for over seven months until he escaped in 2009.
5/23/201839 minutes, 45 seconds
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North Korea and Gaza

Tommy talks with Washington Post reporter Anne Gearan about the on again, off again North Korea summit, the situation in Gaza and the Trump administration's response, and Rex Tillerson's harsh criticism of President Trump.
5/17/201834 minutes, 9 seconds
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Trump shreds the Iran deal

Trump just tore up the Iran deal. Tommy talks with Ben Rhodes about what happens next. Then Tommy talks with Russia expert Mike McFaul about his new book, From Cold War to Hot Peace, about his time working at the White House and as US Ambassador to Russia.
5/8/201859 minutes, 58 seconds
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Ronan Farrow

Tommy talks with Pulitzer Prize winning author Ronan Farrow about his new book War on Peace and the militarization of American foreign policy. 
5/2/201844 minutes, 3 seconds
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The CIA's tortured history

Tommy talks with ACLU political director Faiz Shakir about the nomination of Gina Haspel to lead the CIA despite her role in the Bush-era torture of terrorism suspects. They also discuss the politics of national security in the Trump era, and whether Obama did enough to hold the CIA accountable for its actions.
4/27/201847 minutes, 18 seconds
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Syria strikes and North Korea talks

Tommy talks with foreign policy expert Kelly Magsamen about Trump’s strikes on Syria’s chemical weapons site, his lack of a broader strategy, and her attempt to “red team” the policy options during the Obama administration. Then they talk about CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s trip to North Korea.
4/18/201833 minutes, 32 seconds
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Madeleine Albright’s warning about fascism

Tommy talks with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright about the rise of fascism around the world and her concerns about how it is being enabled (and emulated) by Donald Trump. Then they talk about how Trump should respond in Syria, and Albright’s visit to North Korea in 2000 for meetings with Kim Jong-Il.
4/11/201834 minutes, 56 seconds
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Mr. Putin goes to Washington?

Tommy talks with New Yorker writer Robin Wright about Putin’s possible visit to Washington, his relationship with Trump, and what we know about Trump the negotiator vs what’s required for success. Then they discuss Robin's visit to North Korea, the situation in Gaza, Syria and John Bolton.
4/5/201831 minutes, 36 seconds
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Nowhere to hide: Facebook, encryption, and privacy

Tommy talks with Wired editor in chief Nick Thompson about the insane amount of data that Facebook and other tech companies collect on us and what we can do to erase or prevent it. Then they talk about how to use encryption to protect your communications and scary new developments that allow you to make fake videos of real people.
3/30/201834 minutes, 54 seconds
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Fresh Prince of Saudi Arabia

Tommy talks with Washington Post columnist David Ignatius about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to the United States and his "reform agenda". Then they discuss Trump’s call with Putin, reports that he ignored his staff’s plea to be tougher, and the risk of North Korea negotiations. 
3/22/201830 minutes, 10 seconds
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The worst Secretary of State in history, Rex Tillerson

Tommy giddily discusses Rex Tillerson’s firing by tweet with Politico foreign affairs correspondent Nahal Toosi. Then they discuss suspected assassination of Putin enemies in London and Nahal’s exclusive report about Trump administration attacks on career State Department staffers.
3/16/201833 minutes, 6 seconds
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Can’t out-crazy Kim Jong-un

Tommy talks with Asia expert Danny Russel about reports that North Korea is willing to begin negotiations with the US about abandoning its nuclear weapons.
3/7/201833 minutes, 14 seconds
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The Deep State Strikes Back

Tommy talks with Jake Sullivan and Ben Rhodes about their new organization to oppose Trump’s foreign policy and promote a progressive vision of American leadership. Then they discuss what it means for Jared Kushner to have his security clearance downgraded, the status of the Iran deal, and the NSA Director’s plea for a directive to combat Russian hacking.
3/2/201845 minutes, 11 seconds
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Bribes, Bibi and the future of Israel

Tommy talks with Nathan Guttman, the Washington bureau chief of The Forward, about the corruption scandals swirling around Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. They walk through the facts, what happens next, and what it means for US/Israeli relations and the Middle East peace process.
2/23/201829 minutes, 20 seconds
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Nuclear-armed frenemies

Tommy talks with Steve Coll, author of Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, about why the hell we’re still fighting in Afghanistan after 17 years and the destabilizing influence of our nuclear-armed frenemy, Pakistan.
2/16/201837 minutes, 23 seconds
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Held hostage in Syria

Tommy talks with war photographer Jonathan Alpeyrie about being held hostage by rebel fighters for nearly three months in Syria. 
2/9/201833 minutes, 58 seconds
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Inching closer to nuclear war

Tommy talks with New York Times editor and writer Max Fisher about disconcerting signs that the Trump administration is seriously considering a military attack on North Korea. Then they talk about how ambiguous demands about US credibility can lead us to make terrible foreign policy decisions, and the changing expectations in Afghanistan.
2/2/201839 minutes, 37 seconds
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Why China loves Jared

Tommy talks with New Yorker staff writer Evan Osnos about China’s frantic post-election efforts to build a relationship with Jared Kushner, and why the “Kushner channel" makes American counterintelligence officials so nervous. They also discuss the shockingly-wide distribution of sensitive intelligence in the Trump White House, and how Evan feels about the threat from North Korea roughly six months after his visit to Pyongyang.
1/26/201835 minutes, 7 seconds
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Pod Save the World Live!

Tommy talks with Ben Rhodes, Ambassador Samantha Power and Greg Barker about the documentary The Final Year, which follows President Obama’s foreign policy team during the final year of his administration. They discuss Obama’s foreign policy legacy, ruptures over Syria, and how Trump’s election upended everything. The Final Year is in theaters and available on iTunes starting Friday, January 19th.  Watch Now on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/the-final-year/id1324474039?ls=1
1/19/20181 hour, 16 minutes
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The Terrorist Interrogator

Tommy talks with former FBI Special Agent Ali Soufan about his work interrogating terrorists and investigating the bombing of the USS Cole and the 9/11 attacks. They discuss the changing threat from al Qaeda and ISIS and what we need to know about these terrorist groups to stop them.
1/12/201841 minutes, 4 seconds
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Iranian revolution

Tommy talks with former top Obama foreign policy advisor Ben Rhodes about the protests sweeping across Iran, Trump’s response, how today compares with the 2009 Green Revolution and Obama’s response, and what it could mean for the Iran deal. Then they vent about how terrible the discussion about Iran is in DC / on Twitter. 
1/5/201850 minutes, 39 seconds
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Drumbeat of war with North Korea

Tommy talks with Republican foreign policy expert Kori Schake about the eery similarity between the Trump administration’s comments about North Korea and the Bush administration’s rhetoric in the run-up to the Iraq war. 
12/22/201737 minutes, 58 seconds
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Infiltrating al Qaeda

Tommy interviewed undercover FBI agent Tamer Elnoury about his work penetrating and disrupting an al Qaeda cell plotting attacks in Canada and the United States. They discussed what it was like to live with and pretend to become a terrorist, including having to visit the Ground Zero memorial with a man who took pride in the 9/11 attacks and wanted to repeat them. His book, AMERICAN RADICAL, is great - read it!