The Trump administration issues new restrictions on immigration in response to the coronavirus pandemic. A major witness in the impeachment hearings retires amid concerns the White House might try to block his military promotion. And progressives mount an effort to shape the future of national security—sometimes to the dismay of the Biden campaign.
Trump’s aides say they never briefed him about a Russian plot to kill U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Former aides say the president has been “delusional” in his dealing with foreign leaders. And as the coronavirus continues spreading, some federal workers are being furloughed.
Bill Barr's Justice Department is accused of politicizing law enforcement across an astonishing array of subject matters. A federal appeals court orders the judge in the Michael Flynn case to dismiss charges against the former national security advisor—at Barr’s request. And Israel is getting ready to annex Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
John Bolton is finally publishing his tell-all book, and the White House is fighting back. A CIA investigation blames “woefully lax” computer security for the biggest leak in the agency’s history. And experts weigh in on how to change U.S. national security to prepare for the next pandemic.
Who ordered what and when as police cleared peaceful protestors from Lafayette Park? Those protests and others in every state have sparked a national debate about policing. And former Trump administration officials speak out against the president, after possibly holding their tongues too long.
Americans have taken to the streets in dozens of cities to protest the death of George Floyd, police brutality, and systemic racism. President Trump has focused his attention on looting and violence, which he calls “domestic terror” and insisted governors “dominate” the protestors. The gang talks about the role of the military and the Insurrection Act, the role of Bill Barr and the Justice Department, and Trump’s use of other federal forces as America heads into another day of public demonstration amidst a still raging pandemic.
Twitter starts fact-checking President Trump as social media companies face calls to ramp up their election security efforts. China again encroaches on Hong Kong, this time using the pandemic as cover. And the judge in Michael Flynn’s case is told to explain his delay in granting a motion to dismiss.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in hot water over the firing of an inspector general. A newly declassified email shows that Barack Obama wanted the Russia investigation handled “by the book.” And around the world people are slowly emerging from lockdowns and quarantines.
This week, the Rational Security gang is joined by listeners from around the world for a special live show. Unmasking, China, life after Trump/under Biden—we took listeners' questions and shared stories about how we're spending our time during the pandemic.
Congressman John Ratcliffe faces questions from the Senate in his quest to become the next director of national intelligence. Americans are detained in an apparent botched invasion of Venezuela. And former national security adviser Michael Flynn claims he was set up by corrupt FBI agents.
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Democrats and Republicans finally have something to agree on: China deserves more scrutiny for how it has handled the COVID-19 pandemic. Kim Jong Un is alive, maybe. And the courts take up the argument on whether Congress can sue the executive branch.
Protests break out against states’ stay-at-home orders. China is linked to a disinformation campaign about the coronavirus. And Israel forms a unity government.
State officials say tracing the contacts of people infected with the coronavirus will help keep it from spreading. The Trump administration withdraws funding from the World Health Organization. And Russia takes advantage of confused U.S. policy on Libya.
President Trump removes two independent inspectors general, including the one at the center of his impeachment. The acting Navy Secretary is out after he removed the captain of an aircraft carrier who complained that his sailors were at risk from the coronavirus. And despite health concerns, Wisconsin goes ahead with elections, offering a test case for November.
State and local governments are on the frontlines of the fight against the coronavirus. But there’s a lot the federal government can, and arguably should, be doing. What is the pandemic showing us about the strengths of a democracy versus an autocracy? And a new report finds significant problems with applications for FISA surveillance.
It took weeks for administration officials to persuade Donald Trump that the coronavirus posed a significant threat to the United States. Did those delays hinder the fight against the virus? The coronavirus may pose a threat to democratic values, as governments deploy aggressive surveillance to combat the pandemic. And there are shakeups in the senior ranks of U.S. counterterrorism.
Much of normal life has ground to a halt. We’ll reflect on the state of the pandemic and how it’s affecting us. What exactly happened to a White House office set up to respond to pandemics? And Congress kicks the can on an all-important surveillance law until the end of May.
As the coronavirus spreads, U.S. officials face a public health crisis and the threat of economic recession. The World Health Organization has officially declared coronavirus a pandemic. How are other countries responding, and what can the U.S. learn from them? And there’s tumult in Saudi Arabia amid another power grab by the crown prince and an oil war with Russia.
President Trump picks Congressman John Ratcliffe—again—to be the new director of national intelligence. The United States signs a peace deal with the Taliban. And an appeals court rules that former White House Counsel Don McGahn does not have to testify to Congress.
Coronavirus is spreading, and the administration’s message has been a jumble. Intelligence reports suggest that Russia has developed a preference for Trump in the election and is trying to help Sanders. And world leaders call for action to halt a humanitarian crisis in Syria.
Bill Barr says that Trump’s tweets make his job more difficult, and he has considered resigning over them. But Trump is still tweeting and Barr is still the attorney general, so…? Also, the U.S. charges Chinese telecom giant Huawei with conspiracy and racketeering. And European leaders are bracing for a second Trump term, and a redefined relationship with America.
Four prosecutors step down from the Roger Stone case after the Justice Department contradicts their sentencing recommendation. The White House purges officials who testified in Trump’s impeachment trial. And the Justice Department is taking a look at Rudy Giuliani’s investigation into the Bidens.
The Senate prepares to acquit Donald Trump on charges that he abused his office and obstructed Congress. We’ll take a look back at the impeachment trial and discuss what comes next. Also, governments around the world scramble to deal with the threat of coronavirus.
John Bolton has a story to tell about that Ukraine “drug deal.” The White House unveils its much anticipated Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. And Joe Biden envisions foreign policy after Trump.
The impeachment trial of Donald Trump begins in earnest, with a marathon session hammering out the rules and procedures. U.N. investigators say there is credible evidence that the crown prince of Saudi Arabia hacked Jeff Bezos’ phone. And you may have heard—Ben and Susan have published a book! We’ll talk about “Unmaking the Presidency.”