Detailed
Compact
Art
Reverse
July 1, 2020
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.
June 24, 2020
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.
June 17, 2020
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
June 10, 2020
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.
June 3, 2020
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.
May 27, 2020
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.
May 20, 2020
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.
May 13, 2020
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.
May 6, 2020
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.
April 29, 2020
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.
April 22, 2020
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.
April 15, 2020
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.
April 8, 2020
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.
April 1, 2020
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
March 25, 2020
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.
March 18, 2020
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.
March 11, 2020
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.
March 4, 2020
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.
February 26, 2020
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.
February 19, 2020
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.
February 12, 2020
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.
February 6, 2020
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.
January 29, 2020
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.
January 22, 2020
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.
January 15, 2020
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.
January 8, 2020
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.
January 3, 2020
In a bonus episode, Tommy and Ben discuss Trump’s decision to assassinate a top Iranian official named Qassim 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?
January 3, 2020
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?
December 18, 2019
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.
December 11, 2019
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.
December 4, 2019
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.
November 27, 2019
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.
November 20, 2019
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.
November 13, 2019
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.
November 6, 2019
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.
November 1, 2019
“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.
October 30, 2019
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.
October 23, 2019
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.
October 16, 2019
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.
October 9, 2019
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.
October 2, 2019
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.
September 25, 2019
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.​
September 18, 2019
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.
September 11, 2019
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.
September 4, 2019
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.
August 28, 2019
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.
August 21, 2019
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.
August 14, 2019
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. 
August 7, 2019
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.
July 31, 2019
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.
July 24, 2019
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.
July 17, 2019
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.
July 10, 2019
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.
July 3, 2019
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.
June 26, 2019
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
June 19, 2019
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.
June 12, 2019
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.
June 5, 2019
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.
May 29, 2019
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.
May 22, 2019
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.
May 15, 2019
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.
May 8, 2019
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.
May 1, 2019
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.
April 24, 2019
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.
April 17, 2019
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.
April 10, 2019
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.
April 3, 2019
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.
March 27, 2019
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.
March 20, 2019
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.
March 13, 2019
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.
March 6, 2019
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.
March 1, 2019
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.
February 27, 2019
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.
February 20, 2019
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.
February 13, 2019
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.
February 6, 2019
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.
January 30, 2019
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.
January 23, 2019
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.
January 16, 2019
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.
January 9, 2019
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.
December 26, 2018
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.
December 19, 2018
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.
December 12, 2018
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.
December 5, 2018
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.
November 28, 2018
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.
November 21, 2018
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.
November 14, 2018
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.
November 9, 2018
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.
October 31, 2018
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.
October 24, 2018
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
October 17, 2018
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
October 10, 2018
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.
October 3, 2018
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.
September 26, 2018
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.
September 19, 2018
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.
September 12, 2018
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.
September 5, 2018
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.
August 29, 2018
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.
August 22, 2018
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.
August 15, 2018
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!
Loading earlier episodes...
    15
    15
      0:00:00 / 0:00:00