The Director of National Intelligence refuses to tell Congress about a whistleblower allegation that may involve President Trump. Israelis go to the polls as Benjamin Netanyahu fights to maintain power. And Trump adviser Corey Lewandowski gives defiant testimony to lawmakers considering whether to impeach the president.
Donald Trump and John Bolton finally part ways. The CIA had a spy in the upper reaches of the Kremlin, then got him out of Russia. And Trump’s Middle East peace negotiator calls it quits.
A new inspector general report faults former FBI Director Jim Comey for how he handled memos about his meetings with Donald Trump. The CIA isn’t so sure about a White House plan to expand its presence in Afghanistan. And National Security Adviser John Bolton is being cut out of big decisions in the administration.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suspends parliament as the Brexit deadline looms. World leaders push back—maybe?—on President Trump at the G7 summit. And Trump tells aides that he’ll pardon them if they have to break the law to build his border wall.
Susan and Shane are away, so Ben and Tamara are joined by special guests Scott Anderson and Quinta Jurecic. A Russian missile test accident kills scientists and raises questions. Hong Kong and Kashmir are both in crisis, and the United States shrugs. And the House of Representatives seems to have slouched towards impeachment.
A series of shootings renews the discussion and debate around domestic terrorism. The U.S.-China trade war raises big questions about America’s role as a global power. And the United States faces a make-or-break moment in Syria.
President Trump said he will nominate a junior congressman and prominent Mueller critic as the next director of national intelligence. CIA Director Gina Haspel has become a bulwark between the White House and the intelligence community. And investigators probe connections between Middle East money and the White House.
Bob Mueller finally had his close up. Was he ready for it? Did he change any minds? Did we learn anything new about his investigation? We’ll talk about Mueller’s testimony this week before two congressional committees, and ask where do we go from here.
We have a special treat for you in the Rational Security feed. Last week, Susan and Ben shared an Object Lesson with you: the podcast The Report, a deep dive narrative look at the contents of the Mueller investigation. We've released the first episode, here for you now on this feed. For future episodes, subscribe to The Report on whatever podcast distribution service you use.
Joe Biden lays out his foreign policy agenda. The Trump administration issues new rules for asylum seekers. And Julian Assange reportedly had some curious guests at the Ecuadorian embassy.
The British ambassador to the U.S. resigns after his candid opinions on President Trump are leaked. Federal prosecutors intensify their investigation of a top Trump fundraiser. And a malicious conspiracy theory about a murdered DNC staffer was planted by Russian intelligence agents.
President Trump takes his show on the road to Osaka, Japan, for a meeting of world leaders. A man at the center of the Russia probe has disappeared, and conspiracy theorists have tried to fill the void. And a consulting firm is accused of making the intelligence community less effective.
President Trump prepares to strike Iran in retaliation for downing a U.S. drone, but says he pulled back to spare Iranian lives. Former special counsel Robert Mueller is subpoenaed to testify to Congress. And the National Security Agency, yet again, says it improperly collected Americans’ phone records.
Shane and Tamara and Susan are all away—so Rational Security is dominated this week by acting officials. The acting secretary of defense has been replaced by another acting defense secretary, and much of the rest of the government is vacant as well. Congress and the Trump administration are still butting heads over oversight matters and compliance with congressional information demands for information. And the New York Times reports that U.S. hackers are in the Russian power grid—and want the Russians to know that they're there.
Shane is off gallivanting elsewhere, so we wiped our bitter tears and did a show without him. Sophia Yan—yes, that Sophia Yan—phoned in from a Chinese airport on her way to Hong Kong to talk about ongoing protests and violence in that city. Kamala Harris urged the indictment of President Trump after he leaves office. And Pete Buttigieg gave a foreign policy speech.
Robert Mueller speaks! What does it mean for the future of investigations and possible impeachment hearings? Bill Barr is given new authorities to declassify information about the Russia probe. And Jared Kushner says he finally has a plan for Middle East peace.
The Trump administration moves to block a Chinese telecom giant. White House counsel Don McGahn is a no-show at a congressional hearing. And the president is considering pardons for military service members convicted of murder.
Tensions with Iran escalate amid new intelligence suggesting U.S. personnel in the Middle East could be at risk. The Russia investigation is now under investigation by a federal prosecutor. And two senior Homeland Security officials tried to halt a mass deportation plan, just before they were ousted.
The White House asserts executive privilege over the Mueller report, and House Democrats move to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt. Republicans revive allegations of spying on the Trump campaign. And Israel says it attacked a building housing Hamas’ offensive cyber operations.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller told the attorney general that he failed to convey the “context, nature, and substance” of his investigation. Rod Rosenstein steps down from the Department of Justice and bids President Trump a fond farewell. And is John Bolton’s view of foreign policy compatible with the president he serves?
The Special Counsel’s report has finally been released. After reading the report and thinking about the findings, we’ll discuss what impressed us most and what happens next.
Julian Assange is taken into British custody, and the United States wants him to stand trial here. President Trump vetoes a resolution to end U.S. military involvement in the civil war in Yemen. And Attorney General Bill Barr says there was “spying” on the Trump campaign.
The White House launches a purge at the Homeland Security Department. Some prosecutors in Robert Mueller’s office are frustrated by the attorney general’s portrayal of their report. And the Trump administration designates Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization.
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A White House official claims more than two dozen denials for security clearances were overturned. Six months after Saudi agents killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi, what has changed in the U.S-Saudi relationship? And oversight committees gear up for the post-Mueller era.
This week: What else?! The gang talks about Bill Barr's summary of the Mueller report. What did the special counsel say about a Trump campaign conspiracy with Russia? What did he say about obstruction of justice by the president? And what happens when, as expected, we all get to read the Mueller report itself (or some portion of it)?
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